"Misunderstood" - Original Art by Emily Rose

How To Break Through The Roadblocks Of Being Misunderstood

"Misunderstood" - Original Art by Emily Rose

“Misunderstood” – Original Art by Emily Rose

Roadblock 1: Embracing It

I used to think I was misunderstood; I really really embraced the “fact” of being a misunderstood artist. I even blatantly announced it on the header of my art site. (A nice place where everyone could see that I was misunderstood – not only that – as if that weren’t bad enough, my website reflected that misunderstanding in every aspect; it was very confusing.)

This has been one of the largest roadblocks that I have ever faced. For a long time I didn’t know where I was headed. I had so many ideas that I didn’t know where to start, where to end, or where in the world my creativity was really at.

Talk about a physically, mentally and emotionally draining experience. (I don’t recommend being so bold about feeling misunderstood.)

I used to think I was misunderstood… then I realized I only misunderstood myself.

Roadblock 2: Misunderstanding Myself

Misunderstanding myself allowed other people to misunderstand me, and I was getting no where fast.

How did this all start?

My upbringing in the schools I went to fostered my love of creativity, by showing me so many different ways to make art that I fell in love with all of them.

(Now let me just tell you, that it is extremely difficult for any one person, to make any semblance of a collection of art when faced with so many loves.)

I was not taught that I needed a “collection of work” to show, and only taught that I am good at doing a variety of styles, with a variety of mediums, and this only served to over-stimulate my creative epicenter (my mind) and confuse anyone interested in my art.

What helped me break this self-defeating confusion?

Breaking Through The Confusion

Many things, most notably, and most recently I have been doing a lot of research on finding my voice (both vocally, and artistically).

Upon reading a particularly awesome blog post I found re-tweeted on Twitter, by Kesha Bruce (you can read the article that got me intrigued to find out more about Kesha here: Top 10 ways to build a craptastic art website.) I started following Kesha on Twitter (you should too! Right here: @KeshaBruce) I have been learning a lot about what I really need to be a successful artist.

So, after starting to follow Kesha – she followed me back, which was pretty awesome as it gave me the confidence to introduce myself and start a real conversation with her.

A few days later she shared this article on twitter “Body of work and style” from About.com and it really got my juices going!

It talks about having cohesion in a collection of work, and an over-all style throughout your collections. So I read it, and bookmarked it, and if you are an artist, I recommend you bookmark it too!

Then I asked Kesha this question via DM on twitter: “I am figuring out I need a focused collection – if I start in one medium, am I supposed to stay in said medium for future series – Or is it more the stylization of the art that I make, therefore leaving mediums open to interpretation?”

Her response: “It’s not the medium that matters. It’s about creating a distinctive “voice” that is truly you.”

(BTW, I will be interviewing Kesha about the upcoming gallery exhibition 6×6 in New York – Don’t want to miss out? Sign up to receive it directly in your inbox!)

There it is again, finding my voice! (Something we all need to do as creative’s, let me tell you; living in the world of being misunderstood is not a fun path).

Plan Of Action

  1. Look at all my past art works – ones I have shown and ones I haven’t – to get a feel for where I’ve been.
  2. Keep creating art. Cultivate what my personal style is, my voice as an artist.

No longer will I be a misunderstood artist!

Your Turn

When have you felt misunderstood?


  1. Nathara

    Teehee. I always feel misunderstood! I just go with it, though. I call it ‘eccentric’ and since I’ve adopted the title of ‘artist’ I’ve given myself permission to act like it – I stopped worrying about being understood and just did my thing.

    So far it’s gotten me no where except that I am more personally gratified than ever before.

    1. Emily Rose

      Thank you Nathara for sharing, I believe there is a very fine line between being eccentric and being misunderstood. I wholeheartedly know that I am eccentric, I have accepted it and now I run with it. But when I was so misunderstood, I didn’t have direction, I was wandering and lost in my art, not having any particular way to go and even if I could see a way to go, I saw 100 other ways to go as well. Therefore, I wasn’t moving forward – but spinning my wheels, but now that I have gotten past the feeling of being misunderstood and since I started to slough off the dead-weigh of a million ideas and chosen a few select and succulent things I want to focus on, I no longer feel misunderstood and I can be eccentric without driving myself into oblivion. I hope that helps to clarify what I meant when I said I was misunderstood.

      1. Nathara

        Ah, I see what you’re saying now. I confess to doing that, too. There is so much I want to do in my photography! And I’m learning to paint! SO much learning and doing to do. Right now I’m facing the what to focus on question. I know what I love, but can do it so rarely. And then there’s this other thing I love too, and this other one…. ::sigh::

        1. Emily Rose

          It’s ok to step back from doing so many things to make time to focus on those things that you love the most. Let some things be your hobbies, and do them occasionally. Its alright and its needed to have a separation from career and hobbies. Hobbies are things that we love to do that help us recharge our batteries, we all need that.

  2. Vas

    You have no idea how happy this post makes me, especially after some of the phone conversations we had. ;D

    1. Emily Rose

      That makes me smile :D I know I have been all over the place, but not any more, I am finding my focus and its looking pretty good! ♥

  3. Emily Rose

    Tim, I really appreciate your insight. I have found through my research that, even if you have a lot of loves, you need focus in your collection of work. It allows others to get a better feel for your direction. That is not to say that you can’t have side projects and change your work over time, but its highly advantageous to find some specific things to focus on – whether they be a style, color, medium, media, thing, etc, etc.

    I challenge you to think about your direction and how you can bring focus into your work so that you refrain from diluting your own vision.

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