WEEKLY QUESTION NO.4 - When to give an awesome.

edited December 2021 in General Discussion

In a recent thread, there was a rather pointed jibe about every painting posted on the DMP forum being awarded an awesome icon. (Not true, by the way.) Keeping in mind that there are painters at all levels here, from rank beginners to professionals, when do you think it is appropriate to award an awesome icon to a painting posted in the DMP forum? When is it not appropriate?

(There are no rules about this here. Thank goodness. It's up to members to decide for themselves when to award an awesome. So there are no right or wrong answers to this question. However, it will be interesting to see what criteria people use when deciding whether or not a painting merits an awesome.) 



  • edited December 2021
    Love this question.  I think about it pretty often.

    All I know is that I don't think my paintings should ever get an awesome, at least anytime soon, but that @GTO, @tassieguy, @kaustav, @MichaelD (list goes on and on) always should :)

  • Well, I think your sunset painting got quite a few well deserved awesomes.  Keep'em coming.  :)
  • GTOGTO -
    edited December 2021
    @allforChrist ,I agree with Rob you’ve done some ‘awesomes’. The Tuscany street scene for example, and others.
  • This question is awesome! ;)
  • tassieguy said:
    Well, I think your sunset painting got quite a few well deserved awesomes.  Keep'em coming.  :)
    You're too kind @tassieguy:)  sometimes I'm my own worst critic :)
  • CBGCBG -
    edited December 2021
    I simply ask myself if in
    my head I felt something akin to “this is awesome”.  If yes I have every reason to click “awesome”.  If not, I think clicking on “awesome” would be dishonest and unjustified.

    Forthright honesty is clean, simple, and respects the justice of awarding an “awesome” to confirmed awesomeness.
  • Thanks, @CBG. Yes, that's been my approach, too. More or less.  I'll sometimes hold off commenting or giving an awesome for reasons I will outline later.  :)
  • hummm this is very thought provoking. I think that most here are like me, enjoying painting and enjoying the interaction with others that also enjoy painting. So, in that case “awesome “  could just be part of that camaraderie and the shared love of the art. We all have different likes and dislikes and we all can “see” things differently yet appreciate the process. 
  • Yes, I think that's right, @joydeschenes. It can be about more than just the painting that is posted. Other factors can legitimately come into play. :)
  • @allforChrist, that is very kind of you but really you deserve an Awesome as much as anyone else who does  :)
  • Good question @tassieguy,.

    When do I think its appropriate ?

    When ever the person who decides to use if feels they wish to. It ain’t there for decoration  :)

    I see it as a wee step up from `Like` As it may have made more of an impression on the viewer.

    I can understand why some may think that it may be used too liberally, but it needs to be kept in mind that it is subjective, as, of course appreciation and response to art is.

    It may be considered, by some, as unhelpful for example to a beginner because the work doesnt necessary radiate awesomeness to them. But actually I believe, particularly with beginners, that a little encouragement goes a long way.

    For someone who may feel that they are hopeless at art, and dont yet believe that they can do anything that is any good, getting an Awesome from others who are further down the line in their skills and whos work they may admire is so so helpful.  I speak from experience, I was new here once.

    Conversely, there are no doubt some who may wish to have a `Dislike` option.

    There is probably a good reason why we dont have one.


  • Thanks, @MichaelD

    Yes, I agree that awesome icons should be awarded fairly liberally - they are not just for excellent work by professionals with years of experience. I give it for what I consider awesome work by anyone but I also give it when I see great improvement. And I'll give awesomes to beginners when I see great potential that I want to encourage.

