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    I Am An Art Critic

    I am not an artist, although I often call myself an artist-writer. Are you happy to have an art critic at your site, a critic who does not post art, but makes the occasional comment on the work of others and on art in general?-Ron Price, Australia.

    married for 47 years, a teacher for 32, a student for 18, a writer and editor for 15, and a Baha'i for 55(in 2014).
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    You'll have to make some critiques first, then we'll see if we like your attitude.

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    In other words: it's not what you are, it's how you are.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shakespeare
    I think he'll be to Rome
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    By sovereignty of nature.
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    this post is better suited for the lounge. please be aware of where you are posting. each section is for a certain topic. as long as you are helping others, you are most welcome to join us here.

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    It might be better for you to start posting on other people's work, rather than posting threads about yourself or your own issues. You may not get a response because the issues you're interested in may not be the one's we're interested in. Post your thoughts in some existing threads, give some advice on people's work, and go from there.

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  8. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by RonPrice View Post
    I am not an artist, although I often call myself an artist-writer. Are you happy to have an art critic at your site, a critic who does not post art, but makes the occasional comment on the work of others and on art in general?-Ron Price, Australia.
    We generally frown on critics who are just present to praise or put down art. If you're going to critique a piece and give specific reasons why and where a piece is failing and how it can be fixed.. then we'll love yuh.

    My work: [link]
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    I tend to respect the opinions of critics who can actually create art, not just talk about it. I honestly believe you cant really KNOW a subject until you actually experience what its like to be in the shoes of the person you're critiquing.

    Its like talking about cars but never taking the time to get your hands dirty to rebuild an engine.

    Thats the difference between knowledge and APPLIED knowledge. Anyone can read a book, study about a subject, and recite what they've read. Its another thing to create something tangible with that knowledge. It just holds more validity that way and I'm more willing to respect the opinion of someone who has actually taken the time to do exactly that.

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    I find that non-artist critiques can be very helpful. Crits on art from artists are very different than from non-artists. I couldn't write a novel but can identify sloppy plotting and poor dialog. I have friends of mine who love good art, are articulate and can point out issues with pieces I tend to overlook because I'm so busy rendering stuff - 'That hoof looks wrong', 'her eyes aren't looking in the same direction', 'exactly why is she standing in the snow wearing a metal bikini?' Just because you're not an artist doesn't mean you can't see something critically. That's just in my experience.

    "It's worth the grief." - Greg Manchess

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    I'm not a proponent of the notion that participation is a prerequisite for commentary, (but neither do I want to be the exponent of 20-page-debate so I'll leave it at that).

    I'll just say welcome to CA and you are, for my penny's worth, more than welcome to give your input here - thank you for offering to help freely . Hope you enjoy it here!

    Brendan Noeth

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkWinters View Post
    I find that non-artist critiques can be very helpful. Crits on art from artists are very different than from non-artists. I couldn't write a novel but can identify sloppy plotting and poor dialog. I have friends of mine who love good art, are articulate and can point out issues with pieces I tend to overlook because I'm so busy rendering stuff - 'That hoof looks wrong', 'her eyes aren't looking in the same direction', 'exactly why is she standing in the snow wearing a metal bikini?' Just because you're not an artist doesn't mean you can't see something critically. That's just in my experience.
    Yes, but that only goes so far.

    Anyone can point out shortcomings... thats easy. But ask them how theyd go about fixing them. Could they tell you in depth how to do so in the same way an artist could?

    Like I said... you're more likely to get a better critique from some one who walks the walk as opposed to simply just talking the talk.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Manley View Post
    this post is better suited for the lounge. please be aware of where you are posting. each section is for a certain topic. as long as you are helping others, you are most welcome to join us here.
    While completely off topic.... Jason manley your avatar is possibly the most awesomest ever.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mecha Hate Chimp View Post
    I tend to respect the opinions of critics who can actually create art, not just talk about it. I honestly believe you cant really KNOW a subject until you actually experience what its like to be in the shoes of the person you're critiquing.

    Its like talking about cars but never taking the time to get your hands dirty to rebuild an engine.

    Thats the difference between knowledge and APPLIED knowledge. Anyone can read a book, study about a subject, and recite what they've read. Its another thing to create something tangible with that knowledge. It just holds more validity that way and I'm more willing to respect the opinion of someone who has actually taken the time to do exactly that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mecha Hate Chimp
    Yes, but that only goes so far.

    Anyone can point out shortcomings... thats easy. But ask them how theyd go about fixing them. Could they tell you in depth how to do so in the same way an artist could?

