On the importance of self confidence for meandering art-makers

Something I’ve experienced personally, as well as a thing that comes up a lot amongst the creatives I’ve talked to over the years is lacking belief in oneself and one’s work.

I still suffer from pangs of low self confidence. Sometimes in the past it has been so crippling that I found it hard facing each day. Some days it still happens, but I’ve learned to get on top of it, and see things the way they are.

Self confidence is vital for anyone who wants to make any kind of a dent on the creative world, whether you provide a service or sell products to customers.

I’m not saying you need to be ragingly self-confident in all areas. No one is, and I view self confidence as something that will fluctuate continually, as well as a constant work in progress in different corners of your life.

I’m also not equating confidence with being overtly outgoing, cocky and laughing all the time. I can be a pretty serious sack of shit a lot of the time, but it doesn’t mean that I’m depressed or not feeling confident. I like being moody sometimes.

There is a lot to be said for a strong inner confidence, as well as an outer one. As a creative professional, this also means being confident in your work.

The higher your confidence, the more of an impact you will make.

If you find your confidence low for the majority of the time, you need to make a few changes.

Yes, creative types, like artists and illustrators, need to embrace a certain level of ‘melancholy’ and ‘darkness’ to encourage creativity and deeper thought. But it doesn’t mean you personally need to be a ‘tortured artist’ to create compelling work consistently.

Confidence seeps into all the things that are important. These include how you carry yourself and communicate with others, the extent to which you actively promote yourself to the world, how you keep motivated, not to mention the quality of your work itself.

A confident person makes for a bold identity and a distinguished creative style.

There are two areas of self-confidence that you need to build and be constantly nourishing over time:

  • Belief in yourself
  • Belief in your product (your art)

You get these two nailed, you will be unstoppable in life, let alone as a professional creative.

I go into detail on exactly how to grow and nurture both types of confidence in my new guide: The Indispensable Illustrator (applicable to all kinds of creatives).


  1. If you aren’t confident enough you wouldn’t be able to pull through some great master pieces. Your art somehow shows if you’re not confident hence we must put our best foot forward and let our confidence soar in. I am an amateur in acrylic painting and if I feel like I’m making a poorly painting, my self-esteem somehow lowers and I won’t be able to finish it any longer.

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