Why do we all feel like impostors?

It feels like every time I meet a new Flame artist and we get caught up in deep conversation, it inevitably includes some form of self-doubt and belief that we are impostors and its only a matter of time before someone finds out that we really don’t know what we are doing and we’ll never work a day in this business ever again.

I feel this way. Do you feel this way?


Oh, totally. You know how some actors/comedians, etc are very shy in person but once they are on stage they light up? That’s totally me. One of the reasons why I love the job of Flame artist…running the room, on the call with clients. It bring me out of my shell.


So you feel like an impostor too?



especially when listening to the other Flame artists who have been flaming for many years more than me. Constantly wondering how the hell they know what they are talking about…much of it probably comes from working in facilities and bouncing ideas of others.

Thats the one thing i missed when i first left big depts and setup a one man operation inside an existing business. Those watercooler moments when ideas are shared was a thing no more…and the reason i find forums such as this such a huge help.


I often feel this way when I hear other artists talking about tools and techical stuff, python, etc. My eyes glaze over and I’m like “I make picture pretty.”


Yeah, I totally understand that. I have a technical background and am a fairly competent coder but the two sides of my brain crash into each other whenever I try to code for a creative purpose. People who can create art and code simultaneously, to me, have super powers.


You really have to push these thoughts from your mind. Being insecure will only push you into behaviors that will be counter productive. Fear is a brutal motivator. Focus instead on what is enjoyable about your work.

I assume that most people posting on this thread have been working for more than five
years, and are fairly intelligent. So by the Malcolm Gladwell theory in Outliers, you are experts.

Additionally, you take the time to learn more, by spending time on this forum. You hopefully practice some form of self-care, so that you can be your best. And you have a good a good attitude towards your work, so you’re open to new ideas and techniques.

So don’t tie yourself in knots with self doubt. Smile and be confident. And if there’s something you don’t know, learn it. If you’re not pleased with the pixels you’re making, figure out what you’re doing wrong, and improve.

But please don’t torture yourself or the people around you with insecurity. I promise it will not serve you well.

Hope this helps,


Sam hasn’t been caught yet…
Or at least that’s what he thinks…

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I stumbled upon this today…paraphrasing from a podcast…

When we are doing work, we ask ourselves how we can do more. Why? Because bosses want infinite stuff for free, and we hold back. Why? Because they are going to ask for more. It’s their job.

Therefore, there’s a tension between the boss who wants unlimited effort for no money, and the worker who wants to do as little as possible. The reason the worker wants to do as little as possible is because she knows the boss is going to always ask for more. So our industrialized brainwashed industrial era has bred generations of workers that hold back.

The people that don’t hold back are artists. You don’t see playwrights complaining “Hey I had this really great line but I saved it for my next play.” That never happens. Because when we are doing art, we say how can we do more. And when we’re doing work, we say how can we do less. Thats the difference between art and work.

A lot of us hate what we do. Or have fallen out of love with it. We are staring into the void. We are doing work without a manual. We are showing up to make change in a generous way that we are not sure is going to work. And thats scary as hell. And that fear drives what we call the Impostor Syndrome.

The daily habit to unbrainwash yourself is to regularly find generous work that scares you. Not selfish work, generous work. You can never make the fear or this void go away. You merely learn to live with it. And if you can dance with this void, you can use it as a compass. That fear you feel is reminding you you’re on the right path.


@randy you did Hump Day. However fake you feel, Hump Day is perfect. That pirate YouTube version has 3.1 million views.

A short story:

Moments into learning Flame I met the Inferno artist who worked on the title sequence for Metal Gear Solid 2. Having played the heck out of the game, I knew the titles very well. The artist joked about all the bits that were wrong in the final. I’d never noticed any of them.

I still don’t see them.

I see many errors in my own work.

With my vast knowledge of my own screw ups and only anecdotal knowledge of other people’s, it stands to reason I’m going to have a warped view of things.

We’re the tip of the Dunning-Kruger spear friends.

on a related note: I’m reducing my usage of conditional words, especially the word “should” in work conversations and emails. “that should work” changes to “that will work”. Fake it till you make it.


Ooh…interesting…do we ever really “make” it?

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Buddy, you’re so far past that flag you couldn’t see it with a telescope.


My crudely made point is that it’s useful for the community to know that many of us, I’d say most of us, feel like impostors.



I feel like the only way I’d actually feel like I made it is if I had a government contract and was in a union, just some bulletproof work security. I still feel one slip-up away from a shattered career, yet weirdly, I’ve slipped up BIG TIME and people still hire me.


Most of the creative people I know have felt Imposter Syndrome at some point in their life. It’s totally a passion & perfectionism thing and being so closely involved with what we are creating.

I get this feeling at least once a year, typically when I’m embarking on a project that is taking me into territory I have not fully explored so far in my career. It lasts for about a day (or one sleepless night) until I remind myself that so far generally everything has worked out and (as far as I am aware), no one has died.


For me there is a difference between being insecure and feeling like an imposter. I am totally confident in my ability and i know what i can do and what i can learn to do. I know the tutorials that show the direction i need to research should the need arise. I know enough about different aspects of production that i can comfortably switch between most roles in both video and audio production

But…the main thing is i know how much i don’t know!
And thats fine. I will never know everything so I don’t worry about it.

The imposter is the little voice in the back of my head whispering in awe when in the presence of those who have different knowledge/skills/experience to your own. They may have a more indepth grasp of some concepts so that makes them appear wiser, and makes the inner voice feel lesser.

I think its a strength. Those who feel imposterish are the ones who do make the effort to keep learning and expanding their abilities. The day i feel i know it all is the day i will quit …and i enjoy what i do far too much for that to ever happen.
If that means feeling like an imposter, then so be it!


I think we’re all taking it a bit too seriously.

You should worry about impostors if they’ve somehow weaseled themselves into positions where they hire, vet or approve cyber security for the largest military force on the planet.

Those “due diligence” robots are the real impostors and their fakery will fuck up the whole world if they get into positions of power…

Oh wait…


And I should have put quotes around the oxymoronic “real impostors “
Sorry team…


I’ve definitely struggled with this. I imagine a lot of people have at one time or another, whether they openly talk about it or not. It’s funny you mention the deeper conversation thing because I have found the exact same thing. People seem to be afraid of the vulnerability, but if you spend enough time together they tend to open up. I think by the nature of what we do we are always struggling with is it good enough or will it be mocked? What grounds me is stepping back and asking are my clients happy? And do they want to keep working with me? 100% of the scenarios I’ve played out in my head about someone finding out I have no idea what I’m doing and will be gone forever have never come true, though I’ve run threw them plenty haha.


….and that’s the beauty of it. Being out of ones comfort zone encourages growth.

Growth elavates to new perspectives. New perspectives enable us to see that …. “ja , I should’ve been that architect, doctor, lawyer or

psycholoist my parents were always hinting at”.

Reflecting back to the days we used to “sit with clients” …. that psycholoist degree could’ve come in handy. On the other hand… if you want to feel really humbled… pickup a indie license of Houndini and try that one on for size….

…… give me back my pen:)

have fun!


nb. actually Houdini is pretty awesome.