My process and journey as an artist has been a vehicle for which I have had to face many different parts of myself and my own nature in terms of how I constructed myself as a human being and so then thus, as an artist.
I have been on this journey for a while and one of my latest chapters, as I move deeper into the art world, has allowed me to see more dimensions of a characteristic of the human, the artist, and of myself that I would actually say is the antithesis of what art as unobstructed creative and self expression is suppose to be. This characteristic is COMPETITION and also Jealousy which are interwoven into the fabric of the artist.
It is quite interesting to see the degree of competition that exist between artists. It’s a difficult program to break when you are living in world system that has been infused with the idea of competition, insisting that you have to compete, you must compete, that it’s natural, normal, and that competition is unavoidable.
I wonder if this is actually true through? Perhaps our system would work better if we simply stopped competing against each other and instead began to value, nurture, and encourage our own inputs and the inputs of others.
I have experienced this artist to artist competition whenever one of my peers will sell an artwork, particularly when it’s a big sale, I then go into a fear and panic like “there is only so much to go around”
And that somehow a sale by someone else means that in some way ‘I have lost out’
It’s quite strange that when another artist sells a work of art that I would go into a state of disempowerment. Surely this is a sign that I have my priorities mixed up.
I have had the opportunity over the years to practice letting go of this mentality and to rearrange my priorities.
I now realize that when one of my peers has a big sale, that there should be not one ripple in my inner pond so to speak in the sense that I am jealous or that their success somehow signals a loss or lack of success for me, that there empowerment through the sale creates a dis-empowerment for me.
My focus these days Is to just focus on ME and creating my art and basically to STOP competing with my peers.
My goal ultimately is to find a way to support other artists equal and one as I would like to be supported.
I suppose I just ask myself the question of what is the point and purpose of my life and my career as an artist?
Do I want to accept the toxic environment that currently exists in the art world? An outer environment that is simply a reflection of the inner.
No I do not,
And so I must begin with ME and rid myself of the thoughts, and constructs that lock in this competition among peers.
And so I continue to support myself to overcome the virus of competition and jealousy that has infected myself and the artists of the world.
This virus can also be seen in people in general and you can test yourself for this virus by asking yourself if you are ever actually genuinely happy for another persons success. Its strange that we as human beings are NOT happy for other peoples success. Perhaps there are those out there that are, and I am not talking about loved ones, I am more talking about your peers, your…….competition!
As artists I think its important that we practice letting go of our fears that other artists are going to be more successful than us, or better than us, or make all the sales, or find that winning formula of success that just looks so easy, and yet we have to slave away and never have success.
We have to stop competing against each other and rather develop our own UNWAIVERING SELF VALUE realizing and recognizing that our own unique individual expression is what we have to offer this world that actually NO ONE ELSE CAN OFFER! And the best part is, is that each one has their point to offer.
So we are equal in this. Not one is better, not one is less. How interesting.
Worrying about other artists success I have found over the years to be debilitating.
I have also began implementing a ‘rule of thumb’ for myself to support the creation of a future for our children where art can truly flourish and become it’s utmost potential. And this rule of thumb is something that I realized sometime in the past year.
It is the idea that if I judge another artists work. Even a single judgement, even a tiny refraction of a movement inside me that exists as judgement towards another artists work, that in that I am actually placing a limitation on myself as an artist and creating a boundary as judgement as somewhere ‘I will not go’ When for myself I realize that letting go of limitation is my purpose as an artist.
So I have been practicing this because for-the-love-of-all-that-is-holy I have some nasty ass judgements towards other artists art that I have allowed myself to justify and that I suspect have actually been holding me back as an artist and person and overall just creating unnecessary stress inside my body when really I would much prefer myself to be at ease and at peace with myself. A judgement is a kind of warfare. So I cannot be a peace if I am in judgement, towards myself or another.
I am getting much better at identifying these moments when judgements come up and learning how to transmute them into points of support for me and my own expression.
So a challenge I issue to all artists. Think of one artists work that you really don’t like, and learn to love it! Let go of all the judgements, because there could be some gifts there for you in your own expression.
I still have a long journey ahead with this process but I feel like I am going in the right direction and not unnecessarily stressing myself out through constantly comparing myself to other artists and trying to diminish what they are doing to somehow make me and my work seem valid.