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    Thumbs down criticism?

    I've noticed that art criticism tends to be harsher than criticism in other communities such as creative writing. This seems to be because in the art community improving onself and perfecting technique are regarded as an almost religious activity where wise masters give advice and acolytes should STFU and obey and be grateful for any scrap of the master's time. Personally I think that's bullshit, that it is every adult's obligation to reject bad criticism and learn from good criticism, not just swallow all criticism. And I think that in order to be 'good' criticism should be phrased civilly as a suggestion or an explanation of one's own understanding of a principle, and should respect the artist's own philosophy, goals, and what they can learn from their current level of knowledge. I think even correct advice can become bad when it is phrased as an absolute truth, an order, or an insult.

    In particular, intermediate artists seem to get the harshest criticism, probably because those who like to give harsh criticism think it's not worth their time to attack beginners. Also anime artists tend to get extra harshly criticised by realist artists. I would be surprised if there was a forum anywhere on the internet where an intermediate anime artist would be respected and get polite helpful feedback.

    So anyway, what do you all think about criticism?

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    Quote Originally Posted by sunandshadow
    I would be surprised if there was a forum anywhere on the internet where an intermediate anime artist would be respected and get polite helpful feedback.
    errr, deviantart?

    As far as the rest, I prefer my feedback to be as blunt as possible. I'd like to actually know how to improve my work rather than sift through all the "well, in my opinion" and "I kinda sorta think that this should be different... you know if you want to" or "...as long as it doesnt stifle your artistic sensibilities..."

    Of course its up to me to accept the critiques as being good for my work or not, but when someone critiques your work that means that they are genuinely trying to help you improve.

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    i like criticism.... but not insults... but do not be mistaken: it is not the same thing!

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    I would hate to spark yet another debate on this whole most artists hate anime artists thing.
    But in as little words as possible-
    anime art isnt bad, realists dont hate it. i dont think many people hate intermediate anime either.
    What people normally dont like is there approach to it.
    as is suggested by all the great anime artists, you cant be a really great anime artists if you dont know the basics. too many intermediate artists skip this and jump straight to anime, which throws it all off . If anything thats what people dislike. Admittedly it doesnt make u a bad artist, but i guess it stops u advancing to a really good artist as fast. it slows u down.

    On general criticism, i think most of it is ok, as long its justified. Even if its unjustified and well put then it will always help. Everyones oppinion is valid, as you might pick up on something u never saw or thought was wrong. As long as its put nicley and constructivly.

    When people just say oh 'its shit' or 'you technique is bad' then that kinda just sucks, it dont help.

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    there's a huge difference between insulting crits and harsh crits. The problem is that some people can't tell the difference and react defensively to what is actually constructive advice. You certainly don't have to listen to every crit if you feel it's motivated by less than honorable intentions, or even just contrary to your artistic goals. Giving crits to intermediate or advanced artists is easier for other intermediate and advanced artists because there's already a good foundation. Also, the better a piece is, the more nitpicky and trivial the crits will be (soften the jaw a bit, is that shadow too deep?, maybe blue eyes instead of green, etc.). Often with a beginner, I may not even know where to begin so I'd rather say nothing.

    I know that without the honest crits I've recieved on this site, I wouldn't have progressed half so well as I have since I joined. Even crits which sting on a personal level can often show you something you've been neglecting in your work. It can be difficult to open yourself to them when you just posted a new piece and you're still full of pride but, in the end, it's for your growth.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aesir
    when someone critiques your work that means that they are genuinely trying to help you improve.
    Usually they are, but there are some people around who think all art should be like one thing, and will criticize everyone who is doing something different just for not doing the one thing they like best. Also, some people are trolls who get a thrill out of being insulting and starting fights; a lot of people enjoy feeling superior and being the center of attention and want everyone to listen to them regardless of whether they have a clue what they're talking about.

    So yeah, most people who give you criticism have relatively good intentions, but you do have to watch out because a few of them don't.

