What are your art making struggles?

I started my business, and am developing courses and content, with the aim of helping artists in their struggles with everything related to the artmaking process. By this I mean the stuff around the actual art that is made (or not made).

When we teach or study art – formally or informally – we tend to start in the middle with technique. We arrive at the class, materials in hand. Many more never arrive, unable to make that figurative journey.

Perhaps we assume that our struggles will mostly relate to the mediums, techniques, subject matter, etc., that we explore. But so much happens – or doesn’t happen – before we even get to this point. And much happens that can tip us out of the practice of making art. Perhaps we are derailed long before we are able to arrive at a point of personal satisfaction with our work.

There is enough evidence to show that we are not able to persist with activities that we do not enjoy, unless we feel forced, or have the grit of die-hard martyrs!

I am focusing on visual artists, but think there may be considerable overlaps with all artistic forms of expression, namely writing, dancing and singing, among others.

I’d like to do a series (blogs, vlogs) that explores the creative process in order to help beginner artists or ‘dabbers’, as they sometimes refer to themselves. As well as artists who perhaps continuously come up against the same obstacles and challenges that gradually wear them down.

Based on literature, observations and personal experience, I have some idea of what these struggles might be. But to arrive at a more comprehensive understanding, I’d love to hear from other artists and/or people who identify with being creative or are interested in being creative.

What are your struggles?

Please, feel free to share comments or email me. I’d really appreciate the time and care that you would invest in this act.

2 thoughts on “What are your art making struggles?

  1. Some of my struggles include:

    – Making it (art) a priority and not neglecting it because my ‘day job’ takes over and I have a deadline
    – Allowing the end product to cause so much anxiety, that in the end I abandon what could be a very enjoyable creative session because I am worried about what it ‘should’ look like

    1. Thanks so much for taking the time to reply Leigh. Those struggles resonate with me too. And they come up in the literature.
      – Making art a priority for ourselves. Validating and valuing it as important to us. It’s something I feel I have achieved through necessity. It just makes me feel alive and feel like ME in a place where I feel I am losing myself.
      – Attachment to outcome is BIG. As you say, that fear of not wanting to see yourself make something ‘bad’. I observe myself getting anxious especially when I think an artwork is going well, and I don’t want to bugger it up. So I’m tempted to stop and/or delay. As if at some future time I will miraculously be able to do it better.

      At the moment I am working on a series of intuitive collages in mixed media. I mostly work in the evening while listening to audio books or podcasts. I’m loving this ritual. I’m just letting them evolve and am aware that I may really learn something in this process and arrive at elements that I can use in other applications. But mostly I am just enjoying the process. Enjoying the colours, textures, patterns – a visual feast. My thought process is that I’m just going to keep making and making, and if one or part of one doesn’t look great, it doesn’t matter. That’s really helping me. Also the attitude of just using my art supplies – that’s why I bought them after all. There’s no concept of waste – of time, energy or materials. Just being immersed in a creative bubble.
      I don’t always feel like doing it, but once I start, and while I stay in the space of focusing on just doing, it’s really enjoyable and satisfying. I do believe that the more we focus on the experiences we desire, the easier it will become to create an environment conducive to them. Training ourselves in new ways. Putting ourselves into new spaces, and states of mind and being. 💜🧡

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