In CVA Art Blog

Sometimes artists need encouragement, perspective, or just a kick in the pants. This blog supplies all three!

Well, I did it again….missed entering an art competition that I told myself I was going to do.

So, what is new? I could have been more assertive in entering the competition, but was not. Sigh. How often do you not enter an art competition? Why not? Be assertive and DO it!!!

But that is ONLY ONE way of not being assertive in your art life.

OH, Don’t get Assertive mixed up with Aggression. They are NOT the same.

Assertiveness is knowing who you are, dong the things that are well meaning for you or others, and standing up for your rights. Of course, those rights cannot, and should not hurt another person or animal either. The difference between assertiveness and aggression is…….. Aggressiveness hurts others by trying to dominate the other person. It is hostile behavior, sarcastic, rude and ignoring the rights of other people. Aggression can come out of all sorts of negativity.

Assertive is positive action. Aggression is negative action.


The Assertive Artist feels good about him or herself. The assertive artist works hard to achieve their goals. And if they stumble along the way trying to achieve their goals, they will still feel good about themselves. That is because they know that failures also lead to success. They do not have long drawn out pity parties for themselves. They soon get back up on their feet and get moving forward assertively. They learn from their mistakes in life and in their art.

Ask yourself what you really want? How are you going to achieve that? What are you willing to do to achieve it?

  • The assertive artist gets up out of bed in the morning and has a plan for the day. A plan that includes doing their art.
  • The assertive artist finds the rhythm to do their work in his or her daily living.
  • The assertive artist doesn’t think “Poor me.
  • The assertive artist does not procrastinate.
  • The assertive artist has a web site and learns how to use social media to get their work out there.
  • The assertive artist learns how to market their work.
  • The assertive artist approaches art galleries…after he/she has years of studying and learning to do their best work.
  • The assertive artist tries new ways and different things.
  • The assertive artist is not afraid to make changes when necessary.
  • The assertive artist remains confident and positive thinking….without being overly sure of their self.
  • The assertive artist enters art competitions.
  • The assertive artist puts fear aside.
  • The assertive artists enrolls in classes or takes workshops.
  • The assertive artist is not afraid to questions. That is part of how we learn.
  • The assertive artist learns to say no when necessary.
  • The assertive artists stands up for himself or herself.
  • The assertive artist admits when wrong.
  • The assertive artists does not give up.
  • The assertive artist handles his or her anger…toward them self especially.
  • The assertive artists learns to get past anxiety

By asserting yourself, you raise your self-esteem. Why is that? Because you are telling yourself and everyone else that you are every bit as important as the next person. BUT, Most of all, you are telling yourself. When you are non-assertive, you are reinforcing low self-esteem.

You have to learn to be more assertive to get rid of the self-defeating behaviors or attitudes. Being assertive is being responsible for your own lifestyle. We can learn to express how we feel without being demeaning to ourselves or anyone else.

When you are non-assertive, you are acting like a wall-flower in the back of the room telling people to not pay any attention to who you are or what your work is all about. We make excuses so we don’t have to be more assertive.

Your artwork can show a lack of assertiveness. When you think you are less, that is being non-assertive, then your work becomes less. You want to be taken seriously with your work, so be more assertive when tackling your work. Study, Study, Study….to Learn, learn and learn.

Being assertive means You make your own choices, and you do not blame others. Communicating assertively shows confidence also. It shows a certain independence and strength. When you see something wrong, and you ignore that, then you are being non-assertive and just trying to avoid conflict. You are not standing up for the truth of how you feel. There are the right times and the wrong times to communicate assertively.

It is o.k to disagree, and it is o.k. to let it be known that you disagree. How often do you refrain from expressing your own opinion? With that assertive communicating can come compromise and negotiation which in turn comes changes for the better.

Say you are at an art league meeting and something is said that you disagree with. You glance around the room and see apparently no one else disagreeing with what was being stated.

Does that mean that everyone is in agreement? Absolutely Not. Or, is everyone just trying to avoid conflict by not disagreeing. . . . By NOT being assertive.

Are you going to let it go by the wayside? How often does it happen that later, after a meeting that you and others say you wish you or they had spoken up. Too bad, too late now.

You and they were being non-assertive. Usually no good changes can come from being non-assertive. To move forward, opinions have to be expressed and respected……and discussed.

Another thing is if you are attending an art demonstration or art workshop, if you don’t speak up or ask questions, you are again being non-assertive. To ask questions does not mean you are stupid. It is the opposite. We learn by questioning and to question is being smart.

With assertiveness comes satisfaction. When it comes to doing our artwork, it isn’t so much what we do, or even how much money we make, it is about the satisfaction we get in doing it and doing our best. If you were not assertive, you would not get anything done or get anywhere. What blocks you from being more assertive?

So, build up your self-confidence. Don’t take everyone’s words as gospel. Don’t allow other’s to knock you or your work down. There is positive critiquing and there is also non-helpful criticism. Learn to know the difference. Know too, that most other artists are quite willing to help another artist.

Becoming assertive is an ongoing process. Become aware of your patterns of behavior so you can become assertive in your day to day dealings in your life and especially with your art. It you sit back and watch the art world go by feeling less than other artists, then you are being non-assertive and giving in to negative thinking. You are giving up. One day working on your art is NOT going to do it. It takes a steady working habit. So, be aggressive in that steady work habit. You will like yourself better and you will like your artwork results better as time goes on.

Become assertive so you do your best work.

Thank you for reading.

Artfully yours,

+ You can view  Sandy’s original post here!

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