HomeHome  CalendarCalendar  FAQFAQ  SearchSearch  MemberlistMemberlist  UsergroupsUsergroups  RegisterRegister  Log inLog in  

Share | 
 

 Artist Anxiety Woes

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
AuthorMessage
y2jenn

avatar

Posts : 294
Join date : 2015-01-18

PostSubject: Artist Anxiety Woes   Thu May 28, 2015 8:39 pm

Oh hey, a super serious thread is happening.

I'm having a really really rough time of it right now. I recently had a friend stay with me for a few days, and she got to witness my spiral into art-induced anxiety and ugly sobs at my desk as soon as I sat down to draw one day. I've suddenly broken down on webcam at just the mere mention of a project. It's come to a point where all the little tricks I would typically do to work through a funk aren't working, and I just sit there hating everything I've put down and being afraid to start work on anything else or attempt to finish anything I've already started. I've been through this sort of thing before and it took me stepping away from drawing for quite a while to work it out. I don't want to do that. I'm miserable when I'm not drawing. I absolutely need to not be a wiener and work out whatever it is making me miserable while I AM drawing.

I fully realize that, as artists, we're always suffering some level of anxiety. It comes with creating. It's always going to be there. This post is to hopefully help all of us take away some words of wisdom as to how we each manage the anxiety differently.

What are your routines? Do you do warm ups, or do you just dive in? Does having tons and tons of work to do help in distracting your thoughts so that you can focus on the task rather than the little needling voices that are saying you can't do the job? Do you have music or movies on while you're creating? What do you do when you've reached this point? How do you work it out?
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://y2jenn.deviantart.com/
Jkort

avatar

Posts : 174
Join date : 2015-02-05
Location : Lincoln City, Oregon

PostSubject: Re: Artist Anxiety Woes   Fri May 29, 2015 1:06 am

Take my advice with a grain of salt.

I tend to get anxious, but since I have Crohn's disease which is stress related I simply shut down and stop doing things that stress me out. Procrastinate times infinity.

The times this happens to me are usually projects I have decided in my head are "more important" than other things. i.e. illustrating covers for well known authors, illustrating my book I wrote.

The only way I handled it was by reminding myself that I am allowed to fail in public. It's all right if it sucks, just do it anyway.

Part of my problem is leading myself to believe that everyone will hate me if they see crappy art from me. I've mistakenly tied up my self worth into my art. Now I'm not saying you shouldn't think of yourself as a special snowflake because you can do art. I'm just saying people aren't going to, and shouldn't reject you, because of a flaw in your art. Besides most of the flaws are stuff only you will notice anyway.

Once I think through this line of thinking and give myself the freedom to fail publicly I tend to later in the week resign myself to doing it and sit down and work on the art.  

I guess the only thing I can say is, even if it IS big deal, and something that is important. The people that you are working with chose you because they like what you do. The only thing that is letting them and yourself down is NOT DOING IT. It helps to remember that sometimes. Then it's easier to start working on it.

I hope this helped. I have no other routines. I simply ( ha! simply! ) have to think through why I'm behaving so irrationally, and then convince myself that I have MORE to lose by NOT doing whatever it is that I don't want to do than I have to lose by doing it poorly.

Oh. P.S. - You can totally quit. I've done that. Got halfway through a project, got too stressed. Life stuff happened. Had a couple of super stressful e-mails that I then had to write that essentially boiled down to, I'm sorry, I really really wanted to do this, we agreed I would do this, but I can't at the moment without dying, please forgive me. It helps to do this sooner rather than later for their sake. But there is always that option if it is something that is destroying you. People will understand. It might hurt your credibility with that one person but honestly unless you have a habit of doing this to everyone it won't stop you from getting more work later. And mostly people are understanding about this sort of thing.

