Academy of Flowers

How to Invite Critique

This article is a discussion on how it is difficult to invite critique into your own floral work, as well as how it can help you as a designer moving forward.

What is Art Criticism?

Britannica defines art criticism as "the analysis and evaluation of works of art. More subtly, art criticism is often tied to theory; it is interpretive, involving the effort to understand a particular work of art from a theoretical perspective and to establish its significance in the history of art."

Art criticism has been utilised for centuries though it has moved away from its more formal roots of the past. Even though less traditional in nature, art criticism still plays an important role in an artists journey.

A critique is often seen as negative judgement. It can make you feel uncomfortable and vulnerable. Do you agree? This is a normal and common instinct. The critique of others does not have to be negative at all, it is just a judgement that may in fact help you to look at your work from an outsiders prospective, help you grow and push yourself out of your comfort zone.

How can you invite critique?

Ask different people for observations and critique on your work. Consider approaching individuals of different ages, level of experience, cultures.

  1. Other florists
  2. Artists in different disciplines
  3. Family, friends and clients

How to guide critique?

Simply asking 'Do you like this?' will not return helpful feedback moving forward. It is important to ask the right questions to get the most out of the exercise. You can ask questions such as

  1. What is your eye drawn to in the design?
  2. What emotion does the design give off?
  3. What do you notice about the shape of the design?
  4. What do you notice most in the design?
  5. Do you feel the colour combination works?

These are just a few examples of questions that you could ask to gain an insight into others' opinions. It is an interesting, open-hearted exercise every once in a while if you are stuck in a rut or looking to grow and stretch as a designer. It is important to only consider the opinions of others and to not alter your work drastically.

Source: Kuspit, D. Burton. "Art criticism." Encyclopedia Britannica, August 3, 2014.

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