The future of CA
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Thread: The future of CA

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    The future of CA

    There has been some discussion of where we see conceptart.org headed as a forums and art community. I was asked to move some of the posts to a new thread so that members can share their thoughts in a constructive manner regarding this important topic.


    Some questions arose about the future of conceptart.org and how the admins see the site growing on the internet and how we are including our vision for a European and North American workshop each year starting in 2005. What else is planned for what we have here? Read on and find out.


    Feel free to discuss with us in a constructive manner. Let us know what you think.


    Thanks,


    Jason

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    Here are some thoughts from the previous thread.....







    Some exciting things for the site are in the works and will begin to show over the course of the next year. There are also some things which will make a big difference for us here on the site. Scholarships are in the works, portfolio sections, a more efficient site design, more high quality news stories and interviews, and the like will help push up the quality of the ca experience.

    We have some new tech that is going into development too. It has three new key features that will change this forum for the better. all three features are bigger than anything we have on the forums now. The Features are big enough that perhaps only a dozen people know about it and are working on it. I wish there were finances to get it all done this second. But, since we are doing it volunteer style, it will be a prolonged splash forward.

    A different feature already announced to be in development, is portfolio gallery space in everyone's profiles so we can more easily see each others works. Conceptart.org will host.

    We yielded a lot of great input from the site performance q&a that was recently done here in the lounge by a team of university students from Sweden. thanks Ponte! Changes will be implemented based on your the input from those who took the time to run through list of questions.

    Conceptart.org is getting rather expensive to host a site that brings in 250,000 unique visitors a month right now. Traffic just keeps coming...Conceptart is doing very well in terms of reaching our audience. The workshops and t-shirts are what will keep this forum here and moving forward as much more than a bulliten board. It is past that already thanks to everyone here. It has a long long way to go. We hope the community supports the workshops and shirt ideas as that is what will need to happen for us to really reach our goals for the site.

    A group of new Directors are being chosen to head up our non-profit organization. Ron Lemen has agreed to participate as one of the decision makers. Travis Bourbeau is another (travis arranged all our corporate sponsorships for the workshop...thank you travis!!). There is a team working on conceptart.org. It is no longer just andrew, coro, and I with the help of the mods like sparth, davi etc....

    I hope this gives you all at least an idea of where we are hoping to go.

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    Things have only become better...

    -To a thousand more years!


    -Joshua James

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    Jason Manley's Avatar
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    Hanuka, as well as the member formerly known as Wolverine, and some others brought up some concerns regarding the impression that ca has an abundance of compliments and not enough content in the replies and threads. This topic has surfaced many times over the past months.

    First off, the behavior and impressions of the community can be moved forward in a progressive way. It all starts with ourselves of course. We worked very hard to come as far as we have. It becomes more and more challenging every day on how to handle these aspects as the site grows in members and the range of beginners to professionals increases. In order to make positive steps and keep vision, we need to keep our eyes and ears open to what is happening on the site. We can choose where the site goes in the future.

    The community is so large that it needs more moderators with vision and who can work as a team in order to guide the community and keep focus without infringing on any creativity what-so-ever. The incoming Directors are already working on such things.

    Input on other ways we can help insure the quality always improves is more than welcome. (like including a crits forum to help bring up the overall quality of art on the forums).


    J

    Last edited by Jason Manley; October 14th, 2004 at 10:47 AM.
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    Jason Manley's Avatar
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    a nice comment was made by some_guy who stated "If you're not getting the critiques you want, maybe look at a bunch of other people who are and see how the critiques they get might apply to your work. This site has a ton of advice and info to be found I highly doubt you have seen it all and tried it all."


    This is a comment which applies to self learning. I agree with it very much. I get just as much out of listening to other artists recieving critiques as I do myself. Sometimes it is easier to hear comments to another as personal ego and feelings are easier to see past in order to hear the truths in their words. This is a great way to learn on the site.

