Roadblock 4: Art School Teaches Your Criticism Not Confidence
what do you dio if you put your work into the marketplace and nothing is selling? And again we talked about this. This is after you've tried. You've been in person events, not just online, but things aren't selling or they're not selling as well as you need them to. And this is a result really of roadblock for which is that art school develops criticism and not confidence. So one of the biggest keys to selling your work is confidence. This is what takes you from being lackluster sales person to someone who could really stand up there and sell your work with ease. And I know that for a fact, because that was me. I went from being a very lackluster sales person to someone who can really confidently stand up and talk about my work. But the reason this is challenging is that art school. It's designed to develop your ability for criticism, which did not leave you feeling very confident. As I mentioned earlier, this was my graduate thesis work, and literally you do this and then you have to ...
have a defense where a group of people sit around and they tell you everything they don't like about it. Why This didn't work, Why this didn't work. And yes, there are certainly some positives, but their job is to critique. And the thing is, the standard art school critique can kind of be a soul crushing experience. And when you have these over and over and over again, makes it really difficult to recognize the positives in your work. And even if you've never been through a critique, you're probably used to looking at your work with a critical eye right now. Technically, the goal of a critique is to make your work better, right? That's the point, I mean, to give you feedback so that you can improve. But for whatever reason, critics often create really lasting negative emotional damage. And I've heard this for people over and over and over again. Most people can look back to say this was a critique I had. That was really awful, where I just left feeling completely demoralized, and the lasting effects of critiques can rear their ugly head at any time, like you'll think you're fine. And then you come back to this criticism mode just the other Friday night, I went to collage in cocktails with a girlfriend, which is exactly what it sounds like. You drink some cocktails, you make a collage super fun. By the end of the night, I'm gluing things on and you know, I glued one of the things on a little bit crooked because cocktails and of course, everyone's like, Oh, this is great And I'm like, Oh, yeah, about that. See, that's a little crooked there people are complimenting me and I'm like, Here's the flaw. Here's the flaw. Here's the flaw. I know better, but it's still you end up like defaulting to that right. And even if you've never been through a formal critique, you probably still have perfectionist tendencies that cause you to knit. Pick your own work, and one of the best way is a sort of test. If this is the case, it's to think about how you respond to a compliment. This is not actually a little exercise that I developed. This is something that I heard Tara Swagger talking about where it's like what happens when people compliment you. Do you accept it, or are you like Oh, yeah, thanks. But like, I'm gonna be like, Oh my God, I love your hair all. Yeah, but it's starting to grow out a little or like it started fade. You guys do that? Like some give you complimented You can't, like, just take it. Yeah, like Well, yeah, but And the same thing happens with your work, right? You think about what you don't like. So why didn't turn to our in studio audience? Do you guys find it easier to focus on the negatives and the positives? Or is this something you had to overcome? I see a lot of nods here. And so this is really challenging because the best salespeople are confident in a value of what they're selling. So we tend to think of sales people kind of negatively right You get when I talk about sales people do you think of, like, the used car salesmen and we don't like that. And the reason that we think negatively about sales people is because we think of sales people who don't believe in their products. Right. I'm gonna sell you this. Use cart the lemon, but I'm gonna pretend that it's the greatest used car ever, right? And so that's what we think of what we think of sales people. But the best salespeople aren't that kind of slimy used car salesman. They're the people who are passionate fans of the product. They're the people where you go into the Apple store and they're like, geek it out over the newest IPhone, right? Those make the best salespeople because they love the thing that you're selling. And theoretically, you should love the art that you're selling. But you're so in green toe. Look for the negatives and nit pick it to death that it can be hard to fall back in love with your own work. So we really need to learn how to focus on the positives and not the problems. So your goal is to develop the ability to speak confidently about what makes your work great.