Ep 56 COMPARISION (FINAL VIDEO)
[00:00:00] Marijanel: In opening of today's show, I have something here to show you, Charla, that I'm wondering if you can relate to this. Okay, so this will be visual for everyone on YouTube. Those listening on audio apps, just kind of tune in and try to imagine here. But here I am. Super happy. Just got out of bed. I've got my phone and I'm ready to make some amazing art today. I'm feeling the possibilities. I open my phone and I go on my favorite social platform and begin to scroll, you know, maybe getting ideas, getting inspiration, and then it happens. I am so deflated. I start to see it all. Everyone's better than me. They're making better art. They're doing better things with their life.
Their accounts look better, they look more successful. And I'm starting to see my project and what I was about to do today through totally new eyes. And it's pathetic . It's pathetic. And I. I, I get down, and I can't face what I wanna do.
[00:01:13] Charla: You're just completely deflated.
[00:01:14] Marijanel: I'm totally deflated because I have just compared myself to the whole wide world of talented internet out there.
And I wanna know from you, from the artist listening, how many projects have you lost to comparison. How many times have you opened the phone or some other way of viewing other artists out there and let it kill your creativity and you stay, you say to yourself, my art is bad. Their art is good, my art is bad.
Comparison kills creativity every single time. Can you relate?
[00:01:54] Charla: I was trying to come up with a sarcastic remark and be like, no, I never do that. But I could feel it so deeply in the pits of my stomach as you explain it, that I can't even make a joke about it. It's like it's so real and it, it doesn't matter how much I believe in my work or even how much I love a piece. If I let mys, if I let myself go there, it will happen every single time. There's not one time where that will not happen ever.
[00:02:25] Marijanel: Yeah. If you let yourself go to the place of comparing where you're looking, and you're saying, their art is good, my art is bad, and you are comparing that, every single time, it will deflate you. It will bring you down. You just cannot succeed as a creative. In, in, in the wholeheartedness, Charla and I talk about being a wholehearted artist, you can't succeed in the wholeheartedness of, of who you are in your being to the core of your being if you are comparing and comparing in that sense.
Now, here's the really interesting thing about comparison is it's not all. . It's not all bad actually. It's, it's a really powerful, incredible tool for us to use because it's natural. We actually see that, that it's, it's natural just from watching children learn how to talk and walk. The way that they do it is they begin to compare.
They look at their parents' legs, say, oh, those, those legs walk around and go places. I've got two of those. I'm a, you know, or. Whatever.
[00:03:31] Charla: Yeah.
[00:03:31] Marijanel: And then they look and they're like, I'm gonna try that out. And they, they begin to make the moves to grow, to talk, to become the individual that they are by comparing the world around them and giving it a shot.
So in that regard, comparison's good, but there's this whole other ugly side of comparison, that ugly side where we look and we judge ourselves as bad because, uh, we're, we're thinking everyone else's art is good. So what is that all about?
[00:04:06] Charla: I think it's to do with the way that you approach comparison.
If you, and I think we do it, um, I think. I mean, when it really comes down to it, most people in the world except for a select few, and I've got, there's not really that many nice names for them, but there's a select few people that don't, don't really compare themselves, that don't really have this issue, but the majority of people in the world have self-esteem issues to some degree or another. Some people have it really poor, you know, they have really poor outlook on themselves, their, their physical looks or their abilities. And then there's like, it's like a spectrum, right? And then you get right up to the other side of where you get like egotistical people who think that there's no one better than them.
You don't really wanna be there either.
[00:04:51] Marijanel: Yeah.
[00:04:51] Charla: But because we all have a self-esteem issue or a confidence issue or a, a critical issue with ourselves, when we usually take the approach of comparison in a negative way, like when we, when we go on social media, it's, it's a known issue with social media. It's that you instantly think they're awesome.
That must mean I'm not. And we
[00:05:15] Marijanel: Like, look how many followers they have that makes them so successful.
[00:05:20] Charla: Yeah.
[00:05:20] Marijanel: Then we're comparing and feeling negative about ourselves.
[00:05:24] Charla: And in every way. Like you, you do it as, um, a mother, as a woman, as a business owner, as an artist, as a homeowner, a studio. Like, people compare my studio because they think, like we talked about this in a couple podcasts to go about if, if I put up a photo where it looks too clean, they get upset about it.
