As an artist/creative person, that puts their art “out there,” you are bound to hear all sorts of comments: Some negative, positive, deserving, undeserving, etc. It all comes with the territory.You just have to take everything with a grain of salt. Opinions are like ass-holes. Everyone has one, and most of them stink! So you just can’t take everything so personally. Some criticism stems from a place of honesty and love, some comes from a place of jealousy or fear – and some is actually objective. I have caught flack for my current work, and I have caught flack for my past work – but without my past I would not be who I am today. A real artists grows and evolves. Unfortunately they do it in front of the whole world to see (and judge/comment)
I have had people follow my work for the past decade or so – and I hear comments from time to time: “Your work has really changed.” I always reply “Thank you,” even though it is most often not meant as a compliment. Even thought my work is primarily non-objective (not having a subject matter,) I paint according to mood and energy – which is a direct reflection of what is going on in my current life. For example, I may love the work I was doing about 5 years ago. Some of it was so controlled, flat, compartmentalized, stylized, (in an attempt to find structure and stability) but now that I look back, I did not really care for my life back then either. But it was all a learning experience, and a stepping stone to where I am today. You should not be ashamed of (or paint over) your past, but embrace it and work off of it. The more you paint/create, the better you get, and the more you learn about yourself, and you are just one step closer to becoming the artist you want to become.
I know several artists that have been painting the same thing, in the same exact style for the same 20-30-40 years. Now what does that say about them? Boring, safe, afraid, unadventurous, stagnant, boring, flat, dull, and narrow-minded are a few descriptive words that come to mind……you get the point and can fill in your own blank(s).
So, your art is an extension of your personality, and life events. Most people are afraid of change – that is a way of life. Change is about embracing the unknown, and taking risks. But if you honestly sit there and think about it – our world, nation, region, family, career – would not be what and who they are today without significant change and risk. Most of the people we admire have done something different in life, and taken risks. Change does not have to be scary – but instead considered “an adventure.” Change is essential to growth and success.
But then again, if you prefer to sit in the Barcalounger all day, developing hemorrhoids, and watching reruns of Matlock, while eating your frozen dinner – you can do that too.