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CypressDahlia
03-25-2012, 06:06 PM
This is an issue I've been mulling over for a while, but it seems like the art world has developed a bad habit of evaluating art based on content and not quality. It's a bad way to go about it because whether or not you like the content of a piece of art is impossible for the artist to decide. That is entirely on you as the viewer, and relies heavily on self-projection. So a piece of art that is extremely well drawn could still be getting mixed reviews just because people might or might not like what it's "of". Art criticisms should primarily be aimed at the artist and how he handled the subject, not what the subject IS. The only way to satisfy a person critiquing on content rather than quality is to draw what they want exactly how they want it, and that is a totally unreasonable demand for a critic to make.

For example: I hate abstract art. But if I were to give a professional critique on pieces done by masters of the movement, I would still give them reasonable ratings. This doesn't mean I like the subject, it simply means I appreciate how it was handled: the technique and skill involved. Of course, there will be exceptions, like blank canvasses or solid colored squares and other crap like that. But I can still look at it objectively, if nothing else.


I think this has a lot to do with why manga isn't respected as an art form: too many people criticizing it for its content, and not its quality. Opinions?

Celestial-Fox
03-25-2012, 06:29 PM
I received failing marks in International Baccalaureate Visual Arts because I emphasized quality over content. I don't regret my decisions in the slightest.

ClockHand
03-25-2012, 06:34 PM
what is quality?

CypressDahlia
03-25-2012, 06:43 PM
technique, accuracy (in context), composition. Of course, the gamut of objectively evaluable factors is significantly smaller for abstract pieces.

ClockHand
03-25-2012, 07:10 PM
(Dunno why I'm posting in here. I love myself. I had a great childhood and I believe being pretty sane... but for some reason I'm posting in here)

But the content can be evaluated through quality too. The difference is that you are making a distinction between quality of the technique to make art, and the methodology, theory and proposal in art. And each one of those can be evaluated through quality.

indescribable
03-25-2012, 07:21 PM
I think this has a lot to do with why manga isn't respected as an art form: too many people criticizing it for its content, and not its quality.

Respected as an art form by whom, exactly?

CypressDahlia
03-25-2012, 07:25 PM
And each one of those can be evaluated through quality.

Not really. What that really boils down to is whether or not the viewer agrees with the artist. Many times we aren't even completely aware of what the artist's intent is. How can we (fairly) evaluate something that we don't know?

And by a lot of high art buffs, Taylour.

GunZet
03-25-2012, 08:06 PM
Whenever someone asks me what something is, I just stand there and go "No idea" and let them start blabbing off their ideas about what it could be, quite interesting what they come up with, I don't mind as long as people appreciate it.

Hamachi
03-25-2012, 08:23 PM
It always seemed to me that the manga genre has a much wider spectrum of artists as opposed to, say, the more anatomically realistic US comics, and to a lesser extent, the European artists. There seems to be a large difference in quality in the sense that realism isn't valued so much in Asian cultures. If it's truly a matter of preference, it could arguably also be a content difference as well.

I strongly dislike some mangas because their artists just blatantly disregard anatomical accuracy, and the result isn't flattering. But I also like some mangas a lot due to their content preference - stillness, graceful lines, and elegance of form. You get very little of that in most Western comics, which always strive for accuracy and impact. So there's naturally a cultural barrier between East and West. It certainly doesn't help when a lot of people see bad manga attempts at caricature, because then the common thought is "Oh, this doesn't look like so-and-so at all. Manga sucks."

My art prof did point out to me once that the European masters and Eastern masters (by "masters" I'm guessing he's talking renaissance-age or sometime close) held very different values. If we assume current artists have to some degree inherited that cultural influence, then it's easier for Western artists to measure success by a single realist scale. When it comes to caricature though, people predictably have differing opinions between what's extremely distasteful, what's acceptable, and what's attractive.

Sylux
03-25-2012, 11:22 PM
Whenever someone asks me what something is, I just stand there and go "No idea" and let them start blabbing off their ideas about what it could be, quite interesting what they come up with, I don't mind as long as people appreciate it.

