When You Are Feeling Down - Artist Depression

Updated: Apr 8

I'll be honest here, I am just like many of you. I have moments where I just can't stand my work.


I sit there and think "Oh look, more crap" and "Ugh, does anyone even like what I do?"


The truth is, not it's not really crap and yes people do enjoy my work. I rarely get an ego boost and it mostly comes from my friends and the occasional stranger who makes my day by commenting on my artwork through DeviantArt or Instagram.


I turn into a bouncing bunny every time someone purchases a sticker from my Redbubble shop. Woohoo, 80 cents!


So no, I'm not "the worst artist in existence." I am just down on myself. My own worst enemy, in fact.



How many of you have felt this way? 


If you are reading this, the chances are that you have at one time in your past felt depressed about your art. You came here either because you are a follower of my rambles or because you are curious as to what I have too say on this subject.


Well... here you go folks....


IT. IS. NOT. YOUR. FAULT!!!


Artistic Depression is real. The lack of motivation, the sadness, the rejected feeling and the desire to not want to keep going even though you love what you do is very very much real. 


The first thing you have to do is to own that. 


How I manage it might be different on how you manage it and I'm going to share some links from other sources and blogs that can help you. But first... a couple of lists...


Things you must STOP doing: 

  1. Comparing your work to others - It will only make it worse

  2. Thinking that people don't care - They probably haven't see it

  3. Crapping (metaphorically) on your work! - (THIS ONE I NEED TO STOP DOING)

  4. Taking all criticism personally - Sometimes good advice is REALLY good advice

Things it's OK to do:

  1. Let out the frustrations in a healthy manner - (go for a run, vent to a friend, find your zen)

  2. Blog about it <--- Currently doing this

  3. Find a shoulder to cry on

  4. Erase and Start over... it's ok, Really. Start over.

Things you must REMEMBER

  1. Not everyone is going to comment on everything they see. I'm sure you don't.

  2. You have a gift not many people do

  •  I'm going to expand on that one. If you have artists friends you will feel that you are just one of a bunch of people who can draw, sew, create... you might not feel special. It's ok. Really, because there are hundreds, thousands, millions of other people who can't even fathom the amount of dedication you put into learning your craft.

  1. You ARE special

  2. You are always going to improve

  3. People and other artists want you to grow

  4. The internet is huge with a lot of people who have yet to see what you do

  5. You might not be depressed about the art itself. You could be upset with another factor.

  6. This might be Clinical Depression ... I repeat... This might be Clinical Depression



Artist Confession:I have Major Depression Disorder and Generalized Anxiety. Fully diagnosed.

Things you should DO:

  1. Seek Help if you think it's not just the artist blues but actual mental illness

  2. Call Depression/Suicide helplines if its starting to get to that point of no return

  3. Take the advice given on how to make your work better

  4. Accept that you must change up styles

  5. Accept that not everyone is gonna jive with your own personal style

  6. Take a look at your work from the past and admire how much you've changed

  7. PICK UP THAT SKETCHBOOK AND DRAW!!!

So that's it for my P.O.V and I will be doing my best to avoid falling into the slump. Trust me, I know the struggle and I took the steps.


There are a few things on this list that I still need to stop doing and remember to do. I'm human, what can I say.

 

We humans are not immune to problems, even if we know what causes them or how to fix them. The only thing we can do is try to be better. Try to get better. If I can do it then YOU can do it.

If you have more to add, please comment. Share more links. Share your advice. Tell me about your struggles.

You are not alone


For more on Artist Depression:


More about exactly what I just said:


Some books that look interesting on Amazon:


These are my reasons for living and my reason for getting help. My hunny and babies keep me from taking a step down a dark road. Everything I do, I do it for them.
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