How to quickly improve your work by asking for feedback

When I first started my Animation Course, I was afraid of what other people might say about the things I made. It intimidated me to show my drawings then, and even now I feel awkward about it.

I didn’t know the difference between constructive criticism and someone bashing my work, or comments by people with no artistic background saying stupid stuff.

After a while, I realized feedback and constructive criticism were not what I thought; they are just comments on how to improve my work, which relieved my fears. Because of that realization, when I got my first job, it never bothered me to have my animation or clean-ups scrutinized and commented on.

Also, when you work in a studio, you are part of a team and other people before you have done amazing work already. I found it comforting and inspiring to be in a big group of creative minds.

 

Last month, I finished my second cartoon. I watched it over and over, and something wasn’t right. I didn’t know what it was, but I wanted to improve it.

So I did the most uncomfortable thing: I asked for feedback and used it to change my work.

 

I’ll show you the feedback I got and a comparison between the first and the second versions of the cartoon.

First, I’ll go through all the revisions I made in the cartoon, the reasons behind the changes, and why they work better.

 

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The Making of “Wall of Death”

My friend was recently in a mosh pit with the other metal heads at a music festival, totally enjoying her favourite band, when she suddenly realized she was by herself. The crowd was split in half, but everybody was still enjoying the band. A bit warily, she stayed to listen and enjoy the song.

Then, the singer started a countdown.

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A genius way to learn fast for great art

Do you get ideas, start planning, and then keep on planning to the point where you create a monster project that would take you a year and a full crew to finish? Or do you overthink things to the point that you end up staring at a blank page?

 

I have binders full of ideas that are mostly unfinished because I let them become monster projects. To change that, now I’m creating very short projects that (should) take less than a week to finish.

 

 

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Learning a skill can be hard. Really small projects can make it easier.

 

Do you just pickup your Wacom tablet, open up some program and just go make a masterpiece? Or do you spend a bit of time planing your project out?

 

It doesn’t matter if the project is an epic 2 hour movie or a 3 seconds animation: you need a plan.  It can be very complex and detailed or just a quick sketch, but you need a place to start.

 

Here’s how a recent project of mine went:

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