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August 15, 2010
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Rules of Character Design P.2 by B-luejay Rules of Character Design P.2 by B-luejay
First off, I was not expecting to get so much feedback on this. So, thank you to everyone who has commented so far and those who may comment in the future.

This is by far the most popular thing in my gallery, and that frigthens me. :XD:

More important than anything I'm about to say, you must know this: This deviation is filled to the brim with sarcasm. That means that you should take it with a grain of salt. It's harmless fun. If you've been offended by this, then my apologies, but don't take it so personally. Now, onto the meat of this comment!

Just to clarify, the people I refer to as the general "you" are the ones who could be considered by most to be "trolls." I consider trolls to be people who make no effort in helping out an artist, but simply resort to attacks. Here is a sample (made up completely by my creative team) of what I'm talking about.

"Wow, a wolf. How surprising. That neck looks f*cked up, like somebody broke it in two and only left half of it. Those colors make me want to puke out my sh*t and then eat it again. Oh, and three tails? Why don't you just give it the head of a Barbie and the body of a f*cking rat? And how the f*ck did it get those bandages around its legs? That never happens in nature. And those teeth aren't supposed to be white, you *ssmunch. And, oh hey, is that red I see?? Yeah, just like [artist name censored to protect the innocent]. This is the most original character I've ever seen. NOT. Get the f*ck out and do something real with your life."

Those are the type of people I'm poking fun at.

Now here's a sample of something I think is perfectly acceptable.

"This is beautiful. Don't change anything."

JUST KIDDING~ Ohohoho! No, really, here's a sample of what I personally think is acceptable:

"If it's a wolf you're going for, perhaps the body shouldn't be as brawny. The neck does look a bit short, just stretch it out a bit more and it should be fine. As for the colors, the blue and purple throw things off. The red could be passable, but I would suggest you change it. Perhaps saturate those colors a bit more. As far as the three tails...I would suggest you have just one tail unless the other two tails are absolutely necessary. It just looks a bit silly..."

While that critique is blunt and points out the flaws, it also makes suggestions on how to fix it. This isn't how I would word my own critique, but this is something that could be considered "constructive."

What you must realize about this, though, is that some less mature "sparkleartists" won't like this. They won't like it one bit. But at the same time, as ~otherscape pointed out, these are the comments that leave the most impact and actually inspire artists to "improve" their characters.

I realize that everyone has the right to post their opinions about a certain character. Now, what most people don't seem to realize is that not everyone is going to have the same opinions as them. For instance, you may not necessarily like seeing the color blue on an otherwise natural wolf (not referring to Redthroat up there, chill out), but that doesn't make it wrong. Other people may enjoy that. Yes, you can go ahead and tell the creator of the character that it "looks unnatural," but to be honest? You can't entirely expect them to change it. And if they don't, it doesn't give you a right to then go ahead and lash out at them and expect them to change something just because it doesn't suit your needs.

1. Wolves and foxes, while overused perhaps, are not copyrighted to anyone. It isn't really your place to put someone down because they have a character that is either a fox or a wolf. Perhaps they like those canines and enjoy drawing them. Maybe they enjoyed watching Balto or Fox and the Hound (for lack of better examples) as a child and simply wanted to contribute to this existing world. There is nothing wrong with that! If you hate wolves and foxes so much, though, maybe you should just...move along to a picture of a different sort of canid. Your commenting on the artist's possible lack of originality, even if you find it to be helpful, won't really help anything.

2. Point blank: Pointing out that someone's character resembles another is not helping at all. There are only so many colors in the rainbow, and red happens to be a popular one. Someone may use it for a wide variety of reasons if not only because they enjoy the color red.

3. In my previous comments, I made an attempt to point out Clifford, Courage, and Blue all as examples of canine characters who are unnaturally colored, but are still acceptable and successful. However, as ~quaidezmaster pointed out, this is done with a purpose behind it, or it's only done if the world around the character's permits it. That's very true. It may not be my place to judge an unnaturally colored character, but at the same time if you, the artist, like to avoid confrontation, you may want to tone the saturation down a bit.

4. Again, in my previous comments I pointed out Itchy, Ace the Bat-Hound, and Dodger to emphasize my point. But, again, as ~quaidezmaster pointed out, these characters are given accessories to emphasize their personalities. Now, there are plenty of characters around here on deviantART who have accessories that are perfectly acceptable and are there for a reason. My advice to you, "critics," is to make sure that the accessories do have a purpose before you boldly go where all silly people have gone before and call a foul on the artist for "slapping things on there because they look cool." Often times an artist does put thought into their character's accessories, but they just don't realize how crucial it is to say that until it's too late and a flame war has flared up around them.

