Have you ever experiences this? You work for hours on a creative project and then sent if off to a couple of people for their input; one person says, ?I love that color?, but the response from the other person is, ?I hate that color.? We?ve all had moments in our creative careers just like this.
Early in my journey, I was so concerned with what people thought and how good they thought my designs were that it ended up sucking my creative juices dry. It?s not that getting input is bad; it?s that getting the wrong type of input can really frustrate us creatives.
Getting input on your designs, original worship songs, or any other creative endeavor can be useful. The key to getting feedback that actually improves your work is simply asking the right questions. The rest of this article will walk you step-by-step through the process of getting the best possible feedback.
1. Concept versus Detail
Here?s the thing: Asking someone who is not an expert in your particular field is nice, but it must be taken with a grain of salt. Asking your pastor about the font or color scheme of your design will never get the results you are after. Asking your youth pastor about the sentence structure of your spoken word isn?t going to accomplish much. If you want to get quality feedback, you?ve got to get input about the concept. Ask your team if they understand the message of what you?re creating ? not if they like it.[quote]Ask your team if they understand the message of what you?re creating ? not if they like it.[/quote]
2. Trust What You Know
As much as we artists don?t like to admit it, there are rules to art. There are certain colors that don?t fit, and there is a certain structure to a poem or song. If someone doesn?t like your creative work, there is no need for a meltdown. Just because someone doesn?t get your concept or message, doesn?t mean you throw out the principles you know and work with. Make small adjustments that stay within the bounds of quality work, and then try again.
3. Get Perspective, Not Specifics
If you?re getting specific ideas from the input, you are missing the mark. Getting someone?s perspective will always be more valuable than ideas about specifics. Perspective is about getting the big picture. It?s about understanding vision and mission. There are people around you and on your team that can help shape every creative project to fit the vision and mission of your organization. While input on specific ideas can hold you back, getting the perspective of your leaders and those around you will free you to creative with a purpose.[quote]Getting someone?s perspective will always be more valuable than ideas about specifics.[/quote]
4. Adjust and Adapt
I remember, several years back, creating a video I thought was awesome for a very important sermon series my church was doing. Everything seemed perfect. The music matched perfectly and the animated sequences were super professional looking. After spending hours on the project, I rendered it and sent it over to someone on staff that I trust to tell me the truth. Much to my surprise, they responded that the work was good but it just didn?t fit with our church. A few days later, I went and watched the video again. I couldn?t believe how I had missed the mark. The video wasn?t wrong. It wasn?t technically incorrect; it just didn?t accomplish what we needed it to accomplish. Because I got another trusted staff member?s perspective, I was able to adjust the project. Had I asked about technical specifics, I never would have known how far off I was.
This principle can apply to almost anything in your life and career. Leadership, art, and even tough personal decisions. Getting perspective will always accomplish more than simply getting specific ideas.