By Nicole Tinkham
There is a fine line between being inspired by another artist and comparing yourself to another artist. One can lift you up and take your artwork to a new level and the other can leave you crashing down, wanting to give up. No matter what area of your life (art related or otherwise) that you’re trying to improve upon, the journey can be a rollercoaster ride. One minute you feel like a total rock star ready to take on the world and the next you feel worthless. Have you ever experienced this? If you’re wondering what the happy medium between being inspired and comparing yourself is, we have the answer! Here’s the FIRST THING you need to do when taking a look at another artist’s work.
Remember that everyone is on their own journey
Everyone is at a different stage of their journey. You cannot compare yourself to a professional artist of 30 years when you’re only on day #1 of your art journey. That’s like comparing a child just learning to ride a bike to Lance Armstrong. That just sounds silly, right? Even with the same number years of experience, you still can’t compare yourself to someone else simply because you are not them. The number of years has nothing to do with it. How much time does this other artist put into their artwork and how often do they take the time to learn new techniques? It’s hard to say and unless you are that person, you don’t know for sure. Another big component of success is mental. If you’re not in the right mindset, it is very difficult to move forward. Again, you have no idea what this other artist’s mindset is like. You cannot compare.
There are so many variables that go into really great artwork. It’s easy to make up stories about other people and how they got to where they are today but it’s impossible to know the real story. Don’t even waste your time trying to figure it out or stressing and worrying over it. It’s also easy to make up stories about yourself and why you aren’t as good or why you never sell any of your artwork. These stories are not your reality! Remember that you have the power to change your story. Start speaking with confidence and that alone will go a long way.
Put your blinders on
If you find yourself getting too distracted by the other incredible artists around you, get laser focused on your own work! Spend some extra time learning a new technique or try something that you’ve never done before. How can you push yourself to new levels? We also recommend picking up a personal development book to help you work on your mindset. This will go a long way in helping you grow as a person and build up your confidence. Be consistent with your personal development and get it in every day!
Be open to learn something new
There’s always something new to be learned. It’s ok to look to others for inspiration as long as you don’t compare yourself to them. Instead of saying “I wish I was that talented”, start saying “I will learn how to do that”. Always ask questions. Ask other artists, look it up in books, YouTube videos, or Google it. The answers are out there and you can do anything you really want to with a little research and practice.
The key to finding art inspiration without comparing yourself to other artists is to remember that everyone’s different. You will never be just like anyone else and no one else will ever be just like you. That’s a good thing! Find your unique qualities and skills and use them to your advantage. Play around and discover what you’re really good at and allow yourself to shine! Embrace imperfections and keep working on yourself.
Tell us, when you do look to another artist for inspiration who inspires you most? Let us know in the comments!