Artistic Comparison Kills the Muse
I love seeing other soap creations. Truly. I enjoy the possibilities of imagination in relationship to soap. So many designs, so many ideas all in soap.
What I don’t enjoy is when I think, “so much better than mine.” (I would never say it, or post it, since it feels awful on the other end.) When I compare my work to someone else’s and give them so much praise I disparage myself. Ugh. Its exhausting. I don’t feel good when I think that and, some times, envy or jealous will creep in.
I like my soap community. I don’t want to feel those ugly emotions. There’s no need. I’ll process these emotions and come to another conclusion to dispel those feelings.
And more than processing my adolescent and primitive emotions, its the beginning of the death of my Muse.
My Muse says, “but that’s not your art.” I can take that any way. I made it mean this: I don’t eat like anyone else, I don’t walk, talk or think like anyone else, so why would I think my art should be like someone else’s?
My muse whispers, by-the-way. She isn’t loud at all. Anymore than my imagination is loud. It's more like a dream; dreams are vivid, clear and can be even strong, but I can’t prove my dreams or claim them to be loud.
If my focus is outside myself, I miss her whisper, her invitation. My Muse is a delicate creature – amorphous, etherial, gossamer…
By me saying, “that art is so much better than what I do” is telling my Muse “you suck.” The deeper responsibility is to ask myself, “how can I listen better? How can I listen better to my inner voice, to my inspirations?” What if my Muse whispers but I’m simply busy saying, “my art isn’t good enough?”
With that kind of pressure no wonder my Muse quits periodically.