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The recent shitstorm that hit the gaming industry, and after that pretty much the entire internet after that, has left me a bit frightened to be honest.
[[ For those that spend the last weeks under a rock, go watch this and read that to view both sites of the matter and form your own opinion -- I'm not gonna do that for you ]]

Of course, we all knew that the internet could be a very nasty place. It has been a nasty place before and pretty much every single one of us knew that there places out there that are better be avoided when you're a sensitive person (or a normal human being with feelings -- however you want to call it). What the recent issue confronted us with, however, that as artists we aren't safe either. I can remember the earlier internet raids. The victims were either big organisations (Paypal, Scientology, etc) or idiots that actually did something that would probably get them into jail like torturing or murdering animals. While the consequences were often incredibly hash, it somehow still felt justified. Because, be honest; everybody wishes animal torturers the worst.

The recent examples were people like Zoe Quinn and Phil Fish. Two independent artists whose behavior got them on the bad side of the public opinion. Apparently bad enough to have their info doxxed, and rumors said they had to go undercover for a while to wait for the shitstorm to pass over. While I would be the last one to say their behavior is acceptable, and they wouldn't be people I'd like to hang out with... they haven't actually done anything so bad to justify this. They haven't killed anyone. They haven't tortured animals. They haven't done anything that's worthy of a place in jail. They're just not being liked by the general public.
And that's what concerns me. Because if that's what possible when people "don't like you". Where is the limit?

Being an independent artist

The indie title that many of those game artist were is basically nothing more that a sign to show that they're independent. Unaffiliated with a big company. In that sense, most of us are indie. We're working on our own art, our own styles, and doing our own commissions and prints. We're doing our own thing. 
Being independent mostly means that we don't have people doing our PR for us. We do our own communication and answer our own messages/inboxes for these simple reasons;
:bulletred: Money
:bulletred: Artistic integrity
While the first is pretty obvious (starving artist meme, anyone?), the latter is often a personal choice by many artist. If you got another person to answer your messages, how much "you" will be left in your communication? Will it still be as personal as you intended? As art is a personal matter for many artist, this often is a deal for many single artist, hence they choose to answer their messages themselves.

All in all, this makes how the public thinks of you be heavily influenced by two things;
:bulletred: How experienced are you in handling PR?
:bulletred: How much of a likable person are you anyway?
Artists being experienced with PR, marketing... or anything else than art... are usually rare. I'm not saying it doesn't happen. But the more creative people are, the more they steer on emotion (and less on logic). Some have experience in PR by having worked in part time jobs. Most haven't. Which leaves us to the second; how much of a likable person are you? And this all comes down to the good old thing that we already experienced in school. That some people were just liked a little bit more than others for reasons most of us were unable to comprehend. 

The thing with critique

The most heard argument for why people dislike an artist on the internet is that that "this person doesn't handle critique well".
Either meaning;
:bulletorange: The artist reacts fiercely to critique
:bulletorange: The artist ignores/blocks critique
:bulletorange: The artist doesn't improve fast enough, leading the audience to think he doesn't do anything with given critiques

I've thought long and hard about it, having had my own various experiences with critique. And up until today I'm not sure what it means to be able to handle critique well, since I'm pretty sure once you passed a certain point, you just can't do it right and people will judge you harshly because you have exposure and people somehow want to see it justified.

First of all there's a difference between critique and bashing.
Giving a person a critique means you have at least the intention of helping this person forward in his artistic career. "I think this is a great portrait, but the lighting on the nose is somewhat off" makes a simple but still good critique. It would be even better with a suggestion on how to improve it. But at least the artist now has a clue on what is off and what might need a bit of fixing. A comment like "your artwork sucks" is nothing more than burning a person down. Although to most people this difference is (hopefully) obvious, there's a large group of people that thinks anything is justified in the name of critique. And the more exposure a person gets on the internet, apparently the more it is 'justified' to make these kinds of remarks about this persons art. Because "if a person is that popular, he should be able to handle it"? 

To be honest, I've never quite understood this flaw in logic.
The point is that popularity is a thing artists don't call onto their selves. It's decided by their public so it's outside their own influence. So how exactly should this whole justification thing work then?

Should it be considered normal that people are getting death threats and are wished the worst, just because they happen to have many fans? Because if that is the case, I'd like to know exactly how many fans does it take to rule out the human emotions of a such person? 

In the end, critique is nothing but a helpful tool for an artist. Some people will use it to their advantage. Some will not. But no matter how you twist or turn words or views, an artist has no real obligation to put that critique to use. After all; the people on the internet are nothing but an audience. Expectations from people on the internet are often limitless and unreasonable. Can you really blame an artist for not being a role model when all he wanted to do is just make art? -- That seems to be the real question.

Change vs personality

The thing that immediately comes with critique, is change.
If your audience says they don't like something about your attitude, you can always change it. And of course we all change, get older (and hopefully wiser) over the years, and toughen up a bit.

It becomes different matter when people say they don't like our art. And leaves us with multiple questions;
:bulletyellow: Where do we draw the line between "improvement" and "style"?
:bulletyellow: Wasn't that art the thing that got us well known in the first place?
:bulletyellow: Is there still a sense of "self" in adapting to the environment like a chameleon?

