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The Cur Dogs Snapping at your Heels

Some people thrive on criticism. The giving part, not the receiving part. Artists are a target for such characters, because artists are trying to communicate aesthetically and because they have put themselves in the spotlight, so to speak – they are easy targets. Don’t let the critics get you down.

Easier said than done. I know some very competent artists who will not put their work in front of the public for fear that someone will criticize it. The fear of invalidation is too much, so they invalidate themselves.

You know you are a creative person. You know your art, music, theater, whatever your field, is good. You know it can make a difference in someone else’s life, bring enjoyment, make people smile, make people feel better simply because you communicated through your art. Never invalidate yourself. And you will then be able to ignore/squash those who try to invalidate you. These people are merely cur dogs snapping at your heels. Don’t throw them a bone by feeling invalidated by their snapping.

One artist I know used to cut up the rejection letters she got from art shows, put them in a blender with some water and make lovely hand-made price tags for her art out of the resulting pulp. Then she sold her paintings at the next show. Whatever makes you feel better.

The best way to overcome the invalidation is to just go out and sell your paintings, music, whatever art you do, in spite of all. To alter an old saying, those who can, do and those who can’t, criticize. Know that the critics who invalidate cannot do what you do.

As I note, I am not referring here to people who pass up your artwork to buy from another artist. That’s their opinion, and they just liked something else better. They are usually kind, but sometimes they need something to match the drapes and yours did not match the drapes. But plenty of people will like what you do and pass up some other artist.

We are all critics to one degree or another – different folks like different things. Put your art out there, and the people who feel as you do will come. And you can bask in the joy of knowing that something you created is gracing the living room of a home you have never even seen.