Fears as an Artist: How to Deal

There are so many fears when you’re an artist: will people like my art? Will my art get stolen online? What if I get cancelled as an artist?

42 min. video

This video explains how to overcome these inevitable fears so that they don’t get in the way of our studio practice.

Discussion led by Art Prof Clara Lieu and Teaching Artists Cat Huang and Jordan McCracken-Foster.

Jordan McCracken-Foster
Jordan McCracken-Foster

Video Walkthrough

  • What if my work is a waste of time?
  • The majority of artwork we make will not be our best work, that’s impossible for any artist to do.
  • Even working in a media that is unrelated to your main studio practice is valuable to expand your skills.
  • Learning anything new as an artist will have a learning curve, that time invested to learn new skills will ultimately pay off!
  • What if my skills aren’t good enough?
  • Developing your skills is ongoing, you will do that the rest of your life as an artist.
  • You don’t have to be a complete master of Adobe Premiere to be able to make the work you want to make.
  • As long as your skills are “good enough” to server your needs as an artist, working at the highest level possible is not necessary.
  • Target the skills that you really want to focus on to make it concrete.
  • Telling yourself you want to improve at drawing is a good start, but try to break down the specific skills you can to directly address.
  • Try redoing an artwork that perhaps you weren’t totally happy the first time through.
  • You can think about what you want to improve upon, and it’s great evidence of what you have learned since creating the first artwork.
  • Unfortunately with the Internet, it is very easy for someone to download an image of your artwork and use it without your permission
  • To combat this, try to build up a “history” and substantial online record of your work so you have evidence of that work.
  • If you don’t post your artwork because you’re worried about someone stealing it, it will be much harder for you to prove anything that is stolen is yours.
  • When you decide to move your art practice into the professional world as an artist, you have to make tough decisions about finances.
  • Many people don’t jump into being a full-time artist because it’s a big risk financially.
  • Most people expand their professional work as an artist incrementally until they are more established.
  • Consider that you can do work 1) for free if you truly believe in the work, 2) work for less in order to gain visible career advancement, or 3) work simply to get the paycheck.
  • Increased visibility as an artist means there is a higher risk of getting cancelled.
  • You have to be careful what you say!

Mia’s Tips

Mia cartoon PNG

I totally understand the fear and feeling that art should feel professional even during the creation process.

Mia Rozear

I honestly think that any way an artist can make work and still feel creatively inspired is a win– so many “professional creatives” are so burnt out they never make any work outside of their jobs!

You’ll find that when you create when it comes naturally, it’ll always maximize the end result.

Artists mentioned

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Nostalgia, Graphic Novel by Cat Huang
Cat Huang

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