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Thread: Is it only about the stars?

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    Is it only about the stars?

    Lately I noticed something in the sketchbook section, its as if people are only interested in seeing cool concepts and cool stuff and not much interested in really going to those sketchbooks with the low 3 stars or no star, it is painful to see because the sketchbook section is about helping out each other among other things and it doesnt feel like that any more, I talk from my own experience and from many other sketchbooks i've seen of new strugling artists who are begging for some direction and comments but they get none.
    is this the fate of a forum that got so big and popular? do we have to eventually move to smaller communities to help each other and get comments on our art?

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    Yes.

    But maybe no.

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    Just a few hours ago while updating my sketchbook here I realized it's not really a sketchbook. After going through the exclusive sketchbooks and 5 star rated ones for years now, I've always felt somehow pressured to only put stuff worth dazzling others based on my current skills, when really a sketchbook is not that, it should be for you only, with no second thought of drawing with the purpose to impress.

    I avoid posting my crappy doodles that most of my real sketchbooks are overfilled with, afraid that I would be judged by those sketches.

    anyway I've been plagued by this fear for the longest time, Im really lazy about updating my thread because of this, wonder if anyone here can relate.

    Last edited by nauvice; July 23rd, 2010 at 02:09 AM.
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    Yeah. I never pay attention to the stars. I only look at the thumbnails. I have noticed popularity is a chain reaction. Things tend to get popular when they are popular. But that's just social nature, but a large page count typically brings more traffic. People that go through the hastle of posting every little scribble seem to get allot of love, because everybody wants to see growth in progress. Unfortunately I get really depressed seeing somebody study bridgeman or loomis or what ever accurately from cover to cover and it doesn't show in their personal work.

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    I dunno. I can barely keep up with the crits from a few regulars, much less a flood of people! One well-placed critique gives me enough to work on for weeks, if not months, so there's only so much that I can absorb. I don't need popularity to improve, and improvement is why I'm here, so... no, for me it's not about the stars at all. It sure is nice to have a few familiar faces, though.

    "artists who are begging for some direction and comments but they get none"
    Can you point some of them out? I can't do it regularly, but I can use some of tonight's free time to pay them visits. (If I have time to post in the Lounge, I have time to critique! )

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    People who don't get much attention shouldn't let that get to them, when their art deserves it, it will get plenty. Meanwhile and after you just keep grinding. Art being a very personal thing it's up to each to make theirs interesting to others with others' assistance and more often, without. I think CA does a lot already.

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    I never look at the star ratings either. I'd rather encourage those starting out than give ass pats.

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    I see the star system a bit differently. I don't think 3 stars means a not so good sketchbook, 3 stars is recognition, even 1 star is (although I fail to recall seeing any sketchbooks with 1 or 2 stars). I go by the thumbnails mostly.

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    I really don't want this to turn into DA part 2 but it looks like that's what's hapening.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sticks View Post
    I see the star system a bit differently. I don't think 3 stars means a not so good sketchbook, 3 stars is recognition, even 1 star is (although I fail to recall seeing any sketchbooks with 1 or 2 stars). I go by the thumbnails mostly.
    Not really, it's a rating system. 1 star means "terrible" , 2 stars means "Bad", 3 means "Average", 4 means "Good" and 5 means "Excellent". Giving beginners 1/2 stars isn't really productive, so most sketchbooks don't have any (undefined).

    As a beginner I mostly visit 5 star sketchbooks for inspiration and sketchbooks of people who visit mine. Occasionally I browse through some beginner sketchbooks, but as a novice I don't feel I have anything useful to say, especially if it doesn't show in my art.
    However, anyone who has progressed to a certain level and shows it in their art has something to share with those who haven't reached that level yet. Of course it is very inspiring to read a post from a known artists in your sketchbook.

    The bottom line is this: getting good at art is hard work and requires a lot of dedication. Most people on this board know what is required to become good and newcomers (can) find out after a short time here. There is a wealth of information not only here, but scattered throughout the Internet.
    Getting critiques is great but not a prerequisite for becoming better, especially starting out. Once you actually start getting better, better artists will notice that you're serious about it and will be more inclined to help you overcome any plateau you might have hit.

