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    IOW - Topic Suggestions

    Here you post what topics you would like to see in the challenge. Topics can also be PMed to me if you want your topic to be a surprise or if you're just shy.

    As for now we have yet to decide on the length of the topics/descriptions.
    We would like your thoughts on the matter.
    Do you want to see short open topics (broader leeway, allows more creativity), or longer more precise topics (more realistic in terms of commissions/work).

    Discuss!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nyctalgia View Post
    Do you want to see short open topics (broader leeway, allows more creativity), or longer more precise topics (more realistic in terms of commissions/work).
    Personally, I think broader topics work better in a competitive environment because it allows each participant to tailor the image to their personal needs/goals, and there will be more variety in the entries. But you could always switch back and forth between the two formats to keep things interesting and let people try their hand at both. (Just my 2 cents.)

    For topics, I dunno if you guys are thinking of using existing stories at all, but if you are, I would like to suggest Island of the Blue Dolphins and A Wizard of Earthsea.

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    I think switching back and forth between tight and loose discriptions would be the best really.

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    I don't think they have to be too specific, or too loose...here's some possible topics that I'm sure some artists here can really come up with something interesting, that are quite specific but can still be quite open...but I do feel like they need to have somekind of story behind it...

    Slaying the Dragon
    Building a wonder
    Soaring over the ocean
    Gladitorial Matches
    Crossing the Marshes
    Returning to the Mothership
    Alien Nursery
    Shipwrecked on planet... (whatever name you think suitable)


    Of course there's no reason why some topics can't have lengthier briefs...the more closed minded topics can be just as good as the open ones

    And I'm sure you guys can come up with some neat crossover topics with the other weeklies...for example...
    Hero of legend (for chow), Slaying the dragon (for iow)
    colony slave or slave driver (chow) building the wonder (iow)
    or herd of giant herbivorous beast ( cow) crossing the marshes (iow)

    another idea would be to actually have a story as the brief (write up or find a short story) and we'd create an illustration to go with that story, y'know as a cover or advertisement...

    just getting my initial thoughts out there, I'm sure there will be some interesting stuff going on...

    Last edited by Rob Powell; July 5th, 2011 at 09:57 AM.
    Art is not about competing against others and being better than everyone else, but it is about competing against yourself and discovering your greatest potential!

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    I think they should be pretty descriptive and have boundaries. It should also be 2-3 weeks long so you have time to really get into it.

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    Alexander burying Bucephalus

    Moses before the Burning Bush

    Aphrodite Rises from the Seafoam

    The Angel Stays Balaam's Hand

    Sketchbook Updated December 15th 2011
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    I think we should alternate between open topics and more precise ones.

    The Last Stand
    The Army Is Moving
    The Restless Deep
    An Unexpected Encounter
    The Finding Of The Ring (The Hobbit)

    Using books and mythology would be fine I think, but I would like more abstract, open themes, such as the ones used in the Daily Sketch Group.


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    Swapping between tight and loose would work.

    Ideas.
    Plagues of Egypt. (pick a plague and illustrate.)
    Your kingdom. (eg when you where younger)
    Island. (If you could take 5 things to a deserted island what would they be?)
    Colony. (past, present or future)

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    Very interesting, but such a huge topic also, this could go anywhere. I think you need a mix of both very open topics in order to keep some people interested, but also i think its important to try to keep topics and deadlines realistic, (no point practicing fine arts ceramics if your planning to be a lumberjack). As for subject matter? i think the more varied the better, gives people the chance to experiment with different techniques and subjects they wouldn't normally themselves. Also from past experiences, illustration agencies often like to see illustrators are competent in all areas of illustration before representing them.

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    Another vote for alternating between specific and open here.

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    I`m in favor of mixing it up, not too loose, not too tigh, there needs to be enough room for personal input in the image imo.

    For example, the subject David vs Goliath, can be simply a dramatic momment between a smaller character figthing a much bigger one. Not necessarily about the literal biblical characters but letting style and timeframe become a choice, as long as it represents the concept.

    Other ideas:
    The warrior`s final momments The death of the hero.
    Supernatural contact Stablishing a first contact with aliens, spirits, fairies, bigfoot?, anything supernatural.
    Loss of innocence A traumatic, coming of age, or maturing momment in the life of the character.
    Might vs Magic Sword vs sorcery, the ultimate battle between Strenght and mana.

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    I'm in favor of a mix of broad topics and specific topics - that's worked well for the POW comic cover challenges. (I've also noticed that whenever CHOW had a long stretch of really broad or really specific topics in a row I started to lose interest... When there's more variety, it's more exciting, and there's more chance that a topic will grab my interest.)

