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  #1  
Old 11-28-2008, 01:31 AM
Autolycus Autolycus is offline
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Do artists often hate their own work?

I've been pondering (always dangerous). I'm an extremely amateur singer, so much so that I really shouldn't even use the word amateur, perhaps noobish is more appropriate. Before I ramble on any further, my point is that I find listening to the sound of my own voice highly distressing. Even when I have the luck to record something halfway decent that other people can listen to without setting their ears on fire, I find that when I listen to it I often hate it. Even if I can tell that it's a decent sound, I still hate it. Hate hate hate it. When I'm in the act of singing, I actually like the sound of my voice, but play it back on recording and I can actually feel something akin to physical pain. This doesn't always happen, but it happens often enough to make me ponder. As there is no time, let me sum up.

Do other artists in singing or other genres display such an effect? Are there other singers who hate listening to their own songs, directors who wont watch their own movies, artists who hate seeing their own paintings, so on and so forth?

Last edited by Autolycus; 11-28-2008 at 01:33 AM.. Reason: I really need to edit before posting...
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  #2  
Old 11-28-2008, 03:48 AM
Oakminster Oakminster is online now
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I haven't been on stage in...wow...16 years now. But when I was still doing that kind of thing, I didn't particularly like seeing myself act. Not sure I can articulate exactly why...but it was an uncomfotable experience.
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  #3  
Old 11-28-2008, 05:49 AM
outlierrn outlierrn is offline
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'but all my words come back to
in shades of mediocrity
like emptyness in harmony'

Paul Simon
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  #4  
Old 11-28-2008, 06:17 AM
panache45 panache45 is online now
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I'm a visual artist, and yeah, sometimes in spite of careful planning something doesn't turn out as expected. If it's bad enough I destroy it. But these are rare exceptions. Mostly I'm very pleased with my work.
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  #5  
Old 11-28-2008, 06:37 AM
Renee Renee is offline
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I mostly like my paintings. If I don't I throw them out and forget about it. No big loss. I do find that often I'll be pretty meh about one, but not hate it, and then go back to it in a few months and find it's actually not bad at all. I'm more critical of my writing than my painting, and probably for good reason.
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  #6  
Old 11-28-2008, 07:00 AM
An Arky An Arky is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Autolycus
Do other artists in singing or other genres display such an effect? Are there other singers who hate listening to their own songs, directors who wont watch their own movies, artists who hate seeing their own paintings, so on and so forth?
Yeah, and it's a real barrel of laughs, let me tell you. A near constant struggle between the urge to create and the tendency to hate it. But it's something you just have to move along from, like disliking pictures of yourself.

Last edited by An Arky; 11-28-2008 at 07:02 AM..
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  #7  
Old 11-28-2008, 09:29 AM
Sr Siete Sr Siete is offline
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I'm always reading about writers that won't read their own books, actors who can't watch their movies... I would ssay that's fairly common.
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  #8  
Old 11-28-2008, 09:38 AM
don't ask don't ask is offline
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Everyone does it with whatever they do.

Just stop listening to yourself if it upsets you. If you can learn to listen to it without playing the good/bad game and just learn something from it, fine; otherwise why listen to it to berate yourself, it won't improve your performance.

You need to culture a bit of zen attitude. What is done is done, all you can do with it is change it next time, you can't change the past.
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  #9  
Old 11-28-2008, 04:22 PM
sovtawen sovtawen is offline
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I'd give anything to be able to create something and not hate it afterward. The problem is, being a good artist means being extremely critical of your own work, and thus constantly striving to make it better, and never settling for the mediocre. If you are too satisfied with your work, it probably means you aren't trying hard enough.

The best we can hope for is the ability to let go of something, call it finished, and move on to the next project, which hopefully will be better.
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  #10  
Old 11-28-2008, 04:41 PM
DMark DMark is offline
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I teach at a college where most of the students are working in one form of art or another.

One thing I have found is that the more talented and creative the student, the more self-critical they are. Some of those students will work on something for hours, or even days...then stand back and take a look at it - and simply toss it (or delete it if it was done on the computer) and start over.

Most of what they toss is actually excellent work, but in their opinion, it was crap.

It shocks the hell out of lesser talented students who wish they could do half as well as what some students throw away.

On the other hand, I have less talented students who will work, and work on one project that started off badly, but persistence often pays off and their final product is excellent. Those students are usually quite proud of their work and feel the enormous amount of time and effort paid off.
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  #11  
Old 11-28-2008, 05:02 PM
Lamia Lamia is offline
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I think singing is a special case, even compared to playing a musical instrument, because a recording of your voice will never sound the same as when you hear your voice when speaking/singing. Even if the recording quality is top-notch, when you hear your own voice at the time you're speaking/singing, you don't hear it through the same physical process as when you hear someone else speaking/singing. Your own voice isn't just going through the air and into your ears, it's also being conducted through your skull directly to your middle and inner ear. That's why everyone feels like their recorded voice sounds "wrong" -- it isn't what they hear themselves every time they speak/sing.

