How to evaluate creative work

Merry Baskin
Baskin Shark

Where to start

Evaluating creative work is personal. Were I to ask you to nominate your favourite work of art, even if you knew nothing about art or if you picked the first one that popped into your head, you would have an opinion and make a choice. Not only that, you would find it quite easy to explain why you like it so much. Not surprisingly, the reasons would vary hugely from person to person – colours, shape, aesthetic appeal, back story, artist, style, subject, medium, era created in and so on.

Certainly, it is easier to judge something you are familiar with, and the opinion is your own. Yet, if I gave you some key rational criteria such as its value at auction to judge it against, it would be a fairly straightforward thing to research and establish the winner. The result would be instantly apparent, universal and undisputed. The term ‘Evaluating Creative Work’ implies the same – clarity, acuity and decisive creative judgment, but all too often it’s a matter of personal preference and prejudice.