Beware of Yourself

Don't shatter your artistic spirit because of yourselfAs artists, we will always fall subject to other people’s criticisms. However, for many if not most artists, their worst criticisms come from non other than themselves. If the artist is skilled enough to notice areas in their piece that needs work, they can fall victim to self criticism and will constantly put their work down. While everyone else may see a masterpiece, the artist will see areas where they should have done something different.

So how in the world do we protect our art from ourselves? The first thing to always remember is that no one is perfect. If you created the perfect masterpiece in the eyes of many, there will always be one to point out something different. Why? It’s all in the eye of the beholder. Therefore, to strive for perfection in a subject that is so diverse in criteria such as art, is impossible because the question would be what would you define as a perfect masterpiece? It’s hard to do such a think so stop beating yourself up over it! That is why we are constantly learning new ways to improve our skills. If we didn’t have areas in our art that needed to be fixed, we would be bored of our work because we would end up doing the same thing over again.

Secondly, fix it. The fact that you are unhappy with certain parts of it means you may not have met the expectations you had planned out in your head. Although it is from my experience that not everything that is thought up in an artist’s mind will turn out the same way on the canvas. But if you can touch up that area you notice needs fixing, then by all means do it instead of leaving it to rot in your trash bin. Many artists go back to an old piece they had produced or may not have finished and input new techniques and aspects they have learnt into it. This will allow a new variation on the piece and may turn out better than what you had expected.

Always remember that critiquing yourself isn’t bad, but don’t allow it to manipulate your determination as an artist. Even I am subject to my own criticism but the only thing I can do is to fix it on the next round and try again. It’s called the learning process…deal with it.

Three type of Critiques

Are you getting your balanced diet of critiques? This post will define the three main groups of criticism commonly found when others comment on your work. Critiques are good to develop your understanding of your own art but be warned that not everyone is a true critique so you must understand that critiques are only to be taken seriously to a certain degree.

This usually results in very good comments about your work. Many people like to encourage and support the artist like a friend and will always find something good to say about their work. This can be a good booster especially to those who are unsure of their work or are just starting out. However, too much of this type of criticism can be bad for your artistic health and can otherwise stump your growth. Since you aren’t being pointed out areas to improve, you stay comfortable at the level you are in and end up harboring some bad habits. So a teaspoon of Buddy-Buddy critiques are always a treat, but don’t over-indulge.

You can’t go wrong with good constructive criticism about your work. Their main goal is to bring out the good parts of your pieces and help improve other areas that need work. It’s like exercising certain areas of your body instead of the whole body in general to save time and energy. This will allow you to examine the pattern of your style and work to improve and strengthen that area which will aid your learning and growth as an artist in your field. Most of the time it will be those who are experienced in art that will give the best constructive critiques because they may have done the same mistakes and are now showing the fruits of improving their work or have researched areas that they themselves admit need to fix. This type of criticism with a sprinkle of Buddy-Buddy comments are a very well-balanced diet for any artist.

Critiques that are generalized under this category are those that do not help to improve the artist or their work. Generally in the form of negative feedback, this type of criticism can often bruise an artist and their artistic spirit. These comments are usually bias, unproductive, and are NEVER to be taken to heart. Many times the ones who give these types of critiques have no artistic background themselves or don’t have the merit to be critiquing other people’s work in comparison to their own. I’ve found most that critique under this group are out just to be mean-spirited. It’s like excess fat that has no use and makes your life more annoying.

As an artist or a StArter you will generally come across these three types of critiques at different points in your artistic life. How will you receive these criticisms?