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Thread: Worthless comments
July 24th, 2014 #1
I've noticed this dubious trend going on on CA recently. And by trend a mean the act of litterling Sketchbooks with absolutley meaningless praise and "encouragement" comments.
I think there is nothing wrong with complimenting the artist on a piece of work which is well done, but the comments i am referring to are to be found under nearly everything in the JPEG format. Even pieces with glaring issues aren't spared from this drivel. I really enjoy browsing through new sketches but half of the time a Sketchbook gets bumped it's because of some unwarranted praise and not the addition of new work or a constructive critique.
So a question to the CA veterans: was it always an ass-patting-parade like this?
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I think it's more noticeable as there aren't as many posts on a daily basis. I feel a SB crit week coming on.
July 25th, 2014 #3
I'm one of the dorks doing exactly that :p
But honestly, what the majority see of mistakes I don't simply because I'm still too untrained, so to me when something looks good... it looks good! Non-artists see mine as good where those acquainted with doing art themselves usually facepalm and shake their heads I guess.
Now, I'm getting into art again for the 74673465th time now and I go to FB and 'like' the images posted there. But in general, when I see something I think is cool, it is my honest opinion at the time and would like to express it. Even if the rendering might be waaaayyyyy off, the idea might be one of the more exciting and I'm the kind of person who likes to express positive stuff so geh...
Ironically, I understand the problem since it has annoyed me too.
It could be cool if there was a feature where you could categorize your posts as OP-update and critique for bumping, and then praise for non-bumping. Maybe even have those tier-like display they have on reddit so the 'irrelevant to other visitors' posts are hidden?
At least I'd be sad if I can't go to whatever image/sketchbook I like and express I like it. Generally more negative than positive is expressed publicly on the internet, and I see this place to be more of a positive loaded place. Would hate to see if that went away
July 25th, 2014 #4
Lighten up a bit. If you feel like an artist is getting their ego stroked too much, just give them a nice constructive thrashing yourself. The problem with art communities usually isnt that there are too many nice comments but that criticism isnt given or accepted by the community at large. Dont see that happening here.
July 25th, 2014 #5
Trixtar, even someone starting out can see things that are wrong. Try looking at everything with a critical eye and think hard as to how it might be improved. This not only helps the person's art, but helps you as well by improving your judgement and making you consider how to solve problems. Now if people are posting studies and improving with each one, yes, encouraging sounds should be made, but are they avoiding still lives, colour etc. You then can ask if they have considered doing any because it might help.
July 25th, 2014 #6Trixtar, even someone starting out can see things that are wrong. Try looking at everything with a critical eye and think hard as to how it might be improved. This not only helps the person's art, but helps you as well by improving your judgement and making you consider how to solve problems. Now if people are posting studies and improving with each one, yes, encouraging sounds should be made, but are they avoiding still lives, colour etc. You then can ask if they have considered doing any because it might help.
Does this forum has a thread on how to be an absolute (eternal) noob but still contribute constructively to the community? Or maybe I should start that thread myself when I have more time. Thanks for the input though
July 25th, 2014 #7Registered User
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July 25th, 2014 #8
I think one of the most valuable things I experienced while attending College was learning how to critique and take criticism. It's easy in this community for people to hold back and tread lightly so as not to offend anyone, but when your in a room face to face with 20 of your peers the last thing you want to hear is each person saying how much they love your work. As artists we seek each other out in order to collectively improve our abilities, and we as individuals don't improve unless the community holds us to a higher standard and tells us honestly and constructively what we can do to make our work better.
I have never known what to do with praise, as you say it falls in the realm of "worthless comments". Sure; the ego in me likes to step back and see that others appreciate, enjoy, or are inspired by work that I've done, but I would much rather hear why you think my piece failed, technically or conceptually, than to endure meaningless compliments.
It's difficult to know what level of dismantling criticism people are prepared for when they post something for critique, but in the aim of fostering a community of professional and aspiring professional artists I think we should all aspire to be as constructively blunt and honest as possible, while avoiding flowery praise.
-In the name of progress; onward and upward; to infinity and beyond, and stuff like that.
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July 26th, 2014 #9
Those are indeed very good reasons to do more than just 'Your art is awesome ' Hell if I want this to be DA!
