HOW TO CONSTRUCTIVELY CRITIQUE
Remember the goal: this person wants to make good art. A good critique gives them new insight, new direction, and energy to do that. At the end of the critique they should feel equipped and excited to get to work.
Notice what you like. That might be line quality, something quite improved, or even just noticing the work and effort they put in. Really, noticing the effort helps with point 1, the goal.
Offer perspective on where they need work. Again, something specific or something about their approach. Maybe they need to work on figures or color or composition, or maybe they just need to make more work.
I’ll add to #3 that this should be as honest as you can. This is a gift IF delivered with point #1 in mind. And for what it’s worth, the aggressive make-you-cry critiques get this wrong. There’s a way to tell someone they have work to do that excites them to get to it, and doesn’t make them want to curl up in the fetal position
And don’t overwhelm. If there’s a lot to work on, pick one or two things they can bite off.
- At the end, circle back: remind them of what’s working, encourage them to KEEP doing that, and offer real suggestions on how to improve the weaker points. If they need to learn something, give them resources to dig deeper, or a set of shorter exercises to learn on their own.
In my humble opinion as an instructor, half of teaching is convincing someone to keep trying. One way to do that is not just cheerleading, but sharing tools, resources, and next steps, showing someone their next moves.
It costs nothing to believe in someone who is putting in the work. And you reap immense emotional rewards when you watch them succeed with your encouragement.
-BY MARC SCHEFF
frankiiij last edited by
 Thank yo for sharing these insights. This is so precise to how a social community can be/stay healthy.
 I really enjoyed the part about keeping in mind the persons efforts and work put in. Most social communities struggle with being considerate and empathetic.
 I grew up in a extreme critical household. As i began voicing my opinion this reoccurring quote was heard, “Frank, sometimes its not what you say. It is how you say it.” I believe this was true for me 90% of the time as an adolescent learning how to communicate. Every once and a while it wasn’t how i said things but how the person took it. In context to the thread: Social media is so difficult to actually understand how and why a person is saying something. This quote comes to mind, “If you get frustrated with something someone said odds are you are taking it the wrong way.” This isn’t a 100% true, but i know how familiar it is to hear someone say, “well i didn’t mean it like that.” We could possibly have a sister thread that says, “how to constructively take critiques.”
 This is such a quality reminder for any social platform. Just like many, I have experience multiple social communities. I will say with all honesty that SVSforum has to be top notch in consideration and healthy constructive criticism.
Thank you for such a great post, the ability to share, and the love behind it.
Much love and God Bless! ONE!
chrisaakins last edited by
@Shyam-Sailus thank you for sharing this. I really like the line 'half my job as a teacher is just to get them to keep trying."
Katie Kordesh last edited by
Thank you for sharing this! I have been wanting to participate in the forum more but as soon as I start typing up a critique, I erase it and don't post anything. I am used to critiquing in person and I feel like it can seem more harsh online for some reason. I think keeping these points in mind will definitely help