+171
Under review
CanineHybrid 1 year ago • updated by Twelve 10 months ago 17

TL;DR:

  • I feel there should be an artistic distinction between someone who crafted something and took a photo vs someone who took a photo of something crafted.
  • Artwork category is currently only for "flat art" yet the Photography category doesn't properly represent or classify our work either; it turns it into a photo of art instead of art itself.
  • And what happens to categorization when you have both concept art and a photo of the final result shown in the same image?



As I was importing my gallery, I realized I became stuck trying to sort my work into the two current categories, "Artwork" and "Photos"... and I realized that I am not alone!


Explanation:
I'll use fursuits primarily for my example to help explain why I feel this is needed and how I arrived at my conclusion. Many fursuit makers I have talked to have mentioned they feel stuck or dismissed when their work doesn't really have a home here- and arguably fursuits are one of the most important artistic aspects of the furry community! So I want to help make our voices and those of other physical multimedia be herd.


Of course the work we create is technically displayed as a photo out of necessity... but it's hardly considered "just photography". I would personally rather see the photos category of the site be reserved for anything from selfies to shots with artistic merit or focus on things like composition/mood/lighting and documentation of events or the natural world. I predict the majority of the photography category will be used for uploading photos taken at conventions, and that naturally means it will be displaying or capturing primarily other people's artwork and not necessarily your own.

And honestly? It just plain feels weird or dismissive to us as artists to call our fursuit work "photos" and not "art". And we would like to have acknowledgement that our hard work is considered such and not just another photo lost in a sea of random photos. As a side note, this also creates no real distinction between fursuit artists, fursuit wearers, and fursuit photographers if everything's simply tagged "fursuit" and found in the Photography category. It makes fursuit makers almost invisible on FN compared to other kinds of artists who create flat art or writers who make stories when they both have categories that focuses on their media. (Alternatively, there is also discussion about creating a better distinction from uploads of original artists work vs uploads of art created by others that was commissioned or photographed by the uploader... and I'd like to see it get more input: https://support.furrynetwork.com/topics/8-having-a-collections-feature/)


But by the same token they are still a kind of photo right? A photo is a photo after all. And therefore it was suggested that "Crafts" could be a sub-category of Photos since all crafts are probably going to have to be photo-based by its very nature. But what about something such as a traditional mural painting? Should those have to be uploaded to "Photos" too simply because that is also the only way to capture the art... yet how is that any different than a traditional painting that is able to be captured by a scanner and now that one is suddenly considered "artwork" instead?


My argument is just because the work has to be documented by a camera and the end result is a photo, it doesn't have to be the end-all of its categorization, as I think the subject and primarily the intention of the work needs to come into consideration as well.


...


Taking another look at my gallery sorting issue, I realized my second problem- I have several works that has concept art, WIP photos, and final photos all in the same image as an evolution or comparison of the before and after. It belongs in both categories by definition... and yet doesn't fit very well in either.


Alrighty, so what if we considered the idea of making crafts a sub-category of Artwork instead? Unfortunately this causes another issue... because Photos can be considered "Artwork" just as well as Multimedia is artwork, you could even make an argument for Stories to fall under there... so why wouldn't everything be a subcategory of artwork? What makes "Artwork" a unique, different category than the other ones already established? Well..

  • Multimedia is strictly defined by the file type
  • Stories can only be text (which is a media-specific category)
  • So the only difference between artwork and photo must be that currently FN uses the idea of "Flat Art" to define its Artwork category because it doesn't require a camera to showcase (but technically it still can, especially if one doesn't have access to a scanner for example)

Guess what? We don't make "flat art"... we make physical 3d art.

And if we're sculptors, we don't call ourselves photographers.


Not to mention, adding any kind of "sub-category" simply changes the entire structure that FN is centered around for its upload categories. It would feel rather out of place with the existing layout and very likely that the category would be completely overlooked... unless we just started adding subcategories left and right. But it seems the idea was to use tags to replace subcategories, or any pre-defined categories for that matter, like other art sites have. Sure there's less universal tags/formatting, but there is no issue of not being properly represented by a category either. And there's always community tags to fix any classification issues too. However in the case of Crafts, I think it's going to become necessary to have this additional sort of artistic representation for a site that revolves entirely around showcasing all types of artwork... else there will be way too much inconsistency with uploads like fursuits going to both categories chaotically.


