The future of CA.org?
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  1. #1
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    The future of CA.org?

    Let me preface this by saying I love this place, the people, what it stands for and what goes on here . This is intended as a starting point for discussion about the future of the site, particularly focusing on education, and is in no way a stab at MB or a bitch about paying for the great services MB and CA provide. If it matters, I have paid for quite a number of downloads and intend to give this composition lesson a go if I can find a good enough connection in time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Manley View Post
    WHY the new program?

    ConceptArt.Org is growing. We are building a comprehensive education plan, a HOST of new tech for the community including tools and new features, and working to make this the very best place to learn art, anywhere online. We have some new instructors coming aboard to make this happen. We are raising money for the community and major industry pros are going to be helping us do that. The new streaming tech will allow us to directly interact with students in a way not done before. There are a number of great programs planned.

    Jason
    This sounds sooooo awesome, but how much is this stuff going to cost participants? Is this $90 per session thing an indication of what is to come, or just a temporary fundraising effort?

    Here is a tentative suggestion, I'm just putting it out there so it's at least on the table and not discarded without due consideration.

    Would it be possible to provide the instructional downloads for free?

    If they were free you could put them on youtube (or something similar) and cut out your bandwidth costs for downloads. Obviously I don't know what the running costs are for the site (but I'm damned curious, can you share them?) and there are many other expenses to cover besides. I just wonder if charging for the downloads is the best way to do that?

    Some quick thoughts that have been bouncing around in my head:

    - The personal tutoring that CA seems to be leaning towards would obviously still have to be purchased
    - Reputable artists already upload tutorials for free anyway, why not encourage this even more and provide a platform where people can post, rate, discuss and promote them?
    - This is a community of thousands of artists all posting awesome work every day, much of which is unpaid practice or for fun. I know this is a delicate path to tread, but would it be possible to put this output to work in some way that would be helpful to us members and make a little dough for the community as a whole? This idea was briefly mentioned in the Castle whatever IP theft thread, in the form of making a Facebook game like that. I'm not necessarily saying that would work, but can't we think outside the box a little? Personally I'd be stoked if my 'leftover' work was doing something useful like this.
    - $90 doesn't sound like much to some people, but keep in mind that this is a global community, and not everyone uses $US. I think we should be doing our best for people who really don't have any opportunity to make a living off art otherwise.
    - If the download stuff is free, piracy becomes a moot point. You can't pirate personal lessons.

    This is all motivated by the idea that having free instructional downloads of the quality of the MB/CA ones would be of incredible, unprecedented value to the artists of the world. It would really just be an awesome step forward I believe.

    I hope this prompts some interesting and perhaps valuable discussion.

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    I don't see the DVD's ever being given away for free happening anytime soon I'm afraid. They are necessary to keep CA as accessible and free for all as possible at the moment. Maintaining such a large website and forum as CA has become simply doesn't come cheap.

    However, there are several plans and projects underway that should ensure the future growth of CA at the moment. Some of those will need funding before they can get off the ground, some are already being started as we speak. You might want to check out this thread for example:

    CA Game Design Project

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    I don't see the DVD's ever being given away for free happening anytime soon I'm afraid
    certainly not after all the pirating/torrenting thing. There are still tons of people out there taking the time to make tuts and give crits and advice that don't cost a penny though. If you haven't investigated it yet, a good place to begin: http://www.conceptart.org/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=42

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    Seriously???

    Do you know how much time and effort it takes to make this type of content? I mean I work, I teach, I paint, and on top of that I'm suppose to not sleep and make downloads for free? Wow.

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    Carl, while you're at it, could you mow my lawn?


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    The downloads are a product intended for sale. You wouldn't walk into a retail store and ask the manager to give you products off the shelf for free out of the kindness of his heart; why would MB videos be any different? I mean I know they're nice guys and all, but still. Seems like a bit of an absurd, childish request.

    Quote Originally Posted by Luke M. View Post
    - $90 doesn't sound like much to some people, but keep in mind that this is a global community, and not everyone uses $US. I think we should be doing our best for people who really don't have any opportunity to make a living off art otherwise.
    - If the download stuff is free, piracy becomes a moot point. You can't pirate personal lessons.
    -If I really want to be a biologist, do I get free biology books? If I really want to be astronaut, do I get free training? Nope. I don't. I do gopher work until I have enough money to buy proper training. Kids are spoiled by the internet; they forget how valuable information actually is.
    -If MB could afford to give videos away for free, they wouldn't care about piracy. Sooo yeah, kind of a goofy point.

