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Every two weeks, we will be interviewing commenters and volunteers at ProjectComment, specifically revolving around their life on deviantART and, the purpose of ProjectComment, constructive comments.

We sincerely hope you enjoy reading the eightieth interview of this series with RetSamys! If you have a spare moment, feel free to :+favlove: the news article, too.

:iconprojectcomment:

Tell us a bit about yourself.
Hello everyone!
My name is Ret. I am a librarian. :bookdiva:  Well, an apprentice librarian. I work in a place of wonders (some of the people there are actually quite wondrous).
I'm a bibliophile (i.e. book freak :reading:), I enjoy animation (animate means "to make alive" - Frankenstein, anyone?), I like working with software :typerhappy: (hardware is too hard core for me - sometimes even literally, as experienced by my toes when kicking in frustration) and I consider myself an artist :painter:  (work in progress, I'm getting better at being one very slowly).

Why are you on DeviantART and what makes you stay?
I'm a big fan of the Google image search. It is a massive tool now and a few years ago, it was practically the only tool strong enough to satisfy my curiosity. No, not that kind of curiosity. It was the kind of curiosity that could (perhaps) kill Schödinger's cat with melting watches. The kind of curiosity that made Jackson Pollock look like Picasso. To be more accurate, I was into contemporary Surrealism and into abstract digital art. It was much easier to go through :+fav: Favourite folders on deviantArt. :gallery: There were people out there as crazy as I was!

Two years later, I joined deviantArt. I was super active. Which means, it took me a year to come back.

I uploaded my mediocre works - drawings edited with MS Paint (!) and German poems. For me, it was just a place to upload and manage my art. Until the juggernaut of online community took its toll on me. I learned how to use the GIMP and more art tools. I learned how to find things I'm interested in. This started with Daily Deviations and became a roller-coaster experience when I discovered Groups. And now, people comment on my deviations, I help others learning stuff, I provide services, there are challenges that keep me busy! YouTube and dA have become my two main social networks.

[D26] Alcohol by RetSamys ABC Ghastly Alphabet by RetSamys [D21] Broken World: Moon Fisher by RetSamys

What kind of feedback do you prefer and why?
In this order: comments, watches, favourites, features, Llamas. I like quantity over quality. Judge me all you like. I'm really comfortable with the way I am.

I love comments. They are pretty much universal, you can find them on any social network. And they are versatile, they range from emoticons =) to questions to thoughtful comments to walls of text :iconwalloftextplz:. The better the comment, the better my reply. I enjoy questions the most. Which surprised me a bit. I enjoy telling some fun facts about the artwork and explaining my steps towards the result.

Why do you comment?
There is no "like"  :thumbsup: button on deviantArt. =D No, seriously, most of the time, I don't want to put it into my :+fav: Favourites, but I still want to show the artist that I appreciate their work. But about 10% of my comments are (supposed to be) thoughtful and about 50% have at least some amount of feedback besides comment à la "Ugh, I like!". Another 10% are questions.

What do you always bear in mind when commenting?
I always kill with kindness. At least, I try :innocent:.
I always keep in mind that anything I write is publicly available. This means that I have to behave :grump:. I have to imagine that people could think of me the ignorant fool I am even 10 or 100 years in the future. And there's no way I will let you think that!

Rubik's Cube: How I Solve It by RetSamys Night Road animated GIF by RetSamys Snowfall animated GIF by RetSamys

What is the difference between a constructive comment and a critique in your opinion?
There shouldn't be one. A constructive comment should always contain a critique and a critique should amount to a constructive guideline.
The way I see it, a comment can be shorter than a critique. By shorter, I don't just mean the total number of words, I also mean the length of thought put into it. And the nature of a comment demands to be directed at the artist, to be specific in its objective, to be engaged with the subject at hand. In contrast, a critique is directed at the art and at other people, it shouldn't have any extra objective and it takes the subject at hand into account, but there is no interaction with it - nor is interaction with the artist expected.

What has been the best and worst experience for you in terms of comments?
The worst experience was a troll. Duh. It's a lot of work hiding all those comments with a dedicated, multi-account idiot.
The second worst was spam. It's sad that some of those bots make it to my comment section...
The best experience was a large quantity on to of my animations. One specific experience was someone wanting me to write a tutorial (which I wholeheartedly did - the tutorial is now one of my most successful deviations).

Free font: Samys Bookified Tuffy by RetSamys Tanya (tArtful) by RetSamys The Wooden Princess by RetSamys

Do you have any future plans in terms of DeviantART and such? Any ongoing projects currently?
Oh. Oh, yes, oh, yes. I do. I always have projects. Most of them end like one half of my socks... lost in my socks drawer... never to be looked at again...

