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Full disclosure: I haven't been into captions for a long time now. I used to be crazy into them when I was younger though, of course I was. But as I've gotten older I just kinda lost interest in them. But I don't want to make that out to sound as if I "hate" TF and TG captions, far from it.

I've been part of this community for long enough now to have seen people make the same tired and reductive argument that "captions and/or poser art is not art." Their rationale have always been the same, basically that if not enough creative energy goes into creating the art then it can't be art. As if such a thing could be quantified into neat volumes.

When people say "poser comics aren't art," I can't help but sigh loudly. The people who promote this kind of bunk make way too reductive statements about what art is allowed to be, and this argument is totally anathema towards creativity. If you make exclusionary definitions for things like art, then you must also surrender a big part of the freedom people need and want in order to create in the first place.

And this applies to captions too. I don't think "captions aren't/can't be art." I'm 100% on the field that they totally are art. And the people who write captions deserve all kinds of love and support for putting their energy into making things for the their own and other people's "entertainment" ;)

Let me tell you a brief story from my own life.

In college I had the "pleasure" of talking to a few compulsory school classes for various college reasons. These kids were between ten and thirteen years old. And sometimes they wanted to see the art I had created for college. This was over four years ago and my art wasn't quite as good as it is today, but it was decent. Most of the times, the kids were impressed. But there was always this ONE boy in each class that asked if I had drawn it with Photoshop.

Of course I answered yes. To which these kids, whom I remind you were ten years younger than me, scoffed and harrumphed like Victorian-era gentlemen. Followed by a claim like "Photoshop? Haha, you don't need talent or skill to do anything in Photoshop, you just click a few buttons and the computer does it for you! What a hack!"

Everytime I see someone in the TF/TG community claim that "captions and/or poser comics aren't art," I can't help but see those snot-nosed little preteen boys mask their insecurities in undeserved cynicism to feign worldliness again.

See, Photoshop is a tool. It's akin to having a pot of brushes and hundreds of tubes of colour waiting for your hands to use them. Of course, Photoshop is a way more powerful tool than a room full of brushes, pencils and colour tubes. Just look at Bendzzz's really cool work at automating colouring. I think it's really cool, even though I like drawing and painting too much to ever substitute my own process for automating it.

Regardless, Poser and DAZ are also just tools. Even if the artists behind it didn't literally model and texture the meshes in the programs, it's not really about how involved their process is. It's about how they use their tools. How they compose the shots, how they tell the story, how they write the character.

Same for captions. It's not really about the medium, it's really about how these artists use it.

That being said, I really think that captioneers have a responsibility to challenge themselves and their medium. I understand fully the erotic nature of captions. But sexy isn't just a pair of F-cups in your face. Sexy is a state of mind.

I will always defend captions as an art form, but it's not hard for me to sympathize with the detractors when so much of the caption scene is the same deal. So much is just "guy becomes conventionally attractive girl -> gets horny -> possible continuation of horniness."

Like I said, sexy is a state of mind. It's the nervous laughter between two platonic friends who've drunk one too many beers. It's the lighting of the moon, gently caressing a discarded bra. It's that cute smile of a guy who usually frowns everyday when standing in the coffee line.

I always think the sexiest part of a transformation isn't the transformation but the transformative effects in the aftermath. Like when a girl-turned-guy first sports a boner out of his house and how he now has to adapt to that change. Or when a guy-turned-girl finally figures out how a bra is supposed to be put on. (By the way, you're supposed to put it on backwards, hook it together, turn it around and then put your arms through the straps.)

The caption scene has so many creative minds in it that you really should have no excuse but to experiment as much as you can. Write captions about other things than just sex. Write about how elated "Christina" is after she finally got her muscle mass back to bench as much as she did before she was turned into a girl. Write about sad stuff, fun stuff, exciting action stuff. You know?

Challenge yourselves and have fun with it. Just because you're writing erotica doesn't mean that it all has to be boobs, butts and bumping uglies.

