Archive for November 24, 2015

Every so often I feel the need to post one of these. It’s a friendly reminder and a plea of sorts. As artists, it can be very easy to get very caught up in what we do. Our work is very personal. It’s an expression of ourselves and sometimes it comes from very deep places. In a very real sense it can be a baring of the soul. We put our inner most selves out for all the world to see. From there a few things can happen:

Someone doesn’t like it: I could say, “SO WHAT?!?” here but that would be insensitive and totally missing the point. When your work is so personal, it is really hard not to take a criticism, especially a mean one, personally. You put yourself out there and someone trashes it and it feels like they’re trashing you. What do you do? Change your focus. If the critique is legitimate and it will help you become a better artist, take it to heart. If it is mean-spirited, missing the mark (the person just doesn’t get it) or just overly negative, do your best to put it behind you. You probably won’t change your critic’s mind, so you have a choice, change to make that one person love your work or focus instead on the people who love your work and on making work you love. Only one of those choices leaves your happy and satisfied.

Someone ignores it: At least hate is an emotion. Far worst to have someone bypass a work as if it doesn’t exist, as if you don’t exist. The instinct is to jump up and down and try to get their attention. Is that really how you want to spend your life. As a blogger, there is a very real temptation to go and check my hits many times a day. To see if people are connecting or if all the work is being ignored. Can I tell you, there is some value in knowing what is blessing your audience? But at the end of the day, the best thing I can do is be true to what I feel led to do and trust that it is blessing someone.

Someone loves it: This is the greatest, but there can even be pressure here. What if they don’t love the next piece. If we focus too much on even the people who love our work, it can become all about them, but what they really responded to in the first place was the expression of what is going on in YOUR soul. Far better to create the work God leads you to. The desires He puts deep within your soul and urges, prompts and pushes you to share with the world.

Here’s the thing you need to know. God doesn’t love your art. As a matter of fact some day, He is going to burn it. What He loves more than anything you could ever create is the one He created to be the apple of his eye, which, by the way, is you! You are bigger than your work. You are a child of God. Create in perspective. People may love or hate your work, but that is different than them loving or hating you. YOU ARE NOT YOUR WORK. YOUR WORK IS NOT YOU. It’s an expression of what’s in your heart, but the real masterpiece is you!

And you are loved.