    On the other hand, there are circumstances where I won't give an awesome even when the work is fabulous. For example, serial fly-by dumpers who get lots of praise but never, ever, take the time to give feedback to others don't even get a "like" from me.  :)
  • I give awesome ratings for work that is truly awesome.  
    I also give awesome ratings to work based on the level of experience.  
    I rate professional artists differently and are more critical of minor things.  
    For artists that are new or starting out I will give an awesome if they’ve done something special even if there needs more work on the piece.
    But I try to also give more feedback in the comments no matter what. 
    When I started out here there were so many that gave me excellent feedback.  It really helps so I feel I should do the same.
  • Thanks, @GTO. Yes, it seems that most folks feel that some flexibility is called for. So, for example,   one wouldn't judge a work by rank a beginner as stringently as a work by an experienced professional. I think that's reasonable.  And, like @MichaelD, you point to the importance of giving encouraging feedback to those just starting out. I, too, feel it's right to do this. I've yet to see a painting by a beginner that doesn't have some good points.  :)
  • edited December 2021
    I picture people thinking, oh, I got 10 likes but only two awesomes. How disappointing. We aren't immune from this phenomenon of the impact of social media, and the awesome button doesn't change that.
    When I first saw it I was delighted, and initially with a measure of discipline reserved it for something that had an impact on me personally. Then I began to realise that people would be disappointed with 'like' - because of that issue of skill and experience - it takes years to reach our optimal level but we make 'awesome' leaps forward along the way and need encouragement. In some ways now I have one standard from the art itself, and another standard from my recognition of the progress of the person on the receiving end.
    I'm sure everyone will be along a spectrum of these two things: the more objectively minded will mark as art critic (some will make allowances for beginners)... the more people oriented will want to encourage, and neither is wrong.
    I now feel conflicted about having both as an option on the forum and don't quite know where the line is. I only know the joy of art shouldn't be reserved for the most experienced and talented. I don't want to discourage anyone. Thinking about it, I guess comments can help mitigate by qualifying our rating.
  • Thanks, @Abstraction

    Flexibility seems to be the name of the game.

    I really like your last point about comments which can qualify the awesome rating. If we're pressed for time we might just hit the awesome icon but most often people actually comment and, to me, that seems much more important and useful than just the awesome icon.  :)
  • Comments are hugely helpful.  The first few months I was on here, I looked at the comments I received rather than the likes or awesomes.  Comments are really so much better. :)
  • @Abstraction @tassieguy @allforChrist,

    I agree with many of those points, comments may be better and can be more useful and comprehensive. But there are times when I dont know what to comment, or even dont feel like commenting but I want to give recognition that I either like or think the piece is great or awesome, and for that the icons are ideal.
  • edited December 2021
    Yes, @MichaelD. The awesome icon serves a useful purpose when we want to give acknowledgement but just don't have much to say about a painting or when we're pressed for time or when, for whatever reason, we just don't feel like commenting.  It's a quick and easy way of saying "saw you're painting - love it - really good".  :)
  • edited December 2021

    Prior to posting this question, I hadn't really thought much about why I do or don’t award awesome icons. I would just let my feelings guide me. And a lot depended on context - what the painter had posted before, level of experience, etc.  Having now given it some thought, I’ve been able to systematize the criteria I apply when deciding whether a painting merits an awesome icon. Please note that these are just my own thoughts and preferences and are not recommendations. We are all free to decide for ourselves when to award awesomes. 


    My criteria for awarding an awesome icon:

    1.       The painting is technically very good and, IMHO, aesthetically or emotionally moving and there are no countervailing factors (see 1.3 below) that might prevent me awarding an awesome.

    2.       The painting, whilst perhaps not at the high level mentioned in 1. above, demonstrates awesome improvement on earlier work and there are no countervailing factors (see 1.3 below) that might prevent me giving an awesome.

    3.       The painter is a newbie on the forum and/or a rank beginner, and although there are technical shortcomings, the work posted shows awesome potential which I think should be encouraged.

    (Along with an awesome icon I often also offer some comments about the work)

    My criteria for not awarding an awesome icon:

    1.1   The painting is not by a beginner and, in terms of technique and/or aesthetics, is, IMHO, unremarkable. (I might give a "like" instead if there are aspects of it I do actually like, and I usually offer some comments about the work)

    1.2   The painting is not by a beginner and the work is unremarkable and is not a vast improvement technically or aesthetically on previous work posted.  (I might give a "like" instead if there are aspects I do actually like, and I usually offer some comments on the work)

    1.3   The poster is a serial fly-by dumper whose work may be stunning, and who laps up lots of praise for it, but who never, ever, bothers to take the time to give feedback or encouragement to others. (It takes a few fly-by dumps to identify this type of poster, but once identified, such freeloading egoists get zilch from me. But that's just me and I understand that other folks may not find such behaviour objectionable and will give awesomes in these circumstances. I do not criticize them for that.

     Folks may disagree with my criteria for awarding or not awarding an awesome. I can envisage criticism for not focusing solely on the work posted. That’s ok. It's just that I think there is more to awarding an awesome than just the particular work posted. For me, context has to be to considered, too. But I still have an open mind on the matter so, if you think my criteria are too generous or too miserly, or just plain nutty, I’m open to persuasion. :)

  • @tassieguy

    Hmmm... I note that we probably all, from time to time, decide simply not to engage at all. No awesome, no like, no nothing...

