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Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Should we be allowed to criticize?

Most coloring groups on Facebook have a strict “No criticism” policy. The rules often state “If you don’t have anything good to say, move on.” But is that really such a good idea? If we are not allowed to receive criticism, how will we ever get better?

While I by no means imply that we should be allowed to tear each other’s work apart, constructive criticism might turn an enthusiastic artist into a good artist, and a good artist into a great one.

Most people know their own limitations. By looking at other’s work they know that their work is not up to par. They can see that others are better and often wonder ... how did they do that?

This is where constructive criticism might be helpful. Mentioning where the coloring artist went wrong, or what could be improved upon, might not only be well received but appreciated.

For instance. Some two weeks or three weeks ago I noticed a particularly striking image of blue flowers in this group. The coloring brought about a string of likes and comments of people falling over themselves to express how extraordinary this coloring was. 
My first reaction was ... I might as well give up. The artist, Pris David, commented “No, don’t do that. Keep practicing and you’ll be able to do this too.” Yeah right, like that was gonna happen.

So I emailed Pris and she started giving me some tips. I tried what she explained and ... it didn’t work. I tried again and again, but no, no luck.

Next Pris provided, in addition to more advice, a picture of what to do and what not to do. I tried again and ... hm, while I could see a tiny bit of improvement, my efforts still didn’t even come close to what she was showing me.
So Pris took it one step further and sent me a video.
I must have watched that video ten times, and not just looked at it, but studied it, along with the pictures she provided. And yes, eventually what she had explained, showed me with drawings and now with this video started to make sense.

So I tried again, sent her the result of my work, she delivered feedback and I tried again, and again, and again.

Today I’m happy to say that I’m getting there. I’m still nowhere near as good as Pris is, but if I can improve this much in two weeks, the future looks promising.

The blue flowers I colored earlier this year, the blue and pink ones were done last week.
Better, right?
JUNE 2016

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