Don’t Fall Into These Artist Traps

I recently asked all of ya’ll on my Instagram page – what is one topic you would like for me to talk about in an upcoming vlog? And with an overwhelming response – I received a number of questions all relating to something along the lines of the fear of starting a painting or having anxiety during a painting – mainly spurred on by this nagging mindset of perfectionism.

As I read through all your responses I was amazed to find three common pitfalls or traps that we all seem to fall into when it comes to perfectionism and our art. Below is the video I made responding to these common pitfalls. So make sure to check it out and then scroll down for a quick summary of the pitfalls below.


  • WHAT IS IT? Analysis Paralysis basically means you overanalyze and over think a project to the point of not being able to start – hence being “paralyzed with fear” and unable to create.
  • WHEN DOES IT HAPPEN? Typically at the beginning of a project or painting. It usually occurs when you start to second guess yourself – especially after working on a previous painting that didn’t go according to plan.
  • HOW TO OVERCOME IT? The best way is to tackle something easy – this can be exploring your watercolor basics – such as washes or color mixing. Or tackling something that you find fun and relaxing – such as painting doodles, flowers, patterns, etc.
  • WHAT IS IT? Imposter Syndrome basically means you second guess yourself – usually due to comparing one’s work or art journey to another.
  • WHEN DOES IT HAPPEN? Typically this happens for me in the middle of my painting – usually during the “ugly stage” when things don’t look quite right.
  • HOW TO OVERCOME IT? Create a journal with a list of accomplishment you are proud of as well as a portfolio for past successful paintings. If you are feeling uneasy about a current project – take a look back over your past work and accomplishments. Pay attention to your growth overtime. Remember we are aiming for progression not perfection in our art.
  • WHAT IS IT? The Big Bad Troll – is the “bully” that lives inside your mind. It is a voice that seeks to de-value you as well as be-little you.
  • WHEN DOES IT HAPPEN? This ugly troll usually rises at the end of my painting. I have a hard time focusing on the positive of my paintings and rather fixate on all the “failure” or mistakes inside my painting. While it is good to self critique yourself – it’s very bad to belittle or demean yourself over a painting or anything for that matter.
  • HOW TO OVERCOME IT? Change your focus! Instead of focusing on the negatives – make sure to balance it or even over fixate on the positives of what you have accomplished in a painting. By changing your focus you will start to have a better view of yourself and your art.

Carpe Diem


As stated in the video – make sure to seize the day and take action against all of these traps! I hope you enjoyed this post and happy painting ya’ll!

About Author

Hi there! My name is Carrie and I'm a Watercolor Misfit! What's a Watercolor Misfit? Well, anyone who is willing to try new things and not afraid to get their hands covered in paint! So what do you say, are you a Misfit-ian?

1 Comment

  • SketchySketches
    May 13, 2020 at 7:59 am

    Thank you I never realized all the three things were the case with me and they happen to others too. These tips to overcome them are very good and I hope to remember them.


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