2 comments on “The Value of Criticism

  1. Pete,

    As a fellow artist of different industry who was tortured through a college program with the primary goal to learn exactly what you described in this post about criticism, all I have to say is “Tell me about it!” Knowing what criticism is valuable compared to that which stems from simple like/dislike in taste can be difficult. No matter how good a piece of work is executed by an artist, there is always room for improvement. As many say in the architecture industry, “You could design forever – put your pencil down” and that is true. I have found that I have 3 levels of criticism that go through my mind when working: the big picture, the details and the roaster. I think using discretion and communication styles while criticizing is the most difficult part for people to accomplish in a balanced manner. Sometimes your opinion is beside the point and will not make a huge impact but only destroy a concept or artist’s confidence. Other times, you have to deliver some tough comments so that the person doesn’t miss the opportunity to learn and grow in a big way. In other words, I agree with you. I digress…

  2. Laura – it is a tricky thing. The phrase “opinions are like a##holes, everyone has one” is crass, but very true.

    And, if you’re really honest with yourself as an artist, most of the truthful, accurate comments are not a surprise to you at all, but simply validation that your perceptions of your own weakness as an artist are correct. And that’s good, because that means your self-assessment is right on the money.

    Very rarely do I get surprised by truthful criticism. I know where the warts are… again, I’m just hoping you won’t see them.

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