The Art Biz ep. 24: How to Be a More Confident Artist with Gwen Fox

Artist Gwen Fox describes a situation many artists have found themselves in.

You know the scenario. Your work was selected for a prestigious art show and during the show you happen to overhear a man talking about your work. As you listen, your heart sinks. He hates your painting.

The man then moves on to reveal his ignorance while commenting on several other paintings, yet what he said about yours has destroyed your confidence.

For the rest of the evening you don’t hear all the glowing remarks about your work. You keep replaying what the man said over and over in your mind. By bedtime your confidence in yourself and your art dwells in an empty vile hole.

Thoughts keep running through your mind. He was right, my work just isn’t good enough. Or … I knew down deep I wasn’t a real artist!

Your confidence has been stolen so now what can you do?

Painting by Taos artist Gwen Fox
©Gwen Fox, Mystery of the Morning. Oil on canvas, 40 x 30 inches. Used with Permission.

Lack of confidence is something all artists struggle with at one time or another. It keeps them from living up to their definition of what it means to be a successful artist.

In this episode of the Art Biz Podcast, you’ll hear guest Gwen Fox tackle this critical topic and give tips for becoming a more confident artist.


Listen to or subscribe on Apple Podcasts or your favorite player.


  • What you can do when your confidence is dashed, and how perfectionism and negative self-talk doesn’t help.
  • Why some people appear more confident than others, and where confidence doesn’t come from.
  • Why it’s crucial to surround yourself with those that give you confidence.

    Artist Gwen Fox leading a workshop
    Artist and instructor Gwen Fox with one of her students.
  • Gwen’s personal experience of an authority figure questioning her intellectual capabilities, and how she finally shed the belief of not being “smart enough” that plagued her for years.
  • The difference between beliefs and truths, and how to acknowledge and then silence your inner critic.
  • Why so many artists suffer from the imposter syndrome, and how to combat it.
  • How the words you choose to describe yourself shape the entire creative process.
  • How Gwen looks at failure and mistakes as learning lessons and highways to becoming a  successful artist.
  • Why Gwen fully believes we produce better art when we are kind to ourselves.
  • The two best words you could ever ask yourself: “What if … ?”
  • The importance of using visualization, affirmations, and goal setting as tools to shape confidence and release your artistic voice into the world.
  • Examples of affirmations that Gwen herself uses for success and confidence.

About My Guest

Artist Gwen Fox
As a child, Gwen Fox was allowed to express her creative vision while drawing and painting on the white wallpaper canvas in her family’s east Tennessee farmhouse. Today, she is known for her abstract paintings filled with sensual color, energy, and passion.

Gwen is a professional artist, instructor, and coach to artists who are eager to reach their artistic potential. She teaches workshops throughout the United States and holds art retreats in her beautiful studio in Taos, New Mexico.

Gwen’s goal is to help artists tap into their inner strengths and believe in their unique ability to create incredible paintings while discovering their intuitive genius.

Confidence, courage, and belief in self are hallmarks of a Fox-taught workshop.


This episode of the Art Biz Podcast is sponsored by our Art Biz Mastermind Workshops, which are held 4 times a year in various parts of the country.

It’s great that we have this online thing— that I can reach you through your computer, phone or talking electronic assistant. But … there’s nothing like being together and connecting face-to-face. When we’re together, we can accomplish more in two days than if you spent 6 months trying to figure it out yourself.

The workshops center around a core concept: That when you get away from the minutiae of your life in the studio and office, you can see the big picture more clearly, which helps you make a realistic plan that is in alignment with what you want for your art.

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18 thoughts on “The Art Biz ep. 24: How to Be a More Confident Artist with Gwen Fox”

  1. We want to stop worrying about whether or not our work is good enough, and concentrate on what is more important — the now of the work itself. And we need to notice the quality of the commentary (from self and other). Stand at the door and watch. Get better at decoding the helpful from the not-helpful. Where is the incentive to worry about eg whether or not we are good enough/original enough etc? (This can be subtle and insidious, of course)….What’s important is to open doors to our creativity not shut them and if we have any love for our art selves we have to protect nurture feed ourselves.

    I wish I were as good at nurturing other parts of myself as I am at nurturing my art self. I would not dream of letting that negative crap get a foothold.

  2. Gail Folsom Jennings

    I highly recommend Elizabeth Gilbert’s book “Big Magic.” I have been re-reading it and she speaks brilliantly to this issue. She offers inspiration with permission to do all those human things we tend to do but explains how we can create in spite of those things, even including them. I love this book, it has helped me get to work with joy in my creativity without the negative self-talk. If it does come up, I can just tell it to take a seat in the background while I have fun playing with colors. I’ve done all the self-help stuff for years and years and this book has moved me forward in leaps and bounds compared with all the others. They helped me get here but now I’m breaking free!

  3. Thank you once more Alyson for sharing your hard-earned insights. And Gwen, my skin crawled when you told the shattering story from school. How special that it was your son who eventually turned that cruelty around for you. How lucky for us all that you in turn are sharing that gift of truth!

  4. Absolutely wonderful — I have a committee that sits and criticizes too and I NEED to name it! So timely — thanks for posting!

  5. Great episode which I listened to three times (…is this desperation or ‘perfectionism’??) What struck me is that while I am physically healthy and super conscious about the food I eat and would never dream of eating artificial/high fructose anything, I feed my mind TOXIC JUNK FOOD contantly! No wonder I get discouraged! Thank you for the many insights your conversation brought about.

  6. Pingback: How to Be a More Confident Artist with Gwen Fox | Ika's Way

  7. Pingback: Confidence Podcast | Gwen Fox

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