Monday, February 8, 2016

The Importance of Criticism

Most people are afraid of being criticized, especially when it comes to their creative work. We transfer bits and pieces of ourselves into our works, so when the piece is being criticized, the criticism is naturally applied to the creator, as well. However, I argue that this fear of criticism could be avoided if people understood how to practice the art of giving and receiving criticism. I say it is an art, because it truly is an art in itself, one very few people master, one that takes as much practice as any other art form does, in order to exercise it well. 

I welcome criticism on here, in fact, I urge people who pass by to air out their thoughts on, and feelings about, the content shared on this blog. Most of you do not make your presence known—a shame, I think. I am not looking for praise, but if that is what some will endeavor to share, I will fully embrace it, but, more importantly, I am on a mission to improve myself creatively, with a specific focus on my writing. This is the reason why criticism is valuable to the creative spirit: it is imperative in order to make progress. 

People typically equate criticism with one's art being rejected and shown in bad light, but criticism, in its true form, will either present itself with a positive vibe, clear as the day, or veil itself in what seems to be a negative vibe; however, if given correctly and genuinely, the negative criticism sets out to help the artist, and in doing so, it is positive at core. 

Criticism should be practiced by the self through self-reflection and detachment from the artwork. By doing this, the artist can attempt to look at the creation objectively, and thus highlight both weaknesses and strengths. This should be a continuous practice, an ongoing dialogue with oneself in order to create and further enhance a much essential self-awareness, and to aid the self in its creative development. Alongside this, one must also subject the self, in its realm of privacy, to the presence of others, to invite them in and allow their voices to be heard. As perceiving as one can be, there will always be things that escape the artist's gaze, that others may shed a light on. After all, how we perceive art is highly subjective, and therefore, we should not see criticism as a threat to our creative spirit, but instead, see it as an important resource and a tool for us to utilize in order to grow as artists.