About the Art Competition

Guess who has to make another bloody damage-control announcement?

So let’s talk about the art competition.

When we first thought of the section art competition, I thought that it would be a wonderful idea. I thought it would make the Forums look different and unique and allow people to feel represented by us as we appreciate their different art styles. I thought it would be a brilliant idea that brings the Forums together.

Apparently, though, that is wishful thinking.

Let me discuss my absolute sadness and disappointment about what I woke up to this morning before I go onto talk about what we are dealing with here.

So I woke up to a message informing me that members of the community were accusing the Heads of favouritism and that they thought that “these forums were different”. They accused us of choosing winners because they were staff members (?) and also made it seem as though we were deliberately allowing traced art to win.

I am absolutely appalled and saddened by this. We are four human beings with a hell of a lot to do on the Forums. You guys seriously don’t understand how much there is to do behind the scenes and we have to stop doing these things to make statements every time something stupid happens on the Forums.

I have been running this place for over a year now and I have made it very very clear that anyone on the Forums can become a staff member if they try hard and understand the Forums well enough. Now, I’m being accused of favouritism because some of the people who put multiple entries down for the art competition won?!?! Well, yeah. The more you enter, the better your chances are.

But more than that, this art competition has been going on from before the staff were chosen this time around and the same people who made multiple entries for the art competition were the people who signed up to be staff members. I wonder why that happened? Because we choose active members of the community, and active members of the community tend to get involved in a lot of the events we have going on around here.

I hate the fact that any time something small happens on here, we get blamed. It has happened since the first time we picked staff members and it hasn’t stopped. People don’t give us the benefit of the doubt ever. You all see the bloody hard work that we put into running this place and the amount of autonomy we like to give our members, but whenever something small happens, you have to turn on us and act like we did it all on bloody purpose? It’s childish and, frankly, disgusting. If you’re that quick to turn on the people and the forum that you claim to like, then maybe you were looking for a reason to leave in the first place?

Why is it that I always have to hear this kind of thing second-hand? Why can’t some people just come to me and express their concerns to me so that I can sort it out? Or if not to me, then someone on the staff team that you trust? Instead of spreading rumours and back-biting like spiteful children? When have I ever dismissed someone’s concerns without looking into them? When have I ever made it seem like I don’t care when someone has a few issues with the Forums?

How can you even accuse us of anything when you haven’t given us the chance to explain ourselves yet? I’m disappointed as hell. We are literally so approachable as a staff team and we make the effort to be like that. When we heard about tracing the last time in this competition, we pulled the entry out of our line-up so it couldn’t win. But guess what? No one told us about the others. If y’all are so concerned about tracing, why leave it until the results are announced to tell us? Are we supposed to seriously know every single art piece in the world so that we know which ones are traced and which ones aren’t?

Tbh when we make an art competition, we give people the benefit of the doubt, thinking that they would produce their own work instead of someone else’s. Because we honestly, genuinely thought that we could trust the lovely members of our community.

And while not everyone won the section art, there were so many wonderful entries that we asked some others if we could use their art for other purposes: merchandise and social media. Has everyone checked what Deluge said about every single one of the art pieces? Probably not, because I heard that people were upset that a person won with traced art when they didn’t even win, so the people trying to bring the name of the Forums down don’t even have their facts straight. Surprise surprise.

Also, some of the sections only had one entry to choose from. If people wanted to actually make it hard for staff members to win, they should have maybe competed against them in those areas. Honestly, I didn’t give a rat’s ass who was staff and who wasn’t when we judged the competition. My biggest concerns were:

  1. Does it look like the Author?
  2. Does it represent the section it’s for?
  3. Is the art style nice and different so that two sections don’t look the same?

Now, let’s go onto the whole tracing thing. We were not aware that there were concerns about certain art pieces being traced. We will be looking into that as soon as we can.

We do not take plagiarism lightly and I wish people had told us about it before the results were bloody announced so that we could take that into account, but I guess people just want a reason to bring us down.

If you have any concerns about the results, please come to a staff member you trust.

Sorry I had to be so annoyed. I’m just sick of the fact that every time someone is the slightest bit unhappy, they invalidate all of the hard work we do to try to make the Forums amazing. We are only human and we can only try. We aren’t a company. We’re just a group of individuals with lives who try to make this place work for you on the side. I’m writing this before I start work for 8 hours. Then I’m going to come back here and try to sort this mess out. Please stop assuming the worst before you’ve even told us what’s wrong.

Imagine screaming “this doctor is terrible” because they didn’t give you treatment before you even told them what was wrong?



I suppose in the future, if there’s a section that only one person did art for, we shouldn’t let that person win if they’re a staff member.


Every single time something happens on the Forums, I’ve gotta watch people I thought cared about the Forums try to make the place I’ve spent literally thousands of dollars on crash and burn.


Well, the Art Competition has been cancelled.



Oh, that is rather sad but based on what you’ve written, it’s an understandable decision. Still, thank you for giving us the opportunity to participate in such a lovely and friendly competition. I was able to leave my shell and step out of my comfort zone and show my drawings.
It’s awful it had to finish that way… But I believe there’s nothing we can do about it.

Again, thank you Shannii and other mods for taking time to look at our drawings and being able to make everyone feel appreciated.


This just breaks my heart, seeing that other people have to suffer just because of someone else’s wrong doing. :woman_facepalming:t3: I really hope they learn from their mistakes…


Go off, honestly I don’t even understand why people would do this, it ruins everyone’s mood.


