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Author Topic: Professionalism in Artists.  (Read 4103 times)

Offline Rat The Unloved

Professionalism in Artists.
«: January 25, 2009, 11:36:26 PM»
There's been a recent trend I've noticed. Artists who put themselves out there, and then freak out when the normal process of being an artist somehow offends their sensibilities.
A really famous, and overblown, example would be ol' Snapesnogger... but Furc has it's share of Snapesnoggers.

Example: I had an artist approach me on Furcadia recently for crit about their dream. I arrived at the map, and while it was -good-, there were a few tiny fixes that would've made the dream -excellent-. I asked if they still wanted critique, and they said yes. I explained two or three small things I noticed... and promptly got ejected. I was told that I was an asshole, and not to speak to them again.

Example 2: In working as an Admin over at the Roamhearts I occasionally e-mail those who have incorrectly submitted patches. Usually it's a form e-mail, requesting they include a credit file, even if all the items are completely theirs. Several people have responded freaking out, stating I called them a theif and threatening to (ineffectually) sick the guardians on me.

Why do people respond like this? What steps can be taken to ensure we, ourselves, are always being professional, and how can we foster it in others?

 
        

Offline Aries

Re: Professionalism in Artists.
«Reply #1: January 25, 2009, 11:53:21 PM»
they expect their egos to be stroked when asking for opinions.   now, to soften the blow, it is often best to say 'while i really love this this and this.. this doesn't seem to fit. Do you notice that too?'

Now, i DO get upset when people 'critique' in negative towards me when i DID NOT ask for it.   This usually means they are just doing it to attack me personally ;)
From my mind pours fourth a multitude of ideas, a well of inspiration.

IPGD

Re: Professionalism in Artists.
«Reply #2: January 26, 2009, 12:17:09 AM»
Young artists react like this because the beginner art community collectively believes that art should be untouchable. They are completely blind to their own errors; they attribute mistakes or lack of knowledge to their "style" and refuse to change because they are told art has no rules. They are constantly surrounded by an unwavering stream of praise, much of which is only given to avoid hurt feelings (or from people who are genuinely ignorant to what makes an art piece good, if only on a technical basis). When they inevitably encounter a more experienced artist who attempts to critique their work, they freak out, because:

a) They've never had anyone be critical of their work before in any capacity.
b) As mentioned before, the beginning art community teaches them that art cannot be criticized. Every aspect of art is viewed as a form of expression/style/personal preference/whatever. Proper anatomy is not relevant, color theory is not relevant, lighting is not relevant. The arm isn't too long, it's his style. The pixels aren't too blocky, it's his style. Because everything is billed as a style (and because style is treated as a deeply personal thing), they feel personally offended when criticized.

Even in cases when they claim to be open to critique, or even ask for it, they usually don't really know what critique really is. Most of the time, they expect very general comments about what they already know; someone who comes out of left field and highlights all the problems they weren't able to see makes them feel bad about their ability. Instead of realizing the comments are accurate or that they aren't as good as they believed they were (and use this new knowledge to further their ability), they interpret it as a personal attack. Sometimes they get angry because of the heavy use of the "constructive/deconstructive" labels of criticism in the community, which defines deconstructive criticism as basically anything that doesn't make you feel good or isn't what you want to hear. Sometimes they just do it expecting blatant asspatting.

... Been there ::)

Offline Mredria

Re: Professionalism in Artists.
«Reply #3: January 26, 2009, 12:19:16 AM»
Someone could write out some guidelines on what is acceptable in artist behavior and what is not so people know what to expect?
---I apologize---

Offline Rat The Unloved

Re: Professionalism in Artists.
«Reply #4: January 26, 2009, 12:27:00 AM»
I've actually been considering doing an "Artist's guide to being professional".... but clearly a great, big, meanie like myself is just trying to keep "true art" down. ;)

Offline Anarchy

Re: Professionalism in Artists.
«Reply #5: January 26, 2009, 05:37:44 AM»
I think the main reason we have alot of this on furc is because the MAJORITY of furcadia is in the 13-16 age range. I know most of the people I meet on furcadia are younger than me, sometimes significantly so, and I am young myself. They react as you would expect a child to react, but unfortunately we try to see them as adults when in truth they are not. You have to weigh this very carefully when you consider giving critique, even if they ask for it. Kids expect adults to say, 'oh yes, that's very nice.' and they've never really been told to expect anything else. As an adult, and an artist, you learn to expect people to say things that may not exactly be pleasing and take that in stride.

