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  1. #1
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    Unsolicited Comments

    I have a question, it isn't case case on this forum, because most people are here to learn and to teach and most comments are constructive and helpful. But has anyone else experience the issue or people in the outside world getting annoyed if you provide what you believe to be a helpful "critique". There are a few people I got to school with whom have told me that they don't appreciate unsolicited advice on their work. One even went as far as becoming an "enemy" because of it.

    I feel like I am just trying to be helpful, but I guess people aren't receptive in the real world as they are here.

    Just kinda venting a bit, or maybe I'm just wrong.
    Whatever you do, don't look at my Sketchbook and Painting Thread!


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  3. #2
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    People who refuse to listen are, for the most part, in for a fall. I don't think anyone should feel obligated to push them off the edge, just steer them in the right direction, give them a nudge. If they don't at least listen and consider (and the validity of the critique is really of no concern here) then that's their problem .

    In my college and in any decent tertiary institution, this type of attitude will get you dropped and out.
    Nope, I don't believe you're wrong!
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    Lead by example.

    If they think your work is top notch, they will come to you for advice. If they don't, their loss. No skin off your back.

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    people like to think they are the top shit and if someone points out something wrong with their work they become defensive and agitated becase it ruins thier illusion that they are the best. usually its best to just let these people go thier own ways and stick to a core group of not only people who can take advice but people who can give advice.

    but your own level of work makes a big difference in how people feel about your critiques . if your work isn't nearly as good as theirs at best they will disregard everything you say because you lack credibility since you cant apply your critiques to your own work.

    you wouldn't take swimming advice from someone drowning
    not sure how to add my sketchbook as a link but heres wher eits at yo
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    if you're offering advice or constructive criticism, its a help you're giving. if they dont want it, well screw 'em. - JAG
    it's only after you've lost everything, that you're free to do anything..

  7. #6
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    Where I work there is at least one person who believes that they are the ultimate (and another who is told it constantly) that I and over half of CA could outdraw while half asleep at 3 in the morning.

    I don't dare say anything constructive though, because the cloud of admiration and ass-patty-ness is to thick to dissipate in this work environment...

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAG. View Post
    if you're offering advice or constructive criticism, its a help you're giving. if they dont want it, well screw 'em. - JAG
    i second this quote i looked at your painting thread and you have gotten quite good for such a short time, if people dont want help then let them keep thier bubble of imagination where they are the best and just leave them to thier disillusions
    not sure how to add my sketchbook as a link but heres wher eits at yo
    Foodogs sketchblog

  9. #8
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    I had a friend in highschool... he was a senior and I was a freshman, and he drew anime constantly. Slightly changing eyes and noses because he felt it changed the "style". He was 19 I think... he never took a word of my advice, and his girlfriend was even worse. She IM'ed me one time about how "David has been doing this 4 years longer than you, I think he knows what he's doing". I IM'ed her back "Well I don't."

    Last time I heard from either of them

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Justin Oaksford View Post
    I had a friend in highschool... he was a senior and I was a freshman, and he drew anime constantly. Slightly changing eyes and noses because he felt it changed the "style". He was 19 I think... he never took a word of my advice, and his girlfriend was even worse. She IM'ed me one time about how "David has been doing this 4 years longer than you, I think he knows what he's doing". I IM'ed her back "Well I don't."

    Last time I heard from either of them
    I remember you mentioning that guy before. I know I shouldn't care what other people do etc etc but him and his girlfriend make me want to vomit with firey rage.

  11. #10
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    I think when you want to give critiques and advice outside of a setting like this where such things are expected, it's best to ask the person first. Some people may simply not want advice or criticism, and that's their prerogative. I really don't like it when people who aren't close friends or family give me unsolicited advice about my life, and some people feel the same about their art.



    Eric
    www.WhereIsMyEyeball.com My portfolio! Go check it out!
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  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by 0kelvin View Post
    I think when you want to give critiques and advice outside of a setting like this where such things are expected, it's best to ask the person first. Some people may simply not want advice or criticism, and that's their prerogative. I really don't like it when people who aren't close friends or family give me unsolicited advice about my life, and some people feel the same about their art.



    Eric

    Indeed. Nobody is open to criticism all the time. A good critique is a marvelous thing, but even the best critique can rub you the wrong way if it's out of the blue.
    I think you are awesome, and I wish you the best in your endeavors, but I am tired of repeating myself, I am very busy with my new baby, and I am no longer a regular participant here, so please do not contact me to ask for advice on your career or education. All of the advice that I have to offer can already be found in the following links. Thank you.

