Wednesday, August 3, 2011

So do you really want a critique?

I find this an interesting subject. I have been in several art quilt groups and I really would like constructive feedback on my work. I have given several suggestions to have feedback sessions included on a regular basis for those who would like it and have always been turned down with the reason being that people really didn't want to hear what we really thought about their work.

I know this is a sensitive subject and can be hard to take but how can you learn and grow as an artist if you cannot get true feedback about what you produce. The piece I made for the 'departure' challenge in my eyes is marginal at best and when I put up the post I really wanted feedback on what you really thought. I find it interesting that I only have 1 comment so maybe some of you did not like the piece. I know that everyone has different taste and that art is subjective but do most people only just want to hear how wonderful their work is? Back to my friend Suzanne's statement, "Is it art or just crap?"

I would love to start a group where critique sessions where accepted and appreciated. It is so hard to subjectively or objectively evaluate your own creations. What are your thoughts on this subject?


Robbie said...

I think most of us are too thin skinned to accept a 'critique'..personally, I don't feel qualified to provide a good critique of someone's's so subjective and hard to really look at art work and comment from an artist standpoint..same with quilt shows. You're only asking someone (the judge) to tell you if they like your work! I used to show horses and it's the same. I knew judges who liked my 'type' of horse so I'd make sure to go to those shows!! So I sit in my own little world and don't enter shows or ask for a critique. Do I want to grow as an artist..don't know! I don't feel I'm an artist..only that I'm enjoying creating the pieces I do...if they are right/wrong/bad/good..I like them and that's what counts...but again, I'm not in this for a business...just to keep me off the streets in my retirement days!

Judy Alexander said...

Robbie, Interesting perspective. I guess being 'qualified' is also subjective..... To me anyone who has created art has value to add. Even if it is just saying if you like or dislike a piece. My husband is my biggest critic and always has plenty to say even though he has never done anything artistic!!!

Jackie said...

I would absolutely love having my work critiqued. I love getting feedback from jurors and judges, and would love a group where I could actually ask 'why or how they came to that opinion', so I could learn from that.

Ben said...

Judy, I agree that most of the groups I am involved with only do a superficial review of the work that is shown.
I think that that comes from our move in society to be politically correct and not to offend people.
Most of the time these assessments come from people who are not familiar enough with how to talk about art critically and to analyze a piece for its artistic values.
That can be done in a way that is constructive and not offensive to the artist but it takes someone who is trained in the process to lead the discussion.
When it becomes a process that looks at the artistic qualities rather than judging the work by personal likes and dislikes.
After looking at the artistic qualities of the piece the artist can tell the group what their inspiration or motivation for doing the piece was and the work can be judged as being successful or not. That can include suggestions for how to make the work better in order to achieve what the artist intended.

Crooked Gulley Art Quilts - Mary Couch said...

I am new to art quilting. Besides the art that I did with my first graders in the classroom for years, I'm new to art. I feel like I've jumped off a big cliff by putting myself out there in a blog. I want guidance that will help me grow creatively. I have bought several Landscape Quilt books that are going to vastly increase my developing techniques I didn't know possible. However, I want constructive criticism. I want to be able to look at others' works and understand what the group is suggesting... I want to grow enough so that when I offer constructive criticism fellow quilters pause and consider.
Will I be a positive contributor when this group first starts? No... But, I learn fast and I practice hard.
I think starting a critique group is a wonderful idea.

Galeri Tenun Troso Jepara said...

I guess for my assessment for your very good work,
because every human being has different talents

MulticoloredPieces said...

Your question is excellent. It seems to me that if you want constructive criticism, you have to state that clearly (and be courageous enough to hear it). Otherwise, I agree with Robbie that criticism is hard to take for most people. Not so long ago, I went to grad school (better late than never) but it was like entering a boxing ring where I couldn't punch back. I learned so much, but concluded that it's how you say it that counts. To suggest constructive criticism without giving someone a bloody nose is an art.
best, nadia

thesewinggeek said...

I am a very beginner of a fabric artist. My friends think I am fantastic but I just view and know what fabulous work is out there and shudder to put myself out for judgement to people who really know what they are doing.
I have not found a group to join in my area... Traditional quilting seems to abound here. So I muddle through trying to learn on my own... through videos and online information and books.
As far as critiques.... I do find that art is in the eye of the beholder. Anyone who offers critique in a harsh manner is not doing it out of a sense of helping someone grow or in a constructive way but in my opinion is doing it because they feel superior in some way or are lacking in confidence themselves.
We do have to develop thick skins and also to enjoy making things as we are on a journey... each piece will teach us something and that is why I am making art....

thesewinggeek said...

Forgot to add that I would love to be an encourager and be in a group to do so....