Critiques are hard to receive. However, they can also be difficult to give as well. Whether you don’t like the piece (or the person) and don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings or you believe you don’t know enough to critique it, sometimes it can be difficult to speak up.
Don’t Sugarcoat it!
You’re not helping anyone by being too nice. Give constructive criticism, but don’t downplay the flaws you see. This will give the artist a false perception that there is nothing wrong with their piece. Crits are meant to help people grow, and you being too nice isn’t encouraging their growth. Don’t be afraid of being the only one who says something. In my experience, other people are thinking the same thing, and are just too afraid to say anything.
Don’t be Afraid of Saying You Like something
Some professors will tell you otherwise because they want you to learn the proper art terminology. Listen to them, proper terms are important! However sometimes you can say that you like something, but there always has to be a phrase that follows that statement. For example, “I like this because the color scheme is really engaging.” Sometimes this start is all you need to form a more academic statement on the piece.
Do Ask Questions About their Process
Sometimes something in a piece doesn’t make sense. You are allowed to ask why an artist decided to do it. The process, after all, is just as important as the product. Questions like, “Why did you choose this color palette?” often help you understand an art piece more. This allows you to critique it better and talk about their choices.
Don’t be Afraid of Critiquing Your Friends (even during their making process)
Yes. I know, they are your friends. You don’t want to say anything too negative about their pieces. But believe me, the criticism will help them in the end. They might not appreciate it at the time, but you are helping them. In my opinion, a friend is someone who will point out flaws in your work, instead of ignoring them and letting you think you’re doing the best you can.
The Worst Thing You Can Do is Not Say Anything At All
Seriously. If you absolutely hate someone, this is the worst thing you can do to them. If you aren’t expressing your opinions, they can’t synthesize them and grow as an artist. Not speaking up is worse than being at your most critical.
I hope this helped! Do you have any advice on giving critiques? Let me know in the comments!