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Generic GIF "ART", Yes/No?

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  • Generic GIF "ART", Yes/No?

    I gotta say, I'm a bit miffed. I've always been a fan of traditional Fanart and the time this subforum thrived with fanartists creating traditional wallpapers and essentially being the Mecca of fanartists proved to be the best time I've had online. There were dominant fan artists who were passionate about their work and to this day remain memorable for their art even though their work and they are not online.

    But now, Tumblr is that place and it is filled with amazing fanartists who are able more easily than ever to share their work and get to as many people as possible and that is, I must say, amazing. I have one particular problem with the whole Tumblr fan artist community. The gifs! Am I the only one who feels a bit negative about that type of fan art?

    It gets a lot of attention when generally, there's no real work on concept, composition, typography... Just a bit of tempering with colours. Sometimes someone goes nuts and adds a bit of special effects (which can be cool, I'll admit). but all in all, you take the original frame and the original scene without any real reworking of the it, the mood, etc' and the amount of reblogs and likes is a lot higher than the amount on traditional fan art.

    I only recently became more familiar with banner fan art, which I realized can actually deliver more complex concepts easily and do it better than wallpapers. But with gifs, it feels overrated and I don't get it! Anyone else feels the same?

    Also, should I ask this on Tumblr? will people kill me?

    *I am only trying to articulate an issue I'm having and I'm sorry if I've done it poorly and apologise to anyone who is offended by this.


    Click for art and tomfooleries

  • #2
    I agree with you, I don't consider Gifs are art. Like you say, there's little to no thought or work that goes into them, and they aren't actually saying anything. I do think there is a strong technical component to them though and that's something, but it's not art.

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    • #3
      Not sure if asking it on Tumblr is a great idea. It's not an easy platform for discussions and some users are easy offended.



      About art on Tumblr:

      It is a bit of a mixed bag for me. Let's start with saying that it's a fantastic platform thanks to the reblog option. Unlike a forum, you can share art with others without reposting and the original creator sees when somebody likes or reblogs it. That is absolutely wonderful. And their format did prompt new ways of making fanart. The banners you already mentioned, but also picspams are an unique way of telling a story. Same with people who can combine .GIFs with more classic fanart without quality loss. I believe those masterful .GIFs have their origin at Tumblr as well.

      But Tumblr used to be a much better place for artists. The reblog option is great, but people don't use it all that often anymore. (Which isn't odd, a lot of people have a certain theme or aesthetic.) Combine that with one of the worst search engines on the web and fanartists (or fanfic writers) with a few followers won't get a lot of notes. My guess is that the more neutral .GIFs of scenes or episodes fit on many more blogs and are thus more often reblogged. And since people like their work to be seen, the .GIFs win and a lot of the more creative and unique fanartists leave.

      When I started my blog, my dashboard was filled with unique art. I learned a lot of new techniques. And if there was a picspam, it was obvious that the creator spend a lot of time on it. They only used the right pictures, the right colors, a balance between dark & light etc. That takes much longer than most wallpapers do. But these days most picspams don't make a lot of sense and are just pictures from Pinterest with some small alterations. It's lazy and borders to art theft (since most Pinterest pictures are already altered by the original creator). And yes, the many .GIF sets* are also lacking creativity. One needs skill to make a good set of .GIFs and it takes a lot of time. But I'm not sure it can be qualified as fanart considering the lack of creative input by the creator.


      * I'm talking about those where they make a set of a certain scene/episode without adding new visuals, information, compositions, insights and/or colors.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Priceless View Post
        I agree with you, I don't consider Gifs are art. Like you say, there's little to no thought or work that goes into them, and they aren't actually saying anything. I do think there is a strong technical component to them though and that's something, but it's not art.
        Originally posted by Nina View Post
        Not sure if asking it on Tumblr is a great idea. It's not an easy platform for discussions and some users are easy offended.



        About art on Tumblr:

        It is a bit of a mixed bag for me. Let's start with saying that it's a fantastic platform thanks to the reblog option. Unlike a forum, you can share art with others without reposting and the original creater sees when somebody likes or reblogs it. That is absolutely wonderful. And their format did prompt new ways of making fanart. The banners you already mentioned, but also picspams are an unique way of telling a story. Same with people who can combine .GIFs with more classic fanart without quality loss. I believe those masterful .GIFs have their origin at Tumblr as well.

