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“Appreciate the genuine, real conversation – seriously chocked full of value. Looking forward to the next episode!”

Episode 10: Getting Feedback on Creative Work

In this episode we talk about getting feedback on your creative work. Feedback can be one of the single best ways to improve as a designer. We also touch on adopting the right mindset, and how to avoid feeling down about criticism.

Show Notes for This Episode:

[1.00] Feedback is crucially important for designers
[1.40] It’s important to get feedback from the end consumer
[2.50] Design needs to ‘work’, it needs to ‘solve problems’
[3.20] The quality of feedback is so key
[4.20] Work needs to look good in brand, out in the real world
[4.50] The importance of getting feedback throughout the process
[6.00] So feedback is important, but how do you get it?
[6.30] Being specific, and guiding the viewer to give great feedback
[7.30] Getting brutally honest feedback from family and loved ones
[8.30] Overbearing art-directors and unwanted feedback
[9.30] Why group feedback can not be helpful
[10.00] Proving your feedback to clients
[10.20] Client feedback usually being right
[11.30] Asking the all important ‘why’
[12.30] Asking questions with direction
[13.20] Drawing the line in terms of doing what the client wants (making the feedback process easier)
[14.00] Dustin’s classic marketing example of jam
[14.40] Letting people vote for multiple pieces on social media
[15.30] How voting can lead to more in depth feedback
[16.30] Make feedback a game, make it fun
[16.55] A challenge for the listeners to get more feedback
[18.15] Leaving and receiving feedback can cause anxiety
[20.00] Don’t be leading with your feedback
[20.50] Discuss the demographics, context etc…
[21.35] Using mockup templates to give your work context
[22.45] How mockups can highlight design faults
[23.00] Using customer bases to get feedback at scale
[24.00] Using your client’s platform to target their audience for feedback
[25.20] Social media lets you run focus groups like a big corporate
[25.40] Creating a mastermind to get in depth feedback from your peers
[27.30] Masterminds are so effective, even if they’re group therapy
[28.20] The importance of being able to talk in a live setting
[29.00] Giving feedback to yourself, by revisiting a piece
[30.00] Techniques for seeing your work in a new light
[32.00] Lisa imagining upside-down designers
[33.00] The approach for feedback (if you have a super thick skin!)
[33.30] Think about the context and motivations of who is giving feedback
[35.00] The importance of giving good feedback to others
[36.30] Often creative work gets very little feedback
[38.25] Understand the platform you’re posting on
[39.30] Take the time to leave a comment for others

“A must for every creative freelancer (or those aspiring to freelance). Thank you for being so… honest! Such a wealth of information from people I admire who have ‘been there and done that’. Listening to the podcast every week feels like I’m among friends. Can’t wait for more episodes!”AG_GD

13 Lovely Comments from our Community:

  1. says:

    Hey Lili,

    Thanks so much for your lovely comment!

    As the guys have weekly catchups to record the HD show and they also chat super regularly throughout the month they are all really close now, so I guess it is king of like 4 friends hanging out and chatting about design 🙂

    I’ll definitely pass your feedback about the music onto the team- we really appreciate you letting us know about this.

  2. Lili Popper says:

    Great episode again! Good content as always, but I liked how you guys got sidetracked for a longer period in this one and wasn’t really talking about design, just fooled around for a little bit. I think it makes the show overall more human and enjoyable 🙂 A small technical feedback: the outro music starts too soon/too loud to understand the end of the last sentence of the show. Maybe look into that. Thanks again for the great show!

  3. Liz says:

    I really love listening to your show! The topic choices are really insightful. I feel inspired and also realize things I shouldn’t be doing as well. Thank you so much!!! Looking forward to next week!

    • says:

      Hey Jim,

      Thank you ever so much for taking the time to share your experience with us!

      This is some really great advice i’m I am sure this will come in super handy for anyone in the same boat – we really appreciate you tuning in and hope you’ll enjoy catching up on the rest of the episodes 🙂

      • says:

        Hey Liz,

        Oh we are so glad that you enjoy listening- thank you for tuning in!

        I cannot tell you how much the Honest Designers will love to hear that you’re feeling inspired, so a big thanks for letting us know 🙂

  4. Stacy Saman says:

    As this is a show on feedback, I’m leaving some this time.

    I think it’s important not just to compliment/criticize the artists’ work, but their work ETHIC-commitment to the work, customer service, positive attitude and just plain kindness to those they work with, or for.