I don't give critique unless I believe someone can take it, and to know that it usually means that I have to know that person. They need to be mentally mature, humble, and willing to improve.

To be a 'professional' artist, I think it's VERY important not to take things personally. I know art is a personal thing for most people, but you need to learn you are not your art, and your art is not you. When someone says something 'negative' about your artwork they are not directing it at you and if they are, don't take it seriously, because that's what they want. You should always keep your composure.

Offline Lassa

Re: Professionalism in Artists.
«Reply #6: January 26, 2009, 05:53:56 AM»
Not exactly on-topic, but I think people shouldn't generalize the whole 'young artist' thing. A person's age has little to do with their maturity in taking criticism. I've seen adults react poorly to criticism, and at the same time I've seen people quite a bit younger handle it just fine. It's the person, not the age.

Offline Anarchy

Re: Professionalism in Artists.
«Reply #7: January 26, 2009, 05:57:01 AM»
Not exactly on-topic, but I think people shouldn't generalize the whole 'young artist' thing. A person's age has little to do with their maturity in taking criticism. I've seen adults react poorly to criticism, and at the same time I've seen people quite a bit younger handle it just fine. It's the person, not the age.

Absolutely. Almost all of my friends on furcadia are younger than me and they can take critique very well, but not everyone their age is so mature. You're right that not all young artists act as such, it's just that if they are young and they still have the mindset of a child, it is very likely they will react accordingly. And there are also adults that are not nearly as mature as some of my younger friends. It does depend on the person, which is why, as I stated previously, I don't really critique people unless I know them.

Offline Heimdall

Re: Professionalism in Artists.
«Reply #8: January 26, 2009, 01:06:32 PM»
Quote
I think the main reason we have alot of this on furc is because the MAJORITY of furcadia is in the 13-16 age range.

You raise good points about the subject, but... where'd you get this information? There are a lot of teens on Furc but I doubt the majority is in that range. :P

Offline Anarchy

Re: Professionalism in Artists.
«Reply #9: January 26, 2009, 01:23:19 PM»
Quote
I think the main reason we have alot of this on furc is because the MAJORITY of furcadia is in the 13-16 age range.

You raise good points about the subject, but... where'd you get this information? There are a lot of teens on Furc but I doubt the majority is in that range. :P

You're probably right and I'm probably exaggerating, but it does seem like everyone I meet nowadays is between that age range.

Offline Georgia

Re: Professionalism in Artists.
«Reply #10: January 26, 2009, 01:34:59 PM»
Whoa, whoa, whoa. I have to agree with Lassa on the whole 'young people' thing. I'm only 12 and I've had lots of work (not all Furcadia stuff or artwork btw) ripped to peices by others. I don't take it as offence or flame. I take it as advice. Even though there are some people my age and older who will take it the wrong way, here are plenty of others who will greatfully except critique and are not expecting praise all the time.

In my opinion I think anyone should listen to the advice and critique of others as it will undoubtedly aid them in improving their peices. People should looks for flaws in their work and improve. If you can't see flaws in your work then someone else probably will.

Offline PapierEraseur

Re: Professionalism in Artists.
«Reply #11: January 26, 2009, 03:16:12 PM»
I feel that, besides the whole "can't handle it" thing, the conflict also pops up when the artist believes that "constructive criticism" means "be nice about it."

Because not all critics go by "point out good thing, point out bad thing, repeat" their constructive criticism may be seen as nitpicking or a personal attack, which is the artists fault, and their fault alone.

People need to realize that constructive criticism means they can tear your work apart and scrape as close to the line between helpful and rude as possible as long as they tack some advice or some tips at the end.

And while it ISN'T nice for a critic to purposely try and beat down art (even if it IS bad) the artist needs to remember that they were the one that invited critique. If they refuse to accept this, then it probably means they've been coddled by a group of people in their life or at their respective art community ahemdeviantart.

Offline Hugo

Re: Professionalism in Artists.
«Reply #12: January 26, 2009, 07:08:31 PM»
I think it's a mixture of age and mental demographic. There are a lot of low-functioning people on the internet in general and on Furcadia specifically.

