You need thick skin in order to survive in a creative industry. Unfortunately, every artist has to deal with criticism, naysayers, and internet trolls.
At one point or another, you are going to come across toxic strangers who make it their mission to get you to give up on your dreams. They are going to leave rude comments on your posts. They are going to downvote your art. They are going to spam your social media with the meanest insults you have ever heard about your artwork and your personal life.
Never give into their pessimism. Never pay too much attention to anyone who is out to crush your dreams. Instead of believing what they say about you, prove them wrong. Prove you have what it takes to make a name for yourself.
If you still feel stifled by other people’s opinions of your art, take a break from social media. You might need to post updates in order to stay engaged with your audience, but that doesn’t mean you have to look at every comment. That doesn’t mean you have to read every mean word typed about you. You can turn off the comment section on Instagram. You can turn off your notifications on Twitter. You can block and mute anyone who makes you feel bad about your art.
Of course, you cannot ignore any comment that isn’t a compliment. Sometimes, criticism isn’t meant to be mean. Sometimes, criticism is constructive. Sometimes, criticism is helpful. If you listen to the opinions of others in the industry, you might not like what you hear at first, but in the end you might grow as an artist. You might strengthen your skills.
It’s up to you to decide which opinions are worth listening to and which ones should be ignored. Just make sure you do not believe all of the bad things said about your art and ignore all of the good things. Do not be too hard on yourself.
As an artist, you are going to receive opinions on your art even when you didn’t ask for any feedback. You are going to meet people who overstep online, in bars, and in workshops. It is going to be hard to ignore the mean comments they have about your career, but you cannot let their negativity get to you. You cannot care too much about what they have to say.
You cannot stoop to their level either. Even though they might deserve to get called out on how inappropriately they are treating you, you do not have to engage with them. You can read their comment and scroll right past it. Or you can screenshot the comment and send it to your friends to vent privately. You don’t have to fight negativity with more negativity. You don’t have to defend yourself. A stranger on the internet might not like your art, but does it matter? Do you really need their support? Wouldn’t you rather have support from kind-hearted people, people who don’t spew hate across the internet?
Even though it’s human nature to care about what other people think, especially when it comes to your life’s work, you cannot put too much emphasis on what anyone else thinks of your art. You can only care about your own opinion. At the end of the day, the amount of people who enjoy your work does not matter as long as you are passionate about what you are creating, as long as you are happy with your results, as long as you are doing what you love to do.
Remember: You don’t have to impress anyone except yourself.