Picking the work apart versus the artist

The internet has made it easier than ever before to find out if a movie or book will be “good”. I say “good” but what I really mean is something that fits the recipient’s taste.

With a couple of clicks anyone can voice their opinion. Every time we click something, we are casting an upvote for Google. You have Amazon reviews, Rotten Tomatoes and endless streams of blogs full of commentary.

Essentially, everyone is a critic. Because of that, we need to establish rules what is okay and what is not. Especially when hiding behind a user name. Amenity emboldens passive aggressive behavior.

As a rule for the viewer, comment on the work not the artist. The artist has painstakingly made something for you that they hope will change you. If it misstepped, that’s the work that failed to resonate with you. Because it might resonate with someone else and perhaps you weren’t the target audience who the artist was seeking to change.

Artists, don’t make criticisms about you. You know what this labor of love cost. And sometimes the work doesn’t make the impact you hoped it would. No author got better because they read all their one-star reviews.

There’s a difference between picking the work apart and picking the artist apart. Keep it civil and in the right perspective.