This is actually a post I shared on Instagram in November. I wanted to share it again here because I think it’s something many artists deal with. And it was, and still is embarassing to share that I could be so gullible and trusting [at least at first] but I also want to give a warning to other artists and small businesses out there.
As I recently shared in a reel/post, I’ve been struggling with imposter syndrome lately. I think I will always struggle with imposter syndrome to some degree.
It hit me especially hard in late October and November. I was dealing with a lot personally as well and wasn’t in the best place emotionally and in terms of my mental health. So when someone messaged me on Instagram in early November, interested in buying some originals. I was skeptical at first, but also excited. And over 3 or 4 days the individual discussed colours, which artworks they liked, size, shipping, etc. And I believe that because I was feeling insecure, that made me let my guard down a bit more than usual.
My skepticism and wariness began to turn into excitement until a few days later when they very nearly stole $200 USD from me. I feel like a fool for believing they wanted my artwork and also angry that people go after [very!] small businesses like my own. But most of all, I’m grateful I realized it was a fraud when I did, Alhumdulillah.
It was hard to not beat myself up too much at the time but I did my best to explore the underlying issues and imposter syndrome that made me more vulnerable. I was so excited and eager when someone reached out to buy an original, especially after someone else abruptly stopped messaging me when I told her the price of a framed original painting which she had been extremely interested in moments before. All the same thoughts creeped back in: ‘Maybe my art isn’t worth it? Maybe I’m foolish for thinking people want my art, especially original art. What am I doing and why am I putting myself out there?
One thing that definitely helped at the time were these abstract sketchbook drawings/paintings [pictured] I’ve been experimenting with. Here are a few and I’m planning more – hopefully even some small paintings. They’re inspired by Islamic geometric patterns and architecture, abstract art and Pakistani textiles and painted trucks. I also may have treated myself to a big bag of No Name Salt & Vinegar chips, my go to comfort food [well, aside from french fries and cheese].
Moral of the story: Be careful. I am normally pretty good at detecting fraud online and over the phone and have been able to recognize scams quickly. I thought I’d never fall for one of the many online scams out there but this time, I nearly did.