Hi everyone, I'm Mookii. I don't post here very often, but a big part of that is because I am very sensitive to criticism. I am also often ashamed to post my work among all the other talented artists here, because I have fears of having my art torn to pieces, and as a result, my heart.
I suppose I am posting this thread, because I want to know how you guys do so well with criticism. Any advice? Pointers? I have an issue where even if someone is offering what is supposedly, "constructive criticism," I take it as an attack on myself. I recognize the issue with this is I won't improve unless I know what to fix, but I guess I need advice on how you don't take criticism of any kind offensively.
I am genuinely asking, as an aspiring artist. Please offer your advice, and try to be kind.
Thanks in advance,
Last edited by Mookii; January 25th, 2011 at 08:37 AM. Reason: Making topic title more understandable.
I can't say that I take it "well", but I make sure that I won't let it show, especially in the internet because I have the luxury to take my time.how you guys do so well with criticism
If I feel angry after reading some critique (as I often may do), I just take my time and let myself cool, take a walk, maybe even sleep overnight and digest the critique slowly and think how it applies to my art.
Even if the crits I get aren't 110% full of extreme helpfulness and direct pointers and paint-overs, they very often give me lots of ideas to use to make my art/picture better if I just use my brain.
And it's part of not taking drawings too seriously. If you think your art is the very lifeblood that you have spilled from your heart, full of intricate meaning from your soul, all critiques will feel much more harsher than they are.
One way to learn how to deal with critique is to just ask for it and learn by dealing with it. When you get used to critique, it stops being an attack.
There also may be some pointers about taking critique in here: http://conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=126475 and here: http://www.conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=28061 and here: http://conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=26636
Last edited by TinyBird; January 25th, 2011 at 09:00 AM.
Thank you very much for your response. I will admit I do not ask for critique much because I feel like my personal skill is being attacked. I think you might be right though, I need to start asking for critiques.
I will be sure to check out those links, as well. Once again, thank you.
I'm the complete opposite of you, and TinyBird, in that you could verbally abuse me for hours and I wouldn't feel bad about it =) and I think as a learning artist that's really where you want to be. It comes with practice desensitizing yourself to a lot of verbal abuse really. Once you can do that, you can desensitize yourself to emotional damage, and you can objectively focus on what the person giving the critique actually has to say rather than what can offend you. Anger is an emotion that we can do without.
Personally, I love crits. I appreciate the fact that people will take the time to analyze my work and point out it's flaws because they're doing me a favor by doing so, and taking time out of their own lives, regardless of whether it's informed or uninformed. If you can't desensitize yourself to harsh crits, then at least set a goal to turn that anger into appreciation and gratitude =)
Sometimes people will critique my crits, I love that too =) Even if people are being dicks about it, I try reply to that dickyness with gratitude and humility. Usually it explodes their brain, which is always fun.
But at the end of the day, art is fun. Improving is fun. Doing art better is fun, interacting with other artists that are fun. Just have fun with it, and don't let it become an emotional cornerstone for your sanity. HAVE FUN =)
Damascus, thank you for your reply. I know for me that the anger tends to be directed towards myself more than at the person critiquing me. But I think the last paragraph in your post was very well said. Art should be fun. I need to remember that more often. XD
All I can say is that most of the time people criticize your work because they're trying to help. I've found that to be the case anyway. But even if someone makes a negative comment, take that information and try to do better next time. Your works are special, but you have to push forward and move onto the next project. It also seems like you have a strong desire to be better. It will come with time. So have fun ti'll then, and learn throughout the process ;3
FEED THE SKETCHBOOK
Don't be afraid to make mistakes. Nobody made good art by coloring in between the lines.
AeonPhoenix, since I apparently have run out of thank yous to give for the day, I will give you a verbal one; thank you. :]
I think I might actually try to post some work soon. As you say, I do want to improve, so I think I ought to post some stuff to be critiqued.
*EDIT* Woah, I'm a ditz! I still have the "Thanks" button there. My bad. *END EDIT*
What's ironic is that you're afraid to post your art because you feel like criticism of it is an attack on yourself, but you've essentially done with this thread is ask for criticism of your personality. "What's wrong with this picture and how do I change it?" is a far less personal question than "what's wrong with me and how do I change myself?"
**Finished Work Thread **Process Thread **Edges Tutorial
Crash Course for Artists, Illustrators, and Cartoonists, NYC, the 2013 Edition!
"Work is more fun than fun."
"Art is supposed to punch you in the brain, and it's supposed to stay punched."
Remember that the people offering criticism are the same as you (people!). It's not like they are some mysterious force swooping down on you to attack your art! People who offer con-crit are doing so because they want to help you and see you improve, so remember that their comments are usually coming from good intentions. In any other situation in life, would you be afraid of someone who came to help you?
