Friday, February 5, 2010

Inaction vs. Getting Busy with Art

Today, I’m probably writing this for you, as well as me, because we all deal with inaction many times in our daily lives. We put things off procrastinating to the end. Hey, some of us really work well under this pressure, but some of us fall into a pattern and continue in a rut. I know I do at times. We’ll think our work as not good enough, not perfect enough, who would want to buy this? We reinforce this belief through our own ‘Self-Talk’ when we know darned well, that what we see as little errors in our work, no one else will ever notice. So either we get going and work through it, or we never get started.

If we work through the negative Self-Talk, everyday, telling our brain Positive things, then positive things will be achieved. The first thing we must do is get started and make it a daily habit. Find our couple of hours a day that is ours and no one else's. No phone calls, no visitors, no interruptions. It’s our time and share it with no one. Then pull your materials out and get going. Habits become part of our routine, so make it your daily routine. As we work, surely, Negative Self-Talk becomes a little demon to artists. It sits there on our shoulder, peering over at what we’re doing saying things like, “Oh, this is terrible; you just can’t do this, It just doesn’t look right; This won’t work, you’ll never be any good.” Now just look at all the negative words we push on ourselves without thinking about our own precious creative psyches... Terrible...Can’t... Doesn’t... Won’t... Never. IF YOU BELIEVE, YOU WILL ACHIEVE! Make this our motto to chase the demon away.

Take a step back and instead say, “ This is different; I CAN work around this and try that; this looks like it could work for that other project, how can I re-work this and create something a bit more out of the ordinary?” It’s all in the Positives and how we perceive our worlds! And Positive Self-Talk can also become a good habit!

Motivation is the push, and Positive Self-Talk is our action. We must Act on our indecisions, procrastination and self-doubts. This moves us through those little dark days. I try to create a new mind-set of asking myself, “Why am I putting this off? Why am I unhappy with this piece I’m working on?” When we can analyze the “Why”, and motivate ourselves to work through it, then talk to ourselves and our work Positively, then Positive things will happen.

So, if the pitfalls of indecision strike you daily, for weeks or months, don’t despair. Get busy by: 1. Setting a goal for the day by writing it down and sticking to it; 2. Make an appointment with yourself and your creative destiny daily; 3. Self-Talk the Positives and replace every word of negativity that the Demons on our shoulders tries to throw at you. We will find enjoyment, new ideas, and especially Courage. We’ll create the Positives during our appointments with our creative selves, and it will soon pass over to other areas in our lives where procrastination and indecision reign. Art and Positive Self-Esteem and Confidence in ourselves is hard work and it must be practiced daily. Believe and Achieve!

What techniques do you use to work through the doubts?


  1. You are so right on! The torture we put ourselves through is unreal. We must be super strong people otherwise the self-doubt we deal with on a daily basis would destroy any creative energy we might muster. My word this year is 'what'. I apply it to any of the above situations. What if I do it this way--what if I change this or that, etc. Seems to help. Great post!

  2. Thanks, Lynda! We tend to be our own worst enemies, more often than not, sabotaging our creative spirit. I like your idea of questioning with "What", and I hope it leads others to likewise positive questionings! Have a great week pushing on and over any hurdles thrown your way. Happy creating!

  3. Kate,
    Thanks for stopping by When the Spirit Moves Me...I think we are kindred spirits. I attend the Positive Living Center not far from my little town of Coarsegold...that is where we are constantly reminded that, "Thoughts become things so chose good ones."....I actually have that little blip painted on a door in my kitchen. Artists are constantly having to overcome our self-doubt...just willingness to put what we create out into the world for anyone to become an instant critic is tough...we are our own best fans so need to have a whole cupboard filled with tricks to keep us ok with this crazy path that is called, 'a working artist.'

  4. Hi Kate. I'm a little late getting here! But thought i would share this with you.

    When you worry you go over the same ground endlessly, and come out the same place you started. Thinking makes progress from one place to another: worry remains static.
    The problem of life is to change worry into thinking and anxiety into creative action.
    Harold B. Walker.

    Really like this quote and i find it works for me when i have my doubts or not having a good creative day.
    That little negative Demon sitting on our shoulder just needs a good sweep off from time to time to show him who's the boss!
    I also play music when feeling negative about something i'm making and feel its not right (especilally when not going to plan) and find thats the best thing for a boost of confidence.

    Lots of love, Nikki xxx

  5. Thank you for this. I loved my work, and knew my blog friends did too until I decided to jump and open a blog shop last week. Now all the self dout is coming crashing in. We all need our pep talks xJ

  6. Hi Nikki! So great to see you here! Harold Walker's quote is so together, and I would even go a step further and say, "All worry gets you is an early grave." An old Italian artist told me that 40 years ago, as I worried about everything. My self-doubt and confidence was so low then. It still is to a point, but I won't allow it to hinder my life. Just push on, make progress. There's always tomorrow. Music we love also helps. I created an entire painting of Woodstock's 40th Anniversary while listening to my "Love" CD by the Beatles for the Vegas play. Just awesome!

  7. Hello Jasmine! Like Nikki, you are from Great Britain! Cool! I know exactly what you're feeling when you self-doubt your inner spirit. I did when I first exhibited my work. I saw all the errors or told myself, "I could have done that part better", thinking everyone would see "my mistakes". No one sees them but us. Our friends and especially our families will tell us how wonderful every piece is, because they care about us and don't want to hurt our feelings. I know mine did, so it is very important to get others' opinions, good or bad. Take the positives and the negatives. Ask the viewer, "Why do you like (or dislike) this piece?" It gives us an idea, and It can only help us grow as artists. Work past the fears and stay positive, and you'll feel more confident. My self-doubts were awesome when I first entered a show. I thought people would think my work bizarre in a very "realistic" environment here, many were not "into" collage, let alone an abstraction of their reality. I just chalked it up to that they were thinking too small- "in a box". We all need to step out of our confines of the box and indulge ourselves in the new, the different, and this is how we learn new things and develop our skills. Many, many of us are not going to be recognized as the next Picasso or Van Gogh, but we move gently to our spirit because we need to create. Why do we create? It's who we are. It's a need fulfilled within us, and it matters not what anyone says. All people's tastes in art, food, writing, TV shows, etc. are different. You will never please all the people all the time. They can come for the ride with us, or not. We have to love ourselves and what moves us before anyone else can love us or our art, so you're halfway there! You have a blog, your showing your unique pieces. Keep moving forward no matter what. You'll be contented and outshine others that do what you do. (I tried felting- it's a lot of work.) Exhibit at shows, talk about your work, give small demos. Soon people will see the work that goes into it, and see your spirit come out in your work. Then, you're there!

  8. Great post Kate! We can all be so critical of ourselves and our of my favorite quotes that I posted just today is...."artists who seek perfection in everything are those who cannot attain it in anything" - Eugene Delacroix

  9. So true, MJ! Great quote! I know I am, and always striving for perfection. I have found a cure though! I leave my glasses in the kitchen before I go into the studio! Then my paintings and collages appear more.... Impressionistic... Yeah! That's it! That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it! (+:


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