FridgeArt: Coelacanth & Ichigo
Something new. Professional Illustrators Andrea Radeck and Kristen Plescow find old illustrations they've painted and tear them a new one. Andrea Radeck's Tu...

Me and Kristen Plescow decided to sit down, find some of our old artwork, and tear it to shreds in podcast-form. Let us know if you guys like this, we’re tentatively giving it a shot! Spread the word!

So, in these urgent times, it is particularly appropriate to critique the social institutions that uphold such hypocrisy, including a popular project whose very substance is the triumph of sentimentality over empathy, of platitude over inquiry, of imitation over creativity: the boldly-titled Humans of New York (HONY).

 HONY is a blog—published on Tumblr, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and recently in print—that features portraits taken of New Yorkers on the street by the blog’s creator, Brandon Stanton, along with quotations from his interviews with the subjects. Initially formed as an attempt to create “an exhaustive catalogue of New York City’s inhabitants,” it has become the standard bearer of all that is warm and fuzzy about “humanity.” The stories it shares celebrate people’s greatest achievements, their deepest fears and most trying struggles, along with the quirks that make them unique individuals, all collected and presented in clean digital formats for home consumption. Despite the seeming inconsequentiality of such a social media phenomenon, its irrelevance to the day’s real political matters make significant, and troubling, its incredible popularity.

  One of the most glaring threats that HONY makes to humanity lies in its pretension of representing all of its diversity through the lens of a single individual. While claiming to define the population of New York, it presents a whitewashed image of an earnest, vibrant city that takes place predominantly in Manhattan, during the day. The individuals featured are only those Stanton feels comfortable approaching, those he deems interesting enough to photograph, who do not take offense to an intrusive white man’s request to commodify their images.

  Stanton acknowledges that his success rates in “artistic” areas like the East Village are strikingly higher than in, for instance, “somewhere like Bedford-Stuyvesant,” where he makes his home. Like a haughty gentrifier, he admits, “I do tend to value the portraits from rougher neighborhoods more, because they are harder to obtain, and rarer.” The blog grows like a collection of baseball cards, with individuals identified by whatever bits of personal information deem them “human,” their images representative of the exploits of a privileged voyeur who simultaneously exotifies and moderates the population around him.

  As Daniel D’Addario points out on Gawker, “It appears that Stanton sees people not as people but as vectors of how young, white New Yorkers see them.”

HONY aggressively promotes a wholly sentimentalized experience of New York City through a real-time disbursal of its faces, espousing an idea of inclusivity through a project of enforced uniformity. While the blog purposes to embrace diversity and celebrate each individual’s unique qualities, its effect is not to expand the rhetorical human category or challenge notions of conformity, but to accumulate and contain a more colorful array faces, neatly framed, within its restrictive scope. Beyond the exclusion inherent in a selective determination of what it takes to be counted among the “humans” of New York, the language of sameness it promotes carries a very alarming import.
Dear Marvel Cinematic Universe Writers: Black Widow Is Not Buffy
I’m not here to curse Joss Whedon out or wish him death as others have, but to get to the root of how Whedon’s dependance on his familiar Strong-Female archetype — and one that may not even be that strong — actually weakened Natasha Romanoff’s character arc.

Contributor Alice Meichi Li breaks down why Marvel’s Black Widow desperately needs better characterization if she’s ever going to carry a solid movie.

I will admit it- I used to laugh at harsh criticisms of fan characters. I used to hunt reviews down and laugh about how horrible some designs were while someone pointed out every flaw.

But now it’s just tiring. It’s boring. If you wanted to give honest critiques you could do it in a million different ways other than saying “wow just look at this fuckmess.”

I once asked a critical critique group for a post on my character, and they were surprised. They were always so harsh, they never expected anyone to -ask- for it. So they gave me a review, and while they occasionally used strong language, it was honest and always giving points to fix what they thought was wrong. They were kind because they knew I would be wanting to learn and fix my mistakes. Every complaint was paired with a solution.

It was what reviews should be.

But instead most of them end up tearing the character apart without any solutions or without thinking the creator might want to improve the character themselves.

I’ve seen a real-life enactment of this very thing. When I was younger and had recess, a bunch of little girls were making flowercrowns with dandelions. I watched them cause man it was cool, but it was obvious most of them were new to it. One of the girls finished her flowercrown and ran off to some boy, seeming proud of it.