    Like I said... you're more likely to get a better critique from some one who walks the walk as opposed to simply just talking the talk.
    I have to disagree here. I've always been convinced that everyone can point out mistakes that the creator himself wouldn't have thought about. And basically, seeing the mistake is the bigger problem than solving it. I'd even go as far as to say that critique from an unexperienced person can be more helpful because they are completely unbiased concerning techniques, they just see what's wrong. Of course having someone who's telling you how to solve it is a must when you want to learn it, or at least makes the progress easier.

    Also, bad critique from someone unexperienced is practically non-existent. If they think it's wrong, they'll tell you and they are probably right. If there's nothing to point out, it will mostly go with a "Well, I don't know..." indicating that there's nothing wrong that would be seen by an everyday person. Professionals or people in league with you would probably overdo their crits and will make you improve something to death. my 2c.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jabo View Post
    I have to disagree here. I've always been convinced that everyone can point out mistakes that the creator himself wouldn't have thought about...
    Of course anybody can point out that something looks wrong. But can they tell you why? Do the understand what it is that makes this thing "wrong"? An amateur might tell you that the "view looks warped and wonky", but someone with experience can tell you about how the vanishing points aren't lined up correctly.

    As for Mr. RonPrince, I don't really care. If he can give insightful critiques, that's great. In my spare time I might muse about how a goose might lay a golden egg but if I actually get my hands on such a goose I don't ask questions, I just collect the eggs.

    -My work can be found at my local directory thread.
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    If your pc locks up, would you ask the guy who had read a lot of books about pcs and looked at a lot of pcs or the guy who has been building and fixing them since 1995?

    I'm firmly on the side of "You have to do it to fully understand it". You don't "get" sledging until you've thrown yourself down a snowy hill on a bit of shiny plastic.

    While you can learn a lot about something from the sidelines there is no substitute for getting stuck in and finding out for yourself.

    /2p worth

    Last edited by Flake; May 8th, 2008 at 06:26 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mecha Hate Chimp View Post
    Yes, but that only goes so far.

    Anyone can point out shortcomings... thats easy. But ask them how theyd go about fixing them. Could they tell you in depth how to do so in the same way an artist could?

    Like I said... you're more likely to get a better critique from some one who walks the walk as opposed to simply just talking the talk.
    Well, I give plenty of crits and don't tell the artist exactly how to fix a problem. If an arm is too long it's just too long. If there are too many highlights in an image then what else is there to say? Maybe a non artist isn't going to give the level of insight as Jason Manley but he's pretty busy (where's that color tuorial, yo). But an art aficionado of many years can probably crit as well as a 16 year old 'walking the walk'. Again, this is just my experience, I am blessed to be surrounded by so many very intelligent and OPINIONATED people.

    Quote Originally Posted by Flake View Post
    If your pc locks up, would you ask the guy who had read a lot of books about pcs and looked at a lot of pcs or the guy who has been building, repairing and fixing them since 1995?

    I'm firmly on the side of "You have to do it to fully understand it". You don't "get" sledging until you've thrown yourself down a snowy hill on a bit of shiny plastic.

    While you can learn a lot about something from the sidelines there is no substitute for getting stuck in and finding out for yourself.

    /2p worth
    While creating art can be a very technical skill, critiquing I don't think is. It just takes observation, critical thinking and the ability to articulate. You can be a sommelier without having owned a vineyard first. I draw and paint everyday and don't fully understand it. Oh, and I have never called a guy to fix my 'puter... I never even read a book!

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    How do you split good criticism from personal preference?

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    Quote Originally Posted by CosmoChimp View Post
    How do you split good criticism from personal preference?
    Experience.

    (By which I mean, experience on the part of the critique-ee, not experience on the part of the critiquer. My apologies for not making that more clear.)

    Last edited by Ohaeri; May 8th, 2008 at 01:01 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flake View Post
    If your pc locks up, would you ask the guy who had read a lot of books about pcs and looked at a lot of pcs or the guy who has been building, repairing and fixing them since 1995?
    If I was limited to one, I'd go with the latter. However, access the both could be useful. For instance, I know that at school I get some of my best critiques from the art history professor, who can barely paint at all.

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    You, know, I wonder if he can even find this thread.

