Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login

Giving Feedback

Journal Entry: Fri Sep 12, 2014, 5:58 PM

So, over the years I've occasionally realized that I'm not terribly active in the community; the various responsibilities and tasks that I have cross my desk every day have sort of moved me into the background of the site; my commenting got fewer and farther apart and the same can be said for my journals and I've definitely become one of those "drive-by Favorites givers" where I just :+fav: and don't comment.

And I'm sure that most of you know the deal; you figure you'll make more of an effort to connect but then those sixteen things over there need your attention first and next thing you know it six months later and you still haven't taken that first step to really get out there into the community.

I imagine that among you people are those who are "here" but not really "here interacting" and I'd wager that even you guys interacting probably have a good chunk of you who have insulated yourself into your own little niche group and rarely step outside that comfort zone.

Well, a couple of weeks ago I started my determined effort and I actually got out there browsing and I managed to ignore the little voice that told me that I probably had other things to be doing long enough to look through a bunch of deviations and journals and things.

I'm certain that it probably comes as no surprise to a lot of you that there is a marked lack of any real feedback. Oh, there's certainly a lot of praise and congratulations on a job well done but you don't see much by way of actual critique; you know, that stuff where you not only say that you like something but you explain a little bit about why you like it and if you don't like it you explain why you don't like it.

No doubt everybody likes to be told that you like what they did but you can help out so much more by explaining why you like what they did; and if you don't like what they did you should tell them that and why as well.

And if you decide to tell them why you don't like their work there's no reason to be mean-spirited about it. You all have probably seen at least one of those types; they get fed up with what they consider to be too much vapid, meaningless mutual back slapping so they decide that they need to balance it with "brutally honest critique" (which tends to be code for just being a jerk).


What I decided is that I will set aside time in my day to browse new submissions and leave comments on a few every day at least five days a week. The number of deviations which get my attention won't be very large because I simply don't have that sort of free time but I will be making the effort and when I make that effort I will be leaving meaningful commentary.

If I like what I see I'll tell you what and why I like it.

If I don't like what I see I'll tell you what and why I don't like it and tell you my personal opinion of what you should try next time.

I will always end with something positive to say about the work and if I can't find something positive to say about it I will reconsider leaving any comment at all because if you can't encourage an artist in some minute fashion then all your comment will be doing is discouraging them and I think there are enough people out there who can do that job and I don't need to add to their number.

So if you've read this journal down this far I'd like to take the opportunity to challenge you to take a look at your own activity.

Are you one of those who always puts off commenting? When you comment do you find yourself sticking to your niche or your close friends? Do you find yourself typing "Good Job" and then moving on to the next? Are you afraid to give suggestions or tell someone that you don't like this thing or that?

Change your interaction; slow down and really contribute; Assume that every artist is here for actual feedback and that they want to know what you liked about their deviation, not just that you liked it and they want your suggestions or for you to say what you didn't care for about it or that you just want to talk about what they did and how they did it.

Yes, some people may ignore the time and effort you invest in your thoughtful, meaningful commentary but I think you'll find that far more people will appreciate it and who knows what sort of insightful conversations you may find yourself involved in just because you took the time to actually contribute rather than tossing a :+fav: at someone and yelling "Good Job" at them over your shoulder during your mad dash to get to that next deviation.

Add a Comment:
Zagittorch Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh my God this journal is from 2014 and I felt so identified just now :lol:
I definitely stick to my own niche, it'd be nice to branch out. I'll try it :).
FairestMoss Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2015
I am an introvert, so being too active with strangers and such tends to drain me really badly. That's absolutely not to say that I haven't tried, or that I haven't wanted to though. I just have to be careful about not running myself into the ground like that.

That being said, in the past I have been bad about doing the fave and run thing. I've been trying to get better about saying why I liked something and what I liked about it, but the funny thing is... I didn't realize that counted as critique. I've wanted to be someone who can critique others' work, but I thought that critique meant speaking as objectively as possible about what it right and wrong in a piece. I didn't start to figure out until recently that it was generally based more around what one likes and dislikes in a piece. That kind of opinion-based critique makes things critiques seem a whole lot easier to both give and take.
CapnDeek373 Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2015  Professional General Artist
Speaking of feedback...

At first I was not satisfied with the way my complaints were resolved by what came through my messages.
It just said "issue resolved" I was confused because there was no reply.
Then I realized the full answer came to my e-mail.
Thank you for the response. I'm cool with it.
Thanks again!
phoenixleo Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2014
See what I did there? :D
phoenixleo Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2014
WDWParksGal Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2014
I do comment when I can, as well as giving a hint or two when perusing entries into challenges at ManipulateThis

The problem is time, since groups take up a lot of it. My own message center has suffered due to working in groups first. I have three sites and work in groups in all of them, so I'm stretched thin these days.

