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Submitted on
March 16, 2013
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PE: Dealing with a negative feedback

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 12:17 PM

PE: Dealing with a negative feedback


"To escape criticism - do nothing, say nothing, be nothing."

Elbert Hubbard

Everyone wants to be praised for their work. It's the extremely rare individual who creates things and doesn't care how they're received. Dealing with criticism can be painful, but at the same time enormously helpful.

Let's begin with understanding the function that positive and negative feedback serve. Positive feedback (pointing out things you did WELL) increases commitment to the work you do, by enhancing your experience and your confidence, white Negative feedback (pointing out things you did WRONG), on the other hand, is informative - it tells you where you need to spend your effort, and offers insight into how you might improve.

With that being said, positive and negative feedback are affective and motivate differently, their impact varies from different people at different times. For instance, when you really don't know what you're doing, positive feedback helps you to stay optimistic and feel more at ease with the challenges you are facing - something novices tend to need. But when you are an expert, and you already more-less know what you are doing, it's negative feedback that can help you to do what it takes to get to the top of your game.

Of course, negative feedback should always be accompanied by good advice and given with tact. Starting artists may even give up their art entirely based on too much harsh criticism. But making someone give up their work isn't what criticism is about.

In reality, many people don't understand the difference between criticism of a work of art and criticism of a person, and that's people on both sides of the issue, artists getting offended by legitimate criticism of something they've created, critics crossing the line and criticizing the artist rather than the art.

How to process the feedback, than?

:bulletpurple: LISTEN

Be attentive and listen carefully, this communicates that you value the feedback and ensures you understand the feedback provided.

:bulletpurple: RECEIVE

It is a natural reaction to push back on negative feedback and start preparing a rebuttal. Don't. If you're planning a rebuttal, you're not really being attentive and listening carefully.

:bulletpurple: EXPRESS GRATITUDE

Providing feedback takes efforts and carries a level of risk. Thank everyone who took the time to provide you with feedback.

:bulletpurple: ACT

Ignoring feedback wastes time - yours and time of those that provided you with it. Take appropriate actions on the feedback, as soon as possible.

"I read an article on me once that described my machine-method of silk-screen copying and painting: 'What a bold and audacious solution, what depths of the man are revealed in this solution!' What does that mean?"

Andy Warhol


A "small surprise" motivational article written for #projecteducate's Community Week :heart:
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khyrkat Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2014   Traditional Artist
I don't take critiques. Be it positive, negative, whatsoever. I also don't give critiques. This is so slippery thing I'd rather stay away from it. I understand critique is traditionally a part of art world but I take the freedom of thinking my own way. Nevertheless, I respect those who rely on words of people who don't know them, who never talked to them, who never felt like them while painting, who sometimes don't even draw but take the place of god of pencil. Salute.
mephron Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2013
I just got one of these a few days ago - not even really negative feedback, just "you suck, your work stucks, delete your account". Trolling.

I decided to just ignore it, delete it, and move on. Not worth my trouble. I'm learning. I'm posting my daily sketching because that means I've made myself accountable. If I stop, people can ask me why I stopped and I have to have an answer. This is for me. Maybe not for the world. But for me. And I have had people say good things to me, and give me pointers about stuff I need to work on and how to work on it.

The good people who want to help - and give negative but encouraging feedback, like "your perspective is off, you may want to think about doing this" are a million times more precious than ten thousand trolls telling you that you suck.

That's what I remind myself of.
jane-beata Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Madhurupa Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
i am going through a phase of negative remark saying that "i am fooling around and giving b/w effect to real pics and telling people that i drew that.." on a particular piece by 2 particular person... i searched her profile and found out that she doesn't draw... and it's really ridiculous (gonna block her! after i give the prove) and today i am going to do that and block her forever... and the most disgusting thing that she reported it.. I am really getting mad at her.. i am not doing any illegal thing then why some people insult... is it because they are jealous... i know its good to be aware of thefts but forcibly making an innocent person a thief is a criminal offense isn't it?
regularjane Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
A good read :heart:
DianaGrigore Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2013
Great article. :clap:
So many people need to read this.
rainsoaked Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Really good article.
WhiteOkami Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Nice article, clear cut and straight to the point :)
I've been looking to work up the courage to give constructive critique but then I look back at my work and think "Am I really qualified to give pointers?". Properly not yet.
TheArgoNinja Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2013  Student Digital Artist
"white Negative feedback"

I think you spelled "while" wrong. :V
faeorain Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
Very good advice, though I'd like to add a bit more emphasis on the distinction between constructive criticism and outright insults. Most of us would know the difference, but sometimes people are still tempted to respond to pure insult. My bit of advice is, if the criticism does not focus on the work and/or offer any advice for improvement, pay no attention to it. For someone who leaves a comment like " you suck "...or " this sucks " advice would be to block them and move on, rather than debating anything with them. Debating people like that is useless and will get you nowhere fast. It will only end up in more frustration. For someone to even think of leaving comments like that, it immediately tells you they are not qualified to be critiquing artwork at all, and therefore they are not worth your time.
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