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Thread: Art Contest Revamp Discussion

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    Vintage Reboot 有名人 / Yuumeijin / Celebrity vintagemistakes's Avatar
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    Art Contest Revamp Discussion

    Hello everyone!!! With the exception of the Sig Contests and Seasonal Sig Contest, we will be changing the Art Contests here at MH. Our goal behind doing this is rather simple... to make the Art Contests the best that they can be! That includes the type of contests you want to see, the frequency of those contests, and prizes awarded to the winner.

    *Once again, please note that the Sig Contests and Seasonal Sig Contest will be left unchanged*

    The Seasonal Art Contests are sometimes hit or miss: we either have a terrific competition with lots of participation or we struggle to get enough participation so there can be a vote. One of the reasons behind this is probably due to the duration in which the contests last. Having the submission phase last 3 months is just too long. But at the same time, having it too short isn't possible because creating a piece to submit just isn't something that can be done in 20 minutes.

    So with that in mind, starting in August, we will be switching to a monthly contest. The types of contest is still up for debate ( more on this in a minute ), but the structure is going to be more similar to the sig contests i.e every Season ( 3 months ), the winning submissions will face off in a Seasonal Contests and the grand winner will receive the art badge we have been giving out. If anyone has any other ideas for prizes, feel free to let us know.

    Now for the tricky part.... what kind of contests do you guys want?Do you want some combination of the ones we currently have or something entirely new?

    One new contest that might be sort of neat to do would be to have a coloring contest where everyone colors the same lineart. Does that sound like something that you all are interested in doing?

    Thoughts, ideas, and / or suggestions will be very much appreciated.

    Thanks.
    Last edited by Tsukisama; July 11, 2011 at 10:18 PM.

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    Re: Art Contet Revamp Discussion

    Just to piggyback on this, here are a few more things to consider:
    • What do you think about the amateur and advanced division for the coloring contest? We currently don't define what constitutes "amateur" or "advanced." Should we do away with this division or should we better define this delineation, and if so, how?
    • What do you think about the division we currently have for original art between black & white art and colored art? Do you think this matters?
    • We are going to continue the creative writing contest, but do you think that we should break it up into more specific categories, and if so, how?

    It would really help if you would respond to the questions posed in Vinty's and my posts. If you have an idea for a new contest, please be sure to detail it fully.

    To be clear, we are going to have monthly contests adding to the current contests, but we are also interested in ideas for contests that might not be on a monthly basis and have a seasonal component. So, if you have ideas that are totally out-of-the-box and different than our usual setup, don't feel afraid to bring those up too!
    Last edited by Tsukisama; July 12, 2011 at 04:49 PM.

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    Re: Art Contet Revamp Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by Tsukisama View Post
    What do you think about the amateur and advanced division for the coloring contest? We currently don't define what constitutes "amateur" or "advanced." Should we do away with this division or should we better define this delineation, and if so, how?
    My question would be: how did you guys first implement these categories to the art contest? What were your consideration to put such categories as part of the art contest? I think it would be best if you guys define what 'amateur' and 'advanced' is, to prevent confusion and to make things clearer. And as I am not familiar with graphics I would not be able to answer that question, but maybe you guys can start by telling us your first considerations.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tsukisama View Post
    We are going to continue the creative writing contest, but do you think that we should break it up into more specific categories, and if so, how?
    By categories, do you mean dividing them into short story, poem, etc.? To be honest I'm not very sure about that. Looking at the last writing contest, no one really put an entry even though the type of writing was totally free. I think it would be best to somehow get more attention that there is actually a writing contest here so that more participation will come.

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    Re: Art Contet Revamp Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by phio_chan View Post
    My question would be: how did you guys first implement these categories to the art contest? What were your consideration to put such categories as part of the art contest? I think it would be best if you guys define what 'amateur' and 'advanced' is, to prevent confusion and to make things clearer. And as I am not familiar with graphics I would not be able to answer that question, but maybe you guys can start by telling us your first considerations.
    Well from what I gathered amateur category were for people who were not so confident with their colouring skills, as in someone who was just starting out on a few coloured pages, or new/getting familiar with graphic software such as photoshop.

    Advanced category were for people who already felt competent with their colouring tools, established a particular style they felt satisfied with and perhaps had already a decent collection of coloured manga panels and/or experience in colouring techniques.

    The categories were to encourage people of different levels to participate and not feel so intimidated to submitting a work, that may not come across as "polished" as other entries.

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    Re: Art Contet Revamp Discussion

    Thanks for the input!

    Quote Originally Posted by phio_chan View Post
    My question would be: how did you guys first implement these categories to the art contest? What were your consideration to put such categories as part of the art contest? I think it would be best if you guys define what 'amateur' and 'advanced' is, to prevent confusion and to make things clearer. And as I am not familiar with graphics I would not be able to answer that question, but maybe you guys can start by telling us your first considerations.
    It is exactly as Waking_Dreamer described. The reason in the past that these two categories were not defined is that we wanted to accommodate the individual artists' own perception of their skills. If you felt you were an amateur, you could compete with others who felt that way about their art. If you feel confident in your artistry, then you could compete against people who also feel they have similar skills.

    It is pretty hard to tell someone whether or not they are a good enough artist because it would be completely subjective (or at least I can't think of an objective method of going about doing it). So, with that in mind, do you think there is a benefit to separating "amateurs" and "advanced artists?"

    There are conflicting opinions on the benefits of this division among the staff. I personally don't see this as a necessary distinction, because
    1. I can't think of a way to define this distinction, which leaves it up to users to decide on their own and ultimately weakening the purpose of the division,
    2. the division implies that the artists in one category are inherently more talented than another, which I don't think is necessarily true and can have a negative effect on an artist's self-esteem having to judge himself or herself as "worthy enough" to be considered advanced, and
    3. I think beginners competing with more skilled peers can help them to develop their skills,
    but this is just my opinion and we want to hear from all of you.

    Quote Quote:
    By categories, do you mean dividing them into short story, poem, etc.? To be honest I'm not very sure about that. Looking at the last writing contest, no one really put an entry even though the type of writing was totally free. I think it would be best to somehow get more attention that there is actually a writing contest here so that more participation will come.
    Yes, that is what I meant by categories.

    Thanks for the input. I was unsure of what to do about the creative writing contest. Creative writing is such a broad category that I was not sure if it was too broad to attract writers to want to enter. Given how new the contest is though, it could just need more time and advertising to gain popularity.
    Last edited by Tsukisama; July 12, 2011 at 05:07 PM.

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    Re: Art Contet Revamp Discussion

    Thank you for explaining, Walking_Dreamer and Tsukisama!

    Quote Originally Posted by Tsukisama View Post
    It is pretty hard to tell someone whether or not they are a good enough artist because it would be completely subjective (or at least I can't think of an objective method of going about doing it). So, with that in mind, do you think there is a benefit to separating "amateurs" and "advanced artists?"
    I agree that "amateurs" and "advanced" is subjective, more to the side of the viewers, I suppose, rather than the creators themselves. That is the negative side of having division. But if it's not divided, it would only scare away those who are new in graphic designing because they (probably) would feel shy about their works compared to more experienced designers. That could decrease the number of participation. It may be able to boost their skills faster because they have to compete with stronger competitors. However if this certain person really wants to grow better, he/she could just walk out of the box and try his/her best to join the "advanced" group.

    What if you decide on "amateurs" and "advanced" based on the effects used on the graphics? For this idea, though, you would need someone or a group of people who have to check through the submissions and put each one of them to appropriate category.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tsukisama View Post
    I was unsure of what to do about the creative writing contest. Creative writing is such a broad category that I was not sure if it was too broad to attract writers to want to enter. Given how new the contest is though, it could just need more time and advertising to gain popularity.
    In my opinion that is what we need to do with the creative writing section. We need to make it more familiar to everyone for this new addition in art contest; maybe through announcement around the forum besides news on the homepage and banner at the top of the page.

