"Comparison kills creativity and joy."
"We won't be distracted by comparison if we are captivated by purpose."
My visualization of the demon of Comparison is so gross it really creeps me out.
I imagine the gross slimy scorpion-like "facehuggers" from the movie Alien by Ridley Scott when I imagine Comparison.
In the movie, these monsters scuttle out of the alien eggs and latch onto their victim's face, rendering the person blind and unconscious while the "facehugger" is attached.
It seems like the creatures eventually fall off and all the person is ok, but (spoiler alert!) they have actually implanted the next phase of the larger, even more evil and scary kind of Alien (the kind that bursts out of your chest. Yuck).
So how the heck is Comparing our artwork to others like this disgusting demon?
Well, just as when you have a facehugger covering your eyes, when Comparison has latched onto you you are BLIND.
When you look at the other person's work and begin to negatively compare yourself to them, you're blinded to the countless hours of practice, struggle, and toil that got them to where they are now.
You're also blinded to the solution that is hidden in the present moment. When you are in the presence of someone who had mastered skills you haven't, you have an opportunity to ask them questions, or observe their style or techniques as they work so you can evolve your own skills.
If that creepy creature Comparison had a voice, it might sounds like this:
"That other artist has already created exactly the kind of art I dreamed of doing. Now it's already been done. Why bother?"
"They've got talent. I don't."
"I'll never be that good."
These thoughts are just as toxic as the acid blood of the alien-spider-demon from the movie! (Yes, even the blood is acid, scariest monster ever?)
How to Recognize this Demon:
As illustrated by the toxic thoughts above, you can always tell Comparison becuase it implants you with Self-Doubt, just as the Alien "facehuggers" implant the "chestburster" Alien in the film.
So watch out--these two demons work together.
Day 5 Drawing Drill
Your artistic drill for the day will call for COLOR. Whatever you've got on hand is great, colored pencils, markers, watercolor, etc.
1) CLICK THIS LINK to check out a full infographic on color psychology. Great juicy descriptions bring these color associations to life. Adding these descriptive words to your color vocabulary is a fun way to enrich the way you talk about art and color.
2) Choose THREE of your favorite colors from the infographic on the psychology of color.
3) In your sketchbook, bring these words to life by using the color you've chosen to illustrate the words with fun text.
Use www.dafont.com for ideas to copy into your sketchbook.
You will remember these descriptor words better by using the color itself, and you may even play with shading the letters a bit and adding pizazz to your design.
4) Set your timer for about 20-30 minutes of drawing for this activity.
5) Have fun and let the personality of the color come through in the way you use your lines to draw the words!
By the end of this drawing drill you should have a page filled with text in the 3 main colors you've chosen, each word that describes one of the three colors written in the color itself. It will look like a word cloud. Enjoy.
Wondering what those PMS numbers next to each color mean? They are part of the Pantone Matching System of colors, a very fun way to find colors using their website: www.pantone.com/color-finder.
These won't help much in your sketchbook, but when you're looking for juuust the right shade, the color matcher can provide some inspiration. Have fun!
How to overcome this demon
Use your wits, soldiers! You've just got to be too smart for this.
Did you enjoy picking a favorite color from the infographic?
Do you think we ALL chose the same top 3, because by any objective comparison there would be a top 3 of obvious winners?
OF COURSE NOT!
When we draw and make art we aren't trying to win; this is not a zero-sum game. So why compare?
We also need to remember the long-term nature of this fight.
In the end, the battle is not with our fellow artists.
It's against these demons which try to keep us from our practice.
Why do they do it? Demons like the dark.
And when we discover our unique style with a dedicated drawing habit, it's like inventing a brand new color that's never existed before.
So draw on bootcampers, and shine your colors bright!