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June 15, 2009
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How To Comment: Quick and Easy Guide to Commenting

A lot of people put hard work into deviations only to receive "Cool!" or "Neat. That's awesome." (Or the occasional "Gross...")
While all of those are nice and sweet, and it IS appreciated, it only takes one moment of your time to say something a little more, to give insight into WHY you liked it, WHY you thought it was cool, or WHY you thought it was gross. Even the negative aspects of a deviation are nice to know so you have that reference the next time you work on a piece.

You don't have to tear the deviation apart, you don't need to critique it, but by stating why you like the piece you let another person know how much you appreciate their effort. It is unfortunate when people give up when they have truly amazing potential because they feel their efforts are in vain. As a whole, it's not your problem OR fault if they choose this route, but often times, one comment can change their entire perspective!

Too often do there are deviations with less than 10 original comments, or even 5. Even worse is the fact that when you have a browse around, some pieces have about 10 or more :+fav: but absolutely no comments whatsoever. People just do a :+fav: and run. A favorite is a wonderful thing. and there are a lot of reasons why people do it. Some people want to bookmark it for future use, some people just want attention - some people just don't know what to say and favorite it because they appreciate the work. This guide will hopefully help those who have trouble leaving a comment that is a little more insightful then the usual one word responses.

What is a decent comment?</b>

A decent comment is anything, absolutely anything, other then leaving just, "Wow!" or "OMG COOL!".
Flaming, insults, spam or anything that has nothing to do with the deviation is NOT a decent comment.

A good comment can consist of three key elements that can help a deviant over time or just let them know they have done a good job.
Most often the elements that are considered are -

Technique
Effect (Impact)
Improvement


"Ah, man! This looks like they are going to start describing critique!" you may be thinking, but really, it's not anything like that at all.

By looking before commenting instead of just going right to the comment box and typing whatever you figure you are going to say, you can spot all of those elements right off the bat. Is the picture blurry, is it small, too large, is it correct in it's composition, is the depth of field good, is the focus spot on? The list here is endless if you just take a look! They also contribute to how your eventual comment will be portrayed, if you do it with more effort and feeling then just one or two words, because they create the overall effect of the deviation for you.

After assessing all of the key techniques, you can ask yourself, "What about this picture did I like?" and that's when your comment can begin.

Did it make you feel happy, sad, angry, or any emotion at all? Was there something that stood out to you more then anything else in the deviation? Has it reminded you of a moment in your life that will always stand out? The beautiful thing about other peoples work is interpretation, and your comment will eventually become how you saw the piece. In two sentences you can create an effect that would be far more helpful and decent then just saying, "Awesome.", and I assure you, by relating a story or by pointing out how much you enjoyed a particularly brilliant shade of blue, the deviant will appreciate your comment even more then you know.

Example:

"This is wonderful, the blue of the ocean in the background reminded me of the summer house I used to go to with my parents.
End sentence one.
I think you focused on your subject clearly and you got the point across rather well, it made me feel as if I were on vacation again!
End sentence two.

In two sentences we have managed to point out the ocean, the color that was most vibrant, the focus, and a personal story to go along with the comment, while enthusiastically pointing out that it made the viewer happy to see it. It was not in depth, it was not a critique, and it laid out technique and effect. In this case, the viewer had no suggestions for improvement. And that's okay!

Total estimated time to type that out - 8 seconds.

Now that's not so hard!

Adding in improvements is a personal choice. The goal of ProjectComment is not to critique the work of others, it is merely to spread a bit of joy by telling a deviant what they thought was nice about their work. Of course, I will outline, using the same comment, what it would be like to add a little improvement encouragement.

"This is wonderful, the blue of the ocean in the background reminded me of the summer house I used to go to with my parents.
End sentence one.
"I think with a closer crop you'd be able to focus more on the subject at hand, but...
End sentence two.
I think you captured everything quite clearly and you got the point across rather well, it made me feel as if I were on vacation again!
End sentence three.

Basic critique, effortless to point out what you believe might have made for a better shot, estimated time to type that out - 10 seconds.

Spelling and Grammar</b>

Understandably, there are quite a few deviants who are not English as a first language users. With that in consideration, spelling and grammar are your FRIENDS. You could type out seven paragraphs of why you liked something, but if the receiver can not understand it you're doing nobody a favor, even though you think you are.
Making a comment legible makes people appreciate your effort more then just typnig lyk dis would. There are a few ways of making yourself clearly understood.