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    Just suck it up and take it. Like Dave and some of the others have said criticism is always good unless it's just insulting. A good crit will not have too much personal taste of the artist in it, and will manily focus on the mechanics of the art. Even crits you don't agree with can be good because they at least show you how people are perceiving your work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DavePalumbo
    You certainly don't have to listen to every crit if you feel it's motivated by less than honorable intentions, or even just contrary to your artistic goals.
    I agree with this, but just the other day I had not 1 but 3 people say in different ways, "If you don't accept my criticism you're (stupid and childish, a sinner against Art, hurting yourself, being disrespectful to the people who you OWE for their donation of their time to criticize you, etc.)"

    Um, and I should probably clarify, I don't usually post my stuff for criticism here at concept art because this place is mostly higher-level art than I can do, so the bad criticism I am complaining about happened at other places.

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    In particular, intermediate artists seem to get the harshest criticism, probably because those who like to give harsh criticism think it's not worth their time to attack beginners. Also anime artists tend to get extra harshly criticised by realist artists. I would be surprised if there was a forum anywhere on the internet where an intermediate anime artist would be respected and get polite helpful feedback.
    Personally I don't do crits on noobs because I find it the hardest. A new artist will be so bad that it's difficult to give an actual crit without just giving up and telling them to study more anatomy. Which isn't really a crit at all.

    With advanced artists it's easy to crit, because there are usually one or two mistakes, and the rest is good enough, good, or great.

    The intermediate artists get the most flak from me because they are good enough where you can actually pinpoint problems rather than having to color everything shitty and resort to blanket statements. This makes precise harsh crits easy, and more enjoyable to write because I know that I am actually telling the person something that they may want to know about, rather than just asspatting them, or telling them to og study anatomy.

    So anyway, what do you all think about criticism?
    Bring it on.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryn
    I find it strange that you view critiques as a negative. I believe the opinion of critiques here is quite the opposite. If someone takes the time to point out your short-comings, it isn't to make you feel bad or 'attack' you, as you put it. It's because the critic is genuinely interested in helping the artist he is offering advice to.

    When I recieve critiques, I get excited and harbour no ill feelings. At the Montreal Workshop, I was seeking out instructors who would tear me apart, if you will, rather than just say, "You're on the right track!". I'm pretty sure a good chunk of CA feels the same way.
    Assuming you're talking to me, I don't view all critiques as negative, I view them as a whole range from negative through neutral to positive. I wouldn't ask for critiques at all if I didn't hope to get some useful ones. But sometimes people really do launch personal attacks disguized as criticisms. And a lot of times if you explain that you disagree with a particular criticism or think it's irrelevant because of reasons X Y Z the person who made the criticism will react very negatively and switch to attacking you even if their initial criticism was polite.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sunandshadow
    Assuming you're talking to me, I don't view all critiques as negative, I view them as a whole range from negative through neutral to positive. I wouldn't ask for critiques at all if I didn't hope to get some useful ones. But sometimes people really do launch personal attacks disguized as criticisms. And a lot of times if you explain that you disagree with a particular criticism or think it's irrelevant because of reasons X Y Z the person who made the criticism will react very negatively and switch to attacking you even if their initial criticism was polite.
    Ahh, righto. I haven't really ventured outside of CA so criticisms being disguised as personal attacks aren't really familliar to me. Hopefully you'll have better experiences here than you did elsewhere. < 3

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    sunandshadow, I don't see that happening at all, but you've got the right to disregard any critique you get. It's your piece. Ultimately you're the one who's going to be making all the decisions about it and you're going to have to live with the consequences.

    If you don't like the critique you get and you think somebody's being a dick, never shoot back with an insult or snarky response. Nine times out of ten if you think someone's being a dick you'll be wrong.. I personally have been jumped on multiple times around here for posting perfectly valid critiques with no personal ill-intentions whatsoever. Always by new people.. most of whom are lower mid-level artists who're used to ass pats.

