Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Handling criticism...

Well I'll give it to you straight, I don't think I handle
criticism of my work to well.

Today a good friend of mine contacted me with the following e-mail:


See comments below. Mark the "Friend" art director showed your work around'
to a number of people. 

They made comments.

Mixed reviews, but reading it I was more encourages for you that not.

The comments about eyes, etc, are helpful if you decided to modify
your technique somewhat to fit them.

I think they could use you sometime, but it is a constant effort to "sell" them, so
if you want, put them on a follow yup in 2 months with something new.

I also think we could send you to the New Era. 

I'll do that next, by calling my friend Brent and let you know what he says.

Scott, I sent Debbie's blog link around. Here are the comments from the staff (editors and designers):

It's a bit Frida Kahlo-esque for me.

The bright colors and whimsical feel would probably catch the eye of our readers, but I don't think this would fit in with the type of art that kids expect (and love) from our magazine. Specifically, the intentional distortions in the facial features that characterize this art create a tone that is attention-grabbing, but not comforting. It seems like some of the feedback we've received about our art indicates that children like the more realistic art that reflects an idealized version of a familiar life.

That being said, if we tried it anywhere I think it would have to be for the tween section. I can see some older girls really liking it.

I'm not a fan.

I like everything about it except the faces. 

I like the general look of the art but there are some things that bother me like the eyes being to big and too high on the forehead. Those flaws make the work somewhat unappealing to me. But I bet she would take art direction and the problem could be ameliorated.

It's bright and fun, but I don't think it has the right feel for the Friend.

Scott, I think Debbie's work would resonate more with the young-to-mid teens. It might work in the Friend for the right project. Have her email me when she posts new stuff to her site and we'll keep her in mind.

Thanks, hope this helps.


Although the reviews were not to harsh, I have to admit they 
stung a bit.  
It took a lot of courage for me to start showing my work, 
and when I did I was rewarded with such great feedback.
That rewarding feedback is what kept me going, kept me creating.  
It fed my confidence and strengthened my resolve to continue, 
to seek out my dream of being and ARTIST.

The timing of this review is just amazing.  
I have been participating in the e-course:


created by Kelly Rae Roberts and Beth Nicholls.

We are starting our second week and the course so far has been 
Today we talked about our 
Who do you want to do business with?
Who do you want your customers to be?

Well in order to understand "WHO" we want to connect with, we need 
to connect with ourselves.
I love this idea and concept, so when I got the above mentioned e-mail from
my friend, I immediately started to ask myself the above questions.
 In doing this I knew instantly these people were not my 
They were not who I wanted to do business with, they didn't get me.
I want my work to be joyful, happy and express a positive message.
And I want my "WHO", to be those kind of people who also
want to be joyful, happy and positive.
I want to watch my "WHO" look at my ART, 
and then watch the SMILE that slowly spreads across
their face, because it has touched their soul.

So with all that being said I returned the following e-mail reply:

Hello Scott,

Thanks for giving it a try with the "Friend".  At this time I have to say that I like my art just the way it is.  Although I appreciate the feed back, I find that these types of comments only strengthen my reserve to "stay true to me."
I do so very much appreciate your enthusiasm and generosity in trying to help me.  If you would like to send it off Brent, I would not be apposed.

Thanks again!!!!

After I sent this reply I felt so empowered!!
Like it was "OK",
I have the right to voice my opinion, on how much I 
love and enjoy my work!!
I love every last funny looking face, and oversized eyes that grace 
my canvases.
Now I truly understand the coined phrase:
"Art is in the eye of the beholder"
With that said, I'll tell you I like what I am beholding!!!

Dear sweet friends thanks so much for listening to my rantings.
And thank you even more for your sweet friendship!!


kelli may-krenz said...

I have been a professional graphic designer and illustrator, artist since college. I graduated in 1985. I think you are talented, brave and doing your life journey with passion. I think everyone will have an opinion and some are not nice. My advice is this. Create for you. Find your audience. Show your favorites. Do not let the voices of random people stop you. DO NOT. You have a voice and a vision and you are talented. Keep going. I do everyday. It works. So happy to be in this class with you. Much happiness Kelli




Elin said...

Good for you! I think you did exactly the right thing. I have had people telling me what to do too, and it is hard not to let that get to you. But it is like you say - it is in the eye of the beholder. I recently had two art critics writing in two local newspapers about a solo show I am doing, and they did not agree. One of them liked my recycled art but not my paintings, and the other one was the exact opposite. You just have to decide for yourself!

KathyB. said...

I think I remember reading that Tasha Tudor spent a lot of time taking her art around to sell and received her fair share of rejection for it. She always did stay true to herself and look how far she went! I think you are not only brave to have read this, but to post the comments for all the world to see. Good for you!

rkbsnana said...

Good for you. You are talented and you should be you.

~Monica said...

Just popping over from HSHB to say that I loved reading the outcome of your story. Indeed, those folks are totally not your "WHO". What a great opportunity to practice overcoming uncomfortable feelings. Remember your business has a soul, it's your friend, right? And you just stuck up for her! It was a bonding experience for you two ; ) Keep on keepin' on ... your WHO will flock to you! I just wrote a post tonite on my blog that I think you will resonate with: http://thisbeautifullife.typepad.com/blog/2012/01/messages-from-the-universe.html

Isabel said...

I Love your art and agree with everyones comments keep true to You and keep doing the great work you are doing!!! :O) :O)

susie said...

Hey Sweetie...
You are so right about staying true to who you are as an artist. Those comments are like telling Botticelli, we like the look of your women but we think their butts are too big, can you work on that?? Really, just ridiculous!
Your work is gorgeous & fun & joyful & makes me smile. Your reply was, in one word...PERFECT!
You should do a series of feet....standing in different styles with different kinds of shoes. Ballet slippers, converse, oxfords...then you could send the pics back to them & say, since you didn't like my faces, how do you like my FEET! LOL That could actually be cute!! lol
Be happy my friend, just like the faces you create...you fill us all with JOY!!!
Susie Q

sue allemand said...

PERFECT reply email Debbie!! Stay true! Stress and negative feelings are fed by listening to the opinions of others who aren't your WHO and in a lot of cases (I've found) don't know what they're talking about anyway!! Be YOU!

Debbie Goode said...

Very well done! I think you were perfect in your response. And I love your joyful style!

Felicia said...

What do they know? I love this painting, and I'm proud of you (I know you don't me, or I you, but still!) for your response!

dayleanne said...

Debbie - I love your response! You are right on the money! Stay true to yourself - your work is beautiful!

Cheryl said...

Everyone has a right to their oppinion and every one has their own taste - please always remember Balance, - for every single good comment you get there will ba a bad one for every person who suports you there will be someone who wont, for every single good comment there will be a bad one, not always easy to accept, but think of all the bodies out there that do love your work :} - you are absolulty right to stay true to yourself well done you and I love your art!

Baxter's Mom said...

Hi Debbie! I LOVE YOUR WORK!!!! I have to agree with the comments above...take what others say with a grain of salt, and always be true to yourself.

Vivi Magoo said...

Hi Debbie ~ I love that you grew and became more introspective and self-confident from this situation! You could have chosen a different path ~ one that left you feeling dejected and intimidated....Kudos to you for thinking and feeling your way through it and coming out victorious on the other side!

Vivi Magoo Presents

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