Get Inspired!

How to know when to give up
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Have you considered giving up painting? Or any new skill you’re trying to learn?

Perhaps you’ve got super frustrated with your results and questioned whether you should keep trying?

Sometimes you need to cut your losses and focus on something else, right?

Well, maybe.

Recently (before I got pregnant)  I tried to develop a new skill (Squash or Racquetball) and was seriously tempted to quit.

So in this video I share with you a few tips for how to know if you should indeed cut your losses and quit, or whether you actually need to change the way you’re thinking!

If you’ve got your own tips on how to make decisions like this, or have an experience of deciding to quit or not, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

P.S. you might be able to spot my baby bump in this vid but don’t worry, I did temporarily quit squash when I was pregnant!

84 Comments
  1. Gail Santos 2 weeks ago

    hmm…… this video is unavailable……according to Youtube

  2. Sandi Taylor 2 weeks ago

    Your video is unavailable. Try again and let us know. I just wanted to share how much I love your teaching. I did the (free instruction) of the pear and it was quite a success. I have given your name to 20 people and I know of 3 who have signed up for your classes. I intend to sign up next May – the reason for the delay is that I live in Sun City West AZ from Oct- May and we have a very active art club/community here. We bring in international artists to teach as well as having a lot of professional talent in the community during the winter. I am so busy with classes I could not do your course on top of it. I will sign up in May. I love you work and your teaching approach is so linear/sequential – it is perfect for me and my friends. It is not because I quit or for lack of appreciation of your work and talent. On another note congratulations – your little one is too precious for words. Enjoy motherhood. I know you will. Hope to see the video. My best. Sandi Taylor

    • Author
      Anna Mason 2 weeks ago

      Thanks so much Sandi! The vid is working now!

      • Jan Gregory 2 weeks ago

        Hi Anna
        I’ve had a lot on I lost both my parents four days apart from each other in June so my painting had to go on hold however I am planning in some time to start again .
        Thank you for keeping me inspired Jan

        • Author
          Anna Mason 2 weeks ago

          So sorry to hear of your loss Jan. Your creative impulse will return in time x

    • Sally Ragusa 2 weeks ago

      Hi Sandy, I live in Phoenix and have been looking for a local group to paint with. Would also enjoy learning new methods. Is your community open to others not living in your immediate neighborhood and opened to anyone? My email is salragusa@aol.com if there is any info you can share. Thank you. Sally Ragusa

  3. Elizabeth Tudor-Mulroney 2 weeks ago

    Hi Anna,
    First, loving congratulations on baby!
    So happy for you, been following you a long time, and know what this blessing means to you both!
    I’ve not thought of quitting, BUT have, when frustration happens, tried other medium!
    Watercolour is still first love! Art in general has gotten me out of a lot of rough times!!!
    Hugs,
    Xoxo
    Liz

  4. Marilyn Lenting 2 weeks ago

    I was so much excited to watch the video, as I am asking myself if I should give up on painting as I am so slow in learning to paint. But video is not available regards Marilyn

  5. Lynn 2 weeks ago

    I was about ready to get started and I missed out on your 50% off sale because I was gone for several days. I was disappointed when I clicked on the link and it was expired. 🙁 Oh well, I’ll wait until next time! Thank you Anna for showing us your beautiful work. You are very talented. 🙂

  6. Alberto Cadena 2 weeks ago

    No quiero dejar de pintar. solo quiero un descanso y suspender mi suscripción a la escuela hasta el año entrante Enero. He estado enfermo y por eso no puedo pintar. Puedo suspender mi suscripción hasta el año entrante?

  7. Hornveilchen 2 weeks ago

    Thank you so much for this very charming motivation!!!

  8. Emma 2 weeks ago

    I haven’t quite painting. I am working on getting ready for an art show presently.
    It is just that I haven’t doing much watercolor lately. I do enjoy all your videos. They have also helped with my acrylic paintings .
    Oh and I do plan on getting a copy of your book soon.

    Thanks for all the help

  9. Annette 2 weeks ago

    Lovely ! THANK U !

