How does concept art benefit society?
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    How does concept art benefit society?

    I see myself working hard to obtain the proper skills needed in this field but I keep asking myself how does concept art benefit society. I plan on establishing a comfortable living after acquiring the proper skills so I guess the only way is to volunteer my time to orphanages or giving donations to reputable charities? Any other ideas on how we as concept artist or any type of artist for that matter can help society and at the same time increase their bank accounts? I like money but I also want to make contributions someday.

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    Well concept art specifically provides entertainment as well as promotes the knowledge of art and technique to another generation. As long as concept art jobs are needed, there will be artists. A little deeper and the art produced provides somewhat of a commentary for today's society. Social subconscious symbols are apparent as well as what properties are demanded by our economy ex) "Sex Sells."

    Of course a lot of concept artist do personal art on the side. That art and the by products of that art can affect society in any way the artist pleases.

    "Astronomy offers an aesthetic indulgence not duplicated in any other field. This is not an academic or hypothetical attraction and should require no apologies, for the beauty to be found in the skies has been universally appreciated for unrecorded centuries."
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    Could you imagine a world without art? I can, it'd be so boring x_X

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    *slowly leaves thread....*

    if you want to help society, dont draw.

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    You benifit society by providing a service and creating content. The content created by an artist's effort is able to inspire and grow on it's own by interacting with people in individual ways. Art has the potential to change the world, just imagine how many companies and jobs have been created because of someone being isnpired by art in one form or another.

    And your art and your time is worth money, so never feel bad for charging what you're worth. And doing art for charities is likely somethign that can be both rewarding and make you grow as an artist as well =)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arthur 'Two Sheds' View Post
    I don't know why people get so emo about making money from art. It's called working. How does it benefit society? It feeds your kids.

    If you want to change the world, go ahead. We all have grand ideas about our own superprojects. In the meantime however, get good at art so you can get a job. it's as simple as that.

    Buckweisel did say some good stuff. At the end of the day though, there's no use being a starving artist for some noble cause that never came into fruition because you refused to work for the sole purpose of making a living.
    QFT

    I used to have similar doubts. But there is no point in being a starving crusader. Art is a job, society pays good money for it so society does think it is needed. The overhelming majority of people work just to have food and home, and feed their kids, and there is NO shame in being one of them. It shows that you are upstanding citizen willing to work for your bread. U still can be a decent and worthy human being leading a worthy respectable life even if your job does not directly save the whales.

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    Q: Who interprets the divinity inherent in nature for us today? Who are our shamans? Who interprets the unseen for us?

    A: It is the function of the artist to do this. The artist is the one who communicates myth for today. But he has to be an artist who understands mythology and humanity and isn't simply a sociologist with a program for you.
    what's another good one..

    If the final goal of image is vision, then the final goal of Metaphor is Myth, which is a narrative derived from taking the figurative literally
    that quote was referring to writing, but I've always thought the potential for illustration, which is basically art with a narrative, to be a vehicle for myth-telling to be pretty high.

    anyways, I know that sounds pretentious, especially coming from an artist of extreme crappiness like me, but don't dismiss the idea right away. There's always gonna be a need for it in the world, and it can be a goal for any artist, and definitely a benefit to society...benefits aren't always material.

    And for all you rationalists out there, "divinity inherent in nature" doesn't have to be anything other than a metaphor for the human respect for, and connection with, nature.

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    Maybe you can quiet your conscience by working on edutainment titles instead of more adult titles?

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    "So long as there are artists among us the world will be posessed of an ever increasing amount of beauty."

    Don't remember who said that.

    edit: I googled the quote and the only thing that came up was when I dropped the same quote in a different thread. I dunno.

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    We are headed toward more social responsibility here. We have a month long contest coming up which will benefit Africa and I am working on some things for a cause which means a lot to the creature folks here and many of us who have appreciation for animal life and that is the problem of endangered species. We are only as good for the world as we want to be and we have far more power as artists than just to entertain. CA is growing up and I am glad to be a part of that. We have good stuff to do.

    Art has the power to change the world. It is happening. CA's fave charity Project Hope is a great example of that. Anyone who thinks art cannot change the world needs to do more research into how art has impacted culture. We can communicate and we can inspire and there are ways that can benefit all of society.


