Illustrations by Casey Webb
Two of the best pieces of advice I have ever gotten about artwork and dealing with criticism are: it doesn’t matter what other people think, and it doesn’t matter what you think as long as other people like it. Although they are somewhat contradictory, they are both equally valid points.
There are always going to be people who will like and dislike your work, so you might as well do it however you want. Even if you don’t like how it turned out, oh well, tomorrow is a new a day, and someone else is bound to love it. Sometimes it’s best to create just for the sake of creating. If you can’t get enjoyment out of the process, then how much value does it really have? Don’t put all the value of your efforts on the end result, put value on the effort itself. If you tried harder than you ever have before, chances are that you learned something, and you will be able to try harder and do better each and every time.
When you put value on your effort, the worst case scenario would be that there’s room for improvement, and something that you could be better at. Even if you feel that there is lots of room for improvement, don’t be discouraged, you could always be much, much worse. So don’t take your talents for granted, no matter how little value you may find in them from time to time. Not only are there a lot of people who would love your work, but there are also a lot of people who simply wish they could draw, paint, sculpt, or do anything at all, let alone as well as you do. When it comes down to it, you’re the one who determines how hard you try and you’re the one who places the value on your work. Only the artist knows the true value of a piece anyway: what it’s made out of, how much time it took, and how many years of practice it took to get to a point to even be able to create such a work.
It’s all opinion, not fact. Good, bad, and even what is considered “art” is all relevant. No matter how good it is, someone will always hate it. And no matter how bad it is, there will always be someone who loves it. You can’t take it too personally, no matter how personal your art may be to you (being a reflection or your soul and whatnot.) Just because someone can’t see the beauty in it, that doesn’t mean it’s not there; it simply means the right eyes aren’t looking at it. As you’ve heard a million times before, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” It’s not your art that is beautiful, but the feelings that it brings out in others.
So in conclusion, the only opinions that matter are the ones you choose to matter, young grasshopper.
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