Pay it forward.
@Punk: Yes I totally understand that crit anxiety. I actually started critting people WAY before I had the words to be able to express exactly what the issue was. I just gave it my best shot when I could at least pinpoint a general area in my mind ; "something about the hip looks awkward" or "the lighting seems inconsistent in this area". Sometimes it resulted in times where I'm not sure I helped at all, or I came across wrong, but again this is just practice for you as well! If you can help people pinpoint general areas of issue that often can be just as helpful as specific ones. Most people see less of their mistakes in their own work, especially if they have been staring at it for a while, so just another set of eyes is a fresh useful perspective!

The other benefit to trying to solve other people's problems and getting past this "I'm not good enough to crit" idea, is that you are actually training yourself to see mistakes and problem solve. I have found it is a brilliant way to learn. There have been periods where I did none of my own work, but I was constantly critting other people, and I realised that it actually helped me keep improving even though I wasn't doing my own stuff! It definitely accelerated my own path I feel because I did it so much (helped that I used it as a procrastination method haha!)

Every crit is like a goldmine in knowledge consolidation and acquisition, as well as helping others. I feel that many artists see crit as a one-way street, and it so isn't that!

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Yeah I can see how giving crit can be helpful in both directions, I'll try and be a bit more brave about it, I /really/ enjoy helping and encouraging others, I'm just never quite sure how to do it :D

Great topic!

My own thoughts on this are-- I love getting crits, feedback, and encouragement, and I want to help/push others the same way.

I won't always give a critique, because there isn't always one to give.  Maybe my skill level isn't there, or I can't see anything that sticks out in particular that hasn't already been pointed out, or maybe that person is already doing everything they can to progress, and all they really need, from my subjective view, is some encouragement.  But, I'll at least try to keep up with sketchbooks, and leave comments and encouragement.  If I can't always leave a critique, I figure (and hope!) That's okay.

I know that not everyone likes to just receive encouragement though--  When I had a CA sketchbook, there was a guy there that basically told me to shove off unless I was willing to give a crit, haha.  Well, needless to say, I kind of avoided him after that, and I looked at leaving feedback in sketchbooks in a whole new light.

Is what I'm saying constructive and/or helpful? Or just fluffy?  Weeelll..  It's probably fluffy most of the time, if I'm being honest about it, but I'm doing my best to put myself out there and help people out, even if it's just with a grin, and a, "Keep at it! You can do it!  Just keep going! " 

Instead of, "Do more studies! Push those values! Apply those studies! Do imagination! That face looks off, do more studies!"

At my lowest, I'd say that fluffy comments really helped me to get back on track, though.  Remembering that, hey, you gotta keep going! Grin


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Great conversation going on here, really interesting to read! I totally like the idea of paying it forward as well. I'm really glad I've joined this community, as I've received both, useful critique as well as encouragement, which really helped me in more than one way. Hopefully I'll soon have more time to be more active again, I'm more than willing to give something back to the community!

@Punk: I actually wanted to say something similar like Amit said! I can only speak for me, but I can second what he said. Even if it's just a hint at what area might need some work it's already very helpful. I still get stuck at works and I just have vague feelings what might be wrong, but I can't put a finger on it.

Also, I have to say, that the many times I gave critique here - and I'm not always 100% sure and I do say so if it's the case - I never ever had one situation where somebody acted rude. So I think there's really nothing to fear.

@Bookend: I think that encouragement can be equally as important as critique, at least sometimes. It's true that critique helps us to improve our work, and I also believe that in the end, it's best when motivation comes from the inside instead from outside. However, I guess we all know those moments where we're just don't know anymore, so I agree with you that those little comments can get us back on track (:

Oh, and on that thumbnail wall! I certainly think that it's an interesting thought. I used to randomly skip around the sketchbook pages and check out one thread or the other. Getting something more visual to have an overview isn't a bad idea, I think. Although I have to say that I already like the forum as it is, and I don't think that it necessarily needs something like that by all means.


One thing I've noticed recently is that rep really inspires me to pay it forward more, honestly. Like I've been here for about 2 years yet I only have 3 rep I MUST POST MORE TO GET MORE REP. lmao

I am always happy when somebody critiques my art, although it doesn't happen so often. I hope for critique, and usually it's a quick "well done" comment. And a few times when i critiqued others, they didn't take it to good, like i didn't know what i was talking about and that i didn't understand what they were trying to express.. and some just don't ever want critique, they just want to hear how nice their work is and how much they improved.. so i tend to limit my comments. And i never know when more critique is welcomed and when not.

BlackDelphin. Sounds like you were interacting on dA or something? :) People on this forum tend to be a lot more thick-skinned and appreciative of honest and constructive critique. They are willing to give that back too. Don't be shy, everyone's perspective can be useful. There is much more to good art than just technical knowledge alone so don't be afraid to speak your mind.

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Amit Dutta, actually it was on cA in the later years. On dA they didn't want critique, but if i did, they'd thank me and that's it. On cA they'd react more. Now i don't post so much there because it didn't help me much in the last 2 years, nobody would visit anymore and even if i visited and critiqued, nobody would do the same in return. I had an account here from a while ago, and recently i decided to become active here. I'll give it a try. I want to improve and i want to help others do so as well, so i'll try speaking up more. Thanks!

