This was something that I was thinking about the other day, and then a found an example of it on Instagram.
Online forums lend themselves to anonymity, which then lends itself to varying degrees of bullying. This isn’t something unique to any particular community, but is common to any online based community. Different communities deal with it differently though.
The type of bullying I want to talk about is pretty unique to the Warhammer and other Modelling communities though.
As I said, I found this post on Instagram, and by the time I found it there two comments showing different ways to comment. One that I’d like to see less of, and one that I’d like to see more of.
If you go and view the post you’ll see why the comment from @the_shameless_geek is warranted. The paint job isn’t the best, and without knowing who did it we can only assume it’s from a beginner.
None of us were born a golden demon painter, and a lot of Golden Demon painters started off painting just as low quality, or worse.
The original painter probably was aiming for something like the above. Without ever getting advice, and of course following the advice, from people like @the_shameless_geek they’ll never get there.
We all have aspects of the hobby that we want to improve on. I know I personally want to improve on my layering, because it’s something I’ve never been very good at. My freehand also needs a lot of work!
If someone comes along and gives advice on these areas, I’ll be able to improve on them.
If well I get is people coming along and shitting on my efforts, I’m less likely to continue trying. This is even more prevalent in a hobby with a large number of younger enthusiasts, who aren’t capable of taking criticism very well. We need to encourage these younger artists, not push them out.
About 10 years ago when I originally got into the hobby, I posted some photos of some models I was quite proud of to the older Games Workshop forums. I can’t remember most of the comments, but one in particular I can remember the main points of. It was quite a lengthy rant where the author went into quite a lot of effort to basically tell me that I was terrible and unless I went and bought several hundreds of dollars worth of new paints I shouldn’t bother painting and definitely shouldn’t be posting pictures online.
The Games Workshop forums soon got shut down and I moved over to The Bolter and Chainsword. I honestly don’t remember if I ever got similar feedback there, I know it was quite a while before I posted again that’s for sure.
At the end of the day, it was people posting comments that offered useful, and positive advice that kept me in the hobby. Those that posted completely negative feedback didn’t do anything, except get me down.
Stop shitting on people, be nice and help them out!