To view more of Sophia's art go to or

to purchase prints and cards of her artwork go to

If you see an artwork on this website that you like but it's already sold - please contact Sophia as she does commissions.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Robert Genn Twice Weekly Letter

Just had to share this ..... on the NZ Art Guild members forum there has been recent discussion around this topic amongst many of the artists - so this email was very timely ....

Unconscious confidence

August 26, 2008

"If you think you're outclassed, you are,
You've got to think high to rise.
You've got to be sure of yourself,
Before you can win the prize."
Author unknown

During the recent Olympics the term "unconscious confidence" was bandied about. Interviewers lauded those who had it and lamented those who didn't. Winners won with it and losers lost for the want of it.

How do people get to this state of inner strength? How does unconscious confidence apply to fields like ours?

Training: Serious folks need to train so hard that the skills get into their bones. In art, there's no net, bar, distance or time to which all comers must apply. Goals need to be self-set and training must be done on one's own. This takes character, and like any athlete, it takes some hard work. Coaches may be the guides, but it's the trainees themselves who need to take measure--small gains are the makings of medal-material.

Focus: Focus is the conscious removal of distractions--from a sore toe to the roar of the crowd. The world is a noisy stadium that contrives for us to go off the track. Cutting out ambient hysteria is a learned skill. It means a total concentration on the job at hand. Focus can be understood as a kind of self anointed me-ism--and it's okay to feel that way when the action is needed. In the artist's world, personal mannerisms, processes, techniques and stylistic tendencies are sacrosanct, a mind-state similar to common belief. While artists may be wildly exploratory, the winners need to run like they've already won.

Pressure: Pressure means expectations and competition. Without competition, bars are blurred, standards are sullied and mediocrity triumphs. While individualism is key, "I just paint for me," the artistic catchword of our times, doesn't cut it if you're looking for transcendent quality. To get to the gold, artists need to look over their shoulders and see what's out there. They need to marry desire with effort. Like the pressure to shave a fraction off a second, the artist feels the need for nuance, flair and creative signature. In our game it's a tough order because the whole team generally resides within one body. Pressure allows self-trained focus to score.

Best regards,

PS: "Nothing builds confidence like accomplishment." Thomas Carlyle

Esoterica: Reinventing daily, artists build muscles yet unknown to themselves. With self-training, focus and pressure we gain unconscious confidence. Gradually and inevitably, we achieve our personal best. We begin to take liberties with stride and stroke. Work becomes play, and the process becomes its own reward. We keep stroking. We look over our shoulders. We smile at the crowd.

HIGHLY RECCOMMED Subscribing to this great newsletter! Go to

No comments: