Becoming a More Confident Artist

Artists struggle with self-confidence all the time. Do you?

Seriously, as an artist, you are putting the most personal and vulnerable parts of yourself forward. Everybody has an opinion on your work and thinks they know better—and it’s easy to listen to them.

It’s certainly much easier than keeping the faith.

I know a photographer who recently showed his work to an editor. The editor advised the poor photographer to become a plumber!

He was devastated. Nevermind that he’s shot covers for nearly every fashion magazine and newspaper in London. Nevermind his education, years of apprenticeship, and gallery shows in the art world. One thoughtless comment brought him to his knees.

And we are all vulnerable.

Here’s what you can do to increase your self-confidence as an artist:

Every day, before you work on your business—the stuff that you really don’t like doing, those marketing tasks that you always put off, the tasks you wish someone else would do for you—take a minute to do this ritual.

Connect with that part of yourself that makes the art. Connect with your creativity, that part of you that flows. Find that voice within that insists you simply MUST be an artist.

From here, this place of your greatest strength and truest self, write down five reasons why you will succeed. It doesn’t matter if they’re simple or complex.

Once you’ve got them down, create an affirmation: “I am _____.” Not “I want _____,” not “I wish _____,” not “Please, God help me to _____,” but “I am.” And finish that sentence any way you wish.

I am an exhibiting artist who sells work consistently. I am building a collector base. I am having a solo exhibition. I am respected for my artwork.

Doesn’t that make you feel more ready to undertake your seemingly impossible marketing tasks? Just that one small step can make a huge difference.

Now get out there and make it happen!

Crista Cloutier is an artist who writes. She’s the founder of The Working Artist, online business program for visual artists of all media. Visit to join her mailing list and you’ll also receive a free gift.

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