    If you react negatively to what somebody says, don't shoot back with an insult. Stop, cool down and really consider the specific critiques the person has offered. If you don't know what they mean, ask for clarification (nobody will mind if you do that) or if you think their suggestion is just totally wrong, forget it! Always consider the artist it's coming from and whether or not two or more people have said the same thing. The more people who say it, the more likely it is to be correct. The more skilled the artist it's coming from, the more likely the are to know what they're talking about.

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    there is a definite line between someone who critiques and someone who is just a critic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sunandshadow
    Um, and I should probably clarify, I don't usually post my stuff for criticism here at concept art because this place is mostly higher-level art than I can do, so the bad criticism I am complaining about happened at other places.
    uhm... deviantart?

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    Quote Originally Posted by t.m0
    uhm... deviantart?
    No, I don't post at deviant art since the forums there suck and it's difficult to get anyone to pay attention to work which is just in your gallery.

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    I'd rather take a hundred harsh crits than a single "Hope you don't mind..."'s. You want to become a better artist, than take every crit you can. Someone telling you that you're great or that "this is a good start" doesn't help you. Take it or leave. It's all up to yours.

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    So is finally happening, we are slowly turning into DA when it comes to public opinion and how should you be afraid about having to say anything.


    Let&#180;s all live in the land of rainbows and "I love and respect anyone with unrestrained passion".


    Seriously, lately I don&#180;t even know what is to make a good piece for anything, I feel like I just steeped in the twilight zone and I know reactions were different some time ago, and people said what they wanted to say without having anyone complaining about it.

    And I&#180;m just saying this because every possible explanations as been said already.



    * Sigh .

    Last edited by Shamagim; July 13th, 2006 at 08:25 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunandshadow
    Usually they are, but there are some people around who think all art should be like one thing, and will criticize everyone who is doing something different just for not doing the one thing they like best.
    I think there are alot of times where artists mistake a criticism to mean that out of stubborness. You mention anime art... I've seen plenty of anime artists who get critiques on anatomy and realism and write them off as "not being my style". Without really acknowledging that to reach their next level of stylistic or anime art, they NEED a solid understanding of realism. You also mention that "there's no good place for an anime artist to recieve crits", but this is it. Improve their colors, compositions, anatomy, and functions... and they'll be able to feed it back into their style.

    If you're purely focused 100% on stylistic art (read: anime)... then you become pretty iconic in how you approach things. It's a wall, and you'll never be as good as you could be at whatever style you enjoy. I don't know why people seem to be in denial about that. I'm still trying to battle off my iconic drawing habits, because I started out with pure anime and stylistic stuff.

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  20. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shamagim
    So is finally happening, we are slowly turning into DA when it comes to public opinion and how should you be afraid about having to say anything.
    What you mean we, kemosabe?


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    I don&#180;t know Elwell, I guess I havent been to any workshop, I&#180;m not an outstanding artist and my opinion is not gold nor silver and I hardly douth is bronze, so I guess is just I andf I never really belonged here in the first place, so I&#180;ll respectully leave and check the things in interested in from the outside.

    For the record Elwell, you were the one who brought me down from my cloud, I still remmember that it was a exagerated j-lo chick I made and i just coudn&#180;t get over the fact people didn&#180;t like it.

    As for "kemosabe", that was uncalled for, I&#180;m perfectly able to accept I&#180;m wrong and I&#180;m very much happy to be corrected, specially from you.

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    Good god this place is TAME in comparision to some other art forums ! I personally think it's a fine balance of self policing when c/cing. Somewhere between DeviantArt asspatting emporium and Eatpoo bootcamp.

    But of course there's ALWAYS going to be a junior that'll take a critique the wrong way and there will ALWAYS be someone critiquing in a harsh way. Which is not necessarly all bad...

