Art anxiety. Everyone who creates has it. 

What is it? It's that feeling inside that could prevent you from creating something really nice. You might just think you're nervous before entering an art class or standing in front of a canvas, but if you look and listen closely, there's probably a voice that's telling you something discouraging.


What could this voice be telling you?

  • "What am I doing here? I don't belong here."
  • "You're not good enough."
  • "It's not going to come out right."
  • "I don't know what to do and I'm going to look stupid."
  • "I've forgotten everything that I learned."
  • "The others are doing so much better than I am."
  • "I'll never be able to do that."
  • ________________<- insert your own voice of self-doubt.


Luisa and I at the World Cup in Brazil! We meant business.

Luisa and I at the World Cup in Brazil! We meant business.

5 battlecries to subdue art anxiety! (Ok, they are a mouthful, so let's say "reminders".)

1. "This is not the emergency room. No one is dying! I'm making art for heaven's sake!"

2. "All I need to do is show up. 100%. Imperfections and all!"

3. "I want to make art and have fun doing it. Joykiller begone!"

4. "I'll try my best with the time and tools that I have. I'm here to learn."

5. "I'm just gonna put something down. Let's see where it takes me."



Check out these paintings:

"Tone: I am flawed. I am fallen. I am Adam." by Mic Boekelmann

"Tone: I am flawed. I am fallen. I am Adam." by Mic Boekelmann

I had art anxiety the day before I finished "Tone." My voice told me: "I don't like it. I don't know how I'm going to get myself to like it. I will not be able to finish it."

The next day, I received a statement from real live Tone and it made me go in front of my canvas and "I'm just going to start putting something down." And that evening it was finished.

People who are have been creating for a good amount of time know that art anxiety comes up, but they know how to deal with it in a constructive manner.









"The Dancer" by Mic Boekelmann

"The Dancer" by Mic Boekelmann



The next one is "The Dancer." Did I have art anxiety painting it? Yes! 
It was at the very beginning when I started to put down a few marks. My voice? "Oh my goodness, will I pull this off?" 

If I lingered on the self-doubt, the voice would've grown, amped itself up and taken over my joy. Maybe I would've start focusing on other people, comparing myself. Or do other things that would distract me from just "doing it."

By the way, I found out last week that The Dancer got into the Phillips Mill Juried Exhibit!! Here's the info if you want to see it live:


Conclusion: Art anxiety happens. It's normal. Everyone who creates has it. You're not alone. It never goes away, but you learn how to deal with it better.

Go and create!!!

Oh...here are pics from the last two opening receptions (I probably had art anxiety with all of these paintings!):

Artworks reception
PDS reception I
PDS reception II


Are you a beginner and do you need help drawing and painting what you see? Write me an email and let's see what we can work out! Would love to hear from you. Click here.