Let me start by saying what is obvious to all: everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I've thought long and hard whether I should write about this or not. But I figure I'm entitled to my own opinion as well. I want to offer it, not as a complaint, as whining or as a "woe is me" post. Take this as part of the conversation and the back and forth that critiques are usually about.
So here it is. I've received two negative comments on Amazon (could be worse I know) about Home, Paper, Scissors that have given me some food for thought. If you want to take the time to read them go ahead. I'm not going to post them here. I feel like I need to address them a bit and explain why I decided to write this response of sorts.
Like any person that is in a creative field, I completely understand that not everything I design or make will be agreeable to all. But I'm not made of stone and it does sting a bit to read those words. However, I can also understand and I see how my book can be a disappointment to those that are expecting something different. I could go on but I'm trying to remain civilized and constructive here.
So, yes, my book isn't for everyone. But I do want to address the question about the validity of my ideas. The projects in the book are simple on purpose. Not only is that part of my style but I also wanted to write an accessible book. I wanted to cater to those that enjoy paper crafting but may be uninterested or don't have the time to try something too elaborate. So no, I don't think that my book was a waste of paper. I still stand by it.
Switching gears a bit.
As I was pondering all of the above, I was also thinking about what it takes to put yourself 'out there'. A big part of it is that you need to be willing to feel vulnerable. I've talked a bit about this when it is brought on by myself. But in this case, when it is momentarily brought on by others, it feels different and it's a bit harder to shake at first.
I've been a graphic designer for about 15 years and through all the ups and downs with client opinions, I have to say that my crafty or non-client work definitely requires thicker skin. The work I do for A Little Hut is so much more personal because I'm not following client requirements or expectations. I'm going with my gut and with what I feel is right. I focus on being true to my own ideas. I strive to make what is unique and that reflects my voice as a creative person. I'm not following anyone's rules.
In order to do all that, I need to allow space for the inevitable feeling of vulnerability that comes along with expressing myself through my work. It's uncomfortable, but it's also good to have around as a tool. It makes me be more of a perfectionist and it gives me less room to get away with mediocrity. If I'm completely honest, occasionally undercooked work slips by but, for the most part, the V word keeps it at bay. The more solid my ideas are, the lower the needle goes on the vulnerable-feeling gauge. At least that's how it works for me.
I think it's unrealistic to want the gauge to read empty. I'll settle for the halfway mark thank you very much.