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  1. #1
    Senior Agitoho's Avatar
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    Let's discuss: Critiquing

    So, I'm personally curious about everyone's experience with Weasyl's critique system (wherein you request a critique when you upload something, not necessarily the critique forum). I've had one of my requests critiqued out of the three or four requests I've made. I've gone though other requests and I've seen pictures with a good bit of views, but no critiques. I've gotten a bit curious as to why that is and it got me thinking about the various reasons people look at a request, but don't say anything about the work.

    -I don't have the right type of experience to give this a good critique.
    By this I mean, you click on a request and it's in a medium you're not familiar with. I honestly don't think this should really stop you from giving a critique based simply on what you see. If a person knows his medium enough, he'll be able to translate what you say into his technique. I work in pencil at the moment. If someone told me "It's a little light, can you darken it?" I'd look at what I have available and try to figure out what I can use to make the picture darker. Now, I'm not saying you shouldn't ask for advice (that's sort of the point of a critique after all) and hopefully someone will give you some tips in improving, but in the event that they don't, don't be afraid to take some notes and try figure things out for yourself (which is pretty rewarding in itself). If you're still stuck, someone on the internet probably has a tutorial video.

    -Critique means Criticize, right?
    Critiquing doesn't necessarily mean finding something wrong. I feel as if someone may look at something, try to find something wrong because that's what they think critiquing is (finding all the flaws) and when they can't, they just leave the page. Don't just point out flaws, point out things that work, things that an artist can carry over to future work. Do the way they mix colors work well; is their line work nice and clean? Tell them that. Knowing your strong points is just as important of knowing your weak points.

    -Why does this need critiquing, exactly?
    This sort of ties back into my previous point. Back in my college days, I got to see some pretty good art and to me, there was "nothing wrong with it." And sometimes, that may just be the case. However, people still want to hear your thoughts from a critical standpoint. "How does this look to you and do you think there's a way for it to look better? Is there something you would have done differently?" Sometimes, if I couldn't find something to improve, I may tell someone, "You know, this reminds me of so-and-so. Maybe you should check it out and see if that gives you anything helpful."

    -But you'll hate me!
    No one is going to hate you for giving your honest opinions. I think some people just feel shy about voicing their opinions and for some reason assume "If I say something wrong, this person will shout at me about it." I understand, I'm a pretty shy person myself and tend to think this. It's sort of silly though. This person is asking for help, so just give what you can. More than just "It looks so cute!" You're not just giving a passing comment here. Ask yourself "Why is this cute?" and just be honest about it.

    -But, how do I write Critique!?
    Critiquing really isn't hard (well, maybe I'm wrong in saying that considering that my major was Studio Art so I have a bit of experience). Okay, so maybe critiquing is a little intimidating. You know you're supposed to say more than "That's pretty, bro." but what more can you say? As above, ask "why?" This is how I learned to critique. Ask yourself "Why is this X?" Find out the "why" and tell the artist. This in turn may get the artist thinking about her process. "These colors are pretty because of how they swirl into each other really well. How did you do that anyway?" "Well, I..." And now you have a new technique you may want to try yourself. That's call "stealing like an artist."

    This is essentially me just thinking out loud, really, trying to get into the mind of those who look at critiques, but don't critique things. There may be other reasons and I'd be glad to hear them and discuss them. I really do like the system in place and perhaps there's a way to get more people to reply to critiques. We just have to discuss it a bit to get there. It just sort of concerns me that I can get a critique easier out of my steam group than an art site.

    So, what are your experiences? How do you feel about the system in place? What are the reasons people look at critique requests, but don't critique? Do you think there's a way to get more people to critique? Do you think the hit and miss of critiquing is just how things are?

    Let's discuss.
    No matter what happens, I will have always produced more visible work on my solo project than Ken Penders has on his in the last five years.

    I write and draw a manga. It's like a backwards comic. Give it shot, bro.

    "You can't just slap "& Knuckles" onto everything." & Knuckles

  2. #2
    Senior Eagle GodHeart's Avatar
    Weasyl
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    iv uploaded like 6 or so things i made and i only got one comment.
    it takes a real man to call sin out by its real name
    -anonomus

    אב, סלח להם; כי הם לא יודעים מה הם עושים
    -ישועה

    profile pic by uncle-noob on teen furs.

  3. #3
    Senior Damian's Avatar
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    I feel like I'm both points of one and three. Though there are times where I feel like I can give critique but it's just so bad I don't even know where to begin which -kiiinndaa- fits in the final point. Though there are times where I do jump in the critique section and the artist got on my case for critiquing. :/ I always feel critiquing is for people more skilled anyway so I seldom do it.
    We all have our demons. If we're not fighting them, then we've befriended them.

  4. #4
    Senior Malevolentmask's Avatar
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    In most cases I feel uncomfortable critiquing someone's work if I don't know them. If they come to me asking then sure but I never really go out of my way unless I know the artist etc.

    I feel like the best thing to do is to communicate in a forum setting or something similar. Find a community and get to know various people. Share your work with everything and with time open up and ask for CC?

  5. #5
    ~Kupo~ Moogle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malevolentmask View Post
    I feel like the best thing to do is to communicate in a forum setting or something similar. Find a community and get to know various people. Share your work with everything and with time open up and ask for CC?
    Basically my thoughts on handling critiquing as well. I'm pretty open to sharing my thoughts on someones piece, and even if they don't particularly like my advice at least they got a different perspective on it. Take what you can from a crit if you think it's worth it, if not just leave it. :3

  6. #6
    Senior Antumbra's Avatar
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    I don't mind offering critiques to strangers, but I do feel a bit uncomfortable if their skill level is much lower or much higher than mine. He former because I don't want to just tear apart a pic that someone put effort into. The latter I'll still try, but I feel like there is little to add. At that point I just say nice things, and while that is good, I'm not sure if I'm helping the artist get better like they wanted.

