Does receiving just a handful of “likes” on your Instagram post ruin your day? Were you caught off-guard by a personal attack on Facebook? Those are just two of the battles you face in what Sam Villa calls a “war zone of artistic criticism.” With their large hearts and a level of insecurity around their work, artists are particularly vulnerable to the damage from these social slams. The founding partner of Sam Villa and artistic director for Redken education, Villa has decided to do something about it. He’s promoting the movement #ArtistsSupportingArtists.


“Let’s band together to promote unity in the industry,” Villa declares. “Restore the evolution of change that Sassoon created and that everyone wanted to be a part of.” Overcoming your insecurity to share your art on a social platform should be considered an act of courage deserving of respect and support, not mindless attacks, Villa adds. 


Take these steps to get involved in pushing back:

  • Post positive comments, and tag them with #ArtistsSupportingArtists.
  • Communicate with the same level of respect digitally as you would in person.
  • Support the industry by making comments that promote confidence, creativity and growth rather than picking a fight or causing the artist pain. 
  • If you have constructive suggestions, phrase them gently: “If you want to blend that fade a little more, I would suggest....” This feedback creates a conversation, provides opportunity for discovery and doesn’t carry an emotional punch. 

“It seems the more brutal the attack, the more followup comments or ‘likes’ the verbal pummeling receives,” observes Andrew Carruthers, director of education for Sam Villa. “These comments fly from people’s fingertips because the computer screen or smart phone sitting in front of them has no emotion. In that moment, it’s so easy to forget that the person on the receiving end is just that—a living, breathing human with feelings.”


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