Censorship vs protection

And with removing comments (critiques) there's of course always the issue of censorship. Because when is something censorship and when is it not? The recent issue with Zoe Quin might've been the prime example of damage control and censorship, going as far as contacting moderators on other forums to get certain messages and comments taken offline. But in a lot of other cases the issue is a lot less black and white.

On DeviantArt every person is given the power to moderate the comments on his journals and artworks. I too have used this power in the past to remove comments that I found unsuitable (mostly foul language and swearing). I've explained in my recent journal about white knights, I've also purposefully removed people revealing names of 'haters'. Censorship? Maybe. But I don't want to be the one responsible when a few thousand angry fans go to the page of such a person to do god-knows-what kind of damage.


The reason why I brought this topic up is not because I wanted to discuss the recent issue involving the state of the gaming industry or Zoe Quinn. DeviantArt has already various topics on that so if you want to discuss that issue, I'd advice you to go there. What I wanted to know is how this recent issue influenced your thoughts about your art and the public opinion.

:bulletblack: Do you think it's it's important to maintain a good public image?
:bulletblack: Do you have people to help you handle hard PR related issues, or do you handle everything yourself?
:bulletblack: How do you handle critique?
:bulletblack: Do you think some artists receive an unreasonable amount of critique? (and does that make it reasonable they lash out sometimes?)

I'm looking forward to hear your opinion on the subject Nod 
Add a Comment:
Princess-Eevee9 Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2014
I feel ashamed. I only heard about this issue on Gamefaqs but thanks to your links I spent the time to educate myself on the matter. At first I was unbelievably pissed at this woman and using her looks as a means to gain the advantage to get what she wanted. But then I started reading more and realized that she's suffering far more than hating her could ever do. Her reputation has been dragged through the mud. Possibly she'll never get a job in the industry again.
DamaiMikaz Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It's true she did things wrong. The amount of hate she gets however seems somewhat unjustified. 
I mean; we're talking about a person that cheated. Not about some mass murderer or something. People need to place things into perspective :/
Princess-Eevee9 Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2014
Sometimes I kidding blur the lines and put little things like adultery and minor major crimes on the same pedestal as murder and the like because I exaggerate when trying to make a point. But you're absolutely right.
Starryfrogs Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2014
Whoah, I have been living under a rock. (My rock is nice and cozy. I like my rock.)
I am not a public person, at all. Hell, I even feel nervous about posting my opinion online. But I have some things I'd very much like to say regarding this matter. And I apologise ahead if not everything makes sense. Hehe.

Bullet; Black Do you think it's it's important to maintain a good public image?
I think public image is not important. Celebrities often get a lot of criticism, because people simply don't know how to behave themselves and don't understand what it means to be well-known. And because of this they do crazy stuffs. For me it is important to be kind, no matter the situation or person. So maybe someone acts like a douche, you have got no right to go all haywire because someone doesn't fit in. If you don't like how someone is, then get over it and don't interfere with that person. Your time is more precious than hating all day long and be hated all day long.
Besides, I think public image might even be a bad thing. An image usually consist of that what people expect of you and a first impression. After lots and lots of thinking I have drawn my own conclusions. Basic idea is: don't trust first impressions too much and try to look beyond your own culture and habits.
(^Don't know if this makes much sense. To me it does.)

Bullet; Black Do you have people to help you handle hard PR related issues, or do you handle everything yourself?
I think I'm a little too young for these kind of issues, but I like to handle things on my own. I have had people gossiping about me, but usually I ignore that kind of stuff and if someone asks me if it's true or not I explain what and why. Of course, I get mad about it, but that's my own problem. I can't stay mad at something that's not true and usually ridiculous (in my case). After a while these kind of issues will be forgotten. In a year I don't think I will hear many people talking about this case anymore.

Bullet; Black How do you handle critique?
Actually, I am glad whenever someone gives me some constructive criticism. Constructive criticism leads to improvement, and that's one of the things I want most: improvement. And whenever someone does not agree with me or if someone has a problem with me I'd like to know why and deal with it myself, so that I can further improve. I love discussion and I am not afraid to change my mind about certain topics.

Bullet; Black Do you think some artists receive an unreasonable amount of critique? (and does that make it reasonable they lash out sometimes?)
Yes, but most of that criticism is trolls or people that do not like their art. Most of this can be prevented. If you don't like the style or art of a certain artist, don't be bothered by it. You are not forced to like things you dislike. The same goes for music; if you don't like the song, don't listen to it.
I understand that in this case it is more than just criticism. I don't quite care whatever happened between those people. I just find it ridiculous that these kinds of fights are getting blown up while there are more pressing matters in this world at the moment.
Personally, I understand why artist need to blow off steam sometimes. It is just like being bullied (which, sadly, I have enough experience with); at a certain point you're fed up with it. But I do not find that that irritation and anger should be vented towards other people or animals. Go punch a table or something, but don't hate on another person. Write it out, tell someone close to you, but don't. post it. on. the. internet. Shitstorm guaranteed.

