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Giving Feedback: How do I do that?

Sat Aug 25, 2018, 6:00 AM by Yuukon:iconyuukon:
:iconprojecteducate:
:iconprojecteducate:


Feedback Weekend



Hello all!
This is Yuukon and B0nkers and we have combined forces for Feedback Weekend!



Hello and Welcome to Bonks’ and Yuu’s Guide to Giving Feedback!
It’s so wonderful that you’re here, and we hope this article will be useful for you. Should you have any questions when you have reached the end, feel free to ask them! We’ll happily answer them for you.

Let’s first start off with some terminologies. There are a lot of different terms when it comes to giving feedback, and a first step to being able to give some is understanding what all these words mean.

When someone requests feedback it usually means they are seeking for critique and not criticism. There is a vast difference between the two so let’s find out what they are before we jump into how to give sound feedback.

Critique is a critical review, discussion or commentary of a specified topic.
Criticism is to judge, to find faults without providing ways to overcome those setbacks of a specified topic.

Critique
is positive, looks at structure, finds what's working, highlights honestly and objectively, is positive even about what isn't working in the artwork, is concrete and specific, addresses only what is provided not what isn’t.

Criticism is negative, finds fault, looks for what's lacking, condemns what it doesn't understand, describes with a cruel wit and sarcastic tone, is vague and general, looks for flaws in either the artwork or the artist. (Bates, 2018)

Now that we have that outlined shall we get on with how to give constructive feedback?

Giving Feedback

Feedback is an essential tool for any artist to improve their work. When you give feedback, it’s important to be constructive. Giving constructive feedback means that you build things up, not break them down. It’s a way to let the artist know you’re not there to attack them, but to help them.

It is understandable that you might be worried that someone might be offended by your feedback, however, if you make sure your feedback is friendly, and constructive, there will be many artists that are very appreciative. But how to make your feedback constructive? Let’s get ourselves knee-deep into that.

Constructive Feedback: How it's constructed

There are many ways to give constructive feedback. One of the best-known techniques is the sandwich method. Like if you were preparing a sandwich, you’re using layers to add things into your feedback.

This is how it’s built up:

  • Compliment
  • One or two tips/suggestions
  • Compliment
It’s also important not to go overboard with tips and suggestions. Pick out what you think are the most important things for the artist to improve on.

Important things to keep in mind when giving feedback are:

  • Look through the artist’s eyes: If you’re giving a feedback on someone’s artwork, it helps to know where they’re coming from. 
  • Don’t nit-pick the little things: Weirdly shaped trees, odd clouds, funny ears and noses… it can sometimes be helpful to point out those flaws, but it’s often best to focus on the big picture instead.
  • Keep it short: Don’t beat-around-the-bush or babble about what you want to say, get to the point. 

As a rule of thumb, start positive, end positive. With the sandwich method, the tips and suggestions are layered in between the compliments, which is a way of making your feedback more constructive and friendly to the artist. If we were to end our feedback with something negative, nobody would feel happy about that. Instead, ending it with a compliment will make people happy, because you have given them tips, but you still like their work.

Never be vague. There’s nothing worse than being vague. It usually sounds like this: “There’s something missing but I don’t know what it is. But it’s something.” In reality, if you have nothing concrete to say about the artwork, it is best not to say anything at all.

It is important to focus on the artwork rather than on the person. If you’re friends with someone, and they ask for your thoughts on something, always be honest. Sugarcoating the truth is not going to help them improve, and they ask you because they want to improve! When giving feedback to someone you don’t necessarily know, it’s important to be honest as well. Don’t worry about things like “will they still like me if I say this?”. If you put it nicely, they will thank you for it.



Proper feedback doesn’t feel bad. Feedback should enlighten, guide and have that pleasant feeling of honesty, safety and support. It should never ever:

  • Humiliate
  • Force someone to explain themselves
  • Intimidate
  • Negate a person’s point of view

Some examples of keywords/sentence starters that you can use when giving tips are:

  • Have you tried…
  • Perhaps you could….
  • I’ve once learned this really helpful technique, ….
  • Can I show you how….?
  • Did you know about…?. / Have you heard of….?
And so on! Never tell someone they “have to” or “should do” something. That’s not going to encourage someone to try something new in order to improve. Being friendly is a key to giving constructive feedback.

In conclusion, always remember that artists are mostly on a lookout for a different perspective. They would appreciate some feedback and if you can provide with some positive comments, it would make their day slightly more brighter.

We have shot a lot of information at you in this article. It can be a lot to process, so here is a short overview of the most important points of giving feedback to artists:

  • Start positive and end positive
  • Don’t be vague. Get to the point.
  • Look through the artist’s eyes
  • Go for the big picture
  • Be friendly.

We hope this article has been useful for you, and if there's any questions, feel free to ask!



In which B0nkers and myself have combined forces to tell you about giving feedback for Feedback Weekend at projecteducate !
Add a Comment:
 
:iconbellagbear:
BellaGBear Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2018  Student Artisan Crafter
Great article! Especially the examples you give to write feedback :)
Reply
:iconyuukon:
Yuukon Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2018   Writer
I'm glad it's useful to you! 
Reply
:iconbrankaarts:
BrankaArts Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I love you for using Sherlock aka Benedict Cumberbatch in this journal :happybounce:

Many deviants don't like it when you make suggestions or give tips. That's why I
withhold myself from that (I gave it once to someone's writing :( )

Thank you for the advice :glomp:
Reply
:iconyuukon:
Yuukon Featured By Owner Edited Aug 28, 2018   Writer
Gotta love channeling Sherlock! B0nkers is my Wafson! :sherlock: 

