How To Focus On Art While Struggling With Emotions: Advice From Artists

Do you struggle with emotions when focusing on art?

If you’re an artist, you’ve likely struggled with overcoming negative emotions at some point in your career. After all, art is often about channeling your innermost thoughts and feelings into a physical form – a painting, a sculpture, or a performance.

And while it can be incredibly cathartic and therapeutic to express yourself through art, it can also be challenging to maintain a positive mindset when constantly exposing yourself to emotionally- charged material.

So how do you focus on art while struggling with emotions? We asked this question from the members of our community. Their replies were so on point and valuable that we thought, why not share them with all of you?

So in this week’s Arts to Hearts Project Feature Article, we are featuring artists with some fantastic advice to share with us all.

Here is some advice on focusing on your art while struggling with emotion from artists who have been there.

So please keep reading to know about these fantastic artists and what they have to say about it.

Megan King (@meganbarberking)

Megan King is a Washington, DC-based encaustic sculptor and painter. Megan’s sculptures and paintings reflect the rhythms and patterns of life—hers, her community’s, and the natural world. Her work is often autobiographical, exploring how her past experience, spiritual foundation, and life with depression weave together into who she is today.

Megan uses a variety of techniques including assemblage, media, and collage but all her work incorporates encaustic in both 2D and 3D. Megan is drawn to the translucent qualities, vibrant colors, and sculptural abilities of the medium. Encaustic allows her to fully express herself through a combination of painting, carving, and embedding objects in her work as well as creating 3D forms directly from the encaustic mediums. 

Virginia Shepley (@virginiashepley1)

struggling with emotions

Drawing from the practice of psychic automatism, Virginia Shepley’s abstract forms and representational motifs reconcile the dualities of life. An abstract painter using line drawing and biomorphic forms as a visual representation of fundamental spiritual ideas, her work explores the connections and borderlines between physical reality and the invisible. Referencing elements of the body and nature, her color palette resonates as mystical vibrational imagery. 

In 2001, Virginia got her Master of Fine Arts in Painting from John F. Kennedy University’s Arts and Consciousness program in Berkeley, California.

Her work has been shown in solo shows in galleries in California and North Carolina. Her drawings and paintings feature in private collections in both Europe and the United States. 

Virginia lives and works on a farm in North Carolina.

Samantha Wood (@samanthawoodart)

Samantha began her art career as an art teacher in the public school system. After teaching in the classroom for 15 years, Samantha left to fulfill her longtime dream of being a full-time artist. Her home studio is in Tennessee, where she enjoys working with fluid acrylics on canvas, as well as experimenting with new techniques and media. 

What began as a realistic approach to painting, has now developed into a colorful, crisp, and lush style of her own. Samantha has been enamored by artists like Van Gogh and Wayne Thiebaud since childhood. Their use of color has influenced her practice of including intense and exaggerated colors within her work. Samantha wants her art to exude excitement, growth, and hope.

Deborah Kruger (@deborahkrugerstudios)

struggling with emotions

Wallpaper design and patterning have influenced Kruger’s work since her training in textile design at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City.  She has taught, lectured, and exhibited her artwork in museums, galleries, and universities throughout Mexico and the US since the 1980s. 

Recent career highlights include a 2018 solo exhibition titled Turbulence: Birds, Beauty, Language & Loss at the Cultural Center in Chapala, Mexico.  This exhibition will be expanded to include sculpture and installation at the Museum at PALCCO in Guadalajara, Mexico in 2022.

Kruger maintains studios in the vibrant art community of Durham, NC, and in the lakeside village of Chapala, Mexico.

Her art practice balances making objects of beauty that convey layered meaning about habitat fragmentation, bird migration, species extinction, and loss of indigenous languages.

Vanessa Albury (@vanessaalbury)

artist

Vanessa Albury was born in Nashville, TN, and currently lives in Brooklyn, NY. She earned her MFA in Studio Art from New York University’s Steinhardt School.

Albury is a visual artist and activist for the environment and social justice. Her artwork is image-based taking form as photographs, sculptures, and social practices projects, expanding the traditional view of photographs as “windows into the world” to objects in space and time. Ken Johnson of the NY Times has described her work as “haunting.” She is the founding artist and director of Coral Projects.

Current projects include her podcast The Power We Hold with co-host Caleb Williams, marking her journey as an ally to people of all differences and steward to the planet, and Between the Windows presenting local artists in public between the windows of NYC residents’ homes. Her first eco-friendly mural Porthole Waves (Svalbard): Stream to Sea draws a connection of the inland waterways to the oceans printed on local, sustainably forested, and milled paper with vegetable-based ink and wheat-pasted, making the mural full biodegradable.

