Also: ASSUMPTIONS AND DIFFERENT ARTISTIC VISIONSI see so many people with destructive rather than constructive comments on people's art or even general styles of art. In my [previous journal entry], I mentioned how, if you're doing art for your own enjoyment, the only person your art has to please is yourself, and I mentioned about people having different artistic visions. Since my return to DA, I have seen many people being made to feel insecure about their art. Here's a very old anecdote and hopefully it will inspire you to not give up...
When I was a child in elementary school, Art was a mandatory subject. We had it every year and it was always the same teacher. It was also more really "Crafts Class" than really "Art class," and it was never about learning to draw, proportions, or mixing colors, etc., even though the teacher was an artist and an excellent painter. Sure, we were children, but it would have helped.
Anyway, one week, the teacher brought paints to class and had us paint whatever we wanted, and work on it throughout the week. I did my thing and was insanely proud of it; I thought it was the best thing I'd ever done. My classmates, too, really liked it and were standing around looking at it on the day we were to turn in our stuff.
The teacher, on the other hand, took one look at it and, with an unimpressed face, said, "You need to add more behind it." Then they pointed to one of their own paintings that they had around the classroom and added, "THIS is what something like that is supposed to look like! Doesn't it look so much better this way?" I said, "But I don't like it; it's too crowded!" (Granted, I should have worded that better, but I was a child.) The teacher replied, "You know nothing about art! You'll never be a good artist!"
There are two points to this story: VISION AND ASSUMPTIONS IN ART CRITIQUE.
One is that when someone draws something, they have an image in their head of what they want to achieve, what they want their thing to look like when it's done. It is difficult for another person to know what that image is, and almost always, they make assumptions of what the artist's vision, their goal, was. More often than not, when someone gives you critique, especially online, they don't ask you questions first to try to understand what your vision was; they just make assumptions and base their critique on that. Very often, they assume you're shooting for a style that's well-known, usually realism; sometimes the style of an artist they
look up to.
In the example above, the teacher liked paintings that were full, that showed abundance, and they commented on mine assuming that I would like what they liked. On the other hand, child!me, while still thinking theirs was pretty, wanted
something more minimalistic for my own. I can tell you now that even back then I thought the teacher's painting was very pretty, but I didn't want to change mine in any way because I thought mine was a different kind of pretty.
Even now, I look at stuff here on DA and offline and think, "Wow that's really well done; sooo beautiful!" Sometimes, if not just the execution but the subject appeal to me, I Fav it if it's on DA. But, if I were to redo the same subject (hypothetically speaking, of course; but it's the best way to explain what I mean), would I paint/draw it the same way? Almost all of the time, the answer is "no," not due to a different level of skill, but due to a different vision - in other words, if I painted it exactly like that, it would not be "me." Takeaway for the artist:
So don't focus on trying to make your art look like other people's. Focus on developing a firm vision
of what you want your art to look like and work toward that instead. Takeaway for the critiquer:
Perhaps it would be beneficial to ask the artist first what specifically they would want to improve, and, through dialogue, try to understand their vision/goal of what they're trying to achieve. DON'T LET ANYONE MAKE YOU STOP DOING ART.
No matter how old you are, no matter how long you've been doing art, and no matter who the person putting down your art is, never feel like your art is crap. If the Artist Master of Super Duper Art of DOOM (if that ever existed) him/herself says your art is crap, literally says your art is "bad" (I've seen so much stuff called "bad art" in here), it just means that you two don't share the same artistic vision - AND THAT IS PERFECTLY OKAY! Art is YOUR personal expression, not anyone else's, no matter how well-recognized they are. Also, like I said in my [New Year's journal entry]
, in my opinion, only the artist her/himself can call their own art "bad," because only they know what exactly they were trying to achieve. It may be "ugly" to someone else, but "bad?" Someone else can't possibly know how successful you were in achieving your goal, so they can't call it either "good" or bad." And if they call it "ugly?" Well, appreciation of aesthetics is subjective, in art just as it is with judging how "hot" or "sexy" one person is
What's ugly to one person is beautiful to another, and both are neither right nor wrong because it's their personal opinion. Sometimes, people say "that's bad art!" and perhaps it should be "I don't like that piece of art!" And if they don't like it, it's perfectly fine, as long as YOU do.
And remember: Work to move your art toward what YOU want, not toward what others expect of you.Disclaimer: This does not apply if you are employed by a company and are expected to adhere to their style, but then that's art as a product, not as an expression of yourself (not 100% anyway). And that's perfectly fine, I have absolutely nothing against commercial art, it's great, but it's a different ballpark entirely, and that's not what my journal here is about.
OT EDIT: How is this layout and text color for readability for you guys?