What I actually think they're doing is they're comparing it to their own experience and their studio's messy most of the time. My studio's messy, my studio's clean, so they get upset. And they're comparing, they're comparing my studio with theirs, and usually it ends negatively, and they have negative responses and I know that's simply because the, the approach that they've taken in looking at a photo of my studio, and it's usually to do with your own self-esteem. So it's the approach of comparison and comparison is natural. We all do it. So there must be a natural part to it. And when something is natural, I like to think there must be good in it. I believe that, um, God created everything and God is good. So everything is good until it's not good anymore. Because it can be turned into bad or evil or whatever you might wanna call the other side of the spectrum. But if it's natural, then there must be a good side to to a thing.
So what is the good side to comparison and how can it be used for good? I think that would be,
[00:06:48] Marijanel: Well, I'm so glad that you brought up the studio comparison, because that's actually the perfect example for you and I to use because our studios can't be more different.
[00:06:58] Charla: Yeah.
[00:06:59] Marijanel: And so Charlas is a modern, brand new facility like, Totally like the, the floors do not squeak when you walk across her floors, meaning the, the floorboards here at my studio in an old theater built in 1948, or, you know, something in the forties, everything's rickety, squeaky. You know, it's different. It's got all these quirks, and our studios can't be more different, so simply you can't compare. And I think that's one of the biggest things that I wanted to say today to artists is that we have to remember the apples to apples, oranges to oranges analogy.
You can't compare. , an apple, to an orange. You can't compare anything that's completely different. If you are an artist who's working from your home on your dining room table, which I have done for numerous years of my life, I called my studio a Rubbermaid tote studio because everything packed into Rubbermaid totes and put under the table
And then when dinner was over, everything came back out again. And, um, that's how I functioned and I was thankful, but I could have never opened social media and compared myself to you because there wasn't any comparison. Now I could compare myself to you, but here's the thing is I shouldn't, because we're not comparing apples to apples. It, it's a completely different scenario. So when we're scrolling, and deflating and feeling pathetic because we're comparing to someone on the other side of a screen. We don't know their life situation. We don't know anything really about them except what they let filter through on the media. The only thing we're responsible for is our own selves. We can only compare to us. Mm-hmm. and, and even when you use apples to apples, there's a zillion different kinds of apples out there. So, you gonna,
[00:09:00] Charla: It's still really hard.
[00:09:00] Marijanel: You know, compare the Granny Smiths to the Red Delicious. It's not even a comparison .
[00:09:04] Charla: Yeah. Yeah.
[00:09:05] Marijanel: And so you can only truly compare to you.
We have to, um, Our comparison carefully. Now, you had asked me for some applicable examples. We were, we were chatting about it and you're like, you know what? What's a good example of comparison? I was trying to think of one that was like a little different than the comparing that you can't compare studios.
And that night I walked through the kitchen and my husband was flipping pancakes. And he flipped a pancake, and he says, cuz he goes hunting with a certain friend and um, he goes hunting and camping gold panning out in the bush. And so they cook their own breakfast over the campfire and everything. So, he flips this pancake and he says, uh, I don't know why, but Ryan's pancakes are always better than mine.
And I heard the comparison.
[00:09:53] Charla: Yeah.
[00:09:53] Marijanel: And I thought about how we're always doing that, whether it's flipping a pancake or painting a picture. We're always comparing. But then I had this aha moment where I realized that the comparing is an indicator to us. When Steve flipped the pancake and saw I, I just can't make pancakes as good as Ryan,
what it is is an indicator that he has some growing to do, and he has some things.
[00:10:22] Charla: Are you listening ?
[00:10:23] Marijanel: Were you listening to last week's podcast about daily practice? But um, he has some pancake flipping practice in order to reach the point where he can compare.
[00:10:37] Charla: But he might be comparing his home cooked pancake on a stove to one I'm imagining cooked over a fire.
[00:10:44] Marijanel: Totally different outside.
[00:10:46] Charla: Yeah. They taste completely different. Yeah. So like to be able to make a pancake in that situation and taste the same as something made when you're in the woods hunting, like there's so many variables that make that pancake delicious that you can't even really recreate in your own kitchen at home.
[00:11:03] Marijanel: No. But here it showed me that we use it as an indicator to say, I have to step up. So then that is good.
[00:11:12] Charla: Yes, i agree.
