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RedCollarBlackCollar said:
...is that a bad thing?
I might be wayyyy out of the margin here, but I read it to mean tolerated, but not liked.

In which case, I DO like you ^w^
Pinkanator said:
I might be wayyyy out of the margin here, but I read it to mean tolerated, but not liked.
Nope, you nailed it on the head. And thanks ^^
FireMario86 said:
Nope, you nailed it on the head. And thanks ^^
I haven't had much interaction with ya, but believe me, I got nothing really against ya for the most part. I think you're fine bud.
I guess now's as good a time as any to get something off my chest. Criticism is as much a vital part of artistic growth as actually putting an image down on paper, and I don't mean that lightly. Precise, meaningful criticism of my past work has greatly helped me to not only improve (and will continue to help me improve into the future), but has allowed me to finally reach a decent plateau of confidence in my ability; a place in which I'm not spending hours staring blankly at my screen second-guessing every little mark I've made.

But there is one particular criticism that, personally, cuts me to my very core: 'uncanny valley.' I tried to cut whatever rantings have been buzzing around in my head lately down to a few paragraphs, so here's the shortest version I can manage.

While the criticism has never failed to get my goat the few times it's been brought up (and if one person's saying it out loud, many others are thinking it), I have tried my best to learn from it and move past it. It used to burn me up inside when a cheap copypasta work I put out got so much more attention and praise that pieces I had literally spent weeks on, but I saw the underlying flaws in those big pieces and realized that in many cases, more effort does not equal more quality. I learned, I adapted, and eventually settled on a reduced style that seems to make both the viewer and myself generally happier.

And now that I feel like I've found my stride with my own personal style - using a decent mix of realistic and cartoonish proportions as well as shading / detailing - I don't feel I can simplify it down much more without sacrificing its personality. So at this point, I take an 'uncanny valley' criticism to be as empty and nebulous as someone calling something 'overrated;' I can't fix what I can't identify, and even if I could I probably wouldn't want to.

Which leads me to the real issue I take with the 'uncanny valley' criticism: it reinforces what's probably the most negative stereotype I had about this site, which is that too many people - maybe even the majority - care exclusively about anime and will not suffer any other art style. It's an assumption that, fair or not, made me anxious for a long time over whether or not I'd ever truly fit in here and if I should just cut my losses and try my luck with a different community. It's also an assumption that countless good, supportive members of this community have (unknowingly) worked very hard to dispel with me. And I'd rather not let one simple two-word criticism push back against their good nature.

So, bottom line: if you critique my work with 'uncanny valley,' at best I will ignore it. At worst, I will...I dunno, scowl menacingly at my monitor, and possibly vent to a close friend about it. I'm not a vindictive person and won't be planning elaborate acts of vengeance if you should bring it up, and I don't want to make anyone who has brought it up in the past feel guilty over it ^^ Seriously, no one had any way of knowing it affected me this way. I just thought it fair play to be open about how much it wounds me to hear that. You are more than within your right to feel that way about my work and vocalize your opinion as such, and I am more within my right to take issue with it.
Mezzberry said:
So, bottom line: if you critique my work with 'uncanny valley,' at best I will ignore it. At worst, I will...I dunno, scowl menacingly at my monitor, and possibly vent to a close friend about it. I'm not a vindictive person and won't be planning elaborate acts of vengeance if you should bring it up, and I don't want to make anyone who has brought it up in the past feel guilty over it ^^ I just thought it fair play to be open about how much it wounds me to hear that. You are more than within your right to feel that way about my work and vocalize your opinion as such, and I am more within my right to take issue with it.
Oh shut up Mezz, cmon.
No but seriously, I don't blame ya for venting about such a frustrating thing. Just remember though how we really love your stuff here, and with the recent commission ya put out, it was really amazing. Don't get so caught up in it bud, you're doing some incredible work :)
Also, from the other side of the table: I have a friend who's recently been getting into making music, and every now and then he sends me a song and asks me what I think about it - and it's actually really frustrating to only barely be able to explain what you like or don't like in what he's doing. I mean, presumably if a work is neither absolutely perfect nor absolutely horrible, you should be able to both point out something about it that you like and something you don't?

But I know barely any music terminology, and basically every song I've heard in my life has been a produced, finished work. I try to be as helpful as I can, so I say things like "this is kinda bouncy" or "okay, this thing that comes in at 0:44 sounds goofy to me", but I just don't have the context to *really* be useful in pointing out strengths and flaws in order to help him develop his skill.

