How can I find the confidence to pursue art?

I am about to start college doing an art and design BTEC. I love doing art, and honestly would love to keep in the creative industries as I get into a career. I see many people who hate their jobs and I want to stick to what I love so I am fufilled.

I am, however, not confident in my work. I love using my creative skills but really lack in confidence.

Many have told me to stick to what I enjoy doing and I have decided to do so but I am scared that I won't find in the future. A family friend told me I should go to art college to do what I love but I hardly know anyone who has been successful in the creative industry.

I am very lost.


— Mia

Expert answers

Melanie Shee's reply:

Hi Mia

I am sorry to hear that you don’t feel confident in your work, but as you seem to be just starting out in your career and education I do feel that this is something that will develop over time. If I were you I would try not to worry about it too much if you can. I also know that many of the fellow students you will met over the next few weeks may even feel the same as you do but they may not talk about it!

The role of your tutor on your BTEC art and design course will be to encourage you and offer you constructive feedback on your work as well as to help you build your confidence. I would speak to your tutors and tell them how you feel if, after a few weeks on the course, you still lack confidence in your work so they can support you more if needed. If your lack of confidence also affects other areas of your life you may want to consider talking to the college’s student services as they may be able to support you too.

You mention that you don’t know anyone who has been successful in the creative industries. Believe me that that there are thousands of people who have wonderful careers in the sector. In fact you only have to look at the contributors to the Creative Choices website to see the diversity of people and roles available. The creative industries continue to grow year on year, so I am sure there will be a role for you when you have completed your education.

Also, there will be many former students from the college you are attending who will have found successful careers working within the creative industries. Your tutors will know who has been successful and are working in the industry, so speak to them about your concerns about not making a future career for yourself in the sector. In fact, ex-students and alumni may even be invited back into the college to give their own insights into what they are doing in the sector since they left college and you may get the chance to talk to them.

My final piece of advice to you is to tell you that you should try to enjoy your art and design course. I studied the same course as you at the beginning of my career and loved every minute of it and I hope you do too!


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