Visual Art Articles

Three Ways To Process Criticism

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

How much easier it is to be critical than to be correct.― Benjamin Disraeli

How are you at taking criticism?

I’ve gotten pretty good at it. If you’re going to put yourself in the public eye, you have to take your lumps.

I usually let rotten tomatoes land where they will. Readers often have unpleasant things to say to those of us with the audacity to put our thoughts in print. I’ve been called names, been accused of unspeakable acts, had my fitness for my job questioned. I hardly even consider that kind of thing criticism. Most of the time, it’s just people flapping their gums. I can imagine their red-faced sputtering and I hope they can imagine my eyes rolling.  Those rotten tomatoes miss me by a mile.

(I’ve also noticed that when someone agrees with something I’ve written, it’s because the idea is good and great minds think alike. When someone disagrees, it’s because, obviously, I’m an idiot.)


Love Can’t Buy You Money

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

Do what you love and the money will follow.

This one annoys me.

It sounds so simple, so skipping through the daisies with dollar signs dancing around you like butterflies. It sounds like magical thinking to me.

Here’s another way to look at it: Do what you love for money and it might become just another job.

Easy for me to say, maybe. I write for a living and love what I do. But lemme tell you, dollar signs are not flittering around me and landing on my shoulders. Every dollar I earn is dragged in kicking and screaming.

Writing is my second career. My first was as a graphic artist. As a child, I loved drawing and making things. I attended the marvelous High School of Art & Design in New York City.  (Think Fame for aspiring commercial artists.) My first few jobs, straight out of high school, were in the art department of various publications. I started as a lackey but learned the trade and eventually became a designer. Not great, but competent. But much as I loved publishing, in time, meeting the demands of the  job and my bosses sucked a lot of the joy out of art and design for me.


 

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