Critique your work

Posted by on Jul 14, 2015 in , | No Comments

Critique and review

It’s unusual to not critique work as part of the creative process. However, one thing we’re all guilty of doing, is forgetting to question yourself and the work of your team once the job is completed. Only when the dust has settled, the client is over the moon and you’ve recovered from your all-nighters and pizza-gorging induced indigestion can you finally learn to rediscover what makes ‘good’ design.

Even something as subjective as advertising, when dissected reveals ideas, strategies and objectives that could have later been refined, leveraged, extrapolated or made more memorable.

Having evened my design school stripes, I’m well accustomed to having work displayed for open criticism from peers. As pretentious as it may sound, ‘creatives’ put a part of themselves in to the work they produce. Baring their ability to think creatively is wearing your heart on your sleeve, so the prospect having work pinned up and ripped apart is generally not a welcome one… at least at first. As the cycle of work and feedback continues, it becomes an integral part of the process, and second nature to objectively find fixes for shortcomings, accepting or discarding criticism and suggestions from others in an effort to achieve a single goal – to do better. Just remember to prep for a critique with any supporting content so you can make a case with insight. More important still, is to create a culture of thoughtful opinion and feedback – often feedback is rooted in confusion rather than negativity. Even if a healthy yet heated creative debate ensures, the work should always remain king.

Do better

Designers and creatives are often perfectionists. There are exceptions, but this is largely a positive attribute in a designer.

It can result in:

  • Setting high personal standards
  • Being organised
  • Striving for the best output
  • More attention to detail
  • Urge to think differently
  • Challenging yourself
  • High customer satisfaction
  • High regard from others

Perfectionists can feel that everything they do still has room for improvement. Why not capitalise on this desire by reviewing your past work? This will highlight both the successful aspects as well as the areas you’ll know to avoid in future, thus streamlining how creative thinking works best for you or a team dynamic.

Remember not to seek praise but instead seek criticism in your own work.

‘Ask “what’s wrong with it?” or “how can I make it better?” You’re more likely to get a truthful, honest answer’. – Paul Arden.

Continue reading the ‘Cultivating Creativity’ series

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