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Attn. Elfwood: Why you bite.

May 29, 2006

I’m a member of Elfwood, a nerd art community that specialises in sci-fi and fantasy art. I like it. They do a decent job. But I have a lot of complaints, as well – there’s lots of shit in their system that bites. Completely and totally. The time required to upload art, for instance. When I joined, it took about 7 – 10 days for a new upload “ticket” to be processed and the material contained to be posted. Now, a dude can wait a month or more.

The size and structure make it hard to really gain any exposure as an artist. This is, well, understandable, and there’s not a lot they can do to fix this that they’ve not already tried. That I can think of, at least. The only people who gain exposure are the people who are famous in their own right outside of the ‘Woods, and the little shits who hit “random” and comment-bomb everyone they come across in the hopes of gaining a pity-visit. The Elfwood Comment Exchange is an interesting idea, a well designed structure, but artificial in nature – it means that the people with the most time to make inane comments get the most visits and comments in return. None of them really mean anything.

Finally, the upload rules bite. This is partially related to a recent rejection of a piece that I tried to submit, and partially based on similar sentiments from other members. The criteria are somewhat arbitrary, and sci-fi art suffers the most in the exchange. Especially with the creation of the new “Borderline” (Scoll down to “Groups”) criteria, more and more “fantasy” art that’s little more than a landscape of a place that doesn’t exist, or a portrait with pointy ears tacked on, or just some dude that the artist claims is a wizard gets accepted, really, it floods the ‘woods. The other side of this is that a lot of obviously sci-fi art gets dumped. This fellow has a similar viewpoint, took a stand, upped and left, leaving his site as a bit of a protest. I admire that.

The best example I have is mine, ’cause I have the file, every other example I have is either a description from an equally irate artist or a sketch on a piece of paper that the artist shows me. This image is, in my mind, obviously sci-fi. A giant statue (size shown by the more-than-house-sized cable going off to her), with, well cables and tech junk coming off of her. Scale is given by windows in the border-area, and the architecture there. Seems damned sci-fi to me. But whoever modded my ticket didn’t think so.

Yes, it is a work in progress, I will eventually colour it on the computer, use colour to stress the windows for scale, and give it all a postnuclear-winter kinda look, but – is there anyone of my readers (Reader? All one of you?) that can see much how this image earned this comment from the moderator who rejected it?

“One of the Elfwood moderators rejected this file from your application, and also removed it from Elfwood.
Reason: Does not fit in this area.
* Sorry, Please note that Elfwood has strict rules when it comes to what kind of material we let into different areas.
We’re a site dedicated to Fantasy and Science Fiction, and some material you have chosen to submit does not fit here.

wasteland.jpg- is fiction, but lacks any sci-fi or fantasy elements.”

Anyone agree? Am I just being stupid… seeing what I want to in my own art? Comments would be appreciated from any visitors.

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