Seek Criticism to Improve Your Work

Giving a critique


Remember the dreaded critique from art school? Despite the fact that it was nerve-wracking and embarrassing at times, critiques can be catalysts for improvement. Even if you didn’t go the art school route, asking for constructive criticism of your line from a knowledgeable third party is a good idea and can help you make your collection stronger and more saleable.

First, select someone you trust who has the expertise to give an objective and helpful critique of your work. Friends and relatives, especially your mother, do not count.

If you belong to a guild or arts organization, or participate in an artist salon or other event, seek out someone there who may be able to go over your body of work and offer their input. The Arts Business Institute offers pre-scheduled critiques at workshop events, as well as private business consultations for artists where constructive criticism of your line may be given upon request.

You needn’t fear rejection during a well done critique. The purpose should be to recognize your strong points, and help identify those elements in your work that aren’t working as well, with an eye toward improvement.

Artists should be presenting their artwork in a cohesive, signature style which is recognizable as their own, and is memorable. If your work is overly derivative, doesn’t work well as a collection, or needs to be developed more fully, getting this input can inspire you to get back in the studio and work on your product development.

A critique that identifies problems with your body of work can be a blessing in disguise. Charlotte Leavitt’s story is an excellent example of an artist getting an honest critique that spurred her to start over on her line and come up with great ideas for her jewelry line that turned into a very successful business.

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