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Thread: Making controversial art hurt art career?

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by TinyBird View Post
    Well, it's not necessarily about how capable you are, but whether the company wants that when a parent/child Google's the artist's name and gets bombarded by images of shitting dick nipples, Pokemon fetish porn and werewolves raping little kids and whatnot that the artist also has drawn. I mean "controversial topics" can be different to different people, and more people are willing to understand if you have done work for a horror comic/game etc than if you draw rape fetish images on your free time.
    Well it's not even that. My example about muscly women would be: Would I necessarily hire Boris Vallejo for Kitties 2012 calendar or an artist that I know deals with animals like David Coleman?

    So when one says "hurt" I'm referring to people will get the person who is best for the job. I'd probably hire Noah Bradley for environments because he's very good at it. That doesn't mean that he isn't capable of Fluffy kittens for Kitties 2012 but he doesn't immediately come to mind.

    However as stated in this thread there are MANY jobs. So are you butthurt you didn't get to do the Kitties 2012 calendar, or do you have other jobs because of your skills?

    Worry about being skilled first. Most of the time when you get hired you won't have time to do all these theoretical controversial topics, unless you just focus on that. Most focus on studies to get better anyways

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    This is all very easy to resolve. If you want to make art that people find disturbing or offensive then do it and quit whining about it. Sell it online; rent a space and have a show of your work. Find an audience. Nobody is holding you back. The market will determine if your work is worthwhile or valuable. If you don't like the outcome of that then don't put it up for sale.

    Complaining that you want to do something important with your art but you can't because other people with money are so limiting and won't hire you is boring and childish.

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    Alright I think all of the possible arguments in favor of pseudonym and against have been made. I feel like things are starting to move in circles. I appreciate everyone's input, and I really am sorry about the outburst it was silly.

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    an anecdote of Darius. When he was king of Persia, he summoned the Greeks who happened to be present at his court, and asked them what they would take to eat the dead bodies of their fathers. They replied that they would not do it for any money in the world. Later, in the presence of the Greeks, and through an interpreter, so that they could understand what was said, he asked some Indians of the tribe called Callatiae, who do in fact eat their parents' dead bodies, what they would take to burn them. They uttered a cry of horror and forbade him to mention such a dreadful thing. One can see by this what custom can do.

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    As far as controvertial goes... It is overlooked, that things like watering down your portfolio and not participating in the gallery based fine art would also hurt your chances of getting certain jobs, for example - a creative position at some progressive design studio. You can't please everyone.

    Too many pen names can also be a drag, as maintaining activity and exposure on multiple fronts requires more energy.

    Though yeah, if it's furry stuff that only catters to that subculture and is irrelevant to anyone outside it, there's no need to have your actual name on it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MythrilWolf View Post
    I just wanted to make art that was brutally honest, because that's reality. It has both beautiful and disgusting things, and I wanted to write and draw stories that included all of it. Not blocked out genitals, non existent tits, or black/fake blood, or simulated sex. Not to shock people. But because that's real, that's life. And as long as the stories are targeted toward an audience that can handle the content, I dont see why I shouldnt be able to do it and also work freelance or for a company that handles more vanilla topics, or controversial topics in a very safe way.
    As one grows up they realize that not every kind of expression - yes even artistic expression, is acceptable in every aspect of society, and that people do get judgemental, and that once people are past their first impressions and have formed their judgement, it's a hard uphill battle trying to change them.

    I'm sorry if that angers or disillusions you, but that's just how life works. You can learn it now and protect yourself, or learn it by doing (also known as 'the hard way'). Ultimately, how you go about doing things in life is up to you. Just be aware that people aren't always going to react the way 'you' think they should.... so choose your risks carefully.

    For example, if one is excellent at giving blow jobs, they may not want to tell the whole world about it (lest they want to be seen as a sex worker of some sort).... even if BJ's are a good thing. Also, if you proclaim them to be 'art' they are not that likely to be any more accepted in the places where they weren't before being proclaimed art.

    Like DP said, art too is subject to social norms. Whether you agree with it or not, you do need to try to understand it, in depth.


    Quote Originally Posted by MythrilWolf View Post
    I dont see why I shouldnt be able to do it and also work freelance or for a company that handles more vanilla topics, or controversial topics in a very safe way.
    See, that's just it, it is up to the company to decide. If they find that an artist they hired is producing content that may potentially land them in hot water with customers.... they may choose to not hire that artist, because the potential risks may outweigh the benefits. The choice about that is theirs, not yours. You made the choice (or took the risk) when you decided to show the potentially controversial stuff. Sometimes taking the risk pays off, sometimes it does not. Every choice you make in life can come to haunt you later.