  10. Linda Loper 2 weeks ago

    Sorry Anna, it’s not you back when I signed up last year about a week into working with you I had a catastrophic thing happen in my life which changed my focus dramatically. I may get back on track this season but I will have to see. Thanks Linda

    • Author
      Anna Mason 6 days ago

      You have to go with the flow Linda, I hope things all resolve soon.

  11. Sandra BREDE 2 weeks ago

    I never quit, just started doing color pencil. Not very good at it but I have a dream of making something good. I used to do the balls and not very good. Congrats on the baby. Want more pictures. He is wonderful.

  12. Lilly 2 weeks ago

    So true! Our inner thoughts are not always correct or true for that matter. They could be totally based on feelings and emotions from past experiences of insecurities, lack of confidence or self destruction. We must dismiss those negative thoughts and really concider what is the truth. The truth is you can perfect anything you give enough time, practice and devotion too. Sometimes we just get frustrated with the journey. We just need to walk away for a few minutes or a day or two to recharge and tell ourselves to think right about a matter. A mistake or two doesn’t define us. We can shake it off and try again. Look at a video or two, read a book , or take a class. Whatever gives you encouragement and inspiration to try again!! Thanks for your encouragement! You are an example to strive to be like. You are a blessing for sure!! ‍

    • Author
      Anna Mason 2 weeks ago

      Great way of putting it, thanks Lily and I hope you’re able to put it into practice x

  13. J Roerink 2 weeks ago

    No I do not quit.I just got today your book.I think its very nice.So I try again.
    I have not yet a good lightning.Still waiting for it.
    Greetings Jenny

  14. Craig Nelson 2 weeks ago

    Hi Anna,
    Hope you and your baby are doing wellf.
    The problem I have with painting,is that I’m to self critical when I paint and I become so upset that I stop painting for a time and try again and again. I also don’t have in place some type of practing.

  15. Heather 2 weeks ago

    Hi Anna, I haven’t even got started yet! I only came across your site a couple of weeks ago and am now waiting for some equipment to come. I have so enjoyed watching your videos and love the detail you obtain. I never thought of watercolours in this way before. I am hoping that painting will help me at a very difficult time as I lost my mother in March. I was her fulltime carer so you can imagine…. Anyway I will try to make a start and stay motivated!
    Love Heather

  16. Irma 2 weeks ago

    Great advice. I think of taking things off my plate and for most things that thought feels great. But not for workin on art. That is really the only place wherein in can lose the world and end up with some evidence of having been present. Thank you for reminding me of that.

  17. Pamela B 2 weeks ago

    Thanks Anna, a great way of giving us all a boost , I think life is so busy but we all need to slow down sometimes & enjoy what makes us most happy & fulfilled.
    For me that’s my family & painting!
    Thankyou for bringing me back to the world of art after many years away.
    Give Benjamin a kiss !
    Hugs
    Pamela

    • Author
      Anna Mason 6 days ago

      Will do Pamela. So pleased you rediscovered art again!

  18. Linda Fedigan 2 weeks ago

    Thank you, Anna. I’m not really ready to quit, but I’m not sure where I’m going with my painting at the moment. The pear lesson was lovely and really helpful. Thank you again.

  19. Barbara T. Gershberg 2 weeks ago

    I am hanging in there, unfortunately unable to subscribe even though it was incredibly tempting. Painting is my salvation, although there are good days and bad, but takes my mind off my life problems. At 81, I don’t remember a time I did not have some painting or drawing materials on hand, although I was discouraged to continue my art education. I do feel I have made some progress with my watercolor attempts. Your book and videos have been a great help. Please do not ever quit, you are too good and inspire others.!
    When will you do another book? Please continue!
    My best to your husband and Baby Ben.
    Barb G.

    • Author
      Anna Mason 6 days ago

      Thanks Barb and at 81 you’re a great inspiration yourself! I have a new book coming out in the Spring called Anna Mason’s Watercolour World. I hope you enjoy it!

