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  1. #1
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    Unhappy Artistic Anxiety

    Hey guys,

    My name's Jess, but Frosty works too. I'm just looking to relate, and to get some advice. My Goal: To Relax.

    I over think things. Everything, and when I say everything, I mean down to how should I fold this napkin to throw it out. It gets overwhelming. My brain is constantly thinking about the most ridiculous things you can think of. I have a suspicion that I might have a mild case of A.D.D., simply for the fact that I have to process, examine, and try to understand how even the most insignificant things work. Everything.

    This extends to my art. It's hard for me to just sit down and get to it. There's this odd feeling that I'm being judged! I'm not, and If I am, So what? I understand this, logically, but emotionally, I get this overwhelming feeling, and I can't focus. For example, just writing this up was a bit of a challenge. Trying to find my words, trying to find a pace, and trying to communicate my thoughts to others, gets me anxious and very self-conscious. Is what I'm saying making any sense? Are people going to think I'm retarded? Shhhhh.....

    I get this way especially when there's someone around me while I'm trying to draw. I'll be comfortably sitting at a desk, and someone will come by, and I will uncontrollably keep shifting my attention to my peripherals, and looking to see if I'm being watched. Thoughts flash through my head "It's just a sketch! I'm not done yet, It's a scribble, it'll look good in the end" SHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.... Just be quiet, just focus. I tell myself, but still my gaze shifts back and forth.

    It's not the over thinking I would like to quiet, that's oddly something I love about myself, it's the anxiety. It's when the static and noise of everything around me is the only thing I can focus on, and not what I'm trying to produce.


    Do you guys every feel like this? What's your Zen Zone? How do you tune out all the static and just let yourself go?
    I would love to just quiet my thoughts and be able to over think the things that matter, and not be taken over by this shitty feeling.


    Blargle.



    Also, medication is not an option.
    Passion & Patience


    If you've got a minute, a crit would be truly appreciated!
    My Sketchbook: http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=268823


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  3. #2
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    Hi Jess

    Having read your post I found myself identifying a number of reoccurring concerns, which I and/or friends have addressed at some point in our lives.
    The first thing to remember is that the majority of people have experiences with anxiety/self doubt and confidence, and this applies to everybody, not just creative’s.
    A point that often comes up in regards to artists/designers/musicians is that due to the nature of the work; always having to conceive ideas, develop work etc, it can often be difficult to then redirect one’s mind to relaxation, itself an important part of the process.
    My first suggestion is to speak to a family doctor; if this makes you feel uncomfortable then I would suggest looking into some cognitive therapies.

  4. #3
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    Do you exercise? For anxiety and even mild to moderate depression, regular exercise is as effective, if not more, than any other method of feeling better. It needs to be something you enjoy doing, so you will actually do it. But it doesn't need to be a gym or something complicated. Personally, I go walking around a lake near where I live and go swimming when I can and that helps me feel more focused and clear-headed. Read this for ideas.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnPrince View Post
    Hi Jess


    My first suggestion is to speak to a family doctor; if this makes you feel uncomfortable then I would suggest looking into some cognitive therapies.
    A doctor? You just said the majority of people feel this way at some point (true) so this guy should turn himself into a victim by going to a doctor? Please don't trot out the name of some made up bullshit "disease" like social anxiety disorder.

    OP: Everyone gets it. Man up and deal with it. Or be a pussy and a failure for the rest of your life. Exercise generates neurochemicals that make you feel strong, happy and confident.If dogs need it you do too.

  6. #5
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    Yes a doctor, mental health is a serious issue, and even though she stated some fairly common concerns, if they continue without being addressed then it could lead to further, possibly more serious, problems. As far as being a victim, seeking help is a method used to avoid being a victim, and certainly more practical than using terms like "man up" and "deal with it"

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnPrince View Post
    ...seeking help is a method used to avoid being a victim, and certainly more practical than using terms like "man up" and "deal with it"
    ..."deal with it" is a method used to avoid being a victim, and certainly more practical than using terms like "seeking help".

  8. #7
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    Telling somebody to deal with it, and not offering anything in the form of practical assistance is dismissive, and the view that seeking help should be viewed as negative is both adolescent and potentially problematic.

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnPrince View Post
    Telling somebody to deal with it, and not offering anything in the form of practical assistance is dismissive, and the view that seeking help should be viewed as negative is both adolescent and potentially problematic.
    Telling somebody to seek help, and not offering anything in the form of practical assistance is dismissive, and the view that dealing with it should be viewed as negative is both adolescent and potentially problematic.

