How to Find Confidence as an Artist

Creativity needs confidence.

Without confidence we limit ourselves, we stop trying new things, and we no longer take chances. By confidence, I don’t mean being the loudest person in the room. I mean that you need to have self belief, because that’s what confidence really is. Knowing who you are, what your values are, and why you do what you do will help you develop true confidence to create powerful, authentic work.

Here are a few things I’ve learned about developing a strong sense of self believe.

Write down your values

Writing down your values is a way of finding out what you stand for and what your work is about. Consider the values you uphold, your goals, and your vision of how to want to present yourself. Once you have discovered the answers you will feel more purposeful and empowered.

Focus on the process

Sometimes we are too focused on the goal or the finished piece. We build up an image of it in our minds and are disappointed when it doesn’t match up with reality. We spend too much time focusing on these failures and imperfections. It is important to remember that there is no ‘destination,’ and that the process is far more important than a perfect finished piece. In my last blog post I wrote about how much I learnt from simply making a painting without worrying about how it would look when it was done, discovering how much I liked the sketchy, free flowing pencil lines that I would normally erase. Remember to enjoy the process, to learn something each time, and to try and make each piece of work a little better than the last. Know that you are constantly improving, and even if you are not yet as skilled as you would like to be, know that one day you will be.

Find support

Sometimes we put a lot of emotions into our work and can become upset or overwhelmed when things don’t go as planned, or in those moment where we are no longer sure if we’re good enough. Analyse the situation, and you’re finding it hard, a support network can come in handy. Ask them for their critiques, their advice and their experiences. Discuss what led you to lose self-belief and act on what you learn. Friends, family, other creatives, local or even online groups are all great ways of finding support.

Challenge yourself

Belief in yourself grows when you prove to yourself that you can do it. Get out of your comfort zone, whether it’s finally sharing that piece online, doing a live Q&A, or starting a project that you’ve been putting off for absolutely ever. These spaces may be scary but they are where you grow.

Always be learning

Learn as much as you can about what you do – and everything else. Malcolm Gladwell says it takes about 10,000 hours to achieve mastery of a field. The more you know, the more confident you will be in your own ability. Not only this, but learning improves our understanding of the world around us, and gives us the inspiration for new ideas.

There you have it. As always, feel free to ask questions or leave a comment, and let me know if you tried out any of the ideas above.


Photo credit: Oliver J Cooper.

Model: Hannah Rose Shaw. 

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