Imposter Syndrome Tips for Artists
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 8 min read


  1. Define imposter syndrome
  2. Identify your unique imposter pattern
  3. Disrupt imposter thoughts
  4. Reframe failure and mistakes
  5. Celebrate your achievements
  6. Seek out support
  7. Find mentors and role models
  8. Practice self-care

Art is a deeply personal journey, full of self-discovery, emotional expression, and continuous growth. However, many artists often find themselves grappling with a persisting sense of self-doubt, known as imposter syndrome. It's a common experience that can make you feel like you're not a "real" artist, despite all your accomplishments. But remember, you're not alone, and there are ways to start coping with imposter syndrome in the arts. This blog aims to share some practical tips to help you navigate through this often challenging experience.

Define Imposter Syndrome

Imposter syndrome is a psychological pattern that makes you doubt your abilities and accomplishments, leading you to fear being exposed as a "fraud". It's like having a nagging voice in your head that constantly tells you, "you're not good enough", or "you just got lucky this time". It's not exclusive to the arts — it's widespread across different fields and professions.

But here's the kicker — imposter syndrome is often more prevalent in creative fields like the arts. Why? Because art is subjective. What one person sees as a masterpiece, another might not. This subjectivity could lead to more self-doubt and feelings of being an imposter.

Imposter syndrome can manifest in various ways, including:

  • Perfectionism: You strive for perfection in everything you do. If it's not perfect, you see it as a failure.
  • Overworking: You work excessively to cover up your perceived inadequacies.
  • Undermining achievements: You attribute your success to luck or timing, not your skills or efforts.
  • Fear of failure: You're so afraid of failing that it paralyzes you from trying new things.
  • Comparison with others: You constantly compare your work with others, feeling like theirs is always better.

Recognizing these patterns is the first step towards coping with imposter syndrome in the arts. It's important to remember that it's a common experience shared by many artists. In the following sections, we'll discuss strategies on how you can deal with this self-doubt and build your confidence as an artist.

Identify Your Unique Imposter Pattern

Just as every artist has their unique style, each person's experience with imposter syndrome is different. Identifying your unique imposter pattern is a vital step in dealing with this issue. So, how do you spot your imposter tendencies? Let's dive in.

Start by paying close attention to your thought processes, particularly when you're working on your art or assessing your work. Do you find yourself constantly criticizing your work? Do you feel like your success is just a matter of luck or timing, rather than skill or effort? Paying attention to these thoughts can help you identify your unique imposter pattern.

Here are a few common imposter patterns:

  • The Perfectionist: This person sets excessively high goals and feels frustrated when they can't meet them. If you're a perfectionist, you might struggle to start or finish projects because you're worried they won't be perfect.
  • The Expert: This person believes they should know everything and feels embarrassed when they don't. If you fall into this pattern, you might avoid trying new techniques or styles because you fear you won't be good enough.
  • The Soloist: This person feels they should be able to handle everything on their own. If you're a soloist, you might resist seeking help or collaborating with others, even when it could benefit your work.

Once you've identified your unique imposter pattern, you're one step closer to overcoming it. Remember, recognizing the issue is half the battle. The next part is learning how to disrupt these negative thought patterns — and that's what we'll discuss in the next section.

Disrupt Imposter Thoughts

Now that you've learned to identify your unique imposter pattern, the next step towards coping with imposter syndrome in the arts is learning to disrupt those self-doubting thoughts. It's easier said than done, I know. But with practice, you can master this skill. Here's how.

First, remember that thoughts are not facts. Just because you think you're not a 'real' artist or that your work isn't 'good enough', doesn't make it true. When a negative thought pops up, challenge it. Ask yourself: Is this thought based on facts, or is it just my imposter syndrome talking?

Next, learn to differentiate between feelings and reality. Feeling like an imposter doesn't mean you are one. It's just a feeling, and feelings can change. So, the next time you feel like an imposter, remind yourself: "I'm feeling like an imposter right now, but that doesn't mean I am one."

Lastly, practice positive self-talk. Replace negative thoughts with positive affirmations. Instead of telling yourself "I can't do this", say "I can learn to do this". Instead of saying "I'm not good enough", say "I'm learning and improving every day".

Disrupting imposter thoughts isn't easy, but it's a vital part of coping with imposter syndrome in the arts. Remember, every artist — no matter how successful — has dealt with self-doubt at some point. You're not alone, and you're certainly not an imposter.

Reframe Failure and Mistakes

In the journey of coping with imposter syndrome in the arts, one of the most empowering steps you can take is to reframe your perspective on failure and mistakes. Many of us view these as negative, something to fear. But what if we start seeing them as opportunities for growth?

Think about it. Every masterpiece started with a blank canvas. Every great artist you admire had to start somewhere, and I guarantee they made plenty of mistakes along the way. The difference? They didn't let those mistakes stop them. They learned from them and kept going.

So, the next time you make a mistake or face a setback, don't beat yourself up. Instead, ask yourself these questions: What can I learn from this? How can it make me a better artist? This reframing process can help you shift from fear of failure to embracing it as a stepping stone to success.

