AuthorTopic: On getting critiqued and battling critique  (Read 7290 times)

Offline Helm

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On getting critiqued and battling critique

on: August 19, 2012, 01:14:08 pm
I've been giving and taking art advice for a long time. I would say the main categories of people posting on Pixelation, as differentiated by how they react to critique and edits, are the following:

1. Users that never post any updates to their piece. Sometimes they never post again on Pixelation at all. Other times they may start another thread with new art too, but they do not follow up with updates and progress on their stuff.

2. Users that react to critique by trying to address near-all points given to them in their updated art.

3. Users that filter the critique they get and address what they find they need to and do not discuss why they left this or that piece of advice out.

4. Users that filter the critique they get and address what they find they need to and discuss what and why they filtered out in great detail.

Here's what I've noticed about how these different categories show in how they develop.

Users of the first type do not progress fast, or I do not know if they progress at all because they never post again. They want to show off. Pixelation sometimes is not for the weak of heart. The benefit is that critique is put in writing so they can revist the critique that hurt their feelings a year from now and see if there's anything to it then. As a personal aside, this type of orphan thread breaks my heart a bit  :-[

Users of the second type seem like perfect c&c recievers, and perhaps they're very useful to an art critique community and they do seem to progress very fast... in their one thread. They soak up critique like sponges and their piece becomes better very fast. But they do not systemize, there's no structure in how they incorporate critique. They're 'augmented' by the Pixelation method of shotgun critique, but when they go off the drugs, they revert to a less amped version of themselves. Of course there is a cumulative progression, but appearances can be decieving. It often seems to me these users take the word of others over their own senses. This is useful for beginning artists. At some point however, I do think artistic progression necessarily becomes more esoteric and the artist needs to stop trying to create art that pleases everyone. The end goal is not to make a piece of art nobody would have any critique for.

Users of the third type to me seem to progress slower. Sometimes they're second type users that have moved on into themselves. They take what critique they need and do not discuss too much why they didn't take the critique they didn't. It's just my experience that the type of progress their artwork benefits from from their stay in Pixelation is not very blatant. They fix their AA, they may stop banding, they tighten up. It's that 5%. They don't move by leaps and bounds because they're themselves enough by now. They are secure. They're using Pixelation like a service, to get that last polish pass. As I've noticed these users end up either as fixtures, giving critique to others, or they tighten up their tech and leave, which is totally fine.

Users of the fourth and final type seem self-conscious to me. They have an ego thing sometimes that pushes them to want to tell you why your critique is false. Sometimes they are right and the critique is no good, sometimes not. It's besides the point. It seems to me this attitude leads to people becoming better artists slower and better at structuring argumentation. I'm not going to say Pixelation isn't here for the latter. Art discussion is valid, and nobody here is a teacher of authority to have a final say. I'm just noticing that this is a type of repeated behaviour. The reader might be well-advised to consider if they fall into this category and if they do, to ponder if what they're hoping to achieve in Pixelation is to become better pixel artists as fast as possible or instead to become better orators.

As a user that's been here a long time, if I may give a piece of advice is that you shouldn't fight critique. Filter it as you wish, but don't write me a story about why you won't incorporate a suggestion. There's going to be a lot of critique thrown your way and it's officially a-ok with Pixelation decorum to not address every person and why you won't do every little thing they've told you in long-form text. Users will contradict each others' critique. It's impossible not to. This is a great thing. Leave it up to them to discuss and compare why this is or is not a good idea you're being given. Make up your mind privately and move on with the art, not the argument. You'll become better, faster like this.

If you see people in your thread bring up critique you filtered out again and again, your filter's may not be very brave, though. Adjust accordingly.

Furthermore there is a significant life skill in my advice. When a tutor of any kind is giving you a piece of their mind, they may be well-meaning or they may want to hurt your feelings. Make up your mind privately. Either do what they want you to do, or don't do it. But don't have an argument. Because if you do, you're making it an argument about YOU. It becomes about you talking about what's going on in your mind. In art, at the end, nobody in the audience will be privy to your internal explanations on what you did. They only experience the end result. Don't make the appreciation of that experience contingent on them having a private conversation with the artist. Battling critique is just training artists-to-be to not make self-contained art.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2012, 01:17:19 pm by Helm »

Offline Lachie Dazdarian

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Re: On getting critiqued and battling critique

Reply #1 on: August 19, 2012, 03:40:47 pm
Thanks for this. Very insightful.

If I would try to cast myself into a category, perhaps that would be number 3. I really do appreciate and need critiques at this point of my development, but I realized fast that incorporating all advises is very distracting, to say at least. It's really best to take/adopt what you find most useful at that point and doable when working on a specific pixel art work, and not explain much why you didn't incorporate all suggestions. Anyway, sometimes they are simply contradictory.

I understand people in the second category who aim simply at becoming good/excellent at pixel art, so they have more time and will to wander. But as you said so well Helm, they eventually need to stop listening to C&C and rely on their own instincts.

Offline Dusty

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Re: On getting critiqued and battling critique

Reply #2 on: August 19, 2012, 04:31:54 pm
How do you feel about people who are accepting of critique and try to make changes, but also don't want to deviate too much from some sort of stance they had when they originally started working on their piece(like say, the composition or style or such)?

And I think more importantly, which kind of relates to Lachie's, is what about conflicting critique? Quite a bit I see a piece being critiqued by a few members, but their critiques conflict with each other. What would be ideal for the artist then?

Offline Dr D

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Re: On getting critiqued and battling critique

Reply #3 on: August 19, 2012, 05:59:27 pm
And I think more importantly, which kind of relates to Lachie's, is what about conflicting critique? Quite a bit I see a piece being critiqued by a few members, but their critiques conflict with each other. What would be ideal for the artist then?