---


And lastly my suggestion for helping uploaders understand the distinction between when to upload to crafts vs photos: If you crafted something yourself, it should be showcased in Crafts- concept art, WIP, and final production shots for documentation of your work as a whole presentation. Photos you took of your work in a non-documentation purpose, such as a photo of your work at a con, could be artist discretion for the category; it simply depends on the purpose of the image and if the artist wants to use it to supplement their craft project's documentation or just show a photo. Any crafts that were not created by the artist themselves that showcases the work should always be considered a photo, because the uploader is showcasing an image of the work and not representing the art for documentation of its... artistic essence?... as it were. It was not crafted by them, it was photographed by them. I feel there should be an artistic distinction between someone who crafted something and took a photo vs someone who took a photo of something crafted. (And same goes for everything uploaded in general honestly. People are usually decent about saying so, but there are ways to improve this.)


So simply put, if you crafted something it goes into Crafts.

If you took a photo of a work someone crafted, it goes in Photos.



In conclusion, I would like to propose that a new category named "Crafts" should be created to ensure that every kind of artwork the fandom creates can be properly represented on FN, while being easier for users to classify and browse/search through work they're interested in: fursuits, scluptures, plushies, clothing... they can all have a home that treats it separate from flat art yet does not risk degrading its artistic value simply because it's forced to be visually represented as a photo. Thanks for your consideration!

Answer

Answer
Under review

Hey all -


A LOT of support for this in a short amount of time, wow! This wasn't something we'd thought of - so thanks for suggesting it (and voting for it)!


If we were to add a "Crafts" content type, which functioned identically to Photos, would that cover the majority of use cases? Or, once we add it, would we be recieving calls for another kind of media to be represented?


I agree that Artwork and Photos are mostly a non-technical distinction (ie, they're handled in much the same way, there's no real difference in file type for each) - but what other content types would be needed, if we were to 'do this properly'?


Of course, crafts covers a very wide swathe of content types - I'd almost say that Photography and Artwork would be a subset of "Crafts", to use a purist's viewpoint - but clearly a sensible distinction would be constructive.


What would the concequences of this be, on a wider scale?



+5

I completely agree! As a multimedia artist myself I would really benefit from a Craft section. From the moment I made an account here, I've felt that the photo section was for things like photos people take at conventions and I was confused by such a large emphasis was placed on that. I would really love a place for my favorite art forms like sculpture and fursuit making to live on this site, I am all for a Craft section. Thank you for the write up Riley!

+10

I have held off on uploading my fursuit work here for this reason - I'm not sharing photos as art, I am wanting to share art that I just happened to have to take objective photos of. Would love to see this included!

+4

As a costume photographer I would be happy to have the distinction between crafts and photographic art. Usually a photo of something crafted is a simple image meant to show the craft and not artistic photography like many photographers create.


This has my support!

+1

I'm kind of in the same position, though my main 'craft' persay is food. Yeah, there's artistry needed to take the photograph, but the main subject is the dish itself and how it is presented. Plus if ever I decide to really get into leather crafting like I want to, it'll just get flooded out by con pictures and such.

+1

This would be a great way for people to search for fursuit makers.

+1

I'd be surprised if anyone apposed this idea. Hope they add something for physical crafts soon.

So much this.
Tho crafts in general would also be cool.

With the sheer volume of things we make as a fandom- fursuits, props, inflatables, sculptures, pottery even- I'd second this in a heartbeat. It's a thing. It's a big thing. And FN, far as I know, would be the first of these kind of sites to make that kind of categorization.

Definitely support, there's a lot of stuff that wouldn't fit in the current categories and I can't really think of a downside of adding a Crafts section.

Answer
Under review

Hey all -


A LOT of support for this in a short amount of time, wow! This wasn't something we'd thought of - so thanks for suggesting it (and voting for it)!


If we were to add a "Crafts" content type, which functioned identically to Photos, would that cover the majority of use cases? Or, once we add it, would we be recieving calls for another kind of media to be represented?


I agree that Artwork and Photos are mostly a non-technical distinction (ie, they're handled in much the same way, there's no real difference in file type for each) - but what other content types would be needed, if we were to 'do this properly'?


Of course, crafts covers a very wide swathe of content types - I'd almost say that Photography and Artwork would be a subset of "Crafts", to use a purist's viewpoint - but clearly a sensible distinction would be constructive.


What would the concequences of this be, on a wider scale?



