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Something I've Been Thinking About

Thu Jan 7, 2016, 6:27 PM
Not that this is important, but I wanted to share something that I feel has been influencing my art block.

    Back in eighth grade I was drawing every day, and I worked hard at it. I was improving left and right, not to mention my teacher was entering a lot of what I did into art shows. If anyone remembers, I'd actually gotten first place in a school-wide poster competition (and third in districts, but that doesn't matter). Well, I had decided to go to the poster viewing at wherever the event was being held. That's where I found that I won (I almost didn't go, silly me). Well while I was there, I was looking at all of the posters, and every one of them deserved first place. Of course, that's always what an artist thinks when comparing themselves to those with other strengths in fields where they have weakness. Something I didn't expect, however, was what I overheard when people were looking at my art.
    Artists should expect critiques and such pointers on how to make their art better, but overhearing almost a dozen adults say how awful my poster looked and that the person in second place deserved to win because it looked ten times better. Believe me, I thought he should have gotten first place, too (his poster was so beautiful). The thing is, those comments haven't left me. It's been what I assume to be two or three years, somewhere in there. Since then, I've just declined to a point where I've stopped feeling like I should draw. I've wonder how insensitive adults can be to just completely fire off their judgement on a kid so quickly and blatantly, not thinking twice about if the child is in the room, as at the time no one was telling me directly. It was at that point I began to doubt myself. Just knowing people will be so open on their judgements. That people won't care about a person because they don't meet their superb expectations.
    I hate knowing that adults will bash a child's art in a contest that supports a strong meaning over a strong use of color. It broke my heart, then and every time I think about it.

That contest that year was based on the theme "Our Time, Our Future"
Peace Poster by DentistChicken

    That may not be the best poster in the world, but it isn't as though the meaning can't be seen. What I tried to portray in the background was two scenes. One is pleasant, and the other not so much. The entire meaning of the poster can be summed up as "either you let the time you have control of lead the world to chaos, or make the world a better place with your actions while you're here." Sure, the poster itself isn't the best thing in the world, but as a thirteen year old with a huge dream to be an artist it was the best thing I had done so far in my budding career. But all that seems to be slowly leaving my grasp every time I think about all of the people who decided to spout their unfiltered judgement at a child's drawing.
    What kills me is the fact that whenever I go to pick up either a pencil or my tablet pen I will be reminded of this. I will be reminded of the flicker in my spirit as I think about the time where I was proud of something and people went on about how they hated it. It's one thing to judge your own artwork so negatively, but it's something else when people do it just because they can. No pointers given, just saying how bad they felt it was.
    It's been a while since I was as creative and inspired to do the amount of work I did when I was thirteen. I am also surprised that it's taken me this long to identify the root of my art block. Now I'm waiting to see when I hold that passion again, if indeed I ever do.
    (Funny thing is, I write to deal with my problems or internal struggle, so my path has taken a turn onto the route of writing. A neutral result I guess.)


Created at simplydevio.us
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:iconkunochai:
Kunochai Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2016
it's impossible to judge art objectively, and some people judge it subjectively and seem think that their opinion is fact. It really isn't, so i think all praise and criticism has to be taken with a grain of salt, especially ones of either extreme of the spectrum. Sounds like those people just passed some shallow judgement on your piece. Though, I guess like Faylahh says, it's easier to say this than to actually do or think like that, but yeah.

anyway, at least you're always heading onward and upward, no matter what you choose to expand your skills in! I always like to see your stuff too (and the number of watchers and views you have go to show that there are more people that agree with us than with those thoughtless jerks... (◡︿◡✿) )
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:icondentistchicken:
DentistChicken Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you. I'm really appreciative of your words and I really do thank you. <3
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:iconbenepotentia:
Benepotentia Featured By Owner Edited Jan 7, 2016  Student Digital Artist
The fact that adults would act so negatively towards a child's drawing is appalling. You're right, it is absolutely heartbreaking that people would stoop to such a horrible level based on skill level. The fact that they're so plainly missing the whole point of the theme in the first place is astounding, and just thinking about it puts a sour taste in my mouth. To act so horribly during a theme of peace and prosperity shows a great lack of progression. The meaning of your piece is beautiful, and I think that it's certainly something to think deeply about. A picture is worth a thousand words, and just through looking at it and your small description, those thousand words come to me with such clarity. It's a crying shame that adults couldn't have reached the same level of understanding.

It's that kind of insensitivity that knocks people down and prevents them from wanting to get back up again. It's what keeps people from pursuing their hopes and dreams, keeps them from making a change and keeps them from being happy. Don't let yourself fall victim to that. If anything, take those nasty comments and do everything you can to prove them wrong. You can be an artist, and you are deserving of that blue ribbon, for it is the meaning behind the piece that truly matters in the first place. Over the years, I have seen constant improvement in your artwork, and that just goes to show that even if it's a slow, painstaking process, you are capable. The words will always hurt. There's no doubt about that. Doubts will return, sometimes the wound will become raw and sore again, but it is up to you to ice that festering wound and keep moving forward. Take the bad and use it to shape the good. Take the words those plebeians and use them to improve yourself. When you think of the negative, try to think of the positive. Easier said than done, I know, but think of the encouragement that your family and peers have given you. Their opinions matter so much more than some mouth-breathers off the street. The person's whose thoughts matter the most, however, are your own. Do you want to draw? Do you want to improve? Will pursuing art make you happy? If it will, by all means, do not let anybody hold you back. I believe that Waters entered your work into contests because she saw something in you. She saw that you were developing into an artist with great ideas, and I believe that she wanted to help nurture that skill and help it develop. And those judges who gave you the gold? They saw something too. A fantastic piece with a message that screams loud and clear. They knew what they were doing. Those loudmouthed prats who put you down didn't. If anything at all, it was their lack of maturity when they ridiculed the drawing of a thirteen year old that proved it.

Sam, never, ever let someone, or memories of someone, hold you down. You are a brilliant, kind, incredible person with fantastic ideas that I'm certain can reach people. You have so much potential to be harnessed, and I have no doubt that you can achieve anything you put your mind to. Never let go of your dreams. Grab them, put a chain on them and never let them go. You want to be an artist? Do it. You want to be a writer? Do it. You want to be a writer AND an artist? Go for it. You can make it happen through hard work and perseverance. I and many others believe in you, and you should too.

Knock 'em dead.
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:icondentistchicken:
DentistChicken Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you so much. I really appreciate those words and I honestly have tears going down my face reading this. Thank you, thank you so much. It truly means a lot.
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:iconbenepotentia:
Benepotentia Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2016  Student Digital Artist
Love you, buddy. <3
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:icondentistchicken:
DentistChicken Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
I love you too <3
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:iconfaylahh:
Faylahh Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2016  Hobbyist
That's so mean of all those people... I don't know what else was entered in the contest, but I think that yours looks great! I love the meaning behind it and the artwork itself is wonderful!
I can't imagine what that must feel like, but you should know that you're an amazing artist. You shouldn't let what a bunch of people who don't even know you and haven't even seen any of your other stuff judge you. I know it's easier said than done, but... I always enjoy your art, and I hope that you continue to create, whatever form it may take.
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:icondentistchicken:
DentistChicken Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
I really want to thank you for this. You have no idea how it boosted my spirits <3
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:iconfaylahh:
Faylahh Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2016  Hobbyist
I'm glad :) That's what friends are for, after all
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:icondentistchicken:
DentistChicken Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
:D thank you so much, bud, it means a lot
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