Artist > Critic

While reading a review of one of my favorite TV shows recently I stumbled upon a quote that has been seared into my memory.

The review was written by pop culture author and essayist Chuck Klosterman. His work has been featured in SPIN, ESPN and New York Magazine.

As I read his review, this line jumped out at me:

“The artist is always superior; the critic is always inferior.”

When I first read it I was immediately convicted.

I thought about all the time I’d wasted poking holes in what others have done.

Then, I began to wonder if the quote was actually true.

I mean seriously, have you seen the movies Vin Diesel churns out?

(No, I would never say that to his face)

Even if you agree with me on Vin’s movies, you’d have to agree his paydays are superior to yours.

Sorry, back to the point of this post.

Creativity trumps criticism.

I want to spend more of my time creating and less time criticizing others.

It’s interesting, the more time I spend being creative the more creativity flows.

Unfortunately, the opposite is also true.

Criticism grows and flows when you feed it.

Criticism is easier.

It’s cheap.

There’s always something or someone to rip on.

The truth is, creativity costs you something.

Time, effort and energy.

When you’re creative you put yourself out there a bit.

When you create you become vulnerable.

You’re on display.

It’s well worth it though because remember, “The artist is always superior; the critic is always inferior.”

2 thoughts on “Artist > Critic

  1. I love this and find it to be so true.

    Especially “It’s interesting, the more time I spend being creative the more creativity flows. Unfortunately, the opposite is also true. Criticism grows and flows when you feed it.”

    It’s more than easy to rip on other people, especially today as it’s the norm to poke fun over twitter and facebook. The criticism that may begin as just “fun” begins to take it’s toll and can turn toxic without my even realizing it sometimes. I can’t tell you how many times recently that I’ve drafted a tweet or comment and then checked myself and thought – is this joke worth the possible pain it could cause? or do I want people to think of me as a negative person? is the argument worth it?
    Skipping past being a critic and putting yourself out there is definitely more difficult. I want to be more and do more creatively but hold myself back. I just keep thinking about your Freedom Story sermon from a few weeks ago – you were teaching how we can’t hide from ourselves, we’re our problem, our problems/pains/habits have a funny way of following us, how “wherever you go, there you are”… and it’s something I’ve been really struggling with but slowly overcoming – knowing that I’m the one holding myself back (not just in the creative aspect, but really with all my probs.)
    Thanks for this post, Andy.

    • Thanks for writing Christel. Creativity is like a muscle that never really tires. Sure we all get writer’s block from time to time, but the point is creativity is like the snowball rolling down the hill.

      I’ve been finding the same is true when coming to terms with my limitations. The more I’m willing to get honest about the real me, the more I’m freed up to walk humbly & confidently knowing God still loves me and is helping me.

      I love that you’re willing to be silly (Zumba at Youth Church last week) on the stage. It helps people relax and not feel so self-conscious.

      Thanks for being fun.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.