Competitors? What Competitors? It's All a Question of Resonance.


I was inspired to write this blog post by the silk painting community that I interact actively with online. It was founded by the lovely Francine Dufour Jones and is a wonderful place for silk painters to connect, share and ask questions. And it has struck me how so many people have been worried about how to market themselves in the face of so much competition.

Well, it’s my honest opinion that we are all so totally unique as artists and that we are not in competition with each other. Your state of being will determine what energy you radiate as you interact with others and the best way to see what that is, is to look at the people and situations that are prevalent in your life right now.

If you are letting your shoulders hang and using negative self-talk then that is what you are sending out and that is exactly what you are receiving back from the universe.

It’s always a question of resonance. There’s always a marriage of energies.

And this is very significant for artists. Because the clients that get attracted to you want to buy your artwork as it represents the energy you express. They have a piece of you in their home, whether or not they are consciously aware of it.

There are some who might argue that you do some competitor research, which of course you can do. When I did a business course a few years back when I lived in Malahide, County Dublin, part of the requirements were that we submitted a completed business plan. And of course, this involved doing competitor research.  So I set off joyfully researching potential products that were similar to my silk mandala cushions. The bottom line of it was that I didn’t find anything remotely like mine, most companies were just mass-producing in China and the prices were throwaways.

It left me seeing that artwork is simply in a class of its own and you can’t really put a price on it. The value of a piece is something that is decided between the artist and the buyer and cannot be nailed down to specifics. What it means is that if a client or artcollector decided they loved your artwork, the energy it emitted and the energy you emitted as an artist (which are normally the same) and  knew without a doubt that it would hang beautifully in their home, the price is not of the essence.

So start looking at your artwork with fresh eyes. See it as an extension of you. Learn to value it and cherish it. See it through the eyes of potential customers and treat it as though it were highly valuable. Because you certainly are. Your artwork reflects this. And when you do that your artwork will start to send out new messages.

Whether or not you are an artist, I’d love to hear from you about your personal experiences. Have you found this to be true for yourself? Please leave any comments below. Thanks.

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51 Responses to Competitors? What Competitors? It's All a Question of Resonance.

  1. Joanna says:

    Hi Fiona! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on this topic and opening it up to discussion – I’m enjoying reading everyones comments! I agree with you that it is a question of resonance – of our art being extensions of ourselves… of cherishing it and caring for it.

    I’m so glad to be connected with you and your blog – you are a real inspiration. Thank you for all the energy you put into every one of your posts and videos to contribute to the greater good of creativity, as well as sharing your beautiful art with the world! 🙂 -Joanna

    • Fiona Stolze says:

      I so appreciate your feedback Joanna. The dialogue is always so important and it lets me see how you react to what I put out there. I’m glad you feel inspired by what I do. That is my intention. Namaste.

  2. I love this topic. So many people look at business as compeition without realizing the power of cooperation. But as you discussed, we are all our ownand we will resonate with different people.

    There are tons of publishers, but we will attract the authors who want to publish what we offer- little books. There are enough people who want to publish so that I am not worried about business. That’s a philosophy of living in abundance rather than living in scarcity!

    Candace Davenport ~ Little Books with a Big Message

  3. Fiona,
    Interesting post! I especially love the video – you have a great speaking voice. I can definitely relate to being unique and therefore not having competition. My youngest daughter is definitely what I call “a unique.” Thanks for sharing with us!


  4. Julie Labes says:

    As someone who has never considered myself”artisty” in any way i am always in awe of people who can create beautiful things. i think we are often told as children the way things are “supposed” to look and it is wonderful when artists can break out of that mould and create beautiful and new ways of looking at things. Art is like life and it all depends on the way you look at it as to what you will see

    • Fiona Stolze says:

      Thanks Julie. Yes, I agree that young children can lose that natural creativity and it is lovely when we find ways of expressing what we see with the inner eye. Oh and I love seeing how those who don’t consider themselves arty leave my workshops with beautiful works of art.

  5. lisawifemom says:

    So true! I was just telling my husband last night that he needs to put better energy out into the universe. You get what you give, although sometimes I have a hard time living that motto. 🙂

    Thanks so much for the post, very well stated. I’m glad to hear that you are happy with you are getting back right now, that’s a beautiful place to be.

