Dealing with Criticism: Killer of Creativity

By Marion Boddy-Evans

Tony emailed again, saying: “In my last class, the teacher announced that ‘unasked-for criticism is the biggest killer of creativity.’

“In this class, the people who saw my clown-in-a-cemetery painting laughed at it, not with it. I don’t think they were jealous, I think they were puzzled, and maybe it was nervous laughter.”

“A friend wrote to me: ‘It’s sort of like a Catch 22 though. In order to paint such original work and not follow main stream, you must be a sensitive artist. But you’re sensitive to others’ perceived negative comments. You must be sensitive to paint such things, and you need to be hardened to others’ comments, yet you can’t because you’re an artist.”

“The odd thing is, I live in San Francisco We’re known for freaky people, and freaky ideas. I appreciated all of your comments, thank you. I’ve since stopped ‘pouting’ in class. I don’t think they meant any harm — they just didn’t get it.”

{Take a look at two of Tony’s paintings — neither are the clown painting in question; that’s been hidden away for the moment.)





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