What Does It Mean To "Trust the Process"?
You’ve probably heard us say this mantra a lot. That’s because it is at the core of embracing your artistic journey (and life) in a way that allows growth without shame and judgment. In fact, allowing, not forcing is a big part of being able to enjoy your artistic journey more. "Trusting the Process" is about allowing yourself to be where you are, to be open to learning, growth, creativity, play, and even mistakes. Trust us, if you are working consistently you are learning and you are growing, even if you feel like you aren’t. Give yourself a break, enjoy the ride, and remember we all start somewhere. Trusting the process allows you to let go of self-doubt and open up to gentle learning and growth. Trusting in yourself and the creative process will help you unlock your true potential as an artist.
6 Things That Every Artist Struggles With
Every artist faces unique struggles that can prevent them from achieving success in their creative journey. But, it is essential to remember that these struggles are a part of the process and can help you become a better artist. Here are six of the most common things that every artist struggles with.
1. Fear of failure
It is common for all artists, but failure is a good thing! It is directly proportional to success, and is proof that you are getting out there and trying to make things happen! There’s no such thing as failure- only learning experiences. Instead of giving up after a perceived failure, gently consider what you can learn from the situation. You may want to do this by writing a list of why you “failed” and what caused the “failure.” You could also journal about your experience, talk through it with a friend, or make a plan for improving next time. Once you know why you failed, it is much easier to improve and gain success in the future. Remember that every “failure” is a chance to learn something new!
Pro Artist Tip: When you really doubt yourself, and fear of failure is paralyzing you, remind yourself, “I can handle this. I can find creative solutions if I encounter a problem. I can be flexible and I can learn.” Also, keep in mind that at the moment failure feels very big, but imagine a month, year, or five years down the road- does it still matter so much? If it doesn’t, try not to waste too much time worrying about it. Everyone experiences failures.
2. Self-doubt and self-criticism
Many artists are prone to doubting their work, but you should understand that this will affect your creative process. Being an artist is not just about the work, it is the result of your heart and soul thoughts. Try not to compare yourself with other artists. You may find their work and journey inspirational, and learning their strategies may help you improve your work or career. Just remember that each artist is on their own journey, and that includes you. Honor your journey as your own.
When you get stuck in a cycle of negative thinking see if you can replace your negative thoughts with a positive mantra. You may also want to remind yourself of whatever successes you’ve had so far. If you find that you are constantly in a negative headspace and always hard on yourself, it may be worth seeking out support from a good therapist, who can give you strategies for working through negative self-talk. Our thoughts influence our reality, so ensuring that your thoughts are influencing your reality in the right direction is very important.
3. Difficulties with pricing
This one may seem a little off-topic, but pricing your work is part of the artistic journey because it is something that changes as your career grows. Working through pricing can be stressful, confusing, and sometimes discouraging for artists. It can be particularly challenging when you are first starting out, and when your career begins to grow. Artists face trouble setting the right price for their work, as it can be difficult to determine what the market will bear.
You should consider the following points while deciding the price:
Pro Artist Tip: Do not list prices on platforms like Instagram. Instead include a link to the piece on your website. That way if you do raise your prices the updated price will always be reflected. If someone wants to know the price of a piece you can tell them you will send them a DM. You can then tell them the price in the direct message or you can share the link with purchasing information.
4. Cultivating a growth mindset
Cultivating a growth mindset can be incredibly beneficial for your life and career, as it keeps you from getting discouraged when you face challenges or failures. Cultivating a growth mindset is an important skill for growing your career and not giving up. (It also helps you feel better about yourself along the way. Really, there’s no reason to beat yourself up!)
5. Developing a creative routine
It can be very difficult to develop a creative routine for artists. But, a creative routine will help you develop your skills, stay focused, and make progress on your artistic goals. Creative routines should be tailored to the individual artist, as everyone has different needs and goals. It should include time for things like making art, brainstorming new ideas, researching techniques, experimenting with various media, and spending time with people who inspire and motivate you. Additionally, it is important to set aside time for relaxation and self-care to keep up with your creative energy. A creative routine that works for you, will help you create more work with focus and enthusiasm.
Pro Artist Tip: Find out when is the best time of day for you to get business work and artwork done. Then, make your schedule accordingly. (Work with yourself, not against yourself.
6. Overcoming creative blocks
Have you ever experienced creative blocks in your career? Don’t worry! This is a common experience for every artist. Creative blocks manifest as:
Pro Artist Tip: Even when you have a creative block you can rely on your skill to continue to produce work. Art is not all about inspiration and motivation (see below). Sometimes it is just setting down to do the work. At the same time, don’t forget to listen to yourself. Is your body telling you you need a break? Is your brain telling you that you’re getting burned out? Make sure to listen to yourself and create a healthy plan of action.
