A critique on critiques?

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A critique on critiques?

Postby Aragah » Sat Jul 04, 2015 8:55 pm

Ive been very active here on the forum on the last month or two and i cant help to feel that something is missing.
I know that this isnt what CA.org used to be in all its glory, but i think we are a bit too soft.

I keep seeing everywhere sketchbook with 3, 4 or even 5 posts from the author in a row with absolutely no feedback, and when someone does comment is just like "hey thats cool" with no critique or any helpful constructive commentary.
I know that being harsh and mean isnt something most people want to do, but maybe a "hey maybe check out this tutorial it could help you out" is more than enough. you dont need to destroy someones work, just a simple "hey your anatomy is great, but you keep drawing hands too small"

I read an interview the other day with one of my favorite artists, Jeremy Enecio
http://supersonicart.com/post/200739980 ... emy-enecio
and what really caught my attention was the mention of an old, now inactive art forum where he mentions the general mood of the place was
“Keep up, be good or fuck off”
and its somewhat what i felt that the mood of conceptart.org used to be.
Now, i dont think that being good is a requirement to be here, but think this community could benefit a bit more from not trying to be so nice to everyone, and instead focus that energy on saying things that are helpful to others.
I think this community could really benefit from a harsh and strict work ethic.

I want the mood of this place to be something like "Work hard, keep up or fuck off"

I like forums because it isnt facebook. no one here is chasing after likes and shares, no "fans" are over here, only artists. We can focus on getting good, giving feedback and nothing else. you get to experience others growing artistically, be inspired and make friendships.
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Re: A critique on critiques?

Postby MateusRoberts » Sat Jul 04, 2015 11:07 pm

Totally agree. Sometimes when I'm writing a critique I tend to come up with some compliments just to fluff the critique a bit, because I don't wanna be known as a jerk here. But I think that's actually a bit harmful, after you read a critique of your work it's best if you get that little sting of "I need to improve a lot then!" instead of "well, X is kinda bad, but he said that Y and Z are great so it's alright." I can't speak for others but I love it when people absolutely demolish my work, even if it's not very pleasant it would be beneficial to everybody if that happened more often here.
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Re: A critique on critiques?

Postby Aragah » Sun Jul 05, 2015 7:40 am

Good to know im not the only one.
though i do not mind fluffing the critique a bit(not everyone can take it) just as long as there is an actually critique somewhere on the comment.
we gotta get a little more energy going on this place
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Re: A critique on critiques?

Postby squasar » Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:32 pm

Spot on.let's push it.
I remember that what sort of made me quit CA was the attitude of "I don't really care about anyone's art other than mine" (which got me too oc) and the people who just spammed "cool!/nice work!/nice colors/awesome finger on that character in the background!" so that people would go check their sb out.
like fuck that,what's even the point of being on the forums...(eventually people moved onto Facebook,where a like is equal to a blowjob,i think)
Like Mateus mentioned ,I think it's nice to tell people what they are doing right... before you deploy chaos and destruction. Joel called it a "poop-sandwich". Because basically you tell people something nice,then something that they are terrible at/are failing at and then another compliment or incentive to top it of. I think it's good and it's what I have been doing.But I do agree that we should go ape mode.Personally I can take whatever.It's sort of like a shoe,if the crit fits than just fucking put it on,if you don't think so ,just move on.
Art is hard ,and you are going to cry,we might as well cry all together. :3

thanks for the post amatow-chan <3
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Re: A critique on critiques?

Postby Sophie_Draws » Sun Jul 05, 2015 3:08 pm

I think this is a really good point. Brutal critique can be a much needed kick. I'm personally all for them. Nothing wrong with a crit that initially makes me want to throw my tablet out of the window! Haha. I think that if you seriously want to get better they will be beneficial.
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Re: A critique on critiques?

Postby Imbalantus » Mon Jul 06, 2015 4:47 am

I'm not a huge fan of „brutal“ critiques. I like „constructive“ critiques.


But my other point is this. There are two big problems:

1) A huge problem is that often even constructive critiques tend to be too general. For example: „hey maybe you should work more on colour, work more on anatomy, line quality could be better, etc“

2) The other one is that to write a useful critique that goes into the nitty-gritty it usually does take some effort and time, and you don't even know if it's worth it at all, you don't know if the student cares and listens, cos nowadays it's good manner to say "hey plz critique me", nobody is going to post here and say "just look at it, say wow you're awesome, and don't say anything bad, kthxbye." And the guy who is „teaching“ doesn't get enough out of it to justify the time spent.


The solution to those two problems could be: PAINTOVERS! Lots of them.

