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Guide To Critiquing

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Guide To Critiquing 2011-05-20 13:52:42


When it comes to art, you always have to give artists critiques, right? Well, a lot of people are slipping on their manners when it comes to critiquing art, so here's my guide on how to critique art, and how NOT to make yourself appear hostile towards an artist. I am writing this guide, because it has everything to do with art, since the reviewer is looking at art at the time of following this guide.

STEP 1: You look at the art carefully, preferably while you're writing your critique, so that way you can go back and edit your critique when you spot something you missed. For example, go to my page and go to 'reviews'. Go down to 'art reviews' and look at my latest critique. I gave the user a 5 / 10 for good reason, and I listed exactly what was wrong with the picture, and how it can be fixed. However, while I was writing, I spotted a few nit picks here and there and edited accordingly.

STEP 2: Start out with the positive. Proper critique authors always start out with what they like about the picture. For example, in my review, I liked the central character of the piece, and made it evident to that end. Also, STEP 2 can apply throughout the entire critique, as your words of encouragement inspire the artist to improve on his or her work, if it is not of top quality. When your tone is positive throughout the critique, you seem approachable as a judge, and it makes the artist take the pain a little easier. The artist has feelings, too. You're not the only one that matters in the critique, and it's best you consider the artist's feelings as well.

STEP 2.5: Be friendly throughout your critique. Remember, you are talking to the artist in your review, so it is wise to be approachable and to use mild to no profanity (damn is pretty much the only acceptable curse word, AND it can only be used when describing positives, without coming across as making you, the reviewer look like a jerk) in your review, if you so wish to do a critique of an artist's work. Again, I cannot stress this enough that the artist's feelings are important as well as your own, but try not to let your anger get the best of you when reviewing. Unfortunately, I have fallen short on this a few times. Still, I try to be as positive as possible. You should do the same. Also, it is very important to JUDGE THE PIECE, NOT THE ARTIST! On the internet, you do not know anyone, and no one knows you, so instead of starting a flame war, try to judge the piece ONLY. Try to be as respectful as possible when reviewing.

STEP 3: Point out the negatives in a nice, friendly tone, as if you were giving someone advice in a less bitter manner. However, you can be completely honest with the artist. You can be blunt if you wish. For example, you could start like this:
"I like the fact that you tried to come up with something different, and not the norm. I can always appreciate originality. However, there are still some things that need to be fixed, and things that can really turn off the viewer. For example,..."
Honesty is ALWAYS the best policy. It does not matter how a person on the internet acts; we are not here to judge one another unfairly, you know.

STEP 4: After you're done with the negatives, come up with some words of advice. Encourage the artist to grow and develop his or her style. Use words of encouragement like, "You have potential.." or perhaps, "You can do better next time..." or the immaculate, "I really want to see how you grow as an artist, and look forward to seeing how you do next time." The third one is the real charmer, and gets the artist off of their ass and immediately into practice. Third phrase is the ultimate phrase of encouragement for an artist. They may spend days coming up with a new idea, or practicing and sketching, or maybe they're right in the middle of their next project and immediately apply new ideas to it, and using your advice to their advantage, IF AND ONLY IF YOU HAVE BEEN FRIENDLY THE ENTIRE TIME! I cannot stress enough how important it is to respect the artist's feelings and to encourage them. No growth will ever come out of being harsh or telling the artist to go die in a hole or saying things like "I bet you've never had a girlfriend before; your art probably turns them off. Why even bother?"

FINALLY, give scores fairly and reasonably. Unfair scores will only anger the artist, especially if they're like me and have been trying to become a more likable person.

I don't expect anyone to be friendly when they see this, but this is something that needs to be said, and it needs to be done. I hate seeing fellow artists being disrespected for personal grudges. NEVER let your feelings about someone get in the way of how feel about their work. That is a surefire way to start a flame war, which by the way is unacceptable.

Thank you for taking the time to read this guide.

Your friend,

HiryuGouki


SCREW THE SYSTEM!!! Play video games instead.My Official Art Thread! COMMENT ON IT!

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Response to Guide To Critiquing 2011-05-20 15:11:55


well this is an interesting guide line. And probably one people should take in to consideration. There is a flaw in the mission that this is a bit more of a sugar coated route. That fine and dandy and all, and to each their own, but some artist and pieces need a more heavy handed approach.

You mention honesty being the best policy, some times though, honesty isn't nice. I admit that sometimes simply calling a piece crap, regardless if it is or not, is not the best way review it. But sometimes all that means is we find a more creative way to label said piece as such.

