Creative Careers

6 intentional steps in my journey to creative confidence

Ambre Crystal

Manifest your future paper arts

Table of Contents

I am Ambre, I’m 23 years old and I study English Literature and Writing at UWE. This blog post is going to be all about being creatively confident. Being creatively bold means having confidence in your work and yourself as a creative individual. Having this creative confidence is important because it’ll allow you to release work you’re really proud of.

Envisioning your goals and where you want to be going with your life can allow you to become more creatively fearless, as you become content with yourself and your work, you will start to achieve your goals as a creative individual.

In this article, I will take you through 6 steps to bring you closer to your goal of creative confidence! I’ll do it with you, so you’re not lonely.

1. Feeling the fear

Feeling fear around your work is a common feeling for every creative, or for me at least. I’m a big perfectionist and I set my level of work to a high standard. For me, writing poetry and writing feels like I’m showing a part of my soul to the world and it’s open for criticism.

This is something I really struggle with as creating work is so personal, and everyone has different opinions, some people are just not going to like my work.

Being creatively confident is all about being happy with what you show to the world, but feeling at ease with the fact that it is open to criticism, feeling the fear is all part of the process.

2. It’s time to stop comparing yourself

If you’re feeling the fear don’t worry, you’re not alone and there are ways to combat this.

You’re going to have doubts but there are ways to tackle beating yourself up about the work you produce. One thing we can all do to alleviate this feeling is to not compare our work to other people’s work.

Everyone has their own unique style and it’s important to find a style that suits you best, I covered this theme in another blog post about creative identity, so take a look if that is something you are struggling with.

Once you have your style and you’re comfortable with it, it will make comparing yourself to others harder. Another thing is to trust that feeling scared about releasing your work is very normal and to not talk yourself out of releasing your work.

As I mentioned at the start of this blog post, I am a big perfectionist, and being judgmental about my work is part of this. Sometimes I will talk myself out of posting my work if I’m feeling particularly judgmental about my work. It’s important to trust that what you’re presenting to the world is good enough and that you shouldn’t talk yourself out of posting anything.

3. Celebrating yourself

It is important to celebrate yourself and your accomplishments, no matter how big or small they may be. You will allow yourself to be more grateful and proud of the work that you do, and that is part of loving and appreciating yourself.

Creating a list is a good way of doing this.

One activity I did was create a list of all the accomplishments I have, big or small and say if I was proud or happy or any other positive affirmations.

This was a bit uncomfortable for me, as I find it hard to recognise my achievements and talk about them, as it makes me feel a bit like a brag. But once I did it, it really occurred to me how much I have actually achieved and this made me much more confident in my work and my abilities as a creative individual.

It made me realise it’s not always about creating lists of things to do. It’s also good to create lists of things you have done already, which can help you feel more accomplished and closer to your goal of creative confidence.

4. Look at what you’ve already achieved

For me, reflection helps with creative confidence which you could do whilst reading this article.

I listed some achievements in order to reflect on what I’ve already achiveved.

An achievement I listed was publishing a few poetry collections on Wattpad, this was something I thought wasn’t a very big achievement as it was just online, but thousands of people have read them and given positive feedback.

This allowed me to see that I must have felt confident enough creatively to publish them, for anyone to criticise, and this made me feel proud.

Another achievement I listed was getting into University. This was a good one because it allowed me to realise how far I’ve come, which has made me feel more at ease with my creative confidence.

Three years ago, I applied through clearing on a whim because I was bored with my life and unsatisfied with the way it was going and wanted to change that, I set goals, and I manifested my future and now I’m in my last year, very close to graduating and I’m doing what I love, writing.

I learned great skills that will equip me in my future career and I’m one step closer to my dreams. My writing course is what drove me to start writing poetry, and I am so glad it did because I love writing poetry.

By the end of this activity I was noting down things that I never felt proud of before and it made me appreciate myself as a creative even more!

5. Manifest your future

Manifesting is the act of bringing something tangible into your life with the law of attraction and belief. I.e. If you think it will come via your thoughts, beliefs, or actions. I am a strong believer in manifestation.

At first, when I heard of manifestation I thought it was all fake and did not believe it at all, but about a year ago I decided I would try it and see if it could work.

So I wrote down where I wanted to be in the next year, and what I wanted to be doing. I said I wanted to be living somewhere with a blue front door, and other things but the most specific thing was the blue front door. I wanted to graduate and start working, specifically writing for a company, with plants all around me and a coffee machine so I can have coffee all day. Nearly a year later I have a house with a blue door,

I’m doing my placement for University so I write for a company and I work from home with plants around me, and I have a coffee machine so I can have coffee all day. I only realised this when I walked home one day with shopping and I was looking at the front door and I saw it was blue and it reminded me of when I first tried out manifestation and I realised then that it is a legitimate thing!

Manifesting can bring you one step closer towards creative confidence.

