How To Deal With Criticism While Doing Creative Work?

Criticism is always tricky to deal with. Whom do we listen to? Whose feedback does really matter? The mentor whose work we really admire but who is always nasty while reviewing our works?  Or our cozy roommate, who has no experience in our field, but looks like our biggest fan?

Some critics offer pointed criticism, which if accurate, gives the artist an inner sense of relief: “Ah, hah! So that’s what was wrong with it.”  Some other critics make personal remarks. That is useless criticism, and you need to steer past them no matter what, to survive and stay sane.

Photo by Rafael Barros from Pexels

So, how do we sort out for ourselves the useful from the otherwise?

  • Start by making a list of all the concepts and phrases that seem to bother you.
  • Take a colored marker and mark all that seems useful from that list.
  • On a different page, make notes about all the concepts and phrases that seemed useful. How can you incorporate them into your next work?
  • Do something nurturing for yourself – list all your past accomplishments, go through your awards, visit the store, and buy yourself something that really motivates you to start your next work.
  • Remember: “A bad piece of art is still art” and making bad work is a necessary step in the process of being an artist. ( If possible, write it down on a poster, decorate it with colors and hang it somewhere you can always see it. )
  • Look at the criticism again. Does it remind you of any criticism from your past – particularly a shaming childhood criticism? Acknowledge to yourself that the current criticism is triggering grief over a long-standing wound.
  • Write a letter to your childhood critic ( a parent, a teacher, a friend, etc. ) stating why they were wrong and why you are a good artist.
  • Write a letter to your recent critic – not to be mailed, most probably. Defend your work and acknowledge what was helpful, if anything, in the criticism offered.
  • Get back in the vehicle. Make an immediate commitment to do something creative.
  • Do it. Creativity is the only cure for criticism.
Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels


  • Did you ever face a criticism that convinced you to abandon your creative venture? The answer is, yes. Always.
  • Do the above given exercises and see if they make any difference. Did you have any ‘aha – moment’?

Drop a comment below sharing your experience.