Comparison doesn’t always have to be the thief of joy.
Starting out, I loved to compare my work to other artist’s. I don’t even need to tell you how depressing that can be. The vision in my head was so much better than what my hands were capable of making and there was some serious miscommunication going on between the two. So, when I compared my art to other’s, it led down this spiral of “I’m a failure”, “I should give up.” “I’ll never paint like that.” But that kind of thinking wasn’t an option.
Because I LOVE TO MAKE ART. So, despite it totally sucking (in my eyes) I kept going. And kept going.
I learned not to compare. It helped. When it didn’t, I would tear everything I had up, and start fresh. I don’t even have a lot of really old stuff because it was torn up and trashed. It’s a shame now, but I’m glad that I didn’t give up.
Since then, I learned that there is a way to compare. A way that won’t make you want to crawl under a rock.
I’ve taken to comparing my new work – to my old work. Because that’s where I see progress. But not even just that. I can also go back and look at what I was into years ago, what kind of supplies I used and how I wielded them. I can see a storyline of my life.
Today I went back through some art journals from a few years ago, I snapped some photos with my cell phone as I went…
It’s so fun to look back and see my old work. Some of it makes me cringe, but some of it brings back so many memories. There was even one that I looked at and said, “Oooh, I should try that design again.”
Try it! Go look at your old “stuff” and re-live those moments. Compare it to your work now and see that visual timeline of your growth. Of changes. Of new discoveries from techniques and supplies.