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    Yeah I got to agree with some of you, the star system can mean people only look at the ones with more stars, but at the same time those are the sketchbooks you know are going to have work in you can aspire to. I look both at starred and unstarred threads, but i wish I had more time to look at either, I never seem to have the time to browse so I do just end up looking at the first page which is a bit of shame!

    maybe organising sketchbooks into topics? or groups of topics so you know what each person is trying to specialise in?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Danny_K View Post
    is this the fate of a forum that got so big and popular?
    Yes it is.

    There is no quick fix. It isn't possible. It's the nature of people, the nature of the Internet. Just like huge colleges with large classes don't offer the singular attention to each student they could probably use, it's the same here, at CGTalk, etc. That's just the nature of the beast. It's been like that for years.

    Personally.

    I like it that way.

    Because the truth of the matter is that 90% of those starting sketchbooks, don't understand where they stand as artists, don't even REALLY understand what they want to do as an artist, and they're desperately searching for someone to pop in their book and say "You're special, you'll definitely be a concept artist. Keep posting stuff and I'll keep telling you you're awesome" so that they don't have to really think about it themselves. A lot of the fixes to these things - you can't critique them or tell them about it, they just have to discover it on their own and that's different for everyone.

    The simple truth, is that the real learning comes from inside. From your own efforts, not from some magical Internets just because you're there. Recognition in a place like this is a game. If you want it, you have to work for it. Either with badass art, or witty/meaningful posts in the lounge drawing attention to yourself, or running around commenting on as many other SB's as possible.

    If you're not looking for recognition, you're looking to improve - that's an entirely different story. If that's the case, you look at life. Life is your teacher. I'm not talking staring at naked people I'm talking experiencing - with an open mind, all the time. And if you need a mentor, find out what's really important to you, find someone you think fits those core values and understanding, and seek them out yourself - be it a PM, an email, or meeting them in person.

    What you're talking about - the only "fix" for getting the sketchbook section to focus on everyone equally, or the people who "need" it more... Well, the fix rests with us as artists. In what we choose to do, what we respond to on a large scale. But people don't want it to change. They would rather you post "Hey you're doing good keep it up, I like post #3!" than have you send them a really in-depth critique in the form of a PM. A PM doesn't bump their thread. It makes sense, all of it makes perfect sense. The ones who are potentially the most suitable to GIVE critique are busy making awesome art, making money off of it to pay their bills. They don't have the time to go around to all the 15 year old's sketchbooks individually and put a ton of thought into it. It's not possible. The few that do care enough to help - they don't go and respond to sketchbooks individually, they start places where people can seek out THEM. Mr. Delicious and the Crimson Daggers - Hannes' and Jana's paintover thread, as two examples.

    Welcome to the Internet.

    Last edited by Two Listen; July 23rd, 2010 at 11:58 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danny_K View Post
    Lately I noticed something in the sketchbook section, its as if people are only interested in seeing cool concepts and cool stuff and not much interested in really going to those sketchbooks with the low 3 stars or no star, it is painful to see because the sketchbook section is about helping out each other among other things and it doesnt feel like that any more, I talk from my own experience and from many other sketchbooks i've seen of new strugling artists who are begging for some direction and comments but they get none.
    is this the fate of a forum that got so big and popular? do we have to eventually move to smaller communities to help each other and get comments on our art?
    It's unfortunate and frustrating. I liked having a SB in the beginning because it provided equal parts encouragement and education... but lately the only person posting comments in mine is... well me.

    I think as an exercise I'm going to make it a point to comment in at least three SBs every time I visit CA. Then at least I'm doing something to change the problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Dubu View Post
    I think as an exercise I'm going to make it a point to comment in at least three SBs every time I visit CA. Then at least I'm doing something to change the problem.

    That's what I've vowed to do too, and to randomise which page I look at and pick a sb at random.

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    I have always made it my goal to comment on SB's and WIP's that get little or no feedback. I think it is important to help people out and I think this is what makes this site great. Having said that I won't comment for more than a couple of threads if people are combative with me or make excuses or ignore the advice. While I obviously don't shy away from opinions and arguments I don't need to waste my time with people who have an inflated idea of self and no ability. DA is filled with those kind of people and the crap they make.

