The Comparison Monkey by Debbie Bonner
“The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind the scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.” -Steve Furtick
I started this challenge, as well, a challenge for myself, to step out of my comfort zone and do some things I’ve never done. When Pam first contacted me to be a guest artist for the month of October, I didn’t believe it and I almost turned her down. I thought why would they want me to showcase my ‘work’ and their supplies for a month?. But then, I thought it a wonderful opportunity, an opportunity to confront myself and my lack of self esteem when it comes to my creating. Oh, and the free supplies, who doesn’t like free things, 😂! I am a big self doubter and quite often have the comparison monkey on my back. I think that ape is quite heavy right now, as I see the pieces the other guest artists are doing and reading their blog posts! I don’t see how my work can even be compared to theirs.
I have, unfortunately, passed this trait down to my youngest daughter, who is a photographer. She questions her work and I have to remind her that art is an opinion. Not everyone is going to like your work, just the same you may not like someone else’s. It’s not that your drawings, photos, or whatever are not good, it just may not be what an individual finds pleasing. I also have to remind myself of this and social media does not help those feelings. You can’t judge your work by 👍🏻 or comments on Instagram or Facebook. Doing that will only make you question everything about your own abilities.
I do try to post on Instagram daily, or at least every other day, but I don’t do it for the likes, comments, or followers, even though that’s a plus 😉. I do it for myself, to keep myself creating and accountable in my own artwork. It’s hard to not compare my pieces to others out there, as there are so many fantastic artists on social media (and in this challenge alone, WOW!). But, my journey is my journey. I have no formal art training and had quit drawing for over 25 years and that is why I depend on Instagram to keep me accountable on my art journey, to keep me creating. I have also taken a break from social media for awhile. It really does your mind some good to do that from time to time. We all need a time away to recharge.
So if you are struggling because you think so 'n so is a better artist at painting, drawing, ink, etc. than you may be, remember, this is your journey, your style, your artwork! No one can do your artwork like you. If you are enjoying what you do, and it pleases you and makes you happy, then just do it! You can’t compare your artwork to others because they may have more experience, training, or just more years of practice than you. I once heard someone say “Perfect Practice Makes Perfect”, but no one is perfect. Practice Makes Progress!
“Comparison with myself brings improvement, comparison with others brings discontent.” -Betty Jamie Chung
If interested in seeing some of my work, you can find me on Instagram at @whi.cre8ed