Attitudes, self-esteem and the newbie (or not so newbie) portrait artist.

Attitude and Self-Esteem

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What should an artist's attitude be?

It should be love, enthusiasm, passion and dedication. You have to love what you're doing, or else you won't last very long. Sometimes the process of creating art is difficult and a bit discouraging. Without love, you'd give up pretty quickly. You must love your art enough to weather the tough days.

You can't keep your interest in art alive by thinking about how much money you'll make, or how much praise or attention you'll get because of your talent. You may not always get these things, or may not get them when you think you should get them. So, you can't sustain yourself on that. What will sustain you will be your love and enthusiasm for creating art.

Self Esteem

Self esteem is when you have faith in yourself, and in your talent. You realize that you are unique, and that you have the potential to excel, in your own unique, special way. Needless to say, this healthy self-esteem should also be accompanied by a healthy dose of pragmatism. Just because you believe in yourself, it doesn't mean that you think you can do no wrong, or won't ever make mistakes.

Everyone is different

A universal truth in art (and in life) is that all artists are different. Some are better at using color, others are better at drawing realistically, or at composition, and on and on. We all are different, we all have our own unique artistic niche. You have yours, just like everyone else has theirs. Because every artist is different, it's pretty useless to start comparing yourself to the artists around you, trying to discern who is a "better" artist overall. Since everyone has different strengths and weaknesses, it isn't so easy to figure out who really is "better."

Besides, It's not about who is better than whom, it's about everyone being different from each other. Accept this. Work hard at improving yourself, rather than worrying about what everyone else is doing. After all, they are not you - they don't have the same unique qualities you do.

Self esteem and reality

While having self-esteem is a great thing, it is possible to have too much of a great thing! You shouldn't have so much self-esteem that you assume that whatever flows from your talented fingers will be automatically brilliant. It rarely works this way. A person with an ego this large will eventually face the harsh truth - they aren't all that fabulous all the time. Nobody is. They need to put some hard work into developing their talent. They need to be able to accept criticism. They need to steadfastly believe in themselves, while always realizing that there is room for improvement.

Having low self-esteem is no better than having too much self-esteem. If you are too afraid to stick your neck out and try, if you are convinced you will fail, how far can you go in developing your talent? Have more confidence in yourself. Every artist has their own unique gifts and strengths. If you are timid because of your low self-esteem, you will fail to cultivate these unique gifts. And what a terrible shame that would be.

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