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Building Bridges 3948

#Discussion

Hello, /fic/. Some of you know me, some of you likely don’t, but allow me to share a thought with you.

How many of you can draw? I ask because I’m terrible at it and, when I think of looking around for someone to make art for me, I noticed something: it seems a little difficult to find artists.

Let me explain: I’m saying it’s hard to find them, not that a ton don’t exist. I’ve gone to the art-board, and I don’t know how to really take it.

A lot of the artists work on commission, which I don’t think I can pay for as I: A. Don’t do enough online shopping to own a Paypal account, or B. Think I’d ever really want to tell people I spent upwards of fifteen to twenty dollars on a pony drawing. A good pony drawing, yes, as a lot of the artists who take commissions really do look like they have some stellar work, but still… that feels uncomfortable. Maybe someday, I’d be ready to do something like that, but I’m just not yet quite feeling like I am prepared for such an action as of yet.

And, as much as I want to rail against those who sell their services for not helping purely from the joy of the art, I really can’t blame them. Money spends, people need to eat, and I’m pretty sure the only reason we here on /fic/ don’t do the same is because there’s really no way to market our work like an artist can. Still, that leaves some of us in a very awkward predicament. Do I go for one of the few artists that take requests (and who seem to sort of fade out after a time, if the board is any guess, even though a few show some real promise) or do I simply buckle down and pay an artist for a commission?

I raised this up quite a while back in the IRC, but, after some discussion and a detour to explore a trail that sadly led nowhere, I have decided to try again. I think there might be a middle ground. A sort of training ground, if you will.

No, I am not talking of the TTG, though I am proposing something slightly similar: two threads, one on /art/ and one on /fic/, to connect the two in such a way as to enable transitioning from one to another in a much easier fashion than is currently available. The thread would work in a similar manner to the TTG but, instead of purely reviews, it’s a thread for finding and creating both stories and art.

Here is a link to the proposal proper:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1kxeVF0RxtmKB9rgmCZWzIBE07YcfPoSBIa-eX-EdrXA/edit?usp=sharing

If you have any questions; suggestions; thoughts; or, better yet, offers of assistance, please post so. I wish to discuss this thoroughly, because I think it could be a nice tool.

3949

>>3948
If you're a good enough reviewer, you might be able to pick someone up in the #fic IRC. I got my OC from there (in exchange for a few reviews), and there are a few people who're really good at drawing. Give it a try.

TF/Sage, if you can see it, you guys are best poni :D
This post was edited by its author on .

Ion-Sturm 3965

File: 1360400120958.gif (2.36 MB, 384x216, b9e.gif)

You could always offer a short story in exchange for a picture. Perhaps flavour text for one of their works, or something original. Life tends to gift the creative with either the ability to write or the ability to draw, so making a pact can lead to both parties enjoying a mutually beneficial relationship.
>Pic related?

3985

>>3949

Thank you, Golden Vision, I will certainly have to try that.

However, it's not that we don't have some really good artists right here on fic, or that they would be unwilling to help someone if they asked, it’s that there’s no clear place for a person to really begin asking. After all, the IRC is not often the first stop for someone who is just starting out. Shoot, I doubt it’s usually the second stop.

Let’s say I’m a complete newcomer, with nothing but a keyboard and an idea for now. I have a fic that I think could be awesome, but I have a single problem: I can’t draw any cover art; I can’t even find a good picture from the show to use with my story that would capture its essence.

So, I submit the story to the reviewers, getting feedback on my written word while I explore a little bit. I see, atop the website, that there is an art board. Journeying to this new land, hoping for a cover artist, I find several artists but, among the group that dominates the front page, many are those who work on commission, or their styles are just not something that catches my eye.

Back to square one. I return to fic and hang around for a little while. I see discussion and thoughts abounding, and stories with quality and art much greater than mine passing through on semi-regular basis. And I start wondering to myself: where are they getting these, and how can I get some?

