Is it wrong to be proud of the work you are creating? Does incorporating pride into your art practice make you an arrogant artist? On this week’s episode, I’m taking a deep dive into why pride can be one of the most helpful emotions in our art practice. We’ll dispel myths about pride and look at why choosing to be proud of your art is an incredible catalyst for growth.
Outline of This Episode
- [0:00] Recapping Growth Studio Week
- [3:00] The best feeling in the world
- [7:59] Balancing pride and the need for improvement
- [13:33] The power of pride in your art practice
We integrate what we celebrate
Being proud of yourself, in any capacity, is one of the best feelings in the world. So why do artists make pride in our work a taboo feeling? We often associate pride with arrogance. We’re even taught to suppress it. In an effort to practice humility and stay grounded, we end up throwing out an extremely healthy and useful emotion. By disallowing ourselves to feel pride, we deny ourselves the opportunity to feel good about something we have created. And by trying to “be good”, we dismiss our good actions and ideas unfairly. Refusing to acknowledge what we do well is buying into the idea that we are not good enough. The reality is we integrate what we celebrate in our art practice. If all we do is punish ourselves and never celebrate our successes on and off the canvas, we’ll stunt our growth.
Be the best boss
Imagine working at an office every day where none of your accomplishments are acknowledged. And any progress you do make is regularly dismissed and often demeaned. You’d probably quit right? At the very least, you wouldn’t be motivated to show up consistently or put forth your best effort. The same is true for your art practice! How can you expect to take your art to the next level if you’re intentionally holding it back? Our best work happens when we become a better boss over our studio. Allowing yourself to feel proud is your reward for the courage it takes to show up and do the work. Every artist has a laundry list of things they can improve in their art. Acknowledging what you are doing right does not make those things disappear but rather creates an environment where working toward them is fun.
Compounding pride and progress
One of the common fears we have as artists is that if we allow ourselves to feel pride in our work, we will start to think we’ve reached the height of our art-making and become complacent. Or we only reserve that feeling of pride for perfect paintings, and everything else is just a pile of mistakes. We often think we have to do something to earn a sense of pride. But it’s a feeling we generate from within by choice. Feeling proud is a gift you can give yourself at any time. When we feel proud of ourselves, we take actions that will bring us more of that feeling. By allowing yourself to feel proud of your paintings, you will create more paintings that you feel proud of. It’s all an upward spiral! Listen to this episode for more on incorporating pride into your art practice?