Art Battles: Competition in a Non-Competitive Environment

Nov 22, 2022 | Blog, Tips & Tricks

3 Ways Competition is Good for Creativity

At Mastrius, we champion a non-competitive creative environment. And for good reason. Competition can lead to discouragement as an artist, and a focus on the wrong things. Not to mention, every artist is at their own stage in their own creative journey—pitting ourselves against one another completely misses the point. 

At best, fierce competition is a distraction; at worst it undermines the creative community that can be our biggest source of encouragement and support. But did you know a little light competition, like in a casual art event like an art battle (or art contest), has been shown to increase creativity? 


Creative Competition Can Foster New and Novel Ideas

Many of us, once we receive positive feedback on our work, simply start making slight changes and tweaks to our process and product. Why mess with what’s working? But in a painting competition, you can’t afford to rely on what you always do—you need an edge. A recent working paper by Daniel Gross finds that competition can push us to produce radically novel and original ideas, rather than falling back on the tried and true. 


The Right Amount of Art Competition

The trick to constructive competition is finding “The Goldilocks Zone.” Not too much, not too little, just the right amount. Daniel Gross’ work found that competition between just one or two competitors sparks more creative ideas—not less. 


The Right Kind of Art Competition

The kind of art competition or painting competition that encourages and spurs creativity remains friendly, never turning into a fight. Choose your competitive partners wisely. Mutual respect between participants is a must. In this way, competition resembles collaboration more than a clash. Riffing off fellow artists’ energy, ideas, and output, our brain begins firing in ways it can’t on its own. As iron sharpens iron, the Christian scriptures say. Find a little friendly competition with the right partner and watch the sparks fly.


Learn in Real Time from Creative Competition

In a collaborative creative world, Mastrius welcomes and fosters the right kind of creative competition and invites everyone to have a front-row seat. Come be a part of the action!

Join us for the very first Mastrius Art Battle between Mastrius Master artists Cam Forrester and Sharon Lynn Williams on November 24, 2022, at 5 pm MT. 


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