“How can I stop comparing myself to other art students?”
I think the important thing to remember right off the bat is that we all have unique strengths. I noticed this when I was a student, I had some friends who made very soft drawings, and they were these masters of subtlety. I had other friends who made very strong, bold work. I had still other friends who made these very funny cartoons. So everybody had a unique approach that makes them special, but nobody was perfect across the board. Instead of trying to do it all, and be perfect, develop a thing that makes you special, that’s unique to you.
I think the second part of that is remembering that it takes time. I totally get that it feels like progress can be slow, but I think the thing that every great artist has in common is that they invested years, even decades to their work. My favorite artist actually, his name is James Turrell, and he’s a wonderful installation and light artist. He’s 72 years old, and he started making work in the 1960’s. He’s been working for about 50 years. I honestly think he’s making his best work right now. The great thing about him too is that he does his own thing, he defies the trends. That’s what makes him so great is that he’s different from other people.
So I would say, build yourself, there’s a lot of short term satisfaction in art, but you’re also building towards an overall goal. Invest in what makes you different than other people, and what you uniquely can contribute, because that’s what’s interesting.