The boy destroyed it.

He and his friends laughed and made fun of how square it ended up, only putting it on his head to rip it off, destroying it.

Needless to say, I have never seen that girl make another flowercrown again. Her friends gave her one every now and again, but she never touched the flowers herself.

If you destroy someone’s creation without giving them a chance to improve, you destroy them.

Don’t destroy others for the sake of a good laugh. People should make jokes, but no one should ever be made into a joke.

Buck Up and Do Your Job

A post on Cosima Niehaus.

Spoilers through 3x06.

Another character seemingly thrown under the bus (not quite as badly as Alison) is one formerly beloved geek monkey. I mean sure, Cosima could be a brat. Stealing wine. Sassing people. Being a brat to Scott.

Cosima in season three has no regard for her friends, her sisters, a woman she once claimed to love or even her own health and survival. Cosima’s survival, despite the remission miraculously achieved by Delphine’s putting Kira’s dental pulp stem cells into her uterus (note to Orphan Black, hire a medical consultant… cause lung polyps and kidney polyps are serious shit and Cosima should be sick).

When I heard Cosima and Felix would be spending time together this season I was excited, I assumed the two would be actually engaging each other and chatting about life, the universe and everything. Instead what I got is Felix berating her for pining, making her a lesbian Tindr profile and telling her to find a scratching post and get laid.

Cosima is an asshole to Scott, an asshole to Delphine and (even) an asshole to Shay - who presumably knows nothing (Unless she’s another plant of some kind).  She uses people. She skips work. She doesn’t give a fuck.  And it’s her own life on the line. Is she depressed over losing Delphine? Does she want to die?  She’s angry at Delphine - who has now saved her life twice, sacrificed immunology and their relationship to keep her safe (and her sisters…) 

Miraculously “curing” Cosima has damaged her character arc. If there are no consequences to pay? Does anything have meaning? Does anything these characters do matter?  Though I suspect Cosima will get sick again, this brief remission was what? A chance for her to scratch her itch with Tindr girl? What is the point?

They told us in season 2, with Cosima’s words, “My sexuality isn’t the most interesting thing about me.” Queer fans (LGBTQIA …etc) cheered. This was representation. This was cutting edge. This season, Cosima’s arc revolves around her trying to avoid her feelings by hopping into bed with the first girl she meets through online dating, the cheezy line of “I can see inside your soul” actually works on a very desperate Cosima Niehaus. She neglects her job, her sisters, development of the cure/ a gene therapy, the cypher… everything for a little extra rubbing with her scratching post. (I don’t see chemistry between Cosima and Shay at all.. but that is not the point of this post…)

What is so awful about a single Cosima? Why can’t she be allowed to mourn Delphine or miss her? Science isn’t boring. Keep her with Scott or Felix socially? Let her move around the Orphan Black world and be useful?  She din’t even care enough about Sarah to try to contact someone at DYAD who may have the power and resources to locate her…  In fact, the most satisfying moment for me was watching Delphine (who gets shit done!) call her out on her bullshit, her work ethic and her stupid attempts at hiding the little work she’s done with Scott at work. (Side note? Poor Scott… He tries to get her into work, he tries to get things done… and all he gets is sass and brattiness…)

Cosima’s character is lost this season. It seems there is more to Cosima than her sexuality, but the writers have forgotten that. Let’s pop them in a love triangle! Let’s torture cophine fans and pimp this new “romance” in social media hardcore! I don’t know what they’re doing.

A less likeable Cosima? I think so. A totally unproductive Cosima who hasn’t lifted a finger to help herself in 6 episodes? Yeah. That. Right there.

