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9 ways to overcome (artistic) Frustration

Everyone has heard of it, everyone fears the very sight of it, but if you are an artist, there is a good chance it creeps at you regularly, more often than a flu, in various forms and intensity; in psychology, Frustration is a common emotional response to opposition / obstacle, is related to anger and disappointment and its strength depends on the size of the established challenge. When Frustration calls you more often than your mother does, it's time to take an action!


Try to get your feelings straight by walking it out of your system. Is it raining or snowing? Even better, get soaked and dry out.


Sleep on it. Make yourself busy with small repetitive tasks, watch a good movie or comedy, play a game, visit your family or a friend, cook a new recipe, get a haircut, tidy up your room or house, watch a documentary, have a chocolate, take a horse riding lesson, play with a child, but try not to take this stage too long.


When you once have facts about the cause of your condition straight, make your peace with it. No matter how soothing it is to deny the reality, being honest with yourself is the only way to get you back on your feet.


Emotional and mental condition is tightly bound with your body, workout will not only encourage your metabolism but get endorphins (hormones of happiness) into your brain.


Besides doing a good thing, the feeling of being useful will give you a new strength.


This is a great exercise, it will make you see things globally. From the bird's eyeview, even a really huge dark hole looks like a tiny dot.


Even a public one, here on DA. Get it out there, sometimes it is a response from other people who are going through the same trouble that will help you to overcome it.


What can motivate better than love? Try to open your heart, make a list of things you love about your work/project/whatever the object of your efforts is, recollect happy moments you experienced in the past - you'll see this must be worth fighting for!


..and share it with your friends, on your blog, in your journal. Next time it strikes, you will be prepared!

The most important thing is to realize that Frustration is a part of the Struggle and Struggle is a gate to a new level - THAT level we seek to reach. Is dealing with being frustrated from time to time a good thing - than? I think so.

What is your experience with Frustration? Do you have regular ways to overcome it or does it surprise you unprepared? How long does it take you to get "stabilized" again?

Share your thoughts in the comments below :heart:

Turn frustration... by HugickaSuppressed frustration II by KvikkenFrustration by jvg246

You're my frustration by fluorescent2892

same old frustration by MerdollFrustration by 12of8Frustration - Co-Production by ttancredi


Motivational article written for #projecteducate's Surprise Community Week :heart:
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jane-beata Featured By Owner May 27, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
InPBo Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2014  Student General Artist
paint your frustation on a canvas (maybe like troung pain at the canvas or peace of paper)

don't think about it get distracted with something else

tear up a lot of  paper and make recicle paper with that 8or maybe not... forget this one)

even if you are angry don't do what i do (being irrascible - verry easy to be angry . irrascível) just cool out and be nice to people. shouting wont help. 

try to talk about with others of your frustation (you have the journal part... that's enought :)) but friends/family can happen

eat chocolate for chocolate makes you happy - but don't exagerate.

do what you like to do and be happy with it

i get stressed out very easy with the impossible tasks we are asked to do at craft classes. Class work is to be done in Class time right? (i'm in high school not UNIVERSITY *sight*) the teacher makes us work like machines for she can have the works done in time ITS IMPOSSIBLE if you want something nice and weldone don't push the extreme of your students. there are people who don't know how to work with some materials for for that the exucution gets a bit strange/wierd or that person will work more slowly... +sig* but anyways seems that she finaly understand and will do things more easy to accomplish in time given :)
jane-beata Featured By Owner May 27, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
I love the idea to paint frustration, even as a 10 day challenge :)

Thanks for your comment!
InPBo Featured By Owner May 27, 2014  Student General Artist
you are very welcomed ^^
mahou1 Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
I get frustrated tones of times when I draw. I love to draw so much, but I alwayswant my drawing to be perfect, as I imagined it in my mind, and when it doesn't- I'm really disappointed in myself. This is basiclly why I have only 11 deviations in my gallery, allthough I have a user here for two whole years. I sketch a lot but when I try to draw a serious piece, I get frustrated very easly. This guide is so helpful, thank you so much!
And I get what you're saying bout the rain, I feel it too :) 
Sweetdemoness87 Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
I am loving these articles jane-beata. You did a wonderful job! 
I especially like number 6- look at things from the futures point of veiw. 
I am def going to try that the next time i get all frustrated. And number 8 as well. Thanks so much for sharing. 
jane-beata Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
I'm very glad it helped :)

