Inspiration vs. Comparison

Inspiration vs. Comparison

  • Anna Weisend
  • 12 Jun 2019


There is an amazing plethora of beautiful sugar art out there.  There are so many talented artists, just look at Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.  It can be such a feast for the eyes.

Or if you aren’t careful, it can start making you feel inadequate.

Have you ever felt that way?

Recently, science has shown that social media can have a negative effect on your mental health.  You can see all the fabulous things people are doing, and wrongfully assume that they’ve got it all together and you don’t.  You see them at their best but not at their worst and it gives you a false perspective.

In the world of beautiful sweet stuff, this can be very pronounced. 

Fabulous vs Fail

Look at some of the sugar world’s celebrities: Colette Peters, Karen Portaleo, or Ron Ben Isreal.  They put out catalogs of beautiful pictures to admire and oohhhh and ahhhh.  It is so delightful until someone says “I could never be that good”. 

Has anyone seen pictures of these celebrities biggest fails (with the rare exception of a tv reality show disaster)? 

No one brags about the time that the humidity or gravity got the best of them.  No one gets on social media and complains how they made a rookie mistake and forgot an ingredient while they were baking, forcing them to redo it.  No one posts a picture of that piece of work that has embarrassing flaws all over it. 

Sugar artists, regardless of their level of experience, should be using these beautiful pieces of work as inspiration rather than comparison. 

New Perspective

If you look at the picture of someone’s work and start to feel less than, turn it into inspiration instead.

  1. Appreciation – just appreciate that you get to look at something beautiful and soak it in just because it makes you happy.
  2. Does it matter?- Sometimes the green monster rears its head in irrelevant places. You may love to make beautiful gumpaste flowers or do delicate stringwork but despise sculpting cake.  A Karen Portaleo picture pops up and you are drooling and in awe and then start to question yourself and your abilities.  Why would it matter?  You don’t like sculpting. It is of no consequence for you.  Go back to number one and just appreciate that there is someone out there who can do that. 
  3. Use the negative for the positive- If envy or self-deprecation starts to sneak in, use that to push yourself to be better. Any art form requires self-improvement.  See someone else’s good work as a goal instead of competition.
  4. Remember to be you- What is it that you love? What is it that brings you joy?  Whether it is creating a replica of the Empire State building, painting portrait cookies, or making the most adorable, affordable, birthday cakes for the five-year-olds in your neighborhood that should be your focus.  You should never confuse someone else’s passion with your own.

Peeking at the Future

As you are looking at a level you haven’t gotten to yet, remember how much you’ve improved since you started.  Then visualize the kind of work you want to do in the future.  The more you do this, the quicker you’ll get where you want to be.

And always remember, you are only in competition with yourself.

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