Customs: the brutal truth a discussion on constructive criticism

Discussion in 'Creative General Discussion' started by anovasinn, Nov 6, 2008.

  1. anovasinn

    anovasinn THE PAINTS MUST FLOW!!!

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    on tfw boards i see some lack of constructive criticism and for good reason. this is understandable as a person saying something about someone else's work is a very touchy subject. however in order to grow as an artiest it is necessary many times. lets face it family can be useless at this because they are either to brutal to kind or do not understand what you are doing. fellow bashers are good but tend to be over critical. so what do we do?

    this is the discussion i am starting> how do we get good constructive critique?

    one method i thought of was when i become a tfw supporter was to start a social group with that subject in mind. as a moderator of the social group i could post peoples submissions anonymously (if the person wished)and then have the social group discuss it. there would be rules on how people would conduct there critique. like one rule would be only one comment on a subject per person. as well as no putting the person down. among some other rules.

    one big problem with the social group concept social groups tend to do nothing for the most part some of the social groups i have been apart of may have 2-4 comments a month

    so what do y'all think its a good subject to talk about :D 
     

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  2. deliciouspeter

    deliciouspeter Back in Black TFW2005 Supporter

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    I think people give decent constructive criticism here, and I feel the common goal is to encourage people and give genuine help to advance in their hobby.

    One thing though...often when people finish something, they aren't looking for criticism, constructive or otherwise. I love to hear what people think of my junk. The work posted here falls all along the quality spectrum, but that's one of the great things about it.

    I poke around here and there and if someone specifically asks for criticism, and I feel I can give it, I will.
     
  3. Satomiblood

    Satomiblood Prototype Black

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    I think the main problem with critiquing is that it can sometimes turn into this power struggle between the artist and critic as to how the project should look like.

    Sometimes, our visions don't always run parallel with each other (i.e. people saying Classics Rodimus doesn't make a good Overdrive).

    I think people jump the gun when a project is in its concept stages. Think of MZ's Defensor and how some people criticized his use of Animated Ratchet as First Aid, saying he was "too cartoony" (no shit) when compared to the other figures. It's like some people forget that we're customizers and then we can mod a figure - either lightly or heavily - to make them fit the overall design scheme.
     
  4. autobotx23

    autobotx23 Banned

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    I think it depends on the relationship i have with the artist, and what the work is, and their leevel off progress.

    For example, it's easier for me to be more critical of something Nemy or PK has done, because we are friends and they have such high standards for their work. On the other hand, if it is an artist first post, or if I don't have a relationship with that artist, I may not say much, or anything at all. The last thing i want to do is offend someone.

    It is something we ca all work on, I guess we have to find that balance between comradarie and competition.
     
  5. defstar

    defstar Autobot...

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    I think something good can almost always be said about a custom...I try to highlight that and if there is anything I feel that could be done to improve or make the work more complete it's suggested in the nicest way possible...
     
  6. timshinn73

    timshinn73 Well-Known Member

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    I give constructive criticism whenever I think I can be of some help and like to receive the same treatment. Being polite when doing so is just good manners, no matter the skill level of the customizer. Folks will consider the advice or won't.
     
  7. anovasinn

    anovasinn THE PAINTS MUST FLOW!!!

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    Well was not saying radicons needs to be more critical. i implied this in my opening statement>>> on tfw boards i see some lack of constructive criticism and for good reason

    radicons is meant to be an a safe exchange of idea's with minimum criticism.
    i was suggesting or asking of a way to receive it in an appropriate manner but separate from the main categories IE: in social groups but only because social groups are all i can think of.

    when i was taking writing classes we would gather in groups of 5 or 6 and discuss openly the stories we were working on speaking frankly but respectfully about each others work. if we found a way to do this it would be voluntary i am not suggesting changing radicons.

    constructive criticism can be dangerous to a budding artiest or someone that does not know how to accept it. a good example of how it helped me is that when i showed my energon wheeljack and i was told the legs were to dirty by redline. well redline was not the only one to say this also my friend that seen it in person said the same thing. here is the funny thing i did not change that figure not yet anyways but kept that in mind when i was working on another white project.
     
  8. Nemesis Predaking

    Nemesis Predaking Offical Enforcer WTF@TFW Veteran

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    Took the words right out of my mouth.
     
  9. Ezilla82

    Ezilla82 Expect the Unexpected.

