Should you be asking for feedback on your creative work?

A common discussion I have with my friends who are “artists” in some way is who and how to ask for creative feedback on your project. I have seen cases of people getting angry or sad when someone close to them gives feedback on their creative work. In most cases I have found it to be one of two situations; the person you asked is a dick or you never actually want their feedback.

In almost all cases I have discovered that it is the latter. They didn’t fully think through what they were asking of this person and perhaps weren’t asking for feedback but simply wanted positive confirmation. I have found myself in this trap from time to time and am working on being much more deliberate when asking for feedback on my creative work. 

1. Why do I care about this persons opinion? Do they have some knowledge or expertise in this field, do I look up to and or respect their opinion, do we have similar tastes.

2. Am I confident enough to object any negative feedback that comes in that I disagree with. People are all different and have different ideas of what good work is. Will you crumble if this person says they don’t like your work or will you have the confidence to say “I disagree” 

3. Do I even want to make changes to my work? Maybe you already think your work is great and ready done so why the fck are you asking for feedback? Well I do this from time to time also and it relates back to me looking for positive confirmation and not feedback. I just wanted to person to say they like it as much as I do and then I can be on my way. If this is the case simply don’t show your work to them or show them without asking for feedback.. 

Always remember that no ones feedback or input is ever wrong. You asked them for THEIR opinion it is your responsibility to be able to handle it and spend the time in selecting who you ask for feedback. The viewer, reader, or listener is never wrong and they have a right to their opinion. Getting third party feedback can be an extremely valuable tool as you have a chance to get a feel for the audience reaction before launching.

Create more then you consume

Your attention is under siege and you must build walls to stand any chance of keeping it for the important things in your life. I know, that sounds intense but thats because it is. You have a handful of apps directly on your phone and each one is perfectly crafted to retain your attention for along as possible and they are getting damn good. I felt overwhelmed by my social media intake and realized it was time to make a change. I defined my use on social media as two different things:

1. Conscious Use: I am using social media with a goal in mind. i.e. I want inspiration for my new surfing film so I am looking at my 3 favourite surf photographers Instagrams. 

2. Un-conscious Use: I am scrolling social media in the hopes that I might see something I like.

Un-conscious use is how I believe most people use social media. They don’t know what they are looking for but they are hoping to find it… Therefore, it becomes quiet obvious how this creates a massive time suck. It’s time to become more intentional with our use of social media and take back control. Social media isn’t the problem but our use of it is. I have started limiting my social media use for primarily “conscious use” and aim to use it as a tool moving forward not a liability. 

Why you must do your passion projects

Is there a creative project inside thats been nagging at you? Every time you get close to doing it your voice of “reason” steps in saying "Whats the point? Who will even see this? I should just do work I am getting paid for. This might be a waste of time” Following through on these projects is so much more important then you know. 

The amount of big jobs I have landed in my film career stemming from passion projects I shot for ABSOLUTELY know reason is outstanding. Actually that might be how I have gotten the majority of my work. Recently on a holiday I shot a video for no reason the whole time doubting why I was even doing it. Two weeks later that video lands us a very big international job... 

As old Apple Jobs said "You can’t connect that dots looking forwards, only backwards” Go out there and make those dumb, pointless and silly projects with know end in mind. Put them out into the world and I guarantee something will come back. 

Nobody wants to watch your sh*t

Sorry filmmakers, nobody wants to watch your videos... Before you get discouraged or think that I wrote this just for clicks hear me out. It isn't that people are setting out to be mean and avoid your work it is just that they are busy. 

Just like you they are working insane hours, trying to eat healthy, spend time with family, and maybe even hang with friends if theres some time left. And oh yeah and then on top of that they have to consume your art. In the words of author Steven Pressfield "The reader donates his time and attention, which are supremely valuable commodities. In return, you the writer, must give him something worthy of his gift to you." So how can we give our viewer something worthy of their gift to us, the creator:


1. Making the message of your video clear and concise 

2. Make your video fun, interesting or informative

3. Apply 1 and 2 to all your films


Once you realize that no body wants to see your work you can finally develop empathy for the viewer. You can develop the skill of switching back and forth from your imagination as a creative and back to a point of view of your imagined viewer or reader. Pay respect to your viewers and do everything in your power to not waste their time.