  20. Learner 2 weeks ago

    Fantastic and very timely for me (and others) to hear! Haven’t painted for three months….I’m recuperating from a long traveling to Europe and back to Hawaii…;) On top of that… I just had something frustrating happen yesterday (a different activity and people…) and was considering “taking a long break” …;) Even my well-meaning husband said, It’s not worth the stress. Deep down I knew I wasn’t going to feel good if I quit. I prayed about it. Long story short, I’ve decided to stick with it. 😉
    So, your video today is like a nice topping on a cake icing. 😉 Confirmation!
    Thank you Anna! I’m new to school, but I’ve been enjoying your Get Motivated free videos./info long before I signed up. As always, you inspire me. Congratulations to you and Phil. God bless you and Ben!;)

  21. Learner 2 weeks ago

    Watched it again,;) Anna, you’ve got the drama. Love it! Golden words that should be framed: “Don’t make a decision in the heat of a stressful moment with your paint brush!” 🙂 And it applies to pretty much everything else in life. You’re genius! Thanks for your generousity.

    • Author
      Anna Mason 6 days ago

      Thanks Learner! I’m pleased you’ve decided not to quit – sounds like my video was serendipitous for you! Love it when that happens. Good luck going forward x

  22. Connie Suberbielle 2 weeks ago

    Anna, I have desired to paint for a long, long time and to avoid disappointment, I avoid my painting room like the plague. I believe I have a small ability but I am afraid of failure. I have already bout your class on Craftsy but have never opened the first lesson. Please advise. Thank you, Connie S.

    • Author
      Anna Mason 2 weeks ago

      Hi Connie, it sounds like you’re encountering resistance! Check out my post about that – and get scheduling! I hope it helps!

  23. lisette 2 weeks ago

    très heureuse d’apprendre l’aquarelle mais très difficile

  24. Robin Rudolph 2 weeks ago

    Bless you Anna – excellent advice for all aspects of life!!!

  25. Minna Mäkinen 2 weeks ago

    Thank you for this motivational video. I’ve had a lot of thoughts like this lately but if I decided to quit art now I would feel very very sad about it. I have a very perfectionist mindset with drawing itself but once I get to paint I relax a lot. It’s the drawing itself and figuring out a composition that makes me very distressed. I’ve been working on a birthday card with two birds on it and I just can’t get the other bird right. I don’t even remember how many times I’ve erased it completely. But I still keep trying to get it right.

    I’ve been having a lot of stress coming from my day job and it certainly isn’t helping. I try to remind myself that art is my way of coping with emotions and getting my mind off things but sometimes it all gets bundled up into an over-stressed mess.

  26. Denise Pocock 2 weeks ago

    Great advise Anna………..

  27. Jeanne Reha 2 weeks ago

    I have not decided to quit painting; I have been very busy with other important activities and have not had the time. I do have a DVD on painting the rose. I was a bit overwhelmed by the use of measurements to place the rose properly and the copy of the rose i ncluded in the DVD isn’t as big as the painting I want to do , so I don’t know how to measure it correctly or how to enlarge the picture I am to look at as I paint.

  28. Laurie 2 weeks ago

    Thank you for the great LIFE advice! I can really apply the idea of “think how you’ll feel if you DO quit” and would quitting actually give a sense of relief? Being a stubborn type, it’s hard to look at quitting in a positive light, but you’re spot on. Hanging in there just for the sake of NOT QUITTING can be as bad as quitting too quickly! Not personally referring to painting, but life-tasks in general. Well done, you!

  29. Mimi Denman 2 weeks ago

    Hi Anna: I wrote a whole blog on this subject. I’m nowhere near a pro but getting better… https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-i-learned-look-forward-failing-mimi-garrity-denman/

  30. Marie 2 weeks ago

    Hi Anna, lovely to hear all your “creative” news 🙂 I have moved house in the last 12 months with renos to do and tradies to deal with, so no painting at all. Your motivations and little videos are wonderful and I thought I would pass on these 6 ways to bust through the creative block – https://www.centreofexcellence.com/6-ways-bust-creative-block-today/?utm_source=emailmarketing&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=blog_6_ways_to_bust_through_creative_block__today&utm_content=2017-11-03. I find making a diary appointment with yourself really helpful as there is always something else that you think needs to be done at home, before painting !! Hugs to you and your “little person” – Marie (in Oz)

  31. David West 2 weeks ago

    Quit, that’s not for the watercolor kit…
    Your videos are entertaining,
    And, when I watch,I leave nothing on the directory remaining…..
    WSC, an artist himself, said of quitting….
    It’s not for the creative individual, befitting !
    When painting uphill..
    dash the exasperation,
    and embrace the joy and exhilaration!

