Friday, March 1, 2013

This is the first in a series of cartoons on critics. First off-critics are helpful and very purposeful in some aspects of the creative world-critics such as John Ruskin come to mind. The other side of the critic is the legless man that teaches running-to be really cliche, but it is accurate. There are several reasons for the negative side of being a critic.

I have noticed a lack of knowledge or security can make those in the position of being a critic that much more critical and not always with enough knowledge or insight to correct a design problem. Another reason for the lack of quality or a critics ability to be objective is the would-be artist that always wanted to be an artist or creative but never quite had the skill or ability- this would be a problem of envy or ego getting the better of an otherwise constructive viewer. A final reason for the negative or nonconstructive critic would be the fear of failure which would be a corporate problem with the creative project. This would also include the idea of having too many people having input into a single idea. Again to be cliche but there is a reason for the old saying-too many cooks spoil the broth.

 Creativity in itself is so subjective, one persons masterpiece is an other's paint pallet, in  a corporate setting you can not please all eyes and attempting to please all eyes will get you a watered down design with flaws that happened by too many ideas and options trying to fit into one design. In this instance usually the intricacies and spontaneous process of the original creative is usually lost, the colors don't work anymore as originally intended and objects tend to overcrowd or fight with each other for attention.

To go back to the idea of the helpful critic- a second pair of eyes will many time refine the often original rough creative thought so working with a single or minimal decision makers can really make a great design better. Again, realize that the customer is always right even when they are dead wrong-we as artists can sway and attempt to move them in the right direction for the success of a project but in the end it is their project. My best advice is to work with clients that have strong ideas and if they don't have strong ideas at least they are open to new thoughts and have good ideas to lead the process.
Luckily for the painter or independent artist, they always have the last say-your customers or patrons will than either buy or you get to hang a wonderful masterpiece on your own wall-that's the trade off.

Do any designers reading have stories of how a project went from good to bad to worse? Do any readers know about designing by committee or being micromanaged? All comments and thoughts on the critic-the good, the bad, the ugly-would love to hear it. Thanks for reading.

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