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On Insults Masquerading As Critiques

Sat Aug 26, 2006, 3:54 PM


Sorry to put you guys through a big old rant, as I'm sure the last thing anyone really wants to read when they log into their Deviant Art account to catch up on their watch list is someone complaining, but I'm feeling a little irritated due to a couple of comments I found in my box this morning, and I do get some really bonehead comments sometimes from people that seem to think they are "critiquing" my art by leaving them. I don't think they came from anyone who is watching me, so I hope no one reading this considers it a personal attack on them, but certain types of people on this site in general really need to be told what constitutes a critique and what doesn't.

A critique is something that actually helps the person you are commenting to grow as an artist. In my opinion, a proper critique not only points out specifically what isn't working in a piece, but it also says why and gives the person suggestions on how they can go about fixing it. It isn't any of the following, all of which I have seen drift through my inbox from time to time.

- "I don't like the way you did her hair."</b> or "I would like this a whole lot more if her dress wasn't purple. I don't like purple."</b>

Well, you know? I probably do, or I wouldn't have done it that way. Style the hair and the outfits on your characters any way you like, but don't force your personal preferences on other artists. It will only irritate them, and you can bet they won't consider your comment a critique or anything close to it.

- "You need to reduce this model's thighs and stomach. She looks fat/pregnant/gross."</b>

Well guess what. Chances are I picked the model I did because I thought she was beautiful just the way she is, and if I didn't?</i> My Photoshop skills are definitely good enough to where I know how to alter stock images to my liking. However, I do not find the stick-skinny,  just-out-of-the-concentration camp look attractive by a long shot. I personally like women who actually have figures the way nature intended, and you can see that reflected in my artwork. Don't like it? Don't look at it, and definitely don't bother commenting on it.

- "Why have you done so many gloomy pieces in a row? Where are all the fairies and princesses and angels?"</b>

How am I supposed to respond to something like that? It isn't a critique by a long shot. I'm glad you like some of my pieces so much, but why do you have to insult others of mine for not being something else? The subject matter I choose for my artwork varies. It's as simple as that. Sometimes it will be fairies playing in your tea or Rapunzel in the tower, but other times you will be getting Jack the Ripper or creepy ladies covered in cobwebs. That's all there is to it. Just look at the pieces in my gallery that interest you and leave the others alone. Insulting me isn't going to change what I do or don't choose for the subject of my next piece.

- "You know what? I don't like it. I don't know why."</b>

If that's the way you feel, just keep browsing. I'm not doing my art to impress anyone. You don't have to like it, and you certainly don't have to let me know you don't like it. I could care less. If you're not going to offer some kind of constructive critique telling me why you don't like it with an actual reason outside of your personal preference, I honestly don't want to hear it.

There are a lot more examples I could add, but I think I've probably made my point and gotten it out of my system. I don't expect people to kiss my ass and offer nothing but raves by any stretch of the imagination, but I'm tired of getting comments like the ones I listed above. They are not critiques. They're just irritating and insulting. If that's all someone has to say about a piece of art that I've done, I'd rather they not say anything at all.


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:iconcosmorama:
cosmorama Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2006  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you for this! Comments like "Her hair is messy" and similar things, drive me nuts to no end!
I truly believe some things (thoughts, ideals, concepts, etc...) are beyond peoples minds.
Reply
:iconwolfmorphine:
wolfmorphine Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2006  Professional Digital Artist
Yeah really! I could just see if you or I left a comment like that on their artwork. They'd be livid. :nod:
Reply
:iconazurylipfe:
azurylipfe Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2006
Maybe those people should read thisbefore saying something [link] its very interesting:)
Reply
:iconwolfmorphine:
wolfmorphine Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2006  Professional Digital Artist
Oh definitely! I think something like that would be good for everyone to read, actually. It's very insightful and informative. :nod:
Reply
:iconfairydreams1963:
fairydreams1963 Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2006
Omg...the nerve of some people...I think your artwork is beautiful and you are a truly talented artist:worship: Just keep up the good work and always believe in yourself..don't let jealous people bring you down...:blowkiss:
Reply
:iconwolfmorphine:
wolfmorphine Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2006  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you, honey! I will definitely do that. I love making art, and I love sharing what I make with my friends here. I won't let one or two ignorami ruin that for me and for everyone else. ;)
Reply
:iconmmenathalie:
mmenathalie Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2006
What an ugly comments. :no:
They are just jelaous, because they aren't so great artists like you are.
I don't know what should be realistic in fantasy or surreal artworks? :confused: I always appreciate idea and invention and technical face is only the rest.
Don't worry. :hug: Your work is wonderful. Just ignore them.
Artworks must express yourself, not someone's soul, feelings, idea and more the same things. It is not your problem, because somebody doesn't like you as you.
Be proud, be yourself and that's all.
Take care. :heart:
Reply
:iconwolfmorphine:
wolfmorphine Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2006  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks sweetie! :hug: I appreciate your heartfelt thoughts so much. :heart: It's people like you that make this community a wonderful place to be and to share my art. :nod:
Reply
:iconsab687:
SAB687 Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2006  Professional Digital Artist
I can't agree more than that! I feel you have spoken for many of us artists too. Thank you
Reply
:iconwolfmorphine:
wolfmorphine Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2006  Professional Digital Artist
You're welcome! I'm just sorry so many people get similar comments that they can identify so well. I suppose there will always be people out there who would rather stir up trouble and try to tear other people down than create something of their own. The art world isn't any different. :shrug:
Reply
:iconsab687:
SAB687 Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2006  Professional Digital Artist
Some people never learn
Reply
:iconmultifacetedmage:
MultifacetedMage Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2006  Professional General Artist
I hope this helps
Reply
:iconkuschelirmel:
kuschelirmel Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2006  Hobbyist Digital Artist
well said :aww:

