Struggling with Confidence in My Art, and How I Plan on Getting Out of It

by Jessica

Things have been a bit of a struggle lately. I’ve been feeling really insecure about my art, and the changes it’s going under. My art has had a kind of cohesive style for the last 2-3 years. It’s been dark and moody and has looked a lot like space, to pretty much sum it up. This style has given me a lot of things. It gave me my first sales in my shop, it gave me pretty much all of my followers on Instagram and Twitter, and in a way it has given me a lot of friends through the people who I have found through those followers.

But I was getting sick of it. I was feeling like I was creating pretty much the same thing over and over and over again, and I didn’t find much joy in creating. Which is part of the reason I took a long break from art around December-January (I think? I can’t really remember haha). When I got back, I tried new things, but they still very much had the kind of glitchy vibes as what I had been creating previously.

My last post actually documents the start of a real change to my style. That is, when I finally started making abstract collages. This was something I had been wanting to try for quite some time, but hadn’t (for various reasons, mostly procrastination). And I enjoyed it so so so so much at the start. It started with traditional collages, but turned into digital collages pretty quickly.

The thing is, I’m still unsure and insecure if this collage path is something I really want to go down. I’ve become obsessed with so many other collage artists that I just constantly want to create more collage, but then again, I tend to do that with everything. So far this year I’ve had reeeeeally strong urges to quit digital stuff entirely and start drawing, or doing embroidery full time, or just focusing all my efforts on 3D softwares. The end results is that I’ve done a little bit of everything.

But I have this idea that if I just focused on one thing for a bit, I would grow a lot more than I do when I’m dabble the way I do now. What I’ve realised is that this thought of needing to decide on one technique/expression is actually putting a lot of unnecessary pressure on both me, my art, and my growth. I think in the long run it is stifling my creativity more than that glorified sense of focus could ever increase my growth.

Which is why I’m going to stop pressuring myself to “make up my mind” and things like that, and try to embrace that I’m a bit of a dabbler. I’ve actually realised this before, a few years back when I decided I was just going to focus on digital art for a month. While I made a lot of digital art, I didn’t really have the amount of new ideas I usually have, and I remember writing a blog post back then where I said something along the lines of how I need the different techniques and that I transfer ideas from technique to technique – that’s how I stay inspired and keep renewing myself. That might also be why I was getting tired of constantly making digital art in a similar style, I wasn’t really branching out into other techniques and never really recharged my creative energy by experimenting with new ways to express myself.

So that’s how I’m going to ease the pressure a little bit, and I hope that the insecurities can go away as I feel less pressure for every step along the way to be perfect. Maybe these abstract collages are what I’m meant to be making for a while, just to learn things and have ideas for what I’m going to be making down the line. Maybe they don’t have to be perfect.

But then I again I also think I really like them, and that I just get insecure due to the fact that I imagine people expect me to do one thing, and then I do something different. I don’t handle that kind of thing in a great way, yet. Maybe I’ll figure that out some other day.

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Dirk September 16, 2019 - 11:18 am

Hey Jessica,
I’ve been following your Insta for a while and have observed this change. I don’t think you should be insecure about it at all. Many artists transform and evolve throughout their journeys, and that’s a good thing! The important part is to maintain your own identity throughout. Your recent collage work, though it is technically and visually very distinct from your previous work, still feels like its coming from the same place. It doesn’t feel disjointed in your feed. I would encourage you to keep working in this new medium. And there’s no reason you can’t return to your previous style now and again as well. You have range while maintaining a personal aesthetic across it all. That’s something that art directors will be excited about even as your range grows. Be encouraged!

Jessica October 1, 2019 - 5:39 pm

Wow, thank you SO much for such a lovelylovely comment! This really made my day!


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