[00:11:12] Marijanel: In a sense, because I find that good because it made him go like, if I actually wanna flip a good pancake, I gotta step up my pancake game. Now that's not a bad thing. If I was to open social media like my, my little skit that I did in the beginning, scrolling through and feeling social deflated. If I reenacted that with a completely different mindset, it's time to go on social media. I start to go through. Now, I could come from the approach of being happy for other people, encouraging other people being like, Hey, Charla, your studio's beautiful.
Um, love it. Love your plants, love your sunlight. You know, like happy for you. Then I scroll through and see, oh wow, like so-and-so is doing so good in her art right now. It shows me, like, I have some daily practice to do to get, to get myself. like to a new level. And you,
[00:12:10] Charla: I like to look at that as like a, a goalpost. Like you can put out a goalpost and say, Hey, they're doing it, and I can do it too. They're just a human, you know?
[00:12:19] Marijanel: They're a human.
[00:12:20] Charla: They're just a human. Yeah. With the same, um, things as I have the same abilities and the same opportunities, so I can also get there, if I want to get there
[00:12:30] Marijanel: Yeah, and, and using it.
Aspire to and to motivate you. I think is a completely different thing than letting it deflate you. And so if we come back to childlike ways, you know, we, I, I spoke of like the childlike learning by looking around us, but if we come back to a childlike way of saying, I'm gonna observe the world around me and all of these humans walking and talking and doing these great things, and I'm just sitting.
Doing patty cake, you know, then, then we could begin to aspire to say, I'm gonna try this stuff. I'm gonna try to stand on my own two feet. I'm gonna try to get better. I'm gonna try to walk and talk and learn like the child does without, I guess, letting ourselves be so deflated that we've got like these, you know... So down on ourselves all the time, because comparison kills creativity, you know, and instead we could let it fuel creativity into better things.
[00:13:29] Charla: And if you think about that metaphor of the child too, you think they, they're inspired by all the big people they see doing things. So they learn to walk and talk and run and play games and. They learn from us, right?
And we're, we're all big adults far into our life. And you, you know, the impatience of a kid who wants to grow up, but they have 18 years of this growing that they have to do. It's a really long time where they're learning one thing after another so that they can become an adult, but by the time they become like 21, 25, these people that were so far ahead of them start to slow down, you know, And then all of a sudden I'm looking at my boys, I'm thinking about this just the other day. And they're strong and, and they're growing. And then their dad is like, I can't even do that anymore. And you know, he's still young and fit, but he can't keep up with his teenage boys. And he's like, I have to work so much harder to do what you guys are accomplishing overnight.
And so these, these babies who really take them 18 years to to become what they're aspiring to be because they're looking at the goalposts of people in their lives, adults in their lives, by the time they get there, the adults are slowing down and they're taking over the world. So really that metaphor is, is quite powerful. Because if you look at, in comparing yourself to somebody that you aspire to be, it's not that I ever want them to fail and me take over from, from them, but it's, it's kind of the nuance of life. We each. Have our place in the world, and, and that person is here, and it's a goalpost, but we're actually gonna go here.
Maybe we'll rise up higher than them. We'll go forward more than them. Maybe we'll collaborate with them eventually. And maybe we'll be so far in different corners that it won't even matter eventually. So if you look at it like a child, they could give up and say, I don't got 18 years to figure out how to run.
You know, like, so I'm just gonna sit here and crawl instead, or I'm gonna give up and not learn it at all. You know? But they don't do it. They take off and they're willing. They just, they put in the work to, to get there.
[00:15:30] Marijanel: Yeah. My daughter didn't crawl. She scooted like a little monkey, like she scooted on her butt, and she skipped, she skipped crawling and just went from like the scoot everywhere to walking.
[00:15:40] Charla: Yeah.
[00:15:40] Marijanel: And so I guess that would just show us to do it how you gotta do it. Like throw your skill, how you gotta do it, but using rather than this negative comparison that deflates you use it to aspire to and to admire the people that are going ahead of you. And I see, like people who've gone ahead of me, I try to see them as a pioneer.
They're, they're plowing and making way for the ones who are to come, which if I'm growing, it's gonna be me. And so I can be thankful for them. And I also think of, like, if you look at some people who've gone ahead with like, just business success or making ways for artists, like imagine the possibilities we have as artists today because other artists have gone ahead of us and made this beautiful space for us, in, in art being recognized the way that it is, and we're changing the stigmas and we're, we're breaking new, like, out of boxes. Right?