    Last edited by Ian Barker; August 5th, 2009 at 07:32 PM.
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    I actually find it fairly rude to say that these should all be given away for free.
    The site in huge, and does take alot of cash to maintain. And if you've ever seen the instructor lineup they get to fly in for the workshops and see what it costs to put one on, you'd understand. The good think about the CA demos is that you actually have some sort of direct input on what gets taght and who teaches, with the instructors being so involved with the community. And the prices are more than reasonable.

    There's just no pleasing some people.

    * Help a CA artist! Visit the Constructive Critique section! *


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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Dobsky View Post
    Seriously???

    Do you know how much time and effort it takes to make this type of content? I mean I work, I teach, I paint, and on top of that I'm suppose to not sleep and make downloads for free? Wow.
    I saw someone like you on the x-files, they had implants that produced the same stuff normal people would get from sleeping. Constantly drinking coffee.
    Eyeballs half a centimeter removed from the eye socket.
    Was awesome.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elwell View Post
    Carl, while you're at it, could you mow my lawn?
    Hopefully, we could get a free tutorial vid about mowing lawns, to boot.

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    Im waiting for an El Coro facial hair grooming tut. Man that's a sexy beard.

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  18. #11
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    This isn't just a request for free tutes. It is a request for discussion on how CA is kept afloat, and what other possibilities there are to do that. It may sound naive and stupid to some, but I thought it was worth at least discussing in some detail and judging on it's own specific merits or lack thereof. Please at least give it some thought before posting.

    Yoitisi: Thanks for the game design link. With regards to the cost of running CA, what exactly is that cost? And how much is paid for by various sources of income (sponsors, downloads, merch)? Is it rude to ask for this info?

    Dave Palumbo: Thanks for the link to the tutorials section of the site, I know a lot of people don't check that out before asking questions like this. I guess I was thinking we could build on that section a little more, expand it and make it easier to use.

    Carl, Elwell: I'm sorry if that offends you. Of course it's up to the instructors themselves about these kinds of things. I intended it as a discussion, not a demand.

    Liffey: Ok, this is not a childish request. The only reasons you have put forward for not doing it is that no-one else does it. It sounds far out I know, but give the idea a chance, especially please respond to the ideas at the bottom of the post and any other possibilities there might be for alternative sources of income. I know that information is valuable, but the whole point of CA as far as I can see is making this valuable information accessible. Isn't this a continuation of that ideal?

    Interceptor: Selfish? I have paid a lot of money so far for downloads, DVD's and I went to the NZ workshop. I made that clear at the beginning of my post. If this became free that money would have been effectively donated. This isn't about getting some free stuff for myself.

    Please don't shoot this idea down without giving it any thought.

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    i would happily pay a yearly subscription fee

    i think if it was moderate, it would also help the site.
    ensuring that the members are all serious individuals, hoping to work in the industry,

    fewer jokers and whiners


    i suspect the yearly revenue would be far more substantial ....

    piracy (while always a serious problem) would be less of an issue and this would free up the powers that be to work in areas far closer to their hearts.

    moral would improve as well.

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    Why doesn't ca adopt a clean advertisement program? You can have clean unobtrusvie advertisements and with teh amount of traffic here it could potentially generate more funds than even video sales.

    Look into infolinks or even google ads. I wouldn't mind seeing one in the footer and the header. And with infolinks you barely even notice them unless you want to.

    That should help cover the costs quite a bit.

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    i think (for me ) the idea of subscription is more preferable than advertising
    simply becuase it alows the site creators to be 100% atonomous.


    even the current strategies may paint the founders into a corner,
    bowing to audience demand more than uncompromising vision.

    if the audience wants an endless stream of brush tutorials ... and it is the main source of income ...so be it, thats what they will get...

    with a subscription model, the dvds and educational content (while still a source of revenue) would be less tainted by the pressure of audience demand. leaving the authors of this content more free to teach the lessons they feel are most insightful and most absent from the rest of the internet or other sources.



    EDIT: having said that the above is in no way a criticism of the current content for purchase....just a concern for the future.)






    -

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    Quote Originally Posted by Luke M. View Post
    This is all motivated by the idea that having free instructional downloads of the quality of the MB/CA ones would be of incredible, unprecedented value to the artists of the world. It would really just be an awesome step forward I believe.

    I hope this prompts some interesting and perhaps valuable discussion.
    Quote Originally Posted by laxon View Post
    Why doesn't ca adopt a clean advertisement program? You can have clean unobtrusvie advertisements and with teh amount of traffic here it could potentially generate more funds than even video sales.

    Look into infolinks or even google ads. I wouldn't mind seeing one in the footer and the header. And with infolinks you barely even notice them unless you want to.

    That should help cover the costs quite a bit.
    Oh good. That way google can spy on you even you're not using the search engine. I like it when people think they know what they're talking about.

    Perhaps these measures aren't taken because this site, and much of the community here in, take art seriously and appreciate having adverts that at least have a strong relation to the field in general.