    Perspective 101, Concept Art 101, Games Industry info,Oil Paint info, Acrylic Paint info, my sketchbook.

  13. #12
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    I kind of think that yes, unsolicited critique can be harmful sometimes. The best thing is when you draw and paint trying to fulfill your own vision, to get the exactly response from lines and colors you want... I think it is a very intimate process. Now imagine you paint and think about responses from other people or about standards, other people tastes and antipathies to certain ideas of yours... it is like cutting your own inspiration.

    It is best to ask your fellow artists in real life if they want to hear your thoughts before starting to talk about the artwork I think. And if he/she wants to hear it to tell him honestly why you think it could be done better. He/she can accept you critique or ignore it, that's his/her right. I think he/she may not want to hear your critique at all...it might be a bad idea and loss, but there might be a reason he doesn't want it...

    On a public forum when a person posts his art work he should be ready to hear some critique, I think... He still might just want to share his artwork and doesn't plan to change anything at all in it... but... because it is open for everyone to post and look and express their thoughts... I think he should take it calmly, without offense and decide for himself if it is constrictive critique or the suggestions are not applicable to his image.

    Person who wrote the critique on the other hand should not be personal or write the critique for any wrong reason... like getting even, trying to offend, belittle, feeding his own ego, building his own reputation of tough art expert... Critique should have just one goal... to give a neutral information and impression, I think.

    It should be just a feedback.

    I personally think it should be in polite form, just because I think it is enough of unattractive, ugly things in life already and we shouldn't add more.

    I think it should delicate as well, even if you don't agree and don't like it... becasue artist might have certain reason to go with his own vision... it might be just his own conscious decision.
    It is always wise to take your opponent seriously, as your even and respect him. It is always productive to think that people are not idiots, but smart and have a reason for doing things in certain way.

    The worst critique that can be is the one which makes the person to drop his work, put away his brush and pencils... lose inspiration and drive... decide that he is not good in anything....critique like this should be thrown in trash.

    Critique should make people to want to get better, motivate them to improve... making them see what they can become... not create new complexes.

    And the last one... I think we all should remember... we can be wrong as well.. we can see things differently with time... we can become more knowledgeable, educated and more open minded... our taste can go through major changes... knowing that we should take our own observation critically as well and not to expect them to be the last word.

    The point is you should give the artist your honest thoughts and not expect him to take them in consideration. We should be modest about our own understanding of beautiful as well.

    Saying all that I think having neutral in emotion but attentive feedback for your work is good and precious.

  14. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by 0kelvin View Post
    I think when you want to give critiques and advice outside of a setting like this where such things are expected, it's best to ask the person first. Some people may simply not want advice or criticism, and that's their prerogative. I really don't like it when people who aren't close friends or family give me unsolicited advice about my life, and some people feel the same about their art.



    Eric
    I never really thought about it like that. I never give critique unless they say it's alright though, so hopefully I didn't unintentioanally piss anyone off.

  15. #14
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    Well there have been some cases where I would ask, "Do you mind if I make an observation on this piece that you are showing me?" I have have had them say "yeah sure." with one person, this person is a friend and I always try to be thoughtful, helpful and not only give negatives but positive. But by comments received later, I found that "yeah sure" doesn't mean "go ahead"...

    I find that I get negative responses more from trying to be helpful than from letting people crash and burn and then picking them back up. I just want to try to save them the trouble of the crash and burn part.

    Of course, I should remember the murphy's law "If you try to make everyone happy, someone isn't going to like it."
    Whatever you do, don't look at my Sketchbook and Painting Thread!


    "I reject your reality and substitute my own" - Adam Savage, Mythbusters

  16. #15
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    It would be good to hear the other side in your case ... Maybe you did everything right. Just be careful in what form you give your constructive critique... don't use any belittling or derogative words, no mocking... just friendly thoughts and you should explain why you think that. If you did it in a mature civil form and the person is still very upset and doesn't trust your judgment... don't give him any of your thoughts anymore unless he asks.

  17. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by hylandr2 View Post
    I find that I get negative responses more from trying to be helpful than from letting people crash and burn and then picking them back up. I just want to try to save them the trouble of the crash and burn part.

