Its very easy to be influenced by others who have a lot to say.
Most Creativies who boom on about whats right and whats wrong and are self proclaimed authorities in a blanket fashion in their field are in fact either incredibly competive or immensly insecure.
That's ok but realize they are there for them, not as a mentor, role model or inspiration for YOU! Just be aware of it while you are dodging those stinging bullets of confidence killers they shoot out in an effort to maintain their mantle and know you are only ever going to part of their audience, never their peer or even their student.
Constructive helpful criticism, and I've had 100s of Crits, is never sarcastic, it never puts ambiguous doubts in your minds.
It lifts your spirits, it gives you AHA moments thick and fast.
Mentors give you room to explore, to improve and to feel good about your 'mistakes' and they show you how to use them constructively.
You never are left feeling you are stupid, have done irreparable damage, can not resolve things or that you can never be like the person you are inspired by. NEVER.
Mistakes are not pointed out to derail you, they are shown as points to consider new ways to improve your creativity and processes.
An interestingly as every successful creative knows:
The most important thing is... EVERYONE'S CREATIVE PRIORITIES ARE DIFFERENT!
If they where not, then they would never have become the first, breakthrough, new, controversial and so on, person in their field either.
If all our creative priorities where the same then we would all create the same thing!
Our creative priorities may lead us down the road of failure and mistakes... lol.. but EVERYONE who has had even tiny successes will tell you that from the stumbling blocs great ideas, turning points and enlightenment came.
Proclaiming in sarcasium that you are a failure or making you feel like one is again for one reaon, to prop up their own work.
Just because the 'expert' creates artworks of dogs only in silver foil balls while looking at the sea as its the right way, they have proved it, they had a vision, look at their successes, vast following, prizes and so on... dosent mean that creating dogs out of toilet rolls is wrong!
A good strong, self assured mentor or teacher knows that you have different priorities to them and they help you directly and indirectly through their words and actions explore them.
What ARE your Creative Priorities?
Grab your journal......
EVERYTHING should be answered FROM you... not "well I read that" or "this artist said" or "this expert said you can never or should".... this is what YOU FEEL, THINK, SEE and LOVE!
When you are creating what subjects make you feel
as happily challenging
make you excited
pull you in to want to know more
Are their mediums that you really LOVE working in more than others?
Mixtures of mediums?
What are they?
What do you want to say?
Do you even want to say anything?
Don't be afraid if at the moment all you want to do is make pretty things.
You wont be alone. You know the world is full of stories of experts explaining the amazing in-depth meanings behind masterpiece artworks and creative works and then evidence from the artists or families themselves that the artist just liked the sunset her painted or writing about trees or some other simple meaning.
You will come to develop ideas and explorations as you work but you know even if you become completely absorbed in messages and resolving great philosophical debates, the heart likes to just play and you should let it!!
I've made my best art breakthroughs when I've just been mucking around.
AND.....What subjects are the most meaningful in to YOU!
Gardening, animals, family, cities, human causes, architecture, travel, spirituality.
KEEP a sketchbook/journal and fill it with sketches. words you love, snippets of conversations overheard, photos, magazine snippets and so on. It will help you see your creativie leanings and from these your priorities will sprout.
So now you have a bunch of your Creative Priorities which ones have
bubbled to the surface, why do you think that is and what are you goig to do to stay on track with confidence and belief in your priorities?