Face Making

Artist Gwenn Seemel’s bilingual blog about art, portraiture, free culture, and feminism.

Jealous of another artist’s career / Jaloux de la carrière d’un autre artiste

2018 . 01 . 29 - Comments / Commentaires (6)

This video is for all the artists who find themselves envying others.

Cette vidéo s’adresse à tous les artistes qui se sentent envieux des autres.

Please remember: what looks like shiny happy success from the outside tends to be more complicated when viewed from the inside—I know this from my own experience and also from talking with artist friends. Being an artist is difficult enough without us taking our jealousy out on each other.

S’il vous plaît rappelez-vous: ce qui ressemble de l’extérieur à un succès brillant a tendance à être plus compliqué vu de l’intérieur—je sais parce que c’est ma propre expérience mais aussi l’expérience de mes amis artistes. Être artiste est déjà assez difficile sans que nous attaquons les autres avec notre jalousie.

before and after menopause

Gwenn Seemel
Before and after: Menopause / Avant et après: La ménopause
2006 and / et 2007
acrylic on bird’s eye / acrylique sur coton piqué
30 x 54 inches (together) / 76 x 137 centimètres (les deux ensemble)

The footage from the show in the dedicated art space is by David and it’s of Swollen, portraits of women “before” and “after.”

La vidéo de l’exposition dans l’espace dédié à l’art a été filmée par David et elle montre Swollen, des portraits de femmes “avant” et “après.”



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(6) Comments / Commentaires: Jealous of another artist’s career / Jaloux de la carrière d’un autre artiste

-- libby fife -- 2018 . 01 . 29 --


Wow, what a complicated topic! You are right though. Envy should propel us forward to try and achieve the very thing that we are envious of. And it’s good to figure that out and go forward with it.

Here is a further distinction that my mom told me. (Sort of.) When you are jealous of someone, you wish that they didn’t have whatever it is that you are jealous of, that you had it instead. You become unable to enjoy the other person’s success (or whatever) and it eats away at you. When you are envious of someone, you simply wish that you had the same thing as that person. Envy, to my mind, leaves the door open for genuine happiness and opportunity. Happiness for the other person and opportunity for yourself. It’s a much more gentle thing.

I always appreciate your insights coupled with actual experience. Thank you!

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-- Gwenn -- 2018 . 01 . 29 --

@Libby: Interesting! I just read the official definitions of “jealous” and “envious” and both our definitions are not the official ones. smile It’s fascinating how words take on feelings for individuals or even for cultures. I notice it a lot in French—even with this video. The French for “envious” is also the French for “desiring of” so envy in both English and in French has a vague sensuality to me…

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-- Justin -- 2018 . 01 . 30 --

Really insightful and eloquent. Thanks so much for sharing. I needed to hear this today.

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-- Gwenn -- 2018 . 01 . 31 --

@Justin: I’m glad it hit the spot! smile

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-- danielhawkhicks@gmail.com -- 2018 . 01 . 31 --

Hi Gwen,

Just found your site through the book Sell Your Art Online.

It’s amazing to me in this day and age that you were able to see your way clear to the idea of not copyrighting your work, which I find marvelous.

Years ago I read a book by a Therapist/Psychologist who claimed that one could not fall in love with someone who did not have a quality that they were jealous of.  So it’s interesting that in French jealousy has the double meaning of desiring of. 

Have a friend who is an artist, who I feel will be inspired by your example.



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-- Gwenn -- 2018 . 01 . 31 --

@Daniel: Thank you for stopping by my blog and for your kind words!

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