Monday, April 8, 2013

Some Thoughts On Competition

© Holly DeWolf
Even small fish can be happy! 

"Competition has been shown to be useful up to a certain point and no further, but cooperation, which is the thing we must strive for today, begins where competition leaves off." -Franklin D. Roosevelt 

I think we all would agree there is more competition in the illustration industry than ever before. This blog post is in response to quite a few emails asking me how I feel about all this new competitiveness. 

“If you want to find the real competition, just look in the mirror. After awhile you'll see your rivals scrambling for second place. ― Criss Jami

It has to be said: 

There is going to be competition in any industry and illustration is not exempt. The truth is, the gap between the amount of illustrators and the amount of work available is getting bigger by the day. 

Focusing too much on what others are doing can take your energy away. At some point you need to get away from the distractions and get back to making illustrations. 

There will always be styles of work that are trendy and illustrators that are trending. Just because it goes viral does not mean we are all going to like it. Ask yourself this: Do you want to be a trend or do you want to develop a certain style that is unique to you that you can market? 

"No one can make me work harder than I do, so I'm generally not interested in who I am competing with." -Victoria Principal 

The way I see it: 

If you can't beat 'em, Illustrate anyway. Do what you are designed to do. The world needs what you have to offer! Create daily. Draw, sketch and doodle the hell out of your ideas. Get your work out there. Network. Talk to people. Build referrals. Keep promoting what you do. Remember that no one can sell your skills better than you. 

If you can't beat 'em, go your own way!

• Do what your good at but be willing to reinvent yourself! 
• Go left or go right but avoid the straight and narrow.  
• Just keep working and have a plan.
• Don't worry about it so much. 

• Don't let it distract you. 
• Change the rules. 

• Focus on your own reality. 
• Compete with yourself! 

“The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.” ― Willie Nelson