“You have to do stuff that average people don't understand because those are the only good things.” - Andy Warhol
The well-known phrase, “You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time,” by John Lydgate, (a medieval monk and poet), is particularly relevant in the world of creativity.
Not everybody will like your work. And why should they?
For example, think of a bestselling book that you dislike. It has many readers and fans, but you don’t like it. So what? You don’t need to attack it, or vocalise your dislike of it. Let others hate it and waste their energy on criticising it, just love the work you love.
Or think of a popular band with millions of fans around the world that you dislike. Ask yourself why you don’t like them and what it is about their work that doesn’t interest you.
Not everyone will like your work and that’s the way it should be.
Trying to make an impression on others is not your task. What your job is, is to create.
If you intentionally try to make your work likeable you’re going to severely restrict yourself, sticking to a formula and not expanding your horizons or growing artistically.
Making your work likeable will lead to dumbing yourself down, that is, making something simpler and easier for people to understand, particularly in order to make it more popular.
Even some of the greatest artists have had their detractors.
Walt Disney was fired from the Kansas City Star Newspaper because his editor thought he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas.”
Vincent van Gogh received hardly any acclaim during his lifetime, only ever selling one painting for a small fee to a friend. His paintings have since been sold for up to $82.5 million.
Socrates was labeled as an “immoral corrupter of youth” and his innovative ideas lead to his eventual death sentence.
Be yourself and be faithful to your values and ideals.
Excerpt from 'You Can Create! 24 Ways to Unlock Your Creative Potential'.
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Take Time to Reflect on Your Creative Ability
Often, when we work on a creative project, we can easily fall into the “this isn’t" or the "I'm not good enough" phase. We can suffer from Imposter Syndrome, and begin to wonder if we’re actually cut out to be creative at all.
When this happens, think back to your earlier creative work and achievements.
If you’ve ever painted a picture, written a song, started a business, whatever, it can be easy to forget that there once was a time when those things didn't exist in the world until you made them.
The struggle they brought at the time has long ebbed though, almost as if they were never out of existence.
When you’re feeling uncreative and struggling to come up with new ideas or doubting whether you can carry on with your work, take time to reflect on the things which you have already accomplished, both the small things and the big things.
Don’t analyse the creative process, don't think about how you made them, don't think about why you like them or what you dislike about them, simply appreciate that you made them exist.
Recognise and compliment yourself that they are yours, that you gave birth to the fundamental idea that brought them into being.