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5 Quick Tricks for Not Resenting Other Artists

Enjoying Art Again, Instead of Dreading It

Photo by Matthew Henry from Burst

There is so much art advice out there, it begins to feel like an oversaturated market. Take a quick search on Instagram and you can find thousands of other artists. Ink, watercolour, acrylic, oil, digital, geometric, organic, plants, toads... there is art for everything just a search away.

It's easy to be overwhelmed, demoralized, and defeated. When I let myself, I shift into that easily and often. But, here are some tricks I use to make what could be demotivating into a push forward:

1. Changing Perspective

It is more than easy to see so many amazing artists and let that deter you from creating. Recently, I've been actively deconstructing the art that really pulls me in. What medium is it? How much line variation is there? What shapes do they use? Are there more geometric or organic shapes?

By simply taking a moment (and probably a few deep breaths and moments of grumbling), I find myself motivated to draw more versus wanting to just crawl into a hole where I "must belong."

2. Being Proud

Even as I squint at an image, contemplating how much I hate an artist because I love their work so much, I try my best to imagine it was a best friend or a family member finding success and fill myself with pride. I've even started commenting, finding specific aspects I'm really proud of that artist for creating. And the times they respond, it gives me a little boost. When I'm real lucky, it makes me inspired.

3. Stepping Away

When I find myself really putting myself down (whether just due to low blood sugar, stress, longing for chocolate or whatever it is), I need to stop looking at art on social media and create without influence. Specifically, if I begin to find myself internally overreactive to others' art, I use that as a cue that it is time for a social media break.

There hits a point you might need to remind yourself you are creating art because you chose to create it. For me, I'll either just draw lines into whatever they become, look at photographs instead of art, or even just draw bits and pieces around me. At this point, it's time for watercolours with cheap paper and just making a mess on purpose.

4. Create something else.

There have been a few art breaks where I worried I'd abandon it, never feeling the desire to draw again unless I forced myself. That has never actually happened... Even when I went almost six months without drawing, I eventually hit a point I was compelled and needed to draw again. In that break, I crocheted and wrote. It helped me keep creating in another form, but get distance and thus perspective. 

5. Copy.

Sometimes, you've let your art get too stale for yourself and you're best off drawing other people's art. Maybe just how they draw a mouth, a tree, or a bottle, but you might just have to absorb more influences. By fully copying a piece, either with tracing paper or with it up as reference, you learn from their strokes, shapes, and choices. If you have a few artists you love, emulate them. See how you can make your art something you also love. (Always give credit where credit is due when copying).


There are, of course, a lot of other tricks, and feel free to throw them my way on Twitter @aleksinateto. I'm hoping one of these resonated with you and can help even one time you feel down on yourself. We're all just human, or maybe grumpy old dogs... either way, we are all subject to jealousy or feeling down here and there.

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