Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Other People's Opinions

Often times on Facebook people will post quotes by famous artists about art. Often times it is inspiring, sometimes even funny. Here is a quote that I saw recently by Andy Warhol:

While I know that he is talking about not judging your own art and just making it, it also makes me think about how we shouldn't worry about what others think about our art too. Too many people are concerned with what others think. It's human nature. But when it comes to making art, you just need to do it and do it without worry about what others may say or think about it. You can't let other's opinions dictate what you do with your art, and you especially can't let them keep you from making art.

In a society where opinion seems to matter even more, it's hard to not let it affect you. Facebook alone allows people to "like" your comments, status updates, and pictures you post. How is it NOT hard to let that get to you?I know that when I post a work in progress or a just completed painting, I am constantly checking to see how many likes there are as if that is an indicator of whether or not the work is good (and if you ask me about this in person I will totally deny it!), and I am pretty confident about the quality of my work. I can't even imagine what it would be like for someone less confident or just begining to cultivate their skill and talent. BUT IT IS JUST AN OPINION. It shouldn't stop you from making art.

I know a woman who wanted to be an artist but was having a hard time getting started with even the first painting because she was worried about it not being a good piece. She was worried about what people would think of her work. She worried so much that she never painted. Now she could have been a great painter or a mediocre painter, but how would we ever know since SHE NEVER PAINTS. The fear of a negative opinion is keeping her from doing something she really wants to do and that is just ridiculous. Now, this is an extreme example, but I am sure most of us have had this experience to some degree in our lives at some point.

So what do we do? We keep our head down and keep working while realizing that we can't please everyone, and we shouldn't have to. It's hard not to worry what others may think about your art. I still get pretty upset when I hear something negative about my work, but then I realize that while some people may not like what I do, plenty of people do...and more importantly, I like what I do. Making art makes ME happy so really, the only opinion that should matter is my own.

Speaking of judging...here's what I have been working on lately:
This still needs a bit of work. It is for a friend who will be taking some new studio shots of me soon.
The painting is 10"x10".

This painting is 36"x36" and will be shown at JoAnne Artman Gallery in Laguna Beach.

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