Overcoming Self Doubt – Nicholas Wilton – Ep 50
October 5, 2022
ON TODAY’S EPISODE
The more we stay in our art, the easier it is to make it. But what happens when life gets in the way? How do we overcome self-doubt and get back in the studio after a break? What happens when you’ve been out of your studio for weeks, and your gallery just decides to show up? The last one is not rhetorical. What could have been a crisis turned into a wonderful moment of self-reflection and empowerment. Join me for that story and the valuable lessons it taught me about my art practice.
Listen if you are interested in…
- The power of staying in it and fighting insecurity [2:17]
- The art journey is all about momentum [15:04]
- Finding the courage to become ourselves [25:26]
It’s better than you think
When the busyness of life comes at us, it’s easy to feel like we are stuck on the outside of our art-making. Long amounts of time away from our studio causes a distortion in reality where we feel like our work is much further off than it actually is. We become untethered and start to dread returning to our art. When my gallery stopped by for a surprise visit, it forced me to face these insecurities head-on. I had to actually show up in the space and be with my art. I had to see it at face value. When I did, something amazing happened: I got fired up. Sure, there were unfinished paintings. And some that may never be. However, things were WAY better than I thought they were. My art wasn’t bad. My avoidance of my art was creating an unnecessary problem that kept getting bigger in my mind until I confronted it. Life happens. It’s unavoidable. But if we integrate our life and our art so that one thing feeds into the other, we can maintain a healthy perspective.
Confidence comes from the journey
Where does an artist’s confidence come from? Is it their skill? The number of shows they’ve done? The number of paintings sold? Success in the art world can be as fleeting and subjective as the paintings we make. You could sell every piece you create and still lack the confidence you feel other artists have. The key to confidence as an artist is the journey, and no two paths are the same. The longer we stay on the path, trusting ourselves to find the way, the more confidence we will gain in the decisions we make in our studio and the art that comes out of it. I felt so confident talking to my gallery owner’s daughter about my art because it made me realize that I’ve been doing this for a long time. All of these pictures are a part of a bigger sequence, and everything I’ve done so far is just building momentum that isn’t stopping anytime soon. I’ll be doing this right to the end, and it’s just going to get better.
Show up and be yourself
The most important thing you need to do while you’re here on this planet is to become yourself and show the world who you are. Art is what happens when you stop trying to fit yourself into something external and completely let go. It’s not just a career choice. For me, it’s the coolest choice! We get the opportunity to progress, evolve, and find all of the things we really love just to bring them to life in our art. We don’t make art to fit in. We make art because it provides us with the total freedom to be ourselves and express that. Sometimes that takes courage. Fear and self-doubt can be powerful obstacles, but if we commit to showing up, again and again, even when we feel unsure, we’ll find our voice and set it free.
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the founder of Art2Life.
With over 20 years experience as a working artist and educator, I’ve developed a systematic approach that brings authenticity, spontaneity and joy back into the creative process.