criticism

I’ve been thinking about my presence on flickr, and how my behaviour reflects my personality. I joined flickr for various reasons, to share photos, to learn, to see other people’s work, to be inspired. But lately I’ve been feeling unloved. You see, flickr has a built in ranking system, with number of views, comments, ‘favourites’, invites to special groups, ‘interestingness’, and the explore page.

It’s set up so that you can’t help but feel like comparing yourself to other people. Who has more views than you, who has the most favourites. You wonder why some pictures have so many views while others have none. I always thought that I didn’t really care what other people think, but in fact I often do indeed care.

I alternate between thinking that I’m being silly caring about what total strangers on the ‘net think about my pictures, to being down because no one cared to look at my pictures. Basically, I’m throwing myself a ‘pity party’, as Charles Stanley likes to say.

I have noticed that this kind of insecurity often affects those who are unsure of their craft, their instrument, their voice, their vision. You are not sure yourself whether your art is any good, and so you try to find some way of validating what you are doing. And often your art is inseperable from you, so that any attack or criticism of it is also an attack on you, and conversely any praise you receive for your work is a validation of who you are.

Sometimes you have to let go of something in order to make it better. To properly receive criticism you have to let your art be what it is, and not take negative feedback upon yourself. Learn from it. Recognize and distill out the truth in it. Grow.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Melody on 2006/09/26 at 1:36 PM

    Thanks, E. That was a brave post that could have been written by me. If it’s worth anything, I’m always in awe of your pictures and wish that mine looked more like yours! (and that my camera was more like yours too…..;)

    Reply

  2. Posted by divine_conspiracy on 2006/09/26 at 5:50 PM

    thanks, Melody! It’s worth a lot!

    Reply

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