[00:16:40] Charla: Yeah.
[00:16:40] Marijanel: And so, so much good has come, but it also, like, there's people that are pioneering for us and we don't need to compare or be jealous or envious, but rather to be thankful.
[00:16:53] Charla: Yeah. And to learn from them and I think one thing I, I talk about in Bold School is like, the reason that I am, I wanna teach, and the reason that you and our other instructors are there to teach is because, or, or what I would like for our, our members to do is to start, like we're here, they get to start from here and go up.
They don't have to start from here and build themselves up. There's a certain amount of work they're gonna have to do, but they get to start from our ceiling. And I like to say that to my kids too. Like, learn from us. So you can start from our ceiling instead of start at the bottom, like you
[00:17:24] Marijanel: So, good.
[00:17:25] Charla: You've got a, a heads up right there.
[00:17:27] Marijanel: Yeah.
[00:17:27] Charla: So if you're gonna struggle and refuse to, to acknowledge the people that have gone before us, or the people that are ahead of us, then you are gonna struggle and you're gonna have to work your way through. Like there's a trail that's been then set out for you.
But if you wanna walk 10 feet that side in the bush, you're gonna go a lot slower. So step onto the trail and allow them to allow yourself to walk the trail that they've already blazed and learn from them. Yeah.
[00:17:52] Marijanel: Yeah. Yeah. So I've heard you say before to use comparison as a barometer, . Can you tell me what that means?
[00:18:01] Charla: Remember that was an idea. I hadn't completely fledged out , but I liked it. You were onto something good. You were saying to, to use it to measure your atmospheric pressure. Yeah, like I, I like to think of, um, I'm trying to put that in my head now, where, where I was when I said that, but I, I like to look at comparison as a baseline, like just seeing like where you're at in photography.
This is, so this is something as a photographer that I learned, I, I learned photography in school and then I started shooting for. Outside of school, and I was doing wedding photography photojournalistic style in a time when the majority of photographers were still men wearing their vests and lining up people,
right. And I was wanting to step out into photojournalism. The web was kind of new at the time so that I could find some work, but. I had no one to learn from, nobody to ask, so I had to figure it out for myself. And I started a business and it was fairly successful and I had all these systems and processes in place, and I was happy with what I did, but I didn't know if I was doing things right.
I didn't know if I was doing things as good as I could or if I, if, if there was places where I could be better and, you know, have better success or whatever. So, I finally, um, had an opportunity to go to a conference where this certain rockstar photographer that I followed was gonna be teaching at this conference.
So I jumped at the opportunity because I followed this guy, loved what he was doing. This was like probably eight or nine years into my career at this stage. And I went to the, I had to fly there, stay in a hotel, you know, big expense, whatever. So I did the conference. . And when I came out of it, someone asked me like, so did you learn anything?
What did you learn? I'm like, you know, I actually don't think I learned anything new. This guy used the same equipment as me, the same software, the same systems, and, but what happened was that he validated my processes. So I had this, I was able by comparing myself to him, cuz he was teaching his processes, I saw where a baseline was and I was validated in what I was already doing.
I didn't, obviously he was more successful than me. He was like considered this rockstar photographer, and people were paying to be taught from him. But I was validated in what I was doing, so I calibrated myself to this guy. I used him as a measure for the things that I was doing. And, um. And, and so I, and I felt, even though I hadn't necessarily learned, like I didn't get 10 new tips to make my photography business better, but I came away feeling really, really good about it.
And then I had this idea like, comparison can be like a measure stick, a, a way to calibrate ourselves a baseline, like all these types of words. And then I felt it's also like this barometer where you can measure the atmospheric pressure around you. And I, I haven't really like fledged that out yet, but I think there's, there's more to just, like I compare it to going, I will compare it to going online and looking at other people's work, and you kind of get to see like, what are other people doing?
So I'm doing this now. I go online, I see what other people are doing. I set some goalposts, and then I work and I continue on, and then I need to recalibrate myself, but I need to go online. I need to go out into the world. I need to go to shows, talk to artists, start learning some more. Measuring the atmospheric pressure around you.
It's a little bit more of a complicated measure. Mm-hmm. , you can't just say, this is the baseline, so I gotta do step 1, 2, 3 to get. . It's not really that simple. There's a whole lot of stuff coming at you. There's a whole lot of stuff coming at them. Like you said, like we can't, we can't compare apples, oranges.
