Friday, December 30, 2011

On Critique

            An important aspect of creating art is the process of assessing the effect of what you have made. Objects are made with some kind of intent or purpose in mind, whether it is a cup to simply hold a hot or cold beverage, or a sculpture with many parts and a complex message to portray.
            The artist is often focused so closely on his or her work that others’ reactions to the finished piece can be surprising – and very valuable. You may think while you are working that the intent of your piece will be perfectly obvious to the viewer, and yet when you show others they come up with all sorts of different reactions that had nothing to do with what you were thinking. Perhaps it is back to the drawing board, or perhaps these reactions spark a desire to pursue something different for a while. Regardless, it is this interaction between the artist and the rest of the world that is most valuable. Without feedback, it is difficult to impossible to know how your work affects others. As an artist or craftsperson, this is a very important thing to know. It might even be the point of making what we make in the first place.
            Now that I am no longer in school, my primary arena for critique is gone. I will have to find different ways to get feedback on my work.
            Thus, I am introducing Friday Critique posts. Each Friday, I will post images of a pot or sculpture that I am working on, or that I have made in the not-too-distant past, and also a discussion of different aspects of that object.
I’d like to encourage any readers out there to add comments – otherwise it’ll just be me mumbling away to myself with no idea if anybody’s listening or looking. So if you have something to say, don’t worry about whether it’s profound – even saying “I think the edge of that foot is too sharp!” can be helpful. As long as you’re polite about it, that is.
I will start next Friday with the first Friday Critique. I hope to hear from you!  

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