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June 2, 2013
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Hi! This is Chivi-chivik M@ngaka and I'll show you how to regain your artistic self-esteem!

NOTE: This is for ARTISTIC self-esteem. It might help with normal self-esteem, but it's not sure, since this is focused to art.
NOTE 2: Sorry for my English and any typo I've probably made.
NOTE 3: If you have a problem that is NOT stated here, tell me and I'll add it here! :)

Ah, self-esteem... That bit of confidence we need in our lives to make it better.
Now let's get serious THE AVERAGE ARTIST HAS EXTREMELY LOW SELF-ESTEEM. Those levels can even make them to stop creating, and that's so bad I prefer
to not imagine it.

I'll give you some tips that will make your artist life more relaxed and upper your self-esteem levels a bit.

1. "I don't like what I do"

As I stated in my last guide, this is the WORST thing you can think about your work.
If you don't like your work, who will? You MUST like your work and show that you love it.
  • Let's analyse. What is what you don't like of your work? (Maybe your style, maybe your compositions)
    Once you find exactly what you don't like, DON'T start to think "This is worthless".
  • What do we do now? Use this as a little push to start IMPROVING by PRACTISING. This problem usually happens due to low talent, so go for it! The world doesn't like whiners, the world looks for winners!
    Of course, practising can take from days to ENTIRE MONTHS. But the key is to never give up. 'Cause you'll end up improving, until you reach the levels you want.

2. "People don't like what I do"

And how do you know that? 'Cause you don't receive feedback? 'Cause your watchers are so inactive that it seems you don't have anyone? Sorry for saying this, but that's a pathetic thought. Unless they tell you straight that what you do sucks, you will NEVER know if they don't like it.
Instead, keep these lines in mind:

  • There will be at least ONE person in this world that will like what you do.
  • There are persons that make your work WORSE than you.
  • There will be haters of your work NO MATTER how you effort.

Let's talk about them.

  • There will be at least ONE person in this world that will like what you do.
    Even if you think your work is shitty, there will be people that will like your work for X reasons. Instead of trying to make the people who don't like your work come to you, try to please the people who like your work. This will be like a marketing effect: they might do advertisements and tell you worth it to others without you even noticing! Don't you notice that that's what you do when you love something? (I've been recommending Homestuck and MOTHER/EarthBound to a lot of people) They will do the same.
  • There are persons that make your work WORSE than you.
    And this is true.
    DeviantART has the bad fame of having the worse art on Internet (we know that's not quite true!)... But let's take this as an example. The main page of DA just shows the popular, i.e, the most faved/viewed works from a determined period of time. If you start browsing, you'll start to see the bad stuff. (Sorry if I'm offending here! I don't want to attack anyone!)
    What you have to do then? Think that there's people that has more reasons to have low-self esteem than you due to a lower talent than you.
  • There will be haters of your work NO MATTER how you effort.
    The Harry Potter series, even if it's very well done, it has its haters. Do you think J.K. Rowling spends eons thinking about them? NO. She has better things to do.
    You MUST do the same.
    Don't think about the haters you have or the haters you will get. Think, again, on the people that will like your work. Thinking on the haters will lower your self-esteem. Even Stephenie Meyer with her shitload of haters is fine. She has sold best-sellers, who would care about haters in that case?

3. "Nobody or few people look at/view my work, and that makes me sad."

If you were next to me, be sure I WOULD PUNCH YOUR FACE. If your self-esteem depends on to be known and success, you should leave the art world.
Let's take the example of artists from the past. Just read their biographies: almost NO ONE has been famous or happy with their lives (The exceptions? I could say Salvador Dalí). Some of them were even despised to death. But they stopped creating? NO.
They kept created because of their reasons.
You artistic self-esteem must be NEVER attached to this. What you need is PATIENCE.
Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, maybe not in 5 years, but SOMEDAY you'll notice all the people who's behind you begging to see your next piece of work.
Don't work for people, WORK FOR YOU, AND ONLY YOU, and your happiness.

  • A. "I did something and now people's not pleased!"
    Let's take my case this time. I'm a fanartist who wants to become professional. I've been drawing Marioverse stuff until I came up with Homestuck. And after this I started to submit Violet Void & Green Cards (work of mine) pics. Do you think people took that change well? Of course not (moreover, now it has got worse). But do you see me complaining? Hardly ever, and without showing high levels of desperation. 'Cause I'm not desperated. Also, there's people faithful to ALL of my work so that keeps me happy.
    What does this mean? There will be
    ALWAYS little parts of your works that people won't like, even if they tend to like what you do. And this happens to EVERYBODY, professional or not. NOBODY'S WORK IS PERFECT!