5. A dog with a head of hair is unrealistic. It never happens. Yeah, yeah, I know. But in the world of art, norms can be broken. An artist may give their dog a head of hair to represent something, or to emphasize something. For example, my fursona LM has a full head of hair because A) I, too, have a full head of hair, and I wanted her to be similar to me in that respect, B) I enjoy drawing hair in all its flowy goodness. You may not think they're good reasons to have hair on a dog, but I think they're good enough, so I'm not going to change it. Again, everyone has a different opinion.

6. Multiple tails can be given to a character for multiple reasons. The most popular reason I've seen is that the canine character is some sort of kitsune ( [link] ). An artist may give a character multiple tails because...they like drawing tails and one just isn't good enough, I don't know. Either way, commenting on it in an ignorant way can be frustrating to both the artist and the people (like me) who just happen to be viewing your comments.

7. Again, this is just a small rule that's almost always a matter of personal preference. I've only ever seen people point it out once or twice. Maybe they're just scraping at the bottom of the barrel and trying to start something? Remember, just because you don't like it, that doesn't make it wrong.

And in my previous version of these comments, here is where I put my "we are the world" crap about not trying to impress anyone. ~otherscape pointed out to me that when we post something on deviantART, in one respect or another we are trying to impress people. I mean, why else would we share it? So I retract my statement from earlier. What I don't retract, however, is my setiment that you should make artistic choices based on what you prefer, not what others tell you is right. If someone disagrees with your choices, as ~quaidezmaster put it, "then maybe you should listen to them, digest what they have to say, and think about how well it applies to you or not."

If you prefer to have natural characters, that's fine. But if you enjoy having pink dogs, that's okay too. Just don't expect everyone to agree with your choices. Even though it isn't necessarily our job as critics to tell you what is right or wrong with your character, it is your job as an artist to maturely take into consideration what others say, and then decide for yourself if you agree with them or not. And if you don't agree with them? Politely say so and don't change it. Just do whatever you think is right.

Now, to ~otherscape and ~quaidezmaster, if I've taken anything you've said out of context or misquoted you, please let me know. I'll be sure to change it accordingly.

If my comments have come off as arrogant, brash, or ignorant in any way, it's probably because I've misworded my thoughts. This was unintended, as I tend to be (or try to be) a pretty open-minded person. So if you think there's a better way I can word things, please let me know.

In addition, please feel free to leave comments stating your opinion on these issues. But...try to read these comments and the comments of others first. Please understand that I can only type something so many times without getting frustrated. Don't be surprised if I don't reply because it's something I've already said to someone else.

If you read all of that, then thank you. C:

Grunge texture overlay used in the background can be found here: [link]

And here's a link to part one, concerning fan characters: [link]

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TheLupinearRider Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
This is awsome ^^ I agree with what you said down in the comments ^^ You rock!!! ^^

Very good points you have throughout all you comments, this was funny, yet very informative. :thumbsup:
lil-twilight-wolf Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2010
omg XD i know you have enough comments on this thing and it must get annoying
this XDDD <333
KodiNaki Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2010  Professional Filmographer
Hehe. Good deviation! :D

I recently made sparkledogs and got sparklesnarked from anti_sparkledog on LJ for it. However, I'm only making a clan of sparkledogs so I can make a public commentary on the wars they cause! :XD:! And sometimes yes I like them. 8) But otherwise, I need something rediculous to put into my story so I can show how fruitless it is to mock other people AND to blow up because of being mocked. I found it amusing how they just proved my point.

But with designs, I try to give them a purpose with anything added. If not, then I go back and research what I can take out and change. If I get critique, I try not to puff up and reread it a few times before taking the day as a break to digest it, then coming back tomorrow to reread it and contemplate how to do things. It's as simple as that. Mom taught me not to make immediate compulsion choices, and how when "buying a car, you should just go out to look, not buy, then go and sleep on the choices. Wake up, pick one with a clear mind, and go back." Stuff like that applies to critique too if you really think about it. :)

Thats about all I wanted to say... I just hought I'd let you know how I liked your post (esp. your artist comment) and agreed with most of it. xD These people who usually make the intensely blinding sparkledogs are often times younger kids who're just learning the 'ways of art' if you so will. Of course they're not going to know anatomy. Of course they're gonna be drama queens! THEY'RE YOUNGER TEENAGERS! Come on, everyone was a drama queen at one point. I know I was the most idiotic obnoxious n00b to exist on the planet... but then I grew older and matured. It'll happen eventually.

