Handling Criticism: Mississippi Home Throwdown and Other Projects….

The Collective Intelligence here at Wright-Wang Extreme Mystery, Inc. wish to express our appreciation to everyone who has read or listened or commented on any or all of our projects and products….
Your participation in this endeavor is GREATLY appreciated….

The numbers have been through the frickin’ roof!
Set numerous records both here on WordPress and also on FaceBook….

On this WordPress the numbers look like this:
Week of 16 March- 10 visitors 10 views.
Week of 23 March- 29 visitors 96 views.
Week of 30 March- 59 visitors 234 views.
Week of 6 April- 74 visitors 371 views.
Week of 13 April- 85 visitors 582 views.
Week of 20 April- 99 visitors 303 views (emergency impaired production for several days).
Week of 27 April- 180 visitors 728 views.
Week of 4 May- 158 visitors 774 views (people went through catalog and caught up).
Best single day was 5 May- 30 visitors 221 views….
That DAY beat all previous days, every previous week except those listed and most previous months….

Facebook does statistics very differently. So, I will report highest single day reach:
4 March- 70 total organic Reach.
15 April- 94 total organic Reach.
28 April- 126 total organic Reach.
4 May- 362 total organic Reach.
6 May- 745 total organic Reach.
7 May- 751 total organic Reach.
11 May- 812 total organic Reach.


Mississippi Homeboy Throwdown….
Mississippi Homeboy Throwdown related posts had Reaches of 419, 224, 516, 260, 272, 256, 494, 135, 485, 482, 191….

But… what does that mean…?

Not very many people comment. Period.
Most who do… are supportive…. But that’s still way to low of a sample size to get any meaningful data….

Now… some words about criticism….

When you ask most people… they will say something like, “I liked it.”
Even people who don’t like your work will smile and say, “I liked it.”
If you ask, “Why…?” or, “What specifically did you like…?” you will at best get some vague response.

Very rarely will anyone tell you, “I like the movement.” Or, “I like the characterization.” “The ending surprised me.”

People who really hated your creation will actually tell you that they don’t like it.
Even that criticism is likely to be vague….

Now… a couple of comments about art…. And criticism….
Art is by its very nature a creative form of expression.
Creation must be in some way unique to be art.
Someone who bakes bread or brews beer or works as a fry cook… no matter how good they are at their craft… is an artisan, not an artist….
Someone who makes the same thing repeatedly is an artisan.
Art requires at least some change. Interpretation. Creation.
Playing an instrument… even playing REALLY well… is not art….
Assembling pieces… of cloth… color… film clips… sound snippets… ANYTHING… in a unique way is art.
Copying what has been produced before is not art. It’s artisanship.
Interpreting something someone else has created in a fresh way is art.
For example…. I have an old Velvet Elvis painted in Mexico by the renounced Velvet Elvis illuminator Raul in stunning fluorescent orange and yellows… on the ORIGINAL Black Velvet background…. I LOVE it! I’m convinced that my painting was the inspiration for Black Velvet by Alannah Myles.
However… painting even the most intricate Velvet Elvi on an assembly line is not art…. It’s artisanship.
Nothing wrong with artisanship. Many people prefer the tried and true to anything challenging.
Romance Novels….
Completely formulaic….
To get published… must rigorously follow the accepted standards…. If you do something different… won’t get published…. Have to develop new form and go in a different direction.
Nothing wrong with Romance Novels. Not my personal cup-o-joe…. But… many people LOVE them… or no one would have any idea what Fabio Lanzoni looks like, now, would they….

Don’t feel you must follow the heard.
Unless you’re the lead dog in the sled team… the view never changes….
Don’t feel the need to be different just to be different either. Develop an understanding of your artistic expression that allows you to discern your creativity. Know WHY you want to do this or change that or try something completely new…. Be in the moment…. Be develop the ability to look critical at your creation… and creative process… from an external view….
That requires seeking out criticism….

Criticism is good. ALL criticism. Constructive criticism. Deconstructive criticism. (You should not create that… you should do THIS instead…. Because THIS is what I like. And I want to like your art… MORE….) Even destructive criticism…. (I hate it. Makes me sick. I don’t understand it.) All of that is better than silence. Seek out the noise. Then interpret what you see and hear and smell and taste in the more REAL way you possibly can. Don’t lie to yourself about your art. Be SUPER-critical. Be HYPERcritical. Not hypocritical. Or you can never maximize your creative expression.

Some observations:
1. Aesthetics is very personal. Steeped in psychological and emotional overtones. Many people seem to feel threatened by art that requires then to act. Requires them to attend. Art that forces the question…. Some people may be intimidated. Feel forced out of their comfort zone. But they will typically express their appraisal as something like, “That was too weird.” Or, “That was too crazy.” Even that criticism such as that… is FAR more helpful than silence. So… accept hate graciously….
2. Interpreting metrics is difficult.
3. Metrics demonstrate a law of diminishing returns. Long works receive less traffic. The more work up-loaded in a short time will result in diminishing hit density… meaning that fewer people will click on each successive work… unless they are somehow drawn in….
4. Different people like different things. That’s why they make chocolate and vanilla. That’s why some people will LOVE something you put up… and others will cringe…. So… each artist must seek a target audience… while simultaneously developing and defining his or her artistic vision…. Some artists… never find a target audience of any size that shares their artistic vision…. The more avant garde the artistic vision… the more likely finding a target audience of sufficient size to support one’s art will be…. That is an artistic choice of expression….

One other comment….
Art is not considered to be work by most….
No one will feel compelled to allow an artist time and space within which to create without distraction….
Demanding that an artist drop what they are doing to talk on the phone… answer texts… talk… go out… pay attention…. Write person X into the story…. Because I love your art….
That is an example of the emotional and psychological entanglement and overtones of which I wrote earlier….
Humans… tend to interpret art… from a completely different… and more demanding… perspective when they know the artist….
That makes getting criticism from close friends and family members a bit dicey….
Because the intimacy of the relationship… interferes with the clinical detachment necessary to maximize the benefit of criticism….


One thought on “Handling Criticism: Mississippi Home Throwdown and Other Projects….

  1. Mr. Intelligence I am astonished almost everyday of what you come up with….just when I think I’ve seen it ALL …you blow my small mind. 
    I am one of your great admirers and financial supporters! HA 
    From what you say…I guess I’m artisan….wish I were more original….more art…duplicates are soo boring to me…so when I see or hear rare…I like!…that being said…
    I won’t demand for the artist to answer my calls or text however…I am quite confident that you can have 273 texts going all over the US and abroad…135 conference calls your on…and maybe 5 personal phone conversations….and use the bathroom, while you are slurping a frappa…with one hand still on the keyboard….ALL at one time!
    Just for the record…if I thought for ONE split second my phone call would cause you to DROP and LOOSE IT ALL …especially your TRAIN of THOUGHT…I would do it in a HEARTBEAT….wouldn’t think twice about it either!!! Just to see that face….loose that thought…and be all confused…would be PRICELESS! For the record this put this down as another compliment! SMILE

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