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Another thought about EF - The art of Thornwolf
Another thought about EF
Maybe some of you more familiar with EF will be able to help me answer this question. I'm a total EF n00b but going there this year kinda made me notice a few things.

I noticed quite a bit that Tani DaReal seemed to be the featured character at this particular convention. I noticed that her character was on the key vouchers, the tshirts (even some from previous years), fliers, she was even the star in the murder mystery, had 4 panels in the art show when everyone else had 2 etc etc...

I was wondering, does everyone have a fair shot at having their own character be featured as the main "convention character" at some point, because it seemed to me it was "Tani Con".

Not saying anything against Tani of course, I actually didn't get to talk to her at all during this convention but she's been nice to me online, but from what I'm used to, I guess I'm just not used to someone's personal non-neutral character being the star of a convention that's for everybody. Maybe a neutral fox or wolf or even a neutral looking snowleopard (which, this particular character, is not). It kind of comes across as "this is about me" rather than "this is about everyone", which admittedly really rubbed me the wrong way. HOWEVER this brought me to the question, perhaps everyone has a fair shot at their character being featured on things every year, in which case I felt this was okay. I asked my boyfriend about this but he wasn't able to give me a satisfying answer.

So, EF folks, whats up with that?

Current Mood: curious curious

64 comments or Leave a comment
shinigamigirl From: shinigamigirl Date: August 30th, 2006 10:13 am (UTC) (Link)
She's dating the con chairman.
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: August 30th, 2006 10:19 am (UTC) (Link)
Nepitism much? :/
tanidareal From: tanidareal Date: August 30th, 2006 10:52 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, that's absolutely no reason.
Please read my reply to Thornwolf I will give right now...
shinigamigirl From: shinigamigirl Date: August 31st, 2006 01:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm not sure what to think and neither are a lot of people anymore (actually this entry clears up a lot of stuff so it's good) I like you and your art, you've been nothing but kind to everyone. This wasn't an omgtanisucks statement because you don't. :)

The art show thing just really rubbed me the wrong way. I would have LOVED to have more than 2 panels, but I was limited to 2. I was shocked to discover that you had 3. And then a fourth one, that yes, I know was given to you, but still. There were a lot of empty spaces but of course not knowing in advance I didn't have time to prepare the needed art. I'm not sure why I would be denied my 3rd panel if it's not preferential treatment. I did sign up a long time in advance.

This whole not knowing also applies to the art submissions, Like Akeyla mentioned below. I simply had no idea that we could submit anything other than the T-shirt design. We really can't guess if we're not told these things (perhaps just a mass e-mail to all art show participants a month or so before the con would help). So I know you guys are super busy, and you have jobs, and it's stressful, but we really can't guess and it sometimes looks like you don't -want- other people's art to be featured in such a way (even if it may not be so). Just give out a shout next year, I would love to help out as I'm sure would many others.
wolf_goat From: wolf_goat Date: August 30th, 2006 10:57 am (UTC) (Link)
I love the character and fursuit, and Tani is a very nice person, but I totally agree that it's unfair. Indeed, there is no equal chance for others to have their character featured, and Tani's art is almost always the star as far as con books and tees are concerned in this and past years (though it is definitely some of the best submitted for the t-shirt contest in my opinion). As for the murder mystery thing...that's pushing it a bit further again.

But if what Shin says is true, then I think that's your question answered in a nutshell. Can't really blame Tani for internal favouritism, though.
tanidareal From: tanidareal Date: August 30th, 2006 11:28 am (UTC) (Link)
Please read my answer below (to Thornwolf).
I hope this explains some things.

I am _not_ the star of anything. The only thing I am "proud" of and had much fun was the pawpet show (playing Mika).

As I said - if YOU want to support us with stuff - please DO SO! Submit entries and sketches for the conbook, do t-shirt pictures, make flyers - do whatever you want! Nobody would ever say anything against that!

