Painting like a master takes decades of patient practice.

Developing a high level of artistic skill takes much experience and self confidence .

To improve artwork and make an original painting look like it has a master’s touch, there are some essential areas artists must focus upon.

Michelangelo was indeed a master artist.

His original painting below titled ‘The Creation of Adam’ was placed onto the ceiling of a church.

Michelangelo Creation of Man Original Painting: How to paint like a master artist

‘Creation of Adam’ by Michelangelo – ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican, Rome, 1508-1512, fresco

It’s one of the most famous original paintings in the world, located in Vatican City, Italy.

God reaches from heaven to touch the finger of man. To animate Adam’s listless body, through his holy spirit in the Garden of Eden.

This article outlines six important creative approaches used by master artists like Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Picasso , Turner, and DaVinci that modern artists can use today to improve their original paintings.

Firstly, all five artists had one very important common trait.

They cared deeply about their craft.

Point 1. A master artist is passionate about art and works constantly to refine their creative skill.

Michelangelo achieved technical mastery in 3 different creative disciplines, original painting, sculpture and architecture.

Due to his love for sculpture, Michelangelo established a new style for his time, which produced a 3 dimensional sculptural feel in his paintings.

From the time Michelangelo signed the contract in 1508, it took him 4 years to complete painting the ceilings and walls.

He endured many hardships and completed the massive task alone. Spending extremely long hours standing upright, upon dangerously high fragile scaffolding, awkwardly reaching above his head to paint the ceiling.

Point 2. A master artist understands it takes great patience, determination and persistence to finish difficult creative projects.

Rembrandt was also a renowned artist. He lived in Amsterdam, the commercial epicenter of Europe during the 1600’s.

He was a master at capturing unique lighting effects upon his subjects in original paintings.

Rembrandt used strong contrasts of light upon dark, focusing viewer’s attention towards areas of the canvas that created dramatic interest and mood.

Rembrandt used the visual tool of contrast to maximum effect in his original art.

His masterful skill of gentle warm light meant that Rembrandt was able to powerfully depict emotions on his subject’s faces. Even portraying inanimate objects with subtle emotion.

Point 3. Rembrandt had an innate ability to express compassion for people in his original paintings.

Completed in 1969, the self-portrait original painting below is Rembrandt during old age. Visually, he expresses an acceptance of what life had dealt him.

Without defeat or bitterness, but with compassion for fellow man, he accepts the reality of his tumultuous creative life.

rembrandt self portrait Original Painting: How to paint like a master artist

‘Self-portrait’ painted by Rembrandt around 1665 – 1669 (last years of his life). In Kenwood House, Hampstead, London. ©Wikimedia Commons image

Point 4. A master artist uses contrasts in paintings for dramatic impact and visual effect.

William Turner (1775 –1851) was a master at capturing atmospheric feeling in his original paintings.

He was an English romantic landscape painter whose original paintings contain a spirit of freedom and intangible beauty.

Turner helped set the foundations of abstract art.

Producing fascinating cloud formations that created their own textural vitality and esoteric meaning.

He painted everyday landscapes but achieved an extraordinary mysterious quality in original paintings, capturing the ocean, land and sky in unique ways.

Turner Rain Steam and Speed the Great Western Railway1 1024x760 Original Painting: How to paint like a master artist

“Rain, Steam and Speed – The Great Western Railway” (1844) by William Turner Oil on canvas 91 × 121.8 cm, Turner Bequest, 1856, ©Creative Commons image

Turner experienced his own personal feelings through the moods of nature.

He had a deep appreciation of nature and was early to foresee the destructive dangers of the industrial revolution upon our natural environment.

His romantic art was achieved by adding many layers of colour and texture. Producing a translucent multi dimensional character to his original paintings.

Point 5. A master artist depicts an atmosphere in a painting. Adding romance and a unique untouchable mystery to a piece of art.

Picasso was a master artist who helped form western civilisations understanding of modern art. He wasn’t afraid to leap into the unknown and achieve astounding creative results in his original paintings.

Picasso had great imagination and possessed the courage to follow his heart and establish innovative art movements. Cubism signalled an important breakthrough in the history of modern art.