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    dogfood had this comment: "The world you see is not the world as it is, for no vision is perfect, no set of eyes clear of bias. If you know what your particular bent is, you can develop corrective lenses, but not before. "


    This is what this thread is for....to help ca to refine its vision for the future. eyeglasses here we come!


    J

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    another useful comment, this one by Mind Flaw:

    "If you're really worried about how things a turning in CA start giving honest crits. I say this to all give a crit to someone you don't know at least once a week and there would be an improvement critwise on these boards cause we tend in general to give crits to the people we already know."


    a worthy dream.....


    j

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    Im all fer it ! *hik*





    edit: hmm... oups maybe my post shoulda been serious er something... or not posted at all.

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    imaginitive words from Hamsta:

    "I think in the future of CA.org we'll see guys floating around in jet suits, and each person will have multiple clones dedicated to one activity, like art, and then when they reach a certain level of expertise the original will assimilate all that knowledge and motor skills while growing younger with the newer cells of the assimilated body.
    Oh and everything will be chrome..."



    I agreed with everything but the chrome part.

    Imagination...whether real life goals or visions for imagery, is one of the things the site should always be about.

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    JoshuaTheJames said this...I think it applies to everyone:

    "If you are feeling neglected put forth some hard work and become noticed."

    We want to be able to reward those who contribute with things like larger profile portfolio sections, main page stories, artist spotlights, and main page galleries. Some of these things are already working for us.

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    I cannot think of any crits or suggestions right now. I am too blinded by my love for CA.

    However, i would love to see group projects that go beyond a simple drawoff challenge or a a daily sketch group. (Not that there is anything wrong with those!)

    I think the CA academy is great, even tho i don`t post there, i have learned so much from that part of the forums.

    The game design studio is another genious idea. It gives people like myself, who wish to someday work in the industry, valuable experience. I just wish that there would be more activity there.
    (Come on people! go take a look! The game design studio )

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    Intern had some thoughts on strengthening the community....

    "because of CA i draw everyday now for a few hrs, and i push myself harder then i ever have before. this place is one of the best resources for art right now, and a way to get that is to your self out to get known so people start looking forward to seeing you post your artwork.

    for example, i met red_rook down in Austiin over the summer, before he was only a name, now when i when i see him post i get more excited cause i personally know him and i like seeing friends progress. the same with everyone else i know.
    "

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    insane visions on giving back to all in the community for what was given to him: "I owe alot to conceptart.org, I think if it wasnt for conceptart, I wouldnt know what happened to my friend Coro, or I would never get a job doing what I love to do.

    Im currently developing new tech to further the progress of conceptart.org as a motivational tool to learn and succeed on the quest to be a great artist...Im trying my best to inspire individuals like me that loves making shit look good visually...I pay great respect for the vision that this site emulates and if you look deeper, you would see how much conceptart.org is worth to the people in the community..."

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    SokNwet on the inspiration the community brings him in his life:

    "That's a terrific plan, it's the sacrifices that you (conceptart.org founder/moderators/admins) are making that allow us guys/gals to further our dream. Shoot I don't know where I'll be if it wasn't for all the friends I made attending our local meetings, and joining in the fun of mini-thunderdome, I don't think I would even be drawing, and that's a scary thought for me. This is like the show "Cheers", if you don't have a life in reality (me), at least here everyone knows your name."


    Sok...the NORM!!!!! of our times.

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    injection had some thoughts on the workshop and how they help strengthen the community here....after all, that is all we really want is the best site and group of artists to learn with possible.

    "these workshops are very helpful, there are many different sections where one can learn from the many different demos going on. the lectures are wonderful, for example i learned sooo much from Jason Manley and Ron Lemen's color theory session.
    another great thing about the workshops is that one can network and make loads of friends (and just because a professional is a professional doesn't mean they can't be your friend, they're people too, and they're all very nice )

    the workshops are meant for growth, much like this site!! but the workshops give you a way to physically interact with the brilliant artists (both pro and amateur alike) so you can grasp the ideas and meanings behind conceptual design as a whole.

    not only all of that but the workshops are just downright fun!!!

    in the end, all that matters is how many people's lives you have been able to possitively affect. i'd like to think that this site is a way of doing that
    "

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    Hurricane gave this as example of what people can achieve if we continue to make this a better place.....and shows what he has done so far here on the site and in his art searchings.

