Meaningful feedback

“A fair and honest evaluation of your work”


Critiques are offered at the annual NIADA Conference. All conference attendees are welcome to register for a Critique. This is a great opportunity to discuss your doll-making aspirations, troubleshoot technical issues, and develop your work under the guidance of a NIADA Artist.

Artists who are in the process of applying for NIADA Artist Membership must complete a Critique as a component of the application process. This Critique is conducted by a selection of NIADA Artists and gives applicants the opportunity to have a rigorous discussion regarding their work and their aspirations to become a NIADA Artist.

The fee for the 2022 Critique is $25. You may bring up to three dolls to each Critique; you may apply for a maximum of two Critiques. Attendees may sign up for a Critique when registering for the Annual Conference. In the case of a Virtual Conference, there will be a Virtual Critique offered. Occasionally it is possible to apply for a Critique during European Doll Shows.

Please contact the Critique Registrar with any questions.

During a Critique, NIADA Artists will discuss with you the following:


Handling of the medium, construction, base support, painting, wigging and attention to detail


Use of color, composition and scale


Proportion, bone structure and facial rendering


Originality, approach, feeling evoked by concept. Is the work engaging, captivating?  Does it transform, illuminate or inspire?

What to Expect from the Critique Artists

Honesty with kindness. Without constructive criticism, the Critique is useless. Everybody has room for improvement. The comments should be helpful, resulting in specific guidance that you can use when working on your own.

Credit for your strengths. You should be told what you have done well and/or what shows promise. Through a dialogue, the Critique Artists should demonstrate that they understand what you are trying to accomplish and, ideally, suggest techniques for moving forward.

Solutions. The Critique Artists should offer specific suggestions on what aspects of your work you can build on.

It’s helpful to write down both the overall comments and the specific suggestions to refer to at home. At the end of the Critique, you should have a solid sense of the elements you need to focus on and concrete ideas as to what to do next to improve your work and achieve your goals.

The Aftermath

A Critique can be a powerful experience. Allow yourself some time after the conference to let the comments and suggestions sink in, and to reflect upon them. Look closely at your work with the comments in mind. Usually, this will bring you to a point where you can put these suggestions into practice.

Attending Critiques regularly is an excellent way to keep developing your work. NIADA’s goal is to nurture and guide you through these Critiques to help you become the best artist you can be.