An Artist in Business, Criticism, Mentor

Passion, A Good Foundation & a Good Mentor

Some time back I joined a writers group and  started a very heated discussion regarding critiques. {Actually a person wrote a poem asking not to be critiqued and received some very uncalled for ruthless remarks – I stood up for the poet telling others to knock it off and that it wasn’t right in the first place!}  This is what I found out…

In the modern day and age, critiques have been used to ruthlessly rip and shred an artist apart in the name of “help.”  There’s also the activity of telling others what is wrong, how, in the person’s opinion, to fix it and may say something good which is a bit better. However, an artist can flourish in skill without any critiques, suggestions, opinion’s or other non-helpful activities!  It just takes a bit of patience by the teacher, professor or mentor to bring out the best in the artist.

Although it is true that an artist needs a driving passion and a purpose to communicate with his art, it’s not true that the ‘critique’ should be used to ‘eliminate the artists’ that aren’t tough enough to stand up to harsh realities about the world and their art.

Wherever did that come from? Who says that artists need to be eliminated? My guess is it’s the people that didn’t make it as artists. Or those that do not want competition or even agents/publishers/reps that found a niche and the work just didn’t fit into it.  The truth of the matter is, artists are the ones that are imagining how things can be improved.  Every artist needs a hand up, and certainly does not need to be crushed!

What an artist needs is a good foundation. He needs to believe in himself knowing what it is that he does right and what is so special about it.

I had a fantastic mentor, Ralph E. Grimes.  I help artists in the same manner as he did for me – it seemed to work quite well as I have created interesting and well-received works of art in many fields.  I still create and have not found an end to the muse. I believe that potential in every artist needs to be brought out so I pay it forward by helping my fellow artists with marketing and mentoring.

Here’s what my mentor did:
Upon seeing my first drawing, he mentioned the flows and colors I used. Next drawings actually improved and soon I was painting. My first painting, he sat down with me to point out the things that I did correctly and explain what it was that was so good about it. Of course my paintings improved. And improved each time I did another.  Then I started creating digital art plus writing prose, tales, how-to’s, fantasy novels and fairy tales.

Many years later, I asked my mentor what it was that he did and it was simply that he did see what was ‘wrong’ in my works but he didn’t want me to dwell on that, he wanted me to improve what was right – so explained in detail the things I did that were right, never once mentioning anything was ‘wrong.’

In the Art World, there are many critics and some that are certainly criticizing with the intention of making an artist quit. But if you have a foundation of certainty of what you are doing RIGHT with your art, then you will survive the ‘critiques’.  I help artists around the world with the Validate the Rightness method.


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