    I wouldn't mind both broad general topics mixed with, say, specific known books or stories or precisely defined themes. Trying to re-imagine a known story in a fresh way is always challenging.

    Maybe for extra challenge throw in some editorial/topical subjects? For more of a real-world experience?

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    Alright guys, seems like most people want both, which should please the ones tipping towards either.

    I'll jot down all the suggestions so far. Keep it up, peeps!

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    What I Found After Bedtime
    The Cookie Jar Runs Away
    City of Paper
    Inside the Great Oak
    The Day the Gods Came Forth
    Mobilization of the Doppelgangers
    The Great Pillow Fight
    Through the Forest of Lanterns
    The Forest Talks Back
    At the Center of the Librarian's Labyrinth
    Migration of the Air Colossi
    The One that Got Away
    Battlefield of Food
    The End of a Journey
    The Forbidden Game
    Where the Last Human Went
    The Children Conspire
    The Great Erasing of--
    [sic]
    Dinner Cooks Itself
    "Don't Turn On the Light!"
    "GAME OVER"
    The Last We Saw of Him
    The Tournament Begins!
    What I Saw Out the Window
    "Buckle your seatbelt. It'll be a ride."
    "There she stood, in her chamber of computers."
    Ritual of Sacrificial Maidens
    "Can I keep it, mom?"
    Time to Recharge
    The Priestess Descends
    The Shaman's Advice


    (I could go on. Can come up with more, if needed. )


    We don't necessarily have to stick to one kind of prompt, yeah. We could even take an excerpt from an article or story, on occasion.

    Last edited by Kuroyue; July 5th, 2011 at 04:42 PM.
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    I really like QueenGwenevere's suggestion of mixing it up with editorial illustration which we couldn't really try our hands at with any other weekly here.
    I think IOW to really stand out from the other weekly challenges should focus on storytelling (like Alexander burying Bucephalus, beautiful topic) and also branch out...
    I wouldn't see an interesting article to illustrate as a bad topic at all.

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    For more specific topics how about using just quotes from books with a brief explanation of what is happening so that people who haven't read it can still participate.

    For example:
    There was thunder in the air on the night I went to the deserted mansion atop Tempest Mountain to find the lurking fear. - H.P. Lovecraft 'The Lurking Fear'

    or:
    "Are you enjoyin' yourselves, ladies?" he asked.
    They continued to giggle and told him they were having a good time, thank you. He was older than they were, much, much older, but he was charm itself, like something from a bygone age when fine manners and courtly gestures were worth something. The barman relaxed. With someone like this in the bar, it was going to be a good evening. - Neil Gaiman, 'Anansi Boys'

    As far as more open ended topics, how about:
    One-eyed Jack goes all in
    Crossing the Rubicon
    The Mammoth Hunt
    The Call to Adventure
    Wizard's Naming Day


    The most beautiful thing we can experience is the
    mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all
    science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who
    can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe,
    is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.
    -Einstein

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    ive been reading the Dune books by frank herbert alot lately, and i would love to see anybody alses take on the subject. so i guess DUNE could be a topic?

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    I'll tenth the motion to switch around between general and specific. I believe it's more realistic to have pretty specific briefs, and it's cool to see all the different ways people portray the same scene, but it's also neat to see what everyone will come up with from just one, evocative sentence.

    My first thoughts when I heard this was getting started was that a brief would be a few-paragraphs-long excerpt from a book, covering one scene. Or a whole short story (like fairy tales).

    'Illustration' is a pretty darn broad topic though. This is like all the options of all the weekly activities rolled into one. There's all sorts of different time periods, settings, styles, etc to be considered. I guess the focus of IoW will be on getting the narrative though eh?

    There's some honest-to-goodness real art descriptions from wizards of the coast on ArtOrder, HERE.

    [Edit] NickyBeats, I think an entire book series is a bit broad of a subject don't you? Though maybe that's not what you meant.

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    Lovecraft always makes for great illustrations. Reworkings of classical fairy tales, even redesigning existing movies like Lord of the Rings etc. It would be an interesting challenge to design something that fits well into an already existing universe.

    I also vote for variety as far as descriptions go

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Corlan View Post
    NickyBeats, I think an entire book series is a bit broad of a subject don't you? Though maybe that's not what you meant.
    Not sure about a series, but it might be a cool challenge to try an occasional book cover. Take a classic book, and try to come up with one image that condenses the gestalt of it into a cover and makes people want to read it...

