Conversations with The Nerd Guru: Dealing with Anxiety and Anger


ANGIE: Can you pinpoint where your social anxiety comes from.. if there is such a place?

MITCH: my social anxiety comes from me feeling like a freak.

ANGIE: That sounds simple enough. but it isn’t. at all.

MITCH: I see other people. normal people. couples in the mall, people walking along smiling. I see the disconnect between them and myself. I realize how impossibly hard it is for me to simply feel happy and I spiral.

ANGIE: hmm.. I just assume that everyone is secretly anxious and depressed and in denial about it. Is that worse?

MITCH: everyone has issues… doesn’t mean that people need to walk around looking blissful… fucking assholes


ANGIE: how do you feel about  taking medication ?

MITCH: i have no issues with my medication when I am on it. When I am on the pills I can function… I’m not always happy but happiness is an option.

ANGIE: Do you go to therapy too?

MITCH: Therapy… is like a D&D group. It works great if you get a connection with the people involved… if there is no chemistry then it’s awkward and forced.

ANGIE:  I have only ever had old jewish therapists who ask me about my mother incessantly.  then  I stop going to them.


ANGIE: I try so hard to understand everyone that I can’t even feel when I’m angry anymore.

MITCH: anger is addictive! chemically in your brain. even though it’s a negative emotion it feels good to act on it although you generally feel bad afterwards because you are coming down from a high… so hurting people due to anger…. there is a reason and people… hate groups, bigots… they are junkies. i know it seems weird but… it relieves me… these people have become addicted to hate and they keep returning to it because it makes them feel good and not because they necessarily believe it… it makes the world a little less bleak and a bit more rational in my eyes 5335698_15749848_b 

ANGIE:  That makes me feel more like a person.

MITCH: it is something that helps me… when I am getting angry constantly at a group… or when I see others(especially politcal) constantly digging at each other… I can understand it more  because i understand them better… it’s not about hate it’s about lack of self control and an attempt to make yourself feel better…. and I think we all understand that.

Interview With a Non-Artist: Mitch Shiwal Part II


ANGIE: I completely agree. There is also this unsettling feeling that lurks like a shadow as you get closer and closer to completing your piece. You just start to feel like, to complete the work is to take away its life. Pair that with the obvious insecurities that come with self-expression and your enthusiasm kind of evaporates.

MITCH: hmm its not that dramatic for me… it doesn’t feel like a death… it feels… melancholy because while it is finished, its potential is at its end. it has accomplished all it ever will, and depending on my laziness and or lack of talent… it probably didn’t end up fully realized in a meaningful way that lives up to the inspiration that gave birth to it.

hmm.. maybe it is like death


ANGIE: I think you articulated it better. It’s a death, but it is like a real death; it’s anticlimactic. You expect for there to be drama to distract you from the emptiness you feel, but there is none.

MITCH: like collecting butterflies on a pin. beautiful but stagnant

ANGIE: right, there’s no movement, but it feels like there should be

MITCH: maybe you should get into animation then

ANGIE: haha, punny.

Artwork by Mitch Shiwal

Part I of Interview here:

Interview With an Non-Artist: Mitch Schiwal Part I

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sometimes when I am going back through past work and see an unfinished sketch,  I find the inspiration rekindles… it’s like meeting up with an ex and discovering that you still can have really great sex

ANGIE: Do you have any thoughts on why you leave pieces unfinished?

MITCH: Generally, I tend to build up a head of steam on a piece and work on it; however, especially on complex or detailed pieces, I tend to either lose my inspiration or my focus. Rarely, I may come back and finish a piece, but generally they lay there like half finished skeletons


ANGIE: Do you think that you could force inspiration ? or do you find that you have so many ideas, that leaving one in the dust is often a relief?

MITCH: I tend to be overwhelmed with ideas, and when one grabs my attention from the ether, I focus on it entirely until I am distracted by something else. However, sometimes when I am going back through past work and see an unfinished sketch,  I find the inspiration rekindles… it’s like meeting up with an ex and discovering that you still can have really great sex


Artwork by Mitch Schiwal

More of Mitch’s Posts here:

Progress by Athalia Johnson


“Progress” by Athalia Johnson

 I feel that’s it’s harder to begin a project because it’s frustrating to work out which part to work on first and create the structure for what will become a finished piece. Finishing a project is easier because you’re adding details and final touches and are more clear-headed about what you want the final outcome to be.

Visit Athalia’s blog here:


Interview with an Artist: Alison


Interview with an Artist: Alison McPherson 

 the closer I am to finishing something, the more I ruin what it could potentially have been if I didn’t finish it.

ANGIE: Do you have any thoughts on why art is often left unfinished?

ALISON: When I draw, it’s like something is both intoxicating me and pulling me along with its momentum. I stop when that feeling stops.


ANGIE: Do you feel like you usually finish your creative writing projects?

ALISON: The shorter ones, yes. The longer ones, never. And finish isn’t really that set in stone. It’s more  “presentable”. I might go back to it later.

ANGIE: Do you think there is something in you that resists completing the project on some level?  My friend Mitch and I were talking about how finishing a project sometimes feels like accepting a death.

… an anticlimactic death

ALISON: I feel that way with more complex pieces. It’s very much reminiscent of Lost in Translation. Sometimes the potential of a piece is more exciting than the execution and the closer I am to finishing something, the more I ruin what it could potentially have been if I didn’t finish it.

artwork by Alison McPherson

Alison’s Blog: