As a creator, you will always get feedback. Some of it you will ask for, and some of it will be unsolicited. You will have to learn to filter the feedback to determine; who really wants to be helpful with constructive criticism, who’s just trying to be destructively critical, and who is just being a troll. Even more important that filtering the feedback of others, in my opinion, is for you the creator to remain objective and be able to critique your own work.
When we as creators slave over our labour of love, we face the pitfall of thinking that it is the best thing ever. While it is quite possible that it would be the best thing that we have done so far, it is by no means the best that we will ever be able to do, and it most certainly is not the best thing available out there. To us it might be, but that’s where the admiration stops. It takes a lot of maturity to look objectively at your own work, and not be satisfied by what you see. To look at it and see room for improvement, and strive to improve. This is not about perfectionism, but objectivity. The ability to critique your work and by that improve your skill.
When we first started posting Celflux artwork and comic page, we got really good reviews, and we are still getting. I want to send a big thank you out to all those who gave their feedback, encouragement and kind words. I however have always practised trying to improve and never being satisfied with the level that I’m at, therefore I saw room for improvement in the work that we put out. So I decided to look again at the artwork for Celflux, and I went over everything and tried to improve in the areas where I saw deficiencies. Here are some things that I did in examining the work.
Removing Emotion From The Equation.
I had to divorce myself from my creations. That emotional attachment that I felt with them. The type of attachment that anyone who has had a part in bringing something into being has. Sometimes that attachment is beneficial and necessary. Let’s say in the case of a mother bringing a child into the world. But in the case of artwork, it can be detrimental. It’s ok to detach yourself from your art, in order to look at it in a critical manner and thus be able to see the deficiencies and improve in those areas. Pride and emotions makes the critical process murky, and you can’t see clearly.
Setting A High Standard
Using yourself as the measuring stick to measure yourself is not a good idea. You are at one level and you want to get to a higher level. So the key thing would be to measure yourself against someone who is at the level you would like to attain. Look at the artwork of others, and see what they have that you lack. Is it their line-work, inking, colouring or that foundation one everybody struggles with Anatomy. I’ve said it before one of my favourite artists is Joe Madureira. I think his work is extremely dynamic and I use his level of work to compare my work to.
It’s important that I state here, it’s not about mimicking, or copying someone else’s style. It’s about looking at their work and finding the points where they excel in, and building your own style from it.
So that lead me to redoing the artwork for Celflux. I created a few new promotional images, and I went back over all the pages and reworked them. I even reworked the cover artwork. Here is an image of the new and old side by side, so you can make the comparison.
The old cover is on the left and the new is on the right. While you can still see there’s room for improvement, there is a vast difference in the two. The one on the right is far better.
So in conclusion, always be critical of your own work and looking at room for improvement. You will never grow as a creator, if you think to yourself that there’s no room to grow.
Till next time.