It definitely feels terrible when you face criticism. You put in all that effort as an artist to create and give life to a blank canvas. But when there is some backlash coming your way, the bigger picture gets blurry. We at twinavocados sympathize with you. Hop on all you artists! We take you through ways that you can deal with bad critiques.
But first, it is important to answer a few questions about that prickly criticism.
Should Criticism Offend You?
As an artist with a canvas or a pen, or just anyone who builds something from scratch, prepare yourself for criticism. You can be critiqued anytime and from anywhere. Whether you art involves, painting, making life-like sketches, or maybe you pen down lines on a bank page; anything from your heart and soul is art. This article to me as a writer is art.
An artist of a creator puts all he/she has got into creating the art. There is so much you do before taking to the final stages. Endless drafts, mind images, outlines, colour patterns, and so much more. There is immensely hard work that goes into it and creates your best.
But sometimes ‘your best’ is no bueno! The faster you accept this fact, the better. Maybe they don’t like the colour theme, the entire concept might seem bizarre to them, the words you put into might be too advanced, the strokes might be too bold, or simply your critiques weren’t ready for it.
The concept of art, a self-written speech or an article is highly subjective. All you have to do is.
Collect criticism > Take it home > Set in on a table > Sort it > Find the constructive aspect/criticism of it and IMPROVE.
Taking offence will be counterproductive. Every criticism offers a learning experience.
How Bad Can Bad Criticism Be?
Even the most experienced and mature artists face criticism. It is totally up to you how you take it. There definitely something bothering me about bad criticism. It pinches the soul of an artist. When you terribly critique something created by an artist; it is equivalent to passing a remark to a mother that her child is ugly. Is it called for? Totally no. Criticism has an etiquette to it. As an audience, it is necessary to be aware of it.
But since criticism follows an artist like a shadow, it is key that you learn these ways down below on how to deal with criticism. I as an artist can totally relate to them.
5 Ways To Handle Criticism by Artists
#1 As an Artist Be Subjective
Art is a reflection of the inner turmoil or experiences and emotions, all tied into one. This is what makes art truly personal and subjective.
So some might like your idea of a woman but others might not be that into cubism. Some might love the way you write, while others may find it too tough to follow, some may find your sculpture too bold, while others may appreciate it for it’s realistic simplicity, some might think your graphic is too colorful, others may have already understood your POV. The examples are endless.
Make it clear, that as an artist, everyone may not get what you create. It is totally normal and natural. As a creator you are obligatory to thank their feedback and use it if possible.
Feeling hurt or broken is not a solution at all.
Rise above it and learn along the way.
#2 Responding to Criticism
Artists or any human may feel offended if the criticism wagon came charging. The pain is real and as a writer, I can get very graphic when describing it. (But then again, some of you night find is gruesome). Criticism to an artist feels like a jab in the heart. This might create emotions of anger or sadness.
But if you have to clap back to criticism, learn it from the YouTubers. Seriously! They receive so much hate for doing the tiniest thing on camera. Every time there is that one person in the crowd booing. My personal favourite who take criticism head-on and respond back in the most sophisticated way (as and when required) is Nazanin Kavari and Jeffrey Star.
When responding back to criticism, firstly take a deep breath. Then, respond in the most professional manner. Don’t get offended and try to explain why you made what you made. Getting panicked, angered or too gloomy is not a good colour for you as an artist.
Be level headed when responding to critics. Most of the time they are just there to test your patience.
#3 Take It With a Pinch of Salt
Every criticism comes as a reflection of perception. An artist should only take whatever criticism he believes comes from a well informed audience. There are tons out there who don’t begin to understand the deep set philosophy behind art. You have to sort your critics too.
Look if the person critiquing you is a professional or not.
If he/she is qualified enough for the feedback?
Do they know what you create or are they just to give hate and rant?
Rollback to such comments as they are unsolicited. Pay heed to the ones that come from an informed group. Ask them for suggestions.
#4 Find the Good Among it All
Look where the critics are pointing out. Even underneath all the hate, there might be something to take back. As an artist, you should never stop looking for it. Going only for the praise is not going to give you growth. See why people hate what they hate. Look for a reason or try making some changes you feel like. Criticism is fruit on fire. You have to get into it and maybe burn in its fiery outer coating. Get to the inner fruit and take your lesson.
#5 Take an Outsider Opinion
Go to your fellow creators and ask them for help. Ask their blunt honest opinion about your work. Ask for objective reviews and see if you can incorporate their povs. Brainstorm the criticism you have received so far. Use it if needed. Flush out the rest.
When you have tried and gone over each aspect critiqued, congratulate yourself on evolving. Evolve and accept change.
Remember your art is not to please everybody.
All artists go and grow through bad criticism.
Use these ways to deal with criticism as an artist. Tell us about the worst criticism that your art has received ever. We will be happy to share ours!