in response to krita's latest youtube video, and on community contribution

This topic is in response to what @RamonM is saying in the latest video on the Krita channel.

I’m refering to this video:

I’m often wondering how I can contribute, I’m very grateful for this software but I’m by no means a professional artist and don’t have an audience to influence.
I do have some thoughts on community interaction and can say a number of things from my own experience.
I apologize if this post turns out to be a bit lengthy.

  • Discussion

First off, this of course doesn’t apply to any video but I personally like to be able to discuss topics like these and think it may be a good idea to have forum topics sometimes accompany a video.

for example

“We posted a new video on our current development, what are your thoughts?”

I think this may turn out to be more constructive than the option of having people comment on Youtube.

  • Social media presence in general

This is something Ramon addressed shortly and I would like to comment on that.
While youtube is a social medium and a great place to stay up to date, the comment section below video’s isn’t well suited for discussion.
A reply can easily get lost among the “great video, love this software” comments.
Krita isn’t very present on Facebook or Instagram to my knowledge, even though there are a number of Facebook groups dedicated to Krita.
They seem to be initiatives of community members and are there for the sole purpose of sharing artwork it seems.
It would be great if there was a page or group that is being maintained by someone from the Krita team or with links to them, that way people can stay up to date in a more official manner.

From what I gathered there isn’t much enthusiasm for an official Discord.
Discord however is where communities often meet these days.
I would like to ask the question why there isn’t one officially (there is an unofficial one that hungers for good moderation and quality artwork imo).
From my own experience it’s a great way to connect as well as post your artwork or works in progress.
Getting good comments and critiques is extremely helpful to grow as an artist and a Discord server easily provides that if it has an active and helpful community.

  • Feature requests and bug reporting

To start with the first one.

It’s so great to have this section on this forum, it really makes me feel like being a part of the development.
The story of how Krita adapted based on the comments of @Deevad is legendary already and is a good example of the strength of granting these options to a community.
It’s really powerful and actually something that paid apps with a larger company behind them lack.
It is a two-edged sword really, community members feel heard and as a result a part of something big AND feature requests help to point out things overlooked or sometimes not even considered in development.

Bug reporting is a different story in my opinion.

I used to have a small problem with shortcuts from my tablet not translating correctly in Krita, in fact I still do but it’s fine.
(Can’t even tell if it has to do with my Wacom intuos or with Krita to be honest).
Posting a thread here on the forum was very helpful, within minutes other community members rushed to my aid explaining how stuff works under the hood and coming up with suggestions to fix my issue.
Unfortunately it however came to the point of me having to file an official bug report because none of the comments fixed the issue.
The bug reporting section, which isn’t on this forum, was something I really needed to look up.
Filing the report came with the warning of people being busy and there being a chance that it would not be replied to.
This “filled me with dismay” (big words, it’s a small issue but I’m talking about this to open up conversation on bug reporting in general).
I immediately felt like I wouldn’t likely get a response, and I didn’t.

I can think of no way to make this more transparent or easier myself, and I am very much aware that a small team is working very hard on this software.
Still, I did feel like mentioning this here because who knows right?
There is definitely room for improvement there imo.

  • Posting artwork for comments and critique

This part is mostly addressed to the community at large and is from my own experience.

I’m a growing artist.
My work mostly consist of illustrations in a comic book style and I think I have a long ways to go yet.
It happens to me that I post work and ask for comments and critique, but then nothing really happens.
Of course this is a big forum and community, yet I’m under the impression that clickbaity titles and painterly styles are often needed to get some constructive criticism.
I mentioned social media and Discord, and for me personally the big difference is that people there often feel free to critique if they think something can be improved upon.
In my opinion this is a good thing!
Of course I also get compliments if something appeals to them, I appreciate that a lot but it doesn’t always help me to grow as an artist.

I sometimes doubt if I’ll put work up here, because the response isn’t there like it is on discord.

I’m not telling everybody here to pay attention when I post something.
What I am saying is that a forum like this can be a fertile ground for artists to grow in.
I would personally very much like to lower the bar a bit so people don’t feel intimidated to post their work.

Let’s help each other grow, and let’s grow this wonderful software and community!

  • As for the funding campaign, I really have nothing to add because I think people like Ramon are doing wonderful work in that regard and it goes without saying that by growing this community and software I also mean making the work that is being done possible and more!

I would like to point out that being free of charge sometimes seems to put Krita at a disadvantage.
Sometimes I think I’m noticing people not wanting to try it because they think ‘it can’t be any good if it’s cheap or free’.

Lastly,

From the bottom of my heart I would like to thank the Krita development team for their wonderful work on this amazing software, I would also like to point out people like Ramon and David for their dedication!
I would of course also want to point out anyone I’m forgetting here, they are worthy of mention for what they do.

I’ve read all your post thoroughly and carefully and your thoughts and ideas are well presented.

I can’t say anything about Discord because I don’t go anywhere near it like I don’t go anywhere near Facebook or Instagram or other forms of modern social media.

I think different communities develop and behave in different ways, for whatever reason, and Discord may well be different from Krita-Artists.

There is one point you made that I’m wondering about:

I can’t think how the bar could be any lower here. You create a topic and upload your artwork. The responses are always friendly and constructive and people from total beginners to accomplished ‘professional’ level artists post their work here.