Pretty good attitude, I'd say

Matt
03-26-2012, 02:07 AM
Two years ago, my creative writing class voted for me to draw the cover for our writing magazine. Of course, me being sixteen, I drew manga--a barbarian with two children on his shoulders, symbolizing the divide of innocence and brutality in our stories, but also the protectiveness displayed in some.

That summer, a little boy called me and told me that a girl named Rachel (coincidentally, there was a Rachel in creative writing) had called him and told him to tell me this: "Manga sucks." He seemed reluctant about it and didn't really seem sure of what he was doing.

At the time, I all I could do was tell the kid not to worry about it and go on with my life, but it's really sad now that I think of it. A) That stupid girl got a little kid involved in a petty prank call and B) She had absolutely no reason to do anything of the sort in the first place. Even two years ago, a time I'd like to forget, I was one of the quieter students, but I was always polite and I always smiled around my classmates. I was humble about my art and didn't draw much during class. Come to think of it, I was a pretty good kid as a sophomore. The girl, Rachel, was a senior--18 at the time, the same age I am now.

The question I have is this: what is it about manga that made me the target of a childish prank?

Outcast
03-26-2012, 02:25 AM
Amusement obviously. Better question is why would you care?

Hamachi
03-26-2012, 02:36 AM
Heh. You should've made him call that girl back and say something on the order of "Jane Austen is a -slattern.-"
Bonus points if the kid wasn't the type to know what a slattern is.

Edit: Ooh, ooh. How about, "Thanks. You have Stevie Wonder's eye for art?"

CypressDahlia
03-26-2012, 02:38 AM
Outcast, c'mon now. So you can excuse that girl's sophomoric prank as "amusement" but you're going to criticize Matt for being reasonably upset about something? I feel like there's something inherently wrong with that train of thought.

Rubisko
03-26-2012, 04:51 AM
I think this has a lot to do with why manga isn't respected as an art form: too many people criticizing it for its content, and not its quality.
I think manga is being looked down upon by many different groups for many different reasons. The non-artist population (haha, I cant' believe I just wrote that. Muggles anyone?), anyway, the non artist-population most likely doesn't recognize that the effort behind the manga-style is the same as for any art. Let's face it, most people thinks it's easier to draw any character in manga style then it is to make a still-life study. Considering all the one, two, three-step-by-step tutorials on the web it's not hard to see where this attitude may have originated.

The second main group, and the most annoying one, is the hobby-artists who tries to boost their own ego by disregarding any other forms of art than the ones they perform. Eliteists are always a pain... Ok, I'm done now, or else it will just turn into a rant. Interesting topic

Matt
03-26-2012, 02:27 PM
I'm pretty sure it doesn't help that a fair chunk of artists start with manga with no idea of how art works, and people who are around them at that time form an opinion based on that.

Also:

Why do you still care?
It was relevant to the thread.

Outcast
03-26-2012, 05:24 PM
Outcast, c'mon now. So you can excuse that girl's sophomoric prank as "amusement" but you're going to criticize Matt for being reasonably upset about something? I feel like there's something inherently wrong with that train of thought.
It was a stupid ass prank call what exactly is there to be upset about? It certainly sounds like a one time thing and she didn't do anything to hurt him.

indescribable
03-26-2012, 05:28 PM
Cype, I'm pretty sure a majority of high art buffs lack respect for anything cartoon related, regardless of content. (At least, that's what I've seen in my experience.)

In addition, I think many people are not really being exposed to quality work and therefore tend to think that all manga is ridiculous as a result. Not to mention that it's pretty much a 'thing' these days to hate manga and anime. "Manga? Isn't that those dumb Asian cartoons with the stupid eyes?" I can not count the times I've seen and heard this kind of response from people who've never even seen an anime or manga before.