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    Small things like stars and icons against your name for winning contests are good for moral, they dont really give you some shower of wealth and fame. Its almost like the stars you got on your work in kindergarten its an empty reward system.
    Sketchbooks that are here for popularity will die out because theyre usualy bland and uninteresting (By this I mean little girls from DA). My goal is to make an interesting sketchbook, weather others see that, comment or not or stick a star on it wont make my sketchbook any better.
    However Id like to point out what really angers me is seeing a really cool thumbnail, clicking on it and than getting artwork thats not quite up to it's thumbnails standard (sometimes not even by the same artist). Just throwing that out there.

    tl;dr (and in between the lines) Whiny teenagers will leave butt hurt by ignoring them, youre forgetting the reason why you made your sketchbook in the first place.

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    I never pay attention to the stars...I just look at the thumbnails or just click random threads.

    I recent times, my sketchbook hasn't really gotten a lot of attention but I think it's because of my absence mid way through. Or maybe I am lame? I don't know, I just keep drawing.

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    I look at about 50% starred sketchbooks, 50% non-starred sketchbooks (especially ones that have just started up). I don't comment a lot, though. I find it easier to say something about specific pieces in C&C.

    But anyway, if there's something people have to learn it's that attention doesn't come from nowhere. There's nobody here but us artists. If someone's not paying into the attention pool then they can hardly complain that their share is too small.

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    Quote Originally Posted by D.C. View Post
    Not really, it's a rating system. 1 star means "terrible" , 2 stars means "Bad", 3 means "Average", 4 means "Good" and 5 means "Excellent". Giving beginners 1/2 stars isn't really productive, so most sketchbooks don't have any (undefined).
    Is it really? Then it's pretty inconsistent because (4 and 5 star sketchbooks excluded) the number of stars quite often doesn't really have much to do with the actual quality of the sketchbook.

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    While critique should be a part of each and every subforum related to art on this site in some form (i.e. no back pats)...the Sketchbook section isn't specifically the crit section. It's the sketchbook. And if someone wants crits, I think they should put it in the crit section.

    I see the sketchbooks as a way to show off your art that you've been working on here and there that isn't totally finished. If someone feels that you did something worth commenting on (whether a positive thing you have done or mentioning something that you could improve on), they will.

    People who dwell too much on how many replies they get are always setting themselves up for misery. Again, if you have a specific project that you are working on and you are actually SEEKING out a second set of eyes, your best bet is putting in the crit section.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zwarrior View Post
    Just a few hours ago while updating my sketchbook here I realized it's not really a sketchbook. After going through the exclusive sketchbooks and 5 star rated ones for years now, I've always felt somehow pressured to only put stuff worth dazzling others based on my current skills, when really a sketchbook is not that, it should be for you only, with no second thought of drawing with the purpose to impress.

    I avoid posting my crappy doodles that most of my real sketchbooks are overfilled with, afraid that I would be judged by those sketches.

    anyway I've been plagued by this fear for the longest time, Im really lazy about updating my thread because of this, wonder if anyone here can relate.
    I feel that pressure as well and I don't even bother to show most of my sketches because I am too embaressed by them, but I guess it's like that with many artists no?

    Quote Originally Posted by SouMeng View Post
    People who don't get much attention shouldn't let that get to them, when their art deserves it, it will get plenty. Meanwhile and after you just keep grinding. Art being a very personal thing it's up to each to make theirs interesting to others with others' assistance and more often, without. I think CA does a lot already.
    I agree with the fact that you need to work hard to get some critiques but it helps especially at the beginning when you start out to get a small motivation boost and direction.

    Quote Originally Posted by Two Listen View Post
    Yes it is.

    There is no quick fix. It isn't possible. It's the nature of people, the nature of the Internet. Just like huge colleges with large classes don't offer the singular attention to each student they could probably use, it's the same here, at CGTalk, etc. That's just the nature of the beast. It's been like that for years.

    Personally.

    I like it that way.

    Because the truth of the matter is that 90% of those starting sketchbooks, don't understand where they stand as artists, don't even REALLY understand what they want to do as an artist, and they're desperately searching for someone to pop in their book and say "You're special, you'll definitely be a concept artist. Keep posting stuff and I'll keep telling you you're awesome" so that they don't have to really think about it themselves. A lot of the fixes to these things - you can't critique them or tell them about it, they just have to discover it on their own and that's different for everyone.

