The Student Section V. 6. Don't expect your parents to understand
I just read this great post by Chris Guillebeau (kudos to Neille at Aurum Design for the link) and it really hit home to me — especially when it comes to my work in advertising. Chris’s big point is that there are going to be people who are close to you — very close to you — who aren’t going to have this huge positive reaction to your creative work. You’re going to show someone you love one of your commercials, an ad, a web site, whatever and say “What do you think?” And you’re likely not going to be met with the enthusiasm you want, or are expecting.
That’s because, at least in my experience, your parents and others aren’t totally sure what you’re role was in the work. It is a little confusing. “You designed that?” “You wrote it?” “What’d you write?” “It’s nice.” “What’s a coder?” It’s probably one of those things you’re going to have to live with. It could be the other way around and your Dad could have been the Don Draper of his day. You could show him your work and he could say, “Well that’s nice but I would have ….”
The key is to not let it bother you. Because as Chris writes, new people are going to come out of the woodwork. Colleagues, professionals, clients and friends who get it. If you’re successful you will begin to build your own fan base and followers who can appreciate your work. It’s nice to get your Mom to like your stuff, but it’s even more important to get an awards show judge to like it. Sorry, Mom.
Anyone out there get any strange reactions to your work from a loved one or family member? I’d love to hear about it.