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When to and when not to give criticism

PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2018 4:36 pm
by Thimble
I'm probably alone here when I say that I browse reddit and get annoyed at all the fan art users make of characters from games and movies. I usually shrug off things that I don't like because while it may not be my cup of tea I'm sure its someone elses' but maybe once a year I give some constructive criticism, but it always seems to result in some big backlash.

I'm by no means a good artist but I like to think I know basic proportions, depth and planes and I like to tell the artist which elements of their work that I enjoy and what I don't and why.

Anyway, I guess what I'd like to ask is this; when do you critique other's work? Or under what conditions do you critique others work, such as them asking for feedback.

When to and when not to give criticism

PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2018 5:22 pm
by svarn
Well fanart is a bit off topic I feel, but there are many valid reasons to create fanart. There are a lot of artists that dislike this practice, but it's not going to go anywhere. Personally I think people can draw whatever the hell they want.

As for giving critiques, there always is a bit of risk to it. And keep in mind that you can always be wrong about stuff, even if you're pretty certain about it.
Receiving feedback is not that easy either, personally I found that I need a day to be able to evaluate if the critique was warranted or not. Because often enough the imediate reaction to it is defensive, and can lead to arguments.

I would absolutely not recommend giving critiques to people that you don't know and that didn't ask for them.
I belive that if someone posts their image on social media, then critiquing it there publicly is pretty rude.
Anything in critique sections like the one here on the forums should be ok, and I don't think I had any problems with it ("worst case" I got just ignored). But you never know when you're going to tick someone off.

In general the community expects a lot of sugar coating and beating around the bush, to not hurt the artist's feelings.
So in general I would recommend keeping critiques for friends, unless you enjoy doing them.

When to and when not to give criticism

PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2018 10:32 am
by Ambiguity
I agree with Tom, I never critique anyone who didn't ask for it unless I asked if I could point something out and they agreed. It's even harder for people to accept criticism from people they don't respect in the same field of discipline as them, so places like reddit aren't ideal because you can't see the body of work of the one giving criticism.

By the way, everyone seems to miss that critique can also be pointing out what is good about a piece, it reinforces good habits which is just as important as removing the bad ones.

When to and when not to give criticism

PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2018 3:54 pm
by Thimble
Thank you for sharing your thoughts. This has been weighing on me for some time now so I appreciate it.

When to and when not to give criticism

PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2018 7:43 am
by Josephcow
Definitely gauge the receptiveness of the person you're critiquing. Try to moderate what you say so that it will help them the most, instead of offend them. Generally the better the artist, the more critique they can take because they've already had to have their armor pierced in order to improve, and they also are in a more informed place to even understand and apply what you're saying. Some people go for a tough love (or just the tough part, really) approach online especially, but honestly I don't think it's very effective.

I use this policy for real life situations as well, where you have to be much more careful what you say. If someone shows me their art, and it's not good, I just say something I like about it and be on my way. Criticism will just bounce off certain people. Wait for them to ask you for help. Especially applies to university art students. Even in classroom critiques, that's paradoxically one of the last places to start dishing out the truth. You might think you're being helpful, but it just wont work. Wait for them to come to you.

So you're situation sounds to me like an instance that I probably wouldn't touch. On the other hand, giving criticism is good for you to learn as well. Definitely offer some thoughts when you're in the right arena, even if you're not totally sure yourself. Mistakes will be made, but it's not the end of the world.

When to and when not to give criticism

PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2018 12:56 pm
by fi_le
Wow, this thread is insightful! I've never critiqued anyone outside of this place before, I never got the idea.

I have my two cents on fanart though: Although painters like sakimichan really are a meatgrinder when it comes to making money with fanart, I can still find a lot of beauty in the skill alone, I can still enjoy it, so to say.
My own fanart isn't for sale or to impress anyone, I don't think there's a problem with it, right?