Psychology tips for 5 areas most artists struggle with
Artists are unique individuals with an interest in the non-ordinary and the drive to create beauty from nothing. The world would be incredibly dull without artists and art, and it is a well known fact that, sadly, a majority of creatives might struggle with mental health at one point or another in their lives. This is where psychology is incredibly useful as it helps resolve existing issues but also prevent certain things from happening. This article is directed towards day-to-day mental health and areas most creative struggle with, and it presents some tips to aid and prevent. After all, better safe than sorry right?
This is one we can relate to a lot. In a world full of distractions, focusing is something that starts slipping away from us incredibly fast, whether we lose attention when we are supposed to do something, or in the middle of a conversation. Fortunately, focus is like a muscle, the more you train it, the easier it will eventually become to achieve full focus. Unfortunately, it is not easy work, but here are some useful tips:
- Focusing on one thing at a time will allow your brain to use all its resources solely for the task at hand; multitasking is fine for simple tasks that you know for sure you can achieve but you end up wasting time in the long run if you keep trying to multitask and fail.
- Try to eliminate distractions, whether they are external (background noise) or internal (anxiety, bad mood). To help with the external ones, we recommend working in a quiet environment or putting on your headphones with some music of your choice (this one is a win-win as music can also be used to motivate and inspire you). As for internal distractions, negative feelings are often a good catalyst for art creation, but if the time for that is not right try to enjoy some positive and funny content to give your brain a break from worrying.
To get inspired
It would be amazing if inspiration was like a continuous overflowing well but sadly that is not the case. Coming up with new art is exhausting and, for the full-time artists, straining inspiration to life could result in an artistic block. So how can we keep inspired or, in times of low inspiration, how could we revive it?
- Surround yourself with like-minded artists and follow their work. Our Instagram and Pinterest feeds are overflowing with photos from different creatives that contribute to inspire us to create. Engaging with them, creating your own network and collaborating can lead to new flows of creative juices that will fuel you for months.
- In a similar way, enjoying a variety of different content, separate from what you create can really help! Listening to music while painting or editing a photo, watching the newest superhero movie, reading a fantasy novel and letting your mind paint the landscapes depicted, all these things will make you want to create
To be and keep motivated
Another big issue for a lot of artists, especially the ones who start 10 pieces at once and do not end up finishing either of them. The excitement fades off and it’s difficult to push oneself to bring them to life when they do not represent an interest any longer. So what helps with this?
- Challenge yourself! Routines are a source of comfort for some people but terribly demotivating for others. Introduce novel elements in your day-to-day life and change them around so you don’t get bored. This will make your brain work a bit harder and keep you on your toes.
- Setting clear short-term goals is something that works very well for us. It is way less daunting to see progress in small baby steps than mentally try climbing a mountain in one go. Try this daily and don’t forget to reward yourself for a job well done at the end!
To help with accurate decision making
Sometimes it’s hard to make decisions, especially when one is invested in the topic at hand, even more so if it’s something related to our art. However, there are a couple of things we could try out when feeling torn to help give us a good outcome.
- There is such a thing called the “six thinking hats” approach. One tries this by looking at the situation from multiple points of view, including rational, emotional, intuitive, creative, positive, and negative perspectives. This will give a broad spectrum of thoughts which will help lead you to the best decision.
- Considering the potential costs and benefits of a decision can also steer you towards the right path. Sometimes it’s not so much about our physical capabilities but rather something we don’t have much of a say in such as external costs we wouldn’t be able to cover.
To improve your memory
When feeling like a browser with 50 tabs open things tend to slip away from our memory. Improving one’s memory is a lot like focusing, certain methods can be interchanged and chances are it will help with both. But what could we do if we want to make sure something stays with us long-term?
- Visualisation is something artists master and it can be used to aid with memory problems. Visualising the concepts you are trying to remember by looking at photographs, charts, or making your own visuals will help cement new information in your brain long-time.
- Paying extra attention to difficult information and repeating it in your head a few times is also a great way to make sure things stick. Remember to get back to it after a while and re-check it.