Creative Chronicles: Overcoming the Pull Between Creativity and Criticism

Nubby Twiglet | Overcoming Creative Criticism

Criticism and flat-out meanness stings…and we’ve all been on the receiving end of it.

This topic has been back on my mind a lot lately because I see negativity everywhere. Whether it’s a rude comment left on the video of a Youtuber or a nasty one-liner left on an Instagram post, I cringe because firstly, artistic expression of any kind boils down to personal taste. Secondly, I think about how much confidence it takes to release work for public consumption in the first place, which is so easy to forget.

Maybe all the senseless violence lately has me feeling extra sensitive (2 incidents just happened while I was in Florida last week) but the world needs more compassion and caring. We can each do our own part in spreading positivity and being supportive, no matter how small it may seem.

When I think of sharing, this quote from Taylor Swift comes to mind:

“We don’t need to share the same opinions as others, but we need to be respectful.”

The fear of judgement is real when you’re sharing. I speak from personal experience when I say that praise from people I don’t even know feels like the ultimate adrenaline rush but on the flip side, just one negative comment can tear it all back down.

I’ve written thousands of blog posts, shared tens of thousands of photos and released hundreds of projects and the only reason I mention this is because sometimes I think that over time, it should feel easier to put it all out there. But sometimes, I still feel like retreating.

Part of being human comes with vulnerability and a personal attachment to your work.

The one truth we can all agree on is that as creatives, whether you’re writing your first book, creating a logo for a client, filming a makeup tutorial or putting together a solo art show, it all comes from the same place: your heart.

Not sharing your work and expressing who you are in the short term is easier but in the long term, you’re only hurting yourself.

Nubby Twiglet | Overcoming Creative Criticism

If the fear of rejection is holding you back, always remember:

1. Not everyone will love what you do. It’s as simple as that. A body of work, no matter how brilliant, is never universally loved. Accepting this from the start makes putting yourself out there easier.

2. You are the only person who can produce creative work in your own, unique way. There is power in what you do…so own it fully. Trust yourself.

3. If your work elicits a reaction of any kind, that’s good. Art should do that. Attracting and repelling is necessary, even though it can be uncomfortable.

Sharing your work and who you are on some days feels harder than others. Sometimes I’ll sit on a blog post an extra week because I’m afraid to release the words. There are also times I’m scared that a client will hate everything I’ve just created. But after giving the content space, I always hit publish / share / send because buying into fear is never worth it.

Always remember, you are brilliant in your own unique way and any negativity coming your way usually isn’t even really about you. Remind yourself that you never really know what the person on the other side is going through.

Leave your mark. Keep sharing and keep shining bright. And most importantly, pay it forward and support those around you who are brave enough to put themselves out there.

Positivity drives more positivity and we definitely need more of that in this world right now.

I believe in you.


Photo: Made U Look.

10 Responses to Creative Chronicles: Overcoming the Pull Between Creativity and Criticism

  1. Lindsey says:

    I really love this post. I think we are all on edge from the recent events and remembering to treat each other with love and respect is the ultimate goal.

    It seems like people feel they can say and do whatever they want on social media. You’re completely right, one negative comment or rude response can be crippling. The idea that a complete stranger can say something so hurtful to another stranger is baffling.

    I hope people reconsider posting that mean comment and think about how it effects the person behind the screen. Life is too short for negativity and violence. We should be encouraging each other to share our work, art, and dreams.

    If we have the one life, let’s help each other make the very most of it. Much love!

    • Shauna says:

      Hi Lindsey, thanks for your thoughtful, heartfelt comment. I’ll never understand how strangers can be so mean spirited to one another. It takes just as much time to say something uplifting and even less time to say nothing at all.

  2. hazera says:

    Yes, Shauna. I agree, there’s so much negativity this couple of weeks. Positive attitude, unites!! 😉

    • Shauna says:

      Hazera, glad you hold onto that mindset, as well. Small changes can have a big impact and I hope this collective cloud of sadness lifts soon. xo

  3. Jo says:

    Long time reader first time commenting on a post here :)
    I just wanted to say a huge thank you for this post, I shall come back and read it again and again!!! I love how you make it so easy and clear! You crack down on negativity without whining or being negative yourself, brilliant!!! Thank you for this post, it sums up exactly what I want to tell people and especially my students (I’m a language teacher) and your words really apply to anything and everything.

    Lots of love from Sweden,

    Jo

    • Shauna says:

      Hi Jo, thanks so much for your comment! Totally made my day! Your students are so lucky to have a teacher as thoughtful and caring as you — when I think back to some of the most formative moments in my life, they came from teachers. Your positive outlook is going to have such a big impact on them and what they believe is possible. Have a great week!

  4. iHanna says:

    Thanks for writing this! Thanks a bunch! I don’t think people who is not artists or maybe not sharing work from their heart understands how vunerable it is to share what you create with the world. But no matter, commenting should always be about encouragement instead of questioning or spite! Lots of love,

    iHanna

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