• Jeffrey N Baker - Voice Actor


The title of this post would be the worst kind of critique I think anyone could get. Not because it cuts deep but because it means absolutely nothing. Though I've known some of my fellow creatives would hear that and take it to heart. Trust me, anything like that is garbage and can be ignored completely. So then, what is a good critique? When should I pay attention?

I'm glad you asked, Josh.

Starting in 2012 I had begun writing my novel and was very active in a writing critique group that met bi-weekly. It was an awesome time sharing a few chapters at a time and getting great feedback from some incredible authors. It was also a time when I got very pointed and intense feedback. Some of it great, some of it not so great, and a lot more purely subjective. Sifting through all of that information to find what I needed to listen to and what I could leave behind became an art form.

An art form I've boiled down to a science!

Or at least a simple flow chart. Flow charts are science, right? Yeah, let's call them science so I can feel smart.

So, if you're struggling with receiving critiques and how to find the good takeaways then may I suggest following this path:

OK, I know this is as simple as can be but I've honestly found it to be incredibly useful. This method helps put me in the right frame of mind to accept incoming critique and be receptive to what's being said. I now have the tools needed to discern what I can politely pass on versus what is a problem that needs to be addressed.

While deceptively simple it does something powerful.

Time for some hard truths.

Not every seasoned professional is right 100% of the time or immune to subjective opinions. My method above helps newer artists (be it voice actor, animator, writer, or illustrator) fold in advice or critique from more seasoned professionals when necessary. Oftentimes a newer artist can be swayed by someone with more experience in ways that do more harm than good. Their status lends more weight to their words and can send newer artists running off in unnecessary directions. Even worse, can stymie creative choices that make that artist unique.

This little flow chart will help you keep your voice strong, your unique talent flowing while maintaining the ability to accept critique and implement it. So that no matter who is saying it, you'll be able to sift through the critique and find what's going to make you a better artist.

But, that's just one voice artist's advice.

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