Tempting, but...
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Thread: Tempting, but...

  1. #1

    Default Tempting, but...

    Okay, some time ago, a few of us were angered by some of the comments left by some small-minded individuals, and we wanted moderation. That has now happened, and it seems to work (except for making some of the follow-up comments sound odd).
    Now, I\'m actually tempted to make some less than nice comments on some of the figures I\'ve seen lately. I know the old adage \"if you can\'t say something nice...\" applies here, but sometimes I really, REALLY want to state my honest opinion, rather than \"good start\" or \"keep going.\" I mean, c\'mon. There is some real CRAP on this site. I generally make it a rule not to be rude, but constructive criticism is hard to do sometimes when the painter claims to have 20+ years experience and is attempting to sell the crap for around $50.
    The difficulty I\'m having is how to comment honestly and from the heart without sounding like a hypocrite.
    I\'m rambling, but this distresses me.
    I know most would say to not post a comment in the first place, but sometimes while browsing images, I need to state an opinion just so I don\'t gouge my eyes out.

  2. #2

    Default Tempting... but (reply)

    I agree that there is some less than quality work on the site... but I\'m curious what the point of your post was? Just seemed like rambling to me.

    But anyway, it\'s to be expected in any facet of the art world. I attended private art school for 2.5 years, and no one will even give an honest opinion there during critiques (if the artist is within earshot, that is).

    Anyhoo, that\'s my little comment.

  3. #3

    Default The art of criticism?

    Merely expressing MY opinion here. :)

    1) Even if you want to express your honest opinion, going for ad hominem (that is, ripping on the persona of the target) is poor manners. Gods know that I\'ve felt the temptation now and then elsewhere, and I\'ve fallen. But that\'s human nature. However, ad hominem attacks can turn against YOU instead -- ad hominems are usually tiresome to read, and they miss the point -- the *actual* work, that\'s what you\'re supposed to critique, right?

    I\'ve painted for 11 years. That is, I started 1991, painted some five or four miniatures per year, then started painting more in late, late 90s. I have not breathed and lived in the world of the little guys, unlike *some* (not all, of course) of the Great Masters whose works are available on the website. So ripping into someone because the person says \'20 years in painting!\' is a bad idea: you probably don\'t know the background of this person. This is just an example of how the situation can be -- I do not think that you\'re trying to lambast me here :) I\'m not that paranoid yet! ;)

    Second, not everyone matures as fast as others do. In my opinion, this is pretty much like \'art\' -- yeah, let\'s hear the snickers now, shall we? ;) -- and it takes time to develop styles, techniques and whatnot. Remember that there\'s always a person -- a *real* human being (and if you\'re an alien from outer space, please drop a mail to me!) behind the miniature. Some of them might be genuine newbies, and scathingly witty, cutting comments can hurt in many ways. I\'d rather see a comment which will help a newbie to develop those skills and potentials s/he has, than roaringly witty, sarcastic remark of those talents which aren\'t here today.

    2) It is possible to express your opinion of the miniature without resorting to belittling, offensive or vulgar language; if you *honestly* feel that something is crap, utter crap, and the artist should be dragged behind a shed and beaten to pulp for offending the sactity of pewter, perhaps it is time to take a small break ;)

    Here, let me tear apart one of my own miniatures -- the Rainbow Dragon (http://www.coolminiornot.com/index.php?id=2042). This one seems to belong to the category \'either you like it, or you hate it\', if the amount of comments and the nature of them reflect this attitude in any way.

    Okay. Two viewers, the VulgarLout and ArtCritic. Both hate this particular dragon.

    VulgarLout: \"Why the f*ck anyone would paint a dragon that way! You suck! What a moron! What are you, a fairy?\"

    ArtCritic: \"The selected color scheme does not fit this miniature. Because the bony tips coming out of the wings are of the same color, it does not create enough contrast to violet color, and the same can be said of the horns and tailbone. Furthermore, the yellow color isn\'t strong enough, and green and blue aren\'t shaded and highlighted. Also, green and yellow smear at the miniature\'s backside and the mess it has left is an eyesore. As a whole, this miniature leaves me cold.\"

    Of course, if you *can* give a link to a similiar/same miniature which has been painted in a way that pleases you, the Critic, it is always better; although I do not paint my miniatures for YOU, I\'m always curious to see what sort of miniatures make you tick.

    It is always easier to ignore comments like expressed by VulgarLout -- the excessive use of offensive language turns the opinion against him/her; the ArtCritic can tell why s/he didn\'t like it, and the technical points are always harder to argue with. However, a well-written criticism of a miniature is a *lot* more useful for the artist than a sniping poop-flinging contest.

    For the artist: In my opinion, it is *always* good to leave some explaining text to the bottom of the miniature; I always read those before I cast any vote or leave a comment -- for me, those small tidbits can really make the difference.

    When the person viewing your miniature can attach the miniature to some sort of frame-work (i.e. \'What she was thinking while painting /that/?!?\'), it is easier to judge -- from the art angle, at least -- if you were successful.

    The quality of the photo/scan should be taken into account while writing a comment. If there is something you want to note about the technical points of the picture, that artist\'s comment box is a good one for that. (There is a yellow color in that dragon and the blue and green are shaded and it just is a bit too dark digi photo ;) )

    Um. Well, I hope someone will find this useful -- this is just my own guideline for writing comments.

    Dachande, if you feel like you want to practice the art of criticism-writing, drop U2U mails to me about various miniatures -- feel free to flame mine, if you wanna -- and we can discuss?

    Those who receive criticism, and those who get less than helpful comments -- well, this is the Internet. Having a thick skin helps a lot: this is the nature of the beast.

    The \'net, being anonymous, has the effect of reducing basic principles of politeness. Some -- actually surprisingly many -- people manage to adhere to the acceptable social conduct, and this forum is actually a lot more polite than a number of forums you can find from the \'net, despite the attempts of some random individuals who are in the minority.

    Let\'s whip out those paintbrushes and paints and flood the site with our art? :D

  4. #4


    I think that part of the perceived problem about public comments, is that one is never really aware of the effect they have over the people who read them.

    I mean, everybody is happy about not having, let\'s say, TheOrkCollector\'s classic remarks attached to one of their minis, but also, at the same time, some may resent the screening process from the admins.

    In the end, I suppose it is a tough act to balance.

  5. #5

    Default Public Humiliation

    I guess, if you\'re really want to say what you think about crappy mini(s), you may want to say it by using personal message to the painter.

    If you post it via Public comments it will be a public humiliation for the painter and it can be very discouraging and may create \'an enemy who will always vote 1 on your figs\' :)

  6. #6

    Default OK, I\'m calm now.

    Ya know, when I wrote the first post, I was sort of angry about a few low scores that decent figs had (including yours and mine Craftergoddess) and the higher scores that the sub-standard ones had. I know that the rating system is bogus, but sometimes it\'s hard not to take it seriously. It sometimes seems as though all anyone has to do to get a good score is to have a five-year-old paint for them.
    As for rude comments, I\'ve only left one (not surprisingly last night), and I actually felt bad about it (see img. #4789). Not rude, so much as sarcastic. I would never drop to apabror\'s or theorkcollector\'s level. None of us should.

    I feel as though humorous comments are acceptable if an explaination of the criticism is included. Downright rudeness and use of foul language is just infantile. Funny, good. Mean, bad.

    I don\'t think any of us are here to make enimies. I know I try not to. Hell, let\'s all just give ourselves 10\'s from here on out.


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