In visual terms, cubism expressed a machine like character, synonymous with the industrial revolution.

Sydney Tower painting by Simon Brushfield Original Painting: How to paint like a master artist

‘Cubist Sydney Tower’ by Simon Brushfield (2005) Oil, Acrylic and Charcoal on board 80cm x 60cm (Sold: Private European Acquisition)

Picasso’s strength of imagination was unlimited and sometimes used his art as an anti- war statement.

He allowed the subject matter to take it’s own creative emotional direction and flow with the historical progress happening at the time.

He was a passionate man who constantly pushed the boundaries of modern art. Which led Picasso into an extraordinarily prolific career producing original art.

Point 6. A master artist allows human emotion and imagination to take flight without imposing rational constraints upon the creative process.

Leonardo Da Vinci’s creative life was incredibly diverse.

Avoiding boredom, he sought different projects to keep his creative mind stimulated. Da Vinci was interested in absolutely everything.

Leonardo not only mastered the fine art of painting, but also reinvented himself with a large variety of fascinating engineering and scientific projects, whereby he employed his skill of drawing.

Leonardo sudy anatomy Original Painting: How to paint like a master artist

Leonardo’s scientific study of the human arm muscles from his sketchbook

He claimed to have dissected over 30 human bodies and recorded his findings with minute scientific accuracy. He also analysed the human nervous system and foetus in the womb with intricate detail.

Leonardo’s curiosity led him to incredible discoveries ranging from engineering, philosophy, manpowered flight, weapons of war, human anatomy even town planning.

Final Point. A master artist lives a life of diverse experiences and interesting projects adding to the richness and character of their original art .

© Copyright Simon Brushfield – Original Painting: How to paint like a master artist

Creativity: The fine art of risk taking

I love risk taking.

Well thought out risks.

Picasso was a huge risk taker.

He constantly challenged society and opened his life to artistic adventure.

Enraging critics by his incredibly creative fine art and unique perception on life.

This article is for anybody who wants to live a more creative life and develop the fine art of risk taking.

People often think my decisions are sometimes crazy, totally unconventional. But here’s the truth of the matter.

Point 1. Creativity is about taking risks and being unconventional.

Educated risks help our creativity flourish and provide a life of fulfilment.

Meaningful risks help us to feel passionate and alive again, as we realize our dreams.

At the time he created this painting, Picasso was filled with fury and inspired to produce the political artwork below titled ‘Guernica’, now a world famous anti-war statement. Incredibly unconventional for its time.

Picasso Guernica Creativity: The fine art of risk taking

‘Guernica‘ (1937) Pablo Picasso. Oil on canvas Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid 349 cm × 776 cm

Never before had an abstract painting been used to warn the world of the evil dangers of fascism. He took a political risk and confronted evil through original art .

Generally speaking, Picasso’s influence upon modern art was profound.

Point 2. Much of Picasso’s success comes from being a risk taker.

Most parents would prefer their child followed a safe mainstream occupation, with a predictable income and boring daily routine. Rather than becoming a risky unpredictable artist.

But the boring life is not for creative people .

Boredom is the antidote for creativity and risk taking.

When painting, I never really know how an abstract painting will turn out. It could be a disaster, or an astounding success.

But that’s true about life. Isn’t it?

Point 3. Life is a continual risk, just like creativity .

The only certainty on earth is change.

Most people think there is zero security following an art career.

But that’s simply not true.

Yes, there would be no security for a dentist to suddenly become an artist. That would be foolish.

But the ultimate security in life is only found when people become the person that God designed them to be. This builds confidence .

Point 4. There’s very little risk in being true to ourselves.

But there is great risk in trying to be someone we’re not. In fact, it’s very dangerous to a persons health and well being.

Here’s 5 things that can happen when people are not true to themselves…

1. People risk exhaustion & insomnia
2. People risk personal stress & unhappiness
3. People risk being consumed by unrelenting fear
4. People risk experiencing rejection & low self confidence.
5. People risk life becoming a tiresome struggle.

But taking the risk and being true to oneself means relaxation. Going with the natural flow of life, which is how I created the painting below. I love the ocean.

