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Haters going to hate

Emma_Clare at 12:00AM, May 21, 2021

It’s a fairly common sentiment of the Internet. When you put yourself out there, you’re going to get others making bad faith criticisms for the sake of “trolling”. The phrase, “haters going to hate” is meant as a rallying cry for the ego; Bolster yourself with seemingly unearned confidence and continue onwards. It taps into the idea that no matter what you do to address their “criticisms” that it will never be enough. Tearing down creators to get a rise out of them is part of the sport.

However, there’s a line between the bad and good faith criticisms and it’s important to understand where that line is. As a creator, feedback is the fastest way to grow but it means admitting that we are not as good as we may wish to be. The ego is fragile after all. Even good faith criticisms can be a tough pill to swallow, but when embraced, it can lead to improvements that may well have taken longer to achieve.

An example of good feedback is one where they address direct issues and suggest possible fixes. For instance, you may receive a comment that simply says, “The shading is too light. It would look better if it was starker.” This is a problem that can be directly addressed. In fact, this was the very feedback I received when I asked for a review of my work. It stung a little, but it pushed me to experiment with colour, look for examples of shading techniques and colour combinations. Often, we find it difficult to receive criticism, particularly when it is worded in a blunt or harsh manner, but it is important to examine it for what it is and decide whether or not to take it on.

The trick to sorting through criticism is not to take it personally, look at it constructively, and decide if it is worth taking on. You don’t have to act on every piece of advice. If the comment does not address any issues, rather, it merely states something along the lines, “This is shit!” then yeet that comment out of existence. This is the haters hating.

There is one comment, however, that I see on a lot of creators comics, videos, stories etc, that does not need your energy.

“This update is taking too long!”

Take as long as you need. Until one begins their content creation journey, the time it takes a single person (because it is often one person) to create their work is often taken for granted. Creating comics is not easy. Writing is not easy. Art is not easy. And it is all done in your time. It is free for them and resource draining for you. When comments like this pop up, pay them no mind. If you agree, then endeavour to build a buffer, do shorter updates or outsource some of the more labour intensive tasks. But remember, you are doing this for you. Focus on improving your skills and the rest will fall into line, with or without the hate.

How do you deal with negative comments? In what way do you handle constructive criticism? Let us know in the comment section below! And join us on Sunday evening for our Quackchat at 5:30PM(EST)!

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hushicho at 3:36PM, May 21, 2021

I have had plenty of criticism in my life, but I soon learned that most of it was useless. You must consider the source for any criticism, especially unsolicited. You don't owe anyone anything, in art, unless they are paying you for it. Even then, you don't owe them what some thing you do, like becoming another artist for their pleasure. A good mantra to remember with most people and their critique is just "I didn't ask." That, and nothing more.

hushicho at 3:33PM, May 21, 2021

As I have often said to other artists and creatives, we are in one of the only businesses in this world where people feel entitled to criticize but have no idea what they're talking about most of the time. Art schools are as much a culprit too, bringing in people who know nothing about the individual artists or their intentions but basically bullying students into just swallowing it. I find it's often best, if someone wants to give critique, to ask them what they like, rather than what they don't. It's easiest for people to be negative. It actually requires thought if they have to be positive, and it's a lot more likely that it will be constructive and useful if they have to actually think. And anyone saying their art hurt you is quite frankly an idiot. Don't take it to heart. They have no idea what they're talking about.

Matt Comics at 9:09AM, May 21, 2021

I've noticed a lot of people try to disguise "excuses to tear you apart" as "totally constructive criticism, it's gud for ur growth, take it and shut up", just so they can be jerks towards whoever doesn't follow trends set by their internet committee. Personally I have no sympathy for hipsters who don't even care about your story, but will throw a tantrum if you like/use something harmless but "uncool" (such as certain fonts, or agenda-less storytelling). I've learned to distinguish between this kind of outrage, and genuine constructive criticism. Also, I'd rather ask for thoughts in review threads than wait for random rabid opinions.

bravo1102 at 7:03AM, May 21, 2021

I'm at the point in my life where I will engage the naysayers and ask for specific reasons why they say what I do. I'm open minded and been doing this too long not to listen and maybe benefit even from harsh criticism. Besides I was in the Army and had my butt reamed by professionals. I'm a very good listener.

MOrgan at 5:17AM, May 21, 2021

@Call Me Tom - Someone claiming that your art hurt someone sounds like the kind of lie people make up to hurt an artist. Even if it was true, you have no control over how someone will react to your art. That's their problem, not yours. When I was a kid I came across some art that bothered me, I had a negative reaction to it. Was that the artist's fault? No. I think it was just different enough from what I was used to seeing as art that my brain didn't know how to process it. These days I see it as just another art style.

dpat57 at 2:17AM, May 21, 2021

Good advice as always. The simple solution is to tell the haters to eff off, if they don't like your comic they can just move along and read the millions of other comics out there, instead of giving you sh!t. Make whatever you want to make, and take joy in it.

Call Me Tom at 1:22AM, May 21, 2021

I feel that we too often told to brush off criticisms. I mean the biggest criticism I've been told is that my style is insulting and harmful. I'm still trying to figure out how to make it not those things and people are quick to say I shouldn't worry about it. But at the end of the day my drawings hurt someone. I hurt someone. This is something I need to fix or I need to stop drawing. It's not something to be brushed off.

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