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I just want to say I love Concept Art and the the appreciate all the work that you mods put out for the folks here. It's a wonderful site!
I'm learning tons. and CHOW and other "contest" are too cool
and the entries are inspiration to us wannabes.
...now for the but.
Chow #125 is a HORRIBLE concept for a challenge.
I can understand it being a real assignment for a magazine or something. But the spirit of this forum, seems to me to be, FUN SF fantasy, kind of irreverent at times and definitely many have a darker bent, but... A child sacrifice?! or "the tears before the sacrifice" that seems (IMO) just bad taste, to say the least folks.
I'm not a griper
but I had to get that said.
I have to agree with the SNL Church Lady on this one "Where did this idea come from? Satan!?!"
Last edited by revelarts; September 8th, 2008 at 08:47 PM.
I didn't take part in CHOW 125 because I can't bear the thought of a child being hurt, and to do justice to the subject I would have to have gone into a dark place where I don't want to set foot.
But, you know what? That's a bit hypocritical of me. Bad things happen to good people all the time,- children included, and it comes from mankind.
I've done some research on Sheherezade today. There are echoes of the story in the Book of Esther, which has some of the most lyrical language in the Bible; it reads like a song.
I googled Persian Women, and came across stories about Iranian women and their struggle for equality. The images are disturbing to say the least. Satan's name comes from Sheytan, a class of Jinn. Mankind seems to exceed any Sheytan in demonic possibilities......
Anyway; if I was a professional and my AD asked for a pic of sacrifice, I'd just have to put my squeamishness aside. Life isn't all fairies and rainbows, sadly.....
Chow can be hit or miss at times with topics. The idea developed out of wanting to explore the Meso-American cultures some, which were historically some of the most brutal that I am personally aware.
I do not apologize for the topic selections, for two primary reasons - I have been asked to do illustrations of all kinds over the years. As a freelancer, you always have the right to pass on a project, and CHOW is no different.
And subject wise, it is was a historical topic based on the fact that children were sacrificed, on a regular basis, in not only Meso-American cultures, but the world over. Simply because a topic is uncomfortable does not mean that it is condoned - often quite the opposite. I am a father of two children, so I completely understand the parental pang when thinking about how someone could give their child over to be sacrificed. However, I will not turn away from something merely because it is uncomfortable, especially when it is a historical topic. Had this been a fantasy or science fiction topic, I would be more inclined to say that it was in poor taste. However, in my opinion, this provides us as artists an opportunity to explore something that we otherwise would not. The movie Schindler's List was an uncomfortable topic, but I do not consider it in poor taste. I hope that people participating in CHOW can understand the similarity.
And finally, it was specified at the beginning of the topic that there was to be no gore and that the character was to be shown prior to sacrifice. We felt that that would have been over the top and against the spirit of this particular round, and CHOW itself to handle it any other way. We wanted it understood right from the start that this was to be handled with some decorum and tact, and I think that was done by everyone that took part.
CHOW is about character exploration. Sometimes this means exploring the situation and the reaction that the character may have in those situations, and portraying it convincingly. And, sometimes, CHOW is about exploring our own character, and finding out what we're ultimately comfortable with, and how well we in turn handle those topics.
All the best,
agree with your post Oregano, exept for this:
"The idea developed out of wanting to explore the Meso-American cultures some, which were historically some of the most brutal that I am personally aware."
is not my intention to start an historical/culture debate, but: definitly meso americans cultures were not the most brutal not in that time and not trough human history. sacrifice were part of them yes, but also a lot of "civilized" behavior and traditions as well science. but in any case a topic can be hard and real...in my opinion that add variety and richnes to chow challenges.
once in awhile is good to have historical and or literary characters.
thanks to the mods of this part of the forum, great work indeed.
=D Not to change the subject or anything but I thought I'd put in a nice little two cents. I've only gotten the pleasure to attempt two of the CHOWS as of yet, but I'm very happy with the decision to make more cuts and take it to the next level.
Seeing myself not succeed really kicked me into my senses and I'm happy for it! I've struggled a bit since coming here, I was very defensive at first, and now because of the CHOW's and growing in the interest of my fellow artists I'm more open and humble.
=D Keep doing what you're doing!! It can only get better from here without people underestimating something meant to challenge their artistic abilities!
Britty Brit (<-Me)
my two cents
personally I think it was well handled by the mods and the entries it wasn't the most fun assignment I have done, there was a level of darkness involved,
but it makes people think.. question our history question or provoke certain emotions we would rather not face- isn't that what art is suppose to do.
