Everyone’s a Critic…but that Doesn’t Mean You Should Listen

So I’ve taken a sidetrack from the manuscript to do some more work on the charity anthology (that is, in fact, still in the works). It made me think a bit about critiques and what they mean to a writer/artist (for the purposes of brevity, I’m going to be long-winded for a moment and say that for the rest of this post I’m going to just refer to all writers and artists as “artist”).

They say everyone’s a critic–and they’re right. No two people are going to agree 100% on the style of any piece of art, whatever the medium. But some criticisms are useful. So how do you tell which criticisms to take to heart and which ones to ignore?

In my opinion, the artist is the ultimate decision maker on their art, regardless of what others say. As an artist, you are the creator. You are God. But even a god can make mistakes, and therein lies the rub. You have to be open to acknowledging those mistakes and making changes based on the critiques you receive.

Take your time when giving and receiving critiques. As a critic, try to put yourself in the mindset of the artist. What are they trying to say? Is that sentence fragment on purpose? Is that swipe of the brush an accident or a happy little tree? As an artist, think long and hard about what the critic is saying. Do you really need to rephrase that fragment? Should you make that brush stroke into a happy little tree?

It’s all subjective, of course. Well, not grammar…that’s objective. Except when it’s subjective. Savvy?

Critiques are that simple, and they’re that complex.

I really should do something productive…

Yet again I’m up early (this most recent time is not Rory’s fault), but instead of working on art or cosplay I’m just dicking around on the computer.

Not that I don’t have four months to finish the cosplays…I have much less time to work on the art, but it’s hard to find good lighting in the apartment while not waking up my husband. I’d go to the craft room, but it’s covered in, well, cosplay stuff.

I think I’ll try to get the base drawings done tonight, then work on the backgrounds when I have time. (That part is easier to do in the dark, because I can use Photoshop on the computer without worrying about disturbing the hubby.) I’m getting much better at making backgrounds with PS, which is good because I thought my drawings were “missing” something, and the backgrounds really help them to pop.

Might ask my husband to scan the drawings I haven’t scanned yet while I’m at work today. The scanner doesn’t want to work with my new laptop lately, and it’s frustrating. He’s much more tech savvy than I, so I’m sure he can figure it out easily. (As I type this, the laptop popped up with a notice saying that “Scan to computer is no longer active.” Sigh.)

Soon I’ll be finished. Soon.

A little of a lot

Got quite a few things done today. Not a lot of any one thing, but a little of a lot of things.

Got more of the beta read I’m doing accomplished. Wrote a couple thousand words on my new manuscript. Drew a little. Set my craft room back up after our company left. Sculpted a little. Burnt most of what I sculpted.

No email yet about the interview, but I’m not too worried about it. If anyone knows what it’s like to have time get away from you when you have an email interview to prep, it’s me. Lol

Back to work life tomorrow, full-on. Cold is gone, so I should be ready ‘n’ rarin’. Or something.

Dead to the World

It’s been a few days since I’ve posted, I know, but I was kinda half dead. Okay, a little dead. Dead enough that I didn’t want to write or do much of anything.

Though it was only a cold, I’m sure y’all know how much that can take out of you. The constant coughing. The wheezing. The shortness of breath. The sinus congestion. The fever. The body aches. It sucks, and it isn’t very conducive to productivity.

Thankfully, though, I’m starting to feel better. I still have a little ghost of a cough, but hopefully tomorrow I’ll be right as rain. That’s a funny saying. What’s so right about rain? Shouldn’t it be right as sunshine? But I digress.

A lot of projects have been backing up. The art commission project. The cosplay work. The beta read. The writing. I’m barely keeping up with the Talk Nerdy With Us work that’s been assigned to me. I’ve been able to work at my day job, but only while heavily medicated. (Not too heavily medicated. The max that I can take legally to function in the workplace.)

I’m trying to psych myself up for getting back into the swing of things. I need to get back into that art project. Like kick-my-own-ass get back into it.

Back from the dead. Time to get to work.

Just breathe


Work week is done, and I have three and a half days off until it’s back to the grind. Yesterday afternoon and this morning weren’t too bad, so I feel more relaxed already. I know come Monday it will be almost back to “normal” (translation: hectic as all get-out), but I’ve been looking forward to this unwinding weekend.

Not that I don’t have stuff to do. Interviews/reviews for Talk Nerdy With Us, cosplay stuff, art project…It’s not going to be a completely work-free weekend, but it’s still a relief.

I have to finish the pants on my husband’s cosplay (and hopefully start on the tunic), write interview questions, read a comic or two, and draw like my life depended on it. Still, it all sounds pretty relaxing compared to the day job.

Sometimes you gotta take some time to yourself just to get away from the norm and recharge. I love my jobs–all of them–but the constant pace gets to me every so often.

Merry Christmas Eve, everyone!

Resolutions revisited


It’s coming to the end of the year, and as I look at my resolution list I’m both proud and disappointed.

I not only completed the first draft of my novel; I published it as well. I exercised more (not much more, but more than last year). I published a few short stories and flash fiction stories. I sold a few art pieces. And I did more cosplay.

Some of the other resolutions, however, were less than successful.

I gained more weight than I wanted to lose. I didn’t get the tattoo that I wanted, but that’s a trivial thing. And thus far, my marketing sucks.

I’ll try for more realistic goals next year. Perhaps another rough draft? Developing an exercise routine? Who knows. I have a couple of weeks to figure it out.

Fresh New Start

Today I got a new laptop (courtesy of my wonderful husband, who diligently set aside money each week until we had enough to get it–Merry Christmas to me!), and so far I love it. I can’t wait to get writing on it. Which I guess I am. Kinda. So yay!

I also can’t wait to get PhotoShop installed. I have a lot of art to catch up on.

I’m hoping that with this new, lighter, fancier laptop I’ll be able to do more. It’s one of those that converts from laptop to tablet, so I can do simpler tablet-type stuff if I don’t have to type, and I can carry it around much easier.

The screen size will take some getting used to. I’ve gone from 17″ to 13″, which is a bit of a drop. I can still read the screen okay–I haven’t gotten to the point of needing bifocals (yet), so I don’t have to adjust the font sizing or anything yet.

My husband also made sure I had Office installed so I can do my writing. Yay again.

Tomorrow–or more likely, this weekend–I’ll get to transferring files and making sure everything from the old laptop is backed up to either a cloud storage or to a flash drive before finally giving it over to the hubby to be wiped clean.

As for right now….bedtime.

No place like home…

Home. Where you rest and relax and unwind from the daily grind…right?

Not necessarily. With Christmas coming up, I have 2 dresses to make for my niece, I’m waaay behind on NaNoWriMo, I have artwork that’s due, and then there’s laundry and all the normal household things to do. And I feel like I’m forgetting something else…

I even had to bow out of live tweeting a couple of TV shows for the website, which is one of my favorite things about the job.

Oh, crap. That’s one of the things I forgot. An interview to write questions for.

Well, back to the grind–the weekend grind.