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81-img-00 by techgnotic

It’s almost Christmas.

Are you, like me, beginning to get a queasy feeling from all the saccharin and sugar in the holiday movies you’ve been incessantly watching since Thanksgiving?

You started with “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “Miracle on 34th Street,” hit your stride with Ralphie in “A Christmas Story” and three different versions of “A Christmas Carol,” and now you’re shamelessly indulging in “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.” Need something to balance out all the sugar and sweetness? Then the 2010 holiday treat from Finland, “Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale,” is just the bracing shot you need right about now.

No fairy tale character has undergone quite the twisting evolutionary shifts that have transformed Santa Claus over the centuries. His origin is found in Nicholas, a sainted Greek Christian priest in Turkey with a reputation for protecting children and giving the good ones gifts. But saints fell out of favor in Northern Europe during the Reformation, so it was decided that gifts would be dispensed through “helpers.” Nicholas was transformed into one of these helpers, who acted more like mob enforcers of the faith than benefactors of children. These “evil Nicholases” were thought to bullwhip and kidnap naughty kids. Tough love, indeed. This cruel “Santa” remained the model until the early 1800’s. It was there and then that writers and poets were engaged in an effort to transform Christmas from the excuse for drunkenness and debauchery that it had become into a celebration of family and spiritual renewal. St. Nick was rediscovered and rehabilitated as the “Children’s Friend.” In 1822, Clement Clarke Moore wrote “A Visit From Saint Nicholas” (aka “The Night Before Christmas”) for his six kids. For the next two centuries writers and poets added to the Santa Claus story, until he became the jolly fat red–suited gift–giver we know today.

“Rare Exports” posits that the evil Santa is the reality, the loving Santa the hoax.

The movie opens with a typically clueless corporation excavating a mountain on the Finnish-Russian border. It is thought to be the burial mound of the actual Santa Claus—a monstrously large devil–horned being trapped and buried there millennia ago. The story centers on a little boy who lives with his widowed father in the adjacent impoverished Finnish hinterland. They are part of a rural community dependent on the annual reindeer hunt for their survival. They listen with great apprehension to the ceaseless explosions coming from the mountain just inside Russian territory.

The excavating company works day and night, digging down in search of their prize. Bad things begin happening. Children begin disappearing. The entire reindeer herd is slaughtered in a single night. Only our young hero knows the truth. After seeing a horrifying “Santa” outside his window at night, trying to break in, and finding human footprints under the dead reindeer carcasses, he hits the books and finds out about the evil “true” Santa Claus—a cannibal who eats kids. Turns out the deep mining has released hundreds of these “Santa’s” from their mountain captivity and they are now roaming the town at night sniffing out children to prey upon.

Turns out these “Santa’s” are actually Santa’s many evil elves. Santa himself looks more like Lucifer, strapped in tight at the bottom of the manmade tomb now being opened. The excavators’ last discovery before their deaths: This monster Santa is still alive. Father and son must now devise a strategy for saving the lives of their fellow reindeer herdsmen and stopping the spreading Santa contagion.

“Rare Exports” is a superior horror story.

At no time is there any winking at the audience in acknowledgement of the outlandish conceit of the story. The storytelling proceeds as a serious narrative.

The absence of the cartoonishness that suffuses so many horror and action films today is a real revelation. The majesty of the cinematography sweeping across the frozen Finnish winterscape is a real thing of beauty. What a Christmas joy it is to come across a gem of a movie like this, with it’s well–crafted script, it’s believable performances, its beautiful setting, and its crazy story so well—told it can’t for a moment be doubted.

One tends to become cynical in seeking an evening’s diversion with what inevitably turns out to be just more formulaic studio product, no matter the hype otherwise. But then, one has one’s faith restored in the real magic that can happen in movies by finding the occasional “Rare Exports.”

Interview with Rare Exports Storyboard Artists Jarkko Naas (aka jjnaas)

  1. You’ve been a member on DeviantArt for 10 years, has being part of the community helped you develop as an artist?

    It has. My morning ritual still is to go through the Popular 24 hrs -gallery while having two sandwiches and a cup of tea. DeviantArt has made it easy to find new artists to follow, to stay in touch with old friends and to find fresh inspiration. Having followed for ten years what's currently popular has also taught me to recognize things that are about to become cliches, which helps not to get stuck with one style, subject or technique.

