love the art you hate

There are three different emotions when you have finished a piece of art. The first is you’re really pleased, you’ve made progress, or you actually quite like the work. The second is a kind of meh, indifference, while it’s not your greatest work, it doesn’t totally suck. The third is the “what on earth is that” piece of art, let’s face it we’ve all made some of those.

Let’s assume you are brave enough to post your creation on social media whatever you thought of it. Ironically you might just find that the “what on earth” is that, art creation could gather as many if not more likes and comments than the piece you liked. Why do you think that is?

I think it must be because we are too close to our own work. We can see what we perceive as flaws in our own work, perhaps because parts did not turn out as we intended. To a spectator, they see the piece as a whole without dissecting it. They may not spot your mistake, or may actually like it (the happy accident). This can be encouraging, although it can also give you the impression that people are just trying to make you feel better.

Of course, there is also the flip side. When you post a piece of work that you’re really proud of and all you get is tumbleweed. It’s incredibly disappointing. I think in this scenario you need to stick to what you believe and pursue the style or medium. Post more work and see what the response is. We have to remember too that social media doesn’t always play nice either. The time of day and hashtags you use can play a big part as well. It may be that fewer people have seen your good piece of art.

In the end, I guess it depends on why we are creating art. If it’s purely for ourselves then no-one else’s opinion matters. However, if we are seeking approval or trying to build a market for our work we need to bear in mind what the feedback is telling us. But there is another twist, are the people on social media the audience you want or need anyway?

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