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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
Reply
: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
:icon3wyl:
3wyl Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
There should be a few things here? [link]
Reply
:iconxxdigitalxstrikerxx:
xXDigitalxStrikerXx Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks man, that was really helpful. I usually don't know what to say. Numerous times, I have seen an amazing piece of art, but I didn't know what to comment.
Reply
:iconjburns272:
Jburns272 Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you for this helpful article.
Many times, I've seen a fantastic peice of work but hit a mental brick wall as soon as I tried to comment on it. I do feel bad when someone does something I really like but all I end up telling them is something like "great work."
Reply
:iconurus-28:
Urus-28 Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I think a good comment can also be something related with the effect of the work...
If you imagine something very different from the original idea of the author I see no reason to stay on a conventional comment structure.
I remember to have made a story on a friend account between several picture with comments, it was quite fun to do and i think very interesting =)
Reply
:icondarkicywarrioress:
DarkIcyWarrioress Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2011  Student General Artist
This guide was very useful.

I have to confess i have done both the "good constructive comments" and the "cute" ^^;
Reply
:iconlweeling:
Lweeling Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
It's an intersting project, very constructive, so thanks for all the informations =)
Reply
:iconhuskyferret493:
Huskyferret493 Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2011
Interesting article, Im the fave and run type, but after reading this I might try to comment more often. :)
Reply
:iconhatta-san:
Hatta-san Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2011
Very helpful article, especially for somebody new to dA as I am :) Thanks for taking the time to write this Although this might be a bit late!
Reply
:iconravias:
Ravias Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2011
Thanks for taking the time to write this! :) The next time I comment on someone's artwork, I can apply what I have learned from this article to my comment.
Reply
:iconkatycartoonfan3:
Katycartoonfan3 Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
i like this :) it encourages you to just go and look for some random deviations or look at your favorites and leave them a comment. i normally don't comment, but that's because i tell them what i liked about the art and why when they thank me for the faves :D
Reply
:iconpsychospin:
Psychospin Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2010   Traditional Artist
I am one of those people that fav and run, mainly because I don't kown what to say.
So from now on I will try to find something to say and leave an original comment in place of the fav (or if I really like the artwork I'll fav it too).

Thank you for sharing.
Reply
:iconaldebaranjewel:
AldebaranJewel Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2010   Digital Artist
Thank you so much for writing this. Ever since I started drawing, I've asked around for comments and/or suggestions, but almost never received any useful feedback. I had hopped that would change when I began presenting some of what I've made to Deviant Art, but for the most part, have been disappointed.

It is very good to see this sort of thing getting so much attention. Thank you again. :-)
Reply
:iconcollaterally-damaged:
Collaterally-Damaged Featured By Owner May 24, 2010   Writer
This guide has been linked in the dA Welcome Committee's reference section! [link]
Reply
:iconpullingcandy:
pullingcandy Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks I had no idea.
Reply
:iconcollaterally-damaged:
Collaterally-Damaged Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2010   Writer
:D
Reply
:iconphantatastica:
phantatastica Featured By Owner May 8, 2010   Writer
That's a nice guide indeed :D Well written, each and every word is true :nod:

My account is new, but I've got some experience with dA already.
And it is quite sad when you see, like you said, some sublime pieces of art - photography, manipulation, literature, anything - with a big number of favourites but a few comments.
I believe that a :+fav: is a compliment itself. But I believe more that a comment is much more useful and appreciated.

Instead of :+fav:, comments can move mountains and oceans.
They are powerful, they are magic.
They can help improving, seeing something with different eyes, with different emotions, with different meanings.
That's the greatness!
Finding someone that cares to tell you what s/he liked about your art, and maybe gives you some pieces of advice for even improving, it is something priceless :aww:

I agree with ~xblackxbloodxcellx that thanked you for writing about non-English speakers. I am Italian, and typing in a language that is not mine is quite difficult, as you can imagine :D still it shouldn't be a problem, or a limit, for anyone to write a comment that goes beyond "cool" or "omg". The artist could be much happier to see someone of a different country, culture, language, trying to express themselves for their art!

However, compliments to the writers :heart: :clap:
You had covered the main points for the "art of commenting", and, like you enjoyed typing it down, I had fun reading it :D
Really helpful, the examples show easily what, in a few second, a bland comment can become a surprising, little joy. That actually doesn't take so much time as someone can deem :nod:

Thank you for sharing with the dA community :heart: :excited:! Have a nice day :wave:

This took a bit more than the estimated 8 seconds, he he ;)
Reply
:iconicekler:
Icekler Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2010  Student General Artist
I find myself a decent commenter (lol, like 15 long comments a week) , but there are just some days that I can't come up with anything and it makes me feel bad about it...
Reply
:iconalexaclyne:
AlexaClyne Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2010  Hobbyist
Wow. This is really going to help me a lot. I appreciate your effort in making & putting this up!! :hug: I hope I can get the time to try this though.... (Have a busy life in school... >.>)
Reply
:iconthreehoursleep:
threehoursleep Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
I approve of this, especially the grammar and spelling part. Heck, while I critique or comment, I have two dictionary installed into Firefox and I even have a dictionary website open if I ever get lost or I now what I want to say, but I just can't remember the word. It's not that hard. :D
Reply
:iconcarostar680:
carostar680 Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2010
Wow, so interesting :D So an origional comment would be 'cute :D' or something ?
Reply
:iconpullingcandy:
pullingcandy Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
An original comment would NOT be cute - that is what we're trying to deter :)
Reply
:iconcarostar680:
carostar680 Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2010
Ah right, I get it now! Thanks!!!
Reply
:iconpullingcandy:
pullingcandy Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
:giggle: You're welcome :)
Reply
:iconthefulkrum:
TheFulkrum Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2009
nice! :thumbsup: :)




Come on, you KNEW someone would actually do that. I'm not. This is all I have to share and I thought of it one day when I was buzzed:


Faves are dA money. Comments are another artist's pat on the back. Have both and you're bloody rich as hell!