But please don't blame ME if I do the things nobody else obviously wants to do...
akeyla From: akeyla Date: August 30th, 2006 11:08 am (UTC) (Link)
I would just like to add an observation, without saying anything against any side or person, that I have heard this question many many times already, especially amongst the artists.
tanidareal From: tanidareal Date: August 30th, 2006 11:29 am (UTC) (Link)
As I said, please read my answer below.
I also only got 3 official panels, and the 4th one coindicently shortly before the con from BBF. And there still where empty panels in the art show...
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: August 30th, 2006 12:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
Its not that there were empty panels in the art show, Silber and I had 2 panels and we were only able to use one, simply because panel sizes vary from the US to Germany and there was a miscalculation on my part as to how much space we would need. But this is not the issue..the issue is that we were told we were only allowed up to 2 panels max. Yet you still had three, and I heard some grumbling about that, and I had to sympathize with artists who had a lot more art to show but couldn't fit it all on their panels. If I knew ahead of time that I wasn't going to need my second panel I would have told the constaff so they could redistribute it accordingly.

While that was nice of BBF, considering you already had one above the alotted number of panels he should have given his panel for redistribution for someone who only had one but wanted two, for example.
From: birdrock Date: August 30th, 2006 11:12 am (UTC) (Link)
That seems annoying, and not annoying because it's a personal thing against Tani, but because it would just get really monotonous to see the same character everywhere and on everything. It'd be almost the same brand of annoying as a company whose commercials are on your TV every five minutes and whose fliers come every morning with the paper. Seeing too much of something makes it annoying, no matter what it is.

I'm sure Tani doesn't want people annoyed 'at' her and from all accounts she seems to be a cool person, so I think she ought to request that her character not be everywhere at EF anymore, because people will (and probably already have) become irritated that her character is everywhere.
tanidareal From: tanidareal Date: August 30th, 2006 11:39 am (UTC) (Link)
Somehow I can understand you. But I also hope that you will understand if you read my answer below -

IF there aren't more t-shirt pictures (and it was NOT MY character on my picture btw.), if other artists are too busy to send us sketches and art we can use for the conbook etc. (as I also was too busy to make new neutral sketches for that stuff), if there ARE NO people who wanted to play that role - what shall I do? Leave it empty, skip the murder mystery?

Believe me, there are many things I will not do again for Ef. Because I am annoyed myself if I just want to try to make things nicer and now get accused to "highlight" myself with that.

I really would adore it if people would just DO the things they're now ranting about. Please send nice pictures we can use for the printing stuff, please submit more pictures for the shirt contest - we really love to use them if you just give them to us!

And "my character is everywhere" - where exactly was it except on the little voucher and the role I played for the Murder Mystery?

Those are exaclty 2 things. So please be rational and don't exaggerate.

If you're sick of me - that's OK for me. Believe me, I hardly didn't see ANYthing of the whole con because I had to work all the time (and also before). I would love to skip all my events and just enjoy the con next year. If no people want to do the things I do, there won't be any pocket programme then, no pawpet show, no fursuit contest.
EF is more work and stress for me than "highlighting" me in any way... believe me.
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: August 30th, 2006 12:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
Right, its NOT a personal thing against Tani at all. It's merely what you say, monotony.
tanidareal From: tanidareal Date: August 30th, 2006 11:24 am (UTC) (Link)
First - no, it was not intended at all to "highlight" me in any way. And of course I can give you the simple explanations for the things you mentioned: :)

1. The Key Voucher

Each EF we're doing all the print stuff (badges, flyer, vouchers, etc.) right before the con (the weekend before). And it is terribly much work. Loewi wanted me to do the key vouchers and asked if we can put some image on it so that it doesn't look that boring/empty. Coincidently (really) - I did that sketch some weeks ago, showing me holding a key. So that would fit perfectly. Believe me, I would also have loved to take a different picture than of my character.... but I didn't have any other picture that would have fit for that key topic (and - as I said it was Saturday night, the last weekend before the con). And no - I didn't had any time at all to do new sketches for things like that... (and no other artist had the time as well... remember the thing about the conbook cover when I asked you).

2. T-Shirt

Well, that is really not my fault. Each year there is a voting, and all people can vote. I do not have anything to do with this. If you want to see the results who voted for whom, please ask Cheetah. It is not faked and altered in any way. I was on vacation (R.V. trip in USA) when the voting happened.

