Welcome to the Art Forum! The following is a collection of rules and guidelines to help keep things running smoothly. The only hardline rules in here are ones that are indicated as bannable offenses. Everything else serves more as posting guidelines than strict adherences, though it is strongly recommended that they be followed as closely as possible; severe or repeated deviations from them can and will result in infractions. More than anywhere else, the content of this subforum is subjective and needs to be handled on a case-by-case basis. If you ever have any questions, concerns, or suggestions, please feel free to PM me or another available modmin!
Constructive criticism means giving advice that you think might improve someone's piece or hone their skills. Don't just tell them something is wrong—tell them why and make a suggestion! It also helps to point out something you think they did well. Rudeness and insulting remarks will not be tolerated.
If someone has gone out of their way to critique your work, even if you may not have been looking for it, try to accept it graciously, thoughtfully, and in the spirit in which it was intended. Disagreement is fine, but rudeness or dismissiveness is frowned upon.
Everything is Game:
All art posted here is open to criticism by any other forum member. Only the MSPA Fanart, Romantic Fanart, and Fanfic threads are exempt, though you are free to request critique anywhere.
While this isn't as serious an art community as places like conceptart.org, we aren't your doting mothers either. It's perfectly appropriate to remind people that you have asked for critique or technical help with something, but complaining that your work has been ignored or not commented on enough, as well as gratuitous self-deprecation, aren't conducive to a constructive environment. To further illustrate this point, I'd like to direct you to the excellent observations of friendly forumite, SkepticArcher:
Post Your Own Work:
This subforum is dedicated to posting your own original artwork, which includes visual arts, photography, writing, and music. Original means that you are responsible for creating the majority of its content yourself, as in you are the one who drew, arranged (musically speaking), wrote, or photographed it. The only place you are allowed to post work by another artist is in the Art Discussion Thread. The only place you are allowed to post image manipulations (including the drawing on or manipulation of photos you yourself have not taken) is in the Image Manipulation Thread.
This is a bannable offense. As such, you must exercise your best judgment when underage subjects are involved. To reiterate this important forum-wide rule in relevant context, nude*, pornographic, pregnant, or overtly sexualized depictions of children is 100% not allowed, nor is any suggested romantic involvement of them with an adult. The kids and the trolls are all 13. You may age them up. You may not do so to pair them with an adult or put them in sexual or suggestive positions. The guardians and carapace people (even Clubs Deuce) are all considered adult characters.
*This includes implied or obscured nudity. The boys can be without shirts, and age-appropriate bathing suits are ok too, but that's as far as y'all are allowed to go around here.
No Porn, Excessive Violence, or Shock/Gore:
Also a bannable offense. You're more than welcome to create work of this nature within the privacy of your own home, but you can't post it here. If you ever have any concern whatsoever that something you are about to post may break this rule, just ask a mod!
Nudity IS allowed in this subforum, but is subject to restrictions. If the thread itself is not marked NSFW, you may only post a link with a warning--spoilered images still load, which is not good for people browsing from work or school type situations. If the thread is marked NSFW, you may post them in IMG tags, but please spoiler them with a warning out of courtesy for others. If you wish to post nude art in your personal thread, please edit the title to include a NSFW tag. As mentioned above, pornographic images are not allowed. Though it is already explicitly forbidden all over the forum, I will reiterate that there is to be no nude depictions of underage persons ever on this forum. Ever.
One Person, One Thread:
If you find yourself constantly dumping work in the doodle thread, or really want to bring particular attention to your work, make a thread for yourself! But please keep your work contained--multiple threads by the same artist featuring singular pieces will be locked.
All Questions Have A Place:
And that place is in the Questions thread. Anything not specifically related to a piece of art you are looking to get input on goes there.
Do spoiler repeat/quoted images. Do not spoiler first-time-postings the new forum automatically resizes oversized images. unless they're oversized - the MSPA Classic theme does not auto resize. But if you have a large image feel free to include a thumbnail or a smaller version as well as the large (spoiled) original. And remember, if you spoiler everything you post, it might be overlooked!
Image File Sizes:
A few pointers about image file sizes. Firstly, anything over 500kB should be linked rather than inlined - this is to save peoples browsers from becoming slow, and also people may not want to expend vast megabytes of bandwidth on every page. But also remember that the longer your art takes to load the less people will stick around to see it! Also spoilering is not sufficient because spoilered images still load.
That said, there is really no reason anything short of a full-sized wallpaper at very low compression should even approach those limits. A lot of people will tell you that png's are 'better quality', but that is only true in some circumstances. For files with a lot of textures, gradients or transitions, jpegs at low compression will produce much better results. A quick guide to web-browser image formats. And again, there is nothing stopping you from providing a link to a larger file if you desire.
Cross-posting images between threads within the Art Forum is no longer allowed, as it is untidy and defeats the purpose of having specialized threads. Cross-posting drawings from another subforum or another forum entirely is fine. If you would like to call attention to the original post in another thread (ie: sharing a Romart pic in Fanart), you may post a text link to it.
Group Projects & Game Mods:
These now have their own subforum within the Art Forum! Any completed project is allowed its own thread here to be enjoyed and discussed by all, but only once it is totally finished! All organizational and creative efforts--with the exception of WIPs--are to be conducted within this subforum. Please read the Group Projects Rules for more specific guidelines.
The Art Forum proper is for the sharing and discussing of one's own art, so there is really no room here for art requests (excepting in the fanart, romart, and fan fiction threads, in which requests are an established tradition). To prevent request threads from spawning in the future, there is now a dedicated Art Request Thread in the Group Projects subforum, as requests can be considered collaborations on a smaller scale. This thread comes with its own set of rules. Read them. Threads requesting artwork of any kind within the Art Forum itself will be locked. Threads offering to take requests are allowed, but fall within the One Person, One Thread rule. If you make one, that is also your dedicated thread. You may not make another one for unrelated work.
Andrew has respectfully requested that no one sell MSPA-related products or services without his explicit permission. For those of you who are interested in his reasoning on the matter, here are the words of the Big Man himself, via formspring:
We have also decided that business in general is not to be carried out through the forums. If you do any kind of commission work and would like to advertise it in your signature with a link (ie: Click here for commission info!) that's fine, but you may not make threads to sell your services or products, and you may not actively advertise said services or products in existing threads. It has become too difficult and too widespread to moderate effectively.Originally Posted by Andrew
Again, YOU MAY NOT SELL HOMESTUCK STUFF WITHOUT ASKING ANDREW. Please do not ask a moderator or a member of one of the creative teams to ask for you if you can't get through to him either. I know he's busy and difficult to get a hold of, but you're really putting them on the spot by doing so and that is quite unfair to them.
If you have any questions or wish to report any kind of questionable activity, please don't hesitate to use the report function when applicable, or contact Blueberry, Tynic, Lexxy, or any other available moderator directly.