    (Maybe the brief contains a short synopsis of the book for those who haven't read it.)

    Actually, the first "Dune" book would be a good one for a book cover challenge...

    POW recently did Frankenstein, how about Dracula? Making a really fresh version of that would be tough.

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    Quote Originally Posted by QueenGwenevere View Post
    Not sure about a series, but it might be a cool challenge to try an occasional book cover. Take a classic book, and try to come up with one image that condenses the gestalt of it into a cover and makes people want to read it...

    (Maybe the brief contains a short synopsis of the book for those who haven't read it.)
    True, Duh. Yeah that would be cool. I guess it wouldn't really be all that broad. Not sure what I was thinking.

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    Just a quick thought, but for the realy open briefs, maybe we could just keep things realy simple, very much like 'last man standing' competitions, or with maybe one or two rules, eg; must have a certain dimentional size or shape, illustration must be suitable for children/adults, an illustration about dragons that doesnt have a dragon in, etc..

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    Oh lord, fantastic, im loving this new challenge thread!

    They all sound great, im going to sit in the dark corner and let things unfold.
    maybe chapter illustrations of these podcasts?
    (currently listening to them all again, im imagining it would fit rather snuggly into the longer challenges, but its live media, and its a live world! )

    my book o' doodles

    Interested in some Team CHOW? i'm all for it :3
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    Thumbs down

    "thanks" for acknowledging that this was an idea I personally brought up to the Mods and even asked to be the mod for this challenge of the week... "thanks to the MODs that i sent a PM with this idea who never cared to reply and still go with this idea after... thanks CA guys, makes me very very welcome at this forum... imo this is total douchbaggery going on...

    This makes me wanna say some unkind words towards MODS of ca but lets see what i get in response to this first...

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  44. #25
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    this is great! when you guys starting this up?

    couple of things...

    i really dig the idea that this would be a more long form contest. at least 2 weeks. the problem i've seen in my time running cow though is that once you get over the week length of the challenge, some people miss the deadline simply because they forgot when it was. its just a weird side effect of longer contests. not saying you shouldn't do a longer format. its just that you should expect this kind of thing to happen.

    second... just a suggestion that the first contest is for the front page rules image like all the other weeklies have. always fun when people know they can get their stuff seen on the front of these contests.

    and thirdly...a topic suggestion... the never ending story!

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    I think any topic is just fine, like in chows, also i think one week per illustration is more then enough. I think that people need to practice to work faster, think faster and to deliver quality work within 7 days. This way you will make you future client very happy. And if someone gives you two weeks, imagine what you can do with that time

    M

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  48. #27
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    Yeah I think M is on to something. These challenges are meant tohelp us push ourselves to get ready for real life deadlines. So I change my vote to sticking with the weekly time frame.

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    How about ChaseTheHedgehog learns to draw? That would be a fantastic illustration.

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    Those real WotC briefs were really enlightning. I'm not a professional so I wouldn't know of the actual demands of the business but I know I want to be able to work faster. So keeping it at a week and varying in detail of the descriptions is fine by me.

    What I haven't seen mentioned is style. I get it that most illustrators develop their own style but don't you occasionally get requests that a piece should be done in particular style? How would you feel if that was a requirement once in a while? I'm talking like every 10-20th challenge.

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    I actually really like FunnyFace's suggestion of switching up styles a little. It's a self discovery process, in my opinion, to kind of switch gears in terms of technique and design so it opens up new elements and whatnot. Like, paint in the subject of Rococo and take a spin off of there.

    But honestly, this is an illustration of the week, there shouldn't be like a set definition of what to illustrate. Anything can be illustrated, a word, phrase, song (I suggest a song illustration! How does one paint the Blue Rhapsody of my homeboy Gershwin?) and a lot of other things.

    You've got famous things like Christ (death, rebirth, passion, kiss of judas and the list goes on and on) and anything Greco-Roman myth-related (anything with the word Herakles in it)

    I really hope people like song illustration. I was thinking more along the lines of creating a duality between the music and its subject, either by genre (Impressionist music would be like, illustrate with the ideals of Impressionism), or subject matter (like the madrigal, Fair Phyllis, literally illustrate Fair Phyllis (sitting alone on top of the mountainside), or what you get out of the movement (like, what is Dvorak's 9th Symphony (New World Symphony), 4th mvt. about), or even illustrate the scene the music is from (like, illustrate the Flower Duet, which is from the opera, Lakme).

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