I’m always trying to make new artist friends so when I met this older lady painter and her student at an art-related workshop, I made every effort at being social and nice. It doesn’t come naturally to me because I quite like my own company most of the time. But, it’s nice to sometimes share tips, get inspired, swap works in progress with each other and get to understand how other creative minds work. (I gotto say that many artists I’ve met here in Bangalore in general don’t like to share anything, every little thing is a closely guarded secret, so forget tips of any kind) Anyway, I persisted. However, it didn’t take me very long at all to realize that everything that came out of the mouths of these two ladies was either a thinly veiled insult or a back handed compliment at best. Reason : JEALOUSY!
I didn’t mind the jealousy coming from the student who was pretty much as old as I am but what was really disappointing was the unwanted cold shoulders, barbs and insults from the older lady artist. I had initially looked up to her as a sort of role model, guide – a motherly figure and she let me down real bad real soon.
I was never jealous of the kids who could solve math problems faster than I could, nor of the girls who could dance better, were smarter, were prettier, writers who could write better and later on, of the painters who painted better. I am who I am.
My focus and responsibility is to take the potential that I have and attempt to stretch that to the maximum. I find that task is pretty much a full-time job that requires all my energy. Any kind of jealousy or resentment would be a major distraction. Why would I want that?
Besides, no one else can ever create what I can anyway. Art is not a race in which people compete. It’s an immense cornucopia of completely individual accomplishments – each with their own visions and merits. My only competition is with myself.
We all want to be loved, heard, and seen. But the art establishment is only going to recognize a very select few. Because our art is so personal, when it’s rejected we feel rejected ourselves.
For most artists, it’s daunting to maintain a healthy separation between our “product” and ourselves.
What happens when we don’t? Paralyzed by criticism, artists move to protect themselves from hurt. They can develop an inflated ego, arrogance, or become ridgedly perfectionistic. You can often tell how far gone they are by the “snoot factor” in their manner of speaking.
But perfectionism will not protect you from criticism because perfect just doesn’t exist and perfectionism kills creativity.
I see five reasons why artists become jealous of each other and overly competitive.
1. When an artist submits to the permission-based art establishment they marinate in scarcity. Instead of taking control of their own success, artists strive to make themselves dependent upon others who don’t have a serious stake in the their success.
2. Scarcity breeds competitiveness.Because there’s always a loser, and because the winner can seem arbitrary, it produces jealousy.
3. When an artist makes art for art’s sake then it’s primarily for their own amusement and entertainment. There’s nothing wrong with that but if it’s all about you then why should anyone else care? Can you blame them? If you have no clarity on why your art matters, yet you’re working so very hard at it, you’re going to be insecure. At their core jealous people are insecure. They believe that you have something that they can’t get.
4. With the exception of a few unicorns, most artists are going to be unable to secure the representation that they need to make a decent living. The art market is so over saturated and there are very few decent representatives. That means that 99.9% of artists will be rejected by the art establishment. The art establishment’s rules seem arbitrary so artists interpret their rejection as unfair. Not only do artists feel rejected, they can feel victimized by perceived injustice.
5. So who are artists generally surrounded by? Other artists. You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. If you’re surrounded by people who are secretly or outwardly jealous of you and who are in competition with you, how are they ever going to genuinely support you?
Bottom line.The scarcity and permission based art establishment breeds jealous, petty, over competitive artists.
Cited From Artistswhothrive.com