DejayScrwu Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
nothing is more aggrivating than spending hours, even days, on a peice of art that you end up hating. even worse when people are expect you to deliver
jane-beata Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
I agree, I know the feeling too, but I don't view it as a wasted time, you learn either way - succeeding and failing. :)
DejayScrwu Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
i read somewhere that it is important to surround yourself with other artists, the idea being that you are your own worst critic and being around only your worst critic everyday can hurt your confidence. Just something i was thinking of that I'm sure others would be interested in knowing
DejayScrwu Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
4 hours ago i posted that, i was particularly fed up with a piece that i'm still working on. i was ready to give up as i felt it wasn't turning out how i intended and misrepresented my art style entirely. now, not only have i cheered up, but i actually feel confident that this picture is going to turn out great. i thought i was going to scrap it, and now my world is back in order. what changed? you ask?

i pulled up some of my first pieces of the same style and compared them to my new, unfinished product side-by-side. i became aware of how much progress i've made and all of a sudden i felt great knowing i'm improving, instead of feeling depressed that i'm not perfect.

i think that ultimately is my problem. i get too "close" to a drawing for too any hours on end. sometimes you just need to take a step back and try to look at it from a different perspective.
Genny-Raskin Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2013  Professional General Artist
I'm going through this phase now... uf.
FooGriffy77 Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I like to listen to music that is great to listen to while staring out the window of a moving train.
ChrissietheArchen Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
For me i listen to music and let myself get lost in the story. Just listening for a while.
ExtremeYaoiFanatic Featured By Owner May 13, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Get a pen/pencil/Sharpie and SCRIBBLE. It lets out the tension, as well as puts something on paper. Hell, you might even get inspired by what you might see hidden in the scribbles!
EanTirea379 Featured By Owner May 13, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
First of all, whenever I get a new idea, I write it in a sort of "inspiration list" (I usually can't draw these new ideas immediately, since this often happens when I'm already drawing something). So, when I finish a drawing, I check the list and decide what I would like to draw next. If I don't feel like drawing anything at all for some time, I just try to draw random things and a lot of doodles, since I always want to practice anyway; this way I usually start drawing doodles of what later can become my next drawing, too, which helps me a lot ;D Then when I start a drawing, since I like to draw fanarts, I love to listen to the soundtracks of the movie/videogame/whatever it is about, so I sort of "get into the atmosphere" of what I love and I want to obtain in my drawing ;D
xiaolin-kirby-fan Featured By Owner May 13, 2013  Student General Artist
For me, personally, the way to beat Frustration is simply to look through my own work. I look through past projects and drawings made for the sheer hell of it and I always become amazed with the way I would draw before. The images still look incredible to me 6 years on and I find myself thinking "If this is what I could do THEN; just imagine what I am capable of now!"

I keep those particular images on my wall or close to my desk so that I know what I can achieve and how much my skills have developed! (and just thinking about it, only one of the images are on DeviantArt)
Taena-Doman Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you for sharing this excellent article!:love:

I myself know frustation very well either because of the lack of an idea or much more profound...because of the very high expectations at me. I try to paint difficult things or ones I've never drew before, although they're often beyond my skills. Curiously I get more frustated when I draw "simple" things like apples/balls, because of lesser fun in doing this. But maybe this will come one day.:):)
Meanwhile I can better deal with my frustation and with every picture I've done I notice that my patience and frustration tolerance is increasing and I don't care if it takes a long time to finish it. One strategy is that I divide an image into small areas and avoid the idea that a huge "region" MUST be filled with colors. But also many of your tips help me alot.:)
Generally the biggest reason for frustration is too much pressure...either from the outer or inner world.
Ooops, I'm sorry...this comment is already very long...and I could write more...

However, thanks again for sharing and the afford you put into it.:):)
DestinyWing Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Whenever Frustration happens to me, I always do what I had to do: Keeping myself busy until I get an inspiration. Like in your daily work or school, the place has always ideas but you just can't see it with your naked eye. All you have to do is to use your own imagination to think about it. Then when your got it, you go for it until it's too late and you will for get it forever. The earlier, the better it is done. Inspiration is every where and it is Limitless, you just don't know where and when will it happen because it's so unpredictable. You just have to clear your mind from stress and have a good fantasy with it and having believing in yourself no matter what happens.