    "all i can say is this(but i dont credit CA.org for everything, but they helped me alot)



    thats 2002, how i drew...

    now..



    i guess it sais alot.. thank you all, non-pros and pros... everyone has helped me in my progress, even myself.."

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    Iam had this to say about improving the way we crit the peeps on the site as a whole....


    ersonally, I love CA. This, among it's many attributes, is the place that first inspired me to take the intiative and actually attempt to follow a dream. That's something pretty amazing if you think about it. Not that I'm anybody special or anything....but maybe I will be someday. I mean, maybe. Anything's possible. And if so, then it all comes back to this place and the tons and tons of talent and inspriation I find every day.

    The only critique I could offer to CA in general is that I feel like sometimes, some of the middlin sort of artists get left behind. Hmmm..what I mean is this....you have some members on here who are just picking up a pencil for the first time and they usually get tons of replies to their threads because they need the most help. Then you have the pros (or people who just do amazing work) who get the "man, that's awesome" replies (yeah, I do it too, all the time). But then you have the people who are here who don't really fit into either of those categories, who might need some help, but don't get as many replies/critiques (not to mention any names or anything [myself] ). Yeah, okay, I meant me, but I'm sure there are others as well. Anyway, I'm a totally self-motivated person, but I could really use help now and then in my sketchbook thread, to point me in the right direction."

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    here are some of my thoughts on where we have come from and where we are going......



    hmmm...to understand the future of ca, one should know a little about it's history.....where to begin?

    well...

    1. Conceptart.org was originally intended to by my very own website..I owned the domains for conceptartist.com and .net at the time....I ran the idea for a community site across coro and andrew. they agreed we needed a place on the net where we could all get together to teach and learn as artists. The name changed to conceptart.org. I purchased the domain and it sat there for a long time without me taking action.

    matter of fact...read the last question in the below interview. it was up months before i even started building this site with Pontemonti (ponte owned the biggest black isle fan site at the time) and Leia helping me.

    http://www.db-forge.com/article.php?sid=509

    I had checked our home link that spring to see if people had visited the site due to ponte's interview...on a whim...and sure enough, there were 1200 visits or so. That's when I called coro, james, puddnhead, and andrew and we got started building this place.

    The people on the main page were the ONLY people who were members of the site...except for davi (who just showed up out of nowhere and started helping us), ponte, and a few others. It was just our group of friends on our site....I remember nardfrog and amphex and a lot of other folks coming by. The main page artists kept putting up posts about how to get in games, how to paint using large brushes, what art schools to go to, etc.....and pretty soon the flood of members began to come.

    We had no intent of this being a huge site. Android, Coro, and I were all working as sole concept artists on big projects...where andrew and I had once worked with a team of artists. We needed input on each others work. We needed to keep growing as artists. Once the site went up, we started helping each other. For one reason or another it attracted a whole lot of folks from around the world.

    Then we had the big crash when cgchannel/cgtalk split and the servers were erased....we lost months of great posts and 1200 members....I had to take the weekend off and build it all again...from scratch.


    now fast forward....the main page artists that have been added have all made significant contributions to the community, either on the boards, by sponsoring the workshops, by helping, by caring and giving, or just by doing badass art and posting it on a regular basis. THOSE SPOTS were earned. We expect to add more in the very near future as well.

    You see...it is set up so that you can work you way up. Everyone is going to get gallery space. The more you work and give, the more space you get from the moderators to show your work. if you are really kicking ass on the site then you get a featured artists spotlight...if you keep kicking ass then you get a main page spot. Insane Visions spent two weeks building our latest workshop site all volunteer. He just wanted to help. He also is making huge strides with his drawing and has finally picked up a good job in the industry. He is a professional and acts like it. Thus, he is the next one to be added.

