Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Elfwood *rant*

I've always liked Elfwood. It's the one place that made me start to draw, so it always got some inherent respect from me, and I didn't care much for the (valid) Elfwood-bashing that came from most other online fantasy art places. Yes, there are mostly beginners with anime-drawings on Elfwood. It's also true that there's no real constructive criticism, so Elfwood doesn't harbour artistic development much (which is fine, since I don't post there to get constructive criticism; if I get it anyway, it's a plus). I also didn't mind when its entrance requirements were tightened, because I agree that 'my cat' and 'a stickman that I drew during class on lined paper' don't belong there.
However, recent occurrences have made me lose some of my appreciation and respect for Elfwood. Firstly, the HUGE outcry that came from various places about the "Pimp my Elfwood" livejournal and later the same project on Eatpoo. Right, so someone takes your art, paints over it and (for the most part) improves it. I can imagine that some people might be miffed if they come across the paintover by chance, but I don't see why they'd be offended by the simple idea of people improving their pictures. I certainly don't understand the huge cloud of annoyance that hangs over Elfwood and Epilogue because of it. One picture doesn't mean the world, nor does a paintover.
Secondly, Elfwood's definition of 'Fantasy'. It's a Fantasy art gallery, so I understand the restrictions. 'Fantasy' isn't just humans with pointy ears, though. Yes, running gag, if you draw pointy ears on it, the picture will get into Elfwood. But there are things like Urban Fantasy, or Medieval Fantasy. Still, a picture that shows a girl in a medieval setting gets rejected because it's not Fantasy. Not all characters in Medieval Fantasy are non-human. 'A Song of Ice and Fire' features mostly human characters, and it's still Fantasy. Fantasy isn't just High Fantasy with Elves.

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