There is nothing worse than losing confidence in your creativity. You feel lost, scared, frustrated, depressed and even worse…you feel like giving up.
I just talked to two artists who were at this point and the tone of their voices told the whole story.
Each had been in an open studio situation where the other artists were selling while their work received compliments but no sales.
Their self-talk went from questions about their artistic ability to berating themselves as an individual and as an artist.
What am I doing wrong?
Not sure I will ever paint again
I was so stupid to think I could sell my work
I knew I wasn’t a real artist.
I am so depressed I just want to throw away all my supplies
If these sound familiar consider yourself normal.
So what do you do when this happens…and it will happen during your life as an artist. This is part of life and dealing with it is part of growing as an artist.
First, acknowledge your frustration and disappointment. Don’t try and keep it a secret or pretend you don’t feel that way.
Second, this may sound silly but it works…if you are in a place where you can scream, let out your feelings. This is like the value on a pressure cooker….you are letting off steam and letting off steam is healthy.
Third, go for a long walk. Think, talk, ask questions and see what feelings come up.
Fourth, look at your work. Do you like it? Are you proud of what you have created? This usually brings you back to who you are and why you paint. The reality of your creativity is sinking in that yes, you love your work and you love to create.
Fifth, share your feelings of frustration and disappointment with someone you trust. Someone who will listen without judgement.
Losing confidence in your work happens to all artists at one time or another. It is hard to weather the storm alone. Give yourself a pep talk and get back in the studio. It is like getting back on the horse after a bad experience.
Anna Freud said it best…
I was always looking outside myself for strength and confidence but it comes from within. It is there all the time.