My recent post to the EDM group

Art making is not a competitive sport. Being intimidated by what others do, by the clarity of their vision, the steadiness of their line, means thwarting the very thing that will get you to where you want to be. If you don’t draw because others, who have done it longer and more often, do it ‘better’ you are robbing yourself.

Give yourself analogies. Should you stop jogging because some people finish marathons in a a couple of hours? Should you stop cooking your family dinner because you love the food great chefs prepare in four star restaurants? Should you stop writing emails because of Shakespeare’s poetry? Should you stop contributing to your favorite charity because of Mother Teresa’s example?
There are always going to be people who are doing work you admire. Celebrate them. Buy reproductions of their work (or better yet, originals) . Study what they do, how they learned. Study their teachers and heroes to to learn where they came from. Absorb as much as you can. Then lay your influences aside, take a deep breath and plunge in. Get in touch with yourself, the unique you, the only one of your kind. Express that uniqueness. Do it again and again, getting ever closer to the truth.
If you must be self-critical, make it constructive and specific. How can you accomplish what you want? Are you clear on what that is? And bear in mind that by committing to your art, you are becoming a hero to some other novice. As you look at those ahead of you, be aware of those who are following your example.
And, most importantly, as you proceed down the path to your goals, enjoy the view. Never lose your sense of pleasure in each drawing you make, even if it’s not ‘good enough’. The pleasure is in the making.

Your pal,

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