    Lisa Vitale

  6. Hi Fiona,
    I agree – It reminds me of how I feel when someone uses “law of attraction” and “abundant” language but really behaves in a scarcity model…I too believe that everyone is inherently unique (whether an artist in “art” or other work) and that uniqueness also means inherent value. In my world I see this as creating your unique message so your people (clients) will find you.
    Brandy Mychals
    Communications Coach
    Creator of Split Second Perceptions

  7. Hi Fiona,

    Thanks for this thoughtful presentation. I’m in complete agreement with you, but I think we’ve reached this similar point of view from very different routes.

    I tend to live in a more “nuts and bolts” world, a bit less spiritual but I hope no less sensitive. I think it’s the price I’m paying for a pretty rigorous scientific background.

    You’re right, we attract people like us, who want to do business specifically with us, and the notion of our “competition” is very superficial and misleading, at best.

    I think the so-called marketplace, with its law of supply and demand, has only limited utility for setting the price of our distinctive products or services. This is true whether we’re artists, craftsmen, businessmen, farmers, therapists — especially if we’re “one-of-a-kind” in some significant way.

    Instead of control by “supply and demand”, I believe every “seller” has a “buyer” somewhere, and the price is whatever the buyer is willing to pay. They just have to find each other. Simple as that.


    • Fiona Stolze says:

      Thanks Robbie. It’s great that we can be of the same mind and come from completely different backgrounds. It is such a shame that society conditions our kids with the idea that they have to get out there and match up to the competition and strive to be better. As if the whole thing is a struggle. A total figment of our imagination. Because it is so simple, as you say. The two components just need to go with the flow an link up.

  8. Hi Fiona,
    I’m not an artist but found this post enlightening and relevant artist or not. I completely agree with your ideas on energy.

    Lisa Ann Landry
    Vibrating positive energy…what are you vibrating

  9. Thank you, lovely Fiona, for this beautiful blog. To use your word (and one I love as well), it resonates with me. Seeing our work as an expression of our own unique energy immediately removes it from the category of competition. I feel the same about my work as an astrologer — each chart I read is an alchemical process of my knowledge, intuition, trust in what is coming through me and a love for my craft–as well as my desire to support the client to fully live his or her design. There are many amazing and talented astrolgers, but none of their readings could ever be like mine and I believe that those who are best served by my particular style and approach will be drawn to me. As you said, it’s a marriage. Thank you for articulating something I have felt so keenly over the years.

  10. I totally agree with you. There is no competition because we all do things that are so different and definitely unique. I connected to so many art blogs, especially people who paint with oil because we all mentor each other, we get to see a different perspective, a new technique, different motifs, different styles and the list goes on and on.

    Let’s say someone would ask me if I could do a portrait of their Schnauzer -I would say I could but I know someone who is specialized in dog paintings and refer them.

    I consider people in my field as colleagues and mentors and nobody is taking my business away because we are all different and in the end I am solely responsible for my own success. You harvest what you plant,

    Franziska San Pedro

    • Fiona Stolze says:

      Thanks for your comments Franziska. It’s so lovely when artists refer each other in that way. I have done this many times myself and it comes back to me again. Nice to hear you have such a positive attitude.

  11. So interesting the concept of competition in the art arena…it is so subjective that it isn’t something I would think an artist would experience…but then again it is human nature to be threatened by competition…back to caveman days when it was just about food, shelter and reproduction.

    And you are right…there is no need for anyone really to worry about competition…live in abundance, project exactly who you are and your customers will show up.

    Darcie Newton
    Discipline for profit, none for jammy zins, triple creme brie or memorable necklaces

    • Fiona Stolze says:

      Thanks Darcie. Yes, the concept of competition that many are feeling comes from the fact that many silk painters also paint wearables and soft furnishings.

      Let’s keep allowing the customers to show up!

  12. This helps me understand so much of my experience with art. I see it and I either love it or I don’t, it either speaks to me or it doesn’t. And this makes sense because I’m always looking to surround myself with positivity. And now I realize I’m probably doing that with my art choices as well.
    Thanks you so much for this insightful and articulate post! I love your work.
    Yvonne Hall
    taming mealtime chaos

    • Fiona Stolze says:

      Thanks a lot Yvonne. I appreciate your comments. I’m like you. I get naturally attracted to uplifting images and turn away from the darker stuff.

  13. I think what you say is true even if one is not an artist. Anyone in a business that deals with customers will find this out at some point in their career. Some people will resonate with me and I with them and with some there just isn’t a connection. In those cases it is better for all concerned for the customer to work with someone else. Whenever I’ve tried to force it I’ve regretted it Those customers who are right are a joy to work with.