3. The Murder Mystery

That was one thing I also felt a little uncomfortable with. It was like that:
Nerkitt and Akeela planned that murder mystery. But they needed a victim. But you can't forbid anybody to show up at the con after his "death", so they thought about using a fursuit (which would simply just not appear after the "death" any more). So they thought about me, as I had my 2nd fursuit (Savoy) with me and also only planned to wear her at the con. Beside that, the artist thingy of course also fit into their story. I didn't feel too comfortable with that... but I said OK. If REALLY nobody else wants to do that.

I did tell everybody that it is just a game, and I (myself) have nothing to do with the character "Madame DaReàl" from the Murder Mystery. I also feared that it might be too confusing (which it probably was). It was not supposed to have anything to do with me or my art at the con. Believe me, IF there would have been anybody else who wanted to play that "victim" - I would have loved to let him/her do that! I did not ask for that job... they asked me, because they didn't have anybody else.

It was fun (playing the game). But next time I probably wouldn't do it again, because of such misunderstandings and "accusation" like you mentioned.

4. The panels at the art show

I simply asked Watani (not Cheetah, he is NOT the art show manager), and I got 3 panels from him. Shortly before the convention, BigBlueFox (who had also reserved 2 panels) told me that he will not be able to bring any art. And so he gave away those 2 panels again. And he gave me 1 of his. So officially I also only got 3 panels from the art show manager. Others also had more than 2 panels.

(rest in post #2 as my text was too long for LJ)
tanidareal From: tanidareal Date: August 30th, 2006 11:24 am (UTC) (Link)
5. Other stuff

If you are part of the orga and want to help, it's hard to keep yourself completely in the background (also in the pawpet show for example, where I played Mika).
Believe me, if there were more pictures I could have used from other people (as for the voucher or conbook), or other people who would have liked to do the job in the Murder Mystery - I would have LOVED to let them do that. But there simply just weren't any. And I also wish I had the time to do new sketches (neutral characters) for things like that. But I just didn't.

I am sorry if you think like that.
That was really not intended to highlight me in any way. I just thought - before I leave things empty, like the voucher, it would be nicer if there is at least a sketch on it (also if it unfortunately was a sketch of me). I can't just take any art from the internet without having asked of course. I tried to use pictures of others as many times as possible (like BBF's main picture for the con).

If people want to support us (with pictures / art material for conbook, help, doing jobs etc.) - or want to take part in the t-shirt contest - please, please do so!

And as I said, the t-shirt thing is not my fault. I was so happy that Olven won again, and I also would have loved to see another beautiful picture on the shirt (but there only were quite few submissions this time).
Why don't you take part next time? I am sure you'd do a wonderful shirt picture.

So the only things that I really see as "me" or "mine" at the con was my art in the art show (as every other artist did), and my role as Mika in the pawpet show, which I really like.
akeyla From: akeyla Date: August 30th, 2006 03:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
just a quick observation to the submitting other art to the Conbook.
I mean, ok, I am not really very observant as what happens in the community BUT to me it never seemed as other stuff than T-shirt or SIgs were open to "us". Allright, you could gopher or organize something, write articles. Honestly, to me it always seemed as if there never was an option, or if, then only with a word from the ORGA or a specific invitation. That much that I did not even THINK of asking. Or dare. Of course now I see I was wrong, but it did always have the "locked door" image to me. Maybe smallprinted thing, but then again I submitted for the AC conbook back in 2003 and there it was very obviously stated and also widely used. Again, no attack, just a honest observation.
we artists need to organize more. We need to speak more about this stuff, submitting, pannels, prices, subjects... ALL. Kömunikäschion. Or we're gonna have a backstabbing community of people yelling at each other. Hacking like chickens over things the size of peas ;)
we do it now, then we can still save it.
blue_panther From: blue_panther Date: August 30th, 2006 04:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
Akeyla, if you look at !my! career in the EF staff, you would know that everyone who shows willing will be honoured... I was the guy who offered to help out and whom was willingly accepted ... I am a swiss cow cheese face for all sake, we are even worse than the dutchfurs as far as cookyness goes :D
tanidareal From: tanidareal Date: August 31st, 2006 08:16 am (UTC) (Link)
Yap, as you said - we see mistakes and problems, so let's try to make them better next year. :) I totally agree with that. We'll do that more clearly.
bigbluefox From: bigbluefox Date: August 30th, 2006 11:53 am (UTC) (Link)
To add some thoughts to what Tani wrote (and I can confirm every one of her words, since being on staff myself, I have witnessed all these events).

