Why do we open ourselves up and allow people to see our inner feelings channeled through our creations just to have it stomped on?
As Creatives we have to have a thick skin or we’ll be placed in the high risk category for insanity! But who in their right mind would want to do anything that place themselves in a vulnerable position at the mercy of social criticism?
The woman who has so much energy pinned up that she has to give it some type of outlet. The man who is constantly having pictures pop into his head and has to find his canvas in the world to express what he sees. After the art is created though, we’re back at square one when it comes to sharing our excitement, hoping that others won’t be too critical. So if there’s such a constant switch in emotions like the sea, never at rest, why do we keep coming back to the process of create and share?
Sure we can say that being great at your craft can lead to some great extrinsic rewards which keeps us coming back for me, but there’s a deeper reason why the ones who are truly great display their hearts on their sleeves time and time again. Here is the real reason why we continue to create…
A Creative’s Excitement
When a spark of an idea for a new creation comes to mind, it’s a joyful experience. In that moment you become so absorbed in your inner world, piecing the idea together with not much regard for where the idea came from. You’re just thrilled with the movie or sounds that’s playing in your head.
The excitement factor is something that makes people feel alive and when this feeling is felt by the images from within, Creatives are compelled to bring it forth into the physical world.
In those moments of bringing your creation from it’s spiritual form to it’s physical form, you are experiencing different sets of emotions. This moment in itself is a different topic. But when you’re flowing in the process of creation, it is the “magic hour”. The energy that’s flowing from your hands to your creation is a special occasion, as if you are the one charged with the task to bring forth into the world the images you see in your mind.
A Creative’s Need and Fear
Upon completion, the fulfillment we feel is an accomplished feeling of molding something out of nothing. Something that didn’t exist in the world until now. And then the basic needs of human beings kicks in—the need to share an experience with another person—and this is where things get awkward.
Allowing others to share in experience with what you’ve created is a vulnerable moment. You are allowing others to form opinions about “your baby”. Because of this, you are more guarded about letting people in.
In essence, your creation is who you are in a different form. Everything about you is found in your creation but in a different energy form. This is what we call the artistic style or the artist’s signature; it’s your DNA placed into your creation.
The fear of criticism spawns from the thought that if people bash your work, they are actually bashing who you are. For this reason, creatives are attempting to guard themselves from having their character and beliefs ripped apart through the criticism of your creation.
It’s a paradox that we don’t want to be criticized for our creations but we still feel the need to share them. We continue to create because we find significance in expressing our inner selves and having our expressions live in the world with the desire of finding people that love what we’ve created.
If they have loved our creations, then they have loved us.
The best feeling in the world is to have someone express their appreciation for your work, stating that it impacted their lives in a meaningful way. For us it means that we’ve placed our energetic DNA into a creation that was able to serve others. The invisible connection from that spawns emotions of gratitude. These are the real, intrinsic rewards that keep us coming back to create more.
A beautiful way of leveraging who we are with our creations in order to connect with more human beings. The desire to love and be loved. The desire to matter in this world.
In order to leave a footprint upon this world though, you have to be able to take on the criticism with a better head. If you’re going to be able to continue to bounce back from feedback of any kind and continue to create, once the creative process is over you will have to hit a switch in your mind.
Detachment and Continue to Create
To be able to have a better head when it comes to sharing your work, it’s best to detach yourself from it. Not to say that you don’t care about it anymore, but treat it as your child training for the Olympics. Every time he falls down in practice or in front of an audience, you encourage him to get up and press on. Or you push him to train harder to get better.
Detaching is you being able to listen as objectively as possible—which may be the hardest thing you can do— to the feedback and take away from it what you feel would be the best things to implement to enhance your work.
Don’t be detached in a cold manner as if it’s just business. Know that it’s always personal because your creation is you; nothing more personal than that. But stand with an objective mind, just for the moment, to get all that you can from the feedback to make you better.
If it’s just negative criticism in the spirit of just hurting and bashing, move on and give it no mind. It’s probably best to filter yourself from nonproductive feedback.
If you are a Creative, living the paradox because you want the extrinsic rewards, remember the real rewards that keep you pressing on are the intrinsic rewards received from every time you go through your creative process. The excitement, the fulfillment of completion and the transforming of yourself into a different energy form that may very well live on longer than you. Bear in mind, after you create, it’s time to detach yourself like a parent to their child all grown up. Don’t allow yourself to get too worked up over what others say. Just come back with a stronger child!
And to everyone else who are in the position to criticize, remember, it’s never just business. IT’S ALWAYS PERSONAL!