Community, Connections, and Convenience: The Scenic Forum

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 Guest Author

Evan Rapp

Welcome to the age of understanding!  Even though our job as artists is to tell lies through our artistic abilities, I am nothing less than confident with the information I’ve found using the Guild of Scenic Artists’ Forum.

We scenics are here to practice something that has been around since the time of –(dinosaurs?)- and it is our responsibility to continue bringing that into this day and age, and build upon what we have discovered and learned.

What better way to share the knowledge, forge working relationships, and grow our community, than with an online forum dedicated to what we do? 

Even in our young age as a community (less than a year old), I have found solutions to problems, answers to questions I didn’t even know I had, and been bestowed upon of great intellectual property that comes from years of commitment by individuals like you and me.

The Guild wanted their forum to be searchable, not just for past discussions and answers, but for finding the other members as well.

We want to get to know each other, and it is important to introduce yourself when joining the Forum.

There is a thread dedicated to introductions where you can talk a bit about yourself. What is your background? Place of employment? Goals and hobbies? You can tell everybody your pets’ names and introduce us to your toothpick collection if you’d like! There is no better way to get connected than to fill us in on a bit of who you are and what you enjoy and the best part is that you don’t have to be a scenic artist. Maybe you want to get into the industry or perhaps you have a job in a similar field. Everybody is welcome and input from every angle is important.

What is a thread you may ask? The separate conversations in a forum are called threads, and they are made up of member-written posts, and are found in the “Subforums” under the major category titles.

There are many different areas where handy information can be found, for instance we try to take safety seriously. Who can pass up helpful information on “Maintaining Your Painter Bod”? Clearly, I have some catching up to do with that one. We believe safety is an area that we should all be much more aware of in our industry. We deal with harmful chemicals, repetitive body movements, long hours, tight working spaces, and sometimes just too much damn pizza.

Another area of the forum that I enjoy deals with tools that one might make. I am especially interested in this. Sometimes, the old way is the best way but invention is pretty cool too. There are threads about different types of muslin, opaquing recipes, FlameX issues, and the amazing paint shoes we inevitably end up with.

Working up a sample for the “Robin Hood”

Sometimes the answers to our questions are right before our very eyes. I find that is often the case for me. When I recently asked about how to make a certain type of texture, we talked through different methods and ways of making it work. The solution was loud and clear.

Together, we found a way for me to make large pieces of scenery look convincing and allowed me to finish it in a timely manner. That timely manner being one of the most important parts of the project. You know how that goes. It needed to be done yesterday…

Another one of my favorite threads: Brushes with Greatness. What better place for a geek like me to learn about what brushes work well in certain situations, and then on top of that- where I can purchase them. I’ve taken the chances before ordering online and receiving a product that was unsatisfactory. It’s a breath of fresh air to know that I can order directly from a resource that has been tested out by others in such a diverse field like Scenic Art.

As members of the forum, you can sign up for an email of daily or weekly digests; it will show you anything new that’s been added in that time. See a topic that interests you, or you have the perfect answer for? It’s easy to just click on the link provided and Ta Da!

In the age of instant gratification via services like Facebook, I know its hard to wait for answers, and forums can be slow to respond, but the Guild found an APP for that!  You can find our forum on Tapatalk, the app for online forums. You sign in using your Guild forum ID/Pass, and voila! There’s photo and video sharing, plus instant notification when a reply is posted or a new thread is created. Easy access wherever you are! It’s even free to use if you don’t mind an occasional advertisement.

It’s up to all of us to continue to share our knowledge, comradery, and enjoyment of Scenic Art in the years to come.  The Guild of Scenic Artists’ Forum gives us a place to come together, to help each other, to learn, and to grow. We believe that there is no better place and no better way to get it all.

We believe in the opportunity for friendship, commiserations, and beer!

Evan Rapp is one of the Guild of Scenic Artists, ‘Creative Content Committee” members, and we encourage you to learn more about him from his previous article “The Corporate Side Rocks!”. He also invites you out for that beer if you are ever in little old Lititz, PA.

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Q Powers

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