And, well, it's kinda the same with art. I've drawn maybe a few stick figures over the last decade, and those were in technical diagrams. Every now and then there's something really specific and easy to point at that's wrong with a picture, but mostly, well, they just look a certain way, and I'm not really sure how they came to be that way except as the result of some nebulous process of the artist subtly doing things one way or another. I could see myself saying "uncanny valley" about really well-drawn art, because it reflects my emotional reaction, and that might be the only thing I have a good enough understanding of to verbalize. Mostly, though, I just don't provide critique at all, because it'd simply be pointless coming from me.
Zermelane said:
Also, from the other side of the table: I have a friend who's recently been getting into making music, and every now and then he sends me a song and asks me what I think about it - and it's actually really frustrating to only barely be able to explain what you like or don't like in what he's doing. I mean, presumably if a work is neither absolutely perfect nor absolutely horrible, you should be able to both point out something about it that you like and something you don't?

But I know barely any music terminology, and basically every song I've heard in my life has been a produced, finished work. I try to be as helpful as I can, so I say things like "this is kinda bouncy" or "okay, this thing that comes in at 0:44 sounds goofy to me", but I just don't have the context to *really* be useful in pointing out strengths and flaws in order to help him develop his skill.

And, well, it's kinda the same with art. I've drawn maybe a few stick figures over the last decade, and those were in technical diagrams. Every now and then there's something really specific and easy to point at that's wrong with a picture, but mostly, well, they just look a certain way, and I'm not really sure how they came to be that way except as the result of some nebulous process of the artist subtly doing things one way or another. I could see myself saying "uncanny valley" about really well-drawn art, because it reflects my emotional reaction, and that might be the only thing I have a good enough understanding of to verbalize. Mostly, though, I just don't provide critique at all, because it'd simply be pointless coming from me.
Yea Hence my comment about often being when trying to be helpful it being like "Something feels off but I can't put a finger on it" like I don't know the anatomical or artistic term for it but I might consider just opening it in paint or something and putting red circles down but I'm not sure if that's being too much a jerk or not.
Man, one of us needs to get an avatar so people can actually tell the two of us apart. And being that I came in a lot later, I assume it's going to have to be me... I don't really want to be represented by what might be someone else's character, though. Are there any pictures on the Hub that would happen to have a visor just sitting on a table in some corner or something? I like visors.
Zermelane said:
Man, one of us needs to get an avatar so people can actually tell the two of us apart. And being that I came in a lot later, I assume it's going to have to be me... I don't really want to be represented by what might be someone else's character, though. Are there any pictures on the Hub that would happen to have a visor just sitting in the table in some corner or something? I like visors.
Hell I wish I could just manually grab an image not from the archive. I've mentally triggered and half responded to quotes to other Ze-- names too.
Zermelane said:
Man, one of us needs to get an avatar so people can actually tell the two of us apart. And being that I came in a lot later, I assume it's going to have to be me... I don't really want to be represented by what might be someone else's character, though. Are there any pictures on the Hub that would happen to have a visor just sitting in the table in some corner or something? I like visors.
I'm still waiting for a hub pic to feature a dumpster fire to accurately represent my aesthetic.
Mezzberry said:
Uncanny Valley things
I mean, I've had this impression for a while but I don't recall whether I've said anything about it or not. And I would definitely say it's not as predominant as it was previously.

The thing is, it's mostly faces. And the way our minds work, if we see a simple drawn face, with various details removed, we still fill in the blanks ourselves. If those details are drawn in there, we'll go by what we see, and those details happen to be REALLY EASY to get wrong. The result is something that's definitely more noticeably 'off' than if you'd just omitted details entirely. Basically it's a style that affords you far less leeway. Plus side? At least you don't end up aging people 20+ years trying to put facial creases in, which is what usually seems to happen to a lot of artists.

