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Eltro93 @Eltro2kneo

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The DeviantArt Mentality That Corrupts Indie Game Fan Artists Regarding Feedback

Posted by Eltro2kneo - May 27th, 2017

____Originally, the title was going to be just "The DeviantArt Mentality", but then I figured people might think of... ... ... something else that's unrelated to what this is about.

I once tweeted something for artists who take great offense over the most inoffensive and harmless criticism: https://twitter.com/Eltro93/status/859673974304776192

It was something like this:

"Here's a thing about opinions and criticism. When you produce work and someone points out a few flaws or gives an opinion on what needs to be improved, they're not insulting you or trying to make you feel like shit. They're giving you a chance to improve.

Don't look at it as a failure, but as an opportunity to do better. And you will do better if you allow it. But if you choose to just cover your ears and label your critics as bad people trying to bring you down, you're not helping yourself and instead damaging your image.

Being unable to take criticism means you don't want to get better. And if you decide to cut communications, then no one should be buying your stuff to begin with."

____Unfortunately, I forgot to specify that it was constructive criticism, not to be lumped in with destructive criticism (which in my opinion, isn't criticism unlike the former). However, there's a story behind why I made that tweet. In early May, me and my friends were talking in a Discord group about some art tweets by one specific individual (let's call him "Kim"). We talked about what we liked, what we didn't like, where the artist needs to improve, etc. Then the artist tweeted an unfinished landscape of a bridge that's supposed to take place in an abandoned ancient level. It turns out the bridge looked more like it belonged in an early level, because of the coloring of the grass and the objects on the bridge being nowhere to be found in the ancient level. Everyone in the Discord group made similar comments. I tweeted at Kim that it looked more like it's from the Dragon Valley stage than Pangu Lagoon. Afterwords, he got rid of the objects that seemed out of place for an ancient level.

____But then, one of my friends (let's call him "Ren") shared an art tweet of a sketch for an OC who was easily mistaken to be an already existing canon character. Ren said that he immediately thought that the character was Lilac, because it looked just like her except for the lack of hearing aids. But the sketch is supposed to be an OC named Scarlet, and that she's more red colored than Lilac. Out of all the Lilac recolors we posted in the server, we were shocked that an artist like Kim would take that rout. I asked another guy (let's call him "Fry") to color the Scarlet sketch by using Lilac's palette just to see how similar she looks in design. She had the same hairdo, as well as the same top. What's supposed to be the dangling side of her scarf could easily be confused with the long twintails one would see from Lilac. Scarlet with Lilac's palette made her look indistinguishable, except for not having hearing aids.

____As soon as I tweeted Kim that his Scarlet looked too much like Lilac because of the hair and clothes, he blocked me (which lead me to even making that tweet about opinions and criticism). Afterwords, he made four tweets throwing a tantrum about the people who've made similar comments that I made, as if they were personal attacks to him. He also states that he has a problem with people who don't like recolors, admitting that his OC is in fact a Lilac recolor. Thus, he can't take criticism. And I was being polite to the guy.

____Then, weeks later, he throws another Twitter tantrum lecturing his audience about what "inspiration" is, only to demonstrate that he doesn't know what that word means. Inspiration is influence. It's when a person is given the motivation to do certain things. In practice, when a person says they "took inspiration", it usually means they saw or tried something they really liked and decided to use it on their own stuff (almost like borrowing elements from somewhere). Of course, it tends to get tangled with "plagiarism" sometimes, but a distinction can still be made. What's Kim's version of "inspiration"? That it's synonymous to "support". That, because you're making fan art or a fan game, you're somehow supporting the original authors, despite not giving them any cash for it or them not being interested in seeing your fan made content.

____What happened to this artist is what I would dub the "DeviantArt mentality". I call it that, because it's the kind of shitty behavior I often see in DeviantArt when posting recolor OCs in the Discord server. That, and the fact that a majority of the fandom are from DA. It's also the kind of mentality that artists get when they gain a huge following. It turns them into massive dicks.

____Now, onto what can be seen as a prequel to what happened above. It started off in late 2014 when I was obsessed with an indie game known as Freedom Planet. Because of it's heavy inspiration from Sonic games, I was initially hesitant to join any of its fandoms until a year later when the new forum was opened. Before the Discord app was a big thing, there used to be that crappy IRC chat that was barely used in the forum site. There was also a lot of fan fiction crap for only a year, until the fan fic writers lost motivation and left the forums, realizing not enough people bothered to read, and their demands for detailed criticism were just impractical (looking at you, Ultra). Then, there were headcanons being wrongfully passed on as official canon, never mind that their shit never happened in the game, and the fan fic writers made it up (plenty of fan fic written misinformation was discovered and debunked the moment Freedom Planet 2 was announced).