For the most part these days I'm guilty of Stamp- Fave N Run by Hatter2theHare  
electricjonny Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
I think we all long for constructive meaningful comments =P  But yeah, most don't do that here.  Is it a lack of energy?  Lack of time?  People assuming no one wants that?  Who knows.  I don't comment often, but when I do, I at least say why I like something, and if I see issues, I point them out constructively.

But yeah, I've noticed my commenting slacking.  If I do comment, it's really only on things I get in my inbox, mostly because the newest section is just full of crap, or things I don't know about (I remember when photographers were the most people logged into dA, now I bet it's drawers, which I don't know about so I don't feel like I can really comment on other than "nice".)
marthig Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I am continuously trying to keep up with my :+devwatch: I watch almost 300 / 400 artists of various styles of art.  Have to plead guilty of mostly :+fav: and run but even so, I just can't get up to date with comments received.  I am not thanking for :+fav:s any more, I do that in the comments in my deviations.  

As to give feedback I don't consider myself to be as knowledgeable as I think I should, to be able to be fair in criticizing anyone's work, I can say if I like something or not usually by its colouring and how pleasing I find the form but that is just a personal opinion, and I don't think might help in improving an artist's technique.

What I do sometimes is to feature the art of my friends and watchers as some sort of recognition for their being always there with a favourite or some nice comment even if it's just "Great work"

As a compliment to dA have to say that in a way the reason we deviants can't cope with the tremendous amount of art available is due to deviantart, on account of the ease with which art can be submitted and many other technical stuff that had been implemented throughout the last 4 or 5 years. 

I was not always pleased to be in dA but fortunately now, I can truly say I am proud to be in here.  So ... keep up with the good job ! :D :thumbsup:
3wyl Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
The topic of your journal here is something I was immediately aware of when joining the site five years ago. It is why I created ProjectComment, and I am proud to say that the group is still alive five years later.

Actively going out there and leaving a constructive comment is off-putting for a lot of people, but there are so many benefits to leaving comments for people. I do find it a shame that more people are inclined to leave a two word comment or even just a very brief sentence. It really isn't that difficult to write the things that you like about the piece and why, the things that you don't like and why, and the things that the artist could improve on and how.

I'm definitely an advocate for constructive commenting. It is really heart-warming to see people leave a paragraph and more and the artist appreciating that. There may be fewer people commenting constructively than those who fav-and-run or leave one word comments, but those efforts are huge indeed and they deserve to be heard. :nod:
midnight21 Featured By Owner Edited Sep 12, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I've been on hiatus for a long time due to dealing with obsessive stalker for the past five years, but I've been watching people's artwork and try to leave comments if I want to add the piece to my favorites. I figured with the sharp decline of commenters lately they'd appreciate it while some may just ignore it like you said.

There is another serious problem on deviantART and that is stalking and harassment. Every time I would complain about it to the staff and provide evidence, they would just turn me away and keep telling me to ignore them, which solves NOTHING. If the staff isn't willing to do anything about it then the least they can do is to improve their blocking system and make it so blocked people cannot view your deviations, journals or comments, even after a blocked person had logged out. Sure, blocking someone may prevent a person from commenting on your page but they can see what you post and they can and will use that against you in their own journals, provoking you into a very humiliating drama war that not only destroys friendships, but your reputation and life as well.

Deviants should have the right to feel safe on deviantart and before all this happened to me, I felt relatively safe expressing myself to the fullest extent and submitting stuff as often as i pleased... but ever since i've been dealing with so much harassment from my ex friend, I've been afraid to post stuff knowing that she'll use it against me or cause drama every chance she gets. I lost so much to her already, even my health and I don't know how much more of this abuse I can take.

Please help keep our deviants safe. Stalking and harassment can be very dangerous situations, especially if you're dealing with a narcissist or sociopath and it shouldn't be taken so lightly anymore...
Cinestress Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2014  Professional General Artist
I keep telling myself that I'm going to get back into the habit of being active as well. I have done so a little bit, but I could probably put forth more of an effort. :)
brennennn Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Very noble effort, Daniel. :)
Add a Comment:

:iconrealitysquared: More from realitysquared

More from DeviantArt


Submitted on
September 12, 2014


58,702 (78 today)
4 (who?)