    It seems ungrateful for people to come in and start simply criticizing the way the site is operated without even showing real evidence of appreciation. Thank yous are great and all, but they don't pay the bills. Lets be honest how things work.

    The only thing I can really think of justifying a critique is the personal slant people put on things in the lounge; but that's what it is. It's a lounge, it's the free part of the site where everyone thinks they know what they're talking about. Debates, Michael jackson, blah blah blah. Even at that; I choose to argue points rather than say "hey, mb, I think you should do things this way. Don't take into consideration my limited or non-existent business experience, or my own lack of community engagement."

    This isn't so much and interesting topic as it as a frustrating and damn near infuriating one. I take art very seriously, I know I'm improving because I dedicate my self and set goals that are sometimes reached and can often come late. However; It pales in comparison to what others, especially the team that dedicates their time not just to bettering them but also helping others to do so, have done. I'm a little educated in business and economics, but have only so much experience. The people who run this operation have far far faaarrrrr more.

    A bit of advice. Usually, when something is free; Its not worth your time.


    Please, go doodle or something, you two.

    Last edited by GhostValkyrie; August 6th, 2009 at 03:21 AM.
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    uhh what? Were you talking to me?

    I wasn't criticizing anything, a free community still has to pay the bills. It has been clearly stated. So why not pay them with a few advertisements. People pay off their site costs all the time with such programs, thats what they are There for. If you don't like google then I am sure they can negotiate really high rate ads with software companies like Adobe and Corel. Who would love to place some high class ads on such a high hitting domain.

    And why are you worrying about google spying on you when 80% of ISP's actively monitor your packet data? [And actively sell some of it]

    I have been making websites for quite some time now, so I'd like to think I know what I am talking about.

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    Couple of answers.

    Free youtube vids will not support a site. And there are plenty of drawing vids available on youtube. (The quality of them is about what you'd expect to get for free.)

    Take a look at some how to DVDs. Any of them. From any other company, any other artist. 200 bucks and up. The low cost of the ones hear scream to me 'genuinely wanting to help people learn'.

    Google Ads tend to earn about two bucks a year. For heavily trafficked sites, it could be ten times that. So that supports - a domain name...

    I'm all down for a discussion, but do a little homework as well. (And it does sound like whining for free content.)

    There's so much information here already available for free that it boggles the mind.

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    im just gonna type on my keyboard. if i was in the usa i would have brought an MB artist in and they would type for me for free.

    Reminds me of some of those comments in the Castle Age discussion "art isn't a job so it shouldn't be payed".

    $15 - $20 a download was very cheap. Have you been to Gnoman Workshop lately? Those are about $60 a pop.

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    I have no idea where this " PLEEEEEEAAASEEEEEE, give it to us for freeeeeeeeee"- metality is coming from. Strangely enough that there is actually quite a bunch of people around who have these utterly strange wishes.

    I think the problem is that Jason and all the other guys from massive black making that awesome stuff possible are just waaaaayyyyyy to nice to us. Everyone is each others friend over here so that the wish to get all(or some of) the educational material for free seems to be a legitimate wish.

    WTF? Would you go to the next supermarket and ask the owner to give you something for free just because you waaaant it so badly?

    To come to an end: Do you guys, who make wishes like that even realize how fucking disrespectful your demands are towards the guys who make all that possible??

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    The OP has been here nearly a year and half and has only contributed to the forums 43 times. Where does he get the mentality that he's earned a right to ask for a change? Contribute to the forums more before making daft threads.

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    Hem.

    I think Jason and the rest of MB are already really hard at work trying to come up with a few different revenue streams for this site, and I'm sure that the tutorial vids will never be free, nor should they be.

    There are other ways to contribute to the site rather than spending money on it, if you're broke like me. (I have a tendency to save up all my money for the workshops and then end up broke again.) You can participate in the sponsored community activities, like Newborn was, you can volunteer around the site, help out people in the critique section, answer questions - or pose them - in the art discussion forum.

    If you want to get free content, I have to say there is tons here already! The crit section, sketchbook section, art discussion and weekly activities have enough content in them to really set you forward!

    In chow, for example, every week you get a new brief, you get access to dozen's of artist's processes and visions and even their critiques on your own work!

    The more you participate the more you are going to get out of this site and the better the site is going to be. This is the primary reason that I volunteer so much of my free time here, and I don't volunteer nearly as much as Jason and the MB guys do! All of their efforts go to the site rather than to their pockets and I think you should keep that in mind.

    Also, I only have the vaguest vaguest idea of how much this site costs, but I know it's a pretty penny more than you think it is.

