It is something that has been on my mind for years. Lack of Critiques or L.o.C. for short. I have gotten some nice and fair critiques on my last pieces, so I'm not begging for more on DA, it is more of a summary kind of rant. We are fortunate enough to have lots and lots of different kind of forums and website to host our art and there are a number of website which have become industry-standards over the years with more sites on the way. Conceptart.org, cgsociety.com, cghub.com, wipnation. and more - they are all fine sites. If you're into lurking. The thing that irks me the most about these websites is: they are not that helpful because they're either crowded or not frequented enough. You need to have a name or you have to work for a name to be elligeble to recieve critques. But I - and a lot of others fall through, we are largely ignored and that's why I often loose interest in participating. Sure, you could say that I'm discouraged easily, haha - I'm guilty
and I know it, yet I won't have it if someone said to me: you don't even try. I've been on these boards. I have given my share of critiques, I've particpated in community-challenges, I've submitted work and I have even been careful to choose the work I upload there, not like Deviantart which I use to upload whatever.
The point I'm trying to make:
1. Once you've reached a certain level and the other don't consider you a beginner, you're often on your own unless you have an interesting style or that certain something that people draws to your work. Isn't that the same thing as a popularity-contest?
2. The amount of critique and interaction you give is not equal to the amount you get back. (in my case CGhub was different, but barely so)
3. Ther are not enough ressources or people willing to teach. Sure - who wants to "grow" their own competition?
Although I have to admit, that 3. is a bit demanding, there are lot of atist who are willing to teach - just not for free and I don't fault them on that. Yet I don't have the money to buy the DVDs or a another art-course. This is why I'm stuck with free ressource I can find on the web and my books. I've read the books over and over again, watched the DVDs and... well, I wouldn't be writing this here journal if it had been helpful, now would I?
I've lately been told that this is just whining and I should work on the basics that I needed to put the piece I was working on the backburner and start over again. Thing is, I do like a challenge from time to time and that Diablo 3 fanart was my challenge. I asked for help and was told to go back to the start. I'll be honest, yes, I was angry and writing this is probably a sign that I am still angry. Thing is, I DON'T think my work is brillant. I have studied a lot, I've practised a lot and I draw a couple of things people like. I would love to progress so much further beyond what and yet, I'm stuck. Studying photographs and simply drawing until my hands bleed will give me one thing: Practise. Which I need, true. But it won't improve my understanding
and that's the whole point I'm trying to make.
pointed out that I should seek a mentor and yes, that is one fine idea. A mentor would be the person I could go and ask for help on certain artworks. These people are saints who do not grow on tress, so to speak and it's not that I didn't think of this myself, yet I know that artists like everybody else has their own work to do and little time to spare. A mentor would have to spare that time, critiques are never an easy thing to do. Knowing that I have not contacted anybody and isntead turned to art-related websites. There people can give whatever time they have on hands and yikes, we're back at the start! See my problem? and it's not only my problem - I've talked to a bunch of other artists and they agree with me.
I do not recommend to ignore art-related websites entirely, exposure is part of being an artist after all. Just don't expect a forum labled "help" to be actually helpful.
I'll be back to reading the books. I'll be doing my studies. I know that I have tools on my hands that I just don't know how to use yet. I won't let frustration win over me by stopping to study and learn.
Now to find a mentor or something. Because I have things to draw.