    Conceptart.org commands traffic in the range of 200-280 thousand unique visits per month as well as millions of page views. Artists need exposure and one way to help the site grow is to encourage artists to work by helping others in order to get the best exposure.

    In the end, it comes down to the fact that this is and was my website....but now it has become a site for all of us, not just me, not just andrew, not just anyone person. There is a structure in place to help artists and that structure is working well beyond our hopes. If you want a main page spot, all you have to do is shine like the artists up so far have done. The main page artists numbers grow in rank all the time. There was a time when it was just a few...now there are quite a few. The old main page had artists who only came by on occasion sometimes. A couple who agreed to be a part of the site stopped coming by all together. That is when we knew, if they arent helping the community, they don't get the traffic or exposure. That is when we came up with the current system for discovering and adding more main page artists.



    cheers,


    Jason

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    Lookin forward to all the neat stuff comin to these boards...

    I just wanna say that CA is THE place to be...
    Because of this website, i met some of the coolest individuals...some i can call good friends and others who i will eventually be calling boss (one day *sigh*)

    Any crit i could have would be beating a dead horse, so i patiently wait for the new shit in 2005...

    Thanks to all the forum members who make 7 hours of my day at work enjoyable...(fuckin Department of Ed)

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    whoa!
    nice statement jason!
    i'm so happy being part of this community
    i'm sure ca.org will kick ass with all those new impulses coming from the members.. hope i can contribute my "art-part" soon.. unfortunately i am somewhat less about the arts because my scanner broke and i have to save money to get a new one.. then i will be able to post again..
    but DON'T WORRY.. I'LL KEEP ON PRACTISING!

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    Gotto give credit where credit is due. only a month after the a'dam workshop I discovered CA.org (wanted to kick myself in the nuts for not beeing a month earlier). This discovery litteraly slapped me in the face, hard. It was a wake-up call that there was so much more to learn and that I could develop myself in so many more ways then I had ever imagined. CA.org provides me with a seemingly unlimited flow of inspiration, so many Icons to follow on the road to my dream.

    There are so many people I could list whom inspired me here and there are so many ways I could try to explain the surge of creativity this site can give that I'll stop trying right now, and let you imagine it.

    The complaints, dead horses beaten to pulp, are things I certainly recognise and could talk about as well, but let this thread show what CA.org is all about and what it may become in the future.

    Such a brilliant visual example as Hurricane gave about how he progressed since joining the community, I can not give, yet. Actually, it's pretty cool idea to do something like that, even if it can only stimulate more people. Damn, this thread just stimulated me a lot to do a big dump some time soon, hmmm.

    Peace,

    /fd
    "It's too bad she won't live! But then again, who does?"
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    i love this site and i check it about 15 times or more a day. i cant wait to see what the future holds for it. count me in for every NA workshop and every t shirt.

    -dns

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    I always comense a quick mental kick in the butt every time I think about missing the workshop in austin. Probably the only time I would have been able to go since it's only a three hour drive from Houston. Anyways, seeing CA.org on G4/TechTV. I wish I knew the person but one man was exclaining how he had to draw Samus from metroid for a video game. However, he couldn't draw his own interpretation of metroid fully but he had to incorporate all of what people would like and add his own little trinkets to it. I knew I wanted to do that for a living then.

    But anyways, the scholarship idea is the best plan I ever could think of for this site. Even if it's small it'll still get major attention from many young artists. We could start a new revolution in Concept art huh? Endless possibilities. Thumbs up on the scholarship idea, if we get exposure from various scholarship organizations that's a lot of extra exposure.

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    HOW IMPORTANT IS CONCEPTART.org??????????????????????

    2 of my Best Friends got their Concept/Illustration jobs because of ConceptArt.org and I also just got my job because of ConceptArt.org...

    Enough Said...


    This may sound sound sappy but, Jason, Andrew and the Gang probably don't even know the extent of how much we owe them.


