How to Conquer Fear and Self-Doubt as an Artist

How to Conquer Fear and Self-Doubt as an Artist

If you ever feel paralyzed by fear or self-doubt, I’m here to let you in on a little secret –– you are 100% normal! 

We artists continually seem to doubt whether we’re “good enough.” In fact, it happens to every type of “creative” out there – musicians, dancers, actors, influencers, and beyond. Hell, it even happens to athletes. Why do you think sports psychologists exist?

But here lies the simple solution.

The more we practice and keep putting our work out there, the more comfortable we become with the process. And consequently, our work gets better. Of course, practice doesn’t make perfect because perfect doesn’t exist. But practice does make us better at what we do.

Here are five mindsets that I believe hold artists back when it comes to selling their art. Let’s break them down, so we can throw them out!

You Don’t Know Where to Start 

Sometimes there’s a clear-cut path to climbing a ladder, and sometimes (usually in creative careers), there’s not. I spent years fumbling about in trial and error, but today there are people like me that are excited to help you find your way in this industry. This is why I created my art licensing course, which I’ll be kicking off later this year.

Sydney illustration


Procrastination happens when a task seems overwhelming – usually because it hasn’t been broken down into manageable steps. Then self-doubt creeps in, and we get distracted by activities that feel easier (like watching cat vids on YouTube). 

So it’s crucial to have lots of short-term tasks (goals) that support any BIG goal. Short-term goals are small, manageable steps you can easily knock off on your to-do list.

Big Goal:  “I want to start earning a living as an artist.” 

Short-Term Goals

  • I will start posting my art on Instagram
  • I will create new artwork at least three times a week to help build my portfolio

You can read more about effective goal setting in last month’s blog over here.


Yes, push yourself to create the best art possible, but don’t let those high demands get in the way of finishing your art. Nothing will ever be “perfect.” Perfection doesn’t exist. 

You’ll also inevitably change your art style and branding over time. I’ve been doing art licensing for so long that my art style and branding have changed dramatically over the years. Google me and see!

So, just start creating your business NOW, and don’t let perfectionism hold you back. You can fix things as you go!

Sydney illustration


Self-doubt can come in many forms. For me, self-doubt manifested not only because I was quite an introvert but because I had a real fear about owning up to my dream to be a career artist. That voice from within always taunting, “YOU can’t pursue an art career!” 

Likewise, if you have anyone in your life who might not understand your desire to pursue an art career, don’t let their doubts hold you back. Instead, let their uncertainties motivate you to follow your dreams and prove them wrong. That’s precisely what I did.

Fear of Success

While you may not have consciously thought about this one, you might find yourself struggling with the reality of your art going mainstream. Because, yes, it could end up on thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of products overnight.

Some artists get conflicted between creating fine art and seeing it become mass-market products. You might even be worried that you’re “selling out” as an artist.

But in the world of art licensing, nothing is a given. You might get a collection that goes gangbusters worldwide. Then you might create another collection (or two or three) that doesn’t get picked up at all. So my advice is always - just run with it! 

If you didn’t love what you do (being an artist), you wouldn’t care enough for fear and self-doubt to raise their annoying little heads. Have faith that you’re where you’re meant to be. It WILL get easier. I promise.

If you’d like help taking your art to the next step, please check out my master course in art licensing, License & Launch.