  10. #9
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    Jess, you describe yourself in your profile as a “Coffee Jockey by day”.
    Hmmm…coffee…anxiety…hmmmmmm…just maybe…

    If your young, restlessness and lacking focus are common states to grow through.

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaCan View Post
    Telling somebody to seek help, and not offering anything in the form of practical assistance is dismissive, and the view that dealing with it should be viewed as negative is both adolescent and potentially problematic.
    Wtf is going on in this thread? Why the egos? The OP was just asking for some help for f---'s sake...

    OP, if you aren't already, try adopting an enjoyable exercise routine. Get those endorphins going. Try long distance running. It's a really simple type of exercise; not much to think about If you have a smartphone, try the RunKeeper app. It can set up training programs for you, and it will track your distance and pace in real time! Very cool stuff.

    Good luck OP.
    -I often post from my phone; so please excuse the typos
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  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Syle View Post
    Wtf is going on in this thread?
    Brace yourself. It's a psychoactive thread.

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    That coffee thing is definitely bad, I am of the belief that any kind of a daily dosage of something that gives you some kind of high is bad and unnatural... Anyways, I think that the guys fighting in this thread are similar to what goes on in my own mind. I often tell myself that anxiety stuff is bullshit and that we medicate it for no reason and that dealing with it is just what we should learn to do. Then there are other parts of me that admit that I'm not equipped to fully understand whether it is a real serious chemical/medical/etc thing... Anyways I agree with the exercise but also suggest meditation Sit alone anywhere and be still, be silent and think of your thoughts, think of how they physically and mentally make you feel. Be it an emotion or a sense of disturbance or a sense of anxiousness or a pleasant feeling or whatever it is. Think if it makes you feel something in a certain spot in your body. Try to think about your energy; I like to visualize a flowing 'route' and follow it through with my mind. Then think about your body, your posture, your limbs, your fingers/toes etc... Just think of anything that comes to mind and try to sort it out. I don't know if this will help you but I enjoy it and it makes me feel more in touch with myself, which I think is important I also try to be positive and conscious of being negative or whatever intentions/motivations carry my thoughts.
    Also, smile!
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  14. #13
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    Oh Geez!

    A big thanks to everyone for taking the time to leave some advice. It's appreciated.

    I've been browsing the forums and found some helpful tips that I've started putting into practice. Carrying around a smaller sketchbook than my regular 11x14 (it's my favorite, darn). Just plain forcing myself to draw in public areas. Started working on the COW challenges with a friend for some friendly competition.

    Focusing on my breathing and posture is something I'm working through for unrelated reasons, the-muddy, so I'm glad it'll also help here.

    As for adopting an exercise routine, syle, I really should. I go out with my bud(the one you see in my avatar) but a walk doesn't stimulate me as much as jogging.

    Lastly, the caffeine intake, I'm not a big coffee drinker. I drink juice, but will enjoy tea occasionally. Coffee Jockey is simply, and sadly, my current employment.




    Just to clarify for anyone who might have interpreted my original post the wrong way, I was just looking for you guys to share your stress reliefs, what gets you to unwind. The anxiety is something I'll have to get over myself. I mean, no one's going to do it for me.

    Anywho,
    Thanks again.
    Passion & Patience


    If you've got a minute, a crit would be truly appreciated!
    My Sketchbook: http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=268823

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aqualeot View Post
    Do you exercise? For anxiety and even mild to moderate depression, regular exercise is as effective, if not more, than any other method of feeling better. It needs to be something you enjoy doing, so you will actually do it. But it doesn't need to be a gym or something complicated. Personally, I go walking around a lake near where I live and go swimming when I can and that helps me feel more focused and clear-headed. Read this for ideas.
    I longboard as my commute to work. It's always been something that's made me feel good. I feel as though I have too many excuses to not got out and be active. Ether work, the dog, or errands to run, it's something I'm realizing I have to change.

    I appreciate the link, you've got me browsing for more tips and ideas.

    Thanks again.
    Passion & Patience


    If you've got a minute, a crit would be truly appreciated!
    My Sketchbook: http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=268823

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    Hey Jess!

    Glad to hear you've been doing the "drawing in public" thing, I was going to say that's one thing that helped me get over similar feelings. Here's another: If what I create makes someone smile, even just one person, then I sit with that moment and allow myself to be happy about it. Yes, 100 people might think I'm not any good (and really, I'm not, which is why I practice!) but it's worth the effort for that smile.

