Written by Piero Regnante

The idea of a ‘crit’ is a universally known idea that, when treated well, help us develop and improve our practice. However our relationship with them has developed into one that, in my opinion, has come to prohibit our creativity and artistic ownership.

We live in a culture that longs to find self worth by conforming to our culture’s norms and trends and this is becoming evident in today’s creative industries.

Artist and designers have got into the habit of creating work to please or conform to others opinions and styles. But why?

Art and design is subjective, everyone has their own opinions, styles, likes and dislikes, yet we hang our hopes on the comments of a select group of tutors or peers. Only if others like or understand our work do we feel satisfied with our outcomes.

This culture of conforming, to some extent, is beginning to restrict individual creativity. Tutors’ differing opinions also often leave us confused, who is right? Who do we please? We try and amalgamate these opinions, which often leads us further away from our own concepts and ideas into areas that are no longer relevant to our initial subject, and deprive ourselves of artistic ownership. We waste a lot of time trying to think what certain people do and don’t like and how we can steer our ideas to fit their views or style.

Of course, constructive criticism is a vital part of the development of an artist’s or designer’s practice and critiques are an important and useful device to do so. But we must change the way that we relate to and put such criticism into practice; after all it is only discussion. We have creative reign over our work, critique and discussion should be used to generate ideas for development, not dictate what we do. Our hopes shouldn’t rest on the opinion of a select few; rather we should be continually finding several opinions so that an informed choice, which helps to define the direction of our work or practice, can be made.

The Arts, be it writing, Dance or Art, are an extension and expression of who we are, our opinions and our voice to the world. No one should diminish his or her practice for the audience or approval of one.


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