Because you can't get more specific that with paintovers, it's as nitty-gritty as it gets, and the student immediately understands what he did wrong and how to fix it. And the other thing is that the paintover is in itself already justification for the time spent, because you're actually using the „teaching“ time as a time where you paint and draw, and not just type on a keyboard, you're guaranteed to get something out of your effort.
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Re: A critique on critiques?

Postby Sypheck » Mon Jul 06, 2015 7:23 am

As someone from a design background I'm already used to harsh critique, like people just destroying your work and telling you just how garbage it is and why it wouldn't be marketable. It clearly isn't for everyone and often when I post here I usually have to hold back as a lot of people here don't draw with the intent of being a professional, they just do it for fun and I think that's something important to consider. I personally prefer brutal critqiue but that's also because it isn't discouraging for me, at least not when it's coming from other people. I have the personality type that just wants to keep giong until I get it right without mistakes. This isn't an entirely good thing though as in art you HAVE TO tolerate mistakes as they are inevitable with every piece, which for me can lead to an extremely frustrating experience. It doesn't hurt to thumb through someone's sketchbook just to figure out what their goals and/or personality are like and tailor your critique to them. Obviously anyone aiming to make a living off their art should get used to having their work taken apart.

Personally I'm more of a proponent of the critique sandwich mentioned earlier where you tell them what they did right and what they did wrong and how they could fix it. It enlightens you on what's wrong without being discouraging. As Imbalantus touched on though an in-depth critique does take time to do and when I post one (usually when I'm at work) it takes up my entire break period as I try to make it as constructive as possible with some direction in mind instead of just vaguely pointing out what's wrong with it like "your hands need more work". Like, sure, one can acknowledge that but what exactly is wrong? are the proportions off? is the gesture wrong or not descriptive enough? poor line economy? When I see someone serious about their work I try to be as descriptive as possible. It gets harder though when there is a huge gap in skill and I can't easily tell what's wrong anymore because their abilities are far beyond mine, in which case I'd rather not say anything lest I come across as some pretentious douche giving "critique" just for the sake of it when I really have no idea what can be improved on.
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Re: A critique on critiques?

Postby Enydimon » Mon Jul 06, 2015 11:15 pm

I'm with Imbalantus on this one, but I also have a few other thoughts.

There are some reasons why the climate here is the way that it is and part of it has nothing to do with whether critiques are brutal enough or not. I touched upon this when I commented on your sketchbook, but this is a very small community full of people with varying skills and ambitions. Not every person is capable of critiquing everyone that they come into contact with because they might simply lack the knowledge or the time. It's not uncommon for me to skip entire pages of someone's sketchbook because after a certain point it's just too much text and images to go through to make sure I'm not saying something someone else hasn't already said. And I know people have done the same for me. It's, understandably, free time that you have to give up willingly.

Our community is a total of 1405 members at the time of me writing this post. That's incredibly small and I know for certain that a lot(probably the majority) of those members don't post regularly or they posted for a little while upon launch of the forum and then left. Keep in mind that on CA.org had/has a massive population and if you were starting out, you had to participate in other threads in order for people to get interested in your SB, otherwise you had to hope that someone had the time to click on all the new sketchbook threads they saw or that you had a really eye grabbing thumbnail.

That's just a fact of not just social media, but forums in general. You still have to network. It'd be nice if we all got equal attention every single time we posted, but I know it's not feasible for everyone. If I'm not getting a lot of responses, I know it's probably because I need to go around and give other people critiques or directly ask someone for feedback. I do give critiques because I enjoy helping people but obviously it has a positive effect in generating enough hits on your sketchbook that the likelihood that someone will comment will go up. Not so different from facebook, just a differently desired outcome.

That said, I don't have a problem with a call for more critiques. I mean, I guess I already implied that the way for those who feel they lack critiques is to simply go around critiquing others themselves. But the limitations of the population will always get in the way so long as we continue the trend. Looking at the sketchbook section now, there are threads that are days apart. Not considerably, but enough that for the last little while my impression is that this forum is full of people who only update periodically and the regulars that are just a small handful. Permanoobs needs to grow and it hasn't been. There's not enough depth in the population to get critiques everyone needs.

As far as brutal critiques goes, I feel like this just depends on what your personal definition of it is. I'm capable of giving someone a critique without saying what I like about their work and not brutalizing them at the same time. However, maybe other people feel that pointing out errors at all is their definition of brutal, which is fair enough. These days if I 'sandwich' it's because I want to appreciate, not to soften a blow. And that has more to do with me than it does the other person. I just feel like we have more than two options in regards to how we handle critique.
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Re: A critique on critiques?

