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Creative Confidence

Oh, creative confidence. How long has it taken to get to a place where I understand you? I've been involved in creative projects for many years and it feels that whenever I start something new (shooting black & white for the entirety of 2023), I doubt myself creatively.


Creative confidence is a term coined by Stanford University professors David Kelley and Tom Kelley in their book of the same name. It refers to the belief in one's creative abilities and the willingness to take creative risks and try new things.


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Many people struggle with creative confidence, especially in professional settings where there is often a fear of failure or judgment. However, research has shown that creative confidence is a key factor in innovation and success.

So how can you cultivate creative confidence in yourself? Here are a few tips:


Practice regularly: The more you practice your craft, the more confident you will become in your abilities. This can be anything from writing to painting to coding.


Practice makes a skill more and more familiar to your day-to-day routine. In photography, I tend to do one of the 3 things daily. Shoot, edit or learn. I also notice that when I don't have my camera with me, which is something that I am actively trying to change, my mind is always looking at compositions. Subconsciously, I am in the practice of making images.

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Embrace failure: Failure is an inevitable part of the creative process. Instead of letting it discourage you, try to reframe it as an opportunity to learn and grow.


I think that the easiest way to get comfortable with failure is to share your work and progress. I know many creative people guard their work or process because they are scared of being mocked or ridiculed. I have found in my creative journey that is coming to terms with myself early in the process somehow alleviates self-doubt.


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Surround yourself with supportive people: Having a supportive network of friends and colleagues can help boost your creative confidence. Seek out people who are willing to give honest feedback and encouragement.


Finding supportive people can be as easy as supporting other artists. If you see someone’s work that you enjoy or that causes any inspiration, reach out and let them know. In my experience, showing appreciation for others’ craft has helped me find supportive people in my community.



Take small steps: It's easy to get overwhelmed when tackling a big creative project. Instead of doing everything at once, break it down into smaller, manageable steps.


This will help you feel more in control and confident in your abilities. Everyone has a different approach to this method. I have in the past tried to take on every single detail on my own which in turn led me to not finishing a project or becoming discouraged with it.

Creative confidence is an important quality to cultivate in yourself. By practicing regularly, embracing failure, seeking out supportive people, and taking small steps, you can build up your creative confidence and unlock your full potential.

Patience and persistence

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