“The covers of this book are too far apart.”
- Ambrose Bierce
Critiquing is a useful skill to possess as it can help you to learn to think critically as a creative. After all, a large part of being a creative involves assessing, evaluating and improving upon the work of the others as well as your own, and trying to make a different and better version of something that came before you.
Critical thinking about the works we both like and dislike opens us up to more creative possibilities than merely focusing on those we enjoy.
When we find the good (that which we like), in something we can apply it (the design, the form, etc.) into our own work, and when we find the bad (that which we dislike), we can avoid it.
Ryan Holiday in his book Perennial Seller described genius as; ”small moments of brilliance with the boring bits edited out.”
Pick an item in your home or workplace. You could also consider a book, film, song, photograph, etc.
Draw a line down the middle of a piece of paper creating two columns with one marked Strengths and the other Weaknesses.
State why your chosen subject is successful on the one hand, and unsuccessful on the other.
If you find it hard to critique, begin by asking yourself some questions about the product.
What is it for?
What does this feature do?
Is it effective, does it serve its purpose efficiently and effectively, etc.?
What can you say about its style?
Is it geared toward a specific audience?
Is it aesthetically pleasing?