5 Top Tips for Building Your Artistic Self-Confidence

by Neadeen Masters on July 29, 2011

We understand if self-confidence in your artistic talents is not exactly your strongest suit while you learn to paint. New painters especially struggle with lack of self – confidence. You may feel colors are washed out, lines are crooked and your art might be worthless – all of the  hallmarks of negative thinking and an artist trying too hard and yet failing at it in a spectacular manner. So then, will you be tempted to just give up, throw the brush and burn the canvas? No…of course not! What you need is a tool set to help you through the daily challenges and uncertainties while you establish yourself as an artist. Changing a negative attitude with positive planning will also change the way you look at the world around you. Soon you will be ‘seeing’ life through the eye of an artist! 

Learn To See

  1. Doubts Are to Be Expected – You must remember that even the greatest of artists in history have experienced doubts about their own artistic abilities with many even suffering from depression because of it. Keep in mind that the individuals we consider as great artists today also had big shoes to fill during their time and doubts were an inevitable part of any artist’s early years. Yes, even Vincent van Gogh had more than his fair share of doubts about his own art! Solution? Tell the nagging voice in your head to hush! Find the quiet place inside…start planning… think about a beautiful painting you want to create, plan its execution, even if this means sometime in the future. Better yet! start building a photo reference library, collecting imagery about your favorite subjects…this is a great resource of ideas for your artistic future. Your ability to ‘see’ through the eyes of an artist will become second nature to you.
  2. Plan your painting day – At the start of your day, set your plan in motion. Start the day with a positive approach to painting or drawing. This can be by participating in a small painting exercise, reading about your media, or familiarizing yourself with the correct use of certain brushes. Learn about mediums, and experiment with color mixing. Nothing will build your artistic confidence faster than knowledge and finding your comfort zone when it comes to artist’s materials and art supplies. It is uncertainty and fear of the unknown that undermines our confidence in painting.
  3. Be your own person – Stop comparing your artistic skills or knowledge to others. Becoming an artist is about the journey of discovery, not the destination! All artist’s travel the same journey…some are just further along the way than others. Some run, some walk and some amble along slowly. Along the journey, be glad about the other artists you encounter. Celebrate these encounters. These will be your peers, teachers, and mentors. They are there to pave the way, and enrich your experience.  It is a well-known fact that every artist has faced the same struggles you face at this moment. Take comfort in this thought.
  4. Set daily goals – Plan to learn one new thing about art, every day. It could be a new painting technique,  learn a little art history, or learn how to use a new painting medium. Read about  art trivia, discover a new artist, learn about color, read, explore, but learn…learn…learn…this is what recharges your artistic batteries and keeps you motivated, and building the confidence to keep learning and experimenting! Knowledge is power!  Join an art community such as the Art Apprentice Online Art Community. Being part of an active art community will allow you to grow, ask questions and make new discoveries.
  5. Preparation – The famous tennis player Arthur Ashe is quoted as saying, “One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.” For an artist preparation is key…preparing yourself means thinking like an artist. Change the way you approach your painting or drawing. Planning is preparation, reading, learning, practising your art  is preparation for your artistic journey!

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