    • Fiona Stolze says:

      We’re all artists in our own field aren’t we Susan? I agree that there is a fit like a hand in a glove and it just feels perfect.

  14. June Sockol says:

    Hi Fiona ~ love the blog & you are right, when I go to something art related or not, I look at the artist. I go to quilt shows all the time. If I see a beautiful quilt but the designer is sitting in a corner looking down, I don’t approach them.

    I’ve made a few quilts as gifts for friends. It may not be perfect but I believe I’m putting part of myself into it. I want the receiver to know it was made out of love and I want them to feel it when I give it to them.

    • Fiona Stolze says:

      Thanks June. It sounds like you are very in tune with this whole process. When something is made with love no-one sees any imperfection. I’d love to see one of your quilts some time.

  15. Oh this is sooooo great Fiona! I love the freedom of knowing that I am NOT the right choice for everyone. It allows me to go with the flow and focus on my TM.

  16. Fiona – I love what you say about when someone buys a piece of your artwork – they are buying a piece of you. That is so meaningful and rich! I think that is why I like work of artists that I know because the piece is that much more to me! Hope you feel better — Rachel

    • Fiona Stolze says:

      Thanks a lot Rachel. Yes, I think everything takes on deeper meaning when the personal connection is there. I’m still coughing like crazy :-))

  17. Fiona so lovely to hear your voice with all the vibrations you are sending out into the world. Absolutely true. We are receiving what we send out and as artists (in what ever form that takes) we have more success when we embrace the idea that our art is unique to us, and being involved in our community is a blessing and an aid to our lives and our work. No one values us, unless we do. I love the idea of being pure energy, because my work as a designer changes the energy in the spaces my clients live.

    Jennifer Duchene
    Home Makeover Mixtress blending Lifestyle and Laughter

    • Fiona Stolze says:

      Thanks Jen for your comments. And you know, I’m so happy that despite many of the other things my parents instilled in me (such as you can’t make a living as an artist), they were quick to acknowledge my artistic gifts and so I always fully honoured them too. And for that I’m grateful. You are such an energy mixtress too!

  18. Tambra Harck says:

    This line you wrote: “The value of a piece is something that is decided between the artist and the buyer and cannot be nailed down to specifics.” … that is true for everyone! And you express it with such clarity.

    It’s cross-over wisdom that any entrepreneur, sales person, author, designer, event planner, online info-products “maker”… anyone can learn from.

    There’s a connection that happens between the buyer, seller and the experience that the buyer imagines is possible for them as a result of the purchase. Right?

    As a spiritual mentor for women entrepreneurs, I see it all the time: Oh, we make it so complicated thinking about competition; comparing ourselves in every which way. That’s not serving!

    Those old ways of comparing & contrasting ourselves (or others…) are now obsolete. Best new option: Be YOU. And just as you say above, “I’m completely unique.” (oh so true!)

    (a question for you: Is that chakra painting behind you in the video one of your creations?… exquisite!)


    • Fiona Stolze says:

      Thanks for your insights Tambra. Yes, I agree. The buyer fantasises about the possible benefits he or she will gain from the purchase in respect to feeling loved, accepted, protected,more feminine, etc. Whatever it is.

      With the artwork I do customers have said that the mandalas lift the energy of the room and they get lost in the images in meditation. Wonderful. Yes, that’s one of my pieces. My house is full of my creations. 🙂

      • Tambra Harck says:

        One of the things I work with clients on is how as “Your Body is the Temple of Your Soul”… the environment you create for yourself is an important energetic extension of your soul’s radiance.

        All that to say…
        I will definitely be looking at your creations! Now that I know…


  19. I’m not an artist but I now strongly believe that we attract the right customers for us in all areas of sales. This to me is central to what we are teaching in the Social Networking Coaching Club, you are learning to present you as the Brand and then you will attract the right clients. I am more than happy with what I’m attracting into my own life since I raised my vibration.
    Louise Edington
    Facing Fears For Freedom

  20. Donna McCord says:

    What a lovely way to look at the whole concept of competition! Especially in the creative arts I completely understand how the creation is an extension of the creator and emits the creator’s energy; but as I was listening to you talk and then read your post, it occurred to me that this is true with whatever business you have. For us, auto repair can be such a price-driven service that we often feel frustrated by how other, less competent and less service-oriented shops focus on being the cheapest alternative and create confusion in the minds of the customers. But I have also seen how because of our confidence in what we do, and our faith in our integrity and commitment to excellence, we are now attracting the types of people to us that appreciate what we have to offer. It can still be frustrating for us when we see the competitors’ ads, etc., but I love how your post has reinspired me to focus on the positive and project that positive energy to the universe out there! Hope you overcome your cold and feel better soon!

