Art students always ask me about the curriculum in RIT’s design program, what the art classes are like, and what tips I have for them. Every time I’m called upon for an answer, I always bring up the critique. Like an ancient ritual passed down from the art gods themselves, the critique is part of every art class you will ever take.
No matter what major you end up in, project critiques are mandatory for growing and perfecting your craft. At first, it may seem like critiques are the largest killer of self-esteem and dreams, but once you scrape past your emotional attachment to a piece of artwork you’ve worked countless hours on, you’ll begin to understand the key to a successful critique:
DON’T TAKE IT PERSONALLY!
Professors, classmates and co workers are not there to tear you down and make you feel bad for what you’ve done, rather they look to make you the best possible version of yourself. RIT classes involve critiques that will take whole class sessions that will occur not only at the end of a project, but also in the process of one. This is so that you can be guided and directed during your work rather than have to change everything at the end.
Learning to separate your personal feelings from your work and take all criticisms as mini-lessons that help increase your skills is an amazing trait that employers thirst for. Companies are not looking for designers and artists that will constantly whine, moan and be overly defensive about their work to clients; this embarrasses not only you but your employer as well. So, sharpen those pencils and leave your attachments at the door, because it’s time to review your work!