I don't really see other artists as competition, but people who think differently. I enjoy seeing the work of other artist because I like to try and figure out their possible thought processes and see how they got their piece into fruition. I try to closely observe these things because we can all advance by watching each other. Globally, it's exciting because there are different standards of living throughout the world, and art can be tied to the cultures around it (sometimes).
3 weeks ago in my Graphic Design class, we saw a lecture from a Graphic Artist from France. We had the privilege to see all of the different (and amazing) typefaces that he created, some even for The Louvre. He said that when he first began learning from an American woman, he had never used a computer before and had to learn very quickly. Without the help from his American teacher, he would have had a difficult time succeeding lacking all the necessary knowledge and tools. He is now world famous.