So what is the fate of ConceptArt.org (and art forums in general)?
So the latest issue on CA has plastered Facebook, and this seems to be the last straw for many, not to mention many people have already left in years past for other mismanagement issues. However many of us have fond memories tied to this site, and perhaps even some degree of loyalty, not to the management but to the community. So what happens?
Many have recently noted that the site was already a shell of its former self; perhaps the site will hobble on as just a shell of that shell. Undoubtedly many people will ignore this issue and keep posting, or just remain unaware of it. Manley still owns the site of course, and chances are he will dance around the issue until things are back to some level of normalcy. This seems like the most likely outcome to me.
Ignoring the abuse from management, I'm curious whether or not people care that CA seems destined for a slow death? Do people even want this sort of mega art forum anymore? It seems that Facebook and Livestream are the new preferred hangouts for much of the concept art community. for example is a high quality website with the features in place to be a "mega-hub" for artists, but activity remains low on the forums (compared to here). In other words, if CA came under new management, got rid of the stupid banners, took a stand against censorship, became more organized and community-focused, etc, etc... would people even bother? Most importantly, would professional artists bother? (Not that beginner artists are unimportant, but it's the pros that drive traffic and do the most to cultivate an educational experience.)
This thread is not about Manley, but about ConceptArt.org and what's going to / what should happen with it.
An issue I've been thinking about is that big forum communities seem destined towards slow death, already.
The format is being supplanted by more immediate formats like tumblr and other microsites.
People in essence now broadcast without the necessity of big clunky formats.
So I'm not sure in this day and age something like CA could happen again.
I feel like Facebook, Tumblr, and even Reddit have become what art message boards used to be, at least for me.
Same here. I'm okay with that for the most part. The only thing I'll miss is that CA was almost like boot camp. We saw other artists in the trenches, we encouraged them to keep going, gave them advice, and we've helped many of them grow into pros. You don't really get that on Facebook or tumblr.
Alas, as awesome as CA used to be, I agree that forums just aren't really a viable medium these days. If you want activity, art groups on facebook / tumblr and such are much more the standard these days. I still don't know if there's a solid place to post stuff and just get critiques on it, but facebook definitely provides an interface to develop a community with other artists and you could easily get to know someone that you can bounce work back and forth with.
That is true. I don't think people are as interested in honest critique in such a public forum. There is a benefit to the semi-anonymity of a forum. I do think there was a bit of going over-board here too(even before this place imploded), where giving a critique became more important than actual improvement. This place also got really big, and propped up a lot of its stars above all else. Once all the big pros got too busy to post regularly and give feedback, people started losing interest in posting for feedback. Then when all the bad shit started happening, it really went downhill.
Honestly most of the Facebook stuff I follow from artists and such are mainly individual artists just posting their stuff as they go. Rarely community based things. (Or at least not where I'm looking). Then it also feels like more and more ass pats and less constructive crit since there's less anonymity I guess. Someone gets annoying and psycho on you they at least don't know your name (which for me having an odd name that's easily searchable is annoying). At least for Facebook and such.
The big named artists in general seem to have vanished from most forums and most other art forums I've seen are deadish. These drama explosions happened then a lot of them I guess just were turned off in general. Broke off and did their own sites or such and basically are in the mode of "Hey, follow me on *insert social media site here*.
There's nothing that prevents us from making our own forums. I'm sure we could even reach out to the people at and see what we could do to liven up that forum. I'm sure they'd love to have us. At any rate, if it costs money we could all chip in. At least we'd know where money was going.
I feel like Facebook, Tumblr, and even Reddit have become what art message boards used to be, at least for me.
I can't deal with facebook. It turns great friends into pests that TYPE IN ALL CAPS AN CANT SPELOL. I also can't speak freely in front of bosses, family members and people you need to adjust your social filter for.
Forums are great for honest, well thought feedback. They're a finite area. Not an endless ocean like Deviantart.
I think has the best presentation. It's just not as fun.
A good Forum to join is Crimson Daggers. Still not so good for exposure though. Not much outside traffic.
EDIT: deleted previous link as crimson daggers admins have suggested.
Last edited by Raoul Duke; March 6th, 2013 at 08:20 PM.