Ocean Depth painting by Simon Brushfield 882x1024 Creativity: The fine art of risk taking

‘Ocean Depth’ by Simon Brushfield (2010) Acrylic & Oil on paper 80cm x 100cm      (For Sale $2,200)

Here’s the main reason why some people see following their true love as a huge risk….

Point 5. Because, not many people understand who they really are.

Unfortunately, most people lack the courage to take a risk and follow their heart, doing what they love for 2 main reasons.

1. People don’t know what they’re meant to be doing.
2. Fear stops people from doing what they love.

Henri Matisse was an artist who epitomised being true to himself and following his heart.

He took the risk of being misunderstood by the majority of mainstream people.

Despite heavy criticism heaped upon his fine art, Matisse pursued an uncompromising path of beauty that most people of the time, didn’t understand.

Point 6. Matisse’s risk taking led him to become the ‘founding father of modern art’.

Matisse’s use of colour was extraordinary and his line work exceptional. His fine art had never been attempted before in the history of fine art.

The painting below caused great upheavel during the early 1900′s.

People were revolted by the weird colours and ugly distortion in ‘The Joy of Life”. The public were used to seeing more traditional and realistic scenes in paintings.

People didn’t need an imagination to appreciate an artists work in the olden days. It was a huge risk for Matisse. To step out from the mainstream comfort zone and receive the hostile abuse from common man.

But today, artists benefit in a myriad of ways from the influence of Matisse’s unique imagination.

The Joy of Life by Henri Matisse 1905 Oil on Canvas 175x241cm Creativity: The fine art of risk taking

‘The Joy of Life’ by Henri Matisse (1905) Oil on Canvas 175 x 241cm The Barnes Foundation, Merion, Pennsylvania, USA

I certainly don’t want to get to the end of my life and think, “I should have taken more risks and done what I love.”

Whilst we’re alive, there’s still an opportunity to take those important risks.

So I encourage you to take whatever risk is necessary to experience total fulfilment in life.

Final Point: Taking risks is essential to living a creative life full of excitement, curiosity and wonder.

Do what you love.

But prepare yourself. You will be guaranteed to meet two teachers along the path. Success and Failure.

Take the risk.

It’s worth the journey.

Here’s what I predict will happen.

You will fall in love again.

© Copyright Simon Brushfield – Creativity: Fine art of risk taking

Pablo Picasso: How to commission original art like Picasso

Pablo Picasso was a brilliant artist for his time.

He created artwork that continues to grow in popularity, well after his death.

One of his most famous pieces of original art is titled ‘ ’.

The painting was based upon a real life event, from photographs taken amidst a devastating war scene. Later in Picasso’s studio, here’s what happened…

Pablo Picasso added his unique artistic perspective to history and immortalized the event.

It’s now remembered forever as an iconic painting in the History of Modern Art.

Picasso Guernica Pablo Picasso: How to commission original art like Picasso

Guernica ‘ (1937) Pablo Picasso. Oil on canvas Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid 349 cm × 776 cm

About Picasso’s Guernica painting…

Pablo Picasso created this piece following the bombing of a small quiet innocent town in 1937.

The attack took place during the Spanish Civil war, involving both German and Italian warplanes, above the city of Guernica . Picasso meant to represent the suffering and pain caused by war.

Innocent civilians were butchered and terrified, unable to escape the rain of horror from above.

Guernica is one of Picasso’s most famous pieces of original art, currently housed in Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid Spain. An estimated eleven thousand people come daily to visit the painting. Even though Guernica is currently one of Picasso’s more recognizable pieces, it hasn’t always been popular.

In 1938 the controversial ‘Guernica’ was stolen by activists and nailed to the wall of a public showroom.

Pablo Picasso attempted to comprehend in visual terms, the Spanish people’s sense of loss as their city, friends, and family were all destroyed by the bombings.

This important piece of art speaks to the Spanish people portraying powerful emotions of identity, loss and grief, resulting from the tragedy of war.

Commissioning Your Own Piece of Original Art

When collecting contemporary paintings, art dealers are finding that contemporary art is growing more popular as a wise investment. Picasso painted Guernica using photographs from eyewitness accounts.

Similarly, the original abstract painting below was created using a similar creative process.