So if I'm comparing, comparing myself to a 60 year old man who's been in the business forever, and he's super successful because he's gone this like route that I'm never gonna take, I can't measure that. It's more like atmospheric pressure. You have to be able to calibrate a whole bunch of measurements that are coming at you from all angles.
I would use a 60 year old man who's been in the, in the business for a long time as still like a goalpost to say, I can, I can do it. He's painting bold color portraits, and he's succeeding and people are buying them. So there's a market. , I, he did it, so I know I can do it, but I'm not necessarily gonna go down the same path as him or make the same work as him because we're in a very different place in life, very different place in the world. So I have to measure all of these things that are coming at me. That's kind of why I feel like it was, this barometer came in my mind because it's, it's measuring the atmospheric pressure that's on you, on you and your time and your place on the people around you, and how you're gonna make a decision for where you are now. Because a barometer, a real barometer is gonna measure if it's in your city, it's gonna measure very different than it will in the town next to you, or in the town across the world. That atmospheric pressure's gonna be very different. So I understand a barometer because I have a fisherman for a dad,
[00:22:58] Marijanel: Yeah.
[00:22:59] Charla: So if you don't know what a barometer is, you might need to go and look into how a barometer works to fully understand that.
[00:23:05] Marijanel: And Charla's fisherman dad portrait is behind her today. Oh, you're on YouTube on the other side? Yeah. That is Charla's dad, the nicest man in the world. So happy that I've gotten to meet him in person.
So, hi Charla's dad in case watch the podcast. .
[00:23:20] Charla: He used to watch I don't know if he does anymore.
[00:23:22] Marijanel: So comparison is like a barometer also. Just to sort of sum up or conclude some thoughts about how to stop comparing ourselves negatively because it's not a, they make good art, I make bad art situation. It's a, we all make art.
We are on our own path. and we need to compare for constructive reasons to, to gauge, to have that atmospheric pressure to understand when we're learning. But one thing that Charla has told me in the past is to use comparison when you're learning something new. So that's a good time to, to use it. Because if you're learning, like let's say you switch mediums, which I have done a number of times in my life.
I've switched mediums. I've moved from, as you all know, if you've followed the podcast, I've moved from clay into illustration when I'm learning that new art form that new medium. It's not like I'm learning art all over again. It's not like I'm learning creativity all over again, but I'm learning how to use new tools, new medium.
Mm-hmm. . And at some point I have to look up and be like, Hey, am I doing whatever Bud is doing with this watercolor? Like, is this what watercolor actually is? Not that, not that you want to follow exactly whatever he's doing. 'Cuz that's where innovation comes. You might come up with a whole new way to use a medium, but when you're learning something new, you can, you can get the idea like,
You know, am I doing what I'm supposed to be doing here?
[00:24:50] Charla: Yeah. Well, I say learn the rules so that you can break the rules.
[00:24:53] Marijanel: You break them. Yeah.
[00:24:54] Charla: That's why we learn them. So you use, you use comparison to see did I learn the rules? Like do I know the rules? Because you don't, you don't know what you don't know.
You can't break what you don't know . So learn the rules. If you wanna break them, you have to first know what the rules are.
[00:25:07] Marijanel: Because here you go, at least you'll know you're breaking the rules. If you don't know the rules, you don't know you're breaking them .
[00:25:12] Charla: Yeah.
[00:25:12] Marijanel: If you know them, then at least you can be like, I'm breaking it, I'm breaking the rules.
[00:25:16] Charla: Yeah.
[00:25:16] Marijanel: Um, don't, don't compare for the purpose of validation. So I think that. right there is the key to why we get so deflated when we open our social media. 'Cuz we're actually looking for self-worth from the comparison, and you mentioned that in the beginning, Charla, how like low self-esteem is so affected by this and if, if we're opening whatever like avenue of comparison we have, and today we're using social media as the main avenue, but even if you're part of our Bold School community and you are, are, you know, you're, we've welcomed you with open arms. You're part of this community. You're taking Bold School classes. Even if you go in our community and begin to compare, we don't want that. We don't want you looking for validation from your peers to, to grow your self-esteem.
We want you to have self-esteem because you are worth it. You're worth it in every single way. You are valid just for being you, and the looking and comparing for validation, that's just like a trap. Because you are you and meant to be unique in your life, in your art. Do you have something to add to that, Charla? I just.
