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This journal is simply my opinion, meant to encourage and hopefully help others.

Comments will be hidden that are abusive, contain mature language, or incite drama.

I won't respond to any debate or long-winded comments.  It's not that I don't care, but I need to use my time working on art instead.





I've only been on dA for a little over a year now, but I've seen so much drama and hurtful comments on closed species.  Here are a few topics that effect me the most.


Closed Species are not Closed Features


This seems to be one of the biggest issues non-closed species owners have.  Let's say you came up with a new species called Muffin Cats.  They're simply muffins with kitty features, but you love them and want to keep them closed so you can make sure they stay to your original vision.  Then someone comes along and berates you for it.  They say, "you can't claim such a basic idea!  Anyone could've made this!"  But you never said no one else could make muffin based cats, you only said they couldn't make "Muffin Cats", your specific closed species.

A closed species isn't made of only features.  It's a combination of features, plus story, behavior, environment, their name, the unique artist's style, and so many other things.  It can be as basic or complex as you like.  That's why I personally have no problem claiming my "simple" species, and fully encourage everyone to be true to themselves!


Free the Species!


Just because something isn't illegal, doesn't mean it's morally right.  You might not be arrested for laughing at someone when they fall and break a leg, but it still makes you look like a jerk and hurts the other person's feelings.  The same thing applies to artistic ideas.  It might not be illegal for you to make species knock-offs, but it's still rude and hurtful.  If you feel this strongly about artist rights and promoting freedom of ideas, why not try more positive methods?

Instead of attacking others, maybe you could create your own awesome species, and make it completely free to use.  Or make a group called "Everyone's Species is Beautiful" and use it to showcase lesser known species.  Hatred only breeds more hatred.  Find a way to encourage and uplift others instead, and you'll find not only are people are more receptive of your message, but you'll feel happier and more peaceful as well.


Closed Species Limit Creativity


This is one of the silliest things I have ever heard!  As a matter of fact, quite the opposite is true.  Let's go back to Muffin Cats.  So you've made and posted the species, you're so proud of them, but uh oh!  You find out someone else created their own Muffin Cats a whole year before yours.  That means you'll have to give up on your species right?  Not at all!

Instead, you could think of new ways to reinvent your idea.  How about Batter Buddies?  They could be any baked good, any animal, which still means you can make your muffin based kittens!  But it's a whole new idea, and now you have something that stands apart from the other person's Muffin Cats, because your species might include Pancake Pups or Doughnut Dragons as well.  You could also take it a step further and invent a unique back story for them.

Maybe instead of being actual food based animals, they're tiny animal spirits who take on the appearance of food to test people.  At first glance they might look like delicious abandoned food, and greedy people will pick them up and try to eat them.  But kind hearted people will try to find out who lost their little cupcake, and when the animal spirit sees this, they reveal themselves to this person, and grant them one wish with their magical powers.  You don't have to stop there though!

How about behaviour?  Since Batter Buddies live their lives in secrecy, maybe they're extremely shy and run away from loud noises.  They could be born from magic flour baked in moonlight.  Maybe they eat raw cooking ingredients instead of regular food, and if you have a kitchen infestation, they leave their little crumbs everywhere.  Leaving kitchen crumbs leads to them making friends with a mouse based species.  Then maybe they are enemies with a large cat based species; there's nothing better than tying your species together and expanding their world.  There are so many ways to further your creations, it's actually a terrific thing that some ideas are already in use!  This challenges people to work past their first ideas that were so easy to come up with, and invent really amazing things!

