Ep 99 Featured Image Podcast

Rising Above Unbelief – Nicholas Wilton – Ep 99

September 13, 2023


A big theme that comes up frequently for the artists I work with is the idea of believing in yourself. Specifically, believing in yourself when others don’t. It’s completely understandable to care about what others think. Human beings are hardwired for community, after all. However, we can’t let someone else’s negative take keep us from the life we’re supposed to live and the art we’re supposed to make. Join me as I share a handful of thoughts to help you rise above the unbelief of others and overcome paralyzing fear in your art practice. 

Listen if you are interested in…

  • The universal experience of rejection [2:16]
  • Putting ALL of yourself on the canvas [8:22]
  • How to bring depth to your work [11:28]
  • Seizing the opportunity of vulnerability [20:30]

Face rejection

We all remember the first moment we were left out. Maybe you were excluded from a birthday party as a kid. Or perhaps a recent painting didn’t make the cut for a gallery you were hoping to get into. No matter where it comes from, rejection is painful. I’ve spoken to countless artists with stories of a parent, teacher, or friend who made them feel incapable or unworthy. I have faced the sting of exclusion more times than I can count. Which is why one of the core values of Art2Life is inclusion. Everyone should have a seat at the table and be able to show up regardless of skill or background. The cool thing is, what some people see as a setback is actually an amazing opportunity to create deeply authentic and compelling art.

Normalize vulnerability

I think one of the hardest parts about experiencing the doubts of others is the alienation. It can feel so lonely when people don’t believe in us. Especially when we really care about what those specific people think. But the good news is we are not alone. Overcoming doubters is a part of anyone’s story who is trying something new. I’ve certainly had to do it in my own life, and it’s not easy. Art2Life wouldn’t even exist if I had bought into the initial criticism given to me. We have to normalize the vulnerability that comes with taking a risk and climbing out onto the skinny branches of life. It’s normal to feel exposed in the process of digging deeper into yourself and your work. You just have to push through!

Make peace with yourself

Along with vulnerability comes feelings of uncertainty. I say it all the time, but when you’re really doing this art thing right, you don’t get to know what the end result will look like. The best work comes from the most unexpected places. So what if I told you it’s good to feel uncertain? Or that the juxtaposition of confidence and vulnerability is where an artist really shines? You need ALL of yourself on the canvas. Work that holds more of you is going to be more like you. And if it’s more like you, then it’s going to be more unique. That’s the art business plan! People want art that is both deeply personal and completely different than anything else. Listen to this episode for more on rising above unbelief!

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Nicholas Wilton

Hi! I’m
Nicholas Wilton
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.

Join me and artists from all over the world in our Free Art2Life Artists Facebook Group or learn more here about Art2Life.

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