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    Constructive criticism, I knew that first hand, man its tough to take it, but it took me awhile to accept it. I've been here for a few months maybe close to a year and I've seen some great customs and others well you get the idea. I've tried my best to not make them feel like failures, but more like well artists. And over time I became one of the most supportive and positive members of the Radicons and if we're going to talk about constructive criticisms by all means I'm in.
     
  10. whiskeytango

    whiskeytango Combaticon

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    I think this site is really really good about constructive criticism. Pretty much everyone is helpful and generous with their praise or critique.

    This is in huge contrast with some other sites. I remember at Transtopia (RIP), there was a certain person who shall remain nameless (any patron of that site probably knows who i'm talking about though) who almost never had anything positive to say, and i think it really left a mark on the site as a whole. He was so bad about it that when he posted stuff, even though it was pretty good, i always wanted to look for something wrong with it just to give him a taste of his own medicine.

    In short, i'm glad this site encourages such friendly interaction.
     
  11. timshinn73

    timshinn73 Well-Known Member

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    I have always welcomed constructive criticism. From high school art class to art school to full time work in the art field. There is always something new to learn or try and cc can be the seed that leads to growth. Giving and getting advice is healthy.

    Are there folks who are better at giving and receiving cc than others? Sure. Just like life.

    Developing good judgement and a sometimes required thick skin when receiving cc and learning to be as constructive as possible when giving cc only comes with participation. Like working muscles. It requires effort and repetition.
     
  12. Boanerge

    Boanerge Professional Lurker

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    I always try to remember CONSTRUCTIVE criticism (note the emphasis on constructive).
    Say something positive about the piece and then suggest some possible improvements, politely.
    But I always try to remember it is THEIR art and their work and their vision that they are trying to achieve, not mine.

    No offense to anyone here!! :D 
     
  13. big hank

    big hank Resident Slacker-Basher

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    I believe when critiquing another artists work one must take into accounts many dynamics.

    You cannot, for example, use an "expert" benchmark when someone is clearly not at an "expert" level yet. Clearly there are artists who's abilities have not yet caught up with their ideas. (I am in this category!)For those artists, I tend to judge based on whether they have at least accomplished the task of getting their thought across.

    We must remember, our customs are more than just a representation of our skill set, it is a physical representation of our ideas and concepts. In this case, as long as one conveys his/her idea successfully, they have done their job well.

    As for those that may be referred to as "upper tier" customizers, they tend to be more accomplished and have more experience. Obviously this shows in their craft, but they also seem to be more receptive to stronger criticism.

    Also as ABX23 pointed out, your personal relationship with the artist may allow for some stronger viewpoints.

    What I don't particularly care for is an artist "dropping by" to show his/her work, but not really being there to give opinions on others work. This is a one sided affair that doesn't allow others to benefit from the experience of the "hit and run" artist.

    In short, I think you can be candid and effective in your review of others work without being negative or offensive. You just have to use a sliding scale when looking at different skill levels!

    And if you believe you have no room for improvement and need no constructive criticism, check out the Radicons galleries and prepare to be amazed! Also search the web for some of the scratch-build modeling sites, such as StarshipModeler. WOW! It really goes to show how far you can take these skills!
     
  14. autobotx23

    autobotx23 Banned

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    One thing I pay attention too is not just who deso leave me feedback, but also who doesn't. There are a few artist that I have a lot of respect for that I watch for feedback from. because of wither their point of view with projects in general, or perhaps we discussed the project in its infancy.

    Also, make sure that if you REALLY want some strong feedbaack, that you ask for it. You can't put "I worked on this for 4 months, so be kind", and expect a truly opinionated critique. But, if you let bashers know you are looking for ways to improve, they will extend their hand to help you with honest and tactful feedback.
     
  15. Rumble02

    Rumble02 Radicon of Obliticons

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    I thrive on critisism. In fact i love it because it challenges me. I never take it personally. I love when someone says great job, BUT ENOUGH WITH THE GREEN AND PURPLE ALREADY! i know you have all thought it. and color choice is a big problem of mine. i also know that if i tell bighank, or autobotx23 something that they respect what im saying and vice versa. i know that when superquad7 critiques me there will be good and bad. and i need both to continue to grow.
     
  16. Superquad7

    Superquad7 We're only human. Super Mod

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    This is always a good topic for discussion. One of the reasons that it's viable is because once plowking, myself, and REDLINE started really building our relationship together and saw ourselves devoting a lot of our work to Radicons, this topic was very high on our list. It was almost #1, or if it wasn't, we sure discussed it quite a bit.

