This is an artist’s attempt on an artist take, on some of the concepts from the lecture series: “Psychology of Performance” by Dr Eddie O’Connor mainly aimed at Sports Psychology and Performance.
I was inspired to do this after seeing how related to art it can be, after Marshall Vandruff mentioned it so many times in the Draftsmen Podcasts.
I wanted to do a version for artists who want to get the practical gist of it and/or need an artist’s perspective on it, if they feel like it’s not applicable to practicing art. Some chapters like being a good sports parent don’t really apply for example.
There is some overlap between chapter points that I will try to condense for succinct points for quick reading, summarized as best as I can and art related examples of certain points to show how it can be applied to practicing art.
The original material are strongly recommended if you require more information/scientific evidence of the concepts.
Acceptance and The Willingness to Feel
In your art journey, there will no doubt be feedback and critique and reaction to your artwork. You will also in turn likely react emotionally to these, whether the feedback was good or not.
You have to be willing to feel emotions that you don’t have to necessarily like, you can’t ignore that they are there. You have to acknowledge that you are feeling whatever emotion you are feeling now.
This doesn’t mean accept all bad things in life with no question and not fight for what you deserve, only when if its truly absolutely out of your control and the struggle to control the situation is affecting you, then do you just digest it, accept it and then let it go out of it.
Do not use experiential avoidance which is avoiding whatever emotion that is there unless it truly works for you, don’t accept emotions and situations just for the sole purpose of hoping they will go away immediately, and that you will feel better automatically ASAP, that is not proper acceptance. Proper acceptance requires time and absorption.
Do not persist in the struggle where control is not the right solution, if it is not the solution, you are wasting effort and time trying to use a method that will not work.
There’s power in changing the phrase “but” to “and” in a sentence, for example “I have to draw but I am tired.” to “I have to draw and I am tired.”
This opens up space for yourself to accept how you are feeling now, in the face of the issue you are involved in, in spite of how you might be feeling at the moment. It will give you a different perspective on the issue.
There are more articles that I have written about the topic below about how to handle different things in art.