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Artist Confidence Confession
Confession: I struggle big with having confidence in my own artwork. Sometimes, I make something and I throw it in the closet because I think it’s so bad. I am so critical of myself and my own work, value, and worth as an artist. The reality of this never hit me until recently when I began reading The Artist’s Way and working along with it in the accompanying workbook. While it is helping my confidence it sure is also an emotional rollercoaster!
The worst part of all my negative self-talk is that 6 months or a year later when I clean out that closet, I find all the things that I threw in there. Those things I was so disgusted with because “it looks like a small child painted this” or “this is trash” or many other millions of negative things. You want to know something? Almost every time I uncover my embarrassing stash of “crap” art, I pull out piece after piece and loooooove almost every single one. Those finds boost my confidence and stroke my artist ego, I won’t lie, but it’s short lived.
Even when people pay me compliments on my work, on those rare occasions that I do actually share it, I almost don’t believe them. I love these people and I don’t admit that lightly. It’s not that they are untrustworthy or any such thing, it’s just that the self-esteem in this area is SO lacking, that I can’t hear them over my own protesting thoughts. That probably sounds downright crazy town, but ya know, I’m working on my vulnerability too. I’m actually glad I made that post about being vulnerable before I ever got this book and started working through it. Obviously, I knew I was having an issue there long before I looked to heal that part of myself.
I’ve spent the last few years remaking myself, rebuilding my self-esteem, recovering my mental and physical health, changing my thought patterns, and giving back to myself for the first time in my adult life. This is definitely a HUGE part of that journey. It’s become my ritual, my habit, my new normal to do something every day to better myself. It doesn’t have to be big or obvious to anyone else, but it makes all the difference to me.
Working on loving myself, will translate into loving my art, or at the very least liking it enough to share it with others. I want to make something….something amazing, and just stand back and be proud of it. And I want to be proud of it before anyone else even sees it or has a chance to compliment it. I know that confidence is coming, but it’s hard to get there.
The steps in the book really make you look at your whole life, examining why you have blocks, why you are a “shadow artist” or critic of others who are practicing your chosen art. I can think back to many scarring things that were said or done to me that would definitely leave some mental blocks regarding creativity and the creative process in general. I can think of two just really, REALLY good ones that propelled me forward too. All in one section of the book you’re looking at complete trauma and complete elation. As I said: roller coaster.
I hope you’re ready to go on this ride with me. I’d love to connect with other people out there who are reading it too. If that’s you, let me know! I will do it alone if I must, but I think it would be more fun to have some friends along with me.