Postby Thewalkingbar » Tue Jul 07, 2015 5:44 pm

Ок! I'll try to critique/help/overpainting as much as possible from now on.As for your sketchbook, I think the reason for most of the people to not critique you is that they just don't have anything to crit. You're doing your own thing and you're doing it well. There's just not much to crit.

Imbalantus - spot on.
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Re: A critique on critiques?

Postby Aotix » Wed Jul 08, 2015 7:24 am

I frequently roam around critique center in CA in search of low response threads that needs help since I've joined CA. From what I can see, most of the time, people are willing to put in effort to improve them selves and their specific painting. Regardless whether it's a hobby or profession. There's a lot of comparison referencing to CA but really, it's all the same, bunch of artist coming together to discuss art and their own progress. Nothing more, nothing less.

You might as well go the extra mile, I can see a lot of users here benefiting from a critique center-ish thing. No critique is perfect or ideal, just the reassurance of people seeing your work and making the extra effort to help you improve is enough of a merit on its own.
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Re: A critique on critiques?

Postby Enydimon » Wed Jul 08, 2015 8:33 am

I largely agree with a critique center. Whenever I needed a piece to be critiqued and didn't want to chance it being ignored I would put it in the critique center.

Sketchbooks are great for tracking progress and getting an overview of the strengths and weaknesses, but sometimes you just need more immediate help with a certain piece. We've had people ask for crits and paintovers in the questions, help & explanations section but I don't think it's been super successful. If there were a section dedicated to critiques themselves it might make things a lot more focused and maybe people would be more likely to respond.
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Re: A critique on critiques?

Postby Inkem » Wed Jul 08, 2015 1:11 pm

Wow only 1405 users? With some inactive, it really is a tight knit group. I'll def try to be more helpful from now on but sometimes I find some people need the extra encouragement. I also don't think I'm qualified to give advice most of the time :p. Also if not enough proffesionals (many are understandably busy) frequent the forum it may be harder to get crits on a pretty advanced sketchbook e.g. Aragah's sketchbook. Some people only do it as a hobby, although I assume most people on permanoobs are a bit more hardcore than someone on CA or Deviantart. I'll agree if we can get a critique center going that'd be helpful, so we can get help on certain peices.
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Re: A critique on critiques?

Postby chazillah » Wed Jul 08, 2015 7:01 pm

Enydimon wrote:But the limitations of the population will always get in the way so long as we continue the trend. Looking at the sketchbook section now, there are threads that are days apart. Not considerably, but enough that for the last little while my impression is that this forum is full of people who only update periodically and the regulars that are just a small handful. Permanoobs needs to grow and it hasn't been. There's not enough depth in the population to get critiques everyone needs.



i understand where you're coming from.
permanoobs isn't the massive CA community or the ridiculously large facebook communities, this is true. and we can't compete with these giants, no one here has expectations that this is going to become a community of 50k. also, forums are getting outdated, and facebook is taking over...so we'll probably continue to be small.. except for the handful of us that enjoy the minimalism

however, i don't think it's an excuse to be lacking in the critical thinking department. no, we don't have big-name artists on here to rip us apart with crit...buuut we do have our own brains, and i think the fact that we're small shouldn't hinder us from developing a critical mindset towards our art and others.

so, i believe we can change the mindset if enough of us are aware of it. maybe we can have a sticky post in the sketchbook forum?

agreed on critique center. we will look into it!
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Re: A critique on critiques?

Postby Enydimon » Wed Jul 08, 2015 9:44 pm

To clarify, I don't think it's an excuse either, just that it explains some of the problems. We're always going to have limitations and we just have to work around that. Even CA.org had issues where some pros would post there, not receive enough critique because there weren't enough people on their level, and then leave. Or they'd be too busy to post frequently enough to help. If it happens to big name forums, then we're gonna have to accept that issue here might be a bit bigger.

I'll take back my comment about permanoobs needing to grow in order to get better critique because there are benefits to a smaller community. A bigger population would create more depth for sure, but we have more control right now over the direction of the community as it is now. Growth would be nice and I'd still like to see it happen, but we really just need to act more like a community instead of a place where people dump their art and then log out. Which I know saying that is redundant at this point but you know...

I also apologize if my first post was a bit tangenty and rambly, but I just care a lot, haha. I'd rather not see this place die out as just a passing fad.
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Re: A critique on critiques?

Postby Olea » Wed Jul 08, 2015 11:47 pm

Hello everyone :) I am new here, but I am already seeing benefits of being part of Permanoobs. Thank you for this thread.

