The Art of Constructive Critiquing

Just the thought of being critiqued is enough to send chills up the spine of artists and designers. Let’s face it, having your artistic creation critiqued can be as painful as pulling teeth. But, it doesn’t have to be.  It’s all in how you look at it.  

The best artists know that being critiqued is a chance to grow.  Although growing may be painful and a bit awkward at times, it allows you to evolve and mature as an artist so you can learn to perfect your work.  The bottom line is that feedback is a vital part of any artist or designer’s work.  Here’s why:

Perspective

No matter what it is your art of choice is, it’s always good to see it through the eyes of others. Sure, you can ask your mother if your piece is good, or your best bud, but you have to remember, they are partial.  Plus, they may not want to hurt your feelings. Furthermore, there’s an added value for placing your work before a critiquer who actually knows art and design. 

Solutions

No matter what issues a critiquer finds within your work, there’s always room to improve.  Some critics even give suggestions on how the problem or problems can be solved which is priceless.  

Advancements and Improvements

Especially if you are an independent artist or designer, a critic is a teacher.  You don’t go from first grade to the twelfth without some instruction along the way.  Neither do you get where you want to be in your artwork without a little help in the process.

A Chance to Network

Putting your work out to be seen and critiqued by others, especially your peers, is an excellent way to network.  You’ll expose yourself to those who are in your caliper as well as those who have surpassed where you are.  Wise artists are willing to hear where others have been and how they got to where they are now.  Rubbing shoulders with other artists to exchange ideas can open doors.

What Critiquing Really Is…And Isn’t

Critiquing isn’t criticizing.  It isn’t condemning.  It is constructive, positive, and is done for the purpose of advancing you, your work, and your creativity in general.  In all actuality, critiquing is an art in itself.  Those who are great critics have the ability to see art and express the greatness within it as well as areas it could use some improvements.  That is true of critics in all fields like book and movie reviews, art of all types, and designs as well. 

Some things you can do to get rid of the dread and fear associated with voluntarily laying your art out for critiquing include:

Determine not to let fear freeze your creativity.  Just create.  When your work is critiqued, take the feedback into consideration but don’t let it give you artists’ block.

Detach yourself from your art when you are hearing or reading the feedback.  Try not to take it personal.  You are the artist, not the artwork.  There is a difference. 

Defense is a natural reaction to being critiqued.  Do your best not to argue about everything that is mentioned that you don’t agree with in the critique.  Learn to balance the trust you have for the critic or critics but also trust yourself. 

The benefits of having your work critiqued are huge.  You’ll get unbiased feedback you can take…or leave. As the artist, you are always in control and nothing can change that.  One of the best decisions you may ever make, however, is to risk putting your work out there and taking to heart the information received. 

Ready to start Critiquing? Click here to post your work for Critique or Critique your peers!