How to take undeserved praise
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  1. #1
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    How to take undeserved praise

    So we were all told to complete an image as an illustration (for class) and i left mine till the night before. Hopped on PS and quickly created a piece.
    In the morning i got it printed and got to class, but feel really scared to show it to anyone cause i felt it was a piece of crap and they'll laugh in my face. It looked terrible to me.

    So over the day other students and a few teachers see it and the responses varied between, "so where's your work," "this is really good," and woow, how did you make this?"
    I'm sure some of them were just being nice, but other from their expression, truly believed what they were saying.

    I got stuck on how to answer. I tried saying its quite crap, but it seemed like they took it as either false modesty, or i was fishing for complements, when i was really just stating fact. And when i just said thank you, it felt kinda wrong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aesir
    I fully intend to become rich as fuck through art. How you ask? By being awesome.
    Awesome artists get rich. You guys just don't love art enough to get rich. Maybe if you cared about money more you might have more motivation to get awesome.
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    Thanks, but there's always room for improvement?

    Sometimes a white lie is necessary. It's not like they'll remember their comments five years down the road, and I don't think you will either.

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    Lol, I have the same problem sometimes, even if I spent a lot of time on the project. If nothing else, say thank you with sincerity. A compliment is kind of a like a gift, and if you turn it down or away because you don't think you're worthy of it, it usually comes off as rude and not humble (which is what you really feel).

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    Refusing an honest compliment is probably the worst thing you could do. It will pretty much always come off as false modesty, as you said. The truth, I've come to believe, is that most artists at ANY skill level will always feel that their current work is a bit crap -- at least the ones who are really driven to improve. Just politely say thank you and take it in stride.

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    Jovian M is offline HOW MANY PUSH-UPS CAN YOU DO? Level 7 Gladiator: Samnite
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    I just fucking elbow drop them.



    I don't really. I usually just have my ipod in while I'm at school and ignore shit like that. I've tried explaining that I'm uhhh... not very good, a couple times. To family, friends, people at school, etc. If someone catches me without my ipod, I just thank them, and keep on workin'.

    To people that don't draw or aren't all that into art, though, your work probably looks incredible. I was the same for awhile, even when I was still drawing (2 years ago or so).

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    This is actually quite easy. Just say thank you.

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    Just say thanks, smile and move on.

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    "Thank you for saying so. I'm still learning" is a graceful way to deal with it.

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    Say "cheers, glad you liked it" , smile and leave it.

    You saying "really?, I thought it sucked" translates to "your taste in art sucks, you have no clue"

    Also, every single artist has had the bizarre experience of someone really liking that thing you doodled on the back of a beermat while hating the 30 hour watercolour you worked it up into..

    Remember, should you do this as a job, some people paying you will have no idea about art.

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    You are paying the price for being dishonest with yourself. The solution is not to rush some crap at the last minute that you can't be proud of yourself.

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    You should take undeserved praise the same way as any praise: with grace and humility.


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    I always say something like "I`m glad you like it" because that`s the truth, doesn`t matter if I think it`s bad, my opinion is irrelevant, if THAT person likes it... great! I appreciate it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZenzybaR View Post
    I got stuck on how to answer. I tried saying its quite crap, but it seemed like they took it as either false modesty, or i was fishing for complements, when i was really just stating fact. And when i just said thank you, it felt kinda wrong.
    When I praise you I give you a present. I give because I think you deserve praise. It's not nice to return that present unopenened.
    If you are not sure you deserve my present you can ask me why I give it to you. And I can explain.

    You should however never tell me that you are not worth my present.
    Never, ever, ever. That's up to me to decide, isn't it?

    And that's where Elwell's comment comes in: "You should take undeserved praise the same way as any praise: with grace and humility"

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    There's a perverse rule in art that whenever you make something quick that you think is crap, everybody and their mom will love it to pieces. When you pour your soul into something and it's your favorite piece, it will be generally ignored. It doesn't happen all the time, but it does happen more often than you think.

    So hey, maybe you did something that connects with people. Polish it up if that's what you want, so that you can enjoy it. Or just accept that everyone has different taste and just because you think it's crap doesn't mean it can't be popular or well-liked.

    "The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the one doing it."

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    Elwell said it best. "grace and humility."

    Personally, I think I have a long way to go before I can allow myself to take people's praise. But...I'm my own worst critic, bar none. To date, I have yet to make an image that I would consider perfect. Why? Because I can see everything I might have changed, everything that's wrong, and all the flaws that are there. But, the person viewing the image doesn't go through that, normally. They look at the image, and quickly determine whether it has merits or what ever. If it looks good...it's good. Because, they don't know how long it took you to make.

    Honestly, I'm learning this one myself. But, you are correct. If you try to sound humble...it just sounds bad.

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    Thanks everyone for the advice. I'm still pretty new at showing people IRL my stuff so this should help me out in case it ever happens again lol.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aesir
    I fully intend to become rich as fuck through art. How you ask? By being awesome.
    Awesome artists get rich. You guys just don't love art enough to get rich. Maybe if you cared about money more you might have more motivation to get awesome.
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    "Meh."

    Where did the term "little white lie" come from, anyway?

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    Just take it and say something like "I draw a lot" or "not my best".

    I no longer show people my work at uni because the unwanted attention just irritates me. Sadly because of it I stopped sketching for about a year and now I regret it. A year of sketching wasted just because I'm a shy guy...

    Theres only so many times you can tell art & design students that to be able to draw well (or mediocre), you need to actually pick up a pencil!

    Your name isn't Tom by any chance?

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    Pennyj - nope, my name is Chris.

    I tried the "thank you, i'm still learning." But i burst out laughing right after.
    I'll go through all the ones mentioned whenever i get the chance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aesir
    I fully intend to become rich as fuck through art. How you ask? By being awesome.
    Awesome artists get rich. You guys just don't love art enough to get rich. Maybe if you cared about money more you might have more motivation to get awesome.
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

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