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Re: The New and Improved Art Team



Hi, I just wanted to poke my head in this discussion a bit; I think Paul and John have started a productive, forward-looking discussion here:

Luya Tshimbalanga wrote:
I suggest to write these goals as draft on the wiki  so they won't be
buried in this list. What is also needed is someone who can lead the
team. Having talented artists is not enough without cooperation .

If you folks are willing to give it another shot with a clean slate, clear charter, and well-defined goals as are being discussed right now, I would be willing to come back at this point and take a team lead position if you'd still have me. (However, it's up to you as it's your community; I have *plenty* of other things on my plate so I certainly won't be offended if not. :) )

Anyway, here are some of my ideas on moving forward, let me know what you think:

= Future Approach to Art Team Organization =

Do you really think having a centralized community is the best way to go? If so, should it be:

1) tight-knit - all other Fedora groups come here and 'contract out' to this group and work together on all types of projects,

OR,

2) loosely coupled - different team members work in the different areas Paul suggested, and communicate/keep updated with each other on this list or by some other means. E.g., there may be some art team folks whose specialty is making banners/posters/etc for events so they work closely with marketing and ambassadors, while there may be some art team folks who are more interested in the website so they work closely with the infrastructure team members.

For what it's worth, in my professional career I have been part of both types of teams and in my experience the latter type of environment has been more productive & rewarding, producing better results. What do you all think is a better approach?

= Making it Easier to Understand What's Going On and How to Contribute to the Art Team =

In terms of moving forward, improving, and growing - I recently read a blog post from a Fedora community member [1]:

'I’ve looked at some of the mailing lists fedora art and fedora marketing but haven’t really invested a lot of time into them mostly because I don’t know what can or needs to be done.'

== Short-Order Request Queue ==

If this is the scenario would-be contributors are running into, I think we need to address it by improving this to attract more art team members, as John alluded to [2]. I really like Paul's idea of having a short-order queue/list wiki page of requests that other groups within the Fedora Project have made of the art team. It would be a great place for newbies to see a list of short-term, quick projects so they can quickly get their feet wet and get involved. These requests could be broken down into some of the basic categories Paul suggested [3]:

* Website / Web Application Requests (working with Infrastructure and Websites teams on things like web page templates, interaction designs for web apps, artwork for use in web apps, banners for the wiki, any artwork for display on the web basically)

* Marketing / Ambassadors Requests (working with those teams on event collateral such as posters, cd labels, t-shirt designs, etc., mostly print designs it seems)

* Documentation Requests (working with the docs folks on stuff like docs templates / XSLT / CSS / etc., diagrams and screenshots for within the documentation, etc.)

I think these categories adequately capture the categories of 'short-order' requests where it's feasible other members of the Fedora project might want to ask a quick favor of the art team that we could churn out quickly. (Can anyone think of any other areas within Fedora they know of or may be involved in that may want to make short-term requests of an art team?)

Anyway, how this queue could work is that items by default would be open for anyone to grab; if someone wants to claim one they mark their name by it. If nothing has been produced in enough time for the requestor, they can reopen the request for another contributor.

We could subscribe fedora-art-list to wiki watch the request page so we are all kept informed when a request is made, claimed, and fulfilled.

== Long-Term Project List ==

In addition, for transparency it may also be wise to have a page listing out more-involved, ongoing, longer-term projects; it would include all the categories above as well as:

* Alternative themes - working on crafting the actual themes as well as working to make it possible to make them drop-in replacements; eg. finding a technical solution to making it possible, getting an alternative art package/packages into the-artist-formerly-known-as-extras, maintaining that package, etc.; this could also involve an RSS-based wallpaper changing system as well as RPMs as has been discussed for a long time but never executed on. Some ideas for this would be (1) to use Fedora art-specific Flickr tags and package Webilder [4] for inclusion with Fedora with those set as options in it by default; (2) do the same but using desktop drapes [5] as presented at the last GNOME Boston summit. It's written in mono though so maybe not.

* FOSS Tools promotion and marketing (as per John's suggested objective 2 [2])

* Upstream Icon SVG+CSS integration with GNOME Art / Tango teams (as suggested by Paul [3])

* Customization made easy - focus on producing documentation on how to customize the artwork in Fedora (as per John's suggested objective 1.1 [2])

* Communicating - making it easier for artists to share their Fedora-related wallpapers and artworks, perhaps this could involve the deployment / maintenance of a system like art.gnome.org for Fedora, it could involve setting up an art-team planet for artists to post their feeds of artwork and discuss their current projects and plans, it could involve expanding our currently existing Mugshot group; there are a lot of possibilities here. Something really cool would be a system kind of like designalogue [6] where we can comment on and track the family tree of the stuff we work on. Making sure we can adequately communicate what we're working on will help inspire and guide new contributors, I think.

These projects would all be treated more as subteams rather than short-order queues, where folks working on whichever long-term project would list their names so folks wanting to get involved would know who to contact. They should also link to the wiki pages where their development/process is taking place.

What do you think?

~m

[1] http://bija.wordpress.com/2007/02/16/fedora-usability
[2] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-art-list/2007-February/msg00174.html [3] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-art-list/2007-February/msg00168.html
[4] http://www.webilder.org/
[5] http://drapes.mindtouchsoftware.com/
[6] http://www.designologue.com/


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