Isn't a topic like that better than say bloody thirsty warrior queen because its not a glorification of violence rather an exploration and examination of a dark part of our human nature.
"There aren't any shortcuts. You've got to dig in – study and draw the world around you. This is the only way to hone your skill and develop a style that is your own". GREG CAPULLO
I'm more comfortable in dark subjects, all these flowery ones are really pushing me! I liked the aztec one and I really want to keep participating in as many as I can to develop more knowledge of broad and different subjects I hadn't felt inclined towards.
Thanks to the organisers for putting in this effort as it's a great learning experience and, I actually hope for a few more dark subjects.
~ ~ Sketchbook of Junk ~ ~
Personally I feel a chow like #125 (the Maya Boy) is too specific, that is to say there is only so much you can do with it. this kind of topics tend to go more towards illustration than actual character design.
Im sure this can be contradicted etc, but a maya outfit is a maya outfit. A space suit on the other hand or better yet a alien bounty hunter can be just about anything, and personally I think that's the joy of a open ended subject.
Last edited by ikuru; September 14th, 2008 at 02:19 PM.
Also, fashion is always diverse, no matter what time period or place - for example, imagine someone asking for "an american 1700-2008 outfit". You'd have a little trouble, right? Civilizations like the maya didn't just pop into being and disappear within one fashion decade!
We tend to think of those things as limited because our resources are limited, but that's what imagination is for! You can be sure that every piece of clothing the Egyptians wore didn't turn up in the hieroglyphs - why assume differently for the mayans?
Character isn't just about what the character is wearing, either. Faces, builds, attitude, emotion - all these things are part of it too! If CHOW was only about clothing, we'd just go ahead and call it Fashion Design of the Week.
I suppose this is where people get confused with illustration, because an illustration requires all those things too - but a good character design needs them as well! in an activity like this, where we only have *one* image to get the character across, this sometimes ends up in illustration, because it's the best way to get everything across. If we had a whole game, animation, or tv show to get the character across, things might turn out a little differently!
Just thought that I should probably mention that I'm going to be scarce around here over the next week, and probably a couple weeks after that (if not for the whole 2.5 months!)
I graduate tomorrow (aaaggghhh) and then on Sunday I will be leaving for New Zealand.
Oreg is going to have double the work for him next week, so I expect you all to behave.
See you around!
Congratulations and have fun!
dae and oreg... If you need a hand while you are gone.... just hollar. Im around.
To see the world in a grain of sand, and a heaven in a wildflower, hold infinity in the palm of your hand, and eternity in an hour.
Oh, congrats Daestwen! Have fun!
Of course, I want to start with my thanks, and about the great job you guys are doing, and how even participating a tiny bit in this contest has made me stretch my thought processes (hooray!)
My only request right now is that some of the images are fixed on the Our Queen & her Court thread, as many of the images don't load, or appear to have broken links (particularly the earlier ones)
o...and it would be nice if more people posted in the CHOW CULTURE - a resource for character design thread, but thats not really something you guys are responsible for : 3
Thanks for all your hard work!!!
I´m new here so I don´t have much to say (anyway, lots to learn :-) especially not taking things peronaly :-) )...for me this activity is great idea and it kick´s me and makes me work and draw regularly and improve, as I hope
...thanks to D & O
Just, as I´m reading, few sugestions:
1. Is this just for profesionals? If not, I dont agree with term ""Digital Color Junkies"...if I get it right, than in that term, the only good character is that one, that came up from hundreds of sketches...someone needs it, someone see pictures and can build it up in head...
2. it would be good idea, as few people wrote before me, to make 2 final pictures - 1st classsic research/props/ortho view and 2nd "anmospheric" picture - character its environment...and some wips as now...
gothique - the ortho requirement is difficult, because when those rounds DO come up, people almost completely stop participating, even though they clamor for it to happen. There are ortho rounds periodically, and there is nothing stopping you from adding orthos to your WIP images.
And on the other count, the goal is pro work - for every participant to improve and push to achieve an image that one would expect to see in a professional working environment. Sloppy, unfinished work will never fly for getting jobs, and therefore doesn't fly in the CHOW - so color is encouraged, though not required, and more polish is always best (no pencil sketches, rendered work is preferable). It is not, however, limited to digital media - it is simply usually faster to make a digital piece than an oil painting, esp when the deadline is a week long. The media is up to you.
