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The Do's and Don't's of Critiques

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By Cryophase   |   
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© 2013 - 2020 Cryophase
A quick silly tutorial I whipped up about critiquing! I'll go into more detail on each point here in the description.

1) First and fore-most, critiques are not for ass-kissing, people! You should not seek feedback for the sole purpose of boosting your ego. You should not go out and expect compliments when you ask for critiques. You should seek critiques because you as an artist want to improve, and you acknowledge that your work is indeed far from perfect. Critiques help artists grow, improve, and fix bad habits. If all critiques were just reinforcement that the artist's work was perfect, they would never improve!

2) Giving critiques is hard for a lot of people. I've both seen and personally received many critiques that were, while very pleasant and complimentary, utterly useless! Sure, who doesn't appreciate getting complimented? We all love that, and it makes artists smile to know their work is loved. But if you have nothing negative to say or flaws to point out, then just leave the artist a nice comment telling them how nice you think their work is, but don't label it as a critique! I've rejected many such critiques, and it's always a touchy business to "reject" a compliment, but I assure you that's not what you're doing. Critiques should be subjective and constructive. Saying something looks wrong or could be improved is not an insult(unless of course you're simply flaming, in which case you shouldn't be critiquing either!). Pointing out areas that need improvement or that look off is a good thing! It means the artist can avoid making the same mistakes again, and their next piece will be even better!

One of my biggest peeves here on DeviantArt is seeing a critique that gives everything five stars and says literally nothing negative about the art. It usually sounds something along the lines of;

"I am a huge fan of -subject of piece/artist in question- and I love this! It's perfect! It can't be improved, five stars all around!"

And while it's flattering, it isn't subjective or helpful. I don't ask for critiques to get compliments, I leave comments open to get compliments! Critiques are reserved for advice and objectivity. That said, noting the positives of a piece in a critique is fine, as long as you note the negatives alongside them!

3) How to receive. Alright, artists that rate critiques like the one I mentioned above as "Fair" are just as bad as the critiques themselves. If an artist really thinks a five-star, criticism-free critique is fair, then they must think themselves perfect and with no room to improve, which is sad, really. All artists can improve, and the day one thinks they're perfect is the day they stop improving. View your own work objectively, people, it is important!

If you get a critique like this, tell the critiquer "Thank you, but this is more suited for the comments section!". They complimented you, and maybe they really don't think the piece can be improved. They are likely below your skill level and wish they could draw like you, at which point it is common for all objectivity to be thrown out the window. If that's the case, then they should just stick to the comments. Artists like getting compliments, honestly, we do! Just not in the critique section.

When receiving a good, constructive critique, some artists may find it hard. Some may have a high opinion of themselves and thus feel challenged or offended when someone points out any flaw in their art. If that's the case, well, grow a pair! A criticism of your art is not a personal attack! It's an attempt to help you improve. You are not perfect, nobody is, and you should be willing to acknowledge that fact!



Anyways, that is my two cents. Hope you found this helpful!
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Comments59
anonymous's avatar
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EizzaimJemat's avatar
EizzaimJematStudent Digital Artist
Thanks for the help!
EveryFandomGirl's avatar
I'm still new to Deviantart, does anyone know how to post the 'This Person is Requesting a Critique' button for a piece of work? Thank you in advance :3
Cryophase's avatar
CryophaseHobbyist Digital Artist
Hi there! Unfortunately the option only exists for premium members at this time to formally add the "Critique requested" widget to a piece. However I find that asking for critiques via comments in the description of a piece works equally well(some people even prefer that)
EveryFandomGirl's avatar
so... care to read some of my work and critique it to get the ball rolling? :3 much appreciated
Sketch-Shepherd's avatar
Sketch-ShepherdHobbyist General Artist
Everybody needs to see this..
Cryophase's avatar
CryophaseHobbyist Digital Artist
Haha thanks :)
JK-Kino's avatar
JK-KinoHobbyist Digital Artist
I too draw mainly for fun, but critiques are always nice when I can get one. I believe that some artists can be defensive about their art because they worked hard and put a lot of themselves into their work. When they realize that some folks don't like their art, and point out all its flaws, they view that as a poor reflection on themselves. That's why they view it as a personal attack. How do I know this? I'm kind of the same way. I'm so afraid of disappointing someone that I don't really ask for critiques often.
official-izzy's avatar
official-izzyHobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you for making this!
Cryophase's avatar
CryophaseHobbyist Digital Artist
Yup :D
CrystalVesperia's avatar
I might post this thumbnail in my descriptions once I get my own artwork up and going for critiques. A lot of my friends and watchers don't know how to give proper critique (Although I appreciate their time for looking at my work). :lol:
Cryophase's avatar
CryophaseHobbyist Digital Artist
Haha yeah, I used to get a lot of subpar ones as well :XD: Recently the feedback I've been getting is great, which makes me loads of happy :)
CrystalVesperia's avatar
That's really great to hear! :dummy:

I've seen many wonderful artists get discouraged due to non-helpful feedback and eventually just stop asking for critique which is a shame. I feel that the only way you can really get it nowadays is if you intentionally push yourself forward for it.

In the past, I've wrote in my descriptions where I thought I went wrong, rather than what the piece was about or inspired by. It usually helped me get the feedback I was looking for because I showed interest in improving. It's just sad to think that so many people are either too hesitant or star struck to really give it.
Cryophase's avatar
CryophaseHobbyist Digital Artist
Yeah, most of mine come from friends or specific requests =P It helps that I carry my signature "Critique me!" :XD:
CrystalVesperia's avatar
I have no idea why that never occurred to me! :lol:
ChaosDemonXXXAngel's avatar
ChaosDemonXXXAngelHobbyist General Artist
Used it in a forum~
Azza9's avatar
Because honing your craft is for chumps!

Real successes just find a butt kissing brigade and surf that baby till it's or your death.
Cryophase's avatar
CryophaseHobbyist Digital Artist
Oh of course! :lol:

Now get in line to kiss my ass, peasant! :stare:
Azza9's avatar
Sorry, I'm not a licensed butt, ass or bum kisser of any sort.
Sadly I'm also unable to refer you to anyone who provides this service.
Cetaceaphile's avatar
CetaceaphileHobbyist General Artist
I love this picture :L
Cryophase's avatar
CryophaseHobbyist Digital Artist
:dummy:
pandamonic's avatar
pandamonicProfessional Digital Artist
That description was an interesting read. You articulated everything veryyyyyy well, I agree with you on all points and you seem to have covered all there is to cover. However, I think that ass-kissing panel could be improved. You should illustrate the same action but with a more dynamic pose and add lens flare to improve the composition. Other than that 5/5. :P
Cryophase's avatar
CryophaseHobbyist Digital Artist
Here, the most perfect image in existence. It has titties, ponies, ass cheeks, a stripper pole, AND LENS FLARE :B [link]

thisiswhatcameupwhengooglingasslensflare
Xadrea's avatar
XadreaProfessional Traditional Artist
great stuff! I'm sharing this with my group :D
Cryophase's avatar
CryophaseHobbyist Digital Artist
Cool, glad you like! :D
anonymous's avatar
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