OP-ED: Why are We so hard on Ourselves?

Discussion in 'General Card Modeling' started by Fishcarver, Feb 17, 2007.

  1. Fishcarver

    Fishcarver Active Member

    Hi Gang:
    As a long time poster and observer on this forum (as well as a professional art instructor), I am quite curious about why we, as model builders, tend to keep pointing out our mistakes to one another?

    I am just as guilty of this as the next person, so I am not standing on any soap box here!

    Now, do not get me wrong: if the parts of a published kit do not fit as they are supposed to, then the community needs to know. So so the publishers.

    But to see modelers pointing out their mistakes, while overlooking the finer points of their model.....?

    Sure! we are all going to make mistakes. No model will ever be perfect. Every model that we build will incorporate mistakes. Mistakes are (or should be )our teaching points, and as I tell my students. "Perfect teaches nothing."

    I just toss this out for discussion and comment. I have no particular axe to grind here!! I am just interested in gathering your input!

    Regards from Canada!

  2. paper warrior

    paper warrior Member

    ya know, I never thought of that. Maybe people just aren't too optimistic.
  3. wunwinglow

    wunwinglow Active Member

    Constructive Criticism

    I would prefer constructive criticism to gushing plaudits any time. Provided I can learn from the comments I don't mind a bit if someone has anything to say. And being my own worst critic, I tend to know what I have skimped on anyway, and having someone else notice it too keeps my feet on the ground!

  4. Fishcarver

    Fishcarver Active Member

    Tim: Good to hear from you! Hope your courses are going well! I, for one, miss your regular presence on the forum!
    Regards from Canada!
  5. Art Decko

    Art Decko Member

    Is that true? Actually, from what I've seen around here, I rather picked up the opposite impression - that this forum (and probably by extension, this community) is uncommonly civil. Posted photos of even modest modeling efforts usually earn strings of warm and enouraging comments. I really admire that about this forum.
  6. Sumato

    Sumato Member

    I say critisize away! (It's gonna happen, anyhow)

    Our goals in modeling don't diverge so much as artists' do. We generally aren't trying to make a statement, or express something personal in our work. (Other than our competence) We just want to model our topics accurately and efficiently, and accepting critisim is integral to that. Fortunately, I know of no one in this industry that is paid to critique card models (yet). Here's what I observe:

    1-All of us here have strengths and weaknesses

    2-We dispense and recieve critisism on the basis of those strengths and weaknesses

    3-We need to keep it coming, in order to grow the industry and the modelers themselves

    4-We need to be adult enough to take ALL kinds of critism, in order to benefit from it. We don't have to agree with it, though.

    All of this not withstanding, I do feel there is a right and wrong way to relate observations and critisims, and I'm sure you all understand what I mean, here.
  7. Kaz

    Kaz Member

    The trouble with todays 'macro setting all singing/dancing cameras', is the faults are more than glaringly obvious, and as such those who comment know that we have already seen, and understood our errors.
    What is there left for the critic/viewer to say but
    'Its a good piece of work'
    'nice finish'
    'I like the extras you made for the wings/doors/wheels' etc etc etc
    which, while welcome, doesnt truly help the builder with their struggle.
    As Art Decko said
    And for that all I can say is thankyou.
    What, you may ask, will help the builder with their struggle? Practice, practice, and tea and cake. Oh and a few warm and welcome comments about how good the model is and what a great idea you had for the wings/wheels etc etc etc
  8. WonderWheeler

    WonderWheeler New Member

    In environmental design classes in college, they recommended that we give two compliments to every criticism. Adults can be just as sensitive to criticism as children. This doesn't make us childish. But when there are egos involved one has to be careful, and try to be well-meaning at all time.

    When people seem to denegrate their own efforts, by mentioning known faults its not necessarily bad. It can be rather endearing. It tells their contemporaries that there is a starting point for discussion, that they know it isn't perfect. That they are able to share their faults, helps immunize them from criticism for these particular faults of the model.

    If we hide all our own faults, it makes it that much harder to fix them.

    I wish I was able to give two compliments for every recommended correction in my professional work. Sometimes its difficult...
  9. cgutzmer

    cgutzmer Guest

    I kinda took the question a little differently than most I think. I think he wondered why the person that made the mistake points it out to everyone else....

    I do it to show that I am human (yeah right) actually I do it in hopes that someone can tell me how to fix said mistake or say yeah I made that mistake too (petty but it makes me feel better) ;) I do like to learn from my mistakes but unfortunately I usually need to make them a couple times heh heh
  10. rlwhitt

    rlwhitt Active Member

    Chris, I understood the question the same way, and am guilty as charged! My reasons?

    1. Apologism and humility - I'm not as good as I'd like so it's sort a self-deprecating behaviour. You know someone is thinking "that looks like ***", might as well head them off at the pass! :)

    2. Those damn macro shots! As alluded to before, the macro capable camera is a cruel assistant, and shows things looking much worse than we typically notice "in person".

