Live Cast: How to Take Criticism Like a Champ

How do you handle criticism?

Everyone has a different answer.

Some people graciously accept it and use it to their advantage whilst others brush it aside as ‘haters’. In this live cast I share stories from my own experience and give tips on how artists can get the most from criticism and ignore the ones that don’t matter.

Watch the Recording

Notes

Great Criticism Quotes

“Criticism is easy, art is difficult.”
-Philippe Destouches

“Criticism is something we can avoid easily by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.”
-Aristotle

“Know that the amount of criticism you receive may correlate somewhat to the amount of publicity you receive.”
-Donald Rumsfeld

“Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man’s growth without destroying his roots.”
-Frank A. Clark

“It is ridiculous for any man to criticize the works of another if he has not distinguished himself by his own performances.”
-Joseph Addison

“Criticism is an indirect form of self-boasting”
-Emmet Fox

Great links for further reading

Now that you’ve heard my thoughts on the matter, what do you think? Should artists gracefully accept criticism or trust their gut and do what they think is right?

Join the discussion below.

About Andrew Price

User of Blender for 9+ years. I've written tutorials for 3d World Magazine and spoken at three Blender conferences. My goal is to help artists get employed in the industry by making training accessible and easy to understand. I'm an Aussie and I live in South Korea ;)
  • Benjamin Scotford

    Hey Andrew, AMAZING Video, heaps of wisdom in there. The only criticism i would give is don’t use words like ass and dick.

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  • HydraZulu

    I’ve been using Blender for several years now (my earliest .blend I have is dated 2008, but I’m sure I’ve been using it longer), and my learning curve was very shallow before I discovered this site. Sure you get criticism, which only means you’re not perfect (sorry if I shattered some notions there :p ) but I have to say, I’m glad you’re here, and the Blender community is much better off with you around making, as your banner says, “quality Blender tutorials”.

    I’ve got no idea if you’re still reading the comments on this video, but I just wanted to let you know of another person to whom you ARE making a difference.

  • Andi Drajan

    Hey Andrew!

    I think you make a really good point and you are 100% right. I’ve dealt with criticism quite a bit too (not regarding my 3d art), so I know where you’re coming from.

    I also wanna thank you for all the tutorials you’ve made. My 3d skills have improved a lot since I started watching your tutorials.

    As for the emails you keep sending, keep them coming! A new email usually means a new tutorial so it’s all good news.

    Have a nice day!
    Andi

  • http://www.uv21.com Ginny Glassey

    I was studying some of your blog posts on this internet site and I believe this internet site is very instructive! Keep posting.

  • http://platinumbuffalotech.webs.com RelliK

    @AlekB: The whole “water” thing, really? He cant be thirsty? During any live “performance”, if you would classify it as that, the star or whomever pauses for water. Whoopdie do dude! Why does it matter anyway?

    @ “the people who had negatives about Andrew’s methods”:
    Don’t like it, don’t watch it. Or just hold your tongue. Please! Just because you disagree with something doesn’t mean you have to tell the world! Tell your friends. Tell your family. Not us. Because honestly, we don’t care if you don’t like it.
    – Just sitting there ragging on something is such a HUGE waste of precious time and energy! –

    Andrew,

    I am extremely grateful that you take the time to make these videos, articles, books, and tutorials to help Blender artists. I’m glad your videos aren’t “professional”, as some of these people put it. If I wanted an extremely formal and professional way to learn, I’d likely be sitting in a college classroom. The way you do your videos make me feel like I’m getting a one-on-one with a buddy. I WANT to learn from another user. Not a professor. Don’t change a single thing! This is perfect for amatuer artist who arent used to critisizm from strangers!

    Thanks and keep it up!
    Sincerely,
    Josh Field (RelliK)

  • AlekB

    I have noo idea if you are still reading these comments but. I think that you should try to be a little bit more professional. Showing your face? That’s fine. However it annoys me when you take a drink during a tutorial. You did it in the newscast 3 or 4 times. For inspiration go watch Andrew Kramer’s tutorials at http://www.videocopilot.net He is very professional and yet really funny at the same time, a major plus because his tuts can be 40 minutes long. Also that foggy window tut was very unprofessional. go ahead and ask me why.

  • Ian

    Great job!

  • Reactorcore

    Really good points in this video and I agree with all of it.
    I had done some creative work myself and releasing it online and back then I was not sure what I was looking for.

    In my mind, I wanted that pat on the back, but subconsiously, I also wanted to hear advice to make it better. As I started getting more popular, the jelous, evil and ugly appeared. It really sucked when you find out about these people who are out there just to bring you (and others) down as their sole purpose.

    It fucked up my motivation and made me re-evaluate if what I was doing was actually worth it. And thats the thing.

    Worth doing it.

    If you see your work benefits you more than the shit that rains down on you, you’ll be fine. In some cases, this worth may be cash that you earn from your work, in other cases, its the amount of positive people out-weighting the bad ones.

    Keep up the good work Andrew, I’ve subscribed to this site and will keep an eye out for anything you post man.