Well, Helm did touch a bit on this. I agree with what he said, I think it's just on a case-by-case basis; the artist should decide for theirself in which direction to go, there is no right or wrong and no matter what you do, you can't please everybody. You can only really please some & yourself.

And Helm, great thread. A bit bothered by some recent posts perhaps?  :P

Offline Helm

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Re: On getting critiqued and battling critique

Reply #4 on: August 19, 2012, 10:56:03 pm
Not at all bothered, actually. I write this in good spirit.

Offline Stab

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Re: On getting critiqued and battling critique

Reply #5 on: August 20, 2012, 03:38:18 am
It seems odd for the information to appear unprovoked and without a specific audience, though!
« Last Edit: August 20, 2012, 03:45:27 am by Stab »

Offline r1k

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Re: On getting critiqued and battling critique

Reply #6 on: August 20, 2012, 12:34:45 pm
I think type 4 could perhaps be divided into 2 parts.  The people just being defensive, and those just discussing hopefuly in some beneficial way.  A benificial way might look something like "hmm, Im not sure about that critique because I was going for [such and such], do you think my way does a good job of acheiving that or would changing something acheive that better?".  I think such discussions might also benefit to remind begginers, who soak up all the critique (type 2), who I sometimes fear get into the mindset that there are right and wrong answers and forget that art is subjective and "right" and "wrong" arent always applicable.

the type 1 people can annoy me sometimes.  Numerous times Ive posted critiques and edits in threads only to see those threads never posted in again.

And a specific type of critique Ive noticed which kind of bothers me is whenever someone is drawing a female figure it seems someone has to post critique that boils down to that it needs to improve by closer matching whoevers notions of bueaty, like boobs need to be bigger, waist thinner, hips bigger etc.  Of course thats just one of those times to take critique with a grain of salt.

anyway though I guess Im basically in agreement with everything you said but these are just my rambly thoughts.

Offline Helm

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Re: On getting critiqued and battling critique

Reply #7 on: August 20, 2012, 02:16:47 pm
Quote
How do you feel about people who are accepting of critique and try to make changes, but also don't want to deviate too much from some sort of stance they had when they originally started working on their piece(like say, the composition or style or such)?

I feel that's well and good. However there are niggling cases. I remember a thread by a user that was trying to create customized assets for a final fantasy tactics game. That game has a very strict style if I remember. Sprites have no noses. That's fine with me, really. It'd be dumb to give him critique to add noses to his sprites but... that's exactly what I did. Of course he disregarded my suggestion (and as I said, that's fine) but sometimes I do think it's valuable that the people giving you critique step outside the box you've presented, because they sense it would be beneficial to have that outiside vantage. But I don't believe anyone that gives such outside aesthetic critique expects their suggestions to be taken very seriously. So my position on what you ask is it's fine to disregard critique that is outside of your 'stance' as you put it, but don't expect people to not give you that critique anyway sometimes.

As to conflicting critique, I think that's a wonderful thing to be in that spot when you are being hard-pressed to choose between seemingly equally attractive ways to make your art better. Really have to trust your gut in these cases.

Stab, there is no controversy. Is there no audience for this? Then why are you reading it? I make theoretical threads from time to time  :-*

r1k, sure there are people that just want to discuss critique X more before they're convinced that that's the way they want to go, but somehow I think again that's something a person should discuss with themselves more than with third parties. Pixelation is 'shotgun critique'. You get a face full of different, sometimes contrasting suggestions. Can't discuss with everyone. I think what you suggest works better in a tutor-student relationship where the onus is on the tutor to be as explicit as possible for a long duration to convey to a person a host of suggestions that comprise a system of working in its entirety. Most Pixelation users (myself included) can't even readily tell you if they even have a system themselves for their own art, much less take up the burden to explicity teach it. So Pixelation is really more than anything a few dozen pair of trained eyes looking at your stuff and then telling you 'fix this. like that perhaps. or like this? perhaps don't fix it after all!'

Offline PixelPiledriver

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Re: On getting critiqued and battling critique

Reply #8 on: August 20, 2012, 06:39:01 pm
Good discussion.
It reminds me of a quote some may know:
"Talking About Art is Like Dancing About Architecture"
Tho a good point expressed in an entertaining manner, it'd be best to put "Sometimes" in front of it.

Quote
Numerous times Ive posted critiques and edits in threads only to see those threads never posted in again.
I get this a lot too.
I sometimes wonder if I am a thread killer.
But then I suppose no matter who had posted the person would have withdrawn quickly.

Quote
And a specific type of critique Ive noticed which kind of bothers me is whenever someone is drawing a female figure it seems someone has to post critique that boils down to that it needs to improve by closer matching whoevers notions of bueaty, like boobs need to be bigger, waist thinner, hips bigger etc.  Of course thats just one of those times to take critique with a grain of salt.
Many edits I do are of female characters.
I may be one of these people?
Even if I am not, if you are interested I could do a post about visual communication that may alleviate you feeling bothered somewhat.
This may not be the proper thread to do so.

Quote
Most Pixelation users (myself included) can't even readily tell you if they even have a system themselves for their own art, much less take up the burden to explicity teach it.
I encourage you to do this.
Many could gain from your insight if it is relatively organized and properly presented.
Not now.
Later in life perhaps.
Or whenever you feel is appropriate.
And knowing that it is, we seek what it is... ~ Aristotle, Posterior Analytics, Chapter 1

Offline imnumberfour

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Re: On getting critiqued and battling critique

Reply #9 on: August 20, 2012, 06:46:28 pm
I guess I fit the first one the most, but thats usually because I get the piece to a standard I want after getting critique and feel like i'd be bumping way to old of a thread if I put my final piece causing me to just forget and move on.