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Critique Clinic – September 22-23, 2012

September 22, 2012

How does it work? For three days a week (Friday-Sunday midnight), I will open the clinic to any artist who wants an honest peer review and critique of a card which gets plenty of clicks but no sales, so something’s probably not quite right, or you’ve got a new design you want to test drive, or you’re unsure about the marketability of a card. Or perhaps you’re a newbie who isn’t sure if a recently submitted card is up to a marketable standard. Anyone is welcome to participate. In fact, I encourage everyone to at least look at the cards in question and read the critique comments – you may learn something. The purpose of the clinic is to help artists improve the commercial appeal and marketability of their cards.


  • ONE card per artist only.
  • Card must be for sale at Greeting Card Universe.
  • We will take an unlimited number of artists, including those who have submitted recently, HOWEVER I reserve the right to close a clinic for the day if the submissions become overwhelming. If the clinic has been closed, and you submit a card, your comment will be deleted.
  • To submit a card for critique, post a link to the card at GCU in the comments section of this clinic post. Allowances will be made if you’ve had a card declined, or made a new design you’d like advice on. Give us the link where we can see the card, such as your private gallery, Flickr, Tinypic, etc.
  • Any artist is free to comment and/or give a critique of a submitted card. HOWEVER, post-and-run comments like “great card” or “you suck” will not be tolerated, nor will abuse. Criticism should be constructive, not destructive. Play nice or you will be banned.
  • I also won’t tolerate temper tantrums if you decide your “artistic integrity” is being stepped on because you asked for a critique, and someone told you the photo you’re using isn’t in focus. If you can’t take honest criticism, don’t submit. Once gets you a warning; twice and you’re banned from submitting in the future.
  • Artists who critique may do so by giving their opinion, posting an example of another card, or pointing the submitter to a video, on-line article, or other helpful suggestion.
  • Don’t forget that artists who are giving you tips and helpful advice are volunteering their time and trouble. Be nice. A link back to their store on your website or blog is appreciated (but not mandatory).
  • You are free not to take any advice offered. There’s no guarantee any card will be a bestseller, so don’t come into the clinic with unrealistic expectations.
  • Rules may change as we go along and we see how things turn out, okay?

So without any further ado, I declare this week’s Critique Clinic open!

6 Comments leave one →
  1. September 22, 2012 12:04 pm

    Looking for your opinions on this one as I continue evaluating and redoing previously approved cards. This one has sold three copies just this month but I felt it needed a face lift so I started doing some clean up. This image is a digitized sketch that I colored in on the computer and post processed with a plug in called Fractalius. I decided that even though it had been approved, it could do with some additional work and I have uploaded the newer version for review – if it is approved, I will delete the original copy. I’ve posted the before and after images here at the bottom of the page. You can click on them to view both as larger images.

    Did I make matters better or worse?

  2. September 22, 2012 12:15 pm

    Well, the first thing I notice is that the composition’s off – the bat on the right seems to be attached to the “bride’s” veil. You may want to change the position of that bat. And the bride’s flowers in the redone card – they don’t quite work as they seem too “real” when transposed against the more obviously drawn art. You’ve got a good idea going … you’ll get there eventually.


    • September 23, 2012 9:54 am

      thank you for the suggestions. I’ve changed and flipped on the right side and I’ll work more on the flowers – should have realized this is one of those bad mixes of two different types of elements. Newer version is here but I’ll swap out again once I get the flowers fixed.

  3. September 23, 2012 6:22 am

    Thank you for opening the Clinic.
    I have a new design I’d appreciate comments on as it’s a new style I felt inspired to try. (It’s currently awaiting review at GCU.)

    • September 23, 2012 6:26 am

      It’s cute and the composition’s good. Who are you marketing this card to? Adults? Teens? Kids? Depending on your target market, you may want to tweak your colors a little to brighten them up, and instead of using the cream background, try white. It’s a cleaner look.


      • September 23, 2012 9:33 pm

        Thank you, Corrie. What you said about the colors makes a lot of sense.

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