Customs: Cant We All just Get Along?

Discussion in 'Creative General Discussion' started by autobotx23, Mar 10, 2009.

  1. autobotx23

    autobotx23 Banned

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    This is one of my first customs, a repaint of Cyberton Clockwise into Cybertron Sideswipe.

    [​IMG]

    I was still fairly new at the whole customizing thing at this pint, and I was using Paint markers and a bit of Krylon. I was doubtful of my bashing and paint skills, and was to afraid of "messing up' to dive head first into any huge bashes. However (and this is the point, BTW) I had a support system here at the Radicons forum. I got honest feedback, and helpful critiques on what to improve. And I don't just mean the "atta boys" that we all need from time to time, but the honest insight on how thick the paint was, how to take better pictures, and how to improve overall, from the staff and members who had been there and done that.

    Because of the support, I managed to improve a lil. Our comments on each other work have that ability, to either help us move forward or to make us "give up". I urge everyone here to keep that in mind when making a comment on a custom work. Recently I seem to see more and more jabs and slight insults than honest criticism. It bothers me becuase if the guys who helped me hone my craft would have been so mean, I would have never taken my first Prime apart, or anything else for that matter.

    One of the reasons I hang my hat at TFW is that there seems to be less and less arrogance and rudeness. Were all just fans, some of us huge, others a mild interest. But we are mature and respectful.

    I don't mean you have to sugarcoat every comment you make. Listening to honest opinions is one the choices we make when we stick our stuff one the web for all to see. But lets not pull someone down and trample them underfoot. Its un called for, and quite frankly, we Radicons are better than that. Nuff Said! :thumb 
     

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  2. QmTablit

    QmTablit Disguise: Check. Robot...

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    To be honest, I often find myself not posting a comment when I want to. And it's not a "if you can't say something nice..." kind of thing. It's just that I know I can be quite blunt when it comes to artistic criticism. I've been getting it myself for years and I'm just kind of used to it.

    So I usually find myself typing out a comment... then deleting it. Sometimes I try to find a better, or nicer, way of saying what I want to- but that doesn't work very often.

    Another part of it is that while I do mean to encourage and to push someone into doing better work, albeit in a very blunt and direct manner, I still have to consider that I still do think of myself as a newbie to these boards. And that I really don't have a lot of my own work to show that I'm someone who has any right to give advice and whatnot.

    There's a lot of talent here and a lot of people who are willing to work hard on their projects. And there's a lot of things that hold people back from doing better work. Not going to lie, there are a good number of people who could stand to thin their paints quite a bit or just work at all-around better craftsmanship. But instead I feel people go for the cop-out "nice job" comment to avoid hurting feelings.

    We know what we're here for. I'm not going to be hurt if someone doesn't like my toy-over-cartoon Swindle and would prefer it the other way around. Everyone's entitled to an opinion. And there's nothing wrong with that. Someone could tell me that my Arcee sucks and I wouldn't mind it if they at least explained why they think it sucks.

    But yeah, I think I've lost my point now. I'll post more, I'll watch how I word things. Constructive criticism and all. Which is what I always intend. It just may not be perceived that way.
     
  3. Superquad7

    Superquad7 We're only human. Super Mod

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  4. anovasinn

    anovasinn THE PAINTS MUST FLOW!!!

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    i can relate to what Kusanagi said. the same thing happens to me when i am about to post a comment.