    Quote Originally Posted by MythrilWolf View Post
    I don't make furry porn. I asked this question because I wanted to expand my art to include issues that matter. How transgender and transexual people grow up and live in our society. What does it truly mean to be a man or a woman? That explores not only gender roles but those constantly blurred and blocked out harmful things called genitalia, that god forbid if any child sees it'll blow their fucking brains open. How kids grow into adults and learn the harsh lessons of life. Bullying, rape, sex, peer pressure, individuality, etc. The horrors experienced by people who have night terrors, which can be very graphic experiences. The complexities of mental disorders and diseases, and how they are misunderstood and treated. What soldiers experience during war and the morals involved in combat, invading another country. Religion and the many ways it can help pull people out of the darkest places in their lives or shove them into it.
    Reading this, another thing strikes me... it's is worth while to understand what is considered controversial, where and by whom. Some of the things you list here don't strike me as very controversial at all. Others... like genitals, again, not that controversial, but because of societal norms you may not want to shove them in everyone face every chance you get.

    While you have the need and interest to express certain things, other people also have the need or interest (and should be allowed a choice) to see it or not see it.

    Have you ever heard a saying "Your rights stop, where someone else's rights begin."

    Last edited by Conniekat8; October 22nd, 2011 at 01:10 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Conniekat8 View Post

    For example, if one is excellent at giving blow jobs, they may not want to tell the whole world about it (lest they want to be seen as a sex worker of some sort).... even if BJ's are a good thing. Also, if you proclaim them to be 'art' they are not that likely to be any more accepted in the places where they weren't before being proclaimed art.
    "
    Really? Thats the best artistic analogy you could come up with?

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    Quote Originally Posted by dpaint View Post
    Really? Thats the best artistic analogy you could come up with?
    Got your attention, didn't it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by dpaint View Post
    Really? Thats the best artistic analogy you could come up with?
    I think in a somewhat circuitous way you actually got my point!

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    Quote Originally Posted by dpaint View Post
    Really? Thats the best artistic analogy you could come up with?
    I've decided to use the logical fallacy card in my starter deck and now firmly believe you have something against BJ's

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arshes Nei View Post
    I've decided to use the logical fallacy card in my starter deck and now firmly believe you have something against BJ's
    I'm so going to hell for laughing at that.


    I didn't think it was possible to be called an artist when you have nothing to say. It's like being a writer who publishes individual words as books and expects to be praised for it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arshes Nei View Post
    I've decided to use the logical fallacy card in my starter deck and now firmly believe you have something against BJ's
    I've had something firm against every BJ I've ever had...

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    Subject matter doesn't dictate someone's capabilities, so I think someone who makes muscly women could make fluffy animal covers.
    When it comes to getting hired, it certainly does matter what is actually SHOWN in your portfolio. I have submitted artwork to role playing game companies with dragons and monsters all over the place and I get responses back that say "Well...some of your monsters are too dark and evil".

    I'm like..."dude, but I can use a little more color, right? Or I can remove one or two of those fangs and you got something "less dark". Come on, see through the veil, here!"

    Art Director's don't care. If your portfolio is not EXACTLY representative of the work that you do and EXACTLY representative of the work they are looking for, they don't have to say "Well, we don't see what we want here, but I'm sure you can do it".

    They *might*, but they are not obligated too at all. It's totally within their right (and their job) to say "Too dark, give us something else".

    So yes, you can paint whatever you want and you'll probably not be *permanently* judged for it, but they will certainly ask for something that caters more to what they want. This isn't about ability or subject matter of your own choices. This is about trying to get hired at a company that is looking for something specific; you'd damn well better show them that you can do what THEY want, not what YOU want.

    That, of course, does not mean you shouldn't do your own interests whenever it suits you. That's being an artist. You do what you want for yourself and if you want to get paid for it, it *may* mean altering some of your own personal choices a little to suit someone elses' interests (or a lot! You never know).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dusty View Post
    When it comes to getting hired, it certainly does matter what is actually SHOWN in your portfolio. I have submitted artwork to role playing game companies with dragons and monsters all over the place and I get responses back that say "Well...some of your monsters are too dark and evil".

    I'm like..."dude, but I can use a little more color, right? Or I can remove one or two of those fangs and you got something "less dark". Come on, see through the veil, here!"

    Art Director's don't care. If your portfolio is not EXACTLY representative of the work that you do and EXACTLY representative of the work they are looking for, they don't have to say "Well, we don't see what we want here, but I'm sure you can do it".

    They *might*, but they are not obligated too at all. It's totally within their right (and their job) to say "Too dark, give us something else".

    So yes, you can paint whatever you want and you'll probably not be *permanently* judged for it, but they will certainly ask for something that caters more to what they want. This isn't about ability or subject matter of your own choices. This is about trying to get hired at a company that is looking for something specific; you'd damn well better show them that you can do what THEY want, not what YOU want.

    That, of course, does not mean you shouldn't do your own interests whenever it suits you. That's being an artist. You do what you want for yourself and if you want to get paid for it, it *may* mean altering some of your own personal choices a little to suit someone elses' interests (or a lot! You never know).
    Thanks for taking this back out of the gutter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dpaint View Post
    I've had something firm against every BJ I've ever had...
    that made me think of teeth.....