Rockman!: The Queen's Court is unfortunately as fixed as it's ever going to be, which is why I am such a harpy lately about using the attachment editor instead of img links. Many of those images have been lost to oblivion. When I fixed the thread initially, I pmed every single person that had won a round that didn't have an image in the thread. I heard back from maybe half. So i managed to save some, but then some told me that even *they* no longer had the image! So for the earlier rounds, I'm afraid it's a loss. As for the later rounds, if you see the words "attachment not approved", it's a glitch with the system I can't do anything about. The image is there, just isn't showing up, but hopefully they'll fix that soon.
Gothique: As Jessi said, Ortho's don't fly very well here, though we do rounds requiring them every once in a while. As for the professional question... To be honest, it totally depends. Chow is meant to inspire professional work, yes, but a round is totally dependent on it's entries. If you go back to some of the earlier rounds, you'll see what I mean. If the average ability of the people submitting entries is lower, then the bar is lowered. It's totally dependent on what we get.
Usually a chow round draws around 25-30 entries. For the last few weeks, though, we've been drawing between 60-70 a round! Not only that, but the quality (especially last round, my god) has been hitting the roof! A lot of professionals have been participating, so the bar has been set really high. I hope that people find this inspiring though, and should look at it this way:
It's kind of similar to applying to a job. Each entry in chow is a job application. Only one person gets the job. Only here, you get to see your competition and learn and grow from it, rather than just be hit with a rejection letter.
Kind of cool, huh?
Hey guys, Quick Announcement!
As you may have noticed, Oregano decided to phase himself out of Chow in early December. He isn't gone forever, he just needs a break from this place for a while. I've been running it by myself for the last few months, but boy, you guys sure aren't making it easy! The last few weeks Chow has been ridiculously popular. :]
So, I'm enlisting a small amount of official help, from someone you know very well.
Poshspice has agreed to help me out around Chow.
I will still be doing most of it, but Posh will be helping me with doing the selection for poll, as well as helping me reply to PMs and the like (I'm starting to not be able to reply to all of them).
So please say Thank You to Posh for agreeing to help out, and treat him well! :]
Daestwan, in addition to all the comments that we give each other in the CHOW, what do you think about requiring/encouraging someone for each CHOW round to do brief crits & comments on every entry? My idea was that the winner of the previous round, be given the "honor" of making comments for the next round.
I would just suggest that you do it, but I know how busy you are.
I only suggest this because I know some participants are feeling left out because their work doesn't get commented on very much. Not me of course... good heavens no.
FerrousJack: I used to give comments to everyone, and in rounds that were around 35 entries it would take me two hours. I can imagine that the people who do give comments for the latest rounds (60-75) are spending much longer than that.
I can't really require that, I'm afraid. I can't force anyone to participate in any fashion, let alone be forced to give up four hours the next week if they win this week.
I understand the problem but it's not really solvable like that.
That being said, once Posh and I hit a better stride with this, we should be able to give more detailed comments at least to everyone who doesn't get into poll.
All I can do otherwise is politely request for everyone else to comment for everyone else. :]
I understand completely Daestwan. I probably should have worded that differently anyways. I didn't mean to imply that my gripe was actually with how you are running the CHOW... I was really just trying to express how I would like to see more people make constructive comments, especially those people who are obviously so darn good. I don't really expect you to be able to enforce this. I'm getting a lot out of the forum and I appreciate the time you put into it.
I entered the Siamese Twin Mercenary Tourguide CHOW. I only got two votes including my own (regretfully). But While I was working on it I developed a good story in my head, so I wrote a script around it. I have to say it's pretty solid. Probably the best story ever written ever.
The CHOW character is only a supporting character, but my favorite one in the story.
If my comic gets picked up I'll definately donate some $krilla to C to the A dot to the org.
Arthur: I've noticed the same thing, but I'm still convinced it's harmless. The voting doesn't seem to reflect it - the better art still gets more votes, and I'm not about to ban people delving more into the character. If it gets out of hand, I'll step in, but for now I think chow has more than enough rules as it is.
Couple things you may notice happenin' around Chow:
The new winner's badges are here, and they match Cow's winner's badges! Check it out!
Also, I'm working really hard to preserve chow, but I need your help. We've lost so, so many of the [*IMG] tag entries from previous chows, and I'll like to restore them if I can. So if you entered chow, and you used an image tag, please change them to attachments!
It'd be a shame if we lost all that awesome art.
Hey, just one thing: I noticed, that the winners badges are .jpg - which don't support transparency - and the background color in the userbar is slightly brighter than the normal forum's background color. As they are now, the badges have this darker frame around them.
You might wanna change it into a .gif (as the COW badges are) or .png that support transparency or just adjust the background color, if thats possible...
Oh, thanks for the awesome work you're doing...