‘Dopey’ by Simon Brushfield Acrylic & Oil on Canvas 21cm x 29cm (Unframed)

By commissioning your piece of original art from your own photographs, you will be able to get the look you want from an experienced artist who has been painting for more than 20 years.

When buying original art from Simon Brushfield , you want to create a piece of original art that appeals to you, but also sends the right message.

Purchasing a Picasso painting might be a little beyond your budget.

However, commissioning a piece of contemporary art by Simon Brushfield will give you an original painting guaranteed to increase in value. Original art makes a wonderfully unique gift for loved ones too.

Your choice of topic probably won’t be the Spanish civil war, like Picasso’s Guernica painting, but you might have important events or people that you would like to commemorate.

glenynis maria portrait painting by simon brushfield Pablo Picasso: How to commission original art like Picasso

‘Great Aunt Glen’ portrait by Simon Brushfield (2006) Oil and acrylic on canvas 60cm x 80cm (Private Acquisition)

When thinking about collecting investment art from a high quality artist like Simon Brushfield , you will find your investment increasing in value over time.

Commissioning a piece of original art gives you a unique show piece for your wall that impresses visitors and will be a joy to live with, in your home or office .

Do you have any thoughts about Guernica , this important painting by Pablo Picasso?

I would love to hear them, please leave a message in the comments box below. And if you liked this article and would like to sign up for more, join my VIP list below.

© Copyright Simon Brushfield – Pablo Picasso original art Guernica .

Abstract Art: How to understand the value of modern art

This creative article will help you understand the origins of abstract art.

It will give you greater confidence to evaluate and feel comfortable understanding weird modern art.

Below, I broadly outline the development of abstract art and conclude with reflections and examples on how abstract art relates specifically to our modern era.

But here’s the main point of the article….

Point 1. Abstract art helps create freedom for people by challenging conventional thinking.

fountain 1917 866x1024 Abstract Art: How to understand the value of modern art

‘Fountain’ sculpture created in 1917 by Marcel Duchamp. The work presented an enormous challenge to conventional thinking about what exactly is art?

In our instantly accessible modern era, digital photography is taken for granted. It’s difficult to imagine in previous generations photography once didn’t exist.

Painting and drawing was once the only way to capture and record real life. People believed the best art must look real.

Point 2. Therefore, master artists like Rembrandt or Rubens were greatly admired in high Renaissance society.

The intricate detail of horses in battle and aristocratic portraits of noble kings and queens were only accessible by the wealthy class. The gap between the rich and poor was enormous.

In contrast to the instantly accessible digital photography of today, creating a realistic painting during the Renaissance was extremely time consuming and very expensive.

But the industrial revolution and modernist thinking changed everything.

Photography developed. And the printing press too. Suddenly factories were able to print and distribute images and information on a wide scale.

The poor became more educated.

A middle class developed and commodities were produced on mass scale. Goods became less expensive.

Point 3. Modernism encouraged the spread of new ideas, freedom of thought and extensive commercial progress.

With new modern ways of thinking, abstract art began to flourish too.

It offered greater freedom for innovative artists like Picasso. Abstract art is common today, however it wasn’t always a popular way of thinking.

Early abstract artists encountered great difficulty breaking through the public mindset. People had grown comfortable with paintings that looked real.

Point 4. The traditional mindset is always resistant to change.

One famous modernist piece of abstract art by Marcel Duchamp was painted in 1912 and titled ‘Nude descending the staircase’ pictured below. I love the painting but at the time….

It caused great controversy.

Marcel Duchamp   Nude Descending a Staircase Abstract Art: How to understand the value of modern art

‘Nude Descending a Staircase’ (1912) by Marcel Duchamp. Oil on Canvas 147 cm × 89.2 cm Philidelphia Museum of Art

The painting and the artist are famous for encountering massive opposition and public outcry, so much so, that Marcel Duchamp removed his painting from the wall midway through the exhibition.

He later focussed upon playing chess abandoning the art world all together.

One New York Times critic disdainfully wrote the painting looked like ‘an explosion in a shingle factory’ hence the reference to factories – a concept dominant in the minds of people living during the industrial revolution.

However, there is an element of truth to the critic’s comment. It’s no coincidence that Duchamp’s painting contains visual elements similar to the rhythmic repetitive nature of a machine in operation.

