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Old 06-15-2006, 09:46 AM   #1  
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Question To criticize or not? what do you think??

I'm not sure how much fanfare this thread is going to get but I figured I would throw it out there as I am curious as to how everyone feels. We all love comments, especially the good ones!!! But, do you ever wish that you could receive constructive criticism as well? We all want to improve and no one likes to hear that "um, yeah, I would have done this differently", but in the end, if it is going to improve the final outcome of future projects, would you or would you not want that help? We all get the hint when something we post gets no comments, but wouldn't you like to know why it didnt get any?
I'm not sure if this has been addressed before...and maybe it was a practice that got out of hand...and changes had to be made...again, I'm just curious...I know that personally, I sometimes wish someone would tell me what they REALLY think about a card and/or my gallery and whether or not I should continue my hobby or put up a sale sign!!!!! I guess we all have days like that!!
Looking forward to hearing what you think....
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Old 06-15-2006, 09:52 AM   #2  
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I think at least for myself, that if I wanted any criticism (constructive)I would ask for it on an individual basis, and I would never give it without being asked. I very rarely give it when it is asked...just feels funny. I think everyone has their style, and who am I to say they did anything wrong? I gravitate towards and comment on certain cards in the gallery-ones similar to my style and ones that are usually colorful. I know that my Mom would choose to look at and comment on cards I would never even look at. I guess my point is, that everyone's style is different, and constructive criticism is only given if asked for..
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Old 06-15-2006, 09:55 AM   #3  
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Yeah you know...if I was struggling with a particular card...I would post it up here and ask people for help or constructive critisism for it. Otherwise...if I post it in my gallery...I must think it is ok to post there....
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Old 06-15-2006, 09:55 AM   #4  
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I would guess that silence = criticism, you just don't get any comments on a particular card or project. I know once in a while you see a card that someone is requesting help on "what's missing." I don't think constructive criticism is a bad idea, as long as it's truly constructive. Sometimes you're hungry for any kind of feedback!
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Old 06-15-2006, 09:57 AM   #5  
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Unless people ask for specific criticism I would not offer it if I'm just cruising through the galleries. I've seen too many people getting hurt or offended by unsolicited "advice" in gallery comments.

But if you really want to know what people think about your overall body of work start a new thread where you ask about advice about how to grow the quality of your work based on what you've got in your current gallery.
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Old 06-15-2006, 09:57 AM   #6  
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I guess I agree with kerilou. Even shen I go to my demo's home for a stamp night, what I think is just a so-so or less card, someone else just LOVES! I usually do not have the time to comment on a lot of cards but if it really strikes my fancy, I'll comment. Same with the stamp sets in the catalog, some I love and some I don't even look at.
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Old 06-15-2006, 09:58 AM   #7  
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When I first starting coming to SCS (ummm... a looong time ago), the gallery was set up with a 1-10 rating system. Each person who commented would leave their comment and rate the card. That system was done away with (and mods can correct me if I'm wrong, please!) because most people would rate each card very high because hey, if you're going to make a card and post it on SCS, most people here are going to like it! There were only a few who would post ratings that were sometimes very poor in light of giving constructive criticism. I think sometimes those comments were given to people who weren't really posting their work to receive constructive criticism, but just wanted to share and be encouraged... so it may have resulted in a few hurt feelings. In the end, I think it's hard to tell who may want CC and who doesn't.

If you want constructive criticism on your card, just stating that in your description of the card would bring in some of the help you're looking for. In the cases I've seen where artists have done this, the rest of the people posting seem happy to do so and 99% of the time the comments are given in a very helpful and encouraging tone, if you know what I mean.

