Today I want to shed light on what I believe is one of the pillars of a professional artist or creative: How the practice of critiquing and being critiqued can elevate the artist and their work. This is most socially awkward experience for untrained or young artists. But for a seasoned veteran, they seek out judgement and discretion of other artists.
For those unaware, a critique involves 2 or more (20 in a classroom) creatives sharing their artwork with the other creatives allowing them to pick apart, openly judge, and verbally strip the work down into the smaller elements that make the whole. They will tell you if they don't understand the message, if the colors are off or unappealing and so on.
The first hundred times you are subjected to this, you become defensive. Even disrespected. Your ego is so attacked by their comments, you can not hear them long enough to hear if they have a valid point or not. It is always a while after before you can begin to consider their input. After you see how you can apply their advice, you begin to see your creations improving and those who commented before can re-advise you on what you have changed. If an artist can allow this separation of self from the artwork enough to understand they are not the art but the creator of the art then they will elevate their skill at all costs. They will seek out friends, mentors, and other creatives in their field to tell them where they can improve.
I guarantee that Picasso sought out the critiques of other artists and thinkers he admired and respected. If the artists who have established what art means to the globe are humble enough to know they have more to learn, it is beyond arrogance to belief your work is "good enough" or that is can't be improved because "that is just how you paint". I am a big subscriber to being the best I can be, regardless of what has to be sacrificed. This is the only way to leave my best work behind.
I hope you found a nugget of helpful perceptions in this. If you ever need an art critique, feel free to share with me!!!