Variety is a good thing, though, I wouldn't want to imply you need to change what you're doing.
For what it's worth, Mezz, I was telling my friends on Discord today that you are the most underrated artist on the Hub. So, as far as I'm concerned, keep doing what you're doing.
Not so much something to vent about, but I think one of the biggest missed opportunities we coulda/shoulda done woulda been to have posted a pic of at least two OCs (hell, perhaps just Team Hypno) that are running for something around the time of the Election. Maybe rulership of the Hub, as that's apparently what Karen's up to lately. Not sure if we'd actually conduct votes, but I figure it would have lightened things up at the time :0
RedCollarBlackCollar said:
Not so much something to vent about, but I think one of the biggest missed opportunities we coulda/shoulda done woulda been to have posted a pic of at least two OCs (hell, perhaps just Team Hypno) that are running for something around the time of the Election. Maybe rulership of the Hub, as that's apparently what Karen's up to lately. Not sure if we'd actually conduct votes, but I figure it would have lightened things up at the time :0
I think it's just as well we didn't, because who wants their OCs to be stand-ins for the candidates we had? :D
Dreamshade said:
I think it's just as well we didn't, because who wants their OCs to be stand-ins for the candidates we had? :D
LOL
Dreamshade said:
I think it's just as well we didn't, because who wants their OCs to be stand-ins for the candidates we had? :D
It woulda been its own thing though; not related to the actual election nor any of the candidates. Just woulda been something silly to get people's minds off the crap going on.
I suppose this'll do avatar-wise in a pinch. Gets across what it needs to, at least.
Well, there is a major element to the 'uncanny valley' critique that I should have mentioned in the first post. If you could sum up the undertone of the phrase with one word, that word would be 'creepy.' When one uses uncanny valley, they are saying that they find something creepy - that may or may not be what people intend to say when they invoke uncanny valley, but that is the undertone. Can't speak for all artists, but that is the absolute last sensation I want to evoke with my artwork in general. It may be true, it may apply to my work...but there is no way that I'm not going to take it to heart. Don't get me wrong, if I draw a mouthless mannequinized girl, yes, many many people are going to find that creepy, and that's perfectly understandable. But if the criticism gets levied against a regular character doing inoffensive things, it's a different story.

So it think it's one of those terms / criticisms that people use lightly without thinking about the full weight of the implication.

Zermelane said:
And, well, it's kinda the same with art. I've drawn maybe a few stick figures over the last decade, and those were in technical diagrams. Every now and then there's something really specific and easy to point at that's wrong with a picture, but mostly, well, they just look a certain way, and I'm not really sure how they came to be that way except as the result of some nebulous process of the artist subtly doing things one way or another. I could see myself saying "uncanny valley" about really well-drawn art, because it reflects my emotional reaction, and that might be the only thing I have a good enough understanding of to verbalize. Mostly, though, I just don't provide critique at all, because it'd simply be pointless coming from me.
Well, there's not really a good answer to that conundrum, unfortunately. You don't have to be an expert to criticize, and even vague feedback can be very beneficial. On the other hand, try as we might, artists can't help but have feelings, and we can be a pretty fragile bunch. For a number of reasons, someone posting very niche and kinky art has a lot of reasons to feel very shy and vulnerable about it. Harsh but fair criticism can hurt in the short-term, but an artist who truly cares about improving will eventually internalize it and learn from it. But vague criticism can lead to doubt in the artist's mind, which is the death of productivity: at best they'll be constantly second-guessing everything they do, at worst they'll give up because they know there's a problem but they can't figure out what it is.

I think the moral of the story is that, if you want to give good criticism, you have to grow and develop the same way a good artist does. Study a few art fundamentals in your spare time, learn to identify common mistakes, things like that. When in doubt, just use your best judgment. If you really feel there's something off with a piece but can't put your finger on it, maybe open up a dialogue with the artist and try to help them figure it out together instead of leaving a single criticism in the comments section - something like that will show them that you really care about their artwork.

But again, we can be a pretty fragile bunch. Whenever we put our work up for criticism, in each and every one of us there's always a little part of our brains secretly hoping that everyone will say 'oh man, it's perfect, so awesome, not a single thing needing changed on this one!' When you put your time, heart and soul into a piece of art, whether it be two hours or two months, it can be hard to separate yourself from it: an attack on a piece of art can easily be felt as an attack on oneself. While a more established artist has learned to adapt and not let themselves get consumed by such feelings, it's a lot harder on artists who haven't found their footing yet. So harsh criticism at that level, even spot-on, can do a lot more harm than good, discouraging budding artists and possibly sending them down a road of self-defeat that will eventually compel them to give up entirely. Survival of the fittest has little place in the art world, and definitely no place in a tight-knit community of fetish enthusiasts.

So again, it's just a case of using your better judgment, because there's no straight answer to it. If you have specific criticism, lay it on in a polite and professional manner - unless the artist just loves being treated like shit, hyperboles like 'this makes me vomit' will almost always undermine any legitimacy your criticism had. If you know something's wrong but can't quite place it, try to work with the artist or open a general dialogue to figure it out. If you like an artist but know that they can't take criticism to save their life, probably best to just let them be, because it might just be a fun hobby for them. If you're truly invested in their growth and development, try and politely make them aware of their thin skin and help them to toughen it up a little (In private conversation, though - trust me, you do not want to put people on the spot over such a touchy personal subject).