Check out griffsnuff's design challenge for example.  She gave the theme of "canine + light" and look at how many unique designs there are all from the same idea!:

Awesome challenge time!SO  Iwant to prove that we are all actually able to be creative if we put our mind to it! this is a small experiment and I would absolutely love for you to participate!
HOW many different versions are we able to make? Is this myth about how something can only be one thing true? Lets combine all our artistic skills and minds and find out!
The rules
PART 1
:bulletgreen:design  a creature inspired by these words Canine + Lights
:bulletgreen: Make a simple refrence sheet explaining its important features (scroll to bottom for example)
:bulletgreen:Name it something
PART 2
:bulletpink: ENTRIES : http://griffsnuff.deviantart.com/favourites/63491680/DOG-and-LIGHT-challenge
 I will put everyone in a folder and link here, your CHALLENGE is to look at what is added, if you see something to similar to what you were going to do, then do your best to change it add/remove things/features, think outside the box, think endlessly, show everyone



Don't Assume You Know It All


"Closed species owners are just looking for a fast buck!"  This is one of the most untrue and hurtful things I've heard on this site.  For me, it's not that I'm a greedy thug stealing someone's lunch money.  But I really love inventing little creatures and their stories!  How much more awesome is it that I can build my passion into a occupation?  There's been those times that if I didn't have my art funds, the electricity might have been turned off, or I couldn't afford a new comforter to replace my old torn one.  I am so grateful and I thank God I'm blessed with the opportunity to do what I love.

"Closed species are a ripoff and a lie!"  When you make this assumption, it's not only hurting the species creators, but everyone who bought from them.  It's like calling them stupid just because they enjoy spending their money on something different than you.  Suppose you frequently go out to the movies.  Well, when you see a movie it only lasts for a couple hours right?  There's nothing you physically take away from the theater right?  What if someone said movies are a ripoff and a lie?  You might be offended.

"Simple closed species show how lazy you are!"  No one has to make super complicated species if they don't want to.  Some people, like myself, really enjoy simple designs.  I like basic things because they look cuter to me, and they're easier to replicate when I want to draw the new adopt I purchased.  I prefer short back stories rather than reading a novel's worth of info.  I admire the more complex, long legged creatures other artists make as well, but they're simply not my style.  It doesn't make me less of an artist, or mean that I'm lazy, we just have different interests.

Bottom line is, try not to assume things, when you're not that person, and you have no idea how they really think and feel.  Chances are they're just as caring and passionate as you are, they only have a different point of view.


Be Careful with Your Opinions


So you see a new species, and it really looks like another more well-known species.  Or maybe you think they're too simple, or too such and such for someone to claim as their own.  No matter the reason, giving advice where none was asked for is extremely rude, and can hurt others' feelings.

What if you baked a cake for your sibling's birthday, and you were really proud of it, but someone comes along and criticizes it because the icing colours don't go well together, or it looks too much like a cake the bakery down the street has, or they think the quality should be better?  And then they list all the things you need to do to become a "real" baker, when all you wanted to do was give a gift to someone you care about?  It may be your right to exercise your opinion, but when your "rights" hurt others, it's never the right thing to do.

I'm always reminded of what my mom says, "dipping and dapping and don't know what's happening."  Just as you didn't ask for anyone's opinion on your birthday cake, unless another artist actually asks, offering unsolicited advice can be offensive.  If you truly believe you can help the other artist, instead of posting publicly, try writing them a note.  But be sure you're only offering uplifting advice with ideas to improve, remember to mention the good things about their species as well.  If you believe they're infringing on another closed species, privately note the other owner instead, so they can make that assessment for themselves.  But really it's best to just not say anything at all.  If no one asks for your two cents just keep it to yourself, and then you can avoid the hurt feelings and ensuing drama.


Don't Let Yourself be Bullied


So many times I see artists let themselves be pressured into doing something they didn't originally want to do.  If you came up with species "A" and find out during the auction that it slightly resembles someone's species "B", you don't have to credit species "B" just because someone is harassing you.  How can you credit something as an "inspiration" when you never even saw it before?  Instead, if you find the resemblance is too close and causes an issue, develop your species a little more, come up with some awesome differences so they will stand apart from the other person's.  There's nothing wrong with coincidentally creating similar ideas to someone else, it happens to all of us.  There is nothing new, nothing truly original that hasn't been done in some facet before.  As a Christian, I always refer back to Ecclesiastes 1:9, "What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun."

