From the Graphic Design desk....
Early in my first few days of art school, I was given what seemed like an easy assignment. Our professor ask us to bring in our very best creative piece. It could be a sketch, sculpture, painting, whatever was our favorite piece. As class began, we were instructed to take our work to the front of the classroom. Everyone felt a sense of accomplishment. After all, it was art school and these were other artists. One by one we were called to the front to stand by our masterpiece.
Like most traumatic events in ones life, many details get blurred. I can't remember who was first to be called up front and I'm not sure it matters, the impact on us was equal. With the same cold vigor an executioner yells "fire," the class was given the instruction to... "critique." Peer after peer leveled their rifle of analysis and aimed straight for the heart. No choice of color was safe, no mercy given to perspective or graphic design. Any attempt to deflect only prolonged the brutal massacre of ones delicate ego.
Looking back now, our instructors didn't have a sick obsession with ego mobbing. They simply, though painfully, prepared us for the creative process. This early lesson in my career has given me more freedom to succeed than any other.
When you see criticism as a bridge rather than an arrow to the head, you can reach your goal much faster.