However, there are a few strong ongoing ones. I challenge myself to make a new pencil sketch every day. I offer free CSS coding for Journal Skins. I am building a theme-specific group called Flying-Islands-Here. I create and participate in monthly theme challenges hosted by Dreamers-Welcome. I participate in the 52 Week Comment Challenge hosted by :iconprojectcomment:.

The biggest project is the oldest one. It kindled my creativity and inspired others. I am part of a youth group called Lese- und Schreibwerkstatt (it's German, it translates to "reading and writing workshop"), a club centred around a library (literally, the room we meet in has a children's and young adult's library as its core), reading, writing, creativity and (most importantly) fun. Two groups meet weekly and the colourful program has so much to offer!

And my future plans for dA are fame and success. And world peace. Maybe some more tutorials. And definitely more artwork. Giving as many comments as I have page views.  (I did it once. Once.)
And I really need to get back into programming so that I can make ActionScript templates and browser extensions and stuff like that. I want to get people to use my work. And maybe one more font? And... oh, so many ideas...

Can you offer any tips to commenters?
Think. Then, write. Write a lot. It will either force you to be more detailed and structured or to blather on about nothing at all. In the latter case, think more.

Is there anything else you would like to add?
I would like to thank this group for interviewing and featuring me.

Do you have questions? Any questions at all? About deviantArt, about commenting, about Journal Skins or CSS, about how I made certain deviations or even tutorials, do you need help with the GIMP, do you want to know how to make an animated GIF, do you need my opinion on something or simply need to talk to someone? Do ask. I like answering questions that are directly directed at my direction.

:boogie: Thank you RetSamys! :boogie:


For more interviews, please click here.
Join Now: #ProjectComment

We're doing it again. So if you're down for it, get down in here, 11 AM PDT/ 2 PM EDT (United States)/ 7 PM BST.  #ProjectComment

Check here for more time-zone conversions: www.timeanddate.com/worldclock… (Use New York City as a city example or EDT North America for timezone.)


_______________________________________________________

Hey everyone, this is DTKinetic reporting. I've realized that our chat events here have generally been on a random and haphazard schedule. This is mainly because my real life schedule operates the same way. With job interviews, home repairs/responsibilities, and maintaining relationships, I don't know what I'm going to be doing days in advance, so it would be much harder to commit to something online if something higher priority pops up.

:bulletpurple: So I found the solution. From now on, practically all my chat events will be held on Sundays. It's the weekend, so most people won't have to worry about work/school. I have church in the mornings and I know when I get home, so I at least have some structure in my schedule to make it a little more predictable.

:bulletblue: I will shoot for one chat event every two Sundays.

:bulletgreen: I'll update this journal announcing the time, but it will be relatively stable, around 2 PM EDT (United States) / 7 PM BST.

Okay, thanks for reading, and I hope this works out =)

:note: As a side note, if you are available on a different day/time, please let us know so that we can best accommodate you!
ProjectComment presents the community of deviantART a project that will question what it really means to be a commenter, an artist, a member of deviantART. All of these challenges relate to commenting in some shape or form, and we sincerely encourage everyone to take part! :la:

You do not have to be brilliant at writing comments and we are not asking you to perform miraculous feats. We are just looking for people willing to make a difference. It is all too easy to receive constructive comments, but giving them is equally, if not more, rewarding.



Each week, a challenge is set with the deviations of those who participated in the previous week featured in a news article. Many thanks to Ouroboros-Armageddon, OlivCater, Windklang, QBeagle, ROBOCOP603, CameronKobe for participating in Week 33!

(TFB Concept 2)  VS Dantystal S by Ouroboros-Armageddon Aoba in Ren-like Hoodie by OlivCater It's Coming Through! by QBeagle The artist's ABCAnyone can be a star
Being just what they are.
Creating all they've got inside
Don't be afraid to show their pride!
Even if nobody seems to care,
Find their way up the stair.
Go ahead - right to the top
Have no fear to make a flop!
In your heart you find it all
Joy is the key to fame's hall.




Participate in this week's comment challenge…

Constructively comment on three traditional art pieces.


:iconyaayplz:



Guidelines

:bulletblue: Once you have commented, link us to your comment in a reply to this article!
:bulletblue: The comment must be newly submitted to deviantART from today's date.
:bulletblue: Please try to include something along the lines of: "Commented on behalf of ProjectComment's 52 Week Comment Challenge" in your comment!
:bulletblue: Feel free to follow our guide on How to Comment - Pointers and Examples. If you are struggling with the concept of a constructive comment, this should help!
:bulletblue: You may do this challenge as many times as you want!

