...and you have to have thick skin.
You've probably been to a show of some sort where you didn't like something. A painting you thought your 2-year old nephew could have painted, a piece of pottery that had what you thought were gaudy colors, a play that was chocked full of bad acting, an off-key piano or singer... there's something out there you have judged harshly at some point.
Chances are you didn't hide your feelings and voiced them in some way. Curled lip, cutting comment, rolled eyes... or maybe just a low whisper to your companion.
With art beauty is in the eye of the creator and some beholders. However, regardless of how you might feel about the art or the artist, most put a part of their soul into whatever they create. Most are always slightly holding their breath on some level, hoping their creation will be loved or at least appreciated.
You might think it's the ugliest sound, painting or sculpture in the world while another thinks it is fabulous. Every artist lives not just to create, but also to have other appreciate their creation.
That cutting remark made in low tones to your neighbor, if heard by the artist, can negate every positive comment received that show. Intellectually we all know that our work is open to critic, and we're probably our own worst critics. But it can still hurt.
I once walked into a booth with a friend who made a quiet comment about how tacky the work of the artist was. I didn't particularly appreciate it either, so their quip brought a quick smile. I looked up over my friends shoulder right into the eyes of the artist.
I've never forgotten the quick wince of pain or hurt, then the cultivated shutter that he affected to mask how he felt. I felt so badly I almost bought something, but realized that would have been worse. It would have been salt in the wound to know he had to sell to someone who didn't like what they were buying.
However, when I looked at his brochure, I saw that he had been selling his works for quite some time and was fairly well known in the scheme of life. Someday I'll walk into someone's home and see one of his works on the wall and it will probably look great in the setting they've chosen.
Now I have my work on display and will be selling it. I have received many compliments and everyone in my family thinks it's the best in the world. But I know there will be some who will think it stinks. There will be some who look at it and think they can do better, and there will be some or maybe many who can do better! But these pieces of decorated clay are my babies, my creations and I have some of me tied up in every piece. I hope I never have to overhear a snide remark about my work, but I expect I will.
I'm hoping I'll develop thick skin... (truthfully, I'm really, really hoping I don't have to, but I think that falls under the category of dreaming!)
I am already humbled by those who like my work. I'm just glad there are those out there who do like it!