Carina Alia Earl (@carinaearlart)

struggling with emotions

Carina Earl is an MFA graduate of the San Francisco Art Institute. Originally from New Orleans, she’s spent most of her life in the Washington DC area and currently resides in Berkeley CA. Her work has been displayed in various galleries throughout DC, including MOCA DC, Del Ray Artisans, Gallery 123, and the Schlessinger Arts Center.

In 2008 she was asked to lead and execute a mural with Mural Arts Philadelphia and Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful. She became involved with Trickster Arts Salon in San Francisco, which hosted a series of her pieces at Mission Control and Aspect Gallery. Her work has been shown numerous times at the Diego Rivera Gallery in North Beach, and in 2011 held a solo show at the Hive Mind Gallery in Oakland.

At Stanford University, she displayed for “SMASH” and presented an art lecture for the  “Leonardo Art and Science Evening Rendezvous”. In 2014 she worked on a Collaborative painting project for San Francisco’s “Bloom Series”, and currently holds a permanent exhibition at Guava in Oakland, where she can often be found painting live for music and cultural events.

Selene Paschoal (@selenepaschoal)

I am Selene. Fabric is something I have been working with for quite some time. My mother taught me how to sew when I was a teenager and after that, I started making some of my own clothes. I tried crochet,
knitting, and cross-stitching but I am not able to make the stitches in similar sizes. They are all over the
place so the final product never looks good. Fabric, however, is a different story.

The link between fabric and art came to me many years ago when I was at an “Open Studio” event with
some friends. I saw this incredibly interesting painting and I remember wondering how hard it would
be to create something similar with fabric. I told myself I would do that one day when I had the time.

The time arrived towards the end of 2018. I realized I wanted a more creative outlet and started looking
at the paintings in my house. I knew that painting was out of the question as I have no talent for that. Time to go back to my old friend fabric.

Yvonne Rojas-Cowan (@artkarma_1)

I’m Yvonne. I’m a NY-based contemporary painter who is inspired by humankind. Our complex layers of thoughts, emotions, and experiences.

My artwork explores themes of freedom, expression, and individuality with the use of dynamic, expressive brush strokes and layered textures. My artistic approach is mostly intuitive with selective editing towards the end. This allows me the freedom to experiment and then develop each work based on instinct and emotion during the process.

My work is extremely personal, often an emotional response to the world around us. Expressive gestural marks produce a visual depiction of my thought patterns. Most pieces start off digitally, with a rough concept, and once the vision is clear I move on to canvas. The beginning is very intuitive with the freedom to play. It’s a beautiful dance with the canvas letting the art take the lead and go where it wants to. Sometimes it leads me away from the initial concept and that is always an exciting and welcome gift. Acrylic layers of color and lines bring out the narrative and embed emotion.

When the vision is clear, I work in layers adding elements to bring out the narrative. I favor texture and expressive marks and often include thick impasto strokes with a palette knife or items like handmade paint skins, fabric, oils, and found objects.

My message is inclusion, humanity, and connection. It’s about letting people know they’re not alone in what’s often a cruel world.

struggling with emotions
struggle with emotion

Marina Nazarova (@marina.nazarova.art)

Marina Nazarova is a Russian-Canadian visual artist residing between Canada and Brazil.
She holds a BFA in Painting from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, Vancouver BC.
The majority of Marina’s work revolves around people and spaces, as she investigates themes of personal identity, duality, and shifting perceptions. In her figurative paintings, she mainly uses oil and acrylic on canvas.

I hope you find this helpful, as it is a compilation of suggestions from our community. Please provide any other insights you may have for the benefit of our community. We would love to hear what you have got to say about how to focus on art when you are struggling with emotions.

Along with this if you are an artist who wants to sell more of your work? we have good news for you. Soon we are launching our “Artist Marketing Formula Course“. with this course Learn how to market and promote your work authentically. Where to sell, how to sell to increase sales, and turn your hobby into a creative profession. Social media, email, website. Simple to-do steps are laid out for you to get into the action with confidence. So stay tuned and sign up below because we will share the details about it real soon.

Sign Up Here

Till then have a happy Monday everyone and I will see you with the next article real soon. so keep creating the magic that you do and goodbye.

close

Want to be a successful artist?

Join our weekly newsletter and learn the latest in art marketing, creativity, & more right from your Inbox. See you there.

We promise we’ll never spam!