Taking Critique: Do’s and Don’ts

I spend a lot of time on DeviantArt.  I find it a good place to share artwork and attempt to grow as a writer.  Except most people don’t cater towards writers on the website.  That aside, usually, its a fun place to be.  Unfortunately, there’s kind of a cancer growing in some of the artists and I believe most people would refer to it as “BAAAAAAAAAAAWWWWW”.  What I mean by this is how people react to honest critique.  Most people view a constructive critique as a personal attack, which isn’t the case.   So today’s topic is learning how to take critique!  It’s something really important to both artists AND writers.

Step 1: Read the Critique CAREFULLY

Yeah, this really seems like a no-brainer, right?  It isn’t.  A lot of people don’t really read the actual point of the critique and react negatively.  I should know.  I used to do it.  After re-reading some of the critiques I received in college workshops, I found a lot of them were really astute and would have been incredibly helpful.  Learning to take critique is a sign of growth as an artist.

In reading, it is best to ignore the tone the person is using.  A lot of critique can seem really critical or snarky, but remember, people snark because they want to see improvement in art, and maybe snarking is the only way to get through what they see.  Take what they’re saying into consideration.  They’re seeing your art/writing through new and unbiased eyes, so they will almost always see things that you cannot.

Step 2: Formulating Your Response

This is the simple part.  Take the critique gracefully.  Thank the person for being kind enough to give a helpful comment rather than a braindead “I LOVE EVERYTHING SHINY SHINY DESU!!~”. While the shallow comment will make you feel better, the critical comment will help you grow as an artist/writer.

Do’s and Don’ts

  • DON’T: Flip out over a critical comment.  While it hurts, the person is trying to help you.
  • DO: Take it gracefully!  I promise, most trolls/snarkers feed on negative responses.  Responding gracefully will show your dedication to your craft.
  • DON’T: Feed the trolls.  As I just said, they feed off of your negativity.  Posting a journal saying how horrible it is that people are giving you honest critique is only going to get MORE of them to come get you.
  • DO: Try and help other people out.  Sites like DeviantArt are meant to create a community of artists all helping each other.  Pay it forward.

I cannot emphasize enough how much it bothers me when people ignore helpful critique and call it trolling.  I also cannot emphasize how important it is to carefully consider critique.

Here’s to improving art and writing 🙂



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