In this increasingly social media obsessed world, we tend to admire or dislike and (blindly) follow the next big trend, compare our lives with someone else’s, do, eat, draw, create what others are also doing and the worst of all, compare ourselves, our work with someone else’s. I can tell because I have also been through that. Experienced it. I may not be the wisest one to give you advice on this, but I can help you out by narrating my personal experiences and how I got out of it, and how you can also get out of this trap.
Comparison Sucks (Take my word for it)
In this fast-paced world, everyone wants quick fame and success. Yep, I get it. With social media all around and people craving for the spotlight and attention, it’s hard not to stop doing it. People post about their happy life, photos, art, doodles, food, travels etc.. and we can’t but help compare our life, our work with whatever the others are doing. I was there, I can tell. The moment I got onto Instagram, this is the only thing I ever did; compare and see what other people post. Even I posted my initial doodles, lettering, and boy oh boy, I struggled with appreciation and fan following. I used to hate it when others would get tons of responses, “likes” and follows for their work. And now, I have realized I should have never done that. I should have focussed on improving my creative skills.
So I just did that. And boom! Things began happening.
I started improving the quality of my work; experimented with techniques, mediums and styles. I started out with doodling, tried (and still work on) paper illustrations, started learning watercolours and gouache, lettering and recently began lessons in calligraphy. I also improved the way I took pictures. Occasionally I also posted quick videos for people to understand the way I worked. More than the “happiness” with followers coming up, I noticed that I enjoyed the versatility of my work. The experimenting, the joy of trying of new things, and people telling me I have inspired them to try creating art and work with different styles, gave me so much more happiness than the sudden spurt in followers and likes.
The Number of Followers Doesn’t Even Matter
Yes. You heard that right. It doesn’t matter. That little number on your profile. 100, 5k, 10k? Nope. The number of followers on your profile does not relate to the quality of work that you do. I have seen profiles which have really fewer followers but the quality of work is versatile and beautiful. And there are accounts where the follower counts are through the roof but the work? Meh. Repetitive, boring and not up to scratch. Don’t cry yourself to sleep if your follower count is low or falls down; that is totally not needed at all. Don’t compare yourself to someone else who has tonnes of followers. Instead of thinking about the comparison, think about ways you could pull yourself up. Keep these thoughts in mind:
- Think about how you can improve your body of work; your style, the medium you work with, and the pictures you take.
- Learn to experiment with techniques and styles. Do not stick with one particular way of artwork or form; try stuff. Versatility and experimentation within your profile will generate interest among your peers, and the curiosity will lead them to your profile.
When you divert your mind from a comparison, your thoughts move towards the work you’re creating and how you improve your art/photos. See, now that sounds easy, right?
Seriously, It Doesn’t Even Matter
Just because someone started out later than you and has gained more followers than you does not mean you are not doing things the right way; this doesn’t mean you are failing. You can also accomplish the same things and more too, it’s as simple as that. You might be wondering, “I do the same things, but I have other things to take care off/personal issues; I also try all these, why can’t I be that famous/popular?” Well, understand this; Everyone has problems, life issues, personal matters; Not all of them show it out to the world nor do we need to know what they must be going through. But if they are able to work around their issues and still accomplish their goals, then you can do it too. And you sure will find a way to do it.
Stop the Comparison Monster
The moment the comparison monster shows up, change the way you’re thinking. Instead of getting depressed, start feeling awful and start begging people to follow you because someone else has more followers than you, gets more attention than you, think about this; how you can bridge the gap to get to that point. How you can improve yourself, not just for the idea of gaining followers, but as a person and in life too. Stop that comparison monster before it gets to you; come up with excuses and thoughts which will bury it down so that you can move on in life. The sooner you learn to do that, the much better you will feel. And maybe, you can improve your skills and get to a point someday where you will feel super proud and happy to have killed that monster.
Until the next blog post,