Also, because criticism comes from people, it's not infallible, so take criticism with a grain of salt. Someone who totally reams your art isn't offering good criticism to begin with, and you know what? It's OK to disregard things like that, especially if there's nothing of value offered. Put yourself in a position of power instead of being afraid, and you'll realize that it's in your control to take what good you can from criticism and discard the rest. It's about what you can get from things that helps you improve! You don't have to take 100% seriously the things people say in criticism, especially if it seems like they aren't offering anything constructive or genuinely helpful.
There's nothing to be afraid of except not giving yourself the opportunity to improve to begin with.
Well, it gets easier as you draw more. If you have one child you spoil it rotten and any criticism directed towards it is like a salted fork in your eye. If you have 10,000 children, being told that a few are ugly is no big deal.
Also, after a few thousand drawings you start seeing a process developing. Your new stuff is better than your old stuff. All those drawings that you fought so hard over and cried over start looking like crap after a few years. You can see all their flaws. When you redraw them they look ten times better. When you realize that you can re-try any drawing as many times as you want and make it look better and better by making changes, defending any one version of it from criticism starts looking silly. Oh no, you drew the foot wrong on that one! Oh well, I guess you'll just have to draw it again. More drawing. HOW TERRIBLE.
For me, I eventually got to the point where I could see most of the mistakes in my art and what I wanted was to have those mistakes gone, not to have everyone pretending that they didn't see them. I want a good picture more than I want to be told how great I am.
Anyway, it might also have something to do with how you feel about yourself as an artist. If you think that you're "talented" then criticism might feel like a personal attack because you start doubting your "talent". If you feel like you're a work in progress then criticism is a temporary setback at worst and a real help at best.
Just some stuff to think about.
You know, I really value criticism because it helps me grow as an artist-- but I never like hearing it, that's for sure! No one likes to be told something the worked hard on sucks, but then again if you don't hear it, you'll never strive to improve and beat back the critics. Having said that though, if someone's criticism goes from straight forward, to cold, to harsh or outright rude-- just remember one simple thing: people will say anything online when they don't have to actually face the person. People are sensationalists when they're anonymous, you know?
Anyway, you'll learn to take criticism after you start applying your first criticisms. Once you really take the time to listen to someone and make a change, and find that suddenly you're a bit better then you were before, taking criticism will start to come easier.
Jaromir Jagr's quote: "Nobody is so good he couldn't be any better" is something I have really taken to heart and made it my mantra. Also: "The road to success is paved with failure."
If you want to win, you need to be able to lose; if you want to throw punches, you should damn well be sure you know how to receive them too.
It just really is that way. Sure, it hurts the few times. Bruised ego maybe hurts even more than the jaw that got hit. Then you learn what to do with it and how -not- to get hit this way the next time.
The important thing about critique is not to reject it totally. If you feel it hurts you personally, give yourself time to get over bruised ego, sleep over it like TinyBird says, if need be. Then try to see through the eyes of the other person and weigh whether (s)he is right and take from their critique what -you- *want* to apply.
-><-My sketchbook. Please, if you have time, crit as if your life depended on it.
Or maybe check out my friends, they deserve it more.
DeterminedAnimator | Naidy | Kalin | Leo_7 | saltfox | DanielsK5 | Lunatic Hermit
Drawing group:"The fate of us all lies deep in the dark when time stands still at the Iron Hill."
I like getting critisism, though I know I used to have a veeerryy fragile ego in my youth. It takes a while to adjust to the mind set to "they have given me a ticket to improving! I'll work on that right away." rather than "Omg I can't believe they've said the nose is off- it's my best picture ever!!"
It's not easy, but as long as you accept it's not a personal attack, that what they've said is right and now they've told you, you can set about tackling the problem, Then perhaps crits will be a little easier to take.
Last edited by Naidy; January 25th, 2011 at 01:15 PM. Reason: So many grammar mistakes.
I think the more critique you listen to, the more positive a feeling you get for it. I used to take crits personally and get really upset about them too, however since joining here I've recieved alot more and have learnt to love them and rely on them.
Occasionally you'll get someone who will bluntly state why your art sucks and give no advice on how to change, in that scenario I think its normal to get a little annoyed, but on average people on here are very polite and will usually give you what my Media Studies teacher calls a 'Shit Sandwich' - Two really positive points about your work and then a crit in the middle
Um, so! XD Feeling more understanding and positive about the criticisms may take a while, but so many of us have felt similarly at one point, and we needed to get more and more of those crits to warm up to that sort of feedback.
Me, I'm DYING to get crits and I hardly get any. Oh, when I get one, I just fill with joy, odd joy and determination to listen to the advice. I still get sensitive sometimes, just because I have other outside issues to deal with, so sometimes I mix personal attacks/compliments with honest constructive help.
I'll tell you, pretty much everyone around here who critiques your work is trying to help you out, lifting you up as they also need to be lifted. Even if someone "doesn't like" what you're doing, but they can give you an honest critique of what works and what can be improved, that can be very valuable stuff for you.
Haven't read through all responses so may be repeating good advice...
