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September 4, 2013
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SYAC - Critical Misstep by TomPreston SYAC - Critical Misstep by TomPreston
Copyright 2013 Andrew Dobson
Read the latest “So, You’re A Cartoonist” at the following link syacartoonist.com/
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***

I totally understand that this comic will probably come across as a “strawman argument,” and for that I apologize. I really am trying to avoid doing comics like this if I can help it, but this was based on by an actual discussion I had with someone recently and it was just too good to pass up.

You see, there’s been a growing trend I’ve noticed where (critics) seem to deliberately be trying to grossly misinterpret an artist’s work as a way of arguing against it. They’ll tell you that “art is open to interpretation” but then simultaneously blame the artist for not being able to render their work in a way where it couldn’t possibly be misinterpreted. The arrogance and hypocrisy is almost impressive.
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:iconleadfoot9:
I've always believed that the artist's meaning is primary, the consumer's interpretation is secondary, and whether or not the two should even be the same thing is at the discretion of the artist. Some art is beautiful precisely because the is no clear interpretation. Some art is pointless if it cannot be interpreted easily. It depends on the intention and the execution, though most comics fall decidedly near the latter end of the spectrum.

But there will always be misinterpretations of everything, art or not. All that can be done is to choose how dense of an audience it's worth your time to reach
Reply
:iconask-tdroti-manitina:
Ask-TDROTI-Manitina Apr 7, 2014  New member Hobbyist General Artist
haters gonna hate... its a tough world, im not saying this like you should just forget about it because if you do theyll just try to annoy you or anyone else more...

(if they critic you *right word critic?* theyre a hater... not a critic
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:iconalexandraalex:
AlexandraAlex Apr 1, 2014  Student Filmographer
it hurts dealing with them!!
Reply
:iconlisagreywood:
LisaGreywood Mar 9, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
If they said that verbatim, that was kinda dumb. However, if they just misinterpreted it, told you so, but had no advice for you on how to change it... then you're taking it too hard. I suspect it was somewhere in between those two scenarios though.

There will always be different interpretations of things, and a lot of them won't be what the artist intended. It's asinine to make assumptions about the artist's intentions, especially when the artist clearly states what they did/did not intend. But there's nothing wrong with pointing out different interpretations of a work. True, it's more helpful if they explain exactly why they interpreted it that way, and what you could do to make it harder to misinterpret, but I don't think they're required to be able to give that information if they want to critique you at all. Nor should they act like you owe it to them personally to make the comics easier to interpret.
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:iconygvantheshaper:
What logic is that!? That's the kind of thinking that causes black holes!
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:iconlovelydragoness:
LovelyDragoness Feb 24, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh yeah, Straw Man Argument. Gotta love it.
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:iconcynac:
Trolls Tom, they're called trolls. :D
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:iconjnsucker12:

Friends, Tom, they're my best friends


...unfortunately. -_-'

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:icondiego2528:
is the little problem with the death of the autor: that every way to see something is valid, so you are right and wrong a the same damn time
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:icondesmondbaxter:
DesmondBaxter Jan 25, 2014  Student General Artist
In the wise words of Mark Twain, "Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience."
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