The only problem is that it only took a very long time to have it because of time is flying so fast. Maybe for a couple of days or weeks or months or maybe a whole year to get it.
stubborninsomniac Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2013
gr, i get frustrated over doing something new on gimp. i come home feeling all happy and stuff and ready to get to the art, but then whatever i try to do from the tips and tutorials i've learned, the picture still doesn't come out right! then i get all snappy and angry at everything alive around me and wake up the next day sullen because i didn't accomplish ANYTHING.
D3kaB1u3 Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2013  Professional General Artist
Well, I recently got eliminated from an OCT after getting a empty spot in a survival round, I attempted to make a semi animtion but my lack of experience with flash pretty much fired my plans back to my face, I actually recieved a lot of good comments praising my attempt and pointing out my flaws, the day after I had to post my fight (the voting week) I literally was frustrated, I normally sleep very (and I mean) late but that Monday I was too frustrated to stay up that night, by the next day i had to accept it, by the day of the results I was completely calmed about it and the day after the results i did a drawing to calm down myself (and continue with my ongoing work) about me trying to reach a goal (with my friends) atop of a mountain but im being blocked by me (3 years younger) acting as my own limit [link] , then I moved on with more drawings to recover, it takes me a day or 2 to get back to work and keep trying
TheMacchinaMustFall Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2013  Student Digital Artist
My most recent experience with Frustration actually happened today. I was in the middle of creating a comic when I suddenly hit a mental block; The beginning was complete and I knew what the ending would be, but I couldn't figure out what to do with the middle. I found that listing details about the beginning helped bring about inspiration, like how different characters reacted to certain events (if that makes sense. ^^;)
MotivatedArtist Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Do you mind if I feature this in my group #FairyTailGuild-FTG? It's worth it to share this article and I believe it'll help lots of artist out there.
jane-beata Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Not at all, thank you (:
MotivatedArtist Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
No, I'm the one who's suppose to say thank you. Thank you very much!
DaveLopes Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
can't tell u the last time I hadn't felt that way...
TheDarkenedBride Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
ja chodim na dlhe prechadzky kazdy den :nod: a tie ucinky pocitujem velmi zretelne :la:

dobry napad na journal :iconrosesplz:
robertaorfei Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
I think that frustration is in my genetic code. I never been satisfied of anything. I aspire to perfection, but I know I've no talent. Despite of this I continue to draw and paint because it's a way to vent my anger and my pain, hoping that practice will makes me better.
old-scorpio1979 Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2012
Hallelujah! You spoke my words! (Except that in my case it's about photography.)
robertaorfei Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
Hi!I know how you can feel!
The best thing to do in these situations is to focus on your own goal. I know it's not easy, because everybody works or study(or both) and there is never enough time . We must also consider the possibility of going back to school (and I will in January)! There are plenty of evening improvement courses. Above all, we must stop being too critical with ourselves!!Cheers! ;)
old-scorpio1979 Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2012
I don't think I'll ever be to critical on myself. It brought me this far, and I hope it can take me further. As for evening courses, I have such a busy day and so little money, I doubt I could afford one. Oh well, there are still a lot of books and films on photography... Thank you for your encouragement and for taking time to write me.
DianaGrigore Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2012
:clap: wonderfully written, good points and straight at the point.
DFX4509B Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
If you can't come up with any ideas for a painting, for example, start acting like a six-year-old and splatter paint everywhere.
TRlFORCE Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
That's what I've always done~ EVEN WHEN I WAS LITTLE BITTY! X3
Its fun AND Helps~!
DFX4509B Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Acting a little childish with your paints, pastels, clay, craft supplies, etc. does wonders for overcoming artistic frustration.
Kiwi-tan Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2012  Student
Talk to friends. They often help you come up with good ideas.
Benjamin-Biddix Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I jog with my iPod...that clears my head and makes room for more ideas, also gets my daily exercise in! :dummy:
Skadoske Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2012  Student Digital Artist
I think one of the best ways if you're really frustrated, get some loud music and get exercise/go for a walk in rain/beat up a punching bag/etc :D
manatiki Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2012
it's simple. practice hard and overcome it.
ambientdream Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
thanks, this is what i need right now. :(
sockhiddenunderarook Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Benjamin-Biddix Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Smirtouille Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Take a shower.
After the walk and exercise, preferably. p:
DarkSlayer16 Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2012  Student General Artist
Listen to Taokaka say words.
Hitomi-chama Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2012
Hm. Well. Very nice for cripples.. This created some more frustration. Oh well..... 8<

Can't work for everyone, huh. Still happy the other tips can be useful to me..
KittyMakesNightmares Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2012  Student General Artist
I go to google images and search things I'm interested in.
spacezillazon Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I do some of these all ready but most of the time they don't work but at least I try right
MoonstalkerWerewolf Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I do a lot of thinking and idea making when I take walks.
hyunit Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
2 packs of Redbull. You either get an heart atack or get hyper and start pouring ideas outa yourself~
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