However, because this is a /fic/ board, I don’t even know where to start asking about getting artwork, as that seems rather counter-intuitive to a board that’s about writing, not drawing. Even the IRC is theoretically supposed to only be about discussing fics. While it rarely actually does, I’m merely speaking first-impressions here. I also think a new-comer would find the thought of discussion in real-time with some of the heavy hitters of /fic/ to be at least reasonably intimidating. They often prefer to stick to the boards for a while, where they can measure out their responses and be excused for a delayed reaction to a statement.So, with that in mind, I don’t want to be a derailing jabber-jaws on the threads by using them to search for an artist I would like. There’s no real help from the art board either, as pretty much all of the threads are for specific artists that are either dead, commission, or simply not to my particular liking right now. Unlike fic, there is no TTG format thread for someone just looking to dip their toes in the water. Nowhere I could start asking around for artists, or discuss things with artists and get to know them, etc.

Which leads us to:

>>3965

That’s what I’d love to do, and that’s what I would also encourage someone to do, should they find an artist that grabs their attention. Again, I will certainly have to try it and see how it turns out.

But how many newcomers know just how talented some of our artists are? How many are afraid to ask, simply because they don’t know the best way to express their desire or who to even start asking? For all I know, you could be a Van Gogh, merely hiding beneath the veneer of a vicious review shark, but I don’t see you making artworks left and right and so I don’t know if asking you would just be seen as stupidly annoying and off-topic.

There’s no threads where I can see if you draw like a Renaissance master or a second-grader on a sugar-high; a place where I can then see that, yes, there are some people I can talk to who share a common interest with me, have the ability to help me, and might even know about me and want to help if I but asked. I needn’t go to the other boards, rebuilding my reputation from scratch on talents they would not necessarily value like they do here. I have some connections right now, people I could try turning to, before seeking elsewhere.

So it’s a matter of knowing who here could do what, which would be nice if there was some place where we could see the artistic talents of our very own writers, should they choose to indulge them once in a while, and see what could be asked from whom. Whether or not a writer and an artist could work together depends on how they get along, but at least they’d have a place to start forming such connections.

4Darker!a9s4XHRTZs 3993

From what I've seen, a lot of authors simply find cover art for their story or ask permission to use it.

Free artists aren't the kind of thing you can just window shop for! You don't see many artists (especially quality ones) doing free art because it takes a good chunk of time. Time spent doing a free, quality illustration for someone's story could just as well be spent doing art for money, or doing art for one's own stories and characters. Both of those are easy for artists to do and get feedback on, and there are many places artists can do already that without getting involved with writers they don't know.

If you want someone to do quality art for you out of the pure kindness of their heart, it's probably more proper to personally find someone who respects your work enough to do it for you. It's pretty easy to befriend artists. Find someone you like and try doing them some fanwriting for their stuff, if it's good they may return the favor.

Ezn!RAopYJNHZ6 3995

File: 1360489881454.jpg (398.36 KB, 688x1050, a57459475be8453bc90375e11caa45…)

Methinks >>3993 knows where it's at. Of the two fics of mine that have had coverart specifically made for them by others, one was basically written for the artist in question (a friend) and the other was a runner-up in a competition with an art commission prize.

My usual approach to coverart is to tell myself that my fic isn't as special as I think and take a screencap from an episode or browse around on http://www.bronibooru.com/ and ask the artist nicely (they tend to say yes). You'll be surprised how well you can do with a bit of digging and (sometimes) a little amateur tinkering in the GIMP.

If you really want custom coverart from someone else, it's very likely gonna take money. No such thing as a free lunch and all that. Though I am intrigued by >>3965's suggestion – imagine the hilarious chain of writing a fic, getting art for it by writing another fic, getting art for that fic by writing another fic… when does it end?! For serious, though, I think this trade idea is what you ought to focus on if you want results. And you could always trade reviews or textual favours instead of fics.

