Being an artist or a designer can be stressful and that affects our creativity.
I show you how you can deal with it to become a “Good Stress”.

How do artists deal with stress?
How do artists deal with stress?

How To Be More Creative When Stressed Out

  • Not confident? Yes! You are on the right path!
  • “Good” and “Bad stress” are both your friends
  • All professional designers started a beginner
  • Use stress as your life and ‘creative career’ compass

Keith told me he wants to become an animator in the next 5 to 10 years.

He’s now studying coding at a Science university, nothing related to art or design.
However, besides uni, he hustles making logos and various design projects.

It appeared logical to him to drop coding and start to enhance his sketching skills.
The main problems he faces are probably his lack of confidence and time management.

What is holding him back is knowing there are plenty of steps to take to get there.
The project to become a full-time designer seems far.

Plus he still has to figure out the steps. Which is a noticeable source of stress.

Practicing visual art

Don’t give up

My first piece of advice is:

If he seriously wants to make his project happen, is to keep himself in motion.
Do not settle in that “paralyzed state” for too long wandering about what to do.

The longer you remain without practicing, the harder it will become to get back to your creative projects.
Kee going, and you let your door open for opportunities to come.

Feel not confident? That’s a great sign of successful people!

woman holding a map
Create your “career map”

Successful people learn how to go through pressure, stress, and doubt.
The reason why they keep going is that they love what they do.

Keith has an ambitious project, even though he’s still a beginner.
High his target, the higher the chance he will get to succeed.

If Keith feels intimidated at starting his career project as a designer/animator – it is a good sign.

It is because becoming an artist is MEANINGFUL to him.

Remember, if you feel intimidated or stress-out, that’s normal.
It does not mean you are weak. It means you are passionate.

For example:
You like a girl (or a boy).

She’s obviously special to you.
You might feel hesitant or shy to go talk to her.

Even though, you know it would be fantastic to meet or know her more.
(While talking to a lambda person wouldn’t bother at all)

This is what I call “GOOD STRESS”.
What matter then, will be the actions you decide to take.

TIP I learned from Simon Sinek:
If you feel stressed, instead of telling yourself: “I’m stressed”!
Replace it with “I’m excited”!

“Good” and “Bad stress” are both your friends

Listen to both good and bad stress
  • “Good stress” feels magical.
    It is telling you that it’s worth pushing your limit!
  • While “Bad stress” makes you feel small.
    You feel like hiding. This feeling might actually want to help you. Bad stress is not your enemy!
    It may indicate that a path is not for you. It is like preventing you from potential danger or burnout ahead.

    Keith feels excited about animation but wonders if he could make it (good stress),
    while he’s not interested in coding and may end nowhere… (bad stress).

“The human brain tends to overestimate what we can do in short term, 
but underestimate the long-term projects.

So if by today, you start a long-term project and you don’t feel confident –
You might be on the right path!

All professional designers started a beginner

Every professional artist, designer, creator started as a beginner
Every professional artist, designer, creator started as a beginner

All pros started as a beginner.

Your confidence will build along the way.

The more you progress, the more you wanna learn.
You will naturally become more proficient and picky at your technique. 

You shouldn’t be too worried about it.
As long as you are consistent, focused, and love learning and sharpening your art.

Just keep going and be better than yesterday. 

Some days during your learning journey you may stagnate for a while.
That’s fine.
Others, you will boost exponentially from a simple new technique you learned. 

The unknown is part of the journey. 

But remember,

  • If you do nothing, you will 100% chance to stay at point 0.
  • If you try and give your best, you will go much further than you think able to!

Use stress as your life and ‘creative career’ compass

Compass of life and career decisions
Compass of life and career decisions

When you will become a professional artist/designer,
you will receive ambitious projects you might feel intimidated too!

  • Stress is a feeling you will have all along your career.
  • Try to use it as a compass in your decisions.
  • A “good stress” is often a green light signal.

We can’t know the obstacles or opportunities we’ll meet.
There is no point to try to plan them all in advance.

That’s actually impossible.

And once again, trying to over planify will paralyze you.

As an artist, designer, and creator,
trust yourself in your ability to navigate both the “chaos and beauty of life”.

Hope it helps!

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