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View Full Version : New Sub-Forum Please


Shamblin
07-31-2004, 05:05 AM
I would like to submit an idea for a Children's Illustration sub-forum. I included a poll to gather more support. I think it will compliment this community immensely. :D

Best wishes,
Jerry

Shamblin
07-31-2004, 05:12 AM
hmmm... yeah... about that poll... forget it. I forgot to check that box before I sent the post. Please reply instead.

TedDawson
07-31-2004, 09:40 AM
I've wished a couple of times myself that we had this category. My thoughts are that there are already so many forums, it's almost impossible to really take advantage of everything WC offers without having to cross-post at least occasionally. With a children's illustration section, it would be nice because we'd find like-minded folks there, but we'd lose the diversity of experience and opinions. Of what comes to mind immediately, the children's illustrations I've seen posted in this area have been in three different mediums. Mostly mine are in watercolor so once or twice I've cross-posted to get feedback on that specific medium.

I've been here since February or so, and I seem to have joined at a good time because the Illustration area has really kicked in this summer. I'd hate to see things get diluted.

Still, I would like to have that extra resource with a children's section, since that is the area on which a lot of my attention is focused right now. Maybe there are some alternatives... finding folks in all the forums who do children's illustrations and either set up a perpetual Project area that everyone checks into, or putting each other on the Buddy list, or setting up an e-mail critique group...?

My two bits. :)

Axl
07-31-2004, 10:53 AM
I've been here since February or so, and I seem to have joined at a good time because the Illustration area has really kicked in this summer. I'd hate to see things get diluted.

I think that's really it. There has been lots of talk about adding all sorts of different sub-forums to this forum. But the thing is is that we dont have a lot of traffic at the moment. Hell we were barely alive before the summer, and it seams to have taken quite a bit of pushing to get things happening in here. We'd love to have the ability to someday get some subforums. Like one for book illustration, and one for cartoons, manga and comics (another one we were discussing) but if you dont have many posters in the forum period, its hard to make a convincing argument that the forum is actually needed.

If you guys want subforumsm we have to think of ways to build the community first and draw active participants. Get the forum kicking and becoming a popular place to post and THEN we can start sectioning things off to suite the particular needs of the croud. help think of ideas of things we can do to being people here, or maybe drop the idea of joining to other illustrator friends you may have, or if you see an illustrati ve-type post in another board, suggest the cross post it in here.

hmm?

Kathryn Wilson
07-31-2004, 08:40 PM
I'm in agreement with Axl - the forum is too delicate at the moment to divide it. We have subforums in the Pastel Forum where I am a Guide also and I already see the division of interest where before everyone commented on all sorts of pastels.

If you want to discuss child illustration, why not start a thread every week and put a really hot topic in for discussion - really mix it up with different ideas. Then we can judge how much participation there would be.

Shamblin
08-01-2004, 03:03 AM
I understand what everyone is saying and I can respect that, but I think you are shooting yourselves in the foot.

As an illustrator- are you more comfortable speaking with sculptor or another illustrator? I know we are all illustrators here, but there is a significant difference... our markets. I had to read through many, many threads just to find anything remotely related to children illustration. That fact alone doesn't make me comfortable posting in such a forum. If I saw a forum labeled children's illustration, then I would feel more impelled to post.

I see the problem losing people to the new forum. If it existed, then that probably be the only forum I posted in. Keep in mind though... "If you don't risk anything, you risk even more." - Erica Jong

Axl
08-01-2004, 12:32 PM
I really, really do see your points, and I agree completely about what your saying. Part of the reason we were thinking about getting a forum specifically for cartoons/anime and comics was because at one point we felt illustrators were feeling uncomfortable posting their work in here just because of the amount of cartoons and manga floating around. We do acknowledge the fact that it is difficult to post and discuss with people who don't necissarily do the same things as you do.

However, i've been lucky to have been part of the making of 2 forums on here from concept to debating to creating, and i can tell you that its not a battle easily faught & won and i speak from experience. This website has become so large, now with over 100 forums and subforums, with thousands of members, it eats up a lot of resources and now more than ever have the sitemasters become more picky about what sort of forums are added. And we cant split this one off, to have a new one grow only to watch this one slowly die off. There needs to be balance.

To get the forum you need to show proof that there are people actuallu already posting this kind of work a lot, and that there is tonnes of interest in it. You need to show that there's already the traffic to warrent the forum's creation, and make them believe that it'll be a valuable resource to our community.

Now i'm not implying that it wont be a valuable reasource to our community. Infact I think it would be great, provided we can get the people here to proove that it was a worthy cause fighting for. In this case, if we make a childrens illustration subforum off of this one, then we're going to have to show that we already have the traffic in this forum to split it off.