[00:26:30] Charla: Yeah, no, I, I totally agree with what you're saying. I was thinking about my example of going to the photography conference, 'cuz I used the word validation to say that I felt validated by, the processes that they did were the same as mine. Now, I use that word, but I just wanna be clear that had I realized, you know, that their processes were different, then I would have switched my, my thought to learning from them. You know, like, then I would've been like, Hey, well, okay, they're doing it different than me, so now I can learn, I can learn something new. That's why I'm here anyways.
Um, I compared myself to them and I, I felt validated because I was doing it the same. You can feel the validation, but what you have to be really careful is doing it for validation, because what if you're not the same? What if you're doing something different? What if you're not as good? Like there are people, like they just are a better artist than you.
Possibly because they've been working harder, possibly, I don't know. Like maybe they have some natural talent that you don't have in one area. Maybe you have it in a different area that you haven't explored yet. You know, there's a whole lot of reasons why an artist could be better than you. It doesn't mean that you are not, you don't have validation in your process or that you shouldn't be doing it, right. So you have to not do it for validation.
[00:27:48] Marijanel: Well, and I thought of something as you were saying that because I, I spoke of being in the Bold School community and, and having this community around you,. And having it for validation, but maybe I should clarify to say that validation in art and seeing from your peers that you're on the right track is good, but validation for your self-worth, or if you're looking for others to constantly put into your self-worth, we will come up empty because we need to find that between us and God
Like just, yeah. It needs to come from the deep, deep, deep part of us not looking. Instagram or social media, or an art community. Um, yet I have noticed that those communities and building a tribe or a team around yourself does support us in our journey of self-confidence and self-worth. It is so important and, and so many within Bold School will testify to the community boosting their self-confidence.
[00:28:51] Charla: Yeah.
[00:28:52] Marijanel: But, um, to clarify like your, your validation of who you are, you're worth it just in who you are as a human, as a, in, in being here alive breathing. You are valuable.
[00:29:06] Charla: Yeah. I actually think that's like probably the real core of this entire topic. When we compare ourselves like a kid comparing themselves to somebody who's able to walk and run and play sports really well, if they decide a two year old decides that they can't compete with an eight year old, and it's, and they take it personally, then most of us will be like, that's crazy. They're eight and you're two. You're not gonna be able to do the same thing. And that kid won't naturally take that as though their value is worth less because they can't walk. Most healthy children won't ever naturally think that way. Yeah. But I think we as adults will often compare ourselves, not compare.
Maybe this is where the apples and apples comes in. We're not comparing our status in our art to somebody else's art. We're actually comparing our personal status to somebody else's, which can never be compared. Our worth as a human can never be compared and we're always looking for validation to, to, for someone to tell us that we're good just as we are, but we take that.
With our art, because our art becomes part of our identity. Mm-hmm. , our, our creativity becomes part of our identity. So if somebody tells us, or we think our art isn't good enough, we take that as we are not good enough. So being able to separate that validation and, and separate what we're actually doing when we're comparing our art is really important.
Our art and where we stand in that journey and process is very different. To who you are as a human being.
[00:30:41] Marijanel: Yeah.
[00:30:42] Charla: You do not need anything to validate your worth as a human being.
[00:30:45] Marijanel: Yeah. Yeah. So good. So I had to separate that. So good. Yeah. I'm feeling it like I'm.
[00:30:50] Charla: It's really hard.
[00:30:51] Marijanel: I know
[00:30:51] Charla: Really hard..
[00:30:51] Marijanel: And I know I've heard many times that I have, you know, we've talked about critique before this, this crosses over is something slightly different than comparison, but we've talked about critique or when you present your work to the world or when you put yourself out there that you feel others comparing. Um, we make ourselves vulnerable because we take our art so personally.
[00:31:11] Charla: Yeah.
[00:31:11] Marijanel: And, and yet you're just saying to, to have that healthy separation of knowing we're growing our skills and there's no comparing , uh, apples to oranges. And that our validation comes from deep within. So, um, so one other thing that you've said to me before, um, I know we're concluding here, we don't wanna run too far over time, but you've said before, um, don't ever compare when you're in the innovation stage. What does that mean?
[00:31:39] Charla: Yeah. Well, when you're innovating, so if you're learning and you're learning a skill, you're trying to figure out.