Could it even conceivably be wrapped up under "Artwork?" It just seems to fall short as it stands right now - could there be a clearer distinction between art/objective photography and photography as art? There definitely needs to be a "3D" or "handmade object" inclusion either way. From my viewpoint, I don't really know where my work should go - I look at the Artwork category and see a lot of drawn work, and I look at photos and see pictures from conventions. Do you have a suggestion where you think this kind of work would fit as things are now? Of course every project here is technically a "craft" but I'm thinking even a sub-category for crafted works under the Artwork tab could satisfy the confusion here.

+2

I think, if I were to PERSONALLY categorize different forms of art, you would get the following:


"Artwork" - Generally understood to be 2D, can be digital or traditional, made by drawing or painting.


"Photography" - Generally understood to be a photo using a camera, or a screenshot. Minimal manipulation; adjusting lighting and adding small tweaks okay, cutting and pasting multiple elements together would move into "Artwork". CAN be of real-world objects, but may also be taken from a publicly available 3D video game.


"Sculpture" - An artist-created 3D element. Think of a game model, clay model, carved wood, statue, etc.


"Crafting" - Everything else not covered by "Sculpture". Includes tailoring/costume creation, jewelry, "flat" badges (eg: single-layer perler bead badges, papercraft badges), macaroni artwork, etc. Jewelry, if including heavy wire-work or custom sculpted elements, could be posted in "Sculpture", but could be equally at home here.


"Animation" - Anything animated. 2D, 3D, GIF, Flash, Stop Motion, etc.


"Audio" and "Literature" would stay as they are.


"Performance Art" - Stuff like Dancing and Theatrical perfomance. Video format, NOT random fursuit shenanigans!

+1

Technically all of this stuff is "artwork" but the "artwork" section seems to be for illustrated pieces specifically. (something that is drawn or painted, basically)


It sounds like "Craft" would be for any type of art that makes a physical thing you can hold.

Things such as a fursuit, plush, and sculpture are all things that can be physically held in ones hands, and would have to have been made by an artist, and not made by nature (like a plant or animal) or a moment in time (such as long shots of a convention in the daylight or a dramatic worms-eye view shot from a play). any photo in "craft" would have the focus on the thing that was physically made. Be it professionally taken or not.

After that, the only other type of art I can think of that doesn't have a clear section is digital 3D art. Would this be considered a craft? It can't be held. Artwork? It's not 2d. Photo? It's not a real photograph. Video? Unless rendered as a video, it's not a video. And it's not a written work either.

Personally. I'd put 3D stuff in artwork (if an image) because it can't be held. Making artwork specifically for any created thing that cannot be held in your hands unless printed. The only reason I'd make a 3D section, would be if FurryNetwork suddenly supported a 3D veiwport, like SketchFab.


Of course that's just how I see it.

+1

I'm in favor of an alternate category. But iInstead of "Artwork" "Crafts" and "Photos", what about a "2D", "3D", and "Snapshots" distinction? I don't think having more serious photographers to share the category with hotel room selfies and pictures of sketchbooks is the best solution, because there are professional photogs in the fandom. This would also allow artists to post casual snapshots or WIPs of their artwork and let the artist dictate whether their photograph is a finalized work of art or a casual upload.


Just something to discuss.

When I read the post I also instantly thought 'what about professional photography vs. snapshots'. For this I think FN could simply benefit from a scraps folder that only followers get notified about (optionally) so they don't need to go on the big categories, and that would be the place to post snapshots, funny things and rushed wip screenshots.


Of course also the craft category, I think that's a really important one since our fandom makes a lot of crafts (such as builds fursuits and plushies).

It might be easier to categorize by 2D, 3D, Photography, with additional sub categories similar to ArtStation website.


Category: 2D
Sub category:
Digital - Artwork made digitally
Traditional - Artwork Painted.
-------
Category: 3D
Sub category:
Digital - 3D models.
Traditional - Crafts, Sculpture, fursuits, etc.
-------
Category: Photography

Photos in general.

I think the best way to go would be to create sub-categories. Yes, photos of physical 3D works are more than just photos, but then music is more than just multimedia, there are lots of furry musicians, and a case could be argued that music deserves its own category too. If you have a lot of different categories, you risk the navigation being a little convoluted, to say the least--and let's be honest here: I've heard a few people say they think the layout of FN is already a bit confusing so far.


So how about:


Artwork>Visual/Crafts

Written>Stories/Poetry/Prose

Photography>Fursuits/Events

Multimedia>Music/Video/Podcasts


Perhaps you could use the tag system to distinguish one sub-category from another, and any links/tabs could just be a tag call. Adding a submission to a sub-category could just add its corresponding tag to the tag list. That way the sub-categories are a little less cluttered, already integrated with an existing system, and easy for contributors to label.