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The Dark Arts

i don't feel like crying

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hi desiree! i'm mafee, it's nice to meet you! i wanted to come squee your graphics with you because you have such a stunning style. honestly, your gallery is filled with such beautiful work, it's really hard to pick a favourite. i hope i can see more of your work around soon! :loves:

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Hi Desiree, I'm here with your spring critique.


First, I wanted to say how much I am in love with your icons. They are absolutely stunning. I especially love +this set. Your icons seem to be your strongest graphic within your gallery contrary to what you said in the form. I feel that you have a great grasp on composition here as you use different cuts and your icons are cohesive and work as a set.


Weak Points


It is defined as: the way that people or things are arranged in a painting or photograph. I've always believed it to also mean how well things work together within a graphic. I often find some days you will have good days and bad days regarding composition but it is all about the process. From looking at your gallery I think you have a good grasp of composition but I feel as if you are sticking to your comfort zone. In your signatures there is a constant theme of your models being placed in similar positions on the graphic. Composition also comes down to where the focal point is on your graphics, for instance, with +this graphic my eye is wandering all over the place due to the subtext on either side. Next time you make any graphic I want you to consider the golden spiral, a tool to help you see where the focus point on your graphic is, by doing this your compositions should start to come together. You have a great eye for making everything work within a graphic, by that I mean your font colour choices fit in with your graphics, creating that cohesiveness which drives composition. I just think that with more practise your composition skills will get better.


In terms of graphics being too simple or too cluttered, I definitely think this is an issue for example, +this could be classed as minimalistic and +this could be classed as too cluttered. There needs to be a fine balance between the two. Cluttered can mean many things from too much text, too many people or too much going on in the background. I think if you delved out of your comfort zone a little bit every now and again you will eventually find that fine balance in your composition. With your icons I think the sets you currently have in your gallery look fine to me as I believe that icons should be treated like any other graphic. With +this set the only icon looking cluttered is the bottom right one which has a lot of text on. Text on icons should be kept to a minimum. Finding the happy medium is tricky but like with anything it comes with time. I found the happy medium when I tried to experiment back in the day, I tried to get out of my comfort zone. I used to think piling everything on to a graphic it would all work but most of the time it never did. Slowly I began to see what was enough on a graphic or what was not enough. A way around this is to use multiple textures in a graphic, experiment a little with layer modes or various texture styles, and the same with stock, try placing them so you create a background, middle ground and a foreground. Eventually you will get there.


Image Quality

It will always play a big part in the overall look and quality of your graphic. Unfortunately filtering and colouring can often lower the quality of some images but there are ways around it. One way is to always use high quality images especially of models. This can be done through finding a good high quality images website or searching around on deviantart for HQ image packs or pngs of models such as +this or +this. What I would suggest is trialing out your colouring and filtering methods on a HQ image, doing it step by step will help you to understand which step might be affecting the image quality. For example, the image quality on +this icon set is slightly pixelated but it is hard to tell if colouring and filtering is causing it. I know with icons sizing something smaller than it should be reduces the quality but with a HQ image they have a higher number of pixels so if they were sized smaller the quality should stay the same. Another way would be to slightly change the way you colour or filter your graphics. It cannot hurt to change it up every now and again especially if you want to improve image quality. It is also a good tip to download high quality textures and stock as well. Another factor playing a role in image quality in your graphics could be the resolution settings when you create a graphic. For mine it is always set at 72 pixels per inch. 



I think text is one of your weak points too. I'm not seeing much variety in your font choices. There are ten graphics within your gallery that use a serif font, such as times new roman, mainly for the subtext. Although +these graphics have a good range of fonts which makes each of them unique. The font you choose should reflect the mood of your graphic. For example if I was creating a dark themed banner then I'd stick with cursive and serif fonts, if I am creating a bright happy banner then I would use bold, sans serif fonts. For +this graphic the text/fonts suggests it to be a sad, angsty graphic but the colours and theme of the banner suggest it to be a happy graphic, if that makes sense (it links in with your composition). To combat any issues with text I'd suggest hunting round for new fonts either on TDA or deviantart. You never know you might be inspired to try something new. Another thing with with the text in your graphics is that the lower case sub text on your banners is often hard to read especially on +this. A way to combat this is to put it all as upper case at around 8pt or lower, or try a different font such as arial or calibri. On +this graphic the sub text is competing with the large main text. The whole idea is that the main text should be the largest on the graphic and the sub text should be smaller, again creating more of a focal point.


I'd also suggest trying not to cram too much text on a graphic as it contributes to your composition feeling cluttered. Less is more as they say. You want short, sharp and punchy. For this I would suggest looking in other artists galleries to see how they do text and put that into your graphics. Here are some galleries I think may help you: +one, +two, +three, +four.


Gallery Spring Clean

Here are the graphics I think you should consider removing: +here, +here, +here, +here. I think you should consider revamping your signature and chapter image sections as they are not on the same par as some of your other graphics.


I hope this critique has helped you out. If you have any questions then please do not hesitate to PM me.


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hi desiree!


i can't believe i haven't posted on your gallery yet! your work is BEAUTIFUL. your icons are so detailed and i love the ones you did that spell out your name. so creative! i love +this banner - the composition is great and i love the simplicity of it! out of your sigs, +this one is my favorite because 1) zendaya ofc 😍 and 2) the coloring is so beautiful. you also have done a great job with creating clear focal points in your graphics.


i'm also obsessed with both your blends - the coloring on them both is just WOW and i love your unique use of textures and more graphic lines to add to the overall blend. (i also absolutely love the song that inspired the "two fingers" blend - such a great job capturing the vibe of the song too.) your vertical banners are also stunning! i have yet to figure out how to do them, but here you've done a whole bunch and they all go together beautifully as well.


i love your work & hope to see more soon! 💕

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