If someone disagrees or wants clarification, feel free to ask. :)
Exovare Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I honestly have not heard of this issue until now.
My opinion is that with great power, comes great responsibility. Now, before you say that I'm just quoting, let me elaborate.
As one gets popular, he must be more aware to say in a good public image. For example, he/she should not accidentally insult a group of people, should be able to handle criticism in a professional and fair way, and should be able to tell the general opinions of his/her fans. That is to be expected. Such is why the leaders of any reasonable group must be experienced and careful about what they're saying and doing.
Such, in the case of popular creatives, can be a difficult thing to handle, because then, that'll be the loss of self. One of the big problems is that the inherent instability of a creative being popular will inevitably cause them to fall on someone's bad side. The other is that creatives do not choose whether they are popular.
This is not the creative's fault, as that is predestined to happen at one point. Rather, it is the fans' fault for not being able to handle it. Fans know when they follow a person that that person might accidentally offend them. And while it is morally right that the person apologizes or corrects his/her mistakes, it becomes the fans' fault whenever they take the criticism too far. Such is what happened in this case.
Handling criticism like these is perhaps the most difficult thing to do. On one side, that person must respond, and on the other side, he must not respond, for responding will likely aggravate the commentor. I believe the thing to do is to acknowledge it without giving any opinions. It wouldn't be incorrect to call these sort of responses "ambiguous." This way, it reaffirms the idea that the person acknowledges everyone, including those who do not think the art is perfect, while maintaining a good public image.
HelixAbyss Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow, how did I not hear about this until now?

Alright, well I'll contribute to the answers :)

Bullet; Black Do you think it's it's important to maintain a good public image?

I agree with what someone else said in the comments, it is important to have a good public image, but if you are covering up who you are that is a bit too far. People should express themselves and who they are, but maintain respect as well.

Bullet; Black Do you have people to help you handle hard PR related issues, or do you handle everything yourself?

Nope, no help. I'm nowhere near well known enough to have these kinds of issues XD

Bullet; Black How do you handle critique?

Well, to be honest, I mostly receive trolling/bashing (mostly in relation to my written work, things like "this sounds ridiculous/stupid/etc.") but the one time I did receive constructive criticism, well... let's just say, after I had some time to let the words settle in, my art improved quite a bit! I really appreciate critique on the rare occasions I get it, I actually feel kind of lost when I start something new and no one will tell me what's wrong with it.

Bullet; Black Do you think some artists receive an unreasonable amount of critique? (and does that make it reasonable they lash out sometimes?)

I honestly don't know... I usually watch smaller artists who don't have many commenters. I usually see senseless bashing, which I do not believe is at all justified or reasonable, or I see people saying that everything is good and perfect.

Thank you again for taking the time to put this together, I always enjoy reading your journals!
XxNekoAnimeGirlxX97 Featured By Owner Edited Sep 10, 2014  Student Digital Artist
I've had similar views on these subjects, although I don't get critiques on DeviantArt, I do ask for them in school....from college prep art teachers and such. Critique can really help in a constructive way if done correctly. As for over-excessive amounts of critiques...well unless the critiques are unfair or completing trashing your art, then I think that artist can't vent about it and be upset or choose to ignore some critiques if they feel like they read enough already. As for public yourself , but also act professional. Always be careful of what you want to be let known. 
Felizias Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I didn't hear most of this shitstorm over in Germany. :O

Bullet; Black Do you think it's it's important to maintain a good public image?
Yes, I always prefer artists/people in general that have a good public image (and mean it!).

Bullet; Black Do you have people to help you handle hard PR related issues, or do you handle everything yourself?
Haha, lol, no. I'm a hobbyist. :lol: I'm glad we have sales and customer service at my company (forwarding agency) though. :)

I will assume you mean balanced critiques here.

Bullet; Black How do you handle critique?
I usualy read it for the overall feeling first and then filter subjective and objective informations. I can see what I did well and what needs improvement then. If I feel bad about a critique, I step back from it for a while and get back after a few days.

Bullet; Black Do you think some artists receive an unreasonable amount of critique? (and does that make it reasonable they lash out sometimes?)
Well, how much critiques they receive depends on their activity ("PR") for the greatest part and on their supporters for a smaller part.
Yes, some artists receive more feedback than others and sometimes it is impossible to see for outsiders if it's chance or activity ("PR").
shirokomo Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2014  Student General Artist
I heard of this situation while on Tumblr, but erm... I didn't understand a word of it. I honestly have no clue what happened, or why it happened. 

"Do you think it's important to maintain a good public image?"

Of course. Impressions and image are everything in this society, where people tend to judge quite a bit. However, what does a good public image matter if it isn't you? Be positive, but be yourself is my personal philosophy tbh

"Do you have people to help you handle hard PR related issues, or do you handle everything by yourself?"

Honestly I'm just a 16 year old, so I've never really experienced tough PR related issues. Although if I did, I'd either have to handle it myself or at least vent to a close friend. Popularity is something I'm iffy about anyways... 

But uh, I do remember when I got a rather harsh critique on one of my art assignments in class. It hurt me a little because I worked so hard on it, yet I didn't really meet any of the requirements. I just went home and watched some anime films and went back to feeling better the day after :^)

"How do you handle critique?"

It depends on the critique. I usually just say "okay" or "thank you" and fix what is needed now.

"Do you think some artists receive an unreasonable amount of critique? (and does that make it reasonable they lash out sometimes?)"

If you're referring to Tumblr dot com, then yes.
And this isn't even critique anymore, it's just blatant name calling and rumor spreading.

One of them gets anonymous hate for their genderbent drawings, calling them a "cisbian" (a lesbian who only likes cisgendered girls) and a "transphobe" when they're really not and they have no evidence to prove these claims.