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    if you want to help the poor and disadvantaged, drawing orcs and space marines is probably not the most direct way to go about it. you could always tell yourself that you draw things that inspire people, and that can be viewed as a positive thing, i guess...

    my thing is that i've always tried to teach and share what information i've learned over the years with younger artists. i rationalize that this is the best thing a working artist can do, pass on the info and help folks who share a similar interest.

    art in general tends to be a very mastubatory profession, so i think the best way to "pay it forward" it to show other folks how to earn a living masturbating like you do..

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1986 View Post
    reigh, no artist in their right mind wants to starve, but it's more complicated than just feeding your kids. Would you feel happy making art for grand theft auto? or any other negative title? oden, thanks that's something to thing about, hamsta, indeed I plan to cater my work to titles that aren't so negative. I have a conscious and I support positive things, positive music etc...
    Simple solution: practice. The better you are the more freedom u have to get into projects that stimulate you creatively and morally. Shouldn't be that difficult.

    Don't you guys ever look at how freaked up and unfair the world is and think about how you could help, even if it's a little? Idk, I just think everybody has a responsibility to make this world a better place while we are on it. So thinking about how your career choice could help is only natural. I'm not religious but I don't believe after we die that's the end of it, just saying.
    Man, we are living on such a mountain of social injustice, that trying to imagine it all is just mind bogling, and trying not to be part of it is impossible without turning amish in the process. And there are like many ways to take care about it. You could stop using deodorants, and spent it on fresh water for poor countries. Or draw dying whales and hope somebody would care. Or draw kick ass space marines and orks, earn lots of money and use it for charity. Or draw kick ass space marines and orks, earn lots of many and use your free time for betterment of mankind. Or participate in projects where kick ass space marines and orks are metaphores and the subtext of the project expands consciousness of the users.

    Lots of ways to do it. But they all require you to learn to draw well first. All but the deodorant one, you can do that one today ;P

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1986 View Post
    reigh, no artist in their right mind wants to starve, but it's more complicated than just feeding your kids. Would you feel happy making art for grand theft auto? or any other negative title? oden, thanks that's something to thing about, hamsta, indeed I plan to cater my work to titles that aren't so negative. I have a conscious and I support positive things, positive music etc...

    Don't you guys ever look at how freaked up and unfair the world is and think about how you could help, even if it's a little? Idk, I just think everybody has a responsibility to make this world a better place while we are on it. So thinking about how your career choice could help is only natural. I'm not religious but I don't believe after we die that's the end of it, just saying.
    I think it's safe to say that 95% of the people on this board would be thrilled out of their minds at a chance to work on GTA.

    I like what you're saying though. Your big picture conscience is something most people don't have... if they did this world would be a much better place, imo.

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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYB0VW5x8fI

    Terence gives his opinion at 2:30.

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    I have a good friend who's a fine painter and a muralist and she regularly leads mural projects with street kids and community centers. It's also a good way for her to improve her visibility. So there you go. If you have never tried doing cartoony characters live for a bunch of little kids, you can try it, they often go nuts and start yelling special requests. There's plenty of stuff you can do, if I remember well, Stoph built his portfolio doing pro bono work for the salvation's army. It's not like you can be a professional art missionary and make good money doing that (in general) but artists often donate pieces to charity auctions.

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    Why does everything need to have a function, a benefit, something useful? You only live once, create beauty for the sake of itself.
    Art that helps society is prostitution, oppose it to make a contribution.

    ...I'll shut up now-

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    I think as a concept artist you have the opportunity to consider how your work impacts societal and cultural views. Entertainment art isn't created in a vacuum, and even orcs and space marines can have a subtext. (just look at Avatar)

    I know that personally, when I work, I struggle with questions like
    "what affect will the super sexed-up bra-armor-wearing warrior chick I'm drawing have on the perception of women in gaming culture?"
    or
    "what will adding 'tribal elements' to the costuming of the enemy group in the game imply within the context of a world that is still struggling with post-colonialism?"

    That doesn't mean I won't go ahead and draw the smexay warrior chick or the tribal enemies because at the end of the day, hey I'm getting paid and I have it tough too! But still....I think it's important to be aware of how the images you create rest within a larger cultural context and what the players/viewers are ultimately going to take away from the game/film.


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    The greatest benefit to society in general for having fields like concept arts, advertising, illustration, gallery art and other creative fields is to concentrate the lunatics in small isolated easily-recognized "tribal" fields that allow the normal people of the world to go about their business with less chance of infection from contact...

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1986 View Post
    Would you feel happy making art for grand theft auto? or any other negative title?
    Deliriously so. And if you wouldn't you've just added one massive blockage in your route to becoming a concept artist.