4Darker!a9s4XHRTZs 3996

File: 1360491395746.png (334.87 KB, 784x532, pinkiepie.png)

I do crappy fake stained glass things. I will totally do them for you if I can get you to just straight up make my fics better. The rewritten bits and and reorganizations you proposed on my first one were really good.

4001

File: 1360506179059.png (60.3 KB, 577x387, suwako_rawr.png)

>>3993
>If you want someone to do quality art for you out of the pure kindness of their heart, it's probably more proper to personally find someone who respects your work enough to do it for you. It's pretty easy to befriend artists. Find someone you like and try doing them some fanwriting for their stuff, if it's good they may return the favor.
So, in other words, friendship is magic?

>sage


>>3948
I'm envisioning a hub to improve author-artist relationships, kinda like a bazaar, and it sounds like pretty cool. While I am indifferent at best to cover art (since I do it all myself in crappy Paint), I'd say it's cool - but what's the interest like on the artist side? There's got to be something in it for them for anything to start, so finding that thing will strengthen your argument for it.

The closest would be added popularity and views, and if you can stoke up the idea of "being a popular fanfic cover artist", you'd have quit a few people biting, methinks. But I don't know squat about art so I'll shut up.

4004

File: 1360525700952.jpg (47 KB, 640x480, 640px-FANMADE_Mane_6_on_a_moun…)

>>3993
>>3995

I agree. I would be foolish to say that there would be no price for quality; you get what you pay for. While the artists taking requests are free, the reason they are taking requests is because many of them are practicing and simply do not have either the skill or are in such demand as to make such a ridiculous claim that they are worth 5 dollars for a basic sketch.

However, let me tell you a small story:

I once asked an artist for permission on their work.
>pic related

I traced it down, trawling through sites like Deviantart, Even going so far to bother poor Seth on EQD, simply so I could have a name to work off of in my searches. To say the least, he did not exactly know how to contact them. and only through sheer luck did I find the piece I desired, which was the result of clicking on works that simply had a similar art-style and then looking through several galleries for the piece.

Upon finding it, I dropped a request in the comments section to ask for the artist’s permission, for I wished to show them the proper respect and acknowledgement for their hard work. Several days later, I checked up on it, but there was no reply. Acouple weeks past, and still no luck. I had to acknowledge the simple fact that the artist likely did not make a regular habit of checking through the comments, just to see how many people are asking about using it for a /fic/ and so, after a time, I gave up and looked for other pieces (I ended up using a screencap, as I was fairly certain I would not step on anyone’s toes through using such a thing). I’ve just gone back and looked again, finding the piece after yet another bout of searching and re-searching. My request was made in April 28th of 2012. And there has still been no reply, so I think I was right to not wait for it.

And that is the conundrum I think can frustrate both and artist and a writer. Unless you establish a name for yourself, you simply cannot find people willing to look at your work and then use it for their own, growing both of your reputations simultaneously.

And, even should you establish a name for yourself, many artists and writers need to be tracked down in some way, which can be exceedingly difficult. How many stories like mine exist? I don’t think Mr. Joseco was being rude, because my comment is simply one among what must be hundreds of the little buggers. How could he ever know about one, little writer, that liked his work enough to want to try and use it? How many big names can really afford the time to scroll through miles of comments, be it all praise or hate, and try to find the people we don’t know who want to use our work for things we might have never heard of?

>>4001

You’re on the right track, but you’re thinking just a little too small.

Picture me someday completely losing my mind. One day, in a fit of said insanity, I decide I want to make the comic. No, not a comic. The comic. One that’s so mind-blowingly awesome, it has to be outlawed for causing spontaneous combustion of the cranium on sight.

However, all I have is the story idea and the writing for it. The last time I tried to draw something, a kindergartener laughed at how bad it was. And it only got worse from there.

