Comparisons are a good thing – they can also be a not-so-good thing. We’re talking about comparing yourself and your art to another artist and their work here, but stretch the topic out if it works for you.
First, comparisons give you a frame of reference – a good thing. How you’re doing compared to another artist working in a similar medium, a similar subject or style. Observing skill, technique, their reception in the market – all good, useful tools to navigate your own journey and finding your unique style and market.
Perhaps it’s obvious, but if comparing gets in the way of you doing your great work, then it’s not the good kind of comparing.
Some examples – comparing your work to another artist thinking they are better than you, so why try or begin at all – or creating up a storm in your studio, then letting your work sit there, because another artist is doing the same subject and is already selling work, so you think the market it closed.
Both of these types of comparisons twinge of jealousy, scarcity and fear.
Good comparisons are seeing what other artists are doing, check out their style, materials, where and how they are selling work, interesting ways of creating and figuring out how you can join them as a peer.
Now is the time to get into your studio or at your creative space and blissfully create like a kid, ignorant of what’s going on in ‘the market’. Bubble out your ideas, create them and move on to the next one. When they’re outside of you onto the canvas (insert your media here) then you can ‘check-in’ with the art critic in you and get your friends to weigh in on your best work.
When you create from your heart, like a kid, the path that other’s have created simply makes your way along it a bit easier.