Staying True to Your Own Vision (Regardless of What Other People Think) – EP 302

As artists, we know the feeling of putting our heart and soul into a piece of work, only to second guess ourselves and worry about what others might think. It’s a common struggle we all face! But it’s important to remember that art is subjective, and the only opinion that truly matters is our own. On this episode, we will explore the struggle of staying true to our vision, how to overcome it, and other ways to embrace our authenticity while creating without fear.

Outline of This Episode

  • [2:01] The pressures of needing others’ approval
  • [9:13] The negative impacts of seeking external validation
  • [12:19] The role of self-doubt in the art-making process
  • [25:03] Recap and final thoughts

Fall in love with your art…AGAIN!

It feels AMAZING when other people love our work. So much so the validation we receive from others can oust our inner voice and chaotically direct our art practice if we’re not careful. Every time we look to others to tell us that we’re good enough, we train our brains to look outside ourselves to get information about our opinion. We can’t trust ourselves, so we need external validation to tell us if our work is good or sometimes even finished. Every time we pick up a brush, we can palpably feel the pressure to create a perfect painting. Our marks no longer belong to us because every decision is based on whether someone else will like them. It’s not until we take a step back and focus on our enjoyment of the process rather than seeking validation from others that we will rediscover our passion for the work and fall in love with art again.

Don’t stifle your creativity

Seeking validation from others can have several negative effects on the creative process. One way it can hinder creativity is by limiting the themes or styles you are willing to explore. Certain things will feel off-limits because they aren’t trending, even if the technique or subject matter is perfect for you. Another way seeking validation from others can hinder the creative process is by preventing artists from taking risks. If you’re constantly worrying about what others think about your art, you’ll be less likely to take chances and push boundaries. This leads to a lack of experimentation and growth as an artist. It sucks the passion and excitement out of your work. Ultimately, seeking validation from others can be a major barrier to creativity. It can prevent you from fully embracing your own unique vision and voice. It’s important to remember that your opinion of your work is the most important. Focus on creating for yourself above all else, and everything will fall into place.

Define success for yourself

Declaring that you are an artist is a bold and courageous step on the art-making journey. However, if you’re not prepared for the copious opinions that will be likely hurled in your direction, it could send you down a path you don’t want to go. Everyone has their own definition of the word artist. Those millions of definitions are compounded by the millions of definitions of what it means to be a successful artist. So if you haven’t specifically defined what it means for you to be a successful artist, you will turn into a puppy running through a field of a thousand rabbits. You’ll try to chase all of them, catching none, because there are so many distractions. You’ll pursue an avenue in your art practice only to change on a dime because you saw another artist’s Instagram post and all the validation they’re getting from doing something else. Don’t chase the social media rabbits! When you aren’t clear on what success means to you, your art will lack clarity and focus. Listen to this episode for more on staying true to your own vision!

Resources Mentioned on this episode

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