So, I bring it to the board and say “I have this. Who wants to help me?” Maybe someone will claim it, asking for a slight favor in return. They’ve got some works that can do with improvement, be it an artwork that needs a nice story behind it, or a story that could do with a read-through. I do so, and the art they make for me is so good, I will jealously defend them as best I can. I want their art so much, I create worlds for them to synch with their art, in exchange for pieces to go with my own work.

Or, let’s take it the other way. I’m an artist, creating works surreal and heart-wrenching. However, my ability to write leaves people retching in the streets. I have pictures in my mind, but I cannot for the life of me attach any sort of meaningful words to express them. I create characters who look awesome, but cannot give them anything to do that wouldn’t attract cries of “SUE!” and an immediate pelting with rotten fruit.

So I drop off a few samples of my work, some drawings of my characters and my scenes and ask “Can someone put these together?” After a time, someone agrees. Maybe they like my work so much, they want me to do a few more drawings for them just so they can put them to their own stories. I become valuable, and soon, writers are practically clawing at each other for my work. As my choices grow larger, I can pick and choose, selecting the stories that interest me simply because they interest me or because I like the author in question.

The thread wouldn’t be made to encourage simply getting stuff for free; no, far from it. It’s a place where someone can say “I can do this, so who can do that?”: a way for someone to give their services and attract interest in their work.

It’s sort of like the TTG is now. I can submit a story and just wait for someone to take a look, sure, but I only really get noticed if I start participating and helping out, both in the thread and on the board. The thread wouldn’t be made to encourage simple mooching, no, far from it. It’s a place where someone can say “I can do this; so who can do that?” thus helping remove a layer of difficulty from an artist and a writer finding one another.

I wouldn’t need to wait on Mr. Joseco for over a year, growing more and more frustrated at the endless wait of a dead-end I don’t know how to escape. I could drop a request on the board, and wait for someone to bring up how to find him so that we could actually talk. Or I could look for someone with a similar style, and someone could make a suggestion, and I could look into it. Or someone could look at my story, say “I really want to draw something from this” and then offer a service to me, maybe in exchange for a few moments of my time and effort on a few of their own projects. From which I still benefit, as it’s a way for me to constantly hone and practice my own art, just as surely as it is one for them.

Shoot, even commissioners could get something out of such a thread. What better way to sell yourself than the occasional sample of your work? Even if they only came once in a blue moon, and did nothing but offer advice and counsel to the artists there, they could still get their own voice heard; which can draw interest and mayhaps even customers. Even better yet, a commissioner could find people to assist them in their own projects by the bushel for the mere promise of art to the one he likes best. Flash games and comics need good writing, pony or otherwise, as well as nice visuals. People need inspiration for their next steps, and what better way than a place where ideas might be practically bouncing off the walls that particular day like a Story-Forge on the world’s largest sugar-high?

Who knows: maybe I even meet a commissioner there, or some other supremely talented artist. We comment at one another a little bit, and somehow find ourselves in an IRC. We chat some more, grow to like each other over time, and he decides to become my artist for free because he just likes my personality and style.

Or maybe he doesn’t, and so I say that while I can’t do Paypal, I still want to acquire his services somehow. Does he have a story he’s always wanted to make? Does he have a writer he’s always wanted to approach with a story idea, but didn’t know how to ask? Maybe I’m good friends with the writer he wants, and, next thing you know, a new story is born because someone took his idea as inspiration and ran all the way home with it. All because he knew me, and I knew someone else.

This isn’t merely a “Get some free stuff” thread. It’d be a thread of connections and possibilities. It would allows someone to meet someone else in a reasonably controlled environment, and get to know them by working with them and seeing their own work various projects, giving insights to both character and ability. Like the TTG, it is a place of beginnings, middle-grounds, and endings.

>>3996

This.

This is what I want the thread to be.

