Critiquing can be intimidating for novice bonsai artists. You may feel you don’t have the skills, the knowledge, or experience. Not true, critiques at the most basic level are only opinion and everyone has opinions.
Critiques are the single best source of feedback that bonsai artist can use to find flaws with their trees and to improve their bonsai skills. When you critique, you are helping another person improve their tree. You’re moving the artist closer to getting their tree to a finished bonsai.



You also benefit

Critiquing is your opportunity to enhance your understanding of what makes good bonsai design. Good critiquing skills are essential if you ever want to have your bonsai judged best in show.
It’s natural to want to avoid critiquing negatively because you are worried about hurting the bonsai artist’s feeling. Keep in mind that it is not the negative or positive aspect of the critique that causes pain; it’s the level of condensation, antagonism, sarcasm, or nastiness that is implied by what you write or say. Remember critiquing is not a game, you are not scoring against the artist; you are trying to help. Don’t just tell the artist what’s wrong; make a suggestion about how the artist can fix the problems you see.

In the next segment we will cover the Language of Critique to provide you with the vocabulary and knowledge necessary to critique bonsai. Read More