Shortly after I created a profile on Google+, I started posting some of my artwork. People will comment, and many comments are often uplifting and complimentary. But, sometimes you get what's called a "troll." Someone who says hurtful or controversial things to you in order to start an argumentative dialogue.
This happened to me when I posted a copy of my painting "Kokopelli Conga."
|"Kokopelli Conga" | Watercolor | Jennifer Love|
I very quickly received a comment from a Google+ user (not someone in my circles) saying that he didn't think he would consider my painting to be "Art" but maybe "art" and asking what did I think? Basically, he was telling me I'm not really an artist and my painting is not worthy to be called Art.
Well, after my initial reaction of hurt feelings from criticism without any constructive advice or suggestions, I realized what this user was about and what he was trying to do. My first "troll." First, I decided not to bother responding at all. Second, I blocked this user from my profile.
Even though our initial reaction might be to respond with angry or defensive words when an online troll attacks, if we take a minute to think things over, we realize that this is exactly what they are looking for. These people are looking to create contention in our lives, to make us question our art, question our abilities, and hurt our feelings.
Nobody has the right to tell you that the work you produce is not "Art." If you spend your valuable time creating it, you use the best quality materials you have available, and you do the best quality work you can do, then what you have created is Art.
And, by the way, that very same painting ("Kokopelli Conga") was later juried into a competitive exhibition by a national and international-award-winning watercolor artist.
Additionally, many people have opinions on what constitutes Decorative Art vs. Fine Art, and many believe that people creating art to make a living and for sale to homeowners aren't really creating "Fine Art" - that Fine Art is only found in museum collections.
Gallery owner Jason Horesj recently wrote a great blog post about this very topic on Red Dot Blog.
His post is very insightful, but I especially appreciate the definitions he includes about Fine Art vs Decorative Art - pulled directly from the dictionary.
|"Kokopelli Circle Dance" | watercolor | Jennifer Love|
As always, thank you for stopping by my blog!