Feedback is used as a basis for improvement. As artists, it’s imperative that we gauge the strength of our work and we do so through feedback. Here at CGMA, we understand the value of feedback from our instructors as well as from other students. We maintain a collaborative space for individuals to construct their ideas and make room for those ideas to be enhanced—this is just one of the way we make it possible to become a better artist. Through the perspectives our talented and celebrated instructors, who have and been through this creative cycle and back, this is what they have to say about the importance of feedback.
Tyler Edlin, Concept Artist, Illustrator, says:
“Feedback is the very core of improvement and part of a larger success cycle. As both an artist and instructor there will likely be a fair amount of failure and in a variety of ways, failure to- comprehend an assignment, failure to communicate, failure to inspire others etc. Truth is, we cannot grow as people without failure. I feel feedback is a two-way line between instructor and student that embraces failure and helps both parties grow. From the opening email, I like to get that line open with my students and encourage them to open up each week about anything. This has lead to a lot great friendships that has extended beyond the scope of the classroom, everyone no matter the skill needs someone to bounce ideas too and talk shop.”
Gilles Beloeil, Concept Artist, says:
“I think feedback from the teacher on student work is the most important thing to use as a learning tool at CGMA, because it gives the student professional advice on things he or she may have missed in their artwork. Getting the feedback from someone who did struggle on the same problems in his artwork during many years is priceless. The more artwork you create, the more you will be able to see the problems you can fix in your painting. And the more problems you fix, the better your painting and design will be. Therefore, getting a professional trained eye painting over the works you struggled on will save you a lot of time and you will probably learn a lot more this way, rather than watching a video of the same teacher painting his own stuff.”
Bobby Rebholz, Senior Concept Artist, says:
I will give an answer from a teacher’s viewpoint. I think feedback is important because, as artists, we need constructive criticism if we intend to get better. I remember first starting out in the concept art world and I was very stubborn in my methods of doing things. I thought that criticism was a personal attack and I never really grew in areas where I needed to get better in. As a teacher, I try to be honest with the student and still maintaining that fun atmosphere for my students. It feels good knowing that you’re improving because the criticism you’re receiving is honest. As an artist, if we take a step back and learn to soak in constructive criticism, we can get better much faster.
Shannon Beaumont, Illustrator, says:
“When learning, your attention is often so focused on certain things that many other things will escape your notice. Another eye, which has not been involved in the process, can more easily spot these. However, critique is only helpful when given in a way that can be digested and processed. An art instructor is not just trained at teaching art, but also at how to give the bits of critique and suggestions that are likely to be most helpful to the student. That is, spot the struggles the students are currently facing and finding the suggestions that are most likely to steer them in the right direction.”
Poe Tan, Concept Artist, says:
“As a student myself in the 90s, being in college and also the beginning of my career in animation, I learned a lot while I was working with a lot of my colleagues by seeing them work. From their technique, shortcuts and styles, it made me understand how the creative process and industry pipeline flow. Bottom line, seeing is learning.
I enjoy teaching at CGMA, as it gives me the opportunity to teach students who are hailing from all over the globe. To see them grow and move on to other classes then hopefully moving to living their goals and dreams, to me is the most rewarding part as an educator.”