There's another who gets called a "white, pedophilic transphobic cishet" when the artist is Mexican, has a transgender girlfriend and is demisexual/bisexual. They got so much anonymous hate after those rumors were spread when one of their images got really really popular.

It concerns me that there really isn't any real critique in that community. You're either an angel, or you're trash depending on everything you say or do (even if it's just the little things) :')
TenderVigilante Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
I was also under a rock, but after reading the article, it seems like the situation was blown completely out of proportion, more likely than not because Quinn has a vagina.
To answer the critique question; I was a blacksmith for 6 years in WNC, a place where blacksmithing is beyond cutthroat.  More than thrice, I've gotten into fistfights over business matters, I've been intimidated physically, have intimidated others, had tools stolen, have destroyed others art work, had mine destroyed, so on and so forth.  In such an environment, where a great deal of money is in play and the rules of decent society do not exist, I have learned one thing for sure; no such thing as PR, good or bad.  It's a knife fight, where the last man, sometimes woman, standing gets to say what is what.  Based on my own experiences, an artist should do, say and create whatever they feel like, within the confines of the law, and then physically assault anyone who says boo when no one is looking.  Like any business, it's about the product.  Unfortunately, the enemy is almost always other artists, so, it boils down to keeping the public ignorant while you do what you must... unless the thought of having enemies disturbs you, then just be squeaky clean and friendly.  Pretty simple.
AlienLazerRebel Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Bullet; Black Do you think it's important to maintain a good public image?
I used to not think so, but after a three year self journey (finding God, etc), I do.
As someone who has transformed from an atheist, I believe that it is MORE important
to walk/live your life according to what you believe than to preach it. So, yes.

Bullet; Black Do you have people to help you handle hard PR related issues, or do you handle everything yourself?
I handle everything myself with everything that I am made up of.

Bullet; Black How do you handle critique?
I have not received enough to really say for sure;
but the one that I did receive, I took note of it. I was informed
that my pun wasn't clear, so I scrapped it to improve when I have more time.

Bullet; Black Do you think some artists receive an unreasonable amount of critique? (and does that make it reasonable they lash out sometimes?)
It all depends on their explanatory style (optimist or pessimistic), and no. Any time you post art publicly, you are triggering it to be criticized.
BUT there IS a difference between critique (meant to HELP the artist by pointing out flaws) and slander (calling them names, their work ugly, etc).
GloriousAssassin Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Well, I guess you could say I've been under a rock, haha. For a while now I've drastically cut down how much tv, news, social media, etc I interact with for this general reason: too much slander. Too many one-sided opinions, he-said she-said, go with the most popular view kind of reporting. 
I don't know who these people are, I have no affect or even interest in their personal lives, and if it wasn't for other peoples' interests in it, it probly wouldn't have created mass mayhem in the first place.
Ok, yeah, I will agree that using people like that to further your goals when other people work hard for an honest living is horrible and should be stopped. But that's just how people are. Take a look at everything nowadays, not just media, and tell me what isn't affected by dishonest under-the-table people?? It is important to try, but no matter how much you weed it out, there will always be humans who choose the "easy" way to gain ground. 
Takuriche Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2014
you got me, i wasn't under a rock, but in a bed in the hospital x'D
I used to make videotutorials when i was younger. At first i didn't care about the public image and the few critics i got were actually good critics which helped me to improve; Once i hit certain sector in popularity, the problems begun to spread like angry bees. In that moment, i got the need to have an "Image" and for example, tolerate the people who just rage because they could.

At the end, i ended almost abandoning the channel and the videotutorials. Some friends from back in the first days respected my decision and the most of the people that i helped just say nothing. I remember a guy who actually asked me to make an english version of my tutorials, i gave him permission. Everything went well and he became one of my best friends (Actually, he still is. though we haven't talked too much since IRL have been too much for us) but then, someone else begun to steal our videos, saying they were the real owners. that was the last straw that broke the camel's back

Probably, the most of you guys know these stories about idols in japan which are attacked by their fans because they did something out of their public image. I think that's an exaggerated example in this side of the planet but, it settles the importance of a good public image if you construct one, especially on the internet :( (Sad) 
DamaiMikaz Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
you got me, i wasn't under a rock, but in a bed in the hospital
You're excused ;)

At the end, i ended almost abandoning the channel and the videotutorials
Tutorials are a tricky thing, I've noticed. I've gotten multiple death treats over some of mine as well.
Never quite understood why. I mean; I offer my knowledge for free. Either use it for your own good, or leave it if you don't find it useful :/
It's nothing to hate over imo.
Takuriche Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2014
Thanks for excusing me, i promise to do not let my hand be crushed in my next moving~ :d

