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Thread: Crystal Brush 2011 post mortem

  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by LegionoftheCow View Post
    I wanted to address this because I felt it necessary.

    To brush it off as simply an "ignorant" claim is quite frankly a shame, because it is a very serious claim, one that will attach itself to your competition for years to come if not addressed.
    I'm brushing it off because the suggestion is ludicrous. On a practical level, considering how small this industry is, and how many people get around the block working for various companies, any judge of any stature will have to recuse themselves from half the manufactured entries. On a personal level, I find it incredibly offensive to even suggest that a Mike is effectively corrupt; looking at the judging sheet I know it's a load of balls. Bending over backwards to assuage "appearances" is stupid; either you trust the judge(s), or you do not. Heaven forbid a CoolMiniOrNot figure should have won or even placed! It is incredibly ignorant "perspective", born from not knowing what goes on behind the scenes, which is kept intentionally secret to specifically to prevent manipulation. As a "serious" allegation, it is at best idle rumor-mongering, and at worst, libelous character assassination. This was not simply a statement: More than one judge would be better because it would seem fairer; it went way beyond that and is getting the response it deserves; "meh".

    And as for the gaming event/miniature painting. Perhaps you should consider moving away from a wargames event. Maybe joining into another event, like a comic/toy/anime/video game convention. After all I believe it was you Chern who always discusses how GW should expand their IP's marketbase, perhaps you should expand your potential market by putting on a show in an "outside" event to garner "outside" attention?
    Do you have a specific suggestion? AdeptiCon was great about letting us subsume their own painting competition and we found their organization committee both easy to work with and very professional (not to say other cons are not). I do not feel that a general convention like PAX (for instance) would be a good fit; the amount of interest and expert knowledge of both the participants and the onsite viewers would be very useful at all; more on the lines of ("gee they gave a huge prize for a tiny figure; that's crazy; I could do that easily etc"). For AdeptiCon, the Crystal Brush was viewed as one of the "main events" rather than being lost in a milieu of other things.

    First off, this is working from the $14,000 they had this year and with 12 categories, if there are fewer categories, or some dont "qualify" for a prize then more money!

    You dont think $4000 for the overall winner on top of $500(for first in category) and a prize pack is meaningful? Or $1500 for third overall +$500 and a prize pack?

    Or heck just $500 for finishing first in category? $500 would almost cover a flight from Canada to Chicago, and definetly would cover a flight from within the US to Chicago.

    Even second place's $150 would cover most flights within the US.
    Well, either you're in it for the money, or you're in it for the glory. The money is just part of the glory. Everyone who placed walked away with a Crystal Brush, I'm sure pictures will eventually start doing their rounds. The top three placers are just.... extra special. And still haven't changed my mind really, the top 3 places have to be extra special, and thankfully they were this year (in my opinion). Come to win!
    I like it firm and fruity!

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by LegionoftheCow View Post
    And as for the gaming event/miniature painting. Perhaps you should consider moving away from a wargames event. Maybe joining into another event, like a comic/toy/anime/video game convention. After all I believe it was you Chern who always discusses how GW should expand their IP's marketbase, perhaps you should expand your potential market by putting on a show in an "outside" event to garner "outside" attention?
    I tend to agree with that. I understand that you have to start somewhere but for me Adepticon was always a gaming convention and, until recently, a regional convention. I doubt that this convention is known at all outside the US and known well enough beyond Midwest/East Coast/Canada. I am not sure whether there is a very good alternative though. I am wondering whether you considered Gencon as a potential venue. I know that Comon has a substantial presence there. To address some criticisms, have you considered alternating between here and Europe (it is a logistical nightmare, I know)?

