August 15, 2019

How to deal with criticism as an artist

“I really liked it while it was outlined. In color, it is cool too, but it feels like hard work, you know, heavy like 9 volumes of dictionary.” That’s what my friend told me about my new artwork.

It feels like I have all the 9 volumes on my shoulders and my head.

Peony, motivation poster, love yourself, Sonia Nezvetaeva, artist's blog2019


I drew the artwork, where everything was mine, all the references that I used, all the ideas, the composition, the color set, the quantity of details. I didn’t ask any advices, didn’t discuss it with anyone. It was my challenge. I have been drawing it for 2 weeks. I was sharing it on each level of the process on Instagram stories. I have received many comments. But I did't consider them in my work. Because It was the point to make all the decisions by myself. I didn’t want to share my responsibility, you know.

The response to my artwork after publishing it on my Instagram was diverse. There were congratulations with a good progress. But there were opinions that I overdid it. I felt discomfort and frustration because of it. Like everything was in vain. Because, I could make it easier, quicklier, lightlier, you know. It felt like I wasted my time and energy. Like something is wrong with my feeling of beauty.

How to deal with critisism, Sonia Nezvetaeva, srtist's blog

I have accepted all these things, trying to process them and deal with them. So after several days of doubts and reflections I have realized, that I should be myself in my art, doesn’t matter what people think about it, weather they like it or not.

This is me. And my art is a reflection of me. This is the filter to the incoming stream not the outgoing flow.

Someone’s opinion is a reflection of their consciousness not mine. My art is just a mirror of their mind.

For me It is just what I love to do, what I am ready to spend time for, to work hard for. What makes me happy, takes me home, puts me to the flow, and gives me a reason to be proud of myself. It is more and more important then what someone thinks about me and my art. Even if they are my closest friends.

When I realized this I got an inner support.

How to deal with critisism, Sonia Nezvetaeva, srtist's blog


Many times I found out the same thoughts in different blogs of artists. But my experience of burning out made me unable to take it clear. I was angry, sad and thought that all these guys, who make wonderful and obviously beautiful stuff, are just lucky, they don’t need to prove anything to people around themselves. They don’t need to fight for their selves with all the World.
 
It often helps me to read interviews and autobiographies. When you find out what famous people were going through, you don’t only respect them, but learn from them. Learn to look at life like a possibility not only a constant examination or challenge. Learn to take every little chance.

A singer-songwriter LP became famous when she was 36. She inspires me so much because of succeeding in the profession where she burned out. In one of her interviews she shared the sad story how after several years working with music labels she almost lost her drive to music, she stopped writing songs because she didn’t feel her authenticity. That made me cry. Because I know exactly what she means. This terrible feeling when you could not call any your work really YOURs. Because It took inside so many someone’s opinions and desires, with the main goal to make super commercial project to make money. And you are already not so you.

I like how LP have returned to the music. She has bought an ukulele. The ukulele is small, LP is small. And all the terrible drama of her life became a bit like a joke. She started liking herself again. Possibly, to start drawing flowers with markers was the same thing to me. I started liking me again. I recognized me again. Now I can be more serious, more self-demanding, I want to make more than just flowers. But the first step was to start liking me again.

How to deal with critisism, Sonia Nezvetaeva, srtist's blog


To like yourself is not easy for artists at all. They are constantly researching best way to do their job. But being yourself is the only way to get satisfaction from your art and creativity. I think, our main task is to recognize our authenticity and put it in our artworks. It demands so much forces, self-analysis, so many hours of working and thinking. That’s why we need to be resistant to critique and to be able to choose people and opinions that could bring us help and good just to stay on our own way. Because the most of the critique is a matter of personal views and tastes. And tastes differ.

Even the highest professionals are no stranger to hurt beginners with the critique. You can ignore even their opinion if you feel that it is dangerous for your creativity.

It is not only your right. It is your responsibility.

My burning out turned me into insecure grudging person. That’s why I was so vulnerable to critics for so long. As soon as I put my own creative satisfaction before my need for safety and praise of others, I found support which is much stronger, than a thin tightrope of social acceptance. “Hope it lasts but you know, you never know.”

When you accept yourself, when you love what you do, you are invincible. Because your goal, your motives, your joy of your work lead you higher on the stairway. You could rise yourself up saving only things making you better and happier. It is possible when you trust yourself. When you like being yourself. Like yourself.


How to deal with critisism, Sonia Nezvetaeva, srtist's blog

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How to deal with critisism, Sonia Nezvetaeva, srtist's blog
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