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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey there.

I'm a visual artist, and a couple of months ago, I was on a forum, wherein a person put up some of their amateur pencil comics. They weren't so great, and a guy came in and absolutely tore into her, telling this 13-year-old to give up art, etc. etc. Noting something definitely amiss, I said to the artist, "Hey, don't worry, if you work at it a lot, you can definitely improve." To prove such, I posted the first sketch I ever did with one I did a couple months ago (three years later than the first sketch), which I thought was a decent amount of progress. I also lambasted the critic a bit over his ridiculous discouragement of another potential artist.

Unsurprisingly, the critic then set his sights on me, saying "if that's all you've improved in 3 years, that's a tragedy." Yadda yadda, etc. etc. He even had the nerve to check all my stats and traffic on my art sites, which admittedly are a bit low, to rub that in my face; as though that were some sort of clear indicator of my artistry. I was given the same treatment: you should quit art, go find your calling, etc.

This whole thing was months ago. I have no idea why, but some part of the argument between us has been biting at me, and I've been turning the thing over and over in my mind, wondering if there's some sort of thing I'm missing, or some piece of my understanding that I'm truly naive about, and should be taking his comments into consideration. I'd like to simply say, "Oh, this guy was an *******. I'll just completely ignore him." but my open-minded brain tells me, "You can't just ignore people haphazardly; you could be losing a huge amount of perspective."

So I've been turning this around in my head for what seems like forever now, and all it's seemed to cause me in endless grief, where my days would be otherwise peaceful as they were before this incident. I have no idea what makes me want to obsess over what seems to be such a trite conflict; I have confidence in my artistic abilities (I've produced some great pieces lately that cement that feeling), and I have confidence that other people also like viewing my work, too. I really don't know what I'm supposed to gain from this obsession.

Any thoughts on this whole thing would be very greatly appreciated. Perhaps I'm just seeking inner resolution?
 

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Sometimes people are just mean. That's what I've been naive about, at least. I had a lot of anxiety about trying to determine which people were 'nice' or safe and which people were 'mean' - but you can't tell that until you interact with them. Luckily, many people are nice and not mean-spirited.

I think the nagging doubt we have with social anxiety is that we DESERVE meanness, or that we somehow bring it on ourselves. We don't.

Think about it- why would you ever discourage someone from pursuing their hobby/interest/passion? Who should 'give up' drawing? Why?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I believe I'm a bit short-sighted to that, myself. Perhaps some people *are* just naturally rude. Some part of me finds it hard to believe that some people just go out of their way to bombard others with doubt and hurtful comments; I think they believe they're doing the right thing in their minds.
 

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Sounds like you should find this guy and beat the piss out of him. Seriously though, I would say he's desperately insecure and bored, just screwing with people for the hell of it. I've been to plenty of forums where people say horrible personal things, then when they're called on it,say 'It's only the internet' and that kind of BS. Just keep up with your art man, that's all I can say. It' very easy to judge someone anonymously, in real life most of these internet hardasses wouldn't say squat to you.
 

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If it's one thing I've come to realize at an art school, is that there are A LOT of fellow artist that just do not want to see others do well, and often they will criticize someone's work just to be able to knock it down. Maybe there is a sense of jealously and some competition.

I've learned to not dislike someone because of the work they do or be jealous of their work. I complement them on it if it rocks, and if it could use some work, I use constructive criticism. You learn more by talking to those around you, not knocking them down.

I understand your feelings. There is one guy I would LOVE to have the opportunity to confront again. Because honestly, all his work looks the same. I know it's mean, but his first time talking to me was not the nicest.
 

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Probably the worst thing about my SA is that I am ridiculously perfectionist and critical of myself in everything I do. My dream was also to be a visual artist but I can never show people what I do... I desperately want to express myself creatively, but I will litterally throw out every drawing I do out of fear that someone might see it and give a negative comment. I take it very personally. I also cannot draw or paint when people are looking at me. And I have lots of other quirks in that department.

I don't know if this was triggered by abusive comments like your example. I know being picked on as a child can result in many different psychological complications. And I find the idea very saddening if *******s like this guy succeed in ruining someone elses belief in themselves and make them give up on their dreams and aspirations.

One of the other effects this has had on me, is that I can't critisize people even when it is perfectly legitimate. I'm so afraid of hurting people's feeling that I can't point out their mistakes even if I know it would be helpful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Lisa, I find it very ironic that you mention such a situation: the guy that was tearing into me and the other girl was also an artist. His work was actually pretty good; but I wonder, did he feel a sense of jealousy? Why would he? Because we're enthusiastic about our work, and he yearned for such a feeling? I simply don't know.

Great feedback so far, guys.
 

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Lisa, I find it very ironic that you mention such a situation: the guy that was tearing into me and the other girl was also an artist. His work was actually pretty good; but I wonder, did he feel a sense of jealousy? Why would he? Because we're enthusiastic about our work, and he yearned for such a feeling? I simply don't know.

Great feedback so far, guys.
Well, who can really tell with people anymore. In my case, I'm only biased because he acted like a douche. That same guy did produce good work, but maybe he saw me as competition. But who cares if you're a great artist if you lack humility and camaraderie? That's with anything you do in life.

I personally do not care to make enemies. You never know what someone else can do you for one day.

So, I guess I'm done. But good luck with your art!
 

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unashamed perv
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...my open-minded brain tells me, "You can't just ignore people haphazardly; you could be losing a huge amount of perspective."
Choosing to ignore this guy would not be a haphazard decision, but a rational choice. He's just an internet troll, and he's only attacking you because you dared to argue against him, you said it yourself that his reaction was "unsurprising."

I, too, get unreasonably upset by internet nastiness. People here are much nicer, and there are a few artistic SASers - why not post your pics on this forum? Probably wise to state what you're looking for: either "constructive criticism welcome" or "please be nice."
 

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Don't worry! There are SO many haters out there. It becomes obvious when you start posting on forums and playing online computer games and stuff.
Makes me hate the world more and think that people are ****...
Slipknot - People = **** says it all, I guess.
 

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Hey Aaron, don't let it get you down, don't even give this person a second thought, as the others users have already stated here is that usually people who are quick to dole out 'deconstructive' criticism are usually doing so because they are bored and just looking for a cheap thrill. Usually they are also looking for gratification and perhaps belittling others for their amusement is one of the ways they obtain such gratification.

I don't think leaving it alone is a haphazard decision but probably the right decision. I know it probably seems hard to just walk away, but sometimes with 'idiots' like those people you just have to. There is nothing wrong with walking away, it doesn't mean you're afraid to retaliate, it just means that you are smart enough to know that arguing with someone who is clearly just after thrills is a waste of time, when you could be doing more important things like working on an artwork, while the other person can waste time arguing with others.

Sorry If I sound a little overbearing, I just have a problem with people who are insensitive to others for no reason, nothing is wrong with giving constructive criticism but if you are discouraging others from doing what they love, that is just wrong.
 

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The guy sounds like an *******. I wouldn't worry about it, or give his opinion even a second thought. There's a difference between constructive criticism and just plain being nasty.
 

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He was probably just bored and gets some type of kick out of putting people down. Just the same as we have SA and can be seen in some peoples eyes as "strange", we really cannot judge this guy... but do not take his words to heart or even give it second thought.
 
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