4. "I like what I've done, but I'm not proud of it!"

What? That's almost like disliking your work!
Another thing is feeling bad about what you did. I felt a bit bad while making this -and thinking about its reception, but since my objective was a tumblr blog and NOT DeviantART, I cheered up later. Also, this got faves anyway. And now, I don't care.
You may feel bad about what you did sometimes -because of X reasons, but you can see that even if you think you did it wrong, there will be still people there for you.
Be proud of what you do, even if you're a pornographic artist. >:3

  • A. "I like this, but I SHOULDN'T feel proud about it."
    Forget to do anything in this life, from creating to working at your job.
    Why you shouldn't be proud of it? It better not be for stupid reasons... People's reactions will tell you if you did it okay, but even if it's massive negativeness, don't stop being proud of that, instead, take this in a way to know what they do think about your work, and act accordingly. That's why feedback exists!
    Remember: what you've done it's done, you can't backtrack, so don't worry anymore!

5. "I'm not capable of doing X! I'll give up! I just can't!"

Wanna me to kick your ass, right?
You are not capable 'cause YOU HAVEN'T PRACTISED NOT LEARNED YET! This applies to anything in your life!
And if you fail, TRY AGAIN!! Do you think I know a lot of basic desgin just because? NO! I went out there, got the software and started to practice! That's how practising works!!
Everytime I want to try something, I just go and try it! And if I don't succeed, I try again, and when I get tired, i may leave it there, but at least I have the goddamned experience. Also, I can try again.
As they say, failure is part of your experience.

  • A. "I keep trying and I don't succeed!"
    How many time has passed since you started trying? If it's just some days that's not an excuse.
    It's something that you can't learn alone? Stop whining and learn from internet, start a carrer about that or search someone who can teach you.

6. "People/my friends/etc. tell me to do X! I don't know what to do anymore!"

Never... in the artist world, never...
They can recommend, critique, whatever, but NEVER force you to do shit! Why? You are not working for a company where you have to do what they tell you to do 'cause otherwise you'll get fired, this is completely different.
Actually, they might be telling that so you make your work according to THEIR LIKES! And this happens every fucking minute on the Internet! Do this and you will be unhappy forever.
How to deal with this?
Again, take their comments as ways to know what they'd like to see. Buuuuuut don't try to force that into your work, instead, use this to be aware of their thoughts. If most of people likes something this way, don't make it that way, unless you have compelling reasons.

7. "People tell me that I do it very well, but I don't think I deserve those kind comments."

And why?
As they say, you're your worse critic.
Never say your work doesn't deserve something. If it's praised, it's becasue of something, and you should be proud about it.
You can joke about this though, to relax (As I always do XD).

8. "I'm not original!"

Leave. NOW. (Nah, please stay, I have to lecture you.)
If you think this, it means you have NO IDEA how ideas work.
As they say, everything in this world has been created. Actually the only ones who can claim to have been 100% original are people who lived during the prehistoric age.
But... how people comes up with fresh new stuff? By taking bits of ideas from others.
Andrew Hussie took ideas from many places to create Homestuck: Minecraft, MOTHER/EarthBound, etc. and you can see how successful is.
The trick is to mash up those ideas to create something INNOVATIVE. Of course, that's hard and may take a lot of time.
If you like something and you think it hasn't been done yet, DO THAT. There might be people with the same idea, so you must hurry and make that first.
And if it doesn't have success at the first moment, just wait. People will eventually come.

If after going through this you still feel sad and with low self-esteem, or I forgot to cover something (tell me and I'll add it here!) or what you have it's not artisitc self-esteem, it's NORMAL low self-esteem. I guess I can't help with that. I don't think I'm capable to do so (don't get me wrong, I also have high normal self-esteem, but I'm just not good).

Summarizing, the main thing you can do is TO BE POSITIVE ALWAYS and to NEVER CARE A LOT.
Look at the bright side of everything that happens in your artistic life, and everything (that is even called 'Pollyanna', in honour to a book). You'll be happier this way.

A bit about my case

Here are bits of my case and what I've personally done to reach this high artistic self-esteem levels.

Let's start with my first artistic days. I was VERY little. I just can remember when me, my sis and my first lil' bro were there.
My mother has always bought us paper sheets so we could draw, and as a proper mother has to do, she always praised our work.
My sis got an innate talent to draw, so I always was copying her, until I reached the level of drawing by myself.
Everybody in all my surroundings (home, school, etc.) praised my work -for years, so I was very happy.

