How to Overcome the Fear of Creating Art

How to Overcome the Fear of Creating Art

Deep inside you there is a conflict that only you can see. Your internal disagreement thrashes between your desire and fear to do the same thing—unleash your inner artist.

Your desire to create something artistic is strong. You are compelled to express yourself by recreating the beauty you’ve seen as you walk through life. Or perhaps you are drawn to give birth to a custom creation that no one else can see but you.

Unfortunately, you are paralyzed with an inner fear of failure. You are scared of looking foolish to others or experiencing rejection.

Your apprehension overshadows your desire to create. You find it hard to express your fear of the unknown.

You’ve allowed this internal conflict to block any confidence you might possess, which thwarts your ability to take action. As your own worse critique, you know you need to learn to accept what you create as worthy and overcome the fear of creating art.

You probably feel like your internal disagreement is unique to you, and that there is no way out. 

Good news! You are not alone. Fear is the biggest problem every creator faces. Fear can keep you from pursuing your goals and dreams. Everyone fears something, but creative fear typically relates to self-confidence.

Turn Off Your Inner Critic. Awaken Your Creative Artist Within.

This may sound challenging, but really it is quite simple. You can overcome your fear of creating art by building a safe environment where you give yourself permission to trust your instincts.

Here are some simple, non-threatening exercises designed to help you become comfortable while discovering your intuition and hidden artistic desires with confidence.

  • Drawing to Music. You’ll need your favorite music, a timer, some paper, and a paintbrush, pencil, or marker. (If you use a paintbrush, you’ll also need at least one color of paint.)

Turn on the music. Set the timer to three minutes and let your mind go. Just doodle, paint or draw whatever you feel. Do this with your eyes open or closed. The key is to do whatever makes you feel comfortable. The result doesn’t have to look like anything. It is your creation. When the timer stops, you stop. Turn off the music and enjoy the art you created.

Now that wasn’t so hard, was it? You can repeat this three-minute exercise as often as you like to help you realize that creating art is a non-threatening exercise that allows your inner child—the one that sat in the corner lost in coloring and drawing—to resurface.

  • Exploring Shapes and Colors. You’ll need the timer again, a pair of scissors, and some construction paper. If you want to set the mood, turn the music on again, too.

Set the timer for 10 minutes. Use as many different colors of construction paper as possible. Start randomly cutting out various shapes in a variety of colors. There are no rules. This is your exercise. When the timer goes off, sort your creations by color and shape. Make a mental note about what you like and don’t like. You’ll notice various attributes that appeal to you. By the time you’re done, you should have a good feeling about the types of colors and geometric shapes you prefer.

Did this take you back to your childhood art classes? Remember how it was okay to explore and play with shapes and colors then? Well, it is okay to do the same thing now as an adult. The more you repeat this exercise—especially the part where you really focus on what you like and don’t like, the more comfortable you’ll become creating what you like in the future.

  • Finding Inspiration. This exercise requires some magazines, access to Pinterest and a marker. This is your personal exploration session, so you decide if you want to use the timer and play music.

Search through the magazines or Pinterest to identify as many paintings and images that you like. You’ll want to earmark the page or save the image so you can come back to it later. Once you’re done, review what you selected. Tear it out if it is in a magazine. Print it if it is online. Take a moment to outline the shapes in your selection. Trace at least three different images. You’ll start to see a pattern emerge as you subconsciously gravitate towards the styles and colors you like. Save your selections so you can refer to them again. These items are the beginning of your inspiration board.

As you work through each of these exercises, you should begin to notice how free exploration helps you define what you like without judgment. With no one watching you or weighing in on what you’re doing, the hidden fear for creating art should have dissolved.

Pat yourself on the back. You’ve taken a big step forward as you’ve started listening to your inner voice and trusting your intuition.

These simple steps are just the beginning of your journey as an artist. Getting comfortable exploring what you like builds the platform for your inspiration to create.

Repeat these exercises as often as needed to help you overcome your internal fears.  Give yourself permission to step into your creative zone.

Alan Alda said it best: “Be brave enough to live creatively. Leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you’ll discover will be wonderful: Yourself.”