    To be honest i came in here with an ego .also a chip on my shoulder after a few posts. i seen comments as a popularity contest .HOWEVER i tried to maintain myself and try to get the hang of it and had a breakthrough back in December.

    i heard this statement from a boondocks episode "it does not matter how well you paint but what you choose to paint" for some reason a light bulb went off. that was not the breakthrough though just the spark to my final truth. i was watching a show on the history channel about the 7 deadly sins (i am not a bible thumper but i do adhere to a moral understanding) when they started to talk about greed then i realized my problem>> i was on here seeking praise. thus i was being greedy as well as jealous of other people getting what i had thought was entitled to me.
    then i realized from my own browsing of Radicons that comments are not a popularity contest but as humans we gravitate to who and what is familiar. so i stopped doing that myself and only started commenting on pieces that truly interest me. not just because i appreciate the artiest. i need to start doing this more i have lacked a bit in comments lately. this may seem harsh but its the way i deal with it.

    so in summary what helped me was the boondocks quote and check seeking praise at the door. this is just my personal experience use it as you see fit. also an admin or two helped me out along the way.

    also on constructive criticism i do not give it very often because i have a hard time accepting it so until i can learn to accept it i will keep my harder critiques to myself.

    one last thing i think i also have stepped on some toes. if i did that to you it was not on purpose. in one incedent i can remeber i was try to help not hurt.

    if this is a weird reply its because i am half asleep from insomnia
     
  5. doomtron

    doomtron seeker

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    not all are at the same level. i wish i could slap combiners together like frenzyrumble but i cant. guys you just gotta be happy with what youre doing. and i belive critique helped me out when i started. btw side swipes cool
     
  6. Nemesis Predaking

    Nemesis Predaking Offical Enforcer WTF@TFW Veteran

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    I have to agree with Anovasinn here. If your posting here seeking praise,
    You are posting & bashing for the wrong reasons. I've always viewed posting my work here as a way to get honest feedback about my work, whether good or bad. It's really the only way to grow as an artist.

    I have noticed that some artists do have issues with other artists (which is expected, not everyone will get along) & sometimes does become very personal. It's these instances that really bother me. I always try to keep this in mind when posting, "Would I get upset or pissed if this was posted in my thread". Yes there are times when personal opinions will deffer about the work.

    It would be easy to think that the harshest comments come from NON-Radicons & sometimes they do, but some of the worst come
    from our very own by way of "nit-picking" or "offering advice" where it is not needed.
    I, myself have had some very public encounters (on other sites) with former members for these very reasons (resulting in me getting banned from one site). Just because we view this world on a screen does not mean it's any less real. Ego's should be checked at the door, comments & critics should be thought out as best as possible. If you wouldn't say it in real life to somebody, you shouldn't say it here.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2009
  7. Satomiblood

    Satomiblood Prototype Black

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    There are plenty of issues stemming from this. One of which is the whole "copyright" debate where one artist feels that another is biting their method and style without giving credit. This tends to get out of hand and sucks the joy out of the hobby although I understand some people do this as a source of income through commissions.

    Then there's the idea of who we're making these customs for: ourselves, commisions, this site. With criticisms, we oftentimes put our expectations into work that isn't our own to begin with. It ends up as this tug-of-war.

    However, my main gripe is in regards to non-customizers who come into this forum without providing any valuable input. Instead, they say "Meh", "This looks like shit", or "I'll pass and buy whatever Hasbro gives us instead".
     
  8. Bruticus82

    Bruticus82 Well-Known Member

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    I know exactly what you mean about needing honest, and useful, feedback. If my comments are positive, it's usually hard for name a specific thing I liked most, but I do try so the customizer knows what I considered to be their best point. Similarly if I think it could be improved I try and point out what it is that just "doesn't seem right" whether it be the length of something, the thickness of paint, an exposed connector, etc. Other times, most often with WIP, I just give suggestions on things to think about or try.

    Often I do see comments that are a little light on info, such as "Meh...could be better." or "Paint apps need work". While these are, I supposed, valid comments, it would help the artist much more if they knew what it was about their paint apps that the poster thinks could be improved, and how. Or what it is about the custom in general that needs improvement. Instead of "paint apps need work" or "I'm disappointed with the alt mode" how about: "I like the head swap, but you should use thinner coats of paint for a smoother finish." or "Bot mode looks really tight, but the alt mode seems to have a lot of gaps. Have you considered using Styrene?"

