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Thread: criticism?

  1. #1
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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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  3. #2
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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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  12. #11
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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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  13. #12
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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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  14. #13
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    there is a definite line between someone who critiques and someone who is just a critic.
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