Artists, writers, composers and other creatives often tell me about their doubts. They wonder if their art is good enough, if they are on the right path, if they will eventually succeed. My best advice is to keep doing the work.
When you are outside the creative process, your doubts and fears can overwhelm you. It is only from the inside, when you are actually writing or composing or making art, that you find the necessary confidence to keep going.
If you’re discouraged about your progress in the art world, let your art-making remind you of what really matters. If you’re overwhelmed with challenges in your personal life, let your art-making center you. If you’re in doubt about your own work, remind yourself of its value by making more of it.
So many artists grew up in a family of doubters. Studying art or music isn’t practical, they told you; you can do it as a hobby after you get a real job. Artists who manage to pursue an art career in spite of such advice still hear those voices. Continuing to make art is the best way to silence them.
It has never been easy to sustain a life as an artist. But if you have chosen to do so, nurture yourself by honoring the art-making process. When your life is complicated, getting back into the studio will simplify it.
Building your confidence is an incremental process, so find time every day to work on your art. If it has been a long dry spell, take baby steps. Ten or twenty minutes at first, then an hour, then an afternoon. Don’t judge those early results too harshly.
Just let yourself get back to it.
Mary Edwards, Ph.D
Career & Life Coach for Artists
“Left Brain Skills for Right Brained People”
As an artist coach, I bring a unique combination of business knowledge, art world experience, and professional coaching skill to my practice.