    I used to have severe anxiety attacks (not from art, but daily life) which got much worse after being robbed at gunpoint years ago. I started going to a psychologist which has helped an unimaginable amount. Don't know if that's an option for you (and you said you weren't looking so much for advice as personal stories) but even though I now hardly ever have the attacks anymore, I still go to talk once a month or so because it's just so darn helpful. Of course you have to find the right person to talk to. Anyway, I learned different breathing and relaxing exercises and practice them when I start to feel on edge, and it works very well. Quiet meditation and prayer also lends itself nicely to boosting my mood and keeping stress down. And just surrounding myself with happy positive people, and trying to be that positive person for them too.

    Another thing has been being aware of what's going on inside me and not judging it. I found when I stopped judging my anxiety as "No! Stay away! Bad!" and saw it with a calm, neutral inner-eye, it had a lot less power over me. It was like "Oh. Yes. There's that feeling. Why am I feeling that? Interesting." Not good, not bad, but interesting. Looking at it that way really changed a lot for me. At least stops it from snowballing, which landed me in the ER more than once.

    Wish I had a magic formula to give you! It's one of those things that just takes a lot of work and practice, but you can do it. Hope you'll continue sharing with us what's been working and not working for you so we all can know about it too.

  17. #16
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    make sure you eat regular, that solves a lot of feeling-bad problems.
    its not a popular view but ive found my brutal add is kep under control by working at night and smoking a lot of weed.. helps me focus and makes me patient.

    my ideal 'zen zone' as you put it is a full list of things to do, ive mucked around with my friends all day to get that out my system, its dark, quiet, cool, theres a good series on my second screen, crack a red bull, skin up a big spliff, lets do this.
    8 hours later i wake up, the works all done, the months rent is paid and ive watched 7 eps of game of thrones, and then i can relax and do personal work.

    the other thing i find helps with soothing out the ADD? autechre http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=opR4AOgOzSs
    Last edited by Velocity Kendall; August 15th, 2013 at 03:54 PM.
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  18. #17
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    Hey there everyone!

    Thanks for all the encouragement and advice!

    Regardless of how long it'll take, I'm sure I'm loaded with a full arsenal of helpful advice to get over my concerns.
    I wasn't expecting to get such feedback, and it's quite nice to see kind people taking the time to try to help.

    Thanks for the advice, and thanks for being you.
    Passion & Patience


    If you've got a minute, a crit would be truly appreciated!
    My Sketchbook: http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=268823

  19. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velocity Kendall View Post

    the other thing i find helps with soothing out the ADD? autechre http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=opR4AOgOzSs

    As awesome as that is, this is more my idea of soothing. But I'm a weirdo. (:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1cTuUwZILg
    Passion & Patience


    If you've got a minute, a crit would be truly appreciated!
    My Sketchbook: http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=268823

  20. #19
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    Hi other Jess!
    You sound like me, perfectionism and anxiety about that really gets in the way of creative processes.
    It helps for me to have a secret book that nobody ever gets to see, nothing from there leaves the book not even if i've created a masterpiece. drawing a bit in that (which I have to force myself to do, still) helps a bit with the fear of judgement.

    my ideal 'zen zone' as you put it is a full list of things to do, ive mucked around with my friends all day to get that out my system, its dark, quiet, cool, theres a good series on my second screen, crack a red bull, skin up a big spliff, lets do this.
    8 hours later i wake up, the works all done, the months rent is paid and ive watched 7 eps of game of thrones, and then i can relax and do personal work.
    damn, VK.
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    I like to listen to podcasts. It feels like all those years I spent drawing in class while someone talked at the front.
    *** Sketchbook * Landscapes * Portfolio * Store***

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  22. #21
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    oo i like the hobbit music.

    the thing about autechre is in my mind its like large complicated shaped blocks being fitted perfectly into place. a part of my brain absolutely loves that and is happily occupied, leaving me free to do other things instead of fidget, grind my teeth, play with my fingers, etc etc etc as normal!!

    the sims knew what i mean!!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bs5QGN-zhwM
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YNizVO8WBYw
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  23. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velocity Kendall View Post
    Chills.
    Passion & Patience


    If you've got a minute, a crit would be truly appreciated!
    My Sketchbook: http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=268823

  24. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by krysjez View Post
    It helps for me to have a secret book that nobody ever gets to see, nothing from there leaves the book not even if i've created a masterpiece. drawing a bit in that (which I have to force myself to do, still) helps a bit with the fear of judgement.
    Greetings, Jess!

    Curiosity strikes. What do you do with your books afterwards?
    Passion & Patience


    If you've got a minute, a crit would be truly appreciated!
    My Sketchbook: http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=268823

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