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Feedback Weekend


While technical critique is all kinds of awesome when it's wanted, it is absolutely, definitely NOT the only kind of feedback that's valid or that an artist will appreciate! If you're nervous about leaving comments on people's art because you're worried your feedback won't be in-depth enough or technical enough, please don't feel that way. There are ways to respond to an artist's work that have nothing at all to do with technical critique, and that's what we're going to talk about today.

Before we get into the main body of the article, I'd like to make one thing really clear. It's very important and it underpins everything else in the article. Ready? 

Not everyone wants critique and this is a perfectly valid choice. There are a million and one possible reasons why someone may not be seeking critique on some or all of the work they upload to DA. Even if you don't know their reasons, even if they haven't stated them, even if they have stated them and you don't agree with them, they are still valid and we should respect each other's wishes. I'd go as far as to suggest that detailed technical critique should really only be left on pieces of art that either have the Critique option enabled or where the artist has clearly stated in the description (or made it super clear on their profile page) that they're looking for critique and/or technical suggestions.

So, you've found some art you enjoy and you'd like to leave a comment that isn't technical critique, but you're stuck. Don't worry. Here's an approach that will work for almost anyone!

Focusing on what you can talk about

For example, what did you like best about the piece of art? What immediately captured your attention and inspired you to click on the thumbnail for a closer look? What interested, intrigued and fascinated you? What made you smile? If you're stuck with describing precisely why you adore something in deep and meaningful terms (we all have those days), you can almost always express that feeling in a simple way. This doesn't require any technical knowledge of the medium at all. You can know you love the shapes in a fractal or the colours in a hand-made dress without being able to explain the underlying theory that makes those particular shapes or colours beautiful to you. You can just appreciate them in your own way, then share that appreciation with the artist.

Talking by TanyaSimpson

Crossing language barriers

If you're moved to comment on something and you don't share a language with the artist, check out online translation tools. Of course they won't always offer an opportunity for the most eloquent comments, but they'll help you to say something short, simple and to the point, like, "I love the colours" or "This picture is beautiful". If all you can manage is to leave a comment in your own language, do it anyway. Include an emote to show your general feeling. Just go for it. At worst, the artist will see a positive emote and know the comment was positive. At best, they'll translate it and reach something closer to the full meaning. Those are both pretty great outcomes!

Language by TanyaSimpson

Detailed commenting without technical critique

If you want to go more in-depth with your comments but for whatever reason aren't equipped to get technical, you can still do that and it will still be appreciated. One of the most incredible things about art is how it sparks emotions and reminds us of experiences we've had. Perhaps you can't explain exactly why the composition of that picture is great, but you can explain why it reminds you of a holiday you took with your family when you were five or gets you excited for winter, for example. Put yourself in the other person's shoes. How would you feel to know you'd brought a treasured memory to the front of someone's mind or made them think about their favourite season?

Love by TanyaSimpson


There is a beautiful spectrum of joy and emotion in the world of comments between detailed technical critique and "nice pic". It's an amorphous, inspiration-filled place of experience and wonder. Never underestimate the value of simply telling someone why you enjoyed something they created. Use your words in whatever way you can. Be honest. Be real. Say something. Say anything. Connect. Isn't that what we're all here for?

As part of projecteducate's Feedback Weekend (25th and 26th August 2018), I'm here to remind you that an awesome comment doesn't have to take the form of technical critique.

Plus, Mean Girls gifs. Because reasons.
Add a Comment:
BellaGBear Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2018  Student Artisan Crafter
Great article :clap: It's great you put the beauty of not necessarily technical  commentary in word.

Personally I always go for it when I feel inspired to write comments which spiral in little stories or funny things the artwork reminds me of. My guess is that comments like that are the best way to find people you connect with on a mind level when you don't share an art medium :)
TanyaSimpson Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2018
Thanks so much for the lovely comment :hug:
BellaGBear Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2018  Student Artisan Crafter
thank you! For the great article :)
BrankaArts Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Beautifully stated :clap:
Thank you for sharing :hug:
TanyaSimpson Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2018
Thanks very much :aww:
BrankaArts Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Most welcome :hug:
pearwood Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2018  Hobbyist Photographer
WolfCattoDraws Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This was so well worded, not to mention the fabulous mean girls gifs!
TanyaSimpson Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2018
Glad you liked it :aww:
Yuukon Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2018   Writer
Thank you for writing this article for Feedback Weekend! It's very imformative! :la:

Loving the Mean Girls gifs!
TanyaSimpson Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2018
Thanks for including me in the weekend! :aww:
Add a Comment:

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August 26, 2018
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