Why I feel my art is not good enough- Explained

This is true of many artists. I would almost go so far as to say most.

It’s not necessarily stressful for all of us, per se, if only because we get used to it and accept the reality of it. However, very few of us are satisfied with our work, much less proud of it.

It is extremely common for artists to be dissatisfied with a lot of what they make – even everything they make. Even if they can see some things they did well, there’s always some nagging flaw or mistake or omission or something.

Other people, meanwhile, will praise the work and say they can’t see anything wrong with it. For the artist, this can be very frustrating.

artmellows artwork

Why does this happen to an Artist?

When that happens, here’s what’s happening. As the artist, you know what you were trying to do. You have a mental image in your mind and you can see all the little ways in which the image you created doesn’t match up to the one in your head.

The thing you’ve got to keep in mind is that no piece of art can ever be exactly what you envisioned, because the imagination is not limited in the ways that physical things are. You can always improve your work, but you will never achieve perfection because it’s not possible in the real world. It’s not even definable in a practical sense in the real world. Since it’s hard to improve without comparing your mind-picture to your actual art, though, it’s difficult to get out of that habit.

Meanwhile, other people cannot see the image in your mind. They can only see the art you made. So for them, there is nothing to compare it to. They take it on its own merits, so its flaws, even if they notice them, seem much less glaring than they do to the artist. They may not even see them as flaws, even though the artist does.

Do your best to remember this, and go a little easier on yourself.

It’s possible that you are also comparing your work to that of other artists and feeling inferior. Do your best not to do this. If you must, compare your work only to that of people who have been working on art for the same number of years as you have. 

It makes no sense at all to look at the work of someone who’s been painting for 20 years and feels inferior if you’ve only been painting for five years. Not only is it irrational, but it’s also unproductive and unfair to yourself. Again – do your best to be easy on yourself. 

Art is a skill, not a magical gift from above, and it takes a lot of time and works to master it. No one, and I mean NO ONE, starts out good at it. The more time and work you put in, the better you’ll get. And one day your work will be just as good as that of the people you idolize right now.


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It depends on your mindset and your passion for it.

For instance, I used to play the Violin when I was younger but then I noticed it wasn’t going anywhere, and, as it’s said about art.

It stressed me out a Lot. I just recently went back to it (playing the Violin since my daughter learning Violin) and now it has me relaxed and feeling more confident in my ability to play decently. And, of course, there will always be someone better than you. That goes for all things. There will always be someone who gets all these rewards and money for their work.

These are the types of people who have times when they may feel the way you do. I think the difference though is that they use those feelings to keep them going; to persevere.

In other words use that stress, that disappointment inside you to create a beautiful piece of Art that accurately represents your relationship with life and your struggles.

Now, this is of course assuming you have that passion, that drive to continue otherwise you probably wouldn’t be finding yourself in this position.

So, having said that, do you have a passion for Art?

Because, if it is just something you do to impress people or to have trophies and awards to show off I would say that Art is not something you have a passion for. But, my guess most likely for this case is that you’re not one of those people.

My guess is that you’re someone who looks like you want to pursue this dream of yours, but you feel like it’s going nowhere.

If it’s going nowhere you need to give it a little push; you need to explain to Art through your artistic abilities why you are mad or stressed about it. And that’s what Art is; you don’t always have to be in a happy or peaceful mood to make a supposed “good” and “proud” peace of Art. Express yourself. That’s all.

And if all you need is a little confidence boost (and if that’s why you don’t feel proud) then I would say to never underestimate your power of you.

You’re not like anyone else; you’re you. And you is the best person you can be. Cause if you’re not you then who are you trying to be?

Because you never believed that you are good enough.

Think about this- Is this art you created good enough? At what point do you think it’s good enough? And for whom it is not good enough? And what the hell if it really is not good enough?

 If you feel your art is not good enough you can stop making it, but what if at a point you feel that you are not good enough to the world?

Van Gogh never drew as well as the French academy types he tried to hang out with. He’s no less amazing because his technique is flawed, he’s better for it.

You get better with practice and age. Find the school that teaches the kind of drawing you like best, sharpen your pencil, and for draw 10000 hours.

