Failure Friday: PSA! oh, wait… Art? 

If you follow my blog you know that on Monday I presented my drawing assignment on the scale of microaggressions. If you don’t follow my blog then you probably don’t know that. 

Regardless, I promised that I would deliver to you the result of the critique in my Failure Friday post where I have the chance to tell you about the less-than-glamorous side of art making.  

Before I begin, though, I’ll just say I really liked the idea more than the execution of the work. I was not really sure how to improve the piece after I had comepleted it. So, if it was ripped apart, I was looking forward to at least getting some ideas about where to go from there. 

So, here it is: 

After hanging my work and scoping out all the other (WAY better) works from students,  we all gathered around each piece and talked about it. We arrived at my work, and it went a little like this: 

[I explain the piece]

Professor: who wants to go first?


“I like it”

“It’s chaotic”

“I think you need to make the background darker”

 “Why are the words separate?”

“I thought it was a PSA”

Professor: “Yea, it definitely has a social work feel about it… a social work aesthetic”


“maybe if you frame it?”

“Maybe put the words inside the piece.”

Professor: “I think reading some comic book artists could help you… I’d incorporate the words in the piece…. I’ve never seen a separation like this in a gallery. It’s not how you see artists framing their work.”

So, here is what I got from the discussion: 

  • The PSA vibe is from the separation of text/image 
  • The whole piece could be darker to draw the viewer in more. 
  • Look up comic artists who successfully put together text and image for ideas and inspiration. 

It wasn’t a horrible critique. And when I hear, “I don’t see artists framing their work like that” my immediate thought is not, “well this social-worker-wanna-be-artist does!” I’m not sure why that is not my first thought… I’m guessing it’s because I trust that my professor has seen MANY more gallery exhibits than I have and can make a comment like that in an empowering way. 

So, I’m going to take those suggestions and run with them. Hopefully I’ll be a better artist afterwards.

Who knows, maybe I’ll also be a better social worker 🙂 


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