I'll be honest I have been worrying about not receiving the same consideration back even if I spend plenty of time commenting-critiquing. BUT I will try to give critiques and share knowledge, because I want to learn alongside everyone too.
Will try to invest time for critiques several times a week, and for members who took the time to partipate in this thread. Thanks!
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Re: A critique on critiques?

Postby caseylarae » Thu Jul 09, 2015 10:26 am

Honestly, I think it's great that we're a small community. It takes away that feeling of being a teeny fish in a giant ocean of people who have no reason to care about your work. The small, tight knit community is a perfect environment for in-depth critique! I kind of assume that everybody is here because we all care enough to take the time to post in such a small place, and take the time to actually connect with other people.

Also agreeing with constructive critique being the priority, breaking each other down can be more harmful to artistic growth than it is helpful. One good way to critique is to say "abc is great in your work, but you could improve xyz in the future". The appreciation element keeps the critique positive, but also allows room for real, constructive feedback. Nothing wrong with complimenting and appreciating each other's work while critiquing! :)
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Re: A critique on critiques?

Postby Lodratio » Sat Jul 11, 2015 7:19 am

Enydimon wrote:we really just need to act more like a community instead of a place where people dump their art and then log out.

This. A thousand times this. A big part of the reason why I stopped posting here after a while was that everyone just seemed to hole up in their sketchbook thread and there wasn't a whole lot of meaningful interaction going on.

This conversation sums up a lot of things that I've been thinking about lately.
It seems that back when art forums were still a novelty a lot of people didn't even think to use the internet to promote themselves. They joined a forum to interact with people who shared their interests and to talk about things they were passionate about. Back then CA had huge art contests, collaborations and other community activities, because people wanted to interact with each other.
This changed when Social Networking started becoming more of a thing. People realized that if they went about it in the right way they could make the internet about themselves, that they could become successful just by faking sincere interaction and telling people what they wanted to hear in order to create an audience for their work. As far as I can tell this shift from 'taking interest in, and wanting to interact with others' to 'wanting others to be interested in oneself', has been the driving force behind the direction big art communities like CA have taken over the last couple years, and the reason for the decline of forums and the rise of sites like tumblr, instagram and reddit.

If this community could actually manage to overcome those problems and become in spirit what old CA used to be, I think a lot of people who are fed up with what the internet has become would want to be a part of it.
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Re: A critique on critiques?

Postby Joelhladky. » Sat Jul 11, 2015 2:06 pm

I second Lodratio's points and everything Imbalantus has said.

Some observations, and also some experience I'd like to offer since I was a member of CA during it's glory days before manely lost his mind and sunk the ship with his greed.

The pro and amateur interaction on the old CA was incredible and I genuinely doubt it will ever happen again now that pro's can get peoples money for commenting on their work via mentorship programs and gumroads. Unless a unique body of selflessly minded individuals see fit to consistently invest in a community like this I don't see it happening.

Did this pro interaction make CA special... in a way yes, but does that mean we can't make permanoobs special? no, it'd just be a different kind of special.

Are solid crits a part of this special? I'd say so, not all of it, but definitely a prime player.

Here's the thing I don't think people understand with crits, they are as much a help to the person giving them as they are the person getting them. I think I'll go into more depth on my personal feedback philosophies in the crit forum.

Anyhow, I think this was a great conversation! things happened! good stuff.
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Re: A critique on critiques?

Postby Enydimon » Sat Jul 11, 2015 6:16 pm

I don't necessarily think we need pros, though. While CA.org did have more pro interaction back in the day and it was great, I always felt the beginners and intermediates drove a lot of the community forward. Remember when Crimson Daggers was formed? Dave was an intermediate artist who worked hard and barely had his foot in the door of the industry when he started that project. And obviously that project was successful not just for him, but for the people who were starting to get angry with CA.org at the end of 2009. He was becoming a 'pro' but he was learning with everyone at the same time.

Depth in population can simply mean more intermediates and even beginners who bring in different experiences and knowledge. In fact, that's exactly how it happens in sports. When a sport is new it lacks depth in athletes because it's underdeveloped. As popularity grows it becomes harder and harder to reach the top spot because the knowledge and pool of players has increased which makes the intermediates a larger number.

Obviously this is not a 1:1 analogy, but my point was not that we need more pros specifically, just more community interaction in general. Just to be clear. It would be nice to have some more veterans kicking about, but even having them around doesn't mean we are guaranteed that someone has the answer or the solution for someone's work. That doesn't mean we shouldn't have a call for critique, it's a step in the right direction for sure.

Joelhladky. wrote:Here's the thing I don't think people understand with crits, they are as much a help to the person giving them as they are the person getting them. I think I'll go into more depth on my personal feedback philosophies in the crit forum.