Adrian Piper, Food For the Spirit 14, 1971-1997

Piper was reading Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason, and was so involved with it she felt she was losing her mind, losing her sense of self completely. When things got extreme she would do a “reality check” in the mirror, while recording herself on tape “repeating the passage in the Critique that was currently driving [her] to self-transcendence.”

hello, can someone please help me with my anatomy? i don’t know how to construct the face or how to attach the arm/shoulder to his chest and i’m getting really frustrated haha;; thank you

(submitted by zandapheri)

this is a very creative eggplant pic, sender. it’s clear that you’ve made an effort with the overall aesthetic. there’s certainly an interesting contrast between the futuristic attire and background, and the object you hold in your hand. i also appreciate the ambiguous way in which you look at it. confusion? desire? it’s left to the imagination in a good way.

however, what brought the picture down for me was the way the eggplant almost seems like an afterthought amongst the admittedly impressive visuals. it occupies a small space to one side, which kind of makes me quiestion whether this is truly an eggplant pic. it has its merits, but the distractions and positioning cause it to fall a little short of what i would hope for in an eggplant pic.

thank you for submitting to critique my eggplant pic. your eggplant pic gets a C+.

Social Media Pointers for Dealing with Artists

We’ve  been having a conversation on twitter and here are some of the highlights.

How you choose to interact with artists is, or course, up to you.  However, here are some pointers on how to talk to artists about their work online and what to do and not to do.

1) There is a small but very important difference between saying “Jeremy Whitley is a bad writer” and saying “@princelesscomic is a bad writer.  It is the difference between discussing my work with other people and walking into my house and slapping me.

2) Treat a person’s timeline like it is their house. Know that if you tag them in your post you that you are sending them a message. I know people @ people in things like #FF but you have to know you are jumping up in someone’s mentions when you do that.

3) Throwing an @ symbol at someone when giving them an angry or negative review or generally talking junk about them is a dick move.  If you do it, the natural and justified reaction to that is to block you.  Them blocking you does not mean that they are a poor sport or that you have somehow won, it just means you’ve lost access to that creator.  Believe me that creators do not lose any sleep over not seeing your dickish tweets in their mentions. Most of us are too busy trying to eat.

4) The word “critique” is overused on the internet. A critique involves a knowledgeable and reasoned analysis of a work of art. Generally speaking, these are the unicorns of social media.

5) What most people mean when they say “critique” is actually an opinion.  The thing about opinions is that everybody has them, they can be wrong, and they can often be easily proven wrong.

6) Saying “That’s just my opinion” does not make it valid.  Some opinions are poorly formed.  Some opinions are uninformed.  there is nothing sacred about an opinion.

7) A mark of an actual critic is that they refer their criticism to the work and not to the creator. A character can suck. Telling a writer they suck is picking a fight.

8) Most writers, myself included, are happy to respond to questions and love to do Q&A’s.  However, if you don’t ask a question, don’t expect an answer.  Insult and Answer is not a thing.

9) Creators are people and deserve to be treated as such.

10) Creators are under no obligation to “get” or “share” your “sense of humor”.

DA:I An Excercise in Futility

Ok, so anybody who follows me knows that 90% of my dash is DA:I.  That doesn’t mean though, that I’m completely enamoured of the game.  I’d say I’m in love with the ideas peppered throughout DA:I.  More then anything, I particularly adore the way the fans and my own imaginings expand on them.

All of that to say: I’m replaying DA:I for the 7th time or something at this point.  I’ve got two completed runthroughs and a bunch that are in various stages of incompletion.  I’m at the point where I just can’t deny that every bit of inanity present in the levels is completely justified in critique.  I honestly don’t know how the game designers overlooked this or reviewers fail to remark on it.  A rpg game should be a culmination of tasks that ultimately lead to, contribute to, or accomplish a larger goal.  If they don’t, then they need to be relevant to exploring characters/the world.  At the very least they should be entertaining and an addition to the ambience or feel of the game sprinkled into a pre-existing level with larger goals present in it.  Even non-traditional games realize that your accomplishments need direction or a sense of purpose.

DA:I lacks some basic game logic, most importantly in the numerous zones and missions that have no relevance whatsoever to forwarding plot, affecting story outcomes, or even tying into the narrative on the most basic level.  You can apply this to basically every zone in the game.  Even levels that seem relevant initially are somehow completely unrelated when broken apart.

Using the Fallow Mire as an example we can ask some basic questions:

Question: Why am I rescuing these troops from the Fallow Mire?

Answer:  Umm. I need to think about this more.

-To get a vital handful of scouts back?  / No. 

Yes, in theory, but there’s no impact on the game for rescuing them.  No actual reason to ever rescue these scouts and no apparent need for rescuing them presented by your advisors beyond “they’re our men”.  They’re not carrying sensitive information.  You do not get a boost to morale for rescuing them, no scene where eventually they make the difference between success or failure, no slide at the end that, thanks to a culmination of selfless acts, says the Inquisition was known as a force of good.

