My friends who write, photograph, paint, or dance have no doubt considered the art and value of constructive criticism when it comes to evaluating their creative output. CC can move an artist to the next level of honest and precise expression. But what, exactly, is creative criticism? Especially on a medium such as Face book or web sites. So much gets lost in translation on electronic formats. Misunderstandings are commonplace.
Creative types are often times very emotional and sensitive people. We tend to wear our hearts on our sleeve. We put our work out into the world and release it from the deepest places in ourselves. If the criticism that comes back to us is personal, it feels like an egregious attack.
My question to the person who is the critic is: does it move the conversation of artist expression forward? Is it focused on the execution, the artistic intent, the successful or unsuccessful translation of the idea into an expression?
I am a member of a few photography sites on Face book. The intent is to share our work and to receive constructive feedback so that we might improve our technique or ideas. The upside is you are able to receive varied viewpoints from all kinds of artists. The downside is you are able to receive varied viewpoints from all kinds of artists. Double edged sword, ain't it?
If the person providing the feedback is not skillful, or kind (two different things) then there is no purpose to the exercise. When I have very negative feedback on a piece of work, I often do not comment unless I am meticulous about my intent and my skill. Constructive criticsm requires skill and a thorough grasp of the technical language as it relates to the medium.
As an artist, I welcome CC. I crave it, actually. If I am not open to it then I shouldn't be sharing my work in a public forum. Unless I get some satisfaction out of having my vision eviserated. I am of the opinion that any artist worth her salt uses CC as a useful tool. Negative and personal comments serve no purpose and defeat the goal of coming together as fellow artists to advance our vision. As an artist, I know, I feel the difference between skillful and unskillful critique.
Read this and please provide feedback. And remember, be kind.