If you're new to Art Journal Every Day, there is a short introduction here. All of the previous posts can be found archived here. Remember, it's just ten minutes of nourishing your creative self every day! No need to finish anything or even like it. If you've done some art journaling this week, use the hashtag #artjournaleveryday so that we can all take a peek. Even if you're not on social media, you can see everything (from twitter, pinterest, instagram, and facebook) that uses that hashtag here.
This is a journal page blast from the past. In 2012 I shared a video of this art journal spread coming together:
What is journal envy? It's what happens when you compare your art journal to someone else's and find yours sorely lacking. Then the questions start swirling: Why can't I do pages that cool? Why do I stink at this? Should I just stop trying? How does she do that? Aaaaaaaaaaaargh!
So what can you do about journal envy?
1. Stop comparing.
This is really really really hard. But I think the keys are confidence in yourself and self-love. And remembering that just because someone else is awesome, it doesn't take anything away from you. The world has room for millions of awesome people to co-exist. Also, remember that you may be comparing apples to oranges, as they say. Different styles and different skill levels. Never compare your beginning to someone else's middle or end. And if that doesn't work...
2. Stop looking.
Turn off the internet. Unsubscribe. Don't look at all the pretty journals. I'll admit that there are a few people's blogs or instagram feeds that make me feel terrible about my abilities. So I don't follow them anymore, even though they're so pretty. Why torture yourself?
3. Copy what you like.
While my other two suggestions were very passive (stopping doing something), this is a very active way to deal with the problem. Of course, let's remember that there is "good copying" and "bad copying." "Good copying" always involves giving credit. Giving someone else credit for an idea never takes anything away from you. The other thing about "good copying" is that you are using the copying in order to learn so that after a while you can find your own way and don't need to copy anymore.
A perfect example of copying what you like is taking a class. Whether it's online or in-person you generally take a class because you like the instructor's style and would like to try creating in that style. During class you will often make an exact replica of the instructor's project. But the hope is that you will go home and integrate those techniques and ideas that worked for you into your own work in a unique way. You copy to learn and then you find a way to make it your own.
4. Make art.
There is no substitute for doing the work. No shortcut to magical pages. All of the journal artists I admire are diligent about practicing and experimenting. I can see the changes and advancements in my own artwork over time, especially when I increased the frequency of creating.
Take a peek:
There's a reason they call it the "practice of making art." As the Nike ads say, "Just Do It."
What do you think? Have you experienced Journal Envy?
Thanks for stopping by!