This is something I’ve mentioned before to a handful of other artists, but I wanted to talk to the larger shirt.woot community about derby themes. The short version: I want derby themes to be a part of the rules and not just vague suggestions.
The long version: It’s confusing to have such specific derby themes sometimes and then have only a couple of rules be enforced about them. With the most recent derby as a specific example, it seems weird to have a derby called “Literary Greats” which is specifically described thusly (I’ve always wanted to use thusly in a sentence): “…this week’s derby is all about illustrating literary greats! Draw your favorite literary works…” Only to have a bunch of submissions that are not in any way about that theme. It’s strange that “no poe” and “no cream tees” are more heavily enforced than the actual theme itself.
And just to be clear, I didn’t tattle on any off-theme subs, and even voted for a couple because I’m not out to try to punish people simply because I interpreted the rules differently. I do, however, feel like when I follow a theme I often have one hand tied behind my back because others don’t follow the theme, and so for the sake of fair competition I’d like to see more specific guidelines and theme-related rules.
Edit: Also, I do enjoy more open/broad themes, I just think these more specific themes could benefit from their specificity.
Second Edit: Before I go to bed, I wanted to clarify to anyone that reads this that im not trying to “call anyone out” about this derby. This is a discussion about derbies going forward, using this derby as an example. There are several great derby entries this week that I had to vote for even though they didn’t fit my personal view of the theme.