    "I see it.  But I'm not inclined to respond"

  • Yes, @CBG, that is an option we all have and which I sometimes take.  :)
  • edited December 2021
    My Awesome goes to technically, aesthetically sound pictures. I also use awesome when someone has moved beyond their boundaries (technically and/or thematically) and created better than what they usually produce. Sometimes I disregard technical issues and consider content as a criteria if it is to be considered.

    Likes: ok quality...can be better but the effort or intent is worth appreciating.

    So not very different from others.
  • Thanks, @KaustavM:)

    Yes, it seems most hit the awesome button for exceptionally good work but also take other factors like experience and improvement into consideration. That seems entirely reasonable to me.  
  • I think it might be worth noting that It's not like we are obliged to respond in any way to work posted. There's no obligation. Some days we just can't be bothered, and I think that's ok. The dog might have thrown up on the carpet, we may have a hangover, the weather might be causing our arthritis to act up .... The are countless reasons why, on any particular day, we may choose not to respond to work posted.  We don't have to respond in any way if we don't feel like it. And I'm glad it's like that. Who needs more obligations? What this question is really about is the criteria used when we do decide to award or not award an awesome. But you don't have to respond to this question if you don't feel like it. Freedom is the buzz word.  :)
  • Simply put, I click "Like" or "Awesome" when a piece of work speaks to me in some way. I don't really want to analyze it further, I feel it will kill some of the magic.

    It's like composition rules to me; I can prefer one composition over another without trying to shoe-horn it into a shape ('S', 'L') or proportion (thirds, golden mean) because I don't feel it works that way, and breaking down composition into formulas can result in ... formulaic ... compositions. I realize that's a circular argument, but I'm okay with that.

    So I'll click when something catches my eye, or when upon closer inspection something makes me think or feel. But I don't see all the paintings and don't have time to read all the threads. So the lack of a vote doesn't mean dislike. I go fishing and don't expect to catch every fish. I'll walk around a museum but don't intend to view every item.

    I do like to think that a vote of some kind is a pat on the back, encouragement, or just the equivalent of a smile when I see a nice painting. I like the ambiguity, and the artist can interpret any way they wish.

    One thing I'd like to point out, is that it takes a certain courage to begin showing your work publicly, especially works in progress, and that is a great time to use a vote to say "hey, welcome, join us, nice work, keep at it, post more" to a newbie.
  • Thanks, @PaulB. That's what I would like to have written.  :)

  • I think this is an Awesome Question (AQ)! 

    I don't have any specific criteria, and vaguely think that when I rate something, its either a like or awesome. However, I seldom rate anything. I think that a written response, explaining my view, is more useful to the poster than just a vote. I dislike the vote capability on social media, but I suspect it is here to stay.  BTW, @tassieguy, I would never think to post this question. 
  • Thanks, @Desertsky. I agree that a written response is worth much more than a like or an awesome icon. 

    I was scraping the bottom of the barrel when I came up with this question. I've got no idea what I'm going to do for the next one.  :)
  • @tassieguy - "scraping the bottom of the barrel "  Ha Ha. Astrological signs? Blood types of Great Masters? Favorite dog food brand?  Least favorite pigments?  You have not yet started scraping the bottom of the barrel. 

    I have been ill for while, and so haven't been active here. But: I am an Aries, don't know my blood type, used to use Purina generic dog food, and don't like organic lakes. 
  • Cheers, @Desertsky. Hope it's nothing serious and that you get well soon. 

    And, yes, I guess the possibilities for our Weekly Questions are endless. I'm a Gemini,  blood type A RhD negative (A-) (no great artists I know of had this blood type), my dogs eat what I eat and if they don't like it they can go jump in the madder lake. But I try to keep it at least tangentially about what we do here.   :)

  • i do "awesomes" for beautiful work/ hard work/ an improvement/ good ideas or composition (even if final outcome not like a pro)
  • Thanks, @anwesha. Yes, I agree that there can be lots of reasons for awarding an awesome. And the painting doesn't have to be a masterpiece.  :)

    Sometimes I award it for bravery alone. As @PaulB said, "it takes a certain courage to begin showing your work publicly, especially works in progress, and that is a great time to use a vote to say "hey, welcome, join us, nice work, keep at it, post more" to a newbie."  :) 
  • I'm a taurus and astrology is all taurus. I have no idea what my blood type is (my sister changed her blood type this year though, that's unusual, interesting and true), don't have a dog and have a love/hate relationship with the phthalos and quinacridone type pigments that swallow every other colour and generally turn up everywhere like the pink spots in the cat and the hat book. I am looking for 'z' cleaner (zed to me, zee to others) because they stain my brushes also. And I didn't start this sidetrack.
  • Yes, very hard to get the Phthalo and quinacridone stains from brushes. You could try bleaching them. But I don't mind the stain because it means my brushes are colour coded so if I want to paint some green leaves, for example,  I just grab the green brush.  :)
  • edited December 2021
    As the thread appears to be morphing in to some kind of astrology thingie, the forecast has shown signs of an eclipse and some to be talking from Uranus.

