It’s incredible to think we’re nearing the home stretch of this FIT experience. It feels like not even a few days ago I was walking into orientation, wide eyed and ready to learn. Being at FIT has definitely broadened my horizons and taught me far beyond what I expected. Many of our lessons I’ve already been familiar with (I have a bit of experience in most of the Adobe suite, so all the introductions to the programs and basic lessons I had already knew) but the one thing I’ve been exposed to that I could never been on my own has been the class critiques. And let me tell you, I’m in love.
A critique is just about exactly what it sounds like, you take you work, present it in front of the class, and they tell you what they like/dislike, what you should add/remove, and/or any bit of advice or insight to further improve your work. I know, sounds daunting, but getting the opinions from others is one of the best possible things you can do for your work. Or at least, it’s one of the best I can do for mine.
After looking at the design for so long, I definitely can begin to get a little numb to it. It’s like when you get used to a smell because it’s been there so long, or when a song just becomes background noise since you’ve heard it so many times. Having a fresh set eyes look at it helps me notice some faults I didn’t realize was there, or realize my direction. Think back to the old writing exercise, which is to read your piece backwards in order to make sure it makes sense, since you’ve read it forward so many times and might just skip over the mistakes.
Not only are critiques great for your own artwork, but they’re also a great place to be heard and really show your knowledge. There’s always the fear that if you just go up to someone and tell them all the things you think could be improved you’d come off as rude, pretentious, and/or other negative descriptions. Critiques provide an open environment to let people know what you really feel, and give you the opportunity to talk about what you love. It’s a win win! In the end, critiques break the ice. At the beginning of my class, no one would really say anything regarding other people’s work. However, after participating in our first critique, it’s rare someone doesn’t make a comment as they’re walking about the room. Do critiques sound as daunting as they did in the beginning?
Have you participated in a critique, and if so, what’s your favorite/less favorite part? If you haven’t, what’s one thing you’ve learnt in your class that you couldn’t have learnt anywhere else?