I agree 110%. There have been plenty of times where I've seen something off in someone's work and analyzed and researched until I figured out what was off about it. Critique is a great exercise in critical thinking.
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Re: A critique on critiques?

Postby yams4ever » Sun Jul 12, 2015 10:59 am

Lodratio wrote:
Enydimon wrote:we really just need to act more like a community instead of a place where people dump their art and then log out.

This. A thousand times this. A big part of the reason why I stopped posting here after a while was that everyone just seemed to hole up in their sketchbook thread and there wasn't a whole lot of meaningful interaction going on.

This conversation sums up a lot of things that I've been thinking about lately.
It seems that back when art forums were still a novelty a lot of people didn't even think to use the internet to promote themselves. They joined a forum to interact with people who shared their interests and to talk about things they were passionate about. Back then CA had huge art contests, collaborations and other community activities, because people wanted to interact with each other.
This changed when Social Networking started becoming more of a thing. People realized that if they went about it in the right way they could make the internet about themselves, that they could become successful just by faking sincere interaction and telling people what they wanted to hear in order to create an audience for their work. As far as I can tell this shift from 'taking interest in, and wanting to interact with others' to 'wanting others to be interested in oneself', has been the driving force behind the direction big art communities like CA have taken over the last couple years, and the reason for the decline of forums and the rise of sites like tumblr, instagram and reddit.

If this community could actually manage to overcome those problems and become in spirit what old CA used to be, I think a lot of people who are fed up with what the internet has become would want to be a part of it.


I got that promotion feeling too. Even when it doesn't seem warranted, and the purpose of a forum or large room where you publicly work isn't solely to drop off things and then leave without communicating. Otherwise you could work in a place without others (not post and work on your own,,,as we already do). Cghub forum was like that too in that people would post, and not interact with the other threads. Crimson daggers became like that as well for the time I was there. I never used CA.

I learn a lot from the critique (giving or receiving), but everyone here has different art goals/relationships and different lifestyles so how often they post will fluctuate. I do other art based practices outside of drawing and painting (which is mostly what this forum is), and so my posts and time reflect my practice (sometimes). Even then, I'm still trying to figure myself out, what I want (from this, from life) and what I can feasibly learn simultaneously (in this, in other subjects art and non art related). Additionally, there could be feelings that they are not adequate to be critiquing (poor understanding of concept or it does not show in their work) or that, they can study and improve on their own, why should they help random people who they don't know to get as good as them (from a competitive standpoint), for the sole reason of having a common activity.
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Re: A critique on critiques?

Postby Luna » Tue Jul 14, 2015 12:21 am

Aragah said it I felt similar too

I think this community could really benefit from a harsh and strict work ethic.
I want the mood of this place to be something like "Work hard, keep up or fuck off"
I like forums because it isnt facebook. no one here is chasing after likes and shares, no "fans" are over here, only artists. We can focus on getting good, giving feedback and nothing else. you get to experience others growing artistically, be inspired and make friendships.


I inspired by these words. I have thinking a bit of the meaning behind it.

I guess first is about the courage, even as a person to critique the other artist learns from it but might have some mistakes.
Then build up the critique feeling also needs to have sharp eyes to see the problems --> For example, a year ago I see many sketchbooks that only feels good nothing else. But after few months study, I start to see something can be improved etc. I think it will keep going like this, critique and help other artwork can help, but takes time.

Imbalantus wrote:......I like „constructive“ critiques.
But my other point is this. There are two big problems:
.............
The solution to those two problems could be: PAINTOVERS! Lots of them.......

I think Imbalantus got something that I Totally agree!!!

There is something that I wanna to say based on my own experience before:

1. We have a good place to be true equal with each other, no one laugh at other because she/he is not as good yet (this is so important, i don't know how to explain but I felt by few places so)--> when I paintover before sometimes I felt my art skill was not good enough to do it, if I let this better artist to see I paintover he/she might be not happy. --> But now I think with the feeling that we are respect each other and have the real equal feeling, even the worse skill artist sometimes can get maybe a good point for this overpaint! So for myself, I shall start to try to do it more and don't worry too much about the "upset" that even not exist. ^_^

2. Get time to do overpaint --> I got a job since 2 months ago, and now I finally found out that...... I worked around 12 hours each day an... my brain wasn't working for a while, the health went down and start like crying, my kind workmates finally made me understand something...
I guess some of you might be same as me, so we gave up to put more love for our own society, and the things we have taken are like the black whole in the Universe that too strong to stop sucking...... I think it's really important to be together to improve and put time in and working for the things that we loved and the people we love.
I know it can be a big problem that when I see I have "no time", this problem needs to be balanced and solved. Otherwise the full "non-stop" working can skill the sprites and the chance to keep improving!

