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Submitted on
March 11


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18 (who?)

Critiquing Strangers?

Journal Entry: Tue Mar 11, 2014, 8:43 AM

 I had a thought while I was painting ( first time for everything! Derp 8D ).

Often on Deviantart, through the piles of thumbnails we all are exposed to, I find myself in a random persons gallery. A person I have never interacted with, and who probably wouldn't know me if I came through their monitor and bit their face.

" lol Hai, I'm Koji :crazy: *CHOMP*"..the horror."

And while looking through their artwork, I see the same "mistakes" ( to my eye anyways) like a glaring sign, over and over.  For example, I happened upon someone's gallery and I realized all the noses they draw look like lion noses ( no, they aren't drawing furries ;P ). They're drawing humans, and attempting realism. Thing is, this is a very easy fix. In fact, if they just moved the bridge of the nose in on their work, it would all look a LOT better. Their drawings would receive more attention, and overall it would be positive.

I'm not talking about stylistic things either. It's not subject matter, it's not the type of art- It's just something, if only they had added a cranium on that person. The art would look pretty good- but they just need to draw that ONE line further out D:

Do you say something to them?

I almost never give critiques. I don't think I'm very good at them. I'm not good at eloquently writing a long paragraph or anything, and often I can't explain myself very well. I'm someone who can only put a piece into Photoshop, and draw a diagram of what I mean :XD:.

But so many people on Deviantart get insulted by a complete stranger posting on their work, saying something even teensy that is truly designed to help them.

See, usually Deviantart is filled to the brim with awful critiques. People have told me "OMG I don't think he should look like that!!11 I envisioned him differently! So it sucks and you failed >:[ *raaggggeeeeee*"

..and then you tell them, that it's fine if they don't like my interpretation. They are free to draw their own, and I get:

" OMGAD u r so stuck up you horrible human >:[!!11 U cannot accept critique!!"

I think it's made a lot of people a bit timid when it comes to asking for opinions here. When you ask for a critique on Deviantart, I feel you are very brave. Because it's like playing russian roulette, except the gun has 5 bullets in a 6 bullet chamber :XD: . As for myself, I usually only ask opinions of people I know, talk to and trust their eye.

SO all this had me wondering now-  if  it's a scenario like what I said initially, where you come across an artist who's art could take a giant leap forward if they just did a very easy fix-

Would you tell them?

Would you want someone to tell you something like that about your work?

Would you get offended because you don't know them?

 I was just curious what people think of this, because I always opt out LOL. I always just think, nah. And stick to my own stuff and do my own thing.

random jazz hands~~~ :iconfabulousplz:

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FatalSystemCrash Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I would like someone tell me where are my mistakes :c I'm beginner so I really need it XD obviously, A critic in a kindly way ^^
EpicNinjaArtist Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I love it when people make meaningful comments about my work, pointing out their favorite parts, and things i could fix, because it means they really got into it, and seriously are looking at and analyzing my work.
Anybody can say nice job, or that looks cool
but it doesnt really mean much to me, no matter how hard i look at it .-.

I prefer it when people really look at my work, instead of just brisking over it.
But in such a vast community, its hard for people to come and take the time to leave meaningful comments when they can just say "cool" and move on :XD:

Ive only had one person bluntly say my work sucked, which seriously offended me at first (given it was my very first hate comment. Im so proud of myself :'D ) but then i just ignored it and moved on. Because why waste my time on something like that? Not saying that my artwork deserves a mass of compliments or anything, but something a little more in depth then "its f*cked up* would be nice XD That isnt a critique lol.

