I love checking out other artist and writer’s blogs. I often find myself trying to wrap up my day, at about 2 in the morning, and taking a quick look at various blogs of other illustrators.
This usually inspires a few moments of pleasure often followed by – BlogAgony.
Sleep never comes easily as the pitter-patter of thoughts criss-cross my brain -
“All their work is great.Better than mine will ever be”
“Wow. They draw SO MUCH BETTER THAN I DO.”
“I could never paint like that…”
“They sold another TV show and a Film and have 13 books under contract…really? AND that’s their art on the CD Cover? And they were just elected bestest-person in the world?”
And it’s not just one artist, or two or three sites…it’s an endless, flashing ever changing, always updated feast of amazing work from all over THE WORLD.
Now, I am not proud of said anxiety. And I have learned a lot from other artists and their blogs. In fact, I have learned more from other working artists than from any class. But I have to admit, the blogs cause as much anxiety as pleasure.
You might say this is my fault. That I shouldn’t be judging in this way…but as far as I can tell, it’s very difficult (though not impossible) not to. I know, I know, live in the moment, don’t allow yourself to be riddled by self doubt, don’t judge yourself by others, find what makes you happy, believe in your vision – BUT DID YOU SEE THAT GREAT ILLUSTRATION OF THE ROBOT AND THE PRINCESS AND HOW’D THEY GET THAT TREE TO LOOK SO GOOD —- See…It happens.
I don’t want to look at others work and get depressed. And often enough it is inspiring. But at some point, especially after a long day of work and making the compromises that get deadlines met, seeing too much other wonderful work can be the opposite of inspiring.
The internet, and the moment-by-moment sense of blogs creates a perpetual tornado of material that can elevate insecurities in all new wonderful ways. And it’s hard to avoid it, especially for those of us who work ‘connected’ all day, every day.
My answer has been to control my blog reading/viewing. I check out 2 or 3 blogs each morning. And I try and never do that end-of-day-thing, when I am tired and a bit frustrated at the day passed and the work that never seems to be as good as I wish.
Inspiring things are delicate. The beauty, the admiration can easily sour the flavor of the life you are living. Like looking at beautiful pictures of a sunset over a Hawaiian beach all the time. Beautiful, inspiring, and why exactly am I not on that beach watching the sunset, instead of cleaning up the dog barf from the kitchen floor?
Ahh, grasshopper – the dog barf must be cleaned up. And you must keep drawing…
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