It's important to make sure someone actually wants to hear suggestions, though. Some people would rather not whereas others welcome it! If you're unsure, I always recommend to ask first :aww: 
Reply
:iconbrankaarts:
BrankaArts Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh for sure :nod:
:D

Yes, of course. I will surely ask next time :)
Reply
:icondaria102205:
daria102205 Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you kindly for this.  It is definitely something that a lot of people could benefit from considering before they post a comment on someone else's art.
Reply
:iconyuukon:
Yuukon Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2018   Writer
It was our pleasure! Hopefully, this is useful for you!
Reply
:iconzeochan:
zeochan Featured By Owner Edited Aug 28, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I technically do this, but sometimes I find it tricky to point out something that can be improved on especially when art can be subjective (or even objective.) But I always think "Well, I like it -- but why do I like it?" or "What do I like about this piece?" so I can think critically and not just say "Nice!" Or "Awesome photo!" Sometimes a piece can be playful, in a casual way so in my mind I'm sort of focused on what makes an image 'playful' or 'fun', and not looking at anything else.
Reply
:iconyuukon:
Yuukon Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2018   Writer
Giving feedback is never easy! And feedback can also consist of "hey I think this is awesome but I have no idea what you could improve on"! As long as you elaborate on what you think is awesome about the piece and so on :nod:
Reply
:iconqueen-kitty:
Queen-Kitty Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2018   Photographer
Great article!  I'm so thrilled to know about the feedback sandwich method :giggle: Some people have great difficulty in differentiating between critique and criticism, and I think you've really nailed the differences here. 
Reply
:iconyuukon:
Yuukon Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2018   Writer
Thank you Ashley! 
You see, there's more than one reason why sandwiches are awesome :giggle:
Reply
:iconwhisper292:
Whisper292 Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
This is an excellent article and good advice! I have always instinctively done the compliment-feedback-compliment process, and it's good to know I'm doing something right. Thanks for sharing this.
Reply
:iconyuukon:
Yuukon Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2018   Writer
Thank you so much!
Reply
:iconbinouchetruc:
Binouchetruc Featured By Owner Edited Aug 26, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Omgoat, all this time I said criticism instead of critique because it's not my main language and thought critique was only in french, I hope I didn't hurt anybody in any way ('n')
Thx for this anyway, I'll know better now ! :')
Reply
:iconyuukon:
Yuukon Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2018   Writer
Glad we could teach you something!
Reply
:iconbinouchetruc:
Binouchetruc Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Aww 
Reply
:iconmarmuc21:
Marmuc21 Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks, Sherlock! xD
No, seriously, it's good to have some advice here. I've heard of some points before, but am thankful for this reminder and think it can really help to improve feedback. I'm especially glad for the sentence examples to start a suggestion.
Hopefully many people read and think about this.
Greetings
Reply
:iconyuukon:
Yuukon Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2018   Writer
It was our pleasure to write this! :la:
Reply
:iconqueenwildfire2k18:
QueenWildfire2k18 Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2018  Student Digital Artist
This.
This right here is what everyone needs to know.
I asked a couple of people for critiques on a piece that I really wanted to get right since it was for one of my best friends and only one of them actually pointed out what I did right. While the others pointing out what I did wrong was nice, I needed to hear that I had at least done something right. It made me not want to work on the piece for a bit since they had torn down my confidence a lot. But I've finished the piece now and my friend loved it.
Reply
:iconyuukon:
Yuukon Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2018   Writer
Thank you for your kind words! :heart:
Reply
:iconqueenwildfire2k18:
QueenWildfire2k18 Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2018  Student Digital Artist
No problem! :D
Reply
:iconmajdrab:
Majdrab Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for this advice ! It should be everywhere !
Reply
:iconyuukon:
Yuukon Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2018   Writer
It was my pleasure!
Reply
:iconawesome43:
awesome43 Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2018
:faint: so very well written and sound advise.  Thank you for creating this amazing feedback journal. :):):)
Reply
:iconyuukon:
Yuukon Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2018   Writer
I'm glad to hear this is useful for you! :D
Reply
:iconteroporthan:
TeroPorthan Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2018   Digital Artist
It's excellent! Everyone on DeviantArt should read this! :D
Reply
:iconyuukon:
Yuukon Featured By Owner Edited Aug 27, 2018   Writer
Thank you Tero! :heart:
Reply
:icongejda:
Gejda Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2018  Professional Digital Artist
This is awesome! I am so linking to this article from the CrPhotomanip frontpage if you guys don't mind. Thank you for writing this, a lot of people will find it very useful! :) 
Reply
:iconyuukon:
Yuukon Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2018   Writer
Oh yes, please do! We wrote it to be shared! :aww: 
Glad you liked it, Marta! :la:
Reply
:iconrtnightmare:
RTNightmare Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
:clap:
Reply
:iconyuukon:
Yuukon Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2018   Writer
:aww:
Reply
:iconleilaascariz:
LeilaAscariz Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Amazing! That's why I always try to do myself, not with art but with everything, and it has always worked to me.
I love see it put into words, much better than I'd ever be able to put it.
I believe that most people try to be helpful, but sometimes they go overboard or mistake being sincere with being rude.
Another thing that I have seen too much is people giving advice to beginner artists to do things in ways they escape their current abilities. I always try to focus on things that I believe that the artist can improve, bevause there's no point on giving someone advanced tricks when they areare still learning the basics.
Reply
:iconyuukon:
Yuukon Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2018   Writer
I'm so glad to hear this is useful to you! And keep on giving feedback! :la:
Reply
:iconleilaascariz:
LeilaAscariz Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I will! I love commenting on art! I feel that I am not too helpful because to me everything seems pretty. I might be too enthusiastic xD
Reply
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