Artist’s Dilemma Good Stress and Bad Stress

by Neadeen Masters on June 20, 2014

Artist’s Stress and Maintaining a Balanced Life

In a recent conversation with other artists, we discussed the pressures of making a living from painting and being creative. Some of this produces good stress, while some of it is…..well let’s just say it’s stress none the less! It’s really about how much pressure we can put on our creative selves. Trying to find the simple balance between work and family and life in general and trying to stay on task for work. I’m sure some of you can relate to these feelings.

Artistic Stress - Good Stress versus Bad Stress

From my personal experience, I think painting for the heart and painting for the pocket are two different approaches to the canvas. One is play and one is work. When it flows from the heart it’s spontaneous and can lift the spirits higher than the finest wine can. When its work it requires meeting deadlines, painting for sale, it then becomes an analytic process where each brush stroke must be thought about, described with the spoken and written word and shared for others to critique or learn from. It’s a whole different painting process where we need to factor into our time and how we still maintain our love of the brush. Do you think so too?

Time management and discipline play a big role, yes… might we factor in guilt for being too artistically driven or taking time away from family life? Then the stress meter starts to climb. Step away from the work and take time to smell the roses and the stress meter rises a little higher…the guilt gremlins start whispering in your ear. “Yes, No, Yes, No” With one foot in each world, we artists need sometimes shake our heads. Is it really a fine line we walk between love and…that bad word that rhymes with bait! LOL! I would love to hear your thoughts on this because I can’t be alone? I still love all aspects of my world  and wouldn’t trade my art and creativity or family for the world, but it’s just nice to know if and when fellow artists experience the same stresses, we are not so alone.

Just sayin’

…and she was dreaming…”I want to live in a stress free world…yeah! yeah!” LOL!


{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Lynnette Horn June 20, 2014 at 8:48 pm

Funny you should bring this up. I’m in one of those heavy stress guilt modes right now. I have a painting started that I want to make into a pattern and it is just sitting. I’m living in a hotel waiting for my house to be repaired so I can get back into my studio. I’m behind in my own blogs and those promised to others and the stress is through the roof. I feel guilty because I’m not painting right now though I’m spending time with my hubby, which is good. When I am painting I usually feel guilty because I’m not taking care of the house or because we have to eat out a lot. I’m too busy to cook. Either way I go there is guilt and stress.


Neadeen Masters June 21, 2014 at 12:51 am

Lynnette I can relate. For me its the being pulled in every different direction and wanting to do it all. I guess it’s like eating an elephant…a little bit here and there and spread the love around. Painting takes concentration and thought, it’s hard to keep the creative momentum moving when you’re on a roll and have to stop to do the everyday tasks like running a home and meals etc…
Yes I think I need a wife! LOL!


Susan Richardson June 20, 2014 at 9:18 pm

Your never alone! The hardest part for me is learning to separate my art time from family time. Finding a balance between making the making the art, selling the art, being mom, being grandma — ummm – there is no stress in having all those roles is there? As one artist said – “Every Artist needs a wife”.



Chris June 20, 2014 at 9:26 pm

They say that if you have a job you love you will never work a day in your life, which is true to a certain extent. It’s the whole guilt thing that we feel that is the root of our stress – like there isn’t enough of us to go around. The thing is we don’t have to be all things to all people. Stress, either good or bad is still something in our control, we decide to set limits on ourselves, we decide what to be guilty about, we create the image in our heads of who we should be. We all need to lighten up a little. Don’t expect to be able to do everything.


Neadeen Masters June 21, 2014 at 12:54 am

Chris, I so agree with you, for me it is sometimes hard to say no. I do love my job, just some days I feel overwhelmed and I guess today was one of them, but that’s the normal process in life right?
Cheers and thanks for your response.


Nancy June 21, 2014 at 12:10 pm

There is a lot of truth to the above. In the past year, I have not had much time to work at my art. I miss it and I really want to get back at it. I have been busy getting a business up and running and by fall, I anticipate that I will have everything as it should be and I can have some creative time. No guilt just a sadness.


Neadeen Masters April 4, 2015 at 7:51 pm

Completely understand Nancy. Hope you’ll be back painting soon!


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