I would have never, ever guessed that you made that art, because all I currently knew about you before now was “4Darker: a first-time writer on TTG. They apparently liked my style; are quite possibly insane.” And there was no way I think I could have really asked, as I don’t recall seeing you in the IRC, nor would I have requested your artwork on a thread like the TTG. (As that would be wildly out in left-field of its stated purpose, plus rather unhelpful in a review which is supposed to be about how the story is written, not the artwork that comes with it.)

And, whether or not it’s “crappy”, I don’t know, as I’m not a supremely gifted artist myself. It looks very pretty to me, and it’s at least a really good start that I’d be happy to take. My pen-name on Fimfiction is “WB”, by the way. Consider yourself followed, so send me a PM whenever you're ready to start, and we'll talk turkey. Whether or not this partnership went anywhere, we’d have to see, but you’re an artist to whom I can certainly provide a service in exchange for even some attempts at making what I want to see made.

So, imagine a place where something like this not only can, but does occur at any given time? A place where you learn things about someone else you never even thought of before, where partnerships are made, unmade, and remade constantly?

Who knows; maybe the only thing holding me back from making art is the knowledge and experience required to do so, which is easier to acquire when you’re working closely with an artist to create something you both might truly care for and which is in itself easier to do if there is at least one place to start really looking for someone to help you.
This post was edited by its author on .

4006

File: 1360531186927.gif (993.25 KB, 320x444, 0df.gif)

>>4004
> I dropped a request in the comments section to ask for the artist’s permission
There's your problem. Noting/PMing exists for a reason, you know. If they don't reply, use it anyways; Seth uses pictures for the drawfriends without individually contacting each artist. As long as you're sure to provide a source, the only thing they can complain about is you directing more people to their page.

4010

>>4006

Considering that I was just starting out, it seemed the best course of action at the time. I was new and didn’t even know such things existed until I hung around the threads for a while, and it took me even longer to figure out how such a thing even worked. Even after discovering how to use the system, I still had little idea on the proper etiquette for such a thing. I wanted to be polite, and so I tried to be professional. PM's and such always hit me as very, well, personal: something used between close associates. It was a step beyond what I thought I was allowed, given how new and inexperienced I was, and how little myself someone else would really know each other.

Plus, it doesn't eliminate that level of disconnect between artists and writers as a whole. Part of getting to know someone is in knowing that they exist, as well as vice versa. A newcomer has a lot to sort through, given the sheer amount of content generated, and little to use in terms of help for truly finding artists. I cannot PM someone for whom I have no idea how to contact.

PMs also hold little weight without something to back them up. I don’t know Joseco, and thus he really has no reason to act like I exist if I sent him a PM. But what if I became friends with someone who knew Joseco? Then, when I send the PM, I can add “Hey, I’m a friend of so-and-so”, and it helps gives me the necessary connection to start a relationship, be it merely professional or maybe more.

Another thing is that PMing doesn’t always work, and I suspect the same for Noting. While I know it isn’t saying much, I do have a little experience on this perspective. Even when not dealing with an artist, who can have a valid reason for not checking fic based tools like a Fimfiction PM, some people appear to either ignore or disregard such things. While it is likely merely representative of the people in question, it brings into light a question of accountability: how can I make sure that someone is held accountable? If I ask an artist to make a work, through what means can I keep them to that promise?

I had an exchange with someone in Fimfiction a long while back. I sent them a PM, asking a question and for discussion on a topic that I had begun. They did not contact me, I contacted them, and so I was already wandering outside my comfort zone and taking an initiative.

After a period of over a week, during which I saw that they had been on Fimfiction at least several times over the course of it(often at least a couple times a day), I was forced to try hunting them down through other means. I left a comment on their board, tried using email, and took a look at their Deviant account, which had not been visited in several weeks according to the site. A few days after I had already given up on hearing anything from them, I received a PM apologizing for the delay and in which they asked me to expand upon my earlier PM. I did so, again asking their feedback.

