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What is a good critique?

Journal Entry: Thu Mar 31, 2011, 4:16 PM
Let's get personal and specific about what we each expect out of a critique...

My personal expectations of a really great critique are deeply affected by the fact that I was both a working class commercial artist in a creative field, and an art director, for almost 30 years.

I need a critique to be delivered in an intellectual, yet professional way. "Clinical" would be a good descriptor. It has to come from someone I respect as a professional doing the same, or similar, work to that which I am asking to have critiqued. They have to have a skill set, and a body of experience I believe allows them to render a critique that I will find to be applicable and useful to my work.

I need them to evaluate the image against a battery of professional standards, regarding presentation, originality, composition, use of and balance of color, and a hundred others. I need them to tell me, in a clinical way, where the image falls short of those standards. I need to be able to identify the specific weakness, or mistakes in the image, in a way that lets me see the corrections I need to make quickly and fully.

I need them to tell me what is strong and positive about the piece, as well. I need them to tell me what works so that I leave it alone. I need to know what is good about the piece, so I can fully, and exclusively devote my attention to correcting just the mistakes. Again, the best format in which to deliver this information is a clinical one.

The best, most useful critique to me is a TOOL. Anything that increases it's effectiveness for me as a way to improve my work and my art is good. Anything that limits it's use as a tool is bad. Feelings have absolutely NOTHING to do with it.

How about you?

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Blades-123 Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I absolutely agree: a good critique is one of the best ways you can help someone improve their stuff, and I'm always grateful for them. In this environment (ie an online, non-professional community), feelings do have at least a small amount to do with it, since I doubt anyone would bother to offer a critique on an image they had absolutely no emotional reaction to, positive or negative?
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Submitted on
March 31, 2011