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Comparing yourself to other artists:- What to do about it, and how can it benefit your art

Comparing Yourself To Other Artists Can Be Used Both Negatively & Positively.

You’re browsing some art community. A good place to share the love of art, meet fellow artists, and see what art they create, only to keep finding many artists that are way better than you. You feel like you have a long way to go, that you’re not good enough. Such belittling to yourself is never good, and it’s the negative way to go about it.

The good thing is, comparing yourself to other artists can be used positively, to motivate you, and to help you become a better artist. There are few reality checks in this post you need to be aware of, the most important of them that you’re not really lacking it, you’re just not there yet.

Realize That You Don’t Know How Much The Other Artists Worked On Their Art

What if I told you that the artist you looked at their art spent at least 6 hours a day practicing for months, if not years? For the most part, we rarely ask these people how much efforts they put into their art, and this is usually not mentioned in their galleries. Unless these artists have some of their older artworks in there, so you could see how less good they used to be, you can never know what they went through to become this good. What appears to you that those people are really good, that they do create art very easily while you can’t. That it’s all a matter of talent. You forget that this is the natural result of working hard, that they struggled a lot along the way to get to the way they are now.

The same can be said about biographies & success stories. You read or watch the story of some of the most successful people. You see their successes happen so easily & fast. When it fact they had to endure many hardships to achieve what they did. We sometimes forget that their stories spanned over for the course of years, sometimes above 10 years or more.

For example to that, do you know the famous artist Van Gogh struggled with proportions in the earliest stages in developing his artists skills? Then two years later, he was able to overcome that difficulty. This is one of the aspect of personal development that’s usually hidden from us. We are always unaware of what those great people did to overcome their shortcomings. It’s worth mentioning that Van Gogh created about 2100 artworks in the 10 years he drew.

Not Good Enough?

One of the issues in comparing yourself to other artists is that it makes you afraid you’re not good enough, that’s specially the case if you are aiming to become an excellent artists, both for your career or to be able to express yourself. While it’s not constructive to belittle yourself because you saw people better than you, it’s certainly great if you could learn a thing or two from them. The feelings you have could be simply because you lack a certain skill, but that’s not a good reason to feel down and be demotivated. Feeling you have a long way to go can be good, it means there’s a room for you to improve.

It Happened To Me Before

I have felt this way before, multiple of times. I will tell you about the most prominent case of them. I too have an artist I inspire to be like. When I originally stumbled upon her profile long ago, I was awestruck by how good she was, I even felt bad & jealous too. I asked myself “how could someone be that good”. I felt like looking at jewels, not artworks. I browsed her whole gallery, I saved many of her artworks in my computer (they are so good after all).

I still have a long way to go to reach her level, but I know I can get here with the right attitude. To remind myself of my goal, I currently have one her artworks as the background picture on my main computer. The good thing is, I am a bit closer to how she’s now, I have equivalent techniques to the ones she has in her drawings now, which feels good since I probably wouldn’t think about studying such techniques had I never knew about this artist.

Yes, You Can Compare Yourself To Other Artists Positively

The attitude you take when it comes to comparing yourself to other artists is what determines whether it’s a good thing or not. If you became better as a result of that, you will like it. Once that happen, you may actually like to look at the other artists more.

The next time you see a great artist, ask yourself, what if I can draw like this or that artist? It can be the first step toward becoming like them. Granted, you may need to learn a lot of things to get there, but you can still do it if you did it a step by step, as long as you really want to get there. This may be a sign you need to dedicate more time to become better. After all, comparing yourself to other artists could be, in a way, a reflection of your desire to become better, the more you want that, the more time & resources you should dedicate to that.

Do You Look At Your Own Art?

Artists tend to look at others arts all the time, but do you look at your own art? It’s surprising how sometimes you forget to do that, as this can be a good way to compare yourself to other artists. It can help you spot the things you lack, and focus on them. Sometimes a subtle change in your technique can make your artworks look way better. Looking at your art, and possibly comparing it to other artists side-by-side, is one good way to discover these things.

And Finally

I totally understand it’s not really that easy to get over the negativity you may feel when you look at artists that are way better to you. That’s why I emphasized that you use it as a stepping stone toward becoming better, as that make it easier. While you are at that, try to have fun learning more about art & practicing, that will make things way more enjoyable, it’s sad how many people forget about that.

I hope this post helped you, even by little, when it comes to comparing your art to other artists. See you again with another post. :>

See Also:-

I am an anime artist, and huge fan of digital art. I love drawing with pencils too. But I rarely do that anymore nowadays. Since some aspects of digital art can be tricky, I try my best to explain the concepts as easily as possible.

1 Comment

  1. I’m 42 years old, I started drawing 2 years ago and I feel I begin to like my artworks now. The reason why I’m so late is that when I was 14 years old there was a girl in our school who was able to draw very beautiful girls with just 2 or 3 strokes in a minute and she was then drawing beautiful dresses on these girls and she said to me she dreamed about being a fashion designer in the future.
    I tried to draw a girl and it looked like a badly made doll, I then draw a dress that was of a very kitsch taste of fashion. I received a very rude comment from a so called friend so I decided I’m not talented like this girl and I gave up on drawing. If there was someone like you around me who would tell me exactly what you write in your articles I could have a happier professional life related to design. After two years of work I clearly see I can draw too.
    I recommend everyone to persist about their dreams, stop comparing themselves to others negatively and stop listening to rude comments on their art (that’s something other than constructive criticism) and wrong career advices.
    And that girl I talked about above have a college degree and job in a field that hasn’t anything to do with art and design so for a happier life insisting on career choices is a good idea too. Thank you for this beautiful blog.

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