Artists are renowned for being ‘tortured souls’, but creating art should (and does) make us feel good most of the time. How can you stop those negative feelings creeping in and those nasty critiques sitting on your shoulder? Well, after feeling some negativity about my own artwork, I decided to stop wallowing and find some ways to snap out of it. I really hope these 5 ‘cures’ to negativity help you too.
- Stop comparing
Yes – the classic story. Feeling good about your new painting…check your Pinterest while you have a coffee break…then it happens. That sudden embarrassment of your work and thinking that it could ever be good! But newsflash!…this happens to every artist. Yes, even those artists that Instagram snaps you study in amazement. The truth is we are our own worst critics. So number 1 has to be…put that Pinterest or Instagram down and start playing again.
- Be more loving
And I’m not talking about others, I mean love you! You wouldn’t be that harsh to a family member, so why are you bringing you down like that? Come on, have a little love left for yourself and see how far you’ve come over the past few months, years. The chances are if you hold up your first painting, to your most recent, you’ll have come a long way. And it’s OK to be proud of yourself for that.
- Celebrate your achievements
I am totally guilty of focusing on the paintings that didn’t work, and spiralling down into a world of self-hate. In these moments it can be extremely hard to remember all those paintings that did work. Whilst you are in a moment of negativity put all of your artworks that bring up negative feelings away in a drawer, cupboard, anywhere as long as they’re out of sight. Now get out 10 of your best pieces, these can either be ones that you love, or that have positive feelings attached to them. Just sit for 10 minutes, with a drink and look. Notice all the little things you like about each piece and how that makes you feel. My bets are that you feel a lot more refreshed to tackle works in progress.
- Put down the paintbrush and dance
It’s actually hilarious how many times dancing comes into my secret studio life! It might not work for everyone, but it really helps to loosen all those tight muscles from concentrating. Find your favourite Spotify playlist of tunes and dance like you’re out on a Friday night 🙂 For me, it makes me realise that I should relax and stop taking me and my work so seriously.
- Try a new style of painting
One reason why you might keep feeling negative is that you haven’t found your painting style yet. Although you and others might love the art you’ve created so far, it could be that you might love creating something else more. Making art is more about the journey for me, the end painting is just a byproduct of me expressing myself. Make sure you fulfil that part of yourself with the ‘making’ of the art.
So they are my top 5 remedies for feeling negative. What do you think, and do you have any to add?
Love Katie x