You know what another good idea might be? Just start an ongoing "For those who are seeking Constructive Criticism..." (or whatever) thread where everyone can post a link to their own projects that need tweaking and there can be some healthy, friendly discussion on it. It might be a good idea to set some ground rules and limit the CC to only the projects/artists that are linked and specifically asked for the CC , only friendly CC, etc. You wouldn't want things to get out of hand! Just a thought...
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Old 06-15-2006, 10:20 AM   #8  
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Criticize without being asked? NEVER. If the poster asks for constructive critcism, I would offer alternatives / suggestions if I felt I had a good idea for her / him to try. If I see a card I don't like, I just keep on moving. IMHO, what's the point of hurting someone's feelings? I know it would hurt my feelings if someone posted how ugly (or inappropriate) they felt one of my cards was, so I won't do that to someone else.
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Old 06-15-2006, 10:27 AM   #9  
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thanks for the feedback ladies...just to be clear, I didnt post the thread to step on anyones toes, or to offend anyone, I was just curious about the topic...I agree criticism is hard to take and sometimes we dont want it! other times it can be welcome and yes, from someones else view it is hard to know when to do that and when not too...or when to stop for that matter!

Maybe we should have an open for criticism gallery, where we post those things we're just not sure about and it's open game if you post in there...just a thought...


**ETA - Jess, I just read your edit after posting the above! that is a good idea too...although I dont think the threads would get as much traffic as a gallery would...just food for thought!
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Old 06-15-2006, 10:41 AM   #10  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by stamper-c
**ETA - Jess, I just read your edit after posting the above! that is a good idea too...although I dont think the threads would get as much traffic as a gallery would...just food for thought!
I have seen a few constructive criticism threads started in GST, and cards that were linked to that thread got a LOT more traffic than they did otherwise, just like with any card that is linked to any thread in this forum.

The best ways to get feedback on your cards is to either ask for it in your card description (I've done this and gotten very helpful comments back, like on my Victorian Mother's Day card), or participate in a thread about giving and getting feedback on specific cards.
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Old 06-15-2006, 11:12 AM   #11  
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If I were to post and ask for suggestions, I would be ok if someone said something would be better with or without some doodad or image. I also like to find something positive to say about other folks art(if possible) If I really don't care for the art, I guess I'm more likely to be silent.
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Old 06-15-2006, 11:23 AM   #12  
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I'm still very new to the stamping world and would love some advice. I think that it would be a good idea to maybe have a forum where you can have your card critiqued and given some new ideas.
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Old 06-15-2006, 11:24 AM   #13  
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"If you can't say something nice, then say nothing at all" is how I was raised. Even when asked, I would take into consideration the effort that went into the project, and the creativity, that makes us stamp to begin with. So I would find it very hard to critisize another's work. If someone asked for specific input, I would probably be able to do that.
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Old 06-15-2006, 12:26 PM   #14  
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I've posted cards before and asked "what's this missing?" or "what the heck did I do wrong??" before. There's one in my gallery I think, using the Haute Couture set. I posted the fixed up card then, as well.

I do think, definitely, that it's great to ask for helpful criticism, I don't think it should be offered unless it is in fact asked for.
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Old 06-15-2006, 12:38 PM   #15  
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I personally usually say something in my blurb like "but it seems like something is missing" that doesn't say CRITICIZE ME, but also opens it for suggestions in a way.

I personally would love for someone to go through my cards and tell me how I could improve them- AT MY LEVEL. I don't want someone to say "Your coloring stinks" or "You should improve your coloring" but maybe "are you using blending stumps from Taiwan? Those can help the coloring this way..."
(I actually don't have Gamasol so that's not a good example for me)

And "Wow that orange and yellow combination look awful together" isn't helpful but, "Interesting color choice, I think the card would have more punch if you used a softer orange" would be useful to me.

So there you go- if you want someone to "help out" I can be your target- because man, I know I need it.


(But I agree, when I have a specific card I need help on, I start a thread)
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Old 06-15-2006, 12:46 PM   #16  
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This thread is sorta-kinda what I've been thinking about for a long time. I'm an editor at heart and can nit pick something to death, but flat out errors make me cringe. Mispelled titles, crooked layers, off center anything, sideways cards, upside down cards, unsized cards, incomplete scans (you know the ones, the 1/4 pages), etc. I've not offered any kind of correction of any of these when I saw them, but I'm tempted to help. Others might think I'm not helping, just complaining, so I just don't. But if someone asks for an opinion, especially in the title, as in "Please help me decide," or something like, and I have constructive criticism, I will post something. Uploaded cards can be edited, especially to correct the spelling in the title, but I'm not even going to suggest that to someone lest I offend. There, it's off my chest.
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Old 06-15-2006, 01:10 PM   #17  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by babzstampz
I would guess that silence = criticism, you just don't get any comments on a particular card or project.
Yup. No comments generally means: your card sucks. *I* would like to know why folks think that, but I'm basically secure with my stamping ability. The same criticism might be devastating to a newbie or someone a bit insecure about their art. So there's no easy answer.
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Old 06-15-2006, 01:19 PM   #18  
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I think there should be a special gallery to upload pictures that you want construction criticism on - that would be great but keep it out of the main gallery!
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Old 06-15-2006, 01:21 PM   #19  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by greetingsbydebra
Yup. No comments generally means: your card sucks.
Not always. Sometimes it means "your scan is really poor and I can't see your card so I'm not even going to bother clicking on it". Or it may get posted next to load of cards by someone "famous" and just get overlooked.