But I came to think of last time I was here like 1½ years ago or so. There were people who whined about not enough people viewed/commented on their sketchbooks and the general advice given was in fact to go visit the sketchbooks of others and throw a comment. If the only purpose is to get visitors to your own stuff I guess a lot would just write short random kiss-butt-notes that would mass bump?
I will at least try and contribute more constructively, but I was thinking if instead of critiquing the skills, can I then give some constructive feedback on my overall impression of it?
July 26th, 2014 #10
Trixtar Check out the stickies in the Critique forum - tons of great tips there.
July 26th, 2014 #11
Am now gonna be a regular visitor to the critique section to learn both own art skills and to give/receive critique
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August 25th, 2014 #12
That ending question in the opening post just made the you seem really arrogant and condescending.
I get the idea that people seem to think CA is "big kid" territory and that only silly "little kids" would give out innocuous compliments. There's no need to look down on anyone in contempt.
I agree with Benedikt's post. CA is open to critiques, and anyone who isn't simply doesn't belong here yet. There are plenty of people, like myself, who give out critiques when they have time.
August 25th, 2014 #13
August 25th, 2014 #14So a question to the CA veterans: was it always an ass-patting-parade like this?
It wasn't phrased like an honest question, it was phrased like you were asking "Has this site always been shit, or is this a recent development?". Yeah, it came off arrogant and condescending.
August 25th, 2014 #15
August 25th, 2014 #16
I feel like I remember just as many compliments and a greater degree of idol-like worship back in the old days when there were more users in general, so no, it's not new. Critiquing takes a lot of time and thought, and many people don't feel comfortable critiquing the work of people who have a lot more experience than them. That means there's either going to be a few critiques and a bunch of compliments, or a few critiques and silence. I like to have the occasional comment on my sketchbook even if just to know people are looking at it - otherwise, why post at all? And hey, I like getting compliments.
Yeah, more critiques would be great. People should contribute if they can. But no one is making you read the compliment posts. Just skip them - you should be able to tell within a millisecond if a comment is a critique or not.
August 25th, 2014 #17
A lot of the time there was a culture of negativity here, with amateur artists looking for any excuse to smear art made by others (even if it was better than anything they themselves could do) because that seemed to be a way of getting oneself noticed, and often people felt that they made themselves look better by making others look worse. All the while they could excuse it as "because I was trying to help."
I certainly wasn't above the trend, even though I like to think that I was giving good advice at the time and knew the subjects well enough to give said advice. I still was caught up in that type of mentality, though; it rubbed off on a lot of us and caused us to bicker, snap, and get angry about things that would not have gotten so ugly at times if we had just talked them out and been able to be friendly and civil about them.
So, if you want better crits&advice get better artists to give them. But don't go complaining just because people are saying nice things.
August 25th, 2014 #18
Peter - Hmm was that around the time of the great collapse of CA? I feel like I remember that as being one of the contributing factors. I wasn't around much at that time though.
I wonder how much socio-psychological/political research you could gather from the cycles of online communities. I always think it's interesting.
August 25th, 2014 #19
The fact that I'm here again means there has been at least a measure of forgiveness on both sides. I'm hoping that some of the others who left (or were forced to leave) might show up again as well. The place seems a bit quiet compared to the way it was, and I hate thinking that the shit we did then has something to do with that now.
August 25th, 2014 #20Registered User
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What is so wrong with praise? Meaningless? Seems you have a very cyinical attitude to what in my eyes, amounts to positive encouragement. Lots of artists especially ones early in their learning suffer from huge confidence issues. All they need is some encouragment and a bit of praise with some crits thrown in. Most will strive to improve and will take crits on board even if they sometimes hurt a little. The thing that I believe is vital to someone growing, is a sense of worth and some self belief. If all they got were crits then they would likely lose heart. I'm all for the positivity and the crits, I want my fellow artist to feel good about themselves.
Everything has value some people just can't see it.
August 26th, 2014 #21
This is a bit of a cultural thing as well I think. Tiggeraz is from Germany, as I am. I have noticed that in German speaking groups on facebook, for instance, praise or positive comments are extremely rare. More than that, people will go out of their way to critizise even if the artist they're critizising is a lot more skilled than they are. Not that there's anything inherently wrong with that, but the comments tend to be of a somewhat nit-picky variety. I have only ever received critiques that were absolutely bonkers and completely unconstructive from other german speaking people (not often of course, but it has happened), never someone from the UK or US. I don't know why we tend to do that. The US is the exact opposite, I think; an almost overbearing positive, optimistic attitude is something that I mostly notice with people from there. It can, in some cases, be equally bad as a harsh, negative attitude, e.g. when reinforcing bad habits or a lack of fundamentals (see deviantart).
