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This is a big part of our PR problem, although a bit different from what I originally posted about.

Noel, you have not answered my question about Rembrandt's Night Watch and my diorama Capturing The Moment? Why is one art and the other not? (ignoring the size difference.) The diorama (as a whole) is not a kit. It is a composite of many elements to create a scene and tell a story. The idea is as original as the Night Watch and similar in concept.

All the fore thought which goes into doing a model, is virtually the same as a that for a painting. Inspiration, choice of subject, research, and point of view. The final choice in how it is to be displayed is also an important element.

Taken as a whole, Capturing The Moment is a grouping of many different elements. The placement of each element was carefully considered for visual effect in much the same way Rembrandt posed his figures if the Night Watch. Even if it is nothing but Found Art, it is original in concept. So, please explain WHY this is not an art form.

No one can force you to be considered and artist. I am only pointing out by accepting what we do as art, we will appeal to many who at first thought we are only a group of children. The simple changing of a word here would make a big difference.

Dak

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I am on topic. The topic is Public Relations - how IPMS is perceived by members and non-members. What could possibly be more important in cultivating a favorable perception of this organization than our members demonstrating sensitivity about such an important episode in history as the Holocaust? Nick

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David: I believe you're getting bogged down in your own argument about art. This entire discussion centers on our PR problem, which in turn hinges on how people outside of IPMS perceive us. Whether or not we see ourselves as artists doesn't really matter. What matters is (from your perspective) is whether being seen AS "artists" will help us overcome the PR problem, or re-enforce the already existing problem. I don't see how being artists helps much.

Let's refocus and try looking at it this way: Let's say we're a society of DANCERS (yet a different art form). Lot's of people like to dance, some more than others, and some are better at it than others, be it through a natural talent or practice. THAT can be exactly equated to building models. Now, as a dance society, I believe IPMSUSA would be equated to and viewed as (for ex.) "ballroom" dancers: a group who know what they're doing and are serious about their craft. I do not think IPMSUSA would be looked upon as a DANCE CLASS, where people go to learn how to dance and get better at it. So, we would NOT look appealing to join to the "average" person who likes to simply hit the clubs and dance. There would actually probably be an intimidation factor of not being ready or worthy to be a part of a group so far "above" their own level. No matter how much they might respect and admire IPMS (as dancers) for being good at that "art", it does not help us overcome the PR problem that EVERYONE is welcome and IPMS IS a place to learn and become better at your craft.

You are quite correct in that much of the general public probably looks on building models as playing with toys. But, we're not concerned about the general public...we're concerned with changing the minds of model builders who are not IPMS members. THOSE people do not look at the hobby as being merely for kids, or playing with toys. But MOST of them also are not as "invested" as we are in the hobby. The PR problem for that group of initial joiners is for them to see us as a group that WANTS beginning and "average" modelers (which is actually what most of our membership considers themselves, artist or not).

No matter how we view our hobby, no matter whether we're artisans or merely plastic hackers; there are 2 PR problems to overcome: the idea that we are an "elite" group that requires a level of expertise to be a part of (the intimidation factor); and the insidious reputation (deserved or not) we have as accuracy anal color nazis.

 

GIL :smiley16:

 

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2 hours ago, Nick Filippone said:

I am on topic. The topic is Public Relations - how IPMS is perceived by members and non-members. What could possibly be more important in cultivating a favorable perception of this organization than our members demonstrating sensitivity about such an important episode in history as the Holocaust? Nick

The general public is not reading these long forums. Additionally, who died and made you the moral judge of exactly what is an appropriate.

Dak

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Gil, you are correct, at least to some degree. But as I noted, some model builders and their families feel model building is not an appropriate adult behavior. It is a staple of sit-coms to talk about how pathetic model builders are.....usually train people....and we need to over come that attitude.

I know some feel we are intimidating. I don't really understand this aspect because participating with top flight modelers is a draw for me. Perhaps we should take a more aggressive approach. If you want to build better models, then be part of an organization that builds good models. The current 'ahh shucks, we ain't special" attitude isn't working all that well.

I have to wonder where and when the idea started we are an elite group. I noted IPMS and most of the local chapters, don't require an audition to join or have a probationary period. Nor does anyone have to win at other contests to qualify to enter the National. However, it does cost quite a bit to attend a National, if it is far enough away you need an hotel and I know that intimidates some. However, I doubt we can change that.

One thing that would help is for more members to write articles for the Journal to show more diversity in subject matter. For example, I do cars on occasion, but I'm not a car guy, so any article I pen is not going to impress the car guys and make them want to join the society. If you can post here, you can write an article for the Journal.

Another thing that could fight the intimidation factor is to change contests to consider skill levels. Let the entrant pick the level which she/he is comfortable. Other groups do this.

Also, we could make more effort to recruit female members. Also, advertise at colleges: show how model building relates to architecture, engineering, history, theater, and yes, art.

Dak

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Gil  has summed up the PR problems in his last paragraph, but there is another. Many people outside the society still have the notion that we are just aircraft modellers. Why this still persists after fifty odd years is anyone's guess!

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16 hours ago, ghodges said:

No matter how we view our hobby, no matter whether we're artisans or merely plastic hackers; there are 2 PR problems to overcome: the idea that we are an "elite" group that requires a level of expertise to be a part of (the intimidation factor); and the insidious reputation (deserved or not) we have as accuracy anal color nazis.

Ok, so we have clearly identified the problems. So, what do we do about them?

My solutions is a specific Public Relations campaign to address these issues and show they are not true. For example, I am considering creating a free handout for my local store on basics for improving your model.  For example, many novices don't think about seams and mold marks and can't understand why these things are important. It would not talk about contests, but merely promote what most groups accept as good, basic work. This sort of thing could be done on an individual basis. It could both promote the local chapter as well as the national one.

A re-design of the regionals and Nationals..... and possibly local chapter contest like Scalefest and SoonerCon…to allow the entrant to choose her/his skill level for the contest. Say levels....Novice, Intermediate, and Master. For those who feel intimidated, it gives a more tempting way to get their feet wet than swimming with the big dogs.

Thoughts, anyone?

Dak

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Many people outside the society still have the notion that we are just aircraft modellers. Why this still persists after fifty odd years is anyone's guess!

This misconception is due to ignorance of the organization or just plain discriminatory behavior by poor losers, pure and simple as explained previously.

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3 hours ago, Rusty White said:

This misconception is due to ignorance of the organization or just plain discriminatory behavior by poor losers, pure and simple as explained previously.

This is only partially true. The individual which prompted me to start this string is an excellent figure painter and hardly can be considered a loser. I agree some... and Rusty knows exactly who I'm talking about....are sore losers and trying to blame everyone but themselves for their problems. But you can't say that about groups like AMPS, for example.

Dak

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