    • Fiona Stolze says:

      I’m so glad that this message has been of use Donna. What you create is an extension of you and when you feel that with your business, it really takes off.

      Thanks for the good wishes. It’s just taking its time at present.

  21. Pat Zahn says:

    Fiona – it is a weird concept as an artist to be worried about competition – seems to go against the definition of being an artist. It all goes back to abundance vs scarcity concepts, right? Even though I’m not an artist, my business and practices still reflect me and what I’m putting out there. So someone else doing the same thing will not resonate with a particular client as well (or I will not.) At first, this bothered me, maybe ego, maybe fear of being the last picked on the playground. But I came to understand that it is ok and there are plenty of people who will choose me.

    • Fiona Stolze says:

      That’s a fascinating thought that being worried about competition goes against the definition of being an artist. Today there is so much preselection going on with the bigger galleries for exhibitions, etc. I think many are very stressed out by it all. In silk painting many also paint accessories and soft furnishings which also brings them up against ‘competition’ from more cheaply mass produced products. Big topic.

      And I agree Pat that there are always plenty of people who want just you. Thanks for commenting.

  22. Fiona – I am not an artist, so not in me but I have a definite taste in art! I love bright colors, abstract prints, funky stuff to put around my home. It never even crossed my mind to comparison shop artists. When I see it, I immediately know if I will like it! And, then I buy it. I frequent art fairs and crafts shows and love original stuff that is not mass produced. Looking around my office,I see that two of my pieces are by the same person. I guess art is like anything else, put your personality into it and your passion and you will attract buyers and collectors! PS I love the scarf you are wearing!

    • Fiona Stolze says:

      Hi Laurie, thanks for commenting. This comparison shopping refers specifically to a lot of the large online shops that allow artists to sell their wares and potential customers cast their nets in all directions there looking for things(Etsy in particular).

      Customers tune in energetically, like you do, and it’s very often love at first site . Glad you like the scarf. One of my many, so to speak. Another one of my talents!! – watch out for online tutorials how to make them.

  23. Hi Fiona. I so resonate with what you say in the fact that our customers buy us as a part of our services and products. I find for myself that the relationships I build with my potential clients are critical to their decision to go on my tours because they are not just buying the tours but their confidence and trust in me as well. Great post.

    • Fiona Stolze says:

      Thanks for that Connie. Lovely to see you on my page. Yes, when they feel that confidence, they are willing to buy what you have.

  24. Hi Fiona,
    Excellent post! You are so right. I would add another thought and that is that we are all strenghtened and lifted by the success of others in the arts. We as individuals are not diminished by another’s success, but should celebrate that success as it brings notice to all of us in that field. As the old saying goes, “a rising tide lifts ALL boats.”

    • Fiona Stolze says:

      Absolutely Bonnie. And I think being able to enjoy each other’s successes and celebrate them goes a long way to attracting personal success. Thanks for commenting.

  25. Judy Szabo says:

    Hi Fiona,

    As I have already said on FB I love this whole string of thoughts. Funny enough just last night I looked at ALL the photos on ning and beside them being a balm to my soul, for the first time since I have started painting silk I felt no envy. Maybe last night was just one of those nights when one is at peace with oneself, I certainly was. I realized with a surprise that I am beginning to recognize the painters from their styles and how we all have our own. There are many so much better than me in a way but who cares, I have my own style and I think I am happy with it. It was a great revelation.
    So this morning I have (again) repainted my banner to be and I am beginning to be happy with it. It is time I stopped thinking of what people think when they see my work. I guess if I was happy with it it would reflect.
    Thanks a lot for being my silk painting friend, I appreciate it very much. You are a real booster to one’s ego.
    And pleeease let your forehead be seen on the video, it is a shame to hide it. :))

    • Fiona Stolze says:

      Judy, thanks so much for leaving your comments. I’m glad you are enjoying all the work of the other artists without feeling envy. That’s a great first step. Your artwork is so beautiful, really vibrant, and I know I love it. Glad you feel boosted by what I do. Oh, and the hair….I will be getting it restyled and maybe coloured again when I get over this virus but not sure about my forehead being free. We’ll see! x

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