I’ve been in my share of Facebook groups. Anybody? Yes? You never quite know who you’re going to find. You hope for an encouraging group of people that may routinely drop some handy wisdom on your lap. Some post more than others, some kinder than others, some unaware of online etiquette.
And it’s okay.
“The world is bigger than you think, Amarilys.”
This is something my friend Tiffany often says to me. She’ll often call out this limiting belief of mine, one that literally limits the number of people beyond my limited vision. This big world—even in terms of this creative pool of people—is vast. I may bump into familiar faces in these different playgrounds, but they’re likely active in circles I’m completely unaware of. With this great well of personalities, we’re bound to find a few that aren’t to our liking.
And that’s okay.
“Seems like everyone else has the same special talent except for me.”-Buddy the Elf.
First off: they don’t. But in those moments when you feel like the odd human out, remember this: our work is an outflow of many things, factors beyond us and welling up within us without beyond our control. That’s why it’s fascinating! Yet as you look around and are either unamused or intimidated, you must understand that we each have a unique calling in the arts. Coming to grips with this has set a complete course correction in my heart.
I no longer need to compare my work to others'. I no longer need to push myself to get ahead or catch up or measure up. The product of my inspiration will undoubtedly be distinct from another’s. If a piece feels similar or reminiscent, I trust that it must bear repeating for some reason. (Personally, I know I often need an image echoed to my eyes to capture its importance. Perhaps someone else does, too.)
Wrestling with both congruencies and contradictions amongst art has deepened my appreciation for those artists I know personally. They bring each bring a unique contribution to the conversation.
Find your place and the purpose of other creatives around you. They can sometimes feel like a measuring stick, competition or irrelevant. But the presence of other creatives in your life will only amplify your own creative voice.