A very happy Monday to you, l hope it is the beginning of a wonderful week. I have been thinking a lot about the above question over the past few weeks. I think l have spoken a little about making comparisons before, but it has been on my mind once again. I spent a little too long looking at beautiful artwork on the net and found myself feeling totally discouraged and demotivated. The thoughts that l will never be good enough, never be as good as the artists whose work l have been admiring, never be as good as l want to be have filled far too much head space. So, l thought l should listen to the advice l would give to anyone else.
There are two possible outcomes of comparing our artwork with someone else's, one outcome is the one that l mentioned above. A pretty negative one really that certainly doesn't result in any progress in our own artwork. I think this is the way that most of us go. Some much rarer people think their work is much better than the work they look at. Funny thing is, that too results in no progress, because after all if you are better you don't see the need to improve. You are good enough already.
The secret then is to look with an eye towards learning. Ask what makes this piece so good? Can l work on my skills in that area? That is motivating and leads to progress.
But there is one comparison worth making, the only one really. That is comparing yourself with yourself. Why was l thinking about that you ask? Because l was struggling with the piece below and even though it is actually finished now l am not one hundred percent happy with it. Now p actually think not being completely happy with a finished piece is a very good thing. For exactly the reasons above. If we are one hundred percent happy we won't make progress. It is all about balance again.
So, last week l got out a drawing from eight months ago to take a better photo of it. Here is why comparing yourself with yourself is a good thing. I could see instantly a whole host of things that l could do to improve that piece. I knew that if l sat down to draw it again, it would be much better. That tells me that l have made progress in the past eight months. That is motivating. That makes me feel happy. That inspires me to believe that one day if l just keep trying l will produce works as beautiful as those l have been admiring.
The lesson is this, don't look at how far you have to go, look at the distance you have already come and let that motivate you.
The finished golden Cherry is in my store online now and there will be a whole new web page full of new pieces and progress shots in a week or two.
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