First of all, recognize the fact that you ARE an artist.
Don’t be humble
I think the notion of being ‘humble’ is probably the most anti-artist sentiment.
Why? If you are ‘humble’, it prevents yourself from asserting yourself, it prevents you from putting yourself out there, and it is self-negating (by being humble, we don’t give ourselves permission to proclaim our exceptionality!)
Don’t worry about whether you’re making a living from your art or not
How do others try to make us smaller? How do others kill our self-confidence?
- They only think your art is legitimate if you earn a living from it.
- If you do make a living from your art, they will then try to determine HOW RICH you are from your artwork. If you’re only making a basic “living” from your artwork, they’re not going to think you’re legitimate.
- If somehow you’re making a lot of money from your artwork, then they will think that you’re somehow “cheating” or gaining success from illegitimate means.
Ultimately, no matter how smart, rich, successful you are — you will NEVER be able to have everyone legitimize yourself as an artist.
The solution is simple:
Just proclaim: “I am an artist”, without needing anyone else to approve you. Just approve yourself.
What does “self-confidence” even mean in art?
When we think of “self-confidence“, what do we really mean to say?
I define self-confidence as self-faith. To have faith in yourself, your artwork, and to AVOID getting discouraged by others!
Or more simply put:
Self-confidence is having courage in “putting yourself out there”, courage in promoting yourself (self-promotion), and courage in making artwork which PLEASES YOU– even though there is a risk that others won’t like it!
What does risk-taking and courage mean as an artist?
Risk-taking and courage can mean many things. Some ideas:
- Have the courage to make certain artworks which might offend or piss off other people.
- Have the courage to attempt a new aesthetic or style, something that hasn’t been attempted or done before.
- Disdaining praise from anyone else (in-fact, we should become suspicious when others start to praise us– it might actually be a bad sign that you’re being too generic).
- Not losing heart in your artwork: To not become discouraged– to keep making your artwork, without losing the vigor, energy, and power to create your artwork.
- Have the courage to share or publish works that YOU believe in, even though you’re fearful that others will hate it.
Live more risky everyday
To become more courageous is a skill you practice.
To become more courageous, you NEED more risks, MORE DANGER, and you need to put yourself into more difficult situations.
- Make more risky jokes when talking with strangers– see how far you can push it.
- When you have the option of doing something in your day which is safe and risky– choose the risky option.
- Ask yourself, “When do I feel the most alive?” Generally it is when we are doing difficult and challenging things, when we are in dangerous situations.
Life is short. Better to take risks and die epic, than to die small and dormant.