Man, talk about a loaded word. Some folks cringe at the very thought of having someone weigh in on anything they do, while others may be more open-minded to the possibilities that an honest evaluation can bring.
And, when it comes to woodworking, we often find ourselves to be our own worst critics, pointing out every single mess up – no matter how small or inconsequential.
When the criticism comes from others, however, it can really be hurtful – or a springboard to improvement. (Thanks, Marc Spagnuolo for today’s poll idea!)
This week, tell us what you think about criticism, and can you handle it with your woodworking?
8 thoughts on “Quick Poll”
If I invite someone for their opinion or If it is out in the open on display then I expect C&C. Yet when someone nitpicks without invite, expect to fine my #7 Joiner shoved their arse…. SIDEWAYS.
People should understand – Just because I don’t follow your advice doesn’t mean I don’t value it.
In general,I don’t do well with criticism in the immediacy of the situation, but later after I’ve put my shield down and can be objective, I appreciate constructive criticism.
I got an art minor when I was in college. Critiques are a routine part of art classes. True criticism is not nit picking, it is an honest discussion about what the individual sees in your work. Everyone doesn’t have to like your work, and what other people see can be enlightening. Criicsm is like advice, take it or leave it, but don’t take it personally. A piece on public display will be criticised. If the piece in is your home and you don’t ask for their opinion it would be rude for them to offer it.
I very much appreciate constructive criticism. I always seek it out. When I come up with a new design I routinely post it on Facebook and ask for brutal honesty. I typically make more than one of whatever I make, so I would rather refine the design and not make a bunch of stuff that I like, but won’t sell. I am also fortunate enough to live next to a retired art professor who critiques my creations.
I appreciate constructive criticism from those who are obviously more talented then I am, as it will help me grow in my skill and technique.
But, I don’t appreciate critique from those who have vastly less talent then myself and feel they need to make themselves look more experienced at my expense.
Like Mike, I studied art in college. Though my major was art history, I ended up with studio classes almost every semester for four years. Drawing, design, painting, fibers, sculpture – you name it, I took at least one level of it, often more. I don’t know how other art programs are at other universities, but the one I went through fully integrated a peer review/critique process in every class.
About once every two weeks, the class would meet outside the studio, usually in one of the lounges in the building where the art classes were held, and spent an hour or two going through everyone’s current project. I’m pretty sure participation in this process was a percentage of our grade for the class, even. Most of the students thrived in the peer review process, understanding it to a) be another tool to learn from and b) prepare them for the really real world, where critics abound and you have to know how to accept criticism gracefully and then be able to use it to improve yourself, as well.
Those that did not adjust well to the peer review process either struggled much more than everyone else or dropped out of the program.
I learned so much from those peer review sessions; I looked forward to them, even! They helped me to grow as a person and push myself as an artist.
I’ve struggled to find any sort of peer review process since then that was as helpful. I’ve toyed with the idea of trying to start up some sort of a peer review forum or site, but… honestly, I don’t think it would ever live up to what I experienced in my undergraduate studies. But I still haven’t totally discounted the idea…
most of the fear of critique stems from the situation where either the critic or the artist doesn’t understand the word or it’s implied intention. Critics who only criticize and attack the piece and it’s maker are of no use to anyone. and likewise artists who don’t understand the comments are about the art and not the artist get defensive and insulted. I have learned to ignore those who criticise, although my skin is very thin in this regard, and only listen to things that sound like help is intended.