    Bought your book! Love the photo on the back cover fold!

    • Author
      Anna Mason 6 days ago

      Wonderful poem David!! This is a first I think on my blog. Thanks for taking the time 🙂

  32. hermi manalaysay 2 weeks ago

    Thank you, Anna. God bless.

  33. Prabha 2 weeks ago

    Thanks for the inspirational video Anna. It is true that painting can be frustrating, and a painting can get spoiled. . I’m still a learner, so I make lots of mistakes in water colour, I read somewhere, you should see it only as a piece of paper, and if you don’t like it hide it away, or at worst – tear it up.
    When I do that, I take some time off to do something else, watch TV, or go shopping, or read a good book, chat with friends, family. After that feeling of defeat goes, I get back to painting, saying I’ll try again. I hope I can master watercolours, because I really love this medium over others.

  34. Eddie 2 weeks ago

    Hi Anna.
    I did quit painting whilst my children were growing up. About 20 years ago my wife got me interested again and l’ve been painting ever since. Most of my work is in pastel but recently started using colored pencil and will start water colors soon . I think if you keep learning you’ll be fine.

    • Author
      Anna Mason 6 days ago

      Agreed. Sounds like you didn’t so much quit when your children were growing up – but you had to focus on other priorities -more of a sabbatical!

  35. Ann Beck 2 weeks ago

    I did give up painting for about 20 years due to work and family commitments – and I realise now it was the worst thing I could have done. Now, since retiring, I attend one drawing class and one painting class a week, attend a 2-hour Art Club in the village, and, of course, also watch your videos and read your book. Unfortunately when I stopped painting there was no-one like you around to inspire and advise. I’m sure painting now wouldn”t be so frustrating had I just done something, anything, in those years. The value of hindsight!

    • Author
      Anna Mason 6 days ago

      The internet, despite it’s shortcomings, has been wonderful for allowing learning at distance. Now’s your time Ann!

  36. Saba tarannum 2 weeks ago

    Hi, thanks for ur advice
    My problem here is not learning while iam perfect with painting, I have a problem with it sells, as I have tried in many exhibitions where people love my work they stop on side of my stall they watch and appreciate it for long time but not ready to pay for it and have it…….
    While now i think of quiting it as my profession, while it’s Hearting me like hell as its my passion…..

    • Author
      Anna Mason 2 weeks ago

      That sounds very disheartening Saba. There’s no doubt that art can be hard to sell as it’s a luxury item and there is sooo much competition out there. Perhaps take the pressure off by having a part-time job that brings in the money.

  37. Sara Schmitt 2 weeks ago

    Thank you for this. I never thought to use how the quitting something would make me feel to help determine its fate. Such valuable information! Thank you. You are adorable!!

  38. JELA 2 weeks ago

    Hi Anna,
    Thank you for this video…I do not think of giving up but I needed some time for myself, traveled a little, and now I’m coming back. I now we have to paint, paint, paint…practice is most important. I paint in my mind every moment ..now I am going to put it on paper …But I am older and have no ambitions to be perfect ….good yes for my soul…
    Love you

    • Author
      Anna Mason 6 days ago

      Thanks Jela. Taking some time out can be really helpful and not the same as quitting! I haven’t’ painted for nearly 3 months because of my baby but it’s just a pause!

  39. Elaine King 2 weeks ago

    Hi Anna
    No far from quiting I’ve changed my medium to acrylics to try having a go and I live the effect it’s had on my painting. I’m actually improving thanks to your tutorials. Please keep 5hem coming. And I find myself now wanting to paint more..
    Thank you so much.

