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Dash of Inspiration: The Art of Self-Critique

July 14, 2014

A Dash of Inspiration, A Cup of Creativity by Doreen

The Art of Self Critique

Many years ago, I was one of the founders of a Photo Club for our community and one of the people who joined was fairly new to the craft. I enjoyed spending on photo shoots and mentoring this student of photography. This past week I had the pleasure of finding him after all these years, through a run-in (not literally) with his brother. I was very pleased to see fifteen-years later, that he has continued to grow and thrive as an artist … and I can’t find words for how proud I am of his artistic accomplishments.

I have always believed that the artist/photographer who can look back at the work they created two years ago (or more) and find at least a few pieces which they find almost embarrassing – is an artist that has continued to grow their skill level, expand their vision and enhance their technique.

The artist who does find fault with old creations has most likely not become stagnant in their craft. Artists, photographers, illustrators and designers all need to continually grow and you can only do that by challenging yourself.

  •  Choose a subject or theme which is well outside of your comfort zone.
  • Learn a new medium or technique which is a challenge to ‘master’.
  •  Find inspiration that makes you say to yourself “I want to do that” –  then go learn how.
  • Thicken up your skin and submit your latest ‘masterpiece’ to juried shows and critique sites. Remember GCU Artists have a free critique on this blog every Friday through Sunday.

analysing an image

For Photographers:

Jay Ryser could not have stated it better: “One of the great tools for improving your photography, is submitting your photograph for an objective critique. When you first start this process, it’s also a great tool for building frustration tolerance, building humility, and tolerating perceived criticism. Submitting a photograph for critique is not for the thin-skinned, but once you move past the perceived personal attacks, it’s an excellent way to improve your photography.”

Self-Critique by Jay Ryser

This is a short article that if you take the time to read it, as well as the captions under each photo, you will reap the benefits of being able to step ‘inside’ John’s creative process while he sets up to shoot this image.

4 Ways Self-Critique Can Improve Your Photography – By: John Davenport

There’s always room for improvement: self-critique of my popular images –  by Ming Thein

Challenge yourself to step outside of your comfort zone and grow in your artistic ability.  Here is an interesting challenge for the photographer.

The Photo Critique: Portrait Edition By: Christina N Dickson

For Artists & Illustrators:

Learn to Critique Your Own Artwork by Lori Woodward

HOTS (Higher Order Thinking Skills) in the Art Room by Heather offers these prompts to help get you to be your own best and worst critic.

There are many blogs and sites which offer creative monthly challenges and these, whether you post your results or not, can be very inspiring and push you out of your comfort zone or force you forward when you are in a creative rut – such as this one.

For those who may be curious about my ‘student’ from the past, I proudly share his portfolio – if you stop by, please let him know I sent you.

So until next week … Learn … Create … Inspire!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 14, 2014 10:38 am

    Doreen, this is a great resource. You have covered all aspects of self critique. I like your visual designed the “Analyzing an Image” information.
    Thanks!
    Sandra Rose

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