Sylux
03-26-2012, 05:33 PM
Who the fuck cares? If it's cool to you, that's all that matters. Some dude told me off for liking Zelda today, but I really didn't give a damn. I just ignored him. Animus and mangos have their own unique foothold, for better AND for worse. Nothing wrong with some jackass who goes to snobby parties and drives a yacht and walks all upright like an uppity fuckhead not liking a genre of storytelling with extremely high levels of potential. If he wants to miss out on Cromartie or Hokuto no Ken, that's his problem.

indescribable
03-26-2012, 05:45 PM
It's not that I care whether or not someone likes manga or anime, and I don't think anyone here is trying to say that everyone SHOULD like manga. In Cype's OP he was discussing why people seem to judge art for its content vs quality, and whether other people agree. That's really what I was trying to respond to, as I'm sure most people were, though I did get a little sidetracked.

Sylux
03-26-2012, 05:51 PM
Speaking of a thing to hate stuff as Jubeh pointed out it's a thing to hate Zelda. Like these are people who play Bulletstorm and Mass Effect 3 and Call of Duty and Dark Sector, and don't like TF2 or Zelda. Idk wtf is wrong with Zelda, it's fun, it's got a pretty nice lore, it always has top-notch graphics, and Link is a hero. But it happens to be kid-friendly so it's auto-shit, like wtf. I think that's related to the OP, but hey you can't argue with 26 years of Zelda and high-brow everything in the games.

Psy
03-26-2012, 06:29 PM
That's just barely relate able to the op IMO.

I believe I'm understanding the op and thread. So why are people judging art based more on what's on the canvas rather than how it was put there right?

Sylux
03-26-2012, 07:19 PM
More like why it was put there.

Inksprout
03-26-2012, 07:22 PM
I find it really bizzare how people classify 'fine art' and not fine art. I recently met a gril who paints ugly paintings based on photos that contain very little skill, and I feel sure that she could not produce the scenes photo realistically even if she wanted to. She is someone of inferior skill compared to another friend of mine, who works mostly digitally and does amazing scenes and characters. Yet she is the one considered an 'artist' simply because she is doing a bachelor of fine art and following a tradition that was created years ago. According to art snobs what she is doing is more artistic than what my friend is doing. The funny thing is my friend will come to make money from his work, while this girl will probably never earn a living souly from her painting. Perhaps the distinction people make is just that someone who makes purely commercial art such as manga is some how inferior to someone who is just an 'artist'?

ClockHand
03-26-2012, 07:25 PM
First define art and well done art.

Sylux
03-26-2012, 07:31 PM
Yeah sometimes I just splatter some ink on a piece of paper and draw some red circles. Do you consider that not well done art?

GunZet
03-26-2012, 08:07 PM
Aren't those more about the execution and emotion conveyed?

Rio
03-26-2012, 08:51 PM
I think people regard content more because it's the one that emotionally, viewers can relate to a piece of work more quickly than to the quality of the work. From laymen to fine art critics, content can be quickly assessed and evoke a response versus quality where they have to actually think about, form standards of what makes one art better than another, know what to look for in the art in regards to mistakes (if any) and so on.

@ Matt
I think those type of people are either a) not open-minded or b) they knew someone who was into manga and got totally rejected by said person and now they hate manga. Seriously, if you look at it, there should be no reason why someone would hate a certain art style. They may not like it as much as another style but to hate it - that makes me think that something else is going on/happened in that person's life that made them detest it so much. Like Cype, I don't really care for abstract art but I don't hate it.

@ inksprout
There's no shame in commercial art. If you look at the history of art, all the old masters basically did commercial art though they called it "commission" back then. I think her work is classed as fine art more because of the medium she is working on (traditional - painting) versus the new digital art work that your friend is doing. Digital artwork is an accepted medium though as it is a new type of art creation, I doubt it will be considered fine art for years.

CypressDahlia
03-26-2012, 10:25 PM
Sylux, it matters if you've ever tried to submit a portfolio to an art college. I actually had to go out of my way to create "fine art" in order to get into Cooper Union, because all I ever felt like drawing is anime. It matters if you are an artist who feels artistically fulfilled drawing one style, yet in order to even have a chance at professional success, you need to go against that. That's not what art is about.

