My Art is not as Good as…

Wolfville Chimney Swift

Robie Tufts Nature Centre Wolfville NS. Acrylic on canvas board by K.Cameron

“My art is not as good as someone else’s.” True or false?

This is a feeling that comes over every artist sooner or later.

The fact that your Mom posts your art on her fridge or more likely her facebook- wall is no real assurance either.

I mean it’s great if she does post to social media (especially if she knows a crap load of art collectors) but she is ,after all, doing what a Mother would do. She’ll likely love your art no matter what.

This is where I’m supposed to come in and console you  by saying it’s the nature of art that there is no such thing as good art. Did that sentence make sense?  In other words it doesn’t matter if you color over or outside of the lines.

Yes it does. If it’s not an abstract piece and it’s supposed to be an architectural rendering then it does matter if you colour outside of the lines.

Or, on the other hand, you might be expecting “You’re art is brilliant!” and you’ve achieved your highest level of skill. In this case you’re only lying to yourself. One day you may wake up and be embarrassed to find out that you’re really not the best painter,singer, writer, etc.

So how do you know if you’re art is any good?

Basically by comparing it to someone else’s in the same genre.

Two things to remember are that :

Art is subjective (poor art can be liked by someone).

It doesn’t have to be the best art in order to sell.

In other words you can still be proud of what you have accomplished and at the same time strive to increase your skill level with the medium you use. Your art does not have to be technically perfect but it has to express, to some degree, the emotions and message you intended it to say (not so much in words).

How to get better at art.

Nonetheless, your art can always get better as your skills increase.

The only way to increase your skill(s) is to increase time spent on said skill(s).

The question of whether your art is good enough to sell is really a  no-brainer since a lot of bad art sells. If you want to get better art then you want to get better at art!

Your art has to please you, to some extent. Otherwise you will have no fun at it at all.

Being good at art means being genuine and honest with yourself and your work.

Being better at your skills means comparing your skill level to someone, like a mentor, who has put in the time to bring out (more) flavour in their art. You will be amazed at what you do if you strive to get better, taking a peek and learning from those more skilled but also having joy and thankfulness for the stage you are at now. Don’t become obsessed with someone else’s level of work; they too had to follow the same path you’re on and are following their own path.

Success as an artist can be measured in many ways but the outcome of such gauging will always lead the true artist to humility, respect and awe for others and the world around them.

Thanks for visiting! join the discussion over at my facebook page if you like!

Fear and Loathing


Latest painting nearing completion.

Hate your work?  Hate yourself?   Hate yourself- hate your work.


Switched on the radio this morning to hear George Thorogood  singing ” Who Do You Love?”   This after a discussion between my wife and I last night about how to “love oneself” and how so important it is to be ‘ comfortable in one’s own skin’ so to speak.  The fear is always that we will be seen as self-centered, arrogant, uncaring and lacking empathy if we love ourselves in any way at all.  The strange thing is that if we lack any self love we become exactly that.  We become critical of ourselves and others.  We feel out of control, miserable. bitter , become prone to temper tantrums and yes even over-indulgent.  Over indulgence I think is not caused by self-love but in my opinion it is a compensator for self-hate.  Don’t quote me.  I’m not a psychologist.
After a life time of believing that putting others first ( talking about talents here -not relationships) and that self abasement- living like some kind of medieval monk was the answer- I now realize one has to be careful of what kind of “putting others first” one practices.  If it means thinking others or their talents or art is always better than me or mine  then it is the wrong kind of self loathing.  This will only lead to an empty soul. It can be a vicious circle.  I hate myself so others dislike me.  Others dislike me so I hate myself.   I am not saying that one should believe the last piece of pie should always be theirs. I do think it is only fair though  that we all get some of the mashed potatoes. Whatever happened to “ We were all created equal“? Whatever happened to being made in the image of the Creator?
Perhaps self love Or self loathing is not the answer at all.  Perhaps just being plain thankful for the talent and gifts we’ve been each given is a far better attitude and approach.
If you look at your work or art as some kind of failure you are committing  a different sin.  You are lying to yourself.  I once told an artist friend of mine that her art was so much better than mine or that she was a better artist.  She quickly and curtly  said it’s not about ‘better’!
I know what she meant now.  It’s about being thankful for the talent we do have and happy with yourself and your work.  It’s knowing you are a part of a greater Creation.
 In a way that’s what makes it …should I say…’better’.