There were a couple of times in my artistic career when I looked at my paintings and saw nothing but a meaningless splash of colours on watercolour paper. There were also moments when I really envied some artists I follow and wished I had their ideas and talent. Yes, you read it right. There are so many talented artists out there, and oh man, it’s impossible to stop comparing your drawing to others’.
If you’ve ever found yourself scrolling through Instagram or flipping through an art magazine, only to end up feeling inadequate and comparing your drawings to the work of others, then this blog post is just for you.
Before diving into this blog, I want to be honest with you. I don’t have the magic wand, and after you’re done reading this you might feel the same as before. And this is because envy and jealousy don’t go away with a 5-minute blog post.
But in this blog post, I am going to share some insights into what helped me find my creative style and be proud of it without feeling inferior to others.
The willingness to get yourself out of this trap needs to come from you though. Because at the end of the day, it all happens in your head.
So here we go:
1. Look at the other side
This is the first thing you need to do if you want to stop comparing your drawing to others’.
We tend to compare ourselves only to specific artists. I don’t know if this happens to you too, but we sort of create a race between us and those artists we think are the best or create the best artwork.
Have you ever considered comparing your artwork to artists you don’t like? Try it. It gives you a boost of confidence.
I am saying this not to diminish anyone, and I know we all want to improve in life, but my goodness, sometimes we focus so much on comparing ourselves to the best that we end up feeling miserable and alone. Like we are the worst that ever existed. But it’s not true.
There are artists I don’t like who have thriving careers and artists I like that are not famous at all. Remember that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
2. Do you really need it?
I heard this question last year, and it stuck with me since then.
Whether I am struggling with something or want something to happen so badly, I think about this question, and everything falls into perspective.
We need to learn how to understand when our own critique is needed in order to grow as an artist and when we use it to put ourselves down.
It is different to think “I hate my drawings. They will never be as good as XXX drawings”, rather than “My drawings don’t look the way I want. What course/workshop can I attend to improve them?”.
Whatever thought you have, ask yourself “Do I really need this thought? Is this serving me?” When you shift your focus from negative to constructive, you’ll find that comparing yourself to others becomes irrelevant. Embrace your unique purpose and let it fuel you.
3. You are what you think you are
Have you ever heard of words of affirmation? I used to find them stupid and useless, but they work so beautifully.
There is a prolific commentary in our heads about why we are not good enough, why other artists seem to be better etc. The more you listen to that commentary the more it grows.
The same happens with positive affirmations. Positive thinking attracts positive things.
This is why I encourage you to write down what you like about your art. Dig deep and find even the smallest thing.
You don’t have to believe it. Indeed, while you write that down, you might feel stupid and think “Oh shut up, this is ridiculous”, or “It’s not true. This really sucks”, or “You are lying to yourself”. Whatever comes up it’s ok. Make sure to reply to that commentary too in writing. Something like “I don’t want to shut up, my art is amazing”, or “Even if it’s not true I love what I create”, or “I am strong and I can make it”.
Nurture your inner artist with soft words and acknowledgement.
The more you do this exercise, the more you will believe in yourself and attract positive thoughts.
Another thing I would like to add is to get out of your head and speak with others. You will soon notice that someone else is comparing themselves to you. The positive feedback and encouragement you will receive will make you realize that your art has value, regardless of how it compares to others.
No person, organization or company will ever make you feel the best if you don’t believe you are the best yourself. This is why it’s so important to work on this.
I hope this has helped you a bit and that you will finally stop comparing your drawing to others’.
Which part of this blog post has been an “AHA” moment for you? Let me know in the comments below.
How to stop comparing your drawing to others’
July 25, 2023