If it never does... well, people in real life never mature either... so xD just mature around them and move on.
B-luejay Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2010  Professional Digital Artist

Pfft. Those guys~
I had only really visited that site once like...eons ago, but sifting through there again definitely made me lol, especially when I found them talking about this very deviation there. I was like "Whut," but they definitely were speaking the truth.

That's a very good tip!! I...I'll have to try that myself at some point. Usually if I get critique I just like...want to go hide somewhere, and that just makes me so very passive to the person who critiqued. :XD: But I think, like you said, going into it with a clear mind could definitely help smooth the conversation out. I think that's what I should have done with my original Artist Comment on here in the first place. Bahahh~

Yep! Seems like you just can't post anything on the internet for fun anymore. But yeah, them younguns can be quite silly at times, to say the least. But at the same time some of the people (not all of them) who "critique" their art are really just making fun of them. Then again even if some of them did get a normal and fair critique they would still fly off the handle. XDD~

Yep. Sometimes it's just best to sort of...leave it be.
KodiNaki Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2010  Professional Filmographer
Yeah I agree. Leaving it be is the best route sometimes, unless you know the person is open to critique.

I actually found this through sparklesnark. Ever since they snarked me, I've lurked their pages to see if they snark anything else of mine. I'm also a member now, just so I can keep lurking and post comments. I don't plan on snarking anyone, though some of the stuff they do snark is pretty lolzee.

I wish the internet was fun once more, but now its just for porn/trolling/ANGST. :C Though it can sometimes be fun. xD Just gotta find the right places and not dive too deep... what's beyond the surface isn't something most people wanna see, anyways.

Critique still makes me cringe 8( But I just gotta take it with a grain of salt at first and not reply immediately, no matter how freakin' hard that is to do. XDDD!
wolves-dragons Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2010
boy you got some crazy long comments!
ya i posted a rant like this a few months ago. to do with unoriginality and nit-picking about designs and stuff like that. i agree with you totally. honestly to me if what you're drawing makes you happy then no one has the right to tell you its wrong. art is meant to be enjoyable and when people give others a hard time about characters it's just like... do you not have anything better to do? do you think you're better than everyone and you needed to set them on the righteous path you've followed?
i mean a realistic design and a sparkledog are 2 different things. if its not your style then just go somewhere else, its not really your business what they draw. most of these artists are younger in all honesty, and it has a lot to do with a maturing mind and a wish to be accepted into the dA community with all the attention that comes with that. who can blame them really, and besides if it pleases them then more power to them. if they want to get into the industry of animation or something seriously, they will grow and figure out what they need to do themselves. just let them draw what they enjoy. and really your other rant could be just as applied to this one with storylines and background and stuff. i just can't stand critique that's only meant to break someone down... it's just bullying.
B-luejay Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
Augh, God yes those comments were humongous, but I managed to read every last word in them. :XD:

The thing with posting rants like this is that you're always going to get a general lashing out of "well we can have opinions, too." *sigh* And it's like..."now hold on, because they can have opinions too," and you eventually (if you think too far into it like I do) end up with something like "Okay. Everyone's right, and everyone's wrong. So I guess everyone just has to shut up." :XD:

And I agree with you completely. When someone is serious about something, like animation or comics, they will eventually mature up and change themselves accordingly. Your bashing them may speed up that process but, like you said, they won't have time to draw what they really like. Heck, it may leave them scared to post their drawings on the internet...depending on the temperament of the artist, I guess. :XD: Some of them may lash back, but they've got every right to.
triippyx Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2010
I love this.
I may laugh at a few sparkle dogs, I don't really take them, or mine for that matter seriously. People don't have to like my designs, and I may not always like someone elses design, but I'm not going to think less of them as a person for drawing it.
People can draw what they want, if they want a neon pink and yellow character, then so be it. It's not going to take me but two seconds to click away from it, and I don't have to reflect on it.
B-luejay Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
Exactly. I think maybe some people think that because a person has sparkledogs in their gallery that makes them less of a person. And that's just...ooh that just burns me up.
Again, exactly!!
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