FOR artists, one inescapable truth of the art world is that throughout your career all kinds of people will say all sorts of things about your art. Whether they tell you to your face, write about it, make videos about it, blog about it and post about it or even gossip behind your back. Not only do you have to learn how to handle this continuous onslaught of thoughts, feelings, feedback, comments, criticisms, opinions, observations and impressions, but also figure out how to evaluate and respond to them. Most importantly you must learn how to not take them personally. Many artists for example would value experimenting in different studios an experience that will give them opportunities of getting insight into more skilful artists. There are artists who have a habit of impulsively asking people what they think of their art. The real question should be to ask yourself of what you think of your own art. Most people who find themselves in this tricky situation will generally try to end the conversation as quickly and painlessly as possible. In most cases people will not tell you what they think of your art. They would rather tell you what you would want to hear – which will usually be that they like your art. In other words, asking people to judge your art will be pointless as critics that you ask will not give you honest answers. Start evaluating the source when asking people to judge your art, or when having a conversation about your art with supposed art critics. Ask yourself about who this person is and whether he/she knows you personally. Is this person familiar with the type of art you are involved in or does the person know what your art is about? It will be beneficial to you to also know whether the people you are asking are knowledgeable about art. Do they qualify to judge art and would they be potential buyers? These are some of the pertinent questions you should ask yourself. Have knowledge as to whether your target critics are respected members of the art community. Some people might simply want to have artsy conversations and habour interests or agendas that are different from your own. Another important determination you have to make about responses to your art is whether a particular comment is based on the individual’s personal tastes or based on their overall knowledge and understanding of art. If however, a person’s comments are more informed, objective and made within a broader context of world art, then you should perhaps consider them more seriously. But if the comment or a critic is just a random naysayer on the internet or social media, then please don’t be bothered. But overall, do not fear criticism as an artist.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015