March 8, 2007


For about a year I've wanted some honest feedback on my work. Sure, folks say nice things but let's face it, when's the last time you said to someone -- that's ok, nothing strking, or it's a bit dull or uninteresting? Or, it's great, but it could be better. We are all too respectful of one another to go there uninvited. So I posted a message on splitcoast seeking a fellow stamper who would provide this service for me and I for her. The result? I've teamed up with someone and we've already provided polite, respectful constructive feedback to each other. I've learned so much in just one exchange -- in fact, providing feedback on her card was, in a way, more of a learning experience, and one that I did not expect. Forced me to look at something that I liked with a critical eye. Usually, I look at cards and think, that's nice but never think about why something attracts me. Now, I have to figure out why I like it and find a way to suggest improvements.! I'm hoping that by hearing what she has to say about my work and by commenting on hers, my skills will really grow. So far, her comments have been spot on! I had some responses to my initial request that were along the lines of "but I already like your stuff" -- which I have to say is always nice to hear (yes, that's human nature!) but somewhat off the point. I'm a huge believer that everyone can improve and I have a long way to go. I'm not educated in design principles and it doesn't come naturally. After watching other stampers and papercrafters grow, develop and take risks, I want to do the same. I have a goal -- which I'm not quite ready to go public with yet. But, when I'm feeling more confident, you'll be among the first to hear!


  1. What an awesome idea! And so open-minded!

    So, are you going to do "before and after" posts along with some of the comments so we can learn from your great teacher?

  2. What a great concept! I'd like to find someone to bounce cards off of, too!

    I like the before & after idea, too!

  3. Hey Joan, that is really open minded and brave of you to have that kind of partnership with someone! I really admire that. I think I'm personally still in the "rub my ego if you will" mode. LOL!

  4. well holey moley! aren't you just the smartest. what a great idea. i agree, you can't go "there" very easily, even though people don't know where you live so they can't egg your house.....but even polite honesty is so often taken as hostility and flaming and name calling starts. sigh.

    oh well, it's a good thing we all have different tastes!
    glad to hear it is working out for you

  5. Joan...good for you. I always wish people would be a bit more "honest" with comments (well, somedays I wish that...somedays I wouldn't be able to handle it)

    I too think the only way to grow is to improve and EVERYTHING can improve!

  6. bohohoo, I want one too :) a critique that is!!
    I've been pondering for weeks now, on and off, its sort of always in my head, the thought I mean, just WHY is it that I like some things, totally ignore others and think some are just hideous or boring (cards that I see). But mostly I'm hung up on the why and what is it that I like in a composition, the color, the shapes. I have that with my own cards too, some come out feeling JUST right. Yes, I think that's where this goes, how does a card make you FEEL, and then figure out how did it DO that :) mind boggling, isn't it?

  7. Love the idea. I have, upon occasion, gotten brave and asked SCS friends for advice - and I always learn from them and still use the tips they offered. The ones I've asked have always offered suggestions in a very courteous manner. No one, however, has ever asked me for help, though. :0) Hmmmmm.....

  8. Ooo. I like that idea. I usually just ask my husband. If he doesn't like my cards and says so, I just brush it off and it doesn't hurt my feelings... because for one, he's a guy. ;) And also, we have different tastes. But to invite someone else in... I like it. But I would want the person to me my friend, too.

    I'm gonna discover the secrets of the great stampers... someday! ;)

  9. What a fabulous idea, Joan! I have always loved the idea of having a mentor, so-to-speak, but never thought how to go about it. It's improtant to me to gorow in my craft... I'm always worried that I'm becomming too stale or in a rut. A mentor would definitely continue to challenge me and help me think out of the box, that's for sure.

    I hope this arrangement continues to work out well for you! And if your idea involves starting up a co-mentoring program, you can definitely count me in! :)

  10. What you are doing is a great idea. Perhaps many of us could do the same with one another. You bring up a very good point about people being polite. I know that if I do not like someones card and I do not know them I will say the card looks nice or I will not comment at all. I can hardly wait to hear about your goal.

  11. I hear lots of talented stampers saying that they threw projects away in the trash. I'd love to see those, wouldnt you? But more importantly, hear why they didnt think it was working.
    Oftentimes we learn best from making mistakes. It'd be nice to see what others consider mistakes/missteps as a way of learning the craft. So I second (third?) the idea of having you post some before critique and after consultation pics. :) Adelle

    PS as you know, one of the reasons why I like posting in the Simply Sentiments gallery, is that the gals/gents are very good about specifically naming what they like about a certain card, or what attracted them to it. Its easy to get the postive reinforcement, but the harder critique is often harder to come by unless asked for specifically.

  12. When I don't like something I don't comment...I'm "old school" and grew up with "if you don't have anything nice to say don't say anything at all". This is an area I would DEFINITELY have to be invited to, LOL. Secondly, I'm so new at this I'm not qualified to critique. The best I could possibly do is tell someone WHY something doen's appeal to me.
    You're a brave woman Joan, TFS.

  13. I have to admit, I only leave comments on work that I can honestly say "Hey I like that" and at the same time be thinking to myself "Hey that's a great idea, I'd like to make that"

    I guess most people work with the philosphy "if you can't say anything nice don't say anything at all" and doesn't take creative criticism into account!


  14. Kudos to you for even asking for feedback! I would love that sort of thing - but I agree it should be respectful, etc.
    I also like the 'before & after' idea. :)