Sunday, July 17, 2011

Do You Really Want a Critique?

My experience in taking the time to look at someone else's work and delivering well-thought out comments/questions considerately to the maker -- has suggested to me that a number of people aren't really interested in a critique when they ask for one...but rather are looking for a quick 'praise fix'.

Getting a critique can be difficult especially when it is on a piece I've made and love. But praise rarely helps me learn how to improve my work or technique. Take serious musicians for example, they generally take private lessons from someone who is a professional and has honed his/her abilities on the same instrument as the student's. This instructor can hear and see what the student needs to develop and gives the student feedback and lessons (to practice) -- for the student's development.

Serious artists need to work at developing their ability and honing their craft as well through learning about the masters of their chosen discipline, practicing technique, developing their design sense, learning to play, growing their imagination and creativity, and getting honest feedback from 'professionals' in their art form.

So, if you are a practicing visual artist -- who do you ask for feedback (if you do), in what form do you get feedback on your work, and what form of feedback on your work do you prefer?

Critiques from others...those you respect for their expertise...are vital. They are as much a key to producing fine art as one's muse.


  1. Cay, I am so on-board with what you are saying... I used to belong to an art quilt group and suggested several times that we have constructive feedback (critiques) of our work. I was told more than once that they had tried this and it just didn't work.

    I would love for someone to tell me what they really think about my work. I know that art is subjective but I want to hear all opinions. Maybe we could find a group of like-minded artist and setup an online critique group. Hope all is well.

  2. LET'S! I'm looking for a small online group to work with and haven't connected with any in a long time (partly for the lack of time). Do you know of any, or who might be interested in participating in one?

  3. Usually I want a critique when I am 3/4 of the way done with a work but am not sure how to finish it up - or when I know something's not right, but I can't put my finger on it. Getting input from someone else helps me look down avenues I might not see on my own.

    Did you ever find an online group? I am currently looking for one, too.