Saturday, September 7, 2013

Constructive Critiscm

What would you say if I told you that I could see you through your computer? Yeah, I can totally see you through your computer and we need to talk..about your hair. I can totally see that at some point, you actually put some work into but I just need to tell you this because I love you(tube), You didn't do a very good job. I mean, what can I say? It's absolutely terrible, you need to use the proper left hand right hand technique when you use your comb and brush! You should only blow dry for approximately 15 minutes and everyone knows that when you condition you should massage your head in counterclockwise rhythms. I know, I know...It probably hurts your feelings, but you understand right? I's only constructive criticism.

Here's the thing with constructive criticism, it's extremely subjective. Different people react to it differently, and different people use it in different ways.

Majority of the time, when given constructive criticism, a person will take it and use it, but then there are other times.The reaction usually goes as follows...
or my favorite, when you ask if they get it. They say they're fine but you know,

So how do you know how you should take constructive feedback? How do you know if the person has your best interest in mind, or if they're just one of those people who use "no offence" to blatantly offend you? As someone who writes and draws, I personally love constructive criticism. In fact, I will pester people to tell me the truth if I feel they're being too nice about something I've showed them. But ofc ourse I have those days when I wonder if this person is saying it to be mean or if they're really trying to help. here's a good example, this is a drawing of mine. (I realize the shading is off)

I personally thought it was pretty good, I hadn't drawn in about three months and when I did this it was trying something completely from my mind and using tools I never used before. Anyways, I was swapping art work with someone I didn't know, we were just sharing art. I complimented hers but when she looked at mine, her reaction was, "Wait what is it?" So I told her maybe she should flip it because it was upside down and she said, she already flipped it, she still couldn't tell. Felling extremely embarrassed, I explained what it was and her reply was, "Ohh now I get it!!!But aren't the eyes to big? And is the face anatomy okay? O.e Its awesome! I can't even think of making that without any reference."

I wasn't angry at this, and I agreed. I mean, she complimented it right? Sure, the eyes actually were kinda big and I guess if the face anatomy wasn't covered by a bandana, it maybe was a little off. But a part of me also felt a little hurt. Like, either maybe my art wasn't good, or maybe the girl just felt like being mean. I mean, was it really that hard to tell what it was? I didn't know what to think about it. Was it constructive criticism? More than likely I was just being overly sensitive, either way, it brings me to this point, Everyone at some point is going to get some feedback that they may not like. Whether it is true or not, it will be impossible to tell with some people. But learning to handle constructive criticism is what we can do. So here are some tips when dealing with feedback

1.Use the advice, don't abuse the advice(Dod Gammit, I'm a philosopher!!! Somebody better tweet that!)
-Always take a moment to think about what someone has said when they are trying to be constructive. However, don't dwell on it. Especially if it was something that was really hard to swallow. Use that advice to improve but don't let it linger in your mind. Don't keep coming back to the words they spoke because every time you do, your mind will twist it into something it's not.

2.Put yourself in their shoes.
- The fact of the matter is, I'm not always right, you're not always right. No one wants to admit it but its true.If someone asked your advice, I'd hope you want the best for them. That either means being nice and lying, which is...lying to someone you care about. Orrrrrr it could mean telling the truth because you want them to do better, or you simply tell it like it is because hey, they asked. Whichever reason, how would you critique something you thought wasn't perfect if the shoe was on the other foot? I'd hope you'd be honest.

I learned this in either us. history or some other class last year. You need to agree with something they say because 9 times out of ten, they are at least partially correct. You don't have to agree with everything but don't act like you have no fault whatsoever. Also, if you agree, it will take some of the burn away on both ends.

So what do you think? Have you ever gotten some feedback that you weren't so happy about? ow did you handle it?


  1. I suck at constructive critism, i suck at critism in general. I just instantly get offended, and just feel so shameful that ithought my work was incredible. Example, during the GTW retreat i made a critique buddy, sent her my first two chapters which she loved, she did the same. Then i sent her two more. That's when she flacked on me, saying she didnt like my story...I was really sad after that. And that makes me think if i cant take one little bit of critique how can i take some from millions ( i hope.) that'll some day read my novel!?

    *Takes long huge exasperating breaths* Ok, I'm good :)


    1. Ohhhh I hate that! Yeah, sometimes it's hard. Especially if you don't know the person well enough to know their intentions. I'm sure you'll be a famous writer someday! just keep at it!

  2. Yup! One time someone told me my novel was written in an old fashioned style and that I needed to loosen up my words. And I just thought . . . that's just how I do it. I can't change that! I didn't like that criticism at all, and frankly I thought it was just an opinion. (Which I guess is what all criticisms are, and why I'm hesitant to give people life shredding opinions.) I don't really listen to criticisms unless the person can also suggest how they would fix it. That way I can actually tell if it's good advice. If they don't want to tell me WHY my writing is crap, then how am I supposed to fix it? Well anyway, I'm going off on a rant and I'll calm down now.
    I agree with Ony. Great!

    1. Obviously that person is confusing "Old fashioned." with pure skill. Seriously, I love the way you write. It's very unique and even poetic the way it flows off te page. Remember, writing is extremely subjective.


Its obvious that I like to talk(type,whatever) but I want to know your thoughts too! Leave a comment :)