I’ve written here before about what a difference being confident about our own work can make for our business and our bottom line. Confidence is sexy after all, and it attracts followers, fans, and buyers.
As artists, our natural instinct is to feel insecure about our work, at least until we feel it’s been validated. And by validated, we mean ordained by someone super-important, published somewhere super-recognized, or making us so much money we can afford a dozen mansions and a yacht to boot. The oxymoron of this kind of thinking is, of course, many of us won’t get that kind of validation until after we start to exhibit confidence in our own work.
A lack of confidence from the maker instills a lack of confidence from potential buyers. We can’t expect our customers to think our stuff is awesome unless we do. While this makes sense, it’s still hard to actually practice in real life. So we fake it ’til we make it. (As you should.)
However, I feel like I need to warn everyone here that there is a vast difference between being confident in our own work, and criticizing the work of others. Sometimes handmade creators do this to try to make their work look good by comparison. It doesn’t make your work look any better, it just makes you look like a douche.
Negatively criticizing other artists, especially newbies who are just starting out and trying their best to learn their way, reflects poorly on you.
One of the many jobs I’ve had was working in a big-box department store. When it came to new employees, my co-workers often treated them in one of two ways. The first group would complain about having to work with them, as it meant more work for them and having to train someone who didn’t know the ropes yet. The second group gladly took up the challenge, and was happy to show the new face the how-tos, knowing very well that proper training in the beginning prevents bigger mistakes from occurring later on. Plus, this second group knew that positive relationships all around make for a better work and business environment.
So if you want a boost of confidence in regards to your own work, create better, higher-quality products that you can feel proud of and confident enough to brag about. Using your social networking platform to put other artists down, no matter how much “better” your work actually is, makes you look low and sleazy. Don’t do it.