For a long time (and still is), this site has been the first site I'd visit every morning when I open up my browser. I'm not the most active when it comes to posting stuff but the discussions and critiques here have an honesty and intrigue that feels very different to those you get on facebook/tumblr. Maybe I'm just not looking hard enough but most discussions that I encounter on these other social media sites seem to be short and vague in some areas.
could just be the nature of those mediums but I've yet to encounter another site that has the same blend of illustration and concept art that has the amazing amount of in-depth discussions and conversations. On most other sites, I've barely come across long drawn out criticism like those we get in the Art Discussion where there's pages and pages of information, people constantly posting references, quotes, and the like. the vibe that I get from a lot of those places is like "oh look, so and so made a cool concept, awesome got anymore? awesome." There's more sharing and not enough critical discussion/criticism.
The problem with Facebook, Tumblr, and similar sites is that they're absolutely TERRIBLE for having any kind of in-depth group discussion. Or even a basic conversation. They're fine for sharing and ogling art, but not really for talking about it. Also there's basically no concept of "archives" and if you don't see something ten minutes after it's posted, you probably never will...
And on Facebook, yeah, you're sharing your space with artists, clients, your Mom, and everyone else, so you have to tread carefully.
I can only hope that one of the other existing forums starts to blossom as people from CA migrate over en masse. Maybe we can all go liven up or Crimson Daggers or someplace?
I really hope I can find everybody from CA again somewhere... It's the people here I'll miss more than anything else.
Jesus christ the people whining and bitching here. And telling everyone to go to . Has anyone even bloody used 's forums? Its utter shite there are maybe one or 2 people posting a freaking day, there is no bloody community at all. There is no conversation or debate like there is here. People post image in the hopes on getting on the front page and nothing bloody more. If you dont like this site then piss off its as simple as that. Even if I whine about the people posting ridiculous questions here on a daily basis, I would rather have that than some shite zombie dead site like . I dont know the ins and outs of jason manleys arrangement's with cryptcrawler, nor do I give a fuck. This site is bloody awesome, all the people generally using this site are awesome, He try's to do the best for the community and if some people can't see that , then its better they piss of to or any other dead forum. People telling other people to not attend the London workshop are a bloody joke, and they really need to check themselves. Jason has probably spent thousands of dollars trying to organise an event where alot of the worlds top art directors, and artists gather in one place to in form and educate other artists, and all others here can do do is fucking bitch and tell people not attend. Well piss of then and , I hope you fuckers dont use this site again, but I bet you will.
Everyone knows this place needs changes, but lets not go over the fucking top, and start demanding others buy this site, and asking people not to sue it, and not to attend workshops. The last time this happened was on VFXTALK.COM. It was one of the most widely used vfX forums on the internet at the time with alot of industry professionals and ametuer artists using it. An argument in sued, one thing led to another, changes were demanded, people boycotted etc etc. Then people got their way new owners and management were bought in, and guess what? The site went from one of the most active helpful sites, to the most dead site now there is. Once a place of greta information, is now a dead duck. Be careful for what you wish for, because if you think this place is shite or dead now.
Jokes aside I do think forums like this will always continue to exist, and CA itself as well honestly. I'm wondering though if the scale of it was the problem. Small-scale forums are easier to manage (and cheaper, because let's face it money is always the problem) and create a tighter, more loyal community. The problem with CA might have been that it grew too big and impersonal, I think. I don't know if I'll leave as I do still appreciate the community and the activities very much but I'm certainly not buying anything from here anymore.
I loved the Eatpoo Forums back in 2003-2006. They were somewhat of a rival to CA.
Eatpoo had a all the artists that brought me to art. It attracted a big variety of artists,
had a lot of comedy and funny duels with Concept art, it had brilliant non-sensical activities and a lot less of a prep-speech tone than CA.
But EatPoo had many long black outs (up to half a year) and the core staff got tinier each time untill it run under a different name with what felt like 5 users.
Sometimes stuff just disappears and beloved communities aren't there anymore.
CA was the next best thing even though the variety of art was somewhat smaller because everything focused more tightly around a certain type of art.
I haven't found anything similair to Eatpoo since and I'm not willing to migrate to a community that has an even tighter focus on fantasy or sci-fi art and an even grimmer tone.
And I like reading long comments and occasionally writing comments, so no other service that's streamlined for speed cuts it for me.
