A few people either took Monday’s blog post the wrong way, or just didn’t like what I had to say. Which is fine. I don’t expect everyone to agree with, or understand, everything I write. When I was a fan of things, having never actually produced anything, I saw the world a very different way than I do now. I think you actually have to enter the arena to truly understand what it’s like to be out here, under constant scrutiny. I certainly didn’t fully grasp what this would all be like, even with my fairly limited notoriety.
As far as I can remember this was never posted here. It comes from tumblr, but is probably the clearest response to the pertinent line of thought from Friday, Monday, and today, which is tangentially related to Monday’s blog.
http://ishotmyboss.comicgenesis.com/ asked me this and it’s the most complete response to the question of crappy criticism versus actual criticism:
Since you have been writing and placing your art on the internet for a long while now, are you immune to anonymous insults and harsh critiques now? Or does the occasional horrible person still get to you? Do you have any tips on relaxing/getting past such things? Just want to be prepared if things like that start coming my way
The short answer is yes.
First of all, a harsh critique and an insult are very different things. The internet doesn’t seem to understand that. A critique is meant to be a teaching tool, but a lot of people think that if you say “Your work is bad and you should feel bad!” that is an acceptable critique, and not only should you shut up and take it, but they should be praised for their staggering insight.
A real critique, the kind you’d get from a professor, or colleague, would point out specific flaws and offer solutions to address those flaws. I have no problem with that sort of critique. I don’t want them coming at me from random people unsolicited, but when I need help I seek out people whose skills and opinions I trust.
If someone tells me I suck it’s a pretty safe bet they have no interest in helping me improve. If they had my best interests at heart they would know better than to lead with that anyway. So stuff like that I generally ignore, and it typically doesn’t bother me long term.
The longer you do any kind of public entertaining the more you’ll come to realize that some people have a desperate need to blurt out their opinions all the time. That is how they gain their validation. I know this because that need is strong in me. If I was still working at Gamestop, having never taken the chance to actually produce anything, I would still be trolling around the net trying to make myself feel better by telling random people how shitty they are.
of course you never really get over that sort of thing. It’s in the very code of your genetics I think. Sometimes I just can’t help publicly stating how much I hate Least I Could Do and it’s smug asshole of a lead character, in spite of the fact that it’s really just not my thing and if you like it that’s perfectly okay. That said, I don’t fuck around in the comments, or forums, or whatever it is they have over there. That sort of activity is uncalled for. Also I have my own faults to take care of before I start pointing out the faults of others.
Still, fuck that comic. I hate it.
Not everyone is going to like what you do. Some people have in them the need to let you know this. It’s not the end of the world. just delete the comment, or whatever, and move on. As long as there are people who want to hear your stories it doesn’t matter. There’s plenty of different kinds of people in the world and you’ll never please them all.
Don’t internalize that stuff. It’s pointless.
That’s where the original post ended and here’s the addendum for tonight. It’s pretty simple. Praise people who make work you enjoy. Praise them three times as much as you think you should. People have generally gotten out of the habit of praising people while doling out thoughtless criticism constantly. Negative stimuli is far stronger than positive. That’s hard wired into our brains. If someone creates something you like, anything you like, tell them so. I probably don’t need to tell the majority of you all this because you are WILDLY supportive and praise me constantly. That praise is what allows me to brush away the random negativity that comes my way. I know that there are people that passionately hate my work. I’m never going to convince them otherwise. I don’t keep doing this for them. I do it for all the people who come by to tell me how much they enjoy the comic, how it helped them get through a tough time, or that they love how the short, plump, girl can be the love of someone’s life.
And as I said it’s not wrong to passionately hate someone, or their work, just don’t bring the hate to their door. I don’t know who said this, but I think it applies here: Every person you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind.
It’s sad when someone feels the need to tell you they no longer enjoy your work, but it’s also inevitable. People grow and change and sometimes they outgrow you, or you outgrow them. That’s actually a huge part of Thomas’s journey. Accepting that it was his fault that he got left behind, but also learning that you can’t let that stop you. Whatever I may say at the time, if you feel the need to walk away from me I hope you understand that I can’t stop walking either.
In other news the Teen has caved when it comes to traveling to my workspace when I’m busy trying to make comics. She will now watch SOME television in my room while I work. COMPROMISE!