-To confront and form an allegiance with the Avaar? / No.

In a confounding narrative that took me two playthroughs to completely understand because of the scattered information presented, the son of a tribal leader has gone rogue and kidnapped troops.  His clan doesn’t totally approve.  His father doesn’t even approve.  This does not ultimately result in a chance to form an allegiance or make a new enemy.  You just kill the son and all his followers. Beyond the judgement/possible wartable mission, the Avaar never show up again and make no impact on gathering intelligence from Tevinter should you exile them or use them to bolster your own forces.

-To demonstrate a relevant cultural group that has a direct impact on the narrative and the player’s understanding of the world? / No.

The Avaar have always been an interesting, if not completely tied in, group present in Thedas.  The closest we came to relevance was in DA:A, but even then they were more of a backdrop/setting.  With the release of Jaws of Hakkon, they’re pushing the Avaar connection more than ever without once explaining why.  If they want to reveal something about early Thedas or Andraste, they haven’t actually made any attempts to do so in a relevant manner.  As far as the entire narrative leads us to believe, the elves have more importance on anything in this game than a bunch of mountain warriors.  I guess I might know more if Jaws of Hakkon was out on PS4, but, oh wait, it isn’t.

-To cure the plague and bring stability back to the region before it spreads or more lives are lost? / No.

Apparently only like 10 guys lived in this swamp and they are all dead.  Even moreso, noone gives a shit and their deaths don’t affect the game at all.  Nobody’s been in that castle for years.  There’s not even a current noble there who could provide us support if we help her/him.  There are literally no peasant survivors, only corpses, and if this was some part of Corypheus’ scheme (aka something of value was here) then it is literally never explained.

-To aquire a new agent for the Inquisition? / Yes!

Oh maker, we’ve done it.  We’ve found a reason.  Except…there’s one problem with this answer.  We have to ask, what does getting a new agent in this game mean, exactly?  What is the relevance or importance of this as a game mechanic?  

             —->To speed up wartable missions.

             —->…but what impact do quick wartable missions have on the game? 


            —->But surely the character must come back later or be of some importance.  Otherwise, why waste an entire level on this one reward?

                  He does not, and that’s a good question.

And there it is, in a nutshell.

Keep reading

Check your Criticisms.

I don’t know why I feel the need to post this rant, but here it goes. 

I’ve noticed a strange trend online, one that I’m sure you’ve all seen as well: Criticism and critique is no longer based on the quality and worth of something. Now it seems that increasingly cynical and myopic criticisms are being based on perceived deficiencies in works being produced, not in the way the stories are told on their own merit.

I’ll use the backlash that Joss Whedon received for his portrayal of Black Widow as an example.  He created a perfectly valid and personal reason for Black Widow to feel and act the way that she does in “Age of Ultron”, but he was derided online for not handling her story the way that “the internet” found worthy.  Instead of critiquing the story structure, or the handling of her character WITHIN the context of the backstory and character that HE had developed, he was raked over the coals for not presenting a strong enough feminist argument with her. But that wasn’t the story he was trying to tell with her.  He wasn’t trying to create an icon of feminism in her character, he was trying, at minimum, to tell a story of a girl who had everything taken away from her, including choice, and how she dealt with her past as she developed into a hero.  That was the point. I may be wrong on the specific details (I don’t know what was in his mind specifically), but he created a very compelling story for her in the very few minutes of screentime that she had. 

Just because he didn’t create a banner image of the feminist ideal does not make the story he created for her invalid!  But the internet BLEW UP at him, and it baffled me.  She wasn’t a weak character. She wasn’t a damsel in distress, she was in every way an equal to the rest of the cast, and in fact she had a much more compelling reason to be a hero than many of the other characters. I’m all for stories that the world needs to hear, that champion the rights and strengths of women as individuals and not just fantasy.  I want more and more of those stories. And guess what? That story was there with Black Widow. Just because it didn’t align with the way “you” would have wanted the story told doesn’t make it bad.

