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Changes in the Works

posted by marrael 2013-01-26 23:19:01

Years ago, this site was created on a great idea--that no art would be displayed on member portfolios on the site, until it has been passed by a jury of three moderators, and those moderators would be chosen from existing artists based on the quality of their own art and ability to articulate how to improve a picture. Moderators stayed unknown to the artist having their work judged, but not from each other. It all was set up to make sure that both the quality of the art that appeared, and the quality of the critiques given was very high.

We succeeded in that. The downside is that our moderators do have other jobs, critiquing art is time-consuming, and the image queue always lagged behind. Weeks behind. Months behind. We are now approaching a portfolio that has waited what is now approaching a year for its verdict. And I am ashamed. Not because I haven't done what I can for the images in the queue (but I can only be one out of THREE moderators needed to pass a picture), and nagged, and rewarded the moderators who have contributed, but the manpower or time needed to keep the system working smoothly, and not in stops and starts, just isn't there. Discouraged, and with other pressing things in my life, I also stopped blogging here, and patched bugs or problems on a very lethargic basis. 

I went away to recharge, and lately got an interesting message: Don't wait for consensus. Just do what you think is right, even if you go it alone. It got me thinking.

It is important to me that this site is a place an artist can come to to get constructive critiques, even if just one, or two artists on a jury panel can pipe in at a time. One or two critiques are not three, but it's better than none, and whereas in the past artists could not see any of their critiques until three moderators had spoken, I'm going to make all the critiques now "LIVE" at any time. This is the beginning. I'm also thinking of giving mods and artists the option of making the critiques public (not the same as revealing the moderators), whether it's to share, or to contest the critiques. And ordinary site members are free, as ever, to comment, but I'd love to give them a taste of what it's like to be a moderator and score images based on different attributes of the pictures. It's all in fun, and really, to make the site helpful as always, but also more education, active, and fun as well.

If you have farther suggestions of the changes you'd like to see, and I'm sure there are many, please feel free to comment. And I ask humbly for patience too, as I work on the changes!


Housekeeping & Recommended Links

posted by marrael 2011-12-03 19:53:55

It's December! Wait, what? December? We're almost into a new year, and I'm honestly having trouble keeping up with how fast time is moving! 

In site news, blogs have been disabled on artists' portfolio pages as certain RSS feeds have changed and were causing hang-ups when loading those pages. I'm still looking into it. (And giving LiveJournal the evil eye!)

I do have a couple more substantial blog subjects lined up, but getting the time to sit down and write has been hard to come by, so this is a bit of miscellaneous post.

If you just missed December's Sketch Fest (which happened December 2nd and 3rd), the ongoing themes you can find and participate in elsewhere are "Brigade" for this week's Illustration Friday, "Dragonflies" and "Steampunk" for the first two issues of next year's EMG-Zine, and "Circe" for Enchanted Visions Art.



posted by marrael 2011-09-26 00:05:40

Welcome to the Flog! This is Fantastic Portfolios' new blog--a space not just for site news, but for fantasy art news, events, markets, tips, links of interest, and news about our members! Please bookmark this page or add the RSS feed to your reader of choice. And if you have a comment, all you need to do is to log into your Fantastic Portfolios account to leave one. If you're not a member, it's free to register and to poke around! 

If you are a member, you might like to log in anyway, in order to make sure you're subscribed to our spanking new mailing list--it'll help keep you informed of upcoming developments, artist interviews, and ideas we'd love your input on.