6. Try visualising your goals

Visualisation is great to help with creative confidence. For this part of the article, I created a mood board and I manifested visually and through positive affirmations like “I will” where I wanted to be in ten years and what I wanted my life to look like.

I want to be living a bohemian homestead life, where I follow the Danish and Norwegian way of living, Hygge. Hygge is all about comfort and living within your means. I will grow my own fruits and vegetables in my garden, I will keep bees and collect honey in jars.

My garden will be full of wildflowers and sunflowers for the bees to pollinate. I will bake fresh sourdough bread and brew fresh coffee and live organically. I will keep chickens and I’ll have a golden retriever. I will be working mostly from home, writing part-time and I will have a Hygge Nook where I can go to write, with throws, a comfy chair, some plants, a coffee machine nearby, and my dog by my feet. My home will be full of plants, bringing the outdoors inside.

My colour scheme, natural colours like oranges, creams, browns, rusts, yellows, and forest greens. With natural furniture like rattan and seagrass, and comfort will be the aim, with throws and cushions and rugs everywhere, with low lighting using lamps and candles.

I will be running my florist business, using biodegradable packaging, with the bees in mind, and sell my homemade honey in the shop. I will have a vintage bike outside my shop with flowers in it, and inside flowers will reach high up the wall.

I loved doing this activity because I love creating mood boards and have made a few boards on Pinterest manifesting my future. I keep these boards to keep my ideas in one place, and it suggests similar things to my boards so that every time I go on them I am inspired to add to my goals and manifest my future even more.

It is also important to use these visions boards to put plans into action, it’s good to use visualisation to encourage yourself to achieve specific goals or a specific lifestyle, even printing out quotes or visual representations of your goals and have them nearby at a desk while working or just look at and add to your vision board daily, to remind yourself to stay on track to achieve what you’ve represented in your mood boards, which is what I would recommend doing to help you grow your creative confidence.

What we’ve learned is a quest for creative confidence

In conclusion, we’ve learned that it is difficult putting yourself out in a place in which you’re opening yourself up and allowing all to see. The fear that someone will read about your insecurities and will know about your hopes and dreams in life, and will judge them, is very personal and makes you feel very vulnerable which is something you have to get over to be bold creatively and to really believe in your goals.

It also helps to remind yourself that a lot of people might feel similarly to you, and they are also probably worried about being so open and speaking about their goals and dreams. It’s possible that you are worried about how doing this leaves room for criticism and people could possibly make you feel bad about your goals and dreams. I was glad to write about mine as I want to inspire more people who feel the same as me to open up and be more confident in themselves.

I felt much more creatively fearless after these exercises and I hope others will too. It felt great to manifest my future and put my hopes and dreams out into the world, and I hope it inspires others to practice manifestation even if they are skeptical about it working, my advice is to just try it because I was a skeptic once, too and now I love doing it!

I would recommend doing these activities if you are feeling like you need more creative confidence as I feel a lot more confident than when I first started the article.

If you would like to learn more about how you can boost your creative confidence, why not take a look at our first online resource; Creative Confidence with Grace Kress.

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The future of paper arts

A Statement from the Board of Directors


Like many organisations, PAPER Arts has been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. In 2020, on appointment of a highly skilled CEO, we made the bold decision to review our business model and begin a process of research and development in order to shape a new service and to better support creatives in Bristol with professional development, networking and the opportunity to learn new skills.

Throughout the pandemic we have proudly supported creatives in Bristol, with a focus on young people from St Pauls, our Creative Employment programme hosted over 20 sessions and we welcomed 17 young people to feed into our research and development proposal. 

However, the last 18 months have been a huge challenge, while we’ve been able to successfully deliver a plethora of projects since our inception seven years ago, we have been unable to secure the funding necessary to realise our ambitious plans for the future and to provide our organisation with much needed financial stability.

As a result, it is with a heavy heart that the current PAPER Arts team, made up of Grace, Kate, Katy, Lau and Amie will no longer be able to continue in their roles. Our small team has delivered a substantial amount of value to the community we serve and the Board of Directors are endlessly grateful for the skills and professionalism they bring with them each and every day. We are proud to know and work alongside such talented individuals and believe that the arts sector is a better place with them in it. 

The ideas generated by this team are inspiring and hopeful and the Board of Directors wholeheartedly believe in the importance of supporting the creative community in Bristol.

As September ends and the seasons change PAPER Arts will be going into hibernation in order to survive this adversity. Our voluntary Board of Directors will spend the coming months considering the future of PAPER Arts, the role we can play in the arts sector in Bristol and how we can sustainably move forwards. We don’t know what that will look like yet, but as soon as we are able to share more with you we will. 

In the meantime, should you have any questions or concerns or if you would like to speak to someone about the future of PAPER Arts please don’t hesitate to contact [email protected] – Kirsten Cree, one of the Board of Directors will be monitoring this inbox. 

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