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    Well, he was able to find his sketchbook thread well enough.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jabo View Post
    I have to disagree here. I've always been convinced that everyone can point out mistakes that the creator himself wouldn't have thought about. And basically, seeing the mistake is the bigger problem than solving it. I'd even go as far as to say that critique from an unexperienced person can be more helpful because they are completely unbiased concerning techniques, they just see what's wrong. Of course having someone who's telling you how to solve it is a must when you want to learn it, or at least makes the progress easier.
    For the record I'd like to point out I don't have a problem with others critiques. Everyone is entitled to critique what they want. And just as they are entitled to that, I am entitled to choose whose critique I respect.

    As far as your statement is concerned, I'm unclear as to what you disagree with. On one hand you state that an unexperienced opinion is more helpful than experienced one, yet you contradict yourself by saying that having someone who's telling you how to solve a problem is a must when you want to learn it, or at least makes the progress easier.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jabo View Post
    Also, bad critique from someone unexperienced is practically non-existent. If they think it's wrong, they'll tell you and they are probably right. If there's nothing to point out, it will mostly go with a "Well, I don't know..." indicating that there's nothing wrong that would be seen by an everyday person. Professionals or people in league with you would probably overdo their crits and will make you improve something to death. my 2c.
    In order for this to hold any validity, it would have to apply to any critique, not just in an art related commentary. So for instance, if someone where to walk into a doctor's office complaining of acute abdominal pain and looking for critical analysis, I could simply say "In my opinion you could have an ulcer.... although I'm not really sure because I'm not an experienced physician but hey, unexperienced critiques are practically non-existent and chances are I'm probably right". Now thats not to say I gave the wrong diagnosis because theres a possibility I could be right. But what if that abdominal pain was caused by pancreatic cancer? Where would that leave this person?

    A critique is defined as a detailed evaluation, or to review or analyze critically. An opinion is defined as a belief or judgment that rests on grounds insufficient to produce complete certainty. I believe many people make the mistake of confusing one with the other. There is a HUGE difference in what is and isn't a critique.

    I'll state again, you're more likely to get a better critique from some one who has acquired knowledge from experience than from someone who is simply giving you an opinion or reciting information they've read but never applied. The idea that a judgment based on inexperience is somehow better than a judgment based on critical analysis is rather credulous. I'm not the kind of person who just takes any critique or opinion at face value in some altruistic fashion. I'm an unapologetic self-centered egoist and if you're willing to make a critique then I'm going to question how you came about doing so and if you're analysis is worthy of my time or respect. And based on my personal experience, I tend to side with those who are not only knowledgeable in a given subject but can also apply what they know.

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    Would you guys please stop making a fuss about it. Yes, its true that a non-artist may not be able to give as good a critique. However, whether or not he gives a good crit is not grounds for barring him from the forum. Let him do what he does, and if you think he isn't worth listening to then don't listen to him. A lot of the artists in here even ignore the good advice, so ignoring the bad advice shouldn't be so hard, now should it?

    We are not some monastic order that needs to insulate ourselves from the outside world. We won't stagnate even if this guy is an idiot, because, once again, we don't have to listen to him.

    Plus, how many of you have made a critical statement about something you knew little about? hmm? Have any of you critisized a politician? I know I have yet the closest I've ever been to running a nation is being SPL in a boy scout troop. I've seen threads critisizing teachers made by students who have no idea what its like to teach and I know that while I was in art school not too long ago I did the same. So, all of us are guilty of saying what we think about something we know little about and have never done ourselves; lets not get so damn butthurt when someone does it to us.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Coene View Post
    Would you guys please stop making a fuss about it. Yes, its true that a non-artist may not be able to give as good a critique. However, whether or not he gives a good crit is not grounds for barring him from the forum. Let him do what he does, and if you think he isn't worth listening to then don't listen to him. A lot of the artists in here even ignore the good advice, so ignoring the bad advice shouldn't be so hard, now should it?

    We are not some monastic order that needs to insulate ourselves from the outside world. We won't stagnate even if this guy is an idiot, because, once again, we don't have to listen to him.

    Plus, how many of you have made a critical statement about something you knew little about? hmm? Have any of you critisized a politician? I know I have yet the closest I've ever been to running a nation is being SPL in a boy scout troop. I've seen threads critisizing teachers made by students who have no idea what its like to teach and I know that while I was in art school not too long ago I did the same. So, all of us are guilty of saying what we think about something we know little about and have never done ourselves; lets not get so damn butthurt when someone does it to us.
    Peter,

    I hope you don't take this the wrong way but judging by what you wrote I think you're more reactionary than any one on this thread. I personally thought everyone here was having a very insightful discussion. There was no malice in anyones reply or statements, no one is talking about barring anyone from this forum, so why would you even suggest we're "butthurt" , unless for some reason you're referring to yourself, in which case I'd have to ask what part of this conversation do you find objectionable?