Point 5. The mass production of industrial life was changing the way people perceived themselves.

During the industrial, or shall we say modernist era, three towering figures of modern art arose.

Henri Matisse (1869-1954) Picasso and Duchamp who helped define a new visual direction and entirely new way of thinking, gave validity to the liberating ideas underpinning abstract art.

The history of art provides a long list of artists who changed public thinking altering the dominant status quo in society.

Art is a culturally acceptable vehicle for change.

Duchamp, Picasso and Matisse were often ridiculed for challenging conventional thinking. Their emerging abstract style of paintings, were frighteningly bold for the time and excessively unrealistic.

Point 6. Artists have long played the role of provoking society, being the instigators of change and challenging conventional thinking.

Innovative paintings were difficult for the public to accept as genuine artwork during the 1900’s. Once again, new ideas from visionary artists had provoked mainstream society’s traditional comfortable mindset about what indeed was art?

The Joy of Life by Henri Matisse 1905 Oil on Canvas 175x241cm Abstract Art: How to understand the value of modern art

‘The Joy of Life’ by Henri Matisse (1905) Oil on Canvas 175 x 241cm

The shape and form of Matisse’s paintings conveyed emotional force. Heavily influenced by traditional paintings, Matisse was also inspired by his contemporaries Gaugin, Cezanne and Van Gogh who also used colour excessively.

Point 7. Matisse’s use of colour astounded people. He is considered one of the founding fathers of modern art.

Never before had a painter been so pure, unrealistic and imaginative in his approach to colour. He quickly became known for his radical position and always displayed signs of quiet rebelliousness throughout his career.

Matisse was in constant search for freedom.

His life might be interpreted as a continual struggle to break free. Eliminating barriers of constraint. A pattern typified by the history of modern art. Matisse once said,

“An artist must never be a prisoner. Prisoner? An artist should never be a prisoner of himself, prisoner of style, prisoner of reputation, prisoner of success…” – Henri Matisse

Breaking from traditions of the past, Henri Matisse led an art movement called the ‘Fauves’ in 1905. Meaning ‘the wild beasts’. This title referred to the group’s use of extreme emotionalism, vivid colours and distorted shapes.

Predictably, the Fauves first exhibition brought a hostile public response. One critic wrote, ‘A pot of paint has been flung in the face of the public’

Matisse Les Toits de Collioure 1905 Abstract Art: How to understand the value of modern art

‘Les Toits de Collioure’ by Henri Matisse (1905) Oil on canvas 59.5 cm × 73 cm Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg

Point 8. When artists express a vision  people have never seen before, great opposition and vehement criticism often follows.

Here’s 3 things I love most about abstract art.

Firstly, in every sense, abstract art is liberating. Unpredictable and uncontrollable, it challenges people to think differently on a variety of levels. Especially, questioning the concept of commercial value.

People struggle to understand why someone would pay millions of dollars, for what looks like child’s artwork at kindergarten?

Henri Matisse | Patitcha souriante (Patitcha smiling) 1947 | Purchased 1993 with funds from the International Exhibitions Program | Collection: Queensland Art Gallery | © Henri Matisse 1947/Succession H Matisse/Licensed by Viscopy, Sydney, 2011

Matisse understood how people thought in his day, but he didn’t allow it to stifle the creative ideas and purity of art he pursued.

Power 9. Matisse understood the power and longevity of an idea, to overcome restrictions created by mainstream narrow-mindedness.

I love creating abstract paintings. And can never predict results. There is freedom in relaxing and ‘going with the flow.’ Allowing the paint control the direction of the artwork.

During this process, the subconscious mind is free to depict what needs to be expressed.

There have been many paintings and drawings I have created whereby an image has emerged I had no conscious control in bringing to life. As an artist, this is fascinating to observe.

The most famous psychoanalyst Carl Jung once taught, the subconscious mind expresses deeply intuitive, often important messages to people through archetypes and dreams. Likewise, Matisse emphasized the importance of intuition and instinct in the creative process.

Similar to abstract art, the subconscious mind creates abstracted fragmented messages unfamiliar to the conscious mind and difficult to process through logical conventional thinking. Salvador Dali expressed this phenomena in his surrealist paintings.

Abstract art accommodates for the unpredictability and irrationality of the human mind.

Point 10. Matisse believed he was not in control of the creative process. But that colour and form dictated the painting themselves.

The second thing I love about abstract art is the variety of responses it evokes from viewers. Some people simply love the shapes. Other people are touched by an emotional reaction to the colours .

Still others have very personal interpretations of the subject matter, discovering specific meaning to their inner lives. One doesn’t have to be a highly intelligent or well educated person to enjoy abstract art. It’s accessible to everyone on every level.

Abstract art offers unique value to individuals. It respects and encourages diversity. Honouring people’s different perspectives.

The Peninsula 1024x835 Abstract Art: How to understand the value of modern art

‘The Peninsula’ by Simon Brushfield (2010) oil & acrylic on canvas, 2m x 1.8m (Sold: Private Collection)

In the painting above I was commissioned by an Australian art collector, who wanted a large abstract piece for his lounge room.

Like Matisse, the painting contains a mix of realistic and unrealistic emotive colours and imaginative subject matter symbolic of the owner’s personal background and happy childhood by the sea.

Point 11. Unlike mathematics, in abstract art there are no right or wrongs.

Henri Matisse wanted to express hope through the purity and power of colour. He acknowledged difficulties encountered in life and saw art as a means of bringing hope and happiness into a troubled world. He once said,

“What I dream of is an art of balance, purity, and serenity devoid of troubling or depressing subject matter….a soothing, calming influence on the mind, something like a good armchair which provides relaxation from physical fatigue” – Henri Matisse

I love Matisse’s paintings because his artwork displays courage, a fierce determination and skilful ability to break into new territory, leaving behind a legacy of artistic and personal freedom for others to enjoy.

Point 12. Modern art epitomises the human spirit and its passionate desire to experience greater levels of  freedom.

From my perspective, the Matisse legacy encourages people to live life to the fullest. In bright, beautiful colour. Even through difficulties, criticisms and vehement opposition. To expand upon conventional thinking in a persons life, increases their freedom. Modern art helps people to expand horizons. Thereby, improving the quality of lives.

This is priceless.

Henri Matisse was an intuitive artist who accepted gracefully the challenging consequences of living, loving and thinking in new ways. Allowing nothing to halt his creative progress. He once said,

“He who loves, flies, runs and rejoices; he is free and nothing holds him back.” – Henri Matisse

These ideals are expressed in his sentimental painting at the beginning of this article, titled ‘The Joy of Life.’ Henri Matisse lived and worked during a time of great change, historians term ‘Modernism.’ An era heavily influenced by the industrial revolution.

Similarly, we live in a time of significant change, characterised by the information age. Historians have broadly labelled our era ‘Postmodernism’.

The abstract painting below is a visual interpretation of my postmodernist life.

Postmodernism 791x1024 Abstract Art: How to understand the value of modern art

‘Postmodernism’ by Simon Brushfield (2011) Oil and Acrylic on Canvas 80cm x 60cm (framed)

I would love to hear your thoughts on abstract art and/or living in our postmodernist era. Remember there are no right or wrongs, but I would appreciate a conversation with you. So please leave your thoughts in the comments box below.

Also, if you liked this article and would like to read more creative articles, delivered straight to your inbox, then join my VIP mailing list by leaving your email address below.

Pablo Picasso: Unhealthy competition deceives creative people

Pablo Picasso was brilliant.

His genius was not the result of competing with another artist. He was entirely unique, in his own league.

It upsets me to see people deceived.

I believe the greatest deception in our society today relates to competition. People compete with each other too much, which stifles creative growth .

Artists compete with other artists. Yet they are entirely different personalities with strengths in different areas.

pablo picasso girl before a mirror Pablo Picasso: Unhealthy competition deceives creative people

“Girl Before a Mirror” (1932) by Pablo Picasso. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Oil on canvas

I have never considered myself in competition with another artist. Actually, I have never ever felt that life was a competition. I knew there was no other person one earth like me therefore, I had no need to compete with them.

