We see it all the time these days. An artist posts work-in-progress of whatever it is they're working on and they get instant feedback from their fans. Be it on tumblr, DA, through a livestream session or on their websites, this trend of letting fans critique their work before it's finished is becoming so common place that it's almost expected of us now.
Personally I'm a little torn up on the idea. On the one hand all artists need feedback and critique to improve, and if something isn't right with their work it's much easier to notice and fix while it's in a preliminary stage. On the other hand... a creator logistically can't show the behind the scenes work of everything they do. And if an artist isn't being 100% transparent with their art, it's often wrongly assumed that they're trying to "hide" something.
It's been happening more and more lately, fans of an artist being extremely vocal about how they feel the art should be drawn. And while feedback is important, I also feel that artists need to develop their own styles and drawing personality on their own sometimes... something that can be routinely hindered by having "too many cooks in the kitchen" as it were.
Worse still is when certain fans start becoming more invested in an artist's work than they are themselves, resulting in instances where a fan demands changes to be made because they feel entitled to the creator's work. This is actually a pretty common occurrence, especially when it comes to mass media things like MLP:FiM or Adventure Time.
I'm still a bit of an old school believer in not showing the progress of something till after it's done. If you let fans critique your work from start to finish, the surprise and mystery can sometimes be sucked out of things. A joke is less funny the 2nd time you hear it, so posting a work in progress of a daily strip, for example, probably isn't a good idea since by the time you finish the work you'll have lost a lot of the joke's initial impact.
But I also recognize that in this age of instant gratification, communicating and responding to feedback and criticism is vital and important to an artist's growth and development.
So my question to you all is... what do you think is the best way to have this creator/fan relationship? Do you think that fans deserve to have input on how artists draw or create their work? Can fans become too emotionally invested in a creator's property? Are there downsides or drawbacks? Do the positive aspects outweigh the negative in your eyes?
I don't have an answer to these things, I genuinely want to know what you all feel is the best dynamic. I want to move forward with my own artwork, but I feel hindered by my ideals and want to know where everyone else stands on these issues.
Listening to: The Halfman's Song
Reading: Game of Thrones
Playing: Minecraft: Nerdcrafteria