Whether you've been comparing yourself to others or you're going through a creative block, I think most artistic types are familiar with that rising panic that starts when work isn't going quite as well as usual.
This panicked state I'm sure comes in many forms, but for me I get the 'delayed panic'. Picture the scene: I'm working on a painting that started well, I'm feeling relaxed, I've got some music on and I'm singing along (badly) and working and working on it. Five hours in and I return from making a cup of tea to exclaim "What is this?!" , probably spilling tea all over the floor in the process. What I have before me is a completely over-worked, idiotic illustration that belongs nowhere else but the bin. I'm such an idiot! I'm talentless! What a waste of time!
I think everyone needs a remedy for this panic. I don't have one exactly, but there are a few things I do to ease the panicked pain.
1) Change my scenery.
This depends on the time of day as to what I do. If it's day time I try to get outside; in the summer time I used to go sit in the fields behind my flat or walk along the canal. If it's the evening, I might just unchain myself from the desk and go make a phone call! Or watch some tv. Anything to escape the scene of the panic.
2) Assess what I did wrong.
eg. I over worked it.
3) Get over it.
Everyone makes mistakes.
4) Be creative in other ways.
Sometimes I collect reference imagery online, or update my blog, or make collages to work from.
5) Draw/paint something you're comfortable with.
I find this helps build confidence again, and relaxes the hand.
6) Take the opposite path from the one that caused the panic.
Draw from life. Or from imagination. I often splash a quick self portrait and it reasserts my concentration.
6) Accept defeat and go to bed.
Tomorrow's a new day!
One final thing I think is important to mention - is how regular practice minimises the chances of this panic setting in. One of my New Years resolutions is to make my work a habit, and so I'm hoping I'll become more familiar with my preferred way of working, and more in tune with my state of mind.
Here's to less panics in 2012!