  2. Going back to 2004, you seem to have always been comfortable as a digital artist. Is everything you work on digital or do you still like to scratch at paper once in a while?

    I mostly draw with pencil and paper, but most of that is doodles sketched during meetings at work or while having a pint in a pub with friends and comic artists (there are some quite active pub-meeting comic artist groups here in Helsinki). I occasionally take out my water colours as well, and then give up. Currently I've re-discovered gouache painting. I'm working on an unnecessarily challenging gouache painting at the moment. I actually hope to finish it during the Christmas vacation.

  3. How did you get involved in the film Rare Exports?

    I spent a year learning 3D, animation and digital movie making in a place called Lapland Studio, which was located in the Northern Finland by the Arctic Circle, in a town called Rovaniemi where I also studied graphic design at the university. I had made some storyboards for some test animation project at Lapland Studio. Mika Orasmaa who was later to be the cinematographer for Rare Exports was visiting the place and saw my storyboards on the wall and liked them. I then did storyboards for some tv -adverts for him and for one other movie too he was involved in called Christmas Story (Joulutarina) before he started filming Rare Exports and brought me along. It pays to get involved with all kinds of obsucure projects, eventually one thing leads to another.

  4. Was it only the storyboards you worked on or did you also work on the concept art as well?

    I did some concept design too. The locations were already known, but they consisted of some empty buildings up in the Northern Finland. I had photos of empty rooms and plain buildings and I had to make concept art furnishing the places with props and stuff as a starting point for the set designers, and also figure out the lighting conditions and the colour palette in those places. Of course the set designers mostly ignored my ideas.

  5. Are storyboards and concept design your favorite type of work? If not, what is?

    I enjoy drawing concept art. Storyboards are always a hell of a hassle and not good for my blood pressure, so I don't do those much anymore, since I've also got my daily job at Rovio to keep me busy as well. I'd really enjoy having a decent amount of time to draw comics, since I haven't had time for that pursuit in ages.

  6. How did you go from Rare Exports to Angry Birds?

    While I was working on Rare Exports I already had a daily job at a mobile game company (this was before iPhone), so I worked on the Rare Exports storyboards in the evening, after coming home from work. They were done very speedily, no more than 10 minutes were ever spent on one panel. As the script changed the cinematographer would draw stick-man sketches of the needed storyboard panels while filming on the location in Lapland in -25 Celsius temperature. He'd then place the sketches in snow, take photos of them and send the photos to me to draw (only slightly more) proplerly. Anyway, I freelanced while working at the same in game companies, so these career paths were slightly separate. I got my game company connections via the comic artist -circles though, and many of those people were storyboard artists. Finland is quite small, various circles overlap constantly.

  7. What is your dream project to work on next?

    A proper graphic novel would be great to have out. I don't lack ideas and motivation, only time.

Jarkko’s (aka jjnaas) Top Five Inspirational Deviants

  • Manadhiel's forest scenes are fantastic. The palette of natural earthly colours with only occasional small dabs of saturated colours and the bold use of brushes creates very striking images.

    forest by Manadhiel The Old Forest by Manadhiel

  • She draws great characters and writes nice little comics but publishes way too rarely. An undiscovered talent who shuld be pushed to create more.

    Tea Party for One by certifiedstrange La Lavande by certifiedstrange

  • I don't think there's anything she's not capable of drawing or painting.

    the library by DawnElaineDarkwood school grounds by DawnElaineDarkwood

  • Another multi talented person, constantly using different techniques ranging from pixel art to pencil drawings. I like especially his vector -like forest images. I'm a big fan of forest scenes, most of the artists I really like can draw great forest scenes.

    It's not over yet! by ZEBES Missile Rider by ZEBES

  • A hero of mine since the 90's when he created some of the most perfect pixel game art ever for Chaos Engine, originally released for the Commodore Amiga computer. I was super glad to realize a few years ago that he's on DeviantArt.

    WAR by danmalone Monsters Djinn 02 by danmalone

Your Thoughts

  1. Do you approve or disapprove of comforting mythical friends like Santa Claus being re–imagined as evil entities?
  2. When was the last time you saw a truly original, well–written, well–produced, well–directed, well–acted, well–photographed horror movie (like “Rare Exports”)?
  3. Have horror movies (and action movies) become too self–consciously cartoonish in their efforts to escalate the horror and/or violence through quantity rather than quality?
  4. Horror movies are now readily available for viewing from not only Finland, but Japan, Korea, Russia and other countries like never before. Which country is making the best horror movies, in your opinion?