    I mean this to be a comment separated from what the artist produces, but the artist themselves. And yes, I think a boss, menor, client, colleague should be encouraged to say things like, “Gee. I know maybe we’ve had a hard time collaborating on the final design, but I appreciate your patience, commitment and respect.” “You know, I saw how you helped your co-worker when he was struggling with (fill in the blank) and you were so nice! You cheer up the whole office, and I appreciate you.” “I know you are having a hard time pleasing that client, but I overheard how you handled that situation, and it made me wonder if you were having a rough day.”

    People don’t compliment each other enough. Did you know about a recent study on quantum theory that said if you are positive and happy, it changes you physically (heartbeat, temperature, right down to the vibration of your cells) and this change affects the environment around you, in a physical way. If enough people in a small space are feeling well, it has a physical affect on everyone in that area (better health and more success). Now think if the whole world tried it. The power (and I know I sound a bit nutty) of that physical energy could (and this is a scientist I’m talking about, not religion, not spirituality, but physical, measurable, real changed) quite literally, change our environment. Solve global conflicts. Heal people from diseases. Lessen the effects of our damaged environment on us. Help animals and plants flourish.

    Spooky, but true.

    So, I say to you guys, ‘I think you’re all wonderful people, who have great intentions, wonderful ideas and a true (honest? Ha!) desire to help others. You’re kind! You just happen to be talking about the design biz, and you’re doing a great job of that, too!!


  5. Jim Dasher says:

    Hello All,

    In your episode 5, I have to completely agree with Ian, with regards to developing multiple revenue streams.

    I started a small graphics design firm in 1980. Although, what we very quickly found out, was that the majority of our customers didn’t know where to purchase the products we designed for them.

    So, we started offering our customers product fulfillment for their printing requirements. This immediately started a second revenue stream, because we were able to respond to them proactively. Now, we currently have six, or seven different income streams. Also, a secondary “plus” for me is, it never ever gets boring!

    Even now, we are in the “process” of starting a fourth company, that will be in a niche’ area of the 3D printing industry.

    Really do enjoy listening to your podcasts. Thank you for taking the time to do them!

    Thanks Again,

    Jim Dasher,
    Spectrum Graphics
    A Div. of Ridgewood Industries, Inc.

    Edmonds, WA (Seattle metro area)

    P.: 425-774-0170

    P.S.: I am currently listening to your 4th podcast, “Formal Design Education”. With regards to continuing education, I’ve recently subscribed to: I’ve known about this website for years, but just recently subscribed. (I’m currently trying to learn two, new, 3D software programs: ZBrush and Maya. Both have steep learning curves. Wish me luck.)

    • says:

      Hey Becky Sue,

      Aww, we are sending a whole lot of love right back at you!

      We’re so pleased to hear that you are feeling less alone and don’t let anyone ever make you feel like your not a ‘real’ designer- we all have to start somewhere 🙂

      Taking criticism can sometimes be heard, but it sounds like your embracing feedback in the best possible way and using it to smash your brief too 😎

  6. I have to say, I love y’all. As a new designer with a whopping one client, I’ve felt quite alone. I didn’t know professional designers existed who possessed such zeal about helping up&comers.

    Yesterday I was searching Creative Market for ideas as I learn Illustrator better. I got to the second, I think, which was an amazing package for a measly $30-something for Lisa Glanz’ characters.

    I’m still not making enough to justify the purchase, but I studied your work, Lisa, and went to your website. (Thank you for the freebies!)

    Then I found this podcast. I started with episode seven about starting your freelance business.

    I loved what you said about how relationships are a prerequisite to making business connections. Soo true.

    This podcast also nailed it. My client is not a designer, but his unwelcome critiques of my work have transformed my work when I swallowed the rage, nodded, and smiled.

    Thanks again for all your encouragement through this podcast. It makes me feel like a “real designer” in a world where snooty design forums make me feel like a cross-eyed design dork.

    And the gif of Lisa should be, like, a happy bear with a balloon transforming into an angry ork with a red sledgehammer. Smashing the brief. 🙂

    God bless,
    Becky Sue

  7. Christine BK says:

    Fantastic episode!!! Ian totally has purple cow with his vegetable lettering. I agree with Dustin regarding Design Cuts service; it is why I go out of my way to do any surveys they send, etc.

    • Christine BK says:

      Meant to say “Ian totally has a purple cow”.

      • says:

        Aww thanks so much Christine, we super appreciate all the support that you show us 🙂

        • says:

          Hey Stacy,

          Thanks so much for taking the time to leave your feedback- it’s always welcome 🙂

          We couldn’t agree with you more and I really love that this is the way that you feel, it just shows what a fantastic mindset that you have! This is some really great advice and we super appreciate you sharing this with the community!

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