You are never required to change just because of someone else's opinion.  People will pick on you for any reason they can think of, it's inevitable that someone will someday have an issue with you, no matter how kind you are.  So what if your species is too simple, too blue, too cute, too fat, etc.  If it makes you happy, stick with it, and just ignore them.  Just because there's ten million similar ideas out there in the world, none of those artists have the exact same experiences and personality as you, so they will never be able to make their artwork exactly like yours.  You and your art are unique and one of a kind, don't ever let anyone tell you otherwise.

And when you do find yourself under attack, the best approach is to not approach it all.  Ignore them, hide their comments, block them, and if they are abusive, report them to dA staff.  You aren't required to entertain rambling diatribe just to make the other person feel better.  Debating needlessly will not only drain your energy, it usually does nothing to change the other person's mind.  Normally bullies are just looking for a reaction, if you fail to give them that satisfaction, they should get bored and move along.


Learn to Forgive


Just because someone has insulted your artwork, purposely copied your ideas, or done all kinds of hurtful things to you, doesn't mean that they are any less deserving of love than you are.  Remember, just because you may not have done the same things they did, somewhere, somehow in your lifetime you too have done things that are wrong and hurt other people.  Try to have mercy and forgive them.

Now forgiving doesn't mean you have to forget, and become best buddies overnight.  Suppose you have a store, and your employee steals a few dollars.  You might forgive them and let them keep their job, but it would be very foolish to put them back on the register again.  Same concept here.  If you blocked someone for good reasons, don't feel pressured to unblock them and take more abuse because you want to be "forgiving".  Instead, forgiving and loving others simply means to treat them with respect.  You don't need to make call-out journals, or go around spreading mean comments about them, it will only turn you into a bully as well.  Forgiving others isn't for their benefit, but it's for yours.  Forgiveness means you can let things go and live your life peacefully and happily, regardless of what others do.

And if you're someone who may have accidentally hurt someone's feelings and they refuse to forgive you, don't beat yourself up about it.  It's their loss if they decide to hang onto their anger.  One mistake doesn't define your whole future.  Be happy and know that you are still a wonderful, unique person, and God loves you very much, no matter what.


Never Give Up


At the end of the day, it's only art.  Just because someone disliked your ice cream puppy today, doesn't mean the sun isn't rising tomorrow.  Don't let narrow minded comments ruin your happiness.  Everyone starts out unknown, and with nothing.  We all struggle and it takes many people years to finally achieve their success.  Love yourself, love your art, and no one can ever take that away from you.<3
Add a Comment:
 
