ARTISTS: 3 False Beliefs About Competition That Can Be Holding You Back



When was the last time that you felt competitive in an art setting, or towards another artist?


Maybe you kept it to yourself because you didn't want to be outed or judged negatively for it, but in secret you've been checking them out.


You're wondering why they're able to command the prices that they can for their artwork. Let me tell you, this is so incredibly common.


I just came back from my Carmel Art Festival painting competition not too long ago, and I am gearing up for more painting competitions later this year. And what I have noticed is that we all fall somewhere along the spectrum of competitiveness.


There is an unspoken competition when it comes to the marketing and selling of your art. Myself, for example. When I am showing with other artists in a gallery setting, or anywhere where there is supposed to be a sale, in my head I’m competing for who is going to sell their work, whether or not it’s acknowledged. There is an even more subtle competition of who will get more eyeballs, and who gets more people standing in front of their piece longer… can you relate to feeling this way? Let me know.


The point is, when we can be honest and acknowledge the reality of human nature in this scenario, we can start to bust through some negative beliefs.


#1 - Competition is a win-lose scenario.


Because one artist succeeds, that doesn’t always mean that another does not. Artistic accomplishments are not the same for each artist, even within the same scenario.

Take this scenario for example: Say I’m in a show with 3 artists, “Jenny” and “Eugene.”


Jenny is just beginning to start to show her work in a gallery setting. Her work is good; still, this is their 3rd show ever, so she doesn’t have the track record of selling work consistently. What she considers success might be 3 paintings sold at $500 each.


Then I have my own goals which may be 5 paintings sold at $1000 each.


And then Eugene is very accomplished. He comes in with a history of sold out shows, and was just on the cover of Juxtapoz magazine. His goal is 8 paintings sold at $2000-3000 each.


At the end of the show, Jenny sells all three paintings. She’s stoked! She “won.” I sell 2. Could be better but could also be much w