No one wants you to destroy yourself for art.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Ty

avatar

Posts : 289
Join date : 2015-01-24

PostSubject: Re: Artist Anxiety Woes   Fri May 29, 2015 1:15 am

Stress is all art is to me now. I would still never give it up, because it's the only thing I want or like to do. But it never gets better, only harder. That's probably not true for everybody, and I don't think it's true for you. Kort makes a great point. It's easy to tie the time you're having with creating into your overall self-worth, and that's a pretty poisonous thing to do. Not every piece is going to be the best one you've ever made, but acknowledging that doesn't mean it's a crappy piece.

One thing I like to do a lot, and I can't believe I haven't tried it yet this time, is to draw animals. When art gets me down, I'll just do a nice line drawing of a shrimp or a pug or a fish. It almost always gives me something I like. Since we're not hardwired to judge animal likenesses like we are humans, it makes for a more forgiving experience.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Garvals

avatar

Posts : 220
Join date : 2015-01-18

PostSubject: Re: Artist Anxiety Woes   Fri May 29, 2015 9:37 pm

y2jenn wrote:
What are your routines? Do you do warm ups, or do you just dive in? Does having tons and tons of work to do help in distracting your thoughts so that you can focus on the task rather than the little needling voices that are saying you can't do the job? Do you have music or movies on while you're creating? What do you do when you've reached this point? How do you work it out?

Of course music is always helping.
Also the portative DVD player with USB card slot is extremely helpful. Im working on a game sinse November and all those months i did almost nothing for myself. Sometimes it comes to a routine-level and you become so bored. The portative DVD player really helps me during these periods. You can watch favorite movies or TV-shows and sit through hours of work. The main thing - is to start drawing, and then you will not be able to stop because you enter into some kind of a "comfort zone" when you drawing and right to you is a player with some cool stuff going on.

When my laptop wasn't broken it worked for that situation too, allowing me to watch some stuff i would never watch before (letsplays). Or some nostalgic reviews like Obscurus Lupa Presents.

Watching a motivational movie also helps. However i don't know if it works for other people. I can get motivational real quick if im watching a movie with one of "those" moments. For example - Big Hero 6 when that kid gets to University when he meets other young gifted people and decides to make his own project - i instantly feel super young and full of ideas. There is one thing thought - such stuff is like a battery. After few uses it's not working anymore (that's why i mentioned BH6-it's a new movie and it still works for me).

Ty wrote:
One thing I like to do a lot, and I can't believe I haven't tried it yet this time, is to draw animals. When art gets me down, I'll just do a nice line drawing of a shrimp or a pug or a fish.
Exactly! Im doing it before starting to draw.
In fact, most of my "First PSD-file"s have a layer with a sketchy fish drawing. Often it's a telescope goldfish because it's fun to draw big lips and eyes. I have tons of them!
Drawing parrots works too. Just try to draw some stupid sketches!

Back to top Go down
View user profile
Garvals

avatar

Posts : 220
Join date : 2015-01-18

PostSubject: Re: Artist Anxiety Woes   Fri May 29, 2015 9:47 pm

Ty wrote:
Stress is all art is to me now. I would still never give it up, because it's the only thing I want or like to do
This is sad to hear...
One of things that always kept me drawing is understanding that "those ones" other artists are drawing right now and they probably going to have an amazing future so i want to be on the same road with them.
You look at some professional artists and get motivational just by thinking that they never give up and drawing in non stop. It seems that some of them just not telling all the truth.
The other thing i understood - you have to be a little more naive, less worry. Because think of it - most of stuff that makes you worry doesn't matter that much. It's not even a thing to be worry about. After all - when you (if) will be 70. When your life will be at its end. How you will look at younger yourself who was being not so productive and worked not so hard because of some stupid shit?
(at least thats what i believe in...in reality its harder to do than it sounds in theory)
Back to top Go down
View user profile
y2jenn

avatar

Posts : 294
Join date : 2015-01-18

PostSubject: Re: Artist Anxiety Woes   Tue Jun 02, 2015 3:34 am

Thank you so much, you three. I was letting a lot of little things get to me and putting so much importance in the things (art related and not art related) I couldn't do. I was very much treating myself like a failure at everything. Focusing too much on the problems and not on calming the hell down and doing one thing at a time. I'm making lists. It's helped in putting my garbage into perspective. Literally crossing things off is like a mini boost each time. Changing my schedule at DA has helped immensely as well. Just putting it to words and then reading your responses has brought back some of my calm. Thank you.
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://y2jenn.deviantart.com/
Jkort

avatar

Posts : 174
Join date : 2015-02-05
Location : Lincoln City, Oregon

PostSubject: Re: Artist Anxiety Woes   Tue Jun 02, 2015 8:36 am

Glad you're working through it.

