One of the things I often see whenever I receive comments is "you draw so much better than me!" or "God my stuff is crap compared to yours haha" and several variations of that and it honestly has always bothered me. Why do people do this, why do folks think putting themselves down to compliment any artist is the best way to compliment their work? I never liked seeing these comments, it upsets me, and that kinda got me into thinking about confidence as an artist. Hell, confidence in general. So what better thing to do than to make a journal about it! 8D
I guess this is sort of an advice/tips thingy for anyone who wants it based on my own experience as well as what I see around me, so I hope this will be at least a smidgen helpful to someone. o3o
So, confidence. It's something I'd say is demanded of the artist but probably one of the hardest parts of being one. Everyone has struggled with this at least
once in their lifetime as an artist. Most continue to wrestle with it even with more experience gained: not as much, but every now and then that little niggling thought of doubt in yourself and in your craft can worm its way in your head. I know I do: sometimes there are moments where I really wonder if my skill is an illusion, if I'm fooling myself and that my art isn't actually worth anyone's time. But there are ways in which I dispel these feelings and maintain my confidence in my work, and I figured I could share them with ya'll.
--------------1. Don't put yourself down
This is probably the biggest thing I see a lot,
both off the internet and on it. I dunno why it's such a popular concept to approach an artist you admire, then proceed to bash your own skill in order to compliment theirs. I hope I speak for everyone when I say it doesn't work for one, and for two, it doesn't feel good to see how little faith someone has in their craft. At least not to me. So if you're guilty of doing this? Please work on stopping that habit. It isn't productive to anyone
and in the long run hurtful to yourself because you're reinforcing your insecurities, even in a small way. But how, exactly, does one stop this habit? This kinda ties in to everything else below this point, so let's start off with...2. Be conscious of your mistakes but don't be afraid to make them
Art is, and forever will be, a learning experience. No matter how skilled you become, there will always be something for you to learn and to improve yourself with. But the first step of making any improvements is... making mistakes. You have
to allow yourself to make them; the point isn't to be the best on the first try, it's to learn from the mistakes you make to improve your skill in the subject you're working on. Chuck Jones and many of my professors always said: "every artist has thousands of bad drawings in them, but the only way to get rid of them is to draw them out". So draw the thing you think you're bad at, let yourself make the mistakes, because through all of it you are becoming better at it and before you know it, you've reached a point where it isn't so bad anymore. One step forward may not be a huge leap, but it's still one step more than where you were before.3. Don't compare yourself to another artist
This one is hard
because I'm pretty sure we're hardwired to do exactly that. But absolutely try to break out of this habit: it isn't a really fair thing to do to the artist OR yourself. You are both different, and your experiences, while some may be similar, are not the same. No two artists are ever the same; everyone has a unique voice, a different way in how they see the world, and the only way to share your thoughts is by doing so yourself. So instead of thinking "I wish I could be like that", try "I aspire to reach that skill-level". Try evaluating what it is you like about that artist's style, stuff you'd like to produce similarly in your own work: the way they draw eyes, or maybe how they shade, perhaps its how they stylize their writing. Figure out why
you like the way they do these things and give it a whirl the next time you draw, put your own spins to it, experiment.4. Popularity doesn't measure your worth as an artist
One of the biggest beliefs I see online is how popularity somehow corresponds with your worth as an artist. Often I see people with the mindset of "if I don't get this many favs/comments/likes/reblogs, then I must not be good enough." This isn't true. While I agree that having a following is important if you're wanting to pursue art as a career, it by no means dictates your worth as an artist; this can be an easy way in killing your confidence in yourself. There's nothing wrong with wanting people to like your work: it's nice to know that people enjoy the content you create. But it should never be how you measure yourself. No matter the amount of likes or watches or favs or whatever you get, that will never change the fact that your artwork is valid and forever will be, so long as you yourself believe in it.5. Take time for yourself when you need it
Sometimes it's mentally and physically exhausting to try and keep up with your art, and sometimes a good confidence boost can come from taking a break from it all. What I mainly mean by this is allowing yourself to experience more than what's typical for you; take a break when you need to, go outside and take a breath of fresh air. Watch other artists stream or watch their speedpaint vids; see how they go about their own art process. Join groups of like-minded people and talk to them, try something entirely new, break your norm
even if its in a small way. Becoming stagnant can effect your artwork, and in turn that can effect how you view your artwork and your overall confidence in it, so it's good to get into the occasional habit to just do something different.6. Give yourself credit: be proud of your accomplishments.
Art is a uphill learning curve that remains consistent no matter where you are experience wise, so I think it's important for you to keep in mind the things you have
a accomplished and how far you've come. Like I said earlier, it's never a bad thing to know your weaknesses, but it is when that's all you focus on and bash yourself down because of them. Don't just
focus on what you can improve on, take the time to acknowledge things about your work you're proud of. It doesn't have to be anything monumental either, just a simple something you like about your work. Maybe you like the way you draw your hands, maybe you like your overall style of writing. Perhaps you're having a hard time with a particular subject, but you acknowledge that it's become somewhat easier to tackle now. No matter what it is, take pride in the work you've done, the work you're doing, because you've made it this far, and that's always something to celebrate. You are own biggest critic, but let yourself be your biggest cheerleader too.
I kinda struggled with putting down my thoughts into words here so I hope it makes sense at least somewhat. But bottom line: having confidence in your work, in yourself, it isn't the easiest thing to do. But it's always worth working toward. Don't be afraid to make mistakes but don't just hurt yourself for them: mistakes are always a learning opportunity, and sometimes it's the only way to learn. Take a break from things if you need it; sometimes all you need is a breather to refresh your point of view. Try not to doubt yourself so often; you are capable of far more than what you currently believe, but you can't reach those heights if you sit on "what ifs" and fear. And that's always the hardest part, but that's okay: let yourself be scared, but don't let that stop you from moving forward.
You are good enough, you are not a fake, you are an artist.
...Sorry if I got a little cheesy there but, yhuh. uwu
Keep on truckin, my dudes! I hope this was at least a bit helpful! <: