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The power of comparing your artwork

Would you like to improve your artwork faster and with maximum impact? Open your mind to the power of comparing.

Everywhere on internet people say:
“don’t compare yourself to others”

It seems like, by comparing your skills with others, you are going to hurt your feelings and mental health. But not having references to improve is going to hurt you even more in the long run.

If you already recognized your standards are higher than your skills, now we are going to understand how to identify the first skill to improve.

1. Comparison can be a powerful tool

Internet is full of amazing artists and from time to time you may have some toxic thoughts while navigating:

  • “I’m not good, I’ll never be like them.”
  • “There are way too many good artists, there is no space for me”

But one question can make you think deeper:

  • WHY is their work so good?

2. Comparing can be the best way to find where to start

At first, all you can see is how other artworks are overwhelmingly better than yours.

They are so much better you feel defeated.

I know it’s upsetting. Take a good breath!

If you can handle just one thing at a time, you will reach your goals much faster.

All you need to remember is:

One. Thing. At. A. Time.

3. Create a “dream board” of artists and artworks you love

When you create this board of artists, companies and artworks you admire, pick at least 5 artists.

Choose images that makes you think:

  • I wish my work was as good as this

It’s very important that YOU love the works and artists. Don’t put anything on your board because someone else says it’s good. This is your dream board.

4. Search for what attracts you

Look at each image and ask yourself:

  • What do I like about this work?
  • What are they doing right?

Search carefully for things they have in common and attract you. Listen to your heart, make notes.

Try to identify a pattern.

5. Discover what do they have in common

If you are not sure about what is good on these artworks, you can analyze each criteria separately.

The 7 Magical Art Qualities are:

  • colors
  • theme
  • texture
  • composition
  • complexity
  • storytelling
  • message

Does your favorite artworks have some of those qualities in common?

6. Now compare to your artworks

Time to be brave!

Place some of your current artworks beside your “dream board”. Cry a little, it’s ok!

Now back to work!

Do you feel your artworks don’t “belong” to the “dream board”?

Ask yourself why.

7. Discover where to start improving

Identify which quality is lacking on your artwork in relation to your dream board.

Sometimes the answer is obvious. Immediately you can see your colors are not attractive or your texture is too plain.

But if you are not sure, start comparting quality by quality using the 7 Magical Art Qualities.

8. Start improving right now

Your goal is to make your artwork belong in your dream board.

By giving priority to the skill you missing the most, you will cause maximum impact and achieve faster results.

All Photos: Inga Seliverstova, Cottonbro

Understanding what is meaningful for you will help you take better decisions to reach your goals.

On the next #learnwithjonara I’m going to speak about the 7 Magical Art Qualities. Follow for more!

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learnwithjonara

8 good habits for working from home

With one year of experience since the pandemic started, we should be all expert in the art of working from home.

But I feel there is always something we can improve and new tricks to be efficient are always welcome. Do you feel the same?

Here I share my good habits for working from home, I hope to hear from yours too!

1. Start the night before

Would you like to have a peaceful morning?

Start the day before:

  • Choose your clothes
  • Plan what tasks you will accomplish the next day

Waking up in the morning knowing exactly what to do gives me great peace of mind and motivation to start working.

Image: Anna Shvets

2. Get dressed and ready

Are you tired of running crazy when you have to an unexpected video call?

Stop embarrassing yourself:

  • Fix your hair and face first thing in the morning
  • Dress something comfortable but professional

When I dress professionally I feel my whole day is more productive and I love being ready in case I need to run a last minute errand or call someone on video

Image: Cottonbro

3. Clean your workspace

Got your work papers mixed with your bills and shopping lists again?

Do one thing at a time:

  • File the papers you already finished working with
  • Have a separate pile for papers not related to work

When my desk is clean and organized I don’t waste time time searching for anything. I like to clean and file papers as soon as I finish each task.

Image: Michael Burrows

4. Avoid being interrupted

Can’t focus on anything while working from home?

Stop stopping for everything:

  • If possible, ask your family to don’t enter in the room where you are working
  • Turn off notifications from all your apps

If everything fails and you still keep getting interrupted, try to do the “hard work” very early in the morning, before everybody wakes up

Image: Lascot Studio

5. Follow a schedule

Don’t have time to start or time to end your work?

Work smart, not hard:

  • Divide your day into blocks of tasks
  • Don’t stay on social media during your “production time” block!

Booking blocks of tasks is the best way to make sure I’m focused and I won’t skip important obligations

Image: Anete Lusina

6. Have a decent lunch

Are you eating in front of your computer or mobile?

Take a break to eat healthy:

  • Make a beautiful plate and look at your food instead of looking at a screen
  • Enjoy every bite and think about nutrition

Spending the whole day seated and eating from a box in front of the screen is the fastest way to lose energy and get stressed. It’s good to pause for eating!

Image: Valeria Boltneva

7. Connect with your online community

Do you spend days without talking to a human being?

Keep in touch with reality:

  • Video call friends from your industry and catch up
  • Interact with other professionals and increase your network online

While it’s nicer meeting colleagues for a coffee in person, online meetings are a true necessity during these pandemic times, don’t get isolated from your industry.

Image: Ivan Samkov

8. Know when to stop

Do you feel guilty when you are not producing?

Even machines need maintenance time!

  • Finish your work on a decent time, organize for next day and let it go
  • Plan relaxing and fun activities for your weekend.

If I’m productive in my “productive blocks” I feel I earned the right to rest and I relax guilty free. However not always we are productive and that’s ok! Relax now and organize better for tomorrow.

Image: Sam Lion

I hope you are having a great time in your home office. I love working from home and I feel I’m getting better at it! My main tips are:

  • Start the night before
  • Get dressed and ready
  • Clean your workspace
  • Avoid being interrupted
  • Follow a schedule
  • Have a decent lunch
  • Connect with your online community
  • Know when to stop

How about you? Tell me a tip on the comments!

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learnwithjonara

6 free apps that make social media beautiful

I used to create all my videos on Windows Movie Maker and edit all my pictures on Photoshop. I felt like a dinosaur.

Now I do most things directly from my phone and it’s awesome and super easy. Create amazing content for your Instagram and Blog in no time and for free! Check my 6 favorite apps:

1. InShot

Make vídeos on your phone, add music, filters and crop! The free version has a watermark but works pretty well

2. VSCO

Keep the colors of your feed consistent by using always the same filters. This app makes magic with my pictures

3. VOUN

Add frames for your images and give your feed some air. It makes anything looks pretty! I use everyday!

4. OneScreen


Test how your wallpapers will work on phones or iPads, create mockups easily!

5. Trello

Organize everything, book posting times, share plans with a team and access from your computer (if you need)

6. PicCollage

Cut out photos, add text, create animations, add stickers and more. The free version has a watermark but it’s still pretty cool and easy to use

Bonus: Procreate Pocket

If you like to doodle and sketch on your mobile, for U$ 4.99 you can have Procreate Pocket on your phone. For me it’s Photoshop in my hands. I use for everything, for color studies, quick sketches and to retouch pictures.

I love practical things! How about you, what is your favorite app?

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learnwithjonara

5 ways I improved my feed in the last 5 years

Many people start social media accounts and have no idea how to organize their posts or how to create a consistent presentation. Social media is everywhere and we are naturally attracted by high quality images and good quality content. In the last 5 years I improved the quality of my Instagram feed and I would like to share my tips.

All creators can benefit from a beautiful and organized feed. If you don’t know where to start, here are my tips.

1. Give a nice presentation

It can be the most beautiful drawing in the world, if your picture is dark, blurred and missing details, nobody will notice you.

2. Learn to use colors

Images in black and white are captivating but colors transmit emotions. If you don’t want to add color to your artworks, at least use colorful frames from time to time.

3. Try different techniques

Experimenting something new will boost your creativity and improve the quality of your work

4. Use your imagination

Copying other works and drawing from observation are important tools for learning but creating something new and showing your own vision of the world is what really makes your work pop

5. Give some air

Too many pictures in the same style can get a bit tiring. Alternate the way you show your creations, zoom on details, show your work space and make things more attractive.

Bonus: Show your face

People love to see who you are! From time to time show your face, your process and your opinions. Make it personal and really connect with people. It’s a social media space, not just a portfolio, so be social.

Did you like these tips?

Share with that friend who is just staring in art!