  • http://www.boxlol.com www.boxlol.com

    Hi Andrew!

    I was doubing a bit whether or not post a comment on this video, but because of what you said in the last minute, that made me want to do it.

    so here it comes!

    First of all, I found your tutorials realy really helpfull. I know you must hearing that from lots of people but just think of that you making someone realy happy by doing what you do!.

    So thats all the lovin :P

    Secondly I want to comment on some post below, I had a quick read trough it and found it disquisting. Gues thats how some people are. As you said in your video : At some critique I dont even look. ( or something :P ) I think thats a verry good idea man. Some people just say things without even thinking about what they say. So thats that. But I gues you already knew that.

    Also some people say that your ”head” on the web isnt a good thing. Well I’m not going to disagree with them, because its a personal thing. and different for everybody. But I wanted to say that I think its a good thing. It ( as you said in your video ) Gives an extra touch to your website. IT gives me the idea that Im actualy watching to a person with a story to to tell instead of just another guy thats making tut’s for blender. Also it helps that your english is clear and the audio is good. ( I find most of the blender tuts awfull because It’s a pain to listen to them )

    Well thats more than enough feathers in your ass I think :P
    ( Do they know that proverb Down Under? )

    And if I have to give one, realy thiny point of improvement let it be this : Try to explain the tiny things that your doing in your tuts. I believe you’ve put a litlle program that displays your keyboard commands. And I found that realy helpful, Thanks to that I know more shortkeys than ever and It makes your tutorials much better to understand for beginners like me. Well and there goes my little critique on your website. You already improved it weeks ago when you first started to use that display program.
    The reason that I still typed it? Because I wanted to say the only thing that I found annoying on your website.
    But you already improved it weeks or months ago. I dont even know anymore.

    Well thats it.
    Keep up the good work

    And remember, Your making some people realy happy with your tutorials!

    Greetings
    Sietze

  • http://www.stop-procrastinating.org stop procrastinating

    Seriously great! Thanks a lot for taking the effort so that you can truly post consistently. I’ve been attempting to as much as I can, but it is so difficult to get into a rhythm with running a blog.

  • http://lovetoblend.blogspot.com/ LoveToBlend

    –> Jonas

    AGREE!!!!!

  • http://www.cinemantica.com Jonas

    –> parasar
    Nice angle on things. You see that getting things for free doesn’t mean you are thankful. Quite the opposite it seems. Like spoiled children, we scream “Max has this, Maya has that!”. I think it’s tragic really. The free software community should be all about sharing, ideas, thoughts and so on. Not about jumping people for the way they look or the way they produce their videos. Come on.

    –> Wake Up
    You are the one that is going to have trouble in the business, with your kind of attitude against people. Try working at a major studio and start the first day by commenting on someones hair, clothes or color of skin. You’ll get rightfully kicked out, instantly, no doubt.

    –> BlenderGuru
    Keep going. No changes. Some people will always act silly and thoughtless and sometimes mindless and ruthless.

  • LoveToBlend

    Yeah “um” was kinda annoying…

  • Nes

    The only thing I would criticize… stop saying ‘um’ D:

  • http://www.twitter.com/MaidaWhinnery Maida Whinnery

    Useful article would it be OK if i translate into Italian for our sites subscribers? Thanks

  • Gazza

    lol @ the vid…and the comments…love the stuff wake up, totally hilarious )

  • http://gfgf.com Bebe Tellinghuisen

    I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post.

  • LoveToBlend

    The video was really helpful!!

    In the end of video was funny when you was smiling and trying to stop the video :D :D

  • parasar

    You make some good pojnts Andrew, but maybe it’s the Wooloomoloo accent that gets peoples backs up. (Just kidding, I never met an Aussie yet with whom I didn’t enjoy hoisting a beer).

    What is it about the Blender community that seems to provoke such mean-spirited vitriol? Not only on your site; I read similar comments on BlenderNation and BlenderArtists. It seems that the hard-working people at Blender Institute can never do enough to satisfy their non-paying customers.

    Maybe that’s it. I often check out Andrew Kramer’s excellent After Effects site ‘Videocopilot’ and have never seen the level of negative feedback that you find here. Perhaps it’s because AE is very expensive commercial software and it’s users tend to be professionals….
    Oops, what does that say about Blender users?
    Just my two cents…..

  • major4zz

    AUSTRALIAAAAAA!!!!!

  • Rob

    What I find ridiculous is when people criticize something they didn’t pay for. If you don’t like it, shove off. Idiots.

  • http://NONatthemoment Styleknight

    Well I final get to reach the man!!! I concider myself a blender head in rough. I love what you do with community. Blender for me is Jewl. I love the support you give Andrew. I find myself in your path and hope to be as you are. Please keep going, you will reach everything you hope for and more.

    A Friend Steve Patient , Lakeland FL , USA.

