You are not in competition with everyone else.

I have been fighting this extremely dumb habit of feeling “ah, shoot. I want to be able to do that” or “why didn’t I come up with that brilliant idea first?” when I look at other artists work online. It’s a stupid habit for (mainly) two reasons. First, it’s a negative emotion, and negative emotions not only make you feel low and like crap, but it also limits your creativity!

Another reason why it’s completely dumb to allow yourself to think like that is that there’s absolutely no reason to.

There’s no limit on the number of artists allowed to show their work to the world. The world is not a bucket where you can only put a certain amount of creative projects and if you can’t come up with something cool enough to put there, it’ll fill up and it will be too late.

No! The world is like those trousers that boy with the golden pants is wearing! You are able to pull one cool thing after another from the pockets and it will never run out. It doesn’t matter if the things you are creating are better than any other artists project. Or cooler or bigger or faster or smaller or with a bigger explosion than any other artists project.

Because you are not in competition with everyone else.

The world of art is not a race with one winner. It is a beautiful, never-ending game with no limit on the number of participants. A game that you are free to play by yourself or with one or two or a thousand others!

You are free to wake up, sit your ass down at whatever kind of workspace you like sitting down at (or stand up at – even better) and just open up your creative faucet and let it flow all over the floor.

Whether or not the work you put together is understood by everyone doesn’t matter at this point. It doesn’t have to be understood by anyone. Your job as a creator is to create. Your job is to find little pieces of weirdness in your brain and heart and put it together into a funky little colorful bird and just open the window and let it fly out. Then it’s on its own. It will live its own life and it is up to anyone noticing it in the sky to understand it.

Or to not understand it.

Art doesn’t have to be understood. Most times it shouldn’t be understood. Art should be created from the heart – and materialized through the tools you’ve learned to use. And then that art should be read with the entire body – not understood by the brain.

You are not in competition with your fans and viewers. You don’t have to fight to get their attention. You have to dare to put trust in the fact that if you only keep on creating the stuff that is screaming to get out of your body and onto your canvas, it will eventually find its way to another person who really likes it. One. Next, keep on doing it and you’ll connect with another one. And another one.

And there’s no rush because you are not in competition with everyone else.

If you live your life thinking that you have to out-do everyone else, a huge chunk of your creative energy will be wasted on building up your little fort and to sit inside it and to plan on your next offensive against the world outside. You’ll spend all your time scouting out everyone else’s fort and try to find ways to out-shine it.

There are no enemies. There’s no bucket that will fill up with “good” art and then there’s no more room for anything else. You don’t have to hurry because there will always be room for more art.

Create. Share. Then create. And share.

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Jens Lennartsson
Written by
Jens Lennartsson

I want more people to create and become more fulfilled persons. I’m an artist and storyteller, living in Sweden. Most comfortable in my 1973 Mercedes camper van.

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