Have you ever lacked self-confidence as an artist? Boy I have…and do! After all, art is a direct reflection of yourself and you don’t want someone criticizing your art, which means they are criticizing you. In high school, a teacher told me I would never make it as a journalist and I should choose another major. Talk about stabbing me in the heart! I no longer had the confidence to be a journalist, so I did not pursue it. All it takes is one teacher to humiliate you or say the wrong thing to rob you of your confidence and deprive you of your dreams.
I have always liked to draw. I went to college at the University of Florida and I decided to major in architecture–a form of art that paid a lot more than if I were a starving artist. That major was short lived, as well as about six other majors. Finally, I decided to major in fine arts during a time when computers were being introduced and graphic arts was a up-and-coming career. I met my first husband, quit school, and got married.
Fast forward many years and I started scrapbooking to save memories of my family. I learned about Copic markers and started making cards. I became a craft-o-holic. For the longest time, however, I did not show anyone what I made. I was embarrassed and afraid they would think it was ugly or not good enough. What is good enough? I liked it, sure, but I would look at my friends’ projects and always thought they were better than mine. I did not have confidence in myself. But how do you get confidence back?
I found a great blog article by a psychologist, Dr. Gomez, who specializes in helping artists [re]gain their confidence. I could relate to so much of what she said. I have a great support group (a shout out to my girls at Creative as I Want to Be and the Loopies), and I am understanding that practice and lifelong learning are keys to developing confidence. Once you are confident in yourself, people will look to you for help and you can make a difference in someone’s life.
A couple months ago, a friend contacted me about a design team position open with my favorite stamp company, Magnolia-licious. I told her there was no way I would be selected. But there was a group of ladies who had faith in me, were confident in my abilities, and convinced me to give it a shot. I sent pictures of my cards and sure enough, I was selected for the team. I still struggle with confidence and ask my friends what they think before I submit a project…but I keep reminding myself that there are people who are confident in me…I might as well be confident in myself.
Remember there is only one you…you are the only one with your talents…don’t be afraid. Be confident and show the world what you can do.