How does one stay positive in this modern, hectic world, especially when there's so much negativity around us?
All one has to do is turn on the news to be spouted with negative events and occurrences. Social media (especially Facebook) is full of negativity, so much so that I have often had to stay away from it for awhile.
Nowadays, I try to limit my use to just sharing an artwork here or there, or just sharing a positive meme every now and then.
Create What you Love
Creating art specially designed to sell is understandable, especially if you are a commercial artist working with a designing firm. Even traditional artists often need to create what's popular to sell a piece here and there, while their regular line of work may not be so popular. But, speaking from experience, it can be very difficult to maintain a love for creating art if you do not love what you are creating.
Being a very self-critical person, I often ask myself, "Do I really love what I'm painting". I don't always say "yes", but realize that I might not know the answer anyway if I did not start the painting in the first place. In this way, I am constantly learning what I like and dislike - which is part of my own personal journey of "knowing oneself". Plus, I know that even if I don't like it, someone else might. Also, it's possible to love the act of creating art, and not necessarily the subject matter. Many artists, including myself, just enjoy being in "the zone" - that meditative state where an artist blocks out the outside world and is engrossed in the act of creation.
Don't Compare Yourself to Others
Browsing social networks such as Facebook, it's so easy to fall into the trap of comparison to other artists, whether it's another artist who has a popular Youtube channel, huge Patreon following or well liked Facebook page. Two negative emotions often creeps their way in (whether you want to admit it or not) - maybe a tad bit of artist jealousy and an insecure feeling of not being good enough.
An artist must counter both by realizing that the artists who are popular have gotten there over time. It often takes hard work, persistence and dedication - and time - to get where they are.
But, most could not build a huge following if they did not enjoy the process of getting there! So please don't compare yourself to other popular and famous artists - instead just be inspired by them, and follow their lead. Be inspired by their drive and determination. Use the positive energy given off by them to build yourself and your art career up - then spread that energy to others.
Stay Away from Negative People
If friends and family are being negative toward you, then it's best to stay away from them as much as you can. Again speaking from experience, it's difficult to maintain a positive attitude when surrounded by negative people. Whether the negativity has anything to do with your artwork or not, that negativity can bring you down (and make you feel like not painting). It's best to not be around anything negative when in the process of creating something.
If your homelife is full of negativity, it may be important to find a quiet, bright, positive spot for art creation. Put on some peaceful music, maybe some headphones and a do not disturb sign on the door, and create in a positive atmosphere.
This is not about artists who use negativity to fuel their artworks, essentially as an theme, outlet or a therapy.
Be Careful What you Absorb on Social Media and T.V.
The television news has often been focussed on bad news, and rarely on the positive. There is just as much positive things (maybe more) happening in the world but it usually is untold because it is viewed as uninteresting. All the negativity does get people talking and sharing, especially on social media, but in a degenerate sense. Spewing hate or vitriol only promotes more of it, even if it is just viewed for entertainment or amusement. What one allows into their brain or periphery becomes a part of them, even in a small way.
It is hard to stay away from negativity living in such a negative world, but it can be done. When encountering negative events and circumstances, try to look at them as not happening against you, but for you. Look at everything as a learning experience, even the negativity. Step outside of your circumstance, and try to view it from a different perspective. Personally, to stay positive, I try to imagine myself outside of the earth, and looking down at myself in the present, and also seeing my past and future events. I try to see that even the negativity is essential in my personal journey through life.
Be a Positive Influencer or Role Model
According to the law of attraction, whatever type of energy a person puts out into the world gets returned to them. If one puts out negativity on a regular basis, that negativity is destined to come back in one form or another. On the converse, if one regularly reflects positive energy, then positive events and attitudes will be reflected back at them. Influencing others to be positive themselves can be profoundly beneficial.
Becoming a positive influencer can take time, and may not be noticeable right away - especially since people these days sometimes do not show gratitude for compliments and kind gestures. But, the more positivity you put out, the more others will be inclined to do the same. Much of this energy could very well be directed back at you, by buying your work or simply sharing it with their friends on social media. Just think of it - leaving a positive remark on someone's artwork or video not only lets others know you care about it, but it also helps readers chime in about what they like (or dislike) about it - thus promoting constructive criticism. Over time, people come to recognize you as someone who freely gives of positive energy, and want to be around you (and maybe even buy or share your artwork).
What do you think? How has positivity helped you? Please share your input below.
Until next time, please stay positive and thankful!
Thank-you and love you all!