Wednesday, September 07, 2005

"for every 10 people who love your work, 50 will hate it"

Phloe told me that last year. Its not a reason to validate self-deprecation but it is a way to check myself when I get too emotionally attached to my work. Art is subjective and there is no way you can please everybody, all of the time. Besides, if you are going to be an artist, critique is crucial because it :

---allows you to strengthen any of your weak spots. Helps you figure out if you are getting the right message across. An artist should not be a slave to all critique but be able to listen intently and decide which feedback is useful to that person.

---allows you to defend your work. I don't mean knuckling up with every person that critiques your work. Defend in a sense of again, listening to feedback and deciding if that feedback is necessary.

---allows the artist to have different perspective on things.

But sometimes, you get critique like this...

"> i’m not so hot on the colors and i feel like the design is lazy, it
> doesn’t look much different than some of the skins. i thought
> what we had before was better...also, the stereo is too rap.
> i’m primarily going to cover rock – i don’t want a slew of
> press releases about r&b and hip hop, quite frankly, i don’t
> have time to sift through all the crappy stuff so i think the
> design should be more polished...that female persuasion
> site was best...
> also – i recommend using a cleaner font like a helvetica neue or
> something...perhaps."

After reading that, my first actions was a chuckle followed by an "ouch". But I didn’t take it personally at all. I can see where she was coming from.
I agree. It was hip hop oriented. And I respect her blunt response and language. But does what she say make me a terrible designer. No, not necessarily. Does it mean she has bad taste? No, not necessarily. It just means we have a different interpretation on the product.

See, the way I see it is this. I was hired to design the page. I have no vested interest in it other than financially and in this case, whatever the client wants, shall get. That is what I am paid for. You produce and then you move on. (note: the person who gave the critique is not even the client but a comrade of the client. My client himself said to me not to mind her. "to each his own. Bunch of peeps loved it."

Young designers out there need to know to hold on to their passion of design but not to let it overrun them. Five years ago, had I heard that critique, I would have freaked the fuck out. but being that I have worked in the business since '97, you quickly grow to realize when to take things personally and when not to.

Just find the balance.

Because as much as you want to be the architect, sometimes you are hired to be the construction worker. And that is cool so long as you allow yourself to expend your energies on things that truly matter.

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