AuthorTopic: On getting critiqued and battling critique  (Read 7291 times)

Offline Stab

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Re: On getting critiqued and battling critique

Reply #10 on: August 21, 2012, 12:41:13 am
There's no audience in the sense that there isn't any specific person I could think of that would directly benefit from this advice NOW. That obviously doesn't mean it isn't good or thought provoking or won't benefit anyone ever, it just seems odd because it comes as something without obvious origin, which personally makes me uneasy :D

Also, as to why I'm reading this... honestly, on pixelation you'd be comparable to Morgan Freeman reading something. It doesn't matter what you're saying, I'd listen, because statistics show that more often than not it was a pleasant/useful/intriguing/informative read. To make this slightly less uncomfortable to hear, you're not the only one on this site that I'd attribute that quality to.

I struggle with the concept of fighting criticism being unambiguously bad based on a difference between internal monologue and external communication. In exactly the same way that no-one can know what your intentions were for any piece of art, it is impossible to tell exactly what someone was feeling/thinking in objecting to a criticism. What's important is the internal monologue, where someone will decide for themselves what their actual stance on a situation is... the external communication is more readily corrupted by silly things like emotions and thereby not necessarily communicating the truth of the thing. While there always is truth to what someone says, it might not be the truth they intend to communicate that comes through. Because of that, I say go for fighting criticism, because no matter what by communicating the truth in what you feel, and as long as your internal monologue is willing to accept presented changes it shouldn't matter what you're actually communicating(*).

(*) Obviously this only applies to someone's PERSONAL benefit. In the interest of maintaining a positive community, obviously it matters what you're actually communicating. The only person that comes to mind on the subject of this subject is Xelados Nafshir, who was an extremely verbose individual and was eventually banned for something, despite from what I remember not coming across as an expressly unchanging or terrible person. I don't mean to say he shouldn't have been banned (I have no idea what he was even banned for, specifically!) I just remember him as someone who quite frequently opposed criticism outwardly, but was inwardly changing or accepting the criticism or improving or whatever. It would take some convincing for me to believe that his conduct was untrue to himself.

The ultimate answer is probably that my personal philosophies on this subject are just different. I guess that's also part of why it seems odd.

Offline Seiseki

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Re: On getting critiqued and battling critique

Reply #11 on: August 21, 2012, 03:16:03 am
I think this is very interesting.
But something that might even be more interesting are the different types of people giving critique.

What makes critique different is not only taste and experience, but also motivation.
Personally I try to make edits to learn myself, at least that's the big carrot for me, each time I give critique I actually learn a lot because I'm looking at something with fresh eyes and I can draw from my experience and everything I've learned so far, which is a good way to keep that knowledge fresh and make sure it's also valid. And I also learn how to break down a piece of art and find problem areas.
There's also a lot of problem solving, how do I make this shape with a limited amount of pixels, the shading, textures, palette, everything.

A lot of critique will be incredibly biased, I know that a lot of artists here try to push their own art style on others, which I don't agree with because then we're just creating clones.
And most importantly, if you have a specific art style, you need to realize that it's not gonna work for every single purpose. Of course, you can make a pastel palette horror game, but if the purpose is a gritty and dark game, then it's not the way to go.
That being said, I still appreciate the posts and the effort put into them, it's still great to see a piece in a different style and it can be helpful in many ways.

There's also instance where an edit might be way way above the original posters level, in those cases it really helps with a step by step.
But some of the edits just go from nothing to "oh hi, here's a completely new sprite with a similar palette and style" and again, I personally love to see these edits but they might not be
that helpful for the original poster unless he can properly analyze and see how the piece was put together.

Just brainstorming a bit here, but the motivation for critique can vary greatly.

1. The provoked response - a piece that you think is so bad you have to point out all the obvious flaws.

2. I see a potential here - where you see something that has the right feel, but lacks in technique or polish.

3. Personal interest - where you post an edit because you love the style or the motif.

4. Look what I can do - where you just want to show off or get validation on your critique.

5. Great idea! - Where you got a great idea from looking at a piece and just have to try it out.

6. Helping hand - Helping people is fun.

I think most people have a mix of these motivations, if not all of them at once. These might also explain why a thread might not get a reply at all..
« Last Edit: August 21, 2012, 03:18:58 am by Seiseki »

Offline Ai

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Re: On getting critiqued and battling critique

Reply #12 on: August 21, 2012, 04:46:14 am
Re: being true to yourself:

Being true to yourself means (among other things) being effective in carrying your beliefs out in action.
One thing I have consistently observed in others, is that the most effective people are those who require themselves to get definite. In these terms, 'fighting critique' is a type of indefiniteness : saying "no, not that" rather than "this". Saying 'this is what is needed' later is better than never, but worse than right now, purely in terms of personal effectiveness (re: people who argue and then take on the critique afterwards).

You're better off being definite and wrong (and finding that out from experience) than indefinite and 'right'. You just plain learn more, quicker.

(also your communication skills improve, which is something every person and community sorely needs.)


