Working within the realm of visual art means we are constantly looking at other people’s work.
We expose our innermost thoughts and feelings to the world as we try to look into the hearts and minds of other artists through their work.
And perhaps without thought, we compare and measure the differences between our own work and that of other artists.
Does it stack up?
Of course not, and that’s the problem. Comparing our work can open the floodgates of self-doubt and unfulfilled expectations- and that’s not a good thing.
While I believe it’s essential to have our eyes and ears alert to what’s happening in the textile arts arena, there’s yet another fine line I don’t like to cross – and that’s the line of comparison.
Admire, critique, analyze and equate, but compare, no.
It’s a hard lesson, and one that takes time to learn, but for me, it’s become an essential part of my textile art repertoire.
So if ever that urge to compare takes hold, start to ask some pretty important questions.
What am I comparing my work to? The size, colour, content, or technique? Or the notoriety of the maker and how many hours it took to make? Or is it the design or imagery used?
In other words, comparing work is a moveable feast – and one best left alone.
Simply enjoy and admire the beauty of other creators without the need to compare.
Self-satisfaction with the work we create and exhibit should be our main driver. We are storytellers in our own unique way.
And the perception of that is entirely up to us.
je ne sais quoi.