This was over nine weeks ago, and I was not in any sort of mood to play ring-around-the-mulberry-bush once again. Hence, a place where ideas are not only given, but a degree of responsibility is expected. Much like when a reviewer makes a claim in a TTG or within their own thread, there would be an expectation that communication and fulfillment of obligations would be done in a timely and professional manner here. If they start, and cannot finish, then they can at least give a reason as to why for no other reason than common courtesy. When someone makes a promise, there is an expectation on fulfilling that promise to the best of one’s ability. This therefore serves as a place for someone to hold up a promise and say “I fulfilled my end of the agreement, and here is proof that I did. You haven’t, and here is proof. So why haven’t you kept your promise?”

Thusly it is a way of avoiding constant badgering, only to be forgotten two minutes later and, when someone grows impatient, from that someone then becoming an unnecessary annoyance by continuing to badger someone else night and day, getting louder and angrier at every perceived or real insult until the fire ignites hate and grudges. When someone can provide evidence saying that “This was expected and yet unfulfilled,” arguments can be held in a reasonable manner, because it is easier to find the party that is in the wrong and make amends.

I don’t want to hunt someone down, wasting days that could be spent on more important things, to simply try and get them to answer why they haven’t talked with me yet. I’m not going to be a pest.

However, if pest I must be, I will not be ignored because they think I have no ability to push them into fulfilling an agreement, unspoken or otherwise. If I make a request, and someone agrees to fulfill that request, then I believe I am justified asking once in a while, “What is the progress?” and getting an answer on that request, backed not only by evidence and expectations, but with the weight of multiple witnesses to my complaint’s validity.

If they cannot provide progress, then they have an opportunity to explain why to make sure I am not upset: “I almost had it, but a virus ate my computer”, “I simply couldn’t get anything out today”, etc. I will give some wiggle room, as long as they treat me with the proper respect and explain themselves to my satisfaction. I am reasonable, and can accept that things happen beyond our control. If I cannot accept their excuses for some reason, or they become too many, I will request that the professional relationship end there before things get ugly. I will then try for someone with less on their plate, and who has more time for what I want to accomplish with them. That will be the end of it: there will be no need for fights, threats, or angry emails demanding you go get eaten by a pack of rabid Chihuahuas. We are done, and I hope you enjoy your day. I would expect no less from someone to whom I have made a promise which I have not yet kept.

And so shall an artist and writer prove themselves, not only to each other, but to the board. Who seems to have an excuse for every short-coming? Which writers or artists can be depended upon to fulfill an obligation, when asked to do so? Who will do what, and how well do they do it? Does a failure to keep a promise seem to be a mere case of occasional bad-luck, or is it something more ingrained in their personality?

The TTG provides a place for a writer to prove themselves to the /fic/ community, while the /art/ Board ostensibly does the same for its own. Why not have a place where we prove what we can do to each other? Why shouldn’t we have a place where connections and people’s talents are shared, and where I can prove I am a writer who can make fics that deserve good art?

And, for using art without permission, I would counter thusly:

I believe an artist should at least have a place to speak to the /fic/ community as a whole. What if a writer takes someone’s art, and attaches it to something that the artist finds personally disgusting?

Let’s say a relatively new artist makes a nice Pinkie drawing: cute, innocent, and loveable. Then, without warning, someone attaches it to a nasty Cupcakes rip-off. Now, I am familiar with the saying “there is no such thing as bad publicity”, but you cannot deny that there is something to be said of first impressions, which includes a story’s art which is pretty much draws a reader’s eye besides the title.

So an artist at least has the right to say that he did not approve of something, and a newcomer should be able to defend themselves someplace. Even though the fic should stand on its own feet, and the terrible writing should not hold an ill-effect on the artist, there is no avoiding that an image brings memories to mind both good and bad. An image is a powerful thing, and often a very long-lasting thing.

