|"Illuminated Pumpkins" watercolor on paper by Carrie Waller 30 x 24 BUY NOW|
Have you ever experienced a bad art critique? I know I certainly have. My worst one was in college. I was taking a sculpture class at the University of Illinois it was part of the required courses for the degree I was pursuing. This class was way out of my league, it was avant-garde and shock value at it's best. I'll never forget another student's work, he had a naked inflatable female doll hanging from the ceiling, condensed milk dripping from inside (representing semen), with money hanging out of her mouth. He had a very long spiel with the general idea being that he thought of his mother as a whore. Heartwarming, I know!! Anyway I felt lost! knowing that this would never be my league. My overall critique for the class from the instructor was that my work was anemic. It was a hard blow! I took my "B" for the class and left with my tail tucked between my legs. It really left me confused and wondering if I could ever hack it in the art world.
Since that time, I don't really care if I make it in that "art world". I have my own little "art world" and if you don't like it get out:) Sounds tough, right? It is still hard to receive criticism but I have learned to take the constructive parts out of it. After going through countless critiques in college getting my Interior Design degree, I've built a pretty thick skin. But it's never easy to hear that your work isn't up to par.
I've recently been watching Oprah's life class and it is really terrific! They are going back and talking about life lessons that have been taught throughout Oprah's talk show. One lady said something that has really changed my life. She said something like this-- I don't have to accept another persons negative opinion as an evaluation of myself. It is merely that, an opinion. What I do with it will determine the impact it will have on my life. Isn't that profound. This will be huge in my life. Not only in art but all areas of my life. Why do we give that power away? Let's take it back and be in charge of our life!
With this new found freedom it opens us up to take risks without worrying about the outcome. If we can free ourselves of these negative ideas that we say to ourselves and others may say to us, we can be empowered. Our dreams are attainable!!! Oprah also had the guy who started amazon.com, Jeff Bezos, on as an inspirational person. When Jeff started Amazon, he did it out of his garage, with his wife, filling the orders himself. His main motivation to start Amazon was that he decided to look at his life as if he were 80 years old. He realized that if he didn't want to look back and have regrets. He decided if he didn't take a risk to start his company he would regret that far more than his fear of failure. To fail would mean he had tried. But to never try was much worse.
So really think about this, what do you want out of your life? What opinions are your turning into evaluations? What would you regret not trying?