is it wrong to ask for some tips?

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This topic contains 8 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by Polyvios Animations 4 days ago.

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    Hi, seeing the current posts on the "Critique" tab I happen to stumble upon some really good artists that did very good exercises.

    I asked two of them for some advice on how to achieve their level, yet i got only a reaction of "nice" or "helpful" from each of them an not a single response.

    Is never asking for advise to other users some unspoken rule on this site or are users learning usually too timid to teach others?

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    People are definitely timid. I mean, just compare the number of people using this site to the number of people even asking for advice, and then to the handful of people who usually dare to give advice.

    Also, there is the difference between having a skill, and being able to verbalize what it takes to acquire a skill. You can probably ride a bike, but could you explain HOW to ride a bike to someone who has problems with it?

    So, not asking any random person for advice isn't so much an unspoken rule, it is just that asking is such a low probability attempt that most people won't even try. Maybe if you already established an ongoing conversation with someone, you could say "Hey, I noticed, that you are especially good at x, do you have any tips how you do that?", but then still the most likely answer will be: "Aaahm, never thought about that, I just do it!"


    There's no such rule, but they may have taken it as a rhetorical question meant to be a compliment?


    I think they want me to know they acknowledged my message and that they straight up don’t care. I would have preferred a straightforward "I don’t think I can help you" as a more respectful response, or they could have just left my message unread.

    if they are being timid like Herbert said, they have a weird way of showing it.


    Looking through your posts, though, I can't help but feel like your approach is flawed. Case in point:

    "Your figure drawing is exactly what the site intended, so if you want to add more, shading and anatomy studies are an other beast entirely.

    This being said, my exercises fail to achieve that objective: my lines are messy and loose; i don't get the simplification of the shapes of the reference... I basically suck at making progress. So, i want to ask you some tips on how to achieve that quality in your studies.

    i know in this case you are supposed to get more of a feedback, but in your case you are doing a phenomenal job that to me seems quite evident you already understand the subject well."

    You complimented this person, but you also talked about how much you suck, and while I sympathize with the feeling, it's not really appropriate to go onto someone else's work to tell them that they're so much better than you and that you suck in comparison, it puts them in an awkward position. Additionally, you're asking in spaces where others are looking for critique on their own work, rather than posting your own work for critique (though I see you've also done that).

    That being said, this site isn't super active to begin with, so I'd recommend looking in more than one place if possible. You should also try to narrow down what you want to improve and ask about that - "Do you have any tips for more fluid gestures?" rather than "How did you do that?". Insights into your process and approach may also get you better advice.

    Finally, a lot of people will... just not necessarily give good or relevant advice, speaking from experience.


    Idon't know, sorry if I find that a little bit funny, but how do you expect timid people to express their timidity in a more appropriate way?

    I think the #1 natural expression for shyness is to not react at all. After all, all kind of reactions have to be interpreted and validated by someone else, and then those reactions can potentially be regarded as dumb or patronizing or unhelpful or silly or...... and that is what timid people are afraid of.

    I have been reading your posts on this forum a bit, and I think a part of your artistic problem is a self fulfilling prophecy loop based on your anxiety about your own self worth and your expectation.

    To explain what I mean, I'll contrast with my own drawing style. I think one aspect that characterizes my drawings is, that I always very quickly jump to the conclusion "Aaah, that's good enough, let's start doing something else". So I get a lot done, and I have a 95% experience with a lot of subskills, and if all of that comes together the end result can occassionally be impressive, BUT... there is also always that rough and dirty and unfinished feel to whatever I do, because there is never a real 100% in the mix. And it doesn't bother most people a lot, and people who give me critique often tell me that it looks bold and confident and carries emotional weight. Which is true, but it still bothers me personally a bit, that I don't have a real choice in the matter. For me, getting my lines to really look smooth and pretty, or cute, or really clean, or "girlish", or diligent, seems just outside of my grasp, because at every step on the way, I get to "Aaargh, that's good enough, let's do something else" just way too early.

    For you on the other hand "That's good enough" never seems to be even possible. You start with sky high expectations about how every result has to look, and if you don't exactly reach it, you despair and beat yourself up publicly for it. And when you start your next drawing instead of focusing 100% on actual drawing, you are at least 50% already in the process of self-critiquing every dot you left on the paper, and start overcorrecting and then overcorrecting the overcorrection. Which actually lowers the resulting quality instead of improving it.

    That said, your actual results aren't nowhere near being as horrible as you seem to perceive them. You are actualy a good draftsperson, and your results show that you improved a lot over what a complete noob would produce.

    Now, from some experience with anxious people in my life, I know that trying to help them can run into a lot of risks. If you just tell them "Don't be anxious", no matter how soothing you intended that to be, the reply may just be "Now that is just rude. I can't change who I am."

    If you instead come up with exercises for them to lower their anxiety, then they will just become anxious over whether they did the exercises correctly.

    If you feel defeated and tell them to search help from someone else or to adress their issue on their own, they will feel rejected.

    I mean, in this case you asked someone a question, that they had no answer to, and so they chose not to answer, and you are reading into that that you broke some unspoken rule, and now everybody might hate you for it? And if they wouldn't secretly hate you, they would have found a somewhat more appropriate way to respond?

    I remember a conversation either with you, or with someone with almost the identical user name, which quite abruptly ended with me being told "I heard everything you said already a thousand times, and I already told you, that I am not interested in that, how dare you keep saying that!" and a threat to be blocked. This wasn't a response that was especially inviting to carry on a conversation, and furthermore, it did not change my conviction, that my answers were still correct and actually the best possible answers to the questions that were asked. If you ask questions, you have to live with people either giving no answers, or other answers than you wished for.


    There's no specific rule, but they might have interpreted it as a rhetorical question intended as a compliment.


    Well, I dunno, but if you're still looking into knowing how to give more constructive critiques, I recommend you look into this link here, and here, too. AND MORE.

    The logical explanation why is because, these links help to provide you with how to give and take the most constructive critiques, in the the context of general drawing practice, and most specifically anything. (even figure drawing) Let's hope they've completely and totally rubbed off on me and all of you. (let's hope these links worked)

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