Some commentators raised earlier the issue of new members who prefer to participate in the challenges over making RL drawings due to perceived too high standards of expected accuracy (and therefore of research needed).
I'm not sure if that's the primary reason, but it certainly can be a significant factor. I'd say that it's part of what I'd call a "glamour problem" - we all like to see our work being praised etc. which is perfectly natural (let's face it: we post these drawings here, in public, largely because we hope for positive feedback). Unfortunately, many newcomers would apparently love to start with a battleship or an aircraft carrier - or at least a destroyer (well, not only newcomers - what's more numerous in the Archive - battleships or fishing cutters? - and what's more common in FD section - tanks or farm tractors?
), so when faced with an implicit expectation of "big research" (which stems from the obvious fact that big ship has a big area with lots of details to research), they may indeed feel discouraged and prefer to turn into fancifulness of challenges.
At the same time, they often seem to think that smaller vessels - say, corvette sized, or even "worse": patrol boat-sized are insufficiently glamorous for their attention. Problem is, that vessels of the 30-60 m length (100-200 ft) are IMHO good for "low-cost (in terms of effort and research needed) entry", because at the same time they don't have "too much area to research" (in terms of pixels into which it would be squeezed), but at the same time they aren't so small that depicting the details while preserving visual clarity becomes a problem.
(the drawing of the NS-935/Pelikan Poland-built Indonesian patrol boat I posted some month ago didn't exactly overworked me with research demands, precisely because there weren't too many elements to look at, and whole project was rather a matter of (few) days, rather than weeks or months)
(In the past, frigate-sized ships (generally, in 100 m range) were often suggested as good starting point, but with rising standards of "detailing + research" they may be - perhaps - already too demanding)
Problem is, how to encourage the newcomers to think that drawing smaller and less "fancy" vessels could be a fun too, and not very taxing for their short attention span?
You should consider joining us in the discord,
I had some signals about "not necessarily the best atmosphere" there (some of them even in this thread), so I'm not too keen. Besides, I wouldn't be active there any more often than I am on this Forum.