Also, understand that perfection is a myth. No work of art is ever truly 'perfect'. What matters more is authenticity, passion, and continual growth. So, strive for progress, not perfection.

In the end, remember that every failure and mistake is a part of your unique creative journey. It's not a sign of being an imposter. It's a sign of being human, of being an artist who's brave enough to take risks and try new things. And that's something to be proud of.

Celebrate Your Achievements

Another key aspect of coping with imposter syndrome in the arts is learning to celebrate your achievements, no matter how small they might seem. In the hustle and bustle of life, it's easy to overlook our accomplishments and fixate on what we haven't done or what we think we should be doing. However, taking the time to acknowledge and celebrate your achievements can help boost your confidence and combat feelings of imposter syndrome.

Did you finish a piece of art today? Did you finally master a technique you've been struggling with? Or did you simply get out of bed and make it to your studio despite not feeling like it? Don't belittle these victories. Instead, give yourself a pat on the back. You did it!

And remember, there's no need to compare your achievements with others'. Your artistry journey is uniquely yours, and every step forward counts. So, make it a habit to celebrate your wins, no matter how small they seem. You might even keep a journal of your accomplishments to remind yourself of your growth and progress when self-doubt creeps in.

Remember, you're doing better than you think, and every achievement is a testament to your talent, hard work, and dedication. Always take a moment to celebrate that!

Seek Out Support

Let's talk about seeking out support, another pivotal step in coping with imposter syndrome in the arts. Artistry, like many other professions, can feel isolating at times, especially when you're battling feelings of self-doubt. However, you don't have to go it alone. In fact, seeking support from others can be a game-changer.

Open up about your feelings to friends or family members who understand and support your artistic journey. Speaking your fears and insecurities out loud can often diminish their power over you. And who knows? You might find that others have experienced similar feelings and can offer you wisdom and comfort.

Additionally, you can join an artists' group—be it a local community or an online forum. These spaces are filled with people who share your passion for art and can relate to your struggles. Sharing experiences and coping strategies can make the journey less overwhelming. Plus, you never know when you'll stumble upon a new technique, a helpful resource, or even a lifelong friend.

Remember, seeking support isn't a sign of weakness. It's a smart strategy for coping with imposter syndrome and enhancing your artistic journey. Don't be afraid to reach out—you're not alone in this.

Find Mentors and Role Models

Another effective approach to coping with imposter syndrome in the arts is to find mentors and role models. These are individuals who can guide you, inspire you, and show you that your dreams are possible.

Remember that even the most renowned artists had their share of struggles and self-doubt. Take Vincent Van Gogh, for example. Despite his remarkable talent, he often doubted himself, and yet he continued to create some of the most influential works of art in history. He's a great example of resilience in the face of self-doubt—something we can all learn from.

Finding a mentor can also be instrumental in your journey. This could be a more experienced artist who is willing to share their knowledge, advise you, and help you navigate the art world. A mentor can offer not only technical advice but also emotional support, helping you to manage imposter feelings.

Consider reaching out to artists you admire or networking at art events. You might be surprised at how many successful artists are willing to guide newcomers. Remember, everyone starts somewhere, and seeking guidance is a sign of your commitment to grow as an artist.

By connecting with mentors and role models, you're taking a proactive step in dealing with imposter syndrome and shaping your own artistic journey.

Practice Self-Care

Artistry is as much about mental well-being as it is about talent and technique. When coping with imposter syndrome in the arts, self-care becomes an essential tool in your toolbox. It's not just about bubble baths and spa days—it's about giving your mind the care it needs to flourish.

The mind is like a garden; it requires regular care and nurturing. When you're experiencing imposter syndrome, it's like weeds invading your garden. But don't fret—you have the tools to take care of these weeds.

One such tool is mindfulness. This is the practice of focusing on the present moment without judgment. It allows you to observe your thoughts and feelings, including those of imposter syndrome, without getting swept up in them. Try to set aside a few minutes each day for mindfulness exercises, such as meditation or deep breathing.

Another self-care practice is adequate rest. The hustle and bustle of the artistic world can be exhausting, and it's easy to neglect rest when you're chasing your dreams. But remember, even the most prolific artists need downtime. Make sure you're getting enough sleep and taking breaks when you need them. Your creativity will thank you.

Lastly, don't forget about physical well-being. Regular exercise, a balanced diet, and staying hydrated can work wonders for your mood and energy levels. A healthy body promotes a healthy mind, after all.

Remember, self-care is a journey, not a destination. Each small step you take in caring for yourself is a step towards coping with imposter syndrome in the arts. So go ahead, nurture your garden—your mind—and watch how your art flourishes.

If you're looking to overcome imposter syndrome as an artist, we recommend checking out the workshop 'Staying Resilient Through Rejection' by Carlos Neto. This workshop will provide you with valuable tips and strategies to help you build resilience and overcome self-doubt in your creative journey.