Do you find it difficult to be confident as an artist?
In this post, I will talk about how you can become a confident artist and keep creating, no matter what the obstacle. Let’s begin.
What exactly is confidence?
Confidence is a strong, wonderful feeling you get when you know who you are; no matter what the environment. Confidence is a beautiful feeling because you can be a daisy in a field of roses and still not feel different, ashamed or shy.
Why is it important to feel confident as an artist?
It is important because even when everything is against you, you need to be the driving force to push yourself forward as an artist and make things happen for yourself. Otherwise, you will get nowhere.
If you don’t believe in your art, who will?
When I was a child, my confidence booster was my mother. She pushed me to face my problems (even when I was perfectly comfortable hiding behind her skirt) and she instilled courage in me to find a way out of HUGE fixes.
As artists, we can be extremely vulnerable and insecure about our art. This could lead to us missing out on huge opportunities just because we feel we’re not good enough.
Before you read this post, I highly suggest you read this extremely detailed tutorial on how to become an Illustrator.
READ MORE: 10 SIGNS YOU ARE A NATURAL BORN ARTIST
I know a lot of lovely artists on Instagram that create art for free and don’t want to sell their artwork because they feel no one will buy their work. But this is not the correct way to grow as an artist.
This lack of confidence will not only lead to procrastination but also self-doubt, anxiety and eventually depression. Don’t go down that rabbit hole.
In this post, I share 10 ways on how you can build your confidence as an artist.
1. Write down your goals, each day
This is the first little step you have to take to build your confidence.
I have a beautiful Rifle Co Planner that I use every day. I write down all my mini-goals each morning when I wake up. Whether it’s creating a new item for my shop, or creating a new service to sell to my clients, or completing pre-existing work, or posting on my Social Media, I write it all down.
If I spend 5 hours a day working on client work, I leave 2-3 hours aside to work on my personal projects. And when I finish a certain task, I mark it as complete. Simple!
At the end of the day, I feel extremely satisfied seeing that I’ve accomplished so much in the whole day. This helps me think clearly the next day.
Having an organized plan, helps you become more confident. Thus, enabling you to take on bigger projects. Because you realize that you’re capable of taking care of all the little things.
The proof is right in front you of course, in your Planner/Notebook.
Whenever you’re feeling down or dejected because you feel you don’t do enough as an artist, sit and read your Planner/Notebook. You’ll realize how much work you’ve done each day and I guarantee you’ll feel better.
READ MORE: 35 THINGS TO DO IN YOUR BLANK NOTEBOOK
2. Keep long-term goals
This point is almost like the first, but equally important.
Write down your long-term goals. They help you move toward something. And moving toward something means you don’t feel like you’re stationary or not doing anything. It helps increase your productivity because you know where you’re going and you will start doing things to get yourself closer to that goal.
And when you know you’re moving toward a goal, you become more confident because your goal becomes your priority.
Keeping mini-goals and long-term goals have really, really helped me evolve as a person and as an artist. Whether it is a certain income you want to achieve or a career goal like I must sell 10 art prints by the end of the month, write it down.
Aside from just writing down your goals, keep a track of them. When the year is over, look through your goals and see how many you were able to accomplish. This not only fuels your confidence as an artist but also inspires you to be consistent.
It’s like hitting two birds with one stone. 😉
3. Get over the Imposter Syndrome
Imposter Syndrome can be defined as the fear of feeling like a fraud and constantly having an overwhelming feeling of self-doubt.
Understand that everybody makes mistakes. Making mistakes is crucial if you want to learn something. You cannot get everything right the first time. Nobody does.
The only way to learn to ride a bike, is to try riding and fall a couple of times till you get it right, right?
Similarly, you have to draw in order to become better.
By allotting a little time each day to work on a personal project, you are taking the first step to overcome Imposter Syndrome and becoming a more confident artist.
4. Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle
Ugh. Just don’t.
Your art is yours. You cannot (and should not) compare your art to other artist’s.
That’s just wrong, yo.
Everyone has their own reason for creating art, their own style, their own motivation, and their own creative blocks.
Comparing your art to another artist’s will just make you feel low. Who knows how many years they’ve been practising? Or how many hours she/he struggled to get to that art style that you’re now admiring?
If you have to compare, compare your art to your own art 6 months ago. I lurrrrrrve doing this. Because I realize how much I’ve grown as an artist. As a result, I feel very motivated to keep going and become even better.
Have a little patience. Give yourself time to grow. No one is quite happy with their art when they start drawing. And that’s a good thing! Because you’re ready to learn and practice more. And more practice results in better art.
