Thursday, March 23, 2006

How do you deal with criticism?

I went to a critique group last night. They have been meeting monthly on a day I haven't been able to attend, so I haven't been there for a long time. I'm actually not even an official member at this point, my attendance has been that bad. This is a good group of people. Their focus is on helping people improve their art. The criticism is given as "here's an idea." And then you can take it our leave it. I like these people, and trust their opinions in general.

7 Extinction Events

When I showed them 7 Extinction Events I thought they would say "put real footprints where the dinosaur book is supposed to stand." Instead they liked the book, but didn't like the environment. Two people didn't mind, or actually liked the environment. Three others seemed to agree that it didn't work.

Here are some of the comments:
  • It's too crafty - needs to be more artistic
  • It's not enough like my work in general (serious and humorous at the same time)
  • It's too small
And some of their suggestions:
  • Paint the base black or brown so it looks like a silhouette
  • Extend the base and add some fossils
  • Make the base pivot to show fossils
  • Add a road, so the dinosaur is walking into the future
  • Add a lightning bolt to represent a disaster about to overtake him
  • Put scenes from the book, or in that style, around the base
  • Put fossils or something else on the bottom and mount the whole thing over a mirror so people can see the bottom
  • Make my own pedestal (I found out last night that it looks great on a rock slab coffee table - but what wouldn't?)
  • Make some disasters, like a bolt of lightning or a comet, that people can choose and insert into the base.
  • Make the palm trees out of copper
I have to sift through this and make a decision. Unfortunately I have already taken a bunch of photos, so that time may be lost. But I think some of these ideas were in the back of my head somewhere, and I was ignoring them. The point that resonates the most with me is that the base isn't like my work in general. Right now I'm thinking I'll make a copper palm tree to see how I like it. I had originally considered this, and decided it was a crazy idea. And I do like the idea of putting collage around the sides of the base. I do not believe that less is more, when it comes to art.

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