Providing a few tips on seeking criticism, what to ask for, and who to ask.
When to trust
Do you trust the people who you’re asking to critique you? Your friends, family and fans might want to be supportive, but might not be honest about negative points. Seek experts and knowledgeable people. A group of diverse styles and a great mix of range is often better than a group where everyone seems to be the same.
They might want to force everyone into their narrower views. But you may aim to do work like them. Be prepared for good and bad feedback.
Know what you’re asking for
Be specific about what you would like comments on. The things you want comments on may not be what you need to work on most. Be clear if you can’t handle or won’t feel comfortable with certain aspects being critiqued.
Still, be prepared for people to give opinions outside of what you asked for. Ignore it, say thank you or take the opportunity to discuss and improve in that area.
Remember that anyone that responds took time to respond to look at your work, and any time someone looks at your work think of it as a good thing. Even if they “hate” it. You need to know what you’re doing well enough to discuss your weak points.
Followup with people who have helped you in the past and see how they respond to new works. They will enjoy seeing you grow. Most of all: Be brave!
The SketcheeBook Podcast is a creativity and productivity audio show featuring quick tips for illustrators, designers and other visual arts. Hosted by Brian E. Young.
Brian E. Young is a graphic designer and artist in Baltimore, MD.