What I mean is that even though anyone can basically post anything, it doesn’t mean it gets critiqued when asked for, while pointers benefit artist growth tremendously.
To be fair, the most intimidating thing for anyone here is the astonishing art pieces posted here, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

TL;DR: If someone asks for C&C feel free to give tips and pointers.
i.e. “Lovely colors but your perspective needs work”

31 posts were split to a new topic: Dicussion about Discord server for Krita

I split the topic as it was becoming too much of discord topic.
I am Copying and pasting my reply earlier which had other topics than discord.

We do have #critique-wanted tag, earlier people got offended when random strangers gave them critique, so we added a tag, Which not most people use. It depends on the individual, you love getting critique some don’t. But in general I have seen people critique and give feedback.

Don’t be hesitant to add your artwork here. Some artworks may go unnoticed due to many posts but some surely will get noticed.

We do have an Instagram account, it was maintained by @hellozee, but he has less time to volunteer due to other commitments in life.

Krita runs on volunteer power, this forum is also run by volunteers, unless someone stepped up and maintained the community it will die. For example on Reddit I took control of a dormant and already existing Krita subreddit, but then I got busy and didn’t have time, that is when @tiar joined and is handling it so well. She added more people to the management team there. We had few developers interacting to users on Reddit too. But nowadays developers are busy to do that.

We do have Facebook page and pages on VK (Russian social media) which are run by volunteers, these may not be called as official but thy are active. There might be some community in China and Latin America too. Generally someone from the core team will be there or at least there will be a member who is in contact with the core team will be there.

On discord too we have one or two developers lurking and answering stuff, although it is not official. Members from Krita team try to be in most community spaces and answer things whenever they see anything. Being official or not doesn’t matter, what matters is the engagement and that is happening there, so it is doing a good job. If there is any need for official help someone from the team steps up and answers or guides the user to the correct place for answers.

Krita’s community is built around volunteers who step up and do the job of helping others and building the community, due to developers being already overloaded by work they can’t be present or manage every channel. And it is also not good to force a dev or team member to be on a channel to maintain it. it is their choice. For example some developers may close their Reddit account and soon no one from the official team might be there. That doesn’t mean volunteers can’t take over and handle it.

With the growing number of Krita users these kinds of community will be springing up a lot, there will be many forums, chatrooms etc. it is best left to the community to shape and build it. Who knows may be in future we would also have a Krita User Group meet up event in various parts of the world.

Regarding making discord an official channel for communication, the most important reason against it is that it is closed source, and it is not even possible to self-host it. What happens when discord takes control and shuts down your official channel? IRC and matrix chatroom is the official chat channel. For those who like discord there is the Krita channel, and it is a good place, people help each other and solve issues. What would make it any different with the “official” tag?

In the official chatroom on IRC / matrix we hold weekly meetings and other stuff and for now the developers are comfortable with it. Apart from the meetings and development discussions by core developers on it, it is no different from the discord channel. People join ask questions chat share artworks etc. It is just a matter of choice, discord is the new hype today, tomorrow it would be something else. But IRC is there from the beginning and probably will there for years, so it makes sense to stay in a stable place.

For people who want to continue discussion about discord please reply on this topic - Dicussion about Discord server for Krita

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I’ve been thinking about writing a thought piece on critique for months, but it’s a difficult subject and I don’t exactly feel like an expert.

To be honest I’ve been a bit surprised by the reaction of some people towards feedback. This is the sixth online art community I’ve been a member of since 2004, and feedback was part and parcel of every single one.

So - for various reasons, I don’t agree with the belief that uninvited feedback is inappropriate; I feel it’s detrimental to personal development and the community to take that stance.

I’m in danger of writing an essay though, so I’m just going to leave it there… :slightly_smiling_face:

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It will depend of how feedback is made, by who, to who.

Some people really don’t like critics.
Some other are open.
Some are not able to provide good critics (ie: provide understandable and argued explanation about why and how something can be improved)

And some like me just don’t like to talk about art, because it’s like talking football or politics.
One time here I wasn’t agree about a critic and tried to explain my personal point of view, and it was a really bad experience (like I was a dumb because I didn’t agree with first critic)

Already saw bad things few months ago with a really good artist that leave the forum here because of a critic really badly written by someone with an empty portfolio…

So, my point view now is to avoid critics if it’s not asked.

Grum999

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I think to some extent language barrier also contributes in misunderstanding the critique.

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Firstly, I think wanting to receive critique should be up to the person posting artwork.
However, I think it says a lot if someone isn’t open for it and do believe they are missing out on a chance to learn.
Why wouldn’t you want to get pointers to improve aspects of your art?
The only reason I can come up with is that some only want to feel good about their art and really dislike critique in general.
It’s also misleading because it can come across as if a piece is flawless, while in fact there is no such thing.

Personally, when I post a piece of artwork somewhere, ask for comments and critique and get no response I’m inclined to either think that I’m doing something right and there is nothing wrong with it from a technical standpoint OR that people don’t respond to it because it’s below some standard.
Both aren’t good feelings, and probably not very realistic as well.
It is disheartening to be honest.

So yes, critique is extremely valuable imo!

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