No Matter What You Do

Dinner is in the oven — baked cod with lemon and garlic — and while it’s cooking I was scrolling along on Facebook when I came to a post that really struck a chord. It was only after I’d read it that I noticed my husband was the one who had shared it.

The quote had nothing to do with art — directly. But the words still resonated. I thought of how easily this sentiment could be — and should be — applied to art. I was compelled to save it and to share it here. I don’t know… maybe there’s someone reading this who really needs to hear this message.

This is very true in life, of course. But let’s think about how this fits perfectly with “life as an artist”.

No matter what we do, whether it’s a drawing, a painting, fluid art, or a craft project, at some point, someone will have something negative to say. It’s always easy to point out mistakes. Some folks seem to thrive on telling others what they’re doing wrong.

But we must not take it personally. People can become critical of our art because of their own dissatisfactions and disappointments. The adage about misery loving company is actually true, and many frustrated artists and craftspeople delight in taking those frustrations out on others. Maybe they hope to impress us with their knowledge. Maybe they believe we’ll consider them superior if they stand in judgment of our works.

Truthfully, they are probably just unhappy artists, artists who’ve given up, artists who have, in their own turn, suffered from harsh, stinging criticisms.

As the message says, we don’t need everyone’s approval to be happy. In the same way, we don’t need everyone’s approval to be an artist. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that we don’t need anyone’s approval, really.

I’m sure we’ve all been criticized at some point, and sometimes it’s hard to take it in stride. It’s important to remember that it’s really not about us. It’s really not about our art. It’s about someone who is hurting.

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