"Either use it for your own good, or leave it if you don't find it useful"
Exactly, i couldn't say it better. The real problem were the arguments behind the most of the
complaints, they got me to the point to think "Are they trolling? or... They haven't had any hardship in their life".
You're right, when i look back, there wasn't really any reason to get mad just because a bunch of (Probably)kids.
It helped me to know how to respond in such situations :3
DamaiMikaz Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
They're not trolling. They just don't know how to place things in perspective.
They're just a bunch of kids getting angry about the 'justice' of wrong education on the internet, while they forget that it at least costs $20.000 to get enrolled in any real art education.
Mishai Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
heh could be interesting and funny to have somebody who hate/critique my art for the change:D...
actually I'm almost unknown artist which draw unrealistic busty girl...which is easy branch of art when comes to audience...people who like such art love it and are very net and benevolent and happyly acepting almost anything without rude uhm i feel as artist liked by fans event there is few of them...and without haters...which is
HystericalMellotron Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
All that I'm going to say, is, that as long as the critique is balanced (talks about both the positive and negative aspects about a piece), or doesn't just trash the artist/his(her) style, I'm fine with it :3. But maaan, does it hurt when someone just say "this looks weird" without telling why, or how to improve it. Especially if it comes from someone who you thought it was a nice person ¬¬
kateran Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2014
DEAR READERS----I'm not going to pick sides. I don't know who this woman is, she could be a victim she might not be who cares. But there is one thing we can take away from all of this and it doesn't have anything thing to do with just the gaming industry, there is a lot out there that is corrupted by greed, money and power. This has been going on for more then a week or two this kind of thing has been going on since the dawn of time. This should be nothing new and not at all surprising. Sex scandals, fraud, embezzling, please its been done before. Despite what I have said above it still doesn't make it right. The only way to fix this is to stand up. Whether or not if this woman is being bullied or whether she has been doing some inappropriate things to get what she feels is endowed to her WE need to stand up. Demand and protest for equal treatment in work environments regardless of race and gender or sexuality but do so peacefully. DO NOT harass this woman DO NOT threaten her. You may have a right as a gamer to know that the industry that provides your entertainment treats its employees with equality, but YOU DO NOT have the right to judge hurt and harass this woman. You are after all just as human as her and the rest of us. Let the law deal with her, just protest the COMPANY and demand for explanations, DON'T ATTACK PEOPLE. <3
BespectacledOwl Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm not someone who is famous and is publicly exposed so I can't speak from experience.However having a good public image is beneficial to someone who is.It's nice to put your best face out there and make a good name for you but it becomes tricky if it  becomes complicated-meaning if you end up struggling with maintaining a good image that you believe isn't the real you.

I can't really talk about PR,can I?Sweating a little...

Now about critique...If someone's saying it in a nice way and they know what they're talking about(eg my arts teacher) then I'll be more than glad to accept the critique.But if it's someone who has never ever had any experience close to art(not even as someone who admires it) and says it with that arrogant face,thinking that they are the ultimate god of wisdom and kindness and then stating "it's just my opinion!" THEN I'm going to flip some shit.But then again if they were smart they wouldn't be like that and by getting angry I'm justifying them calling me "sensitive"...

About unreasonable amount of critique...actual critique that aims at helping the artist improve can't be too much under normal circumstances.But comments that are labeled "critique" while it's only someone's unreasonable perfectionism projected on you and/or desire to feel superior(yes,I know it sounds odd but this is from personal experience). That is too much even if it's just one comment.And the artist has every right to lash out.Being an artist doesn't suddenly make you immune to harsh words.Being an artist is another expression of being human and it includes all the flaws and perfections of human nature.

I hope I've worded this nicely enough to make sense.If not,I'll be more than happy to rephrase!
sakohju Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2014
This brings some interesting points of discussion. As for my answers...:
1. This makes me think. Ultimately, it probably is. Mostly because the negative is probably reduced with a "good" public image. But what defines a good public image? It's a matter of opinion, and everyone has a different one. It's not black and white between a "good" and "bad" public image. Regardless of how well-liked someone is, there will always be people who disagree, and that's okay. People are entitled to their own opinions, but that doesn't mean they should hurt someone for a negative image.
2. No, I handle everything myself. Every now and then if I don't know how to respond to something I might ask my sister to help, but for the most part it's just me.
3. Depends on what you mean by "critique". If it means a thoughtful comment pointing out the good and bad points of a piece and what I could do to improve, I don't really get any. I don't have a whole lot of watchers or anything, so the majority of comments I get are kind of just the typical one-word "Nice" "Awesome" "Cool piece" etc. If you're talking about negative feedback, well, I haven't gotten a whole lot of that either. From what tiny bit I have gotten though, it depends on the intent of the person. If they legitimately intend it as a critique, I will thank them for the feedback and do as I please with it, as I'm not obligated to change anything if I don't want to. If they are deliberately trying to insult me or get attention, I will try to respond sensibly and kindly but if they persist I will simply ignore them.  
4. Again, depends on what you mean by critique. I don't think I'm really in a place to say anything here, since I don't have many watchers and I don't know what would or wouldn't be considered "unreasonable", and I don't exactly read everything on another artist's work or profile either. Lashing out however, I would deem unreasonable. I understand if it's just the way they are or if someone said something particularly rude or nasty and set them off or something, but lashing out doesn't do anything to solve a problem. It only fuels the fire. 
Of course, these are just my personal opinions. Anyone is free to agree or disagree.
Steve-C2 Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2014
I stumbled across some things going on in the gaming community, and I really don't know what happened, who did what, or what have you.  What I do know is that someone got some really nasty hate messages and threats in their mail.  However, regardless of events, personal threats and attacks are always unacceptable.  Period.

By and large, people online hide behind the "anonymity" of the Internet.  And I say "anonymity" as I do, on purpose; you are only anonymous if you don't plaster your image, address, and info onto your profile (which most people do not), and even when you take the necessary precautions, there is always a way to find you.  Most people who troll don't think of that; even people doing something serious are not usually considering they can be found.

Now, I did have a point here ...