:iconkidadopts:
KidAdopts Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you! I just made my own species and it's a closed species and people are being really judgemental so this helps! Thank you, God bless
Reply
:iconsarilain:
Sarilain Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2015
Awesome, good luck with them!  God bless you too.^^
Reply
:iconkidadopts:
KidAdopts Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you!
Reply
:iconnightliqhts:
nightliqhts Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for writing this! ;v; I'm really tired of people calling my species unoriginal x'D
Reply
:iconsarilain:
Sarilain Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2015
Thank you too!  And aww, don't let them get to you, if you keep developing them they will become super awesome.^^
Reply
:iconsaldemonium:
Saldemonium Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2015  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Amazingly well said.
Reply
:iconsarilain:
Sarilain Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2015
Thank you!
Reply
:iconivy-orihara:
Ivy-Orihara Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2015  Hobbyist Artist
The perfection.
Its to much to handle, 
You are right in every word there.
Reply
:iconsarilain:
Sarilain Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2015
Thank you so much, I hope this is only helpful and not offense to anyone.
Reply
:iconivy-orihara:
Ivy-Orihara Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2015  Hobbyist Artist
It doesn't offend me, and by the looks of the rest of the comments, it doesn't offend anyone I can see xD
Reply
:iconfollyfox:
follyfox Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2015
Why are you so awesome? XD Well thought out and said!
Reply
:iconsarilain:
Sarilain Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2015
Thank you!  I'm not, I'm just blessed God gives me some good inspiration, I'm more likely to tell someone to fall off a cliff when they bug me.xD
Reply
:iconfollyfox:
follyfox Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2015
Blessed indeed, it's a nice thing to hear an opinion that's morally based and biblical. Anyways please keep up the fantastic work, I really enjoy seeing it pop up on my da msg
Reply
:iconsarilain:
Sarilain Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2015
Thank you!!
Reply
:iconaglassofbluelemonade:
aglassofbluelemonade Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
holla.
Reply
:iconbeanbread:
BeanBread Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Well said!
Reply
:iconsarilain:
Sarilain Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2015
Thank you!
Reply
:iconliinaii:
Liinaii Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2015  Student Digital Artist
Many people have done journals like this but I got to say, you did a really good job.
Reply
:iconsarilain:
Sarilain Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2015
Thank you!
Reply
:icontorotiel:
Torotiel Featured By Owner Edited Feb 1, 2015  Professional Interface Designer
UGH I am in so much agreement with this, people need to stop using their energy posting negative comments when people are trying to create a community filled with THEIR creations, and start using it positively by making their own creations and communities. I wish I never have to see the "it's not illegal" argument for deliberately copying someone else's work again and I really hope this journal gets to some people that seem to always have that mindset when it comes to closed species.
Reply
:iconsarilain:
Sarilain Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2015
That would be really nice, I know there's a zillion more species we're missing out on, could be living in some kinda Studio Ghibli place come to life.=P
Reply
:icontriforcepowaa:
TriforcePowaa Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2015  Student Digital Artist
//claps
Reply
:iconfivenightsatharmonys:
FiveNightsAtHarmonys Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm making a new species called Water Winks. I'll let you see the first one
Reply
:iconsarilain:
Sarilain Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2015
Aww, that sounds really cute, I love simple names.^^
Reply
:iconfivenightsatharmonys:
FiveNightsAtHarmonys Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks
Reply
:icontabbytigers:
tabbytigers Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2015
<33
Reply
:iconttaro:
ttaro Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2015
AMEN <3
Reply
:icontydal-wave:
Tydal-wave Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2015  Student Digital Artist
OK THIS IS HONESTLY PERFECT THANK YOU SO MUCH
people really need to hear what you're saying, because this is the truest thing ever omg
Reply
:iconsarilain:
Sarilain Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2015
Aww thank you, I'm sure there's something I've said that isn't 100% right though, just hope the basic message comes out.^^
Reply
:icontydal-wave:
Tydal-wave Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2015  Student Digital Artist
you're welcome! maybe there is, but i think the great stuff you said way outweighs what you might've said ;w;
Reply
:iconsarilain:
Sarilain Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2015
Thank you.^^
Reply
:icontydal-wave:
Tydal-wave Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2015  Student Digital Artist
no problem ;v;
Reply
:iconqalaxyqhost:
qalaxyqhost Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2015  Student General Artist
Literally one of the very best and most insipiring journals I have ever seen!
Reply
:iconsarilain:
Sarilain Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2015
Thank you!
Reply
:iconkapzl-3x3:
KApZL-3X3 Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
My respect for you is growing like a weed!
Reply
:iconsarilain:
Sarilain Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2015
Aww thank you, that means a lot more than any compliment on my art abilities.
Reply
:iconkapzl-3x3:
KApZL-3X3 Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hahaha and your art is so cuuute but I'm sure you hear that every day. So I figure I would shake it up a bit
Reply
:iconsarilain:
Sarilain Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2015
Aww thanks.
Reply
:iconkapzl-3x3:
KApZL-3X3 Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Any one ^^
Reply
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