In a particular art-theft report fiasco that my friend had to experience, I decided to clarify what it means to be an art thief.  This is a hot topic it seems.  Everyone's on a red alert for art thieves these days:

At thieves come in different forms and motivations.

:star: An art thief is someone who posts another artist's work and gives PROBABLE CAUSE for others to potentially ASSUME that they were the -original creator- of the artwork. :star:

There are four types of thieves that fall into this definition.  Let's call them Type A ("Photobucket/Google Image") thieves, Type B ("Altering") thieves, Type C ("Trace/Copy") thieves, and the most malicious kind, Type D ("Identity Theft") thieves.

A Type A Thief (aka. "Photobucket" Thief):

• Comes to DeviantART thinking it's like Photobucket or MySpace, and they post their personal favorite Google Search images because they want to show off their favorite work, while participating in DeviantART as a community.  The images usually still have watermarks, and have not been resized or edited.  They don't know any better, and they don't know how to navigate the site.  They don't have much experience on the site, so they are not as familiar with the rules.  These thieves come in two types as well.  Just like there are benign tumors and malignant tumors, we have Type A-I thieves, and Type A-II thieves.

•• Type A-I Thief / (aka. "Sorry, I Didn't Know Any Better!"):

- Confuses DA with Photobucket.  The minute they realize they made a boo-boo, they immediately apologize for the confusion and take down the image.  This is a benign thief.  They meant no harm, and they simply were naïve.

•• Type A-II-i Thief / (aka. "I'll Post Whatever I Feel Like, TYVM")

-  Uses DeviantART AS a Photobucket, even after being alerted it's against the rule.  The minute a Type 1-A-I Thief learns the rules, and then decides to say "Screw it, I don't want to delete my gallery because I LIKE the pieces there," they become a Type 1-A-II.  This type of thief will ignore comments to take down the images, and refuse to believe they did anything wrong by minding their own business and not claiming they did the work.  In their view, they are innocent art appreciators, and in the eyes of the community, they are guilty art thieves.  This type of user is a malignant thief.  However, things could be worse.  Much worse.  At least they're still aware they didn't actually MAKE the work, and they didn't go out of their way to confuse people about ownership of the copyright.  However, their gallery of Photobucket-like images is still against DA policy, and they are well aware of it, but they're still risking it.

There even two kinds of Type A-II thieves. Type A-II-a thieves (aka "I'll use DA as my Photobucket" thieves) post the images without claiming credit, but usually don't edit the images and refuse to take them down.  But there's are STRAINS of them that are the -dangerous- kinds.  The kinds that -get away- with posting other's artwork AND EDIT the artwork.

Those that EDIT existing arwork are classified under Type B thieves:

A Type B Thief / (aka. "I Altered Yours, So That Makes It Mine"):

• These thieves are special because they believe they own the rights to PARTS of the image.  They think that if a section of the image is altered, then that small PART of the image belongs to them.  They think the -idea- of the image is theirs.

Type B Thieves come in three types:

•• Type B-I Thief / (aka. "But I Changed the Hair Color, So it Makes It My OC!")

- Uses DeviantART as their Roleplaying database.  Whether or not they realize that posting an original piece by someone else is against policy, they FIRMLY believe that if they change the hair color, clothes color, or general overlayed outfit on a fan art or existing screenshot, then it makes the image their own.  If the character is meant to look like Sasuke, because he's Sasuke's long-lost-twin-brother-who-was adopted-into-ROOT-but-trained-by-Madara-and-Superman-and-Batman-and-joins-the-Teen-Titans, then it makes the character theirs.  After all, how else can people envision their particular version of Sasuke's twin's clone's brother's car dealer's mother's former college roommate's jedi master's youngest star ninja pupil of Konoha?  (Unfortunately, these are some of the most common thieves, and the most gray-lined thieves that get away with what they're doing.  In general, if they choose to draw over a screenshot or someone who is not on DA, they get away with it more often than if they draw over an existing DeviantART user's artwork.  This, makes them some of the most malignant thieves on DA.  They're a kind of malignant tumor thief that continues to grow, and if everyone on DA did this, it'd be the end of art as we know it.)

