Give and Take

There is something interesting that I find on art forums - many artists expect to post a painting or WIP and get feedback, yet they rarely offer or acknowledge their fellow artist.  Is it because the artist is busy?  doesn't want to participate?  doesn't care about anyone else?  Insecure about offering advice - even a "Like" click seems to be rare amongst many artists asking for attention/feedback/comments.   I think it is important on a visceral level to examine - how much do you participate as an artist?  

In the past 3 years of being involved in forums, I would say about 30% of artists acknowledge others and the rest seem to think that they don't need to give back.

I wish there was a rule that if you post a painting here and you want help, you should acknowledge the existence of at least 5 other artists - whether that be a "like" click or simple comment or critique.


  • I notice that to be true since I've been here.  I chalk it up to shyness, time constraints, and occasionally politics.  That would be an interesting rule. :)   
  • edited October 2018
    @Summer I haven't noticed politics (thank goodness)  this forum is awesome for that...  But the 30% rule is interesting.  Why would an artist come here and post, asking for feedback  and yet feel no need to give back or even acknowledge their fellow artist? 
  • SummerSummer -
    edited October 2018
    Thanks for the food for thought everyone.  Thinking about behaving differently on DMP from now on.
  • Thank you for the feedback - it's not just me! :)  @MichaelD !!  from the beginning you have been engaging and interested in others  - you're such an asset!!! @judith - my goodness!  the same with you - I have found you to always be engaging with other artists!! Same with everyone else who commented (not surprising).  @judith - one clear sign is if you look at someone's comments under their profile, you will see that they are only commenting or responding to their own posts - they encourage others to critique or offer suggestions for their work but you won't see much on their end of even saying "hi" to someone else's post.  And these are people who are hardly shy about posting - I think it is human nature to be self-absorbed but at some point, for a community to thrive, participation - give and take - breeds success.

    @PaulB that is a great idea about encouraging participation for people who are new - brilliant!
      I also completely agree about supporting Mark and Geneva - that is why we are here - because of him and his generosity .

    I suppose it is like other internet communities, social rules don't apply.  I may nudge some, "hey, it looks like you are very talented and have much to offer, if you can find the time, how about acknowledge some of the other artists here so we can have a thriving community"   -  ok, I took it a bit far :).   

    @tassieguy   I think you have the best solution.  
  • I don't know if I fault anyone for not commenting on other people's paintings. Seriously, once Denis, Judith. Renoir, Rob, Paul, Boudicca, Richard, Julianna and others comment, there's little left to be said. I'm happy for anyone who paints realism to post their paintings whether they comment or give advice or don't. Newbies especially and those who paint so seldom they are still inexperienced might find it beyond them to comment. Maybe they are afraid I will make a joke of their comment. There's too much good that takes place here to worry about anyone choosing not to comment. Let's just enjoy the paintings they post.
  • I sorta sucked it up when I would post a lengthy and thoughtful post and there was never any response.  I took it in stride because I kept hearing David Carder's words: "No Rules".  Even my own husband will walk away from me without a word if he doesn't want to participate in a conversation I'd like to have with him.  But I like the idea now of gently reminding some posters that we'd love to hear from them. 
  • Type your commenthahaha    that is funny @Summer !   My husband has the nod.....  just pretends to be listening.  
  • Summer said:
    I sorta sucked it up when I would post a lengthy and thoughtful post and there was never any response.  
    @Summer, there is a long tradition online that when this situation occurs, it should not be interpreted as either good or bad.  It's detailed in Warnock's Dilemma, probably more familiar to the softeware folks here, which states that silence can be interpreted as:
    1. Perfect post, well-stated and correct.  Nothing more to say.  What she said.
    2. Post is complete and utter gibberish and not worthy of a response.
    3. No one saw it or read it.
    4. No one understood it and could be bothered to ask for an explanation.
    5. No one cares about it.
    Not all interpretation are bad.
  • Thanks, @PaulB, I'll keep this in mind.  Your post was very helpful.  My husband says that this happens to him more often than not.  Summer   
  • that is interesting @PaulB - Warnock's Dilemma when you are engaging (or trying to connect) with others -

     a lot of when people are self absorbed - see no one other than themselves and don't seem to care about anyone else or what they are painting/saying but gosh, do they want attention on their own posts - .even to the point of commenting the most on their own posts - but never anyone else's.  I am finding it especially apparent in online artist forums - 
  • Lol @Julianna with your diagnosing   =)

  • Seems like many of us have been revisiting Psychology 101 a lot lately. I'm a patient so what's your excuse.
  • Obviously, great minds think alike.
  • @Julianna, I can understand your question/frustration so let me explain my posts.  Checking the log I have about 19 or so posts, and I posted one of my own paintings asking for comments. They were all helpful and I appreciate the feedback. I have not painted a second yet.

    So, I am new, know very little and frankly I do not have much to say expect, nice painting, looks good, etc.

    I genuinely appreciate all of the comments I see from experienced painters like yourself and hope one day to be able to contribute.

    Also, I do not log on daily or even every other day.  My work and family schedule take up a lot of time, so I log on when I can, comment when I can and think I have something to contribute.

    I am not trying to be rude or ignore others.

    By the way, I am a big fan of yours, your style is different from what I see in  Mark's videos, but they are fresh, full of life, and enjoyable to look at. I hope you keep posting and painting. I think you are a great asset to this forum.

    New and still learning.
  • @Ephram   You have acknowledged and commented on many other works!!!  You don't just post your own art and only comment on your own posts - you are a huge asset here.  I am talking about the people that have blinders on and only think this is about them, their paintings, they want feedback (compliments) yet they give absolutely nothing back.  

    Funny thing is every single person commenting here, I consider to be very generous to others.  Goodness gracious, Ronna too!!!   She is so generous with her comments, ideas, suggestions and helpful ideas.   

    It is very common on art forums and blogs - even probably twitter and Instagram (I am not on those) but there is an eagerness for attention and yet absolutely no feeling of reciprocation by acknowledging others.  It is a curious social experiment I suppose (if I was a sociologist )….   I reckon I shall just return to my studio and not get irked by such matters.  tassie has the most perfect solution - non-judgmental and an easy fix.

    Happy painting everyone!!!

  • edited October 2018
    Ever since I read a thread posted by @ Karen in 2013, "Notes On Critique" Parts I, II, III, IV, I have chosen to be much more careful and attentive. I prefer not to critique so much, unless consent has been clearly exchanged, it helps to know beforehand if the artist wants this or not. Many want praise, comments and feedback, a different distinction than constructive critique. And some of us here have been through this discussion in this forum already.  It's most important to have fun and enjoy, and love what you paint.
  • @Forgiveness I am not talking about critiques or how to offer or not -  my post was about something different entirely.You are always so generous with your acknowledgement of others and one of the least selfish people on forums.  I think that spirit of acknowledgement keeps forums thriving and is vital - what I said was that I just find it curious on art forums the pattern that I've noticed of so many not giving back to the community in which they are requesting attention...   That was my point.  Not about critiquing whatsoever. 

  • i may be in the guilty party of giving less critiques. i self criticize my own paintings a lot, especially since a few months  I've been on instagram looking at the artwork of professionals every day. It makes me question how much i am equipped to critically analyse, is my critique even worth anything, or is it rather one less thing to deal with, for the person.  Unless its a genuine tip that i have learnt, that's well known or very obvious, i stay away from commenting . But i do see the great value of a fresh pair of eyes looking at the same work and seeing different problems in it.
    and 3 other things that sometimes tie my hand at critiquing : 
    2. a work liked by all (I'm afraid to break the chain)
    3. someone has genuinely tried his/her best.
    4. clearly the work was not done patiently, unless its a plein air or from life.

    I never realized i was so judgemental  :#

  • oh and the most common one. 5. when all that needs to be said is already done by the fellow forum members
  •  @BOB73 . i am going to do that from now on...  :) 
  • Thanks for this thread @Julianna . It's difficult to say things that are confronting. I want you to know after all the different comments and your responses what I see in this is that you have been heard. We all agree the behaviour is basically antisocial and doesn't contribute value.

    A VERY IMPORTANT...event took place during this discussion...for those of us that maybe (in my case certainly) doubt ourselves...the sharing and therefore clarification of how and why people comment and don't comment...some suggestions for those of us that feel pushed for time/engagement energy to use the emoticons to support artists AND other commenters (great isnight), and to remember that a non-response to your own work can mean almost anything not necessarily a criticism 

    We did good peoples!!

  • I love this forum! I am very impressed with the quality of the artwork and critiques posted here. I learn from comments made about the work of others as well as my own. Making art and hoping for positive response from viewers is an uncomfortable situation. Maybe that challenge is why we do it because the successes are so brilliant! I consider myself a beginner in this crowd. My lack of critical comment in this forum is more a matter lack of confidence and kindness. Art appreciation is very personal. I really don’t want to be a “that is nice” contributor. My personal views may be seem quite degrading to some, and helpful to others. Much of the critical comment I read in this forum is very helpful in achieving realism which is what this forum is about, right? Many years ago in art classes in college, I learned how valuable constructive criticism can be, and how to not take it personally. I am still working on how to give it with kindness.
  • edited January 2019
    I agree, the forum is great, very supportive and brimming with great work and advice from a great diversity of artists.
    I know what you mean about offering criticism and feel a similar way being fairly newish here myself.

    I keep trying and hopefully my constructive criticism, as well as my painting, will improve with practice.

  • Right. If I don’t have a valuable solution to a problem, I am not going to comment. I will grow from this forum.
  • BOB73 said:
    @anwesha, It's helpful in a way if you don't have a comment to just hit the "AGREE" emoticon for someone else's comment that you agree with. That way we know there is more than one person that thinks an advice is good or wanted to be complimentary. It helps the commenter too to know his perspective was shared. As for #4 I just say slow down. You have developed into an accomplished painter. What you have learned is relevant and could help others. BTW You are very articulate and understandable. Sometimes a comment is well intentioned but easy to misunderstand.
    After a career as a decision maker in the development and construction arena, I have noticed that at times my texts, emails, letters etc. can be taken as unintentionally harsh. I think my communication style has been jaded by years of careful wording to avoid risk. I will try to wright as kind and helpful as I truly feel. I hope I can contribute some value.
  • edited May 2019
    I wish it were not necessary but I think it's time to revive this thread.  Recently there has been some very impressive work posted on which I would have liked to comment positively but doing so would have gone against my maxim of DGDG.  :)
  • I’ve only just seen this thread. It’s a very good one @Julianna.  

    Sometimes I see a painting here which I know is technically very good but which doesn’t appeal to me personally , so in this case I don’t comment. I might click the ‘awesome’ button but I don’t write anything about my reaction. 
    Actually it’s very seldom you see a painting here which is terrible.  I suppose people know themselves when to hide their light under a bushel😊
    When I see a painting I love , I tend to comment to the point of sounding gushy , but my comments are always sincere. 
    It takes guts to post a painting here , I know from experience! Even the most confident artists are prone to feeling exposed and vulnerable, so I think the more positive comments they get , the more helpful and encouraging it is. 
    I’d love to be able to give lots of advice and constructive critique but I don’t know enough to do that.  It’s so helpful, though , to read what others write , those who DO know , because it’s all part of the massive learning we are experiencing on this forum. 
    I hope @Julianna’s thread will encourage more people to react and take the trouble to write a critique. 
    It only takes a few minutes but it means so much to the artist. 

  • edited May 2019
    @Hilary, you give great feedback - unlike some who drop in every few months, dump a good painting to great acclaim and are not heard from again until they return for their next dump and further acclaim. You are most definately not one such Hilary.  Your paintings are lovely AND your frequent feedback has helped me and, to be sure, many others here, a great deal.  :)
  • DGDG? @tassieguy ?        @Hilary Thanks for your many comments and sharing your views. I'm sure I speak for many or most when I say your feedback is always appreciated. As you say "even confident artists are prone to feeling exposed and vulnerable.." which makes your positive statements worthwhile and important to let the artist know he/she is in a safe place where comments are always given in the spirit of being helpful and supportive.
  • I know a lot of artists and I’ve yet to meet one who was smug and self satisfied about their work. 
    I’m sure even artists here , whose work everyone loves and appreciates , post their paintings with a degree of self doubt and trepidation.
    Will people like it ? Is it up to my usual standard ? Will people see the flaws , the mistakes ? 
    Will anyone give me some positive feedback ? Will anyone even look at it? 
    Am I wasting my time ? 

    I’m sure it’s even worse the more established you become because people expect such high standards from you. 
    Do you think any of us ever get to the point where we can know that we’re good enough ?? 
    I’m not sure we ever do. Maybe it’s the human condition to never feel we are enough. 
  • @Hilary
    I guess its both a blessing and a curse for the artist. I think always wanting to improve is part of the life journey with it and keeps me learning.

    If I though I was good enough then the journey would be over.

    At the moment I am content with being pleased with my efforts and my inner voice saying `but you know you can do better.

    You have reminded me of something my brother once said to me "It is the human condition to be dissatisfied".

  • edited May 2019
    DGDG - those who Don't GIve, Don't Get.
  • @toneli You are forgiven. Commenting isn't required but mightily encouraged for the good of us all. 
  • HilaryHilary -
    edited May 2019
    Sometimes just a one word acknowledgement is all an artist needs as feedback. Not a long , detailed dissertation.  And feedback means so much and offers so much encouragement when it comes from a fellow artist.  I’m sure you know this  from your own  recent experience here. 😊

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