Post by bluemoonstars on Oct 28, 2014 9:02:55 GMT -8
I have a delicate question and I could use some feedback. If you buy a doll from a new, emerging artist and everything is wonderful but the doll is missing just one or two tiny elements to make it perfect for your aesthetic, is it advisable to let the budding artist know? Lets say, for example, the proportions are a little off or the porcelain polishing could be a little better, is it advisable to mention it to them, for their own benefit? I wouldn't wan't to discourage a hardworking artist ever but if their product truly needs a little improvement to make it better, should one chance mentioning it to them? I would like some feedback from the artists themselves, too, if possible, to see how they would feel about a little constructive criticism? I wouldn't want to offend any artist whose work I adore....By the way, this is not about any artist that has been featured or discussed on the Forum already....
That is a very good question! I would want to hear authentic feedback from my customers. But it is not good to discourage people either! It helps if you spend just as much time or more describing the things you love. When I received my first Paperwhite doll, I wrote a long letter about all the things I appreciated (all very genuine!). I also mentioned the one flaw I found, which was one of her pins in her elbow hadn't been sanded down quite far enough and it interfered with movement. Teri responded very well and offered to fix the pin at the next opportunity.
I think if I received a doll that I thought was not represented accurately before the sale, or if instructions had not been followed for a custom doll, I would definitely say something to the artist. For instance, if something was damaged during shipment, accessories were missing, or custom details we agreed on like freckles were not present. I think the artist should be responsible for mistakes like that.
I would be hesitant to comment on the style of the doll or the skill that went into it, I would be more likely to comment on mistakes or oversights.
Post by bluemoonstars on Oct 28, 2014 11:15:51 GMT -8
Thank you, allurose, for your valid comments. I really appreciate them. This is about a doll that is done remarkably well except that a particular body part is out of proportion. I would definitely want to buy from this artist again but would not unless these things would be changed. Sometimes when you are so close to the work, it is not possible to see the errors....I have seen Michaelangelo's statues that were out of proportion in Europe. It is not a reflection on their artistry at all....
As an artist I love constructive feedback, I like it when people can explain why they do not like a detail or when they think something should be added and why it would add value to my work. I was also schooled on an art-academy where feedback is a huge part of training, you get feedback from teachers, classmates and sometimes even from random people walking through the building (because everyone is so used at getting and giving feedback people just say what they think when they think it's usefull) So I'm very used to recieving it but I also got to learn the benefits of it. I have also noticed that this is not 'natural' for a lot of people or artists, some can get grumpy and shut down when you mention details or even things in general that they don't want to hear. I feel this is a bad attitude for you won't be able to learn anything new and improve as an artist (and human being)
I haven't sold any of my porcelain statue's/ dolls yet but when I do I would love to hear from customers what they think of him (or her in the future) In the end it's my goal to touch people's heart/soul and if I don't get reactions/feedback from people I never know if I succeeded.
I think if you can express your thoughts in a constructive and positive way, it would be really helpful for the artist. However, as individuals, people respond to positive criticism in different ways, some more positively than others. If it were me, I think I would, if I had a rapport with the artist, but would probably chicken out if I didn't!!! The problem also is that most communication is done online these days, so often you may write something that can be totally misconstrued, which wouldn't be if you were face to face having a conversation- body language, tone of voice etc. It's a tricky subject!
Post by bluemoonstars on Oct 29, 2014 5:23:22 GMT -8
Well said, bibarina. Most communication is done online and people miss the nuances of the comment without the voice behind it. This came up because I patronized an artist whose work I admired greatly. I bought the doll online and when it came I was very pleasantly surprised. It was truly fantastic. Beautifully designed, expertly finished and painted. Unique and beautiful. The only problem was that the proportion of an essential body part was just off.....If this was corrected, she has the potential to be a super artist. But how do you tell an artist something like that without offending them? Not everyone is able to accept constructive criticism and I would never want to discourage an artist who is already 90% there...
Mmmm, difficult. I don't really know the answer to this. It would be helpful to have the thoughts of several additional artists- I do suspect that not all may be as open as Hasel. It may be though that she or he is already aware and working on improving the next one! I know when I make costumes, I am always aware when something is not quite right or hasn't worked how I wanted it to, and so I am always striving to improve. If it was one I sold, I really would welcome constructive feedback... perhaps he or she may be the same, and may agree with your feedback....
Post by bluemoonstars on Oct 29, 2014 6:14:46 GMT -8
Thank you, hasel, for your honest answer. I wish more artists were as open as you but, you see, not many of them have answered. A lot of them would just say "Don't buy the doll if you don't like it" and they may have a valid point but it is not as simple as that. Not for me, anyway...My intention is simply to help transition someone who is already very good into excellence so that they continue to make dolls and not get lost amongst the many artists already out there.
I personally love feedback! It's the only way to find out what people think. You know how easy it is to see mistakes in others work but be blind to our own? For some reason when it's your work you can't always see the problems. We need others to point them out. I so much want to give my opinion on other artist's dolls sometimes because, like you said, just one little off proportion can make all the difference between a great doll and a just okay doll. But I don't because people can be very sensitive. But if you have bought a doll I think an honest appraisal is totally appropriate and if done nicely, very appreciated.
I had a buyer make a suggestion once- that the palms on a darker skinned doll should be lighter, not darker, than the rest of the skin tone. It didn't offend me at all, it was very helpful. I've had overwhelmingly positive interactions with every single buyer, even when a problem was the resulkt of my inexperience in the beginning ( Thanks, Monika, for your patience as my first buyer!!!!)
I've had overwhelmingly positive interactions with every single buyer, even when a problem was the resulkt of my inexperience in the beginning ( Thanks, Monika, for your patience as my first buyer!!!!)
:-D that's me!! Quite a few of my dolls were the first an artist had offered to the world, and I love them all dearly. I think it is super special to own something so precious as the "first" artwork an artist has allowed out of their nest.
I did have one artist specifically request extreme feedback, and asked me to be as harsh as could be so that they could have an honest critique VS the usual "omg amazing" comments you may get. It was very tricky for me because I did just want to say "omg amazing"!! So I REALLY had to be picky and look at the doll as if I wasn't me, but pretend to be a severely picky individual. Even then I felt awkward wording these critique's because I didn't personally mind them or see them as flaws.
I think the artist themselves would have to ask you for a critique to know for sure... or in the very least you could write to them offering to give a (brutally polite) critique should they want it and judge their response - did they just say yes to be polite or are they really eager and open?
Post by bluemoonstars on Oct 30, 2014 7:35:10 GMT -8
Thank you to all that took the time to respond. I am still on the fence about this but I appreciate all of your time and thoughtful feedback...Sensitive subject, to be sure....Thank you, Crystal, kellys and orchidsdesigns..
I like critique (sounds less harsh then criticism). I have given feedback when asked, or sometimes I ask people if they would like a critique. I feel more comfortable if I know the artist is on a new model. So for example on "the Joint" ( a doll making forum) when people were at the stage of still sculpting it was easier to pitch in then - when they could actually do something about visible problems. I suppose if I had purchased a new doll- I would offer postive feedback- and then I would ask if I could offer a a few comments on things that could be improved upon. But I like to give at least twice as much positive then negative.
Post by heartstrung on Nov 1, 2014 18:44:03 GMT -8
I think that if it were me I would definitely want to hear what you or any customer (or potential customer) wanted to say - criticism or not - as you said, sometimes you are too close to your work to see what other people may see. Also, if countered with a statement that he/she is already 90% there, well that's pretty darn great, so I think that they would love to hear that too