  40. Kathleen Prideaux 2 weeks ago

    This video is great 🙂 I can think of 3 times when i have had to make a decision on whether to quit or keep gong
    1. i had joined a group to call on people (usually ones i did not know) and just be a friendly face and chat. The first time was okay but as it went on i would feel uncomfortable and anxious about going so i sat down and thought about how it made me feel and came to the conclusion that i needed to quit the group – the instant relief and weight of my shoulders feeling made me happy that i had made that decision.
    2. When i did the strawberry tutorial haha – about half way through i was feeling very disheartened and doubted if i was any good at all at painting. i put down my brush and walked away. About half an hour later i came back and the very next words out of Anna’s mouth on the video was about how at this stage you may be thinking about giving up but keep going and it will get better 😀 so i did and was very happy with the final painting.
    3. I did a water colour workshop in my local town – it was a few hours once a week – after the second lesson i totally hated it. It wasn’t the teacher, she was great, it was the method. It was all very wet in wet and let the paint do it own thing and go with the flow. I soon discovered that i definitely did not like that style of painting. I put the brushes down for about 4 months feeling very low but then looked at my tutorial paintings from this page and remembered how they made me feel. So here i am back again and very happy.

    Thanks Anna 🙂

    • Author
      Anna Mason 6 days ago

      Sounds like you’re a pro when it comes to following your intuition, great decision making Kathleen, and happy to have you back!

  41. Kim 2 weeks ago

    WoW!! Thanks for sharing this!! I started two new hobbies recently, watercolor painting and brush lettering and my main focus was first and foremost to NOT give up when I got frustrated, which I knew would happen when I wasn’t good at it quickly. So when the frustration set in I continued practicing and as a happy by-product of my perseverance I have seen slow but steady improvement!
    Thanks!!!

  42. Corinne 1 week ago

    Have not given up….just taking it slowly. Thanks for everything you do, you are a great instructor. Congratulations on your new little bundle 🙂

  43. Roberta 1 week ago

    Hi Anna, sometimes when I am following your tutorials I think to myself, “why is she having us do this, I don’t see how this will work or I would not have thought to do it this way”. I often take your wise advise and step away from the painting and usually when I come back I can see what and why you were guiding us to do it a certain way. I think I want to give up sometimes at the “ugly duckling stage”. But you are a very good teacher and painting is not something I want to give up on, I love the experience of it. I have done many of your tutorials and I’m learning so much about hues and tone. I enjoy your tutorials more than any of the others I’ve come across. I give my paintings away to friends and family. So far all have been gracious in receiving them. I also had a colicky Ben and wanted to give up, it’s so exhausting, and yes the love is the enduring glue. My Ben is now an adult and a delightful young man……hang in there!

    • Author
      Anna Mason 6 days ago

      Thank you Roberta! Amazing to think he will be a young man one day! Glad you’re doing so well with your paintings and sticking with them.

  44. Diana 1 week ago

    I actually did quit after my first try with Anna’s pear. Asked to cancel my membership ( this was in the late evening , tired and frustrated. ) The next morning I followed Anna’s advise to watch the tutorials first. I did, and now I have a beautifully painted pumpkin. Looking forward to my next project. And just a note for Anna, years ago I had colic TWINS! yikes. Didn’t know what sleep was. ( me or the twins) . Hang in there it gets better. Those colic twins turned into really well behaved children. They were so easy to take care of, p.s. the colic lasted 3 months.

    • Author
      Anna Mason 6 days ago

      Twins Diana! Wow, I just don’t know how you did it. I have Phil here to share the care with Ben and it’s still really really hard. I’m hopeful it will be over before Christmas. Glad you stuck at it and had some success with the pumpkin! Stick to some beginner tutorials for a while to help build your confidence more.

  45. Renato 1 week ago

    Anna, great video. I think we all have had to made a decision like that once in our lives, to quit or keep going if not with painting with something else. It may be a life changing decision. It may be a very insignificant one. But the point is, if it makes you happy, makes you feel good, think really well before giving up. I started late with painting not because I discovered it just now but because I knew I wouldn’t be able to dedicate myself as I should before. I play the piano since I was 12 (I’m 61 now) but with comings and goings due to study, work, family. Back again now after 13 years. The pleasure it brings me is the same the paint does. And I think that is your message: painting, as life, can be hard. Difficult, the result not always the expect, but that is no reason to give up if in it you find moments of happiness and fulfillment. Training will make you better and how giving up will make you fill?

    • Author
      Anna Mason 6 days ago

      Absolutely Renato. That’s great you play piano too! My dad does and it’s such a joy at family gatherings etc and facilitates us all having a sing song from time to time (not often enough now I think about it).