I once saw an interview with Roger Daltrey (singer for The Who) where he said he didn't like to listen to recordings of himself singing, and said this was the same for Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin) and pretty much every other singer. He said the only singer he'd ever known who liked the sound of his own voice was Rod Stewart.
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  #12  
Old 11-28-2008, 08:48 PM
zweisamkeit zweisamkeit is online now
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I'd say that artists tend to be self-critical, yes. With the things I make/create, even if I like the finished piece, I can always find something that I wish had been done better. It's perhaps part of what makes an artist continually strive. If you can find things to improve on, you're on a constant quest for (unreachable) perfection.
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  #13  
Old 11-28-2008, 09:32 PM
gladtobeblazed gladtobeblazed is offline
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I absolutely hate the music that I've made. But I think that's mostly because I've spent hours upon hours writing and recording them. I've spent so many hours on it that I have no desire to ever listen to those songs again. I don't know how bands can spend weeks in a recording studio, then go on tours for months on end performing the same songs over and over.
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  #14  
Old 11-28-2008, 09:40 PM
lissener lissener is offline
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I'd say a good artist is self critical. So saying, of course, because I'm extremely self critical.* In fact, I think one of the reasons I've never been a full-time artist is that the process of creating art is extremely unpleasant for me: I start with an idea of something in my mind, and set out to make it exist in the real world. Well, my first draft/attempt/whatever is always SO not what I pictured in my mind, and the rest of the process is the extremely stressful process of trying to fix my initial mistake. Know how I know when I'm done? Suddenly I realize my back has been spasmodically clenched for hours, because it's just let go, signalling that I'm approaching the end of the process.

*

Last edited by lissener; 11-28-2008 at 09:41 PM..
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  #15  
Old 11-28-2008, 09:50 PM
zweisamkeit zweisamkeit is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lissener View Post
I'd say a good artist is self critical. So saying, of course, because I'm extremely self critical.* In fact, I think one of the reasons I've never been a full-time artist is that the process of creating art is extremely unpleasant for me: I start with an idea of something in my mind, and set out to make it exist in the real world. Well, my first draft/attempt/whatever is always SO not what I pictured in my mind, and the rest of the process is the extremely stressful process of trying to fix my initial mistake. Know how I know when I'm done? Suddenly I realize my back has been spasmodically clenched for hours, because it's just let go, signalling that I'm approaching the end of the process.

*
I still vividly remember being 6 years old and having this totally awesome idea for a unicorn on the peak of a mountain with storm clouds swirling around him in my head, and running to get my art supplies...

... and ending up with the crap you'd expect a 6 year old to do. God, I was so pissed! It looked nothing like the goddamned image in my head, goddammit! What the fuck was wrong with me?!?! Little did I know, I was getting the artistic mood down early.

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  #16  
Old 11-28-2008, 10:52 PM
sovtawen sovtawen is offline
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Like gladtobeblazed said, creating something requires an incredible amount of focus -- you have to immerse yourself in the project and spend countless hours thinking about the tiniest details and examining every aspect from every possible angle. It's human nature to become absolutely sick of it after awhile. Take your favorite song and listen to it over and over again for days, analyzing every second of it, and you will grow to hate it.

The neat thing about experiencing somebody else's art is that you never have to be involved with the ugly details of how it's created.
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  #17  
Old 11-28-2008, 11:01 PM
Windwalker Windwalker is offline
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I absolutely hate my voice, which is too bad because I love singing, playing music while singing, and creating songs that involve singing. A few professional singers have tried giving me tips, and I notice a slight improvement as I try to implement them, but it's still a long, long way from being pleasant. And I have the same thing where the recording is about 1000 times more awful than the sound I get when I'm actually singing.

I don't really hate the music I create, I just think it needs work. But my voice, I can tell, is objectively bad.
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  #18  
Old 11-28-2008, 11:37 PM
MOIDALIZE MOIDALIZE is offline
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I am not an artistic person, but I do consider myself to be fairly creative. Thus, there's always going to be a disconnect between what I can think up in my mind and what I can tangibly deliver, if that makes sense. The inability to express what you personally consider the "ideal" I think is the source of your frustration. An outside observer, who doesn't have the personal concept of what you're trying to acheive that you do, may be more easily impressed.
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