How to take criticism! Amélie Lamont from the New York Times at Awwwards L.A

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Having to watch y’all hug people. I don’t do that. I’m from the east coast you know we don’t hug people on the east coast you so I Just I just have to Express that okay, so Before we get started. I want you to indulge me at an exercise. I’m actually going to break up the room into three parts, so You’re going to be What’s your name? What’s what’s the sides name make up a name? dould Dope okay, Dope Middle part Did you say cokes referee’s I’m into it. I’m going to okay, okay, okay? What’s what’s what’s your name Steve? Okay, so we got dope coke poppy and Steve great interesting mix so I want to be a teacher and you’re going to be my students and I’m going to give you a design exercise And I want you to I want to get a better idea of your vector skills pretend It’s like day one of a typography workshop, or course and you’re a graphic design student in design school And I want you to create the letter f from this poster in illustrator I’m going to show you do not trace it, and you have one imaginary day to complete it so the poster Los angeles cuz we’re we’re So let’s just pretend that day path was very quick time for a critique all right, so dope this is the s that you created and submitted and It’s not bad. It’s not bad. It’s a little rough around the edges as if are pretty hard to draw um I’m going to give you a C-Plus Sorry My man, okay? All right kofi Your return this is this is a lot smoother looks like you have a pretty good grasp of the pen tool. You’re You’re getting the hang of it looks like you might be a more experience. Which is pretty good Gonna give you a bee it’s not perfect I Know I know I wanted to give you an air, but how do you see like the lot? But I can’t give you a with session Okay, oh, I showed the great already what well I mean, let’s just be real see you even know it’s Not to say to you You forgot part we forgot to actually connect the s and you like handed this, and I’m gonna have to give you a d Sorry in the future. Maybe in like a different classes We’ve gotten an a+ like but in my heart you got an a just just so you know so the reason I bring this up and why we did that exercise is because we’re doing a critique right live right now and Oftentimes when there’s a critique as you saw the different emotions from each group. We often Sometimes take that critique to heart right and we sometimes ask ourselves is it about me? What about my work? Oh? And I think when we’re talking about Critique And whether it’s related to me my work or even both? We first have to take a step back and look at the definition of Critique so Critique is a detailed analysis and assessment of something especially a literary Philosophical or political theory in this case. I want you to keep in mind that Critique is assessment of something seeing not someone but a sing Then you have criticism And I bring up criticism because oftentimes in that when it comes to Critique versus criticism We conflate the two we sometimes think that critique and criticism are one and the same and they are not Criticism is the expression of disapproval of someone or something on the basis of Perceived faults or mistakes so you’re looking for something that is wrong to judge Both critiquing and Criticism is about judgment. It’s just a matter of how that judgment is overlaid and Also, how that judgment is perceived I? bring this up because we Live in a society that is split up into two cultures So we’ve got the society of the world at large there are two cultures There is a collectivist culture and an individualist culture. What does that mean okay, so Collectivist that type of culture focuses on not on the individual, but the entire group Everyone’s included not one person stands out we all work together for the good of the group on The other hand you have individualist which is What most western Societies are based on and? We’re focused on ourselves. We care a lot about ourselves like Screw you I want to be the star. It’s all about me. That’s how we’re raised. It’s not about Everyone’s going to become president someday it’s I’m going to become president someday write About me me me Oh my God me again so Nene’s And this is important when you think about it in terms of critiquing criticism because in an individualist society We oftentimes place ourselves in situations that may not necessarily have warranted us to be there Beyonce what it’s me? Chrissy Teigen, what is me? It’s just elbe his girlfriend someone Nana this week and So that brings us back to the original question is this about me is it about my work Or is it both? and I brought up an example of inserting myself into situations that I did not necessarily belong because that’s what we do in an individualist Society When we get criticism or Critique? We wonder is it about me? We don’t necessarily often worry about whether it’s about the work we center ourselves in question is there something wrong inherently with me? And the answer is it depends because in a controlled environment Everything is contained, right? things move around You can control exactly the reaction that you want in our fake design school I was able to set up an assignment give it to you Give you the parameters and you were able to function within set parameters, right? But in everyday life that doesn’t work out that well. There’s no control and So things are just going all over the place you can’t really control it you can’t Decide on Whether or not you receive criticism or even critique? The environmental context is really important when you’re thinking about how you receive critique, and how you perceive it That’s why in design school. If someone tells you well the crossbar and your h is too. Low, you’re like. Yeah Vala Point Whereas in Life Say for example on Twitter Someone says the crossbar on your h is too. Low, and you’re like if that’s okay kind of look like this and Like in your mind your mind like rearranges it like foot Tha meme my crosswire Agency most Could ask you fine – so off I? Got so upset my mic velocity And you’re like wait Excuse me who asked you He’ll to the nah uh-huh This is clearly unsolicited Feedback Critique Criticism. Whatever the hell You want to call it? But I guess my question is is it really great because I think that a Public display of your work obviously is going to invite Critique It’s also going to invite Criticism can’t be controlled, but the one thing to keep in mind is that Critique? Aims to improve while Criticism Aims to harm I Think oftentimes we fall into this box where we think that the work that we do and the work that we put out there is equal to our identity Because my identity is equal to me because I own it. I have an identity Clearly Critique of me Equals Critique of or Critique of my work equals Critique of me which is great news You are you which should be pretty obvious to all of you can’t be anyone else Your work does not equal you as a person those are two separate things you are you and your work is separate Work does not equal you work is an extension of you but your work does not equal you What does your word not equal? That’s right So that means that Critique is not inherent and has nothing to do with your self-worth, and that’s something really important to keep in mind because I feel like oftentimes when we have and receive Critique in a social space in a digital space in a place that is public we tend to conflate it with Criticism of ourselves it’s not the same thing what this comes down to is an over analysis and over consumption that leads to unnecessary worry strife and stress If the Critique is not criticism, and it’s not about you. Why are you so pressed, bro? So I think that in terms of Critique. I think it’s time for all of us to practice Radical Self-Care I Think it’s important for us to open our eyes and to really think about What critique means when someone’s giving it and when we’re receiving it and how we’re perceiving it Critique exists for us to get better as designers as Developers of artists whatever you are whoever you are whatever your profession is Critique is important for you to get better Instead of going why are you attacking me? Maybe the question we should be asking is tell me more about that. I Keep pressing to that Really, okay? The other question we could be asking is what are you seeing when you look at my work? What is it that you’re seeing? or Maybe we can say give me a better idea of your perspective I don’t really understand where you’re coming from but I want to understand because I want to get better Critique is wonderful because It incites conflict tension Discomfort all of that is the stuff of Growth and So it brings us back to the big question that we asked earlier is this about me is this about my work? Or is it about both I? Think ultimately what it’s about is it’s about how you? Nos on don’t do this can improve your work get better at your craft and become a better digital citizen who actually Listens to the world around them they’re not complaining critiquing criticism You’re taking a step back to look at the full picture to better understand How you can grow you’re taking the information, and you’re breaking it down and trying to figure out How can I apply this to my work in the future to get better? How can I listen? my name is AmI little month I Am a product design lead of New York times, and I struggle with Critique, and I struggle with criticism And I conflate the two all the time. I’m getting better at it. I’m getting better at it because I’m trying to ask More ask this question. Tell me more about that. What does that mean tell me more about your perspective

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