Artist Envy: Is it Wise to Distance? [Archive] - Artist Forum

: Artist Envy: Is it Wise to Distance?

05-16-2020, 01:30 PM
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?

05-16-2020, 11:57 PM
(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.

05-17-2020, 06:14 AM
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.