I am not saying that Tiggeraz is being mean or overly critical, just that he may be used to this typically german/ western european(?) attitude.
To be honest, I think most of CA is the best of both worlds. People saying nice things without being overly superficial (generally people are being praised for good work/making progress and not for "drawing cute things" or the"right kind of fanart") & people getting their ass kicked if it needs kicking. What more do you want?
August 26th, 2014 #22Registered User
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I completely agree with the Bri in the Sky, these 'worthless comments' and 'meaningless praise' are far from worthless or meaningless. Positive encouragement is NEVER worthless, especially if your just starting out, or are still very much a beginner (As I consider myself to be). As Bri pointed out, confidence is generally an issue when people are just starting out, if all the feedback they got was critiques on what they were doing wrong, or nothing at all, that is going to give their confidence at least a bit of a knock, even if they do learn from it. Positive comments will likely give them a nudge back in the opposite direction and hopefully give them a push to keep practising and improving (hopefully with helpful crits alongside the praise).
Also, as I think may have already been said, these 'glaring errors' that you can see in peoples work, other people may not see due to less experience, so if they like the art, and can't see the errors, where is the problem with saying they like the piece?.
This is just my feelings on the matter.
August 26th, 2014 #23
And for those of you who accuse me of hating on positive comments, it seems that you didn't pay much attention to the posts i've made. I already said that there is nothing wrong with giving compliments, i just think they become meaningless when given inflationary. Which was the case in my perception when i started this thread (1 month ago!).
I think this issue not even really relevant anymore, because the 'ur afsum!1 totally jelly!!' comments have become very, very rare since then. But someone dug up this thread anyways... Sir Cam i'm looking in your direction. With a highly sceptical expression! I know you can't see it but believe me, it's very sceptical.
August 26th, 2014 #24
Anyway, just keep in mind that critical online can come across differently than critical in person. Aside from using all caps or something people can't tell when you are saying something in an angry accusatory way or nicely in a helpful way.
My simple rule when giving a critique is that if you don't have the time or knowledge to say why the piece is good or bad, avoid saying so until you do. Don't just tell a person that the anatomy is off, because if they didn't know enough to get it right they won't know enough to know how to fix it. That's why you need to explain where and how the anatomy is off, and usually its best to give a quick line-over indicating how it can be fixed.
The same rule goes for praise. Praise is good and should always be welcome, but it often comes without explanation as to what it is you like about the piece. However, if you say "I like the rim lighting; it really ties the character into the candelabra you've shown behind them" it tells them what they did right. Sometimes knowing what you are doing right is just as important as knowing what you are doing wrong. I'd honestly love to see more of this type of constructive criticism, and by constructive I don't mean ass-pats or lack of negativity, but just criticism that guides the artist. I'm not sure how this ties into American or German or whatever types of doing things, but it does seem like a good way to go.
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August 28th, 2014 #25
August 28th, 2014 #26
August 28th, 2014 #27
September 7th, 2014 #28
Hey, what's this giant elephant doing in this room? And how come no one's mentioned it? It has a "Sketchbook" link tattooed near the bottom. Hmm ... I think it wants you to follow it? And maybe comment in its own sketchbook to bump it?
(We're all guilty of this sometimes. And this is your answer, OP.)
Sketchbook / / /\/\/ / / DeviantArt / / /\/\/ / / noob to pro: a list of CA's epic progress sketchbooks
September 7th, 2014 #29
September 7th, 2014 #30
*facepalm* I wasn't talking about YOU, op. :p
I'm saying, there are members here who do this, some more than others. Some WAY more than others. And there are some famous examples from CA's history who are guilty of it too. One in particular (and one of my heroes) is probably famous partly because of it. Not naming names, although people will be nodding along.
EDIT: ahahahaaaaaa, I just noticed your "elephant" sig. I did NOT see that when I posted my original comment. Crazy coincidence. I see the confusion now.
Sketchbook / / /\/\/ / / DeviantArt / / /\/\/ / / noob to pro: a list of CA's epic progress sketchbooks