What Other People Think

12 Nov 2012

"If you could get inside the heads of the people around you, you'd probably be surprised at how unsure and unconfident they feel. It's likely that they'd feel the same about you. We're pretty good at hiding our true thoughts; it's why we're always so shocked—and relieved—when somebody honestly expresses them."--From Start Your Week with Steve, a free weekly e-mail newsletter by artist Steve Henderson.

It's our journey, and while what other people think can provide insight, we ultimately hold and control the reins. Time Out, original and signed limited edition print by Steve Henderson.
It's our journey, and while what other people think can provide
insight, we ultimately hold and control the reins. Time Out, original
and signed limited edition print by Steve Henderson.
Whether it's accurate or not, there is the impression that artists are fairly insecure people. My question is, Who, in their shoes, wouldn't be? Artists more than any other professionals express their deepest emotions on a tangible surface—oil on canvas, bronze sculpting, paint on blank walls—which they put out for the entire world to see and comment on.

And because the entire world isn't made up of exactly the same person, some people vociferously encourage and praise the artist's efforts while others condemn it, soundly and roundly.

So one of the first oil painting lessons a person who enters the art arena learns is to thicken that skin a bit and not take every comment personally. A second oil painting tip is to cultivate the ability to be your own best critic—listening to what you hear around you, sifting it through your mental filters, discerning valid criticism from random talk, and experimenting according to how you want to create your oil painting art, for example.

And as with any endeavor, the more skills and oil painting techniques that you know and grasp, the easier it is to deal with the inevitable criticism.

There is a fine line between arrogance and confidence, and while the one blocks us from effectively learning and moving forward, the other, balanced with humility, enables us to weigh the words we hear, separate the valid from the invalid, and move forward in our art.

--Carolyn


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Comments

on 14 Nov 2012 3:11 PM

I think that type of insecurity is related to jobs where the results are difficult to judge or present several subjective angles like art. In other activities where results are tangible and measurable (numbers, sales, etc) this people tend to be more confident and take critics in other way. Artists we are more sensitive and we all know that whatever we consider as great painting, others can see it totally mediocre or just bad, this generates insecurity.

I agree humility is the tool to just do not care about critics and break our own rules to move ahead. Once I heard "paint as if you will show you painting to Velasquez, imagine he is your judge"

what can be a better self critic? :-)

Pedro