We’re definitely with you there, friend! That’s why there’s the “art shouldn’t be censored!” rhetoric bingo square: cause “creative freedom” should not be a Get Out of Jail Free card of character design.
As femfreq puts it:
Yup, it’s all about the big picture of our media, not individual examples. Crying “artistic freedom” (or “stylization”, for that matter) to justify questionable design ignores seeking for the reason artist decided to make such choices.
Publishing this ask cause those points need to be iterated more.
The other important thing that people should remember is that commercial art (such as covers, character designs, 3d models in games, etc) is not intended to be a purely artistic experience – it’s a product for consumption.
Artists will have to follow briefs that tell them kind of mood to give the work, what characters to put in it, what themes to put in – unlikely that an art director adding “Don’t put the female characters in ridiculous and hyper-sexualized costumes” would somehow break a professional artist’s will to create.
Today the 90s comic book is over and you need more than an “X” in your title to get record sales, but artists now have a big advantage: They can share bits of upcoming comics via the Internet the moment they get approval from the company.
That means they can also get immediate and direct feedback from the target audience who are not so concerned about ways to inflate sales figures as getting good comics. No more getting a summary from someone who got a summary from the guy who got summaries of the fan mail from the interns.
So if, y’know as a purely theoretical thought experiment, you are a cover artist for a major comic company and the audience they’re building for it doesn’t fit the theme, the classy and professional thing to do is respect the audience and the work, like
Rafael Abuquerque did.
The way to confirm that you really care about business, your audience or professionalism is to well ridicule audience concerns or complain that nowdays creators (rather than interns) actually hear from their audiences.
Make good comics. Make good games. Make good stuff. That way you will enjoy it when you see the audience reaction.