Define: "Professional"

Discussion in 'Radicons Customs' started by frenzyrumble, Dec 26, 2008.

  1. frenzyrumble

    frenzyrumble Banned

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    Well, it's occurred to me that I've been called a "professional" Transformer customizer. However would like to discuss the variety of opinions on what defines the word and classification of "professional"

    From my perspective, anyone who accepts money or payment for their trade is, by definition, a professional. Whether they sell 1 of that product or 1 million of that product, they are still a professional.

    As a noun, an online dictionary defines the word as :

    1. a person practicing a profession
    2.
    1. a person who engages in some art, sport, etc. for money, esp. as a means of livelihood, rather than as a hobby
    2. pro ()
    3. a person who does something with great skill

    Another online source defines it as so (adverb):

    1
    a: of, relating to, or characteristic of a profession
    b: engaged in one of the learned professions
    c:
    (1): characterized by or conforming to the technical or ethical standards of a profession
    (2): exhibiting a courteous, conscientious, and generally businesslike manner in the workplace

    2
    a: participating for gain or livelihood in an activity or field of endeavor often engaged in by amateurs
    b: having a particular profession as a permanent career
    c: engaged in by persons receiving financial return

    3: following a line of conduct as though it were a profession



    This definition does not specify how much the professional earn through that trade. Whether it is full-time or a hobby, I feel if you can charge and be paid for your product, you are professional.

    Some may argue that a professional will accrue 100% income from his/her profession, but who's to say someone is "more professional" because they have no other source of income?

    The two keys to professional success are to understand one’s self and to understand one's business "environment" (one's clients, colleagues and staff, the market and the tools and expertise underlying one's daily practice). On a regular basis, Professionals need to be able to defend their own understanding of who they are and what they stand for. This comes from understanding of self, individual self and family and national self. Professionals need to be able to present with integrity and conviction their vision of reality so that they can continue to motivate themselves and others and get others to help them to solve problems. Their conviction about their own worth comes from their acknowledged expertise in reading the environment.

    I also read this online...

    The definition of a Professional

    In the words of Guy Le Boterf, a French expert on the development of competencies, "A Professional is a person who possesses a personal body of knowledge and of know-how which is recognized and valued by the market. Because of this market recognition, the Professional benefits from an advantage not available to other workers: he or she can personally manage internal or external^professional mobility, in a specific firm or in the international market. A person who is recognized as a Professional possesses a social standing which is larger than the specific job he or she holds down."

    The success of a Professional Service Firm rests on the ways in which its individual leaders demonstrate their professional foundation of values, attitudes and competencies.
     

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  2. big hank

    big hank Resident Slacker-Basher

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    I agree with this statement.

    Also being a "professional" to me also implies a certain ethic and sense of responsibility!:2c: 
     
  3. kaos

    kaos the original thirteen

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    W3RD
     
  4. plowking

    plowking I'm with ErechOveraker. Veteran

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    I agree with this one:

    1. a person who engages in some art, sport, etc. for money, esp. as a means of livelihood, rather than as a hobby
     
  5. ErechOveraker

    ErechOveraker I'm with Plowking.

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    I completely disagree with the base "if you get paid, you're a pro" definition. Lots of schmucks get money for their work, and are far from professional on any level. Skill. Talent. Demeanor. Attitude. Vision.

    I'm not sure, in our hobby, what would earn that title, given some of the awful work we've all seen get bought and sold on ebay etc. I'd be more inclined to side with a "if you're commissioned to do work then you're a pro..." view, but even then I'm sort of uncomfortable with the terminology there as well.

    In the end, I'm mostly nitpicking, but I don't think I'm cocky enough to ever call myself a professional customizer, especially since it's such a niche market too (and I've made some decent scratch off customs over the last year or so too). Why do you ask anyways, gonna get some business cards made up or something? ;) 
     
  6. hXcpunk23

    hXcpunk23 The Chaos Bringer

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    Personally, I don't believe anyone who sells their work, artwork, or whatever is a true "professional". There are plenty of people out there who sell their work who are nowhere near "professional" in their work, their attitude, or their actions. In my opinion, a true professional would do as that last quote says--they would demonstrate their professional foundation of values, attitudes, and competencies--while also showing respect, sharing ideas, helping others, and sharing their work in a "professional" manner. And by this, I mean showing respect to others, their work, and sharing constructive criticism while also being able to receive said c & c.

    In the end, it's all about how you present yourself and act. You can have the greatest custom known to man, but if your ego or attitude get in the way, it can cloud everyone's judgement of the work and in the artist himself. As for the term "professional", I'm also grouped with those that would never consider themselves a "professional". Your work and attitude can portray how professional you and your work truly are. So let it speak for itself, don't label yourself, and check that ego or attitude at the door when viewing similar works that may have borrowed or shared ideas.

    Just my opinions on the matter.

