The Artist’s Ego: Learning Balance

Question: How can artists find the delicate balance between confidence and humility, while nurturing their creative ego?

Intro: Aspiring artists often hear that they need a big ego to make it in the industry. But what happens when this ego becomes too inflated or, on the contrary, overly suppressed? Finding the right balance between confidence and humility is essential for any artist to grow and succeed in their craft. In this blog, we will explore the delicate dance of mastering the artist’s ego. Discover how nurturing your creative self-worth while staying grounded can lead to personal and professional growth, allowing you to not only create remarkable art but also build meaningful connections within the creative community.

The Artist’s Ego: Learning Balance


Artists are often associated with having big egos, which leads to stories of tantrums and demands. However, ego is not inherently good or bad. It is an essential trait for artists, but learning balance is key.

Defining the Ego

The word “ego” is commonly misused in everyday language. We usually associate it with negative traits like arrogance or conceit. However, everyone has an ego, and it is necessary for personal growth and development.

Freud’s Theory on the Ego

In the 1800s, Freud introduced the concept of the ego in psychoanalysis. He believed that our base drives exist in the “id,” while our moral conscience resides in the “super-ego.” The ego exists as a mediator between these two, finding a balance between personal needs and societal norms.

The Role of Ego in Artists

Contrary to popular belief, artists need to be self-centered in a positive sense. They need to know who they are and what they want to achieve with their art. This self-assuredness helps them navigate through resistance and challenges.

Ricky Gervais’ Example

Ricky Gervais’ experience hosting the Golden Globes showcases the importance of having a strong ego. Despite facing backlash and demands for apologies, he stood by his jokes and defended his intentions as a comedian. Gervais emphasized the need for authenticity and standing by one’s artistic choices, regardless of public opinion.

The Power of Personal Vision

An artist’s ego allows them to create art for themselves, rather than pleasing others. It is important to paint, write, or create the kind of work that resonates with one’s own vision and values. This mindset makes artists resilient to criticism and strengthens their artistic integrity.


The key to a balanced ego as an artist lies in understanding oneself, having a clear vision, and standing by one’s artistic choices. Embracing a healthy ego enables artists to create authentically and navigate the challenges of their craft.

Frequently Asked Questions about The Artist’s Ego: Learning Balance

Q: What is the artist’s ego?

A: The artist’s ego refers to the self-image, self-importance, and self-confidence of an artist. It is the individual’s perception of their skills, talents, and overall creative abilities.

Q: Why is learning balance important for artists?

A: Learning balance is crucial for artists to maintain mental well-being and sustain long-term growth. It helps in managing perfectionism, avoiding burnout, embracing constructive criticism, fostering collaboration, and achieving a harmonious work-life balance.

Q: How can artists cultivate balance within their ego?

A: Artists can cultivate balance within their ego by:

  • Practicing self-reflection and self-awareness
  • Recognizing and accepting limitations and areas for improvement
  • Seeking feedback and being open to constructive criticism
  • Fostering a growth mindset and embracing failures as opportunities to learn
  • Developing empathy and valuing collaboration with others
  • Establishing a supportive network of fellow artists for guidance and inspiration
  • Creating a healthy work-life balance and managing expectations

Q: How can a lack of balance in the artist’s ego negatively impact their work?

A: A lack of balance in the artist’s ego can lead to various negative impacts on their work, including:

  • Perfectionism that hinders progress and stifles creativity
  • Isolation and resistance towards feedback or collaboration
  • Low self-esteem and self-doubt, hindering artistic growth
  • Mental and emotional exhaustion, potentially leading to burnout
  • Unrealistic expectations and pressure, affecting overall well-being

Q: Can artists find balance while still striving for greatness?

A: Yes, artists can absolutely find balance while striving for greatness. In fact, balance can enhance their pursuit of excellence by allowing them to approach their work with a clear mind, an open heart, and a greater sense of resilience. It enables artists to continuously learn and evolve, ensuring long-term artistic success.

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