Comparing ourselves to other artists is a trap we sometimes fall into. Have you ever said something similar to these things to yourself?
- Debra is such an amazing artist. I wish I could paint like that. (Even though Debra has far more practice and training than you.)
- Why is Brad selling more than I am when his art is so bad?
- I’ve been creating art for years, yet these young people just out of art school are selling more than I am.
- Why am I not successful, when other artists with seemingly no talent are hugely famous?
- Why is a certain artist selling so much at their Facebook page, when no one will buy any from mine?
- Why did my family member buy someone else’s art, and not mine?
- Kolby makes painting seem so easy in his Youtube video. Why can’t I create art that fast?
- I can’t compete with…
(*not real people mentioned above)
Look, I’ve felt many of these things so I can relate. It’s very hard not to doubt or second guess ourselves, especially when we see so many artists succeeding - when we are not. We may think what’s the point of it all? Why should we keep creating art if we don’t sell as many as others seem to? How can we compete with all the other artists who are selling - or should we be competing at all?
Comparisons lead to negativity
The thing with comparisons is that it often leads to negativity. We end up thinking more about the person who we are comparing our art or successes to, and not our own art. We begin doubting ourselves, and why we are creating art in the first place.
Comparisons also can lead to blaming our non-success on other artists. I have often seen the “blame game” occur when some artists reduce their prices very low, or have sales at their websites. Some artists claim that these artists are flooding the market with cheap art, and making it more difficult for them to sell their own higher priced art.
Whether I agree with this or not is not the point. The fact of the matter is this – these blaming artists will benefit much more by using this energy in a productive way. There will always be cheaper art, so get over it!
Comparing ourselves to other artists stunts our creative growth
It’s difficult to be creative when we are comparing our art with someone else’s.
We spend more time focusing on what’s bad about our own art, than how we can improve it.
Spend too much time making comparisons, and you will soon realize you can never live up. You will start doubting yourself, and what you create – always thinking it’s not good enough.
Creating and selling art is not a competition.
We are not competing against one another. If you see another artist who seems to paint better, maybe its because they had many more years of practice than you. If not, maybe its because they are naturally gifted. The point is, we are not in a competition to see who creates art better.
Follow your own path, not someone else’s.
We all have our own story, our own path and our own reasons for creating art. Some artists have much more time and resources than others to create, learn and grow. Stay away from comparisons, and work on your own art.
The world of visual art is more diverse than we often realize. There are thousands of different styles and mediums artists can work with. Some require years of practice to completely master.
When we wonder why a certain artist creates art faster (or better?), we must realize that all artists have different approaches and preferences. There are often many different means to an end. The technique and proficiency with the medium often influences the speed of the outcome. An artist who has mastered painting with a palette knife can often produce a painting much faster than one who uses small brushes.
Make comparisons with yourself
I don’t proclaim to have all the answers but I am sure about one thing – artists should never compare their art and successes with other artists. Comparisons are very anti-productive, and sometimes destructive.
Instead, make the comparison’s with yourself. Look back at your own art of the past, and see how you have improved. Keep track of your successes, growth of your website and sales. Keep building on what you have accomplished. With determination and hard work, you will eventually get where you want to be.
But you will NEVER if you don’t overcome the habit of comparison – because no matter how good you are at creating and selling art, there will ALWAYS be someone more creative and making more money than you!
Once we realize this and know it in our hearts – then will be the time we can pave our own path to success!