    I think ensuring that you have informative feedback in your posts can also help avoid being unnecessarly harsh, especially if you balance it with something about the custom that you like. Also recall that many of the first timers are the ones who need the comments the most because they actually don't know about our methods. Some of them don't know how to paint, have never heard of styrene, and have never thought about taking apart a Transformer. Some dive head first into customizing without reading our tutorials, and need a short answer while at the same time being pointed to the tutorials for additional detail.
     
  9. gericault

    gericault Well-Known Member

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    Kusanagi makes an important point;

    "Someone could tell me that my Arcee sucks and I wouldn't mind it if they at least explained why they think it sucks."

    As a painter, sculptor and art teacher, I often tell people just that. Praise is always nice, but does little except inflate your ego. Criticism is helpful, but suggestions are ESSENTIAL.
    Personally, I hate going through post after post of "that's great", "LOVE this piece!" etc etc etc. - but that's just me. I'd much rather read questions on how the custom was made and suggestions on improvements, variations etc.
     
  10. Yaujta

    Yaujta Not a Bear TFW2005 Supporter

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    Oddly enough, I'm in this forum every day, along with the other customs discussions, but rarely post.

    That's mainly due to the perceived attitude sometimes given off by some of the 'Radicons' (what garners a person the title of 'Radicon' anyway?) that I feel is unnecessary and tiring.
    Before eyes are rolled, I know this topic has been brooched before and some may be sick of it, but take a good look at the main posts and the ones with the most comments. Newcomers post their work hoping for comments or critiques only to get overshadowed by the 324th xeroxed combiner or whatever is going on eBay next. Then, when you want to offer an opinion on one of the fan-favorites' creations that differs from the back-slapping praise-laden comments it either gets totally ignored or shunned as 'wrong'.

    Also, in relation to the 'getting along' aspect of this topic, the recent arguments between 'titans' was almost laughable. What I got out of the whole ordeal was that one person didn't like or agree with something and another person went on the immediate defense in the 'I'm right' pose (there was more involved, I'm sure, but that's how it came off to me).
    That whole thing seriously soured the fun for awhile. It may have been minor, but firmed up my 'infrequent post' stance.

    I don't want this to sound like it's probably coming off. There are some incredibly talented people on these forums. I just feel frustrated and somewhat disheartened occasionally when I want to offer something but feel like I can't out of fear of 'offending' someone.

    A question I have is can there be a new forum added that separates the veterans from the newbies? That way, some of the up-and-coming artists can have their chance to present their work to the public and not be mowed over by the people able to pump out figures at high rates?

    Sorry for the rambling. Just a lot of thoughts on my mind.
     
  11. Satomiblood

    Satomiblood Prototype Black

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    I agree with a forum for newcomers. It's a great way of differentiating between new and existing members as well as breaking the ice. I don't know if this will ever come to fruition though.
     
  12. frenzyrumble

    frenzyrumble Banned

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    This post sparked my interest in commenting on the topic.

    There are certain ethics or unwritten codes which (as an artist) I feel should be kept under close preservation when posting something publicly. It's disappointing to know some don't feel this way, but as someone who takes so much pride and passion in doing customs, and does it 12+ hours daily, it's a stab in the eyeball to hear someone come from nowhere and claim that their idea(s) are law (not the above poster in particular.)

    While the idea of separate forums might seem like a good idea, it goes against every idea of what Radicons is. It's a place to mutually share custom TFs (and non) Separating the 2, would creating labeling, which is hypocritical of all points in this entire thread.

    I admit, I've come off harsh on occasion, however - seeing my help spawn a duplicate of my prior customs is disappointing. (More specifically - identical usage of colors in identical areas) I constantly try to offer constructive criticism on all customs, but (like others) bite my tongue because I realize there are many of you who feel they know who I am and have your opinions (so I've been told) and while that is comedic, it's a shame I can't express my point without being labeled because of construed opinions. Ironically, those who value my opinion and feedback continue to come to me for pointers and/or suggestions.

