Rants from the Queen: Constructive Criticism

By Tiff Pantone,

This month’s topic…the art of constructive criticism or more important, how to take it.

One of the my biggest complaints with some of the artists that cross my threshold on a daily basis is their lack of talent…in taking criticism. Perfectly normal, down- to-earth men and women—at least as normal as artists come—can be reduced to whiny little brats and bumbling idiots when their artwork is questioned in any way shape or form.

Now I can be the first to admit that I might sometimes rule with an iron email. Sometimes I really don’t have the energy to stroke every ego and essentially build them up before I give them bad news. It’s alarming to send comments on artwork back to a professional, only to receive emails back whining about the harshness of my comments and exhibiting just a general unwillingness to bend when it comes to creating an acceptable piece of art.

As an artist, I can sympathize when feedback seems to get personal. But in a business like this, with legions of people involved in the process, you need to remember you are an artist for hire, not a co-collaborator (that is unless you were asked to be), and just draw what you are hired to draw!

Of course when an artist is too unprofessional, we won’t work with him or her ever again. Fortunately, most of the artists we have used have been very easy to work with. So, none of this applies to any of our current artists and only a few long-gone troublemakers.

Constructive Criticism…it’s not only a concept, it’s a lifestyle.

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