On Criticism

Why is it so easy to remember all the criticism we get but so hard to do the same with the praise? I don’t know about you, but I can vividly remember all the negative things I’ve been told, while the praise I receive usually goes in one ear and out the other. It makes me feel good for a fleeting moment then I completely forget about it. But the criticism…that lingers forever! Why is that?

While you think about that, here are the beginning few stages of my newest painting.

Steps 1, 2, and 3
Steps 1, 2, and 3

I can still remember the (luckily very very few) situations from my childhood when someone said something mean to me. Here’s a good one. In the 7th grade, I wore a sports bra and a boy told me I had a uni-boob (I know, what a strange thing to say to someone…). Yup. That one stuck with me. Yet the thousands of nice things people say just somehow vanish from my memory. But the uni-boob comment is with me for life! Why is that?

And continuing with the progression of my painting…

Steps 4, 5, and 6
Steps 4, 5, and 6

Why do we value critical comments so much more than the nice things we are told? Isn’t this why everyone loves and hates Simon Cowel? Although he can be very mean, we consider  his thoughts and opinions to be superior to those of the other judges because he isn’t scared to say what’s on his mind, even if he crushes the souls and dreams of young artists.

And back to the painting tangent… the end is near! 

Steps 7 and 8
Steps 7 and 8

I guess that’s the way I see things too sometimes. I assume that if someone says something critical then it must be true. In reality, more often than not, it’s simply a manifestation of their own insecurities. Yet we still aim to please those who are most critical in our lives.

Go ahead, be critical. Here is my finished painting. 

Autumn Drive - 48x36" - Acrylic on Canvas
Autumn Drive – 48×36″ – Acrylic on Canvas

Why am I writing about this? You probably think that someone said something very critical to me and it got me down. In fact no, quite the opposite. I’ve been getting nothing but praise recently for my artwork (THANK YOU) but found myself completely disregarding all of this praise. I usually nod and smile and forget about it. Instead of using it to fuel my fire, I take the compliments and just completely disregard them. I find myself waiting for that critical person to come by and say something rude so I can prove them wrong. So this post is a reminder to myself, and to anyone reading, to listen to and believe those compliments. And while there’s definitely a place for constructive criticism, just plain old criticism usually comes from a place of hate and shouldn’t be regarded as having any much truth unlike the nice things we are told.

This painting is quite huge. The largest one I’ve done in about 7 years… Here I am standing beside it to give you an idea. 

me

Rant over. Let’s go paint.

Like this painting, Autumn Drive? Want to see more pictures of it? The original painting is available for sale on my website here and on Etsy.

P.S. If you’ve been waiting patiently to see how my online ads have been doing (money wise) come back tomorrow for a review of the month of July. If you think talking about money is tacky, then don’t come by tomorrow 😉 Cheers!

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