Do a recital

If you create for a living you know what it means to “do a recital” because everyday your work is seen and judged by others. But if you’re a hobbyist creative and make crafts or paint on the weekends or whatever, I would encourage you to do a recital. By this, I mean get your work in front of someone for the purpose of getting it reviewed - judged. It could be as simple as showing a friend your latest homemade sweater. Or maybe you enter an online photography contest or post to flikr. Making the effort to get feedback is valuable because it gives you something to work toward – a finish date. And, you might get feedback that is instructive.

The most difficult thing about recitals is putting your work out there because, well, it’s your work. It’s an extension of you. So when you get feedback, if it’s negative, treat it objectively and see what there might be that could improve your craft. Look past any personal feelings and evaluate the suggestions on their merit. If the feedback is positive, accept it gratefully and incorporate any specific comments that you agree with. If there are none, keep it exactly as you created it in the first place.

Art is a paradox because it’s very personal and it's very public. For me, if I’m absolutely true to my creative vision, then the reviews – even the negative – become more instructive than disparaging.

PIC-OF-THE-WEEK

I was taking some outside shots of a house and couldn't resist sooting back toward the sunset. I tried to make it look a little different in the "cooked" version since it's such a familiar subject.

RAW

COOKED