The main reasons I DON'T comment on a particular card are:
  1. Bad scan - either blurred, dark or the card is a tiny thing in the corner of an expanse of white;
  2. Not my style - I know what I like and I know what I'm looking for in the gallery. Just because your card is not MY style, doesn't make it any less valid;
  3. No description. I do tend to think "if they can't be bothered to tell me about their card, I can't be bothered to comment";
  4. Short of time so only pick the ones that REALLY shout at me;
  5. Scrapbook pages with no photos - they look weird as thumbnails and don't grab my attention.
To answer the OP, like others have said, I'd only give criticism if asked, and even then try to keep it gentle and constructive. I also agree that those threads inviting criticism get A LOT of traffic, so perhaps we all secretly yearn to criticise!!!
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Old 06-15-2006, 01:49 PM   #20  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Bagpuss
Not always. Sometimes it means "your scan is really poor and I can't see your card so I'm not even going to bother clicking on it". Or it may get posted next to load of cards by someone "famous" and just get overlooked.

The main reasons I DON'T comment on a particular card are:
  1. Bad scan - either blurred, dark or the card is a tiny thing in the corner of an expanse of white;
  2. Not my style - I know what I like and I know what I'm looking for in the gallery. Just because your card is not MY style, doesn't make it any less valid;
  3. No description. I do tend to think "if they can't be bothered to tell me about their card, I can't be bothered to comment";
  4. Short of time so only pick the ones that REALLY shout at me;
  5. Scrapbook pages with no photos - they look weird as thumbnails and don't grab my attention.
To answer the OP, like others have said, I'd only give criticism if asked, and even then try to keep it gentle and constructive. I also agree that those threads inviting criticism get A LOT of traffic, so perhaps we all secretly yearn to criticise!!!
Helen, I agree with all your points but the highlighted one of my pet peeves. People ask why they haven't got more comments on their card, I go to their gallery and find they have just uploaded the card with no information.
Well, if you can't be bothered or can't take the time to upload the information, why should the rest of us take time to comment on your card.
If you don't know how to do it, there are thousands of us to ask!
Also, I really don't feel comfortable criticising other people's cards, even if they do ask for it.
Finally, I think we sometimes forget that every card uploaded is special to that person and they are proud of it, so I do try to give as many positive comments as I can to those with few comments. If I look, I can always find something that I like.
But I'm lucky, I'm in the UK and so I come on when you are all asleep and the gallery is superfast for me!
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Old 06-15-2006, 02:47 PM   #21  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Ally
Helen, I agree with all your points but the highlighted one of my pet peeves. People ask why they haven't got more comments on their card, I go to their gallery and find they have just uploaded the card with no information.
Well, if you can't be bothered or can't take the time to upload the information, why should the rest of us take time to comment on your card.
I agree with this! I think it is a bit of a cold attitude in myself, and that sometimes people have very good reasons for not including the information on their card (like they use only UM stamps and don't usually have the stamp company info available once the rubber's off the block). However, when I am browsing the gallery, I *always* read the description and look at what they used for this or that embellishment. If I go to do this and everything's blank, I generally stop looking at that card right there and move on.

