Overcoming Art Creation Fear: Practical Tips
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 10 min read


Creating art is a beautiful process, but it can also be daunting. The fear of judgment often lurks, casting a shadow over your artistic expression. Fears like "Will people like my work?", "Am I good enough?", or "Is my work meaningful?" can be overwhelming. But here's the good news: you're not alone in this. Many artists, both novice and experienced, grapple with these anxieties. The aim of this blog is to help you in facing fear of judgment in art and offer practical tips for overcoming it. Let's dive right in.

Acknowledge your art fear

Just like any other fear, the first step towards overcoming the fear of judgment in art is to acknowledge it. Don't hide it, don't deny it; face it head-on. When you allow yourself to feel this fear, you are opening up a path to address it.

  • Identify your fear: What exactly are you afraid of? Is it criticism, rejection, or comparison? Defining your fear will help you understand it better. Remember, clarity is the first step towards resolution.
  • Understand its origin: Try to trace back to when this fear first started. Was it a harsh critique you received in your early days, or perhaps it's a result of comparisons you made with other artists? Understanding the root cause can be a powerful tool in overcoming it.
  • Acceptance: Now that you've identified your fear and understood its origin, it's time to accept it. It's okay to be afraid. Most artists face this fear at some point in their journey. Accepting doesn't mean surrendering. It means you're aware of the fear, and you're ready to take it on.

Remember, everyone—be it an artist, a writer, or a singer—faces some level of fear when presenting their work to the world. It's natural and human. You're facing fear of judgment in art because you care about your work, and that itself shows your commitment to your art. But don't let this fear stifle your creativity. Let's work on turning it around to fuel your artistic journey.

Find inspiration in your fear

Fear is often seen as a negative emotion, a roadblock in your path to creativity. But what if you could turn it around and use it as a catalyst for inspiration? When facing fear of judgment in art, try to shift your perspective. Here's how:

  • Channel your emotions: Fear, like any other emotion, is powerful. It can evoke strong feelings and thoughts. Use this energy to fuel your creativity. Your art is a reflection of your emotions. Let it tell the story of your fear, your struggle, and your journey.
  • Explore new themes: Fear can push you to explore themes and concepts you may not have thought of before. It might lead you to experiment with different styles, mediums, or techniques. Don't shy away from this exploration. You might be surprised by the results.
  • Find strength in vulnerability: Exposing your fears through your art makes you vulnerable. But remember, vulnerability is not weakness; it's courage. It's the courage to show your true self, your emotions, and your experiences. Your audience will connect more with your art when it's raw and authentic.

Remember, every artist has a unique story. Your fear is part of your story. Don't hide it. Embrace it. Use it as a stepping stone to create art that resonates with others and most importantly, with yourself. Facing fear of judgment in art is not a hurdle; it's an opportunity to grow and create something truly remarkable.

Create a supportive environment

One of the key steps to overcoming any fear, including the fear of judgment in art, is to create a supportive environment. This can significantly reduce the pressure you feel and enable you to be more creative. Here's how you can create such an environment:

  • Surround yourself with positive influences: Choose to spend time with people who motivate, inspire, and encourage you. Their positive energy can help boost your confidence and drive your creativity.
  • Design a comfortable workspace: Your workspace plays a significant role in your creativity. Make sure it's a place where you feel relaxed and inspired. Personalize it with things that make you happy and comfortable.
  • Join an art community: Being part of a community of artists can provide a sense of belonging. It's a great way to share ideas, get feedback, and learn from others. This can be an online forum, a local art club, or a social media group.
  • Learn to shut out negativity: Not all criticism is constructive. It's important to learn to distinguish between feedback that helps you grow and negativity that only hinders your progress. Remember, your art is your personal expression and not everyone has to understand it.

Creating a supportive environment is a proactive step towards facing fear of judgment in art. It provides a safe space where you can freely express your creativity without fear of being judged. This is your journey, your art, and you have the power to shape it in a way that brings you joy and satisfaction.

Set realistic goals

Setting realistic goals is a powerful strategy for anyone working towards overcoming fear, especially the fear of judgment in art. You may be wondering, "Why should I set goals in art? Isn't it supposed to be a spontaneous process?" Well, while spontaneity has its place in art, setting clear, achievable goals can help keep your fear in check.

