Do you have the urge to create, but you don’t know were to begin?
Are nagging fears and insecurities holding you back from creating your best work?
Many artists at some point in their lives experience what is commonly referred to as performance anxiety. This is a period when our negative thoughts and feelings try to engage us in a long drawn out battle for supremacy. If we let them win, they deprive us of a satisfying career and a lifetime of creative discovery. Sometimes we do not always know the specific reasons why we avoid approaching certain subjects or mediums, but what is at the core of all artistic performance anxiety is fear. We fear failure. We fear not meeting our own expectations. We fear how others may view our work. This generally results in avoidance tactics, procrastination, and unfinished work.
Whether you’re an enthusiastic beginner or a seasoned professional, these tips will help you to overcome your fear of creativity:
1. Read Magazines That Specifically Target Your Chosen Medium: Perhaps by studying the work of other artists, you can eventually find alternative solutions to the problems that frustrate you and keep you from finishing your work.
2. Create Additional Work in A Medium That Is Familiar: For example, if you are struggling with expressing yourself in sculpture, but you are great in photography, then produce a photo essay. The temporary move to working in a medium in which you are proficient will help to offset the anxiety you feel about the medium you are learning to work with.
3. Perform Another Task Unrelated To Art: When you feel like pulling your hair out over some compositional problem, try performing another task you have on your to-do list. Take out the garbage, wash clothes, garden, etc. This helps to give you a sense of accomplishment and temporarily takes you away from work problems that are stealing your peace.
4. Ask A Friend,Colleague, or Mentor For Help: If you have a good friend or know a colleague or mentor that has a lot of knowledge about the medium that is adding to you anxiety, maybe they can offer helpful advice and suggestions.
5. Spend Time With Family: Time away from the source of frustration can help you to approach the subject from a fresh perspective while allowing you to calm down and problem-solve.
It’s important that you enjoy creating art; a decent plan for working through your anxiety will help you to increase your motivation and productivity.
If know of any other tips that have helped you overcome anxiety, please share. I’d love to hear from you!