And yeah, Taylour, as an avid gamer as well as an artist, I notice that people have just been ragging on Japanese products like crazy lately. It's probably a byproduct of the whole 'weaboo' classification and the mainstream status of manga definitely doesn't help its reception among the hipsters. When every debate I've had about the validity of manga as an art form has involved the word "generic" in multiple iterations, it's a little obvious. Not to mention America has developed a huge superiority complex over Japan in the last ~10 years, probably because it has tapped into previously Japanese-exclusive markets. XBox came out, Avatar (despite the fact that it's made by Koreans) became popular, Western devs began making console RPGs. Now that people have an American alternative to things that were once almost exclusively Japanese, they'll look for any reason to say their alternative is better. It's no surprise that soon after XBox came out, Nintendo suddenly went from the best thing ever to being billed as "immature", "kiddie", etc, etc. Oh, and this is another good one: "I really don't like anime, except Avatar...but that was made in America." If I had a nickle for every time I heard that.

Matt
03-26-2012, 11:17 PM
I'm not a huge fan of Japanese-made games. At least not recent ones. They're still following the formula they established back with the original Final Fantasy and whatever the first visual novel was. Western games, however, aren't much less guilty, considering Call of Duty's clones. The people who take the time to call a game "generic" (who have actually thought it through) are probably looking for innovation, and unfortunately, they won't find it unless they look to the indies.

Now that I think of it, anime and manga may just be the same way. A few weeks ago, I did a little experiment I'd like to share: I watched School Days and Baccano side-by-side. During this experiment, it struck me just how similar games and anime were as art forms.

I watched Baccano first. It opened up with an interesting analysis of its own storytelling methods, showed some brutal action scenes, interesting happenings (guy gets his fingers cut off and they heal themselves), and generally interesting stuff. I'd never seen an anime like that before, and I was immediately engaged. Just before I clicked the second episode, however, I had the idea to do this experiment. So I went to School Days.

I didn't make it past the first five minutes. It opened up with a teenage guy narrating his life, like so many other animes I'd seen. He liked a girl and couldn't work up the courage to tell her. He had a supportive friend, another girl, who wanted to help him confess. At that point, I just couldn't keep watching. If I hadn't watched Baccano immediately before that, I might have sat through the whole thing. But my newly-set standards were just too high.

Baccano was new. I hadn't seen an anime like it before.

School days was not. I'd seen many, many animes just like it.

I can only see the same thing so many times before I get bored of it. That applies to anime, manga, games, books, music, etc. It's not romance stories I hate (though I'm initially opposed to them, so it takes a good one to pull me in), it's a lack of innovation. Occasionally, a specific style may not appeal to me (romance, pop music, FPS games), but an innovative title in any of those styles will probably appeal to me.

-

So after all that, I can conclude that not everyone who hates manga/anime (and Japanese stuff in general) is a total short-sighted jerk. There are some. Most of them, I'd say. But I'd refrain from calling them out on being short-sighted if I didn't try to understand them first.

CypressDahlia
03-26-2012, 11:49 PM
The thing is that FPS's, RPG's, "games", "anime", "manga" are not to be used as blanket terms. That's the biggest thing that irks me. The only thing that makes anime anime is art style and, possibly, locale. If it was drawn by different people, in a different place, it wouldn't be anime. Some people don't like the art style itself, which is a different issue altogether, but people make the mistake of defining the entirety of non-western animation by its appearance. That's like saying all cartoons are the same, hence if you dislike one cartoon, everything that looks similar to it must be equally bad.

Also, you HAVE to watch School Days to the end, dude. You just have to. Trust me. You have to.

indescribable
03-27-2012, 01:10 AM
I just realized that I completely forgot to give my own opinion on how I judge art.

I think that I do judge art, as well as music and literature, by its content to some degree. Sometimes I'm just not in the mood for mythical monsters, or waterfalls, aliens, nude figures or what have you.

For example, I'm am generally not a fan of shoujo romance stories, but if you give me something creative and well done, I will probably read the shit out of that story.

I also dislike certain art styles, but I am still (occasionally) able to appreciate the technique and skills required to draw them. However, as Rio mentioned, your average Joe is most likely not going to worry about what kind of skill or thought process something took to draw, or how it's presented, over what it actually is.

I am also sure that a number of more artistically inclined people who still shun manga or cartoons in general are just plain ignorant about them. If visual art was music, I would say that cartoons, comics and the like are "mainstream" and art critics are the hipsters.