8 Effective Ways To Overcome Artist Struggles:
Here we have listed 8 effective ways to help you overcome artist struggles:
1. Self-care: It is an essential part of an artist's life. Yes! You should make some time to care for yourself. Make sure to eat nutritious food, participate in regular exercise, etc. This helps you stay focused, create better art, and run your business with more enthusiasm because you don’t feel run down and your brain is happy.
Recommended for you- 5 Quick Tips For Nourishing Your Body When You Are Busy and Overwhelmed
2. Setting reasonable goals: Setting goals can also help you stay on track. Writing a to-do list or mapping out a timeline of what needs to be done can help you prioritize tasks and make sure that you are staying on top of things. Creating a plan and sticking to it will help keep your productivity high while also not piling on too much at once. It also gives your brain a break from constantly trying to figure out what you should be doing.
3. Inspiration and Motivation: Inspiration is more about the artist's feelings that spark creativity while motivation is the feeling or driving force to turn an idea/inspiration into something. It is not easy for artists to stay motivated and inspired every day.
When it comes to art making, inspiration and motivation are only part of the equation. To truly master your craft, you need to establish a dedicated work routine that is not dependent on inspiration or motivation. That means even if you don't feel inspired or motivated on a particular day, you still show up and do the work. It may feel harder to put in the work these days. However, you can learn how to create and follow a reliable routine so that you maintain consistency for your art-making and your business.
It is a misnomer that successful artists feel constantly inspired and motivated. There is an idea of an artist staying up at all hours of the night creating because they just can't stop, they have to get their inspiration out. While this is true sometimes it is not true all or even most of the time. If you want to be a successful artist you can not wait for "inspiration to strike." It is the same with motivation. You may feel totally unmotivated to do your work (art or business). It doesn't matter. If you want to be successful it is about showing up consistently to your art practice and your business.
Disclaimer: Maintain a healthy balance between work and personal life. It is important to note that sometimes you feel unmotivated because you have been working too hard and need a break. Taking breaks is important for your long-term success as well. Pushing yourself to the point of burnout will cause you to lose more time than taking periodic breaks. Plus taking breaks (including days off) allows your brain to be more creative!
4. Join a supportive artistic community. By joining an artist's community, you can ask for tips and ideas from experienced artists to grow your career. It can help you to explore and expand your artistic skills. Learning new techniques and exploring unfamiliar media can help keep the passion alive and give you a boost of inspiration and excitement about your work.
Recommended for you- Importance of Community for Artists
5. Get feedback from trusted sources: Ask people you trust and admire for their opinion on your work. Feedback can be a powerful tool in helping you refine your ideas. Remember, you don’t have to be afraid of constructive criticism because it is an opportunity for you to grow.
Artist Pro Tip: Be careful who you seek advice from. People who don’t know art or the art industry may give well-meaning, but ill-informed advice. Also, be wary of people who try to cut you down. There is a big difference between constructive criticism and hurtful comments. If you recognize that you start feeling bad about yourself, or overly doubtful about yourself when you talk to someone, start paying attention… it might mean you need to go to someone else and avoid asking that person for advice.
6. Focus on the present: Don’t worry too much about the future. It is out of your control. Work on improving your craft every day and trust that your efforts will pay off in due time.
7. Don’t rush it: Creative projects often take time and effort. Celebrate your successes and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Mistakes can often lead to happy accidents. Remind yourself that everyone starts somewhere and there are no shortcuts.
8. Let go of perfectionism: No one is perfect. Trying to be perfect and letting fear of imperfection is a total waste of your time, and will do nothing but hold you back. Just go out there and do the work. It’s okay to have high standards, but don’t get stuck because you can’t be perfect. Remember progress is not perfection.
Trusting Process Can Help You Reach Your Goals
Reaching your artistic goals can be a daunting task, but trusting the process can help you get there. It’s all about finding joy in the journey. That means having faith in yourself and your skills, as well as understanding that you need to take the necessary steps to achieve success. It also involves accepting that there will be bumps in the road and learning from mistakes along the way. It means being okay with not being where you want to be, but putting in the work to get there.
We understand you won't always have energy, inspiration, and motivation. But, trusting the process is essential for any artist who wants to reach their goals and create something meaningful. With trust in yourself, you’ll have more confidence in taking risks and pushing yourself to do better work. It’s easier to fall in love with your art without fear and criticism when you trust the process. Overcoming your fears can also help you advance in the process. Fear of failure can be paralyzing, especially when it comes to creative work. Facing your fears will allow you to make strong decisions that may save you a lot of pain down the road. It’s always better to be clear-headed and rational than overwhelmed with fear, so stay calm and think rationally about what steps need to be taken next for you to succeed.
Remember to embrace where you are, be realistic, and be gentle, but take your work and career seriously, and don’t be afraid to push yourself too. Trust the process of your artistic journey and have faith in yourself and your abilities. With the right mindset and strategies, you can achieve amazing things!
Don't miss out on the opportunity to become a member of Cowgirl Artist of America. Membership enrollment is now open until April 30th, and April is the only month when we accept applications for Signature Members.