Lately I’ve been feeling a bit overwhelmed by all of the things that I want to do. I’m always in my head, sticking and moving from one thought or idea to another. The last few weeks have been an intense period of introspection for me, as I’ve been trying to figure out my goals and intentions as an artist. Honestly I think I have been pondering and planning for years, I need to do more action. How long have I been saying that? How long have YOU been saying that to yourself about something you’ve been wanting to do? I think we can agree that we aren’t getting any younger, and we’re probably already at the point to do SOMEthing, even if that means focusing on developing our skills.
So what stops us? Fear, doubt? An external source? Personally, I do suffer from a lack of confidence and fear sometimes. But I’m not exactly scared of failing, I’m scared of doing well. Sounds pretty dumb, I know, but it’s true. At the same time though, there is a certain fear of NOT living up to my potential too so you can imagine the internal struggles that may go on. However, I found a little nugget of encouragement that I thought was worth sharing. Thanks to a wonderful and informative blog called Artsy Shark, we are given a few reminders to help get over the doubt that we sometimes face as artists.
Keep these five things in mind the next time you suffer a lack of confidence in your art career:
- You are your own best advocate. Even if you hire people to do your promotion and marketing, you alone are the most passionate about your success. Use this drive to speak about yourself and your work proudly. If you have trouble putting your thoughts into words, work on a written summary of your business which is a sentence or two long. Practice this until you are clear that you can quickly recall it. This is called an “elevator speech” because it is short enough to be spoken during an elevator ride. Use it during conversations with people you meet – you never know who could be your next great contact!
- Success breeds success. Once you get a few sales or shows under your belt, things come more easily. Getting out of the starting gate can be tough and take a toll on the ego, especially when you are faced with rejection. Don’t give up on pursuing the ice-breaker which will help you get a foothold and build your confidence and your business.
- Attitude is everything. Think and act successfully. This doesn’t mean that you aren’t being honest; it means that you believe you are an artist with talent who is working on a career in your field. Give yourself credit for all your efforts. Be kind to yourself and cultivate friends who also believe in you.
- There is support for you. I speak with experts all the time who are decision-makers and have the power to advance the careers of artists. Despite seeming heartless to those who are rejected, many of these people have gone out of their way to express how they wish to support and encourage artists. Quite a few of them have been in your shoes. Even though they may not choose your work because it doesn’t fit their needs at the time, don’t take it personally.
- Don’t give up. I firmly believe the most important characteristic for an artist to have is Persistence. Learn from your mistakes, raise the bar on your quality, improve your efforts. And continue to pursue opportunities. They will come.
Today this post was for me just as much as I intended it for you readers out there. Reread these tips or print them out if you have to! I plan to use them to help me turn my energy towards being more productive and encouraged.