Reasonable Criticism
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Thread: Reasonable Criticism

  1. #1

    Default Reasonable Criticism

    Every now and then I see an OP in which people vent over harsh criticism and low scores, etc. Others will often jump in and defend the critcisims and low scores, and things continue from there. I haven\'t put enough of my own feeble efforts up to merit serious criticism yet, but I am always interested in a good argument. So, I\'ve been lurking in a lot of those discussions rather than posting.

    I wonder if it might be interesting to talk about general subject without having a going concern on the table.

    What I mean is, let\'s start with a general question. What strikes you as reasonable criticism, and what seems out of line, off base, or simply unfair? I\'m not really talking abou the judgement calls (good shading or not). I\'m talking about the ethics of the matter. What is acceptable to say, what is helpful, and what is just plain hurtful. Also, what is relevant/irrelevant to the subject? Is it reasonable to question certain choices or is everything on the table? If one was to compile a list of arti critic\'s fallacies, what would be on it?

    Please be careful with any examples, I don\'t want to encourage a battle over this or that mini and this or that comment. What I\'d like to do is see what people have in mind as faras the purpose of their comments to others, and how people draw the lines between acceptible and unacceptable, relevant/irrelevant themselves.

    (...yes, I am avoiding some serious work this afternoon.)

  2. #2
    Superfreak!!! Torn blue sky's Avatar
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    I think \"reasonable critisism\" would invove constructive input like \" The tones a bit dark, needs lightening\" or Not sure if the face fits, needs more depth\"

    unreasonabe would be on the lines of \"Thats crap!\" or \" HAHA you suck\" 2 great examples of the top of my head lol
    Or, obviously, anything to do with adressing (insulting) the person or artist.

    ED* Having said that, I really wouldn\'t care if anything I did had the Rip taken out of it. Bring it on I say.

  3. #3

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    I think anything that comments on the person, not the mini, is inappropriate.

    Everything else is constructive criticism.
    In my mind \"that\'s crap\" is constructive criticism, where \"HAHA you suck\" is inappropriate personal attack.

  4. #4

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    Originally posted by Torn blue sky
    I think \"reasonable critisism\" would invove constructive input like \" The tones a bit dark, needs lightening\" or Not sure if the face fits, needs more depth\"

    unreasonabe would be on the lines of \"Thats crap!\" or \" HAHA you suck\" 2 great examples of the top of my head lol
    Or, obviously, anything to do with adressing (insulting) the person or artist.

    ED* Having said that, I really wouldn\'t care if anything I did had the Rip taken out of it. Bring it on I say.
    Okay, so as long as the criticism isn\'t directed at you yourself, it\'s okay. I\'m wondering now about overly hasrh sarcasm, so long as it\'s directed at the paint job itself...

    \"Are those highlights or has your mini been blessed by a flock of pidgeons? Your blending techniques are about as smooth as peewee Herman trying to get a date. Is that a custom base, or has this genius work of art been glued to a table?\"

    Okay, that\'s probably too over the top to hurt much, but I guess what I\'m trying to get at is that one can hurt while sticking to ostensibly objective commentary. Not sure how to draw the line there.

    And of course applying a double standard to one\'s own detriment is always an interesting choice. To allow others to take more liberties than one will take oneself. Tip of an interesting iceberg, I imagine.

  5. #5

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    Originally posted by vincegamer
    I think anything that comments on the person, not the mini, is inappropriate.

    Everything else is constructive criticism.
    In my mind \"that\'s crap\" is constructive criticism, where \"HAHA you suck\" is inappropriate personal attack.
    See, I wouldn\'t normally give \"that\'s crap\" a free pass. (I\'m not talking editing or official action, just a sense of what\'s right and what isn\'t.) It communicates more emotion than information. Actually, it does more to trigger emotion than anything else. I can\'t help but think someone writing that would be trying more to get raise the hair on the back of the nexk of the artist than to help the artist understand anything about what they had done wrong. On the surface, at least, it looks like provocation to me.

  6. #6

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    Well, it\'s up to the artist as to how to react to such.

    Most would say - not worth my time.
    Some might PM that person and say \"thanks for taking the time to comment, could you explain why it\'s crap? I really want to improve.\"

  7. #7

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    True enough, but I guess that\'s a point in itself. Whether a criticism is rude and whether one can learn from it are two different questions.

    Of course local sensitivity levels matter too, I suppose. In some circles, \"That\'s Crap\" would hardly raise an eyebrow. Still, in most cases, I would say the choice of words was unnecessarily antagonistic.

  8. #8
    Coffin Dodger / Keymaster airhead's Avatar
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    Is that a custom base, or has this genius work of art been glued to a table?\"
    :bouncy: That is one of the funniest things I\'ve read here in a while. I\'d have to PM the person that posted it to me, but I\'d also have to give points for originality.

    Seriously, I try to give helpful comments when I can.

    But every now and then you see one like the \"Pro-Primed\" mini on ebay. You gotta be willing to take a hit if you post that.

  9. #9

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    LOL, Pro-primed? I missed that one.

  10. #10

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    If someone says, \"That\'s the worst paint job I\'ve ever seen\", then that\'s their opinion and they\'re entitled to it. However, if someone says \"You suck! Why are you even into this hobby? Get a life!\", then that\'s personal and completely uncalled for.

    I\'m new to the hobby and I post my work on forums like this to get constructive feedback on how to improve. I\'m sure that there are many other people who are also new and post for the same reasons. So far, comments, critiques and suggestions that I\'ve received have helpful, polite and respectful.