The natural course of action is to treat the art business like a business, but some Furcadians are Toys'R'Us kids -- they don't want to grow up.

Ah well..

Offline Electric Guitar

Re: Professionalism in Artists.
«Reply #13: January 26, 2009, 08:29:26 PM»
Its always bothered me when an artist can't take critique. I enjoy a good critique. It helps me improve. Your an artist, take it like a man....or a woman.

Black Rain

Re: Professionalism in Artists.
«Reply #14: January 27, 2009, 01:18:54 AM»
I'll take a critique when I ask for one. If not, don't post one to me.

Offline Rat The Unloved

Re: Professionalism in Artists.
«Reply #15: January 28, 2009, 01:09:25 AM»
I'll take a critique when I ask for one. If not, don't post one to me.

Well, see, that's another issue that comes up... but slightly separate from what I referenced. When posting artwork to public forums, and/or artistic critique communities it's sort of expected that critique will come. That's why using the "critique discouraged" or "comment disabled" on a DA entry is valuable, or including "Not interested in critique" on posts in general.
When someone follows the formula of "This is great, but try doing this", there's still that over-reaction a lot of the time and for no real reason.
Even if it does not follow the formula, it's odd that a lot of people jump to the most offensive conclusion first, rather than -asking-, before going off on a critic.

In the specific examples I referenced people were responding poorly, and over-reacting, to critique they were aksing for and/or admin communication they agreed to by submitting to a third party. It's especially interesting that the most angry, offended, screeching, responses come from people who didn't make the material they're claiming in the first place.

Then, there's also problems with folks who demand respect from others, but refuse to give any. Editing and reposting -other- people's artwork against the terms listed in credits files, or omitting credit to the original artist entirely. Or trying to get private patches from "friends" of the owner...etc. Putting up "free" patches, but demanding that they not be edited, modified (even flipped) or really even -used-... then demanding that the patch be taken down and everyone stop using it. All shades of underhanded, unprofessional, dealing.

I always assume artists want to be better artists. But that does not seem to be the case anymore. It seems to be that artists want pats on the back for their achievements... which really aren't. There's a common problem like that in Neo-Wicca where someone wants to be recognized by Traditionalists as a "priest", when they have neither been initiated, nor studied beyond "wicca 101" material. They may have been a witch for ten years, but they've only been doing that first year of study.... same thing happens in art.  Someone is drawing the same style, or level, for ten years... and demands the respect due a master of their craft.

Improvement should always be made. Stagnation is the death of art. Refusal to accept input creates self-absorbed, unproductive, "wallow" art... the same people painting the same Bob Ross landscape for fifty years. It may be good, but art should never be "good enough".

Black Rain

Re: Professionalism in Artists.
«Reply #16: January 28, 2009, 03:22:47 AM»
Rat, not everyone wants a critique. It's not expected for everyone because not everyone wants one. That is why I never put in my DA critique welcome. I don't want it. If there is something wrong, with the artist's art, you could send a note instead of posting a comment to the patch itself. Or send an E-Mail or a message via AIM/MSN Messenger. some artist's find it embarrassing to be critiqued in front of everyone. That is why sometimes, Artists go off the deep end. They don't wish to be embarrassed. Some artist's however enjoy critiques. It depends on the artists.  There's also as others have said. People who critique just for the soul purpose of picking on that artist. Which is another reason why artist's tend to be picky about critique.  In honest, it depends on the artist if he/she wants a critique.

IPGD

Re: Professionalism in Artists.
«Reply #17: January 28, 2009, 03:38:14 AM»
Quote
some artist's find it embarrassing to be critiqued in front of everyone. That is why sometimes, Artists go off the deep end. They don't wish to be embarrassed.
Why on earth would you be embarrassed about receiving critique? I mean, it's not like the piece's problems are magically hidden until someone decides to publicly mention them.

Offline Rat The Unloved

Re: Professionalism in Artists.
«Reply #18: January 28, 2009, 05:30:47 AM»
See, "It's not expected for everyone because not everyone wants one." makes no sense.

"Want" and "expectation" are very different. When I post something for sale I -want- a response offering me the asked price, and resolving the trade quickly. I "expect" that this will not happen. My expectations are often met.

