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August 14, 2013
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Some people brought up some pretty important points, so I've added some additional information about critiques below!

Hey all!

Something that's been bugging me a bit lately is how the DA community has sorta changed over the years (and not in a good way). People are more bold and will post whatever's on their mind, and while that can be a good thing in some scenarios, I feel that people oftentimes say things that they might not realize will hurt someone's feelings.

I generally get a lot of positive feedback, and it really helps! It's always great to know that someone likes my work, and it keeps me motivated to keep going with this hobby. However, I'm still a human being, and negative criticism can hurt me just as much as anyone else. I'm not sure what it is, but the amount of really negative comments has increased these past couple years, and it really discourages me from even using this website anymore. Many times I've considered just disabling comments entirely, but I feel that would destroy part of the reason I even use Deviantart to begin with.

Surprisingly, one of the more recent incidences was actually from someone that I had met before at a con, and in person she told me that I was one of the reasons she started cosplaying. She recently made a negative post on one of my photos, and I don't want to think that she had intended to hurt my feelings, but it did regardless.

This journal isn't going to reach the entirety of the DA community, but hopefully most of my watchers will at least read this and keep some of this information in mind, and maybe even spread the word. 

There's a reason Deviantart has the "Request a Critique" button. Granted, this is for premium memberships, but if people want to hear a critique, then they can ask for one in the info box, and I'm sure people who see it would happily oblige. I personally don't like critiques. I do this hobby for myself, and I feel I know my flaws better than anyone else...so when someone points out those flaws it's just a bit discouraging sometimes because then I feel like people have way too high expectations of me (it's really stressful).

Edit: The whole critique thing for me is a personal preference, but I understand not everyone feels the same, so I'll elaborate a bit more. Unfortunately most of the "critiques" I've gotten have been comments that bluntly point out the problems in a negative way, which is why I don't like them overall. However, if the only criticism I got was in the form of well-written critiques, then I would probably be fine with it. A well written critique should be something that benefits an artist more than hurts them. If you're going to point out something that you feel could use improvement, then tell the person what they can do to improve it, but not in a way that's going to come across like you're out to get them for it or put them down. Also, don't pick on things that a person can't easily fix (like physical characteristics). Don't tell someone that they can look better as a character by getting plastic surgery. 
I'm going to self-critique myself here as an example. Let's nitpick on my Skyward Sword Link Cosplay. 
The first flaw I notice is my shield; You can see the seam in the plastic where it's bent to have a curve rather than a nice smoother shape.
Don't just say, "I don't like the shield," or even, "The cosplay looks fantastic, but the shield could be better." While adding a positive thing about the costume does make it sound a little nicer, it still sounds a bit harsh, doesn't it? That's because it doesn't really provide any benefit to help me improve beside the fact that I need to get better at props.
So, what would have been a better critique? Maybe something like, "Costume looks great! I feel like you've got something good going here, though it looks like you had a hard time with shaping the shield. I recommend using [insert new material I might have never heard of here] for getting those rounder shapes. :)" bonus points if it also has a link to a tutorial or further information as to where I can find this magical material.
This critique is TONS better because first of all - it isn't telling me to throw away what I have and remake it. Sure, I might consider it and use the advice they gave me, but the important part is that they gave me information that I can use in any of my future projects. I might run into that same problem down the road with a different costume, but I'll then have this new knowledge to keep me from making the same mistakes. 

*end edit*

If you don't have something nice to say, you have the option to keep it to yourself. You're just going to make yourself look like a jerk. It takes more time to type out the comment, so you're doing both parties a favor by just avoiding the situation entirely.

Let's keep this community positive and classy, ok? :)


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:iconskyrider-1:
Skyrider-1 Sep 14, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow,  thank you for writing this.  I've been on Deviant more than usual lately, and making comments on various things.  Reading this, I think back to a few of them and realize I should have (...darn, I don't know how to say it...).  But I do think you're right in this.  And not only in the cosplay area, but literature, drawings, photography, etc. 

This kept going round my head.  ^_^" Thumper: "If you can't say somethin' nice, don't say anything at all."  or useful.
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:icongancristufel:
I am agog, I am aghast!  If you of all people are getting negative feedback, it's wicked hard not to flip my table and quit myself!

Unfortunately, no matter what we do, people are always going to try to find something wrong with it.  And it's caused many an artist to leave their work forever.  I just hope and pray that we can implore you to persevere and not give up over the petty prattling of prejudicial panners. 