I find my reviewing style to follow that of my former teachers. Focusing on hard hitting reviews. Yes, give praise where it is earned, but don't wimp out when the time comes to get rough.
Admittingly though, I have had my fan moments and just give out some random random words of "OMFG This Is Fucking Great" But we all have those days.


Whiskey | The Old | The New | Portal | updated sig thanks to gumby

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Response to Guide To Critiquing 2011-05-20 15:26:34


At 5/20/11 01:52 PM, HiryuGouki wrote: Go down to 'art reviews' and look at my latest critique.

I stopped reading after this line.


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Response to Guide To Critiquing 2011-05-20 15:43:39


At 5/20/11 03:26 PM, Kumakun4 wrote:
At 5/20/11 01:52 PM, HiryuGouki wrote: Go down to 'art reviews' and look at my latest critique.
I stopped reading after this line.

Because it certainly doesn't pertain to the point of the thread at all.

Response to Guide To Critiquing 2011-05-20 15:52:37


Critiquing isn't meant to be nice, it's supposed to be honest.
critiquing isn't what you like and don't like, it's too point out what's wrong and what's right, and how to improve what's wrong.
Whether or not someone decides to chuck in swears or even some insults to their critique is completely up to them, it makes them seem a lot less legit but ignoring those unnecessary additions, they are still probably in the right.

Response to Guide To Critiquing 2011-05-20 16:11:13


At 5/20/11 03:43 PM, WizMystery wrote: Because it certainly doesn't pertain to the point of the thread at all.

It doesn't, really.
All it tells me is "I know how to critique and you baboons should learn from me, look at my glorious reviews and be amazed."
Other than that, I agree with Vero.
How we critique is up to us. How it's interpreted is up to the artist.


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Response to Guide To Critiquing 2011-05-20 16:24:27


At 5/20/11 04:11 PM, Kumakun4 wrote: All it tells me is "I know how to critique and you baboons should learn from me, look at my glorious reviews and be amazed."

The fact that he made a 'guide to critiquing' is really what tells me that.

I agree that it is good practice to try and write down what is good with a piece before launching into a string of things that are wrong with it. It can hurt someone's motivation if all they hear is what's wrong with what they're doing.

Then again, it's not a reviewer's responsibility to mollycoddle an artist. It is not unreasonable to expect that an artist will be mature about receiving critique.


Aigis - Putting the 'ai' back in 'Aigis'.

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Response to Guide To Critiquing 2011-05-20 16:28:13


I think the original poster had good intentions, but the problem is that people that make terrible reviews aren't the kind of people that would take the time to read this thread or any thread similar to it. It's why we get pages and pages of threads with no starter images, and other rule infractions.

Response to Guide To Critiquing 2011-05-20 16:33:17


I looked at your latest work (cause you only ever come here when you want to complain about the users that don't even go to this forum) and again
they are still telling you EXACTLY what you need to do to improve
and you ignore them because you find what they say insulting.

Really, writing a guide to something THIS FORUM IS MEANT FOR is pretentious as shit. You have a problem with the random people who submit to the portal, we know how to critique here, if you want solid advice come here.

Response to Guide To Critiquing 2011-05-20 16:36:57


At 5/20/11 04:11 PM, Kumakun4 wrote: How we critique is up to us. How it's interpreted is up to the artist.

Not if you're looking to be helpful. The point of critique is much more than just to excercise your freedom, it's to actually aid the person in their improvement. This guy is trying to provide a guideline on how to achieve that, and you're striking him down for it. That is completely uncalled for.

And if you're not looking to be helpful in a critique, I'm sure nobody wants to hear it.

Response to Guide To Critiquing 2011-05-20 16:45:22


There should be a guide for how to receive crit. the number of times people have made asses of themselves after getting an honest opinion


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Response to Guide To Critiquing 2011-05-20 17:48:12


Better name for this thread is "How HiryuGouki wants to be critiqued, if he listened ot critique."


Who is the hunter?

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Response to Guide To Critiquing 2011-05-20 18:16:16


I've seen various "styles" of critique, and most of them can be useful. I think there is a good use for the caregiver critique, posted by someone looking to encourage the love and pursuit of arts in another, but there is also good use for the rip-them-to-shreds-no-sugarcoating-it critique. I don't see any purpose in the namecalling and insults some people think pass as good critique. Idiot one-liners don't do anything for anyone except make the whole place a little more negative.

