Feeling Good About Your Art

Does your confidence as an artist need a boost? Quiet those voices of self-doubt with these seven helpful ideas:

  • Look through someone else’s eyes. Anytime I have a painting I think is absolutely atrocious, I invite one of my friends or family members into my studio and let him or her ooh and aah over it. That kind of response always helps to reaffirm my faith in my artistic abilities.
  • Find a bad example. Look for an artist who works in the same or a similar style to you and has “made it,” yet in your eyes somehow falls short of your artistic standards. Tell yourself, “If he can make it, so can I!”
  • Reference pieces of the past. Bring out your earliest works and stand them next to your current work. Just seeing the progress you’ve made is a real morale booster.
  • Know thyself. Try experimenting with the techniques of another artist you admire–it’s a great way to expand your creativity and keep things fresh. Just don’t lock yourself into painting a certain way because you think that’s the key to success.
  • Catch your breath. Whether it’s an hour, a day or even a week, take some time off and don’t even think about your art. Putting a little time and distance between you and your work enables you to return to your art refreshed.
  • If at first you don’t succeed … No doubt you fell down the first time you tried to walk, but you picked yourself up when you fell, learned what to do and tried again. The artistic process shouldn’t be any different.
  • Finally, remember that you’re never alone. There are plenty of us out here struggling to make a living doing what we love.

Catherine Anderson is a signature member of the National Watercolor Society, Watercolor West and the Rocky Mountain National Watermedia Society. Visit her Web site at www.catherineanderson.net.

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