Thanks for this, although I'm not sure how much I agree with the part about grammar. Two sentences with a few misspeld words are stil better than just 'cool.

And I very strongly believe that it would deter people whose first language is not English. Their language is not our first language either. And if,

'This foto very nice. :D I like it very much. My mother house like this in [insert country]. Is baeutifull colours also. :hug:'

is the comment, I'd still be more than pleased. :)

You can throw me out of your Group now if you wish btw....:|
Reply
:iconpullingcandy:
pullingcandy Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
I didn't know this news article was floating around still - but I'd like to say this to your comment above -
I am talking about the people who don't care, mostly, when they come to you and give you three lines of hastily typed out, I just don't care, crap. And honestly I don't want that on my deviation, or my page, or in my note box, or anywhere. I sympathize with ESL folks, and I don't take any personal offense to comments like the one you stated above, but when a high school student leaves me a message 'tiped lyk dis, lul, ur work is so gud I catn beelive u hav dun dis can i sho all mah freindz plz? its so kuul' it truly makes me wonder about what the school system is doing for our children.
And this may be a little late, but nobody is going to throw you out of any groups, lol :)
Reply
:iconthefulkrum:
TheFulkrum Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2010
"nobody is going to throw you out of any groups, lol :)
"

I, know. :paranoid: :)

Yes, but would you much rather have that, gibberish than have someone leave the word 'coo'? Taking into consideration that we are referring to people leaving a more 'detailed' comment, I actually would want to know that someone thinks my work is decent enough for him/her to share with peers. And that is where I would completely agree with you about the caliber of our school system. I no longer live there so 'our' is being used loosely.

That is one crux of the issue here. In my opinion, the jargon [and spelling in this case], the kids use today really shouldn't be the issue if he/she is willing to share with us that the piece is good enough to share with his/her friends just like the fact that this sentence amongst others is probably something you would consider a terrifying run-on! :lol:

We started with, "A decent comment is anything, absolutely anything, other then leaving just, "Wow!" or "OMG COOL!"

Eh! :shrug: :)
Reply
:iconpullingcandy:
pullingcandy Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
I don't know..whereas I appreciate any comment that is given to me, the complete annihilation of the English language doesn't strike me as flattering on either side, the commenter or the person receiving the comment. I agree with you to some degree, I just believe that if they are going to leave a more detailed comment, they should pay more attention to the little red lines underneath what they are typing, and avoid the situation of having to see themselves type like that, and the artist having to read it, happen.
I completely respect ESL, though, and usually their comments are insightful and sweet, with many apologies for their spelling mistakes - I find that a teenager will usually not apologize for their bad grammar, in fact, if it's ever brought up, they will mock YOU for having GOOD grammar :o!
But no, WOW COOL or OMG! isn't something that is a terrifying run in for me. I just set out to assist some others in leaving a more detailed comment - and spell check or not, any comment that is helpful is a welcome change from the norm.
Reply
:iconthefulkrum:
TheFulkrum Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2010
"any comment that is helpful is a welcome change from the norm."
So, so very true!

*wonders whether what he just wrote was helpful* :laughing:
Reply
:iconpullingcandy:
pullingcandy Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
:giggle: So helpful ^_^
Reply
:iconthefulkrum:
TheFulkrum Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2010
:laughing:
Reply
:iconevemonsta:
EveMonsta Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2009  Hobbyist Writer
Hey, this is really helpful, and true! I hope lots more people read it and take notice! (I also used this to help write my comment here :giggle: hehe)
Reply
:iconrhapsody-duskbane:
Rhapsody-Duskbane Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2009  Student Writer
...Well, I would like to make a detailed comment, but to be honest, I can only say this: wow. This is incredible. I personally love how you added in the grammar section WITHOUT having to smack someone in the face. You should try posting more of these things; maybe one on literature.
Reply
:iconpullingcandy:
pullingcandy Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
What aspect of literature? I'll be writing more of these in the future, if you have something you'd like to see, just let me know.
Reply
:iconrhapsody-duskbane:
Rhapsody-Duskbane Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2009  Student Writer
Really, I would prefer prose, but poetry also works too.
Reply
:iconpullingcandy:
pullingcandy Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
What would you like it to outline though - commenting on it, or how to write it, or what, :giggle:
Reply
:iconrhapsody-duskbane:
Rhapsody-Duskbane Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2009  Student Writer
Hmm... I didn't think that far XD. But now that I think about it, I think that grammar help would be nice.
Reply
:iconpullingcandy:
pullingcandy Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
Alright I'll add it to my list :)
Reply
:iconrhapsody-duskbane:
Rhapsody-Duskbane Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2009  Student Writer
Awesome! Thanks!
Reply
:iconpullingcandy:
pullingcandy Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
My pleasure :)
Reply
:iconchocoboracer:
ChocoboRacer Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Very useful, I'm sure if people read this than the purpose of ProjectComment will start to be fulfilled!!
Reply
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