How to Critique | The Art Assignment | PBS Digital Studios | Summary and Q&A

October 9, 2014
The Art Assignment
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How to Critique | The Art Assignment | PBS Digital Studios


The importance of constructive critique and guidelines for offering thoughtful feedback on the internet and in art.

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Key Insights

  • 💗 Critique is a valuable learning tool that helps us grow personally and intellectually.
  • 🥋 Spending time with a piece of art before forming an opinion can lead to a deeper understanding and appreciation.
  • 💦 Celebrating and highlighting the successful aspects of a work fosters a positive and encouraging environment.
  • 💦 Personal connections and questions can provide meaningful insight into the work.
  • ❓ Being mindful of our language and avoiding meanness contributes to a supportive and constructive online community.
  • 🆕 Participating in critique can offer fresh perspectives and a chance for personal growth.
  • 🏛️ Building a community of shared critique can enhance the experience for everyone involved.


[DIGITAL TONE] This week, I want to talk to you about something that's been weighing on my mind lately, and that's the issue of critique. If you spend any time on the internet, it's something you come across frequently. If you're the victim of internet trolls or if you are an internet troll, listen up. There is an etiquette to critique that has bee... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: Why is critique important on the internet?

Critique on the internet helps us learn and grow by offering different perspectives and teaching us about various ways of thinking and looking at things. It is a constructive process that can help shape our beliefs.

Q: How can we offer thoughtful critique?

Firstly, be attentive and spend time with the work before forming an opinion. Avoid being lazy in your critique by providing specific feedback that goes beyond casual and generic words like "interesting". Look for aspects of wonder and celebrate the successful elements of the work.

Q: Do you need to be an art expert to offer critique?

No, everyone can offer their opinion on art. Find your point of connection to a piece, whether it reminds you of something personal or has specific qualities you appreciate. Consider the decisions made by the artist, the skills on display, and don't hesitate to ask questions if you can't think of declarative statements.

Q: How should we interact with others' work online?

Pretend you are in the same room with the person you are critiquing and think about their feelings. Avoid being mean or making unnecessary value judgments. Instead, focus on offering constructive feedback, discussing the aspects of wonder, and creating a supportive community.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The internet is filled with critique, but there is an etiquette to critique that has been practiced in art schools for a long time.

  • Critique is not about changing someone's mind, but about learning and shaping one's own beliefs.

  • Some guidelines for critiquing include being attentive, avoiding laziness, being generous, finding a personal connection, and avoiding being mean.

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