What’s Holding You Back In Your Art?

Are you wanting to get back in to your art?

Perhaps you love to draw, or paint, or experiment with different kinds of media?

So, what is holding you back?

For me it was a few things, but one of the biggest challenges I had was a lack of self-belief. One of the symptoms of this lack of belief was procrastination. I was also repeating a story to myself, or a few stories, that kept me stuck. Stories of not being good enough, not being creative enough, not being your “typical” artist so how could I be an artist, not having any or enough time, not having any or enough space, etc.

When I looked further and deeper, I could see that underlying all that, what it really came down to was: FEAR.

A lot of the time when we haven’t done something for a while, to get back into it we feel some fear and resistance. It’s like getting back into an exercise routine. Our minds like to take us for a ride on a roller coaster, or my least favourite, a tea cup ride. Making up all sorts of scenarios. In addition, sometimes I go through the “if I can’t do it perfectly first time round, then I might as well not do it” thought process.

Painting practice with colour

painting practice with colour


In my experience one of the best things to do is to take small, inspired action steps AND to work on feeling good first. Talk yourself into the activity you want to do. Visualise it as being fun and have a smile on your face whilst doing it. Remember the positive aspects, and write them down. Why do you want to draw? How do you feel when you’re being creative? What brings you joy? What is it that you want from your art/creative practice?

Some small steps I take when feeling stuck is looking at things that inspire me, such as paintings in an art gallery, or images in home/interior design magazines. You can cut out those inspiring images and make a vision board or creativity collage. Or some simple sketching of what I see around me. Daydreaming about a creative project I would love to undertake. Anything to get back in touch with my creative and artistic juices.

And even if it’s only ten minutes a day, it’s a start.

I love the quote “A year from now you may wish you had started today”, attributed to an author, Karen Lamb. Start small, and be consistent. Create a daily practice.

Art is not just about the end result, the finished piece. The creative process is more than that. It’s the journey that you’re on whilst you work on your piece. Are you enjoying it? How can you enjoy it even more? Are you reacting or creating? Do you need to do some research? Do you need to play more? Rest more? Work less? Meditate or sit in silence to reconnect with your inner voice?

What do you need in this very moment that will help you to start moving forward in your art again?

Now I’d love to hear from you! Please tell me in the comments below, what are your biggest challenges when it comes to getting back into your art and/or creativity? What is holding you back? What are the stories you are telling yourself over and over that are keeping you stuck?


1 thought on “What’s Holding You Back In Your Art?”

  • I resumed art class today… watercolours, every three weeks. Stumbling at first… and second, and third etc attempt. I think the thing that can hinder is the results you make along the way. The real pleasure is in the journey to understand the medium. Think if it as learning to drive a car with manual transmission… do you give up because today’s trip was kangaroo jumps and hardly any ground covered, or do you see learning to drive as the journey?

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