:star: Those who complete the challenge successfully will be featured in a news article, and the one who completes the most challenges successfully will win themselves a 12 Month Premium Membership. There will also be :points: given to the best efforts!

Have Fun! :love:
ProjectComment is a Group that provides Guaranteed & Constructive comments for the deviantART community.

In order to support those efforts, we encourage dedicated users to give comments too. For those who are critics, artists, or just helpful in the community, we now offer something in return for all that you do - be it helping the participants of ProjectComment, or the group itself!

This weekly article focuses on the amazing deviants in the deviantART community, who have given fantastic comments, through excerpts of those comments, artwork by the deviants themselves, and much more! Your support in :+fav: the article would be much appreciated. :heart:



Spotlight Commenters

These commenters are determined by you through Nominations (read below for more information). Each month, we will be selecting a couple of amazing commenters based on the comments we have seen in our gallery submissions and elsewhere on deviantART. Anyone on deviantART is applicable for this feature!

:iconnonecansee:, nonecansee, Hobbyist Artist
Commented on Hestia by Fukur0u.

"I may be injecting my interpretation on your execution but I know Hestia is the goddess of the hearth, and she's supposed to be the motherly type. Maybe it's your style but I think the features you have on her appears to be too young. I don't get much "motherly" feels from the depiction. I also do not understand the hood part. The warm colors of fire, coupled with the dark background, and the hood make the piece look cultish as opposed to positive propaganda for election.

Also, I hope you didn't turn in the poster with your signature in the fire =P it seems a nice idea but I think you probably should've have watermarked your signature there instead. If it's opaque like it is now, convention calls for the signature to be at a subtle location in the entire piece (like along her line art, at the corner, etc.). It's just so that the entire piece won't be disturbed or thrown off because of some random name thrown at the observer.
[...]"

Here is a selection of art created by nonecansee.
For cookiefries by nonecansee For SelenaHedgehog123 - ver 2 by nonecansee For weisshaschen - ver.2 by nonecansee
Have a browse of their Gallery!


:iconjackskarma:, jackskarma, Digital Art, Artist
Commented on Spiritual Love by Grekin.

Spiritual Love by Grekin
"#1. B&W is a good choice for your work
It's a complicate choice because the tone could erase the beauty, the feelings (exactly) that you wanna express but here : you rule
#2. The protagonist : it looks like a fight, a danse (a "ballet") or a parad
I don't know if the "male" or the "female" leads the danse but it seems that the passion could be the "commander in chief" of this intimate "round"
I think that you could create a better work because, personnaly, i should erase these black lines (on the wall) and make some "scracth / glitch" (but, this fact, i put this weird stuff inside my "stuff")...
[...]"

Here is a selection of art created by jackskarma.
Rose #6 [After Death] by jackskarma The Call [Dark Day Without Coffee] by jackskarma Beastial Beauty by jackskarma
Have a browse of their Gallery!


:iconwyntry:, Wyntry, Other, Hobbyist
Commented on Techy Trio by NeverMore-X.

Techy Trio by NeverMore-X
"Nice. When you zoom in, you really see how good this is. That shows two things, that something is out of proportion and something is lacking.
....Color. :D Your characters pop out of the background because of their color, but because of the blue hue geometric shapes surrounded by white, and that they aren't vibrant in color and saturation, it holds them back a little. (Now you might be restricted by only so many media to use to do art....and if that is the case, you can always vary the lines. Make the lines of background shapes smaller to convey distance, or just make your foreground characters line thicker. It'll help, also.)
[...]"

Here is a selection of art created by Wyntry.
Gabu-av by Wyntry Island Rock by Wyntry Panda-fish-concept1 by Wyntry
Have a browse of their Gallery!

Do you know of a potential Spotlight Commenter? If so, we take nominations. Feel free to note ProjectComment!




Comment?

Consider commenting on one or more of the below!

My Bitter Memories, Chapter 1The ash slipped off the tip of my cigarette from the involuntary shaking of my hand. Staring at the two-storey house from the footpath, I swept my eyes over the lichen and rust stained roof, the faded chimney that was still missing one of its bricks, the dirty, chipped wall paint, the vine that had overgrown its trellising by ten years and the pot plants filled to the brim with dirt. The steps a few paces from where I stood and the white, stone pots that decorated the high walls were much the same. I dropped the cigarette butt into the small collection I had started in the gutter. It was my fifth one today and it wasn’t even lunch time yet. Mandy would be disappointed.
Dad’s silhouette stood at the top of the stairs, a memory burned into my subconscious that had me lighting another tar-filled delight. I could see his cruel smile, saved only for me, as he looked down from his perch. He knew I loved Mum more than him and my siblings and that I hated it when he called me home
Visions from the void by icemaidenArt Blue by sinnelius

If you want to be in for the chance of being featured, feel free to submit to this folder!