>v< Hope I am not out of topic..... meow~
I will try and learn to be more brave to do overpaints even just couple of idea points are what I believe can be "better"! @v@
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Re: A critique on critiques?

Postby Tobes » Wed Jul 15, 2015 5:52 am

hey awesome, we have a critique section on the forums now! It does still rely on users communicating though. It's something I noticed a while back that guys who were using the permanoobs hangout were really helping each other out in their sketchbooks. I think its a good idea to try and connect as a group of people rather than individuals. A group critique on a individuals work is waay more constructive. That can also begin as a thread on the forum too, but when you connect through something like google hangouts or skype, the communication is instant. you're not waiting weeks, sometimes for a crit response. I'd totally encourage more group critiquing on hangouts. Like regular times, daily even. All this requires people to moderate and actually engage in the community though. A smaller clique would probably benefit from something like this...
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Re: A critique on critiques?

Postby Vielmond » Tue Jul 21, 2015 5:32 am

I'm a little late to the party. Cheers!

My two cents on critique: Compliments have place in critique. Really!

Now we have this critique section and "shit sandwich" recommendation. I followed the link where the idea came from because the concept was oddly familiar—though not by this name hah—and realized it was a writer's advice. This approach is the same done in writing groups; and the reason is just not because you want to placate the person receiving the critique, it's because it's damn useful to learn you're doing right. A creator often can spot the mistakes, but what is working, why is it working? No, the good points hardly jump and slap your face like the mistakes.

For me a good critique is more specific about the good points. It's not just "it's amazing", it's something like "Oh, I love the face from your post #XYZ. You're working your planes very well, that subtle complexity gives an extra depth to your characters." This sort of critique informs to the creator the stronger points, and those points, when worked, can become a hook in your work, that extra detail which mesmerizes the viewer. You learn to be more effective. Hearing this sort of critique helped me a lot in the past, it made me improve not only because I enjoyed using those details, but because I knew it was working, it prompted the reaction I was after. I was doing something right and it was worth investing in it.

The more "negative" part of the critique is more complicated. We have some defaults when it comes to saying it and hearing it as well which aren't the ideal.

I find it frustrating how some critiques are aimed at style without the critic realizing it, and it's amusing, because I'm all for not having a style and not using it as an excuse. It's important to focus the critique on the fundamentals, to not intrude on style (or the lack of); and if you feel the style is being detrimental to the work, explain what is not working. "Rendering X thing in Y way is flattening it. It makes the artwork seem unbalanced, because Z area is perfectly rendered, and the transition is too steep." Don't do "paint hair X way, because I love hair painted X way", seriously, don't.

And we should learn how to take critique too. It's something I still struggle with, hah. Even if you way past the point of taking it as personal or not, it's hard to understand the critique is the critic's personal reaction to your work. It might be subjective, it might be still strongly affected by personal tastes, and sometimes the suggestions might not align with what you're attempting to achieve. Sometimes they'll point you in the right direction but suggest something which isn't the best solution. They see the symptoms, but might not be able to point the cause, just close enough. It's okay to not follow advice to the letter, do your own take, and sometimes not follow it at all. I find it hard to learn how discern what will be helpful and what won't be, and not feel guilty in not using what won't be useful. Understanding it's still a reaction has been helping me to process the critiques better; I believe it's worth mentioning it in critiques guidelines.
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Re: A critique on critiques?

Postby Enydimon » Tue Jul 21, 2015 10:03 am

I agree with you 100%, Vielmond. Knowing what you're doing right can be just as useful and gives a lot of clarity.

If like 5 people come into my sketchbook and comment on the same weakness frequently or back to back(which hilariously did happen), I can affirm it's a big enough problem that I should give this attention. Likewise if several people compliment me on the same thing, I now know that I probably have a strength that can take a bit of a backseat when I want to focus on greater weaknesses in my art. In both cases those people could still be wrong for any given reason, but it's all good feedback.
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Re: A critique on critiques?

Postby Lodratio » Tue Jul 21, 2015 1:43 pm

Yeah, positive criticism can be super useful for giving you a better idea of what people like about your art. When you look at the art that people who aren't artists find beautiful, it often isn't all that technically impressive. The kind of perfection that we work so hard to achieve isn't what they look for in art, so I guess the lesson here might be that we shouldn't focus too much on getting things to look correct. It's just as important to make them appealing.

I find that it's much more difficult to see what makes someones work appealing than it is to spot mistakes though, which makes it difficult to write a positive comment that isn't vague or off-topic.
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Re: A critique on critiques?

