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Now I fully realize why my buddy and fellow Sideshow sculptor, Tim Miller, has posted on every piece since Black Queen "Comments and Critiques NOT welcome."  From now on, I'm doing the same thing.  It's not because we're pretentious douchebags who feel that our work is above reproach, but rather because a large portion of the fan base just can't control themselves.  They're the *very* substantial part of society who are the backseat drivers, armchair quarterbacks, and internet badasses who make our job a living hell.  It honestly makes me not want to do what I do.  I'm a complete fan of constructive criticism, but most people have no idea what that is, much less how to express it. I posted what I thought was a thoughtful bit of text over on the forums, in hopes that people would take note of some proper etiquette, but it only got uglier from there. For Pete's sake, people were arguing about how ASIAN my latest sculpt looked, and arguments ensued about what was "attractive Asian" and "unattractive Asian"....the latest 15 PAGES of comments were consumed :P  I figured I'd repost what I put up over at StatueForum, so here it is:

I've seen the thoroughly beaten carcass of the dead horse subject that is digital sculpting on this forum. I think I made a comment or two the first time it came up, but afterwards I just let it go. People betray their own prejudices and flaws if you allow them to pontificate long enough. It's all in how you present something that gains you traction in any argument, and coming from a "do or die" platform is only going to make people think "oh jeez, not this *again*". As with any political or social issue, if someone comes up and hollers in your face, you're not likely to give them any credence. However, if you approach them with a humbleness and sincerity, they're very apt to try and hear what you have to say. You may go away still disagreeing, but at least there's an exchange of ideas. Most of what I've seen here in this instance, and harkening back to prior posts on this same issue, it's just this:  When faced with a situation like that, it's best to drop it.

One other thing that I find that those that have never been involved in the collectibles or toy industry is that they lack the understanding of the full process that led up to what you're seeing as a final product. Will any sculpt be perfect, even in the eyes of the sculptor? No. Even if you believe your piece to be perfect after you finish it, any artist of merit will go back and study the piece after the iron has cooled, and find things to take note of for next time. Many also do not realize that sculpting for collectibles and toys is a multi-faceted process, using materials and techniques that can render unexpected results. Ever buy a toy where one joint won't move? Well, I can almost guarantee you that the prototype worked. It's likely because of the injection molding process in China, where the plastic might have been heated a little too much, thus when cooling in the steel mold, contracted a little too much around the joint, thus locking it. There's often a reason for things beyond just blaming an artist or sculptor. This is, by no means, to shove all blame on the process, but rather to get folks to see that there are factors beyond the sculptors hand that can influence the final product. Same goes for paint jobs, etc. I can assure you, though, that there's a *host* of people who work long hours and inject their blood, sweat, tears, and trips to China to make sure you get as close to a perfect product as possible.

Too often on here, I see people who are not sculptors (or sometimes sculptors who have never worked in the industry) speaking in a very crass manner to the artist, and conversely, sculptors who feel that their work is above reproach when it's obvious it's found lacking. The key to all this is a dose of humbleness to how you carry yourself on here. Comments like PASS, EZ PASS, FAIL, EPIC FAIL do no good other than to portray the author in a bad light. If you care about the product, be constructive in some way. I know more than one artist who has been skewered by the mob mentality that grows from comments like that and what we've seen here that just doesn't come back anymore.....big name artists who are highly venerated in the collectibles industry.
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JoeMenna Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
There's an old saying about something like the empty can making the most noise.
I just try to tune it out. It's inevitable, no matter what you do, how passionate you are about making it, how much your client likes it, or how many it sells. I bet for every whiner you get, though you get 5 times as many asking how to break into the biz.

We just have to keep rolling and doing the best work that we can. Pro's know the issues...deadlines, revisions, clients who change their minds on a dime or are never satisfied.

It needs to be noted that it is very rare, if ever that the sculptors' themselves get the last word on how a job looks...unless you are rocking it like the Shifletts.

Keep kicking, tail man...this stuff is ridiculously cool.
hollows-grove Featured By Owner May 14, 2010
Hello there! Long time listener, first time caller! Or something along those lines.

Firstly, is it the Deathstrike sculpt in your DA gallery that was in question cause...I can't really find much 'bad Asian' or whatever the term was. Are people forgetting that...Deathstrike WAS Asian? Thats just odd. So unless it's another piece thats not posted, I'd just say take it with a grain of salt.

As an AMATEUR sculptor, with only private figure commissions, I can't really comment on your remarks on the 'process', but I think I can atleast, sympathize. I'm a huge fan of alot of figurative sculpture, regardless of its context. Classical, modern, digital, analog, or what have you, so usually my comments on peoples work are actual critiques, not criticisms, but if they are, I make sure to write it out that its a personal view. Benefit of a college education in the arts I guess, learn how to properly critique things early on.

I just hope this doesn't make you not post here as often!

And I apologize if this comment seemed like an odd ramble, I had a train of thought for it...then lost it.
TKMillerSculpt Featured By Owner May 14, 2010  Professional Artist
Now I gotta find that thread! And you've heard me say it before, don't sweat the loud-mouths too much. Perhaps some are so vocal about the collectibles they buy because they need to feel important.
IllysianB Featured By Owner May 13, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
Holy carp....

Lotsa drama man, sorry about you getting caught up in all of that. What else can ya do though right? Just hope you keep posting here every now and then.

drteng Featured By Owner May 13, 2010
I wouldn't worry about it. While it's annoying, it's just how most forums on the internet are, in terms of nerdy subcultures. You'll always have a few people that feel the need to express their opinions on something no matter what, and some that simply feel the need to ramble on forever.

I argued in the digital vs analog threads and it's pointless. I had the same arguments during the era of digital cameras and digital video, eventually people understand the process better and the diehards chill out.

Anywho, hope you'll still post around there.
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Submitted on
May 13, 2010