But as far as other information goes (aside from stamp company), for me taking the time to upload a card includes the amount of time it takes to include the info along with it. It's like tipping -- if you don't have the money to leave a tip at a restaurant, you don't have enough money to eat out in the first place. Likewise with including some sort of description and materials list -- if you don't have time to do this, maybe you should upload fewer cards but do a more complete job of the ones you do upload.
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Old 06-15-2006, 03:14 PM   #22  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by greetingsbydebra
Yup. No comments generally means: your card sucks.
Please don't think that! I know that as the gallery has gotten bigger and bigger with more people posting more and more cards, that it is very hard for me to get to see *most* of them these days. I only have time these days for a few quick runs through the gallery, but I never make it to the end, and since I don't have time every day, I'm missing *a lot* more cards than I'm seeing. And I think that's the case for most people.
Don't let your stamping self-esteem be limited by the number of people who do or don't comment! Just keep posting!
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Old 06-15-2006, 03:17 PM   #23  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by stamper-c
**ETA - Jess, I just read your edit after posting the above! that is a good idea too...although I dont think the threads would get as much traffic as a gallery would...just food for thought!
I didn't see your idea about a gallery before I posted, either! My guess would be that a gallery would be a lot more work for the mods, and would encompass many more details to work through. My advice would be to start a group or thread and if it really takes off, then that might make the moderators take notice... and then you can spring the gallery idea on them! Just my opinion, though... and it never hurts to ask.
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Old 06-15-2006, 03:22 PM   #24  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Bagpuss
[*]No description. I do tend to think "if they can't be bothered to tell me about their card, I can't be bothered to comment";
I didn't learn this until it happened to me, but if you upload your photo into an album within your gallery, the system doesn't give you the prompts to load your card information. I kept clicking, thinking I would get to that part on the next page, but nope. So sometimes there's no info because the system doesn't ask for it.

I don't use albums anymore because of this very reason.
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Old 06-15-2006, 03:31 PM   #25  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Bagpuss
Not always. Sometimes it means "your scan is really poor and I can't see your card so I'm not even going to bother clicking on it". Or it may get posted next to load of cards by someone "famous" and just get overlooked.

The main reasons I DON'T comment on a particular card are:
  1. Bad scan - either blurred, dark or the card is a tiny thing in the corner of an expanse of white;
  2. Not my style - I know what I like and I know what I'm looking for in the gallery. Just because your card is not MY style, doesn't make it any less valid;
  3. No description. I do tend to think "if they can't be bothered to tell me about their card, I can't be bothered to comment";
  4. Short of time so only pick the ones that REALLY shout at me;
  5. Scrapbook pages with no photos - they look weird as thumbnails and don't grab my attention.
To answer the OP, like others have said, I'd only give criticism if asked, and even then try to keep it gentle and constructive. I also agree that those threads inviting criticism get A LOT of traffic, so perhaps we all secretly yearn to criticise!!!
Well said. If you want constructive input on a card, post to the forum requesting it. I wish I could comment on each and every card in the gallery - I hate to see it when a card has no comments! I want everyone to feel good about posting to the gallery.
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Old 06-16-2006, 12:59 AM   #26  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by amysings
I didn't learn this until it happened to me, but if you upload your photo into an album within your gallery, the system doesn't give you the prompts to load your card information. I kept clicking, thinking I would get to that part on the next page, but nope. So sometimes there's no info because the system doesn't ask for it.

I don't use albums anymore because of this very reason.
I didn't know that - I have album issues , so haven't encountered that yet.
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Old 06-16-2006, 02:17 AM   #27  
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I actually like the gallery the way it is. As noted above, you can put something in your comment that might prompt people, but when I first came to SCS, there was sometimes a critical thing going there with the 1-10 thing. Some people just might not know how critical they sound when they're trying to help, but at that point I would never have had a gallery (still don't). I do not think that no comment means something sucks at all. Sometimes as I look at a card, something else catches my eye and I run off there (Adult ADD maybe?). Anyway, that is probably another reason why I don't want a gallery. I stamp for enjoyment and therapy, and I don't want to worry that everyone thinks my stuff stinks. - Gay Howe
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Old 06-16-2006, 02:23 AM   #28  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by serialpurrs
Unless people ask for specific criticism I would not offer it if I'm just cruising through the galleries. I've seen too many people getting hurt or offended by unsolicited "advice" in gallery comments.

