Private View | Overcoming Negativity

Private View | Overcoming Negativity

Update: 2019-11-12


Every artist experiences negative comments and self-talk. How can we use negativity to fuel our creative energy and projects instead of getting discouraged?

Welcome back to the second season of Private View! Today I want to talk about negativity and how that can affect our ability to be creative and enjoy the work we make, both during the creative process and the final product.

Negativity is something that everyone has to deal with. It seems like people generally focus on the negative parts of life or their bad experiences instead of the positive things. Unfortunately, this can become a habit, creating a snowball effect that doesn’t stop until we, ourselves, decide to change our attitudes or pay attention to something else.

For artists, negativity can be particularly damaging when we experience it in relation to the work we’ve created—in the form of negative comments about a piece, for example. This can hurt us on a deep emotional level, affecting how creative we feel or even changing how we see ourselves, our identities, and our ability to be creative.

To deal with negativity, I think it’s important to identify where it’s coming from. Are we getting negativity from an outside source, or is it coming from our own self-talk and fear? How is what we’re hearing from the outside world playing into what we tell ourselves, and what kind of fear is it triggering?

I like what Brené Brown, a researcher on shame and vulnerability, says in her book Rising Strong about negativity. She says that no matter what we try, if we put our whole heart into it, we’re going to experience failure and heartbreak. It’s so important to really grasp that idea, and learn how to keep negativity from influencing us on a deep, personal level. Instead, if we stay aware of our emotions and responses, we can turn our negative experiences and self-talk into a positive force and use it as a new way to experience and create our art.

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Private View | Overcoming Negativity

Private View | Overcoming Negativity

Mauren Brodbeck