Anxiety & the Ugly Stage

I cannot tell you how many times I have about given up on my art pieces. As a matter of fact, I can pretty much promise you that 90% of my finished pieces almost wound up incinerated at some point. However, I was able to turn them into works I am very pleased with, and often times even find myself saying, “Wow, this is my favorite piece!”
Trust me when I tell you every artist goes through this, no matter how long they have been at their craft. That is what I am experiencing today on this piece. I am not at all happy with her hair. It is nowhere close to what I want or envisioned. I tried to fix it and it looks even worse to me now. We all go through certain stages in the creative process. I will share with you those stages as I see them.

  • Inspiration – You have the idea in your mind and are giddy to get started, it’s the perfect picture in your mind and the project speaks to your heart.
  • Excitement – You begin organizing your process, maybe gathering up all the tools you will be needing, setting it to paper in a rough sketch or outlining the idea.
  • Nerves – Then you sit and stare at your paper or canvas for what seems like an eternity. Doubts and Fears try to creep in, but you persevere and begin. Your initial sketch turns out pretty well and again you feel that tinge of excitement. “I can do this!”

Ranae_Sugar_Skull

  • Anxiety and the ugly stage – You have now begun the next steps, adding color, depth, embellishing etc. and it hits you. Nothing seems to look right anymore. You find yourself ready to give up and toss it into the bin. It seems like the more you try to fix it the uglier it becomes and you are moving back and forth between feelings of frustration, anger and defeat.

Ranae_Sugar_Skull-2

 

DO NOT THROW IT AWAY!
DO NOT SCRIBBLE ALL OVER IT!
DO NOT TEAR IT INTO CONFETTI!
WALK AWAY!
No I mean like walk away right NOW!

Put the piece to the side, somewhere you can still see it but it is not right in your face. Gather up your tools and put them together in a drawer or something. Someplace it is not going to be easy to quickly pick them up and add even more.

Good!! Now relax and start on something else, or go read, for a walk, whatever other project’s you enjoy. Because the next stage in the process is going to be…

  • Revelation – At some point you will return to the piece, look at it and suddenly see it in a brand new light. The idea’s will start popping in your mind again and that stumbling block you tripped over is going to look like a tiny little pebble. Now return to it!
  • Skill – This is when your true skill and creativity will shine through. You will turn what you thought of as mistakes into creative opportunities and you will find that renewed sense of pride and more importantly “FUN”!

I am at the put it away stage, where I will remain until my revelation comes!

Ranae_Sugar_Skull-3

So don’t feel like a failure, don’t give up and don’t think you are not an artist just because you’re stuck at the ugly stage. If anything the fact that you are there proves you are an artist, if you weren’t you would not have even gotten that far!

Stay tuned to see my revelation result’s. I am positive they will come at some point. In the meantime…
Hugs & Love – Ranae’

14 thoughts on “Anxiety & the Ugly Stage

  1. Awesome advice! I can’t tell you how many times and how many pieces I’ve thrown away and how many of those unfinished pieces still haunt me! I know in my heart that some of my favorites pieces are those that I was able to overcome “the ugly stage” with. Art is a way of life, and what is life without the ability to assess, adapt, and overcome? Overcoming that anxiety is what helps us to grow not only in art, but also in life! Thank you for the profound reminder!!!! ❤️

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    • Thank you for your comment! I agree, as I had said some of my best I at some point wanted to quit on. Then on the flip side there are some rough one’s I now remember and wish I had kept, because now I have more techniques I could of tried.

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  2. I would add one more stage … pretty anxiety… I will get a piece sketched out to a point where I love it!! Then I can’t actually add anything to it…. the fear of ruining a perfect sketch !!! I have many pieces in the sketch stage that 8 need to take out and wait for a revelation! I may need 2 or 3 revelations during the process!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I would add one more stage … pre anxiety… I will get a piece sketched out to a point where I love it!! Then I can’t actually add anything to it…. the fear of ruining a perfect sketch !!! I have many pieces in the sketch stage that 8 need to take out and wait for a revelation! I may need 2 or 3 revelations during the process!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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