  • Start small: If you're new to art or have taken a long break, don't aim to create a masterpiece right away. Start with simpler projects and gradually work your way up. Small successes can boost your confidence and lessen the fear.
  • Break it down: If a project seems too daunting, break it down into smaller, manageable tasks. This approach makes the overall project less intimidating and gives you a sense of progress as you complete each task.
  • Set timelines: Having a timeline for your projects helps maintain focus and prevents procrastination, a common response to fear. But remember, these timelines should be flexible. Art isn't a race!
  • Embrace the process: Your goal shouldn't just be about the final product. Embrace the process of creating art — the learning, the experimenting, the small victories and yes, the mistakes too. They all contribute to your growth as an artist.

Setting realistic goals can guide your artistic journey and provide a sense of direction. By focusing on achievable tasks, you can reduce the overwhelming feeling often associated with facing fear of judgment in art. So, go ahead, set your goals, and take one step at a time towards overcoming your fears.

Practice mindfulness

Facing fear of judgment in art can sometimes feel like a battle with your own mind. But here's a secret weapon you can use — mindfulness. Mindfulness is the art of staying fully present in the moment, paying attention to your thoughts and feelings without judgment. Sounds like something an artist should be good at, right? Let's see how you can apply it.

  • Breathe: When you feel fear creeping in, take a moment to focus on your breath. Inhale deeply, hold for a moment, and then exhale slowly. This simple act can help to quiet your mind and bring you back into the present moment.
  • Observe: Mindfulness is about noticing what’s happening in the present without getting caught up in it. When fear strikes, acknowledge its presence and observe it without judgement. This can help you see that fear is just a feeling, not a prediction of what's going to happen.
  • Don't judge yourself: You're an artist. You create. That's a brave thing to do. Sometimes, your art might not turn out how you envisioned, and that's okay. Don’t judge your work harshly; instead, see it as a step in your artistic journey.
  • Be kind to yourself: Remember, every artist, even the most famous ones, have faced fear of judgment in their careers. You're not alone in this. So, be patient and kind to yourself. Your art is a reflection of you, and you're doing just fine.

Practicing mindfulness allows you to enjoy the process of creating art without getting overwhelmed by fear. It helps you stay focused on the joy of creation, rather than the fear of judgment. So, the next time fear tries to make its way into your art studio, greet it with a mindful smile and keep creating!

Embrace imperfections

Let's be honest, nobody's perfect. Not even Leonardo Da Vinci's Mona Lisa. It's said that he kept tweaking it for years and was never fully satisfied. This shows that even the greatest artists didn't create flawless art. So, why should you be any different?

Facing fear of judgment in art often comes from a place of wanting to create something perfect. But here's a thought: what if imperfections are not stumbling blocks but stepping stones towards creativity? Let's see how you can turn this around.

  • Recognize perfection as a myth: The idea of creating a 'perfect' piece of art is like chasing a mirage. It doesn't exist! Each piece of art is unique and has its own charm. Don't let the myth of perfection hinder your creativity.
  • See imperfections as opportunities: Every perceived flaw in your art is an opportunity for improvement. Instead of fearing them, embrace them. They can guide your learning and growth as an artist.
  • Experiment and learn: Don't let fear of making mistakes stop you from trying new techniques or styles. Remember, every great piece of art began as an experiment. You never know, your 'mistake' might just turn into your masterpiece!
  • Appreciate your uniqueness: Imperfections make your art uniquely yours. They're a reflection of your style, your expression, your voice. Celebrate them as a testament to your individuality as an artist.

By embracing imperfections, you not only free yourself from the fear of judgment but also open the door to unlimited creativity. Remember, it's not about creating 'perfect' art, it's about creating YOUR art. So, keep embracing your imperfections and keep creating!

Seek Constructive Criticism

Feedback can often be a double-edged sword. On one hand, it's an excellent tool for growth. On the other, it can sometimes feel like a direct attack on your creativity, especially when facing fear of judgment in art. So, how do we resolve this? We seek constructive criticism. But what does that look like?

