I have been through my share of critiques. That is for sure.
Being a woman ... well, you are critiqued constantly. I remember first feeling like I wasn't good enough as early on as elementary school. I could start digging deep into these emotions from my past. The nerdy, shy, awkward emotions. But we've heard it. I don't think it's necessary to re-hash these old tales. I believe in the importance of the strength of a woman, how important it is to lift women up and not bring them down ... but I am not a feminist. I believe in human nature. We all have tough times. Men, women, children, adults, every race, every religion, every sexuality. We are all (in the words of a favourite band of mine, Our Lady Peace), we are all innocent.
The real critiques in my life started in art school. Putting your piece of art on the wall with a couple of tacks, standing in front of a group of ratty students and a strange teacher... looking for, hoping for, PRAYING FOR understanding. It was always impossible in my eyes. No matter how confident you were ... someone would question it. Someone wouldn't understand it. Someone would think it was too literal. Or too abstract. Or too ... something.
I went through it all again in design school. But, at least this time there was some common ground. The art world was vast, wide, and open to so much interpretation. The Interior Design world had rules. Rules I felt like I could understand and follow. Nonetheless, it was still terrifying, standing there alone on the stage, foam core balanced behind me, waiting ... explaining ... again PRAYING. Someone will appreciate what I've done.
And then I entered the real world. The critiques were no longer scheduled meetings with peers and superiors. Suddenly it was just me, my design, a table and my client. "Here's what I think would make your space great." "Here's the concept." "The materials." "The plan." Suddenly, it was about an opinion that was coming from someone who had something invested in what I was proposing. Not just another student or teacher who was grasping to find out 'what is art?' or 'have the rules of design been met?'.
While planning this new business endeavour the fear of the critique has not left my mind. I am moving away from design and back into the world of art. It scares me a little. My drawings are graphic and they are literal. However, there is meaning behind them. I have taken what I learned in both art and design school - start with a concept.
My first collection embodies this. Back to my elementary days. Even when you are different, you are still special. You may be critiqued for what is not seen as ideal in another person's eyes ... but these are the things that make each of us great. Embrace them. Believe in them. Flaunt them.
And so, the "outcast collection" is born ...