Thats the problem with a site that started out as a place for artists to share their knowledge freely with others. Asking for money on down the line looks like it runs counter to that idealogy.
But as this site grows, there's no way it can function on a free basis. It's a huge database of information and images, along with a huge membership. Just keeping that kind of platform running month to month costs a lot of money.
Muddy Colours is great for a small group of people to share what they know, and the blog format creates a buffer between them and the masses so they don't have to deal with whatever unwanted hassle the internet throws up. But CA.org cant function on that kind of basis. It's just too big.
So the harsh reality is, this place needs financial input on a regular basis, whether that comes from donations, subscriptions, stores, paid tutorials etc, or there wont be a site in the long run.
I also think there needs to be a change in perception of how knowledge and information are given out. I see people begging artists to make video tutorials but without any expectation of paying for them. Yet these same people get up in arms when artists arent being paid or paid enough for their work. It's a double standard and a nasty attitude of entitlement that I'd like to see stop.
There's probably lots more I'd like to say but I'm kind of distracted at the moment so I'll have to come back later. Just wanted to add my two bob's worth before I forget it.
I lurk CA from time to time (since '08), but I've been out of the loop, so if anyone be so kind and tell me what happened here? I noticed a lot of features disappeared and overall the look of the forum is poor compared to what it was before. It sorta has this "abandoned" feeling like a lost puppy. Though the crit and the sketchbook sections are very much alive and kicking.
If I ever had a dilemma or question this was the place to get pro advice. The thing about CA is that this is a place where pros hang out and post, even if some people left, there's still value of art excellence and development. In other forums, if you post something you just get "oh that's amazing I wish I could draw like that", you get those here too, but mostly it's "oh dude the arm's too big" or "the bg needs detail" etc.
I really hope CA overcomes whatever it is it's going through and continue its noble tradition of supporting artists as it used to.
This. We shouldn't want to be the place pro's come to but one pro's come from.
Without pros around to share their own hard-earned knowledge and experience, you're not going to get much aside from a) constant asspatting, and b) lots of n00bs who don't know what they're doing, don't have any idea that they don't know what they're doing, and try to be 'helpful' by sharing something they heard someone say, but haven't understood yet. Having pros around is CRITICAL to getting a corrective when someone on the boards says something that's actually misleading. Having pros around is important because when they talk to each other, you pick up knowledge that you're not going to get otherwise, because you don't even know it's out there to look for. The value of the boards is only as good as the quality of the knowledge being shared.
Siddhartha I am not sure if you remember when CA started but it was just me and Andrew at first...then a few others...but of all the main page members who were around at the start, and actually participating, we were all just 2-3 years out of art school. Andrew was two years out at that time. There are many people here at that level now and most the younger cats can paint better than we could back then. I guess what I'm saying is that there are a lot of great people that still post around here and it's a shame to write that off I think. A lot of the cup and comers here will go farther than anyone even imagines. Those are the folks who inspire me the most. There is professional presence...and there will be more in the future. People come and go in every community...and competition is fierce for time. We certainly have a lot of work to do here to improve the place. That much I am aware...so thanks for all the input.
With that said, I have been working on the thanks button stuff all night and the issue I am running into has to do with how we restricted things after the hack, so it is time to ask the programmer for help. Will keep folks updated.
This thread is inspiring and there is a lot of great info here. I will review it in full.
Donate button is up, as well as the donation progress bar. Some of the new mods and changes I am able to do myself, although I need to edit the template for the green donate button yet. Those changes which require extensive database changes require programmer resources, which means funds. We put up some new live and on demand classes including composition, color theory, and now female character design to help fund that stuff, as well as the donate button. will keep at it.
Jason, just to be clear, I wasn't writing off the site or its members. Just the idea that we don't need more experienced people here. Communities of passionate artists, even just students, are a great atmosphere for growing, but I was responding to D and pointing out that you improve the quality of that community immeasurably when someone who knows what he/she is doing shows up. I can't count the number of times I've seen threads that were stuffed full of misinformation until someone like dpaint or JeffX99 came in and set the record straight.
I haven't been active here in a long time. In fact I just visited the site out of curiosity.
I remember when I first joined the boards were very simple. Simply organized, simply designed, without the banners everywhere and it seems without the cliques and sub-societies. It was more open and organic is what I'm saying.
I believe the site is still education focused, but it's more about rich media and less about one-on-one dialogues and groups.
That being said, being as I haven't visited the site in a long time, and haven't been active for even longer, this may have changed. I have the feeling that it hasn't though.
I think it would be interesting if the site were broken down into a series of smaller sites more catered to certain demographics, rather than one mega-site trying to appeal to all demographics.
Maybe I missed this before, but do we need 4000USD per month to run a forum? Or it is yearly expense or something else? Looks like outrageously high amount of money for domain and file server. Not complaining, just curious.