We are our worst critics.
I feel like nearly every artist hates their own work. Because it’s easy to hate your own work. You see mistakes in it that other people can’t. But then at the same time I feel like even though artists may bag on their work, they secretly think it looks pretty good.
Going to art school, it’s a pattern I see more and more. And believe me, I’m guilty of it too. I’ve been trying really hard to ease up on the harsh self-criticism though because for one: it’s not healthy, and two: what does that say about me?*
Honestly, I’ve come to realize that bagging on your own work might be more of a sign of insecurity rather than modesty; depending on how you do it of course.
For example, I see a lot of people that start bagging on their work from the very start. Like before the critique even begins and it comes on defensive rather than “not-trying-to-toot-my-own-horn.”
When it gets to their piece in the critique, they immediately jump up and have to make their comment first starting with, “I know this looks really bad, but…” or maybe just plain, “I know it sucks,” or “I hate it. I’m not happy at all with how this turned out,” and then they continue to point out the flaws or excuses for why these flaws exist.
This is something that I feel like I used to do especially in high school. It’s really an insecure action. I believe that the reason that I did it was because I wanted to point out the flaws before anyone else could. I didn’t want to hear other people criticize my work so I would jump ahead to do it first.
Perhaps that’s not everyone’s reason for doing it, but that’s what I’m interpreting whenever people begin bagging on their work. Is just general insecurity. Which in a way could also be, ironically, a lot of pride in their work and they just don’t want to hear anyone tear it down. And I get that. When you spend hours on a piece of work and maybe even cry over it a little, the last thing you want to hear is that there could possibly be any flaws in it after all the time and effort you put in.
But seriously, this is all just part of learning to take criticism. I’m still on this journey myself. It’s OK to be modest, but there’s no need to tear apart your project in front of other people just so they can tell you, “no it’s not. It looks really good!” or so that they just have nothing bad left to say about it.
It’s right up there with the girls that post flattering selfies on social media and caption it with a comment on how ugly they look in it. -_-… please…
If you must talk about your own work, try to talk about what you do like about it BEFORE you say what you don’t like about it. This is a two-sided situation. There are the strengths and the weaknesses.
Embrace your mistakes. They are what make you better.