____During those years of this fandom (infested with DA users), there was one particular fan fic writer (let's call him "Zorn") who was writing a fan comic for the first game. I liked the idea of a comic adaptation as long as it didn't copy mistakes from the old Archie comics where lazily edgy characters were shoehorned in. Unfortunately, in the comic issues after the events of FP, of course he implanted a dark-suited edgelord OC. But then there was one comic issue drawn by an artist (let's call him "Shaggy") that caused the fan comic to get shat all over by someone who we'll call "Moo". It was probably the harshest criticism that Zorn received, it made him cancel the comic series abruptly, and resorted to writing the fan fic text-only. It torn his skin so much, he publicly announced that he quit the forums, just because Moo didn't like his fan fic. But then again, Moo makes rather ridiculous demands in general, and his fan fics were kinda shit to begin with (also a guy who blacklisted me because I don't like his fan fiction or his story philosophies being always grimdark).

____Speaking of the artist Shaggy, he was another story, and it heavily involved Ren. At first, Shaggy kinda liked the guy, until Ren decided to play Shaggy's Neera fan game. Apparently, Shaggy didn't like what he had to say about the game (if Ren said anything), thus he blacklisted him for the rest of his life. Since then, Shaggy's been perpetually taking the piss at Ren for any drawing he's done. At the time of Ren's depression, Shaggy went out of his way to make fun of his depression, called him "the biggest attention whore", as well as telling Ren to go kill himself in the official forums of all websites (pretty much the shittiest thing I don't condone). Unsurprisingly, that got Shaggy banned for a couple months. It doesn't help that his fanboys copy his shitty behavior (or even notice it outside of DeviantArt), which is no wonder Kim also blocks people for simply not liking Shaggy. Not only did Shaggy have a beef with Ren, he also had a beef with other artists because of nsfw art (never mind that this makes him a hypocrite, since he also does nsfw art). Overall, he gained a shitty reputation in the fandom, and he seems to be doing better when he's quiet and not lurking as much as he used to (because if he says anything, it's usually to start shit).

____Now, fast forwarding back to early May of this year, in the art channel of the Discord server, one guy was posting some casual MSpaint drawings. Of course, someone opened his mouth and said he wasn't a fan of the MSpaint art. Instead of the uploader shrugging it off, he took great offense to it, escalated the situation, and said he wont post anymore, even if people were not trying to tell him to stop showcasing.

____You might say that I'm only bringing up four artists and therefore it's not a good sample size. However, the fandom itself is around 500+ people, and each artist (especially Kim and Shaggy) has a large following of 300+ parrots. Much like when Shaggy made that KYS joke drawing (two actually, one that's titled "DO IT" with the old character handing over a revolver, and the other titled "JUST" with the new character pointing the revolver on her own head), nearly everyone of his fans took his drawings seriously to the point of rigging a character redesign poll on DeviantArt, as if they were pressured to do that or else they'd piss off their favorite artist.

____Of course, that's just a different kind of DeviantArt mentality where fanatics treat their artists like they're flawless, thus are incapable of disagreeing with their "idols".

____Other than that, you pretty much have hypersensitive artists who think it's okay to either commit internet suicide or be unreasonably defensive and blacklist people over the most inoffensive, petty tripe (basically, the DeviantArt mentality). I wouldn't mind the logic that it's important to separate the art from the artist, just like we should separate the franchise from the fandom. The art might be good, but the artist might be a shitty person. Or the franchise is amazing, but its fandom is cringy as fuck. But when the artist acts shitty because his art looks shitty, that's when the separation becomes difficult for me.

____An artist who lashes out at his own audience over something harmless and polite isn't the kind of artist I would support. And maybe not supporting them would at least discourage that childish behavior. Because without support, they'd go back to being nobodies and maybe rethink their attitudes (or not). Then again, doing so would be considered Orwellian or Draconian to some.


____The names Ren, Kim, Fry, Shaggy, Moo, Zorn, and Ultra are only nicknames I gave to avoid using their real names and their actual pseudonyms. As much as I take the piss out of DeviantArt, I have nothing against people using the service, especially when some good artists can be found there.

Comments (2)

Had a similar experience with a drawing that I wound up redoing because the person in question thought I was roasting him and was too prideful to improve. I actually PMed him telling him I'd do a version of his drawing, with a tad better anatomy and shading.

For all I know, he might have brought in alt accounts to boost his own ego and score.



Sheesh! his drawing has a lot of blended shading, it's blurry. XS

I know. But he seemed to mark as helpful, those comments that inflated his ego. Were it not religious art (which, of course, I have no problem doing), I bet you people would have commented a lot more about just how inadequate both pieces were and how. Anyway, I clamped down on that.

The Mario piece he submitted looked to me like the entire thing was wrapped in plastic, like the PowerPoint filter 'Plastic Wrap' or somesuch. I have no idea. You want people to improve and sometimes you become harsh just to do so.

Yeah. :/