I think one of the most difficult things about being a visual artist is how “in your face” the competition can be at times. I don’t mean in an aggressive way. I mean in a literal, all-present way. They create amazing work; you feel defeated. They score an unbelievable opportunity; you feel jealous. They brand themselves beautifully; you feel lessened.
Sometimes it’s enough to make you feel like packing up your toys and going home. But despite all of this downtrodden negativity, I’ve got good news.
There is something that you were granted. There is something they absolutely cannot do better than you.
It sounds a bit hokey. Possibly even overplayed. But one thing that your competitors cannot do as well as you, is be you. We, as humans, are all made up of our own experiences. We all have our own abilities. We all have our own views of the world. So while you might appreciate the abilities of your competitors, you are required to build upon your own. You are required as a visual artist to be better than you were yesterday.
What do I mean?
Rather than focusing outward on what your competition is doing, turn that focus onto yourself and your own business. Rather than grasping a rich understanding of what they do well, spend that time grasping a rich understanding of what you do well. Believe me, it’s not easy. Yes, it’s much easier to look outward than inward. But every time you look outward, you are unfair to yourself and your business. Each minute you spend on them you spend one less minute on you.