Scott Shaw.com Be Positive

Let Me Criticize You

From my observation, there are basically two types of people who pass through life: those who appreciate and those who criticize. Sure, sure, a lot of people fall somewhere in-between. But, the essence of the dynamic basically breaks down to those two factors. The Yin and the Yang if you will.
 
As an artist, my work has found its lovers and its critics. That’s just the way it is, and it doesn’t bother me that much. For example, from a filmmaking perspective, like virtually all filmmakers will question of their critics, “How many movies have you made?” I mean, because if you actually had made a movie I am sure I could find something wrong with it. As an author, I would ask, “How many books do you have in the Library of Congress?” And, you can take this basis of questions to any level of the arts. There are those who do and then there are those who view. And, of course, the doers are also undoubtedly the viewers.
 
Where do you find yourself in the quandary between appreciator and critic? And, how do you allow that to define your life?
 
This is where these delineations really come into play. How does what you do and how you view the world define your existence? How does it cause you to act and to react?
 
From my experience, those who find themselves on the appreciator side of the equations are those who look and learn from all they encounter. They grow from each life experience: from all the see, all they meet, and all they do. The critics, however, only look to find fault. Thus, this comes to be the definitive factor of the life of a person who follows that path.
 
We all like what we like and dislike what we dislike. Whether it is movies or books or paintings or whatever, we are drawn to a specific expression of that art form. You can find fault in even the most expensive and elaborate of films, if you look for it. Certainly, this is the case with paintings and other visual art forms. You may like the way words are written on a page of a book or you may not. Some songs you like, some you don’t. The only problem that arises in this mindset of like and dislike comes about when it keeps you from appreciating the artist’s/the creator’s own truth. This occurs when you believe you should hold the voice of that creator and dictate as to whether what they have created is good or bad.
 
From the perspective of an artist, we each try to bring what is in our mind onto the canvas of life; by whatever art form we embrace. Of course, we are defined by all of the things that all lives are outlined by: availability, money, what we have to work with, and so on. But, the individual who bears the need to creates is actually creating something. Those who do not, do not. Yet, some of those who do not create find their voice in criticism. …Which is fine, that’s life. But, if that criticism is keeping a person from learning, from growing, from evolving, from experiencing a new way to look at things, then what is left? Stagnation.
 
What I am saying here is, do not let the critic in you keep you from opening your mind and embracing art at its truest level? If you allow all art, all composed words, all expansive visual whatever simply to be what it is, with no judgement, then by allowing it to be what it is, you enter into a space of elevated consciousness whereby you can appreciate any art for what it truly embodies; art. By removing your judgmental mind, and you trying to decide what that artist should or should not have done, you allow not only yourself, but the artist, and all of the world, to exist on a much higher level of mindfulness, whereby all things are simply allowed to be what they are.