How to Deal with Creative Anxiety
JANUARY 10TH, 2020
One of the best feelings is bringing home a new, fresh canvas from the store. The possibilities are endless. You have the freedom to make anything.
And yet after unwrapping the canvas and laying it on the floor, it hits you. Doubt. Nerves. Pre-painting jitters.
See, a new canvas is exciting..but it's also super intimidating! Maybe you feel like you only have one chance to get it right. Or maybe you've accidentally placed the weight of all your creative hopes and dreams into this one piece (*raises hand in guilt*)
It's normal to want a new piece to be "it". But somewhere along the way of picking up that canvas and unwrapping it, the act of painting suddenly seems too daunting, and your creative juices come to a halting stop.
In this situation, nerves are excitement in disguise.
So, let's challenge your thoughts.
Instead of thinking "what if this doesn't work out?", think, "what if it does?" Remember why you wanted to paint in the first place. Maybe there's a color combo that you were really excited to try. A new technique you saw on YouTube. Or maybe you were just really ready to get your hands dirty and let go of some unwanted emotions.
Remember that painting is for YOU. It's an opportunity to express yourself. To be present.
My biggest tip to get rid of nerves?
Get yourself in a relaxed state of mind and set your intention. This process looks different for everyone. Maybe it's meditation. Taking a walk. Listening to your favorite playlist. Find a way to clear your mind and remind yourself of your why.
And something to remember when it gets hard:
Each painting has a different life cycle. Each one goes through an ugly stage. Some pieces take months of consistent work, while others can be knocked out in a few days. Keep this in mind when starting a new piece and let go of any notion that it has to be done in X amount of time.
One canvas doesn't hold the weight of the world. It's just one tiny part of the puzzle. If it turns into something amazing, that's great! If not, that's okay too. Understand that each piece adds to your journey, and that's always better than taking no action at all.