We’ve heard it many times, and yet when it happens, it always feel like our chest has been stepped on.
You see, unlike in the online world, a portfolio review consists of a body of work in printed form and your critic is literally in front of you. It’s really different. You cannot choose to delete or just ignore the comments altogether. You’ll hear every spoken word. If you’re watching yourself, you’ll probably see the point when your heart gets broken just by looking at your face. And in my early years, I sometimes black out when I don’t like what I hear and tend to hear only what I like.
Words can indeed lift your soul or crush your spirit.
I know – I have went through all of that before. I came to the gallery all excited and went home with a huge rock of self-doubt.
If you have done your work correctly; if you have done your work to the fullest of your abilities; if you connect with your work deeply, then you know what you have is a part of you. Presenting it to someone for their opinion is exciting and scary at the same time.
It takes a certain amount of courage (or arrogance) to show someone your work.
In the end, it’s a learning process. It’s a part of the creative path. I have learned more on that review alone than in any of my exhibitions. It’s one of many ways to mature. You should try it even just for once. You know what they say, the winner only remembers the win; the loser remembers everything.
Should you be fortunate enough to find someone you trust, whose opinions you value to critique your work – listen. Drop your guard. Leave your shield at home. Appreciate. Approach with an open mind. Understand that their words can be a reflection of themselves. Do not think of them as right or wrong. Only you can know the truthfulness of your own work, instead consider them as a guide.
Ephemera on Macao Fine Art Fair: http://vimeo.com/80538527