Envy and Admiration

As artists or designers, we always strive for perfection, for originality. Thus, we are never satisfied with our work. There will always be too many flaws; too many imperfections; too many things “wrong”; too may things to improve on. There will be artists and desingers we admire. We strive to be like them. We strive to be just as good, but we can never quite get there. After all that is said and done, all we could do is step back and look up with envy and despair.At least, that’s how it is for me. No matter how “good” I am or people say I am. I never quite see it.

It’s not that I have low self-esteem or no confidence in my work. I can’t be that bad if there are people complememting on my work, telling me that they like my work, and hiring me to work. To me, though, I will never be good enough. I am always overshadowed by people who are more talented than me. I surround myself with smart, intelligent people who are overflowed with talents compared to me. The work that I produce, whether they be pieces of art, design works, or writing pieces, will never be as good as Andrew’s, Michael’s, Yasi’s, Pierre’s, David’s, Raphael’s, or Greg’s, or whoever. I admire them as much as I envy them.

Those are just my peers. My competition. Those are the people I can supposedly compare myself to. I won’t even begin to describe how I feel when I read something from Terry Pratchet or Kurt Vonegut, or see something of Paul Rand, Eiko Ishioka, or staring at something Alex Tuan or Keith Haring had created. The caliber of their works are so far above mine. I feel lost between admiration and desolation.

The words I write are never as good. The lines I draw are never as good. The designs I come up with are nothing, meaningless, unoriginal, crap. That’s why I never really pursue an art career or a writing career. Design was suppose to be my fall back, something I can work at while trying to hone my skills. The plan backfired. I feel in love with design. I call myself more of a designer than an artist. Design is stimulating, fascinating, and most of all rewarding.

Design is everywhere I see. Everywhere I look, I’m green with envy. It’s almost like I’m surrounded by talents I will never have. The friends I’m with. The guy I’m with. The magazines and books I look at.

There are times I just want to push it all away and give up. Lately, that’s all I’ve been wanting to do. It’s funny how when you decide to give up something that you realized how much you need it. It got me thinking to why I draw or why I write. I pretty much know why I write. It’s an innate desire. I never give much thought to why I draw or why I want to draw. I always tell myself that I can’t draw, that my drawings are bad. Even when people say that I can draw and I draw well, I just wave it off and say that they don’t know what I’m talking about.

Lately, I’ve been drawing more and more. I want to be better. I want to draw better. But living with someone who can do that much better than you is despairing. Whatever I draw, it never seems like it’s good enough. So, I decide to just stop drawing. Drawing wasn’t something I want to pursue anyway, right?

…but since when do I care if what I draw is good or not? I’m always envious that people can draw better than me: friends, classmates, boyfriends. That’s what inspire me to draw more and draw better. My jealousy is what drives me. But living with this constance jealousy is something else. I never realized how much I like to draw or need to draw. All my life, I just draw never questioning why or realizing how much I like it.

I guess I’m just cursed with the passion and love for the trade and the envy of everyone around. I can’t not write or not draw. That’s not possible. I’ll just keep doing it despite what I think of myself. Because no matter what you say, whatever you do, first and foremost you always do it for yourself.

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One thought on “Envy and Admiration

  1. Ha,

    I was looking for a graphic designer on CraigsList and happened to find a blog. =) That’s why its called the web I think! =)

    So, I gave up looking for a graphics designer, but I did want to reply to your post. Btw, its very well written. I think I can say with most certainty that I’ve felt that jealousy you’re talking about. I love drawing, but never seem to find the time to do it. The few times I do it, I get completely immersed in whatever I happen to be drawing at the time. But anyway, just recently I picked up and went to a local coffee shop to do some sketches. By sheer luck there was another artist there, working away. Before I could sit down I saw that he was completing what looked to be a portrait of two people. It was very well done. My first instinct was to tell myself “Ehhhh… I could do that…. I think” I sat down, started drawing and in no time flat forgot about the other artist. After some time I decided to take a break and took a look over at his portrait. For some reason this time I wasn’t too worried about how well it was drawn.

    What had happened is that I got so lost in my own drawing and all the enjoyment of making it come to life, that I forgot about this other artist. Then in a way I realized that I may not have the technical skill that he does, nor the eye for portraits. But I liked what I was drawing so much, that it didn’t matter how good anyone else was. So I got up and went to talk to him about his drawing. I couldn’t do that in the beginning because I looked at him as my competition I guess. But once I realized how much I loved what I was drawing, despite it not being so great, it was easy to go appreciate his work.

    Not sure if that made sense. =)

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