Art Criticism: The Feldman Method


When I ask people what they think of my artwork, they just say that they like it. According to Edmund Burke Feldman, Judgment is the 4th step to a successful art criticism process. There are three steps before that. But even judgment should not be based on personal preferences. It should be based on a philosophy of art.

Step 1. Description. Vaguely describe what you see. It’s important to use neutral words to describe recognizable subjects, like shape, color, line, space, texture, and media. Avoid terms that denote value judgments, like pretty, neat, or weak. Instead, talk about how the colors are bright, or the lines are thick or vertical.

Step 2. Analysis. Describe the relationships between the things that you see, like size, shape, color, texture, space & Volume.  You are just gathering visual facts to interpret in the next step.

Step 3. Interpretation. Describe ideas, not objects. Talk about how the artwork makes you feel.

Step 4. Judgment. The reason why you shouldn’t judge based on personal preference is that it is just an opinion. Just because 3 people like your work, doesn’t necessarily make it good. Judgment can be based on Formalism, Expressivism, or Instrumentalism among other philosophies of art.

Formalism stresses the importance of the formal qualities and visual elements of art.

Expressivism stresses the importance of the communication of ideas and feelings.

Instrumentalism stresses the importance of the social intentions of the work.

Outline based on an outline prepared by Patricia A Renick based on Edmund Burke Feldman, Becoming Human Through Art.

Photo by Martino Pietropoli on Unsplash





Graphic Design Projects: Freelance versus Firm

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I’m sure this dilemma comes up a lot during your process of finding the right fit for your graphics solutions. Let me tell you why sometimes opting to work with a freelance designer may be a better choice.

Some freelance designers, like myself, don’t really have an overhead. I don’t work in a big office and I don’t have twenty employees, so I don’t need to pay rent, their salaries, or health benefits. Some firms will markup their product/service by up to 40%. That’s not including design fees, fabrication, or installation/implementation costs.

Firms have too many clients. A lot of the time, firms will hire interns to do the job. They do this to save cost but often sacrifice quality. How would you feel if you found out that after hiring a firm, an intern with little or no experience worked on your project?

With a firm, you don’t always get the personal attention you deserve. Unfortunately, it makes sense. Firms work with a lot of people, and it would be unrealistic for them to give you all the time that you need. A freelancer, on the other hand, can give you more of their time and work at your pace.

At Gargari Design, I follow three core values: Empathy, Punctuality, and Transparency, to provide a graphics solution that is valuable, cost efficient, and timely. I give you the attention that you deserve, work within a reasonable timeline, and take the time to empathize with and truly understand your needs, instead of trying to make a quick sale.

Visit for more information. My name is Aidin Gargari and I’m a Freelance graphic designer located in Northern Kentucky/ Cincinnati area. Specializing in branding, illustration, and environmental graphics.


Environmental Graphic Design

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Environmental Graphic Design is the art of branding places and signage. It’s not complicated. Don’t waste your time with an architecture firm and their interior decorators. Don’t waste your money on their overhead. Contact Gargari Design LLC for a free estimate.

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