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How important would you rate constructive artistic feedback from a layman?

  • Important, like any constructive criticism

  • Not so important

  • Maybe helpful in rare cases, otherwise not important

  • Irrelevant


Results are only viewable after voting.

Pheanir

Active Member
Something I noticed about feedback while browsing different websites (not only on FA):

It seems like when somebody who isn't a professional criticizes somebody else's work on a constructive level it gets rejected - especially if the criticism targets somebody who actually is a professional artist.

Funny about this, for me, is the fact that most of these rejections are not given by the artist themself but from third persons or fans who find the given criticism unjustified.

I believe the reason for this is that most artists are their own pickiest and strictest critics. Most non-professionals "don't have the skill or knowledge" to judge about an artists work. But: Most of the recipients of art (and music) are layman, even those, who reject another layman's feedback or constructive criticism. So, wouldn't it make sense that this kind of feedback is pretty important as well?

I don't know - since I'm not a professional artist -, but I think most professional artists don't really get a chance to always get their feedback (or reviews) from another well-educated, experienced artist who works on at least the same level of skill.

I would not describe myself as a good artist - more like a little hobbyist -, because I started drawing efficiently ("at least a little sketch every day") with the start of 2018. Before that, I already drew something occasionally in 2015-2017. I can count the times I got the kind of feedback I am referring to on one hand. I am actually happy that I got feedback at all, even if it was just a "this looks nice" or "hm, this looks a little bit off :/".

Long story short (and leading to the poll): Are feedback, constructive criticism and reviews given by layman important?
I would definitely say yes. Sometimes, they see things the artist(s) didn't pay attention to and they can tell the art's creator(s) what effect their creation has on somebody who isn't a professional. Which is the majority of the people.
 

Skychickens

Late Healer Ferret
Sure. If it’s constructive. You say what is and isn’t good and give useful suggestions. Even if it’s just “it seems x is a little small” but sometimes you don’t want critique at all. You don’t want some random passersby to be “trying to help” when you just wanted to show off. And it’s always within the artists power to not make changes. I know I don’t like changing somehing just because one person said so. I do keep it in mind for later though.

But the biggest issue I’ve seen on both sides is people aren’t actually giving constructive feedback. It’s usually just pointing out flaws or something that appears odd but isn’t. (Seriously I look at my cats every day and go “if you weren’t really here I’d be thinking the artist hadn’t a clue about anatomy.”)

And knowing how some people think, getting “critiqued” by someone who thinks you can just quick change something that you spent hours on in the first place can be insulting.

So personally I’m in the “it depends” category.
 

Pheanir

Active Member
Sure. If it’s constructive. You say what is and isn’t good and give useful suggestions. Even if it’s just “it seems x is a little small” but sometimes you don’t want critique at all. You don’t want some random passersby to be “trying to help” when you just wanted to show off. And it’s always within the artists power to not make changes. I know I don’t like changing somehing just because one person said so. I do keep it in mind for later though.

But the biggest issue I’ve seen on both sides is people aren’t actually giving constructive feedback. It’s usually just pointing out flaws or something that appears odd but isn’t. (Seriously I look at my cats every day and go “if you weren’t really here I’d be thinking the artist hadn’t a clue about anatomy.”)

And knowing how some people think, getting “critiqued” by someone who thinks you can just quick change something that you spent hours on in the first place can be insulting.

So personally I’m in the “it depends” category.

Yeah, I understand what you mean and I can realate to your points of view.
(I woulnd't change a picture I worked on for a long time, too, though, I think it would/could help me for the next time.)
Thanks for your honest reply, I appreciate it. =)
 

Skychickens

Late Healer Ferret
Yeah, I understand what you mean and I can realate to your points of view.
(I woulnd't change a picture I worked on for a long time, too, though, I think it would/could help me for the next time.)
Thanks for your honest reply, I appreciate it. =)
But of course~ It's a good topic for thought I think.
 

drawain

Artist
This is another level of the general attitude too many artist's falsibly celebrate: I'm too good or too professional for advice.
I once got into an argument in a fursuit building telegram group, because I dared criticising someones headbase.
The group was either silent when someone posted something that needed a bit rework or everyone got the same "nice" or "cool" comments.
So I thought, silence is toxic, it gives you space for 1000 possible reasons why people might ignore you. So, why not give people feedback?
Not only one, but several people started shaming me as rude in response. (third persons again, yup.) One even went so far, a "professional" fursuitbuilder (cats4cats or something?) outright told me criticism is unprofessional. Professionals don't need it.

It wasn't primarily about how I worded myself, which is pretty straightforward and effective - how it's simply done in EVERY group open to criticism.
But it may have also put them off, since many seemed to be unable to deal with criticism of any kind, since I was told the group was against criticism by default unless stated otherwise.
But you can not change how people think of your work. I personally hate it when people hold back, the unnerving silence I mentioned.
And a community with such a mindset invites stagnation, fishing for compliments and embraces fragile egos.

I've come to a point were I'm open to criticism at almost all times. It's just up to me what to make of it!
I cannot decide that only certain professionals will view my stuff. Most of the time laymen are my clients. And they have eyes, they can see too when something is off, even if they sometimes can't tell why.
Laymen can give weird advice, really, and often they cannot differentiate between personal opinion and constructive criticism,
but it's always a piece of information that could help me figure out what impression I am having on people. Where I'm at, in general.
It can also be a test of me being in touch with my target audience or not. And if someone is really off with their advice it's easy to justify, easy to dismiss and ignore.
 

Pheanir

Active Member
This is another level of the general attitude too many artist's falsibly celebrate: I'm too good or too professional for advice.
Mhm, another good point in my opinion, really fits the building of "fragile egos" you mentioned. Maybe it's just a protective mechanism for those people, who knows?
When I receive constructive criticism about my art it can hurt a bit, because it shows me my "mistakes" or "flaws". But! It also helps me to better myself; so in the end the pain flourishes into something useful.
I think this should apply to professionals as well.

Thanks for your detailed input for this thread, that's really friendly. ^_^
 
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