@Seiseki
Quote
But some of the edits just go from nothing to "oh hi, here's a completely new sprite with a similar palette and style" and again, I personally love to see these edits but they might not be
that helpful for the original poster unless he can properly analyze and see how the piece was put together.
Personally I interpret these as inspiration -- that the recipient will look at them, like a lot of things, and emulate a few things, some of them successfully. I also tend to be pleased at seeing these because it gives you a better reference point to say 'I want my picture to end up like X' (not necessarily like the edit per se.. likely like the edit in some ways and deliberately far from the edit in others. Definition by contrast.)

Nice analysis,I think your breakdown of motivations involved was pretty spot-on. Threads don't get replies when they are not compelling in any of those ways.
If you insist on being pessimistic about your own abilities, consider also being pessimistic about the accuracy of that pessimistic judgement.

Offline Seiseki

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Re: On getting critiqued and battling critique

Reply #13 on: August 21, 2012, 05:01:17 am
Thanks, I wasn't sure if it made any sense.

I've noticed that the different motivations can be applied to regular forum posts as well, sometimes I tend to argue on various forums having 1 and 4 as motivation..
Which I've realized is kinda pointless and a waste of time, although it helps improve my writing skills, but it can get out of control quickly since they're quite emotional motivations that usually requires some kind of closure.

I'm also guilty of posting with 2 and 5, especially in game devlogs and suggestion boards.

Offline Helm

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Re: On getting critiqued and battling critique

Reply #14 on: August 21, 2012, 07:44:14 am
Seiseki, wonderful observations on the other side of the critique fence. The easiest critique to do is that of the last 5%. Where something's beautiful already but has some bad pixel art technique spots. The editor might feel they marginally share in the glory of the final piece by fixing some banding or bad aa on a great piece. Almost_done pieces usually get critique for this reason.

2 and 3 aren't really that far apart. The difference is that critique on something that isn't almost done is going to be more difficult.

Stab, it's interesting that you say this isn't benefitting anyone now yet the thread is evolving. What I take from your last reply is not that this thread is semi useless, but because my 'trial of intention' makes you uncomfortable. Which is fair, and I agree, nobody really knows what someone has in mind when they argue against critique. I am guessing, more than anything. My guesses are informed by experience and that's why they're better than nothing. It's a safe position to say 'we can't know the motivation of anyone' and leave it there, but I think there's benefits in theorizing on this topic.

Xelados Nafshir, if memory serves, pushed for his own ban in the end. I hope he's feeling better since then and is a conductive member of other communities. His ban here is probably lapsed, I'm not sure.

Offline Seiseki

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Re: On getting critiqued and battling critique

Reply #15 on: August 21, 2012, 08:33:47 am
As for taking and giving criticism..
I have a friend who takes criticism extremely hard, which sorta forces me to dance around it when he asks for my opinion, it's quite awkward because I want to be honest and say what I think, but since he usually turns quite defensive if the criticism is negative, so it's hard to have an objective discussion.
It becomes even worse because he's a music producer and I have an extremely hard time giving constructive criticism when it comes to music since I know next to nothing about it.

He also hates being questioned. When we're talking about games, movies, etc. He can be like:
"I don't like X"
"Why?"
"I just don't like it, why do I have to explain, can't I have an opinion?"
"..."

Offline ptoing

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Re: On getting critiqued and battling critique

Reply #16 on: August 21, 2012, 09:11:33 am
Xelados Nafshir, if memory serves, pushed for his own ban in the end. I hope he's feeling better since then and is a conductive member of other communities. His ban here is probably lapsed, I'm not sure.

He did not actually push for a ban, but for having his account and all posts deleted, which we actually did in the end, after he manually edited all his posts to be worthless anyway. I hope he is doing better as well. Doubt he will be coming back here tho.

Also, nice thread Helm, have not read all the replies yet, but will at some point when I am a bit less busy.
There are no ugly colours, only ugly combinations of colours.

Offline Helm

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Re: On getting critiqued and battling critique

Reply #17 on: August 21, 2012, 10:53:38 am
As for taking and giving criticism..
I have a friend who takes criticism extremely hard, which sorta forces me to dance around it when he asks for my opinion, it's quite awkward because I want to be honest and say what I think, but since he usually turns quite defensive if the criticism is negative, so it's hard to have an objective discussion.
It becomes even worse because he's a music producer and I have an extremely hard time giving constructive criticism when it comes to music since I know next to nothing about it.

He also hates being questioned. When we're talking about games, movies, etc. He can be like:
"I don't like X"
"Why?"
"I just don't like it, why do I have to explain, can't I have an opinion?"
"..."

This is exactly the type of case where you should give your honest opinion and refuse to have any further discussion/clarification. If he wants to have a conversation, he should join a debate club.

Offline Seiseki

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Re: On getting critiqued and battling critique

Reply #18 on: August 21, 2012, 12:00:45 pm
But critique without clarification is hardly constructive..

"I don't like the blue palette you're using"
"Uhm, ok, why?"

You should always be able to discuss critique in an objective manner.

Offline Helm

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Re: On getting critiqued and battling critique

Reply #19 on: August 21, 2012, 12:36:20 pm
I'm more thinking

"I think you should use more green in your sky tint here to add some visual interest in your piece"
"Uhm, why would that add visual interest?"

That's where I think your friend would be baiting you into a discussion of values.