The biggest thing with critique is it should never be viewed as an all-inclusive mentality about any art. There's 50 different ways to look at any given piece of art, and one specific critique is only one of them. Critique is good for feedback from peers, to let the artist know how it's being taken. It should never be used a measurement of what it is worth, though, because no amount of compliments or constructive criticism will ever change that. It's worth whatever it's worth in the eyes of whoever's looking at it. Critique is for the artist to use as reference points on how well it expresses to its audience and should be used as a learning tool, not an ego tool or a tool to try to make someone else feel bad. I don't think it is the responsibility of an audience to lay the compliments on unnaturally or be extra nice just to spare an emo kid his or her feelings. We aren't your mother.

And no one should ever need a guide on critiquing. I think it's a nice concept and the OP seems to be well-intended, to me it looks like someone just trying to help the community be more positive, but there should never be a set system of steps for critiquing. Just let it flow out, just like with art, say what you mean and how you feel, a mature artist will recognize it as merely opinion from one audience member and use it as a tool to get better.

Response to Guide To Critiquing 2011-05-20 21:46:32


At 5/20/11 01:52 PM, HiryuGouki wrote: When it comes to art, you always have to give artists critiques, right? Well, a lot of people are slipping on their manners when it comes to critiquing art, so here's my guide on how to critique art, and how NOT to make yourself appear hostile towards an artist

do as i say not do as i do then

Response to Guide To Critiquing 2011-05-20 21:51:19


If a person doesn't like how they are being critiqued by a community then maybe that person wont benefit from that community. This forum has always had its unique and brash character. People come here for that blunt, in-you-face, honest opinion.

It doesn't suit everyone, but it seems to suite the frequent users just fine.


Who are you?

My art thread.

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Response to Guide To Critiquing 2011-05-20 22:05:31


At 5/20/11 09:51 PM, raveninskyprime wrote: If a person doesn't like how they are being critiqued by a community then maybe that person wont benefit from that community. This forum has always had its unique and brash character. People come here for that blunt, in-you-face, honest opinion.

It doesn't suit everyone, but it seems to suite the frequent users just fine.

Do you mean blunt or just honest? Very few critiques I've encountered around here have that blunt tone.

Response to Guide To Critiquing 2011-05-20 22:09:48


At 5/20/11 10:05 PM, WizMystery wrote:
At 5/20/11 09:51 PM, raveninskyprime wrote: If a person doesn't like how they are being critiqued by a community then maybe that person wont benefit from that community. This forum has always had its unique and brash character. People come here for that blunt, in-you-face, honest opinion.

It doesn't suit everyone, but it seems to suite the frequent users just fine.
Do you mean blunt or just honest? Very few critiques I've encountered around here have that blunt tone.

Pardon... It's been a few years since I've been here, so I don't necessarily know the current climate. That said, my experiences have been blunt AND honest. Just check my art thread that I recently updated for a taste of what I mean.


Who are you?

My art thread.

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Response to Guide To Critiquing 2011-05-20 22:21:37


At 5/20/11 10:09 PM, raveninskyprime wrote: Pardon... It's been a few years since I've been here, so I don't necessarily know the current climate. That said, my experiences have been blunt AND honest. Just check my art thread that I recently updated for a taste of what I mean.

I don't really see blunt in there at all. To me, at least, blunt is a bit more brutal, IE when a critique starts of with "I'm going to be honest... it's shit," and then goes into detail why. Most of those reviews just seem like reviews I've found everywhere else and are even on the nicer side of things.

If that's really what blunt is, though, then reviews here still fall under the anti-hostility that the OP is trying to encourage. It's those useless one-liner insults (which are not critiques in the least) that this guy is trying to prevent.

Response to Guide To Critiquing 2011-05-20 22:35:00


At 5/20/11 10:21 PM, WizMystery wrote: some stuff

im going to be honest, i think your talking about the art PORTAL more than the forums, the portal is covered in people who either would rather sugarcoat the truth to avoid hurting someones feelings, or they dont know a thing about art so cant give an honest critique, here in the forum on the other hand, if theres any problems we can see, well damn right tell you about em, whether you like it or not

Response to Guide To Critiquing 2011-05-20 22:39:35


At 5/20/11 10:35 PM, Ashman wrote:
At 5/20/11 10:21 PM, WizMystery wrote: some stuff
im going to be honest, i think your talking about the art PORTAL more than the forums, the portal is covered in people who either would rather sugarcoat the truth to avoid hurting someones feelings, or they dont know a thing about art so cant give an honest critique, here in the forum on the other hand, if theres any problems we can see, well damn right tell you about em, whether you like it or not

No, I looked at his art thread and see nothing resembling blunt. Art portal reviewers are actually more blunt when they dislike a piece, just jumping to "It's shit" and leaving it at that.