    3. To aid others in seeing where the pitfalls lie. Often when we point out our failings they are coupled with an explanation of an area that is difficult to get right, or maybe a real fit/design problem.

    4. And maybe a lot of it is not wanting to appear boastful. I've surmised a lot of the reason many of us do build threads and otherwise post shots of our production is that we are creatures of our ego. We want to show our stuff, but at the same time don't want to appear TOO full of ourselves!

    Just my couple of pennies, and worth every cent!

  11. thewoodengraver

    thewoodengraver Active Member


    When I actually build a cardmodel, I am COMPLETELY amazed with myself, tiny or not. This hobby takes much more craftsmanship than many other aspects of modeling. So when I pull it off, I feel like Superman. To humble myself and show you I am not really Superman, I call attention to my mistakes.

    I do not, however, hide my mistakes with camera view or unfocused shots.
    If I make a mistake, I either fix it or show it.
    I believe with this honesty we can learn from each other.
  12. Willja67

    Willja67 Member

    I feel somewhat shallow that I enjoy the compliments so much like some have alluded to and I also don't like being perceived as boastful so if I start blowing my own horn I feel the need to show that I don't feel I'm better than anyone just felt good to have some success. Also I think being hard on ourselves is the key to improvement. If mistakes didn't bother us we'd have no drive to do better next time.
  13. diamondback

    diamondback Member

    Also, it's in the nature of the "artist" personality type to be one's own worst critic. And all of us here like to think of ourselves as card-model "artists", right?
  14. Zathros

    Zathros Guest

    I don't feel qualified to comment in this thread but I have learned so much by reading the builders own criticisms. They point out flaws that I probably would not have noticed and then learn. I think it is a personal best thing. I was harassed by my in laws for taking flying lessons when they said "They could see no possible profitable gain from it." Instaed of spending a lot of money I befriended the owner of the FBO by offering him some constructive criticism on a landing gear part he was welding. He is an A.I. and A and P. Eventually I started working on light aircraft and got 90 hours of flight time and it cost me about $300 U.S. total. For 1 year I could take a plane whenever I wanted to. Constructive criticism can be appreciated by people with open minds and leads to honest discussion which I find in abundance in this forum.
  15. sakrison

    sakrison Member

    "We learn by trial and error, not by trial and rightness.
    The way to succeed is to double your failure rate."

    --Michel Foucault, French scientist and philosopher

    "Results? Why, man, I have gotten a lot of results.
    I know several thousand things that won't work."

    -- Thomas A. Edison, inventor

    "Learn from other people's mistakes.
    You won't live long enough to make them all yourself."


    You raise an interesting question. In my own build threads and reviews, and in many others that I've read lately, there does seem to be a pretty good balance between the mistakes we make and the things we try that work out well. And to be honest, sometimes it's hard to separate the two. ("I tried that and it bombed but this worked." or "If I were building it again...") As you say, sharing our mistakes is (or certainly should be) all about sharing what we learned from them. And that is part of the fun. Which, in the end, brings us around to:

    "Life is too important to be taken seriously." --Oscar Wilde

    No worries,
  16. sakrison

    sakrison Member

    Another quick thought: One of posts in this thread said something about achieving "personal best." Amen. One of the best things about this forum is that it's like a attending a techniques class that never quits. I've learned something useful from every single build thread and review--no exceptions. Thank you all!!

  17. lizzienewell

    lizzienewell Member

    Seems about right to me. I design my own and haven't built many kits. I almost never consider a design finished. Somehow right before I get the design perfect I get interested in something else. The stuff that I'm working on are where the errors are and they are the parts I'm interested in.
  18. SCEtoAux

    SCEtoAux Member

    I took the question like Chris and Rick did.
    The reason I point out my own mistakes is to show some of the infinite number of ways something turns out. Even though we all have the same instructions and illustrations for a particular model, our skill levels and patience levels all differ. By pointing out the mistakes we make maybe someone will have a suggestion as to how to improve or it will encourage someone else to try their hand at the hobby, knowing that it does not always turn out perfect. The good folks on this site seem to all chime in with encouragement and good advice in almost all cases. I have not seen any trolls around here. There are some occasions when a regular member seems to be a bit put off for some reason, but the overall community awarness puts thing to right very quickly. Kind of a nice place to hang out.:)
  19. Fishcarver

    Fishcarver Active Member

    Gang: I am really quite happy to see that this little rhetorical post has generated such lively interest! Keep it up!

    This is a great community. I knew nothing about card modelers before I came here, and now I are one!

    There may be bad models, but there are no bad modelers, in my observation!

  20. Zathros

    Zathros Guest

    @Fishcarver, you wouldn't think so if you say me in a bathing suit :()

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