3 Reasons People Don’t Like Your Art (and How to Deal)

Christine Nishiyama, Might Could Studios

The Fear of What Other People Will Think

There is plenty of fear involved in making art. There are fears that stop us from even starting to draw—fears like imposter syndrome, fear of the blank page, and fear of not being able to capture the perfect image in our head.

Those are all fears that get in the way of us making art.

But there are also fears that get in the way of us making OUR art. Art that feels like us. We worry about what other people will think about what we make.

But you can’t. You just can’t worry about that.


3 Reasons Someone Might Not Like Your Art

There are a few reasons why someone might not understand or like your artwork. Let’s face them head on together.

Christine Nishiyama, Might Could Studios

Reason #1: It’s just not their thing.

Everyone has different tastes. There’s nothing in the world that everyone likes. Example: I’ve met people that don’t like chocolate. Crazier example: I met someone who didn’t like cheese. Cheese?! And chocolate! The two things in the world I possibly love the most! And there are other people out there in the world that hate them!

So you see, different tastes for different folks. You can’t please everyone with chocolate, so don’t expect to please everyone with your artwork either. If your art (or cheese) isn’t their thing, then who cares if they don’t like it? Everyone’s entitled to their own taste and their own opinions, and just because they don’t like your art, doesn’t mean it’s not good. Because I mean cheese is so good, right?

Christine Nishiyama, Might Could Studios

Reason #2: They saw it too early in the process.

I’m a big proponent of sharing your work early and sharing process work. But there’s a downside to that. Sometimes a piece gets shared too early in the process, and it’s just not working yet. If it’s too early, it may be hard for other people to get it. Maybe you haven’t worked all the kinks out yet, and figured out what it’s all about. And that’s perfectly fine! But don’t expect other people to be able to understand the art if you don’t even understand it yet. Or maybe you do understand it, but the artwork isn’t communicating the idea across very well.

The solution here is to just keep working on it. The person doesn’t like it because they just don’t understand it. Maybe they’re not being open enough, or maybe the piece just isn’t working. Either way, their not liking your art doesn’t mean it’s bad, it just means you need to keep working.

Christine Nishiyama, Might Could Studios

Reason #3: They just ain’t ready for you.

If you look back in time, which group of artists are the ones that are talked about in art history classes and most respected for their work? The artists who followed the rules and did what everyone liked? Or the artists who did what felt right to them, broke all the rules, and made up their own rules along the way? How many artist’s work were ridiculed and mocked at first, but then celebrated as revolutionary and innovative later?

Sometimes that person who doesn’t like your work just isn’t ready for it. Sometimes you’re on the right track, blazing the way, and you’ll just have to be patient while other people catch up. Their not liking your art doesn’t mean it’s bad, it just means you should keep going.

Christine Nishiyama, Might Could Studios

It Doesn’t Matter

Whatever the reason someone has for not liking your work, it doesn’t matter.

Don’t let the power of your art making fall to other people’s approval. Your art is your art and only you know how to make it.

What’s important is that you keep making your art, keep learning, and keep improving.

Just make more.

“There’s no such thing as good art or bad art. There’s only Art—and damn little of it!” –James Thurber, illustrator and author


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