Category Archives: Clowns

How to not suck

Tonight, I drew my first drawing in months, while waiting to buy grapes and carrots at Costco. Where and when can you dedicate 4 minutes to breaking through your fear of failure?

I’ve been waiting for months to gather the brain-power, the wherewithal and the inspiration to write something profound. I really want to have a blog, but have identified my fear of “not doing it right” as a primary obstacle.

As with anything new, I am filled with trepidation. I don’t know what to say; I don’t know if anyone will care; I don’t know if it will be “any good.” Self-doubt is pervasive in most of my creative efforts. Fortunately years ago, I gave myself permission to be “no good” when I start something new. The beginning carpenter may cut crooked planks, the beginning mechanic may crease a gasket, and a toddler sucks at walking as s/he takes their first steps. We all suck when we’re new at stuff. It’s essential in the trial-and-error process of becoming an expert. So I call that “getting the suck out of the way.” 

This has been a touchstone in many of my creative projects. I have used this technique/attitude to improve my painting. And to create performance pieces. And to perform guitar in front of people. And now, to write a blog. Surely there will be supportive people out there who say, “hey, this post doesn’t suck!” — that’s not the point. The key is: I want to make this thing happen. I want to write. I want to get better.

What is one of my main obstacles? Worrying that I’ll suck at it. So I give myself permission to suck. I tell myself it is normal to suck at something new. I fully expect that after a few entries, after I’ve gotten my feet wet at this, I will be getting the “suck” out of the way.

Whenever I talk to people who tell me they wish they could be “artistic,” I ask them why aren’t they? “Oh, I’m just not talented!” I call “malarkey.” I had an interest, I took classes in high school and college. I pored over art books. I spent many formative years trying to get the “suck” out of the way. When I look back at my old sketchbooks? I sucked. When did that change? When I started to take classes. When did my art start really getting better? When I started really doing a lot of it.

When I guide people to access their creativity, I recommend they just do it. Whatever it is, just do it. It may suck at first; it may not. But you will NEVER get to the good stuff if you don’t get the suck out of the way. So give yourself permission to suck!

Rich Potter, Visual and Performing Artist

Welcome to the gateway site of a number of my interests. I am just now figuring out WordPress, so this page should be taking shape over the next couple of months.

I’m semi-active on Twitter; I will announce there as I update here. Follow @RichIsNice

Performing Artist

www.RichPotter.NET – comedy juggler has performed since 1982 in circuses, festivals, and colleges.

His family-friendly Bert the Nerd Thrill Show delights audiences young and old all over the world.
Rich also co-produces Clown Cabaret, Washington DC’s only regular clown-only theater. Shows on second Mondays 8PM

Visual Art

Paintings, T-shirt art, cartoons, comic books

To see his full 365 paintings, it’s currently easier to view at Facebook. Blog postings about the first two months, which will soon be migrating here.

He is on a neverending quest to find out who “borrowed” the painting entitled “2AM,” right, from his last art show.