Someone has to be pretty new to the internet to post something and -expect- that there will a: be no response b: be no -critical- response. Especially when posting art. "Wanting" is another matter entirely. DA, and a few simmilar communities (which are less and less about artists development, and more and more about socialization) have provided "Critique discouraged" and "Comments disabled" so that there is no input, good or ill.

There's also a trend that, when someone posts even the softest or most well-intended critique (in or out of public), the response is inflamatory. As IPGD said... the flaw was there from the start, pointing it out is no more embarassing than posting it in the first place (and honestly, people shouldn't be "embarassed" by their art, but rather aknowledge it is an ongoing, developing, process.). This sort of -response- is what's in the wrong.

Example 1: I post my Avian ports on Roamheart, 'cause I want people to find them, and don't particularly want feedback on them... download count is enough.
A few minutes/days/whatever later someone comments that "The "vest" color is pillow-shaded. It looks kinda bad, but the rest is great! Did you mean to do that, or is it not finished?"
I respond "Yep, it is finished, and it is pillow-shaded. It's a freebie, and I did not feel like taking much more time on it than I did. Hope ya enjoy it none-the-less... it's CC, so you can edit it if you want, and even Roamheart the better version. Otherwise I might fix it in the future. Want me to take down your name incase I do?"

Even though I did not ask for critique or want it, I received it. I responded in a reasonable and mature fashion to undesired input.

Example 2: Someone posts an assortment of chairs{*} on DA, which -facillitates- commenting, unlike RA.
Someone whispers that "The patch is great, but the lines are a bit uneven on one of the chairs, like it wasn't quite finished. Was this the intended upload version?"
Artist -freaks out-, edits the dev a few times with ever-increasing hostility, makes a DevJournal post about That Mean Dude, reports him to DA for "harassment", deletes -all- of their devcomments and some of their deviations, flounces HARDXCORE ... then edits the deviation again to take all that out and removes the chair from the patch.

Even though they did not ask for critique or want it, they received it. They responded in an unreasonable and immature fashion to undesired input.

What's the difference here and why is there such a massive separation in reaction? Why does one artist sort of shrug, go "You're right." and the other begins to foam at the mouth? Age is not a determining factor, as artists in their mid-twenties do this just as much as 10-year-olds, and they usually throw in more bellyaching about how they "work a 12-hour shift" and "I got bills and a mortgage and three kids and I don't need this shit" and "you should kiss my ass for even taking the time to make you patches for your shitty dream"

Even well-liked/popilar artists have fallen prey to The Stupid, trying to blackmail or manipulate others into doing free work for or with them, and resorting to insults and threats when the plan doesn't work right, banishing/ejecting when you ask questions about color-choices.

The difference is professionalism. People who lack it in the real world get fired, or lose customers. People who have it gain a reputation of integrity and even when they make mistakes, still keep customers.  ANY community polices itself in that way, and a single, severe, screwup -will- follow a person for a long time unless they handle themselves professionally.

{*}It turned out the person had just uploaded a really ancient patch, edited, without any form of credit to the original artist.

Black Rain

Re: Professionalism in Artists.
«Reply #19: January 28, 2009, 06:32:54 AM»
You also have to see things through the eyes of the artist before making judgment on them. Not everything is peaches n cream in lalaland.There could be problems that the artist is going through that causes them to react such to the critique.


Your example 2 is entirely based off of what I did.

I did not report you to Deviantart nor did I made a Devjournal about you. And the only reason I edited and re-submitted ( which is why the comments where deleted ) is because I wanted to fix thing.  I removed both trees because I could not find replacements that where alike the actual tree. As well, I added the watermint which I forgot to add in the first place. And, I did give credit to the patch maker if you check the deviant again. The hostility I gave was un-needed. I agree and apologize. But at the time, I was tired and stressed. It happens to people.

Offline Anarchy

Re: Professionalism in Artists.
«Reply #20: January 28, 2009, 07:02:33 AM»
See, this all goes back to psychology. There is really no telling why one person might take critiques graciously while others will scramble for words while slamming their hands furiously into the keyboard. You'd have to know that person.