I agree with your statement about most of us not having PR experience.  I've mentioned as a reply to another individual's journal, that the principle governing interactions between viewers/commenters and artists, should be one of mutual respect.  I, the viewer, should have respect for the artist who loaded their art for viewing.  Good ol' mom was right when she said "if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything."  But the same is true for the artist.  Artists should be respectful of viewers and people who comment, as well.

Another thing to consider.  I art as a hobby.  I work full time, and have a family to tend.  I don't know how many artists are in that sort of position here.  Even if the art is a profession, that means most likely a lot of time is being invested in the art.  That all said, not all artists here have a lot of time to reply to comments.  I marvel at the popular folks who find the time to respond to every comment they have.

So, here's where I stand.  As a viewer, I'll treat artists with respect.  Most of the time, I won't comment; when I do, I want that comment to be positive and helpful to the artist.

As an artist, I like to see when people enjoy my work, and I really like it when someone can offer some helpful thoughts, without bashing the work or the artist.  I don't call such commentary "critique" since the word has such negative connotations, but I always enjoy (and when commenting, try to provide) thoughtful feedback.  If a piece of work I did, could suck a golf ball through a garden hose - well, you've got to be part of a certain group to say so and have me take it well.

I don't have a PR staff (see your first statement on why we're here on DA, right? :) ).  I do try to reply to comments.  I'll also add that I'm not the most outgoing individual, so when I see someone new commenting, well, I'm not always sure what to say to that person.

But not having a PR staff means that I do not have, nor can I make, the time to deal with @$$hats.  So, if someone wants to troll, I have no problem wiping a comment and blocking a person.  None whatsoever.  Same if someone wants to be rude and disrespectful, to me or my watchers.  I do not have the time, to make this hobby I enjoy, into a chore for myself.  I have some friends here with whom I frequently associate and enjoy conversing.  I refuse to let some random @$$hat ruin that.

But when someone does that, and their comment is removed, is it censorship?  Well, I don't know if I can answer that.  I don't think it technically fits the definition of censorship, since the connotation of the word deals with how the government handles criticism, rather than how an individual artist handles criticism.  I like to think of it more as just ignoring an obnoxious :shithappens:head.  In fact, I may be doing them a favor, since by leaving the comment, I simply expose them for who they are.

I suppose this segues into the question of public image.  Public image is called public image because that's what it is.  Public.  All anyone can do, is treat their viewers with respect.  If an artist doesn't have the time to upload a lot, or respond to everything they receive for comments, that doesn't make them a jerk, necessarily; it means that they may not have the time.  Some people will respect that.  Others will think the artist is a jerk.  And no matter how nice you are, you can't please everyone.  So, in my book, it is more important that the artist treat others with respect, than to have in mind a notion of "public image."

If an artist receives an "unreasonable" amount of critique, well, I suppose one question is, "why?"  Is this artist just dealing with a significant number of @$$hats for no reason?  On the Internet, this is entirely possible.  If that's the case - an artist can ignore, hide, and block for only so long, before they say something.  And when they get threatened, or have their info stolen and broadcast, then that artist has every right to take legal action.

So there's my $20 of thought on the topic.

Cheers.  :)
nocturnaliss Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
I haven't been following the recent gaming developments, but watching the first minute of the first video you linked to makes me think it's basically a flame war going on, so moving on.

1. What is a 'good public image'? Is it showing the world you're a good person, or pretending you are so to be liked? Being anything that you aren't will bite you in the ass eventually... so I'd rather say, though you're more likely to be liked if you're a 'good person', don't pretend you are one if you're more prone to, say, getting angry quickly about things. The truth has a way of getting known eventually, anyway.
2. In life and in art, I prefer to do things myself, mostly because I'm a control freak and if anything is to go wrong, I want it to have been my own stupid fault.
3. At first I'll cringe, then I'll dissect the critique and see if it's valid and/or if it can help me.
4. I'm thinking: likely. Also: yes; but if you do lash out, you have to be capable to deal with the repercussions (and critique) that will ensue. Much better (and more difficult) is to keep quiet, talk it over first with a friend or relative, and then get back with a clearer head to the issue at hand.

I find it important to be able to defend your choices, rationally. Even if you act like a jerk, there being a (valid) reason behind it can soften the blow and/or make people relate. And don't critique/lash out with the intention to hurt, that's one I live by.
DamaiMikaz Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I find it important to be able to defend your choices, rationally. Even if you act like a jerk, there being a (valid) reason behind it can soften the blow and/or make people relate
I wonder... is there really a valid excuse for being a jerk?
nocturnaliss Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Here I make a distinction between 'acting as' and 'being a'. You can act as a jerk and not be one - just like you can really be a jerk and not act like one. 

