Tag: competition (page 1 of 2)

You don’t have to be the best to be valuable

A timely reminder via Emma Cragg’s latest newsletter that sharing our own perspective is enough. I particularly enjoyed the inclusion of the author’s daughter’s curl at the bottom of the newsletter as a reminder than not everything has to be ‘the best’ to have value.

I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve spent questioning if anything I have to say is worthy of being shared — questioning my own creativity, my own ideas, my own experiences put into words, my own writing and art. I’ve questioned if it matters at all since there are a million other people doing the same thing. I’ve questioned if it’s just adding more noise and consumption in a world over-stuffed with exactly that. I’ve questioned if it should even be worked on if it isn’t going to be the best. I’ve questioned my own enoughness in relation to what I create, what I put into the world, what I choose to say out loud and how I say it. I’ve questioned this newsletter, these words, this exact moment.


Yet my questioning of my work bypasses an important truth: no one else can do my work because no one else is me. And no one else can do your work because no one else is you. When I write, I write with my entire being: my lived experience and history, my genes and blood, my vision and longing, my grief and hope, my path and where I come from, my vantage point and opinion, my heart and soul — things only I have that cannot be replicated. Similarly, only you can do the work you do — whether it’s parenting or creating art, working on cars or computers, gardening or running, performing or teaching — only you can do what you do in the exact way you do it.


We easily forget that what we create is part of a web — part of something bigger — part of a huge tapestry of others sharing themselves and their work in the ways only they can, right alongside us. And when we choose to show up for our work, we add to the web in a way that makes life more full, more rich, more beautiful. We place our piece in the tapestry in a way only we can, which enhances the whole of it. We add our voice to a collective choir who may all be saying the same thing, but how much sweeter is it when there’s a whole room of it, a whole stadium, a whole world?

Source: Not the best | Human Stuff from Lisa Olivera

AI art is, well, still art

Art is a social thing. So it does not surprise me at all that people are upset that an AI-generated artwork won a competition.

However, after spending some time today (and in previous weeks) messing about with Midjourney and DALL-E 2 there’s a real talent to ‘prompt-crafting’. You can create amazing things, but not just by whacking in a bunch of words. Unless you’re very lucky.

Perhaps a ‘competition’ isn’t the best way to show off art. And perhaps selling individual works isn’t the best way to fund it?

A synthetic media artist named Jason Allen entered AI-generated artwork into the Colorado State Fair fine arts competition and announced last week that he won first place in the Digital Arts/Digitally Manipulated Photography category…

Allen used Midjourney—a commercial image synthesis model available through a Discord server—to create a series of three images. He then upscaled them, printed them on canvas, and submitted them to the competition in early August. To his delight, one of the images (titled Théåtre D’opéra Spatial) captured the top prize, and he posted about his victory on the Midjourney Discord server on Friday.

Source: AI wins state fair art contest, annoys humans | Ars Technica

The importance of being yourself

Any article that quotes the Stoic philosopher Epictetus and talks about the importance of being yourself is a winner.

When we are ourselves, we have value. When we are like everyone else…we are fungible. We are replaceable–by definition. We have little value…by definition.


BE YOU. Be the only one of you in the whole world. Be the red. That’s where the fun is (without having to fake it). That’s where the money is (you can name your price). That’s where the value is (you can’t be replaced).


Two thousand years before Peter Thiel said that, “competition is for losers,” Epictetus quipped that, “You can always win if you only enter competitions where winning is up to you.”


Too many people pointlessly enter contests where the outcome is dependent on forces outside their control. They think it’s safer to be like everyone else…when in fact, what they’re really doing is hiding themselves in the chorus, protecting themselves from judgment. They’re less likely to be singled out and laughed at, sure, but they’re guaranteeing that they’ll never really be noticed or appreciated. Theirs becomes the Indian restaurant that will never be great, but it will never be closed. That is the best you can expect when you’re not playing to win…you’re playing not to lose.

Source: This Is The Best Career Decision You Can Possibly Make | Ryan Holiday