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Deviant Guide: Good Responses by bringbackart Deviant Guide: Good Responses by bringbackart
Deviant Guide: Good Responses

Most deviants will think they already know how to answer a comment. Open the message center, click on one of those beloved little packages of joy, read about how much somebody loves (or hates) your work, and return an appropriate comment, whilst trying to seem like you’re the nicest person on earth. It seems like such a simple practice, right?

Wrong.

One day, a comment is going to appear in your inbox that you weren’t expecting. Something that requires just that little bit of extra effort that you’ve never had to deal with before. A comment that explores every your piece of art to depths and reaches emotions in you that you never knew existed. Critique.

Why Does It Concern Me?

Even during the shortest stay here, almost every deviant has come in contact with some form critique, maybe without even realizing it! Critique is everywhere in this community, and to survive for long here on deviantART, you’re going to have to get good at receiving critique.

How To Receive Critique

A good way to respond to a comment always involves asking yourself three simple questions, and receiving the critique positively:

Was the comment helpful?
How did it make you feel?
Is the advice going to change the way you next attempt your work?

By using these simple questions, you can not only encourage a deviant to return to your work, and give you the honor of more critique, you can further your own skills by receiving their comment the right way.

Whenever you next receive critique, ask yourself “WHI”, pronounced “why”. You’re going to ask “why” the user has given you the critique.

Was the comment helpful?

When you first look at a critique on your work, it’s often tempting to just automate a reply with a thank you and carry on.

However, you must use the critique in a way that is going to help you in a positive way. Asking yourself if the comment is helpful is a good place to start.

Look at the comment and answer the following questions, which all check to see if the comment is helpful or not:

Does the comment give reasoning for likes or dislikes?
If a comment doesn’t show you exactly what you’re done right or wrong, it’s often not very helpful. After all, how can one improve if they don’t know how?

Does the comment raise concerns in a polite way?
This is a touchy question to ask, as most people will first see critique as somebody whining about their work. However, you have to ask yourself honestly if the comment is written in a polite way. If the comment is too polite, the deviant may have watered down their concerns, but if the comment is too harsh, it’s going to make you angry. You need to make sure there is a balance.

Is it actually relevant?
Every so often, you will get a comment that really, has absolutely nothing to do with your work. If you feel it is not relevant, trying to adapt to their suggestions is going to leave you more confused. Make sure the comment actually means something to you and your piece.

How did it make you feel?

Now it’s time to actually start responding. A good critique on your work will leave you wanting more. As a golden rule of thumb, it’s important never to take a critique personally

If somebody posts a critique on your page that makes you angry and upset, responding to it right away will only make you tempted to carry that anger into your reply.

Ask yourself these questions before responding to any critique:

What emotion does the comment make you feel?
Does it make you happy, sad, angry, or joyous? Is there any reason that this emotion may make you tempted to be angry with the poster of the comment? If so, take a deep breath, and re-read that comment as many times as it takes to see the comment without any emotion, because surely, the best response will come without anger or flattery.

Are your feelings honest?
Is there any reason whatsoever that you may be shy to post what you really feel? If there is, stop before you post anything. A good response will never shy on any details, but instead will let them know your opinion on the matter, without being rude, or without making anything up.

A good response will start by outlining how their comment made you feel, without being over emotive.

Is the advice going to change the way you next attempt your work?

A good response will tell the poster how you feel about each comment they made. If you can justify a technique or part of your work that they disliked, tell them why you feel it should stay that way!

However, remember that passing everybody’s comments off this way will mean you never show any improvement. A good response will give all suggestions a go!

Ask yourself these questions:

Am I looking at this with a positive attitude?
Launching into a response and an action without a positive attitude will only result in heart-break. Make sure you’re committed to change, and that you really believe you can give it a go. If you don’t feel you can do it, just say so! A good response will be honest, because after all, the critique gave you nothing less.

Will I really give this a go?
If you say you’re going to give it a go, and you’ve decided that you’re honest about it, how long before you decide it’s too hard and you give up? Giving something a go, is giving it a fair run. Don’t be tempted to give up after one deviation or two. It takes any good artist years to refine his technique. It’ll take you just as long.

Do I know exactly what they mean?
If you don’t get a part of their critique, or don’t understand exactly how they want you to try something, ask! Too many people shy away when they don’t understand, and discount themselves from ever being able to pick up concepts slightly more difficult. Don’t ever be afraid to expand your knowledge. After all this is an art community and we’re all here to help each other get better!

Length

If the critique you’ve received is enormous, and your response isn’t even close to it, don’t fret! Quite often the best response require being succinct and to the point, and won’t be long at all!

Just because a response is short, doesn’t mean it’s not a good response, and vice versa for a long response. Length means nothing. It’s the content that counts.

Is That It Already?

You better believe it! Making good responses is really that easy! Just follow the steps provided, and you’re on your way to making responses that everybody is going to love you for.

Remember one important thing though: always be yourself. No matter what formula you use, nothing means more to a deviant than to receive an honest response from somebody who shows that they care about what they’ve just read.

Happy responding everybody!

Nathan (~kle0012) and Kitty (~kittysyellowjacket)
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Daily Deviation

Given 2007-06-22
Deviant Guide: Good Responses by =bringbackart is a stellar example of what a community is. Something that guides and helps itself and its members out. A must read for all. This deviation has been chosen in honor of deviant's Appreciation day! ( Featured by lolly )
:iconliten-angel:
Liten-Angel Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2012  Student General Artist
Thank you! :) I didn't realize there was a proper way to respond, but I suppose it makes sense that if there's a proper way to critique there's a proper response. Now I know, and will hopefully do better in the future on my responses. :)
Reply
:iconichbinragady:
IchBinRagady Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2011  Hobbyist Artist
Thanks for the tips! I'll be sure to share this should anyone prove interested. n_n
Reply
:iconkatalystpunkgirl98:
KatalystPunkGirl98 Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2010
I like this guide! It is a perfect guide for good responses.
Reply
:iconwolffoetowtech:
wolffoetowtech Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
thank you
this will help a lot of people
Its going in my learning center
Reply
:iconpromdressesol:
promdressesol Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2010
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:iconpromdressesol:
promdressesol Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2010
prom dressesPromGirl has all the latest fashion styles and trends for the2010 prom collection, holiday or homecoming season.backless dresses. The top designers have created prom gowns that are sure to make a lasting impression at your formal, pageant, or special occasion. wedding dresses.These designs range from classic halter dressesbridesmaid dresses with cocktail dresses and party gowns, to contemporary dresses with low cut halters, pleated skirts, or accents ranging from beads to bowsevening dresses. There are fabulous form fitting mermaid special occasion dresses, short strapless ball gowns in ombre fabrics that are fun and flirty, and dinner dresses, perfect for attending a wedding or holiday party. perfermance dressesBeaded evening gowns and sexy ceremony dresses are trendsetters for 2010. bridal gownsLet Promdressesol help you find the perfect trendsetting dresscustom design dresses that is right for you.
Reply
:iconreyvinvinnex:
ReyvinVinnex Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2010
This would be a lot better as a .PDF download.
Reply
:iconxspyrothedragonx:
xSPYROTHEDRAGONx Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
why?, you'll need to give a reason :lol:
Reply
:iconreyvinvinnex:
ReyvinVinnex Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2010
Because everyone knows PDFs make things more awesome!
Reply
:iconxspyrothedragonx:
xSPYROTHEDRAGONx Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
epic xD
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:iconmorgainej:
morgainej Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2009  Student General Artist
Fabulous; I often don't know how to respond to a critique without just saying, 'thanks for the critique'. This was a big help.
Reply
:iconjetfreak-7:
Jetfreak-7 Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2008
And a very informative piece of work this is, thanks :)
Reply
:iconadrawer4ever:
adrawer4ever Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2008   Traditional Artist
A perfect partner piece for "good comments".

Ironically, while I've found many articles/journals/deviations in general on the subject I haven't run into many (if any!) that focus on responding to comments! not that I've searched...

