Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Dare we discuss?

It has been a very long time since I have written a dare we discuss post - so let's get chatting...

I am currently reading books on art marketing (more about this in an upcoming post). One of the books has a quote that has started me thinking. Here it is:

"Listen carefully to first criticisms made of your work. Note just what it is about your work that critics don't like - then cultivate it. That's the only part of your work that's individual and worth keeping." Jean Cocteau

Do you agree? Do you do this - that is, seek criticism, analyse it and then go forth capitalizing on the very things that the critic didn't like? I believe that we do need to become aware of what is unique about our art.

But what about when we need to improve and grow? Perhaps an artist has received criticism that if listened to would help an artist become better at their craft. What about the source of the criticism? I think that matters. We all know that judges of a juried exhibition can have different opinions on the art that is being viewed. So, I guess I flip flop on this. I get the point that is being made. Yet I can't say I have done this. I haven't had a critique of my work that was harsh nor revealing. Maybe I should seek one?

Over to you dear readers, what do you think of this notion of listening to first criticisms? Has this worked for you?

(If you have never commented before, please feel welcome to write. I thank you for reading and I am interested in what you think.)

7 comments:

Barbara Ann Goodsitt said...

Hi,
I belong to a critique group of mixed media artists who are supportive. We all meet once a month and give constructive criticism to each other. I can tell that these artists have great instincts and are genuine in expressing their opinion. I think it is very healthy for artists to meet and discuss their work. Creating art is a very solitary job. It is most important that a fine artist be true to her/himself. If you are trying to produce an artistic product, the market will let you know what succeeds and what doesn't. In the end, do what feels good, have fun and enjoy!

Feathers said...

I've always enjoyed critiques,long ago, I lived where the local art group held one critique night each month. I always attended, artwork in my sweaty hands, and my heart pounding. I learned soooo much--not just from crits of my own work, but perhaps even more from crits of other's work--possibly because I wasn't so involved with its creation and could look at it more objectively. I believe that critiques can help you grow.

Teresa Mallen said...

So two thumbs up for critiques so far. But what about the notion of "cultivating" the part of your work that the critics don't like? :-)

Barbara Ann Goodsitt said...

If you feel strongly about the elements in your work that are being criticized, I agree with Jean Cocteau. An artist has to be true to herself. Follow your intuition and do what FEELS right!

Ann said...

I agree with Barbara. Your work needs to be your own. Critiques can be helpful but in the end it's what you really want to do that counts.

Feathers said...

I've heard that "beauty is in the eye of the beholder"--yes, by all means listen to the critique, but over time,listening to those critiques gave me the courage to take what I liked and reject what I didn't. In the end, it's all about YOU! Your art is a reflection of you, and is original. I always figure that in this big world there will be someone else who loves it as much as I do, and if not, if I still love it, it's still me. :-)

Teresa Mallen said...

At this stage of my art journey I trust my skill level and my instincts. I am a very strong critic of my work and if my art passes the Teresa test and makes it to the framing stage - then that is good enough for me. If someone else 'gets' it or likes it, wonderful, but if not, oh well. I do seek to cultivate what I think is me about my art.

Thanks ladies for daring to discuss! :-)