The comparison game we play in our head is not pleasant, but it’s real. Especially in the art and lettering world. So this post in my Creatively Confident series is all about how to stop comparing your art and lettering to others in three actionable steps.
This post will be focused on how to stop comparing your art and lettering specifically on social media where we just see a snapshot of other people. When you’re trying to grow your following, it’s important to be active and engaged with other social media accounts, but that can also lead to comparing ourselves and getting really down. No matter how good you are, there will always be someone better.
If you’d rather watch me watercolor while I talk about this topic, check out this video:
How to stop comparing your art to others
I will give you three steps on how to stop comparing your art to others and they may seem to contradict each other, but stay with me, I promise it will make sense.
Engage with others more.
Sounds like an odd step to stop comparing your art to others right? Let me explain. Last summer I was scrolling through Instagram and I felt so inadequate to all of the talent I was seeing. I started doubting my own talent. I found myself avoiding liking and commenting on posts that made me feel inferior. This continued for a few days before I decided I wanted to change it.
I decided to try an experiment. I would comment on any post that I liked giving the person a genuine compliment, even if it was a post that made me feel inadequate. Even if there were already hundreds of comments. What happened surprised me. I started feeling really good because I was spreading positivity. By complimenting someone else, it made me feel better about myself. Not everyone responded to my comments, some did, but I felt good either way. From this specific experiment, I gained a few friends, one that I’ve even met in person and still chat with pretty frequently.
Step away from social media.
The second tip on how to stop comparing your art to others is actually opposite of the first. Instead of engaging with others, take a break from social media. Turn off all notifications and don’t log back in until you’re ready. You may even want to put away your lettering or art for a little while. You may be reminded of all the other areas of your life that you feel confident in. Unplugging and taking a break could be exactly what you need to quit the comparing game.
When I start feeling the comparing monster creep into my lettering, I have to decided if I need to start complimenting others more, or if I need to unplug altogether. There have been times that I stay off of Instagram for a few days and it reminds me of all the simple things I’m grateful for. When I get back on Instagram, it’s still there. Most people won’t even notice that you took a break (unless it’s for months of course).
Learn something new.
The last step to stop comparing your art to others is to learn something new. You may be thinking that you would feel even more inadequate because there’s no way you’ll be good at something you’ve never done before. But that’s exactly why it helps. There’s no pressure to be really good at it when it’s brand new.
You may not have time to spend weeks perfecting a new skill, but you don’t need to. Even taking a basic class could be enough to kick out those comparing feelings. Youtube or Skillshare is a great resource for this. I like Skillshare because you can take a 45 minute class and end up with a really awesome project, for free.
This weekend I was feeling really stuck with a new project I’m working on. My husband and I took a Skillshare class that was different for both of us. The class was a watercolor night sky by @thiswritingdesk. I have really only done watercolor lettering, so to create a whole scene was new to me. My husband had never even touched watercolor before this.
Because it was new, we had no expectation of how it would turn out. As you can see from my video and the images here, we had a lot of fun. In my video above I show you a time lapse of our night skies as we painted side by side. This helped me to feel good about what I was creating without comparing it to others.
If you want to sign up for Skillshare, use this link for a free two month trial. When you use that link, I receive a little something, and it helps you too. I appreciate your support. 🙂
In conclusion, none of us are immune to comparing ourselves to others. But we don’t have to live like that. I hope you take the steps today to stop comparing and let your own beauty shine.
What are some other ways that you’ve stopped comparing your art to others?