  • Ferry Ohoira

    well, what can i say
    i don’t have any critisism on your videos or website
    i learned a lot, on the things i did not know ….
    as i run my biz using blender…and doing well
    as Ton Roosendaal said : make money using Blender
    about your videos.. just keep up the good works….

    cheers mate

  • erikals

    now, hehe, i’m wondering,… is “Wake up” kidding / telling a joke, or is he for real… haha, i can’t tell… : D

    great reply to a great post… LoL… :]

    good video, and keep posting links :]

  • Tom Jelfs

    “…you come across as very vain, and as a person attempting to capitalise on underwhelming training for a free piece of software,..”

    Yeah he’s certainly capitalising on the software, I mean just look at that palatial bedroom he’s recording from and all that bling he’s got draped over his Armani suit is just insulting to very concept of open source software. How’s the overseas account coping with all the zeros Andrew?

  • Big D

    @ Wake up

    If there wasn’t a demand for Blenderguru I guess it would be mothballed pretty quickly.

    And as for “defeating the whole purpose of free software”, that is an interesting idea. Basically you argue that nobody
    working with free software ever should get payed, because it’s free. Hmmmm…

  • http://blenderguru.com Andrew Price

    @Wake Up
    I’ve read your feedback but please understand that I can’t please everyone.

    Some people have emailed me specifically stating that they like my site BECAUSE I show my face. They say it adds a “personal touch”. So that’s why I do it.

    Obviously this doesn’t appeal to everyone but it works for my main audience, so I will stick with it for the mean time. Thanks for your feedback.

  • http://www.bullterrierproblems.com/dog-bull-terrier/ Dog Bull Terrier

    Hello. Great job. I did not expect this on a Wendnesday. This is a great story. Thanks!

  • http://No Wake Up

    Congrats on completely missing the point/ being selective about what ‘criticism’ to respond to Andrew…

    Guess you’ll never learn. Oh well. It’s your future on the line, not mine. I know for myself that I wouldn’t hire you if I was a recruiter, as you come across as very vain, and as a person attempting to capitalise on underwhelming training for a free piece of software, which defeats the whole purpose of open source/Blender in the first place. Blendercookie are doing an infinitely better job at providing Blender training, mostly for free, without sticking their face in the camera or making videos about their girlfriends (???)

    But whatever. Its your image/reputation you are damaging, not anyone elses. Good luck.

  • Tom Jelfs

    I remember once I posted some work over at 3dbuzz, bit of work that I was really proud of and I duly got post after post of praise all along the lines of “I love this man, good job. ” and “Brilliant Character” then suddenly after about 15 of those I got one starting “If you’re interested in some real feedback continue reading….if you’re looking for another “hey dude cool model” post you might want to stop reading now….” It hit me hard to start with as this guy outlined only a couple of points and my initial reaction in my head was “well how the **** are you?” but I checked the guy out and he’d done some good work so I read his comments again and eventually took things on board.

  • Friday

    Btw, where do I sign up to receive emails from this site? I can’t seem to find the correct page and I’d love to be informed about new tutorials. Hopefully one day I’ll submit one of my own art pieces to be critiqued by you.

  • Friday

    Haha, love the reply.

  • http://blenderguru.com Andrew Price

    ^Lol. But if my face is annoying, surely you could just turn the other way? :P

  • http://No Wake up

    Oh dear.

    I would love to say I wasted HALF AN HOUR OF MY LIFE watching this disgrace but I quit after you patted yourself on the back 1:10 in…for being criticized.

    You are getting this criticism for a reason. You get it more than other people for a reason. Your ridiculous vanity and your general silliness (eg that ‘blender’ video about your girlfriend) are the reasons you attract criticism (not critiques; learn the difference pal, one is regarding your quality of art, which no one is critisizing, the other is regarding the way you present yourself. Which is cringeworthy.) So I have no idea why you are putting all those quotes regarding art and critiques under your post…

    The people you should ignore are the twits saying ‘good video!!!! :D’ etc.

    Get your face off-screen. It’s so annoying. Seriously.

    You are the worst thing about the Blender community.

    • Benjamin Scotford

      Thats Horroble! I thought it was a great video and I like how andrew puts his face around the site. I feel sorry for andrew having to get those horrible comments from you!

  • Anton

    I’m surprised that you take critisism from anonymous people on the internet. This is the internet mate, 1000s of people are bound to view your site on a daily basis. Most of these people are anonymous and can say whatever they feel like with out consequnces. I would not take the critisism all to seriously.

  • Regan

    All of those emails are actually from me. I’ve been sending variations of them daily!

    (tis a joke please don’t hit me!)

    Good video =D

  • Luke

    Yeah, don’t worry about them Andrew. Mostly they’re just jealous of your passion and success. Rock on.

  • http://checkingaccountinfo.com checking account info

    Yes, I agree. That’s very good recommendation and I hope I might take that advice. By the way in which, thanks…

  • Stefan

    Great video! Keep them comming!

  • http://www.behance.net/danielkeller Daniel Keller

    that’s what you get when you post video screencasts showing off your face… it just looks unprofessional from outside

    I don’t say you suck, just think about that