Stop Apologizing for Your Art! (Dammit!)

Since joining WordPress three months ago, I have noticed a fascinating trend regarding artists and their lack of confidence. In fact, I began compiling a list of apologies that I have found on posts here and there.

1.            A new drawing, but I’m not satisfied with the result. I did too many mistakes on this one. But I’ll say myself finished and move on to my next project

2.            Honestly, I was kind of lacking inspiration for today’s photo

3.            Not very good just hope you like it and please don’t laugh.

4.            …not so good though, but still work in progress.

5.            Bear in mind, we are rigorously timed and there are all kinds of visual distractions when you’re trying to concentrate

6.            I messed it up! Oh well, posting it anyways.

Listen, if you’re going to post it, believe in it. Let’s be honest: you are posting it because you are actually proud of it. You want the praise, so you post. But this exposes you to possible criticism, so you hedge your bet and provide a disclaimer, an apology. Problem solved—you can get some praise and avoid the criticism. But here’s the real problem— if you don’t believe it, no one else will.

Did Mr. Hirst shrink in his apartment and say, “oh boy, people have been putting fish in tanks for centuries.”? No, he said, “Check this out, morons, it’s the biggest damn thing you’ve ever seen outside the Natural History Museum, so pay up!”

Did Bob Dylan go on stage apologizing for his crappy singing voice? No way! He had something to say!

Did Kurt Cobain start each concert like this,”Hey guys, I only know a couple of chords, but I just wanted to show you what I was kind of working on, when I can squeeze it in. Keep in mind, most of this still needs some work.”

Heck no, you go out there like Rothko and Pollock and believe in it!

Most likely, you can write better than Thomas Wolfe, draw better than Grandma Moses or Basquiat or Banksy, and sing better than Bob Dylan. So keep working and own it.

One more thing…. If you take this to the limit, you will find that in every argument, art always wins. Critics can bash it, ignorami can hate it, but in the end the art just stands there, showing everyone a mirror of themselves. Art’s just art, but people will have to live with the way they acted around it.

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4 thoughts on “Stop Apologizing for Your Art! (Dammit!)

  1. That’s telling ’em… : )

  2. I wanted to reply, but i’m hesitant, and lack the confidence.

  3. Inese Poga Art Gallery

    I’m sometimes noticing how good the real art looks (on paper or canvas, in its surroundings) and how strange it can seem when displayed on the blog. The biggest drawback in placing photos of art pieces on any internet site is that this image of painting is sort of detached of its own concept. The real art can be 2 meters by 3 meters or 10 cm by 15 cm, but the viewer will see them exactly the same size. Colors and some other visual features will depend on device they’re using.This is often very disturbing. Watercolors and very large paintings look better when photographed, but small art, pastels and small drawings sometimes don’t do any justice to the art. I’ve tried over very many years to use all kinds of settings, all kinds of approaches, and have to edit photos obviously, and I’d say it’s incredibly hard to get the exact colors and to crop so that art photo is nothing less than the real art. I see very often nice works created by my students, and after taking photos there’s not much left. It looks like something average, not impressive, etc.

    • Well, I checked out some of your pieces, and they look pretty outstanding to me! I especially love the distribution of colors across the trees. Yes, I remember seeing a Vermeer in real life for the first time… no reproduction could possibly compare. At least it’s a level playing field in that regard, I guess? Thanks for the comments!

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