So when I wanted to become a bold color portrait artist, I honestly had no idea if it existed. Is there, um, like in a sense on a business perspective, is there a market for this? Will anybody be receptive? So I went online and I researched and I found other bold color, color, um, artists who are painting portraits.
And I was like, okay, they look successful, they're interviewed on YouTube or whatever. The, there must be a market for it. So, um, I wanted to see that my, I, not that that validates my idea, but you know, that was a time where I was out there kind of doing some research like. You in business, you could just like call it your demographics, like checking out your demographics.
[00:32:29] Marijanel: Market research.
[00:32:29] Charla: Your market research. Yeah. I'm doing my market research just to make sure I'm not wasting my time. I think we talked about this on another podcast actually. with, with your idea. But then when you get right down to innovating, you've got an idea, you've got, uh, something burning in your soul and you are ready to create.
You've got all the tools, you've practiced, the ideas are like flowing, and you're running into your studio to paint. That is not when you go online to see, has anyone done this before?
[00:32:58] Marijanel: right.
[00:32:58] Charla: Don't do that. You go in when you're burning with an idea and burning with a desire to, to, to create. Go and create.
You're innovating at that time, and that's when going online and comparing yourself. That's what you talked about at the very beginning of the podcast. That's when you become completely deflated and you think that your idea's not good enough, and it's usually not, it's nonsensical because you're so vulnerable in that moment of innovation.
[00:33:24] Marijanel: Yeah.
[00:33:25] Charla: That, and you know that like you're, you're opening yourself up to things and so to go and compare yourself in that moment is going to cause. Like, um, unrealistic comparisons. Cause the slightest thing can deflate you when you're that vulnerable, that it hits a nerve so easily when you're being really vulnerable in a creative, innovative state.
So I think it's really important to not compare it that time, allow yourself to flow and to get it all out. And if you need to go compare afterwards.
[00:33:55] Marijanel: Yeah.
[00:33:55] Charla: And allow yourself to get it done first. I think it's important.
[00:33:59] Marijanel: And you know, so I had mentioned the tip to use comparison when you're learning something new and when you're maybe switching into a new medium. But then we're also saying don't compare during the innovation stage. So there's actually a difference. Between that creative innovation that's completely fresh and something that you're bringing out your uniqueness and the learning something new, which is skill-based process.
So one is good to compare and to be like, am I building skills that other people in this genre are building? And that the other is like, if you have a bubble of creativity and innovation going on, make it. Don't look around because it'll be totally new and just for you.
[00:34:41] Charla: Yeah.
[00:34:41] Marijanel: So I think some of what we're describing Charla is intuition and trusting ourselves. To discern, like, when to compare and remembering how to approach it with the right mindset.
[00:34:54] Charla: And trust that you have the ability to problem solve, which is what we talked about in our last, uh, podcast that you have the ability to problem solve when you get stuck. I was just thinking as you, you were talking the example of, uh, I've had many times in my studio where I've gone in with great ideas and I start painting and I hit, probably hit the ugly stage, which we've talked about in the previous podcast as well.
It's just the middle of the painting where, you know, it's all over the place and your ideas are coming together, but they're not quite there. and you start to doubt everything, you know? And I have often in that moment said to myself, well, I'll just go on social media and maybe I'll be inspired to like add something in
[00:35:35] Marijanel: Yeah.
[00:35:35] Charla: You know, from an artist I love.
[00:35:37] Marijanel: And then it goes where.
[00:35:39] Charla: Oh, way down way fast.
[00:35:41] Marijanel: Yeah.
[00:35:42] Charla: Because as soon as you look at a finished complete painting that somebody liked enough to post on social media and you're looking at your half done idea, you're done for.
[00:35:51] Marijanel: Yeah.
[00:35:51] Charla: And that has happened to me more than once. Even knowing that that's a, a trap, I still have done it. So this is a, a really, really big one. When you go in the studio to make an actual painting, you, you need to put your phone away except for listening for music or whatever. But do not allow yourself,
[00:36:09] Marijanel: and I've said before too, that I don't compare mid-project. Um, so you're talking about maybe painting, um, in the middle of a painting, but some of my artistic projects are like months long because like if I'm illustrating a children's picture book or something, it's a long, long, long, long process.
[00:36:27] Charla: Yeah. That's harder.
[00:36:28] Marijanel: And I'm very careful to not.
