Get Feedback From Other Artists

When I first moved to Los Angeles I worked as a bartender in a comedy club. After the comedians would finish their sets they would head to the bar to talk to the other comedians, so I heard many conversations regarding critique of what worked and what didn’t work. Even though they loved making the audience laugh, most comedians really wanted to make each other laugh. That was the ultimate compliment for them.

The same is true for actors. The Oscars and the Golden Globes are much more for the public and what the audience thinks. But the SAG awards are more cherished because the voters are limited to their peers. It’s a reward for reaching the pinnacle of their craft as established by those who have also worked hard on their craft.

Nominees for the SAG Awards are often similar to the list of nominees for the Oscars because many SAG voters are also Oscar voters. SAG award winners are a good predictor of who will win the Oscar in the same category.

Get feedback from other artists and brainstorm with other artists in your field to help you up your game.

Why Good Ideas Are Passed Over in Hollywood

I recently read an interview with Justin Berg from the Stanford School of Business about why good ideas are given a pass in Hollywood. He talks about how artists pitch original ideas, like Seinfeld, Star Wars and Titanic to executives who turn them down. He noticed that the artists create new ideas and evaluate their own ideas. But the executives who buy the material are focused on evaluating other people’s ideas.

Berg said “if your job is to evaluate ideas but not generate them, the criteria you use to evaluate ideas may become too rigid and idiosyncratic. This leads you to undervalue novel ideas.”

Another Artist Has Walked in Your Shoes

Artists are able to critique and evaluate other artists because they’ve walked in your shoes. And usually know the actual craft better than someone who has never been an artist. When it comes to the business side, ask an executive or buyer for their opinion. But as far as feedback on your painting, new book, screenplay, photography exhibit, etc., ask another artist.

“But Julie, aren’t artists jealous and competitive of each other?” you might ask. Here’s my opinion on that. Jealous artists are ones who haven’t figured out what makes them unique yet. Once you know that there is only one artist exactly like you. And you have put in the hard work that it takes, and you know that you have talent, there’s no reason to be jealous. And, if that’s an issue for you, find an artist who isn’t your direct competition. Or find an artist who is in another creative field.

Only another artist will know what it feels like to spend weeks, months or years on a project without getting paid. Only another artist will know what it feels like to go through constant rejection. Having a support system of your artistic peers is a good way to keep you on track and keep you inspired to do your best work.