I also get annoyed if I point out in the artist's comment that I like to interpret a piece a certain way and then someone comes along and gives me a critique that would be valid if the interpretation were the opposite of what I actually wrote... why are some people not capable of spending thirty seconds on reading the artists comment before launching into a lecture?

And there's one more thing I have noticed: as long as you put your stuff in the surreal category, you can get away with just about anything (especially lightning wise) but as soon as you put it in landscapes and scenery for example, someone will come along and tell you that the colors or the light or whatever don't look all that realistic... strange thing is, I don't see why it has to be realistic when it comes from my mind... certainly it cannot have real mistakes in it (not even a surreal piece can have those most of the time), but if I wanted a red sky, why should I make it blue to satisfy someone elses need for realism?

damn, I just wanted to tell you I know what you mean and not write an essay ^^;
:hug:
Reply
:iconwolfmorphine:
wolfmorphine Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2006  Professional Digital Artist
Ha ha ha... no problem! It was a good "essay". :hug: I also really agree with you in regards to people really needing to take the time to read the artist's comments before criticising a piece. I've gotten a lot of comments before complaining that something I've done is "too confusing" or "doesn't make sense" for whatever reason that then asked me to explain myself when the "explanation" was right there in the artist's comments to begin with.

I think the only place a piece has to "make sense" is in the artist's mind. Personally, my favorite pieces are the ones that twists reality a little bit, interpret something tried and true a little differently, or give me something to absorb or think about. :nod:
Reply
:iconkuschelirmel:
kuschelirmel Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2006  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm with you on that - all of it :D
:hug:
Reply
:iconvivalavida:
VivalaVida Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2006  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
In every forum Iīve been there were some people like that. Ignore them. Itīs only enviousness. To devalue your artwork is giving them a feeling of greatness. I know, such negative comments are killing the pep and inspiration. So-try to ignore them. I love your work very much, yesterday I showed your gallery to my daughter, she was very impressed and enthused, she will emulate you (sheīs 10). :hug:
Reply
:iconwolfmorphine:
wolfmorphine Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2006  Professional Digital Artist
Aw... thank you so much! And please thank your daughter for the beautiful compliment. It really made my day. :hug:
Reply
:icontintz:
Tintz Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2006
I'm 100% agree with you.
I think that the ones who insult your artwork are just jealous, because they aren't so good artists like you are.

You should keep doing your fantastic art and don't bother yourself with those jealous people.

Take care... :)
Reply
:iconwolfmorphine:
wolfmorphine Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2006  Professional Digital Artist
Yeah, you might be right. I wish certain people would put as much energy into their own artwork as they do putting down other people's. :nod:
Reply
:iconmmebuterfly:
mmebuterfly Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2006
Your art is gorgeous hon,I have in my fav. and wishilist ur artworks,Iīm proud you!! :hug: Donīt worry about commentaries envious,ignore,or tell for this people.. "Hey is my art,I did for me no about to you... I like this hair,this colour,if you donīt liked,itīs ur problem.." :giggle: Serious, when I began here into the DA some people tell me the same words (about colours,hair,wings... :faint: ) and I answer always "is my art ... is my style" and go head sweet!! Your art is very,very wonderful !!! :worship:
(sorry my english is not good,I hope you understand.. :blushes: )
Reply
:iconwolfmorphine:
wolfmorphine Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2006  Professional Digital Artist
I understand perfectly! :hug: Thank you so much. You've always been so supportive of me and my art. I really appreciate it. :blowkiss:
Reply
:iconmmebuterfly:
mmebuterfly Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2006
:hug:
Reply
:iconterrashiva:
TerraShiva Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2006   Traditional Artist
I'll I have to say is... I LOVE YOUR ART!!! no matter the case. And I'm sorry you have to go though that. On the bright side.. there are people here who do care about your art... and know how to respect anothers work. Just remember when you read another one of those ::Bleap(add what you want here.) bleap.::'s stupid comments... think of us... the ones who enjoy your art work simply because it is you.

