The value
of feedback

- by Always Art Staff

Art is a form of self-expression and a way of connecting with the viewer. As a creative industry with no objective guidelines or rules about what defines a “work of art,” it’s essential for artists to be seeking feedback about their work.

Feedback is a valuable tool that can help you improve your practice, successfully convey the message you are trying to visualize and learn from others within the industry and beyond. However, seeking feedback can be tricky, as figuring out who to listen to and what to ask about can be challenging. Here are some best practices to keep in mind when you’re looking for feedback.

Ask a variety of sources

Everyone will have a different interpretation of your work and a different opinion about what you can improve. Foster these diverse perspectives and seek feedback from a wide range of people. Speak to other artists, professionals in your field like curators, and people outside your industry. It is important to gain a diverse set of perspectives so that you can truly understand what people see in your work and learn ways to expand and grow your practice.

Consider the source

It is important to consider the context of the individual when you are getting feedback. Art professionals, artists, and other individuals will all bring their life experience and knowledge to the viewing process. Use that context to prioritize feedback that may be more relevant than others. For example, the insights of a curator may be more important to consider than the feedback you got from your accountant, as they know the industry, the art market, and what is expected of artists to succeed.

Be open to constructive criticism

It’s essential to be open to critical feedback, even if it’s not what you hope to hear. Constructive criticism can help you identify areas for improvement, develop your skills, and help you understand the gaps between what you are intended and what the viewer is experiencing. Additionally, constructive criticism from industry professionals can help you learn what it would take to bring your career to the next level.

Take what you can use

Not all feedback will be applicable or useful, so taking what you can use and leaving the rest is important. If someone’s input doesn’t resonate with you or seems as if it will take your work in the wrong direction, feel free to disregard it. Don’t let negative feedback discourage you or undermine your confidence; use it to clarify your process and intentions.

Use feedback to guide your growth

Use feedback as a guide to help you improve and grow as an artist. No single person’s opinion can define your work or your career. Instead, by gathering diverse ideas, you can pick and choose what feels right to you so that you can progress in your career to meet your goals.

Thank the person for their feedback

Whether you agree with the feedback, it’s important to thank the person for taking the time to provide it. Every interaction you have reflects on your professional career, so it is important to show that you value their input. Maintaining positive relationships will help you expand your network and make a good name for yourself in the industry.

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