  46. Cecilia Garrec 1 week ago

    Lovely video! so happy I’m a part of this lovely group!!

  47. LindaM 1 week ago

    Firstly congratulations on your darling baby boy. Secondly, congratulations on your website. It is so super being part of a group of people who share the same passion as yourself.. I do believe that if you enjoy doing something, you never give up, Even if we do have a moment when things are not quite going the way we want them to, the support of the group is so uplifting that it encourages you to keep going.

    • Author
      Anna Mason 6 days ago

      Thanks Linda – so glad you’re a part of it and it’s helping you keep painting x

  48. Marilyn Franks 1 week ago

    I have wanted to learn to paint botanical watercolor paintings for so many years. I have painted in oils and acrylics my whole life and even minored in art in college, but have never taken watercolor lessons until now. I am finding watercolor to be a completely different animal and feel like giving up with each painting I attempt. However, I am also stubborn as a mule and won’t give up until I think I know what I’m doing. Your video was quite helpful. I just need lots an lots of practice.

    • Author
      Anna Mason 6 days ago

      Stubbornness can be a wonderful asset Marilyn!

  49. Kat 1 week ago

    Thanks Anna for the motivational video,
    Having had a successful career doing something else and starting painting primarily because of a love of plants, I had to learn early on that I couldn’t compare myself to people who had been painting for a long time. Not being “really good” is hard to accept if you have always been good at what you are doing but I kept on because I loved the plants and learned much more about them as I tried to paint them. With your course I have been able to improve my technical skills, but need to also keep remembering that what I learn to see from painting is as valuable as the finished product. For that reason, I would not consider “quitting”. Thank you for your valuable instruction

    • Author
      Anna Mason 6 days ago

      Sounds like you’ve had a great and very rational attitude Kat – it can be all too easy to let the negative emotions rule the roost when your results aren’t ‘perfect’. Thanks for sharing.

  50. monika opatril 1 week ago

    Hi Anna,
    I love your lessons, and I painted several paintings the first two months I subscribed. Then I decided to buy one year membership at the same time I started a new job. Life just got hectic and I did not have time to finish even one project. I started the lovely humming bird and when I came back to it one day, my membership was done 🙁 This is not a complaint, but I purchased many different lessons on line over the years and they all have an unlimited lifetime access once you pay for them. I can go back at my convenience and I really like that option . Thank you so much, I will probably come back at some point, I would do a month membership at a time and try to get the most out of it. All the best to your family, your boy is adorable!

    • Author
      Anna Mason 6 days ago

      Yes it’s swings and roundabouts here Monika (a UK expression, not sure where you’re from!). The benefit of a membership website is that when you’re a member you can access all 50+ classes! So it is great for painting really regularly and, I think, for making progress quickly. But of course you have to be able to give it some regular time. Hope you’ll be back soon when you’re schedule clears a little x

  51. Rashida 1 week ago

    Your tips are really helpful, your paintings has really helped,and it is true ,that don’t quit,what really makes you happy.Thanks.

  52. foladee 7 days ago

    Hello Anna!
    Congratulations on your new little guy! What a blessing!
    Thanks so much for your very insightful video! I can see how this applies to all sorts of things in life.
    I have a quitting story from 2001. I became very ill with a chronic disease and had to give up my decorative painting business. Unfortunately, I was so discouraged that I put down my brushes all together until I found your classes! Huzzah! You have inspired me to begin again after a long time of knowing that quitting painting was the wrong thing and actually did me no good at all.
    Thanks ever so much for the inspiration!

    • Author
      Anna Mason 6 days ago

      Oh I’m so pleased you’re picking up your brushes again! Brilliant news!

  53. Anne Lawrence 4 days ago

    Thank you for the charming video. I look forward to your motivational talks as much as the painting classes. For many years I avoided painting since I worked for a professional artist and felt like I would never achieve her level. She passed away and I inherited her supplies and the task of preserving her work for the future. In the process of researching her style, I found your website and gave it a try just to see how to do vividly detailed watercolors. While just fiddling around I took off painting and now I can’t get enough. Thank you for sharing your talent and love for painting.

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