How to deal with negative thoughts as a new artist

It's been a while since I publish my last blog post, this month I did a series of acrylic painting, had several deadlines to catch, and I feel overworked pretty much in the past three weeks. Deal with negative thoughts as a new artist is a problem that I personally struggle a lot, I feel like as a new artist in 2020, there's too much content out there and it's really hard to find your uniqueness and community. How do we feel motivated to keep posting our art and content while there's already so much information? It's easy to get demotivated because the result and the career as an artist don't come fast and easily. Especially with art, there is no standard to qualify what's good and what's bad, I don't have many followers (mostly are my friends click "likes" for me and I really really appreciate that!), and if you just started you probably don't have many followers either, so you don't know if you are doing well in this path. And it's a long journey, it's like you plant the seeds, and it takes unlimited time to see it grow to a plant.


My watercolor painting , Loose II


But I guess most of us who choose to be an artist because we love art so much. Passion is the key to support us to keep going, to make us motivated, and to continue to create. You need to constantly remind yourself of why do you make art and what's your purpose here. From this year, I put art as a priority and give it a lot of time and energy. I enjoy the process a lot but also the negative buzzing sometimes makes me feel unworthy. I don't always make good art, but it's common right? Every artist makes bad art, and you just don't see it (or wouldn't judge it so much). I think if you already do your best, the rest, if it doesn't serve your purpose, then it's not so important, right?


Most of you might not know my story, I studied media design in art school and worked as a video producer after graduation. Although I went to art school, I did a totally different medium of art, and I didn't draw much back then. So even I graduated from art school three years already, I still see myself as a new artist because I had full-time jobs in the past years and I didn't focus on art. Since the quarantine started, I began to draw and paint intensively, so March until now, I am a full-time artist for two months. You going to start somewhere, right? Art is always my biggest passion, and now it's both my work and hobby, I talk about art, write about art, make videos about art, and watch art content for entertainment.


But even the best thing in the world will come along with a side effect. As I improve my skills in drawing and painting, I feel harder and harder to feel satisfied with my artworks. Especially there are so many great artworks that you can easily found online, how can we not compare the artwork when we see it? And I think it's quite common for us to compare because our mind recognizes things through comparison. It's part of our instinct, and it's how our cognition or even knowledge system works. The self-abuse way is to try to push harder, work all the time, and eventually become moody and drained. I have been there, and it's not good for your creativity in the long run. I got angry when I can't draw well, and then it doesn't change anything or make me improve because I'm in a bad mood, and it's hard to draw well or feel motivated in a bad mood.


To avoid burn out, I allow myself to spend some time doing something else, like yoga, meditation, or walking outside. Also, I think it's important to separate social media life and real life. Remember that social media only shows the highlight of someone. I try to limit my time on social media, I don't use it for entertainment and try not to get distracted by some irrelevant content. For me, social media is mostly work-related and educational. My screen time is around 2h and a half per day, I think it's enough for me to share my work, create posts, and check out other artist's artworks. In the end, limit your time on social media to decline the toxic comparisons.


We need to remember that even the best artists build up their skills and portfolio from the basics. And I think through hard work, we all able to be good at something. But what if it never works? What if we never get recognized as a good artist? I think that "what if"' is not the reason why you make art, right? We don't have that much time in this life, and we should follow our passion from any age and any point. Try our best and forget the rest. Living in peace is already a big advantage in our time, even if we never reach the success we want, we tried, and we still express ourselves through art, and we are still lucky to be able to do the things we love. We should never give up passion because of fear of failure.


If you are a new artist like me, please reach out and maybe tell me how do you deal with negative thoughts? I am open to new connections in art! Respect and good luck to everyone who's chasing their dreams!



8 views