Thursday, 3 October 2013

Beyond Compare: Inspiration vs Intimidation

I thought it might be worth sharing one of my own struggles for any of you out there who might battle with the same issue and wonder if you are the only one. 

Have you ever spent time admiring other peoples artwork, been thoroughly inspired, delighted and enthused, only to come away and suffer a confidence crash? Have you ever felt absolutely rubbish about your own creative ability when comparing it to others' talents?

You are not alone. I have struggled with this many times before. It's not fun, I can tell you. Cue moping, tears, low spirits. However, I have been sorting out my thoughts on it lately, to try and overcome the issue and get a little much needed PERSPECTIVE.

Avoiding looking at other people's excellence is not the solution. It's very valuable to research the market, see what's trending, see how other people tackle things, what materials they use, and so on. Hiding from the brilliance of others is not the way to encourage yourself. 

However, it is necessary to protect yourself from an all-out confidence crash when you've been looking at what other people have produced. 

One of the most dangerous temptations in life is the automatic comparison between yourself and others. Other people's houses, other people's kids, jobs, cars, body, talents ... the list goes on.

When you see how talented someone else is, are you able to freely admire them or their work without feeling you don't measure up? If so, I salute you. Keep up the good work!


If you want to draw, write, compose or sing like someone else ... IT'S IMPOSSIBLE!!
Just as you cannot morph into someone else's body, you also cannot adopt someone else's talent. It is theirs and it cannot be cloned. You can either waste precious minutes, hours, days of your life wishing things were different and feeling rubbish, or you can accept the fact that you will never be able to replicate what someone else can do. 

But, (and it's a good but), you CAN get on with the stuff you can do. Appreciate that no-one can replicate you either, and that you have an opportunity that no-one else has. If you want to be better at something, that's fine: learn, try, experiment, make mistakes. But keep going. Work on the feedback you get and let it spur you on. Do not waste your energy moping about how amazing other people are. Enjoy how brilliant they are, AND enjoy how brilliant YOU are. You are not them, and never will be. Which is why the world is such a rich and beautiful place. There is no room in the market for two Quentin Blakes, or thirty Alex T Smiths. But there is room for someone fresh, someone unique.

Be bold. Be you. You are beyond compare.


  1. A very wise appraisal, dear Susie. Hugs and xxx

  2. Great balance and insight for any creative person.

  3. Agree with this Susie. I often tell this to people who think they should be running 5 miles 3 times a week, or don't bother. Stepping out of the door and walking for 5 minutes won't set a world record, but it is better than doing nothing!.
    I will never be able to draw as well as you, but I still like designing comics with my kids!