    However, to have someone that, for whatever reason, attacks anyone and everyone can be disheartening and discouraging, especially for a new painter.

    When I post something, I fully expect for people to point out the flaws; I also hope that they point out how to correct those flaws (to date, they have). If you can\'t handle that type of criticism, if you can\'t handle people pointing out the flaws, then don\'t post your work.

    The whole point of \"constructive criticism\" is to point out flaws/errors/problems and then offer suggestions on how to fix the problems and to improve to prevent the flaws. Simply saying \"That sucks\" is your opinion and you certainly have the right to state it, but you\'re not being constructive.

  11. #11

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    I don\'t think iv ever had a piece of \'bad\' critism (don\'t start now!), iv improved 10 fold since posting on this site (my reaper troll proves that), and if i want really constructive comments il just post it up in the forums.

  12. #12

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    It does seem like most of the criticism is positive and helpful. I often wonder if some of the unusually mean-spirited comments (which are clearly the exception) don\'t come from people who are proceeding on a completely different set of assumptions about thepurpose of the feedback. Everything in this thread I\'ve read so far seems quite resonable.

    Whence comes the unreasonable; that\'s what I\'m wondering about at the moment.

  13. #13

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    Originally posted by Brimshack
    I often wonder if some of the unusually mean-spirited comments (which are clearly the exception) don\'t come from people who are proceeding on a completely different set of assumptions about the purpose of the feedback.
    Well, yes. Their assumption is \"it\'s the internet and I can freely say obnoxious things that would get me smacked in real life\".

    Originally posted by Brimshack
    \"Are those highlights or has your mini been blessed by a flock of pidgeons? Your blending techniques are about as smooth as peewee Herman trying to get a date. Is that a custom base, or has this genius work of art been glued to a table?\"
    That\'s not \"constructive criticism\", that\'s the commenter trying to be an insult-comedian, at the expense of someone who posted their work here. Not cool.

  14. #14

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    Yes, that\'s my point, but I exaggerated for effect. One really doesn\'t have to go after the person to hurt their feelings. Sometimes the specific criticism of a mini is sufficiently hasrh it becomes an insult after all.

    Sarcasm is just one means of achieving that effect.

  15. #15
    Superfreak!!! Torn blue sky's Avatar
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    I agree more with Vince really. When I said as an example \"Thats Crap!\", I wouldnt\' say that about a persons work.
    If it was said to ME ,however, I\'d take it in and think well...what of it? Why?
    Some other people might take serious offence at such a remark.
    I like to think theres a cirtain form of etiquete and restraint round here where comments are concerned...then again.

  16. #16

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    I think the whole reason for sites like this are to help improve peoples work as well as to look at pretty pics. I dont think my stuff would be as good as it is now if I didnt come here regularly (although my output has dropped since I became a forum regular I wonder if there is a comparison to this).

    I find people that are abusive to less talented people rather rude and not worth my time. Ive had a few bad comments that I didnt think warrented it and nearly pulled my work of the site but I grew a skin and moved on. I just hope these thoughtless type dont stop newbs from coming into the hobby.

    So whats appropriate. Anything thats is said in the vein of helping the artist improve his skills. Weather that be sculpting, painting, photos or basing etc. JMHO

  17. #17

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    IMO, I wouldn\'t even POST a comment in the first place unless it was meant to help...

    If I got a \"It\'s crap\" I\'d probably do as mentioned and PM the author and say \"Fair enough - can you tell me why?\"

    I go by the old Saying:

    \"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you\"

  18. #18

    Default

    I always try to say something positive with the negative. \"You did well here, but there needs improvement.\" or \"This could be done better but that was done well\".

    I\'ve seen many critics with harsh statements and I often wish I could undo them as I cringe when I think what the submitter must be thinking and their hurt feelings.

    Really, if you can\'t find anything nice to say than don\'t say anything. Something positive can always be found even in the worst mini, even if it\'s just \"great primer coverage\".

  19. #19

    Default

    Originally posted by Brimshack
    Also, what is relevant/irrelevant to the subject? Is it reasonable to question certain choices or is everything on the table?
    I think criticising someone\'s choices without giving any explanation becomes irrelevant. For instance, \"This is a this-and-that-chapter Space Marine and you should have painted it in this-and-that colour scheme!\" is an irrelevant comment, while \"You should have chosen another colour on that area because this colour is too bright compared to the rest of the colour scheme and thus becomes distracting\" is a helpful comment (or at least it tries to be). Another thing that I often see is people commenting on the lack of freehand on minis, where it could be a perfectly conscious choice by the painter to not have any freehand. Suggesting freehand and giving a reason why, like \"a bit of freehand would make that area look less empty\", on the other hand is helpful and, thus, relevant.

  20. #20

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    Originally posted by Torn blue sky
    If it was said to ME ,however, I\'d take it in and think well...what of it? Why?
    If it was said to me, i\'d look at the comment and think to myself \'what a prick\'. Then I\'d look at his gallery to see how well he paints. If he was damned good, I\'d think \'fair enough, but he\'s still a prick\'. If he had no pics i\'d just end up laughing to myself ;)

    Just a quick thought on Ritual\'s comment regarding colour choice for a space marine. I think that it is a relevant comment as there is quite a lot of background and history to the 40K universe and if the painter is in any way trying to stay true to the universe then the whole ultramarines are blue, blood angels are red thing is very important. That said, the painter still has the right to reason out his answer with \'its my own chapter\', I can paint it how I want.

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