I'm looking forward to your next piece!:heart: Take care hun.
Reply
:iconwolfmorphine:
wolfmorphine Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2006  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks hon! :hug: I appreciate it. I also agree. It's people like you that keep me encouraged and creative. Thankfully though, for every comment I get from some jerk that makes me want to do this: :finger: I get 50 or 100 that make me want to get right to work on my next piece. Thanks for being one of the latter. :glomp:
Reply
:iconearthheavenatmospher:
ugh, how irritating. Honestly, some people are just inconsiderate of things like that. (I have to admit though, if someone commented like that with me, I would totally respond back to them. I'm that petty :D )
Reply
:iconwolfmorphine:
wolfmorphine Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2006  Professional Digital Artist
Yeah, sometimes I just ignore the person, but sometimes I just have to respond back. I doubt certain people care that they're being petty, but it makes me feel better to speak up anyway. :nod:
Reply
:icondarklyjaded:
DarklyJaded Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2006
Hey Shannon,

On a rantpage, huh? You made some dAmn good points, yes, if I do not like something or it is not to my pleasing i usually will not comment. Do not misinterpret this as: I did not comment on your work so I do not like it. Someone's mom said if ya cannot say nothing good then say nothing a'tall(well, this is a shortened east coast version of that). Must be that fiery hair affecting your attitude, I LOVE IT!

I was looking for a link to a 'tutorial' on how to make an appropriate critique, thought I had saved it but, alas, it has disappeared (probably when my HD crashed, ouch). There is one here at dA, maybe someone knows where it is at>

seems it's possible they are guilty of this The Seven Deadly Sins: eNVY done by `blackeri

Hey, you know me, love your work
and love ya:hug::kiss:
Reply
:iconwolfmorphine:
wolfmorphine Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2006  Professional Digital Artist
"Do not misinterpret this as: I did not comment on your work so I do not like it."

Oh no worries! I never think that. I'm not a comment whore by any stretch of the imagination. People only need comment if they have something to say. I don't even mind criticism as long as it's constructive criticism where the person not only points out a mistake, but actually gives you a tip on how to go about fixing it. :nod:

"I was looking for a link to a 'tutorial' on how to make an appropriate critique, thought I had saved it but, alas, it has disappeared (probably when my HD crashed, ouch)."

Yes, I've heard tales of such a thing. I was actually looking for it so that I could link to it in this journal, but came up empty. Maybe someone who reads this will know what we're talking about and post a link in a comment. :-D

"Must be that fiery hair affecting your attitude, I LOVE IT!"

