Tuesday, January 4, 2011
How do you handle critical feedback? I attend a monthly critique and during that time I present one or two paintings to a small group of artists for their feedback and comments.
I used to feel much more attached to my paintings. They felt like "darlings" and I can say, I didn't like them to be criticized. I felt defensive and upset. Sometimes, in the early days, I would come home and immediately make changes to my paintings based on what I heard at critique.
I have come a long way, baby! I don't feel nearly so attached to my paintings. Probably because I have painted many more, so the overall importance of the piece being critiqued is less. One piece in 900 is different from one piece in 45.
Listening to feedback with a non-defensive attitude is not easy. But, it certainly allows others to say more about how they feel, what they see, what is not working, what is working. I like that. I kind of want to squeeze all of the available information so that I have it. I take notes.
Then, I come home and I put my painting away. Today I have stood it against the wall in the studio. I will leave it there for a week or more. Then, I will turn it back, and look at it with fresh eyes. I will re-read my notes of the critique comments. And then I can decide what happens next.
How about you? How do you handle critique? Is it helpful? Hurtful?