    Or maybe we can make a separate creative writing contest? So it stands alone and would have sub-categories like short stories, fanfic, poems, etc. Do you think it would attract participants easier like that?

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    Re: Art Contet Revamp Discussion

    Guys, please, make just one Coloring contest!

    The winner will be the one who do the most "interesting" image, it doesn't mean that the "most professional" will win.

    And I think that all contestants must color the same image.


    If there is Amateur Coloring, and Pro Coloring, then you need to do "Amateur Black & White" and "Pro Black & White", the same for "Amateur Colored Art" and "Pro Colored Art".

    Because, the amateurs can't compete against the professionals in these contests too...

    This is my point of view.

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    Re: Art Contet Revamp Discussion

    Thanks so much! Please keep the opinions coming, everyone!

    Quote Originally Posted by phio_chan View Post
    I agree that "amateurs" and "advanced" is subjective, more to the side of the viewers, I suppose, rather than the creators themselves. That is the negative side of having division. But if it's not divided, it would only scare away those who are new in graphic designing because they (probably) would feel shy about their works compared to more experienced designers. That could decrease the number of participation. It may be able to boost their skills faster because they have to compete with stronger competitors. However if this certain person really wants to grow better, he/she could just walk out of the box and try his/her best to join the "advanced" group.

    What if you decide on "amateurs" and "advanced" based on the effects used on the graphics? For this idea, though, you would need someone or a group of people who have to check through the submissions and put each one of them to appropriate category.
    Even if we were to divide "amateur" and "advanced" based on graphics and effects, we would still need to come up with some sort of specific criteria to make these decisions. Did you have any ideas on specific guidelines on what should constitute "advanced" technique?

    Quote Quote:
    In my opinion that is what we need to do with the creative writing section. We need to make it more familiar to everyone for this new addition in art contest; maybe through announcement around the forum besides news on the homepage and banner at the top of the page.

    Or maybe we can make a separate creative writing contest? So it stands alone and would have sub-categories like short stories, fanfic, poems, etc. Do you think it would attract participants easier like that?
    I really like your idea for advertisement. I'll see what options we have for doing that.

    As for the matter of a separate creative writing contest, do you mean like just removing it from the seasonal contests or creating a separate forum for it like the Sig Contest? I had not really considered creating a separate format for the creative writing contest, but that is a definite possibility and might be a little more conspicuous. I suppose I just don't want a forum created for something that is not showing any signs of being popular enough to merit it getting its own forum.

    For now, I think we will try to better advertise the creative writing contest and, if there seems to be enough interest in it, we can look into giving it its own space.

    Quote Originally Posted by renanamara View Post
    Guys, please, make just one Coloring contest!

    The winner will be the one who do the most "interesting" image, it doesn't mean that the "most professional" will win.

    And I think that all contestants must color the same image.


    If there is Amateur Coloring, and Pro Coloring, then you need to do "Amateur Black & White" and "Pro Black & White", the same for "Amateur Colored Art" and "Pro Colored Art".

    Because, the amateurs can't compete against the professionals in these contests too...

    This is my point of view.
    Thanks, renanamara.

    I can understand you feelings about "amateur" and "advanced" not being in the other categories too. To be honest, I am not entirely certain why this division only exists in coloring (since I was not involved in these art contests when that division was put into place), but my guess would be that there is a definite technique in coloring whereas creating original art is entirely free form and thus the concept of being an "advanced original artist" is truly meaningless. So, that is why I cannot see there being an "Amateur Colored Art" contest or the like.