So is there a valid excuse for being a jerk: likely depends on your life and your viewpoint (being a jerk because 'life has sucked' warrants a no);
Is there a valid excuse for acting like a jerk: maybe not, but you can always try and explain your reasons if you feel it necesary. Maybe people will see it as just that - an excuse; it'll depend on who you 'were' before the acting up began, and even how you deal with backlash.
DamaiMikaz Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It sure gives me some stuff to think about...
Dantebayo Featured By Owner Edited Sep 6, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Hi Damai-chan and thanks a bunch for reminding me why I hate most of humanity with the exception of this website and of some channels on youtube Excaliburfaceplz (fixed) 
Personaly, I don't think there is a good public image in a society as the society itself has many faces and thus many different opinions on what is good or bad. Regarding the PR I handle it on my own because, well I don't really think that anyone can be me :P. My handleing skills regarding critiques are not that well because of anger issues and a lot LOT of pride for who I am but only when the critiqueis comments against my existence and wellbeing. I actually think that yes, some artists indeed  receive critiques that are unreasonable in so many levels and that it justifies completely the fact that we lash out because one can only supress his or her feelings of anger and urges for revenge for a set ammount of time.
(If any of this makes anyone feel disgusted, hurt directly, etc. please forgive me as 1. this is my personal opinion and 2. I did not by any meansmean to hurt anyone, thank you very much.)
DamaiMikaz Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Don't be so negative. There are lots of nice people on the internet too :hug:
Dantebayo Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
guess so but I might have to search really deep into it and the internet started being corrupted long ago and if we count the fact that corruption is one of the things that makes me want to throw a molotov full of rage on the people responsible we can come to the conclusion that if I start going that deep I'll come out with a really bad mood and I don't like being sad :( (sorry for the formality but I'm twiking my extended essay after a night with no sleep so I have to think and right in the same way <.>)
DamaiMikaz Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
The internet has always been corrupted.
Like everything else.

Dantebayo Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I guess so but it still bugs me because it makes me doubt what I already know and I get this feeling of depression and emptyness that fades away really slow :(
chromic7sky Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
In my opinion,
1)the hardest part of being a public image is people be able to see you, inside and out. Most of them expect that public image must represent their best behavior for example, celebrities.
2)About the PR, some of it i learn from my workplace...^^;
3)dunno, I'll deal on how the critic will be...:D good and bad critic has different effect to the user but it's up to the user how they handle it whether professionally or taking all it all...
4) kinda especially hater's criticism. Some people tend to see the perfect artist with beautiful inside and out but they should realize that all of us are humans. It's kinda sad if the famous artist unable to interact with other's comment due to hater's criticism.
technicolor-trashion Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2014  Student General Artist
I'm not on either side, and don't want to be on that issue (I've been the one sleeping under a rock, as you can tell from my artwork), but it's just stupid how the world can sink lower and lower, but every artist on deviantArt or any gaming site/art community site/etc can scream to the top of their lungs that art's not dead........

........... but it's corrupted and it's dying.. It's just not totally dead yet.

I think that maintaining a good public image, IF YOU THINK IT'S GOOD, is alright. Cyber-bullying is just giving haters the attention and feeding the trolls. DON'T FEED THE TROLLS and DON'T PAY ATTENTION TO THE HYPE. It's a little hard to ignore it, but all any of us can do is be strong, and if other dumb people want to believe in whatever they read online, but can't pick up an actual book or research the facts, that's on them.. And even if something like this was to happen to any other female, we'd get the worst of it, whether other guys think it or not. Women in gaming are just gonna be bashed.. My husband and I play League of Legends and he recently got scolded for 'stealing someone's kill' when they were too pussy to get the kill themselves. I ignore playing with people in general because of that, and trust I would have gotten worse. I, on the other hand, am a mouse to the art community and gaming industry. Maybe that's also why I'm not as 'noticed' on any site where I showcase my work, because of who I am, and the fact that I put myself out there and not because my art isn't that great (because I believe it is), but because of where I live (Texas, the butthole of the U.S.) and that I'm a black female in a poor community. Maybe not. But I don't know how or why I'm not getting the recognition I deserve and I know it's not that, but that could be a possible reason or suggestion as to why and the constant struggle to get there.. I wouldn't know anything about public relations and how to handle that, so I handle my own.... since it's easier because of my anonymity.

I like to give good critique, and I handle critiquing, IF there are others seeing my art in person. Online, I'm just as invisible as a friendly ghost, but I at least just try to post my work so I won't be scared to be rejected or ignored anymore (since that's the basis of my life). Most artists are sensitive, and we all know this, yes, but they should also know that constructive criticism is what can help them more... but we can't ask people to change or to have a good attitude about it when they don't want to. I.E.: you can't help those who won't help themselves. I can't say it's reasonable for them to lash out, but if they do, all you can do, as one artist to another, is just move on and wish them them the best and/or move the fuck on.
Hina-Monoko Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
1. Yes, I do think that one should maintain a good public image.
2. Well, I never had to do such things so far...
3. I can't say I can handle it too well. I need time to see clearly what that critique is about and how should I correct it. At first I am usually angry, especially if I got it for an art I was really proud of, but a bit later I calm down enough so I can ask what is wrong.
Though, I hate it when I get a critique from somebody who has no sense to art at all, but they still pretend as if they know art better.
4. Yeah, I do. There are some people who are just searching for the mistakes in that person, and if we add up all those persons, it makes quite a lot 'bad critiquers' :/ though if the person asks for it, I think it is okay. But it is also important how you say your critique. I am personally sensitive to that.
DamaiMikaz Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
But it is also important how you say your critique. I am personally sensitive to that.
I agree with that. Some people tend to forget about the "constructive" part in constructive criticism 
Hina-Monoko Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Yes. Even if a friend says it that way it can really heart one.
MidgetShinigami Featured By Owner Edited Sep 5, 2014  Student Writer
-Personally yes, I think one should at least try to keep a positive public image.
-I'm not quite sure what PR is, but up till now I handle everything on my own.
-I've only ever received critique from one person and I try to take it into consideration. The way she points things out to me is a little insensitive, but looking at the stuff she says and knowing that she's probably trying to help helps. This is how I want to look at and deal with any critique I get in the future.
-For artists who get a ton of critique… if they request critiques or don't request but welcome them I don't think it's particularly unreasonable. It really depends on what kind of critique they're getting though, there's never too much given with helping intent, but with something that the critiquer wants to see with no excuses even one is on the unreasonable side.
OnDarkWings Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
When it comes with critiques I am okay with it if it will help me do what I do better and I reply whenever I have the time. if the person is really bashing my work I turn defensive then.
If a person is under a lot of stress I feel that they can either rant or step back for a few. they do not have the right to lash out at someone who didn't cause the stress.
maintain a good public image to a point always stay true to you (because 9 times out of 10 someone will get mad at you in your lifetime and I rather have them hate me for me than a shell with my name on it)
Chronophontes Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Good one!