    First off, this is working from the $14,000 they had this year and with 12 categories, if there are fewer categories, or some dont "qualify" for a prize then more money!
    You dont think $4000 for the overall winner on top of $500(for first in category) and a prize pack is meaningful? Or $1500 for third overall +$500 and a prize pack?
    Or heck just $500 for finishing first in category? $500 would almost cover a flight from Canada to Chicago, and definetly would cover a flight from within the US to Chicago.
    Even second place's $150 would cover most flights within the US.
    Oh no, I have no problems with the size of overall first second and a third. I thinks that prizes in categories should be no less then $500, possibly at the expense of overall prizes. I am not thinking in terms of travel inside the states but rather travel from Europe. See, the problem here is whether we want this competition to be (more) international. I do think that in current climate airfares from Europe could be a sufficient deterrent for many painters. Yet, if they have a reasonable chance of getting this $500 prize in the end they will be more willing to try. Consider it as a sort of a "travel fellowship". I also think that prizes should be "stackable" if you get two prizes you double the amount you get. This however should necessitate to limit the number of entries per category. If the competition take off eventually it could become one entry per category per person.

    On another subject. I think online voting should be extended to at least 18 hours to cover different time zones better. I just realized another "side" benefit of online voting - it cuts down of potential mischief that plagues GD recently - with 46000 votes chance that somebody decides to enter previously "published" miniature become rather small

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Justus View Post
    Surprised your holding a painting competion for display figures at a gaming convention.
    Gamers move figures around the table whereas painters are moved by the figures on the table!
    Definite difference between a miniature figure show and a gaming show...

    You actually held a painting competition in Chicago and Shep Paine, a local Chicagoan(sp?) wasn't a judge?
    In this hobby, you can't have painters without the gamers. Like it or not, the gamers are the ones that have pushed the industry to what it is now. Figures sell better when there is a game involved. That said, I'm much more partial to the painter side of the house, but in this mini-world we are talking about, the two are intertwined. That's not the same as the Military modelers...where the hobby is in and of itself.


    And no offense to Shep Paine, but he would most likely be far out of his element here. This is not a slam against the man, he's a giant in his field...but again, we are talking different hobbies. The two seem similar, but they are not.

    ***

    Having an artistic competition is a bit of an oxymoron anyhow....the only thing that can be truly judged is the technical, everything else is subjective. And subjectiveness is controversial. It won't work any other way.

    But that is just the nature of the beast.

  4. #24

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    We're trying to get more attendees, but in another way. Starting from Auscon 2011 in June, we will be giving away air tickets to next year's Crystal Brush for the top placer to come and compete. We are currently reaching out to more regional and international conventions and providing this type of prize support. Unfortunately, a little too late to swing it with Salute, but we'll start working our way through them. If you know of a major non-US convention that has a good painting competition, please help us by referring them to us for prize support.
    I like it firm and fruity!

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chern Ann View Post
    Do you have a specific suggestion? AdeptiCon was great about letting us subsume their own painting competition and we found their organization committee both easy to work with and very professional (not to say other cons are not). I do not feel that a general convention like PAX (for instance) would be a good fit; the amount of interest and expert knowledge of both the participants and the onsite viewers would be very useful at all; more on the lines of ("gee they gave a huge prize for a tiny figure; that's crazy; I could do that easily etc"). For AdeptiCon, the Crystal Brush was viewed as one of the "main events" rather than being lost in a milieu of other things.
    Personally, I would like to see Crystal Brush become its own thing, so that it can focus purely on miniatures painting/sculpting related events, and not be overwhelmed by 1,500 gamers. There could be more painting related events (more/longer classes and workshops, demos and Q&As, speed painting competitions, maybe an auction, etc.) and the focus would be squarely on painting. Obviously, Crystal Brush has to have some momentum behind it for this to work, so tying yourself to an established game convention for the first few years makes sense. But I hope that eventually Crystal Brush will become its own event.

  6. #26

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    I haven't read all the thread and will not take the time to do so.
    But I got to say that I personally picked Marike's model as my favorite in the cabinet.
    Such a subtle, yet strikingly beautiful work. I was happy to see her go with the big price.
    As I see it, the chance that you had Mike McVey as a judge and a Studio McVey model the winner was just a coincidence.
    I see Marike's model as a very worthy winner.

