Sister group, the details
Creating a sister group is the main focus of our LtL future plans. The stagnating interactions on the private Facebook group and the near total absence of new members forced us to make this choice. On the first of September, the private group will no longer be updated. From that moment on, the new public group will be the main focus of LtL. Be quick to join and create a post yourself, or invite people so you can receive the ‘Founder’ badge! The private group will stay where it is at least for a while, it’s the foundation for what LtL is today. You could call it nostalgia, but at least for now, I rather don’t lose it. Repurposing is an option though! But there are no plans for it as of yet.
Sister group management
Public groups attract a wider variety of people. As mentioned before, we can expect some people there that keep violating the rules or are just plain assholes. We were very easygoing in the private group and we will do our best to keep doing that. However, because of the nature of public groups, we will start enforcing the guidelines a bit more than before. Think of the following:
- You’re free to link to your social media pages in a constructive way (alongside an illustration you made for example) but you cannot make a post promoting yourself as a business. We will however make posts in which you CAN promote your social media pages every now and then. We just want to avoid people joining only to drop their portfolios. People joining for just that will be removed right away. Anybody else participating in the group for a while will receive a warning.
- Because of the reason above, we cannot allow direct links to your website.
- Subjects and art need to be relevant to the group. Meaning: It has to be art- or nature related. Why nature? Because it’s a great source of reference. Why not people? Because the group is dedicated to surreal art: Creature design. This of course does include mech, hybrids and anthromorphs. Alongside futuristic and fantasy design. Yes, many of the characters are human to a degree, but there is enough information out there related to art that discuss these subjects. It’s a different story when it comes to creature designs based off of animals. There is simply too much variation in the natural kingdom to not allow nature related posts for reference in the group.
If you happen to stumble upon a series of poses (images), or tanks, cars, motors etc. (Images as well) that could serve as reference, feel free to post those. But remember: Series of images!
- Backtracking to the previous point: Do only post links and images that could serve as art reference! Think of a documentary about the snowpanther and the way it lives. Or specific extreme habitats. Please don’t post videos and images about conservation, animal abuse etc. We do think the first is very important and the second is plain horrific, but LtL is not the place for it.
- Credit artists: We will be really harsh on this one. There is enough plagiarism going on already and there are few artists that arn’t victim of theft or plagiarism. Whenever you show art from another artist you either link the post directly from their facebook page, or you state their name within the visible part of your text. (Keep in mind the ‘read more’ part of your facebook post). You will only get one warning for a violation like this. We do understand that you mean well, but this is a real sore spot for many artists and we cannot tolerate it because of this reason.
- NSFW: We will live by the Facebook rules (like: No nudes) but we do accept properly masked illustrations (nipples and crotch area obscured). We also accept gay content. Because of the Facebook rules we cannot allow art that displays sexual interaction (kissing is okay, touching in specific places, or doing more than that, is not). Instead you can go to the NSFW discord channel for that.
- Anybody joining the group and posting any form of promotion (be that selfpromotion, for a specific websites, crowdfunding etc). as their first post or comment is removed from the group right away.
- And obviously: Stay kind. Everybody is learning. Whenever you give feedback: Either be kind, or be kind and give constructive feedback. (Or yea, just don’t reply :p).
Yea, oke, the discord channel. I’m not at home there, and for a community I know this is a big crime. I’m just a huge introvert. I mean, I invented it. I hope you can forgive me :p. To bypass this ‘problem’ we decided to assign Anna Mudge as moderator! Welcome, Anna Mudge, to our team! You can contact her about any Discord-related things!
To clarify: ‘We’ Are Jade Jez and me, Tessa Geniets. We moderated the Facebook group together from the start, and also the Discord group. But as we’re both introverts, the latter was neglected. But not anymore! Thanks to Anna!
Over time more moderators will be added! But please don’t ask to become a moderator. LtL is very close to my heart and I’m very picky about who becomes a mod. This is nothing personal, it’s just my way to cope with life, lol. If I don’t pick you, I don’t like you any less or think you won’t be suitable for the job, it’s just me vs, life. The drama :p.
