Since I graduated and realized that it was still my intentioned to keep making art my whole view on critiques is much different now. As a professional artist you’re always going to feel like you’re nowhere near your goals, your always growing and you’re never done learning. It’s an ongoing life-long learning process with no end to it. And when someone tells me that they don’t like my work I’m always eager to know why that is so I can make it better.
To me critiques are important because I want to know what people think of my work so I can have an idea on what direction I can go with it. Anything that anyone tells you about your work comes to real valuable use for improvement. Unfortunately I do go through times when no one is available to review my work so in which case I have also learned to be my own critique at times. I do that by displaying a bunch of my work in my studio and have a careful look at them. I ask myself what I’m happy with and what I feel I can do better. Then I decide which one is my least favorite, remove from my setup. I decide that the last one I narrow down is my most successful out of them all. But I always prefer when others review my work, I get more productive feedback that way.
Critiques are brutal but they are worth it. They will help you determine what venues your work fits in and help you move up from there.