If you are a regular reader of my articles, I know that you must have an interest in, or actually create art.

If you are thinking of starting an art practice, have you ever wondered why it’s taking you so long to get started? Or if you’re already a practicing artist, have you ever wondered why it takes so long to get into your studio?

 

There are 3 things that I have found to be the top barriers to my art making.

1. Procrastination

When it comes to starting something new, like a new project or painting, there’s often a thousand other things I need to be doing. Things that are important, yes. Urgent, yes. But if I am always putting those things before my art making, then there will never be a time that is right. I can move my art making into the position of important, and urgent (like create a deadline for myself), but hmm… I sense there is more to it than appears on the surface.

Though I don’t like to admit it the thing that really stops me, time and time again, is the uncertainty and fear surrounding my project. What if I can’t do this? What if no one likes it? What if I fail. What if….and on and on. If you are anything like me, then we need to face our fears. To work through the underlying reasons for our fears and expose the sabotaging thoughts that are not doing us any favors. We need to be brave, to combat those thoughts and tell ourselves we can handle it.

 

 

I have a wonderful program I am in the process of putting together, that approaches these struggles in a light hearted, no pressure way that I hope many of you will benefit from. Watch this space…..

2. Perfectionism

Picasso was once asked “When is a painting finished?”. His answer was “When I run out of time”

If you find it hard to finish a painting, it’s probably because you feel it is just not “right” yet. “If I just put a little bit more here”, or “this bit needs a bit more work”. That kind of thinking can go on and on. The reason is that we want it to be PERFECT. But what is perfect? For a start, what I think is perfect may be very different to what you think is perfect. It’s a futile exercise. Sometimes we just need to put the paintbrush down and walk away. It’s as simple as that….or not. But realizing that your painting (or other artwork) is a process, an evolving piece that could just possibly have no formal ‘ending’ might help you to know that stopping at any point is OKAY. Use your intuition and listen to when you get to a place of feeling content with your work. Then it’s time to walk away, not to hang around listening to your second opinions that will hook you in, to continuing to fiddle and be dissatisfied!

 

3. Lack of Focus

Also known as the ‘Bright Shiny Object’ syndrome, it is so easy to get distracted with other interesting, important, related, exciting things. But to make headway, we need to focus in on ONE project, whether it’s finishing an artwork, writing a blog post, or setting up your website. Scattered thinking does us no good when we are trying to get something finished.  When you wake up in the morning, set your intention, set your timer when you’re ready and work for your allocated time.  That way you commit to what you need to do and it’s easier to avoid the slippery slide of looking elsewhere.

So I hope this has been helpful for you. Let me know in the comments below if you resonated with any of these three ‘struggles’ and share any insights that have worked for you!

Here’s to happy creating!

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