So what better place for an artist to learn of his projected image than on a thread where artists and writers coexist? People who might have seen their work, and could tell them the context that their work was seen in? An artist can learn if their art has the reputation of being connected to things that are “unsavorable”, and explain that they did not approve of such things. Even if they can’t necessarily make the bad fic go away, and someone keeps using their works without their permission, then at least people know it is no fault of theirs. They merely put the art out, and someone else chose to use it in a manner that they did not like, but cannot truly control. And they will have proof.

4Darker!a9s4XHRTZs 4011

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>>4004

Setups like you are suggesting have been tried in the past, but they rarely work out. There are a variety of reasons.

One is that writers are much more common than artists. Or at the very least, people who think they can write well are much more common than people who think they can draw well. Not only that, but a lot of artists feel like they can write fine and don't need help—or, at best, have close a friend they recognize writes better than them and who they prefer to work with. Attempts to make writer-artist collaboration systems almost always end up with many more willing writers than artists, reducing them to little more than a place for writers to beg for free things and sometimes be thrown a bone.

Another is that there is a whole lot of backlash in art communities against the idea of doing free work for "exposure" or "practice". It is very common for companies to enlist free labor from artists who don't know any better under the pretense that it will "give them exposure" or "help them get experience". If artists want exposure or practice there are many existing art communities out there that can give it to them, designed for artists by artists. Creating a setup to pair writers with artists would only benefit the writers, since the artists already have plenty of routes to get the same benefit.

Most importantly, though: the people you meet through a streamlined pairing system are generally not the sort of people you want to work with. It's the same theory behind online dating sites: anyone you meet through them is, by definition, going to be a person desperate enough to turn to the internet for love. A writer going to a collaboration thread to find a complete stranger to work with means they don't know any artists (at least who are willing to work with them). It also means they likely have no experience working with artists, and don't know what expectations to have or what interactions are appropriate. It results in a pretty miserable experience for artists, and if they are beginners as well then it can be enough to sour the entire practice for them.

As appealing as the idea of matching artists and writers is, it is really not something you can streamline. If you want the services of an artist, you either have to reach out to them or make a big enough ripple that they reach out to you—anything else raises the question of why you COULDN'T have simply done that. Even if you're a great person, a lot of artists are well trained to recognize deals like that as a red flag.

Though like I said, your abilities did catch my attention in TTG and if you want to temporarily pair up just drop me a PM any time on Fimfiction.

4012

>>4011

Well, I suppose I have no real counter for that. History is rarely successful when repeated. I know anything worth having, be it artist or idea, must be fought for and takes both time and the ability to find the right people. It’s a pity it must be so difficult, and at times head-smashingly frustrating, but if that’s what it takes, then that’s what it takes. I certainly know what it takes to be stubborn when I believe I must be.

I still think the spirit of the thread is good, if not it’s particulars any longer, and it’s a nice dream, if not a particularly realistic one. I suppose the ludicrous must be at least considered once in a while so that the possible might be discovered.

Maybe it need not be a thread of artists and writers, working as an assembly line of stories and artwork, but a thread of simple discussion that can help a newcomer figure out how to do such things like contact artists through PMs, or use the IRC, or not look like a raging tool when they do either of them. Someplace to help them know what is appropriate within /fic/, and how to best start exploring the world of story-writing within a reasonably safe environment by asking questions they are too afraid to ask anywhere else for fear of seeming out-of-place. Less TTG, and more Ask EQD: a place where they can start learning how to fit in.

Folks like myself often blindly stumble about while hoping their occasional idiocy will be rewarded with nuggets of wisdom, fearing the entire time to tread on someone’s toes and thus hurt themselves. They are terrified to ask questions, because they don’t know how best to broach such subjects like finding artists while they are on a board labeled /fic/, and so they don’t. While the review threads and IRC are often helpful if you listen for a while, it’s frightening beyond belief at times to make a post and not know if you have, in a moment of ignorance, offended someone beyond recompense and made everyone in the community think you are an incompetent jerk. An unrealistic fear, maybe, but I think a very real one for someone who is in community. This is why it took me nearly two months to even consider creating this thread, and I’d had this idea for months before bringing it up in the IRC, and held onto it for months afterwards though it went nowhere.