    Thanks Again Guys,

    -Joshua James

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    I was mentioned?
    Ok Ok, no chrome, it makes you look fat, blah blah... (SpongeBob haters)

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    First of all this site has imo always been one of the best art sites for learning from. I think one of the major reasons for this is the huge emphasis on fundamentals. When I first started coming here I was amazed at all the talented work being done, then I asked myself "man these guys are good, how do they do it??" Then I start looking around more on the site and the answers are all there. They know their shit - they know their values, they know their forms, anatomy, perspective, lighting, color theory, design on and on.. so many things I became aware of that I had little to no understanding of. Then looking around at the critiques and tutorials it became more obvious to me that there were no secrets, everyone tries to help each other out, and all it requires is effort on your part to try and learn.

    So anyways some ideas I have had might be of some contribution-

    1) Sort of mix between the tutorial section and the roundtable idea. It might be cool, I think, if there was sort of a tutorials section of the forum with open topics about all the fundamentals of art.. there used to be a part of the conceptart page design that was something like "forms, perspective, values, composition," etc.. I am thinking something like a topic for each one of these ideas where everyone is allowed to chime in with their ideas on each aspect. Discussion could be kept to a minimum so that when anyone views this areas all they do is get flooded with info and accompanying illustrations. Or another way to work it would be to have one open post on each subject, and one locked post. New contributions/discussions go into the open posts and the bulk of the info could get moved by mods into the locked posts.

    2) Not my idea but whatever happend to the critical beatdown sketchbook idea? Idea was to feature peoples' DSBs and critique their works as a whole or pick apart different pieces they had done. I think that was a great idea.

    3) Another idea would be to feature just one piece of artwork and let everyone tear it apart, analyze it for all its worth, and try to use it as instructional device. I'm talkin everything - perspective, anatomy composition, etc. Maybe try to offer some ideas as to why the image works and is good. This could be an old masters or work or somebody who doesn't mind volunteering one of their images for complete deconstruction.

    All in all this is a great community and although I have not been a contributing member for very long I am proud to be a part of it. To all you lurkers out there who might be reading this - you might like to go gah gah over some of the really bad ass art, you might think your skills aren't up to par to contribute, but join in anyways! and start contributing in whatever capacity you can. You will become much more motivated and grow much quicker once you join in the fun. That's all I got.

    Peace,
    Mike

    Cave House Studios - creative animation and video
    What the Sketchbook
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  27. #27
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    First I think this is the best site on the net bar none for any artist. Concept or otherwise. Beginner or professional. I happen to be one of the middle (I guess you'd call it artists) I'm not a beginner and I don't consider myself a professional. And I don't get a lot of crits. (despite the fact that I put in a lot of time helping the middle class out.) When I joined CA a year ago, was the first time I'd picked up my pencil in several years for some serious artwork. I've drawn every day since then, usually all day long, (around household duties etc.) trying to regain the skills I had. My artwork has improved since then, except for a problem with proportion. I haven't found a way around this problem yet. It's either caused by having to wear glasses now or a thyroid problem. I'm now 50 years old and I don't have a lot of time left to master this. I'd like to see some crits from some of the more professional artists on here (and I know they're real busy)or at least some of the other middle of the road artists.

    One of the reasons maybe that I don't get crits is because I'm more of a western/wildlife artist. And sometimes fantasy. I consider myself to old to work toward a job in the conceptart business. However I'm not to old to learn from the young people on here. Everybody has something to teach somebody.

    CA has given me the motivation to keep working on my skills, despite my problems. Any time I get frustrated with it, I just come here and look around. It works! I will be getting some of those T-shirts, once I find out if I pay for them with check, money order or credit card, because I think it's important for this site to keep going. Lol, I'm not to certain if I'll be wearing a skull T-shirt, but I have some relatives that will like them!

    Keep up the good work Jason and others. It's appreciated more than you know!

