I hear constantly of artists beating themselves to a pulp with negative words. This is a downward spiral to which I am not immune. However, I’ve learned to deal with the good and bad. Oh and believe me it takes effort.
How would you feel (as a hard working artist) upon discovering a young artist fresh out of art school, who has bigger and better paintings than you do? You three choices in this situation. 1. Be pissed off and say “I suck, I’m going to throw away all my brushes….(not an option really).” 2. Nitpick the hell out of the person and/or their work… 3. Do something more constructive….. “He or she is great!”
By choosing the more positive response in that situation, the subconscious mind reads great artists get praise. Therefore, being a successful artist imprints a positive image. Basically, do unto others as others do unto you is not just an old adage. It works. If you beat others up mentally, you are more likely to beat yourself up, as well as imprint a negative image towards successful artists.
A perfect example is beating up Thomas Kinkade…. Come on, I know you heard other artists speak of him right? “He’s too this, he’s too that, he sucks.” What sucks about him the most? That he has his own cloying little gallery in every town in America? He’s a household name? He made his living from painting?
Oh, for shame! You wouldn’t want that for yourself would you? To be well known, make a living off of art or have a gallery in every town? Nah, you couldn’t want that…. right? (Sarcasm alert.)
Focus on the positive.
It is not enough to say this person is great, you need to mean it. Why did this particular artist grab you so much? What was it about the work? Was it the colors, the technique, the subject matter? Was it the artist’s good sense of marketing, manner, professionalism? All of the above? If it was all of the above, which was the one that grabbed you first? Focusing on the positive works even on art that is of questionable quality. Admire the artist’s marketing skills that managed to fool the art curator to get the art in!
By focusing on the good stuff about a successful artist, gives your mind a positive image of success. Ultimately, in doing so builds your confidence and self esteem.