I feel there is something that just needs to be said... Please note that I write this about no one user and that I merely write this out of concern of the project, as I always do when I'm writing anything like this. I'll keep it short and simple. Also note that this is only my opinion, not the opinion of the other PCA leads, and that I'm putting this in my blog because I want the general public's opinion rather than just PCA and because I don't want the subject to be rushed.
So this is a growing issue in PCA:
Users joining that have very little to no experience with digital art.
This issue is bugging me a lot lately. We get user after user joining that know nothing about making digital art. We have 70+ members, and I've only seen half that are active and know how to make digital art. In the last month, I've only seen enough users joining that know how to make digital art already that I could count them on one hand.
To counteract this, we've started the mentor program, in which I am a mentor. But we've been told again and again by Kitsufox that PCA isn't there to teach people how to make art. And you know what? She's absolutely right. Our mission statement is a simple one. We're here to make the chararts. Period. The end.
I understand why people want to join PCA, I really do. It's the cool project! You get to make the pretty pictures! You get your art featured on the website's pages!
But joining without any experience in digital art is not the smartest thing to do. It slows down the project and clogs up the approval pages. The fact that we've had to put a time limit on approvals leaves me flabbergasted. You shouldn't need a month to complete a charart. When you upload something, it should, as Kit said, be 90% done. If you don't think you can do that, why take on the charart in lieu of something you can handle?
I'm not saying we should throw out every member that isn't amazing at chararts. Far from it, that'd be detrimental to PCA and, to put it bluntly, basically bullying. If you can make basic chararts, more power to you being in the project. But if you have no clue how to make a charart at all and don't even know how to use either GIMP, Pixlr, Photoshop, or even MS Paint? Why on Earth would you want to join a project like PCA?
All I'm saying is that PCA is not for everyone. We do have the prerequisite for joining, but most ignore it because PCA just looks so cool.
Personally, I think that PCA should have a sort of pre-joining screening process to make sure users can at least make basic chararts. If they don't know how, then they should practice on their own time and try again. I've seen this suggested before.
Does anyone else feel like discussing this? I know this blog may sound mean, but we aren't operating efficiently by not addressing this problem.