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From the Moderators
By Brie Alsbury

Style versus Genre

Many new Elfwood artists make a common mistake of assuming that since they drew something in a particular style, then it should automatically go into one place or the other. In the next few minutes I'd like to give you a rundown on the two most common problems moderators see.

First is a problem that seems to affect Lothlorien as well as the Zone and Fan Quarter. This would be the subject of Anime. Anime is extremely popular with a lot of artists in the woods, but there is an extremely common misconception between a lot of new artists about what anime is and where it will get you in the woods. Maybe some of you are familiar with this...

You've finished up your picture, it's the best thing you've ever done, you upload it and wait...and wait...and depending on how fast the queue is moving that day you may wait some more. Then you get a very polite email back informing you that your picture lacks fantasy content.

How can this possibly be?? It's anime. Doesn't the girl have purple hair? Isn't that fantasy?

Well I hate to break it to you, but anime is a style of drawing just like any other style of drawing and not an automatic guarantee that your picture will make it into Elfwood. A lot of anime pictures are characterized by wild-multi colored hairstyles, but that also isn't a guarantee that your image will make it into Elfwood. Two weeks ago I had purple hair that stuck out everywhere; today, I look like a hobbit and trust me, I'm certainly not fantasy or sci-fi.

Moderators have a favorite phrase they like to use in chat: Anime!=fantasy (anime does not equal fantasy). Just because you've drawn your picture in anime style doesn't mean it is fantasy or sci-fi. Anime is a way of drawing animation, which comes from Japan. There are a number of Animes that have absolutely no fantasy or sci-fi content to them what so ever.

The second problem seems to effect primarily Lothlorien and the Fan Quarter and can be broken down into two parts: Classic Disney Style !=fantasy (Classic Disney style does not equal fantasy) and Classic Disney Style !=fan art (Classic Disney Style does not always fan art). Disney has been in business for many years as an animation studio, and as such they have a very distinct style of animation. By and large their films have some sort of fantasy theme to them, however just like Anime, that doesn't mean that drawing something in Disney style will automatically make it acceptable for Elfwood. Your artwork must still have some clear element of fantasy or science fiction for it to be acceptable to upload into Elfwood. Please note this also includes the Fan Quarter, as there are several Disney films that are not fantasy or sci-fi.

The second part of this problem as I stated previously is Classic Disney Style!=fan art. Elfwood defines fan art as any canon character (canon character means those characters who are a part of a official story, like Dopey of the Seven Dwarves) or original character that exists in a visual media universe (universe meaning the world the story is set in like St. Kinard from Darkwing Duck). Snow White in Disney style, would of course belong in Fan Quarter, but your completely original space pirate, Gwen, who was drawn in Disney style would belong in your zone gallery.

There is one exception to this and that would be Gargoyles. Disney created a cartoon series in the mid 90's all about a group of gargoyles. They have a very distinct style of drawing. Gargoyles fall under what I like to think of as the Duck category. If it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, looks like a duck…then it's gotta be a duck. In other words, even if the gargoyle is your completely original character created from a completely original universe that has absolutely nothing to do with the Disney TV show, if you draw the character in Disney style you will still be asked to put it into the Fan Quarter. It's simply too difficult for moderators to distinguish between fan art and completely original characters in this case.

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