View Full Version : Feeling deflated

04-28-2003, 10:13 PM
I haven't even been to wc for awhile and here I am getting ready to whine.
I am feeling so low! My painting seems to be going nowhere. I have been into art my whole life. About 6-7 years ago, I took a painting workshop where I kinda got set on fire for painting. I met 3 other women and we kinda clicked. We were all bitten by the bug. We have all been painting since. All 3 of those women have quit their jobs and are painting full-time. True that one got layed off and one had to quit for medical reasons, and they all have husbands willing to support them (I'm single). But I am so jealous sometimes! Not only for that, but things are happening for them. Don't get me wrong, I love it that they are, I just want to, too!!! We just went to a paint out and 2 of them at least did very well on sales, awards, etc. Neither of my paintings sold. What made it so bad was that I was told that they were pretty sure I sold some of my paintings, so I was kinda getting excited, then I found out it was a mistake. My friends sold theirs. I was painting when I found out and I felt my creativity and drive slink to the floor. This is the point when I start asking myself the questions, "Why am I doing this? Am I fooling myself that I can be a good artist? That I could ever quit my job and paint full-time?"
I've had a hard time finishing things, too lately. Where is my joy? Am I stuck comparing myself to others? How do you stop wanting to win awards and make sales, especially when you dream of painting full- time. I swear it scares me, because it takes the joy out of a beautiful thing.
I'm so tired. Sorry to whine on, but if anyone can, could you give me some insight? Maybe something I could do to climb out of this?

thanks so much,

04-29-2003, 03:17 AM
zornlover, are you painting subjects, styles, & colours that truly excite you?

04-29-2003, 08:15 AM
Zornlover you are the perfect candidate for The Artist Way program. Won't you join us? All it takes is a willing spirit and The Artist Way book.


04-29-2003, 08:49 AM
Thanks for replying. I feel a little better. I read some Artist's Soul readings and am telling myself that I am ok right where I am.
As far as am I painting what I want how I want; thats a good question, one I've been turning over in my mind lately. Since I have painted with these other women, I think I tend to follow the artists that we study with- believe me they are awesome, but I wonder if its really me. Excellent question. I'm going to continue to think about that. I've fantasized lately about having a couple of months off work and 100 blank canvases and plenty of paint. No one would ever see what I had done and I would put no harsh judgements on them. Dreaming....
Giselle, thanks for the invite to the Artist's way. I do have the book and I would love to be a part of it. What do I do to join?

Thanks so much for letting me vent and showing me that you are hearing me!


04-29-2003, 04:15 PM
I get jealous too. I have a couple other artists I know whose work sells quite well and I'm always comparing myself. Trouble is, our work is *completely* different and there's no comparison! But it's a natural tendency to do it with other people you work (paint) with or around. We all have to go at our own pace. You say things are happening for the others, maybe your 'happenings' are waiting to happen? Waiting for the right moment? They will come. :)

As for the month off to paint... one of the things taught in the Artist's Way is that you can take small steps towards a dream. We dream big then take baby steps. You'd like a month off. Could you do a 'mini' version of that fantasy? Maybe buy a dozen little canvases and take a weekend all to yourself? Or a couple days off in the week? Make it your own special 'art spa' holiday, take no phone calls, no errands to run, just fun and pampering of your creative child. :D


04-29-2003, 09:23 PM
I really feel crummy that I allow myself to feel envy. Guess its part of being human. I have to give myself some credit, though. I was remembering when I started this and all of us entered paintings in a juried show and everyone got in but me. I was so sick. But I remeber thinking "I'm not going to let this get me. I WILL NOT QUIT!" That and other disappointments have made me stronger. I have also had some victories- otherwise I wonder if I'd put myself through it. I feel sometimes that the shows and sales all hurt my creativity sometimes. Its like trying to lose weight and weighing everyday. If the scale is down, Yipppeee! If its up, I might want to quit the diet- its too hard. Discipline is something I have always had a hard time with, but I'm working on it.
I like the idea of the spa-art weekend. I could do that! I wonder if I would cringe at "wasting" the paint! sigh - I've got a long way to go. I just want the journey to be an enjoyable one!
Thanks for posting! It really helps!