        But Tumblr used to be a much better place for artists. The reblog option is great, but people don't use it all that often anymore. (Which isn't odd, a lot of people have a certain theme or aesthetic.) Combine that with one of the worst search engines on the web and fanartists (or fanfic writers) with a few followers won't get a lot of notes. My guess is that the more neutral .GIFs of scenes or episodes fit on many more blogs and are thus more often reblogged. And since people like their work to be seen, the .GIFs win and a lot of the more creative and unique fanartists leave.

        When I started my blog, my dashboard was filled with unique art. I learned a lot of new techniques. And if there was a picspam, it was obvious that the creator spend a lot of time on it. They only used the right pictures, the right colors, a balance between dark & light etc. That takes much longer than most wallpapers do. But these days most picspams don't make a lot of sense and are just pictures from Pinterest with some small alterations. It's lazy and borders to art theft (since most Pinterest pictures are already altered by the original creator). And yes, the many .GIF sets* are also lacking creativity. One needs skill to make a good set of .GIFs and it takes a lot of time. But I'm not sure it can be qualified as fanart considering the lack of creative input by the creator.


        * I'm talking about those where they make a set of a certain scene/episode without adding new visuals, information, compositions, insights and/or colors.
        So, there are a lot more sides to it, obviously. Your opinion reveals a much greater problem with fanartists, art and the Tumblr community.

        The thing about reblogs and notes really bugs me. I see your art, Buffylover's and other fantastic fanartists and it doesn't get nearly enough traction as it should. Does it affect me as well? Sure, it bruises my ego when some my work gets only 20 notes (not that I think my work is more worthy or as worthy as the people I look up to) but I try to put a lot of thought/emotion/time into my work. That's that.

        Click for art and tomfooleries

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        • #5
          I don't really go on Tumblr but I have gathered that a lot of fanarting has migrated to there. If gif'ing is becoming a popular arting style it might be that it needs some time to develop a bit and then it might start to gain more variety and styling to it. Or it could be that if it is something more people find something they feel comfortable trying, that you get a wider breadth of artists with higher numbers at the lower end. Those beginners willing to give it a go, putting their pieces online.

          I wish more people arted here still. I'm really glad there are still some artists that stay around and wish I could produce pieces quicker and find time to join in the challenges that we do have more than I do. But if it is true that gifs are being produced a lot at the moment, and normally simpler versions, quicker/easier production might be part of it. I'd be interested to know where the artists that used to be here that created the wallpapers of old are now. Is it that they don't art anymore or have they migrated to a different platform like Tumblr. And if it is the latter are they still making wallpapers or is it that which has been the change and loss and even they are sticking to banners, gifs etc.

          EDIT: Having read the other posts it doesn't sound like gifs are especially new and it is probably more an ease of production thing.

          Comment


          • Nina
            Nina commented
            Editing a comment
            Some are now posting their stuff on Tumblr, but only a few of them do that (less than five as far as I know). Most left the online world or moved on to other artistic outlets. By example Bre and Mara stopped with fanart and started writing a few years ago.

        • #6
          I wonder what other places there are for posting fan art? I mean, aside from this place and Tumblr I don't really know other places. There's DeviantArt but I haven't gone there in ages.

          Click for art and tomfooleries

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          • #7
            I've asked myself the same, especially since so many left Tumblr. There is wonderful stuff on Artstation. But that's mostly drawings and 3D creations and no wallpapers/blends/banners. Same can be said of Instagram I believe (I don't have an account there).

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            • #8
              One needs skill to make a good set of .GIFs and it takes a lot of time.


              This gif took less than 5 minutes to make and I spend most of that time checking when this shot starts and ends in the episode. After that it was one command into ffmpeg to extract the frames and scale them to the desired size and another into gifski to turn the frames into a gif. Sometimes I load the frames into gimp if I want to manually pick a different part of the frames or crop them. Some people edit the colors (personally, I don't see the appeal unless it's conversion to black and white image - usually the result looks good and it's a great way to cut the image size) or adjust the brightness (BtVS HD is plenty bright so I don't really do that either) but if you know what you're doing it takes, at most, a couple of minutes.

              Comment


              • Nina
                Nina commented
                Editing a comment
                Interesting read, thanks! Your .Gif is also way sharper than most on Tumblr. Now I'm wondering if a lot of people on Tumblr spend time on color correction and that I'm just not noticing that. :')
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