Artist Envy: Is it Wise to Distance? - Artist Forum
 
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post #1 of Old 05-16-2020, 01:30 PM Thread Starter
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Artist Envy: Is it Wise to Distance?

Hi, I have been dealing with artist envy most of my life and it has really effected my creative process.
I tend to get very envious of those I wish to look up to, but instead of being inspired, I am instantly let down in being reminded that I am nowhere near their level of skill. I have developed a toxic mindset that tells me I need to meet the expectations of others in order for them to acknowledge me, thus, I have a hard time truly enjoying my hobbies. (Please be assured, though, that I do NOT drag others down for my own sake! I simply stay silent in thought!)
I have one question in particular: is it wise to distance yourself from those higher than you for a certain amount of time? -- In other words, to avoid surrounding yourself by art pieces that may be potential jealousy triggers.
I find that this helps me a lot, but I worry that in doing so, I am not improving nearly as much as the average artist should. What can I do to wriggle myself out of this mindset? Is there an alternative path I should take?
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post #2 of Old 05-16-2020, 11:57 PM
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(New here, and jumping in if that's ok)

I am wondering where it comes from?

Are you making art that challenges you, makes you happy, helps you grow?

There are always going to be artists that you envy but you kinda have to turn that into inspiration, it's a choice. Most artists who are doing great work have been working it for a long time building skills, working toward a goal, using the gifts they have in new ways. Try to focus on what it is that draws you to their work, what the commonalities are, and how it connects to the art you want to create.

You can't improve if you don't just do the work.

Maybe take a break from thinking you need to look up to anyone or that it is a competition and just be with yourself, enjoy your process and worry less about what you create but how you create instead. Are you enjoying what you are doing? Who are you doing it for? What do you need and want from it.
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post #3 of Old 05-17-2020, 06:14 AM
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Nothing wrong with a good healthy case of envy as long as it doesn't control the artist. It can go one of two ways - wanting the better artists to lose their skills or desiring the skills of better artists. If the former takes control, become a hermit, because it will control everything you do. If that latter is the basis of the envy, use it - work to become as good as those whose skills you envy.

Don't think you'll ever be as good as, say, Van Rijn or Da Vinci? So what - it's the try that counts.

So, no, don't distance yourself from better artists - seek them out and learn from them.
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post #4 of Old 07-14-2020, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Juniperberries View Post
Hi, I have been dealing with artist envy most of my life and it has really effected my creative process.
I tend to get very envious of those I wish to look up to, but instead of being inspired, I am instantly let down in being reminded that I am nowhere near their level of skill. I have developed a toxic mindset that tells me I need to meet the expectations of others in order for them to acknowledge me, thus, I have a hard time truly enjoying my hobbies. (Please be assured, though, that I do NOT drag others down for my own sake! I simply stay silent in thought!)
I have one question in particular: is it wise to distance yourself from those higher than you for a certain amount of time? -- In other words, to avoid surrounding yourself by art pieces that may be potential jealousy triggers.
I find that this helps me a lot, but I worry that in doing so, I am not improving nearly as much as the average artist should. What can I do to wriggle myself out of this mindset? Is there an alternative path I should take?



My advice would be to learn to embrace failure & imperfection. Your art experience should be your own journey, and one where you are willing to go down (and actively pursue) new & uncertain paths for the sake of your growth as an artist and a person.



I can be quite the perfectionist (I readily relish working in hyper-detail) but forcing myself to get outside of this challenging, high pressure box has done me a world of good. It has been incredibly difficult to let go of some of my perfectionism but in doing so, I have opened myself up to so much more freedom as an artist (and this in turn has helped me to grow as an artist and bring a lot of new things to my developing style and perspectives).



"Good art" is incredibly speculative. Perhaps you envy these people because they have more technical skill/ability than you?

But if that is the case, then you're missing what really makes you an artist, and that is your mind. Do not undervalue the creative potential of your mind!! You will not see outside of the box if you only ever focus on people's end products and the tiny details. Art (to me anyway) is always a journey about getting back to basics (especially when you feel like you are losing your way) and pushing yourself outside of your comfort zones (and you won't do that if you avoid discomfort or focus only on certain things).



Instead with every project, do not value it by judging it by what someone else is producing, but by comparing to what you have already produced: What new have you brought to your table, how did you improve upon your previous research experience, what art experiments did you perform to help develop this piece before & during? Etc. These are the sort of questions and the things that you should be focusing on!


Your art journey needs to be about you. Yes- look at what other people are producing (in a keeping yourself informed on whats going on around you sort of way). But don't get caught up in the details of their own products because you won't grow as an artist if you become too scared of acting freely in your own art journey (being too scared to make mistakes or get messy because you're too caught up in trying to make better stuff than someone else).



Everyone is on their own art journey in life (and yours needs to be about you). Be ambitious, look around, but don't get caught up too much in the competiticion (because your biggest rival should be you yourself).
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