I’m starting to feel that if creators are too concerned with pleasing tumblr, or twitter, or their peers and fans on any social media, they might start forgoing plot, theme and character in order to advance “ideals”. Ideals are great, the world needs to hear them,  but work them in organically if they are of the utmost importance to you. And then lay off other creators who don’t see the world the same way that you do, or who create something that you feel “would be better if he/she just did this…”  

I remember that recently an online comic shut down IMMEDIATELY after it started, all because a few critics balked at the idea of a non-Japanese person creating a manga about Japanese voice actors.  Really?  Is that creator’s desire to tell a story invalid because they may get a few facts and idiosyncrasies about Japan and it’s culture wrong? It was a love letter to something the creator cared deeply about, but the creator decided to shut down the comic, drowning under the voices of a few idealists who decided that the problem of what it lacked (an actual Japanese voice) was more important than the story that it was trying to tell.

I see people who love swords criticize, complain and antagonize a creator for the way sword are held in comic books.  I’ve seen an artist CRITICIZED for the amount of “muscly dudes” that he draws because, as he said, that’s just what he likes to draw.  Hey, critic, here’s a great way to approach an artist that you see “lacking” diversity - “Hey artist ‘x’, I love your work! I’d love to see more of the women you draw as well, because they look amazing! Just as amazing as the guys you draw!”  or “I love that you have such badass sword fight scenes in your comics! I love swords and sword fighting technique! Here’s some reference you might find handy for future issues!” Maybe he/she will give you what you want, maybe they won’t, but the point is, be nice.  

Let’s continue to talk about diversity. Let’s continue to make WORKS that talk about diversity. Let’s make works that DON’T contain diversity because maybe that’s not the point of the story being told.  Let’s make works that pass Bechdel Test. Let’s make works that DON’T pass the Bechdel test.  Let’s keep encouraging people to make works that speak to us and which are important. Let’s make dumb crap that doesn’t have a deeper meaning. But let’s try to stop criticizing people who don’t live up to our very very fickle or very very rigid standards for content.  If you have to criticize something, criticize it for being just TERRIBLE, like The Dark Knight Rises.

Hello! I heard you guys were still doing critiques and I honestly needed help with this, It’s supposed to be the body base for my Toy Chica lineup picture, would you please give me some advice if you have?

This is really nice! It looks like you’re going for a kinda chubby, pear-shaped Chica, so I’m going to be using plus-sized women as examples (please excuse the fact I used lingerie models: they show off more of the tum and hips)

Here are some other basic body shapes in case I’m wrong about the pear shape! 

The hips of the drawing are sort of wonky and look like they sorta just burst out of the torso

Some women have more rolls than others! Some have smaller breasts than others! Body variation is entirely up to you.

Flawless curve tutorial

Hope this helps!

teeny-tiny psa about art perception

okay so, you know those anons who go like “OH MY GOD YOUR ART IS SO SHITTY WHY ARE U EVEN ALIVE GO SCREW YOURSELF YOU CUNT” etc etc who then insist on giving the artist “constructive criticism” - which this most definitely not is.

CONSTRUCTIVE criticism is “yeah so i like your art, but i noticed their feet look a bit off, i think the angle needs to be a bit more like this” or “your concept is great but the proportions are a bit odd, i think the thighs are a bit too long” etc - because sometimes the artist just DOESN’T KNOW or just CAN’T PINPOINT what’s looking off (same goes with writing tbh)

handy notes on how to crit your fellow artist best:

  • point out what you like about their art (maybe concept, the dynamics, etc) - this gives the artist the feeling that their art isn’t total crap
  • if you find something that could be improved, tell them why and how (or where they might find help to get this fixed) - why, because we need a reason for fixing, like anatomy for example, and not just because you personally think it looks crap otherwise. how, because there’s a reason why we made this mistake, and yes sometimes we need a short tutorial on this
  • be civil. seriously, that doesn’t need an explaination.
  • state that it’s your point of view. none’s view is the non-plus-ultra, and sometimes in some art styles, anatomy and whatever is just not so very important for the artist to consider. the artist knows about your opinion but they may choose whether or not they want to deal with your critique
  • if you think something is offensive (like racist, sexis, homophob etc), say it politely, and, most importantly, ask why they want/see the necessity to depict it this way and not another, probably less offensive, way. because sometimes the artist wants to be provocative, want to make the audience ask this very question etc etc. - but sometimes, they just didn’t know it was offensive to anyone, or they actually have this offensive opinion themselves.