The only thing that makes anime anime is art style and, possibly, locale. If it was drawn by different people, in a different place, it wouldn't be anime.

Getting awfully close to the old "how to define manga" debate, aren't we?

Also, I'm not really sure what kind of requirements Cooper has for portfolios, but I would guess that like many other schools they want to see variety of work in order to evaluate your artistic ability, not scorn your focus or area of interest. When applying for animation, most schools would like to see figure and gesture drawing, not because that's the style they want you to follow, but they want to know if you understand basic realistic forms and movement.

CypressDahlia
03-27-2012, 01:35 AM
Yeah pretty much. Just that the definition that most critics go by is flawed. They're clumping things together based on the factors that are the least relevant to their quality.

indescribable
03-27-2012, 01:41 AM
Such as?

CypressDahlia
03-27-2012, 01:47 AM
art style, who made it, and where it was made.

Matt
03-27-2012, 06:03 PM
Also, you HAVE to watch School Days to the end, dude. You just have to. Trust me. You have to.
Apparently it subverts the typical high school romance genre with violence. I'll watch a little further into it, but darnit, I wish it would subvert faster.

CypressDahlia
03-27-2012, 06:49 PM
It's not really like that. It's not just like romance with a twist of violence it's actually anti-harem. If you've ever seen a harem anime or played a dating sim and wondered what would happen if the girls weren't entirely oblivious, school days is your answer.

Rio
03-28-2012, 03:46 PM
wondered what would happen if the girls weren't entirely oblivious, school days is your answer.You sir have piqued my interest. +1

Matt
03-28-2012, 04:13 PM
A good harem anime? Isn't that an oxymoron?

All the same, I'll give it a watch.

Bacon_Barbarian
03-28-2012, 09:12 PM
I think another issue is that people don't really know what they're talking about in general. And not just with manga per se, but western comics as well. Some people are just going to (have) end(ed) up seeing One Piece on some Saturday morning after Kirby and before Ultimate Muscle! and write it off as just another dumb children's show. Now I know a lot of people who like comics in general who have written off One Piece just because it's "too nutty" but anybody who really gets into it knows it's great. Anyway. People just have general bias about comics. They think they're trashy. Hell, the dude who did Calvin and Hobbes said that, “You can make your superhero a psychopath, you can draw gut-splattering violence, and you can call it a ‘graphic novel,’ but comic books are still incredibly stupid.” People are far too quick to just go and write comics off. People either think that they aren't artistic enough or aren't works of literature. Usually both. Which is, of course, ridiculous. You have some comic, like One Piece which are just flat out good example of storytelling. On the other hand you have comics that are not just well done but significant pieces in that they address global issues, examples being Barefoot Gen, Maus, and Persepolis.

ClockHand
03-28-2012, 09:20 PM
Maus is pretty well done.

Rio
03-31-2012, 02:26 PM
I think the negative perception is the old bias that was build up from the past. Not to mention no one in the comics industry is trying to change the perception of the average Joe. The positive I've seen lately is that because of manga; manga, comics, and graphic novels are becoming a norm in libraries and easily more available at everyday stores and not just niche specialty stores. In the end, it's really up to fans to spread the love and improve perception of manga an comics in general.

AlmanacnamedTime
03-31-2012, 06:22 PM
I talked recently to a teacher about this sorta thing, and he said part of it is that they used to just call it "comics" or "cartoons", and if you said "anime" you meant porn, so people automatically assumed you were trying to discuss porn with a story with them. So now, they biased.

GunZet
03-31-2012, 06:35 PM
Or just ignorant/misinformed.

AlmanacnamedTime
03-31-2012, 06:58 PM
They that too.

Rainbow_Dash
04-20-2012, 12:58 AM
I find it easy to love something if the content is something I loved in the first place but I find that very superficial and now look at art more for its quality, even if I don't like it as much. I don't see either of these as much of a problem though unless you're a serious critic with preferences.

