No matter how good an artist you are, no matter how many awards, no matter how popular, someone is always going to think you’re a terrible creator or a bad person. There is no accomplishment, skill, or generous heart that can insulate you from a public scourging. This is the hard truth of being a pro. It’s harder on artists now more than ever because everyone has a voice online regardless of how mean, false, or dead stupid it is.
Ten time Hugo Award winning artist Frank Kelly Freas was my mentor when I was a kid, and I worship the ground he walked on. Everyone who knew him loved him. He was kind and generous. He was also a pioneer of SF/Fantasy art, and a wonderful cartoonist. So imagine my surprise when I found this letter published in a 1970’s era magazine. It’s pretty vicious and cruel.
If someone wonderful like Frank Kelly Freas had to deal with this, we all have to deal with this.
Remember: a lot of what people say isn’t about you. It’s about them. Don’t carry their baggage for them.
Get on with your life, get on with your art.