5 Mindsets That Keep Us From Creating

I happened along a photography post that succinctly describes 5 mindset that keep us from creating what we love, the wisdom is universal.

Here is the original post, please check it out.

5 Unproductive Mindsets That Keep You From Becoming a Better Landscape Photographer

I talk a lot about this in my video, maybe I ramble too much, so I’ll sum up here.

#1 We Require Perfect Conditions and Materials

Many artists feel they need to have a study full of the best materials in order for them to create anything well but this has been disproved countless times in the art world.

Have a look at Francis Bacon’s studio and materials if you don’t believe me. YUK! Yet, “his work is among the most acclaimed, expensive and sought-after on the art market”. (wiki) I’ve even seen artists draw amazing figures with a chocolate bar.

What material misconception is keeping you from creating? How can you put expression over material requirement and get to work?

#2 We Need the Perfect Subject

For the past few months I’ve been working from photos and many of them have been of low quality, blurry, even pixelated. Yet I’m able to pull out many great drawings regardless.

Also, the fact that I’m working from photos is saying something. Many artists claim that they only work from life. That’s great but they are limiting themselves to models they can afford, or even find especially during the covid-19 crisis, and materials that are only close at hand.

How can you relax your need for the perfect subject and embrace the challenge of working through a problematic subject and maybe even get your imagination involved?

#3 Don’t Leave it For Later

“Never knowingly leave anything “wrong” on your canvas.” This is a message that Richard Schmid urges us to attach to our easel. I’ve had many thoughts of indifference when seeing issues with the drawings or painting I’m working on. I mean, who’s going to notice, right?

I’ll notice, every time I look at my piece I’ll know that I didn’t take it as far as I could have.

Of course there is a point where we bump up against the limits of our skill and it doesn’t look perfect. But this is where we all should be. Take it as far as you can, then ship it and learn from it.

What issues do you see with your current work, that you know you an fix, but have left for later? Is now the time to push past the indifference?

#4 Using Photos/Photoshop Is Cheating

Years from now when someone buys your art because they saw something in it that touched them. Do you think they are going to throw it away or demand a refund because you did it from photo, used a grid with the help from Photoshop? I doubt it.

If Rembrandt were alive today he would use every single means necessary to create a painting that communicated what he wanted to communicate. He was know for trying all kinds of different materials and techniques. Look at Vermeer, everyone knows he used a camera obscura, yet his paintings are priceless and he sold a lot of them when he was alive.

I would say that this mindset is mostly due to peer pressure or just lack of knowledge of how many amazing artists work.

How can you gain the courage to push past your fear of what others think and communicate in your art using any means at hand?

#5 Art Requires Perfection

Haha! I laugh at this one. You only have to look at my website to see how many times I’ve failed. You only gain skills after failing thousands of time. The key is to persist through failure without lack of motivation, that is called GRIT.

Stop thinking that anything you do will be perfect. It will always have flaws, learn from them and keep moving forward. It’s only after years of working, failing and having some success that you begin to start creating images that look close to what you’ve imagined.

What can you do today to push past these 5 mindsets that keep you from creating and get to work?

Pocahontas Drawing in Graphite

Previous Pocahontas Drawing Posts


The normal 15 minute warm-up in graphite.


One Minute Gestures

The one minute gestures exercise from the The Natural Way to Draw book. I really let go today and had no care about what these drawings looked like. I was just having fun throwing my body and arm around translating from images, through my mind and onto paper.

What went well, what was awesome! Celebrate It!

I came across a wonderful post that got my mind working on the 5 Mindsets That Keep Us From Creating!

What needs work? What did you learn?

I would like to keep my art session bound within a particular time frame.

How am I going to Optimize moving forward?

Time my practice session and work on some smaller posts the rest of the week. Unless I get motivated, the go for it.

Session Details