While I have a lot of people who read this blog on a regular basis, and I’m happy you can all find the time to stop by— I also have a lot of creative folks; peers, students, friends, family who visit. I’ll wish all of you a Happy and Healthy New Year but I want to address the idea of critiques from strangers— and more specifically message board comments about your work.
Olivia Jaimes who is a secret identity for the creator who has done the impossible, right the ship that is the NANCY comic strip, had a great comment about critiques from the internet, this is from the website RockoJerome:
In perhaps the most roundabout poignant part of the talk, she likened receiving feedback about her work as being like consuming food. She would take a pie from someone she knew and trusted but compared taking unsolicited barbs from strangers as “licking a handle on the subway.” She used to pay very close attention to that kind of critique because she felt that it somehow would make her a better creator but ultimately decided that it was only toxic. Now, she can already assume what naysayers will come up with anyway, and she keeps that at about 2% volume.
I’d go one further and say stay off the comment section of message boards, ALL message boards. Resist the temptation to feel vindicated by finding people who think like you do. You don’t need it, you’re bigger than they are, and the people who take the time to write angry missives on a message board aren’t worth the effort of deciphering the 2nd grade grammar.
Happy New Year!