Right now we don't have that.

The mods and guides working in here have been trying to make a lot of changes in how this forum is kept, and trying to do things to draw a larger audience, but its been a slow-going battle, tho we see possitive results. But if you want this forum, then get people here, post the work you want to see in that forum, and litterally take over the place! There are a few childrens illustrators in and around, and many people wanting to know how to become it. So spark their interest and bring them out and show us that they are there and interested by starting children-book ilustration topic-related threads, or small projects, or groups. Post your work, get everyone hyped and interested and join in. When we see the traffic and that they're there and can feel confident in splitting it off, we'll do that, and i can send a bulk of the childrens-illustration threads to the forum as well so its all there as one big resource.

Think of it this way...I understand that if there's a forum for childrends illustration that it'd most likely be the only forum you'd post in. However, you don't want to be the only person using that forum, and not receiving feedback from anyone...

We need to insure that we will be able to foster a healthy community of active members, so it becomes a good place to post.

If you have friends working in your same field, maybe mention for them to join, and just start building the community, and get other illustrators interested in posting. Then I'll see what I can do.

Shamblin
08-02-2004, 05:27 AM
You made some good points. Thank you for taking the time to address my request.

Best wishes,
-Jerry

LarrySeiler
08-02-2004, 01:53 PM
As an illustrator- are you more comfortable speaking with sculptor or another illustrator? I know we are all illustrators here, but there is a significant difference... our markets. I had to read through many, many threads just to find anything remotely related to children illustration. That fact alone doesn't make me comfortable posting in such a forum. If I saw a forum labeled children's illustration, then I would feel more impelled to post.

I see the problem losing people to the new forum. If it existed, then that probably be the only forum I posted in. Keep in mind though... "If you don't risk anything, you risk even more." - Erica Jong


well...the same could be said for those that might be medical illustrators trying to find comradery...adult romance cover artists...who knows.

A community is not necessarily everything to everyone...just like children in an extended family do not require their father to take a number of evenings each week to attend the local university to take course work in the professions of each of their kids just to have productive family time discussions at home.

There is the Art Business forum...many many artists of very diverse backgrounds for which we all benefit.

One problem about fracturing into small subforums is that they draw assumptions for other artists to not bother entering to lurk.

If I see a Children's Illustration forum, for example...and being not a children's illustrator, I might miss seeing a title of a thread that might otherwise perk my curiosity to check it out. In that way...I miss what might add to my world, and my expertise as an artist that could otherwise assist another is held off in obscurity.

ITs a bit of a hassle right now...I understand, but if an area is one's area... one embraces the frustrations as par for the course and digs to get what one desires. As the community grows...then perhaps greater demand will warrant it.

Myself, I moderate eight forums here at WC. I teach K-12 art fulltime. I have a number of galleries I paint for. Wrote a book on landscape painting. Have a disabled wife that requires some help every so often. Then my extended family of sons and a granddaughter. That translates to busy busy busy...and we do everything around here in this community as volunteers.

Excellence is deserving of avoiding that which might result as a flash-in-the-pan effort which unfortunately impatience to get a thing going can result in. That creates thereafter a precedent of doubt etched in the minds of people to envision attempts to get it going again...and can squelch the whole thing.

What you can do over time having this interest in Children's Illustration is slowly take note and jot down those members that have the same interest. You can develop a buddy list for your PM.

What frustrates me sometimes is how fractured we have become in our efforts to expand.

I paint plein air landscapes, most in oil...some in acrylics, watercolor, pastel. I am known as a wildlife artist. Now...if I want a decent chance of input, I have to cross post a painting...posting the image in plein air forum...then in the oil painting forum (or appropriate medium friendly forum), the landscape forum as well....or having a body of water in the scene might direct it to the Marine art forum.

People get to where they think of themselves as one thing...like a landscape painter. In their thinking...landscape painters work from photographs they take of a scene, and sit in a studio for near 20 years painting landscapes.

Since they don't think of plein air, and since plein air painters are neatly tucked away and isolated in their own forum, the landscape painter (working from photos) stuck in their forum might never consider what it is plein air painters do. Lo and behold...I paint waterscapes, landscapes as well but do so from life! Wow....do it from life? That comes off as a big revelation to some.

Now...if there were simply one forum on painting scenes...someone might per change see my post as a plein airist and further discover they have much to learn from someone that observes directly from nature things their photographs do not show them.

That is one of the disadvantages of more and more forums and subforums.