So kudos for the excellent well-structured guide.
Reply
:iconzosalot:
Zosalot Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2008  Student General Artist
I really like this idea you are going with. :heart:
It's nice to see something like this. This is going to be helpful to me and other people. Seeing as how there are so many flames taken seriously and so many more constructive critique comments taken as insults. Good work and keep it up.
Reply
:iconpacificaarts:
PacificaArts Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2008  Student General Artist
Thank you for this. :) It'll be really helpful in my stay here.
Reply
:iconbringbackart:
bringbackart Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2008

Glad we could've been of service!
[:
Reply
:iconanelis:
Anelis Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2008  Professional General Artist
thank you for making this!
i kinda featured you in my journal, i hope it's fine by you :)
Reply
:iconbringbackart:
bringbackart Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2008

That is more than fine by us!
Thank you so much for your incredible support, keep up your hard work!
Reply
:iconmanic-otaku:
manic-otaku Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2008
*cheer* Great work. I fully support this :heart:
Reply
:iconbringbackart:
bringbackart Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2008

Thank you for your kind support!
Reply
:iconsuzaku18:
suzaku18 Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2008
another great read. :D this one is useful too; aside from Good Comments.

(especially since not everyone can take in a critique.)

support this all the way!
Reply
:iconoccasionallyxxx:
occasionallyxxx Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2008  Professional General Artist
You are damn right. Can' agree more with you.
Reply
:iconsidestep-ink:
sidestep-ink Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2008
hehe reminds me of art class, yeah critiques are slightly different than normal coments and probably shoudl be treated slightly differently, thank you for the help
Reply
:iconanima-lux-artifex:
Anima-Lux-Artifex Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2008  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Once again, really helpfull!
Reply
:iconbringbackart:
bringbackart Featured By Owner May 23, 2008
Thanks so much! Spread the word, and help save dA! =]
Reply
:iconakimaru-zaithara:
Akimaru-Zaithara Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2007  Student
I've just read this and your Guide to Good Comments and I must say I wish people at my current art college would read them and follow them.

This piece, whether it is an online response or in a face to face critique, is an absolutely perfect guide. I have found myself in a response war in critique, (I was a silly freshman) and I wish I had read this before the disaster. I probably would have reacted differently.
Reply
:iconbringbackart:
bringbackart Featured By Owner May 23, 2008
You are far too kind! Maybe you can show people at your college? There's absolutely no reason why these guides have to be limited to just deviantART!

If you give it a go, please let us know how it goes! We'd love to post something in our journal on how you helped your fellow classmates using this guide! =]
Reply
:iconlight-former:
Light-Former Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2007
Thank you for taking the effort in writing this for the community. Although I'm very familiar with many of the things mentioned, it's still great to see it so well structured and thought through.

I'll favorite this to give your work an increased chance of being read.

Great work. :)
Reply
:iconbringbackart:
bringbackart Featured By Owner May 23, 2008
Thank you so much for your amazing support! Spreading the word about this guide will make dA a better place for all!
Reply
:iconrowenabrennavart:
rowenabrennavart Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2007  Hobbyist Photographer
You've been featured here [link]

Tell me if that's ok with you, if not I'll remove it right away ^-^ Thank you for doing this deviation!

Help to spread the word if you can! n_n Love,

Cris
Reply
:iconbringbackart:
bringbackart Featured By Owner May 23, 2008
No! Of course it's alright! You've done exactly what the whole motto of this club is, and that's spread the word on how to make dA a better place!