Blue_Dragon
04-20-2012, 08:06 AM
One thing I remember, is that the impressionists had the same problem. I think it was Edouard Manet who kept trying to submit his new style to some major show, and it kept getting rejected because he put an emphasis on the the "bones" (is that what's it's called? Outlines, basically) and it wasn't realistic looking. He could make realistic art just like everyone else, but he wanted to break from the old traditions. Years later, their art was finally accepted as "fine art," like now a days I think we consider it so. Maybe, as others have stated, it's just a matter of time before manga/digital/etc art is finally accepted.

Who knows, maybe this will all get lumped into a movement and studied one day?

I try to base my opinion of an art piece on a combination of both quality and content. I mean, the content is what draws me to it initially, and it may not be realistic or "accurate," but it gets a response from me. I guess an example of this would be some of Picasso's cubism works. They're really jarring and kinda suck you in due to the content (Guernica..spelled wrong, I'm too lazy to look it up.) But I personally prefer stuff quality to content most of the time :/ I dunno, depends on my mood.

One thing, though, if you look up Seurat, he was able to do fantastic work technically. I mean, dude had all those dots, and there was a science to where he placed what colors. But the art critics griped because his works were "static" and boring. So even back then, no matter how skilled you were, people would bitch about what you did. He ended up trying more dynamic scenes, which were pretty cool. I think art should be a balanced combination of both. Splatters of paint look neat on canvas, but that's not necessarily going to hold meaning to a viewer. I understand the drips were painstakingly added, but still...I don't get as emotional staring at a Pollock as I do a piece by Bacon.

(This kinda brings up the argument, who is the art for? The viewer or the artist?)

CypressDahlia
04-20-2012, 10:50 AM
Bacon makes me pretty emotional too. yumm~ but srsly, I don't think there will ever be an effective way to measure the quality of art if it's based, in any degree, on content. Art has to be evaluable beyond individuals' opinions, otherwise it renders the practice of art completely pointless. You have to be able to be "good" at it and "bad" at it on some objective level, or it loses its status as a trained skill and just becomes whatever people want it to be.

ram
04-20-2012, 01:42 PM
The other day I watched spongebob on tv, I can't find it on youtube...
well every episode seems to have been deleted even if you searched in google.

but it's this (http://sharetv.org/shows/spongebob_squarepants/episodes/649768) episode.

It's really funny how it's much closer to reality.

Sylux
04-20-2012, 01:45 PM
One thing I remember, is that the impressionists had the same problem. I think it was Edouard Manet who kept trying to submit his new style to some major show, and it kept getting rejected because he put an emphasis on the the "bones" (is that what's it's called? Outlines, basically) and it wasn't realistic looking. He could make realistic art just like everyone else, but he wanted to break from the old traditions. Years later, their art was finally accepted as "fine art," like now a days I think we consider it so. Maybe, as others have stated, it's just a matter of time before manga/digital/etc art is finally accepted.

Who knows, maybe this will all get lumped into a movement and studied one day?

I try to base my opinion of an art piece on a combination of both quality and content. I mean, the content is what draws me to it initially, and it may not be realistic or "accurate," but it gets a response from me. I guess an example of this would be some of Picasso's cubism works. They're really jarring and kinda suck you in due to the content (Guernica..spelled wrong, I'm too lazy to look it up.) But I personally prefer stuff quality to content most of the time :/ I dunno, depends on my mood.

One thing, though, if you look up Seurat, he was able to do fantastic work technically. I mean, dude had all those dots, and there was a science to where he placed what colors. But the art critics griped because his works were "static" and boring. So even back then, no matter how skilled you were, people would bitch about what you did. He ended up trying more dynamic scenes, which were pretty cool. I think art should be a balanced combination of both. Splatters of paint look neat on canvas, but that's not necessarily going to hold meaning to a viewer. I understand the drips were painstakingly added, but still...I don't get as emotional staring at a Pollock as I do a piece by Bacon.

(This kinda brings up the argument, who is the art for? The viewer or the artist?)

Bacon Barbarian...?

Evil_Cake
04-20-2012, 03:33 PM
francis bacon probably... but idk might get more out of bacon barbarian's stuff 2

Blue_Dragon
04-20-2012, 07:14 PM
All of the above.