Are you new to lettering and/or art in general? Are you struggling in finding your voice? It’s easy to feel overwhelmed or feel like your art is not making an impact.
One of the biggest things many we creatives deal with is insecurity and a lack of confidence in showing the world our art. In today’s society, we receive opinions and feedback from others much quicker due to the pervasiveness of social media. That input of others can be both a blessing and a curse. There always seems to be a proverbial devil on our shoulder who quietly whispers doubt into our ear and can even cause us to shrink back when we don’t get immediate kudos for the things we put out for everyone to see.
So how do we build confidence so our creative voice has clarity?
Confidence is defined as “a feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities”. Here are some ways to build confidence:
1. Create something daily.
Creating daily can help fan the flame of self-confidence as an artist. Now, that challenge to daily create can be met with obstacles on some days…especially when you work a full-time 9 to 5 and/or you have others you’re responsible to care for. There are a couple ways I try to keep up on my skills and that is by having a sketch book, pencil and fine liner pens around at all time. I’ll keep one on my desk, in my purse or in my car. So, whenever an idea starts taking shape I am prepared to either jot the idea down or sketch it out. What if you don’t have a pen or pencil to write with at the moment inspiration strikes? You can instead use your phone to take a picture of it, make a digital memo or record your thoughts. Don’t forget to create just for you… it’s not always about putting it out there for the world to see. It can be just as gratifying to create something just for you.
2. Make a conscience effort to stop comparing your art with the millions of other artists who use social media.
This one is much easier for me to say, right!?! Weighing my art against other artists is a trap I’m prone to fall into. I start to believe the lie that I am less of an artist because Miss or Mr. So and So is creating at a far superior level or selling their art work successfully. By doing this we feed our insecurities and call into question our creative abilities. Let me say something to you about this (and remind myself at the same time)… You were NOT created to be like Miss or Mr. So and So. We each have unique traits, talents and artistic ability.
Others may have more experience at certain things, greater exposure, and more followers BUT that truth doesn’t negate the fact that your art has value and you have a creative voice worth being heard. Can I say that again? I think we need to hear it again and while I’m at it I’m going to encourage YOU to say this out loud right where you’re at:
My art has value and I have a creative voice worth being heard!
3. We need to be rooted in our purpose as a creative artist!
If we lose sight of our “why” we can end up going down a lot of rabbit trails and we then become a misrepresentation of our true selves. Do you get easily distracted with other creative artist and their unique style? When we get distracted we can sometimes think our art has to resemble others to be successful.
What’s the danger in this? We lose sight of our purpose as a creative and try to take on the identity of others.
I personally want my art to speak of hope and purpose. I have always known even since I was a little that my purpose for being was bigger than me. That I was endowed with a God-sized purpose for living. I may not have always known with great details how my purpose would flesh itself out but I have known without a shadow of a doubt that my purpose (my why) is to love God with my entire being in how I live, speak, act and think.
I know that has God has placed me on this earth for more than my own benefit. He placed me at this moment in time to create art that inspires people, encourages hearts and most importantly point others to God.
Action Point: Write down your “why” for being an artist.
As you become grounded in your purpose it will guide you and help you in finding your voice as an artist. Being rooted in your purpose will guide your decisions and give your art clarity.
4. Finally, we need to be willing to try new things and learn from it!
Two years ago, I never would have thought that I would be painting with watercolor or acrylics. Hand lettering was my initial jump into the creative pool if you will. However, once I went ahead and took a couple of classes to learn these other art forms I realized I really enjoyed them and then started integrating these new learned skills into my lettering. It really changed the way I looked at creating new pieces and gave me a larger palette to create from. So the encouragement for you is to try new things, be patient with yourself and keep creating even when it sucks. It takes time to develop in new endeavors…be OK with that and keep at it.
5. Take Some Classes Online or in person.
So to add to the number 4 above I want to mention that an awesome resource I go to find inspiration as an artist is Skillshare. Skillshare is my first go to because they offer a huge choice of amazing classes that nurture my desire to grow as an artist and entrepreneur. Watercolor, Acrylic, digital illustration are just a few of the classes I have taken on Skillshare. There are so many great instructors that can help you grow in your current skill set and also help you develop new found passions. Trust me you need to check it out! If you want to get a great deal just click on my affiliate link for an amazing deal Skillshare is offering right now for 30% off their annual Premium Membership. This is a phenomenal deal and it gives you access to such great content! One more thing…be willing to invest in yourself and your art…you can only benefit from it!
6. Take some time to write out your goals and your purpose as an artist.
Clearing your head and taking a step back from social media can help give you some perspective. This summer I took a 45 day break from Instagram to regroup and figure out what I really wanted to focus on. Taking time for me to think and write out your goals for your art/business is a great way to bring clarity and helps me to remember why I started designing. Sometimes we want to do all the things because we see everyone else doing them. We need to keep in mind that we need to be who God created us to be. We each possess something unique we bring to our art and to life in general and no one can take away from that. Be true to who you are and your unique voice.
7. Understand that it’s Ok to evolve in your pursuits.
Life is cyclical, we have seasons where our hearts pursue certain things, jobs, etc.
What may have been our passion 5 years ago may be different today. It’s OK if that happens.
For me as an artist I have seen my heart’s focus and interest expand and even try new things.
Maybe today you’re making art but possibly in a few months or a year from now you may want to teach art or create an online course.
Lean into your gifts and passions. Recognize when the things that used to bring you joy no longer do.
It even may be just indicative that you need a break and not necessarily need to give something up altogether.
As a Christian and believer in God leading my life, I always want to be in step with God’s heart. I want my art and my pursuits to make a lasting difference.
I hope my words encouraged you, inspired you today. In closing, I just want to encourage you to keep seeking and pursuing your passions especially when it comes to finding your voice artistically. Don’t give up on your art. Make a list of small steps you can take today to get you a little closer to where you want to be. Remember, you never stop being a student when it comes to life… I really believe that! The plus side to having this perspective is that it means you’re always teachable, willing to learn and grow. If you want to chat or have a question about anything I’ve shared, please feel free to contact me here.