Dealing With Doubt—5 Quotes From Famous Artists On Doubt & Creativity

Double Exposure Timothy Michael Photography

Originally Published March 4th, 2019


Hey Gang,

At some point every Artist/Creative/Entrepreneur must face their own self criticism, fear, anxiety, & doubt.

It’s a natural part of the creative process.

If you don’t find yourself facing fear or doubt—you’re either wildly confident in your abilities, delusional, or insane. Most likely all three.

The Life Of The Tortured Artist

It’s cliche—but cliche for a reason. Being an artist is often an emotional rollercoaster. In one single day, I can go from excited about my work, to hating it and wanting to give up, to excited again. This can cycle for days, weeks, or months. It’s exhausting & annoying to the people around me. (Sorry Ashley)

It doesn’t get easier—at least in my experience. 

If you’re facing confusion, fear & doubt—know you’re not alone—join the club.

The Cool Kid Club

Don’t think of fear & doubt as a reason to give up. If you feel like you have something inside you—a story to tell, a product idea, a creative endeavor—it’s your duty to share it with the world.

Fear is simply a cost that all artists have to pay on the way to doing meaningful work. —uknown

If anything—fear should be seen as a justification for doing your work—not an excuse to give up.

As I’m writing this my head is going back and forth from confident to cowardice.

So I thought I would take a moment to share some of my favorite quotes on overcoming fear & doubt—in the hopes that whoever may be reading this can find the confidence to continue on in their creative journey.

“Are you paralyzed with fear? That’s a good sign. Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do. Remember our rule of thumb: The more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.” —Steven Pressfield (The War Of Art)

“If you hear a voice within you say you cannot paint, then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.” Vincent van Gough

“I’m building a snowball the size of continents. The catch: it sometimes moves at a glacial pace. Big things take time, but that’s OK – almost nothing can stop a glacier from moving once it reaches critical mass.” —Tim Ferris

Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear. —Mark Twain

“Uncertainty is the essential, inevitable and all-pervasive companion to your desire to make art. And tolerance for uncertainty is the prerequisite to succeeding.” —David Bayles (Art & Fear)



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