5 Tips to Build The Artistic Confidence in You
We get it, for many, being an artist means that you’re signing up for a constant fight between your skills and the voice inside your head reminding you about how unworthy your artworks are. It’s tough to deal with, but not impossible. We've listed down five surefire ways to boost your confidence as an artist.
1. Compare Yourself ONLY to Yourself
It is easy to unintentionally lose confidence in yourself as soon as you set your eyes upon what seems like better artwork, but it’s important to remind yourself that you have made it to your current level with progress, and progress takes time. Artists who make it look easy to paint and draw a masterpiece in just a few minutes have undergone years of practice, and hence, the great mastery. Bear in mind that they were once like you, yearning to be as good as the other experienced artists they encountered, and with progress, they made it.
The truth is, you will likely always come across artists who are better than you, and many others will think of you as better than themselves. So, each at their own pace, and the only person you should compare yourself to is ‘You’ from yesterday. Take a look at your previous artworks and see how far you’ve come. The ‘You’ from yesterday might have had no idea on how to draw a proper line art but today’s ‘You’ has gotten much better at it. That’s how things are supposed to be - a continuous improvement in your artmaking process no matter how small the progress.
2. Take Your Breaks when Working
Let’s get real for a second - thinking of the next thing to draw or create is already daunting, even more so when you’re out of ideas and have multiple deadlines to catch. And even if you’re already working on something, being cooped up in a space and in the same position for hours will drain your energy, and being drained contributes to the artist being frustrated even though everything is still a work in progress.
If you’re familiar with this experience, remember to take a break. Get up, stretch a little bit; maybe even walk around and let your blood flow. Sometimes all you need is some fresh air and a few minutes away from your workspace. A research by Ernest L. Rossi, a noted psychobiologist, shows that our bodies benefit most from a 20-minute reprieve about every one and a half to two hours. So set your alarm and take that break!
3. Get Your Art Out There
Push that imposter syndrome aside and hit that ‘send’ button. You might get cold feet and a series of going back and forth to your drafts as you overthink about how receptive others are to your artwork. It’s completely normal, and the sooner you get it out there, the better you will feel. For many artists, it takes a lot of guts to finally showcase their work because of all the overthinking and thoughts about what they could have done better - so fear not, you are not alone.
Even if your first published work does not get the attention that you are hoping for, keep going. Making a name for yourself takes time, and the time does not start until you actually put your stuff out there. With a bit of luck, you might come across those who see the potential in you a lot sooner and don’t be surprised if you suddenly receive an invitation for a collaboration or request for commission work. You are more than you give yourself credit for.
4. Never Stop Learning
Remember that feeling when you finally master a new trick or skill that you have been learning? AWESOME, right? So, expand your search for new things to try. If you have never been to art classes or workshops, maybe now is the time to try because these outlets do offer the opportunity to hone your skills. If you’re on a tight budget, you can always search for free tutorials online. The internet has loads to offer, and there are all kinds of professional artists who post various tricks and techniques on different art styles that you really don’t want to miss out on. Subscribe to their channels on YouTube and/or simply follow them on Pinterest/TikTok/Twitter/Instagram, whichever platform you prefer.
Become a life-long learner and take the progress of your art as a journey, and not a destination.
5. Believe in Your Art
Well, if you don’t, who else will? And even if the whole world sees the potential in you but you decide to undermine your talent, what’s the point? Take pride in your own work and acknowledge how far you have come. Cherish the compliments you receive and take the negative feedback productively. Whenever you begin to overthink about how people would see your art, remind yourself that you’re an artist, and not a people pleaser.
Have a little faith in yourself and you’ll do great. From one artist to another.