But if you really want to know what people think about your overall body of work start a new thread where you ask about advice about how to grow the quality of your work based on what you've got in your current gallery.
I agree 100%, or see if they have asked for it in their comments. Even if they ask for criticism, make it positive and helpful. Remember that posted comments do not have your voice tone in them so make sure your words are definitely helpful and positive.
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Old 06-16-2006, 02:24 AM   #29  
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I believe we have a consensus on critisism...if someone ASKS for CC (CONSTRUCTIVE critisism) then go ahead and post. If someone is just showing everyone their creation I don't feel it's right to pick it apart.

I often only leave comments on the WOW cards because my computer is running slow and it takes AGES to post a comment some days. I also try to say WHY I like the card. You can't just look at if you received comments. You should always factor in how many times someone took the time to click on your card for a closer look. That's a positive comment as well!

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Old 06-16-2006, 04:35 AM   #30  
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I'm not sure if this has been mentioned or not, but I don't necessarily think that few comments = bad work. Realistically speaking, no one has the time to comment on every card they like. I know that is true of myself. I love to read through the comments on my cards and sometimes I wonder "Hmmm, why did this card get so few comments while this one got more?" But sometimes it is just timing. I think it's important to be fair in your comments, and while I want the truth, I don't think I would be as likely to post my cards if I knew they would criticized. I too am of the opinion that if someone asks for my honest opinion, give it. Otherwise, I wouldn't give unsolicited criticism. KWIM?
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Old 06-16-2006, 04:40 AM   #31  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Mahloumel
I agree with this! I think it is a bit of a cold attitude in myself, and that sometimes people have very good reasons for not including the information on their card (like they use only UM stamps and don't usually have the stamp company info available once the rubber's off the block). However, when I am browsing the gallery, I *always* read the description and look at what they used for this or that embellishment. If I go to do this and everything's blank, I generally stop looking at that card right there and move on.

But as far as other information goes (aside from stamp company), for me taking the time to upload a card includes the amount of time it takes to include the info along with it. It's like tipping -- if you don't have the money to leave a tip at a restaurant, you don't have enough money to eat out in the first place. Likewise with including some sort of description and materials list -- if you don't have time to do this, maybe you should upload fewer cards but do a more complete job of the ones you do upload.
Thank you for that, you put it so much more diplomatically than I did.
Also, with reference to the album. I have an album of VSNs and I just put all the information I would usually put below in the item description.
My favorite part of any card is reading the description. I also think it is important to put the information, so that newbies or the less confident, or come to that any one of us, can have a stab at CASEing a card.
I have learned so much to improve my card from the listing of what the cardmaker used and I feel like they give me a gift if they give me the specifics of how the card was made.
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Old 06-16-2006, 05:39 AM   #32  
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Originally Posted by Bagpuss
No description. I do tend to think "if they can't be bothered to tell me about their card, I can't be bothered to comment";
Dumb question here. By no description, do you mean no description of the card, or no list of supplies used. I don't always write why I made a card, but I do include the stamp / cs / ink / accessory info. TIA for a clarification.
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Old 06-16-2006, 05:40 AM   #33  
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In getting back to your original question, there was a thread going awhile ago (sorry I can't locate it, perhaps someone can), it was nicknamed the "honesty thread". Stampers posted a link to a card that got few to no comments or that they didn't know if they liked themselves then folks were free to give some suggestions to make it better. I participated and really appreciated the feedback, but, I knew I was asking for it when I posted the link. I got great suggestions given with lots of kindness!

How about starting an "honesty thread" again, then those who want feedback can get it, and those of us with tender hearts who don't want criticism can opt out!?! Hey, it might even be worth having an "honesty" challenge so it can be an ongoing thing!
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Old 06-16-2006, 05:55 AM   #34  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by barbcowan
Dumb question here. By no description, do you mean no description of the card, or no list of supplies used. I don't always write why I made a card, but I do include the stamp / cs / ink / accessory info. TIA for a clarification.
I mean which stamp set, cardstock, ink etc. So you're off the hook!!!
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Old 06-16-2006, 07:15 AM   #35  
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Originally Posted by greetingsbydebra
Yup. No comments generally means: your card sucks.
WOW, I know that my cards arent DD worthy, but I must have a gallery of sucky cards then! lol TY
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Old 06-16-2006, 07:40 AM   #36  
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Originally Posted by scrappinchick
WOW, I know that my cards arent DD worthy, but I must have a gallery of sucky cards then! lol TY
No no no!!! I am one of those gallery cruisers who makes a point of looking at and leaving comments on cards with low traffic, and I see a lot of beautiful, awesome cards that way!!!!! And like Bagpuss said, there are lots of interfering reasons that have nothing to do with how beautiful and inspiring your cards are!!!