That's the problem with art. If your life gets out of balance your art suffers. And vice versa.

I can't believe I forgot about lists. I recently realized 10 years after leaving school that the reason I was more productive in school was because I followed a set list schedule. It does feel so good to just check things off to feel productive and also to have set times to work on things in a day.

Within reason.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
burnturn

avatar

Posts : 15
Join date : 2015-05-18

PostSubject: Re: Artist Anxiety Woes   Thu Jun 04, 2015 10:56 am

if life's got u down and u feel like a pile of greasy post-taco poop, it's bcuz u 4got to smo4k we3d evryday
Back to top Go down
View user profile
y2jenn

avatar

Posts : 294
Join date : 2015-01-18

PostSubject: Re: Artist Anxiety Woes   Thu Jun 04, 2015 8:25 pm

burnturn wrote:
if life's got u down and u feel like a pile of greasy post-taco poop, it's bcuz u 4got to smo4k we3d evryday

Oh.
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://y2jenn.deviantart.com/
ehm

avatar

Posts : 9
Join date : 2015-05-16
Age : 29
Location : quin ZEE

PostSubject: Re: Artist Anxiety Woes   Sat Jun 06, 2015 12:25 am

Daily self-care (which is not a euphemism for masturbation, but that could easily be part of a self-care routine).

I've always found music/shows and movies GREAT for keeping me focused while I'm working, they help me create a sort of mental bubble around myself where I can just work and not think about anything else. But if I'm really overwhelmed and stressing out over something, they never quite do the trick for me as far as actually coping with the stress. Kind of like using cough drops to treat step throat.

I deal with severe anxiety even without art being a factor, though, which might make a difference. But, I've also found that the routines and rituals I do to keep an even keel in a general sense also help a lot when I'm getting overwhelmed with art I'm (supposed to be) working on. And they're really just making sure I'm always putting my mental and emotional health first on a daily basis (or at least, more days than not).

For me it involves a lot of things that are just personal health stuff like taking vitamins, nail care, and an absurd exfoliation routine. But also spending time with my dog, scheduling time for naps, tidying up the apartment (or reserving a day or two just to clean), and making sure I spend at least half an hour outside. Basically it comes down to doing things that make me feel good about myself and the environment I'm in, which really goes a long way when dealing with stressful situations from outside sources.
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://againchild.tumblr.com/
pahnts

avatar

Posts : 222
Join date : 2015-01-25

PostSubject: Re: Artist Anxiety Woes   Thu Jan 28, 2016 8:30 pm

Shit. I know this thread is way way old but I was browsing through some of the things I missed last summer and I really, really needed to read this stuff.

It's why i haven't been updating for shit. I hit some really good spurts recently, and right now I'm not nearly as bad as I was, but the anxiety is still there. Constantly.

I never realized how closely I tied in my skills with my self worth, but holy shit if that isn't the nail on the head. Now that I recognize it I can do something about it. Be more mindful of how I perceive my work. And the things I love.


Thank you, all of you, for opening up about these things. Jenn, I hope it's gotten better for you.
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://pahnts.tumblr.com
Sponsored content




PostSubject: Re: Artist Anxiety Woes   

Back to top Go down
 
Artist Anxiety Woes
View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 1 of 1
 Similar topics
-
» anxiety/ frustration with Migraine
» How do I get peace in the midst of anxiety?
» School is giving me so much anxiety
» mediums and anxiety
» Guido Daniele's famous hand art!

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
SKETCH DISCO :: Disco A-Go-Go-
Jump to: