We Asked the Artists: What’s the Best Feedback You’ve Ever Received?

We Asked the Artists Best Feedback grid



For all creative types, feedback can be an important formative experience. Most of us remember the best compliments we’ve received for our artistic efforts. My favorite compliment came from my mother and wasn’t even said directly to me. We were at a family reunion when I overheard her telling my aunt what amazing work I had been doing lately. It was a special moment that convinced me to continue creating. However, sometimes harsh criticism can be just as productive. One of my mixed-media pieces got a complete makeover when a friend told me it was “just alright.” Whether it was positive or negative, we asked the artists:

What is the best feedback you have ever received? Has constructive criticism helped you develop personally or improved your artwork? Do you listen to the comments of others?

Seth Apter We Asked the Artists Best Feedback “In April of this year, I exhibited my work at a large group exhibition in NYC and had a chance to see and hear the reaction of hundreds of people who came to my booth. The looks in the faces of those people who connected with my artwork, along with their thoughts about the pieces, were priceless. This feedback served as validation for the direction my work has taken. A number of people there also made direct suggestions as to how they thought I could improve the work. And of course many people walked by the booth, took a quick glance, and walked on without stopping. I try to take all of these different sorts of feedback as helpful and constructive but, in the end, I feel it is very important to make sure that I am making the work for myself.”

~Artwork by Seth Apter


Seth Apter is the author of The Pulse of Mixed Media and his work has appeared in Somerset MemoriesSomerset Studio, and Somerset Apprentice.

Lynne Moncrieff We Asked the Artists Best Feedback “Publication as a result of submitting to Stampington publications, especially an article, is a wonderful form of feedback.  I always have an open ear when listening to comments from others and by doing so it has been such comments which have made me take a step to play with colour or dabble with styles which I might have otherwise shied away from.  I am lucky to have such loyal and supportive friends of my Blog, Adorn, whose comments I always read and certainly constructive criticism is invaluable.”

~Artwork by Lynne Moncrieff


Lynne Moncrieff is an artist living in Perth, Scotland, and has been published in Somerset StudioSomerset Studio GalleryTake TenHaute HandbagsSomerset LifeSomerset Holidays & CelebrationsSew Somerset, and The Stampers’ Sampler.
 

Sandra Evertson We Asked the Artists Best Feedback “Someone said I was “generous” and melted my heart. What could be better than that?On Constructive Criticism: Yes! Of course! For me it’s all a wondrous uphill learning process, I think I learn something new just about every day, something I couldn’t even have conceived of the day before. I hope it continues forever.On listening to others: I can hear them but the most important thing to me when I finish a piece is how it makes me feel, I work till I feel pleased.”

~Artwork by Sandra Evertson


Sandra Evertson’s work has appeared in Somerset HomeSomerset Studio Gallery, Somerset StudioArtful BloggingSomerset Workshop, and Altered Couture. She has also produced five, whimsical stamp collections that are exclusively available in The Shoppe.

Michelle E. Black We Asked the Artists Best Feedback “I have a strong support network of family, friends, and the community of Glendora, CA that I live in.  I try not to pay too much attention to the feedback or input from people I don’t know.  It seems nowadays everyone has an opinion and a platform in which to share it from.  They say things, write things, tweet things… that would never have been uttered in person a dozen years ago.  Giving it too much energy can deplete me and pulls me from my own creative voice.  I do, however, pay close attention to those whom I admire.  Those that have gone before me… that not only live creative lives but live a life of integrity as well.  I have some invaluable mentors like Cathe Holden, Kari Chapin and a Craftcation Conference family that have given me the support and direction I needed.”

~Artwork by Michelle E. Black


Michelle E. Black is a photographer and artist that has been published in Somerset Studio GallerySomerset HomeSomerset Holidays & CelebrationsSomerset Apprentice, and Somerset Studio.
 

Renee Zarate We Asked the Artists Best Feedback “I get a lot of feedback from friends, family and students in classes I teach periodically.  I always listen to constructive criticism and try to make tweaks to my work/style constantly.”

~Artwork by Renee Zarate


Renee Zarate has been featured in Art JournalingThe Stampers’ Sampler, Somerset Studio, Take TenSomerset Studio Gallery, and HandCrafted.

 

Somerset Place would like to thank all of the artists for providing such wonderful answers and for their involvement in this blog post.

 

What’s the best feedback you’ve ever received? Leave a comment below.

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Posted: Tuesday, July 14th, 2015 @ 5:39 pm
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21 Responses to “We Asked the Artists: What’s the Best Feedback You’ve Ever Received?”

  1. I have the sweetest customers who always leave me the most touching feedback. One of my favorite feedback’s was from a woman at our Post Office who told me that her best days were the ones when I came in to mail my packages, they all gather to look at them and they made her so Happy. One day after that, I took her a package, she cried. That was my best day!

  2. Jani Howe says:

    My best feedback was from an old high school friend who told me the card I made for her when her husband died was the most beautiful and meaningful one she received and she was keeping it forever. It doesn’t get better than that!

  3. Tisa@ChicTiquesCafe says:

    The best feedback I got was the stunned look on my daughter’s face when I showed her the torn paper collage I had made of her Yorkshire Terrier. It was the first collage like that I had ever made and we were both amazed how much it looked like her beloved pup! She had some jamberry nail wraps custom made with my art on it–including that art. Sweet! (And to Kim Collister who made the first comment here, getting a package from you is the BEST PART of any day & your art cheers me on with inspiration in my studio everyday–I’m ‘getting zetti’ with art as often as I can, so thanks for your creative soul:)

  4. Ella says:

    A great subject-I love all the responses~
    The best feedback I ever received was an email from a teacher, about my Emily Dickson art.

    “Your feature on Emily Dickinson is pure inspiration. Your glassine envelope project makes me want to get out my scissors right now!”- Dr. Eleanor Fall

    I printed out her email and put it in my creative space. It makes me smile, every time I see it~

  5. barbara lassiter says:

    When people tell me they’ve saved all the cards I’ve ever sent them…..that’s great feedback for me.

  6. Leonie Taylor says:

    My Dad has saved every card I have made, he stores them in his lowboy, he always said they were made of love and he would always treasure them, he made me feel that what I was doing wasmeaningful to him This means more to me now as he has alzheimers and lives in a Nursing Home, I still make him artwork to keep in his room just to remind him of who I am.

  7. Renee Zarate says:

    It is so moving to read the personal experiences of others. It brings such joy to the hearts of all artists to think of making others happy with something we made with our hands and hearts. Feedback can be so sweet and surprising or it can put a real fire inside of us to make changes and surprise ourselves! Hugs to all my art sisters/brothers, I loved reading your experiences! ~ Renee

  8. JackieP Neal says:

    The best feedback for me, was recently a friend named me “no fear Jackie”. This really made my heart sing.
    With my art,I create in so many styles and like to dabble in everything. I believe this keeps me fresh and inspired and my friends and Google and blog followers acknowledge the same.
    Thank you everyone for sharing your experiences!

  9. Lynne says:

    I have enjoyed reading the responses of other artists to this question posed. Reading Renee’s words, in the comments, I found myself in total agreement, that feedback can also put a real fire inside of us.
    When I made my first submission to The Stampers’ Sampler, in response to a Challenge Call, it astonished (and thrilled) me to discover my one submission had made it to print. On sharing this news with a friend, who I have to add had been stamping and cardmaking long before myself, her only words to me were “your card was selected because they would notice you live in Scotland”. Such a dis-service to Stampington and to all the artists who submit however I was stung by her words, viewing her as the experienced stamper/cardmaker, her words taken to heart so much so that I did not submit anything for the longest time until I literally woke up to the realisation, from her continued pattern of behaviour, that she was, for reasons I still cannot fathom, trying to sabotage my art and my fun. I embrace constructive criticism but I believe there is no place in any of our lives for those wishing to sabotage our creativity.
    wishes
    Lynne

  10. Ella says:

    Lynne,
    I am so happy you found your way out of this downward spiral. This recently happened to me-it still hurts. I was told the only reason I was selected was because my kids were grown up and other people are too busy to submit-because they have lives.
    I still gasp thinking about this comment-you are right it really hurts. I fully agree with you~it
    was sabotage.
    Your art is as beautiful as your spirit is~ And you are so deserving of all your creative accomplishments and praise! HUGS @>———

  11. Julie Lee says:

    I really enjoyed reading the responses from artists I know and admire here! I have only been crafting seriously for 2 years, but in that time I’ve had some really helpful feedback from very talented people. Sandra Evertson mentioned the word ‘generous’ and that is something I’ve felt that she and many, many of the artists I’ve met over the last few years truly are. I thank them for their inspiration and the genuine interest they take in those taking their first faltering steps.

  12. Renee Zarate says:

    Dear Lynne, I’m so glad you didn’t buy into the negativity and jealousy of others! So many of us love your work!

  13. Lynne says:

    Ella, I deliberated over whether to share my experience of negativity within my initial response and as you have read, I opted not to share until after reading Renee’s comment.
    It does sting when criticism is based on 100% negativity, with nothing constructive in their words. Of course I now realise that it says more about the person themselves than it does about their view on our art. My story as I well know, is not unique and I have shared in the past but not in such a public way. Artists such as yourself, who are continually true to their heart show me the way in being open and that displaying our vulnerability is actually a way of showing our strength.
    Wishes
    Lynne

  14. Warmest congratulations to all the featured artists. Very well deserved. Nicola x

  15. Cora Raiford says:

    My harshest criticism came in the second grade and left me in tears. It was 1943, the war required the nation to waste not a thing that could be used for the war effort. That included the paper of our yellow tablets. Mine was held up for the class to see how I had “wasted” a dozen sheets practicing a female profile. But my parents assured me I was a very good artist and were my biggest fans until their passing. During the years I was an illustrator for The Florida Times-Union, Mom perused each day’s edition and cut out any drawing she felt could be mine whether or not it was signed. I have a dress box full of my work.
    In the ensuing years, I’ve illustrated everything from coloring books to a collection of historic short stories. I’ve tried clothing design (I’m a bad seamstress)ceramics (hands too arthritic for the wheel) and finally, the making of art dolls which encompasses all the things I love. So there, Miss Poole!

  16. To be in this business is to learn to develop a thick skin and not to take criticism personally…although this can be difficult at times.

    Our work is our work…trends change like the wind and our vision may not be “popular” at the time we submit.

    I agree with Lynne Moncrieff. Publication is incredible validation, especially from a source you respect with work of artists you hold in high regard. This recently happened to me with the publication of my work and article in “Artful Blogging” magazine.

    I think Seth Apter sums it up perfectly: “I feel it is very important to make sure that I am making the work for myself.” In the end if we are true to ourselves, the work will survive with authenticity.

  17. Seth is correct in saying “I feel it is very important to make sure that I am making the work for myself”. That is a very strong statement and so true. The harshest criticism came at a picnic and someone saying to me, very loudly I might add, why do I want to waste my time on art. It took me by surprise and by the time the shock wore off she left the picnic and I never answered. That took me to a place of overthinking everything I was doing until I went to an art retreat and then it all changed for the good.

    The best comment I receive was just recently. I was told that she liked that I changed my blog by posted only twice week. She said my art has been happy. It wasn’t a decision I made it was just my August break. I realized she was right. My art was happier and will continue to post only twice a week.

    • Sarah says:

      Thank you for sharing. I have also been asked why I waste my time on art. I usually reply that by the time my family finishes watching an hour-long television show, they have an hour less to their day and I usually have a painting, or a knitted item. It is productive, but also allows me to relax and unwind. I create for myself and my own enjoyment, part of which is being able to look at what I’ve made and knowing that I spent my time well.

  18. Joi@RR says:

    Thanks bunches and bunches to all of you above who have shared your heart. I loved reading your comments and they were very encouraging to me. For a long time, years and years, I did not allow myself to dream. Now – my art has given me a small window of hope and I have a couple of secret dreams. Now I just need a dose of courage… and reading your comments has helped. Someone once left me a comment on my blog that one of my paintings looked like Monet!!! Hehehe – seemed like a neat feedback to me!!! I sooo appreciate comments and critiques too. I want to be better! Seth is a huge inspiration for me. His art work and his personality are both just wonderful. Lynn has also always inspired me in a great way too. I am now off to see the artwork of the others here whose art looks just fantastic too! Thanks bunches Stampington and Somerset Place for this awesome article. j.

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We Asked the Artists Best Feedback grid



For all creative types, feedback can be an important formative experience. Most of us remember the best compliments we’ve received for our artistic efforts. My favorite compliment came from my mother and wasn’t even said directly to me. We were at a family reunion when I overheard her telling my aunt what amazing work I had been doing lately. It was a special moment that convinced me to continue creating. However, sometimes harsh criticism can be just as productive. One of my mixed-media pieces got a complete makeover when a friend told me it was “just alright.” Whether it was positive or negative, we asked the artists:

What is the best feedback you have ever received? Has constructive criticism helped you develop personally or improved your artwork? Do you listen to the comments of others?

Seth Apter We Asked the Artists Best Feedback “In April of this year, I exhibited my work at a large group exhibition in NYC and had a chance to see and hear the reaction of hundreds of people who came to my booth. The looks in the faces of those people who connected with my artwork, along with their thoughts about the pieces, were priceless. This feedback served as validation for the direction my work has taken. A number of people there also made direct suggestions as to how they thought I could improve the work. And of course many people walked by the booth, took a quick glance, and walked on without stopping. I try to take all of these different sorts of feedback as helpful and constructive but, in the end, I feel it is very important to make sure that I am making the work for myself.”

~Artwork by Seth Apter


Seth Apter is the author of The Pulse of Mixed Media and his work has appeared in Somerset MemoriesSomerset Studio, and Somerset Apprentice.

Lynne Moncrieff We Asked the Artists Best Feedback “Publication as a result of submitting to Stampington publications, especially an article, is a wonderful form of feedback.  I always have an open ear when listening to comments from others and by doing so it has been such comments which have made me take a step to play with colour or dabble with styles which I might have otherwise shied away from.  I am lucky to have such loyal and supportive friends of my Blog, Adorn, whose comments I always read and certainly constructive criticism is invaluable.”

~Artwork by Lynne Moncrieff


Lynne Moncrieff is an artist living in Perth, Scotland, and has been published in Somerset StudioSomerset Studio GalleryTake TenHaute HandbagsSomerset LifeSomerset Holidays & CelebrationsSew Somerset, and The Stampers’ Sampler.
 

Sandra Evertson We Asked the Artists Best Feedback “Someone said I was “generous” and melted my heart. What could be better than that?On Constructive Criticism: Yes! Of course! For me it’s all a wondrous uphill learning process, I think I learn something new just about every day, something I couldn’t even have conceived of the day before. I hope it continues forever.On listening to others: I can hear them but the most important thing to me when I finish a piece is how it makes me feel, I work till I feel pleased.”

~Artwork by Sandra Evertson


Sandra Evertson’s work has appeared in Somerset HomeSomerset Studio Gallery, Somerset StudioArtful BloggingSomerset Workshop, and Altered Couture. She has also produced five, whimsical stamp collections that are exclusively available in The Shoppe.

Michelle E. Black We Asked the Artists Best Feedback “I have a strong support network of family, friends, and the community of Glendora, CA that I live in.  I try not to pay too much attention to the feedback or input from people I don’t know.  It seems nowadays everyone has an opinion and a platform in which to share it from.  They say things, write things, tweet things… that would never have been uttered in person a dozen years ago.  Giving it too much energy can deplete me and pulls me from my own creative voice.  I do, however, pay close attention to those whom I admire.  Those that have gone before me… that not only live creative lives but live a life of integrity as well.  I have some invaluable mentors like Cathe Holden, Kari Chapin and a Craftcation Conference family that have given me the support and direction I needed.”

~Artwork by Michelle E. Black


Michelle E. Black is a photographer and artist that has been published in Somerset Studio GallerySomerset HomeSomerset Holidays & CelebrationsSomerset Apprentice, and Somerset Studio.
 

Renee Zarate We Asked the Artists Best Feedback “I get a lot of feedback from friends, family and students in classes I teach periodically.  I always listen to constructive criticism and try to make tweaks to my work/style constantly.”

~Artwork by Renee Zarate


Renee Zarate has been featured in Art JournalingThe Stampers’ Sampler, Somerset Studio, Take TenSomerset Studio Gallery, and HandCrafted.

 

Somerset Place would like to thank all of the artists for providing such wonderful answers and for their involvement in this blog post.

 

What’s the best feedback you’ve ever received? Leave a comment below.

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