"Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art." - Andy Warhol
Comparing Yourself to Other Artists? - How Does That Feel?
Artist Vanessa Fullman used to constantly compare herself to other artists.
Learn how she stopped this disempowering behavior and increased her self-confidence and focus.
- Alright, so we are here with Ann Rea from San Francisco, California, Rebel Rea, who is Ann Rea's puppy and more importantly, Vanessa Fullman, who's where, where are you sitting on the planet?
- I am in Nevada.
- Nevada, okay. So Vanessa is currently enrolled in the Making Art, Making Money semester, and I thought I'd just bring her on to have a brief conversation, just ask a few questions. So the first question I'd like to ask you Vanessa, is what was the biggest challenge that you struggled with before you enrolled in the Making Art, Making Money semester? What pops into your head?
- I would say, making art that I didn't care about.
- Making art you didn't care about. Oh wow. Okay.
- Yeah, for art's sake, you know, I guess.
- [Ann] Yeah.
- Yeah, I guess like not having a purpose behind what I was doing, does that make sense?
- Yeah, I mean making art requires extraordinary effort and focus, so if you're not sure why the heck you're doing it in the first place, or it doesn't seem to fulfill any greater purpose, it can be a struggle.
- So that's where you're at, okay. So where you were at. Now, now how do you feel about it?
- I have a definite purpose.
- Oh you do. Oh nice. Problem solved, okay. So let me ask you this. What has been your number one take away from the Making Art, Making Money semester so far?
- The number one thing is to be me. And not be somebody... I would constantly, look on, you know, Facebook, Instagram and see all these other artists. And I remember you saying at one time, artists out there, that are way more talented than you or I and there's nothing we can do about it, so just sell your mission. And that really rang true to me. And so I guess my thing is I get to be me. You know, it's not about anyone else. It's about, well, it's about them, like you say, but it's about me. I get to do what I want to do.
- Well that's where you're most powerful, is just coming from an authentic place and you know, like Russell Simmons says in the book, Do you. That's where the artist's power lies. Let me just say this, the quickest way to disempower yourself as an artist, or just as a person, is to compare yourself with other people. I mean it's just a really, it's futile. If you can learn from other people, cool. You always can. But comparing yourself is just really not productive. It's completely counterproductive. So have you stopped doing that now? Comparing yourself to other artists?
- Way more than I was. It was just like you run through your feed sometimes and I would be, oh, I wish I was doing this, or I with I was getting this many likes, or you know, that whole thing. And now, my whole mindset, it's a paradigm shift I think, you know, just totally in a different direction and I love it.
- Great. Now the reason I asked you to have a chat with me is because you posted something in our private Facebook group, and I responded to it and asked you if you would be willing to chat about it. Do you mind if I read this sentence?
- You betcha.
- So Vanessa said, in all seriousness, I think everyone would benefit from this course. It's about finding out who you really are, and to me, that's why we're here on this earth.
- Yeah. Yeah, I think that's why we're here. We're not here just to walk around and be chums. You know, I think we're here for a definite purpose and that book Outwitting the Devil, you have a definite purpose, you know? I love all the books you recommend, by the way.
- Oh thank you.
- What Vanessa just actually referred to is a book called Outwitting the Devil. It's actually a little known title. It was written by Napoleon Hill, but he refused to have it published during his lifetime. And then when he passed away, his wife was left with the copyright, and she refused to have it published during her lifetime. So in fact, it was just recently published. And my Mastermind partner, Ron Douglas, was actually mentored by one of Napoleon Hill's teachers. So Napoleon Hill started a school, somewhere in Oregon and the principal of that school mentored my Mastermind partner, Ron. And Ron actually helped edit that book.
- [Vanessa] That's amazing.
- Yeah, small world.
- I love all the connections.
- So that's where it's interesting how the dots can connect sometimes.
- That's amazing.
- I'm really just happy for you, 'cause it's so punishing. I mean you can gain inspiration from other artists, but comparing yourself is very different, because you are good enough the way you are.
- You're more than good enough.
- People don't understand.
- Yeah. And to be fair, so if you go to art school, or even take art classes, a big part of that experience is going through critiques. Now critiques are meant to be a constructive forum for feedback on how you can improve your technique or express your creativity. But what actually winds up happening is a lot of artists take it really personally, how can you not, because your art's personal, and then instead of just accepting the feedback, they perceive it as, they are either better than or less than another artist in the critique. And it gets reinforced over and over and over again. And it's very disempowering. So I'm really glad to hear you got that out of the way.
- So my last question for you Vanessa is, if there was an artist who's just kinda sitting on then fence, not sure if they should apply to enroll in the Making Art, Making Money semester. You might have been one of those people, I don't know. What would you say to them?
- No sense in waiting. I mean, I'll be honest, when I first saw this, I thought, oh, am I going to waste more money on art stuff, you know, like art contests, whatever and all that kind of stuff. And the moment I opened up all your courses and everything, I'm like, this is different. This isn't the same. And that's what I would tell people. It's not the same. It's something totally different. It's about finding you really. That's what I have got from this. It's about finding yourself. And that to me, was the most important thing.
- Yeah, that's one part of it. You're gonna learn other parts. But also, and I appreciate, there's a lot of art contests, which by the way, don't waste your damn time and your damn money. You cannot buy your way to success. And so I appreciate that you recognize this is a very different program than what's out there. Here's the other thing, you guys. In order to officially graduate from the Making Art, Making Money semester, you're required to earn back your tuition investment at a minimum. So I want you to earn that back.
- [Vanessa] I'm in the process.
- So it's a test of whether or not you're getting what I'm throwing down. That you're understanding what I'm trying to teach you, right?
- So it's wired differently, definitely. So, Vanessa, I'm very proud of you. So glad to hear that you're not comparing anymore. And you finally know you do have a creative purpose and that will flow into everything. And this is an integrative process. Once you graduate, you're gonna just be getting started.
- Yep, looking forward to it.
- Good. Well thank you again Vanessa, I really appreciate your time and your flexibility, and I'm looking forward to seeing updates from you in Facebook group. And I'm looking forward to you officially graduating.
- Thank you, me too.
- Alright, take good care. Bye.
- Same to you. Bye.