    I do think there are several posters on here who do not seek constructive criticism, or want anything other than praise and compliments. for sure. I usually don't bother offering my point of view or comments for improving areas which I think can easily be improved - it would be a waste of internet space. And it also seems that some posters will either not read helpful constructive criticism or react poorly to it. I've seen thread starters drop a gallery of a custom and not even reply to questions asked about it.

    We all are capable of offering constructive criticism - yet it seems some are too cautious or hesitant to do it. I can spot 100 things which can use improvements on all my customs, and enjoy hearing those same ideas echoed in my threads.

    I post my customs in Radicons to hear ways to improve them. I post my customs in the ebay forum to plug the auction. You'll see in the timeline of my projects many ideas are implemented into newer customs. I prefer a lengthy suggestions for improvement over a "wow, you should be working for Hasbro" any day.

    It's hard to offer an idea or criticism when you know your posts are constantly trolled and judged by other board members. I'd probably offer a lot more suggestions if they weren't all followed with such angry opinions. I hold back on a lot of comments and suggestions because I've been told many Radicons have strong opinions about me, and I am not here for drama or politics.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2009
  13. Satomiblood

    Satomiblood Prototype Black

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    F_R: You're more than welcome to offer your suggestions to some of my customs thus far.
     
  14. Nemesis Predaking

    Nemesis Predaking Offical Enforcer WTF@TFW Veteran

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    Yaujta, I do agree with you about the New-comers, as I remember being there not to long ago (1yr & 5 months)
    It is very frustrating to put alot of work in to your first few customs only to have them receive little to no comments
    & get bumped down the pages very quickly by the next "big thing".
    Myself, I try to comment on as many customs as I can (without it sounding forced) even if it's just "Nice job" post.
    We have seen an influx of new talent recently & I'm sure there have been numorus factors for that. All we can do is try our best to help that talent along.
    I feel it's kind of my duty to return the kindness that was given to me. See PK Quote below

    Yep one of those Bashers is me &
    with out the likes of PK & the Radicon staff as well as the "Veterans" here, I would not have strived to become better.

    Yes "the cream does rise to the top", But is it always better?
    We have ALOT of under rated Radicons here (Crosscharge, Anti-spark, Satomiblood) Just to name a few & I hope that the
    Custom of the Month will bring these Radicons into the light that they deserve

    As far as this
    IMO, this would go against everything The Radicon staff is trying to do.
    They are trying to get rid of the "elitist" stigma & by splitting things up even more would be counter productive.

    Any member of TFW that is involved within the art community weather it be 2D, 3D or Customs.
    If it's art, Your a Radicon.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2009
  15. deliciouspeter

    deliciouspeter Back in Black TFW2005 Supporter

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    Ebay:
    We're all posting to show (off) our work, our ideas and what we can do. Many of us are also looking for constructive criticism, and feedback. I know there always opportunities for improvement and random comment could have a profound effect on my work.

    I'd rather someone say something critical than nothing at all.

    I think if everyone should be able to speak their mind, but do it as if you were in the room next to the person, and truly wanting to help them. The flipside is that the Radicon posting has to be able to accept feedback, even if it's constructive...or even blunt. Rude or insulting is different. You're putting your work (and yourself) out there, so you have to be ready for the criticism that comes with the compliments.
     
  16. Yaujta

    Yaujta Not a Bear TFW2005 Supporter

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    Wow, garnered more replies than I expected.

    F_R- You have some valid points in regards to artistic license and integrity, but it's a matter of perception that rules the day.
    You have a gift for building, no doubt or argument there. I have read your tutorials and feel more learned from them. What sometimes bothers me about these works is that the posts seem like giant eBay ads rather than additions to the community. I understand you're making a career of it, but it feels less like a show of talent and more of a "buy my stuff" angle. Kind of like free advertising.
    There's a fine line here that's all about personal preference.