    Of course, I should remember the murphy's law "If you try to make everyone happy, someone isn't going to like it."
    Giving advice is risky business. Even when your intent is pure, even if the feedback was requested of you, someone will, on occasion, react in anger. What can you do about it? Refine your tactics. Back off and let the angry person cool down. Or move from advice-giving to debate. Sometimes people desire to have their perspective tested in debate. But proceed there with caution, because if you push someone into a debate that they don’t want to be in, they may well shut you out for good.
    I think you are awesome, and I wish you the best in your endeavors, but I am tired of repeating myself, I am very busy with my new baby, and I am no longer a regular participant here, so please do not contact me to ask for advice on your career or education. All of the advice that I have to offer can already be found in the following links. Thank you.

    Perspective 101, Concept Art 101, Games Industry info,Oil Paint info, Acrylic Paint info, my sketchbook.

  18. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by That fat kid View Post
    Those who seek are the only ones who find.
    Nah - some find quite by accident. :-)
    I think you are awesome, and I wish you the best in your endeavors, but I am tired of repeating myself, I am very busy with my new baby, and I am no longer a regular participant here, so please do not contact me to ask for advice on your career or education. All of the advice that I have to offer can already be found in the following links. Thank you.

    Perspective 101, Concept Art 101, Games Industry info,Oil Paint info, Acrylic Paint info, my sketchbook.

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    I had an experience in school where someone gave me an unsolicited critique and I found it very annoying and intrusive.
    This person just asked to see my portfolio and then proceeded to tell me how my stuff was all wrong.
    I didn't ask him for his opinion and I was annoyed by his know-it-all attitude.
    This person did the same thing to several of my classmates and they found his behavior rude as well.

    So I would be careful and ask first before jumping in and giving your opinion. It's better if the person is already a friend and you have a give-and-take attitude with critiquing each other's work.

  20. #19
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    When most people present me with somthing that I may find myself needing to critique.. they did so for praise, most of the time. When they say, "look what I made" they in turn expect at least "wow, that's cool" from me. To this day my father is unable to take a critique on any of his art.

    *shrug*

    People have low self esteem. Most artists dont even have thick enough skin to take a critique in any context, nonetheless from a friend when searching for praise.
    My work: [link]

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    I don't know about you guys, but some of the worst spats relating to these "hellfire and brimstone" crits have taken place in this here internet.

    It mainly comes down to the fact that how a crit is taken depends (on the most part) on how the reader interprets the tone of the critique. Now if it's painfully obvious that the "crit" is just there to insult (i.e. "just give up", "you suck", etc), then I understand, but for the most part how a crit is recieved is in an entire mindset from the person who posted it. For example, on another forum it's been interpreted that I have a "cocky and condescending posting style", but if that person ever heard how I phrase the critique/advice in real life they might be getting an upbeat, helpful vibe from my tone of voice. I don't really believe in going out of my way to slam somebody's ass for my own pleasure, so when I try to help someone it's really because I see potential in their work and want to do my best to bring it to it's fullest.

    Once on the internet however, all that meaning and tone is reduced to mere words on a page and the imagination of the recipient. Some of the time it's just really freakin' hard to not piss people off when they already think the world's against them and their art, and there really isn't anything you can do about it.

    I'll take real-life critique over internet critique any day, but I guess it's because I haven't really experienced the full blunt of real-world "advice" yet, so I may be (and probably am) biased on the issue.

  22. #21
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    I get advice and crits like hell in IRC and I try to take them all in because for the most part, they come from great artists (nic, min, squidmonk3j, deadred, grooveholmes, etc). Like the above, you can only help and provide insight as much as possible, if they refuse, leave 'em be and move on. No need to worry about it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hylandr2 View Post
    I have a question, it isn't case case on this forum, because most people are here to learn and to teach and most comments are constructive and helpful. But has anyone else experience the issue or people in the outside world getting annoyed if you provide what you believe to be a helpful "critique". There are a few people I got to school with whom have told me that they don't appreciate unsolicited advice on their work. One even went as far as becoming an "enemy" because of it.

    I feel like I am just trying to be helpful, but I guess people aren't receptive in the real world as they are here.

