To make things or not to make things...

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By TimBakerFX
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That piece I did for Neil Gaiman's Calendar Tales project has led to so many fascinating conversations and comments.  One of my favorites was by someone who seemed a bit put out that I submitted my work in the first place.  Being a professional I should leave contests to others ... that kind of thing (actually, I'm not an illustrator but i'll leave that for now ;)  One point that I really gave a lot of thought about was the statement that who on earth buys hundreds of miniature books to make a sculpture for just one image in the first place?   Well,  aside from the fact that I didn't buy anything,  all those miniatures were made by hand for the piece so I guess that makes it worse LOL.   The thing that I keep thinking about is ... who wouldn't do that?   and not just for one special contest but for every piece of artwork that they do?   Actually this wasn't even a contest,  there was no "winning"  it was just about taking part in a interactive art project.  20 images for each story will be selected and shown on a website made as the projects finial form.  There is no prize, no money,  just the thrill of having an artist whom so many respect see your work and hopefully want to include it in one of his projects.   It's about making good art, not winning or beating anyone.   If I thought the image of my little igloo made of books would have been better if each of those books was complete with full pages and even text...I would have tried to make them just that.   Even if it would never have been seen by anyone  (it's not far from the reality as it is,  I made hundreds of covers of made up books, book names, cover art and text. I used pictures of my family and friends on them even tho most of those images are just buried in a pile of books.  But I know they are there, and if a corner of a book or a rare cover shows,  it still looks like a book and that was after all... the point.   It never occurred to me who else was submitting their work, who the "competition" was, it didn't matter... why would it?  

Anyway,  I don't really have a point to this rant, just thinking out loud really on yet another sleepless night.    I think Mr Gaiman's advice wrap up my feelings about things like this... in his commencement speech at Philadelphia's the University of the Arts this past May he said:

"When things get tough, this is what you should do: Make good art. I'm serious. Husband runs off with a politician -- make good art. Leg crushed and then eaten by a mutated boa constrictor -- make good art. IRS on your trail -- make good art. Cat exploded -- make good art. Someone on the Internet thinks what you're doing is stupid or evil or it's all been done before -- make good art."   Neil Gaiman
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Comments43
anonymous's avatar
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BauhnArt's avatar
I agree with you, and love what you've written! I think your work should've been showed on a calendar of tales, it's great! Though you got a personal comment from Neil Gaiman and got published on his blog, which I think is even greater than just getting it out on the homepage:) I got my picture selected as one of those extras on the a calendar of tales homepage and it's a dream come true for me since I've been a fan of Neil Gaiman since I was 11. I felt the same when I started making my books, making all details would've been the best! and I now feel how fun it would've been to continue with the concept and make it even better. Contests is good for creativity ;) Make Good Art!
TimBakerFX's avatar
do you have a link to the page?   I'd love to see :)
TimBakerFX's avatar
absolutely, make good art
Maylar's avatar
Heh, kinda late with my comment on this :roll:

Sadly, you encountered the other face of dA. The "unreasonables" alone in the mentioned comment is pitiful. Don't let it bother you :hug:

Probably most of the artists had some encounters of this or other types of craziness :/ . Just for the purpose of cheering someone's day, I'll list some of mine (not all contest related, some just plain craziness. And not nearly all, either):

1. Contest related: "You shouldn't be in this contest, it's not fair, we're all hobbyist here and you're pro. It's just rude" - said by a girl in a minor contest for which the organizer beggedasked me to enter in the first place and in which was clearly stated I'm not really competing (was just a promotional contestant)
2. Plain jealousy: "How come your work got into the book and mine hasn't? You aren't even from around HERE!" - wherever "here" might be and why being there would be important for work being featured in the book. Also, in the end, it wasn't even the same book that person wanted her work to get in :roll:
3. Just craziness:"Your angels are depiction of everything wrong in this society, they're morally wrong and lack common decency. They're also derogatory for men who underwent removal of testicles due the cancer" - repeatedly commented and even noted in this fashion by a mother and daughter, until I had to block them *sigh* Comments were pointed at the drawings of angels I used to do, which were depicted as naked and physically asexual, in Renaissance fashion (male torso/legs/arms, woman's hands/feet/head), more or less.
4. Craziness out of (some kind of) kindness: You're stealing other person's artwork and I'm sooo gonna report you to the dA stuff, they'll make you BURN" - on which point I asked to be shown those "stolen" items in my gallery and whose art I was supposedly stealing - Don't pretend you don't understand me, you c***! It's photo's of Maylar's books and your gallery is full of those, you just dug them in the separate folder so no one would SEE!"- at which point the person was sent the screen shot of my profile page - "OMG! IT IS YOU! I'M SOOOOOOOO SORRY, I WASN'T REALLY WEARING MY CONTACTS! SO EMBARRASSING!"

And the list goes on and on...Yeah :lol:
TimBakerFX's avatar
My favorite is the last one where she's defending you from you LOL
AzaleaJones's avatar
That is very good advice.
artistladysmith's avatar
.... :ohmygod: oh for cripes sakes!! .......... guess you'll just have to go make some good art....
TimBakerFX's avatar
hehe, well, I can at least try to ;) *hugs*
AFealy's avatar
Making good art is the point of it all.
TimBakerFX's avatar
I couldn't agree more
louisesaunders's avatar
jees man people are stoopid. Keep it up dude :D
TimBakerFX's avatar
I don't understand them that's for sure, and thanks hun :)
Ellygator's avatar
Totally 100% agree with the quote! In fact the worse sh*t gets, the better art one should make!
TimBakerFX's avatar
Isn't that the truth? I've done some of my favorite work the last year (if that tells you what kind of year it's been LOL
KwasiRa's avatar
Don't know whether you were being ironic when you said the comment was one of your favorites, but it did garner a response worthy of a true artist, professional or otherwise, as well as an opportunity to pass on yet another Neil Gaiman quote apropos the desire we humans have to create. So a gold star goes to the snarky commenter. Now let's go make art.
TimBakerFX's avatar
Absolutely! I hope your world is going well and you're making good art
KwasiRa's avatar
Always making art. Whether it's any good or not, I'll leave to others to decide.
skiesofchaos's avatar
Make make make make make make make art. Pizza. Coffee. Art, art art art art. :) see the pattern?
TimBakerFX's avatar
I couldn't agree more m'friend
raido-ehwaz's avatar
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. It's lovely to hear about people who do things for its own sake - not because there's always a great, money-drenched reason behind it.

Great quote, too!
TimBakerFX's avatar
Thanks hun! I agree, it always helps me to hear about other people who just love to make things, your photography is some of my favorite ever
raido-ehwaz's avatar
That's wonderful to hear, thank you! I'm always impressed by your creativity, and how quickly you can make things! Not sleeping much helps, I guess... :)
Android3000's avatar
Well to be perfectly honest, my reasons are simple.

I like to write, because I love to entertain, and make people smile. Shakespeare once said the world's a stage, and everyone on it plays a role. Mine is the fool, I believe. I've played that role since preschool.
TimBakerFX's avatar
i've been trying to change my role since preschool... still doesn't work XD
anonymous's avatar
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