    I come from a background of over 10-years of miniature painting and wargaming builds. I was a very active member of two separate forum communities, and have won both on-line and real-life awards on numerous occasions. Not ego-pushing, just informative facts.
    When the direction of the presentation forums at these sites started aiming towards the popular and sellable figures, the entire experience was soured for me. People posted their latest creations in a finished format, not hoping for constructive or helpful comments, but to sell a figure.
    This is where it's hard to differentiate the projects from the products in this forum. We get glimpses of "what's next" as teasers, then are shown the final for sale item. It may be due to not being copied and out-sold, but it comes off as presumptuous.
    It was for these reasons that I abandoned the miniature community as a whole. I will keep doing it for the fun and art, but never for profit (incidentally, I did sell a few figures for a large sum because at the time I needed the money, so I know the selling route very well).

    NemPred- Much of what you said rang true to my ears.
    It's hard for someone starting out in the field to not feel left behind when their first shown project is relegated to the third page within a day. This happened to my first post. It didn't bother me at the time, and still doesn't. the piece still stands on my shelf and I'm proud of it.
    I will continue to post items as I work on them, and if they are commented on or critiqued, then all the better to learn from.

    As for the separate forum for newcomers, I can see where it'd be counter-productive to what the idea of unity implies.
    I guess the only solution is for the newbies (like myself) to keep learning and building. Someday, I hope to be considered a Radicon.
     
  17. frenzyrumble

    frenzyrumble Banned

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    ...so if you didn't know I sell customs, my posts hold more value with you? I don't understand. like I said, I am strict (or try) about keeping my stuff in radicons for radicons, and my stuff for ebay, in the ebay forums.

    It's exciting to me to post what's coming next, I don't think it's presumptuous at all, I get people who ask me what's next, and this forum is a great platform to talk about that. A lot of my ideas spawn from customs found here, and I am an avid forum user, therefore, share my ideas. Rarely do my customs or commissions go to Radicons or even TFW users.

    I guess it really depends on how you ultimately perceive the forum. Perhaps your opinion is construed because you know I sell customs.
     
  18. Yaujta

    Yaujta Not a Bear TFW2005 Supporter

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    Not really. And it'd be hard not to know you sell customs due to the huge, flashing banner at the bottom of your posts. :wink: 
    Selling customs, like I said, is a matter of personal preference. If you can do it in this economy and make a living at it, well then, I have that much more respect for you.

    Personally, I'd have more interest in seeing how the figure got to the final point than what it ultimately looks like on the market.
    One of the main reasons I search for how-to's, project logs and prototypes is to see the process that lead up to the final piece. That holds more interest for me than just seeing a finished figure. Part of the love of the hobby for me is seeing the creation of a great piece. Your products are great looking, but projects like what Krade, Lobo and griffith76 produce seem to have more 'heart' to them. Please, no offense intended.

    I guess what it boils down to is that it's hard to crtitque and make suggestions when a figure is already in the package, so to speak.
     
  19. frenzyrumble

    frenzyrumble Banned

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    I see where you're coming from, however - I would think people might take a WIP thread from me as a plug for an upcoming auction.

    As for the flashing banner, I use the same banner on every forum, I don't just show activity in Radicons, and yeah TF board are where TF fans are. At some point, I need to smell reality and realize that the publicity of my posts and/or banner are directly advertising a possible sale. I am supporting a family doing this after all.

    I've ran many WIP threads, and will continue with those in the future, it's just difficult to take pics and explain where I'm going with a project, especially when I don't know the next step until I'm actually on it ;) 
     
  20. Yaujta

    Yaujta Not a Bear TFW2005 Supporter

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    But it's still be a learning experience and a good teaching method. Plus, add some depth to a potential commission.

    Yeah, I hear you on that one. Stopping for a camera op can seriously break momentum. I did it infrequently when doing miniature tutorials.
     

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