- I don't consider it important to "maintain a good public image" but it's sure nice to avoid a bad one.  Politeness, and probably some luck too, have worked well for me.

- I've handled my own PR, to the extent that there even is such a thing.  (Commenting and answering comments.)  I don't really worry about it, being a pretty polite person anyway.

- All of my critiques have been fair (even the overall negative ones), except one that was straight zeros.  (Which does not even make any sense - if something has zero impact, how was the critiquer aware of it, let alone motivated to write a critique?  If it gets a zero for originality, who was it stolen from, and why steal something that bad?)  I rated that one "unfair" on the grounds that it was not constructive.  (There wasn't an option for bad logic.)

- I've always figured that "superstars" pretty inevitably attract stalkers and jealous trolls, thus among other things, more and harsher critiques.  A distressingly common example is gripes when somebody gets a DD.  It's tactically a bad idea to lash out, but all too understandable - and it is no worse on the part of a superstar than on the part of an unknown.
DamaiMikaz Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I don't consider it important to "maintain a good public image" but it's sure nice to avoid a bad one
Isn't that the same thing?

A distressingly common example is gripes when somebody gets a DD
Yes, I've always found this so sad, people that got hate over a DD. I mean; the selections are made by the staff. It's not like the artist put himself on the frontpage :(
Chronophontes Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks!  I was thinking of a "good" public image as more than merely OK - maybe like the kind of public image that gets you a Deviant of the Month award.

As for gripes about DDs - it's not only sad but kind of disgusting.  If I ever got a DD, I don't know how I would react, other than to just ignore them.  There have been DDs that I didn't like, but why waste words only to be a jerk?
DamaiMikaz Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I don't think a DD would change that much in my case.
I've already got death treats over a tutorial. How much worse can it get? XD
Chronophontes Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
AmandaRamsey Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2014  Student Digital Artist
well how about that....time to go back under my rock and let karma continue to do its thing.

interesting read btw.
DamaiMikaz Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Lol, that's an approach too :D
tijodaslim Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
The image in public is not a clear picture if you will. After all the public in itself is a group of individuals. Among those are varied ideas of what "true art" is. Something that can be lost when overanalyzed. There have been those on this site who have looked at my work and commented that I had to be some kind of child, because I do drawings and things of the imagination, my style of art was not theirs. Most recently, someone has had an image in their head, some drawing, they keep messaging me about, to draw for them, I keep trying to tell them, "this is your image and inspiration, go for it and draw it yourself" They do not want to listen. It is my style, when I get that inspired, I make the image. I drives me mad if I don't. That is being and artist. While I find this complimentary, I also find it to be annoying. It can just be a matter of hearing what you want to hear, as in the case of this person asking for this image to be done be me and not themselves. Art is something that is artificial, that is where the term comes from. How we take someone's comments really depends on our own opinions of ourselves.
PaintedLiLy Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2014  Student General Artist
Public image gives me the sense of being something that someone isn't. I think it's important to be the best version of yourself. That is to say, if you aren't bubbly, don't try to be bubbly, but don't be rude for no reason either.

I am just beginning my adventure in art, so I do not have PR issues to deal with. If I did, I would be the one fielding them.

I try to handle critique graciously, but sometimes that is difficult to do. It is especially difficult when I misinterpret information to help me grow as a dismissal of the countless hours I've already worked trying to "perfect" what I've put to paper. I find that it's better for me to wait until I'm not exhausted (and a little more rational from rest) to glean feedback.

Lastly, I think that a critique from anyone that doesn't know anything about what goes into drawing/painting/etc. should be taken as an opinion rather than a critique. Critiques are meant to grow and stretch you as an artist. There is (hopefully) careful consideration and thought behind it. I think there are a LOT more opinions (unhelpful ones at that) than considerate critiques. Lashing out is an immediate visceral response to something that is interpreted (and sometimes is) a personal attack. It's understandable, but unhelpful to the situation. The best thing is to try to be honest with yourself (if you can't do that, find a friend that will be honest with you), take a look at what is being "offered" to you. If it rings true and it bothers you, do something about it. If it's not, don't worry about it...throw it in the trash where it belongs.
DamaiMikaz Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
If it rings true and it bothers you, do something about it. If it's not, don't worry about it...throw it in the trash where it belongs.
PaintedLiLy Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2014  Student General Artist
:) Thanks! Also, thanks for taking the time to read and reply to comments. 
Artman40 Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2014
One thing: backlash is not harassment.
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