Yesterday I posted observations about an organically inspired necklace. Beautifully done, it still had room for improvement and I mentioned my thoughts on that. It felt rather odd to do so. Our community doesn’t really spend a lot of time talking about the missed opportunities in our art work. Usually we praise (and usually deservedly so) the work of our fellow artists which certainly helps bolster confidence and enthusiasm in the artist. But how much does it help them improve their work?
A week or so ago I had a great Skype conversation with Christine Dumont of Voila (see the interview/article on Voila in our latest magazine issue). One of the very unique things about her site is that members get constructive feedback on work they submit in their gallery. Much of the Voila concept is built around ways to help polymer artists improve their work, not just receive confirmation that they are going in the right direction. I think this is a concept we all need to embrace further.
The hard part of with working more constructive feedback into our conversations is that most of us have not been through the training and educational experience of art school or other exposure to critical commentary on our heartfelt work. But in an artistic and educational environment, constructive criticism is a major part of the learning process. Not only does it help to hear other people’s opinions and ideas about how to improve what you do, but honing a critical eye through observing the work of others can help you more readily see ways of improving yours.
I would certainly love to see more of this kind of exchange in the community. Do you think you have a thick enough skin to hear people express what might be done to improve your work so you can learn and grow your artistic skills from it? And can you give others helpful and supportive advice on opportunities you find in their work? If so, perhaps try including small suggestions in your conversations about other artists’ work. And try Voila if you haven’t already done so.