I myself am recovering from an anxiety disorder, and I was afraid to even post in forums for fear of being embarassed with all of the interwebz watching. It's commonly called 'agoraphobia' which directly translates to, 'fear of the marketplace' but in reality it is a fear of being vulnerable and attacked. Even the most sugar coated of critique might set off an episode of panic, in which all logic is lost. Luckily my agoraphobia was not bad, and I never let it get too far, but for some people it is much, much worse.

And that is just one explanation of one disorder. Everyone is different and there could be a thousand different reasons as to why one person might react a certain way.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2009, 07:35:28 AM by Anarchy »

Offline Rat The Unloved

Re: Professionalism in Artists.
«Reply #21: January 28, 2009, 07:09:01 AM»
Your example 2 is entirely based off of what I did.

Um, no, actually it wasn't.  Had I wanted to reference you I actually would have. I had no intention of mentioning anyone -identifiable-, so as not to embarass them. This was another, eerily simmilar, case of someone reacting horribly. Point of fact, there's a reason I -rarely- comment on anyone's patches anymore... people who respond in this manner are that reason.
However, congratulations for basically stating you did those things, and owning up to a few of them. That's the first step in -not- doing them again.  Hopefully you will consider that -other people aren't attacking you- next time, while they consider that you might be in a most terrible of moods? This is NOT an isolated incident, but hopefully it might be the last.

Could such a thing ever happen in our mixed-up world? Can cats and dogs truly live together in peace? Can people start with the assumption that all commentary is constructive, and work toward the opposite end as the evidence becomes overwhealming? Hell, it'd be helpful, wouldn't it? Almost... professional?

Quote
And, I did give credit to the patch maker if you check the deviant again.

No, you did not. Since you opted to mention yourself, when no one else had... Well, Myself, and Tiponya can both vouch for the lack of credit as can a few others whom I asked for help in IDing the patch (shortly before finding it on my harddrive. TRC used this one WAAAY back when). I didn't bother screenshotting, as Spellbook/MaikuDaemon does not specifically require credit on that patch. Had s/he... there would've been a DA note suggesting you do so.  As soon as you guessed, incorrectly, that the reference pointed toward you ... you edited the deviation again.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2009, 07:11:17 AM by Rat The Unloved »

Black Rain

Re: Professionalism in Artists.
«Reply #22: January 28, 2009, 07:40:04 AM»
Actually rat, I forgot to edit the deviation after re-submitting it. I had credit on the patch to MaikuDaemon Before you decided to comment on the patch. And I know you could see it clearly. And what other patches do I not have credit on? I gave credit to all people whom patches I edited from. Which do I not have credit to?

Erde

Re: Professionalism in Artists.
«Reply #23: January 28, 2009, 10:24:54 AM»
I always want critique, whether I go out of my way to ask for it or just have people post it.  So long as it's not "YOUR ART IS SHITTY BECAUSE YOU DON'T DO THIS." There's a difference between being a total jerk about it and actually giving critique. I don't expect people to be nice, but I don't expect them to lower my self esteem either.

IPGD

Re: Professionalism in Artists.
«Reply #24: January 28, 2009, 07:14:06 PM»
Quote
I don't mind critique as long as you aren't going to be an asshole about it. Unfortunatley, my artwork only seems to attract idiots. I wish I did get some decent critiques now and then. Never happens.
You say you don't mind good critique, but the tone of your post sort of suggests that even if you do receive good critique, you'd find a way to push it into one of the categories you mentioned and get angry anyway. "Condescending attitude" is a pretty broad label that you can more or less apply to any kind of criticism that isn't dumbed down and heavily sugar coated (and if you subscribe to the IT'S MY STYYYUHHHLLL mentality, you can shove most of everything into point A as well).

It's easy to ignore people who obviously have no idea what they're talking about (and correcting them is pretty funny, too), and even the cruelest of criticisms ultimately help you as long as they point out some legitimate problem. There is absolutely no point in getting angry at critique.
Quote
It's also very likely that the person (like myself) is already happy with their style, and would rather not have people criticizing it.
Somewhat off-topic, but this I will never understand artists who think this. Regardless of whether or not you're closer to Leonardo da Vinci than Chris-chan, you always, always have room for improvement. Artistic stagnancy is the worst thing that could ever happen to an artist. Well, losing your eyes or hands is probably worse, but...