5. Kick procrastination in the butt
I may be the Queen of Procrastination. So, take it from me when I say that I know it’s not easy to stop procrastinating, but it’s pretty doable.
Sometimes we don’t have motivation or inspiration, and sometimes we just feel we’re not good enough so there’s no reason to keep creating.
There may be a 100 reasons to procrastinate, but find at least one to create.
Motivation will not come most of the time. You have to sit down and force it.
Focus on why you’re creating and open your book and draw. Even if it’s rubbish, don’t let it bother you. Just keep moving that pencil. As you draw, you’ll get more ideas.
6. Fight your negative voice and take chances
Do you remember the last time you wanted to try something new? But something was holding you back? Was there a little voice in your head telling you, “No! You are entering uncharted territory. The outcome is obscure! What if you mess up? What if you make a fool of yourself? Retreat, now!” Learn to ignore that voice (unless you want to kill someone, then by all means – please, please listen to that voice) and take chances. Life is too short to live in your comfort zone. Learn to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.
Say yes to collaborations with other artists when your heart wants to. Say yes to opportunities that come your way. If a company wants you to work on a project, say yes. They wouldn’t be approaching you if they didn’t like your work.
Don’t say no, because you feel you’re not good enough.
Your negative thoughts are your biggest vice as an artist.
Which brings me to my next point.
7. Don’t deny getting paid for your work
I know a lot of artists who refuse to be paid for their work.
If a company approaches you and asks you to create something, don’t think, “Maybe I’m not good enough to charge, so I guess I’ll do it for free.” No. Charge for your work.
Getting paid will give you the confidence you need to create more. You don’t have to work for free. You want to take art seriously? Then, make it your goal to earn your living by being an artist!
By charging for your work, you will look confident and people will take you seriously as an artist. Otherwise, they’re always going to believe that art is just a hobby for you.
8. Cherish compliments graciously
You aren’t being modest if someone is paying you a heartfelt compliment and you shake your head.
It shows you are insecure and have low self-esteem. Accept compliments graciously with a hearty smile and show people you have strong and solid self-esteem.
If someone is praising your work, it means they really like it. There are a few art pieces that I’ve created, that I’m not entirely happy with. But there are loads of people who like those! And if they praise me for it, I’m not going to say, “Nah, it sucks.” I’m going to smile and say, “Thank you! I’m so happy you like it.”
A little positivity can go a long way. Be confident and trust yourself.
Everyone’s tastes are different. And what some people hate, other people can’t get enough of.
9. Don’t ever stop learning
I cannot stress this enough.
I may be an artist but I don’t know everything. I had to pick up a variety of skills, like outlining, drawing anatomy, learning different strokes and colouring techniques and I have Skillshare to thank for all of that! I took their free trial and I watched every class on drawing and illustration they had. I took the annual membership and it barely comes to $5-8 a month. It’s totally worth it!
I’ve tried a few websites but this is one that changed my life as an artist. I learnt how to use a lot of tools in Illustrator and Photoshop and it’s amazing because I can watch the videos whenever I want.
I currently use ProCreate on my iPad because it’s portable and so much faster!
If you click this link (or click on the image below), you’ll get a FREE Membership of Skillshare and you can take unlimited classes in that free trial! Be it photography/art/marketing, you name it!
Just the other day, I took Gabriel Picolo’s Class and learnt how to study poses and get better at drawing character’s poses.
And I cannot recommend it enough! I learnt so much and I love being able to sit on the couch with my dogs while watching the class on my iPad. Grab their free membership here!
The more you learn, the more confident you become. It goes hand in hand.
10. Don’t ever forget why you started
I think the best way to become confident as an artist is to remember why you started. There are times when I’m low and don’t feel like drawing anymore. There are days when I wake up with self-doubt and say to myself, “Maybe I should have been a dancer.”
We all have those days. You’re not alone if you sometimes feel like giving up.
So, instead of giving up, I take a few minutes to breathe or do something relaxing and I try and remember why I started.
You could have several reasons.
Repeat this every time you want to give up.
“I wanted to be an artist because…
- I love drawing (or)
- I want to make a name for myself in this field (or)
- I want to change the world with my art (or)
- I want people to feel art, etc.
Reminding yourself why you started will motivate you to keep going and in no time, you’ll be feeling confident again.
And now, we’re at the end of another post. I promise you, that if you follow at least five of these tips, you will feel confident as an artist in no time!
So, I ask you, what has been your biggest confidence boost till now as an artist/creator?