Please Don’t Compare Yourself to Others

One thing I’ve noticed when it comes to art or crafting is that people are REALLY hard on themselves. I always get so sad when I hear people say “theirs is so much better,” or “you’re so much better than me”.

Cardmaking is not a contest. It’s not a race to be the best. It’s about expressing yourself and sharing something you created with someone else. It’s about the process and the heart.

Every artist was first an amateur. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Card making really is art, and the thing about art is it’s subjective. For example, some people love warm colors like red or yellow, and others prefer cooler blue and purple hues. Some are drawn to bright geometric designs, while others prefer a soft vintage vibe. None of these are better than others, they are simply expressions of the artist. And it’s wonderful. Cards would be awfully boring if we all made the same things.

Instead of comparing yourself to others, I challenge you to take those feelings of inadequacy and turn them around. Allow yourself to be inspired by the works of others, let them be a challenge to grow in your craft rather than using them to set a high bar that seems impossible to reach.

When you see someone’s card you like, take a moment to figure out why you like it so much. Is it the layout? The colors? The simplicity? Mats? Straight lines? Pick one thing and then practice it. Practice it a bunch and don’t expect to get it right at first.

I remember when I had to throw away the first card I totally messed up. I felt sick to my stomach for wasting the time and money on resources. My husband, in his wisdom, told me, “Laura, if you’re not messing up and making mistakes, than you probably aren’t pushing or stretching yourself enough. You’re playing it too safe.” I repeat these words to myself often, and they are liberating.

Creativity Takes Courage. ~Henri Matisse

The second thing I want you to change about your thinking is how you look at your own cards. When you hold a completed card in your hand that just doesn’t seem up to snuff, take a moment and look at it. Find one thing you like and did right, something worth keeping. Is it crisp, clear images? The basic layout? The color combination? Then, I want you to pick one (only one) thing that would make it better. Maybe your cuts aren’t straight or the colors just don’t work. Maybe you need to add something or maybe there is too much on your card. Now, practice that one thing until you see improvement.

Like anything else, you will get better over time the more you do. It’s about giving your all, growing in your craft, and most importantly using your gifts to be a blessing and encouragement to those around you.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. ~ Scott Adams