Even the best artists struggle with bouts of self-doubt. However, those feelings of insecurity are especially common among beginners. When you pour your heart and soul into your art, finding the courage to send it out into the world — where criticism, rejection and judgment are common — isn’t easy. You might think that learning how to get better at making art will make your self-doubt a thing of the past, but that isn’t always the case. Artists are often their own worst critics and can even experience impostor syndrome because they don’t feel like they or their work is “good enough.”
Fortunately, there are several things you can do to boost your confidence so that — when those feelings arise — you can work through them and get back to sharing your work with the world. Plus, boosting your confidence will improve your creativity and thus, your artwork. Keep reading to discover some actionable, confidence-building tips.
1. Start with Simple Projects
Every artist, no matter how illustrious, started out as a beginner. And if you’re an absolute beginner, it will take some time to build your skillset. As your work improves, you’ll begin to develop more confidence. Starting with simple projects, such as diamond painting for beginners, will allow you to hone your skills and gain confidence with each completed project. What is really great about learning to paint with diamonds is that it is easy enough for even complete newbies to the art world to master quickly. Regardless of your experience or skill level, you can create a beautiful mosaic masterpiece that you’ll be proud to display. Once you have completed a few simple projects, you’ll have the confidence to try something more complex.
Diamond painting is a helpful way to learn many of the basic concepts of visual art and get a broader perspective. As you work on a painting, you can analyze landscapes, faces, etc. to get a better feel for proportions and perspective, which will help you when working wth other forms of art. Since diamond painting involves general shapes rather than fine details, it can also teach you about rough sketches and drafts. As you improve, try using different diamond painting supplies to see how they could enhance your work. Since diamond painting is also quite relaxing, simply working on a project can help you push negative thoughts and self-doubt out of your mind.
2. Stop Comparing Yourself to Other Artists
Teddy Roosevelt once said, “Comparison is the thief of joy” — and he was right! Comparing your work to that of other artists steals your happiness and makes you feel less satisfied with your creations. Even the most skilled artists might experience self-doubt if they compare their pieces to those made by others.
Resist the urge to compare your artistic journey to anyone else’s, either. Everyone learns at their own pace. Some people pick up a paint brush and complete a beautiful painting right away. Others have to practice for several years to develop their skills. Your journey is your own, and it’s perfect as it is. Stop comparing yourself to others and you’ll likely feel much more confident.
3. Do What Scares You
Staying in your comfort zone may feel good, but it won’t help you become a better artist or boost your confidence. But finding the courage to do things that scare you or make you anxious can do both. If there’s something you’ve been thinking about doing to improve your skills or share your art with the world, do it. Sign up for a ceramics class. Submit a painting to a local art show. Join an online critique group and ask others to share their feedback on your work. Don’t let your fear hold you back and keep you from moving forward.
4. Learn to Love Your Mistakes
Even world-renowned artists make mistakes. Humans are imperfect beings, so demanding perfection of yourself only sets you up for failure. Instead of looking at your mistakes in a negative light, learn to love them. Sometimes, a so-called mistake is just what a piece needs. And even when it isn’t, an error isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Think of it as some extra personality. Remind yourself that mistakes are how we learn and think about how you might do it differently next time.
5. Recognize What Rejection Actually Is
It stings when you submit a piece of art to a show or a publication and it gets rejected. For many newer artists, a single rejection is all it takes to for them to give up on their dream. By developing a better understanding of what rejection truly is, you’re more likely to work through it without your confidence taking too big of a hit.
Rejection doesn’t mean that your work is bad or that the person reviewing it doesn’t like you. It simply means that what you submitted wasn’t quite right for them. That’s it. It’s not personal and it certainly doesn’t mean you should give up!
Confidence is something that most people struggle with from time to time. With the tips above, though, you can start to reframe negative thinking and boost your belief in yourself. As you become more confident, your art will evolve and improve.
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