Frustration is a Good Thing

How many times have you felt like stabbing your canvass, cutting it to pieces, jumping on it and making a bonfire of the rest?

“We all risk failure when we take on anything that’s close to our heart.”


Easy does it…

The first thing that I would recommend is to go easy on yourself. It’s like there is this unwritten rule that if you want to be an artist, you have to be born with natural talent and that magic should flow out of your fingertips every time you sit down in front of a canvas. In fact, however, that rarely, if ever, happens.

Most artists have to work really hard to get good at what they do. When you see someone’s paintings online and they take your breath away, you are most likely looking at the culmination of yearsworth of hard work and practice.

Making mistakes, is part of being an artist. Frustration is an excellent task master. Out of frustration and in your anger you decide…stuff it I’m just going to…(fill in the blank), and voila, suddenly something totally different happens. When you no longer are satisfied with your work, it means that you have reached a plateau in your new place in your skill level, and its time to move on.
It’s a sign that you are growing. Moving on means climbing mountains, and going places you have never been before. . Don’t give in, never give up.

What’s funny is that there aren’t many other professions where people are expected to be amazing right out of the gate. Think about it for a minute. Nobody expects people to be born knowing how to perform surgery or how to solve complex mathematical equations. Instead, there is an expectation that things like math, science, etc. require a lot of studying and hard work.

Beth Unknown

Why doesn’t the same thing apply to art? It makes sense that you would have to spend a lot of time refining your skills and practicing if you really want to get good. Making mistakes along the way or creating pieces that you aren’t proud of is all part of the process. Every time you pick up a paintbrush, you are mastering skills that are going to help get you where you want to go.

You Are Not What You Create

Your painting or drawing is not who you are. It is only a gift given to you by God. You are not the gift. The gift is a reflection of you and what you believe and experience. It is not always a reflection of who you are and how successful you are.

You are not your work and you need to separate yourselves from our works. Think of it as an alternative personality. A family member you dearly love but can be extremely frustrating at time. Talk about it as if it is separate from you. Take breaks from it. None of us can stand to much family at a time.

Our art is a product. You are not the product, the product is separate from whom you are. People will like or dislike you because of whom you are, not because of what the produce looks like. Some people like tea, and some like coffee. You are not the tea or the coffee. You only make the tea or coffee.


Experimentation and growth is a part of every piece that we create, and some experiments unfortunately do not work. Learn from them and grow as a result. Walk into your studio with the knowledge that not everything you do will be brilliant, or work out according to your plan. Some plans work out better when the adapt along the way. Be adaptable.

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LifeArt School

Author: LifeArt School

Leonie has been painting for 30 years. she has a degree in Art as well as a Teaching diploma. Her dream has always been to help other reach their full potential, in art as well as in daily life. LifeArt School has been in operation since 2004 and has managed to help various students become full time artists. Leonie is also a well know local and international artist. She paints three days a week and her work is available in various galleries.

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