I’ve wanted to touch on this subject for a while, and I feel like right now might be a good time to do so, considering some of the stuff I’ve been seeing on my dash lately
When you are an artist, critique can be kind of a sensitive subject. Obviously, not everyone likes it or is open to it in any way. Sometimes the things people say can hurt your feelings - not only in the things they say, but they way they say them. However, in order to progress and improve as an artist of any medium, critique is a very necessary keystone to the process of artistic growth. Without outside sources pointing you in ways you might not have gone, or telling you things you might have missed or not noticed, you stagnate, and that’s the worst thing that can happen to an artist.
A common problem I see is that artists tend to look at critique and view it as bullying. Imagine you post something you’re pretty damn proud of, and one of the first things someone says about it is ‘Oh, that angle of the knee is wrong.’ or something similar. It’s not a particularly nice feeling to know that something you worked really hard on has immediately visible flaws, but that’s just it, you need critique to see your errors, fix them, and move on. Every artist does, even the seasoned masters. Nobody is above critique.
That being said, there is a very real difference between actual critique and bullying. Good critique is thoughtful, points out the positive aspects of a piece as well as challenges the parts that could use some work. The point of a critique is to encourage the artist. To ground them. To remind them not to get too big-headed about their work, and to always strive to be better than they are.
Bullying is different in that it serves only to cut the artist down and make fun of them or mock them. This is not critique, this is straight up being a fuckin asshole. Usually this kind of “critique” is marked by sarcastic inflections, crude language, and flippant remarks. It’s pretty easy to distinguish from actual critique.
There’s another variety though, that doesn’t really fall into either category, and is unfortunately the most common form of critique that I see on the internet. More often than not, the person delivering the critique will simply say something along the lines of “This part looks weird” or “That’s wrong” and leave it at that. No positive reinforcement, no explanation, no nothing. This is still critique, but it’s far less helpful than the first variety I described.
When receiving critique, it’s important to realize that everybody is allowed to give it. A person doesn’t need academic credentials in order to recognize a glaring anatomical mistake or to have an opinion on something you produce, and that’s something that you as an artist need to learn to come to terms with. Everybody is entitled to say what they want about something that you produce, no matter how harsh or unwanted it may have been.
When someone gives you a decent, well rounded critique, it’s important to at least consider it. If you don’t agree, that’s fine. You are not obligated to respond to the person giving the critique, but at the very least you should attempt to consider what they’re saying from an objective standpoint.
If someone is outright bullying you, the best response is no response at all. I cannot stress this enough - even though it’s not pleasant or enjoyable, generally ignoring people who only want to antgonize you is the quickest way to get them off your back. If you don’t fuel the fire, it can’t grow.
If someone decides to send you a very vague critique, (IE ‘that’s wrong) ask them to expand on it. Ask them why they think its wrong, if they can provide examples of what the corrected version of the mistake they’re trying to point out would be, and don’t immediately react with hostility. Not everyone is out to get you, but not everyone knows what they’re talking about either, so that’s another thing to keep in mind.
As for the people who decide to take the stance of ‘I don’t want critique ever, so don’t give it to me’, all I can say is that you’re seriously setting yourself up for disaster with that kind of attitude. As I said before, critique and knowing how to handle it (whether or not you want it) is a very vital, very necessary skill for any artist of any medium to have (whether you’re serious about a career in art or just pursuing it for personal pleasure). If art means a lot to you, and if your skill means a lot to you, leave yourself open to critique. If you find yourself getting it frequently, that’s a pretty good indication that you’ve got some things you should definitely work on.
So to review, Critique is NOT:
- a platform for bullying - a way to insult people you don’t like - meant to hurt your feelings - meant to discourage you
- vital to all types of artists - something to learn to take in stride and improve from
So yeah. Just some stuff to consider for the future.
i felt like reblogging this now would be a good idea considering the last thing i posted lmao