Tuesday, March 08, 2016

{4 tips for working through creative fear}

I periscoped for the first time from my art studio today and shared four tips for working through creative fear. 

Honestly it was mostly a way for me to give myself a pep talk, but it was helpful to others as well, so even better!  

You can still catch it here within 24 hours, but if not, here's a bit of a recap with my tips...

I was facing a huge attack of creative fear this morning. I have been working on a painting for a local art auction for the past week, and was stuck about halfway through. 

I loved how it looked so far, but I was absolutely terrified I would screw the thing up if I added one more stroke of paint. 

That white spot in the center felt like the grand canyon. 

So as I was drinking my morning coffee and talking myself out of a panic attack, I thought, "What the heck am I so scared of? 

A canvas and some paint?" 

Yep...it sounds so silly but I totally was. I was also scared of having my art viewed in public by lots of amazing people I admire. I share my art every day online but never have to see other's opinions face to face...there is a huge security in that!

I needed someone to talk me out of this anxiety spiral. 

So I messaged two of my very talented painting friends with an SOS and asked for advice. 

While I waited to hear back from them I worked on a few other projects (not art related) which was a good distraction. 

By the time I was ready to work on the painting, one of my friends had replied with some great tips and encouraging words. Turns out she faces the same fear in her creative work. Who knew?! I think this is universal which is good news for all of us. 

I took her words of encouragement and decided to grab some scrap paper, paints, and a brush, and practice a few ideas. 

First I tried hand lettering. That is HARD with paint! And the letters weren't turning out as crisp as I wanted.

I ended up with a few decent attempts but decided...nope...I was not going to try to hand letter a quote on this thing. 

The other idea that had been floating around in my head for a few days was a butterfly. I had noticed butterflies showing up all over the place...on TV, on Pinterest, in a book I'm reading. So I decided to practice a few of them, and liked what I was seeing. 

So I took the plunge. 

I sketched one out lightly with pastel and then went crazy mixing paints. And for a gal that hasn't done much painting in her creative career I'm darn happy with the result!

I'm super excited to submit this for the art auction, and I'm also going to scan it for a print!

Here's a recap of my four tips for getting through creative fear:

  1. Ask yourself "What am I scared of?" - deconstruct your fear into less scary parts.
  2. Seek out the advice of a friend who has experience with what you're working on.
  3. Do something else for awhile...take a walk, watch a show, work on another creative project.
  4. Practice! Make that scary thing your friend! 

I hope this helps you a bit with a creative project you might be working on!


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