Friday, July 15, 2011

Comparing yourself to other artists

So, lately, I've increased my number of facebook "friends" to a lot of people that I met at the Illustration Master Class. It's been a great eye-opener to see their artwork and their processes. In addition, most of them are "friends" with other professional illustrators. So, I "friended" them also to check out their work.

The trap that I start finding myself drawn into is the comparison of my artwork with theirs. In many cases, all of their artwork seems superior and mine seems inferior. This is a trap that you can't fall into. When looking at the works, I can definitely see things that I really like (the detail of the paintings, the backgrounds, the way that they do lighting, the compositions, etc). Those are things that I can always improve on.

However, this doesn't mean that my artwork is bad. This just means that my artwork is different and is aimed for a different audience. My clients like the simple colorful shapes that accompany a traditional landscape. They would not be happy to see demons or dragons or fireballs, etc within those shapes.

So, what does this mean? This means that I can look at other artists' works, see how they do some effect that I particular like and determine how to put that effect into my simpler-designed paintings. In addition, it gives me areas to see where my work is deficient and, after studying the other artists' paintings, how to improve my own.

So, looking at other's works are definitely helpful. (Note: This comparison idea hit me when I started looking at the works of Daarken. An absolutely amazing artist whose work can be seen at: )

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