The Anxiety Is Real…An Artist’s Struggle


A photograph of my preliminary drawing for my painting for the local art competition in town.

I have found myself facing a new challenge thanks to a well meaning friend who told me about the local art competition going on in my town. The problem is the due date is a month within me getting supplies for the piece and it is going to be a larger piece than I am used to painting. The other challenge is my mental health which I have been struggling with as of late. I can’t seem to shake a phase of hypersomnia I am experiencing. I will sleep all evening and night then the following morning until afternoon. The majority of my time is spent sleeping which gives me anxiety about entering this art competition at such short notice. I want to participate in it but have yet to pay the entry fee and register due to a crippling fear that I cannot bang this painting out in time.

When I am actually awake which seems rarer and rarer, the procrastination also inevitably sets in. I think I am avoiding painting because I am scared of it. I know, I just said I was scared of an inanimate object – my painting.  It’s because of the anxiety attached to it – whether or not it will measure up to my expectations? I think the more I paint it, the more I’ll fall out of love with it. I am clearly insecure about my ability to create something that will stand out in this competition. I realize for a city art competition I have chosen the most obvious subject matter – the Welland Canal Bridge. A major center point for our city and a structure that identifies Welland. It could be seen as overdone or as very representative of the city.

I know I need to force myself to sit down and work on it at several intervals of time in the next two weeks – cause that’s approximately how long I have until the competition. But that’s a lot easier said than done. I have too much anxiety to paint it at a reasonable pace since I am afraid I am ruining it with each brushstroke that I take. And I have mad anxiety when I am not painting it thinking “I’ll never get this done in time for the due date.” I need to overcome my unrealistic expectations and just paint – just fucking create something and see what happens. It could very well be shit but who knows it could also very well be my next masterpiece.


A Photograph of my painting as it stands so far for the art competition in town.

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