Support not critique

January 25, 2007  in  Art as a profession       Related posts:  

Seth Godin suggests that, when it comes to creativity, “the brave need supporters, not critics.” This made me think of my advisor in college. Steve pissed me off a lot. When I’d come to his office, confused over the direction of my concentration, he wouldn’t sit me down and critique my course list like a normal advisor. No, not Steve. He’d usually pause a moment before rushing out the door and say “I know you’ll figure it out.” Like I said, he often pissed me off! I usually figured he was just blowing me off for a wine tasting or something. “What does he mean, I’ll figure it out?,” I’d rant. “His job is to help me figure it out!” I’d fume for a few days until (damn it all!) I’d figure out the problem on my own, and he’d be proven right. It wasn’t until after college that I realized what he was doing. Steve realized that I didn’t need a critic, I just needed a supporter. Left on my own, I was capable of creatively handling all the problems I was facing, just as long as some one reminded me that I could.