bad art from people we like

What do you do when people you like create something that you think is terrible? Starting from one presumption that there are people that like me, I’m sure some of those folks think my art (or some of it) is terrible. So I’m aware enough to consider that I create this uncomfortable situation for others.

But what do you do? What, when your voice seems conspicuously absent from a chorus of complimentary responses? The old aphorism about not saying anything at all (lacking something nice to say) is fine and dandy until the artist in question asks for your opinion.

Maybe I’m just too much of a people pleaser.

5 thoughts on “bad art from people we like

  1. I’ll give my honest opinion if they ask for it. I try to be tactful though, but I don’t know how terrible this art is that you speak of. Also, I try to find something good about it to tell them even if 99% of it is horrible.

  2. Kind honesty when critique is asked for. BUT, you have to remember that Art is a matter of taste. You must understand to an extent the artist’ intent. Is the perspective unrealistic on purpose? Was the proportion of a painted child delibrately incorrectly to achieve naivety? Is the photo grainy and light leak present for a reason? Is the subject dull because they were trying to make an artistic statement. Yes, we can hate forumlaic, skilless, unthoughtful art. But we must remember that all artists are in process. Michelangelo wasn’t born a master. Respect people’s learning curves, but challenge them to do better. Use positive suggestion and teaching instead of cold commentary.Some art truly is just for self gratification too. There is nothing inherently wrong with that. But if one opens the door by asking they should be prepared to listen and consider.I do agree though, that if you put yourself out there as an “artist” or are trying to sell “art”, you’ve opened the door to commentary. I for one have a difficult time hearing too much, especially unsolicited critique. If I care, and respect another’s work I’ll ask. Otherwise I prefer people just shut it. That’s one reason I don’t sell my work or try to tell people I’m a photographer, as supposed to a hobbyist. I’m not satisfied myself with my work as a whole as of yet, though I do feel I’ve managed to capture some (to my eye) interesting shots. My two cents.

  3. Great, and thoughtful comment, Jake.I always find myself to have been too general when I make posts like this. I suppose you caught a key word in “unthoughtful” – that’s what I saw that triggered my writing. Somebody I know (but I don’t know too well) always passes his shots through the same tired faux-vintage Photoshop actions. Low contrast, slightly desaturated, color shifts (just a tad). When I see it in every single shot, it starts to strike me as unthoughtful.But you’re totally right – a) it could be very intentional and I just don’t know it, and b) it could simply be a matter of a learning process (though I resist that one in this case since shortcuts seem to discourage learning technique in some – but not all – cases).

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