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  • misatotakahashi

How to deal with criticism “I wouldn’t buy your piece even as a fridge magnet!”

The "magnet" piece


A few years ago I received a comment on my Facebook for one of my pieces saying

“This piece is UGLY!!!”

Um, okay, I said “Thank you for your comment, and I appreciate it. From person to person, it is different how we perceive a piece of contemporary jewellery, that’s the fun part of art!” and she replied “I don’t like that piece.”

Some more people started to join the discussion, one said contemporary jewellery is not the traditional goldsmithing and jewellery making. And the person who hated my work said “I would never buy this piece even as a fridge magnet!”.

I was inquisitive to see how the discussion was going on because it was touching very interesting subject - “What is contemporary jewellery?” “What is art?”. Unfortunately Facebook deleted some of the comments because I assume that their system recognized them as a risk to the community or not following their policy.

Despite of my curiosity, I felt like I was under attack from someone that I never met in the real life nor online. Now I can laugh about it but it took me a while to digest this experience.

Are you a savvy critic?👓

I’m open to any criticism. I believe that it is essential to improve my work.

However I also believe that when you criticise something or somebody, there should be respect as a foundation. You have to know how to make a criticism.

Of course everybody has a freedom to have a say, but again this freedom should be built on a foundation of respect, love and some rules.

For me it seemed it was lacking some respect for this message from somebody that I never met, and on a website that it doesn’t allow us to be face to face. Would she have told me the same in person too?? That’s one of the difficulties of being online.

🏆#1 Common but essential rule: Never take it personally

Whenever I receive criticism for my work, I try not to take it personally, which is already difficult enough but important first step. I try to keep my brain cool. Maybe I leave a good amount of time to be able to see the criticism objectively. Then I decide if I take the criticism as an advice to make my work better, or just classify it as a “negative comment” and forget about it.

Negative comments to ignite competitivity🔥🔥🔥

BUT one of the weird facts of receiving negative comments is it whips me up to improve my work to overcome it by exposing my ego in danger. There must be so many things to toil away because I make many mistakes and I’m not perfect.

Actually this “magnet” comment made me re-evaluate the materials I use, and the line between DIY crafts and contemporary jewellery making. (Don’t get me wrong, I love both DIY crafts and jewellery, and I’m not saying which is better, and the line in between differs person to person or even doesn’t exist. Talking about art is very ambiguous and blur.)


I strongly believe that we can express ourselves under some rules. Be thoughtful and respectful to others as much as to yourself. Try to listen to others if you want to be heard – it’s a universal law!

Again, my arms are open to any criticism, but criticism with respect. Feel free to share your opinion with me.

But let me know beforehand if it’s going to be lethal…😂


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