Soliciting feedback takes COURAGE. After all, you may not like the answer to your question “What do you think?”. It might be bad news, hard to swallow opinions, bitter reality checks. But be strong! First of all, if you disagree and choose to ignore, for whatever reason, comments or criticism, of course that is your right. Bottom line, you are determined to continue, to grow, to refine, and this process can’t happen in a vacuum. We all “sharpen” one another. We are limited in our ability to self-assess. There are a lot of smart people out there, with a lot different kinds of “intelligences”. We sell ourselves short if we don’t tap into all of that.
In fact, a lot of our mundane existence, the routines and contacts with the world in our day to day life, can serve as very important feedback. We can take lessons from daily experience and use this learning to sharpen our creative process. If we are still holding the day job, we practice to maintain focus in a gentle, energy preserving way. We seek to maximize productivity with a minimum expenditure of energy. And we are motivated in this regard by the need for energy for creative production.
We have opportunities to learn how we interact socially – how to motivate and be motivated, how to be diplomatic, how to self efface when necessary, how to assert in a winning way. This kind of feedback on social effectiveness is critical to our efforts to promote ourselves and our work.
When you view the process of soliciting feedback as an integral component of your overall creative process, and when you view mundane daily experience as natural feedback relevant to your creative life, you can enjoy a sense of unity which allows a graceful flow through your day in a positive state of mind to those points in the day when you actively put pen to paper, brush to canvas. You can understand soliciting and experiencing feedback as a form of self-nurture, an important process to enable your continued growth as an artist.