    Concerning your third line about all contestants coloring the same image, that is one of the contests we were thinking of doing. Everyone would color a preselected piece of line art. This new contest, however, was something we were thinking of doing in conjunction with the other, establish coloring contests where people can select their own things to color. Do you think we should only do the contest where the image to be colored is preselected instead of doing that contest in addition to the established coloring contest?

    What if we were to do the same-image coloring contest along with one coloring contest where people can choose to color whatever they want, getting rid of the amateur/advanced division?

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    Re: Art Contet Revamp Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by Tsukisama View Post
    What if we were to do the same-image coloring contest along with one coloring contest where people can choose to color whatever they want, getting rid of the amateur/advanced division?
    I think that would be fine. If we just have the same-image colouring contest though I can already see participants dropping severely. When a persons colours in lineart they usually have a strong motivation for the lineart to begin with. Depending on the lineart specifically chosen for the contest, people might not be motivated enough to participate, so there should always be a free choice of lineart/manga page section for people to colour.
    [IMG]http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb57/Jonas64/Kilrik.jpg[/IMG]

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    Re: Art Contet Revamp Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by Tsukisama View Post
    Even if we were to divide "amateur" and "advanced" based on graphics and effects, we would still need to come up with some sort of specific criteria to make these decisions. Did you have any ideas on specific guidelines on what should constitute "advanced" technique?
    I am not sure about this as I am not involved with graphics directly, but I'll try to find some clues about it. I'll post it up later. Meanwhile, maybe those who often do graphics can take further discussions about this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tsukisama View Post
    As for the matter of a separate creative writing contest, do you mean like just removing it from the seasonal contests or creating a separate forum for it like the Sig Contest? I had not really considered creating a separate format for the creative writing contest, but that is a definite possibility and might be a little more conspicuous. I suppose I just don't want a forum created for something that is not showing any signs of being popular enough to merit it getting its own forum.

    For now, I think we will try to better advertise the creative writing contest and, if there seems to be enough interest in it, we can look into giving it its own space.
    Oh, no, I didn't say that you should give writing its own forum. I think it doesn't yet deserve its own forum considering that we have not yet found many participants for it. What I was trying to say is that at this moment, you are planning creative writing contest to be part of the seasonal art contest, true? I was thinking of doing it separately, like the sig contest. So the creative contest would stand alone, independent from other contest. It is a new kind of art contest, not integrated to current art contests we have.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tsukisama View Post
    What if we were to do the same-image coloring contest along with one coloring contest where people can choose to color whatever they want, getting rid of the amateur/advanced division?
    I'd say this would be a nice idea. If we could not give definitions to "amateur" and "advanced", personally I would rather not used it as it can be confusing, although as far as I know here participants didn't really complain about the definitions.

    This is also what I was thinking for the creative writing contest. For a certain period, there would be two kinds of creative writing contest: first, is where participants are free to write any kind of writing they want; second, is where participants must make a specific kind of writing (for example, poem, short story, fanfic, etc.). If it is too much for one period, we can do it one after another. We can also add themes to the writing, although it may cause drop in participation rate. Let me give you an example.

    Suppose we would do the creative writing contest once every two months.
    The first two months >> free creative writing
    The next two months >> writing a fanfic based on certain series
    The next two months >> creative writing with theme: death (could be related or unrelated to any anime/manga series)
    The next two months >> writing a poem based on anime soundtracks
    The next two months >> free creative writing
    and so on.

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    Re: Art Contet Revamp Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by Waking_Dreamer View Post
    I think that would be fine. If we just have the same-image colouring contest though I can already see participants dropping severely. When a persons colours in lineart they usually have a strong motivation for the lineart to begin with. Depending on the lineart specifically chosen for the contest, people might not be motivated enough to participate, so there should always be a free choice of lineart/manga page section for people to colour.
    Well, this really is a possibility, maybe some people drop, that's true.

    So, I'll vote for two contests, one where everybody uses the same picture, and another where it's free (but without the amateur and advanced categories).