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    making controversial art hurt art career?
    The thread title is so tarzan

    sehertu mannu narāṭu ina pānāt šagapīru ningishzidda
    abrahadabra
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    the question really is if you do somethng that could be considered odd or eccentric like creating deliberately provocative art, will some people likely find this off-putting. obviously yes that is possible.
    more interesting might be the nature of controversial art.
    apart from snuff violence or illegal sex its pretty hard to make really offensive art with live bodies.
    but if you took a load of data discribing the Holocaust train schedules or something and graphed it into some kind of cool looking tree design in illustrator. something that facetious could be a lot more offensive that willies and bums.

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    Got your attention, didn't it?
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    The best thing for you to do is a paint what you want to get hired to paint. If you're thinking of becoming a children's book illustrator, don't have rape and murder scenes in your portfolio. If you want to be a sci-fi or fantasy illustrator, there's a lot more room for "adult" content. If you want to do stuff that is really pornographic or violent, have a fake name and a separate portfolio of your work. If you start getting professional work under this name, you can file for a fictitious name on your business license (any business that has a name that's different from the owner's name has to do this, so it's a fairly standard process). And honestly, once you become a professional, the people hiring you aren't going to go searching the depths of the internet to find everything you've ever drawn. They're going to look at your portfolio site and that's about it, so I wouldn't really worry.

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    Can't figure out why people are starting to talk about Big Jousters in this thread.

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    I used it as a big hyperbole to illustrate how frequently nudity and sexuality is not always appropriate, no matter how hard someone tries to insist it falls under the artistic expression... in response to that frequently recurring topic how social norms are only stifling someone's artistic expression of controversial and sexual topics. Also, to demonstrate that not everything that gets people's attention, that has to do with people's intimate parts is art; and that people will be negatively judgmental of it (which DP walked right into demonstrating that one perfectly).

    I always figure it's better to show someone an example, rather the try to explain it theoretically. I wanted to use an example that will do both, get people's attention and have them think, that's just ridiculous. By the responses, it appears that it worked just as intended

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    I didn't walk right into anything. I just called you on your juvenile, insecure, attention wh0re personality. You brought nothing to the discussion as per usual with you. Of course in your deluded pea brain you see it as some sort of rationalization of your genius.
    Stick with dressing up digital dolls, everything else on CA is above your pay grade and bandwidth.

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    I wonder if there is a stigma against psychedelic art. Like say if an upstart artist do something similar to Andrew Jones and admit to have drug induce psychedelic experience, and his art start circulating on druggie websites.

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    Quote Originally Posted by enrigo View Post
    I wonder if there is a stigma against psychedelic art. Like say if an upstart artist do something similar to Andrew Jones and admit to have drug induce psychedelic experience, and his art start circulating on druggie websites.
    You mean like Alex Grey?

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    Quote Originally Posted by dpaint View Post
    You mean like Alex Grey?
    mm.. Fine artist probably can use being branded as weird for advantage I guess.

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    I am proudly presenting a new film project in the making. About a modern day rendition of the story of Jesus as a heroine addict roaming the streets of New York. Jesus Junkies, the musical.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dusty View Post
    When it comes to getting hired, it certainly does matter what is actually SHOWN in your portfolio. I have submitted artwork to role playing game companies with dragons and monsters all over the place and I get responses back that say "Well...some of your monsters are too dark and evil".

    I'm like..."dude, but I can use a little more color, right? Or I can remove one or two of those fangs and you got something "less dark". Come on, see through the veil, here!"

    Art Director's don't care. If your portfolio is not EXACTLY representative of the work that you do and EXACTLY representative of the work they are looking for, they don't have to say "Well, we don't see what we want here, but I'm sure you can do it".

    They *might*, but they are not obligated too at all. It's totally within their right (and their job) to say "Too dark, give us something else".

    So yes, you can paint whatever you want and you'll probably not be *permanently* judged for it, but they will certainly ask for something that caters more to what they want. This isn't about ability or subject matter of your own choices. This is about trying to get hired at a company that is looking for something specific; you'd damn well better show them that you can do what THEY want, not what YOU want.
    I agree for the most part. Sometimes Art Director don't know what they are EXACTLY looking for or too proud to admit it. Art Directors that are spoon feed would depend too much on spec work in hopes to find something they could "react" to, or blindly thumb through profolios when they only have a vague idea. Maybe through all the testing something would stick at the expense of the applicant's time.

    I do have some respect for the Art Director for taking the time to say, "Well...some of your monsters are too dark and evil." That way there is still an window, to perhaps accommodate an existing art sample that's closer to what they wanted when the job post was too vague to begin with.

    If an applicants skill set or experience is way off, I would competely understand if there is no response.

    Last edited by BirdBirdBirdX3; November 12th, 2011 at 09:57 PM.
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