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I am on a forum where I frequently post creative projects in progress before publishing them. I ask for constructive critique / feedback / opinions on these projects from fellow creators. Sometimes this involves me presenting multiple options for the project and I ask which option is more aesthetically pleasing or most useful. There is one person who routinely replies one of the following answers.

  1. Do whichever you like.
  2. Do whatever is easiest for you.
  3. Do whichever took you the longest/most effort to do.

How do I let this person know that I find these kinds of replies unhelpful, and frequently discouraging (especially #2 because it comes across like what I'm working on isn't worth putting effort towards).

I think that perhaps this person has decided I'm a "perfectionist" and that is a negative quality. They are thereby giving me "permission" to not "wear myself out chasing perfection". But it usually comes across more like "permission to give up/quit" more than any sort of creative encouragement. I feel deflated when this person makes these comments.

How do I politely let this person know that is how those comments are being received?

  • Hey Kamilla! What have you already considered telling this person, but haven't because you find it e.g. too impolite? To avoid answers suggesting things you already tried or considered trying, we ask questions to include what they've thought of doing, so if you could give us any clues about what or why e.g. just saying things like you explained them here would be too impolite, that'd be very helpful. – Tinkeringbell Jun 17 at 5:43
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How do I let this person know that I find these kinds of replies unhelpful?

Telling someone their feedback isn't helpful is by itself not helpful either. Unless this person is intentionally giving you bad advice (which I doubt based on the comments they made), it'd be more effective to help steer their feedback.

Something along the lines of:

  • I was looking for feedback on the color palette I used. I feel like this is maybe too dark, or am I overthinking it?
  • I'm actually interested in your personal opinion, which would you like more as an end user?
  • I'm wondering if there are any glaring mistakes that I've missed like a botched perspective or a bad shadow. If you see any, feel free to point them out.

Sometimes this involves me presenting multiple options for the project and I ask which option is more aesthetically pleasing or most useful.

You're brushing up close to the "what should I do/choose?" kind of question. StackExchange specifically disallows these questions because they're inherently subjective and personal.

I'm aware that a forum isn't as strict as StackExchange's much more rigorous format, but it can still elicit the same response that what you're asking is too subjective and what one person thinks doesn't necessarily match with either you or the end customer of your work (whether that's a paying customer or not is irrelevant).

For example, if I were writing a cartoon, asking people whether I should make something like South Park or Kim Possible is not meaningfully answerable. People may like one over the other but that really doesn't answer the question of what show you should write. That completely depends on your own skills, interests, and what you're trying to bring to which market.

especially #2 because it comes across like what I'm working on isn't worth putting effort towards

As a bit of an off-topic aside, there's two ways of looking at it:

  • If it's easier, it takes less time to achieve the same result.
  • If it's easier, you can achieve a bigger/better result in the same amount of time.

You're interpreting the first and taking indirect offense, but I can just as well argue that it's the latter, which would mean that you're being cheered on to achieve even more.

I think that perhaps this person has decided I'm a "perfectionist" and that is a negative quality. They are thereby giving me "permission" to not "wear myself out chasing perfection". But it usually comes across more like "permission to give up/quit" more than any sort of creative encouragement. I feel deflated when this person makes these comments.

I'm going to be really honest here and say that I feel like you're making a mountain out of a molehill. One sentence that could possibly be inferred to mean something you don't agree with is not the same as someone devaluing you and your entire worth as a creator.

Feeling deflated from getting negative feedback is normal. But this isn't negative feedback, it's at worst indifferent feedback, on which you seem to then be projecting the assumption of implied negativity directed at you.

If you do feel the need to respond to this to let the person know that this feedback isn't what you're looking for, then tell them just that, i.e. that you're looking for a different kind of feedback. There's nothing to gain from discussing why their feedback is or isn't bad.

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