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Crapping on others, does not make what you do better.

Tutorial / 16 December 2020

Something that there is no shortage of is people complaining. One of the more popular things for people to complain about, is the creative work of others.

It's a strange cultural development that we pick apart the people who create our "favorite" art, as if we know their jobs and objectives better than they do.

What I have observed as particularly troubling is the trend in my college age students of the last few years, to use the mutual hatred or ridicule of someone as a way to fit in. Often, if pressed, most students can't really verbalize or articulate the reasons for their group hate on something or someone, with the discourse falling apart with a trailer off sentence that leaves the unsaid very clearly. Hating on a mutual subject was a way of fitting in with their peer group.

Our own pop culture and media can influence this as well. When something reaches a critical tipping point where a certain percentage of the population deems something "not good", the pressure to change your opinion and also dislike that thing seems to come from every direction; television, radio, internet, and even peers.

What? You're an adult over 30 and you like the Star Wars prequel movies? Surely, you must at least hate Jarjar Binks!?!

There are plenty of other example I could used, some are specific and individually targeted artists. I won't expand and give more examples because I choose not to take part in the behavior of singling out others and don't want to draw attention to actions that I myself do not want to perpetuate.

I can't help but find this trend most egregious when I see it in a group of art students.

There is no group in the world more ready and willing to stand up and call out any type of bullying in real life and on the web, and then they can turn around in the next second and take part in the same behavior that they just condemned, secure in the feeling that the targeting that they are doing is justified. Their friends and favorite website and Facebook wouldn't have lied to them, right?

That is why I make sure to devote at least one lecture for each class to point out that bashing other people's art doesn't Ake your art any better. This can be applied to all manner of creative ventures.

Sure, cutting down someone else who you perceive to be more accomplished and successful makes you feel good about yourself, but that feeling is artificial and fleeting. That ego boost is temporary because at the end of the day, pointing out the flaws of others doesn't do anything to make your life or work better. It doesn't I crease your achievements or make any achievements you may have earned on your own shine brighter. When it comes down to it, that person you are criticizing is probably more accomplished and well-known than you are. That's why you're talking about them. In your subconscious you know there's big gap between your and their achievement. This is dangerous because when you ego boost runs out, it doesn't just go away, but leaves you feeling more empty than you did before. 

It can be very easy for a person to fall into this pattern of behavior and never get out. The artist who thinks he should be writing and drawing every comic book. The graphic designer who never stops talking about how others designers work is garbage, and so on. We all know someone like this in some context. These are people who found themselves feeling emptier than when they started and failed to recognize that the feeling was caused by their own actions. So, these people find someone else to rip apart, they feel better about themselves again, so they think it worked. When the euphoria wears off and that person finds them in an even deeper emotional hole than before, so they keep ripping people apart, thinking it's making them feel better until you end up with a negative, bitter, disgruntled person who trusts no one and thinks everyone has treated them unfairly.

The damage is double edged, because this bitterness will also push away people in your own support system, perhaps even those peers who you started the behavior to fit in with in the first place.

I don't want that for anyone, friend or enemy, which is why I decided to write about this.

It all boils down to this motto:

"At the end of the day, the time you spend hating others does nothing to help you or improve you life."

So, instead of throwing away your time in trying to ridicule others, take that time and devote it to something positive that you are passionate about.

Make a sculpture, film a movie, draw a comic, practice and perfect any skill. 

That time you would have spent hating others is much better invested in improving your own skills and accomplishments. It will leave you feeling much more accomplished and fulfilled than spending your days hating on others.

I spent my time writing this blog and making this art:

Thanks for reading,