Lately, I’ve been working on mindful breathing and centering techniques.  The impetus for this has been my battle with performance anxiety in my “other profession” as a musician.  Although the physical manifestations of my nerves seem usually more palpable on stage (racing heart and shaky hands accompanied by negative thoughts), I have come to recognize that I’m often plagued with negative self-talk when I sit down to my drafting table as well.

As I mentioned in last week’s From My Sketchbook post, one of the situations that makes me anxious and doubtful as a visual artist is my ability is to sketch live subjects in public.  So, on Thursday I headed out to our local cafe with my sketchbook to face this fear over a latte. These sketches were an exercise in both mindful breathing and centering as I tried to capture the subject in just a few strokes. (Unfortunately, my Shaeffer fountain pen seemed to be running low on ink…not exactly conducive to a state of flow, but I persevered!)

couple talking in a cafe

Girl reading cell phone

Hope you’ll stay tuned for more….


  1. natella111 says:

    Lovely sketches, Joana! Good to see you again! I need to face that fear as well, thanks for leading by example 🙂

  2. Helen Reich says:

    Love the 2nd sketch! I find that I experience the same back/neck/shoulder pain and contortions for both sewing and playing the viola. And to think that I used to blame it all on orchestras/conductors/playing viola in an orchestra/playing viola. It’s really a fear response for everything, I believe. Off to my weekly Alexander Technique lesson.

    • Joana says:

      Hi Helen, Yes, I think we do a number on our bodies without even realizing it. Ah, the power of our minds… But, on a positive note, if our minds have that much (negative) power, they can also be used as a force for change and our own good, too! Keep doing your Alexander technique lessons, dearie.:-) Xox – Joana On Mar 23, 2015 2:27 PM, “JOANA MIRANDA STUDIO” wrote:


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