ok, so, state that it’s your personal point of view. I think that this is so important, and in so many matters.

because PLEASE DON’T GO TO AN ARTIST AND SAY “EVERYTHING LOOKS JUST LIKE SHIT” just because you don’t like their art style. you not liking their art style doesn’t make the years of work disappear, neither do experience and knowledge of the artist magically vanish because you don’t happen to like their art. it’s like some like Rembrandt, others prefer Picasso. but that doesn’t deminish either art’s quality.


even I do have artists whose style I just don’t like (and there’s nothing bad about not liking everything, nobody expects that). but this is my personal view, this doesn’t make the artist a worse person and doesn’t deminish their skill. you also don’t go to a stranger on the street and say “well you wear red but i don’t like red if you wear red you actually should be unable to walk down the street you’re a horrible person go fuck yourself” - THIS IS EXACTLY THE SAME WITH ART STYLES. art styles are something personal, it’s hard to actually develope one (and even harder that it actually becomes recognizable), and yes sometimes artists choose to draw a certain feature a certain way that maybe you don’t like. now, either you value their skill and creativity etc. enough to simply ignore it and go on further liking/appreciating their art, or you happen not to like their art style and therefore their art.

if you don’t like their art style and iT’S BOTHERING YOU SO MUCH, just fucking UNFOLLOW. there’s no need to ruin a person’s day just because you’re unable to scroll past their art, can’t block their art tag, or are unable to unfollow them, and need to rub that into their face via hate-anon.

if you feel the need to tell them exactly why you unfollowed, give them a solid critique as mentioned above - and if you consider their pictures offensive, at first ASK whether they meant it that way or just didn’t know, but DON’T JUST ASSUME THAT THEY APPROVE OF THIS OPINION BECAUSE YOU “SAW” IT IN THEIR ART

this has been a psa

not as tiny as i thought wow

Jordan Gavaris deserves better

One of the largest wastes in Orphan Black’s third season is their continual waste of Jordan Gavaris’ talent.  And I have a lot of say about the third season. Jordan Gavaris has done a brilliant job portraying Felix (especially in the first two seasons). And somehow, Felix has been reduced to…makeover man?

Felix, in the first two seasons, was a support to his sister Sarah (and her clones, particularly Alison).  We were promised more Felix this season (as usual nothing came from these promises).  We were promised Felix and Cosima would talk and bond. No, pushing your sister’s clone into online dating to ‘scratch the itch’ and then running off to teach a prolethean to drink and dance does not count as bonding. There was no point to this storyline - other than giving Cosima a shove off his couch, when he could have been her shoulder - allowing the two to actually talk and bond.

Instead, Felix has taken part in two makeover montages, told Cosima to date online, and taken care of his foster mother Mrs. S.  The only plot heavy thing he’s done at all is torturing/taunting Rachel in the last episode.  Felix is thrown into scenes, once again as a clone-aid. Felix is reduced to the guy you call when you’re in a crisis once again, only this time it feels worse.

You can probably overlook the first makeover, as once again helping Sarah. But since when does Felix do makeovers that aren’t drag? (Gemma and Oscar anyone?) But having Felix make over Cosima has no purpose. In fact, the entire episode was an excuse to have Cosima’s sexuality on display as much as possible. (So much for being more than her sexuality, or Felix being more than a small trope of his). Where’s Felix’s life? How has it been affected by having all these new sisters? I haven’t seen him paint once this season (and no painting an eye on Rachel’s eye-patch doesn’t count).

They have this actor who is both incredibly talented and articulate. In fact, when there are interviews with Jordan Gavaris done I almost always read or watch them because he is the one who says the most interesting things.  Can’t they find something for him to do?  Are they really that stumped in writer’s room that Alison should go deal drugs post-rehab in suburbia for laughs and Felix is just makeover man?


It’s so much harder to find masculine body positive images, phrases, blogs, etc. A lot of that is because massive amounts of social pressure is on women to define their worth by their waist line. Men at least have a few other options. That’s not to say that men don’t face fatphobia/body shaming as well, because they do. And forget about finding supportive post/images for trans men and women. Thats EVEN harder. Well here’s hopping that this post reaches some people. No matter how you identify, your body is beautiful.