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  • Hannah Kaplan

When I got into art school, I was sure there'd been a huge mistake. ⁠



Nothing could have convinced me that my own skills were enough to get me in. Maybe they felt sorry for me. Or maybe they didn't have that many applicants so I got lucky.⁠⠀

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Do you ever find yourself looking for proof that you're not worthy?⁠⠀

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For a long time, I would take pretty much every single thing that happened to me and treat it as confirmation of all the bad things I thought about myself. Guy I like never texts me back? I must be absolutely worthless, ugly and boring. Did poorly on a test or exam? I'm stupid, I'll never be good enough.⁠⠀

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When I got to art school, it took me almost 3 out of 4 years to start feeling like I was in the right place. The summer before my final year, I discovered abstract painting and illustration, and I went back to school in September feeling super confident that this was going to be the year that I did art for me, how I wanted to do it.⁠⠀

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In spite of feeling that abstract painting was a place for nonjudgmental self expression, I was constantly judging myself. I still deal with this now. But there are so many things that I love about the way that I paint, and the ups and downs of the process will hopefully even out as I continue to work on my self esteem and separate my worth from the art that I make.⁠⠀

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Here are my top 5 favourite things about abstract painting:⁠⠀

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1. Since I never have a plan, I never know what I could end up with.⁠ The possibilities are endless.

2. My most exciting work happens when I make moves without fear. ⁠⠀

3. I can paint on top of the same canvas as many times as I want. I can cover it all up or I can collaborate with the painting that's already there.⁠⠀

4. Every painting has multiple lives underneath the final layer. It's like tree rings and it's like the way we as humans grow - every experience we have, everything that happens informs how we develop. There's so much history.⁠⠀

5. When you see a painting that resonates with you in some significant way, you will KNOW it in your heart and there's no denying that connection.⁠⠀

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Does any of this speak to you? Let's chat about imposter syndrome and using creative expression to overcome it!⁠⠀


xo,

Hannah

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Toronto, ON, Canada

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