Friday, August 28, 2015

Critiquing the Critique - Off the Wall Friday

by Sarah Anderson
The moment I hear the word Critique, my mind immediately jumps to the word Criticism.  Is that a girl thing, an artist thing, or is it just human nature?  What it is . . . .its a big, fat lie.    Actually critique is more about analysis rather than criticism.

With that in mind, I've been trying to learn to critique my own work as well as others.  Not only is this a good skill to have in your artist toolbox, but it also is a great way to way to combat those nasty gremlins that keep
popping up in your mind telling you how much your art work sucks!

When I do a final self critique on a project some of the questions I ask are:

  • What is the main idea of the piece and is it being conveyed
  • Did the final design decisions flow with or against the conveyance of that main idea
  • Are the design elements being followed or where rules broken without reason
  • Is any element obviously bothersome and in obviously in discordance with the rest of the piece
  • Is there movement in the piece
  • Is my craftsmanship acceptable and craft methods not distracting to the overall main idea
 What's harder yet, is how do you give a decent critique of the work of others.

Things to remember in giving a critique:
  • Honest feedback doesn't mean bluntness
  • Don't use personal pronouns  - ie. "Your use of so many colors is distracting" rather say "Using a limited palette will solidify the piece"
  •  Offer compliments without the qualifiers - "But" & "However" 
  • Never use the phrase "No Offense" because its always offensive

Remember the goal of a critique is to provide additional information to
the artist for their own edification rather than tearing down what they have already built!

I started a list of words that would help me in critiquing my own work as well as others.  Hope they help!!

So What have you been doing creatively?


Teresa Duryea Wong said...

Your cartoon is hysterical... and so true! Good tips.

Norma Schlager said...

A insightful look at critiquing and some very good tips that I will try to use.

Anonymous said...

Keeping a list of words to pull out of your "toolbox" is great. I like these and I appreciate all the links on your Friday posts.

Gwyned Trefethen said...

I really appreciated how you cut right to the chase about the difference between criticism and critiquing.

LA Paylor said...

this was a great post, Thanks! LeeAnna

Katkat said...

I loved this! I am president of my guild and would love to use this sometime when we talk about preparing for our quilt show. Can I? I will give you credit.

Linda Steele said...

This is a great post and I'm going to show my art quilt group because we need to learn how to critique more effectively . Thanks

MulticoloredPieces said...

Hi, Nina Marie. I'm finally surfacing. I thought this post was particularly well-done, thoughtful, and thought-provoking. I may just refer back to it many times.
Best, nadia