    The simple truth, is that the real learning comes from inside. From your own efforts, not from some magical Internets just because you're there. Recognition in a place like this is a game. If you want it, you have to work for it. Either with badass art, or witty/meaningful posts in the lounge drawing attention to yourself, or running around commenting on as many other SB's as possible.

    If you're not looking for recognition, you're looking to improve - that's an entirely different story. If that's the case, you look at life. Life is your teacher. I'm not talking staring at naked people I'm talking experiencing - with an open mind, all the time. And if you need a mentor, find out what's really important to you, find someone you think fits those core values and understanding, and seek them out yourself - be it a PM, an email, or meeting them in person.

    What you're talking about - the only "fix" for getting the sketchbook section to focus on everyone equally, or the people who "need" it more... Well, the fix rests with us as artists. In what we choose to do, what we respond to on a large scale. But people don't want it to change. They would rather you post "Hey you're doing good keep it up, I like post #3!" than have you send them a really in-depth critique in the form of a PM. A PM doesn't bump their thread. It makes sense, all of it makes perfect sense. The ones who are potentially the most suitable to GIVE critique are busy making awesome art, making money off of it to pay their bills. They don't have the time to go around to all the 15 year old's sketchbooks individually and put a ton of thought into it. It's not possible. The few that do care enough to help - they don't go and respond to sketchbooks individually, they start places where people can seek out THEM. Mr. Delicious and the Crimson Daggers - Hannes' and Jana's paintover thread, as two examples.

    Welcome to the Internet.
    Well said! it is very true that becoming an artists has a lot to do with self discovery and knowing what are your goals and then working towards that.
    I do see the pro artists enter sketchbooks once in a while and comment but I see them comment mostly on the already top 5 star sketchbooks.
    Maybe what would help new beginning artists is creating a sticky which will be called Starting out...Read this first and will explain all the things that have been already said thousands of times like: "you start out? great decide what are your goals first, start by doing studies, Anatomy, from life, values, composition etc... draw every day spend every spare moment you have to study.. stuff like that, and some links to some inspiratinal sketchbooks like Algenpflegers and Mr.delicous or Miles, or Mindcandy, so newcomers will have some sort of an easy mile stones to get started.
    It is very hard to start out and I see many young artists frustrated about that like http://conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=174439 this guy for example who actually inspired me to start this thread, he is a perfect example of you said in your post and there are many others.

    Quote Originally Posted by furiana View Post
    I dunno. I can barely keep up with the crits from a few regulars, much less a flood of people! One well-placed critique gives me enough to work on for weeks, if not months, so there's only so much that I can absorb. I don't need popularity to improve, and improvement is why I'm here, so... no, for me it's not about the stars at all. It sure is nice to have a few familiar faces, though.

    "artists who are begging for some direction and comments but they get none"
    Can you point some of them out? I can't do it regularly, but I can use some of tonight's free time to pay them visits. (If I have time to post in the Lounge, I have time to critique! )
    http://conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=174439


    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Dubu View Post
    It's unfortunate and frustrating. I liked having a SB in the beginning because it provided equal parts encouragement and education... but lately the only person posting comments in mine is... well me.

    I think as an exercise I'm going to make it a point to comment in at least three SBs every time I visit CA. Then at least I'm doing something to change the problem.
    Well done! I'm with you and that's exactly what I've been doing and when I will be working as a pro I would not hesitate to enter the beginners sketchbooks and give a push once in awhile.

    Quote Originally Posted by dpaint View Post
    I have always made it my goal to comment on SB's and WIP's that get little or no feedback. I think it is important to help people out and I think this is what makes this site great. Having said that I won't comment for more than a couple of threads if people are combative with me or make excuses or ignore the advice. While I obviously don't shy away from opinions and arguments I don't need to waste my time with people who have an inflated idea of self and no ability. DA is filled with those kind of people and the crap they make.

    The WIP section has been infected with the same desease, people go in and comment on the "Cool looking" sketch or "awesome" line work and dont bother entering the ones who really need the help and have no idea how to push their piece, I rather go to CGhub's paintover thread or to Randis wecookart.com to get some help than in the WIP section here, just my opinion though.

    I personally think the star system is very important it is true that our world is a competitive one and the stars are a way to boost motivation and it should always be like that, the point is that people don't bother helping out so much to those who have no stars and it's too bad because artists should stick together and inspire each other.