Tumblr is atrocious for communication, Facebook has my mom reading the comments, everything with a chat is too much of a time sink,
4chan is prone to give brain tumors, Deviantart requires a fan base and that requires to pump a lot of energy into the community,
Blogs require a lot of attention and the comments are often full of crazy people or grieving.
I might be a dinosaur.
Lets face people, all of us love CA, we don't want it gone... Bashing on Manley wont solve anything really, pretty much everybody knows what he did and thats that, now lets look forward to the future.. you people really want to leave this place? and go where? its unfortunate to say that there isn't anything quiet like CA, and it now holds sentimental value in us, many of us grew so much in this site it will go on for a long time on our memories.
So, the person running this site fucked up multiple times.. so what? we the community are still the same...This community is the most important thing of this place, people here have invested year and years in making this environment what it is, and without this community this place would just be a pretty site like , but lifeless.
Just let things run its god damn course.. They will solve themselves. This is something between Brad and the other ripped artists and Manley/TAD, not you or me. Now this has been an interesting day, dramatic at that... but lets just give it a rest alright? If you don't want anything to do to support the crimes that were committed then don't buy the stupid CA/TAD products again and don't go to workshops.. but face it, any harm you do to the wellbeing of this website you are doing it to yourself... cause CA is us... and with out us, CA is nothing...
Last edited by The Jeso; March 6th, 2013 at 06:17 AM.
-We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.
-Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon 'em.
Jason Manley is not CA. It's the community here that is CA. So far it's the most active and helpful online art community I've encountered. Other communities are too small (like ) or dying (like Epilogue), or already gone (like Eatpoo), or not digital art/illustration specific enough (Wetcanvas).
As long as CA is going to stay as it is currently is, I'm happy to stay here and occasionally post.
People still come here to seek help, advice and critique on their work, and they get it. It makes no sense to punish the whole community when one person screws up.
Independent of that, I hope that Brad and the other artists will manage to get the compensation they are owed!
Last edited by Maidith; March 7th, 2013 at 06:49 AM.
Advertisements, premium memberships, stupid stuff (like Homestuck Tshirts) or weird things.
Something Awful forums require 10 dollar to register and being able to read and post,
another 10 for sending messages and looking at the archive. And I gladly throw my money at them.
Fixed the pic for your viewing pleasure
Premium memberships are a terrible idea. Something awful is a practical joke.
Yes, it is a joke site and I like that it costs money which keeps the assholes and misogynists out.
But that's besides the point, it was just one example of financing a forum.
It works out for that place, but each place is different of course *shrug*.
Last edited by Kiera; March 6th, 2013 at 11:16 AM.
I rarely ever post these days. Know, however, that I still check the Lounge and Art Discussion everyday. I know no better place to get true advice, and have it smacked in your face.
In all honesty, I would like to be more active around here, rather than just lurking, but I don't usually have anything to say, and I don't trust myself when it comes to giving reliable crit. (And I've been drawing much less lately, even though I wish I haven't).
I just hope someday that when I do come back to doing art in full force, CA will still be here waiting.
I do not wish for this forum to go anywhere. The owners need to stop being stupid and honor their contracts. I will never sell or buy anything through this site until all things are right and get what was agreed upon.
Seeing so many people leave, especially some of the really good people. really sucks, especially when I don't see a whole lot of the pros offering critique anymore.
I also don't want to stop running ChoW, because it's fun and we got a lot of participants. I think that starting something new wouldn't really work out so great.
Its all just horrible to see, especially for those involved. I get that this is the last straw for many people, but for others we just want to post our work, be friends, and just discuss and hang out. Everything happening right now doesn't paint a full picture of the site, I don't see how the community should be disbanded for whats going on.
Again the whole situation is really shitty, but not everyone that wants to stay is an asshole for wanting to stick together. Plenty of others have said it better above me ^^^
I am unsure I could even start another sketchbook... I mean it basicly whats chaining me to the site, I swear that thing had its own gravity
well somewhere after the tenth page. Still at a bit at a loss honestly.
"Take credit for anything embedded in the edit as long as you ment it when you said It"
I for one love ConceptArt and in particular the motivation and encouragement it has given me during the last year - I haven't found anywhere quite as interactive and in-depth as this place and fear it disappearing. I am staying, too many great artists here not to!