Creativity & Criticism

     Creativity
is ultimately personal. When being creative, you are making something unique
and new. You may have taken inspiration from other sources, but the end product
is uniquely your own. However, this end product is subjective. Be it a song, a
painting, a poem, an outfit or even just an idea, there is no guarantee that
people will like it. Everyone’s opinion is different, and what appeals to one
may not to another.

     People are perfectly
entitled to have these opinions. No one should be coerced into pretending to
like or dislike something, when that’s not true. There’s also a very difficult,
but important distinction to make between what creations people like, and what
is good. Sometimes you have to admit to the talent behind a work, even if you
don’t like it overall.
     What we
should remember though, is that behind every artwork or creation there is a
person. A human being, like you or I, with real emotions. Creativity is a
personal matter, and to put your own creation, in whatever medium, out into the
world for others to see takes a certain degree of courage. It is placing
oneself in a vulnerable position, choosing to open themselves up to the world in
this way – some going deeper in their personal expression than others of course.
People have to expect criticism of their creations though, both good and bad.
But what both critic and artist should remember is to keep criticism
impersonal. This sounds contradictory, given the personal nature of creativity.
However, criticism should be constructive, not merely slanderous, and restrict
itself to that particular piece of work, not making reference to the person
behind it. We can discuss the ways in which the artist’s life and attitude may
have influenced the work – as long as we refrain from making negative remarks
about said person and their life. However, that person should also remember not
take criticism of their work too personally and allow it to dishearten them.

     I think it’s
important to remember the bravery it takes to share your creations, as nowadays
it’s all too easy to use the internet to post unnecessarily cruel comments,
forgetting that there’s a person reading them at the other end.  The internet gives us anonymity, which is a
powerful thing and should not be misused. It’s perfectly alright to dislike
someone’s work, as long as you do so respectfully.

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