Postby Nowio » Sat Jul 25, 2015 4:05 pm

This thread right here is what we need! Make everyone aware and then start posting and critiquing and sharing the love! :D

But before I say what I think let's get back to what you've said guys ;3

@Aragah Though I understand what you mean I wouldn't say we need to be this harsh. istdead of "Work hard, keep up or fuck off" we should be more like "Work hard, keep up and ispire others!" No need to push the newer scribblers, instead challenge them to post more!

@Mateus Haha I get that, still know this from my time when I lurked on ca! And I think we need a couple hard critters ;) I mean this is a character and if you make yourself known for giving direct/harsh critiques then people who like that sort of critiques will listen to your crits. People who not won't listen but at least others will see that you're active.

@Imbalatus AGREE 127%!!! PAINTOVER FTW!!!

@Syphek There is nothing wrong with the poop sandwich though I prefer direct critique. And to your last point about not using crits on higher lvl scriblers... DO THEM!!! Even when you can't say much about WHAT is wrong you making it know that there IS something wrong. The Scribbler in question might not see that or be unsure about it. And then he might see what you don't see and work on it. As Luna said later were all equall here, so no worries :3

@Enydimon A small number in members is not a bad thing but I see what you mean. I think what might bring the activity here back to live is a core group of "champions". Not necessary pros but peeps that post regulary and often and keep improving. That way inspiring others to be more active! I will touch on that in a bit more :)

@Bar DO EEEET!!!! If there is not much to crit then create what others can crit... go then to their threads and ask to visit yours and crit! ;)

@Aotix CA is still around?! I mean the people are really coping with all the bugs and the "Manleyism" ?! o.O :O

@Inkem Everyone is qualified to write some gibberish! Or at least say hi and ask what the person had to eat before start drawing :D

@Chazillah <3<3<3 for the crit center. I'll probably never use it myself but I'll try to leave a crit on the pieces there. There should be a rule, though, that the pieces uploaded there should be advanced in progress to finished. No sketches or roughs! Aside from that we'll get there, jsut keep posting and talking, we will get the community healthy again!! ;D

@Olea Stick to it, Keep posting and get to the top! ;)

@Casey Fully agree with you! I, too, think that it is a great thing that this community is a small one (for now :) )

@Lodratio Yeah we all "can" overcome the mentioned problems... though it will have to nee actual action, not just "if only we manage that I'll post again" So come back to active posting and convince the non-posters that it IS a healthy community, show that you are one of the active posters! ;)

@Joel BE ONE OF THESE SELFLESSLY CHAMPIONS! :D

@Enydimon Can I hug you for this comment? *hugs* <3 Agree that we don't need pros but people that lead by example. Pros won't hurt but what we need are peeps who rise from the middle to the top and push others :3

@Luna Much love to you <3 Agree 203034%!!! We're all equal here, all are rivals and at the same time all are friends! So don't be afraid to do paintovers and crits and keep encouraging everyone to improve! ;)

@Tobes I have to partially disagree with you here Tobes. While yes I can see why a group critique would be effective for one piece I also see the disadvantage of it. That being that others have to have their works instantly available to show and that the group streaming has to be online. In a sketchthread you have the advantage of time. While yes it may take some time to recieve a crit... if we manage to get people start posting again it won't be such a problem.
One more point on the streaming thing, though. While yes streams are amazing!!! I wouldn't recommend Google Hangouts for the crits or streaming. I'd go for twitch or the good old livestream (<3) and then talk over skype. That way each viewer can watch the desired stream. The streamers are working on their stuff and are not disctracted of what the others are doing (increase of improvement) and A HUGE advantage is that the videos will then be on demand!!!

@Vielmond You're the hero of the day. I would love to recieve such crits and will try to give such from now on!!! :O

@Lodratio I do NOT agree on that one. This is a forum for people to improve. That means appeal and/or style should be secondary to technique on this kind of forum. Exceptions are specific goals of the critiqued like "I wanna do Magic cards... defuq do i do it?! Is this right?" Then yes, you give him a crit that would help him get the style down. Aside from that I'd say we should focus on fundamentals first here.

AAAALRIIIIGHT!!! My turn! :D
As I mentioned above what we need are people who are able to rise and push others! And the best scenario would be that these people are everyone. That said I know that someone has to start and keep pushing the possible... Won't throw much inspirational rants about this any more but will try to keep posting :)

AAAnd I have no idea what else... Streams? great!!! Announce that you are streaming before starting. Write a post in your thread or something! Wolkenfelses App is awesomazing but it is outdated... there are too many dead channels (dead as in not streaming anymore). So please announce that you are streaming in your sketchbook. That way others can see who is streaming and his quality of work, if won't just be a name that is streaming. (That was the problem at daggers, as more streams were listed you just looked that the name showed of the artist that you knew the work of... you ignored the others)
Also be aware that while yes you can reach a lot more viewers on twitch it has a HUGE disadvantage over livestream: it has a shitload of members making it a video-facebook of sorts. and it FORCES you to create an account to communicate in the chat. the old livestream is much friendlier there. (i won't go into discussing monetizing, better quality etc...)

