Teresa Pilcher Photography

About Criticism

“Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” ― Andy Warhol

It’s really hard not to judge yourself and your own work. Each time I hit publish I feel a bit nervous how the Image or Blog will be received. Up until now, I have been waiting for the criticism that I knew, eventually would come and I have been trying to be a bit more detached about this process. My aim is to produce images that are essentially aesthetically pleasing, but just recently I have been experimenting with a style of processing that high in contrast. So a few days ago I posted an image titled ‘Metro’ that was more interesting than beautiful, one person said ‘Love this image..’  then another person said  ‘This is hideous’. To be quite honest it was not an image I was particularly attached to. So after the initial surprise I was actually quite curious as to why my work had raised such strong emotions and polarised them into Love and Hate.

On reflection it is evident that negative people like this have agendas. They may believe that all digital cameras are inferior, therefore their work is superior because they shoot with film or own a Hasselblad.  It really doesn’t make their work any better. They leave criticism thinly veiled as critique, as they try to enlighten you. Others are simply ‘Trolls,’ that leave nasty one word comments, such as ‘Lame,’ which is more of a hit and run.

The reason I decided to write this Blog, is to give you strategies to deal with these people.

Don’t engage, they are simply waiting for a reaction. Delete the comment immediately. It has no place on your work which is a positive act of creation. Block the person if they seem to be targeting you. Report them to Communities or G+, as it is usually a pattern of behaviour. If they target you, they will be targeting others also.  So for the purpose of this Blog, I decided to reply and ‘thank him for his kind feedback’, in his reply told me of my ‘mediocrity’.  It is hard to image why people can be so mean-spirited, however that is something I shall never understand. Finally, just because someone writes something doesn’t make it true, and more often than not it reflects more on their work not yours.

It is so easy to say I can’t write well, my work is not good enough or why bother. But did you know YES is a very powerful word, when you say it each and every day, by creating and posting your work, it creates a great momentum.  There is a story that John Lennon fell in love with Yoko Ono after looking at one of her Art installations, he climbed a ladder looked through a magnifying glass and there written on a canvas high up on the ceiling in very small letters was the word yes. I Love that story. Its our job to fall in love with the process of making our Art, not to judge it.. So please if someone tells you your work is hideous or lame, don’t take it personally. Do what I did, go ahead and post something beautiful!

“Don’t pay any attention to what they write about you. Just measure it in inches.” ― Andy Warhol


Have you had similar experiences and how did you deal with them?






Teresa Pilcher

Teresa Pilcher Photography A Blog on Street Photography

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