Monday, November 12, 2012

4 Ways for Artists to Pull Out of a Slump

Artists are sensitive types. We are emotional creatures who want to change the world through our art. Many of us are prone to riding on the proverbial emotional rollercoaster:   we're up, we're down, we're worried, our work (in our eyes) is suddenly not so good. If you've had a recent show or experience that didn't go the way you planned, here are 4 ways to pick yourself up and move ahead:

  1. Watch a sad movie or read a sad book. The truth is, perception is reality. There are always other people going through worse things than you are right now! (Seth Godin nails it on this one). If you goose-egged an art show, don't despair. It's over, and now it's time to move on. The great news is that you're still in one piece, you still have your art, and there will be another opportunity ahead.
  2. Give something away. This could be an actual item (such as a gift), your time, or even a compliment. Ideas for how to do this? Read the book "29 Gifts" by Cami Walker. Karma is real:  what goes around, comes around. Give something and the universe will give you something in return. Try it!
  3. Have tunnel vision. Focus on you and only you. There is danger in looking around at what other artists are doing and how they're doing. Comparing apples to oranges never works! Block out large chunks of studio time and get to work. Put on your favorite music, brew your favorite tea. As an artist, there is only one you:  that's who you need to nurture and focus on. Your best work will emerge from there.
  4. Leave the compound. Removing yourself from the studio or office is imperative. Take a walk, take the dog for a walk, or ride your bike. Just get out for awhile. You'll be amazed at what 20 minutes of fresh air can do for your psyche.
Ultimately each of us decides what to hold on to and what to let go of. 

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