    Art gives me a life of extreme challenge, frustration, accomplishment and contentment. Nothing less will do!
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  28. #28
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    I agree with many that this is the best art site on the web as far as growing. I just wanted to say that this place is an inspiration and the "future" plans sound Amazing especially the possiblity of scholorships and/or Workshops every year! I hope to be able to do my part to move Conceptart.org in the future (add echo here). Also I've just uptdated my dead daily sketchbook soo .. feel free to go and have a look!

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    in regards to the crit situation...

    now, don't take this the wrong way. i love the art here and the fact that many grizzled veterans post here.

    however, (in general terms mind you), i see a lot of ass patting FOR pros and BY pros. the first one is pretty obvious. someone elite posts elite art, he's gonna get a lot of oohs and ahhs. do they mean much to the poster? probably not as much as a good dose of oohs and ahhs AND nice, polite, constructive criticism.

    the second one is just a small observation on my part... tell me if i'm totally off base. when said pro art is posted, i will see a lot of fellow pros basically ass-patting it. this is to be expected. the work deserves it, and there is probably a LOT of mutual respect going on.

    but for someone like me, in a very ass-pat heavy threads, it can feel awkward to offer any kind of crit cause it appears to go against the grain, against the culture of that specific thread (and perhaps the forum in general).

    basically itll be like:

    dude posts awesome art:
    jason manley: awesome!
    el coro: rad!
    android: bootylicious! (well maybe not that)
    chumps (who's this nobody?): wow amazing detail going on here, but maybe if you reworked the composition so blah blah blah.
    everyone else: who's this asshole?

    it's been said many times that you want to see more solid crits... well i think it would definitely help if the 'pros', founders, moderators... if all the higher-ups were more willing to crit each other, and not the obvious newbies fresh outta the barrel. it would teach by example. it would foster a kind of culture that is not just adulatory and almost sycophantic. there is opportunity for discussion that is intelligent, highly critical, yet ultimately extremely RESPECTFUL.

    i don't think any you 'higher ups' think of yourselves as all that and a bag of chips... i've found that the best of the best are always the most humble. however i think it can be easy to forget just how much people look up to you guys... and how much people want to BE like ya'll. if you guys set the tone, i'm sure many will follow.

    just my 2 cents.
    steve

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    I'd have to agree with my compatriot Steve. Being at a rather rigorous and crit heavy school now, surrounded by fantastic artists, and teachers, (much like the situation in this forum) there is always criticism to be offered. Rarely, even by classmates, is a piece put on the crit rail and simply praised. In fact, I would think that there is always room for some form of improvement in any piece of art whatsoever. Never does a teacher or professional let a work lie there and soak up lauds or foster ego-stroking. There are no "stars" that are above the fray, or people that receive only positive feedback. There is always something to be tweaked, changed, or made a bit better, even if the piece is stellar. Chances are, if it is perfect or near, there doesn?t need to be a flood of reinforcing praise, and the artist is quite privy to its quality. Lord knows I haven't been here long or if I have any say whatsoever concerning these dynamics, but there certainly is a prevailing mood of "ass-patting" as Steve mentions that I as well have noticed. Sometimes, this atmosphere is so prevalent that one can occasionally be seen as speaking heresy if one isn't particularly fond of an artists work, for no reason other than personal preference. There seems to sometimes be an attitude of disbelief that anyone would call into question a "pro's" choice, method or execution. This trend that certain subjects, people, or criticisms are off limits is troubling to me. And regardless of whether or not it is consciously imposed, or silently understood, to many it is highly visible and extremely frustrating. In my simple-minded opinion, I should think the same standards apply to those near the top, as they apply to those at the bottom, and that any realm of an artists work, is fair game for criticism, provided that such commentary is put forth relevantly and respectfully, and that mindful, polite yet dissenting opinions are not attacked by knee-jerk reactionary behavior by either the artist or his supporters. This however is all personal observation and could all be totally wrong. Don't take offense, please!

    "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed, The world in arms is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from an iron cross."

    ...I have a sketchbook?
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