Hi everyone. I’ve been comparing myself to other designers lately. Not even my work, but at the reaction their work is getting from others. I’ve been questioning whether I have what it takes to make it as a commercial designer.
This is a recurring theme with creative people. The dichotomy is we shouldn’t be comparing ourselves to others, but we need to in order to know what is marketable. If our stuff isn’t marketable, we won’t be able to pay the bills.
So I’ve been feeling a bit lost. I believe in my work but if others don’t, then I can’t really make a career out of it?
I’m not going to give up – I’m too stubborn for that. =) But lately I’ve found some inspiration that has let me see things in a different way.
Lilla Rogers, probably the most famous art agent in the world replied to someone on Facebook about exactly the same dilemma. She said, ‘It’s not a competition.’
A little light switched on in my head, when I read this.
You see that is the way children make art. They make art, they draw pretty pictures. There is so much freedom in how they do that. There is no-one else involved. No agent, buyer, college tutor, nobody to critique. It is simply art for art’s sake. They are at play.
As adults and especially working artists and designers there is always someone else involved. Whether it’s a customer, an agent, a colleague, a contemporary, a friend – whoever sees your work (and rates it).
In a way those people are there when we pick up a pen or a paintbrush; there’s all these other people to please. I wonder does all this distraction muddy our paints?
In college my sculpture tutor used to say – “Play, have fun!” I had done an architectural degree before changing direction and while architecture is creative, there is a grounding in reality. Playing didn’t seem like ‘work’. But it was playing with materials and losing myself that really brought out the best in my work.
So I am going to try and focus more on this playful attitude and forget that there are others to please.
As if to confirm this thought I came across this quote the same day:
So I am hoping to keep any negative thoughts at bay and stop comparing myself to others. ♡