How to Survive Critiques

I’ll come right out and say it. Critiques are hard and they stress me out. I always have to go somewhat first because otherwise I’ll be stressing the entire day…and that’s just not good for anyone’s health. This happens even when I’m really proud about my piece and feel really good about it. The reason, at least for me, is that after I put upwards of 40+ hours into a piece it’s like it’s a piece of me that’s being critiqued.



Finish the piece at least a week before its due. This will give you time to separate yourself somewhat. This also will help you see the flaws in your piece yourself.

Of course, I know many times this isn’t possible. In this case try some of these other tips.


If you’re like me and stress easily AND your crit is in the morning skip the coffee. It will increase your energy, which allows you to stress even more.

Put that nervous energy into critiquing your peers’ work. Remember to be constructive and try to say something you like in their piece as well as the problems you see.

Record your critiques! I usually have so much adrenaline rushing through me that I don’t take notes and only remember the negative things that are said. This will not only help you remember your crit, but if you create a library of the recordings, you’ll have many different point of views and different advice right at your fingertips.

If you find yourself really stressing out, take a few deep breaths. Half of the time, your crit isn’t going to be as bad as you think it will be.

It’s okay to get a bad crit once and awhile. Failure is necessary to grow as an artist.



16 thoughts on “How to Survive Critiques

  1. While I’m not an artist, this advice can be taken with anything. Big presentations, projects, even just daily blog posts. It’s important to try to keep a level head. Good luck!


  2. Great tips! I have a degree in fine arts, so critiques were a major part of my college experience. It may be stressful at the time, but they are one of the things that helps you grow as an artist.


  3. I agree, this is great general advice you can apply to any stressful situation. I too like to go first to “get it over with”, and burn off my nervous energy right away. I also heard finding a good distraction can help too. Thanks for the tips!


  4. I definitely needed this a few years ago in my art classes. It’s good advice. I agree it’s good to get a bad critique occasionally. Chances are, it’ll go up form there.


  5. I’d be nice if you can expand more on this topic! There is so many tips and tricks of how to critique properly and how to receive critique.

    I’m aa graphic designer, and I work in a photo studio full time. Plus grad student and BFA professor. So, critiques are a big part of my world!


  6. The only critiques I take “personally” are the critiques from my immediate family and husband. Because I know they’re being insanely honest to me, and it digs into my core. But I know they mean well, because they’re on my team. It’s just hard not to take them personally.


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