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Critique: Get it? Get it? Ouch!

June 8, 2009

The first drawing class I took in university had one hell of a critique. I came back to my dorm feeling like I couldn’t draw. My whole life was filled with me and my sketchbook and admirers. People were always asking me to draw pictures for them, asking to see what I’d done- the validation and approval was amazing!

And of course I improved, constant artistic output will do that to a girl, but there’s some things we just don’t see on our own.

And when we’re used to all this praise then it’s really easy to take it to heart. And then when someone says something different- that maybe my paint looks muddy or that the ear is in the wrong place, it can do a few things.

One: You don’t know what you’re talking about.

Two: Oh my god, I can’t draw.

Three: You’re Right. I hadn’t thought of that.

Four: Endless combinations of the above.

Combine that with the knowledge that all Avant-Garde artists’ art went unloved at some point (heck, isn’t the traditional thing to be Famous After Death) then sometimes it’s easy to get all, “You Just Don’t Get It About My Art.”

That’s totally not helpful. A lot of non-artists feel like they “don’t get art” as it is- we don’t want to encourage them to think that way!

And you know, there’s nothing like being a great artist like standing on the shoulders of those who went before- or however that cliché goes. So if we can take our egos out of critique for a bit, then…that’s a win.

And then we can go on and be FAMOUS ARTISTS. My set date for this is June 7, 2016. What’s yours? I think it will take less than 7 years to become well-known and successful, but influence and fame take a little longer. I’ve got some growing to do. And I just sent some of my work off for critique at the Photoshop/Comic Book Artists’ forum Gutterzombie.  Feel free to crit me, too.

Post It Note: This post was quite inspired by Havi Brooks.

Post It Note: Garfield Herriot is making me some food. You can check out his blog- but all you get is some FOOD FOR THOUGHT. haha. I get both! Win!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 10, 2009 5:37 pm

    Great great great. The thing I remember my sculpture teacher saying most is that there will always be somebody better and somebody worse than you. Comparison, especially in art, is so pointless to me.

    Critiques are always about the critic, not the artist or their art. Critics are WAY more insecure than artists, hence critiques are about making the critic look good in front of others. Teachers are bad because usually it’s gotta be something negative or they’re saying they don’t have anything else to teach the student. So right when students need positive reinforcement for their fragile artisticness, right when they’re starting out, they get blasted by the harshest criticism possible. More than getting the artist’s ego out of it, critics need to get THEIR ego out of it.


    • katanabarnett permalink*
      July 10, 2009 10:15 pm

      Very true. Criticism can be so limiting.

      There must be ways to open up potential and expand horizons- for example, just being aware of what else is going on can expand creativity and ability- when used to show how very much is possible in the range of mediums, expressions, and concepts. And we all want praise no matter what level we’re at.

      Thanks 🙂

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