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Submitted on
July 30, 2013


30 (who?)
Jimquisition on the Phil Fish Hate and Thick Skin in General
I really appreciated this week's Jimquisition episode because it highlighted a mentality that I, myself, have dealt with. The whole concept that "you need a thick skin" to "deal with criticism" online and that you, as a creator, are solely responsible when you finally snap and "break" and say or do something stupid after years of constant pounding and hate lobbed at you. I've been in that situation, many times, and it's nice to hear from another creator that this is a thing not isolated to myself, and more importantly for standing up for the creator's side.

If you'd like to watch the video you can do so here:… I think it presents a nice counterpoint to the usual "Phil Fish is just an asshole" remarks you frequently see online in response to the controversy surrounding him this past week.

Sorry 'bout the Wii-U Hate
Brentafloss, and me by extension for drawing his comic, gets a lot of hate about making fun of the Wii-U. While at first I too was annoyed since I'm a die-hard Nintendo fanboy myself, as the pissing wars between Microsoft and Sony have been heating up it's becoming increasingly harder and harder to defend the Wii-U.

Just as an example: This past week the X-Box One was announced to be able to have 1000 friends and, not to be out done, Sony countered with 2000 friends for their PS4. Which leaves the Wii-U with a paltry 100. Competition is good for consumers, and while their reveals were pretty shitty at E3, the almost child like 1-uping of each other between the PS4 and XBONE makes Nintendo's Wii-U stand out as a dinosaur.

I love Nintendo, but right now with game companies jumping ship and with a launch lineup you had to wait a year and a half to get, I can't help but side with brentalfloss on this one. The Wii-U jumped the gun way too early and Nintendo's pride and honor is preventing them from updating their software to compete with consoles that aren't even out yet. It sucks but this is going to be another gamecube era for Nintendo, where they'll primarily succeed on 1st party titles and rereleasing old titles and franchises.

So yeah... if you think the Wi-U is getting too much hate from us... yeah it probably is. But then again, the target is just so big, how can we NOT take advantage of it, especially when the other 2 systems aren't even OUT yet?

Taboo Addendum
The past couple journals I've made have been talking about artistic taboos and things we're generally suppose to accept but never talk about or do out of fear of the negative repercussions. I've got a couple more taboos I wanted to address, but before I talk about them I have a link that I think is very beneficial to the last couple journals I've made and might help clarify why the whole "you must always improve" mentality is kinda damaging.…

The key part that I think is very telling is this little segment:

Values are not goals.
Think now of your artistic goals. Are they blurry like, "I want to improve my compositions?" Or is your goal an actual thing like a finished graphic novel, a short film or a children's book?
The first is an abstraction, forget about it. Thats not a goal. It's a VALUE. We ALL want to be better at drawing or painting or writing or color or composition. Artists at any level will agree that that those kinds of pursuits never end.
Values are not quantifiable. You can't know when you "arrive" because you never arrive.

That's a key part of the whole "you must always improve" mentality that I hate, because it places quantifiable restrictions on things which aren't technically quantifiable. Art is not an RPG where you "level up" your skill set in a easily quantifiable manner.

Sometime in the next few days I'll present the final couple of artistic taboos I think need to be discussed. But in the meantime go read that link, I think a lot of the points presented are very valid ones.
  • Mood: Content
  • Listening to: Escapist Podcat
  • Reading: The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia
  • Watching: The Simpsons Season 13
  • Playing: King Arthur's Gold
  • Eating: Hamburgers
  • Drinking: Earl Grey Tea
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DTJB Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Huh, didn't expect a Spanish Jimquisition, hurr hurr hurr.

Kinda wondered about the Wii-U bashing in the comic when you're one of its biggest supporters, guess if you and Brent came to terms on something I shouldn't wonder anymore.  And I don't care about friends on a game system when I'm not the big gamer I used to be and my PS3 friends barely broke double digits.

Good quote on values and goals.
Terios-The-Hedgehog Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
I am absolutely terrified of stagnation, so i always seek to find something to do that I can learn or learn from. Remembering every error is just one way of avoiding them in the future.

I do realize there can be a point where it is increasingly difficult to improve, but until I reach that (if ever) I will strive for the betterment of the mind and ability.
Fireweave Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2013  Professional General Artist
A friend of mine has a very mechanical approach to "improving his technique" and will constantly set goals for himself to improve his colour work, his composition, observational drawing...etc. However, aside from a lot of experimental sketchbooks, there isn't much in the way of finished goals or the distilled result of his accumulated practice.

