The Artist’s Dilemma: Doing Things That Scare You

Last Friday, I went to a book signing event for Jason Segel’s new book called Otherworld. Described as a renaissance man, Jason Segel has done it all: acting, writing, puppeteering, cracking funny jokes at himself. I actually did not know much about him before going to the event, so I was driven by curiosity of meeting a fellow artist and hearing them talk about their work.

Between all of the jokes, Jason brought up serious issues. One that stood out clearly to me, as an artist, was when he talked about fear and complacency. He said that as artists, we need to do things that scare us, always, and never stop. Even if you don’t accomplish what you set out to do, you at least tried. Plus, you’ll have a new superpower, as he said at the event.

Why do we need to put ourselves out there, to step out of complacency into the fear zone? Because it’s the only way we will grow, to be be able craft our art and ourselves. As artists, we are trying to express and probe deep into the meaning of what it means to be human through our work, our craft. Really, that’s the bottom line, according to him.

What are you doing to “scare yourself” in regards to your career? How has it helped you grow? Why are you doing it?


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