1) See the little red lines underneath what you're typing? Most computers and browsers come with a built in spell checker these days. They are a big help when it comes to typing out your thoughts. Use them!

2) Looking at what you have typed out is another wonderful resource. Too often people will hit send and then realize they have just put gibberish onto another persons page. Deviant Art has no way of letting you remove your comment, it's nicer for both parties if you just quickly glance at what you've typed.

3) The less you use shortcuts and chat speak, the better. In the time it takes for you to type 'u' or 'ur' you could have technically spelled out the entire word. It's not really faster!

But I don't have TIME to type out a comment!</u>

Sure you do. It's not the length of the comment that makes it decent. It's what you say in it. While telling the person that you thought their deviation was cool is nice and all, an extra five seconds to say why can't hurt. Nobody would be asking you to type out a novel! The length is unimportant as long as you mean what you've said in the one or two sentences you have typed down. It takes approximately the same time to favorite as it would to type, "I like this because '....'".

I HATE THIS PIECE OF ART!</u>

One of the best examples of a BAD comment would be somebody who put all the thought into their comment that they could but it is a derogatory, cruel and useless waste of time. If you have nothing to say that would be constructive, if you're just there to create drama and start something, even if you genuinely hate what you're seeing, it's best if you just do not apply the basic steps above and back off.
Everybody approaches art differently, everyone likes different things. What may be art to you may not be art to another. I'm sure you wouldn't appreciate somebody leaving junk on your page/deviation. The best course of action here would be none at all.



Another example of a decent comment would be -

"She has the most natural smile I have seen in a long time. Literally glowing :) What a nice moment to have had the opportunity to capture, portrait photography is so very hard when it's done so often, but you managed quite nicely to get a gorgeous woman in a gorgeous moment, which makes it stand out. So vibrant and endearing :)"

Another comment on the same piece -

"cute :aww:"

Can you see the diffence in the two? One lets the artist know that you have seen something in their work, the other, while appreciative, lets the artist know nothing. The 'decent' comment was done without critique, and it pointed out a few key areas in the picture that let the creator know that he had done a good job.

Time to go!</u>

I hope that some of what I have outlined above can be applied when you comment, or when you feel the urge to just favorite and run.
I had a lot of fun writing this article, I certainly hope that I covered most of the bases.

List of Resources Used</u>

1- Deviant Guide To Good Comments

2- One Decent Comment A Day

3- Be The Change Challenge

4- No Comment?


:thumb125475192:.: Read the comments :. Stamp by Beti-KotComment Before You Favourite by BoffinbraiN

Article prepared by pullingcandy
Add a Comment:
 
:iconninated:
ninated Featured By Owner May 1, 2014  Student General Artist
I have a question... how do you know if I've commented on at least two deviations? Do I need to leave some kind of reference to the group in my comment? :)
Reply
:iconcameronkobe:
CameronKobe Featured By Owner May 1, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh hi there, friend! :wave: Yes, you should add ProjectComment or :iconprojectcomment: to your comments made on behalf of the group.
e.g. "Commented on behalf of ProjectComment"

Please also refer to the below graphic for information on submitting work to the gallery.  (This is when you inform us that you have commented on at least two deviations :))
Gallery, How to Submit by 3wyl
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:iconninated:
ninated Featured By Owner May 2, 2014  Student General Artist
oh, thanks again you are really helpful :glomp: !
Reply
:iconcameronkobe:
CameronKobe Featured By Owner May 2, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
My absolute pleasure! :tighthug:
Reply
:iconangelodellamusica:
AngeloDellaMusica Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you for sharing this with us.  It is concise and easy to read, and overall very instructive :) 
Reply
:icon3wyl:
3wyl Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
I'm glad! :)
Reply
:iconastrikos:
Astrikos Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2012   General Artist
:clap: :la:
Reply
:iconhefeigal:
hefeigal Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Hi! :wave: I featured your guide on my journal here! [link]

If you would like me to remove it, all you have to do is note me!
Reply
:icon3wyl:
3wyl Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
:hug:
Reply
:iconarisu-ami-chan:
Arisu-Ami-Chan Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
What about a lit piece? You mention art, but not lit.
Reply
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