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Old Mar 29, 2016   #1
chicken nuggets
2nd Dan Black Belt
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 3,012

How to Properly Structure CnC
I've been around the forums and lately I've been seeing some CnC that needs CnC (lol), as well as some artists who don't know how to take CnC properly; so I devised a tutorial to make sure the artist(s) gets the best out the feed back you give them.

1: What is "CnC"?
CnC in the context of art means "Comments and Critiques" or simply "Constructive Criticism". This is feedback that lets the artist build off their work to make their work better.

2.1: Giving out CnC: Where To Start.
You generally want to have experience behind you while you give your comments. This gives the artist reassurance that he/she can trust you with the CnC given, instead of walking in to the blind. The critic might also tell you how to do something instead of why to do something.

Equally, you can go and look at what makes good artwork good and bad artwork bad, so you have grounds to base off your CnC. If you don't know what is good and bad, your CnC may leave the artist in the wrong direction, which counteracts what CnC is supposed to do. I've seen a lot of people giving CnC without these grounds to aspiring artists and it leaves them in the wrong direction. This has happened to me before, but I was lucky that another artist told me what to really do.

2.2: Giving Out CnC: Starting off.
This starting sentence usually sets the mood of your critiques. If you begin with a praise, such as "Looks great", it will usually make the artist happy. Equally, if you start off negatively, like "This needs work", it usually makes the artist feel they've done something wrong to make their work bad.

Along with setting the mood, it can also boost the artist's morale, which is always good. It can also lower the artist's morale, but that is as good, if not, better so that they will know they need to improve ASAP.

2.3: Giving Out CnC: Two Different CnC Structures.
(yes i'm making these names lol).

2.3.1: The PIP Sandwich
The PIP Sandwich is the way most people structure their critiques. PIP stands for Positive, Improvement and Positive. This structure has been used by school observers and restaurant critics alike. It is also arguably the most effective, for it gives the artist what they need to do while leaving them on a good mood.

The downside is that it mostly appeals to the good, and may make the artist ignore the improvement points. This will ultimately leave them in what I like to call limit limbo; unable to improve because they think they have done the best they could what they did.

Here's an example of a PIP Sandwich:


2.3.2: The PII or IIP Hotdog
This is another way of structuring your comment. This stands for Positive, Improvement and Improvement. This is usually used in artwork that needs direct help from a critic. Artists will need to take full attention to what they need to do to improve, whilst taking note on what they need to keep. This is personally my favourite structure to give to most people as it leaves the artist in the impression that they need to improve, but it lets them know they're going in the right direction.

Example of a PII Hotdog:


2.3.3: Improvement Structure.
This is a structure that only involves improvement points only. If an artist is going in the completely wrong direction, this structure will definitely be used. It may also be used to artists that are in limit limbo, so they can escape the feeling.

Example of the Improvement Structure:


2.4: Use of Language
Your use of language can definitely change the way your comment sounds. Instead of saying something like "This can be improved, and I think you should restart", you can say "This is shit and I suggest you restart immediately". It gives a whole different mood. No one likes reading bad comments and everyone loves praises, so the first act for the artist would be to want to improve their work so that they can get praises rather than improvement points. Your vulgar language can affect how the artist reacts.

2.5: Illustrating your point
Another useful way to get your point across. Actions speak louder than words, so illustrate your comment. Show what you would do to a person's work to make it better. I'm sure you would rather be given thorough directions than a map of the whole town if you're going to a foreign country.

3: Understanding CnC

Here's a quote from the movie Whiplash:

"Terence Fletcher: I don't think people understood what it was I was doing at Shaffer. I wasn't there to conduct. Any fucking moron can wave his arms and keep people in tempo. I was there to push people beyond what's expected of them. I believe that is... an absolute necessity. Otherwise, we're depriving the world of the next Louis Armstrong. The next Charlie Parker. I told you about how Charlie Parker became Charlie Parker, right?
Andrew: Jo Jones threw a cymbal at his head.
Terence Fletcher: Exactly. Parker's a young kid, pretty good on the sax. Gets up to play at a cutting session, and he fucks it up. And Jones nearly decapitates him for it. And he's laughed off-stage. Cries himself to sleep that night, but the next morning, what does he do? He practices. And he practices and he practices with one goal in mind, never to be laughed at again. And a year later, he goes back to the Reno and he steps up on that stage, and plays the best motherfucking solo the world has ever heard. So imagine if Jones had just said: "Well, that's okay, Charlie. That was all right. Good job. "And then Charlie thinks to himself, "Well, shit, I did do a pretty good job." End of story. No Bird. That, to me, is an absolute tragedy. But that's just what the world wants now. People wonder why jazz is dying."

Tl;dr: This really is a strong quote. An ignorant artist will flame back at their critic, but an insightful artist will take it in.

With that said, let's dive into how to actually take in CnC.

3.1: YOU are NOT the next big thing.
As much as we all want to believe it, it's not true. Talent doesn't exist, it's worked for. Some just work faster than others. With this said...

3.1.2: Understand there is work to be improved on.

Art is never finished, only abandoned
-Leonardo Da Vinci

By thinking you/your art is perfect, you're essentially saying "I refuse to work any more because I believe it's up to my standard". Everyone's work is far from perfect.

If we were to make a 500x500 piece of work, that'll mean there's a total of 62,500,000,000 outcomes possible mathematically. We define perfect as having all required elements, qualities and characteristics in one piece, so therefore only one piece can be "perfect". With this in mind, you have a 1.6E-11% (really really really small) chance of producing the PERFECT 500x500 piece.

Keeping in mind, that's just 500x500 pixels.

3.2: Know what works with you
If you were to build a ship and replace all the parts of it, from sail, mast and hull, is it the same ship? This is the paradox of Theseus' Ship, and it applies to art work. If you kept on listening to everyone and conformed to their opinions, what's special about your specific style? The only special thing is being a mashup of a bunch of different people's opinions.

Know what works in your piece or style. It's what keeps you from looking like a generic artist.

click my sig for a great time (WIP)
im smoking weed out of a pussy filled with money i like this

Last edited by WorldEater; Oct 28, 2017 at 02:41 PM..
Nagato is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 29, 2016   #2
3rd Dan Black Belt
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 2,208

Great tutorial! I sometimes feel bad myself because i gave bad cnc :X probably because im specialized into 3D art and not fully into texture making.

Do you think it is okay to have other opinions then the critique giver?
Fluxorious is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 29, 2016   #3
chicken nuggets
2nd Dan Black Belt
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 3,012

Originally Posted by Fluxorious View Post
Great tutorial! I sometimes feel bad myself because i gave bad cnc :X probably because im specialized into 3D art and not fully into texture making.

Do you think it is okay to have other opinions then the critique giver?

It's always good to have other opinions. Artists need to find a way to take in criticism and defend their points as well. If they don't their work will be like Theseus' Ship.

click my sig for a great time (WIP)
im smoking weed out of a pussy filled with money i like this
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