I just made a painting, and I don’t particular like it. Typically I would never share this information publicly. I’m in the business of selling my art, and no one wants to hear me groan about something I made and didn’t like.
Especially if they like it!
Imagine This Scenario:
I’m at a shows and a potential customer walks into my booth and says, “Wow this is great! What inspired you to paint it?”
and I respond, “Well I was inspired by the colors, but totally messed it up, and was very disappointed with the outcome.”
After a response like that, I bet they would smile at me awkwardly as the slowly make an exit out of my booth.
A negative attitude is not usually very helpful when it comes to selling art.
It’s also not helpful when making it either!
Here’s What to Do When You Don’t Like Your Art
If you’re like me, then you make art because you like to, but making it doesn’t always mean you like it when it’s made. If you ever feel this way about your finished piece of art, then you need to ask yourself why you feel this way. I teach all my students to critique their art when they’re done making it. That includes asking themselves what they liked about what they just made and also what they learned from making it.
I recently critiqued my latest paintings, and for the most part was very happy with what I made. I felt great joy for all my creations except one.
Here they all are:
Upside Down Chickadee
Can you tell which one I don’t like?
One of these eight paintings is a failure in my eyes. I was trying to achieve a certain look, and it didn’t not come out the way I envisioned it in my head. Because it didn’t come out the way I imagined it I have forever labeled that piece to be a failure.
But is it really?
I’m the only one who thinks it. Someone else could look at it and think it’s wonderful. They don’t know what my intentions were when I painting it, and would relate to the piece of art totally different than me.
Art usually means something different to different people.
This is why when it comes to people liking your art there is only one person that really matters, and that is yourself! If you struggle to like your own art I have a few helpful tips to get you on the right path to liking it again.
Helpful Guidelines to Follow When You Don’t Like Your Art
- Step back and critique your work. Find something you like about what you made and something you can learn from.
- Remember, creating art is a process and you should learn from everything you make. Not liking something can be valuable information pointing you in the direction you want to go in. This is helpful when your struggling to define your style.
- Know not everything you make will come out perfect. Don’t be too hard on yourself!
- If none of the above works, put it aside, and pull it out at a much later time (a few months). Chances are you will look at it and not even remember what was bugging you in the first place. I have done this many times! I completely forget what I was being overly critical about, lol.
Creating art is a life long journey and it’s not always a smooth path to walk on or even a clear path for that matter. This is why we need to step back often from our work and critique it from a distance. It will give you fresh perspective of your art, and give you a chance to enjoy the parts that make you happy and help set the course for what you need to do next to fix the parts that aren’t working.
Remember to stay on the path that makes you happy, but to do that you need to know what those things are.
If you like your own art then it really doesn’t matter what others think.
Still struggling with self doubt?
Watch this video where I share with you the moment I hit rock bottom with my art, how horrible I felt, and how I discovered joy in painting again!
Want to know which piece of art above I don’t like?
I should probably not tell you.
I’m a big believer that art means something different to different people. One of the things I enjoy most about art shows is listening to how my customers interpret my paintings. I love seeing what I create ignite another’s creativity and evoke emotion! But I also like teachable moments. So if knowing which painting it is I don’t like, and why helps you, then here it is:
It’s the apple blossoms.
I tried to make them fade into the background, and over worked them in the end. By overworking them I lost an interesting balance of positive and negative space which I achieved in all the other paintings. I actually wasn’t even concerned with the balance of positive and negative space in this particular piece, and didn’t realize how important it was for me until I step back and critiqued it.
I’m learning not only do I want to capture a fun attitude with my creatures (birds in this case) and color and texture with nature, but that I also want to have a strong balance of positive and negative space in my paintings. Now that I’m aware of this, I can use it to help me the next time I paint!
Do you ever struggle to like your art?
If so what do you do?
Share your comment below!