I fought and worked for every scrap of dignity I have now, and losing it on what might be seen as simply more angry rantings of an idiot author holds very little appeal to me. Even now, I try to think of how to best get out of looking like an imbecile, creating a thread for the sole purpose of discussing an idea that simply was doomed from the start. And mayhaps even the secondary thought is more of the same, or is already being done much better elsewhere, and I am again just showing how very clueless I can be.

But in the end I cannot. So, unless someone has something further to say in a manner more intelligent than mine, I suppose I have nothing to add to the discussion that will not make an already embarrassing situation all the worse.

In conclusion, forgive one of many writers their fit of rambling, and I thank you all for your patience, time, and considerations.

4Darker!a9s4XHRTZs 4014

>>4012

Don't worry, you did nothing wrong. Very few writers know much about working with artists, and artists are for the most part used to it. Every so often it is probably healthy to have a thread reiterating that artists are not idea-starved individuals waiting for someone to come along to grant them experience-giving opportunities. For the most part they are just like us writers, except better at drawing horses than verbally describing them.

4015

>>4011
>Creating a setup to pair writers with artists would only benefit the writers, since the artists already have plenty of routes to get the same benefit.
The same could be said for writers, really. There are plenty of (better) places for writers to practise outside of an art-swap shindig.

I don't think there's so much a lack of artists as much as it is we're looking in the wrong place. A lot of artists stay in deviantArt or Tumblr, places in which writers don't have much of a network.

I tried interacting with our /art/ neighbours a few times already, and the response was (mostly) positive. Amateur artists are certainly willing to collaborate with people or participate in some event for no monetary gain. Remember there's a huge difference between a personal request and a public one (that is, posting "Someone do my cover art" on a board vs "Hey, can you do my cover art?")

It's really a numbers game. Find a few artists that have a style you like, and ask them for some cover art. In all likelihood you'll have at least one person interested. The worst thing that can happen is they say no. (That or they all say "Yes" and you have to pick between them.) Let them know you're patient because some people are busy/lazy.

About writer-artist interactions, I see there are two ways it can go poorly. The first is the infamous "It needs to be about 20% cooler", i.e., completely unspecific directions that don't help in the slightest. The other is if the writer realises this and thus doesn't want to provide any sort of direction at all because "the artist knows better". But writers aren't stupid (well, most of them aren't), and it just takes a bit of thought to articulate what exactly you're looking for. In fact, writers should be quite good at that, really. A few people in Ponychan's /art/ said that they liked doing cover art because the writers were able to give specific and detailed descriptions of what exactly they were looking for.

I think that you are right about a megathread (of sorts) being not as successful as one might hope. For one, image boards are filled more with writers than artists. You'd need some liaison between here and Tumblr / deviantArt to get real equal involvement. Secondly, having to ask the person personally at least shows you have some interpersonal skills and aren't some dude who's plain filling out a form in the hopes that a pretty pony picture will come out on the other side. You also have the trouble of the dual-sided organisation required. That is, it could be an artist helping a writer, or the other way round. (I guess that's just an extra sheet in the spreadsheet, but it's essentially doubling your workload as an organiser.) Moreover, the distinction between "writers" and "artists" could field some degree of conflict between people who identify as one or the other (or both), in particular when one wants to represent a whole. (Remind yourself of when TTG visitors would sometimes bark at the almighty /fic/ oligarchy, if you remember.)

However, those criticisms could just as well be made about reviewing. The TG as it exists is mostly a miracle of selflessness that hardly anyone would ever predict to be successful. What's to say a similar setup of artists helping writers wouldn't gain some traction?


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