Feature image: Ferran Jordร 

Learning to be critical of other people’s work and, just as importantly, your own, is an important skill to build as a creative. As you learn new concepts (or refresh ones you’ve learned in the past) consider them as you read and view other content, whether it’s fellow MatadorU students’ assignment and labs, or books or magazines you’re reading. What are others doing well? Are they building up their characters beautifully or using a lot of concrete detail to describe scenes? Do they have superb light or great compositions in their photos?

What do you notice that they aren’t doing so well? Are they using a lot of cliches? Is it hard to discern the writer’s real voice? Are their photos unoriginal? Have you seen the exact same shot a hundred times?

Study all the media you consume. Look at it with a critical eye. Challenge it. Then challenge your own work. The more you do this, the more you comment on others’ work, the more you pay close attention to what you’re doing – and why you’re doing it – the more the concepts you’re learning will sink in. It’s not enough to just be taught a concept. Exercise it, practice it, everyday.