Forum Etiquette & Guidelines

  • The Golden Rule: Keep in mind that the Golden Rule has special significance to online message boards such as this one. Make every effort to be civil, kind and professional when replying to other members' Topics. Treat other members as you wish to be treated. And remember the adjunct to the Golden Rule - just because someone else is being rude or harsh doesn't mean you have respond in kind.

  • Choose words carefully: Tone and intent are often difficult to discern in a message board environment. So try to choose your words (and your icons and images) carefully so as not to risk offending or enraging other members. Use Smilies and emoticons whenever possible to ensure that your intended tone is plain to other members.

  • Keep it private: If you are involved in a disagreement or a misunderstanding with another member, make every effort to discuss it privately with them (via the Forum's Private Messaging feature, by e-mail or some other method). Airing grievances in public often only exacerbates the possibility of hurt feelings and bruised egos, neither of which are conducive to a positive Forum experience. And remember, never post private correspondence, even only excerpts, in a public forum without the express consent of all parties involved.

  • Post in the correct Forum: The Penciljack Forums are divided into several categories for ease of browsing. When you are posting, make sure what you're posting is appropriate for the Forum you've selected. If you have a question about where to post a new Topic, check the Forum description or ask a moderator or a more senior member.

  • You get what you put in: If you would like other members to reply to your Topics, particularly topics wherein you've posted artwork, you're going to have to expend the effort to reply to their Topics as well. Members are more likely to respond positively to you if they've seen that you respond to their Topics. And remember, being rude or brusque with other members will come back to haunt you.

  • Be descriptive: When titling a new Topic, be brief but descriptive. Don't try to lure other members to comment with false claims. In extreme cases, Topics with misleading and/or inappropriate titles will be deleted by moderators or administrators.

  • Watch the image size: When posting images, keep them at a reasonable size. Many members are connecting to the Forum via a dial-up, 56k connection. Posting large images makes it difficult for them to view your work. Try to keep images under a file size of 250k, and smaller than 600 pixels wide. This will make it easier (and more likely) for others to view and comment on your artwork. (Note - if you must post artwork that is larger than 600 pixels wide, you must display it as a link rather than an inline image).

  • One at a time: It's easier for other members to comment on one piece of art at a time, so try to include only one piece of your artwork in a given Topic. However, if you need to post multiple pieces (such as sequential art pages) in a Topic, post hypertext links to the images rather than displaying them inline.

  • Show your most recent work: It's best to show your most recent work for critiquing purposes. Old work isn't the best way to evaluate your current skill level, and would prevent someone who is taking their time to give you a critique from telling you something you may already have known and corrected in the time since you've completed the older pieces.

  • Nudity & Violence: Tasteful nudity or comic violence is not discouraged. This doesn't include deviant or puerile displays of gratuitous or implied sexual intercourse or violent images and will be edited at the discretion of the moderators. Prose and scripts with similar descriptions of blatant sexual conduct or violence against sexes, races or religions must be tactful or linked. Thread titles need not warn anyone as it ends up calling attention to the thread and will be edited to avoid that.

    Moderators are encouraged to make judgment calls and edit posts as they see fit. If you feel your post was unnecessarily changed or removed, please feel free to take it up with the staff.

  • Don't steal: Don't post any artwork other than your own without express consent from the creator of the artwork. Posting inline images without consent is thought by many to be a form of theft. If you want to point out a piece of artwork by another artist, notify that artist and link to the image (preferably to the artist's site, where the image is contained). Further, it is not permitted to post other artists' work for critique in the Laboratory or Applied Science Forums. Registration is free, and the artists are free to post their own work themselves.

  • Don't hog the spotlight: Don't divert attention from other members by posting your own artwork or off-topic messages in their Topics. You are free to create your own Topic to display your artwork or make your point.

  • Be prepared: The goal of the Penciljack Forum is to be an inclusive learning environment. As such, all art posted in the Laboratory Forums is subject to critique by all members.

  • Be kind: When critiquing another member's artwork, be honest, but be kind. There's nothing to be gained by being flippant, rude or excessively harsh in your response. And remember - the member you are criticizing now may take the opportunity to criticize your artwork later.

  • Careful when going above and beyond: Keep in mind some members are expecting verbal criticism and might not take kindly to non-standard methods of offering criticism (such as overlays or other image manipulation). If you don't know a member is amicable to receiving different forms of criticism, just ask first, or keep the criticism verbal

  • Take it in stride: Remember, even if someone gives you a harsh, negative critique, they still took their valuable time to offer advice to you. Don't be defensive or feel you have to make excuses for your work. Your work stands on its own. Take the advice you have been given, analyze it, take what you want from it and move on.
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