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    I believe that there could be nothing better for the art community then the free exchange of quality information. Sorry if you guys disagree. I guess there's no point in debating this point further, sorry for wasting your time and getting everyone so fired up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gloominati View Post
    I have no idea where this " PLEEEEEEAAASEEEEEE, give it to us for freeeeeeeeee"- metality is coming from. Strangely enough that there is actually quite a bunch of people around who have these utterly strange wishes.

    I think the problem is that Jason and all the other guys from massive black making that awesome stuff possible are just waaaaayyyyyy to nice to us. Everyone is each others friend over here so that the wish to get all(or some of) the educational material for free seems to be a legitimate wish.

    WTF? Would you go to the next supermarket and ask the owner to give you something for free just because you waaaant it so badly?

    To come to an end: Do you guys, who make wishes like that even realize how fucking disrespectful your demands are towards the guys who make all that possible??
    It sounds like something a teenager might say.

    EDIT:
    I believe that there could be nothing better for the art community then the free exchange of quality information.
    The MB guys have been doing this for years. For them to put the information into a usable context for beginners they ought to at least get some kind of compensation (or not have to pay to make the videos). They have to eat, too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Luke M. View Post
    I believe that there could be nothing better for the art community then the free exchange of quality information.
    I don't get it. You want something that is already here 24 hours a day. You can sit at any moment and just search through threads about different aspects of art. There is tons of quality information already at your disposal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Luke M. View Post
    I believe that there could be nothing better for the art community then the free exchange of quality information.
    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/
    Threads: 146,354, Posts: 2,266,922, Members: 162,983

    Last edited by dcorc; August 6th, 2009 at 09:09 AM.
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    I really don't understand the relationship between the students and the teachers here at ca. you have both extremes on this site. On one hand you have these new people begging for FREE content which is kind of a waste of breath, and on the other you have dedicated 'yes men' that are saying jason and co. are being TOO nice and that you wish they could charge you moar?? (face palm) take this awesome inexpensive knowledge with a huge ass grin and get to drawing!

    Last edited by donm; August 6th, 2009 at 10:51 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luke M. View Post
    I believe that there could be nothing better for the art community then the free exchange of quality information. Sorry if you guys disagree. I guess there's no point in debating this point further, sorry for wasting your time and getting everyone so fired up.
    Daestwen has already made a post very similar to what I was about to say. There is already SOOOOO much free content here. If you want free, nearly everything you want to know is already here, in these threads, waiting to be read and understood in your free exchange of ideas. As far as I know, there is no mention of changing that.

    The videos and classes concentrate some of that information and present the information in another format. It's nice, absolutely, and worth the very small fees attached. Given the amount of time and effort needed to produce them, there's no way anyone should be giving them away.

    Everything you would want to know is already here for free. You also have an amazing amount of direct contact with highly skilled artists right here on the forums if you have questions or want a critique. All for free. In many ways you could save thousands of dollars in art school fees just by reading and posting on this forum. The $20-$100 services here that require payment are icing on the cake, and an incredible bargain.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jagmed View Post
    I really don't understand the relationship between the students and the teachers here at ca. you have both extremes on this site. On one hand you have these new people begging for FREE content which is kind of a waste of breathe, and on the other you have dedicated 'yes men' that are saying jason and co. are being TOO nice and that you wish they could charge you moar?? (face palm) take this awesome inexpensive knowledge with a huge ass grin and get to drawing!
    Well the "yes men" probably know what art schools charge (or hell, even other art videos) and realize that yeah, the prices here are a steal. Jason and co. could easily charge more. They keep prices down to a minimum because they really want to help people, at least that's the vibe I get. It's amazing because in a world where greed thrives, there's a real effort here to actually help people.

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  38. #29
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    All the content offered by MB is so reasonably priced that it is basically free already.

    Seriously, the downloads cost about as much as ten cups of coffee and will teach you skills that can earn you a living. The interactive lectures (which I wish I had the time to attend) offer you hours and hours of unique insight from the top guys in the industry, allowing you to ask questions without leaving the comfort of your own home, letting artists all around the globe learn from the best artists the globe has to offer.

    On top of this there are the workshops which offer artists of all skills and nationalities the chance to meet and connect, while learning immensly in the process.

    CA.org is without a doubt the best resource for artists there is, nowhere else offers anything even remotely similar, neither on content or price.

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  40. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ninjerk View Post
    It sounds like something a teenager might say.
    Maybe. Or maybe the problem is just so simple that the answer is ridiculously easy.

    There is no reason why MB should give this downloads and dvds for free. !!!NO. REASON. AT. ALL!!! (exept for generosity. I think, though,noone can buy food with that)
    For me that's just the end of discussion especially because the stuff MB offers is reallyreally and I mean REALLY cheap compared to other dvd's and downloadable videos that are on the market right now.

    So hard to understand?

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