  • AnnieAnnie -
    edited December 2021
    I click awesome for paintings that speak to me 
    I have not been here long enough to recognize a person’s progress nor have I been painting very long and know what’s technically sound .
    But I know what I love and I see a lot of that being posted . To me , there’s no such thing as being too liberal with compliments . Maybe that’s my newness to painting . 

    I think I have also clicked some awesome for comments . Just super helpful or kind ones .

    And my dog lives off of  chicken , sweet potatoes and vegetables , Castor and Pollux kibbles And lots of hugs .
    Phtalo has its own brush at my house and as a Scorpio sun , rising and Mercury I love reading about everyone 😁. 
  • Thanks, @Annie. I also give awesomes to comments when I think they are especially insightful or even just pleasurable to read.

    This thread is turning into fun and we're going to end up knowing everyone's star sign, what their dog has for breakfast and their colour preferences. Love it.  :)
  • I don't have a dog.. :P
  • edited December 2021
    But you have a star sign, @Richard_P.  I can't imagine not having a dog. Dogs and stars make life a joy. Have a look at Canis Major. There you'll find the brightest doggie there is. I'm Sirius. He's the star of the show.  Five ships of the Royal Navy have been named after him. Canis Major is right next to Puppis. There are some cuties there, too, that you'll find irresistible.  :)
  • edited December 2021
    Ok bending to peer pressure,
    My name is Michael and Louie the cat lives with me, as well as regular pouches of cat food and dry food he enjoys little bits of some of what I do, like: olives, avocado, cheese and butter given infrequently and in small amounts.
    amongst my many paint tubes there is a striking violet which somehow managed to leak a little onto other tubes in the tin I keep them in. But I am ok with it as it looks good, I sometimes like to use tiny minuscule brushes almost as thin as a midges winglet.

    Ever since I started painting I have not wanted to stop, I guess you could say I am hooked.

    I really enjoy these AA (Artists Anonymous) meetings and find them a great help and have come to terms with the fact that once you become an artist you are an artist for life.

    Its blissful to know I will never recover.

  • Star sign is Virgo.  The overall chart is a bucket shape with the moon (Luna) as the handle.  This means home, family, helping others is the dominate influence, but I also have to balance those influences with caring for my own well being too.  
  • I don’t keep track of star signs …. but I do have a dog :) her name is Illy. She eats Dr. Harvey’s and likes long walks on the beach ( When we vacation). 
    I have a question…… Does anyone else paint and/or plan paintings in their dreams? 
  • Yes, @joydeschenes. I sometimes dream about painting. Some are good, some are nightmares.  :)
  • So true…. but there is worse things to haunt us. My most enjoyable painting time is with my morning cup of coffee and working on that project painting that I figured out what I wanted to do to it during the night. 
    Boy, I love retirement:)
  • During the night? 7-8 hours sleep. According to neuroscience the brain will make its own neural connections with new learnings during sleep - to connect a new idea with multiple other ideas you may not thought to associate it with. While we sleep. Or to enhance a skill. Can't play that section of the piano piece properly today? Tomorrow morning the fingers flow across the same passage.
    I don't yet know how this applies to painting, but I'm sure it must.
  • I'm sure that's true, @Abstraction. It certainly is for the piano. I've been learning Book 1 of Bach's Well Tempered Clavier and finding the second prelude devilishly difficult. So last night I struggled to learn the first six bars by heart and went to bed thinking I'd never manage to control my stupid fingers. But this morning I was able to play that section in time and without errors. 
    I'm sure this applies to painting, too. Especially with drawing.  :)
  • Thanks to everyone for your responses to this week's question By way of a summary, I think it's safe to say that most people, when deciding whether to award an awesome or not,  take into account factors other than whether the painting posted is a masterpiece. 

    A new Weekly Question will be posted shortly.   :)
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