Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Lesson Learned

Have you ever had it happen where you're just going along, minding your business, when someone bursts your bubble?

It could be a rude cashier at the grocery store who interrupts your otherwise pleasant day, or a snide remark on Facebook that you weren't expecting.  I'm sure we've all had that happen to us at some point in our lives.

A few days ago, I had my confidence shaken about my art.  I was just going along, minding my own business, when I had someone say some not-so-nice things about this piece, which I had just finished:


I quite liked it.  I liked the way the yellow matched the frame.  I liked the bursts of red here and there.  I liked how the theme carried throughout the piece.

And hey - I totally understand that my art isn't for everyone!  Ephemeraologists, you may run into this more than other, more "conventional" artists - some folks just don't understand the appeal of the vintage ephemera or why we'd deign to cut it up and use it in art.  I'm used to that, and it doesn't bother me at all!  In fact, I use the confusion to educate people on collage as an art form, or the importance of ephemera in our lives.  :)

But the comment I received was much deeper than that - the person said, "It doesn't look like you care at all about what you create."

OUCH.

Instead of following this rule (thanks, National Art Shop!) -


I threw out the piece.  Yep, it is now in the Big Recycling Bin in the Sky.  

Even though I had an existential crisis this weekend, I don't regret the toss.  I still have the image and although I no longer have the physical piece (plus a couple more that I also threw out), I have the reminder that I should never apologize for the work that I do.  I liked this piece enough to send it out in the world, and I should've stood my ground.  But it did allow me to think about new directions my art will be taking, and for that I'm grateful.

Ephemeraologists, I didn't write this post to garner sympathy; quite the opposite!  I wrote it to serve as a reminder that you should never apologize for the work you do.  Just keep rockin' the vintage ephemera and putting it out into the world - we need artists like you!!!  :D



19 comments:

  1. SIGH...that was a heartless comment. I have no idea where that person is coming from.

    Your art is beautiful, well thought out and of excellent craftsmanship.

    To all artists out there - create for yourself. Even if it is your job to develop other peoples art ideas, take some time and make art that you truly enjoy creating!

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    1. Thank you so much, Kim! :) And you're absolutely right - if you enjoy creating it, that alone is enough! :D

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  2. that comment was a heartless remark from an artless soul(how you like that play on words?) Mel just keep doing what you love and loving what you do!

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    1. Oh, thank you Laura! I absolutely learned my lesson here - I'm going to create what I like and to heckfire with what others think! :)

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  3. Usually people who make comments like that say more about their lack of perception than they do about whatever they're commenting on. Rest assured...you know what you're doing, jus keep doing it.

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    1. You're right, Jo - and I don't know what this person was thinking. It was a surprise, to be sure. And thank you for the "you know what you're doing" comment - I may have to refer back to this lovely bit at various times! :)

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  4. Well its always easy to criticize right - I never take things personally because at the end of the day I "art" for me. I came very close to tossing all my stuff when my now ex made some snide comments about "not getting" what I did and how I was just wasting money on junk. Instead of tossing the stuff guess what, I ended up tossing him instead - and am much happier for it. Right on Mel, never apologize - why on earth should you!

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    1. HA!! You go, sister!! You know how much I love your artwork and it would've been very sad indeed if you would've let it go. GAH!! I wish people would just keep their traps shut!

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  5. What a boring world this would be if everyone liked/appreciated the same kind of art. Everything would look the same. If we went to a trade and everyone's cards were the same, that would defeat the purpose, don't you think? I marvel at the diversity of talents and art the people in our group have.
    I firmly believe what my mother taught me ~ If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all. Not that you can't criticize or critique something. Just be constructive with your remarks. Hurtful/Hateful remarks help no one at all.
    I find that more people are willing to make comments that they shouldn't because they can hide behind anonymity of the internet.
    Please, don't throw away anymore of your art!

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    1. Alyce, you're 100% correct. Our differences are what make us wonderful. :) And I too am constantly amazed at what transpires at our ATC meetings! One of the best parts of the live trade is to see the joy on everyone's faces when they talk about their cards. THAT'S what it's about! :)
      P.S. I'm done throwing out art. <3

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  6. Lots of people say unkind things - it doesn't make them true. But it is so hard not to feel upset. I'm glad to hear you're done with throwing away art. Blessings to you.

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    1. Thank you for your very eloquent words, Susan - you are so right! I have no idea why I let one person's opinion sway me so much - I guess I just had a REALLY off day. :)

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  7. Tastes vary. Just because one person doesn't appreciate your work doesn't mean the next one will feel the same. Don't let the turkeys get you down, trust your instincts, and please don't throw away any more of your art!

    I don't display my work in public (you're much braver than I), but my husband has said some pretty nasty petty things about my little crafty projects. He doesn't get why I bother, or he thinks he's funny, or it makes him uncomfortable, or something, I dunno. I try not to show him anything I've done anymore unless I'm feeling very secure and don't really care about his opinion that day.

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    1. Anne, I'm really sorry that you don't get support at home! Have you joined any groups on Facebook? Maybe you could start with Flickr - that's what I did. I "met" so many wonderful folks there who really encouraged me - and I for one would LOVE to see your work! :D
      P.S. Thank you so much for your kind words. I'm over the snide remarks, thankfully! :D

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    2. Fortunately, my cousin, who is quite an artist in her own right, likes my work, as does my old friend from high school. My daughters at least know how to be tactful even if they don't like a particular creation, and some of my works they quite admire. So it's more just me being sensitive to put-downs, and I need to work on that.

      I'm glad you're over the snide person; I'd hate to see one negative opinion color your work. You do such great fun things!

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  8. ouch! when something is good, you know it. and when something is bad, you know it, too. it's so much easier said than done, but don't let the nay-sayers dictate your creativity ... in the end, if *you* feel good about what you've done, that's all that matters ... (unless of course you're doing work for a client, but then that's another discussion for another day ...)

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  9. A high school art teacher once told my class that there is always something positive to say about every piece of artwork. That's one of the few things I truly believe in this world. No piece will appeal to everyone, but there is always some aspect that can be appreciated even in the most juvenile or amatuerish attempt. And the most seasoned artist can always learn from seeing these good qualities.

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