My take on the 10 tips (specific to art writing and criticism)…
1. Cut the boring parts. = Talk about something exciting. If there’s a piece or a show that falls short, provide constructive criticism without being brutal. I mean, for goodness sake, artists do need to hear it when they haven’t pushed boundaries enough. Yet, writers need to be brave enough to say, “You didn’t make me feel what you were trying to execute”.
2. Eliminate unnecessary words. = Take out any superfluous words and don’t be flowery (even though this is difficult for me to do, sometimes).
3. Write with passion. = Write authentically. Be genuine. People will know when you don’t mean it…
4. Paint a picture. = The whole idea of “show” and don’t “tell”. Unless you’re trying to command attention and have a specific reason to give direction, you need to describe what it is you see, especially if you’re describing art.
5. Keep it simple. = I heard it best put during a Critical Writing Workshop offered by The Lab in conjunction with Art Practical, one of the critics mentioned, “Write to an intelligent friend that doesn’t have time for bullsh*t”. Yes!
6. Do it for love. = See #3.
7. Learn to thrive on criticism. = People will love or hate you. Or sit on the fence when it comes to enjoying or disliking what you write. Learn to respect and appreciate opposing opinions or feedback.
8. Write all the time. = Well, create a schedule for yourself. If you’re incentive driven (like me), give yourself a reward or set a goal. Or, as Betty Edwards put it, draw (in this case, write) for 2 minutes! Typically, if you do something for at least 2 minutes and you find yourself engaged with the activity, you’ll probably continue past the 2 minutes mark.
9. Write what you know…or, what you want to know. = See #s 3 and 6
10. Be unique and unpredictable. = Hmmmm, this is debatable. Everyone is unique and has their own story but unpredictable? Well, I guess that’s up to the individual to decide.
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