'Till here everything's right. Now let's go to problems.

I can remember things started to go bad when I was in secondary school.
I started to become a geek, and to get the basics of the drawing process. Sure unexperienced people or people who have no idea of drawing at that age will make fun of what you do (specially when you start the pic with schematic nudes). Yes, it made me sad, but not enough to stop.

Everything went this way until I moved from technologic bachelor's degree to the artistic one (due to reasons). Since I had a very good level, many classmates praised my work (I can tell you that even being the artistic one, most of the people who goes there don't treat it like that). Well, of course, a thing happened: TEACHERS.
Teachers are the ones who will break the little self-esteem you have. That if they're not good with you.
But at that moment I had a very high normal self-esteem, so instead of making me go like "I'm useless", I was like "You can't tell me what to do!". I just did what they told me to do to pass the year, but in my way (Projects? All related to my likes! >XD). I'd actually like to kill that artistic drawing teacher.

And here I am.

I forgot to talk about the neverending experience of INTERNET.

4 years have passed since I created my DA account, I've done more than 1.000 devs and I've got mor ethan 400 watchers, and I've not even reached the 50.000 pageviews. Do you think this lowers my self-esteem? Yes, it's sad, but I just don't fucking care. I don't draw for people, I draw for me.

Also, even if most of thise watchers look like they're dead, I have a group of deviants who are always behind me, and I love them.

And if you wonder if I'm proud of my work... heck, I'm ALWAYS proud of it!
I still remember when I got very happy 'cause this stamp got on the main page of DA. One of my DA mates told me to not to be proud of that since it was an stamp and not a drawing of mine (I can't exactly remember it well). But, and aplogizing profusely, I didn't care about what they said. I did that stamp myself, why I shouldn't be proud of it? (If you're reading this, I apologize.) I love nearly everything I do. And I can feel proud about whatever I LIKE.
Sure there's stuff I do and I don't like (desgins, pics, whatever), but that's not enough to make me stay sad for a long time. 'Cause that doesn't happen usually to me. It's just an error which I can learn from!

I'll keep delighting you with my work until I DIE.

I hope this is useful to someone.


Since this is a problem that affects millions, I decided to give some tips and say what I think. :)

If you think I forgot to talk about something, TELL ME and I'll talk about it! If I can...
If this doesn't work to you, don't complain, instead, ask for advice. :nod:

:bulletred:Check more of my guides at:…

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xx-Sir-Disorderly-xx Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2014  Student General Artist

Very inspiring. :aww: I like your little guides that you make on here.
(( If anything actually gave me a little boost! :  ) ))
Everyone needs to read things like this to cheer them up 'n stuff. 
Thanks for uploading these guides~ : )  Keep up your great drawings too, Chivi.
Chivi-chivik Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Aah, thank you :aww:
Mustuko-chan Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Wonderful tutorial. Yet... There's this thing. When I draw for others (gifts usually) I feel happier (it's usually my ideas). When I draw for myself I'm never proud,  I feel like my works are not good. The thought of making something for someone and that it will make this someone happy is just... I don't know, very pleasing. Is it good or bad?
Chivi-chivik Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It's good. The problem is when you do it just for others without caring about yourself. That can cause a dependance: if others stop liking your work, you might get very upset, or even depressed.
You must like your work in order to others liking it. :aww:
Mustuko-chan Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh, I see, thank you for your reply :'3
superprincess64 Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2013

The whole stuff about originality really helped. I'm in the process of writing a Mother 2 comic too, and I'm worried about what if I accidentally rip off another work. I guess it's how you interpret that work, and what you do with it, that counts more.

Also #5. This holds very true for me, as the more I do something, the more likely I am to get to where I want to be (like my writing; for a while, I thought everything I wrote was crap, until I realised I could only get better if I try, and get/find help when I need it).
Chivi-chivik Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You can't be able to rip another work if you don't know about that other work. It will be just mere coincidence. Suzanne Collins didn't know about Battle Royale when she wrote The Hunger Games (yeah, this fact is true) ;) As far as you don't make a copycat of the original work, your fan work will be okay :aww:

People thinks that there are only two ways: failure and success, and that's not true: there's only one way actually: full of failures with the success at the end :nod:
AlwaysRainCheck Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2013  Student General Artist
Thank you for your words, you give sound advices! And I like your sense of humor :) (Smile) 
Chivi-chivik Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks :aww:
NightyCrystal Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
umm..sorry this kinda isn't related but my aunt got me ready with a art program and it doesn't have a lot of things I want it to have (does that make sense?) anways I wanted to get your opinion on what art program I can get :3
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