    EDIT: You do great work, Mike. Don't let a label dictate what you do or how you do it. Just keep things calm, cool, and professional and you can easily be considered this. But I wouldn't sit and dwell on a simple term or label. It's only a work, let the work speak for itself and you can't go wrong.
     
  7. frenzyrumble

    frenzyrumble Banned

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    I don't think attitude or ego makes someone more or less a professional. Personally, I would rather buy a product from someone who thinks everyone else's version of that product is crap, than buy from the humble and friendly guy. When it's all said and done, and i get home with whatever I got, It's the product and quality of the product that will make me go back to him, not the kind words and courtesy he provided.

    From my experience, TF fans who come to me for commissions appreciate and enjoy an attitude and ego that ensures them they will get what they are paying for. I would NEVER say something like "well, we'll see how it comes out - i've never done anything like that before"

    In this type of industry - or any where you are selling a product (ie art) the product will be the attitude and character, not the artist.
     
  8. hXcpunk23

    hXcpunk23 The Chaos Bringer

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    Well, then I guess we'll always disagree on this. If it's one thing I've learned over the years (and yes, I've been to college, taken every art class known to man, BLAH BLAH), it's that attitude and ego IS a big part of PROFESSIONALISM. If you act as if you are God among men, you set yourself for failure in the long run due to lack of respect. People begin to see things that they dislike about that ego and attitude and it seriously can detract from your work. I don't sell any of my artwork, but I'll be willing to bet I'm more professional when it comes to creating, sharing ideas, and sharing feedback on things. Nothing personal, but egos clash and can get in the way of truly great art. Attitude goes a long way and if you portray yourself as "better than everyone", it makes you seem VERY unprofessional. But, that's your choice and who am I to try and help you realize this?

    In the end, people remember the artist, the work, AND their respectful attitude........trust me on this. I got where I am today practicing this very thing. If you want to be labeled, so be it. I'd rather label myself "ARTIST" and let my work speak for itself. It may not be the best you've ever seen, but I pour my heart into it, enjoy the constructive criticism (if you can't take it, don't dish it out), and I try to be a helpful part of a large community of customizers/kitbashers who thrive on tips, help, idea sharing, and their mutual love of ART.
     
  9. seali_me

    seali_me Well-Known Member

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    i wish i could sell mine too.

    i still remember that warning about hasbore and selling custom tfs though.

    if you're selling tfs for a living, i don't think i can disagree with anyone saying that they are pros. :) 
     
  10. ErechOveraker

    ErechOveraker I'm with Plowking.

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    Yeah, but that wears off real quick. Ask Rob Liefeld. :) 
     
  11. encline

    encline customizer of love TFW2005 Supporter

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    Somebody who gets back with others when they want to talk.
    And has good work.

    I would never talk about others work as inferior, but I would always show how mine is superior. Let's face it, you gotta believe in your own work for others to love it. But you can never make others love it, they chose that before they even talk to you.

    By "you" I mean a generic anybody with art for sale.
     
  12. ErechOveraker

    ErechOveraker I'm with Plowking.

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    Uh oh.

    I don't think I'd be alone in saying F_R is one of the nicest, most supportive and honest guys in our community. All this "professional" title talk is mostly a philosophical one for me, and I wouldn't really look down on anyone who wanted to use it. Unless their work sucked :) 

    It's just not something I would do, or spend that much time thinking on. Building an image for yourself takes away time you could be working on more customs, or hanging out with the fam, etc etc. Just not worth it imo, yeah?
     
  13. frenzyrumble

    frenzyrumble Banned

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    rofl. but liefield had too much style in his lemon-sucking, legs-bigger-than-torso characters.
     
  14. Superquad7

    Superquad7 We're only human. Super Mod

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    For the purpose of answering the topic at hand, a "professional" is one who engages in an occupation as his/her livelihood. This is a lifestyle of doing something for either a part-time or a full-time income. Interpret that how you will, except reckon with the idea that one paid commission doesn't make one a "professional", but a series of consistent commissions that create a body of work for an extended period of time. "Professional" would be closely associated with "vocation" to denote "what one does for work. It also denotes that this job (or "occupation") comes with some level of training/education.

    "Professional" is not the same word as "expert", but the two can have some overlap (i.e. one can be a "professional" and an expert at the same time; one can be a "professional" but not an "expert"; one can be an "expert" and not a "professional").

    "Professional" thus has been used to describe either a product or a person that carries many things in a certain way and to a certain level. So, a person can do something in a "professional" manner or not or a product can be crafted in a "professional" way or not. This word would be a bit more akin to "expertly", and further implies that a "professional" is or should be an "expert".

    I think the nature of this thread comes down to just what makes a good professional or not. A foolish professional would promote himself and his product a certain way in a marketplace that rejects such (like has been detailed in this thread already). A good professional would strive towards being an expert in his/her craft, but also in many other areas as well.

    In terms of this craft, I think one would be wiser to call himself or herself a "professional artist" or a "professional graphic designer" as both would denote the creation of artwork. I think one would run into issues filling taxes jotting down "professional Transformers customizer" on forms, and for one to take an income "under the table" would be illegal, I'd imagine.

