Thicken Your Skin

When you create something and put it out in the world, you are sharing your heart and soul. I can see why a lot of artists of any kind (painters, drawers, writers,etc) will keep their art close to the chest and never let it see the light of day. It is a scary experience to release your creation into the world for others to potentially ridicule or hate. This is partly the reason why I have a hard time releasing anything I create into the world. What it if isn’t well received?

Veteran artists know this pain and have managed to push through it. I applaud and commend them for being able to take negativity with a grain of salt and still continue to create beautiful things. It is much easier said than done to ignore the bad.

That said, I feel that sometimes the “bad” can be good if you look at it the right way. This is what I have learned over my college writing courses. I have had to critique more work in the past few months than I ever thought possible. Some if it was amazing, some of it needed work and some of it really needed a total do-over. The question I always asked myself was “What can I say to help them be better?”

I realize many people don’t do this. It is quick and easy to say that something sucks or “I want my 5 minutes back”. I just feel that some of those people are just assholes in general but I feel that many really don’t know how to give constructive criticism and this can cause people who create to not take any criticism at all. They get mad, give up, or just don’t listen.

This was never more evident than this past week. Hubs has a new book ready to be published. For those of you who are new here, he self-publishes on a few platforms and so we do all the heavy lifting that a traditional publisher would do. This means that we have to find an artist for his cover art. Luckily there is this awesome place called 99 Designs. You post your project up, give some basic guidelines, and then artists compete with their art for your business. This is awesome for freelance and indie artists as they can actually make a living just by making connections through this service.

Hubs used 99 Designs before and it was wildly successful. We have awesome cover art for one of his books and he intends to contract this same artists for future books in the series. Last week Hubs started another contest for the newest book hoping to get the same quality as before. Now, much like writing a book, other artists really do need input on what and how to make things better. In this contest you are able to ask or answer questions and give comments on a particular piece. This is important if something just isn’t quite right and just needs a little something to really make it wow. Continue reading

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