Ha ha ha ha.... :lmao:.... most likely! Like I said. Correcting nature's mistake! This is not the spirit of a brunette. :p
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:icondarklyjaded:
DarklyJaded Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2006
LMAO:hug:
Reply
:icondanimyrick:
DaniMyrick Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2006  Student Digital Artist
Well, I'm really glad you continue to share your beautiful artwork with us here despite some of the lame commentary. :roll: I really enjoy seeing your creations. :love:
Reply
:iconwolfmorphine:
wolfmorphine Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2006  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you, honey! :hug: I really enjoy sharing them with all of you, too. :nod:
Reply
:iconpatronus-light:
patronus-light Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2006  Hobbyist Photographer
-sigh-
don't those comments suck?
and you're left going, 'and the point of telling me that was...?'
Reply
:iconwolfmorphine:
wolfmorphine Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2006  Professional Digital Artist
Yeah really! What is the point? I think more people need to ask themselves how they would feel if someone said that about a piece of their art. If they're honest with themselves, they wouldn't appreciate it either. :no:
Reply
:iconrewston:
rewston Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2006
ugh ive had comments like that before, they are so annoying, but it often gets worse if you respond
Reply
:iconwolfmorphine:
wolfmorphine Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2006  Professional Digital Artist
Yeah, I usually just ignore them, but every so often.... especially in cases where someone insults a model's size or something.... I will tell them to shut their trap and keep it to themselves. I can't seem to help myself.
Reply
:iconjjean21:
jjean21 Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2006
I couldn't agree with you more..I'm reasonably new here and within one months time was ready to leave due to some of the comments that had been posted. I know the limitations of the program I use and telling me an earring doesn't hang right, or I don't like her eyes is not going to help me grow as an artist. The one thing I definitely do not appreciate are the non-constructive 'critiques' from people who have no idea what is involved in creating an individual image when they don't work in that particular medium.
Reply
:iconwolfmorphine:
wolfmorphine Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2006  Professional Digital Artist
Oh God! Don't I know it! Usually when I receive a comment that I can tell was at least supposed to be a critique, I click on the person's icon so I can see their work. I want to see if they are even in a position to be telling me something is wrong with my technique, constructive or not. All too often, I find that the person doesn't even do photomanips or digital art and probably doesn't even know what they're talking about, or else their own work is so full of mistakes that they should be taking advice from me. Still other times I find a completely empty gallery. :no:
Reply
:iconjjean21:
jjean21 Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2006
I do the same thing, visit their gallery thinking that maybe, just maybe they know what they're talking about but 9 times out of ten they are just 'lurkers'. The thing is I would never consider critiquing anyones work..I don't feel I'm in a position to tell anyone what their vision should be or should have been or how they could improve it, I have enough on my hands trying to improve myself..thanks for letting me vent in your journal :lol: I needed that.
Reply
:iconwolfmorphine:
wolfmorphine Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2006  Professional Digital Artist
No problem!! Any time! Thanks for listening to me vent. I need that! :hug:
Reply
:iconkensaunders:
KenSaunders Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2006  Hobbyist General Artist
This [link] may be something that you can appreciate.
Reply
:iconwolfmorphine:
wolfmorphine Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2006  Professional Digital Artist
Oh indeed! I completely follow you. :nod: Sorry you have to deal with the same things.
Reply
:iconelandria:
Elandria Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2006  Professional General Artist
Makes you wonder why they spend the time actually typing them out in the first place since its all useless drivel.... I'm all for free speach and people being able to express their opinions, but really... do we have to put up with the verbal diarrhoea too? Your "rant" is wholey justified, if you're gona crit something, make it helpful and/or constructive. :no:

:hug:
Reply
:iconwolfmorphine:
wolfmorphine Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2006  Professional Digital Artist
Yeah really. I guess some people have nothing better to do. Like I was telling someone else in my reply to their comment on this, most of the people who leave comments like the ones I listed don't even know what they're talking about. When you check their gallery to take a look at their photomanips, you find that they don't even do manips, and probably have no idea what goes into a successful one. They do poetry or watercolors or something. :no:
Reply
:iconhera-of-stockholm:
Hera-of-Stockholm Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2006
These are probably coming from people who don't feel very well. So they let off steam here.

It's the same breed who pick fights in bars or drive blindfolded on the highway, cutting in too close in front of you and give YOU the finger when you honk at them.

But I know how it is, sometimes you feel inclined to write back something harsh to them. Like "You know, darling, if you don't like purple you sure have bad taste, and I pity you".

My former boss was a pap-head but he said one smart thing :
"You sure only have to step out of your front door in the morning to annoy SOMEBODY".

And posting at DA is sure out of the front door!! 8-)
Reply
:iconwolfmorphine:
wolfmorphine Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2006  Professional Digital Artist
Yeah, lots of times I ignore that kind of comment altogether, but every so often I will reply back. I don't cuss the person out or anything, but I will tell them they should keep their personal opinions to themselves. :nod:
Reply
:iconhera-of-stockholm:
Hera-of-Stockholm Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2006
Yeah, that's probably the best thing to do, although it can be hard to keep your head cold all the time. :) At least for me, I have hit SEND sometimes and regretted it :blushes:
Reply
:iconmultifacetedmage:
MultifacetedMage Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2006  Professional General Artist
Personal opinions every person has; However, there is a difference in knowing how to critique a piece of artwork and, just stating as you pointed out so eliquintly opinion;
example of a improper critique would be(i hate the blue in this piece)

a proper example of a critique would be
(the navy blue u utilized for the sky in this piece makes the sky look rather pendulous and, forboding however, because of the heavy use of this color it is hard to distinguish where the horizon meets the sea)
Reply
:iconwolfmorphine:
wolfmorphine Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2006  Professional Digital Artist
I completely agree! If someone made a comment like that on a piece, I would actually take it to heart and consider it. Even if I didn't go back and change the piece as suggested, I would probably remember that comment on my next piece and try something different. :nod:
Reply
:iconmultifacetedmage:
MultifacetedMage Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2006  Professional General Artist
thanks for the feedback
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