We all lose confidence. It happens. Either we have others influence us, or we simply doubt what we are capable of.
I, like you, have had people tell me things that tore my confidence down. Like the time my drawing teacher waltzed me out of class saying "Sweetheart, this clearly isn't for you." Did drawing become a passion of mine? No. Never was, and this comment certainly didn't help.
I'd like to say it was the pivotal comment that had me turn away from my love of drawing, but that's not how it was. I drew things because I needed to express something in pictures which was easier than trying to explain it. But drawing was never my first love. It is more of a utility than anything else. And I'm okay at drawing. I can express what's on my mind through images.
When I decided to go full time into my painting career, it was not from a desire to draw, but a curiosity about painting. How could I get to the painting process without drawing? I didn't focus on drawing. Drawing is not the point of my art. Colour is. Depicting realistic images is. Expressing a mood and feeling is definitely the focus.
I know that if I had to draw the flowers that I paint, I would not be an artist. I'm not willing to spend 20 hours drawing a flower onto my canvas before I can dive into painting it. I'll spend 30 hours, 50 hours painting it - no problem. Like this 39 x 39" Painting of a peony.
So where is the thing that has you stop? What's the barrier to you making your art? Where do you lose confidence?
(I'm really asking you this.... so pause for a moment and consider the things that are stopping you.)
I looked for ways to get to the painting process quickly and in my case the projector was the solution. I project my image on to the canvas so I can get right to the painting process. Now some would criticize me for this. There is a bias in the art world that if you use a projector, or an image to work from, or some other technology that you are 'cheating' somehow. Not a real artist simply because you aren't free handing everything you create.
This bias is the problem. This measurement that we aren't a real artist unless we do things in a certain way.
I'm kind of done with the judgement. I want to encourage you to be done with it also. This is your life, your creative life. What is the thing that has you lose confidence? Find a way around it. You do not have to get stuck at this hurdle. Your art is the point and whatever process you need to create it, is your privilege to decide and use.
Maybe the fire and passion for your work hasn't kindled strongly yet, For me, I have a fierceness about what I'm spending my life energy doing. I'm not really open to other people or ideas telling me I'm wrong. I trust that the fire in my belly, which inspires me to create, is a more trustworthy source to follow.
Where do you lose your confidence? Stop it. Decide what you want. Learn the skill you need. Find another way. Use your creativity to help you design a way that works for you. Your creative urges are the point and what you contribute is valuable and necessary.
As I see all the challenges we are facing socially and globally, I know that falling into despair may be a part of the journey. I also know that my despair over the events of our current times is not going to help anyone. I will process it all and take care of my emotional/spiritual self along the way, however, what I can do is keep my creative spirit alive and well. I can continue to contribute beauty and passion by producing my gorgeous paintings.
I'm reaching thousands of people through my social media channels. One painting received over 6500 reactions. Each one of those reactions is evidence that my work affected another human being.
I don't really care if I'm criticized for using a projector because the end result is that my work is brightening the lives of people all over the world. The ripple effect of that is unmeasurable. I feel blessed to do the work that I do and grateful for the gifts I've been given.
You, your art, your desire, are also a part of this. What you contribute is necessary and important. I'm repeating myself here, for a reason. Judgment, comparison, lack of confidence are all things that are stopping you from sharing your gifts. Set these limitations down, don't give them any attention. Find a way to allow yourself to create and share it with everyone you know. You will have a positive impact and you will inspire other people to meet their day with a bit more hope, a bit more joy, a bit more encouragement.
This is what we do as artists. It's not necessarily about what we make, but what we inspire in others. Please find a way to continue to produce what you feel inspire to.
Namaste my dear friend.