Do you ever try to work on something and the whole time you feel stuck and frustrated? You just can’t get into the flow at all and the whole thing feels unenjoyable?
For me, I’ve noticed that whenever this is happening there’s one thing bugging me in the back (or maybe even the front) of my mind. And it’s always this thought about “how will this come out?”
“Will it be good?”
“Would so-and-so like this?”
“It’s different from what other people are doing.”
“I’m just not a good artist.”
Etc. etc. etc.
I know I’m not alone because I hear it from other artists all the time. They tell me that what holds them back from making art is fear that they aren’t good enough. Whether it’s because they weren’t classically trained or because they aren’t selling their work, or something else, they think they must not be good.
Does this resonate with you?
If so, here’s my question:
So what? Why does anyone else have to approve of your art? Why does it have to be “good”?
Because here’s the thing, when you let go of all those thoughts, then you start to enjoy the process again. And when you enjoy the process, you are more likely to make something that YOU actually like. Maybe a million people won’t like it but that’s a good thing. It will be unique. You will like it and so will your kind of people.
Also, isn’t that what art is all about? Enjoyment, self-expression, catharsis, pleasure, stress-relief, etc. Who actually makes art with the sole purpose of impressing others?
If you find yourself caught up in a flurry of thoughts about your art being “bad” it can help to have little mantras to remind you of why you are making art in the first place.
Here are a few mantras that have helped me:
I make art to enjoy the process and release my mind from worry.
My art is improving every day, there is no finish line.
I don’t have to make art like other people, I can make art my own way.
With dedication and consistent practice, my art will change and improve.
The process is what’s most important.
There are no mistakes in art.
I can always start again.
Art is for my pure enjoyment.
Feeling freedom while I make art is more important than the final result.
I let go of what other people think.
Most people aren’t even thinking about me.
There are lots of people who love and appreciate my art.
I make art for myself first and foremost.
I’m still a good artist even if I sometimes make bad art.
Mistakes are the gateway to creative breakthroughs.
Okay now it’s your turn. What are some phrases or mantras that you can come up with to help you get out of your head, worrying about what others think, and back into your body, making art with joy and enthusiasm?
Just leave a comment below to let me know! I’d love to hear what you come up with.