Dan Johnson is an artist from England. He founded the successful art website http://rightbrainrockstar.com . We’re both professional artists and online bloggers. Dan and I recently met online and there’s absolutely no sign of competition. It’s a nice genuine relationship. We’re generous with each other in art and business . Not trying to hide information, destroy or undermine one another in a competition.

Rather we share, support, encourage and compliment each other. As you will see in the skype video interview below Dan discusses his art background, Google+ , Facebook , Twitter, Pinterest and the importance of maintaining a balanced business.


Download |

But often businessmen compete with other businessmen. Friends compete over the latest technology gadgets. Mums compete over their babies. Fathers compete over a house or car. Some professionals even compete over how hard they work! Silly stuff.

Especially in well developed western societies, people unfortunately learn that life is one big race for possessions. This is a massive deception, which stifles people’s freedom and creativity.

Point 1: Many people think they need to compete to receive their ‘piece of the pie’ in the world.

However, I do understand that competition can be healthy in some areas of life including sport. But too much focus on competing, gives people a distorted message about life.

Excessive competition leads to

a) exhaustion

b) copycat mentality

c) low self esteem

d) depletes creativity

e) starves originality

f) stifles freedom

g) creates the seagull mentality

h) creates boredom

i) at worst, leads to violence

But what happens mostly when people are busy looking at other people competing with each other, like seagulls competing over a dirty chip on the pavement, they miss out on discovering the amazing creative ability within themselves.

An aspect inside everybody that is so unique that no other person on the planet can compete with. Its impossible to compete on this level. When individuals find their unique creative ability, they can leave the dirty chip for the seagulls and begin feeding upon the most expensive restaurants in the world.

Point 3: If people are constantly in ‘competition mode’ they miss out on the creative value within themselves.

I tell my tertiary students, that good art teachers are employed to bring out the individual creative specialness in a student. That creative talent that is unique only to you. I try to avoid my students competing with others in class, it’s a waste of time, and will ensure they make zero progress. Instead focus internally, where the interesting special stuff resides.

Like the pie will one day run out. The student might be tempted to think, “I had better compete because otherwise, there will be none left for me”. This is a deception. The pie is infinitely plentiful. God’s resources are abundant and he has certainly planned enough cake for you.

Point 4: When the atmosphere of competition is eliminated, people are free to become inspired by following their special creativity within like Pablo Picasso.

One of the first things I tell my new creative students, during orientation day speech is this. “You are all incredibly unique. Out of the billions of people on planet earth, there is no one the same as you.” My students are not competing with anyone else because its impossible to compare an apple with an orange. Why waste time and energy on a useless exercise? Find what you love and be inspired.

Point 5: In creativity, or any field of endeavour people are infinitely original .

But some fail to grasp this reality and they begin losing self-confidence or self esteem. People often begin to compare themselves to others and compete on many different levels. Thinking they are beating their opponent by owning a better car or multi-story house. Competition is a big deception. After many years teaching tertiary level students in diploma, bachelor and masters level, I have come to this conclusion…

Point 6: Competition mostly creates mediocrity and mainstream unoriginal results.

Pablo Picasso, DaVinci , Einstein, or Plato wouldn’t have achieved such enormous success in their lives if they were primarily concerned with their next door neighbour competing for trivial matters. No, they were unique. They were concerned with more important questions about creativity.

These brilliant creative men were seeking answers to questions that lay deep within themselves. Deep within the universe. Questions that needed answers, that couldn’t be found by looking over their shoulder, envious of other people, feeling like they needed to compete to ‘keep up with the Jones’.

Envy, jealousy and competition is low level of thinking but unfortunately saturates our society. This type of thinking creates an even lower level of living. Similar to the pavement seagull, fighting over a dirty chip, making heaps of noise with a whole lot of effort.  For very little reward.

So lets avoid “keeping up with the Jones’” but rather be unique giving encouragement, support and strengthening people by igniting their creative spark within. This is guaranteed to make others feel invincible and very special just like Pablo Picasso.

Please leave your ideas in the comments box below, I would love to hear your thoughts.
If you’re interested in purchasing an original painting, or maybe you would like to commission Simon, please click here .

© Copyright Simon Brushfield – Pablo Picasso: Unhealthy competition deceives creative people