  7. #27

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    I've been painting for a while and have placed in several smaller painting comps. I didn't enter the Crystal Brush this year as I assumed (rightly so) that my best would, at best, barely hold up against the true competition in the cases.

    I did get to speak to Mike McVey briefly and hope he didn't mind me taking some of his time as he was judging. But he seemed very interested and cordial in talking to just some guy gawking. I congratulated him on the really top painting on several of his studio's models and how that must make him proud. It did, he agreed. But he was quick to point out several other pieces of worth and beauty and we talked about other models in the industry (like Wyrd Miniatures since I'm affiliated with them) and how the entire industry has responded to a demand for better sculpts and better painters.

    After that brief discussion, I'm very assured Mike McVey did not have any special partiality toward any one model over another.

    Seeing the beauty in those cases, my personal scoring had the winning models all identified, too. Marike's model was among the best. It's beautiful. Other models were, too, and gave it a very clear run. Some placings surprised me but not by much. The pictures you're all seeing here do not at all capture the true artistry and range of skill these pieces command in person. I cannot describe the subtlety of shadows and blending, and even surprising color choice to define shadows -- This is among the first competitions I've witnessed that I actually did NOT think was biased.

  8. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chern Ann View Post
    We're trying to get more attendees, but in another way. Starting from Auscon 2011 in June, we will be giving away air tickets to next year's Crystal Brush for the top placer to come and compete. We are currently reaching out to more regional and international conventions and providing this type of prize support. Unfortunately, a little too late to swing it with Salute, but we'll start working our way through them. If you know of a major non-US convention that has a good painting competition, please help us by referring them to us for prize support.
    Send me an email and we can have a chat.

    Lawrence Widdicombe
    www.salute.co.uk

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chern Ann View Post
    We're trying to get more attendees, but in another way. Starting from Auscon 2011 in June, we will be giving away air tickets to next year's Crystal Brush for the top placer to come and compete. We are currently reaching out to more regional and international conventions and providing this type of prize support. Unfortunately, a little too late to swing it with Salute, but we'll start working our way through them. If you know of a major non-US convention that has a good painting competition, please help us by referring them to us for prize support.

    It is outstanding idea and in my line of work it is actually pretty common. It is essentially a "travel award". It actually may have unintended, but positive, consequence. It might stimulate painters to participate in "local" competitions.

  10. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by JRN View Post
    I haven't read all the thread and will not take the time to do so.
    But I got to say that I personally picked Marike's model as my favorite in the cabinet.
    Such a subtle, yet strikingly beautiful work. I was happy to see her go with the big price.
    As I see it, the chance that you had Mike McVey as a judge and a Studio McVey model the winner was just a coincidence.
    I see Marike's model as a very worthy winner.
    I agree with everything you said.

    Great work CMON, and a fantastic start. I look forward to seeing where this competition goes in the future and as always loved looking at the beautifully painted submissions.

  11. #31

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    I must admit I was quite concerned about the whole thing from the moment I read about it. As someone who has been involved in local and national painting competitions for a while I thought the competition prizes might "bring out the worst" in people, appealing to the mercenary nature buried in all of us. I wanted to enter anyway, however, even though I new I had no chance at the cash, just so I could experience it from within.

    The Coolminiornot team at the show were very professional in their tagging and handling of the entries, and Mike McVey was a true gentleman (in addition to his professional approach). Although I still reserve the right to be a bit squeamish about the online voting component, I am very happy to hear that it matched closely with Mike's vote. I was also personally satisfied with the results, as were a number of my friends who paint at a much higher level than me.

    So, overall my conclusion is that Chern and David have a very clear vision for The Crystal Brush, a vision that will be realized over the coming years. I know I still have a lot to learn about competition painting, and I just hope that I can keep up with the painting level required to have a chance at a bronze in future years. See you next year.