Response to Guide To Critiquing 2011-05-20 22:51:12


At 5/20/11 10:39 PM, WizMystery wrote: No, I looked at his art thread and see nothing resembling blunt. Art portal reviewers are actually more blunt when they dislike a piece, just jumping to "It's shit" and leaving it at that.

thats not a critique, thats either trolling, or a useless comment, both of which arent constructive

Response to Guide To Critiquing 2011-05-20 22:51:42


There's a difference between being blunt and not explaining your reasoning.
Being blunt is being honest and constructive, getting straight to the fat of the critique without all the "it's okay but" "nice idea but" nonsense.

It's shit isn't blunt, it's hardly even a review.

Response to Guide To Critiquing 2011-05-20 22:58:41


At 5/20/11 10:51 PM, Ashman wrote: thats not a critique, thats either trolling, or a useless comment, both of which arent constructive

But it's still more blunt.

Response to Guide To Critiquing 2011-05-20 23:07:02


Pretty much been said before but its always nice to give people a reminder.

Response to Guide To Critiquing 2011-05-20 23:14:24


I've had my critiques called blunt, harsh, and downright insulting by other critiquers, but never the artist. If an artist doesn't want to listen to every kind of critique that's going to be rammed in his/her face, then they're better off simply stating that they don't want critique.

It saves everyone a lot of time. I refuse to sugar-coat my reviews just to save the artist a little wincing at how much they've screwed up. Hell, it's not hard to see that I get little enough of it myself, despite screwing up as much as the next artist.

Response to Guide To Critiquing 2011-05-20 23:28:41


I do tend to sugarcoat my critiques a little bit, but that's because I strongly dislike being unpleasant towards others. That said, I believe full well that my critiques are effective regardless of that. You can point out negatives without flat out saying "you suck", and still certainly get the point across. Let's face it: nobody enjoys too much negativity, and in massive amounts a critique just becomes less and less useful; too much negativity and a critique ends up becoming "flame", even if the points made are valid. If you can, I think it can really do a lot for you to add at least a little bit of positivity.

As far as being on the receiving end of reviews, I'll go out and say that I really hate praise. Reviews need substance, and if they don't have even a little bit of that then they're a waste of time.


My Art Thread.

Eeureka! With an exclamation point!

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Response to Guide To Critiquing 2011-05-20 23:45:48


Of course, it's supposed to be honest. And if there's nothing you like about the piece, just ignore step 2, but give some words of encouragement at the very least.


SCREW THE SYSTEM!!! Play video games instead.My Official Art Thread! COMMENT ON IT!

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Response to Guide To Critiquing 2011-05-20 23:47:47


I looked at your latest work (cause you only ever come here when you want to complain about the users that don't even go to this forum) and again
they are still telling you EXACTLY what you need to do to improve
and you ignore them because you find what they say insulting.

Agreed, but what makes me ignore them is the fact that they're being hostile and attacking me for no reason.


SCREW THE SYSTEM!!! Play video games instead.My Official Art Thread! COMMENT ON IT!

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Response to Guide To Critiquing 2011-05-21 00:52:24


At 5/20/11 11:47 PM, HiryuGouki wrote: Agreed, but what makes me ignore them is the fact that they're being hostile and attacking me for no reason.

It's going to be the same in the industry, you know.
Your employers definitely won't hesitate to tell you when you're work is shit and to redo it. They're signing your paycheck, after all.
You're going to have to learn to sift through the insults to find the criticism you so crave, and ignore the rest.
What isn't helping your case is the fact that you keep acknowledging and replying to the people who leave bad reviews, often going so far as to start arguments with most of them, arguments which escalate into ridiculous flamefests.
Before actually replying to a negative review next time, take a deep breath and ask yourself if it's really worth the trouble...? Instead of wasting your time thinking you're hot shit, why don't you keep drawing and showing them that you're willing to improve?
Right now, I just get the feeling you think you're hot shit, so I honestly don't feel sorry for you in the least.
Fix your attitude, learn to keep your temper in check, and the road will be that much smoother.


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Response to Guide To Critiquing 2011-05-21 01:15:39


Apparently this is all coming from someone who uses the review system as his own personal revenge tool.


Aigis - Putting the 'ai' back in 'Aigis'.

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