#lifelessons [4] (For artists) – Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad…

Who made negative comments about your art?

This quote by Andy Warhol has been central to my philosophy of drawing for a long time.

Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.”
Andy Warhol  

So there you were, drawing to your heart’s content when someone mentioned that cartoons weren’t “really art.”
Did you paint a happy little group of animals only to be told that “frivolous topics don’t sell?”

Comments can kill your vibe.
But do remember that people often comment without truly thinking.
Instead of trying to dissect what each comment meant simply move on and focus on the art.
Of course it isn’t quite that simple.
People can dismiss hours of your work with a single misdirected comment.
That is if you give them that power.

Counter the potentially debilitating effect of comments by investing in a small group of trusted reviewers.
You get to choose them, but choose well.
You won’t want those who lavish praise because they feel obliged to.
Find a circle of people who can comment objectively.

You want reviewers who aren’t overly scared of hurting your feelings.
Assembling this group gives you the context for criticism you need.
These are the people who can guide, but also encourage you.

Insipid comments won’t affect you all that much when you know that a few objective people “have your back.”
Those are people who spend time to peruse your work and think about it intelligently.
Should you be unable to find individuals like this do a bit of research and find forums where some are willing to discuss your work.
Hang around on a forum for some time and you’ll find your “objective reviewers” by simply observing how they interact with other people in general.

I always remind people that they needn’t be hasty in any endeavour.
Check out the lie of the land, let people reveal their true colours before you place all your cards on the table.
Once you’ve exposed your art it will be more difficult to retract it from view than to bide your time.

You will eventually learn how to filter online comments and separate generic drivel from constructive criticism.
When people corner you in the “real world” remember that you never need to defend that which you are doing.

I find it easier to simply say something like, “sorry that this isn’t to your taste” rather than a lengthy debate as to why they don’t like my art.
Unfiltered and vapid comments have become a normal part of life.
When you create art you’ll need to grow skin that’s a little thicker than before.
Shrugging off those random little negative barbs take much less energy than trying to decipher people’s opinions.

Rather use that energy for creating more art, and “let them decide” what else they feel they need to do with their time.

TLR- 2018

I’ve created quite a few pinup cartoons in my time.
And strangely, family members have often been those who were the worst critics.
Nowadays I don’t analyse these pics too much.
I definitely do not spend a lot of time defining “what they are.”
I have fun creating images that I find visually appealing.
If I hear that other people also enjoy looking at them I’m always thankful.

This one was titled “Bobby Mc Gee” in homage to the legendary Kris Kristofferson song. I sketched it in 2016.

Bobby-McGee