Well, it depends I guess... If the tutorial is more like a show and tell of someone's technique/workmethod, there's not much to critique is there? And usually artists will say something like; "this is just how I do this, it's by no means perfect".
But in the case of an actual step-by-step tutorial, teaching people to use a certain tool or program, I think tutorial writers should be open to critique. People should be able to point out mistakes for instance or show them a different way of explaining or writing for example
As long as the person giving the critique knows the difference between critique and criticism, it's should be fine.
I think people should be open to critique, but others should also not be so critical. A tutorial has to be taken at face value from an artist as the method in which THAT artist achieves the specified goal, and not necessarily the best way to achieve that said goal. I also think that the idea of "Realism must trump style" is getting out of have and making things boring and bland. Art is all about an artist showing off something they see or think to the world through a different view. While it's very admirable for an artist to be able to create beautiful photo-realism, look at how some of the most revered artists in history did anything but. It was their creativity that people admired. If you want realism you can look out the window, but you can never achieve what some artists will show you simply by viewing the world as-is. Art, in the end, is all about what it conveys and how it makes you feel.
I strive to be a "better" artist (though maybe not as grind-stone as I should), but I have to stop and ask myself if just because the art is cleaner, or more realistic... does that make it "better"? I believe the creativity behind it is where the substance comes from. If I run across a pony picture (for example) that throws anatomy or proportions out the window, but makes me stop to look at it and think "That's interesting" or "different", then hasn't it achieved its goal of art more than something that looks pulled out of the show?
I'm certainly not advocating that artists don't learn things like anatomy, because understanding how anything works can help with creativity. But sometimes not knowing how something works can keep you from being stuck in the mindset of normalcy, too; you don't know where the edges of the box actually are, after all.
Yes and no. If you are wired on a certain 'style' and see something not complying to it then chill out. Also noting the writers style makes a difference, some people just have their own way of doing things and THAT'S OK. Taking into consideration the many possible variations should also be done. But no matter what or why you critique it the way you come off (even if you don't mean too be however) means a lot. Offensive usually equals defensive, and the tut. maker may feel like their's is oh-so-good and they are doing everyone a favor. I'm not saying ALL are like this, but many people are upset when you challenge them on their high horse. So taking things into consideration and wording your crit carefully has a LOT to do with it, but yes I do believe tutorials and their writers should be open to constructive criticism.
Blackrosekane89Featured By OwnerDec 7, 2012Professional General Artist
Yes they should be critiqued, And although the critiques should be honest, I feel the critiques should be delivered very respectfully. People who create tutorials spend a lot of time creating content for the sole purpose of helping people.
ive been writing tutorials that i don't release on DA for a number of months now and would love it if people actually critiqued them. (i write them for my fellow students and classes that i teach) writing a good tutorial is just as hard as creating a good work of art or writing a good paper. critiquing's the only way its going to improve after a point and the only way that over sites of the writer will be made known.
You teach classes? Here I am, browsing the newest tutorials submitted to dA (trying to ignore grossly misplaced deviations) finding people post substance-less step-by-steps that have done very little for my artistic growth... its kinda funny to see somebody who at least seems to be genuinely knowledgable be so modest.
i co teach an introductory class to Photoshop, Dream Weaver and Final Cut Pro X, as such the tutorials are technical in focus.(was offered the chance by my favorite professor) i started making tutorials because i found most to be inadequate in explain things or to specific to be all that helpful.
thank you for the compliment. Ive found that their is always room for improvement, and as such always strive to do better than before.
Some people have been sending me e-mails criticizing one PHP tutorial I wrote because it had security vulnerabilities. While some of the e-mails were a bit hostile, they were still true. That said, yes if the person is teaching something obviously wrong, they should be told, and provided references to learn from.
Of course they should be open for critique... It's just hard to critique tutorials sometimes... I often enough saw a tutorial on (pony) anatomy from artists who can't DRAW (pony) anatomy... But going and say "Sorry, I think you should learn anatomy first" doesn't really sound friendly, and I guess no matter how you say it, the tutorial-author will be offended by it for sure :/
Then, there are tutorial writers who don't give a crap about show-accuracy and encourages others to try their own style, and it shows when their results are pretty 'meh' (or worse) from not paying enough attention to anatomy.
yeah... x_x I don't mind encouraging new styles. I don't mind when someone decides to, for example, draw legs longer by default (heck, we see that in Anime all the time). But excusing bad anatomy with it... yeah... I allready shared my mind about that in your other discussion ^^
It's absolutely essential for instructors to be open to criticism. An instructor who refuses to hear criticism is an instructor who wilfully places their students at risk of receiving misinformation. The thing about teaching is that it's really tempting to get on your charity high horse, thinking "I'm taking time to share my knowledge, therefore I can do no wrong," but teaching is a massive responsibility. Entire societies have gone down the tubes due to bad teachings. With art in particular you've got to be careful what you say, because it takes just one bad piece of advice to create problems that will plague an artist for years. If you want to have that sort of power, then you have to be willing to be held accountable for what you say.
That said, there are right and wrong ways to approach an instructor who has made a mistake. Calling somebody out in front of their students puts them in a very compromised position, so unless you're trying to discredit them, you shouldn't do that. A polite, private conversation or a conversation strictly among peers would suffice.
I think it depends on the phase the artist is in. You can be stuck thinking you are too good to improve, or so green you don't know what the hell you're doing yet. The most simple answer i can come up with goes like: it's not for everybody, but useful for some. But of course the artist also needs to be aware of the risk of trolls/harsh critics.
Generally I leave tutorials alone because people who use them can work out easily enough what's worth using and what isn't, but if you see a glaring error like someone says "You can't pixel in gimp" then perhaps it needs pointing out.
Tutorials are after all from the pov of the artist, and if your povs clash but both could be 'right' in some context you're probably better of leaving it alone.
Not to say you can't do it of course, but that I generally don't. I'd rather critique an art piece for that persons benefit.
Critisize everything. I never got why communities like deviant art are so passive aggressive when it that. Yes, it can be harsh and some people might lose some motivation over it, but ultimately, most people will reach a skill plateau they'll never leave without some decent criticism. It's even worse if these people actually want to take their work to a professional level.
Hm, I think it's a little more sensitive than an average art piece, because some of the tutorial writers may really feel like they're doing a public service and don't want to hear people carp about it. However, I think it could be very helpful to give tips and advice, just with a bit of diplomacy. IE, ask them first. Obviously if they have crits enabled or ask for advice, go right on ahead.