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Confidence in Art

HippieVan at 12:00AM, Nov. 6, 2015

Art by Gunwallace

If anxious art exists, that’s what I make. Particularly in the early stages of a drawing I tend to be very tenuous and unsure of myself. I become more confident when I move into colouring, but that uncertainty is definitely reflected in the way my art looks. I tend to prefer mediums that allow me to do little fiddly work, like watercolours or cross-hatched pen and ink. I have a knack for pysanky! But I find large canvases and sweeping brushstrokes quite nerve-wracking. I don’t think my art is bad, but I’m never sure that I’ll be able to put a line in the right place when it comes down to it. I also feel that this is probably part of the reason that inking has never been my favourite part of comic-making (see my old newspost on it) – the best linework is steady and smooth, which is hard to achieve without a certain degree of confidence.

So where does confidence come from in art? To some extent it seems to be innate, the same way any kind of confidence can be innate. I’ve had friends here on DD – young friends! – who seemed to produce art effortlessly just because they had a belief in their own skills. And of course to a large extent it’s practice and pushing yourself to move outside of your comfort zone. In high school, my art teacher always pushed me to do larger pieces. I don’t feel that any of them were my best work, to be honest, but I do appreciate what he was trying to do. I imagine over time I could become more confident in larger works and different mediums, but whether I’ll go in that direction without someone looking over my shoulder is another matter.

Are you confident in your drawing? Have you become more sure of yourself over time? How do you feel your own confidence (or lack thereof) affects your work?

Have a comic milestone, a community project or some comic-related news that you'd like to see here? Do you have original art for our newspost image database? Send it to me via PQ or at hippievannews(at), or leave a comment below!



Whirlwynd at 4:22PM, Nov. 9, 2015

My confidence was pretty well destroyed by the few times my work reached an audience beyond the small communities I frequent and the response was laughter and commentary like "Your style is so ugly" and "You don't deserve the attention you're getting" It doesn't stop me from working, though. Sometimes commentary like that just makes me want to produce more out of spite. I won't get any better by quitting. And some people like my "ugly" style. Even me sometimes.

Trico at 3:13PM, Nov. 9, 2015

For me confidence comes in phases. When I start outlining and roughing out a page (really the most time consuming process of my whole workflow), I constantly doubt myself. It mostly gets better after finishing the backgrounds and is at an all-time high just before saving the final piece. A week later and I hate everything I've ever done before. Honestly, I've gotten much better since I started and by now I'm able to shrug this nagging feeling off. Still don't like to look at my earlier work.

plymayer at 12:10AM, Nov. 9, 2015

Confidence comes in part with practice. We have a lot of talented folks on DD and their improvement shows over time.

Unka John at 9:12PM, Nov. 8, 2015

Never confident in my drawing. Even less so in the story telling. I have an inability to tell if it is actually amusing.I only settle down at the inking stage. I guess that's why I've fiddled with the style so much. The brief, digital coloring experiment is about to come to an end already. Not liking the cliche done on a tablet web comic look.

Sway at 4:39PM, Nov. 8, 2015

I spend most of my time absolutely hating anything I create. IT'S PRETTY GREAT.

irrevenant at 5:25PM, Nov. 7, 2015

This is kind of an aside, but I have the same thing with making my first line go where I want. I find that the next best thing to having an 'undo' button is to 'pre-draw' the line a couple of times in the air just above the paper before committing. To answer the actual question, I personally try to address drawing like chess - play the best game you can at the time without stressing, then *after* the game analyse it for how you could have done better. (Of course, I'm not very good at chess, so take that with a grain of salt. xD)

Ozoneocean at 2:47AM, Nov. 7, 2015

Looking at my old work gives me confidence. I look at past pages and marvel at how great they are and I think "I MADE THAT! THAT WAS ALLLL ME! WOW!!!"... and yet when I'm halfway through a page I feel the opposite of confidence because of those very same pieces of finished work... They intimidate me and hang over me and I think that my best days are behind me and I will never be as good as I was back then ever again and maybe even the old pages were only a fluke afterall and I've been fooling myself and everyone else all along.

Gunwallace at 11:16PM, Nov. 6, 2015

How confident can I be when it's my art on the post? I hate drawing, and I'm never satisfied with my artwork, but if I didn't draw then I wouldn't get half the things I write done. I'd prefer it if everything I did was drawn by someone else. On the other hand, I think I'm getting better, but wish I hadn't spent 30 years not drawing, between the ages of 14 and 44. I am finding drawing quite therapeutic, but I'm sad I only get one more season of drawing while listening to Vin Scully commentate Dodgers games.

Z74 at 7:27PM, Nov. 6, 2015

I am my own worst critic , I build up this picture in my mind of what I want to draw and somehow I never quite pull it off . The thing is nobody but me knows what I was reaching for so they don't see how short I actually fell . That fact is what gives me at least a little confidence !

HippieVan at 10:05AM, Nov. 6, 2015

Sorry for the mis-sized image that was up initially! I don't know why I have such an issue with remembering to resize my newspost pictures.

KimLuster at 7:48AM, Nov. 6, 2015

My own mind hates me! If I'm ever too confident in anything, art included, I start to fail, often spectacularly!! The only chance I have is try find a zone where I sort don't care if I succeed or fail, sort of zen-like! That often works, but then, when I do succeed I sorta don't care! lol Catch-22!!

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