Why Doubting Yourself could be Killing your Sales

There is a serious plague going around, and it's not the swine flu...

I've had the pleasure of meeting so many talented, ambitious, and unique artists on Etsy. I find it truly inspiring on a daily basis to be exposed to so many different styles and approaches especially since I am also getting the opportunity to speak directly with the artist herself. The only thing that saddens me is why these amazing artists so often don't realize how truly talented they are! I do understand where it this deep rooted self doubt comes from. Art is like exposing a part of your soul to the world. It is a great gift, in the sense that you can carve out a piece of who you are and your completely unique view of the world and mold into something beautiful for others to enjoy.

Artwork courtesy of www.PixelWildChild.etsy.com

I've always thought of purchasing art as inviting someone else's point of view into my home.

The other side of this is of course, the terror of exposing yourself and having it be rejected or misunderstood. In a way, it's like that dream where you show up to school in your underwear and have to give a speech. Because art is so personal and most often has an emotional element, every artist must eventually face their fears and decide if they are going to jump off that metaphorical cliff and share their art with the world.

If you are one of those brave souls who has jumped off the cliff, every seller on Etsy is, you must remember that your opinion of your art will undoubtedly be the opinion of others. One big mistake I see time and time again is a seller apologizing for some aspect of their work. I think this is a form of defensive self preservation. In other words, if you reject your work first, it won't hurt as bad when someone else does. You are in essence beating them to the punch. But here's the thing-they might have been preparing to give you the biggest compliment your art can receive: the purchase of it. But now you have planted a seed in their mind that their evaluation of your art (they loved it) was wrong. In that sense, you are also insulting their taste. And that's just plain rude.

All joking aside, you the Artist must always defend your work. It is a part of who you are and that makes it something to be celebrated. Art is also subjective, no two people will see it exactly the same way. Some people will love it and some people will hate it and that, to me, is what makes art so exciting. It inspires debate, enlightenment, criticism, epiphanies, joy and despair. It is what defines a culture, in fact it has been said that civilized culture cannot exist without art.

Of course, the craftsmanship element exists and we should all be able to admit to our shortcomings in that area and aspire to grow and learn from our mistakes. But we also have to make a conscious effort to stop insulting our own work. You must be your own biggest fan. I guarantee if you can start to truly love your own art it won't take long for others to fall in love too.

I was inspired to write this from the amazing piece of art featured in this post. I am a huge fan of this artist, Kristie, who sells her work at www.PixelWildChild.etsy.com Kristie lives in Athens, Greece which I thought was also very appropriate for this post since the ancient Greeks were huge proponents of art and it's importance in our world.

Thank you Kristie!

17 comments:

  1. So true, so true! People have such different tastes, but we only bother creating what we love. We should show we're proud of our creations or people will have a hard time finding value in them.

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  2. Fantastic article! This is something I constantly struggle with, and I know I'm not alone.

    Thank you for the well-timed confidence boost!

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  3. You totally nailed this one! "Art is like exposing a part of your soul to the world." Incredibly true...great article!

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  4. Kristie,
    Thanks for your insite. I just had a show yesterday with only 2 sales. I have yet to have a successful art show. I was beginning to think my stuff isn't what I think it is but I did get lot's of compliments yesterday. You are so right in keeping positive and believing in your work. Thanks so much, I needed this!

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  5. Great article! I am constantly saying negative things about my jewelry when around friends and family, a habit that I've been trying to break since I started up at etsy. I work very hard on my item descriptions, including staying positive. After all, if you think you've made something bad enough to be embarrassed by it, don't put it up for sale!

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  6. One more fantastic article girl! You are touching many important aspects here. It is so true that "art is like exposing a part of your soul", such a big part of ourselves and our feelings gets reflected in our work that we feel like being seen naked!!! :O) But the important thing is to believe and stay true in what we do, and as you say respect and defend our work!

    Thank you very much for including my image as inspiration and all your very nice comments about my work!!!

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  7. Great, great post! Isn't it wonderful that we are all so totally different? We are our own worse critic and it takes time to over come that, but its rewardig in the end. When you start to see your art or whatever it is that you create as somethig special it will show in your work and when you talk about it. Great Posts!!

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  8. I totally agree! Success starts with confidence in yourself.

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  9. Thanks for this post. I always feel like my glass isn't really good enough anyone would want to buy it, and have to keep reminding myself, others will think the same thing of my art if I don't change my thoughts and attitude. I love making my glass and need to project that feeling.
    http://KayzKreationz.blogspot.com
    http://KayzKreationz.etsy.com

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  10. Thank you all for your comments on this post!! And a big thank you to Kristie for lending me her art for this post...please stop by her shop!
    www.PixelWildChild.etsy.com

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  11. Hello! There's a blog award for you at http://shrimpsaladcircus.blogspot.com!!
    - Lindsay

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  12. Awesome post! This is a great realization for some, and I good reminder for others, like me :) Thanks!

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  13. So encouraging, thank you! We all do this, I know I do, & it really only hurts us. Thanks for reminding us how damaging this behavior is.

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  14. Fantastic and inspirational post! Feel ready to take on the world.

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  15. It's hard right now with sales being slow. I struggled with this very recently but started thinking postive thoughts and putting myself out there more & sales have picked up again. Thanks for all the great articles.

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  16. That's so true. It's hard being a great ambassador for your art when you're also your hardest critic too.

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