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    Not really, it's a rating system. 1 star means "terrible" , 2 stars means "Bad", 3 means "Average", 4 means "Good" and 5 means "Excellent". Giving beginners 1/2 stars isn't really productive, so most sketchbooks don't have any (undefined).
    Is it really? Then it's pretty inconsistent because (4 and 5 star sketchbooks excluded) the number of stars quite often doesn't really have much to do with the actual quality of the sketchbook.
    No kidding, a user-driven rating system on the internet is hardly an accurate gauge of anything but popularity, and popularity is not at all the same thing as quality. (Just look at the "most popular" art on DA, for god's sake...) Plus ratings are inevitably tied to the number of people who have actually seen the item in question and bothered to rate it... stuff can fall through the cracks just because it's unknown, regardless of quality.

    Hence why I tend not to pay a whole lot of attention to rating systems. Random browsing can be so much more rewarding.

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    This discussion comes up almost every year, and then it goes away.
    People who reply to discussions by saying Go Draw tend to make me want to get
    violent, but in this case it might be an appropriate comment.

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    Cheers, Danny_K! I'll see what I can do.

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    To be honest I feel now that something like sketchbook (physical, not thread) should mostly stay personal. It beacomes really powerful tool in the hand of artist when it's not meant to impress somebody. For example at old master landscape painters exhibitions I've seen some small moleskine sketchbook pages which had really messy doodles done with color pencils plus some short text. Sometimes really simple thumbnails. It didn't really show the actual skill of an artist but was more for creating visual notes to remember something observed. Sketchbook in the hand of designer can be powerful tool for working out some problems and details of a design. Maybe it's not that much impressive than full pages filled with tight pencil renderings but when this sort of intimacy is preserved, such sketchbook seems to have much more value. It used to be rare to be able to look into some artist sketchbook pages and felt a bit like privilige to me. When you decide to post every single doodle, the whole sketchbook strarts to get a little bit too formal or even phobic.
    On CA the more accurate name for sketchbook threads be something like "folders", "displays" or something like that. Place for putting together all things that you want to show. Of course it would be too late to change that now .

    Last edited by Farvus; July 23rd, 2010 at 04:58 PM.
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  35. #26
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    hmm I don't think so, I have a newbie sketchbook and back when I had the time to post in it I got a substantial amount of feedback, and by feedback I mean friendly criticism and encouragement, and I didn't even have a thumbnail.

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  36. #27
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    I've spent the last two hours catching up on people who comment in my SB, their SBs. About 30% had 4 stars and rest none. Some I just encouraged, and others I critiqued. Every SB and every artist is different and each one needs comments tailored to where they are at. Sometimes I have to look back several pages to remind myself where they were and what they were doing. When there is someone who is patently a beginner, I'll go easy until I think they need a push. When I'm harsh, it's because I think they can do better. Trust me I get the same back. Stars matter not one whit to us who are still learning as we know we have a long way to go yet.

    Its not all bad as I see a lot of considered replies in no star SBs and would like to see more. Sure the internet is tough, but so is life and artists need to get used to it.

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  37. #28
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    Maybe there should be sketchbook of the week. Pick a random sketchbook lets say over 5 pages and make it a sticky for the week so it is always on the top. Or maybe better just a random one everyday.
    Try and get people to give indept advice for that Skbook, drawovers etc. No one liners. Great work, Keep it up, Your anatomy needs work, Keep a eye on your values, Use ref, Don't rely on ref. etc. All my default comments.

    To be brutally honest i think what people give out about they are mostly guilty of doing it themself i know i am. I don't like giving crits as i don't think i am qualified. Which is strange cause i bitch about things everyday i know nothing about. Must be a art thing.

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  38. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mitze View Post
    To be brutally honest i think what people give out about they are mostly guilty of doing it themself i know i am. I don't like giving crits as i don't think i am qualified. Which is strange cause i bitch about things everyday i know nothing about. Must be a art thing.
    I hate to say this, "I'm not always right", but I do it anyway.

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  40. #30
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    I reply to everyone who says something useful in my sketchbook, in each respective sketchbooks.
    I think that's the least everyone could do in the sketchbook forums. If you just want to show off then do it in the FF forum.

    Aside from that, the majority of threads in sketchbook forum aren't maintained with new art on a regular basis. Lots of one hit wonders, lots of begging for attention, but not so much input.

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