Here's to confidence!

Overheard on the Titanic by Austin Kleon
I was introduced to an artist last week by the name of Austin Kleon. One of my other blogger/artist friends posted an article by him called How to Steal Like An Artist (and 9 Other Things Nobody Told Me).
I discovered that he is not only a poet but also creates newspaper blackout art. I found this idea of creating art/poetry by blacking out newspaper articles incredibly intriguing and thought it would be a fantastic prompt for beginning an artwork. Kind of like starting with the title first and developing the artwork around that. So I had to try it myself and it's not nearly as easy as it seems. Then again I am no poet!
 One of things he talks about in his list of "things" is something called imposter syndrome. I have never heard of this before but as I read about it I suddenly had a name to put to the feelings I have experienced as an artist for so many years. The clinical definition says something like a phenomenon where people are unable to internalize their accomplishments. They feel like a fraud and their work is just a sham. And this usually occurs in well educated people. So I guess I have that part going for me!
I think this blog has actually been a kind of therapy for me in that respect and I know that many artists must suffer from imposter syndrome just based on some of the art blogs I read and other artists that I've spoken to. It is all a matter of confidence I figure. I know that I have definitely gained confidence in my art since I've started my blog. And the whole point was to force myself to do more artwork. My own art production had completely stagnated and I had to jump in with both feet again and just do it. I previously thought that I was just being realistic about my art and my abilities and I thought so much about it I didn't make anything aside from occasional drawings for years. Now making art is practically all I think about.
So, here's to confidence!


  1. Bless you Laura! Love the artwork, I got a visual of the titanic instantly as I know the musicians kept playing as the ship went down. I don't mean this negatively, but rather what an amazing thing to choose to do at a time like that. To not think of yourself but make something beautiful for others in your last hours or minutes. I also totally identify with feeling like a fraud or not good enough or whatever! I love how you said that previously you thought that you were just being realistic about your art abilities and that's why you didn't make art often. I was like that too for so many years until I realised that it's so much less painful to make art, even bad art, than to suppress it. Not making art used to make me feel like my soul was dying. It probably was. Glad to be in a much better place these days! I'm off to read your links, thanks!

  2. Yes, exactly...I felt like my soul was dying! I was restless and still am. Only now it's because I can't wait to get back to my projects instead of sitting around thinking about it but doing nothing. You are amazing Kerri!!

  3. Laura, I hope you don't mind but I have blogged about this post of yours! Thanks for the inspiration x x

  4. Don't you love Kerri? She is a wise artist like you. I thought of the Titanic, too. I'm going to pop over and see what she says and look at her newspaper poetry. YOU are honest and fresh. LOVE that.

  5. Yes here is to confidence!And it hasn't got only to do with our art!It has to do with all aspects of our lives!People who don't feel self confidence do not realise how much they achieve in life,family,work,art,community! They have to be told all the time!Others who have an extreme ego and self confidence consider themselves champions in everything!Unfortunately I belong to the former but I am trying hard!My blog has helped me a lot as well!AriadnefromGreece!

  6. Ariadne- I agree that confidence plays a major role in all aspects of life. The people that I am drawn to the most and who I aspire to be like are the ones who have that perfect balance of confidence yet still remain humble.

    Pom Pom- Thanks!I'm going to go see Kerri's post too.

  7. this is such a huge topic you've brought up.

    when one has to have a job to pay bills, that is the beginning of the "snowball", making it difficult for one to believe in their art and do their art when the underlying message is that art is not valued.
    it's my huge beef with the education system (as you know).

    the trick is to believe in yourself and then you will have the courage and conviction to pursue your art.
    plus, of course, the more you do your art, the more you believe in yourself, thus creating a more positive "snowball"

    you're absolutely right about the "thinking": too much thinking usually leads to not doing.

    Wish we could all sit and talk about this one...

  8. Love this! Hate reading the newspaper makes me sad...but...you made me smile. Thanks

  9. Thanks for this post and the link to Austin and his work, you seem to have a knack at finding just the right blog at just the right time. I like your piece as well. I often feel like a fraud in both my artwork and my own paid work. I decided to get round my artwork by deciding it is just for me, in sketchbooks so it doesn't matter if it is rubbish. I also notice that lots of people feel they are no good at something that lots of people dont agree with hem and think their work is fantastic so I decided it is part of the human condition and I mainly just get on with it. Maybe no-one cares enough to tap me on the shoulder and tell me what I am doing sucks.

  10. I just want to clarify that the photo is of artwork by Austin Kleon, not me.
    And I guess I have opened a can of worms here! I love this kind of dialogue between creative minds!