•• Type B-II Thief / (aka. "I Edited Your Image / Dialogue to Make It Even Better!")

- Usually familiar with DeviantART's posting process, they're searching for material to fill their empty galleries, and they immediately think of artwork that they like, but they feel could be even better.  So, two different images of characters are spliced so they they look like they're kissing. Or maybe one is now angry, when originally he/she was happy.  Or maybe they're SAYING something different, with an altered speech bubble.  Or maybe the color palette is changed a bit, to portray more emotion.  Or maybe the image is cropped differently, to give better layout.  Or this, or that, or this.  In essence, the image is altered for the "better" however the user imagines it, or wishes it to be.  These thieves also come in two forms: the kind that are willing to delete the images, and the kind that are not willing to.  Either way, they are very conscious of the edits they made to the piece.  These thieves are usually benevolent.  They usually don't mean any harm in it, and they hope their work isn't reported, because they honestly believe their version should get some exposure for being an even better improvement on an already good piece.  However, they're a gray-lined area.  It technically is thievery, but in cases like this, if they contacted the original artist for permission, the original artist may potentially be okay with it.

•• Type B-III Thief / (aka. "Character Bashing", or "This Mustache Shows How Much I Hate You, Sakura"):

- I wouldn't even bother mentioning these kinds of thieves, because they're so innately obviously going to be reported, but there are those who also post artwork that is edited for the pure trolling lulz of "character bashing."  They grab artwork, they defile it, and post it to feel better about themselves, with the intention of getting others to laugh a bit.  In this case, the user would not be confusing DeviantART with Photobucket, but rather, 4-chan.  The good news is that character supporters immediately jump on this kind of thievery and report it en masse.  It gets removed fairly quickly.

A Type C Thief / (aka. "If I Trace It, Copy It, or Color It, It's Like I Made It!"):

• A FOREWARNING:  As a word for the wise, it is NOT against DA policy to submit traces of artwork, and so therefore Type C "thieves" are a very gray-lined area.  It seems that the community has established an unwritten rule of thumb:

**  It is OKAY to trace and/or reference copy OFFICIAL PUBLISHED AND LICENSED artwork without permission** and, ** It is NOT OKAY to trace and/or reference FAN artwork without permission**

However counter-intuitive it all seems, that's just how DA community policy works.  

There are two kinds of Type C Thieves:

• Type C-I Thief / (aka. "The Vector/Line/Trace Artist"):

- They're everywhere, and admit it, you have at -least- one or two manga traces in your favorites somewhere.  It's very tempting to favorite a trace or vector of a chapter cover, especially.  The more "official" the artwork is, the more likely you'll accept when someone takes it and makes a bootleg copy of it.  After all, it's higher resolution, it's cleaned lines, and holy moley, look at all the people COLORING IT!  I feel bad even mentioning these artists, because these artists aren't technically art thieves here on DA.  However, the ISSUE of these artists has been a LONG drawn-out debate among the community.  I still remember when DA made the announcement that traces were allowed, and ALL the buzz that flew around both pro- and anti-tracing.  Because traces are SO controversial, the community has grudgingly accepted traces of official work, but still JUMPS on the first line artist that comes along and tries to vectorize a fan artwork.  In almost all cases, I'd say just leave these guys alone, or you'll get half of DA siding against you, no matter which stance you take.  Unless they vectorize fan art.  Oh God, have mercy on his/her poor soul if that's the case.

• Type C-II Thief / (aka. "The Amazing Colorist!"):

- I feel like I'm stating the obvious here.  There are users who love to color official manga pages/panels.  However, that's against DA policy.  So this is where we meet another SUPER GRAY LINE.  This is like, the super mega ridiculous gray line of all of DA that could swallow all other gray lines into a giant vortex.  Here's the deal:  You ARE NOT ALLOWED to color OFFICIAL manga panels, but you ARE ALLOWED to color the TRACES of the official manga panels.  So, this is where the giant vortex of thievery comes in.  People HAVE TO trace the panel in order to color it.  An unnecessary first step, for what purpose?!  In the end, it looks like a colored manga panel!  But NO, if it's a regular colored manga panel, then it's AGAINST DA policy.  That makes you an ART THIEF.  Only if you trace the lines, can the image be considered your own.  Figure that one out.   My advice is, have pity on the poor souls who don't realize this extra little DA "step" they have to take in order to be within legal limits of deviation submission.  It's VERY common for people on forums sites to color official manga panels, so it's a bit difficult for them to understand that even though they MEAN WELL by submitting colored manga panels here, it's against policy unless they find a vector artist willing to help them out.  Nevertheless, it's against DA policy.  Manga colorings are an example of art theft.  But it's totally okay if they're colored traces.

