Thursday, May 24, 2012

UN-COVERED #4- Dealing with Criticism in the Modeling World

Mark Perini, Tempest Cover Model
If you're new to the weekly UN-COVERED posts on my blog, check out last week's awesome post on a day in the life of a NYC model.

I've been looking forward to today's topic for a few week's now because it's something I feel is very important for all aspects of life.

So, if you've checked out the other UN-COVERED posts, then you already know how this works...I ask Mark a question and he answers it cause he's awesome.


How do you deal with criticism in your work environment? How did you develop your tough skin and how do you know what feedback is useful and what you should ignore and not let it get to you?


I think to survive and be successful in the entertainment/art community you need to have "Thick Skin.” You are going to hear "no" much more then you hear yes. You have to be confident in yourself and your abilities and you have to continue on in the face of rejection because there will be a lot of it. 

 However, at the same time, you have to be willing to take constructive criticism as well. I think this is why people get so disheartened so quickly with modeling. With art, music, or acting you can take constructive criticism and change your approach or your way of looking at things. 

With modeling you are "selling yourself" (not in the sense of prostitution) but in the sense of your image and your personality. So changing your image and your personality for a lot of people is a hard pill to swallow. In a sense, you have to be open to change but not at the risk of your morality, your inner self, or any dangerously extreme measures. 



Having said that, the world of fashion is always changing so just because they want you now or don't want you now doesn't mean that they will or won't in the future. You have to just be yourself and really be true to your own person but don't be bullheaded, be ready for change. I think this stuff holds true in life, relationships, and any career in general. Just some food for thought.





What's interesting about Mark's answer is how closely that can be applied to writing and trying to get a book published. Personally, I'd rather read my rejection in an email hiding behind the safety of my laptop in the privacy of my home than standing in front of a designer or photographer, so I have to give Mark credit for biting that bullet. Just like in the photo above, it's those demons and insecurities that keep us from taking life changing risks such as putting our self or our work out there for people to tear apart. 

The real world isn't like school in the sense that if you try really hard your teacher is going to have to say something nice about your work or at least find a polite way to tell you everything is wrong and you failed completely. But honestly, the part of getting published that was the hardest for me was all the guess work in the beginning....are agents/editors going to like my book better if I have more romance or more sci-fi? What aspect should I focus on most in the query? I'm sure for modeling you're guessing about everything from what to wear, which photos to submit, which flaws to neatly cover up. 



Once I had my foot in the publishing door and I had an agent and editor who flat out told me things like, nope...chapter 20 sucks, scrap it and do it over, I actually loved that. No more guessing. 

Early on in my writing journey, I was given a piece of criticism that I have not forgotten and still to this day, think of with every scene and every story....someone told me that my characters were too perfect. Not enough flaws. I hated this person for about a day and then I got it...totally. And man were they ever right. 

So what piece of criticism have you received that was most useful in your life? 

thanks again, Mark for a great post!

2 comments:

  1. Wow, I never realized that modeling and writing are hard jobs. It just seemed so easy and relaxing.

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  2. Mark does sound like us writers. I'm with you Julie, I prefer my rejections in the privacy of my home. Its tough enough when your crit group has constructive criticisms, I can imagine standing in front of a panel of professionals and having my flaws cataloged.

    I loved the cover of Tempest, btw :)

    ......dhole

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