You can call me Amit :) Welcome back then! I checked out some of your stuff, and it really isn't bad at all! You should have no trouble helping many others out. This forum is better. People tend to reciprocate if you give them feedback, and they tend to be pretty open. I definitely improved just through giving critiques, it's like 10x more problem solving, analysis and simplification of ideas on top of what you might do yourself in your head for your own pieces. It's a good workout!

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I might be late to the party but this really saddens me. When I joined this community I was really happy and excited. I've posted all my works/studies, I have given critics as much as I could. It might sound childish but I have hardly received comments/critics, which discourages me to go on posting new stuff or commenting. It also wreaks my self-confidence. I don't know, maybe I'm too sensitive/fragile. I just wanted to share.

@PurpleScissors, thank you for sharing! I'm sorry to hear you didn't get much back. Honestly, when I was commenting in people's sketchbooks, sometimes I would get one comment and then nothing back, or nothing at all. Eventually I started getting a few, just by carrying on posting my work.

The way I see it, is to not help someone in order to get some sort of reward back. The reward should be in the giving of the crit without expectations.

I actually stopped updating my sb here as well because it wasn't really getting me many crits, and I didn't personally need the motivation of seeing improvement or documenting my steps, so I stopped. BUT it did not wreck my self-confidence, because at that time I also realised that my reason for doing art is not dependent on other people liking it or commenting on it. I do it because I WANT and LOVE to. That should be enough.

Don't be discouraged, keep posting. Join in the Crimson Crucible challenge that will be starting soon. We will be pushing people to crit others as part of the ethos of the competition!

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Hey Amit, thank you! I'm looking forward for Crimson Crucible.
I love drawing, it's my lifetime passion. Whether people give critics or not I go on drawing. I just stop posting sometimes because of confidence issues (I have this issue for a long long time, it didn't start in Crimson Daggers).
And just to make things clear I don't solely comment on people's works just to get commented on mine.
I'll go on posting my stuff here and try to participate more in the community. Because I really love this place; there are lots of great artists and artists on their way to be great, very good and plenty of resources, challanges etc. So seems like I'll be around for a long time :)

Purple, I think you're worrying about the wrong thing. Having something like a sketchbook that you update regularily can give you a reason to be working on your art, but if you're working on your art anyways, the concept that you need to be posting your progress is a load of bs. Sometimes you need to give yourself some time to work out your own thoughts by yourself, and when that happens feeling the need to constantly tell other people what you're doing is not a positive thing at all. If you have times where you don't want to post your art, then why force yourself to do it? You can still participate in other threads.

Project / Sketches / Paintings
Yes that's what I'm planning to do from now on. I have been posting my works only when I want it recently. As I have said I'm a bit emotional so these kind of things sadden me even if it isn't logical at all. Thank you for your support :)

have to say this place rocks and even though ive known about this place for years, I never really delved deep into its core, I thought it was another place like CA which was slowly dying away, its only the last couple months that Ive realised its got a strong little community goin on,

which leads onto one of the other main reasons for joining, besides joining study groups, is getting feedback and Critique, I for one aint the best at giving C&C Im the type that dont like hurting peoples feelings and I still think I aint good enough so I dont have the right... but to me its a big part of the learning process, so for that reason I will try to be more critical and if i see something that may help i will try and point it out....

and if I need some "likes" to pick me up, I can always run to Facebook lol
Well, glad you have come back then Slash! After Dan and Dave, the place was very quiet for quite some time, but we're trying to drum up a little more communal stuff and get that feeling of a real community going again. :)
Definitely go for it. Teaching really does help you solidify concepts in your mind.

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(03-13-2016, 12:12 AM)slash razor Wrote: which leads onto one of the other main reasons for joining, besides joining study groups, is getting feedback and Critique, I for one aint the best at giving C&C Im the type that dont like hurting peoples feelings and I still think I aint good enough so I dont have the right... but to me its a big part of the learning process, so for that reason I will try to be more critical and if i see something that may help i will try and point it out....

I don't think it's wrong to hurt other people's feelings if it's in the context of shelling out honest critiques. To push it further, I even encourage other people to brutally dismember what I put out in public. Once a piece is out there, everybody has the right to exercise their opinion about it. Throwing your work out there in the Internet is like putting out your chin for everybody to either punch, or kiss. Fair game.

That's how it goes in real life anyway. Having a thick skin and an open mind are important traits if anybody decides to become an artist. I had friends way back then who were a hundred times better than me pack up and leave the art game just because of how brutal the reality of the industry is. Getting rejected for work, a peer made a better piece than he did, family wasn't encouraging enough, the money isn't coming, or simply, somebody said something silly about his work. You name it. There are worse ways and better excuses to quit.

Just saying, feelings getting hurt should be the least of any artists' problem.

If you are reading this, I most likely just gave you a crappy crit! What I'm basically trying to say is, don't give up!  
IG: @thatpuddinhead
Thanks John,  yep like I said thats one of the main reasons why I'm here is to receive C&C as others are seeing your work in a different perspective, seeing your flaws and hopefully point you in the right direction, I don't have a problem with that,  I encourage it.... My main problem if you want to call it that, is I've never really given critique,  I've helped ppl out sure, but I've never really thought I was good enough to comment, but hey that's why I'm here, to hopefully help others out, and learn at the same time, sure I don't want to hurt others feelings but I guess its part of the territory, anyway hopefully I can give a critical eye without ripping there art apart and being too soul destroying lol

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