Obviously, any artist worth their salt should always strive to improve. It's good to constantly think about the way you make your art work. It's both a curse and a blessing for an artist to never reach so-called 'perfection'. On the one hand you're constantly tearing you're hair out screaming "this isn't good enough!" on the other hand it makes you try new things and gives you're work a certain immortality. There's never a day where you throw in the towel

people say you shouldn't strive for impossible goals and that "no one is good at everything".
whereas the latter is true, I think we should all strive for the impossible. Though we won't achieve it, it's fun to at least try and who knows? you might surprise yourself!
Geeligans-i-Land Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Gee, you seemed to have forgotten everything don't ya? If are buying the fact that the competition has "all the features that Nintendo don't have" you seemed to think Nintendo needs them too, when the number one thing they need is the games.
Lauwenmark Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2013
I cannot really follow you on the "Taboo addendum".

First, I've read the article you quoted - an interesting read for sure. As I understood it, it does not say anything about the "you must always improve" mentality. It simply explains that your goal must be a concrete one ("finish that comic", "draw that woman" etc), and not an abstract one ("get better at drawing").

Nowhere in the article is it said that you shouldn't try to improve, or that improvement through constant training is to be ignored.

Second, you are saying that "you must always improve" tries to quantify the unquantifiable. This is true, but that's because this is a vague and broad goal that you cannot really define in precise terms (that's what the linked article calls "values"). But that's generally not what good critics are about.

A good critique will never stop at "you need to improve things". He or she will tell you that the size and joints of your hands were off. He'll tell you that the shading is not consistent. He'll tell you that perspective is not correct. And so on. Those are all very quantifiable points that can be weighted against (1)reality and (2)the initial intend.

If after drawing hands for many years, an artist still cannot draw one that is well proportioned in his comics, then there is a problem. If he cannot shadow a scene after many years, then there is also a problem. That's what people are trying to say when they speak about "always try to improve".

Now, the artist is always free to completely ignore such comments, and consider it is ok not to be able to properly master a technique after years of practice. Sure. But then, where's self pride? Where's ethics? Where's honesty toward not only the audience, but also and most importantly toward himself?

If an artist cannot accept that he failed at mastering a technique and would need to reconsider his training and working methods, then I strongly believe he'd best stop trying and get a new job.
Lauwenmark Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2013
And I don't think I ever claimed you did. I merely wrote what I found in the linked article, and gave my feelings.

I admit I'm more than puzzled by that, on one side, you obviously dislike ("hate" is the word you used) the "you must always improve" way-of-thinking, but on another, you value constant training and quest for self-improvement. That sounds a bit contradictory to me. When an artist is self-critical, then he'll necessarily try to make each of his work a little better than the last one. The improvement is not the goal per se (and that's what the article underlines), but it will nonetheless be present in mind at one point or the other of the creative process.

Also please note that my comment did not only adress the issue of "constant improvement" in terms of goals and mindset - it also dealt with artistic techniques being quantifiable to some amount. I think it is important to underline that point, because you cannot really separate art critical comment from both subjective and objective, quantifiable elements.

(Sorry for the delay to answer you, but I was on holidays and thus, unavailable).
TomPreston Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2013
"Nowhere in the article is it said that you shouldn't try to improve, or that improvement through constant training is to be ignored."
Nowhere in ANY of the journals or articles that I've talked about have I said that you shouldn't keep training or that you should ignore improvement. Never.
Passin Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2013
'You parody that which you love' Mel Brooks. Says it all really.
Mokuu Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2013   Traditional Artist
The thing Jim forgot to dive into was the prior Pissfits Phil made. This cant be ignored in this context : If you instigate and express yourself rudely, even if its your opinion, you have to expect the backlash and understand the consequences. 
The guy was trying to be a cruder version of John Romero but didnt have the thick skin to handle it. 
Seriously, there have been devs with worst threats and insults but they simply joked it off and didnt pay attention - Phil's got no excuses, the guy needs tact and a thicker skin. 
After a while, you "get" the rules of the net, the industry, etc 
We can somewhat learn a few things from that shit-storm lol 
shinsengumi77 Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Meh.  I wish I still had my NES, SNES and Sega...
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