Underdogs

#FAQDevin – How do you stop comparing your work to others?

Today’s question comes from @JedingfieldII:

As an artist (any type) how do you proceed without constantly comparing your work to others?

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You will always compare yourself to other artists, and there are reasons why you should. It lights a fire under you, inspires you to try different techniques, etc. But I get what you’re saying… how do you mitigate this so that it doesn’t paralyze you?

Every artist that makes you self-conscious feels the exact same way about someone else. It doesn’t matter how far up the ladder you go—there’s always someone better. Plus, the people with whom you are likely comparing yourself are at vastly different points in their journey of improvement. Who’s to say that given the same amount of time, you won’t be at the same level of development as they are now? It’s all relative.

So to answer your question, I think you have to be vigilant about interjecting perspective into things.

Send questions to @devinafterdark on Twitter with the hashtag #FAQDevin. Thanks!

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2 Responses to “#FAQDevin – How do you stop comparing your work to others?”

  1. Michael Yakutis

    My thoughts exactly! It’s good to look to others for inspiration and guidance, but never be discouraged by the abilities of other artists compared to your own. Chances are, your abilities are better than your giving yourself credit for. Just keep practicing your skills as much as possible. That’s what the pros had to do and there are no shortcuts. If you ever get discouraged, take a look at a picture you drew a few years ago and compare it to one you drew recently. Just LOOK at the progress you’ve made! You will only continue to get better.

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  2. Matthew Sample II

    Exactly!

    The question should be: How do you keep yourself from being discouraged with the quality of your work so that you push through to make it as good as it can be?

    And to that I’d say every work of art has an ugly stage, when we are searching for what works in it. We may need to start over with this piece, if it gets too bad. But usually if I keep solving the problems, the piece starts working.

    As I tweeted a couple days ago: “The artist’s road is difficult, don’t let anyone try to tell you that it’s not. But the view that you get from the road…. it’s beautiful.”

    Keep pushing. Keep solving the problems. Look to others for inspiration–to see how they solved their problems. And don’t give up making those beautiful artworks.

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