Well, yes, Tani does have quite a presence at Eurofurence. However, this is NOT because she's dating the chairman. She already had this kind of presence before they began dating.

There's the T-Shirt contest: The submissions are of varying quality every year. One year we'll have lots of good submissions, the next year we'll have rather bad stuff. However, if Tani submits, she always gets very high rankings when people vote. Why? Because they love her artwork.

Now, one thing Tani did not mention is that she indeed feels quite bad about this, and she's been thinking about NOT submitting any artwork to the t-shirt contest again. Personally, I am glad she changed her mind about thatr.

On the other hand, she's on staff, involved in a lot of stuff, and if there's something missing, she's the kind of artist who can quickly whip out quality illustrations or drawings. Most artists we ask about that just won't work that quickly. Or they won't respond. We've had that in the past.

Again, everyone is really welcome to join in and submit artwork for whatever we need.

And on the other hand, there was a lot of other people being involved in artwork. There were the backstage-badges and the beautiful stage backdrop that were designed by BluePanther (especially that one got lots of exposure). There was the webdesign and the con badges that were designed by me, and parts my design appeared on other stuff like the pocket programme or the fursuit badges.

So yes, Tani does have a lot of exposure and presence at the con. But that's just because she's there when we need something. She's a great artist and professional illustrator. Whenever we need something, she's the one who'll provide high quality work. We don't have that many people who can do that, who are that easy to contact, and who work that relieable.

But let me point out once more: Everyone who wants to participate is always welcome. You want to submit work to the t-shirt contest, for the con book? You want to design the website, the badges, anything?

Trust us, Tani would be happy if someone would take some work out of her hands. :)
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: August 30th, 2006 12:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
Its apparent that I'm not making myself clear. The issue is NOT that she draws the stuff, oh heavens no, the issue is that her character seems to be the unofficial mascot for the whole convention.

If she were to draw say, a neutral fox or hell, since its in Germany, a beer chugging wild boar or something, then ok, that would be pretty awesome.

I just saw a lot of people wearing shirts with pictures with Tani all over them from years past.
bigbluefox From: bigbluefox Date: August 30th, 2006 12:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm taking these right off the EF website archives, I hope they won't entirely mess up the layout...

Tani's EF12 contribution:

Tani's EF10 contribution:

Tani's EF8 contribution:

Tani's EF7 contribution:

So yeah, if a lot of people wore the EF8 shirt, you may indeed get the impression that her character may get lots of exposure. But believe me, this has never been intentional, as she did this only once. Now if she had her character on anything and everything she did... :)

And as already mentioned: The key voucher thing came from her archives. I've seen a team of four or five people printing badges, organising room groups, checking in folks to the database, preparing all kinds of stuff from Friday to Sunday. I know there wasn't any time at draw something new. And in my personal opinion, I'd rather have a pic of Tani's character than just a boring voucher without anything else.

The only thing you can blame Tani for is the way she's always trying to be helpful and jumping in wherever help is needed. I don't know anyone else who would've dared to participate in that murder mystery thing.
sakayra From: sakayra Date: August 30th, 2006 01:56 pm (UTC) (Link)

Art show panels

Hmm, I wrote a really long answer to this, but by the time I finished it, the conversation was already in full swing, so I will cut it and keep to my area of expertise...

