Professional Practice: Forums & Etiquette

So you are looking for some good forums to post your work in to get feedback or critiques? I might have a few suggestions for you. However, I first want to talk a little bit about etiquette. You have to remember, always, that art is subjective. What looks one way to you might look entirely different to the person next to you. This is true for both beginners as well as professionals. It's a fine line to walk - you'll find people who are willing to give really constructive, helpful advice. You'll also find people who are rude and purposely unkind. It's been my experience that the majority of people tend to be constructive, however. You cannot allow the few who are rude to ruin the whole experience for you. And typically, those folks that are rude are really just insecure about their own work, or they are going through something personal. There are really a myriad of reasons why that person was probably rude. My point is, don't let it bother you! This brings us, the long way, back around to etiquette. The way you conduct yourself in life and especially online is extremely important. This is exceptionally true of posting on public message boards and forums. Treat people how you would like to be treated. When somebody gives you a critique, be appreciative, even if you don't agree with them. Don't get defensive - chances are, you are all on the message board for the same reason! I don't care who you are in this industry - there is no such thing as a perfect piece of artwork. We all need feedback from our peers to improve. I've probably rambled on enough. Below is a list of forums I've found to be helpful to me over the years! And of course, if you have a suggestion, by all means, post it in the comments below. Digital Webbing There are lots of resources for comic artists here. They have a variety of forums, whether you are looking for industry advice, jobs, feedback on illustration, sequentials, colors, or letters. I've always found this to be a really warm community. Pencil Jack Pencil Jack is a lot like Digital Webbing. There are lots of different boards where you can find information or feedback about comics. Concept Art If you are into doing concept art for video games, movies, or digital painting, this is the place to be. There is a massive community of concept artists here. Gutterzombie This board is run by none other than Dave McCaig - one of the best colorists in comics. The board is dedicated to the art of coloring comics - a lot of pros frequent these boards, or at least they used too. Either way, I expect you'll find this a place where you can get good feedback on the work you post. If you are into roleplaying games and making art for roleplaying games, there are a variety of boards here. Whether you want to design a game, create art for games, or just get feedback, the community here is great! Deviant Art Deviant Art is more of a portfolio site, but it is a massive community with a lot of users. You can expect to get some feedback on your art here. A lot of art directors also watch Deviant Art for up-and-coming artists. Now go out and post your work! JM

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