    All that said, I think I put the critique button on all of my pics except 1 or 2 and I've really only gotten crits from people on here.

  7. #7
    Senior Agitoho's Avatar
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    Ah, it never occurred to me that people don't give critiques to strangers, but I can see how that would be of concern to people. Thinking about it in detail (i.e. a bit too hard) random people critiquing your work might come off as a little strange.

    Also, I can see how there could be a little hesitation with critiquing someone worse or better than you. For someone worse than you, you just have to be a bit more considerate. Tell them why something looks strange or off and how they can improve on it. On the opposite end of the spectrum, I would probably see what I personally could take away from it. Ask them how they did this, or why they did this. This is the perfect opportunity to steal like an artist. In short, tell them why you like this color or this line and ask questions about it.

    I'm wondering if it's best to use the forum as opposed to the "upload" method. Has anyone had better luck through the critique forum? I've taken a glance at it and it doesn't seem to be full of recent requests ( I don't recall seeing anything from this month).

    I can see the advantage of opening up after you've gotten some friends/followers. Nine times out of time, someone is, most likely, going to critique it. On the flip side though, it seems a little counterproductive. You might improve faster with critique, but no one really knows you or they think they can't give one for whatever reason, and you sort of stagger for a while, which could, potentially, make gaining followers a bit difficult. But I suppose you can off set this by talking on forums and just making friends and sooner or later, one of them will probably critique you.
    No matter what happens, I will have always produced more visible work on my solo project than Ken Penders has on his in the last five years.

    I write and draw a manga. It's like a backwards comic. Give it shot, bro.

    "You can't just slap "& Knuckles" onto everything." & Knuckles

  8. #8
    Senior GlaringFeline's Avatar
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    I've never given critiques here yet, but if I get off my lazy ass I'd be willing to write some. XD I LOVE that Weasyl has a critique system that can be accessed for free; on deviantART, you have to be a premium member to get access to the critiquing feature and it's so ridiculous. I don't care if I'm critiquing a stranger or not; if you don't want critiques, then don't click the box to request them. People might not be critiquing because of laziness(me), and some people don't like critiquing strangers. Personally, I don't like critiquing people with better art than me because they show they have a better understanding of those concepts and really don't need my input.
    -Insert inspirational quote here-

  9. #9
    Senior Agitoho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GlaringFeline View Post
    I've never given critiques here yet, but if I get off my lazy ass I'd be willing to write some. XD I LOVE that Weasyl has a critique system that can be accessed for free; on deviantART, you have to be a premium member to get access to the critiquing feature and it's so ridiculous. I don't care if I'm critiquing a stranger or not; if you don't want critiques, then don't click the box to request them. People might not be critiquing because of laziness(me), and some people don't like critiquing strangers. Personally, I don't like critiquing people with better art than me because they show they have a better understanding of those concepts and really don't need my input.
    You need premium membership to use the critique feature on dA? That really is ridiculous. A natural part of an art site is critiquing! Why would you put a pay wall in front of that? (I mean, I know why, but WHY?).

    Anyway, reading over the few comments here, it seems to be that a lot of people just don't like to critique strangers (which, as I said earlier, is understandable when you think too hard about it) or the level of the piece is too high (so no advice seems worthy) or too low (and we don't want to hurt anyone's feelings). I've already given my opinions on all that in my previous post.

    I don't have a problem with critiquing strangers, but that's probably because that's part of the process of being in a college art class. People were also around the same level as far as experience went, so no one came off as worse or better than anyone else skill-wise. Who knew a couple of years in college could change your outlook on something like this, ha ha.
    No matter what happens, I will have always produced more visible work on my solo project than Ken Penders has on his in the last five years.

    I write and draw a manga. It's like a backwards comic. Give it shot, bro.

    "You can't just slap "& Knuckles" onto everything." & Knuckles

  10. #10
    Senior Viciviser's Avatar
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    I love giving simple comments and compliments, but even more I love to chuck out a well-balanced critique to people now and again. I have no issue critiquing strangers or artists that I can tell are better than me. Better or not, you work on a piece of art a long time it is easy to get tunnel vision or you've stared at it so long you won't notice the tiny things off about it. Hence why a lot of artists ask for critique. They need fresh eyes to give a new POV. For those starting out or need a lot of input, I love helping there because it fosters so much growth in them. You can see major changes if they take critiques into account.

    I think my casualness with critique comes being an art student, just like Agitoho. Critiquing can be a natural part of the process. Not exactly necessary, but it certainly helps other artists along by constructive feedback. If you're giving the critique it helps hone your insights and apply what you've learned to others' art.

    I like pointing out the pros and cons, strengths and weaknesses, but the fact that people make art at all is such a positive that it's going to be overall encouraging from me.

    Obviously, don't push critique on people. The only time I've ever been bothered by it is when I put out some conceptual or quick sketch stuff and people tell me to fix things on it. I'm not going back to it. There's nothing to fix. I'm going to make more art based on the idea in it and anything I need to fix I'll do so in the newer art.
    Last edited by Viciviser; 05-25-2015 at 04:17 PM.

 

 

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