    I'll be vaguely general to say that I've seen persons be unreasonably brutal to other artists. I've seen people spend hours upon hours on a project, only see it called "a pile of $#*!" or something comparable. I've also known of certain artists in question get so frustrated that they give up posting their work, and even quitting this hobby.

    I'll pretext that previous thought with this: I've been in some brutal critiques. I know what it's like firsthand to labor on a project and have it called "$#*!" from someone. I also know what it's like to have someone wrongfully judge a project of mine and be forced to defend my choices and work. I also say all of that to say that I know that it's necessary to have a thick skin as a professional artist.

    While I certainly don't want to devalue any of the artwork here at Radicons, I will say that Radicons is a hobby site. Radicons is not a platform for a professional ventue, for there are other places (Junkion and the ebay forum) and other sites for that (ebay and personal websites).

    This being said, I'd just like to encourage honesty. All one has to do is point out the good and the bad while remembering there is a person who took the time to go to the trouble to shoot photos for the purpose to share work with you. This isn't a prerequisite of creating a custom TF (or other toy); many enjoy the hobby without ever doing anything online. However, I personally love seeing other artists' work. One of our primary goals is to create an environment conducive for sharing.

    Believe it or not, but I've actually read in other places that we "kiss ass" among other things. I'd also like to say that this comes from the very persons I've mentioned initially. I'm sorry, but I'd rather be known for erring on the side of kindness and helping others grow with encouragement as opposed to constant kicking someone in the ribs like a dog just because their custom's paint isn't just exactly right. God forbid!

    When I was in undergraduate critiques, I was asked to make a couple of rules concerning critiques (I was the art club president at one point): for every negative thing you say, say 2 positives. Also, be objective when you have something negative to say.

    I really think if someone follows those two main rules while remembering they're talking to a person about their hard work, one is pretty safe. Also, when you interact with someone's work, consider who the post is for. Is it for the artist, or is it for the inflation of your own ego. One is helpful; the other is often times hot air.

    I'd also suggest treating others as you'd like to be treated as well as just generally being polite and kind. Goodness, I read that in a book somewhere . . . .

    Being critical is just flat out being negative. Being constructive is just that: being helpful in a positive way. I would like to note that constructive criticism isn't just a suggestion, it's a standard of Radicons. This takes every Radicon subscribing to this and exercising it. If one has the purpose to come on a message board and inflate their own ego by demeaning others and their work, I'd simply suggest finding another board (or you'll be forced to). If you want the best place to share your work among peers who are willing to help you in good ways, then Radicons is the place to be :thumb 

    I really hope all of that is helpful and insightful. Rest assured that this won't be the last time I discuss this topic, nor another Radicons Staffer. :wink: 
     
  17. Motor_Master

    Motor_Master Lets the balls touch TFW2005 Supporter

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    No one should fear constructive criticism. The type of people who come in and simply say "that sucks" or worse, their comments are worthless and should be ignored. As an artist does it hurt to see those comments, yes, but they shouldn't be given much consideration. Unfortunately these mental migets are going to be around forever. As Ron White would say "you can't fix stupid!"

    At the same time if someone takes the time to say why something sucks and offers a suggestion on how to improve it, be curtious enough to listen and give honest thought to their criticism. It's hard to have someone pick your work apart and find all its flaws, but it helps you become better and that's part of why you all do it in the first place.

    As for when to offer critiques, the design stage is the best time to lay it on. It will force the artist to think harder about the path they're on with their project and perhaps help them see it from a different (and perhaps better) angle.

    Don't be afraid to make meaningful critiques on someones project. I know there are a lot of people who can't kitbash to save their lives and because of that think they shouldn't critique someones work. I have yet to kitbash, but I've offered honest and I hope meaningful suggestions on many projects.
     
  18. REDLINE

    REDLINE longer days, plz? Veteran

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    meh, everyone knows all of Supersquad's works suck arse!







    :p 
     
  19. Superquad7

    Superquad7 We're only human. Super Mod

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    Love you! :) 

    When is ol Supersquads going to make an appearance? I heard that he's in cahoots with Alt Mirage . . . God only knows what they're up to . . . .
     
  20. chlokai

    chlokai Well-Known Member

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    i always find somthing positive about someones work, personal tastes may differ (green or yellow dev for example) but it shouldn'tcome into it.

    I sometimes fell 'intimedated' to comment on some people's work, because they are a lot better at it than i am, is it just me???
     

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