mrwednesday wrote:I can't really see why it's surprising that discussion has died down (or is dead). You really only need two or three things. First and foremost you need people that care about things. That would seem like an easy condition to meet, but the active people left fall pretty squarely into the "Can't we all be nice to everyone? Everything is awesome we should only say nice things," camp or the "Caring about things might make me sound uncool. Can't do that... *snarky comment*" camp.
You also need diversity. That goes both for opinion and design and a quick perusal through the derbies and it's pretty clear there's not much of either. There's not a single artist that really jumps out at me that could strongly critique another without having the same things said back at their own design.
People always yelled and shouted that designing for the win is perfectly legitimate and why shouldn't artists try to make what sells? That's all well and good, but homogeneous design makes for a homogeneous community. There's plenty of good designers in the derby and several in this thread. Start pushing some boundaries and make things artistic and creative and you might find that things liven up a bit. At the worst you'll just confirm that all the life already left.
*here, read my huge wall of text.*
I think that people have different ideas about the purpose of an "art discussion thread". I would like some place where people can give purely objective advice on designs. Is the design working? Why does it look "off" for some reason? You don't have to say anything good, just be able to back it up with solid critique. I guess that's what "artist resources" is for, but it just doesn't get enough attention.
Some people, perhaps you feel this way, would like a discussion about the validity of the subject and/or style of the artwork. Is the design "original", is it really doing something for the art community and for the public? Is the work degrading the field of shirt design? This is just as valid as talking about technical aspects of design. Unfortunately, this conversation goes nowhere on this site because no one explains themselves. Why is this kind of art detrimental to the art community, why is another design better?
It's like... paragraphs upon paragraphs of thesis statements, but no body or conclusion. No artist can effectively respond to this because there's no real argument, just opinions. That's why the conversation dies out. I'm going to use one of your last sentences as an example. It's not important whether or not it was directed at me, I'm just trying to illustrate my point here:
"Start pushing some boundaries and make things artistic and creative and you might find that things liven up a bit."
Okay, pushing boundaries and being creative is good advice, but what do you mean? I know that I've pushed my personal boundaries of
technical skill and concept...but now you're saying I haven't done that? Well, now I'm going to get mad at you and insult you, or get all apathetic and ignore all art discussion on woot. What do you even mean by "make things artistic"? That's gonna lead to the whole "what is art" thing, and if you went to art school you just don't want to have that conversation for the billionth time. I think my work and the work of others is "artistic" if it is paying attention to balance, emphasis, line, form, color..etc. You probably think differently, but I can't possibly know what you mean because your wording is ambiguous.
If people explain why they say what they say, then the discussion goes beyond opinion. You could effectively argue that my "they see me rollin'" design is unoriginal and typical cutesy garbage. It isn't pushing boundaries here at woot, it's not creative, and I obviously tried to cater to a large, "unsophisticated" audience. Okay, there's your thesis. Now, go a step further and explain why: There are hundreds of "that's how I roll" t-shirts, so by definition the idea is not original. Whether or not cutesy designs are garbage is subjective, but it can be said that my turtles are in the typical cutesy style seen at woot (you could then site some examples of other cute turtle designs, yes mine are indeed similar). Because you've already effectively argued that the design is unoriginal, we can also assume that it's not pushing any boundaries and isn't creatively different than other designs. Also, the shirt is obviously catered to a preexisting audience since I used a popular catchphrase. It's not really breaking any new ground or changing minds.
I could now discuss your opinion because I understand the reasoning behind your words. Maybe you'd even convince me to take up some of your ideas. Other people who read the forums might take the argument seriously because it has reasoning behind it. Then, maybe you'll see the change you want. It's all about communication, maaan.
*oh yea, and @j5: lol, thanks...I think.*