04-30-2003, 12:13 AM
Art is about fun, & feeling good - not about competition.

04-30-2003, 07:40 AM
We are currently reading chapter 4 for next sunday night chat ( at 9 pm eastern time); we meet every week in a password protected room so we can be free to vent and share with fellow TAW participants. You just have to send a private message to DanaT for the password and we'll see you next sunday night in the TAW chat room.:D


05-02-2003, 03:05 AM
In always reaching to do my best at what I do, sometimes it is hard to realize that things aren't working well. Right now I am struggling a bit personally though. I'm currently living in a one bedroom apartment with a senior in college and a handful of pets. Right now I miss my paint, canvases and brushes dearly as there is no room for them here. I am really looking forward to moving into a new place in the next few months, getting a job that I can just lay back at a bit and going to school. Sometimes I just feel so spread out, yet I feel that often times I am lacking in the tools to do the things I want to do. What do I wish to do? I wish to paint a beautiful fresco. I wish to make something so incredibly intricate that it's craftsmanship is undeniable. I wish to dig myself out of the holes I have dug myself into in my personal life. I always seek to do my best at things, no matter how much I have to put into them. I wish to get a little luck thrown my way sometimes. I want to be able to get up when I fall on my face and be able to say I have learned from mistakes I have made and grown from them. I feel disappointed when I make the same mistake twice because I expect more of myself.
How can you stop feeling deflated? I don't know. I stop feeling deflated when I see things that work or see things that I could correct because ultimately I have learned and taken another step forward. I want to continue to learn and when I do, I can be happy...even if I feel somewhat embarrassed of the product of the learning experience.

I don't know if this answers anything, I just kinda rambled on a bit because I have had a bit of steam to blow off lately, hope you all don't mind.

05-02-2003, 10:16 AM
I know how living in close quarters is tough- I live in a 800 sq. ft house, myself, but no roomate except my 2 cats. Have you thought about plein-air painting to get away and be creative. I love to paint outside in nature- usually always makes me feel good (unless I totally bomb- oh the internal judging).
I totally hear ya about the mistakes, too. I have made so many and I wonder if I'm making the same ones over again, too- professionally and personally.
We are taking steps forward every day- whether we see it or not, I think. Even the wrong choices are defining our character. Its just tough that it can be so painful. I gotta learn to lighten up.
Also, as was replied to my post, Art is about fun and feeling good. I wish it was for me. Sometimes it is- very much so. Other times its a ego battering experience. I guess I'm the manic depressive of the art world! Working on it though.
Now whose rambling?!
Thanks for posting a reply- Love all the insight I'm getting.

05-23-2003, 03:49 PM
First thing you need to do.. Dump all your artists friends!!

Just kidding :evil: (although I don't think it is coincidence that none of my friends are artists.. thank the gods for that!)

Of course jealousy is a normal thing when it comes to everything in our lives..but just remember that other people are jealous of you too! Whether it is strangers on the street who walk past you and admire what you are wearing (wishing they had what you had) or a fellow artist looking at your art and thinking "I wish I could do it that way". What you feel is what everyone feels..everyday about everything.. putting it in that "big picture" percpective can really help. So next time you feel down on yourself, remember that those same people you are jealous of don't have a perfect life and are also jealous (even for a moment) of others..

If that advice doesn't work.. you can always break their brushes till you feel better :)

05-24-2003, 09:00 AM
I saw an interesting movie this week 'Adaptation' that dealt with creativity and jealousy. Nicolas Cage plays a real life successful screenwriter who suffers from creative insecurity. I found myself identifying with him as he dealt in a very introspective way with the anguish and joy we all go through trying to create something new.

Be forewarned that the movie is rated R and has a few violent moments and language, but its still a sensitive insight to the feelings your'e facing.