Crits? Vielmond said it how a crit should look! IF YOU CAN then give this kind of a crit. I you're outskilled but see that something is wrong don't hesitate to point that out. It might get annoying but still you're showing that you're interested in the art/improvement of the artist. Don't fall silent please.

Then it would be soooooooo great if the challenges would start again! Not criticizing anyone here but if you are accupied please write it that you won't have the time to admin the challenges. At least people will know and won't wonder whats going on.


Hope I didn't go too shallow or off topic. This is a great thread and I would love to breath some live back into the community :)
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Re: A critique on critiques?

Postby Choob » Tue Jul 28, 2015 7:08 pm

Any of you guys remember the masochists in CA's later years, who would make their sketchbooks all about being desperate for someone to brutally destroy them with crits? Solid, to the point feedback without tiptoeing around feelings can be great, but those people made it feel uncomfortably like a fetish.

I agree with Lodratio completely on this needing to be a site for interaction rather than promotion or just dumping art and using your sketchbook as an archive. I also agree that the smaller community isn't necessarily a bad thing; on the huge old forums you could make sketchbook update and not even be on the first page a minute later, meaning the whole commenting on other sketchbooks just for attention method was rife.

Sure, it would be nice to have some of the pros back and active every once in a while, but honestly I think it's more important to have people who are prolific as hell with how much they work and help other people; regardless of their current skill levels these are the guys that are going to be pros in their own right soon enough. I've been lurking around the past week or so and there are a few promising sketchbooks that have the same passion behind them that MindCandyMan and Miles had back in their day. Their skill might not be there yet but they sure have the spark.

The reason I personally left was because of too much focus on the pros to be honest. You had sketchbooks like Algen's and Miles' getting thousands of views and tons of comments, and then all these people just ignoring each other's work, and all vying for a comment from a professional instead. Not a productive atmosphere, and you can glorify people too much. Either way though I've been missing a proper art progress forum a lot recently and I'm sure there's other inactive members who have been too, it's just a case of bringing about that interactive, everybody working together to be better type atmosphere again, and maybe this little community will flourish.
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Re: A critique on critiques?

Postby Enydimon » Wed Jul 29, 2015 9:22 am

Choob wrote:Any of you guys remember the masochists in CA's later years, who would make their sketchbooks all about being desperate for someone to brutally destroy them with crits? Solid, to the point feedback without tiptoeing around feelings can be great, but those people made it feel uncomfortably like a fetish.

Lol, yes. It also fostered this false idea that if you liked your art then it meant you were egotistical and people started acting like self deprecation was the same thing as self awareness. The lengths people would go to prove they were not 'pretentious' was just sad.

Choob wrote:on the huge old forums you could make sketchbook update and not even be on the first page a minute later, meaning the whole commenting on other sketchbooks just for attention method was rife.

I think that's true, but I made a lot of friends that way. Regardless of the size of the forum, people like it when you take an interest to them and artists around the same level of skill tended to band together. It's just a 'tactic' that is true of any social media. Too many artists on big forums and small forums alike drop their art, get upset that they don't immediately get comments, and then leave. Basically it's the expectation that people should care about you when you aren't taking an interest in them that seems to be a larger issue. We don't need people who are only here to leech.

It could be pretty disingenuous at times, though. I can agree to that.


Choob wrote:The reason I personally left was because of too much focus on the pros to be honest. You had sketchbooks like Algen's and Miles' getting thousands of views and tons of comments, and then all these people just ignoring each other's work, and all vying for a comment from a professional instead. Not a productive atmosphere, and you can glorify people too much. Either way though I've been missing a proper art progress forum a lot recently and I'm sure there's other inactive members who have been too, it's just a case of bringing about that interactive, everybody working together to be better type atmosphere again, and maybe this little community will flourish.

I've heard some people say they didn't join permanoobs because there's not enough pros here. And I think this quote right here is a good example as to why only following communities around based on the number of pros they have is not always the best idea.

I'm sure everyone wants to feel like the information they get is credible and that we're not just full of people who don't know what they're doing, but if your intention is to simply kiss up enough so you can get attention from your favs, you're better off saving up and getting a mentorship instead.
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