(And, not to brag (that much ), but I have a number of cards in my gallery with relatively low numbers of views and one or two comments (views and comments that I love and appreciate -- every one!!! I am grateful to those who look and/or comment!!!!). Last night one of these cards got the sweetest comments from one of the DD Either she was being very kind and my card is not worthy, or some of my cards are actually pretty good even though they don't have 2000 views and have less than a dozen comments each.)
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Old 06-16-2006, 07:58 AM   #37  
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since i've only been an scser since march, i didn't know about the earlier rating system. i'm really glad they did away with that. there's a lot of potential for hurt there. there are so many different levels of ability and experience represented here, it wouldn't be fair or helpful to compare one card to another.
i agree with most of you...don't offer criticism unless asked. i find it difficult even then. i would never want to hurt anyone's feelings. that being said though, there are a lot of ways people could improve their work right away, regardless of experience. (i agree with what kathynruss said earlier)
1. cut neatly. get rid of jagged, uneven edges.
2. stamp cleanly. if you get an inkmark from an edge, a blurred image, a smear,...stamp it again. it's only paper.
3. line things up. crooked images drive me crazy. if you don't have a good eye for it, measure.
4. work on getting a good photo or image for your upload. no one's work looks good if it's blurred or so small you can't see it. also, another thing i've noticed: think about what you have in the background if you photograph your project. sometimes the color of the background totally clashes with the color scheme of your card and interferes with the overall effect. presentation is everything.
i hope this helps someone. i have gotten so much helpful info from this site and learned so much. thanks to you all.
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Old 06-16-2006, 08:01 AM   #38  
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The ONE thing that really bugs me the most if when people don't put their "recipe" in their upload!! The most important thing about SCS is CASE CASE CASE!!! Anyway, it is for me, I'm not very inovative, need lost of inspiration!! So you gals with the gorgeous cards and cute techniques, PLEASE give us your method, colors, paper, etc, you get the picture!! WOW didn't think I'd spout off to anyone about this, but this seemed the perfet thread to do it. The reason I did, tho, is because that's the main reason I don't give a comment on someones card, when all that's missing you don't know what they intended or not. And, too, I read a note from one of the Dirty Girls who said something to the effect that she doesn't upload unless she thinks it's a fabulous card, something creative and special. We get hundreds of cards pass before our eyes everyday, many of us just don't have the time to comment on all the uploads. One time a had a card up for a week and got no comments, thot it must be so ugly, so I took it down. Got lots of pics in my favs, but few in my gallery. Oh well, sorry to spout, but it's hard to keep up with all the uploads.
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Old 06-16-2006, 08:02 AM   #39  
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I agree with the OP. When I post a card I am looking for feedback otherwise I wouldn't bother posting in the first place. However, you don't need to leave negative comments in order to provide valuable information to the card poster.

For example, the only comments people seem to leave are "cute card". Very rarely does anyone say WHY they like a card. To me this is probably the most valuable thing about leaving a comment. I'd like to know what things worked about a card (as well as what didn't).

Next time you leave a comment try stating something like:
- I liked your card because...
- I liked the way you...

And, if you are like me and want critical comments too, try adding "Critical comments welcome!" in your description.
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Old 06-16-2006, 08:05 AM   #40  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by scrappinchick
WOW, I know that my cards arent DD worthy, but I must have a gallery of sucky cards then! lol TY
Well I just took a look at your gallery to see how "sucky" it was! Anyway, your cards are fab - you do really gorgeous work. One reason your comment count may be low is because you use TAC stamps - not that there's anything wrong with that, but this site is heavily weighted in favour of Stampin' Up!, so TAC images may not catch the eye of as many people... or people may be browsing particular SU stamp set galleries and miss yours entirely. I'm going to look at some more of yours now...
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