05-24-2003, 10:27 AM
First off, don't compare yourself at shows... different shows bring different crowds and tastes. Also, you said neither of your paintings sold, which sounds like you only brought two. More inventory, more possibility of sales ;)

Timelady made a very good point "We dream big then take baby steps. You'd like a month off. Could you do a 'mini' version of that fantasy? Maybe buy a dozen little canvases and take a weekend all to yourself?"
*I am very agreed on this. Alot can be done in a weekend!

I just came out of a brutal slump where I felt my inspiration had left me for a number of months. The longer the slump lasted, the more stressed and depressed I felt.
My first large canvas "back" was an abstract /mixed media style I had never attempted before. A 180 degree turn from my previous style I had been nurturing. That painting is so fresh and has brought so much joy and inspiration in the process...maybe on a subconscious level it was time for me to change...

Finally, a quote comes to mind, can't remember if this is Picasso or ?
A painter is someone that paints what sells, an artist is someone that sells what they paint.
Find your passion in painting , the things that excite you, set aside small increments of time where you can paint around your work hours and keep the faith...the sales will come. Hang in there! :D

06-10-2003, 07:55 AM
I just stumbled across this thread. I posted a similar, but shorter version of this at the cafe the other night. I feel torn all the time about doing my art full time and having to work to have regular paycheck and health insurance. I am very jealous of all the artists I know who run from workshop to workshop, sell a painting here and there, and have support and encouragement from their families. I also meet many people who paint just for the joy of painting and they never concern themselves with selling a painting they just give them away to friends and family. The act of painting or drawing is their joy in life. I have all these paintings surrounding me, in the closet, and under the bed collecting dust. There are several people who want them. They just don't think they can afford them. I could give the painting or collage they admire, but this little voice says no. I feel a need to be rewarded for the work. My spouse is very artistic too. He expresses it in wood working, but has no desire to sell his works. He makes special things for people and gives it to them. When I suggest he could sell his beautiful work he tells me it wouldn't be fun anymore. However he also is the type of person who doesn't believe you can make a living from art.

06-10-2003, 08:26 AM

You are not alone here. Paint for the process of painting, be pleased with the outcome, and don't compete. There is no one like you. No one with your style.

I've pm'd you. Please be patient.

06-10-2003, 08:56 AM
hello zornlover :)

I was moping a while back about not having time in my life to devote myself to art ... feeling very negative ... and Tina and artcreator and others shared their experiences and advice, which helped me a lot ... I signed up for a class, got the tiny guest room in our rented house organised into a 'studio', and realised that I could let other things slide if it meant enjoying more time with my pastels.

Yep, some of us have to work for a living. Sucky, isn't it :D Although I would quit my job in an instant if I thought I could support myself by painting, on reflection I feel better about myself being a woman who works full time and paints part-time than if I was doing what I wanted 24/7 but at my husband's expense. You should have a lot of respect for yourself.

Originally posted by timelady
You'd like a month off. Could you do a 'mini' version of that fantasy? Maybe buy a dozen little canvases and take a weekend all to yourself?

I think that advice from Tina is a pearl.

Originally posted by zornlover
I like the idea of the spa-art weekend. I could do that! I wonder if I would cringe at "wasting" the paint! sigh

The only wasted paint is the stuff that sits in the tube unused. Go ahead and spend as much of your money as you think you can on the materials you need ... and be happy that at least you don't have to ask a husband's permission to do so! :)

06-10-2003, 09:07 AM
Originally posted by msue
I have all these paintings surrounding me, in the closet, and under the bed collecting dust. There are several people who want them. They just don't think they can afford them. I could give the painting or collage they admire, but this little voice says no. I feel a need to be rewarded for the work.

Have you thought about taking payments? There are a number of people out there that would be happy to purchase a piece if it was within their budget... 2-3 payments spread out over a month or two?
I don't do this often but there is the occasional buyer that benefits from this. I don't carry a wad of cash either so I can relate to something being 'just out of reach' ...lol
Why should art just be for the rich ;) And if these are collecting dust, this alternative has to be better!:D