    Just kinda venting a bit, or maybe I'm just wrong.
    www.deviantart.com

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    If soneone asks you what you think about a piece of art they have done.....
    It does not always means they are looking for critism?

    imagine they ask you their faces beams with pride and you launch into an insightful and informative critque.... they are not hearing you being helpful they are listening to you point out all the FLAWS in their "perfect" work of art.

    some people want ego massages, as for unsolicited comments would you go into the Lions den without an invite? If someone does not ask for your opinion don't give it.... some people may feel insecure about their art
    not everyone has the art school mentality of having their work thrown to the proverbial dogs and taking that knowledge to better themselves as artists

    look at some of the threads in Critic forum here that have turned sour because the people who posted their work only want to hear about its merits.

    in short Unsolicited Comments.... shut mouth catches no flies.
    SKETCHBOOK

    "There aren't any shortcuts. You've got to dig in – study and draw the world around you. This is the only way to hone your skill and develop a style that is your own". GREG CAPULLO

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    I guess bottom line is only give a critique if someone asks for a critique. If they ask what you think, tell them that you either like it or you don't, but don't "critique". If they ask why you don't, still don't critique, just tell why you don't like it. If they ask, what is wrong with this and how do I make it better, then still don't critique.

    When they beg, PLEASE! PLEASE! CRITIQUE ME!!!!!! Then consider it.

    Thanks all!
    Whatever you do, don't look at my Sketchbook and Painting Thread!


    "I reject your reality and substitute my own" - Adam Savage, Mythbusters

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    And we can assume anything posted in the critique center is open season? Or.. I mean, is critique-ready? I don't want to mention any krystallwolf's or anything....

  27. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Justin Oaksford View Post
    And we can assume anything posted in the critique center is open season?
    Absolutely. That's the point of the Critique section.
    I think you are awesome, and I wish you the best in your endeavors, but I am tired of repeating myself, I am very busy with my new baby, and I am no longer a regular participant here, so please do not contact me to ask for advice on your career or education. All of the advice that I have to offer can already be found in the following links. Thank you.

    Perspective 101, Concept Art 101, Games Industry info,Oil Paint info, Acrylic Paint info, my sketchbook.

  28. #27
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    I've decided that at school, NO ONE wants to hear critiques from me. They consider it rude. The internet though, is fair game

  29. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by emily g View Post
    I had an experience in school where someone gave me an unsolicited critique and I found it very annoying and intrusive.
    This person just asked to see my portfolio and then proceeded to tell me how my stuff was all wrong.
    I didn't ask him for his opinion and I was annoyed by his know-it-all attitude.
    This person did the same thing to several of my classmates and they found his behavior rude as well.

    So I would be careful and ask first before jumping in and giving your opinion. It's better if the person is already a friend and you have a give-and-take attitude with critiquing each other's work.
    Actually those are the people I challenge back with questions too. If they can't respond to my question about their critique I learned quickly how FOS they are. People are going to get unsolicited critiques as part of the job or get peppered with questions of "Why did you draw that" and while they can be rude, if they can give me feedback after they've given their opinion I find it more useful.

    I always ask too if this is wrong, what do you see is right about my work. Learning to steer things help.

  30. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by sve View Post
    The worst critique that can be is the one which makes the person to drop his work, put away his brush and pencils... lose inspiration and drive... decide that he is not good in anything....critique like this should be thrown in trash.
    Part of Harvey Dunn's teaching method was to discourage people from being an illustrator as much as possible. If they can't be discouraged, then they'll do what it takes regardless of his words. If they give up, then he just saved them 10 years of frustration, as they would've eventually been crushed by the real world.

    Is that true? Maybe. I don't like it when broke people tell me how to invest, but I think an art forum focused on the improvement of our craft is a bit different. Yes, sometimes artists aren't posting work just to have it trivialized (like if they're promoting an art show) and I respect that, but I'd rather that people err on the side of too much honesty than too little. I also don't think that you should only be allowed to critique people worse than you, because then every honest opinion will secretly say "I know I'm better than you, so I'll tell you how to do your art." Then again, my view of Critique center vs Finally Finished sections is "I don't know what to do" vs "I think I've got something good. What do you think?" Maybe the Finally Finished section should have a disclaimer stating that people need to beg for honesty, but until then I'll assume that people aren't above hearing an opinion.

    Honesty is no excuse for belittling people, but I prefer brutal honesty over false praise any day. If you disagree with someone's analysis, then you don't have to obey it. It's not your non-artist uncle telling you what to do with your life, it's usually another artist who thinks you might have overlooked something. I think that friendly, honest criticism gets us further than patting each other on the back, and I would be careful about telling people not to voice their opinions.
    Last edited by theincredibleandy; July 12th, 2007 at 11:12 PM.
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    Unless someone asks for it, I don't bother. I just prefer to hone on on the good things about what they're doing, no harm in making people feel nice.

    m

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