    Cheers
    Dave

  12. #32

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    @Chern, think about it this way, are people going to travel the distance and spend the money just to show up to an event in the US, that essentially consists of standing around all day bored out of their minds, waiting for the results to roll in because most painters dont go to game.... or are they more willing to show up if they can spend the weekend at an event with other things going on that can occupy them? A 2 for 1 kind of idea. Which specific event, I do not know as I dont keep tabs currently on US events.

    I ask this, because I myself and people I know went because we loved painting, but after you've done a few events, they are all the same and you lose interest because theres no incentive to go, awards are meaningless after awhile. Sure you have a cash prize, but its for 3 people, sure its great being competitive(hell I love competition) but most painters, even great ones, will never win it.

    Right now, the prize is incentive only to those who can make the trip without it being out of their way, or who believe they have a solid chance in actually winning(very few) and of course a few others. The problem is, that is a tiny percentage of an already "small" group of people.

    On the McVey topic, it may seem ludicrous, but its not far fetched as Im sure hes a great man, but even he could theoretically subconsciously be slightly biased by stuff hes grown with or offers(it is natural, you generally dont handle stuff you despise). The OP could be in a bad mood because he felt burned by it, and that is a fair assumption for someone to make, regardless of whether it is correct or not. Not everyone knows who Mr McVey is, especially newer people to the hobby or younger members or people who do not frequent the "pop" culture of the hobby painting world, they may just know what hes connected to, by name.

    Every person favours something and cannot be completely free of bias, and this is something you want to try to avoid... that's all there is to the topic. Its not about Mr McVey as a person, its directed towards the event as a whole, and it should be easily addressed in the future.
    Last edited by LegionoftheCow; 04-07-2011 at 01:06 AM.


  13. #33

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    Lawrence, email sent.

    Quote Originally Posted by UberTek View Post
    Send me an email and we can have a chat.

    Lawrence Widdicombe
    www.salute.co.uk
    I like it firm and fruity!

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by LegionoftheCow View Post
    @Chern, think about it this way, are people going to travel the distance and spend the money just to show up to an event in the US, that essentially consists of standing around all day bored out of their minds, waiting for the results to roll in because most painters dont go to game.... or are they more willing to show up if they can spend the weekend at an event with other things going on that can occupy them? A 2 for 1 kind of idea. Which specific event, I do not know as I dont keep tabs currently on US events.
    I've got to answer to this one.
    To be honest L.O.T.C, I go to Salute in London (a fair amount of travel even in such a small country like the UK) not just for the Painting competition, but the mooching around, shopping, talking to people, shopping, talking to manufacturers, shopping, looking at new works from sculptors and having fun. That's what part of this hobby is about.
    If I was simply going to a show only to stand around and wait for the results of a painting competition and be bored out of my tree I go to Golden Deamon (Which I've been to for the last 15 years).

    In respect to the implied criticism of Mike McVey, I've met Mike on a number of occasions both while he was with GW and post that time. He is one of the most genuine people I've had the good fortune to meet, and to imply that he'd allow any form of bias to creep into his judging is to me disgusting and a defamation of the man.
    Simply put Mike is not that shallow or sad.

    I've also had the good (ok great) fortune to meet both Marike and Jakob(*), both are superb painters and geniune people and I offer my heartiest congratulations to them and the other overall winner {Can't remember his name, help}.

    For a FIRST competition I believe this to have been a great success and knowing how Chern approaches things this will be a stepping stone to an Internationally Respected Competition.

    (*OK Great painters, but why do they have to be so good looking as well?).
    I believe in Karma, what you give, is what you get returned. Affirmation; Savage Garden
    Oh look my IQ results came in:-
    , and proud of it.

  15. #35

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    Im not trying to cause problems or argue, just give some different ideas and explain some from a different perspective.

    Ill leave it at that.


