I am a new member of SCBWI. I recently asked to have a Virtual Illustration Critique by Paul O. Zelinsky of my newest children’s book illustration for “Madeline Delilah, Extraordinarily, Ordinary” written by Mariah Richardson. I think I’m pretty tough, and criticism doesn’t bother me. I’m a professional after all.
The critique I received from Mr. Zelinsky was very well written and very detailed. I could tell there was a lot of thought put into it. There was a lot of encouragement and positive feed back, which made me happy of course, but there was also some very well placed criticism and strong suggestions.
I think the reason I felt sensitive about the criticism is because some of the specific areas of criticism were about the very areas that I was a little uncomfortable with all along. In other words I knew in my mind there were problems that I hadn’t quite worked out, but I went ahead anyway. He felt some of my images were static, that I should push the images, perspectives and emotions further to make everything more exciting, dramatic and interesting. Yes, I agree, now I see it all, can I start all over, can I have a redo?
I have learned something very important. Always go that extra mile (heck, that extra ten miles) to make your illustrations perfect in all ways. You will hopefully have a very big audience someday and you will want to be proud.
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