Thoughts on People: Tragic Artist Friend

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Johnny-Red's avatar
Maybe this entry will somehow reach someone outside of #Be-inghuman. If not, oh well. Everyone there will know who I'm talking about.

Up until now, all of my posts (all 2 of them) have been what I perceive as constructive insight to artists. Now I'm just gonna vent. I have, for lack of a better descriptor, a friend who's a tragic artist. That is to say, a friend who's clearly gifted with creative vision and artistic skill, but refuses to really out forth any kind of effort. What do I do?

He just can't seem to follow through with anything. Some strange self-hate gets triggered when an idea starts to fill out, and he abandons it. In the past six months, I've seen him strike down no less than 4 whole original setting ideas, not to mention a hefty pile or character, creature, and item concepts. It's frustrating as fuck to watch him build, then destroy. Build, then destroy. Over and over, never getting anywhere. I've offered to work with him but he doesn't want to lead. I've offered him a cut of the pay if my game project goes according to plan, but he doesn't want to follow.

I want to help him because he's one of my better internet buddies. We have inspired one another by sharing ideas myriad times. We agree on most things, but even when we don't, I think we both learn something from the encounter. Over the past 3 or so years I've known him, I've seen what I think are hints of his full potential - and I believe if he truly applied himself, we'd both be blown away by the results.

So far encouragement just causes him to throw metaphorical shit at me like an enraged gorilla at the zoo. I've even tried talking shit to him, thinking reverse psychology might cause him to believe in himself, if only to get back at me, but this hasn't worked either. On top of all this, I'm starting to feel like an overbearing girlfriend to him. Only we're both men. Big, hairy, men. Fuck.
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UnimagineUncreate's avatar
Maybe you're encouraging him, but he might have quite a few others in his life who are not.  You're an internet buddy, but that can only go so far sometimes.  You might be great friends, and you might really think he has potential but people he may know outside the internet could be incredibly discouraging and their opinions might matter a bit more, especially if he is close with them, such as family or others like that.  If he's stuck up in his own self loathing about his projects than he has to move past that first.  Pushing him will only go so far.  Keep encouraging him, but don't be overbearing and don't overwhelm him.