As an endeavoring artist, I have had many disappointing moments when my work didn’t turn out as well as I’d hoped. I’ve had to learn a number of coping tools to get over my feelings of failure and keep going.
The current state of affairs is disappointing to all of us. Maybe my tips can be helpful.
Step 1: Put yourself in a better mental state. Many a time I’ve just had to put my work down, walk away and focus on something else.
Look for positive activities to recharge yourself. What activities do you most enjoy doing in your life? Identify them and then do them.
Do whatever makes you feel better. Long soak in the tub, baking bread, reading? Take a break and do it. Sometimes, simply spending time alone might be the best way to clear your mental clutter and regain personal energy.
Step 2: Attach yourself to your desire, not your goal. I desire the joy of creating. It’s when I have a set goal and am unable to get it just right that I feel my frustration arise.
Concentrate on what you really desire. For yourself, your family and friends to be healthy, to be loved, to be safe? Identify what’s really important and find pleasure in that. Focus on the good you have instead of what you don’t have.
Step 3: Release yourself of your mental illusion. So often I beat myself up because of my mental castigations. I tell myself I should be better, I should have seen that problem in a piece or I should have tried a different approach.
Many people remain disappointed because they are hung up over what reality should be. If you are disappointed about something, that means you harbor a certain perception on what it should be.
Ask yourself what false perceptions you are clinging to and question their validity. Have you really lost your freedom; are your rights really being trampled; is this really never going to end?
These illusions are giving you an inaccurate view of reality and preventing you from constructively acting on your situation.
Step 4: Understand the outcome is not a setback. Artists must embrace bad art because eventually making bad art will lead to making good art.
I look back at my earlier pieces and am able to see how much I’ve learned and grown as an artist. Disappointment is good is because it represents an opportunity for growth. The experiences you are going through right now are allowing you to gain new lessons, whether about yourself, the situation or the world.
You have gained something which nobody else is privy to. How can an outcome be a setback if it gave you something to learn?
As Friedrich Nietzsche said, “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.” With the lessons you are currently learning during this time of COVID-19, you are becoming better person and a stronger individual. You have the opportunity to reach a new state of awareness, consciousness and growth which you have never had before.
So chin up and deal with this situation like an artist.
Jo'l Moore, guest columnist
Jo’l Moore is the president of the Belen Art League Gallery and Gifts. Contact her at email@example.com or call 861-0217