And geez, this got to be really long... sorry ^^;



More mom stuff, TF art and secrets coming.
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:iconquintilianus:
Quintilianus Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'd be curious to know if any of the people who insist "it can't be art!" actually have some kind of working definition for what art supposedly is. More likely they just decide when they see something if it's "good enough" to be called art. I'd hardly call it reductive: it's straight up nonsense more often then not.
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:iconthedangercat:
TheDangerCat Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2018
Exactly, it's just bunk from people who don't really understand "what art is."

But often times, this discourse stems from people mixing up "art" with "high art." Although personally I don't see the full need for the distinction of "high art," I can understand people's belief that "art" should be something "greater" than what the "common rabble can appreciate." I don't sympathize with this view, but I can understand it.
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:iconquintilianus:
Quintilianus Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yeah, I don't think there needs to be a distinction. Especially since high art and "high culture" in general seems to be pretty elitist in origin, since it's supposed to distinguish the culture of the educated elite from the culture of the uneducated masses.

Really, I think it's more that some artwork has broad appeal while other art has niche appeal. Some art ("high art"), in particular, is more for the people who understand the medium in question more than the average person. People refer to it as art made for critics to enjoy more than for people who might only have a passing interest and thus might find it boring.

So high art is really just niche art that focuses more on perfecting the medium than appealing to audiences, I guess. But it doesn't really excuse the snobbery around it.

Especially since we see that same snobbery at all levels of the art world, as you pointed out. Everybody wants their own niche (digital drawing, TG, what have you) to be high art, and whoever does it "the wrong way" is to be considered a disgrace.

That's probably the reason why I liked my painting instructor so much. I never painted in the same way everyone else did, and while he always encouraged me to learn more, he was adamant that everybody find their own unique style and methods. When he criticized your work, it was clear that he was trying to build you up rather than tearing you down, and tearing people down seems to be most people's default when it comes to any form of criticism.
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:icondapurple01:
Dapurple01 Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2018  Hobbyist Artist
This is more about your little aside about bras, but if that's how you're supposed to put on a bra, I've been doing it wrong since I wore my firat bra as a young teen! Jeez...
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:iconthedangercat:
TheDangerCat Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2018
I just watched my mom do it a lot when I was a kid. If you ever need visual instructions, just google "putting on a bra backwards" and you'll find that this way is much easier than trying to hook it together on your back :)
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:icondapurple01:
Dapurple01 Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2018  Hobbyist Artist
I think ~8 years of doing it that way is going to make it hard to change my ways, lmao.
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:iconthedangercat:
TheDangerCat Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2018
You must be very flexible now in that case :B
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:iconjennaalley:
JennaAlley Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2018
I've been writing captions for almost 3 years now. All I have to say is that I've never referred to my writing as "art" but more as just what it is, a caption. A picture (normally of a naked or nearly naked woman) with a fairly long caption. I think the things that YOU make are art. But, I'm not one to say that what writers do isn't art, so its completely up to whomever you ask as to whether writing captions is "art" or not. I'm indifferent either way, but I like your stance on it.
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:iconthedangercat:
TheDangerCat Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2018
Anything that a being makes to express her humanity is in my opinion, "art." :)
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:icontf-wizard:
TF-Wizard Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2018
Yeah, I agree with a lot of what's here. I used to be into writing and reading captions a lot too. I've found that the best ones come from people who basically just write stories, and then just slap a picture on them or use it for inspiration. As it went on 
I kind of found myself a little limited by the medium though, I wanted to write longer stories and such. Eventually my writing petered out altogether, although that's a different situation ha ha. 
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:iconthedangercat:
TheDangerCat Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2018
Yeah, totally :)
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:icontf-wizard:
TF-Wizard Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2018
It's interesting to discuss though!
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:icondavenportias:
DavenportIAS Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2018
Years ago, I used to be in the cap scene. I used to try to find some unusual pics, like a woman body painted to be the color of a granite wall, or on an older train, and try to come up with weird, unusual stories on top of the TF, TG thing. It was fun to goof around, but I didn't get much feedback in either direction. So...I guess I kinda drifted away...
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:iconthedangercat:
TheDangerCat Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2018
I think that's a sad fact of the caption scene, most people only "consume" them the same way that they consume jelly beans. If you wanna see the scene grow and get really experimental, you gotta engage and be engaged. Not sure how to fix that, I'm not a capper, but I'm sure that the cappers on the scene can figure it out some day :)
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