He has asked for feedback and criticism. I don't want to offend my friend. What's the best way to critic someone's artwork?


2 Answers

Didge Doo Profile
Didge Doo answered

This is the artistic equivalent to having a woman ask, "Do you think this outfit makes my bum look too big?" There is NO good answer.

Your question depends on two factors: Whether your friend would welcome constructive criticism, and whether YOU are qualified to give it.

I write, and I welcome criticism. It's useful to see what you've written through somebody else's eyes. My best critic is my wife who will tell me candidly whether something is good or if it stinks. She's rarely wrong.

But a few years ago when I taught a creative writing course for seniors one lady asked if I'd take her story home (something I didn't normally do) and critique it. To be honest, it was awful, but I wouldn't have told her that. So, tactfully, I pointed out a few of the worst flaws and suggested ways to work around them. She withdraw from the class after telling the others what a [email protected] I was.

That's the situation you're in. Do you tell the truth and lose a friend,  or would you friend really appreciate a sound evaluation? If you can't answer that question I'd err on the side of caution.

Matt Radiance Profile
Matt Radiance answered

What you doing right now is pre-judging. It really depends what kind of person your friend is. Make sure you know your friend very well, some people also like to face criticizes very well directly. I am that way tho, criticising makes us progress (specially if the person who gives them out be qualified for such) & I hate games & pretending.

Personally I'm a very honest person, I face what's the fact right on the point. We need to make every person understand we're not suppose to do everything very good or be good at anything, we are not complete. Anyway, say what your opinion is but check your tone, be friendly & supportive. I never try to role or pretend, but usually "Supportive criticize" is what works for some.  Some people can't stand a very direct criticize, so if you really think for example the art work is not really that good or there's some views that can be better & you wanna point it. You can choose these kind of phrases:

"You're really good, you can also be so better by practicing properly, keep doing what you doing & you'll be better day by day"

"It's really good, but ya know, these spots can be also better, but you've done good already, it sounds pretty good"

ect  . ..

The person's mind will hear the positive compliments & criticize in the same time, but the compliments will effect more so the person accept criticizes automatically very well & will guide it toward himself. It's just a equal connection.

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