I had someone I didn’t know surprise me with what they thought was a critique of my work. I love critiques, but I walked away from this one shaking my head, because the person offered no information to help me make my work better or nothing about what they thought was not working. As an Art major, critiques are an almost weekly event; and I will admit that even in school folks don’t always get that criticism and critique are not synonymous. So, (and because I am so anal) I had to find out how to do a critique properly. So after digging around, I stumbled upon the Feldman Method which has been used a model by art, dance and many other disciplines. It was adapted from Edmund Feldman’s Varieties of Visual Experience (Prentice Hall, 1972).) — Describe. Interpret. Analyze. Judge. Simple, right?
Well, let’s take a quick stroll through.
Describe: Your description should be objective. Take note of features, materials, color, shape, etc. “A test of objectivity would be that most people would agree with your statement.”
Analyze: Here, you note similarities and connections between the things you described. Is their continuity among the elements? What visual devices (like repetition) are used?
Interpret: What does this work mean? What do you propose based on your statements of Description and Analysis?
Judge: Now, based on everything preceding, what does the work say? Was the piece successfully executed? Basically, state what you think about it.
Of course, your knowledge of the subject you are critiquing is important. Funnily enough, the Etsy Success team is going through a list of shop make-over pointers this month. Maybe there are ideas there that you can apply to what ever you are trying to make better this year. And to my readers, please feel free to ‘critique‘ my shop and items anytime, really!