Tani was not "the only one with four panels" in the art show. Kyo (the guy with the huge airbrushed stuff) had four panels as well, although with art of that size it may not have looked that way. (If you count the piece that belonged to Watani but was drawn by Kyo, Kyo had five panels in the show.) Akeyla had two panels, one regular table, and a windowsill (which had to double for tables because of the space limitations). And we have had two 3/4 panels standing empty in the back, and one panel with only one piece of art on it. So, if anyone had run into space trouble, we still could have given them more space directly at the con. In fact, I told some people beforehand that we are booked out and that they should bring their art anyway, but may not get a panel right there -- no one that actually brought art was left without a panel in the end.

Distributing panels is more complicated than it seems. Even the deadline idea does not really work, because if we simply close the registration for panels, some artists may be excluded by the deadline but we may end up at the con with not enough art for the setup because artists don't fill their space, or cancel altogether. On the other hand, other artists may draw lots of art at the last second and exceed their space, or the setup has to be changed and does not allow as many panels as planned.

For the next time, we will probably have a different system that involves "safe" panels and "overbooked" panels. This will allow us to make changes until the last minute, to maintain a balance between empty spaces and crowded panels. You may bring more art to the con that you can hang, if you use overbooked panels, but you also have the chance to get more space at the art show itself if you need it. It all depends on how much art each artist brings in the end.

I am willing to discuss the problem with the artists; you're welcome to write to me.

-- Cairyn --

sakayra From: sakayra Date: August 30th, 2006 02:21 pm (UTC) (Link)

As for the other stuff: We did see a bit of Tani's art and presence at the con, but I neither had the impression that there was too much Tani, or too much of her (snow leopard) character.

"Madame da Reàl" wasn't the star in the murder mystery. She was the victim. She dropped dead on the stage at the very first opportunity. Yes, she was the only one in fursuit in the whole murder mystery, but that was only possible since she had no speaking role and didn't need to provide any clues. The others were no fursuiters to my knowledge, and had lines to deliver that would have been difficult to get through a mask. The snow leopard suit then wasn't seen again on the con.

I never saw the key voucher, but an illustration there is rather low-profile, low-prestige. Who would do it on short notice, for a throwaway item? The abovementioned art pool is a good idea though and may help with the shortage of little icons.

Tani's art was on the con t-shirt, but only on the back. The winning entry was not Tani, but Olven! And it didn't feature a snow leopard either. I did reprint it in the con book because the winning entries were best to be featured on a whole page... now, that may be a bit overwhelming if you see all those people in the con shirt around, but then, Olven also did the back cover of the con book (in color!), AND she won the t-shirt contest, earning her another full page in the con book. Overwhelming? Duh, I think not.

But I do agree, a bit more art for the con book would be a good idea. I loved the book from EF10 with the interior illustrations by Kenket. That was neat, and I would love to do something like this again. Also, the con book could use small filler illustrations and graphics for the header and footer, instead of all those t-shirt illustrations which were not meant to be quarter-page fillers and have writing all over them (and have a black background too, heck).

Now, I need only enough artists who are willing to work with me in a productive way, and who do not throw a fit if their art doesn't get used because the number of pages in the con book is limited... applications start now ;-)

-- Cairyn --

blue_panther From: blue_panther Date: August 30th, 2006 09:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
Please Process my application.

Need help on that Issue? I would love to help collect piccies and do the chitchat with artists-thing
sakayra From: sakayra Date: August 30th, 2006 10:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
Absolutely, thanks a lot. We should chat about this on a quiet day (or in the mail). For example, do we integrate con book stuff with art show stuff and other con art stuff? What will be the communication medium, mailing lists or Wiki or forum? Where will the art be posted, and how privately will it be (before the con)?
If this whole messy business has shown me a thing, it's that artists WANT to help out and get involved. So I say, let's involve them.
Of course, the actual pictorials for the con book cannot be drawn before a theme has been made out. And likewise, there may be art that does not get used in the end. I hope this will not again be the cause of commotion. *sigh*
kigeni From: kigeni Date: August 30th, 2006 04:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm sure it wasn't a purposeful con theme. It sounds like it just happened due to the sheer amount of art she had accepted into the con's theme.

Pragmatism aside, everyone knows that it's only a matter of time until Kigscon is a reality! *Cackle*
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