Monday, October 31, 2011

Hate it or love it

With the launch of our Kickstarter project, and the release of our first book this week, I am posting, tweeting, commenting, and even blogging more than ever. This is great for spreading the word about my project, but it is also creating a huge, social media-based, hater magnet.

Now, if you started creating believing that all of the feedback that you received would be all sunshine and kittens, you should not be an artist. Since the dawn of time there have been doers, and there have been haters. Once, a caveman made fire for the first time, and somewhere nearby was another caveman complaining that it was too hot.

Quick question: What's the difference between a hater and a fan? Answer: Nothing! They both read, listened to, or watched your art, and if they took the time to comment and share their feelings about it, then you struck a chord with them. In that respect, mission accomplished! You reached your audience and made them feel something. Hootie and the Blowfish sold millions of records, and had more haters than any other band I have seen in a long time. People actually bought tickets to their concerts to go and hate! But I say a ticket sold is a ticket sold.

Most haters will come right out and insult your work, however there is another kind of hater. This particular kind of hater gets under my skin even more than the overt hater. I'm talking about the stealth haters. These covert operatives belong to your same groups or forums. They work with you, and sit next to you in class. You see them posting and/or discussing other work, but when it comes to yours they hate silently pretending to casually ignore or to not see what you're doing. In reality, they are hating with the heat of a thousand suns! However, I figure if the stealth hater had something negative to say, they'd just come out and say it, so the fact that they do not either means that they are very polite, or they LOVE your work. Either way, I say keep doing what you're doing.

Whether outright insulting you, or just blatantly ignoring you, the hater is a necessary evil. Make no mistake about it, hate is not constructive criticism, but we as artists need feedback and sometimes the hate can even drive you to improve! I can't tell you how to deal with each and every hater, but I can tell you that they are a part of the process. So enjoy the smell of the rose, even if it does have a few thorns!

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