    It's very hard to make a division of what is Advanced and what is amateur, a good example is this one, who participated in the amateur:
    http://mangahelpers.com/gallery/spri...ing-2011/15083


    Ah, I almost forgot, I think that in the regular coloring contest, you need to upload the black & White image too, this way you can you tell that the original image really was black & white. Something like that:



    I used one of my entries in the last summer contest


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    Re: Art Contet Revamp Discussion

    ^^The notion of doing a contest in which everyone colored the same lineart stemmed from the Seasonal Contests. It was just something special that we were thinking about doing like the "creativity" contest we had for the Winter (?) contests. Just something different that people might enjoy. I still like the fundamental concept of doing it since it does put everyone in the same playing field i.e. it is less about the content of the image and more about a persons coloring skills. However, I can definitely understand the notion that people might get bored with it if the image provided doesn't peak their interest.

    As for the difference between Amateur and Advanced, I would put it much like waking_dreamer said here:

    Quote Originally Posted by Waking_Dreamer View Post
    Well from what I gathered amateur category were for people who were not so confident with their colouring skills, as in someone who was just starting out on a few coloured pages, or new/getting familiar with graphic software such as photoshop.

    Advanced category were for people who already felt competent with their colouring tools, established a particular style they felt satisfied with and perhaps had already a decent collection of coloured manga panels and/or experience in colouring techniques.

    The categories were to encourage people of different levels to participate and not feel so intimidated to submitting a work, that may not come across as "polished" as other entries.
    The only thing that I would add to that is the MH Artists and past winners would have to submit to the Advanced Contest. For example, someone like waking_dreamer, who has won past contests, he would then be "forced" into the Advanced Category. But then again, at what point and by who would that be decided? It's definitely a dilemma. *shrug*

    On another note... what are your thoughts in having an "Original" category? A category for all those that want to draw, paint, or color original pieces?

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    Re: Art Contet Revamp Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by vintagemistakes View Post

    On another note... what are your thoughts in having an "Original" category? A category for all those that want to draw, paint, or color original pieces?
    I think that an original category is pretty good idea. I know that NanaD submits original work sometimes. I've also seen Shintasu (sp) do some original artwork along with googelz (not sure on the other artists works). Although I think other artists might like that Idea a lot since it will involve their own original work and might inspire more creativity.

    I can also throw in some colored stick figures, if I decided to take part.....


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    Re: Art Contest Revamp Discussion

    Just to clarify something, we currently do have two contests for original art: black & white art and colored art. So, for those of you who want to enter original art, you should use one of those contests, but I think what Vinty was asking was whether you all thought that original art should be just one big category or remain divided by color?

    Quote Originally Posted by Waking_Dreamer View Post
    I think that would be fine. If we just have the same-image colouring contest though I can already see participants dropping severely. When a persons colours in lineart they usually have a strong motivation for the lineart to begin with. Depending on the lineart specifically chosen for the contest, people might not be motivated enough to participate, so there should always be a free choice of lineart/manga page section for people to colour.
    You bring up some very good points. We definitely want to allow people to still be able to choose their own line art and thus would still keep a contest for that even if we add the same-image coloring contest.

    Quote Originally Posted by phio_chan View Post
    Oh, no, I didn't say that you should give writing its own forum. I think it doesn't yet deserve its own forum considering that we have not yet found many participants for it. What I was trying to say is that at this moment, you are planning creative writing contest to be part of the seasonal art contest, true? I was thinking of doing it separately, like the sig contest. So the creative contest would stand alone, independent from other contest. It is a new kind of art contest, not integrated to current art contests we have.

    ...

    I'd say this would be a nice idea. If we could not give definitions to "amateur" and "advanced", personally I would rather not used it as it can be confusing, although as far as I know here participants didn't really complain about the definitions.

