Five Ways to Gain Confidence as an Artist

Five ways to gain confidence as an artist

Five Ways to Gain Confidence as an Artist

 The title suggests only five ways to gain confidence as an artist, however I'm sure there are more. These five are what I have used to grow as an artist and become more confident in my practice.

How does the lack of confidence show up? Well, for me it was all about self doubt, the imposter syndrome, believing my art was just not good enough compared to other artists, not trusting in my process, and not understanding the principles of good art.

So how did I deal with all this negativity? Continue to read and with any luck you too can build your confidence as an artist, one step at a time!

Create Art Regularly

Ideally, in order to gain confidence, getting into your studio on a daily basis is one of the fastest ways. Obviously, there will be days when you just can't make it, after all there are other things happening in your life. So if it's not possible to create daily, at the very least set a regular schedule, and be consistent. 

The more you create, the more you learn!! And the more you learn, the more your confidence grows. Experiment with your paints, your tools, and your substrates. Become aware of what you enjoy in your process. Is it building layers? Is it mark making? Using stencils? What are your favourite tools to use? What markers do you like to use? Do you enjoy realistic art or abstract art or a little something in between?

As you discover the things that bring you joy in your painting process and do it more not only will your confidence grow but your artistic voice will evolve.

Learn from Other Artists

The easiest way to learn is by taking classes whether it be online or live workshops. Find an artist whose work you admire and always keep an open mind. If you only learn one thing you are a step ahead, and more than likely you will learn much more. Many online classes are about copying what the artist is teaching, and this is fine as a beginner, as that is how you will discover new techniques, tools and the use and understanding of colour.

If you cannot afford classes there are also many videos on You Tube where artists generously share their techniques. This is how I learned so much about painting when I first started out. I still continue to take classes as I enjoy the community as well as new techniques, and understanding the principles of art. Continually learning will definitely help with your confidence. The more you know the greater the risks you will be willing to take!

Creating Art is About the Journey

The hardest part of painting for me has been to take the focus off the end result, especially as an abstract painter. And to be honest, in many courses I took no one ever mentioned anything about enjoying the journey. It has only been recently that I understand its importance. 

I have found that as my confidence continues to grow I place more focus on the journey, or the process of getting from a blank canvas to a finished piece. Of course, there are times I still struggle with this, but it now happens less often. And this has made my time in the studio way more fun and joyful!! After all it is only paint, right!!!

Only Compare your Art to your Older Pieces

When you can compare your own art and see the growth you've developed over the months or years then you are farther ahead than most artists. Seeing your own growth will give you confidence and you will have a much more positive attitude.

I get that with social media these days it's so easy to fall into comparing your art to that of other artists. Been there done that myself!!! This only leads to despondency and a whole lotta negative thoughts. Why can't I paint like so and so...? Why is my art not selling and hers/his is? I want to paint like so and so but it just doesn't turn out!! 

Rather than embody this way of thinking, use the other artists' work as a way to inspire you, and ask a whole different set of questions. Make a list of what it is you admire about their art. For example: I love how they've used a palette knife to create texture; I'm attracted to their bold strokes, or mark making; What a unique colour palette she/he has used. 

Once you have made your list hop into your studio and create your own painting your way, expressing the fire within you, and use these different techniques which you are attracted to. 

Embrace 'Failure'

As an artist it is important to see 'failure' from a positive perspective. I know this is not always easy, however, when you can see your so called screw ups as an opportunity to learn, you are then able to grow as an artist and with that comes confidence. By discovering what doesn't work you can choose to see what does work, and as you practice what works your confidence begins to build. Remember it is a process, and not a fast one I may add!! That's why it is so important to explore your art regularly and consistently. Creating art is 100% about the journey and this doesn't change as you gain confidence. Instead, you just discover and accept the journey exactly for what it is.

Thank you for reading this far!! If you have any questions or more suggestions feel free to leave comments below or email me at marianne@mariannehnielsen.com. I can also be reached through Instagram and Facebook, and if you feel so inclined check out my Pinterest page. Also if you're interested in receiving regular updates, including a free art download, discounts, new series release, exclusive sales and more (no spam, I promise!) feel free to sign up to my newsletter. Click here

 

With Love and Light,

Marianne

 

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