Now What? : 5 Tips For Dealing With Anxiety In The Fine Arts

Now What? : 5 Tips For Dealing With Anxiety In The Fine Arts

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!


Object 180

Object 180

When I took my first photography course, I could not have imagined that I would develop an interest in macro photography. Nor would I have guessed that in recent years, instead of going out and taking pictures of bugs, bees, flowers etc., I would find inspiration in a wash towel, a piece of tin foil, the center of a line of staples etc., but that is exactly what happened. Many of us think that we will end up covering certain subject matter in our work, but then our interests change, we take a detour, or we simply mature in our vision for our work. Everyday objects are easily accessible, and they can be presented to us from a variety of different perspectives. I like to call some of my abstract photos object portraiture, because that is exactly what they are. Sometimes a simple piece of soap can look like the surface of the moon or a colorado landscape; it all depends on how you utilize lighting, color saturation etc. The object itself never changes, only our interpretation of that object. Somehow, the art of abstract photography gives an object new life, it shows us what the object can be or what it could become. Perhaps you would like to share what inspires you to produce your art!

6 Great Resources for Artists : Painters, Photographers, Sculptors and Writers

Trouble Shooting: The Ups and Downs of Creating

(The picture above this posting is an abstract photograph of a metal vase we bought at a store around Christmas time last year. I was inspired by the abstract geometric zigzag texture that runs up and down the vase.)
As I have mentioned before, I am presently working on a geometric series in which I will be using texture created from different household objects. Painting like other creative disciplines, has it’s ups and downs. At first we get excited about a project and all the many possibilities it presents. We are like children with our first packet of chubby crayons, wanting desperately to color on everything from adult approved coloring books, to walls, chairs etc. Then we run into problems; it is at this moment that the real test begins. We must ponder over that question that everyone that creates, designs or oversees a project must face, whether to continue on chiseling away bit by bit at the problem that lies before us or to pitch the whole thing and start again. Fortunately, I do not give up easily and neither should you. While some of the initial colors and textures I wanted to include in my geometric painting series had to be modified, my present painting experience is a healthy one, because I am realizing that nothing in life is problem free. Everything has its’ own set of risks. If you want to sculpt, paint, draw, photograph, write etc. badly enough, inevitably, you will find a solution to your problem. You will seek an answer, not fold. I believe that writers’ block, painters’ block, etc. simply stems from the fear of problem solving, it is not a lack of commitment or desire to finish your work. If we get to the root of the fear of problem solving, we discover it often stems from the common misconception that all artists and creative people are just supposed to crank out a product like a toy factory with no real idea where we are going, no planning or process. While some people may work this way, few of us actually do. Some helpful artist resources like Drawing Magazine, The Artist’s Magazine, Professional Artist etc. almost always show the idea behind a certain artist’s work, the planning and the step by step process that goes into creating a successful work of art. Various magazines and artist resources, show both the artist and collectors the reality of artistic disciplines, not the myth that many have been sold for years. You are not a factory, you have your own individual expression and sometimes, this takes time to develop. Keep in mind, that as you are Painting, Drawing, Writing, Photographing etc. you may encounter many frustrations before you come to a satisfactory conclusion, but don’t be discouraged. This is all a necessary part of art production. Good Luck with all your creative endeavors; don’t forget to live life creatively. Below is a list of magazines that I hope will help keep you inspired and offer some solutions to your problems.

Here are some links to those helpful artist magazines:

Professional Artist – This magazine offers excellent tips on how to promote your art.

The Artist Magazine –  An invaluable tool for learning painting and drawing techniques in several different styles and genre from experienced professionals!

Drawing Magazine,default,pd.html?afd_number=4200&utm_source=Bing&utm_medium=CPC&utm_campaign=Magazines-%20Hobbies%20(ROI)&utm_content=Drawing%20(Magazine)&utm_term=drawing%20magazine&utm_creative=Exact&siteID=ZXZsuJIQEQ4-HTtGY88dDVUPwUUNwxQx5w  A definitive guide to a variety of drawing techniques in different media.

Poets and Writers Magazine –,default,pd.html?afd_number=4200&utm_source=Bing&utm_medium=CPC&utm_campaign=Magazines-%20Literary%20(ROI)&utm_content=Poets%20Writers%20(Magazine)&utm_term=poets%20and%20writers%20magazine&utm_creative=Phrase&siteID=ZXZsuJIQEQ4-0sVlxIM%2AkxhfWaOtsVQ5XA   A helpful resource for freelance writers.

Sculpture Magazine-

The Photo Argus-  A helpful photography blog with great tips for the beginner, intermediate and advanced student.

Hope this helps!

– I will continue to try to update this list as I come across more helpful tools for professional artists.

Digital Photography Series Satellite 2: Valley 3

Digital Photography Series Satellite 2: Valley 3

This is the third Valley picture in the Satellite Series. I love varying shades of violet and blue in art, photography, and architecture. It is both calming and reflective. Experimenting with color is always important to the overall aesthetic of my work. It sets the mood for the entire piece.

Introduction to Digital Photography Series-Satellite 2


Satellite 2: Desert Sands, Digital Photography, 2013

If you haven’t had the opportunity to read my About Page, allow me to introduce myself.  My name is Marisa Denise Aceves.  I am an abstract artist that works in multimedia. The media that I use, depends on what I am trying to express. In my latest digital photography series, I pay homage to landscapes (satellite pictures) taken from above the earth. Satellite pictures are so beautiful; they are both mysterious and familiar. It is always interesting when we get a view of our planet from a different perspective. These pictures are not actual satellite pictures. I carefully pick common household objects and photograph them in such a way as to try to simulate the look and experience of real satellite pictures. If you would like to check out the rest of this series feel free to visit my website at