It works to manage large numbers of lurkers and logged in members at one time though, and directs travel more evenly...but, I have learned if I want more input I have to hop around the forums.

As an illustrator...if you work in acrylics, you'll be tempted once in awhile to check that forum out. In watercolors? You'll check that one out.

But...you have an easier time locating other children book illustrators in the illustration forum than I have, (for example), painting a plein air and hoping to connect with someone that hangs out only in the landscape forum or Marine art. See what I'm saying?

Supply and demand...

when enough members make trafficking difficult here in the Illustration forum such that managing makes sense to have more subforums, well it'll happen. Just try and be patient....

All good things come in good time....

peace

Larry

designbyjen
08-03-2004, 07:52 AM
i have come to call the 'illust. forum' my homebase. i certainly don't completely fit here...but, it's a place i see myself in a vein of work, (would like to double the $ for my fine art by repro in mags.). i do have a school background in it. the big reason i like it here is the people. the place i would really belong here @ w.c. is no fun & is like a little clique that i don't feel welcome 'intruding' upon. i try off & on, but it's still a better climate here.
because i am multi=faceted w/ my art i do extensive research on the web & here @ w.c. 2 weeks ago i came across a gal that worked in a company as a graphic designer/illustrator in a company as her day job. just for kicks...i breezed through her posts cuz i had never seen her in the ill. forum & sure enough, she had never posted in here. i sent her a p.m. & hope she gives a look.
what we need here is to encourage people to take a step further & be a mentor. to encourage those 'one posters' that came in for advice to share & give feedback instead of getting what they want & heading for the hills.
just because you don't see the optimum for where u want to focus...will you stay and try a weekly thread for interest as suggested? if somebody doesn't take the reigns and fight for something they wanna see...how likely is it going to manifest? i'm sure there are many others like yourself that have been 'lurking' & hoping but not acting. the first person you can buddy w/ is Philwms (i think this is right) he faithfully posts his children bk. ills. on a reg. basis...course you'd have to talk w/ him...i'm not going to recruit the unwilling, but he surely would have pointers as to things he's seen here.
anyways...i'll close w/ some age old wisdom that has spoken 2 me thru the years: "life is like a mirror, reflecting what you do...& if you face it w/ a smile it smiles right back @ you"...just remember 'smile' is a verb ;)
thanks for sharing your desires...'ya come back na, ya hear?'
~~~jen

Shamblin
08-04-2004, 03:22 AM
;)

AFM159
08-09-2004, 11:40 PM
Dude - I was just in Littleton last week - visiting the wife's family! Went upto Arvada to see my uncle and cousins - and spent a few days up in the Mountains, caught a beautifull sunrise over Dillon. Did some fishing with the kids in the stocked pond behind Wal-Mart in Frisco. Good times!

This is an interesting thread, and I guess I gotta side with the Mods and Guides on this one. I've been floating around for a while lurking in many of the forums and it seems to me that what makes any one forum successfull is its diversity of posters and their willingness to comment and discuss things outside their individual specialties.

Here's a real eye opener - go to the top of the page - click on "content areas" then on "discussion forums" - takes you to the main forum page with all the forums listed - the interesting thing is that each forum has the number of threads and posts listed to the right side - take a look at a hopin forum like glass work or watercolor to get an idea what it takes to get a sub-forum, then look at how many we have in illustration. for one was particularly shocked at how many threads and posts are in those two forums - I mean WOW. We are woefully short on participation by comparison. Also scan the archives in this forum; untill this summer most threads only garnered very few responses - two or three at most.

Even in forums that have subs - they aren't subject specific. Rather they have a "General", a "Technical", and a "Gallery" sub-forum. To me thats even too fractured, but when theres that many posts and threads you gotta do something.

Also to my way of thinking - I started posting precisely for the diversity of people here. And perhaps even more importantly for the community. I like to hear/read the many points of view and would lament the fracturing of the forum.

At first I was like - "I'm an Architectural Illustrator. What can I say about other illustration subjects?" Then I realized that we all are first and foremost "Artists" - we all deal with the same basic issues. To me clients are clients regardless of the market. Contracts are basically the same. Business practices are basically the same. Portfolios, composition, technique, values, all the same.

You're right - I can't tell you who to contact or precisely how to "make it" in children's book illustration, but, I can tell you how I would go about it. And who knows it might be worth hearing/reading. If it was started in a sub-forum I probably wouldn't post up, 'cause that's the forum for "children's book illustrators" and I'm not one.

Anyway - you've alreaady been bombarded with reasons not to add a sub-forum - so I'll shut up now. :p Just wanted to add my 2cents...........