Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest

What’s My Mindset: Fragile + Resilient

What's My Mindset: Fragile + Resilient. Christine Nishiyama, Might Could Studios.

Note: This is an ongoing series exploring my working theory of Artistic Intelligence. You can read the first essay in this series here. My current definition of Artistic Intelligence (AQ) is the ability to guide our thinking to change our behavior, so we can make our own art.


Where We’ve Been

So far we’ve established that there are three skills to Artistic Intelligence: Awareness (noticing where our head is at), Identification (labeling what mindset we’re in), and Management (changing from unhelpful to helpful mindsets). In order to identify our artistic mindset, we have to know what mindsets exist! So I developed my list of 15 Creative Mindsets broken into unhelpful/helpful pairs.

What's My Mindset: Fragile + Resilient. Christine Nishiyama, Might Could Studios.

Where We’re Going

Next, I’m going to dig deeper into the Identification skill, looking at each of these pairs, exploring how we can identify them—especially when we’re in the midst of one.

After that, I’ll dive into the Management skill, and lay out how we can move from an unhelpful mindset to its more helpful partner.

So let’s jump into What’ My Mindset with our first creative mindset pair, Fragility and Resilience. I hope to cover more than one pair per essay in the future, but for today I narrowed my focus to just one.

What's My Mindset: Fragile + Resilient. Christine Nishiyama, Might Could Studios.

When we feel FRAGILE making art…

Definition: Fragility is the quality of being easily broken.

When it Happens: A Fragile mindset can take over when we encounter challenges with our art. It often seeps in we feel disappointed in our artistic abilities and what we’ve created.

Associated Feelings:

  • Overwhelm
  • Despair
  • Anger
  • Weakness
  • Self-criticism
  • Disappointment

Associated Thoughts:

  • “I wish I was better at drawing.”
  • “I can never draw ______ right.”
  • “I always mess up my drawing.”
  • “I’ll never find my artistic style.”
  • “Why am I even trying to draw?”

Associated Actions

  • Crumbling when things change or become difficult.
  • Wallowing in negative thoughts about your art and yourself
  • Punishing yourself for making mistakes
  • Responding defensively to comments on your art
  • Hiding from or giving up on challenges
  • Not being able to make art; Creative Block
  • Giving up when issues feel too big
  • Quitting the artistic journey (stop making art)
What's My Mindset: Fragile + Resilient. Christine Nishiyama, Might Could Studios.

When we feel RESILIENT making art…

Definition: Resilience is the ability to bounce back and adapt in the face of challenges.

When it Happens: A Resilient mindset can take over when we encounter challenges with our art. It often blooms when we feel compassion towards our artistic abilities and what we’ve created.

Associated Feelings:

  • Balance
  • Hope
  • Peace
  • Strength
  • Self-compassion
  • Acceptance

Associated Thoughts:

  • “I can work at getting better at drawing.”
  • “I’m going to experiment drawing ____.”
  • “Sometimes I make mistakes.”
  • “I can figure this out.”
  • “My art serves a purpose.”

Associated Actions

  • Adapting when things change or get hard.
  • Cultivating positive thoughts about your art and yourself
  • Accepting mistakes you make as part of the creative process
  • Listening to comments on your art, and calmly discarding what you don’t agree with
  • Approaching and overcoming challenges
  • Making art freely
  • Taking a break or starting over when issues get too big
  • Continuing on your creative journey (keep making art)

I hope this guide will help you identify when you’re in a Fragile or Resilient mindset! Artistic Intelligence isn’t about getting rid of the unhelpful mindsets—they’ll always pop up from time to time. It’s more about learning how to be aware of, identify, and manage those mindsets so we can move on and not get stuck.

I’ll cover how to move from the unhelpful to helpful mindsets once we’ve finished this Identification section. More to come!


Have you experienced Fragility and/or Resilience with your art?

Please let me know what you think! This is all a work in progress, and I’d love to know if you found this first identification guide helpful or not. Your feedback will help me adjust as we go continue on.

​Join the group discussion in Might Could Studiomates or comment below to share your thoughts!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *