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A Critique of Artistic Criticism

by Lee Duane FitzSimmons

Creative individuals are special people, and the artistic process is a fragile flower that may be destroyed if it is crushed under the weight of a negative comment. Even when given with good intentions, the effects of negative statements (even if they are considered to be constructive) may be devastating and could destroy the emotions of a sensitive artist.

Only positive criticism should be offered to an artist. Even if a creative work is obviously of a poor quality, there should be some positive aspect that can be emphasized.

In addition, you should always remember that a lengthy pause before making a comment may often be perceived as being negative. That is why positive aspects of an artistic work should be immediately identified and presented as soon as possible in order to reaffirm the confidence of the artist.


The only time that any sort of negative criticism is allowed is when it is specifically desired by the artist. If a creative individual opens this door, one should always be careful before stepping through because giving negative criticism to an artist is a dangerous thing. If it cannot be avoided, then only the mildest of negative remarks should be given.

However, if the artist points out some of the more blatant flaws in her/his work and then asks for comments about these particular shortcomings, then more severe criticism may be appropriate. Negative criticism should almost always be given with lots of detail, so the artist may more fully benefit from this criticism. Some artists are capable of taking negative criticism and using it to make vital improvements.

Therefore, one should only mention positive things about any work, and when negative comments are specifically desired, they should only be given with high levels of caution.

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Copyright 2018 by Lee Fitzsimmons