Why Your Inner Critic Is Your Best Friend

You might find it helpful to use one workspace for drafting/sketching/experimenting, and another for reviewing your work.
Before you start work, take a moment to reflect on the advantages of having a finely honed critical faculty.

Another thing to try before you start work is telling yourself, “I’m not really going to start just yet, I’ll just make a few sketches” – or scribble a few notes, or practice a few scales, or the equivalent for your creative medium.

When you’re working, if the Critic starts telling you what’s wrong with the piece, ask yourself, “So what does the work need instead?” or “So what do I need to do to make it better?”

If the Critic keeps interfering, promise yourself that you’ll do a critical review at the end of this stage of execution – so you can afford to ignore her now and keep your momentum going.


You and Your Critic

When have you been most grateful for possessing sharp critical judgment?

Do you agree that your Inner Critic is – potentially – your best friend?

Any tips for utilizing your critical faculty more effectively in the creative process?


The Inner Critic gets a lot of bad press, especially among blocked creatives who wish the nagging critical voice at the back of their mind would disappear. No wonder there’s so much creativity advice on how to banish, silence, or obliterate the Inner Critic. By the time the creative thinking gurus are done, the Critic’s had a tougher pounding than an extra from Kill Bill.
But do you ever wonder why the Critic keeps coming back for more? Could it be that the Critic is actually a very important part of your creative process?
If you think about it, you’d be in big trouble without an Inner Critic. Without some kind of internal quality filter, you’d be happy to churn out any old rubbish – and join the ranks of mediocrities. A finely honed critical faculty is one of the things that separates a creative professional from the legions of amateurs.
In the words of musician Mike Monday:
A good producer and a great producer have the same number of ideas – some good, some great. But a great producer will know the difference.
And the great producer’s Inner Critic is the difference that makes the difference. Because the great producer has listened more keenly and thought more sharply about music, she has a more powerful and useful Inner Critic.
So the Inner Critic isn’t the enemy, just an over-zealous friend who’s delivering the criticism too forcefully and without considering your feelings. We all have friends who do that from time to time.
The trick is to get the Critic back “onside,” delivering genuinely constructive criticism. Like the inspiring mentor who urged you to do your best and didn’t accept anything less – but with a supportive and encouraging tone of voice. Leer más “Why Your Inner Critic Is Your Best Friend”

10 Free EBooks for Web Designers


(…)

The following ten books contain a wide variety of valuable information for web designers, ranging from HTML5 to a guide for managing your time. There’s plenty here to keep you busy reading for a while. Enjoy!

Introduction to Good Usability

ebooks for designers

This guide is especially handy if you haven’t done a lot of webdesign yet or if you are involved in webdesign but don’t do any of the real work. I hope to shed some light on some common interface elements and mistakes people often make with them.

How To Be Creative

ebooks for designers

If you’ve ever felt the draw to do something creative but just haven’t been able to pull it together, you’ll love this manifesto. Hugh MacLeod, an advertising executive and popular blogger with a flair for the creative, gives his 26 tried-and-true tips for being truly creative. Each point illustrated by a cartoon drawn by the author himself.

Why design?

ebooks for designers

What designers offer to clients is a way of thinking. The “Why design?” booklet outlines the role of design in business strategy. It seeks a common framework for why design adds value to clients’ interests. Leer más “10 Free EBooks for Web Designers”

Are You Ambitious Enough?

Admit it: you’re ambitious.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to ask you to proclaim your ambitions in the comments. But if you read the 99% and use the Behance Network, you’re here because you want to learn, you want to improve your professional skills, you want to keep your finger on the pulse of the creative industries. You want to compare your work with that of your peers and emulate the success of your heroes. You want to succeed.But it’s not really the done thing to say so, is it?

These days, “ambition” is a dirty word. People who are “ambitious” are viewed as either selfish or unrealistic. (“That sounds a bit ambitious” is code for “you are going to fail.”) Yet it wasn’t always this way. The poet James Fenton points out that 500 years ago in Renaissance Florence, artists had no qualms about admitting their ambitions. Here’s Fenton discussing Giorgio Vasari’s biography of Andrea del Verrocchio:

I take these stories about artists, from Baldinucci and Vasari, because they date from a period when it appears that one could acknowledge straightforwardly motives of which we would today be obscurely ashamed. Verocchio observes that there is much to be gained in the field of sculpture, so he becomes a sculptor, and when he feels he has won the honour that is going, he turns to painting with the same motive, but when he sees his way blocked by Leonardo he turns back to sculpture again.


by Mark McGuinness

Admit it: you’re ambitious.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to ask you to proclaim your ambitions in the comments. But if you read the 99% and use the Behance Network, you’re here because you want to learn, you want to improve your professional skills, you want to keep your finger on the pulse of the creative industries. You want to compare your work with that of your peers and emulate the success of your heroes. You want to succeed.But it’s not really the done thing to say so, is it?

These days, “ambition” is a dirty word. People who are “ambitious” are viewed as either selfish or unrealistic. (“That sounds a bit ambitious” is code for “you are going to fail.”) Yet it wasn’t always this way. The poet James Fenton points out that 500 years ago in Renaissance Florence, artists had no qualms about admitting their ambitions. Here’s Fenton discussing Giorgio Vasari‘s biography of Andrea del Verrocchio:

I take these stories about artists, from Baldinucci and Vasari, because they date from a period when it appears that one could acknowledge straightforwardly motives of which we would today be obscurely ashamed. Verocchio observes that there is much to be gained in the field of sculpture, so he becomes a sculptor, and when he feels he has won the honour that is going, he turns to painting with the same motive, but when he sees his way blocked by Leonardo he turns back to sculpture again. Leer más “Are You Ambitious Enough?”

The Key to Creating Remarkable Things

No one likes the feeling that other people are waiting – impatiently – for you to get back to them.

At the beginning of the day, faced with an overflowing inbox, a list of messages on your voicemail, and the to-do list from your last meeting, it’s tempting to want to “clear the decks” before you start on your own most important work. When you’re up-to-date, you tell yourself, your mind will be clear and it will be easier to focus on the task at hand.The trouble with this approach is that you end up spending the best part of the day on other people’s priorities, running their errands, and giving them what they need. By the time you finally settle down to your own work, it could be mid-afternoon, when your energy has dipped and it’s hard to focus on anything properly. “Oh well, maybe tomorrow will be better,” you tell yourself.



by Mark McGuinness

No one likes the feeling that other people are waiting – impatiently – for you to get back to them.

At the beginning of the day, faced with an overflowing inbox, a list of messages on your voicemail, and the to-do list from your last meeting, it’s tempting to want to “clear the decks” before you start on your own most important work. When you’re up-to-date, you tell yourself, your mind will be clear and it will be easier to focus on the task at hand.The trouble with this approach is that you end up spending the best part of the day on other people’s priorities, running their errands, and giving them what they need. By the time you finally settle down to your own work, it could be mid-afternoon, when your energy has dipped and it’s hard to focus on anything properly. “Oh well, maybe tomorrow will be better,” you tell yourself. Leer más “The Key to Creating Remarkable Things”