Comments On dA. You're doin' it wrong!
Okay, admittedly its only a small proportion of the dA community who seem to be sadly uneducated about the standard level of courtesy meant to be used when addressing people. Making insensitive, rude and stupid comments does not make you opinionated or brave. That sense of pride you feel when making a conflicting comment is sadly misplaced. Why? Because youre hiding behind cyber walls. I highly, highly doubt you would say those things to the persons face. (And Im not talking about trolls, because trolls are just losers with no motive except to scrabble for the title of Biggest Douchebag on the Internet.)
Here are my rules of thumb, and perhaps Im being arrogant and self-righteous by hoping someone might take something away from this, but consider it a tutorial of sorts on what NOT to write in comments. (Please note that all the examples Ive used are from other artists work).
Rule 1: If you dont have anything nice to say, dont say anything at all OR If you dont like the piece, dont comment. Dont write: I dont like it. Thats not helpful, and no one cares. Examples Ive seen: This one kinda sucks compared to your others
Rule 2: Offer criticism POLITELY. CONSTRUCTIVE criticism helps an artist progress so IF YOU KNOW WHAT YOURE TALKING ABOUT then always POLITELY offer criticism.
Rule 3: Dont JUST write something critical. Thats hurtful and negative. Balance it out with something you LIKE about the picture.
Rule 4: Dont write something vague. Examples I have seen: Its not perfect and Wow um and Omg. This is NOT helpful to the artist. Its barely an opinion.
Rule 5: If you dont like the subject in the picture, kindly keep it to yourself. Examples Ive seen: Lady Gaga is pathetic and I dont like Tifa. No one cares what you think. Why did you click on it and bother writing a comment if you dont like the subject matter in the first place? I.e. refer back to Rule 1.
Rule 6: Dont write things that arent related to that piece of work. Save that for the artists profile. Examples: Why did you change your screen name?
Rule 7: Dont demand work/answers from the artist. Examples: Why did you draw her blond? and Draw Edward. Its unconstructive and frustrating. If you want to ask a question, ask it POLITELY within a constructive comment about the piece of art. For example: I really like the colours in this picture. Do you think youll ever draw Aeris? Barking questions at the artist is rude and you probably wont get a response.
Good Rules to follow:
1. Pick out something specific you like, no matter how small. E.g colour, composition, expression.
2. Pick out something you think could be altered. BE SPECIFIC. E.g the flow of the hair, the perspective, the shoes.
3. End on a positive note.
4. Always respect the artists style. Just because you dont like the style, doesnt mean its a bad picture.
A good example of a comment might be: I really like this piece. The composition is unusual but very striking. My only crit would be that the left arm is a little too elongated. But its a brilliant piece of work, well done!
How to turn this comment bad: I like it OR Arm is wrong
Im not saying comments should be an essay (nor am I dictating how people should comment) but its worth taking that extra second to think before you type.
I dont want people to think Im ungrateful for comments, because truthfully Ive only had, like, three comments that are worded negatively. For some reason it makes me mad when I see comments like that written on OTHER peoples art. It makes me wanna proper have a go at them, but that would just be petty and wouldnt get me anywhere. The only time I leave angry comments is if the art is stolen or offensive.
Im not sure whether to label the people behind these comments as ignorant or just rude, but either way, THINK BEFORE YOU WRITE. Theres a person with feelings behind every piece of art, and it really doesnt take much effort to realise this before you start vomiting your inconsiderate nonsense all over their comment box.
If you feel the same then of course you can share the rules I wrote up/like the article. I like to think Im spreading love, haha. Maybe Im deluded but meh. The reason for this rant is because of a poor girl I came across on dA who got so much abuse over one of her pictures. She was obviously young and had some room for improvement, but the level of abuse she was getting was completely unacceptable, from It looks terrible to You should never draw again. Cmon, now, thats just MEAN.
Anyway, like I said, its a small and stupid minority who write comments like that and Im not in any way, shape or form bitching about leaving comments in general. I personally appreciate the time, thought and effort behind every comment and I love the connection and communication created by the ability to write comments. I just wish people would think a bit more before they write.
And before anyone says so, of course I could just ignore the bad comments written on peoples work, but if everyone ignored everything thats bad then how can we ever improve?
Your opinions on the subject are, as usual, always welcome. I love a good discussion What are your experiences involving comments? What do you like to see in a comment? What DONT you like to see? Will trolls EVER stop trolling? (<ha joke)
(My favourite comment I ever received was simply lol, what is that even supposed to mean??)