When I was growing up I had a cousin that was an amazingly talented artist, no matter what I did I could never reach his level of purely unadulterated awesomeness. He was 2 years older than me, but his art was light years ahead of mine, he actually tricked me into believing that he had won a contest to create the new look for Azbats in the 90's, he was as I have said really good. I went my whole middle school and high school career idolizing him, everything he did I made sure to take a running leap at attempting to draw. He actually drew a picture of a well known John Lennon airbrush picture, I then drew the same picture from the same Airbrush mag. Everyone thought that it was the one he had drawn and I was just taking the credit for it.
Time went by, he graduated and went to several different colleges for art related things. I graduated and wound up working at the local supermarket. I kept drawing as much as I could find the time for, but eventually it faded bc no matter what I did in my mind I would never be as good as my cousin. I decided it was time to put childish things away and grow up. For about 5 or 6 years I think I didn't even doodle at work. Then I got married and we had a kid and I decided that I didn't want to spend the rest of my life as a counter monkey dealing with very rude customers. I was in the Hastings that was closest to me and I found a book by the awesome artist Tom Nguyen. I picked it up and read it cover to cover and have learned so much from it. I met him at Gem City Comic Con and it changed my life. He looked at my portfolio and told me that I was heading in the right direction and to keep at it we now keep in touch over twitter and facebook and he has been so instrumental to my development as an artist. He has as I have often said taught me everything I know, hell he helped me out just last night with something.
As for my cousin... he is the Assistant Manager of a steak house. I saw my uncle in the store about a month ago and told him of my comic adventures. He told me to get a hold of My cousin and let him know what was happening bc he had completely abandoned his art. I actually had someone tell me just the other day that my art looked better than his did.
You will never be better than you strive to be. Hard work does yield results. I am drawing things now that couldn't a year ago, hell Tom even said the a few weeks ago that my art had really improved since he met me. I work with a kid that won't work at his art, as good as he is he just doesn't think it's his thing, his college art teacher asked him once what would it take for him to finish an assignment, he said 5 bucks, so the teacher gave him 5 bucks. Don't be that kid. WORK YOUR ASS OFF! YOU WANT TO BE BETTER THAN JIM LEE, MAKE IT HAPPEN!