As mentioned before: Public FB groups are more prone to problems because accessing those is relatively easy. We do want to have a similar kind of group as the old one, just with more interaction. To try and maintain this we asked Sarah Wowra to become part of our FB mod team! Welcome Sarah to our team! Just like Anna Mudge we know Sarah Wowra for quite a while already and are happy to have her on our team! For any issues related to LtL you can contact her, Jade Jez, or me (Tessa Geniets).
The prompts! Yea, the icky subject. I love prompts, and thanks to Rian Holt we now have a creature design prompt generator! But creature design prompts are still requested. Some people request monthly prompts, others daily, and a whole myriad in-between. Because of these requests, we decided to facilitate a monthly myriad of prompts! Why monthly? Well, because of logistic reasons, really. What this essentially means is that we pick a subject and divide it into smaller ones so you can practice all the aspects of that monthly prompt and share it with the group. In the meantime, you can observe how others go about these sub-prompts!
The final prompt will be the monthly prompt shaped in or added to a creature or character design of YOUR choice. This means that the prompts are a bit looser than other kinds of prompts maybe, but you will be able to practice a specific subject really in-depth and come out of that month knowing the subject inside out.
To make things a bit more interesting we decided to open an Instagram channel as soon as entries pick up. We’ll be posting any fully rendered final prompt entries made for that month’s prompt on the Instagram channel. It’s mandatory that you give this final piece some proper effort. We don’t look at your level of art, but we do look at the effort you put into it.
LtL future plans
LtL has a bright future ahead! Over time the group grew with wonderful people and the mod-group grew in tandem as well. I couldn’t envision what the group would become in barely 2 years’ time and I never thought the old Wildlife and Creature design group would change in any significant way, but it did, and shortly after even bigger changes happened. This made me (and the team) think a bit more ahead and we’re seriously considering some things in the (near) future.
Drawing in groups (Discord)
We’re still figuring out this one. We like to facilitate group drawing, like screen sharing on discord for example. But we’re not sure yet how that’s done. If you happen to know the mechanics behind that, please let us know! We’re not in a hurry to facilitate that yet, as the Discord channel is still quite silent, but it is an important feature we want to implement in the near future!
Monthly featured lightbox on LtL
When we have a very active group and enough Final Prompt entries we want to allow the community to vote on their favorite Final Prompt entry. The winner will be highlighted on a dedicated page for these entries on the LtL website. The winners will be able to talk about the process of the artwork, tell something about themselves, and promote their website and social media. The second and 3rd places will be added as well, but only with a name notice, social media links and website links.
Note that you can only be featured as the winner once every six months! If you happen to win again within the 6 months period, the second person in line will be featured as the winner of the group. Instead, you will be displayed in the top 3 as the second. We do this to keep the content on LtL fresh and to give everybody a fair chance of showing themselves.
Many of you asked if educations will become part of LtL: Yes, they will be, in a few years. How this takes shape is not entirely clear yet, but we have our thoughts about that. Why in a few years? Well, for one: I myself am not at a level yet to educate people. Not in exchange for money at least.
I cannot give any dates yet on this subject, but I can tell you that it won’t be happening before the beginning of 2024. And the formats will likely (but not definitely) be as follows:
- Single courses handling one specific subject (think art fundamentals, specific animal species, storytelling, etc).
- A pack containing a group of subjects (drawing several different animal species for example, or a multitude of creature/character design courses that are closely related to each other) .
- Offering these single courses or packs with reviews. Meaning you will get 1 on 1 feedback on your art from the artist that made the course (overpaint and feedback).
Beginning artists of artists that cannot or don’t want to invest a lot of money on courses right away can easily enter by buying just the courses. Those that want feedback can opt for that as well. We can keep things transparent this way and accessible for everyone. Personally, I think this is the best way to go for LtL. But again: Nothing is certain yet except that there will be courses and that they won’t appear before 2024.
Big changes are happening, things that couldn’t have happened without you! The LtL members and website visitors. Thank you for being part of this community! And I hope you will stay with us as you do now! Without you, we can’t do this!