This particular little guy has become the locum for my younger self, so that I might endow upon him the encouragement that I needed but was unable to attain. And so I told him,
“Be proud of your art no matter what anyone says. You are the mastermind of your own creation, nothing that suits you is unsuitable, especially if it comes from your originality. To follow trends or to alter yourself when your heart cries out and tells you to be true to yourself is not the way to go. So be proud of what you do, go forth with confidence and security for personal satisfaction is better than public acceptance.”
Art critics are everywhere, they are your teachers, friends, co-workers, and strangers. When I was a fledgling with the polymer clay and was told I needed to focus on serious art, I listened. When I was told that making figures with wings was making fairies and that I shouldn’t, I listened. When I was told that I should visit galleries and imitate some of the more established artists, I listened. When I was told that I would never be taken seriously in the “art world”, I listened. I listened, but I ultimately decided to simply create, which is what I am doing now.
I made a doodle while grabbing some comida at the diner last night, and that is the painting he is holding. I took a small section of the entire thing, the section that represented ascent and freedom, and shrunk it digitally, printed it out, and framed it with a miniature frame I made (and painted to look like wood). So that is the work of art I am telling him to be proud of, all symbolic of course to the entire body of work (mostly three dimensional, mostly ceramic) that I have ever made.