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    A good way to use your art skills to help society would be to be educational in your work. The more your work gets someone thinking the better. Most art, especially entertainment oriented, is boobs, guns, and violence. As a concept artist you are in a position to put forth a different vision of the world, one that doesn't revolve around violence perhaps but science. Or nature, or social equality and freedom.

    If you are responsible for creating the main character, it's likely to be a hormone fueled,bald-shaven grizzly muscle man. Though in theory you could make it a gay man and then as more gay main characters appear in games (not flamer media gay, just gay) homosexuality becomes more commonplace and accepted and a little social equality is served up.

    Or say you're responsible for the environment art and it takes place in an African village. Rather than generic lion king backgrounds you can show thousands of malnourished refugees lined up for some rice. And maybe it'll spark something in a young kid playing the game and they'll hop on wikipedia, get even more inspired and knowledgeable of the world at large, and after college devote their life to philanthropy.

    Though there's always business and managers and nearly everything else trying to prevent you from molding the world into a better place, everything you do can be your message or movement.

    But yeah, art can benefit society in any way you can imagine, just think out how, then do it (or at least believe in what you're doing).

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    As an artist there are lots of ways to make an impact without having to make art with a message in it(something that I find boring usually). You can give time, money or actual art for the things you care about.

    With funding for art being cut at schools donate your time and go in and talk about making concept art to kids. Art was a way out of gangs and jail for me as a kid growing up. I never went to college, art was all I had, so I never underestimate its power to change or save a life.

    I care about the environment and animals so I have shows that support things like Nature conservancy and the like, where a portion of my proceeds are donated directly to the organization. It allows people who buy from the show to get something they want and donate to a cause at the same time.

    I also donate original art to organizations for their fund raising auctions. There are allot of organizations looking for auction items for fundraising. These same organizations need help with art for logos and websites, newsletters, brochures, tshirts, fliers; there are all kinds of things that you can donate your ability for, so the organization doesn't have to pay for it.

    Like El Coro said teaching is also a good way to give something back to the community. I also donate my time with free painting demonstrations to local art communities.

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    Based on what I've studied this is what I currently believe: Overall concept art doesn't benefit society. Most concept art isn't pure art but sensationalism, a manipulation of physiological impulses through provocative images. All art embodies the ideology of the artist. The problem is the artists are too young, inexperienced, and not intelligent enough to synthesize large amounts of info. Thus the art that is produced is an incoherent mish-mash of different cultures and ideas. This chaos enters the mind of the viewer of art, producing bewilderment and a sense of being out of place within the world. For this reason it can be argued that teaching techniques to such artists does not benefit society, but can be likened to handing out weapons for madness.
    Because you 1986, and anyone similar, feel a desire for something better, it will be embodied in your art, even in the stuff you do solely for money. In the words of N.C. Wyeth "an artist must be greater than his works", the works being fragments of the self.
    Everyone's talking about "save the whales" and this kind of stuff, but there are more basic and personal problems that need to be addressed. I think one simple problem in our culture is the disconnect people have with their own bodies. A good example of videogames addressing that problem is the Wii.

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    Armando,

    that is the most uninformed, rediculous thing I've seen on this site so far. I completely disagree with your opinion. Anytime art mixes cultures it brings new light to them. Stupidity and bigotry fade in the light of experience with new things and cultures, through books and movies and games.
    The fact that I can converse with people in opther countries sitting at my computer desk only enriches experience and the free flow of ideas. This is why Fascist totalitarian regimes limit internet access and other media to their populace, they don't want them to know what is going on in the rest of the world.

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    dpaint, you completely misinterpreted what I wrote. This is the problem, the inability to correctly interpret and evaluate things. New light isn't brought by mixing cultures, but by interpreting and evaluating experiences. What I was talking about is a superficial blending of cultures: taking various images, and icons that have nothing to do with each other, and thereby creating a product which is incoherent and self-contradictory.

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    Quote Originally Posted by armando View Post
    Overall concept art doesn't benefit society.
    Entertainment is one of the most popular activities since there is a society.

    Quote Originally Posted by armando View Post
    Most concept art isn't pure art but sensationalism, a manipulation of physiological impulses through provocative images.
    What is pure art?

    Quote Originally Posted by armando View Post
    The problem is the artists are too young, inexperienced, and not intelligent enough to synthesize large amounts of info.
    I think you mixed up concept art with deviant art.

    Quote Originally Posted by armando View Post
    Everyone's talking about "save the whales" and this kind of stuff, but there are more basic and personal problems that need to be addressed.
    What does that have to do with concept art?