  • Identify trusted sources: Not all feedback is created equal. Seek out mentors, teachers, or fellow artists who understand your artistic journey and can provide insightful and helpful feedback.
  • Ask specific questions: Instead of a generic "What do you think?", try asking more targeted questions. For example, "Do you think the color palette works well in this piece?", or "Is the theme of the artwork clear to you?". This can guide the feedback towards more constructive areas.
  • Listen with an open mind: Receiving criticism can be tough, but remember, it's not a personal attack. It's about the work, not you. Listen objectively and filter the feedback to extract what can genuinely help improve your art.
  • Apply the feedback: Criticism is only useful if you apply it. Experiment with the suggestions you receive. You might not agree with all of them, and that's okay! What matters is that you're open to possibilities and willing to grow.

Remember, constructive criticism is a catalyst for growth. It can provide a fresh perspective and valuable insights that you might miss. So, don't fear it, seek it. Your art will thank you for it.

Celebrate Small Victories

Creating art can sometimes feel like climbing a mountain, especially when you're facing fear of judgment in art. It's easy to get overwhelmed by the big picture and lose sight of the progress you've made. That's why it's important to celebrate small victories.

But wait, what counts as a small victory?

  • Finishing a sketch: It might not look like much, but it's a step towards completing a bigger piece. Give yourself a pat on the back!
  • Trying new techniques: Even if the result isn't perfect, the fact that you stepped out of your comfort zone is worth a mini celebration.
  • Receiving positive feedback: Even a simple "I like your work" can be a great morale booster. Take a moment to appreciate it.
  • Overcoming a creative block: It's not easy to break free from a rut. If you managed to do it, that's definitely a victory worth celebrating!

Celebrating small victories can help build confidence and maintain a positive attitude towards your art. It reminds you that every step, no matter how tiny, is progress. So next time you finish that sketch or try out that new technique, don't forget to give yourself a well-deserved high-five!

Keep Learning and Growing

Let's face it, the fear of judgment in art can be daunting. But remember, every artist, even the most famous ones, started somewhere. They kept learning, growing, and improving their craft. And so can you.

Learning in art is not just about mastering new techniques or improving your style. It's also about developing a deeper understanding of yourself and your creative process. It's about facing that fear of judgment in art and turning it into a source of motivation and growth.

  • Explore different art forms: Trying out different styles, techniques, and mediums can open up new avenues for creativity. You might just discover a style you absolutely love!
  • Read about art: Books, articles, blogs—there's a wealth of information out there. Dive into the world of art and learn from the experiences and insights of other artists.
  • Take art classes or workshops: Learning from experienced instructors can help you improve your skills and gain new perspectives. Plus, it's a great way to meet fellow artists and build a community.
  • Practice, Practice, Practice: This can't be stressed enough. The more you practice, the better you get. And each time you pick up that brush or pencil, you're taking another step towards overcoming your art fear.

Remember, every bit of knowledge you gain, every new technique you try, and every piece of art you create is a step forward on your artistic journey. So keep learning, keep growing, and most importantly, keep creating!

Stay Committed and Don't Give Up

The journey through art is like a rollercoaster ride. There will be ups and downs, twists and turns. The fear of judgment in art can rear its head at any moment, making it tempting to abandon your craft. But remember, persistence pays off.

Sticking to your art, even when you're facing fear of judgment, is a testament to your dedication and passion. It's okay to have doubts and fears, but don't let them stop you. Don't let the fear of judgment overshadow your love for art.

  • Set a routine: Develop a regular art practice. It could be daily, weekly, or whatever works best for you. A routine helps you stay focused and committed.
  • Don't rush: Art is not a race. It's a personal journey. Take your time. Enjoy the process. Remember, it's the journey that matters, not just the destination.
  • Take breaks: It's okay to step away from your art for a while. Taking breaks can help rejuvenate your creativity and give you a fresh perspective.
  • Remember your 'why': Why do you create art? What drew you to it in the first place? Reconnecting with your 'why' can help you stay motivated and committed, even when facing fear of judgment in art.

So, keep going. Keep creating. Keep shining. Your art is a unique expression of who you are. Don't let fear hold you back. After all, the world needs more art, and it definitely needs yours!

If you're looking to overcome your art creation fears and build resilience, don't miss the workshop 'Staying Resilient Through Rejection' by Carlos Neto. This workshop will provide you with practical tips and techniques to bounce back from setbacks and keep pushing forward in your creative journey.