Art rarely emerges from committees, the authors suggest. Where art loses the potential to take form is within the artist’s perception of how others will receive their work, and confusing another person's priority with their own. Real or imagined, the critic is with us constantly. We carry within our own heads, these imagined voices and societal views of what art is or is not. Each paralyze an artist to make new and unique pieces of work. The problem has been to not only teach art, but to teach how to view the critics; the criticism anticipated is not personal. It is through understanding, acceptance, and approval in which artists learn how to move beyond the critic’s grip of holding back potential.
To be understood is a basic human need. And when one caters to the fears of others, they become dependent upon the audience for approval of their art making. In the process, the artist does not follow their own path but rather fall into patterns of resistance. There are easy ways to find acceptance by making art that others want rather than exploring the new worlds one's imagination may present. The authors caution this is not a sustaining course of action as it may stunt the artistic development. They also give a clear distinction between acceptance and approval - "acceptance means having your work counted as the real thing; approval means having people like it." As these two go hand-in-hand, they throw this back to an "audience-related issues." Meaning, when the control for approval and acceptance is left external, rather than internal -- the artist accepts and approves of the art, there is less likely a rejection would affect the artist. Again the authors caution the artist to not court approval of others as it sets up the artist to continue on work on artwork to please others.
I encourage you to buy a copy of Art and Fear for a better understanding of your own creative process. Whether you're a master artist or beginning artist, this is an excellent book.