Nevertheless, I'm sure you know all of this already, but either way, I wanted you to know you're a wonderful artist who is amazingly blessed.

Also, quite honestly, I have refrained myself from contacting you or asking you questions on account of the fear of being a burden.  So you can add all the compliments that come to your head on your mental list of comments, because, chances are, I probably will/would have said it and meant it.  To make up for it, perhaps I should go back and actually make mental compliments physical.

Love the entry on Etiquette!  I agree wholeheartedly!

Also looking forward to the possibility of going to Katsucon, I'd love to shake hands, say an exuberant hello, etc., if you end up going, that is.

I hope you and your hubby are doing splendiferously!

Blessings & Prayers,
~Gan
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:icongreninjastorm:

it's okay! :iconyuihugplz:

 

keep your head up, you're not alone my darling.

 

To be honest, at first I thought you were a great cosplayer and crafty in everything you do and I was right. Once I started to look at your yugioh cosplays, I thought that you could be the "perfect one." And I was right on that point too. As a huge fan of your cosplays and all the aforementioned work you've completed, I am proud to say that you are talented and full of spunk. :) Don't let other people downtalk you for all the hard work you've paid off, just ignore them and pretend they don't exist.

Reply
:iconhikarihellion:
HikariHellion Aug 20, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Everyone runs into assholes like that, especially people who are good at what they do. It seems that, when someone requests a critique, the ones giving the critique seem to forget that the one they're commenting on his a human being, not an android. As humans, we're not perfect; if we were, we couldn't be human. 

Jerks like that I tend to put on my ignore list. I try to give my reviews as positively as possible, because I know the person who's work I'm reviewing is part of the species homo sapiens, and makes mistakes every now and then. 

My advice, just ignore the jerkasses and leave it at that. If that doesn't work, well...you can always block them, I guess. ^^

Keep up the good work!
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:iconfreegirl333:
awww M-chan :( *hugs* I shall always follow and promise to be your stalker friend :3
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:iconhabbo-hampster:
your cosplays inspired me to do cosplays and that is no lie. I love all of your cosplays and if I could I would come to America to meet you and give you a plushie that I have made. recently ive been in a rough patch and rewatching all your videos on you tube has helped me to pull through and to attend a con this weekend past.
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:iconshikaru777:
Well I honestly like a lot of your cosplays. Because you cosplay both males and females and can do either one really well. Like I love your Yoko and your Nami cosplays because you look like you had lots of fun in them and put character into them. Your male cosplays are also awesome too! You inspire me to become a better cosplayer and your tutorials are extremely helpful for styling wigs. I hate to think that negative comments have put you down so much, but I hope you keep at it, because you are an awesome cosplayer. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

On a random note: You and your Husband make such a cute cosplay couple!
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:iconplatinumangel25:
PlatinumAngel25 Aug 18, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Very well said. Nod 
Reply
:iconhinata-teh-lefty:
Hinata-teh-Lefty Aug 18, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I especially hate critiques because I KNOW people will use to to point out all the problems with it. I'm very happy with my art style, and I don't really care if people tell me otherwise--I would ask for the opinion if I wanted it. Still, my past semester of getting into photography (while also doing graphic design classes because apparently graphic design and photography are the same exact thing to this college) was two solid classes of critiquing our work and I HATED it. I loved what everyone thought to do and it was awful being the best artist in the class (and similarly, there was a really good photographer in the other class that we all oggled over). I never had many critiques in the art class, but I had several pointers in the photography class just because I don't have the resources to do what I want to do just yet. I turn in what I think looks good; if I'm not happy with it, I won't submit it.

Even without the critique button, some people STILL tell you what they want to be better, whether you ask for help or not. I'm very fortunate to have not run into very many rude commentators or people who like pointing out what's wrong with everything, but as a much more popular deviant, I'd hate to know how much you have to deal with people like that. Most of them just want to troll no matter how good you are. 
Your wigs and cosplay are GORGEOUS, and everyone has room for improvement, but if you're happy with something, or if you feel like YOU need to fix something, that's primarily up to you, unless, like you said, someone provides a good suggestion for what you can do.

(On a different and happier note, you were recommended when I talked to a wig booth at San Japan this weekend! I told them that I didn't have nearly the dexterity and talent that you had though, since I've been looking for people who can do wig commissions and I know you're pretty busy for commissions, but I was still pretty happy that they suggested you and mentioned how good your tutorials and such were. Congrats for being such a celebrity! X3)
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:iconlividdoll:
/Highfives for this <3
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