Subjectivity: Are You Too Honest?

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Of course, most individuals state that they want everyone to say exactly what they mean and mean what they say. We grow up being told that we must tell the truth no matter what. But, are there some occasions when being blunt and saying exactly what is on your mind, might be a bad idea?

What if you are a little too straightforward?


You have two people in your life that you know. One might be a very close loved one while; the other might be an acquaintance.


Both individuals are painters, artists.

Saying Too Much:

Your loved one is a good artist.

Your acquaintance is an even better artist.

Although your loved one doesn’t ask for your opinion, you volunteer it anyway. And so, you decide to blurt out to your loved one that the acquaintance you both mutually know is a better artist and that, your loved one actually sucks in comparison.


Your loved one is pissed off: angry, hurt, enraged, and can’t believe you had the gall to be so flat-out honest.


Should you have been so honest? Did your loved one need to know that your mutual “pal” was better? Isn’t it true that in every art form and actually, any profession there is always someone better?

When it comes to art: painting, drawings, music style, writing, and sculpting; it is purely subjective to the individual who is judging the art. When it comes to art, it truly becomes the judger that decides whether or not they think that the art is better than someone else. Art in all forms is purely subjective and beauty indeed winds up being the decision that falls upon the beholder.


Being good or even great at a profession is often subjective. Judgments that are made to decide whether or not someone is good or great often hinges upon those in a given profession to judge it to be so. Some professors might consider Hemingway to be brilliant. Meanwhile, other professors or writers might be totally appalled thinking Hemingway was over sold as a great writer; meanwhile there are better writers that have been overlooked.

When it comes to a more left-brain profession such as: medicine, engineering, computer science, and etc. These professions tend to be rather straightforward. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to decide which doctor you feel is best. It depends upon the doctor you bond with, someone you trust, and usually it also depends upon reputation or client reviews.

istock-6453018-eyes-face-hands-e98b9b2c9c5cc71312f801b13851062406fe08ba-s6-c30When it comes to art however, it’s less straight forward and much more subjective. If you are an honest person, it’s best to sometimes keep your opinion to yourself. Rather than, telling someone that they are not as good as someone else. The reason being, there is always someone else who is better. It’s okay to be honest if you are submitting your work into a contest to decide whether or not your work will win an award. But, if a friend is providing unsolicited advice, it’s not always good to take unsolicited advice personally.

Really bad reviews and negative opinions can often immobilize an artist. I am not talking about a terrible singer who’s been told they are a great singer from mommy or daddy all their lives, only to find out that they are terrible. I am referring to a variety of highly talented artists regardless if it is: painting, filmmaking, writing, or etc. If you are a highly talented and amazing artist, you have to be careful when it comes to whom you decide to share your work with and whom you decide to take advice from.

It’s perfectly fine to take advice from people, but when it comes down to art and judging what is good or great…it really becomes subjective. And negative feedback can definitely damper an artist’s motive to continue forward. Artists are sensitive, knowing this please be aware of those you decide to open your art up to because there are far more critics out there than there are those that truly appreciate your work.


-beauty-is-in-the-eye-of-the-beholderIf you’re a really good artist with a well known mentor and your mentor tells you that you’re not as good or you need to step things up a notch. Then, this is a different situation entirely. You are already a very good artist according to many individuals. However, in order for you to jump into the “big leagues” you need to step it up a notch or two. This is way different then getting unsolicited advice from those in your profession that mean well, but would rather tell you that they don’t think your art is as good as someone else. Let the expert or top professional or your mentor say this. Don’t take unsolicited advice to heart, because it’s subjective.

Art is very subjective. That is the truth and you shouldn’t allow negative reviews to hold you back from creating.


Martha Beck


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