Artists are born, I suppose. They have the innate reaction for the silence, the watching of natural things, experiences of the world around them, stars, streams, moon, sky... They know the processes of fearlessness, the artist's ways and habits.
But there is fear, of course there is, heavy enough to leave you anxious about everything, falling into a pattern. Making art assuages that. The activity brings one back to the purpose, when bravery deteriorates, returns one to simplicity.
In a practical striving town of high achievers, the self-comparisons can be difficult. A sense of shame, to be avoided.
If one worries too much about the reaction others might have to art, then he is underestimating the human capacity to understand, to get the art. Do other people always get it when you assume the mantle of artistry? Can they accept your own unique effort, your own special blend, your unique metier? Will they place you somewhere uncomfortable to you in their own schema of what kind of person you are, at the margins, even as you are a good friend to many people, genuine as anyone? Credit you deserve for doing the hard work which lets you stay in the game of art, even as it threatens to take over, the time for art, for the normal healthy personal relationships we all need.
PBS show, a timely reminder, Van Gogh's Ear, how hard, in extreme cases, it can be.
In rendering art, in allowing it before people, it probably helps if you don't care about the reaction you might get, if you no longer feel you have to pussy foot politely, fearing something like being shouted down.
Maybe it's helpful to remember, that even if his art had been lost, Van Gogh's letters would be enough, perhaps of equal import.
The beast is nervous tending, anxiousness curbed only through physical effort (and exercise) and through the digestions that making art allows.
There are people who get Van Gogh. Good for them and their deep kindness.