How important is the public reaction to your art?

I think I might be the only person who genuinely enjoyed Lulu, last year’s Metallica/Lou Reed joint album. Lots of people were upset with how the album was basically a latter-day Lou Reed album with Metallica fucking around in the background, but once you get past your preconceived notions of what the album should sound like, it’s actually pretty great. You know who didn’t get past it, though? The internet. In an interview with Clash, Lars Ulrich of Metallica said:

“Obviously, it’s fantastic in 2012 that the Internet gives everybody access to voicing their opinions, and I think it’s an incredible medium to communicate and to bring the world closer,” he said.

“But obviously, as an artist, or somebody who is creating something, you’ve gotta be careful how deep you dive into what everybody’s talking about, because it could really screw with your mind. I’ve always been in a place where I’m pretty thick-skinned, so it doesn’t bug me that much.”

This brings up the question of who do you make art for? With Lulu, it’s pretty clear that these guys just made this album because they thought it would be cool to work together, without any commercial expectations. When you make something with someone else in mind, you fundamentally alter your creative process.

It’s interesting to think about this within the context of games because more and more often, art games are being created with the purpose of pleasing the people who made them. But if you do that, then as the wise poets of 3LW once said, haters gonna hate. So do you take their criticism in kind, or do you get mad about it?

[via Clash]

-Drew Millard