First - great question...it can be very difficult to hear even well intentioned, constructive criticism - especially when you don't have much experience/confidence yet - this can get worse when you are not working at your art as hard as you know you should.
On the practical side it is important to consider the source and experience of the critique, which can be difficult to do here, so take a look at the work of those offering both critique and advice. This is not to say you can't learn from anyone, but, the more experienced and skilled the artist, the better the advice.
I definitely advise against "false praise" from peers or those lacking in experience - I don't feel they should offer it and I feel it should be taken with a grain of salt. Encouragement is different - I'm talking about comments like, "That looks great!" - when it absolutely is missing any sense of fundamentals. The reason is because if you start to believe it, it undermines any real advice and critique that may be helpful. I see it constantly here and it can really harm a developing artist - if they put too much stock in it anyway. I've seen it, trust me.
Another problem is critique that is too specific and oriented on fixing one, or many, problems on one piece of art - generally if there is a lack of fundamental understanding on one piece it will be lacking in every piece. So a whole bunch of detailed critique/advice on one piece is useless - the person doesn't really understand it to begin with and will continue to hammer away on a piece that can't be saved instead of just learning the basics.
OK - too long a reply all ready - for good critique check out the Fine Art threads - tends to be excellent obsewrvations and to the point critique offered there.
When asking for crits be careful; if you can check the source for their own abilities so much the better. Personally I don't listen to people who's work I don't respect. I have a group of people Iknow that are all working professionals and we crit each others work. I think that is really valuable but I never take advice from students or people who can't draw or paint because we have no common basis for a discussion and I don't care to get that kind of input for my work.
At some point all crits have to go through you and you have to decide if it works for you or not. It may be bad advice or advice that is beyond your ability or advice you don't want to incorporate into your work. Crits are opinions, not facts, some are more informed than others but none of them are so important that you have to take their advice or you'll fail.
Also, my entire life I've been trained to take what would hurt, and deal with it.
My advise, ease up on being attached to EVERY piece you create, because most of it is crap.
Accept it, and improve. Most critique (don't quote me on that) is meant to help.
My SketchBook http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=139784
http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=192127"Everything must serve the idea. The means used to convey the idea should be the simplest and clear. Just what is required. No extra images. To me this is a universal principle of art. Saying as much as possible with a minimum of means."-John Huston, Director
What doesn't kill you only makes you stronger, and I can assure you that critique certainly won't kill you. Just make sure to take critique with a grain of salt, there are good critique and there are bad critique.
I know how it feels becoming a bit "angry and hurt" when getting critique on your art, heh just look at my first threads here on CA where I didn't respond back (dumb younger me). I was like that untill I learned that if I want to get better at drawing I really need to study hard and embracing and understanding critique is a crucial part of progressing in your skills.
Now I always try to be my own critic aswell, but your biggest critic is always yourself (unless one got delusions of grandure).
"I wish to paint in such a manner as if I were photographing dreams" - Zdzislaw BeksinskiMy Happy Little Sketchbook, please check it out and help me get better!
My own demons rest around the fact that I'm a perfectionist. My art isn't good, it will never be good, and even if I win accolades, it will not be good enough in my eyes.
It's understandable at this point that my lack in confidence comes from a lack of experience, but this will persist with me even once I gain experience and quality in work.
Oddly, I take criticism well, understanding that it's not an out and out attack on me, but moreso used to help me work on areas that I'm not excelling at.
I take criticism well, but oddly enough, I don't take praise well.
"Doing something half-assed more than once just makes you more of an ass."
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I'll add that I give more importance to opinions that tell me to change something than opinions that say everything is fine the way it is. Improvement comes from change. You might make things worse by making a change but then at least you've learned what doesn't work. If you keep things as they are then you are no smarter for it.
We are all artists here.
Chances are we all grew up in an environment with few artists around us to contest with (that is until we enter art school?). At least that is so with me.
Therefore since young I always get lots of remarks like "Wow, you can draw really well!" and "Cool thats amazing you are so talented!". From lots of people who don't draw at all.
Thing is, we all know where we stand. I am not even close to being good. I just know how to draw better than those who don't draw at all. Therefore I am getting all these praises.
Ever since I entered art school, praising remarks don't appeal to me anymore. If you praise me (and give no critics at all), I'll take it that you've never seen a better art.
When I recieve crtics (I do get alot of them) I am usually very grateful. I do admit there is a bit of sourness within. I get unhappy because that guy just picked up something I overlooked. Its not his fault, it is mine.
When someone gives me feedback... I always want to try discussing it more (which, most people take as arguing).
Basically, people just want to hear "oh, you are right, thank you very much" when they give you feedback. So, smile and say "thank you" and you will avoid problems.
Studio Fawn *smiley face*
If you find yourself getting too defensive when you hear crits, try waiting a week or two and read it again. Sometimes distancing yourself from your work a bit will allow you to take the crits more objectively.