How do you handle negative comments about your work? Do you let them shut you down?
If you’re like many people, one negative comment can wipe out the warm, fuzzy feelings you got from hundreds of other positive comments. That one negative comment seems to get stuck in your brain.
Here are some of the comments from the videos on my YouTube channel:
What a waist of good paint. And I really do mean that. Properly painting a desk or chair would of been more impressive.
Stumbled across this video and thought “UGH” I was going to leave a comment and but realized I already did. 7 months ago. lol
nothing special !
Your videos are a waste of time that´s for sure
you seemed to have made a career with what I do when I’m bored
it is not art, this work of accident.
Plus many “thumbs down” ratings. As much as I’d like to think that my art has universal appeal, the truth is that it’s not for everyone. And people are not afraid to express their opinions on the Internet!
If you put your work out there, whatever type of work you do, you’re going to get criticism. But don’t let the fear of criticism keep you from sharing your work with the world. If you wait until the work is perfect and beyond criticism, that day will never come.
Criticism hurts because it resonates with our own insecurities about ourselves. Over the years I’ve learned to develop a thicker skin, and others’ opinions of my art no longer dictate my sense of self-worth. I do the work because it’s something that I enjoy doing, and if it resonates with other people, that’s great. If not, oh well!
I often choose not to reply to negative comments, and let others decide about the validity of the criticism for themselves. Occasionally I’ll engage with the criticism and say something like “Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Perhaps you’re not a fan of abstract art!” I try to keep it light and on the humorous side, for my own sake. The humor reminds me not to take any of the comments too seriously, good and bad.
What’s worse for me is getting no comments at all, when my work is discounted and seen as irrelevant. I’ll take negative comments any day over being ignored!
What’s your strategy for dealing with criticism? I’d enjoy hearing your thoughts. You can share them with us in the comments section below.
With love and appreciation,
Painting at top: “Flourish,” 28 x 22 inches, repurposed acrylic latex paint on canvas