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Sunday, 25 September 2011

Constructive vs Critisism

I do not take criticism well.

I don't know what it is, perhaps my ego is too big. Perhaps my ego is too fragile. Either way, I'm sure it's ego related.

Years ago I painted.
I took a year or two off to study this. I learnt illustrating, ceramics, etching, linocuts, sculpture, you name it. I did well (for a young girl with no attention span at all), except for when I had to work in a group.

Now, art and I are old friends. We drew on the pavements with chalk and arranged objects into aesthetic positions and cut up dad's paper (before he read it) way back when I was a tyke. We would dress up the dog and make elaborate houses for the cats and draw doorways for the ghost that lived in the bungalow back when I was a wee lass.
Which was fine, because I did this all on my own. I could spend all day on my own - still can - and not get lonely, because art and my imagination always kept me company. It was when I had to work with others that the problems occurred.

I know what you're thinking, but no, I'm not an only child. Neither am I selfish with my things, I shared toys, it's just that no-one seemed to have enough imagination to play with me.
I remember being told off by friends when playing dolls (ugh, dolls), because Barbie did not walk 5 feet off the floor, nor could horses speak or werewolves live at Ken's house.

It was somewhat similar when I signed up for a professional writing course. I aced the assignments (shyeah!), ruled the editing room (woo!), and flew through creative writing (you know it baby!). However, I was DISMAL in group assignments (boo!). And why? Because no-one had enough imagination to play (I mean work) with me! I couldn't (possibly wouldn't) listen because I don't like linear rules or having a group of people question my methods.

It is the same now. I get to play with all my toys (that I create) all by myself. I can make up background stories for them and decide what they're doing all on my own. It works, but not as well as it works when I push my ego down and gulp on my pride and get a second opinion from my quality control (AKA husband). He will tell me things I already know but was perfectly happy to ignore because it would mean another hour of work. He suggests things that, although I don't want to do, have to concede that make my creations really pop.

I don't envy his job. I have a good throwing arm. And I can mumble obscenities on a competition level.
Not sure It will improve, but I'm learning to take it better. Today, I was constructively told my Lion needed teeth and once again he was right (I swore a bit).

So here's to constructive criticism. May it always be dodged when followed by a heavy projectile.

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