By hours 2000–4000 you really won’t suck anymore. By 5000–7000, you’ll be fairly amazing.

I think many cartoonists are excellent with their flawed drawings and brutish amateur style choices, it’s about empowering the line with you.

And you are good enough as you are. Art school doesn’t teach driving. Drive is making more, having good practice.

Just don’t give up because your hands and eye are young. Some people have better spatial perception and drawing skills, and some people have painted as a natural strong suit. Play to your strengths.

I kill it as an artist but I’m no portrait painter… I just do the parts of art school I loved. Colour studies and washes. Gradients. That’s what does it for me. I respect draftsmen but I know I’m not the best in class.

Diego met Frieda when she showed him her work he said, “go paint me another”

Your next painting will be better your next work is going to be better… just keep going.

You compare your art with others

When creating your art are you comparing your work to another artist? It is common for artists to go through periods such as this. Oftentimes when this happens I find it tends to help if you:

  • Try to enjoy the process of creating the artwork itself.
  • It can be easy to slide into the frame of mind where you become concerned more with the outcome than the process of creation. This can be counterproductive, because when in this mindset you may find it difficult to remain present in the moment. Diminishing your motivation.
  • You may also become discouraged or anxious and put the brush down out of fear of not creating the piece to your own, or another’s satisfaction or expectation.
  • The more you are able to view your art without judgment or self-criticism. The more peaceful the practice becomes, the more productive and creative you become.
  • Try to sit and meditate or pray for a few minutes before you begin painting. Try to focus your mind on each brush stroke while painting, shifting your focus from the end result to that specific moment in time.
  • If you aren’t used to this or find it difficult. It is sometimes helpful to take a few deep breaths focusing on staying in the process knowing that even if the artwork doesn’t end up exactly the way you envisioned it. That’s alright, most art doesn’t. Even the most accomplished artist can experience this feeling.
  • Enjoy yourself, art in any form can not be judged on a standard, it is a unique practice your creations are your own expressions and you yourself are unique. Embrace this, realize this as fact and you will create art that you and others will enjoy.
  • Mindfulness meditation may help you maintain perspective and focus in your practice, you can download an app or audiobook for this purpose or even take a class, I highly recommend it, as it has helped me overcome similar frames of mind in the past.
  • As a side note, I was given a piece of insight in the past from whom I’m not sure, it may even have been through my own observations.
  • “To an artist, the piece is never truly complete. It is always able to be improved upon.” I feel this often when looking at older works, although I try my best to leave it the way it is because deep down I know that that’s the way it was meant to be. I still get the urge to continue working on it long afterwards. I sincerely hope my answer helps you pick up the brush and continue progressing in your art.


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Is it normal to feel that way?

Of course, it’s okay! You feel what you feel. The question is “not good enough” for whom or what? -yourself? someone else’s opinion? -getting into art school?

If you’re making art just for your own pleasure, allow yourself to enjoy the process. Good or bad self-judgments don’t have to matter in this case.

But let’s say you feel your technique is not “good enough” to express what you’d like your viewers to receive from your art.

Then you might have to take a mature stance and “do” something constructive about getting your skills up to a higher level. 

Take a class, and study art in real life (ie. not online) such as in galleries or museums, or even street fairs. Look how others have made the art you aspire to accomplish.

Most important of all, ask questions. “How can I make this look like this? 

How do I mix my colors? What kind of drawing pen did you use?” Artists are often happy to explain how they made their art and gallery personnel can tell you more about how their artists work too.

As they say “Rome wasn’t built in a day”.

Getting ”good” could just mean enjoying the doing of it and keeping an open curious mind.


About the Author:

Manny Acharya is the co-founder of Artmellows. Your go-to place for Design, Digital Art, Digital sculpting, Photography, Design Tools and gears Info, and Product Reviews. Manny is a Digital Artist, 3D Sculpt Designer, Ardent Photography, Drone flying Enthusiast, and tech Lover. He supercharges Digital Art and design by crafting memorable 3D sculptures & 2D Design and art. Learn more About Manny:

PS: Manny has created a Beginner Friedly ebook to Learn the Nomad 3D Sculpt App. Know More about the eBook. Know more about Manny

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