Thank you so much for your amazing support! It means a lot to have people like you make this job a whole lot easier!
Reply
:iconrowenabrennavart:
rowenabrennavart Featured By Owner May 23, 2008  Hobbyist Photographer
:blush: It's just a list. Those who made each and every single deviation/forum thread/journal/other...*those* are the real heroes, fighting for this place that we love and call home ^-^ If you could feature the journal (even if you want to copy it, I can send a copy by note), I don't care if my name appears or not, just spread the words!! ^_^ Keep on with the good work :thumbsup:
Reply
:iconbringbackart:
bringbackart Featured By Owner May 23, 2008
That would be so great, if you could send them all in a note? I'd love to put up a new tutorial, a list of other resources for all of us. Your name will most definitely appear, right at the top, and the bottom! =]

Thank you so much for all the support! You rock! :cookie:
Reply
:iconrowenabrennavart:
rowenabrennavart Featured By Owner May 23, 2008  Hobbyist Photographer
Sent the note, hope it helps :) I'll add you guys to my watch list as well, if you don't mind ^-^ Anything else I can do, just drop a note or write, k?
Reply
:iconbringbackart:
bringbackart Featured By Owner May 25, 2008
Absolutely! Thank you SO SO SO much for the note, I'll be putting that up next week, along with a new project. =]
Keep spreading the word, and keep in touch! If you have any more ideas, be sure to let us know!
Reply
:iconrowenabrennavart:
rowenabrennavart Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2008  Hobbyist Photographer
^-^
Reply
:icontenaciousart:
tenaciousart Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2007
This is really useful, I usually don't recieve many critiques at all (at least good ones). But for now on I'm always going to think and askmyself those questions.
You guys really made a great and very informative job making this guide and the comment guide.

Thank you very much for it.
Reply
:iconbringbackart:
bringbackart Featured By Owner May 23, 2008
You might well find that if you critique somebody elses work really well, they'll come to check out your gallery, and do the same back to you! That's exactly how I got started!

Thank you so much for your support, and your kind comment! We're really glad this helped you! Please spread the word, and make dA even better!
Reply
:iconironicmoodswing:
ironicmoodswing Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2007
This was really informative. Honestly I never have had any idea how to react to critiques of my work , on or off of Deviantart. Mostly because i never knew why the person was bothering to tell me anything at all.
Thanks alot, it explained how I can USE my comments and how to respond.
Cheers and Horah this was really well done.
Reply
:iconbringbackart:
bringbackart Featured By Owner May 23, 2008
Absolutely, you are most welcome! Thank you so much for the awesome comment, it means so much to have your support! You're helping us, to help make dA a better place! Keep spreading the word! =]
Reply
:iconevilangelion:
Evilangelion Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2007   Digital Artist
We hardly having people like you who make a difference for this community. It is an art of being i would appreciate. A fav definately. =D
Reply
:iconbringbackart:
bringbackart Featured By Owner May 23, 2008
Wow, thanks so much for your kind words! Keep spreading the word, to help us make this place better for all! =]
Reply
:iconarhcamt:
arhcamt Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2007
thanks so much for sharing! :)
Reply
:iconbringbackart:
bringbackart Featured By Owner May 23, 2008
Hey, you're welcome! Sorry about the insanely late response, responding well takes longer than I mentioned in the guide. xD Thanks so much for the support! Hope you can help us spread the word about how to make dA even better!
Reply
:icongatr1993:
gatr1993 Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2007
you know what thanx for posting this. it is quite useful your choices of words and self-asking questions was quite helpful thanx again
Reply
:iconfrenetikfred:
FrenetikFred Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2007  Hobbyist Photographer
It's really helpful as some other persons said, and I might share it with other deviants, and provide it to a wider range of people, maybe by translating this one too into French if you allow me of course.
Reply
:iconsammi-antha:
sammi-antha Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2007
Really helpful and definitely worth the DD.
I'm sure to use this advice and pass it on to others too.
Reply
:iconjamesilluminare:
jamesilluminare Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2007  Professional General Artist
Thank you for this tutorial, it was really helpful. I shall work on my responses in the future.

*goes over tips to see if he has done this one right*

:D
Reply
:icon77-hydra:
77-HydRa Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2007
FUCK BABO
Reply
:icontalenthaven:
TalentHaven Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2007
Hi there. I've linked to this tutorial on my club's tutorial list: [link]

This list is to help the club's members find good tutorials easier. If you'd prefer it not to be listed there please note the club and it will be removed asap.

:hug: Thanks for writing such a great tutorial.
Reply
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