But if someone has something to say about my work i will gladly listen to any suggestions :) Lol, i actually find critiques a  compliment XD
So hardcore, know =u=
jk, im pretty wussy QuQ but i do appreciate critique a lot. They actually care enough to help me get better :iconcraiplz:
forest-of-fire Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I actually came on deviantart for tutorials and advice, so I would be very happy if someone gave me a hint about something that I should improve, but I also want an explanation why is that thing bad, otherwise I will ignore the comment. and I would like to request critique, but I'm not premium member :(
but I don't write critiques, because I'm not good enough and also because I sometimes unintentionally insult people when they ask me for opinion (till now they were only my schoolmates, but I won't risk spam on my account)

my real problem is not getting any comments except of few ''Nice job!'' stuff instead of stupid haters comments.
Tuckwoo Featured By Owner May 31, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I personally wouldn't get offended if someone critiqued my work, in fact, I'd love it if they did, so that I would be able to improve it!! I really wouldn't mind any critique
(I actually sometimes critique strangers myself but I always try to be as polite about it ss I can)
Hoshigetsu Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2014  Hobbyist
I wish people would tell me what is wrong so I could fix or. I wish I could request critiques but that's only an option for members.... :( 
DestatiDreamXIII Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Personally, I like critiques. There are many people that write terribly immature critiques, unfortunately, but I really do appreciate the ones where the person genuinely just wants to help/give advice. Sometimes I don't follow the advice because I end up preferring how I was doing things before, while other times they really help me notice something I should work on.  Overall, I'm grateful for any and all well-intended critiques I may receive, but also either decide for myself or test out the advice before deciding if it's a piece of advice I want to take to heart. 
topcat-sama Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Somehow I find myself critiquing strangers a lot :o

It just happens while I go through my watch stacks and I see something that could have been good or is almost really amazing but just isn't because of an elbow or something.  I usually use the sandwich method while critiquing, where I complement there art but "xxx" looks a bit wrong and might look better if you tried "xxx". And then I follow up with another complement that way I'm usually guaranteed to not sound harsh to the person I'm critiquing.

As for when I am critiqued, usually I try to take everyone's advice regardless of artistic ability but I would definitely hold someone's advice with more weight if they were more artistically inclined. 
Spudfuzz Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It really depends. I'll usually communicate I have some kind of issue with the work and my usual watcher base/ friends that comment and interacts with me on a regular basis are mature, and I trust their judgement. Even if they don't really hit the target with it I still appreciate it because they tried. Because I know them I take their feedback in higher regard than some other random person's, unless said random person is really good. The other day though someone said to me offsite;

"By the way I looked through your gallery and you're always "it's not good enough", "it's not the best", blah blah blah, stop that already ;)"

I double checked to look through my gallery and I couldn't find what they were talking about. Maybe it was on my super old art, I don't know. But it kind of pissed me off because the only reason I voice discontent with my art is to communicate to my audience that I understand it's not perfect and encourage feedback, and I most certainly don't do it in that whiny - lack of self confidence mentality like they implied. If someone critiques me and I feel like what they said is just stupid or completely off base, I'll ignore them. Sometimes, rarely but sometimes they'll step over the line and illicit a very asshole response from me. If I'm going to critique some random person's art though I'll look through their profile page or artist description. If they don't indicate or outright state any willingness for feedback I don't bother. If they're a beginner though and it's obvious they're trying, drawing all kinds of subjects and never sticking to one comfort zone there's a very good chance they'll take critique well.
K-Koji Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2014
 Hmm, maybe that person was just trying to be nice, or are exaggerating. Like, maybe they heard you say something like that ONCE and not actually a lot lol.
 Or maybe they mistook you saying you're always moving forward and striving to get better as " complaining its not good enough".

 I've said things about my own work, usually; " It's not bad. I like this part, but this could be better". And some people have interpreted that into " Omg why do you hate all your own work?" .

 People can be odd that way lol.
Spudfuzz Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
They probably think they were trying to be nice but it still got under my skin because people who actually do the whole "haha my art sucks" in the description genuinely annoy me. Like if I say it's bad I will at least say why I think it is and nit pick flaws. I didn't really respond to them anyway because I know there's a change they didn't intend to come off that way, but I don't want to get into a debate and be perceived as someone who can't handle a critique.

" Omg why do you hate all your own work?" .

Eurgh I've had that too sometimes. I think my response to people saying that would be to ask them the same question. Do they genuinely like all their art 100%? If no, why? Then there's the answer. 
 I think it just boils down to not understanding the concept of perspectives. As I keep improving I'm going to keep holding myself to higher and higher standards because it's the only way I'll get anywhere.  What looks crap to me in my art might look great to them but I'm still not under any strange divine obligation from the pearly gates above to agree. :v
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