How To Nominate


We need nominations of deviants who you think should be featured! Send us a note with the subject "Nomination" and the following information:
    :star: Name of Deviant

    :star: Links to the deviations they commented. (This is great way to give back to a user who has given you an exceptional comment!
:bulletgreen: You can suggest anyone and everyone (except yourself ;P) at any time and include as many nominations as you want in one note.
:bulletgreen: The news feature occurs once every week and all nominations will be taken into account.
:bulletgreen: If your nomination isn't featured immediately, it may still be featured in a future news article!


3wyl, posting on behalf of ProjectComment
In this journal, we introduced our project for featuring your art with 0 constructive comments. Now that plenty of awesome pieces have been submitted, thank you, and it's time to showcase them! La la la la

0 Constructive Comment Submissions

Consider commenting on these deviations constructively. Give them some love!
Heart
Note 10 images will be featured bi-weekly in the order of their submission, starting from the oldest. 

the freeze by dolphinsrock101 Audrey Hepburn by Tottaparadise Cherry Racheal by missimoinsane Moonlight Necormancy. by missimoinsane Tears of nature by ringthedeathknell 
Sail: Chapter 1"Ouch!” I cursed under my breath and pressed the bright line of blood across my thumb to my mouth.
“You’re doing it wrong,” Fendul said. He took the driftwood and my whittling knife, peeling away a thin curl of wood with a single smooth motion. “Hold it like this. You’ll stab yourself in the gut otherwise.”
“Nei. It doesn’t work that way.” I pulled the palm-sized figurine back out of his grasp.
We sat cross-legged next to each other on a rocky beach, looking out over still, turquoise water muffled by fog. Colossal hills surrounded the lake valley, their dense layer of trees barely visible against the dark sky. A dull pink glow silhouetted mountain peaks in the east.
I missed the cool, dry air of the mountains already. The forest behind us dripped with humidity. My fingers were too damp to grip the smooth bone handle of the whittling knife.
Voices drifted down the shoreline toward us. “Don’t you have somewhere to be
 (TFB Concept 1)  VS Mechanolich Soul by Ouroboros-Armageddon Acrylic Self-Portrait by KinduhSortahMaybe butterfly by dolphinsrock101  Sail: Chapter 1"Ouch!” I cursed under my breath and pressed the bright line of blood across my thumb to my mouth.
“You’re doing it wrong,” Fendul said. He took the driftwood and my whittling knife, peeling away a thin curl of wood with a single smooth motion. “Hold it like this. You’ll stab yourself in the gut otherwise.”
“Nei. It doesn’t work that way.” I pulled the palm-sized figurine back out of his grasp.
We sat cross-legged next to each other on a rocky beach, looking out over still, turquoise water muffled by fog. Colossal hills surrounded the lake valley, their dense layer of trees barely visible against the dark sky. A dull pink glow silhouetted mountain peaks in the east.
I missed the cool, dry air of the mountains already. The forest behind us dripped with humidity. My fingers were too damp to grip the smooth bone handle of the whittling knife.
Voices drifted down the shoreline toward us. “Don’t you have somewhere to be

The Second Pantheon by Ouroboros-Armageddon

Mini Constructive Comment Contest (+ Winner feature!)


La la la la

Congrats to  meaty-nosebleeds 

with this comment on Alice - Lidfox

by geek96boolean10!




Chibi Bala by meaty-nosebleeds Art Challenge #2: Winter Speedpaint (with video) by meaty-nosebleeds Chibi Kai by meaty-nosebleeds Abilene Commission by meaty-nosebleeds 
Challenge #5: give a gift (now with video) by meaty-nosebleeds


:heart:


These articles will be published on a bi-weekly basis, and the winner of each mini contest will be awarded with a feature on the next article! 
  1. First, find a deviation above that's to your liking. Or you may find one from the folder!
  2. Comment as constructively as possible on the piece. We are looking for the most constructive, and will be judging on that! 
  3. Copy the comment link once you're done, and then link it via comments section under this article. To find the URL of your comment on a deviation (or anywhere), you submit the comment, right click the time stamp, and then select copy link address. 
Happy constructive commenting! 

Have a great week,
Astrikos 

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