    I like good discussion, especially with people who share some of my common interests. I like leaving a discussion thinking or taking something away. This one in particular is actually pretty enjoyable because it gives me the opportunity to see how others feel about a specific topic I enjoy talking about. I think if you took the time to write, you obviously have some vested interest in whats being talked about and I personally encourage you to participate as I would like to know more about how you feel regarding this discussion.

    And for the record, I don't hold any resentment or spite toward anyone in this thread. I'm very direct when I write and maybe that comes off as abrasive but if you take the time to read what I wrote, you'll see I'm rather passive. Regardless, thank you for contributing - Joel

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mecha Hate Chimp View Post
    I personally thought everyone here was having a very insightful discussion.
    Truth.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jabo View Post
    I've always been convinced that everyone can point out mistakes that the creator himself wouldn't have thought about. And basically, seeing the mistake is the bigger problem than solving it.
    It's actually vice versa. Correcting a mistake is the bigger problem than seeing it. Feeling that something's not working and knowing why it's not and finding a way to solve the problem are a completely different thing. Probably you meant that?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mecha Hate Chimp View Post
    Peter,

    I hope you don't take this the wrong way but judging by what you wrote I think you're more reactionary than any one on this thread. I personally thought everyone here was having a very insightful discussion. There was no malice in anyones reply or statements, no one is talking about barring anyone from this forum, so why would you even suggest we're "butthurt" , unless for some reason you're referring to yourself, in which case I'd have to ask what part of this conversation do you find objectionable?

    I like good discussion, especially with people who share some of my common interests. I like leaving a discussion thinking or taking something away. This one in particular is actually pretty enjoyable because it gives me the opportunity to see how others feel about a specific topic I enjoy talking about. I think if you took the time to write, you obviously have some vested interest in whats being talked about and I personally encourage you to participate as I would like to know more about how you feel regarding this discussion.

    And for the record, I don't hold any resentment or spite toward anyone in this thread. I'm very direct when I write and maybe that comes off as abrasive but if you take the time to read what I wrote, you'll see I'm rather passive. Regardless, thank you for contributing - Joel
    I don't find any specific posts to be offensive, I was just irked that such a question would draw so much attention.

    It started as a post by and individual (non artist) who wanted to know whether or not he was welcome here and became a debate about whether or not a non-artists crits/oppinions were what we wanted to see on the forum. While I can understand the debate I find that if I look at it from the perspective of the orriginal poster it can be misinterpreted as to being a discussion of whether or not he is welcome, as that was the idea behind his orriginal post.

    While I realise that I myself am guilty of going waaaaay off topic sometimes, I think that when it comes to welcoming a member we ought to avoid anything that makes him feel unwelcome in his introductory post and perhapse save such conversations for another thread where they will not be misinterpretted.

    As for my own approach to the conversation, it was somewhat early in the morning and I was a bit grouchy. Sorry 'bout that.

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    Everyone's a critic in one form or another. I know zilch about cars or computers, but I know what I like or dislike about both. I can just about change a spark plug or a tyre; couldn't strip down an engine. Can (okay, not very well) type a message or send an email on a pc. ( I can hear everyone on irc falling over laughing at the thought that I can type)

    BUT, although I'm not great on either, I do buy cars and computers occasionally, and if I'm going to buy them, my opinion is as important as anyone else's,- maybe more so if I'm going to invest in one rather than just criticise. I guess what I'm saying is that people produce or perform for an audience, and that audience doesn't have to know the nuts and bolts of something to have an opinion. If we think it does, we fail.

    Peer approbation is an entirely different matter....

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    i have no real specific position on this but, the following does seem worth mentioning:

    that alot of the art here at CA is industry driven ...so non-artist critique must take into account or have some knowledge of the client base's intent and needs and desires, because they dictate the criteria to a large degree.

    the roll of the ortho or thumbnail for instance...

    or the commerical application in general..and the nature of the given audience. a pop-cultural awareness may be as relevant as the technical
    in this sense.

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    Ron Price... i've heard of you before but where??....

    Welcome to CA, now go give some critiques!

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  40. #30
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    Thanks for all those suggestions, pieces of advice, bits of philosophy, et cetera. I think I'll just post the occasional item in the months and years ahead and get a response and go from there. These are my years of late adulthood(60 to 80) and old age(80++) if I last that long. -See yas lateRon

    married for 47 years, a teacher for 32, a student for 18, a writer and editor for 15, and a Baha'i for 55(in 2014).
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