    Quote Originally Posted by armando View Post
    I think one simple problem in our culture is the disconnect people have with their own bodies. A good example of videogames addressing that problem is the Wii.
    There is a difference between addressing a problem and filling a hole in the market. Donuts were not invented because people are starving and wii was not created because Nintendo is concerned about your health. If you want to make sport, you should go in some fitness studio.

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    Quote Originally Posted by armando View Post
    This is the problem, the inability to correctly interpret and evaluate things. New light isn't brought by mixing cultures, but by interpreting and evaluating experiences. What I was talking about is a superficial blending of cultures: taking various images, and icons that have nothing to do with each other, and thereby creating a product which is incoherent and self-contradictory.
    where did you learn that? The cultures are mixing all the time, all over the world. Since thousands of years people try to import foreign wisdom, incorporate foreign architecture, learn and combine new technologies, art, music food.

    Having a robot chick with western armor and Japanese katana is nothing different than serving California sushi rolls, having a Chinese gate in the berlin Zoo, having Japanese business men wearing western suits instead of kimono. Cultures mix all the time, everywhere, in every aspect. Visual arts, music, food, architecture, you name it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by armando View Post
    dpaint, you completely misinterpreted what I wrote. This is the problem, the inability to correctly interpret and evaluate things. New light isn't brought by mixing cultures, but by interpreting and evaluating experiences. What I was talking about is a superficial blending of cultures: taking various images, and icons that have nothing to do with each other, and thereby creating a product which is incoherent and self-contradictory.
    New light is brought by both mixing cultures and interpreting and evaluating experiences. It's a mix between learning of the present and the past, ourselves and other people/cultures. It's not either/or, but both.
    And yes, mixing two things can turn into something that's incoherent and self-contradictory, but there are plenty of examples out there that prove that blending of cultures can go together just fine if executred properly, and even lie at the foundation of to a whole new genre of art, literature, or architecture.

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    At this time I would like to recommend Irving Copi's "Introduction to Logic".

    "Having a robot chick with western armor and Japanese katana is nothing different than serving California sushi rolls"
    These are sensations not art, they're flavor experiences. Art can be summarized as the interpretation and evaluation of life experiences, which are then transmited to the viewer. There is no interpretation on the part of someone presenting sensations. Just like there are geniuses of intellectual intelligence, there are geniuses with this what could be called "vital intelligence".
    When someone superficially takes from different cultures, they take the images without bothering with the meanings, but the meanings are still there and wind up in a state of confusion. I'm not refering to the best artists, if that isn't obvious.

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    Randis is offline ( ゚∀゚)/ ♥♥♥ おっぱい!おっぱい! Level 13 Gladiator: Retiarius
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    Art cannot be summarized; art is a universal language of expression without boundaries or rules written in stone. Trends come and go, if green and pink does not fit today, it may fit tomorrow.
    People experiment and refine all the time, feel free to combine whatever you like and express yourself in any way possible. You can paint robo chicks or glue rubbish together, paint abstract forms with your nose on a wall, as long as someone will like or hate what you do, you will communicate.
    All artists are bad at some point and that goes for any form of artistic expression.

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  47. #30
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    TASmith is offline Registered User Level 16 Gladiator: Spartacus' Retiarii
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    Concept art is an industry the helps visualize imagery for films, comics, videogames, and various other, similar projects. The extent that it contributes depends in part on what these projects are. When a large project employs a large number of artists, that helps them support their families, etc. That's a benefit. When the project is educational, helping children learn important subjects, that's a benefit. When it deals with a social issue, educating a general audience in problems, such as the film Blood Diamond, that's a benefit. When the project presents a story which may be fluff, but still fascinating, like Harry Potter, it can inspire millions of people especially children. This is a benefit. When art is used for charity work, there's a benefit.

    Armando, bear in mind that you're basing your opinions here on a definition of art you've refined with Chris Bennett and Kev Ferrera that isn't widely accepted. So using it as a basis for this argument is going to face opposition. Saying work like that of Randis isn't art, but just a flavor sensation... Personally I believe it's much more important and beneficial for society that each person can come up with their own definition for art, than for there to be one "true" definition, forced down our throats.

    There are tons of concrete ways art benefits society. Searching for some greater, ephemeral higher purpose to it all may be worthwhile, but it doesn't discount everything else that's going on. To say none of the above matters is to say the lives of the people affected don't matter.

    Last edited by TASmith; January 9th, 2010 at 04:35 PM.
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