In my first blog post I wrote that in order to become a successful artist you need to free yourself from self imposed constraints and let yourself sink to the very bottom for the sake of creating meaningful art. But In this next piece I will talk about something you will need to fight for to become a successful artist: confidence.
By default, every artist is blocked. As a writer you can't think of anything to write. As an actor you keep stumbling through some lines that just don't seem to ring with truth anymore. Every creative has blocks they must overcome nearly all the time. You hit a wall and then start to question your talent. Working as a filmmaker, this happens to me nearly every day. I start to question if I really have it in me to do the work ahead of me or if I'm talented enough.
So everyone has their blocks but how do you get the confidence to tell yourself that "I'm a great artist and even though I'm struggling now I'll eventually overcome this road block and create something great."
It seems like a paradox that you both need to let yourself become vulnerable to misery and also at the same time gain confidence in your art. I think it is one. It's a tricky balancing act that takes a lot of practice. It's difficult because you need to both be terrified of being a crappy artist while also having extreme confidence in your abilities.
I often experience it in this way -- I feel both miserably low and at the same time extremely confident that I'm a great artist. When I was writing my feature length rom com script, which i finished recently, I went through trials and tribulations too horrific to write about! I felt like the most untalented writer on the planet! I felt horrible up until the very moment I finally overcame a block and solved the emotional truth of a scene or sequence I was trying to write.
One thing I suggest is to psych yourself up. Tell yourself all day every day that you're an amazing artist. The greatest artist. Keep telling this to yourself. I even write these things down and paste them on my walls to remind me every day that I'm a great artist. I like to joke around about that because it doesn't sound like I have so much humility. But who cares what people think about you? Tell yourself that you're great over and over and believe in it. If you listened to your critics you would never get anything done. Psych yourself up. Don't be afraid of becoming arrogant. It's not arrogant to believe in yourself. It's only arrogant if you put down others, which is not the point of this exercise.
Finally, you need confidence because nobody will look at your artwork unless you believe in it. If you don't believe in your work, no one else will either!