| Create a Positive Feedback Folder or Notebook |

I know how hard this can be. Showing up to work in the studio week after week when it feels like nobody cares about what you are doing. No one even notices.
When you hit a rough patch creatively or when the work isn’t looking or feeling too good, it can be so tempting to wonder why in the heck you even bother.

Maybe you just got another rejection letter and your heart is sinking.

It’s times like these when I pull out my positive feedback folder.

I have a paper one and one in my email files. This is where I archive any positive feedback or words of encouragement on my work.

It might be a brief comment in an email, a thank you note from someone who has received my art, or even something someone said in passing. If you have a blog or facebook page, you can cut and paste into a separate document any comments that give your heart a little lift.

More established artists could save copies of positive notices or reviews, articles or catalogue essays on their work in their positive feedback file. (Yes, even the most established artists suffer from self-doubts.)

I suggest compiling them all in one place and making it part of your studio ritual to read these over on a weekly or monthly basis. This will strengthen your resolve in the studio and help you through those darker times of confusion and self-doubt.

I believe we all want to be of service to others in some way. When you spend much time working alone in your studio, it is easy to forget that your work can have a positive impact on others.

If you are just getting started and you haven’t received any yet, don’t worry, you will. Perhaps someone in a class you took admired your color palette or your knack for composition?

Can you be absolutely sure you haven’t received any compliments?

Perhaps you have been in the habit of dismissing them? (This old thing?! It’s nothing, really. Just something I’m messing around with. It’s not even finished.)

There is a delicate balance here. Obviously, we don’t want to live only for the compliments or accolades, nor base our self-worth or our opinion of our own work on them.

However, they do serve to remind that part of us that wants to make a difference in the world that our endeavors are worthwhile.

Your work is worthwhile.

Now, go make something.

Responses to “Create a Positive Feedback Folder or Notebook”

  1. Sharon DiGiulio

    Hi Michele:
    Thanks so much for sharing your kind thoughts and words! Your emails are always so “calming” to me… I too keep a “positive feedback” folder of sorts. I call it my “Love Book”. It is a folder I keep of any nice emails or thank you cards I have received over the years from people about workshops in the store, AOC or anything in general. It is my “go to” place when I need a little pick-me-up. Works every time!
    – Sharon DiGiulio

  2. Mari

    Michelle, this is so encouraging — thank you. I am one of those people who tends to focus on negative rather than positive feedback, so making a conscious intention to focus on the positive feedback I’ve received is a wonderful and valuable idea. I will work on it!

  3. Joy Resor

    Another wonderful article from mindful, awake, talented you, Michele.
    Thank you very much!

  4. Stefanie

    This is a great idea I am going to try with my journal. Thanks for the idea.

  5. jewel lentz

    Thank you Michelle,
    I am in a middle of a move, it was nice to take a break and read your kind and heartfelt words of encouragement and wisdom. Thank you for all your comments and advice!.

    Enjoy your week away.

    Jewel Lentz

  6. Marge knyper

    I have been going through some medical issues so haven’t been painting much lately. I have been doing my meditations though, and thank you for the reminder that they are important too. And , of course knowing that I will get back to at least my 15minutes soon. Thanks for the notes you send, too,

  7. Olivia Irvine

    This is a great idea. I had never thought of it. I have a lovely decorated notebook which I could use. I think handwriting the positive comments will help them become more powerful.

  8. Maggie

    Just what I needed to hear this week!

  9. CAT

    Michelle, Thank you SO MUCH for this suggestion! I do believe it is vitally important to have a log and document what people say. I have received many compliments but have failed to write them down so I can return to them for a lift when times feel stagnant. I love your insight and am inspired by your positivity. Thanks again! 🙂 Cat

  10. Caroline

    Thank you Michele, that is so true I often forget that in the mix of comments people are giving complements and good advice.
    That is a great idea about keeping a folder, I usually writing things down like that into my journal.
    I love hearing from you and enjoy your videos and feedback.

    P.S. When I downloaded your CD on Meditation, It has been a very helpful by given me a chance to remember a lot of things in the past and calmed my inner thoughts and listen to the good things people say and do for me.


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