Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Rejection Correction

What is the best feedback you have received from somebody about your work? What is the worst? 


As artists we are constantly putting our work - and our selves - on view for public display and review.   For many, this process of exposure is fraught with anxiety and doubt. Especially if you have ever been the recipient of negative criticism about your work. And let's be honest here: we all have.

The potential of hearing negative feedback is especially daunting for people who are just beginning to show their work publicly. While criticism is never easy to receive, over time many artists develop a "thick skin" and learn how to better deal with negativity - and can even learn to grow from it. And in my mind, the possibility of positive feedback and affirmation of creativity always trumps the worry over criticism.

This topic is always a big issue for artists. You can follow the two links below to hear more and/or add your own thoughts and experiences in a comment to this post.


Five artists, including myself, discuss the topic on Somerset Place and a lively discussion continues in the comments there. Read all the thoughts on the following questions: What is the best feedback you have ever received? Has constructive criticism helped you develop personally or improved your artwork? Do you listen to the comments of others?


Those of you who have either faced rejection as an artist or are fearful that you will, might be interested in reading my Creative Pulse column in the current September/October issue of Cloth Paper Scissors magazine. In it, I discuss how to deal with rejection and present ways to turn a rejection into an experience with a positive outcome.

9 comments:

Sue Marrazzo said...

AWESOME...I will check it out!

Shelby Pizzarro said...

Good morning, I posted this at Somerset Place, and hope you don't mind me posting it here as well. Excellent topic...
_____________________
To be in this business is to learn to develop a thick skin and not to take criticism personally...although this can be difficult at times.

Our work is our work...trends change like the wind and our vision may not be "popular" at the time we submit.

I agree with Lynne Moncrieff. Publication is incredible validation, especially from a source you respect with work of artists you hold in high regard. This recently happened to me with the publication of my work and article in "Artful Blogging" magazine.

I think Seth Apter sums it up perfectly: "I feel it is very important to make sure that I am making the work for myself.” In the end if we are true to ourselves, the work will survive with authenticity.

tgarrett said...

This is a very important topic- the comments posted hare show that it is a big one for folks. Constructive criticism helps us grow as artists. I taught into to 2D art at the university level- the students were petrified at the first critique. I made sure they were helpful and approached from a positive perspective. What is hard about the rejection letter is there is no feedback. A big yes to the person that said make your work for you.

Joi at RR said...

Thanks so much Seth for giving the link to this article. And congratulations that you are there too!! I loved reading the article and the comments following. It really helped me to hear some of the stories shared in the comments. I haven't had a lot of critiques. Never had a lesson or a mentor - except online videos and workshops. I do want to learn, grow and become better. This article was very encouraging to me in many ways. j.

Jo Murray said...

Rejection is a part of life as an artist...no matter what rung of the ladder you are on. It is impossible to please everyone...and you shouldn't try to. I agree with you that one must be true to oneself.

layers said...

Rejection - be it a juried show rejection - or no sales in a gallery show - can be hard to accept. I keep reminding myself that many great authors have had s famous classic book rejected many times before getting published..and they never gave up. So the key is being true to yourself and hanging in there and hoping for that elusive break on the never ending journey.

Anita Houston said...

I loved your article, and it really hit home with me. Thanks for the help!!!

JackieP Neal said...

Seth, your words that Shelby re-quoted are perfectly true- at least for me as well.
I know what is out there and what is selling and drawing people, but I like what I create and therefore- I am happy! ")

Bill said...

Having been told by my father repeatedly during the first 19 years of my life that I was stupid and as worthless as tits on a boy, I've never been able to handle criticism well. I create art for myself. It makes me feel like I'm worth something. There's no sense trying to please other people with art, as few can even begin to understand what life has brought to us individually.