Saying No to the Comparison Game

You are scrolling through Instagram and you come across someone's work and all of a sudden there is an anxious feeling in your gut and your mind starts to wander. "Dang, my work will never look that good", "Why can't I do something like that?" and "I'm just not good enough, and I'll never compare".

Uhh, those are some pretty ugly words, and ones we can so often be plagued by. These were thoughts that I frequently had as I was beginning my calligraphy career. 

So what helped me get over this? It was the realization that we all start somewhere. It's nothing ground breaking, but for some reason actually going through and understanding this made the comparison game go away (for the most part - cause I'm still human over here!).

All the other artists and creatives, or whatever field you're in, they all had a beginning. They all started where you are. Some may have grown faster than others but that doesn't take away from the fact that they had to start. Comparing yourself to those that have been doing things for longer than you have is simply not fair. I'm fairly new in my creative business journey and looking at the work of others who have been doing this for years just isn't right. But that doesn't mean that I can't have it as a source of inspiration and something to strive for. 

As long as you're in check with your feelings, and don't let those negative emotions take over, you'll find amazing work that speaks to you and  leaves you feeling inspired instead of drained and defeated!

Okay guys! Now, for the fun part. I'm going to share with you a bit of my calligraphy journey. I'm talking about pictures of my work when I just started - including my very first attempt at calligraphy. To show you that, yah, I started at the bottom and once knew nothing about calligraphy. But over time and with practice (lots and lots and lots of practice), I've been able to improve and learn new techniques. And I've still got a ton to learn! But leaning into my strengths, and knowing that my journey is no one else's, and that with time I will just continue to grow has me a little giddy about the future.  

Okay, now the part you've been waiting for - you ready for this?

That little written number on the left was from when I randomly went out and bought what I thought were decent calligraphy supplies (because how hard could it be!?) and decided I knew what I was doing with out taking a class or learning the technique. I'm not even sure if you can call it calligraphy, but that piece is what I consider my start in this calligraphy journey! Thankfully not long after that I attended a workshop and really got the ball rolling on what I know now!Β 

That little written number on the left was from when I randomly went out and bought what I thought were decent calligraphy supplies (because how hard could it be!?) and decided I knew what I was doing with out taking a class or learning the technique. I'm not even sure if you can call it calligraphy, but that piece is what I consider my start in this calligraphy journey! Thankfully not long after that I attended a workshop and really got the ball rolling on what I know now! 

Then & Now Modern Calligraphy - Encouragement to those just starting out! True North Paper Co.
So many ink splatters (which actually still happen on the regular no matter how good you get!) ;)

So many ink splatters (which actually still happen on the regular no matter how good you get!) ;)

Guys! That practice pays off, I promise!Β 

Guys! That practice pays off, I promise! 

There are still so many things that I look forward to learning, and yah, still a lot a lot of practice (because you're never ever done practicing)! And as I look to artists that I admire I can't help but be inspired by their creativity and the thought that as I continue to grow and learn, my calligraphy will only continue to develop! 

I hope this post encourages you no matter where you are along your creative journey. Whether you're just starting and are overwhelmed, know that you are doing great work that is continually shaping you into the artist you hope to be. And if you're deep into your journey, but still bogged down and feel like your work is no good - I have a feeling that your work and style has grown a lot more than you think it has. Give yourself grace, and know that everyone started somewhere!