Okay, so in this regard, I'm not necessarily meaning compare, but even getting inspired by another illustrator will influence my style of it because I'm like, Ooh, I like the way they did that. And if I take too much influence, cuz I'm a bit like a sponge, I can sponge it all up. I will change style's mid-project.
[00:36:52] Charla: Yes. That's what I do in my studio too. That's what it causes me to do because I think I see like, even if it's just a color, I'm like, well, they succeeded there and it, they did it with purple. And now I'm gonna put purple in, but my color theory falls apart because I'm just being stupid in that moment. They took me off track.
[00:37:08] Marijanel: So, it's true. When I'm in a a, a long project or any kind project really, I have to be really careful not to be influenced, which is different than comparison, but it's kind of the same 'cuz you begin to look and you're like, oh, cool. That looks so.
[00:37:21] Charla: And comparison influences you.
[00:37:22] Marijanel: Yeah. Absolutely.
[00:37:23] Charla: It can feel positive, it can feel okay.
[00:37:26] Marijanel: . Yeah. And then it affects your book. And then suddenly, like you're flipping through my book and it's like, whoa, something changed . You know? And I don't want that to happen. I wanna be consistent with what I produce. So I have to be careful to like, protect myself from influences in the middle of projects.
And then the project closes. I can burst out, get all kinds of new inspiration and ideas and practice and, and that kind of thing. But then I have to almost go into a cave when making, you know, making art. So, uh, in conclusion of today's podcast, Charla, do you have anything else that you wanna just wrap up with?
[00:38:02] Charla: Um, I mean, I think we've, I'd like to have a summary of all these points cause I think we've made a really good, a lot of really good points.
[00:38:08] Marijanel: Well, check on your show notes and we'll summarize them to the best that we can, because we've talked about use comparison. When you learn something new, use it as a baseline, as like that barometer that Charla described. We've talked about don't compare apples to oranges, and to not compare for identity of, uh, validation one, but rather for more skill building validation, but not identity validation. And don't compare during the innovation stage. Um, make sure that you recognize how it influences you, how it'll change the course of your style if you're, you're doing that and we've talked, Charla and I have talked before about putting on armor. Before you go online, like mental armor.
[00:38:50] Charla: Really important. Yeah.
[00:38:51] Marijanel: Where you like take 10 seconds to mentally prepare that you're going in the comparison zone.
[00:38:57] Charla: Protect your spirit. Protect your heart.
[00:38:59] Marijanel: So battlefield of the mind where you're going into this comparison zone.
So, you tell yourself to go in with the right attitude, encouraging attitude towards other people rather than me, me, me, or poor me. Poor me. I can fall into the poor me drop and then identify also, here's a good key identify, which of the platforms lifts you up? So like, you know, some of the not all social media is created equal, like, you know, it is not an apple to apple situation.
And so, , uh, look for a place, a community, a tribe that lifts you up that you might need less armor.
[00:39:35] Charla: Yeah.
[00:39:35] Marijanel: To go in and, and be on those platforms. And then if you're having a bad day, and if socials gives you bad days, just don't go onto those platforms when you're in that frame of mind because you just want to protect yourself.
You're important, your art matters, and your creativity matters. And we care that you are a wholehearted artist.
[00:39:58] Charla: Yeah. And I think that's where it's a good idea to have a private community. 'Cause we like to say that community's a new social media. Because in times like that, you can go into a private community and get support that you need rather than just scrolling on a social media platform. Which all, all have good, good points and they're good places to be at certain times, but community is one of the best places to be for your innovative innovation stage because they, they can lift you up even.
[00:40:23] Marijanel: Well, it, it's, the whole reason we started the Bold School community is the, it, it's a new social media for us because this, this talk. This issue, this needing armor to go on to the platforms has been, um, something that we wanted to solve for other artists. A safe place that you can come be part of, um, not only your skills being validated, but you, you are important.
You are validated just for being who you are. So thank you so much for joining us today on the show, the Bold Artists Podcast. We're so happy that you're here on the Bold School Channel on YouTube. You can find us on Instagram @boldschoolinc. Make sure that you're on our newsletter. It is informative, fun, interesting. I love it when it shows up in my inbox.
Get on our newsletter list by going to boldschool.com and putting your name in there. And, um, we've got weekly updates and all kinds of things happening, letting you know when our classes are out. And what else can I say? It's been a pleasure. Thanks so much for joining the show and until next time, keep creating.