Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Fairwell, TGST; and What a Difference 10 Years Makes

A sad day. :(

Blender Artists is the first art forum I really joined, way back on November 25th, 2005.  It's therefore been a decade in a couple of weeks since I joined that site.  On August 31, 2010, I started what would later be called The Giant Spaceship Thread. That thread was a great help to me back in the day, so I wanted to post an honorary post about it, here, as Blender Artists will be going to its new format by what the mods hope is the end of this year.  The Giant Spaceship Thread will be closed and archived along with the rest of all currently open threads on Blender Artists when that site migrates to its new format, and I'm finding myself a little misty eyed over that.  The TGST was very good to me for the 5 years its been around.

However, while I was in mourning over the TGST, a somewhat controversial, yet thought-provoking piece by Andrew Price slapped me across the face and got me thinking.  While it was a nice place for me to showcase my work and for other geeks to share their own work with each other, has it helped me to become a better artist?

I feel like my work has stagnated in recent months, to be honest.  Here is work from five years ago:

Woo! Old art!
Here are a few a samples from this past year:

Some improvement!

Not too bad...
In comparison, I noticed that there was some pretty impressive work on other forums, and even my very best work would be unlikely to be even mentioned on those forums.  Which was somewhat depressing.  Andrew Price's comments resonate, while also giving me pause.  While a certain level of balance is necessary--one cannot compare themselves with other artists exclusively to determine their own worth as an artist--it should be noted that any artist who becomes self-referential is in serious jeopardy of being left behind in a world that is moving forward at faster-than-light speed.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm primarily a modeller, and there is a certain unthankful nature to that job description.  A modeller doesn't generally get to put a lot of work into finalizing the product--lighting, texturing, compositing--and none of these things are my expertise, I'm afraid.  So, the majority of a modeller's work involves somewhat boring clay renders which most people don't really like much.  Obviously, images of brightly lit, colorful artistic scenes seem to light up the art pages much more than, say, a clay render of a starship interior.  Why?  Well, aside from the fact that the scenes are more colorful and seem more completed (and besides, a lot of them feature various bits of anatomy), they are just more visually interesting than the gray-box style render that modellers like myself usually put out en masse.

But, but...the spaceship doesn't have clothes on, either! :(

So, to sum up all these rambling musings, I've discovered that while I'm glad to have known The Giant Spaceship Thread, and I am grateful for its contribution to my work, and I may port over a version of it to the new Blender Artists forums, I have discovered I should spend more time in places that frighten me.  Namely, CGSociety, and ArtStation (eeeeeek!) and hopefully I don't plunge into a deep depression at what awaits.

To commemorate TGST, however, a couple screenshots (I seem to have lost a few! :( ) I've taken over the years of moments that made me happy. :)

The Adamant got the 92nd monthly header at Concept Ships, and received top-row on Blender Artists, which I never thought would happen

Top row for the 3 space fighters, too! Woo! :)
Additionally, some of the art has been featured on the top row of some 3D websites I sell on.  Quite a feather in the cap, there. :)

So, moving on, as time always seems to, I guess it's time to post some new stuff in the CGSociety and ArtStation sites...oof.  Here's hoping for the best! :|


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