    This is also what I was thinking for the creative writing contest. For a certain period, there would be two kinds of creative writing contest: first, is where participants are free to write any kind of writing they want; second, is where participants must make a specific kind of writing (for example, poem, short story, fanfic, etc.). If it is too much for one period, we can do it one after another. We can also add themes to the writing, although it may cause drop in participation rate. Let me give you an example.

    Suppose we would do the creative writing contest once every two months.
    The first two months >> free creative writing
    The next two months >> writing a fanfic based on certain series
    The next two months >> creative writing with theme: death (could be related or unrelated to any anime/manga series)
    The next two months >> writing a poem based on anime soundtracks
    The next two months >> free creative writing
    and so on.
    I see. That is actually a pretty interesting concept that I am sort of really liking right now. What if we kept the creative writing contest on a monthly schedule like the other art contests but varied the type of creative writing contest each month like you suggested? For example:
    • Month 1: Free creative writing
    • Month 2: Theme-based creative writing
    • Month 3: A specific format of writing like haiku, a type of short story, or poem based on anime

    Then, the winner of each of these monthly contests would compete in the seasonal contest like the other categories.

    Quote Originally Posted by renanamara View Post
    Well, this really is a possibility, maybe some people drop, that's true.

    So, I'll vote for two contests, one where everybody uses the same picture, and another where it's free (but without the amateur and advanced categories).


    It's very hard to make a division of what is Advanced and what is amateur, a good example is this one, who participated in the amateur:
    http://mangahelpers.com/gallery/spri...ing-2011/15083


    Ah, I almost forgot, I think that in the regular coloring contest, you need to upload the black & White image too, this way you can you tell that the original image really was black & white. Something like that:



    I used one of my entries in the last summer contest

    You're right about the difficulty in creating a division for amateurs and more advanced artists. If we did keep the division, I think it would have to be somehow based upon what Vinty said about making previous winners only compete in the advanced category with some more stipulations concerning MH Artists and such (perhaps based on some demonstration of techniques like phio_chan suggested).

    It clearly would be much simpler to just get rid of this division though and majority of the opinions expressed in the thread so far have been in favor of doing just that, but if this revamp discussion yields sufficient support for keeping the division, it will remain.

    I think it would definitely be a good idea to require that the line art be included or referenced in the submission post.

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    Re: Art Contest Revamp Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by vintagemistakes View Post
    On another note... what are your thoughts in having an "Original" category? A category for all those that want to draw, paint, or color original pieces?
    Quote Originally Posted by Tsukisama View Post
    Just to clarify something, we currently do have two contests for original art: black & white art and colored art. So, for those of you who want to enter original art, you should use one of those contests, but I think what Vinty was asking was whether you all thought that original art should be just one big category or remain divided by color?
    Personally I think being divided based on color is a good idea and that we can keep it. As far as I'm concerned, coloring takes more time and technique, so in particular point of view it may viewed as more "advanced" than only black-and-white. I might be wrong though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tsukisama View Post
    I see. That is actually a pretty interesting concept that I am sort of really liking right now. What if we kept the creative writing contest on a monthly schedule like the other art contests but varied the type of creative writing contest each month like you suggested? For example:

    • Month 1: Free creative writing
    • Month 2: Theme-based creative writing
    • Month 3: A specific format of writing like haiku, a type of short story, or poem based on anime


    Then, the winner of each of these monthly contests would compete in the seasonal contest like the other categories.
    Sure, doing it monthly would be great. I wonder if it would be enough time for participants who would like to submit more complicated writing, but personally I agree with doing it monthly. As for competition between the winners in the seasonal contest, my question would be: is it fair for different kinds of writing to join the same competition? Let's take it the worst scenario possible I can think of the moment: a short poem versus a fanfic with around 1000 words. I am not very keen of such divisions in writing, but doesn't it feel that somehow the level of difficulty between each writing is different? Maybe this is just my personal sentiment, though.

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