Just thinking out loud...
I'm toying with something that could be interesting, but only if other people think it might be, too...
After I ask the Admins for permission, I'm thinking of starting an on-going competition in the challenge area, sometime after the holidays and big competitions are over. It's going to be a bit different from what you're all used to, but it could be fun. My primary purpose, though, is to TEACH...
Most of us are here for many reasons--to get a feel for what the professionals are doing, how they do it, plain and simple inspiration, learning the problems/solutions involved in "real" work, and hopefully learning what it takes in becoming a "pro" someday ourselves...
Over the last couple of months, I've seen posts in a good many threads that rattled my cage a bit...
"This is boring."
"We only have 6 months to do this?!?"
"I hate [insert the stupidest thing that ever came out of your mouth about art]."
"So what! I'm never doing that, so why should I even care about/attempt/plan for it?"
"This subject is shitty! Can I do something I like instead?"
"Yeah, yeah, I know it sucks, but I'm tired of messin' with it..."
"I'm in...unless I get laid by [insert name or animal of your choice]!"
"Hey! Bite me! If I want want my 15th century nun wearing a bikini, I'll do it..."
"When's this due? I really don't have the time to go back to page 1 and see for myself..."
"I hate acrylics! Can I just put my water color/crayons/pablum on real thick instead?"
Many of you may see yourselves somewhere in the above probably. If you do, you're sliding down the ladder, not climbing it.
The real world doesn't revolve around you, the real world doesn't wait for you, the real world doesn't have to pay you for doing something more fun than what they requested, and the real world sure as hell isn't going to want to hear how your dog ate your final piece--coincidentally on the last day it was due.
My thought is a series of competitions that directly counter the above attitudes, with RATIONAL and varying deadlines (I won't request anything that even approaches "Need this tomorrow, Asshole!"), with subjects that range from mundane to beautiful-once-in-a-lifetime-events, possibly done in specific ways, maybe in specific media (don't panic--look-alike qualifies here), maybe something that needs some heavy-duty research, or has to fill a narrow request by a specific "client." NO extensions, NO excuses, NO slacking off...BUT...NO question will go unanswered, no matter how stupid you think it might be. The ones that know will share, and maybe we'll all learn a bit.
We will crit every piece entered. You WILL be graded by me (and any number of other/more qualified people that I can blackmail into helping), as well as your peers, and your grade WILL COUNT in the finals. The higher your accumulated grades, the closer to being in the right mind-set for a pro you become. And the results will be based on creativity, appropriateness of the solution, how well you fulfilled the request, and the actual level of finish you achieve (allowing for your age or experience). Unlike the current challenges in the Challenge section, the "most-looks-just-like-what-everybody-thinks-conceptual-art-looks-like" will often NOT be the winner. In fact, many of the assignments may not even appear to have an obvious connection to the world of the Concept Artist (Trust me--they will!).
The idea is to get used to and exposed to the real problems that exist in the real world, something that's a bit hard to do when you're still in school, or just getting started.
Any comments, opinions, questions?