To give a little more information: we were aware of allegations towards a single artist concerning tracing. In this event, they were not able to win the contest because of this. We listed all of the art pieces we got for the contest in the final post, but they did not win. There were no finals. We listed all of the art because we didn’t get a hell of a lot.

The other allegations? We were not aware of them until last night/this morning and we have completely cancelled the contest as a result because the piece in question won. If we had known sooner – if someone had told us before the results were announced – we would have done something about it. However, that did not happen. So, I’m not gonna apologise for not knowing every single art piece on the internet and not knowing that it was allegedly traced.

Remember that we are on a completely different time freaking zone to you guys, right? So when you tell us something at what is 4am for us, don’t f-cking expect us to deal with it straight away. We do our f-cking best but we need to sleep too.


Oh! So people were mad that staff members won? Makes sense. It’s not like the staff are talented at all honestly. If you even cared to read Deluge’s comments on the winning pieces, did he ever mention this person being a staff member a reason to him choosing it? :thinking: If you actually read them, you’d understand why he chooses them. He also didn’t have to say anything about the other entries or even give them a chance at becoming stickers or merchandise. Be thankful that he did. And about the tracing? Do you honestly think that if Deluge knew that pieces were traced that he would let that be considered as a winning piece? Why didn’t you speak up before if you knew this was happening? Don’t expect them to already know if it was traced, how on Earth is that possible if you’ve never seen the original artwork? :sweat_smile: Goodness! Even my dense a!s brain can see that your argument here makes no sense. To me, you seem salty that your work wasn’t chosen.


This sucks to read :confused:




This is a tragedy that this had to happen.
I hope that if there is ever a concern in a competition like this again, that the concerned individual can come to someone on the staff team. This sort of thing is not my specialty, I’m not the most knowledgeable on art, but please, if you have a concern and there’s not someone else on the staff team you’re comfortable approaching, message me. I may be staff now, but I’m not any different than I was prior to being staff.
Just by coming to one of us as soon as you had seen the art piece/s in question, could have kept from ruining the fun for everyone. Please, in the future just come forward sooner so we can come to a solution that won’t hurt more people than it helps. Any one of us on the staff team are willing to listen to any issues. Just come to whoever you feel like you can approach. Even if the one of us you feel comfortable with can’t help or give you an answer, we can contact someone else on the staff team who can.


Well said


The first part of this post I agree with completely! Its total BS that someoned skill should get just thrown out the window because they’re a staff member.

For the second part… eh.

So why is the punishment the same for almost everything else? Tracing isn’t an accident or ‘I didn’t know’, like something like knee-jerk contradicting or tone policing. The person knows what they’re doing is wrong.

You still listed and openly praised them. From an outsider’s perspective, they’d think you are either a. incredibly ignorant, or b. supporting tracing. Both cast a bad light on the forums.

It’s not our job to make sure that that the competition stays fair. That’s like asking an office worker to make sure everyone else is doing their job. Besides, you let a person who you knew already traced a work they submitted submit twice more. That’s practically begging for it to happen again.

It doesnt take Sherlock Homes to figure out whether a piece is traced or not. In the future, if you do something like this again, though, I don’t mind going over the entries before the winners are announced and checking for anything questionable.



I really do agree with this. I just want people who traced art to, at the absolute very least, be disqualified, if not anything else. We aren’t invalidating your struggles on making this forum, but we just want people to win fairly, and not by plagiarism.

Also, I don’t think you favor your staff in any way, and people thinking that are really dumb.


when it comes to the art competition, there is only so much we can do when someone says that they didn’t copy art. We give them a warning – as we do for everything else – and then if they do anything of the like again, we punish them afterwards.

As an ex staff member, you should be aware of the fact that warnings are given out. Also, knowing what is plagiarism and what isn’t is a difficult line and so before we try to persecute anyone for it, we need to make sure that they understand what they did wrong. So, no. Sometimes they don’t know what they’re doing is wrong because the internet is probably the worst place to learn about copyright law.

We have very clear rules about what we give out punishments for and when, and first of all, it is flagging. Then, a warning. Why do you think we should bypass that? What makes you think that this time is any different from any other case on the Forums?


Also, why was I asked to take down the posts where I asked for help finding the source image for one of the traced pieces? I wasn’t breaking any rules.


Why did it take me so long to catch that? :sob:


If you had concerns, the announcement for the winners was not the place to do it. It was off-topic and also calling someone out without the evidence is neither fair nor good practice. I hate that I am constantly having to take the blunt for the actions of other staff members, so @ChaoticDeluge and @CrazyCaliope have anything to say?


I find it weird how staff members aren’t allowed to compete in competitions. I guess i can understand that favoritism might sometimes be at play, however i never really seen shanni-- or anyone else for that matter-- play favorites with anybody. I could be wrong though, but it still sucks that staff can’t compete in competitions.

I 100% understand why people are mad about the tracing though. It takes a lot of work to finish one piece of art, especially as a beginner artist. Tracers already get half that work done from stealing from other people’s hard work, while other artists have to do all the work completely from scratch. And it’s not just on these forums where tracers get an unjust advantage from other artists. Seeing tracers win where other artists put a lot of time and effort into their work can seem really unfair.

I understand though that you didn’t realize these pieces were traced, so i dont think that people should take their anger out on you.