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Step Aerobics & Self Doubt


img_1828I have muscles in my ass I didn’t know existed!

That is a 12 foot ladder you see, the place is N.I.C.A.B – Northern Illinois Classic Auto Brokers or aka – Custom Muscle Cars

Saturday May 9th, NICAB is hosting an open house – this is a facilty that I have passed on Rt. 12 many times, but knew little about.

I was hired to do an American Flag for them, I img_1829questioned myself over & over about this job.  I am not the most “graceful” person on the planet and envisioned myself dropping pints of paint from a top the ladder and watching it crash down onto priceless cars below me.

Not to mention the glass cases that are entwined throughout the facility housing Elvis, Beatles and img_1831many pieces of rock memorabilia.

I even contemplated at 1:00 in the morning the day before about canceling, freaking myself out for all sorts of reasons. Self doubt can really play havoc on your mind!

It was about 2 in the afternoon, when it took a little more time to climb those 12 rungs, and I didn’t


have as much get up and go when I realized, this was coming together!

Here is a situation that I was second guessing myself.  I am self taught, and usually go on gut.  I thought about sketching the entire drawing out on the wall in pencil to begin with, but when I got on the ladder to start.  It just came to me.  I saw the picture in my head, and knew how to get it done.  Done to the point, the owner of NICAB – Tony Begley – asked what I would put on one of the last blank walls in his establishment.  Looking at it – I had the idea for 2 large checkered flags.

He wanted me to come back the next day to finish up, since the opening was a week away.  Am I glad I told him I’d let him know if the next day would work, or a day next week would be better.

Because, there was no way I could even walk, let alone climb that ladder again.  I was well done.  I had no idea the effects of going up and down a 12 foot ladder for 8 hours would have on my body.

This gave me new meaning of  step aerobics, to the pathetic point that I hobbled around all Saturday realizing that I was well out of shape!

checked-flags-002Well, yesterday I reached that finish line, I added some final touches to the big American Flag, outlining the NICAB logo in red to make it stand out and putting a bit of shadow work underneath the red stripes.

I then added the checkered flags to bay 2 and was delighted at the outcome.  I think more so because of Tony’s excitement, it will be neat to see the whole place put back together.

Self doubt is destructive and if I would have given into it, I wouldn’t have learned what I can accomplish when I knuckle down, slow down and take my time to feel the vibe.  I would have cheated myself out of something that gave me a really awesome drug free high, a feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction.

Taking and listening to Tony’s vision and what he saw in his mind’s eye and turning it into a reality with paint and watching it come to life gave me an incredible sense of accomplishment..

Categories : paintings



You should not have self doubt, I know you and believe you can accomplish whatever you want with some of my guitar learning focus techniques.
You crack me up. Come on down here and work with Adina on our tiny farm, you will find more muscles than the ones in your ass. I’m living proof. She has helped me discover new muscles all over my body!

BTW, nice job.


Danel R. Lehrmans last blog post..Comment on Epiphone Valve Junior Amp head and Matching Speaker cabinet makes good vibes… by Allan


Your painting looked awesome in pics, it looks “way awesome” in real life!!!


Way to go, I’m glad you over came the the doubt. I understand self doubt especially in the world of art. It is very subjective. I also have much compassion for your sore muscles between my wii and my palates I’ve pulled more muscles than I thought I had in my body.
Your paintings turned out awesome!


Self doubt seems to be a part of the creative process. I’ll tell you though that I really admire that you are a self taught artist. I am currently attending art school and while I have learned a lot in the last few years, I feel like art school has reinforced my doubts. It takes effort to get my art to flow as it once did. It is a pleasure to see a fellow artist overcome doubt and produce something pretty neat to boot.

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