Art is subjective. We’re constantly trying to validate our work in the eyes of our peers, clients and our industry. With such subjectivity comes great responsibility. Our industry is littered with bad designs, horrible practice and a general mis-understanding of what exactly we do. The great thing is: you, me, the guy in room 4B, the new guy, the kid in college struggling with his typography, the seasoned vet who is world renowned we can all change the outlook of the industry
Constructive criticism has all but died in our industry. With instant likes, favorites, bookmarks, votes and tweets who even needs it?
You, me, the guy in room 4B, the new guy, the kid in college struggling with his typography, the old vet who is world renowned… We all have room to grow. When we create, we immerse ourselves in the project, sometimes for hours, that turn into days, that continue into sleepless nights, that are a blur of milestones and caffeine. The problem is we are so caught-up in the project we are unable to see it with un-biased eyes. To critique it. We can’t see past our own faults. Constructive criticism allows us to make our work stronger through suggestions and recommendations.
Being constructive is hard. It’s hard to reach out and help. Because, what’s the point in helping? We don’t all work together. It doesn’t help your monthly income. There’s no added value in giving away trade secrets or being influential in other creatives lives. Plus, badgering is easy… Ignoring the problem is the best way to solve it. It’s easy to shoot people down, step on them, dismiss them as an awful designer or creative.
The problem is “the awful designer” represents our industry just as much as the next person. Just because some of us are experienced and have had the opportunity to learn from our mistakes doesn’t mean we have all had that opportunity.
Instead, pull others aside, help each other out. Reach out to them and build them up. Be a mentor. There’s not enough coaching, helping and educating in this industry. We can do something about it, we just have to make time to challenge each other to give constructive criticism and be respectful. We have to hold each other accountable to educate others in making good creative decisions and steer each other away from bad ones. Because, there is an infinite amount of knowledge we can learn and share with each other.
The real question is: Will we?