It’s necessary for artists to receive feedback on every work they do in order to help understand how to improve over time. Critiquing is a vital part of the artistic process; ultimately needed to advance. Critiquing, in art, is a thorough review or evaluation by another person or persons. Artists can only develop through honest feedback or critique. Winston Churchill said, “Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.”

“Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.”

Winston Churchill

Sometimes, artists can spot and fix issues on their own after finishing a job. However, it’s important to understand how an audience perceives their work. There’s a reason why actors need directors and writers need editors. Correspondingly, every artist needs to see everything they create from a different perspective or from a “third eye.” Not only to satisfy a patron but to satisfy and convert anybody that comes across their work.

Nobody likes being told what to do, particularly if they consider themselves a master at doing it. This said, critiquing is one of the best processes artists have to give them a competitive edge in their line of work. This is true for all artists, regardless of their medium. Of course, it’s a real mind opener. It can be disheartening at times to hear others’ opinions of your creative work, but rest assure the value received from this process will be worth any discomfort you may temporarily experience.

Master these 3 major critiquing benefits in order to help you grow fast:

1. Critiquing is a form of communication. Being in business with someone who is understanding enough to receive and act on criticism allows both parties to work towards a better outcome. It means you get to learn more about the person you work for and eventually turn them into extremely satisfied clients. A client gives you feedback on what you’re doing for them and feedback is essential for growth. Always take your time to think before you respond. You can’t take back something hastily said in the heat of the moment.

2. Critiquing or Feedback strengthens your content. You definitely will struggle to know if you’re good, or getting better if you don’t get feedback from someone else. Responding and reacting to honest feedback gives you insight as to what you’ve done well, what you can do better, and how you can possibly improve your content in the future. Moving forward, this will strengthen your content creation.

3. Critiquing forces you to think about how you work. Be aware that fair criticism can guide you away from bad practices and habits, while at the same time guiding you towards good ones. Take a step back to improve the way you work and shun any negative conclusions. Ultimately, it’s important to be objective and look at your own creation from a different perspective. This will make you work harder and help improve your process.

Keep in mind that you can irreparably damage the prospect of working with any client or audience if you take a critique personally. This may dent the reputation you’ve been building over a long period of time. Professional artists have the capacity to contain and process any form of critique. You should always politely respond to any unfair criticism and take advantage of any and all feedback you get. This leaves your reputation intact and gives you or your partners the desired confidence in your work.

One way to consistently offer a respectable evaluation is known by many names, such as art sandwich, critique sandwich, compliment sandwich, etc. In this instance, I’ll refer to it as a feedback sandwich. This method involves providing positive feedback at the beginning, giving constructive criticism in the middle, then providing more positive feedback towards the end of a given critique, much like a stacked sandwich.

The Feedback Sandwich

In the end, you are the creator. You should be left to make all the final creative decisions and be responsible for owning up to them. Become the master of your own destiny. More often than not there are no right or wrong ways to pursue your passions, so I’d like to sum up the critique process with this lovable quote from Eleanor Roosevelt

“Do what you feel in your heart to be right – for you’ll be criticized anyway. You’ll be damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.”

Eleanor Roosevelt

I’ve personally always found critiques to be invaluable in evaluating my own work. At any time I would like to encourage constructive criticisms of my past, present, and future content post of any kind. If you’ve never critiqued before, right now is an excellent time to get started in implementing many of the aforementioned techniques and strategies to hopefully learn and grow as a creative individual. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, feel free to reach out to me in the comments below, or connect with me via InstagramFacebook, and Twitter. ✌

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