    While I've only created a few "Transformers customs" for commissions, I have had an extensive employment history as a "professional artist". I've had training and education that also further denotes that. However, when I file my taxes, however, I would not file that I am a "professional artist" or "professional graphic designer" as my occupation simply because I've not practiced that occupation for the last year (I've been a "professional youth counselor" for the YMCA the past year).

    I'd like to say that what hxcpunk23 hits on is more of what we denote "Radicon". A person can create artwork and sell it with any sort of attitude. A Radicoin strives for excellence in all areas, not just in the creation of artwork. A Radicon can choose or not choose to be a "professional" in the sense of selling his or her work, but what hxcpunk23 hits on is that whether or not monies are exchanged, their exists a desire and an encouragement to do things a certain way or not. :) 
     
  15. luke4

    luke4 crocon

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    mine is some one who excells in a certan area of expertise.
     
  16. Superquad7

    Superquad7 We're only human. Super Mod

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    Guys, remember the forum rules and abide by them. This issue can be discussed in a civil manner. There's no need to sink to flames.

    Particularly:

    1. No trolling, or flaming.
    Any form of personal insult is a no-no. As a basic rule of thumb: if you think that what you are about to post is insulting, don't post it.

    3. No harassing board members.
    This goes for either in posts on the boards (see rule #1) or in private messages.

    Think before you post.
     
  17. big hank

    big hank Resident Slacker-Basher

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    SQ7 speaks the gospel! Rev. A, you are by far one of the most eloquent speakers on this site. You tend to see both sides in a way many can't. Also you express your thoughts in an appropriate manner. With integrity, humility, and civility. The true Radicon way!:thumbs2: 

    For all intents and purposes, this thread is now closed for me. I can find nothing more productive to come out of it. Thank you SQ7.
     
  18. encline

    encline customizer of love TFW2005 Supporter

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    I will say this, when professionals have something negative to say to another, it should be in private.
     
  19. hXcpunk23

    hXcpunk23 The Chaos Bringer

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    **Please review post by superquad7 citing forum rules. Thanks! ~Radicons Staff**

    Sharing ideas and showing respect go a long way to building helpful, healthy relationships within this community. If everyone ran rampant with their egos and attitudes blazing, this place would burn. This is a great community and to some, it can be a slap to the face when you come off as "THE BEST" when there will ALWAYS be someone who is better to come along.

    As I've stated, your artwork is great--there's no doubt about that. It's the way you present yourself and the way you treat others and push that onto them that can paint you in a negative light to others. I respect your custom work, your hard work ethic, and your need to support your family and child. I also respect the fact that you do what you love and enjoy as not only a hobby, but as a new job/career. Who wouldn't want to do what they love? All I'm trying to show you is that presentation is everything.........and I'm not talking about your artwork presentation. I'm talking the WHOLE shebang, man. The art presentation (which is great) AND the way you present yourself are key aspects to making this career actually last. As someone who is looking to sell his artwork and make a living doing it, you have to learn to also be humble, respectful, and nice in your approach. If you come out like Tarzan screaming "me king!" and beating your chest, it shows others that you outright believe what they do will NEVER be as good as yours.......yet you always seem to want to help others to reach that level and that bar that you've set. Instead of tearing down a person's work or seeing it as competition, see it for what it's worth (just as I see your work)........I see the hard work, determination, and skill, but I also see this in EVERYONE'S work. Everyone has different skill levels, but you can definitely see when someone has put their all into something, even if it didn't live up to YOUR expectations. If you go around telling everyone you're the greatest and their work sucks balls, where does that leave us as a community? You should always show respect to your fellow 'bashers, drop the holier than thou routine, and keep doing what you love. THAT alone will drive sales, NOT the whole "I'm the best, you can't even hold a candle it my work" sort of attitude.

    RESPECT is a key to being a professional, like it or not. If you aren't respectful or tactful in your responses, it leads one to believe you're less than professional. I'm doing this for the love of the hobby and Transformers as a whole, but I still believe I'm "professional" in my approach to it all. I'm not a professional in the sense that I sell my work, but I'm professional in my attitude which in turn helps to earn respect. So in a way, we're all "professional", but in the end, it's just a word and we're still just playing with toys.
     
  20. frenzyrumble

    frenzyrumble Banned

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    **Please review post by superquad7. Thanks! Radicons Staff**

    It's important to check egos at the door . . . I respect those who earn and deserve respect. I've developed personal relationships with 90% of the Radicons. Many discuss customs, ideas, etc through personal emails. I spend a good 1/2 a day offering and giving advice to newcomers and veterans alike. This goes for other TF sites as well, and non-forum users who contact me through my website.

    I contribute in every way possible to EVERY TF customizer willing to look for or offer help. I spend free time building tutorials for gods sake...

    Lastly, while I love sector70's site and what JAFs put together, it's ironic [to] yield a signature advertising a competitor kitbashing forum....
     

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