The Artist’s Ego – The Disaster of Indifference

29 Jul
Bellagio Artist

Bellagio Artist (Photo credit: metamerist)

The only artists who truly care what no one thinks about their art, whether anyone likes their work, or creates their art  truly for themselves alone, does so in secret.  They do not post pictures of their art, they do not hold showings in galleries, and they do not write down nor record their lyrics or music.  I, on the other hand, do care what others think of my work.  I care if they like it, and I do it for others as much as I do it for myself.  Otherwise, I’d simply delete my photos or toss my drawings in the trash the moment they were done.  I want praise, I want accolades, I want to wallow in the admiration of others for my creation.

Much like a mother preens at compliments about her children, so the artist preens at compliments about their work.

Is it shameful to admit that I seek approval and admiration for my work?  That I seek validation outside myself that what I have created is worth something?  I don’t believe so, but many do.  Perhaps it’s to protect their admittedly (or not) fragile egos from the sometimes harsh criticisms?  If they say they don’t care long and loud enough, perhaps one day it might be true?

On the other hand, when someone doesn’t like something I’ve created, I can admit it hurts.  It feels like someone just insulted my children.  They are all beautiful to me, even if they aren’t beautiful to the world.  Every mistake, every not-quite-straight line, is simply unique, not a flaw.  Like most artists, I am picky about what I consider worthy of admiration.  I’ve deleted thousands of photos, and tossed hundreds of drawings.  I don’t believe all of my work worthy of love, but those that are, in my opinion, simply are.

Now, I don’t expect everyone to love my work, but even when I say something I’ve done isn’t great, In the back of my mind I’m hoping to hear a voice from the crowd exclaiming appreciation for my effort, even if not my skill.  When I post pictures of my work or something I’ve written, it’s because I want to see comments about it, I want to see ‘Likes’ by the hundreds, and as long as my blog stays small, I can lie to myself and claim that any lack of them is due to my limited exposure, not because people actually don’t like it.

For me, as an artist, even bad attention is better than no attention.  Even negative comments and reviews are preferable to the silence of indifference.  Regardless of the medium, I, personally, thrive on positive reaction, however there are artists who thrive on negative reactions- horror, disgust, anger; but all artists do what they do for the reaction of a crowd.  The worst reaction for an artist to receive is none at all.  No one detracting, no one supporting, just the sound of crickets as the world pays no notice.  I may dismiss and/or destroy work that was received negatively, but I will obliterate work that is received with indifference.

Indifference means I have failed.  Indifference means that whatever the bastardized creation I have made may be, it’s not art.  Art provokes.  It inspires and causes alarm.  It can inspire fury, joy, introspection, protest, peace and sorrow- but it never inspires indifference.

And when my work inspires indifference in the world at large, I do what any true artist does- I show it to my mother, who tells me it is beautiful and amazing (just like me), and I am, once again, validated.

10 Responses to “The Artist’s Ego – The Disaster of Indifference”

  1. spiritchild1972 July 29, 2013 at 11:15 am #

    Okay?????? What’s happened? This sounds defensive, what’s happened?


    • KraftedKhaos July 29, 2013 at 11:24 am #

      Nothing has happened 🙂 I was just thinking today about how a lot of people claim that they don’t care what other people think of their work, and how much bunk that was, lol. (When I said that you might be interested in my post today, I hadn’t posted this one yet, I was talking about the previous one).

      Nothing bad, no one has maligned my work… yet. But then again, I’ve only shown the new stuff to a select few who I was pretty sure wouldn’t trash it, LOL.


      • spiritchild1972 July 29, 2013 at 11:29 am #

        Lol oh god girl you gave me a fright. I thought I was about to do battle for you lol


        • KraftedKhaos July 29, 2013 at 11:34 am #

          *giggle* no, I’m still safely ensconced in my happy place regarding my work 🙂 But thank you for checking… I know you’re fully aware of the artist ego 😉


  2. SirenaTales July 29, 2013 at 5:17 pm #

    Thank you for the thoughtful, honest post. Well said! And I am grateful for the pingback. Shine on!


    • KraftedKhaos July 29, 2013 at 5:35 pm #

      Thanks for checking me out, and I always try to link to one or two other bloggers, to help spread the love 😀 Have a great one!


  3. James Olmos July 30, 2013 at 9:19 am #

    Thanks for the link back! I loved this post. I’ve been thinking about these same views, regarding the artist’s ego lately. Thank you ~


    • KraftedKhaos July 30, 2013 at 9:52 am #

      You’re welcome, and thank you for checking out my blog, and for taking the time to comment! I always try to link to one or two related posts, to help share the reader love 🙂


  4. astraltravler August 14, 2013 at 2:18 pm #

    Dear KraftedKhaos,
    I have seen your work and I “Like it Very Much”. I could never be a painter…I’m too much of a perfectionist, and with one uneven line I would trash the whole thing. Believe me when I say I can’t even draw a straight line with the ruler that’s sad : (. I do enjoy taking photo’s. I had admired your flowers. I was at a location and snapped a few shots of some really beautifully bloomed flowers, and now they sit quietly in my picture folder. Perhaps one day they will see the light.


    • KraftedKhaos August 14, 2013 at 9:26 pm #

      Thank you very much!

      We’re our own worst critics! I bet your photos are really nice. You can always use them as photos for your blog posts 🙂


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