Constructive Criticism – Do It Right

constructive

One of the most useful things you can get on your work (any type of work in fact) to help you improve. It’s both positive and negative  analysis and assessment of work given in a friendly way to help one accomplish a goal.

Sadly, I find that so many people take any kind of criticism badly. They take it personally and are often offended by it and for whatever reason they feel that the person giving it meant in a bad way ( when they often don’t). Quite often its just a small comment or something pointed out. Even amongst all the nice things said they focus only on the bad and don’t try to at all use it to help their work.

When you receive such critique be  it a minor one or a major you cannot take it personally. You should not assume that this person is trying to say what you have done is no good, that it means they think they are better then you or that its there to make people look at your flaws.

In my opinion anyone can give critique (“Everyone’s a critic” sound familiar?).  That’s because everyone has an opinion and they are entitled to it! Just because someone cant actually do what they are giving critique on doesn’t mean that they have no knowledge on it. Sometimes another person can see something that you don’t, or maybe they just would change something that you have done.

You also have to remember that

some things are just personal preference, you don’t have to change it because someone else tells you they think it would be better another way.  if you like it leave it, if your done, don’t change it. just take what they said, think about it,  and maybe it will be helpful to you later on.

 

I agree that there are people who will go around and ONLY point out negative things. Often these people are trying to hurt your feelings and should probably be ignored (troll alert!)

My tips for constructive criticism.

Giving

  1. Say something you like about the picture or  something that was well done ( color composition, use of space, anatomy etc.)
  2. When you say something negative try to offer a suggestion or an example of how the person could improve that area.
  3. If you don’t like something in particular try to tell them why. Maybe its too small in proportion or the colors are too bright for where the light touches.
  4. Don’t point out every flaw!  There are always tiny things you can pick at, don’t look for them specifically, look in general for things that stand out to you!
  5. If you don’t like the content don’t talk about it, look at the characters, the color scheme and the composition. we are looking at the overall image. We aren’t going to learn anything if you tell us you don’t like dogs because one bit you as a child.

 

Accepting

  1. Don’t take any of it personally,  the comments are about the picture not you!
  2. Remember that everyone has their own opinions and preferences on what they do and don’t like.
  3. This is to help you improve not bring you down. Everyone makes mistakes, everyone can get better, and nothing is perfect.
  4. Try it. Don’t just disregard what someone has suggested but try it, maybe not now but later. one small tip can really help! you might not realize until you try it for yourself.
  5. Remember that if you never had any criticism (even self critique) you would never be as good as you are now. Its essential for anyone that wants to improve upon their task.

Of course there are many more points to make about constructive criticism, feel free to comment on them 🙂

 

 

Here are a few sites I would recommend if you would like to read more about the value of constructive criticism and how to accept the feedback in a positive way

http://clickitupanotch.com/how-to-critique/

http://www.psychologytoday.com/collections/201207/constructive-criticism

http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-constructive-criticism.htm

https://www.boundless.com/communications/learning-to-listen-and-helping-others-do-the-same/giving-and-receiving-criticism/giving-effective-criticism-be-positive-specific-objective-and-constructive/

 

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