Gold standard

The artist, the impresario, the ruckus maker can make others feel really uncomfortable, especially the critic who wishes they could be in their shoes. Much of that type of criticism is rooted in jealousy or aimed toward the artist rather than the work itself. The person who understands what the artist is trying to do and is offering their perspective is invaluable.

The critic compulsively compares. It is that comparison that kills joy. If you can’t stop comparing the new Batman to the Dark Knight, you probably didn’t enjoy the movie as much as you could. It’s easy to compare to what others see as the gold standard. (Good work often goes unnoticed.) The problem is you will always find someone with more followers or more money or more impact. There is just no need to compare.

If the artist is satisfied with whom they made an impact, there is no need to minimize the work.

Making art makes a difference. No matter how small. It is only small because of the comparison we choose to make. “Oh you got 100 people to like this blog, well the Kardashians get a million.” Good for them. But did it matter? That’s obviously up to debate. Instead of comparing to the gold standard, we can also choose to compare with someone who hasn’t shipped their best work. Or, even better, don’t worry about comparing at all and just get to work. That is what professionals do.