C.cada Artist’s Competition or Cooperation

“Competition has been shown to be useful
up to a certain point and no further,
but cooperation, which is the thing
we must strive for today,
begins where competition leaves off.” 
― Franklin D. Roosevelt

Art is such an individualistic pass-time/ hobby/ career that a person can easily get lost inside the creative process and never find their way into community again. One of the artists in C.cada and I recently had opportunity to share lunch  and we got to sharing about experiences in other artist groups.

C.cada community

C.cada community

Sometimes when artists get together the spirit of competition and one-upmanship prevails. Maybe that’s because the natural bent of art requires so much time spent alone in the workshop, in front of the computer typing the next catch phrase or locked in a rehearsal hall working out the fingerings for notes or the vocal licks on the latest solo. The alone time working on our craft makes us forget that our art is not for us. We don’t create for our own pleasure but for God’s and for His world.

An artist community can become all about the next ribbon, or about scoping out the competition and figuring out how to build that edge that is going to get you the win over your fellow artist.

Like Franklin Roosevelt I think that competition can sometimes be useful when it spurs us on to improve our technique; But competition, that sense of striving to be better than everyone else has to be checked at the door of an artistic community because art is not about being on top but about learning to be your best. Community is not about winning the gold medal but about helping everyone involved to find the place where they fit in God’s tapestry. You can’t do either of these things when you are only out for number one.

I don’t mind participating in talent competitions. I’ve been in them. I’ve taken students to them.  Exhibitions and talent competitions have their place. In fact, I think everyone involved in an artistic community ought to be involved in a show or a competition. But let’s not confuse that with community.

Artistic community is not about competition; It is about cooperation. The spirit of competition has to be drummed right out of artistic community for it to be effective.

C.cada exists to help all artists discover, develop and deploy their gifts in community with each other. We are preparing to influence the artistic marketplace of our region. This attitude of cooperation above competition is one of the main mindsets I want us to carry into the market.

6 thoughts on “C.cada Artist’s Competition or Cooperation

  1. I am not a competitive person by nature so winning has never been big on my list but as a C.cada artist I can say the competition is with myself. I am competing against the fear of getting up in front of everyone and try not to make a fool of myself. I know God did not give me this talent to keep it to myself because when I play my trumpet there is something God is doing inside of me. It is hard to explain except that I feel really close to Him and it is just amazing when the music is anointed. God gave me the talent and He will give me the strength. I am grateful to you Pastor J for following through with His vision of C.cada as a Christian it is awesome to have a community where fellow Christians can share their art with each other. Thank you, Pastor J!

    • I am not terribly competitive by nature either Deb. Winning and losing don’t usually mean a whole lot to me but acceptance does. I think that’s why I crave a community where my art can be affirmed and encouraged; But I realize the value of competition is making you see the things you could do better.

  2. It’s funny because I use to be so competitive actually to a fault, just ask my twin sister, she usually would get the brunt end of my sore loser attitude. And yes I am ashamed of how I use to let winning rule over me and the need to win. And her, with not an ounce of competitiveness in her bones would be very gracious to me most of the time, however, an occasional out burst of laughter would be aimed at me because she just couldn’t understand my need to win, that of course did not make losing any easier for me, it actually infuriated me. But now that I am a Christian, competition doesn’t matter as much to me anymore. I don’t have to have the blue ribbon at the end of the day, I just enjoy the journey God takes me on to get to the competition. I love C.cada because we all win when we allow Jesus to flow through us out onto the canvas, song sheet, etc… Thank you Pastor J for bringing a community of artist together to work, understand, strive, and enjoy our art/talents that the Lord has given us.

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