Today for the fist time at college I had to fight off tears in class. I had focus every part of me to keep me from bursting into tears. It was the oddest feeling, thinking about it makes me cringe. Cringing literally means "to shrink from something dangerous or painful," and that is exactly what I did; I cowered.
We had a critique after three weeks long "design elements" assignment in my 2-D design class. We were presenting the last of a four piece series, a collage based on a favorite photo. All three of my other works were well received, but I was particularly excited because this was my favorite piece. I spent fifteen hours or more working on my collage, and for once, was really satisfied with the finished product and the effort I put into it.
I guess I didn't realize what a strong emotional connection I have to it, because when my work was chewed up and spit out at me by my class, I felt deep hurt. It was humbling, but I still feel terrible. I really thought this collage incapsulated all of the key elements needed in a good work, composition, craft, etc. Along with my general satisfaction with the piece, every part was incredibly sentimental.
And here is where I started REALLY choking up.....
My teacher, who I deeply admire, tells me, after "collecting her thoughts,"
"Obviously you were trying to emulate Rauschenberg, and that's umm (long pause)..........hard to do, yaa...I dunno... Not every piece has to be a home run."
Not only did she tell me what I put the most heart into and spent the longest on, wasn't successful in anyway other way than it's sentimental value. She ALSO pointed out that the-style-I-wish-I-had-and-I-don't, is Robert Rauschenberg, who happens to be one of my favorite and most influential in my work.
I can take constructive criticism on my art all day long, but right now I feel more than crushed and I can't even really figure out why.