The New and Improved Art Team

Máirín Duffy duffy at
Sat Feb 24 23:03:27 UTC 2007

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,


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 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?



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