Confidence – The Artist’s Greatest Ally and Worst Enemy

Although artistic pursuits like crafting, art, writing, music, acting and any other creative endeavor have their differences, a unifying characteristic I see in each of them is the roles confidence plays in them.

Lack Thereof
Something I struggle with, and I know countless others do, is when they see a beautiful work, and grow discouraged when they look at what they can do. It’s so easy to fall into the old trap of “I can’t do something as great as THAT, so why bother trying?”

That’s actually what held me back the most from learning how to knit and crochet at first. I’d look at something like the below listing from a good friend’s shop and think, “That is so adorable. How could I ever get that good?”

From KitAndCorreal’s shop. Anigurumi Doe Deer

What I couldn’t quite wrap my head around at the time is that people skilled in their various crafts started out as novices, too. There was no way I’d ever find my own stride if I didn’t try.

Once I got the hang of various techniques, I finally got good enough to feel comfortable in offering things for sale, and this year, entering items into contests.

I’m still rather proud of this scarf, even though it was made quite a while ago, now. You can find it for sale here. I should experiment with this technique some more.

Appearance of Confidence
Of course, when an artist gets good enough at what they do, confidence will naturally follow. However, I’ve yet to meet a single artist, writer or anyone else in the creative world that doesn’t lack it from time to time.

Of course, that fact tends to get lost when you only see their finished works. I’ve found that it helps to know that even admired artists have their moments of insecurity regarding their crafts, and more of them than anyone else may ever know.

There’s also the fact that everyone has their off days.

Being acutely aware of my weak areas due to growing up with dyslexia, I’ve learned how to push through most of my personal blocks, but there are still days when I feel like nothing more than a colossal failure at life.

When self confidence dips to that level, I’ve discovered that I usually need to take a break and do something else. Sometimes, it’s something for me, sometimes it’s fulfilling a different responsibility and sometimes it’s something as simple as putting on some aromatherapy or fixing some tea to calm myself down.

We all want to be good at what we do, but we also need to remember that skill-building is a process. It goes far beyond than only learning the skills, as well. Sometimes, the biggest hurdles to leap are the psychological ones.

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