  16. #36

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    id like to congratulate CMON on taking the risk and starting crystal brush. ok, the pictures were bad but im sure by now the whole world knows that. The number of entries this year is something i wouldnt really worry about. It was your first event and its a big ask to expect the european painters to take a gamble on something so untested. personally id like to see the voting time extended to compensate for the time zone issues and is the online voting side going to be realistic if you had as many entries as Golden demon uk??
    the awards look lovely although the extra large one seems a little tasteless (personal opinion).
    I think the competition will get better and better with time and i know already that more english painters are considering attending next years crystal brush event. i do wonder if its possible to alternate between the US and Europe though, even if its just one every 5 years that its held in europe?

    and stating that Mike was biased in his judging is an absolute joke, do you people really think a man that has done so much to develop our hobby would fall that low? maybe take the time to talk with him and you'll appreciate very quickly that it wouldnt cross his mind. if anything, i could imagine he would be more critical of his own models for this exact reason.

    id also like to echo alex's comments thats it's nice to see your listening, very publicly, to what we have to say about the event (even from people that werent there)

    thanks, i look forward to attending next year and i hope Crystal brush gets stronger!

    chris

  17. #37

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    Just seen that CMON are to sponsor the overall winner of the Salute 2011 painting comp. to attend the Crystal Brush 2012 event Well done guys, good to hear

    Cheers, B.
    My CMON Gallery Rank...

  18. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by BPI View Post
    Just seen that CMON are to sponsor the overall winner of the Salute 2011 painting comp. to attend the Crystal Brush 2012 event Well done guys, good to hear

    Cheers, B.
    That is very good. Now it makes me very upset I am not attending Salute this year. But to be realistic, I dont think I had a cahnce of getting that first place anyway.

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by BPI View Post
    Just seen that CMON are to sponsor the overall winner of the Salute 2011 painting comp. to attend the Crystal Brush 2012 event Well done guys, good to hear

    Cheers, B.
    Now that's cool.
    Seeing as I'm at Salute on Saturday that's added a little extra spice.
    Chance of me winning ...out of a hundred...That'll be a big fat ZERO.

  20. #40

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    G'day All,
    Newbie here, so please forgive any naivety!

    I'm Mark, one of the Organisers for this year's AUSCON event to be held in a little over two weeks! (Chern, can you e-mail me at mark@auscongames.com.au , am keen to tie a couple of things in! )

    We are running a new competition within AUSCON called the Wizards of Oz. It was put together with feedback and ideas by some of Australia's top painters, including Vic Lamb, Glenn Lamprecht, Simon Hooker, Paul Cairncross and Leigh "Carpo" Carpenter. Many of those are either involved in the event itself, or are entering miniatures, along with many "unknown" painters as well. We've taken a lot of time and effort to come up with categories, scoring and awards (Similar to EuroMilitaire with Golds, silvers and bronzes), with the top prize walking away with an entry to the Crystal Brush at Adepticon in 2012 (Thanks to Cool Mini or Not!!).

    We are not fooling ourselves by saying that we will undoubtedly come under criticism from those who felt they should have received a gold rather than silver etc etc, but by entering a competition, you surely cannot guarantee you will win! The Judges (of whom I am not one), will make up their won minds, we will not enter into correspondence with people to debate their "reward". However, we will learn by any mistakes, and of course will go on to improve year by year.

    I'm sure Chern and the team are in the same boat with the Crystal Brush. This was the innaugral year and a great job was done by all from what I've heard. Sure, a few issues arose, but like any good competition, it will fine tune, tweak a few things, and go on to become one of the world's best evvents, as I hope AUSCON and the Wizards of Oz will do.

    Anyway, best of luck to next year's entrants, well done to Mike, Chern and the team and we hope to see some of you at AUSCON next year!

    (And by the way, many of us here in Australia etc have heard of Adepticon, and in fact I'm planning to make the trek there next year!)

    Cheers,
    Mark

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