(this ended up being a more general appraisal of critical behavior instead of a direct response to your post, so hopefully you don't take it as me calling you out on anything negative that you haven't actually done :-) )
Pastel-Daemon said:
The thing is, it's mostly faces. And the way our minds work, if we see a simple drawn face, with various details removed, we still fill in the blanks ourselves. If those details are drawn in there, we'll go by what we see, and those details happen to be REALLY EASY to get wrong. The result is something that's definitely more noticeably 'off' than if you'd just omitted details entirely. Basically it's a style that affords you far less leeway. Plus side? At least you don't end up aging people 20+ years trying to put facial creases in, which is what usually seems to happen to a lot of artists.
Oh yeah, I've learned very well that the closer you get to realism, the more criticism you invite. There's a number of reasons for this, but the big one is that it's simply easier to tell when something's off. With anime and cartoons, your brain knows that they're not real, so it's easier to accept very unrealistic proportions. I tried drawing anime at one point when I was starting doing fetish art - turned out pretty good in hindsight, and at the time I could tell that I was generally getting everything right (trying to copy the Pokemon art style / facial structures). But I'd worked exclusively in (or at least strived to attain) realistic proportions most of my life. Anime style - especially one as relatively warped as Pokemon humans - it doesn't really sink in just how unrealistic it is when you're looking at it. But when you try to actually reconstruct it through drawing it? The entire time my brain was screaming 'arrghh, these girls look like fucking Quasimodo!'

Which is kind of the reverse of my point. I do think some of the uncanny valley criticism I've gotten is valid, and have tried to improve upon it. But on the other hand, I honestly think that there are some people who are so deeply hardwired into anime culture (and to a lesser extent, western cartoons) that their brains interpret something as innocuous as a well-defined nose to be 'creepy.' I don't want to knock people for having preference - I like anime too. But I do think there's a risk of getting so absorbed into a subculture that it literally warps your perceptions.
RedCollarBlackCollar said:
Oh shut up Mezz, cmon.
No but seriously, I don't blame ya for venting about such a frustrating thing. Just remember though how we really love your stuff here, and with the recent commission ya put out, it was really amazing. Don't get so caught up in it bud, you're doing some incredible work :)
Hehe, thank you...dick ;-P But, I mean, it really wasn't my intent to mine for sympathy / praise when I brought that up. I usually don't publicly vent things that bother me because I don't want to end up a diva. I just thought it might be a good idea to state my feelings about this particular issue, so that there'd be a written testament to refer to if it comes up again and people wonder why I deliberately ignore it.

Mindwipe said:
For what it's worth, Mezz, I was telling my friends on Discord today that you are the most underrated artist on the Hub. So, as far as I'm concerned, keep doing what you're doing.
But...having said all that...this is worth a lot. Quite a lot. Thank you :-) *hugs tight*
Mezzberry said:
But I do think there's a risk of getting so absorbed into a subculture that it literally warps your perceptions.
Yep, that's me... I've drawn anime so much that any time I try to draw a realistic figure or I try to use a realistic figure as a reference I just go "This doesn't make any damn sense." So when I go to try and copy a figure out of a Loomis book I feel like it just never looks right, while I'm super comfortable copying down a pose from a doujinshi page on exhentai.
Dantus said:
Man, 40+ Degrees Celcius in Germany.
Its -13 Celsius in Canada, Guten Tag!

Contorted said:
If there was a way to take every loli and shotacon picture on this site, dump them into a pile and then fucking roasted them, that'd be just grand.
There should be a down vote feature, a front page, a back page, and a recently uploaded page. That way the best stuff from that day can be seen, the worst stuff can be pushed to the back page, and we can still see all the uploads of that day on a separate page (like what we all ready have right now).
SirMarioGold said:
There should be a down vote feature
You should know how terrible of an idea that would be. I shouldn't have to explain it.
SirMarioGold said:
There should be a down vote feature, a front page, a back page, and a recently uploaded page. That way the best stuff from that day can be seen, the worst stuff can be pushed to the back page, and we can still see all the uploads of that day on a separate page (like what we all ready have right now).
Loli and shota are already automatically blacklisted. You literally can't see them if you aren't actively looking for them. This would be dog-piling on a "problem" that's already been adequately solved.
RedCollarBlackCollar said:
You should know how terrible of an idea that would be. I shouldn't have to explain it.
am i the only one that thinks daily post limits would be a good idea?
Riley said:
am i the only one that thinks daily post limits would be a good idea?
Yea.
G3m4sSt4ff said:
Yea.
I just think it might encourage people to go outside instead of posting over 100 pics in less than a day.
Riley said:
I just think it might encourage people to go outside instead of posting over 100 pics in less than a day.
I wont go out either way! I got Overwatch inside, so why bother! xD
G3m4sSt4ff said:
I wont go out either way! I got Overwatch inside, so why bother! xD
Well at least you're not spamming the Hub.