When the Criticism is Harsh


As creative types and authors, we know criticism is coming. Since we invite it, we steel ourselves. Yet the savagery with which some critics deliver their opinions can penetrate our defenses. It cuts to the quick of us.

On those occasions, bring the following sage words to mind.

From AP and Hello magazine, quoting Paul Emsley, award-winning artist and painter of Princess Kate’s first official portrait. His painting has been harshly criticized:

“At first the attacks were so vicious that there was a point where I myself doubted that the portrait of the duchess was any good,” Emsley, 75. “But now I’ve had time to reflect, I am still happy with it and am getting on with my life. There is nothing I would have changed.”

After devoting nearly four months of his life to the painting, Emsley says the criticisms that he describes as a “witch hunt” and a “circus” were “destructive” to him and his wife and two daughters.

“Some of the words written about it were so personal. I’d be inhuman if I said it didn’t affect me,” he said. “When you take on commissions like this it is hazardous and you expect a bit of flak, but I expected nothing like the criticism I have received. I didn’t expect it to go to the levels it did.”

“It really wasn’t pleasant and I stopped reading what had been written,” Emsley said of the conversation that exploded online and in the worldwide press. “I have coped with the criticism by going back into my studio and getting on with it.”

Or you could do what Taylor Swift does and write a song about it. 🙂

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3 responses »

  1. Fay – Great post. I think people are off the deep end with their harsh words of hate…Hate for people, hate for art, hate for anything they don’t do or approve of….Personally I think its all fear and insecurities that fuel it all…

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