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    hey sunandshadow,
    criticism..is something that we can always take with a grain of salt. no matter what you do..artistic or non artistic. when someone is telling you something. You got a choice. You either take it...or dont take it. And sometimes.. if someone wants to tell you something to hurt your spirit. It usually means.. they're no better than you. Or they got some issues as well. But remeber in the art world.. its all about tact. and how you do things.

    for me, i love anime too, but i also realize that what i love to do, is also a craft. so i need to get my foundations, down. Everything that you do..starts with the foundations. And that what is mostly enforced here. I mean.. hell :3

    If I wanted to become a singer. and if someone tells me i suck (i need to learn certain things)... I would like to improve on it. or..when you want to be a guitarists (You know damn well.. you need to learn how to play..before you can play those amazing riffs)
    ---

    im constantly editing *HAHAHAH*
    -----------
    Sunandshadow. you want to become an artist. Right !? So wouldnt you want to find every single nook and cranny to improve yourself. :3

    I hope i didnt go off topic here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shamagim
    As for "kemosabe", that was uncalled for, I&#180;m perfectly able to accept I&#180;m wrong and I&#180;m very much happy to be corrected, specially from you.
    No offense intended, it's the punchline to an old joke:
    The Lone Ranger and Tonto come over a rise and see a wagon train being attacked by indians.
    "Quick, Tonto, we have to ride down there and save those people!"
    "What you mean we, Kemosabe?"


    Tristan Elwell
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    Quote Originally Posted by White Rose
    Sunandshadow. you want to become an artist. Right !? So wouldnt you want to find every single nook and cranny to improve yourself. :3
    Well, not exactly. First I believe that I already am an artist, as is everyone who produces art on a fairly regular basis. And second t can't try to learn everything all at once, I like to focus on learning one thing at a time so I don't feel overwhelmed or to tackle something 3 levels above where I currently am.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sunandshadow
    Well, not exactly. First I believe that I already am an artist, as is everyone who produces art on a fairly regular basis. And second t can't try to learn everything all at once, I like to focus on learning one thing at a time so I don't feel overwhelmed or to tackle something 3 levels above where I currently am.

    Then I strongly suggest that whenever you post your art, you add a disclaimer saying "DO NOT GIVE ME ANY CRITIQUES!"

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    Sunandshadow, I don't think you can take these criticisms about what we think of your critcism very well. That's my only crit man otherwise you're doing fine.

    Man of integrity
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    I'd prefer to get a harsh critique over an asspat any day.

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    I'm assuming you mean "harsh" in a subjective manner. Critiques are critiques. Some more informative than others, some more valid then others, it all depends on the person who is receiving them.

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    Many people deserve harsh critiques, and whether you like it or not some people indeed deserve insulting critiques.

    Before you fly off the handle, let me explain.

    During your career as an artist, (or any walk in life, really) you're going to meet people of all types and all egos. Some people can be so horrifically bad and respond so negatively to harsh (albeit true and helpful) that your only option left is to tell them that they suck and that is not a matter of opinion, it's fact. This is most likely to happen at school, and it ain't pretty... but it needs to be done.

    I know a girl at my current school who's *just* like that. This girl literally breaks down and bawls like a child any time a critique actually focuses on the fact that she can't paint for a damn. (not necessarily in those exact words) The critiques always start off mild, but every time something constructive is said she immediately snaps back and defends herself. People like this need to either be torn down or sulk in their own delusional hysteria. Recently, I've realized it's not really worth it so I just keep my mouth shut. (Although I'm typically very talkative and try to be helpful during critiques)

    What I'm getting at is, every kind of critique from harsh to nice has its place. It all really depends on the circumstances.

    Instead of dwelling over critiques, take what people have to say about your work in stride. I never think that ignoring critiques is a good idea, because since someone is telling you something it must be true on some level. Think about what is said, don't be grudgeful. Ignoring critiques will only help you be the girl in my story, and believe me... you don't want to be her, she's my college's tricycle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elwell
    No offense intended, it's the punchline to an old joke:
    The Lone Ranger and Tonto come over a rise and see a wagon train being attacked by indians.
    "Quick, Tonto, we have to ride down there and save those people!"
    "What you mean we, Kemosabe?"
    ...oh.............Don&#180;t mind me, I&#180;m just unstable .

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