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    How To Give/Take Feedback

    Giving feedback:

    Feedback is the nice way of saying 'criticism.' It just looks like a nicer title doesnt it? That's the first thing on this little how to, presentation is everything. It determines how seriously your response will be taken, which matters. Giving empty feedback like 'that's awesome' fails on 2 fronts. First, its not really feedback to anything. I know conventional wisdom says the less you say better; but people post work to get a response. While its not always going to be positive, it matters.

    The second is it feeds into a person's ego. An empty response like 'that's awesome' is just fluff. It feeds into the person's view that they really ARE that good at whatever it is they did. So when a person who wants to give a more serious response comes along will be received more defensively.

    Not that there's anything wrong with positive feedback, it is necessary to cultivate your own view points and determine things that you just <b>like</b> and <b>do not like</b>. This helps determine your 'taste' in terms everything you do. For example, Do you wear bright colors or dark colors?

    Your answer to this is important, because it determines your taste in the clothes you wear and buy.

    So when giving feedback (criticism), observe things that you like/do not like. These things are important, and it is not impolite to state why. I like to think it in terms of 'well if you didnt want your art criticized, you should not have posted your stuff.' Simplicity.

    Here's 5 simple ways to give better feedback:

    5. Use words you know the meaning of. Depth, color, lighting, balance, composition, focal point, flow, blending, style, etc etc. If you dont know the meaning of a word, its a one click answer away.

    4. Ask questions. A good way of pointing out something you dont like without sounding aggressive is to ask why something was used over an alternative. Such as, 'why did yo use blue?'

    3. Read other criticisms. Chances are good somebody noticed something you didnt about a piece of work. And its always good to double check. Little details are important, and usually determine overall quality.

    2. Connotation. Means more or less, how something is presented. When you write out your feedback, try opening your response with a positive remark on their work, then delve into the negative parts. Opening with a positive remark makes your overall response look a little more positive.

    1. Its not right. There is no 'ONE STEP SOLUTION' to making any form of art. Whether its writing, drawing, etc. Practice is important, and one of the things you should NEVER EVER do is compare one person's work to another. The means to the solutions to things like signatures, wallpapers, drawings, etc, are all different, no two people are alike. Think of it this way, lets say Final Fantasy 7 receives a review score of 9 out of 10, while Call of Duty gets a 10 out of 10. Does that make CoD a better game to Final Fantasy? What if you dont like shooters, does that make CoD more worth your time? Avoid numerical values, they arent worth it.

    Taking feedback:

    You are a slave to your work, and you tend to forget things. You might start a drawing, get an hour into it and realize the nose doesnt look right, meaning you have a choice, go back and lose your hour of work to fix the nose, or finish with an improper one. To use a simple example.

    Never doubt your audience's ability to see through your work. If I use a C4D, or a render or whatever, someone undoubtedly will know where I got them. They will see through style, and everything else. Its important to respect the fact that the people viewing your stuff are not on your mind set. They werent the ones who put in X amount of hours into a piece. You must accept the fact that people who look at your stuff care very little about the amount of effort you put in, let alone understand how you even made your stuff.

    This however is not the rule. Unless it looks like you put in a lot of effort, then people might comment on it, and respect you for it. Probably, but more likely not. So its important to appreciate you cannot control what feedback you get.

    My only advice is to practice, and practice a lot with whatever it is you do (signatures, drawing, etc). Dont object to feedback, dont be defensive, absorb and consider it.


    Unless of course the person giving it is completely inept; in which case ignorance is bliss.




    Credit for this article goes to Serated. You can follow his blog here with the original article posted here.