• Type C-III Thief / (aka. "I Referenced This," and/or "This Is My Version Of Your Drawing"):

- This artist is usually (but not always) a starting amateur artist who comes to DeviantART, is inspired by other artists, and tries to develop their own drawing style by sourcing from artists they enjoy.  This usually means doing a drawing study by re-drawing existing artwork.  The artwork that they source from can be either official artwork, or fan artwork.  It doesn't matter, as long as they can study the style of it, and get familiar with the gestures of it.  Ultimately, the up-and-coming artist is left with a nice piece they're very proud of, so they post it to their gallery as a way of showing off their developing skills and hoping for positive feedback.  The good news for these artists is that they usually get a "ping" of some sort by the community... a momentary "grace period" of sort to properly credit the original source... but if they don't respond back ASAP and change their description, then sh-t could really hit the fan.  The "ping" is usually from what I term as being a "scout", a fan of the original artist who recognizes the work and usually leaves a comment like "It would be nice if you credited the original artist" and often times leaves a link to the original artist as a favor to the amateur n00b.  This is where Type-C-III thieves get split into two different categories:

Type-C-III-a Thieves:  These are the artists that immediately change their description to link to the original artist if anyone discovers that they haven't linked to a source.  Many times, they didn't realize that they forgot to provide a link, or they forgot to, so by simply "pinging" them to put a link in there, they'll put a link in ASAP.  They never meant to cause harm, and they posted the work as a tribute to their favorite artwork and as a display of pride in their own developing drawing skills.  They don't want to upset anyone, so they're more than happy to give a link.  It's preferable they link to the original ARTWORK, but most often times, they don't bother to go that far, and usually when the original artist is referred to the thief, the original artist is happy enough to get whatever credit he/she can, and may even make a nice comment on the user's page to give a little encouraging support, even if they're not entirely 100% happy with having their artwork referenced.  After all, it's a team effort and a community on the site, so we're all trying to work together as a big family, right?  Well, people may still report this kind of user anyway, jumping the gun because they assume they might in fact be a Type-C-III-b thief, which brings me to my next category:

Type-C-III-b Thieves:  This category of thief is what I consider to be a "Third-Degree Identity Thief." This person is -consciously- unwilling to link to the original art source or artist.  He/she chooses NOT to, because it'll make people think that they aren't as good as they claim to be at drawing.  It's the first category in my entire list of potential art thief categories that I would consider to be a real threat to the original artist.  So, I'm going to copy and paste the idea of this kind of thief and, instead, re-label this kind of thief as the first of the TYPE-D class of art thieves.


Let me start this out by saying, Type D Thieves DON'T survive on DeviantART for long.  If you're a Type D, you WILL get journals written about you, by either the original artists, the fans of the artists, or even both.  You'll probably also get your name submitted to some art-thief murdering community, and you'll probably get the heavens and universe and ban-hammer all slamming down on you at the same time.  You may go into it thinking it's funny, but it's exhausting.  Even trolls get exhausted after a while, which is why the more severe instances of this are very rare, and DANGEROUSLY ILLEGAL.  Kids, don't try this at home.

• Type D-I Thief / (aka. "Third-Degree Art Thief," or "It May LOOK almost EXACTLY Like Sharingan-Devil's Piece, But My Image Is Totally Original!"):

Here's the situation of the thief:  the amateur artist decided to reproduce a piece that they liked, decided that because they redrew it, it's their own artwork and they own the copyright to it, and they post it claiming it to be theirs, while CONSCIOUSLY not giving credit to the original artist.  The image itself is not the same medium as the original, so people who stumble upon it may end up being confused, quite sure that they've seen the image SOMEWHERE before, but not entirely sure WHERE.  So, until they can go out of their way to figure out who the original artist or source art is supposed to be, they grit their teeth and ponder over it.  (This, by the way, is the first motive one has to writing a journal.  People source to the image, ask if they've seen it before, and if anyone can place who the original source artist is).  Often times, the artist will reply to comments claiming to be the original artist of it (as is with ALL the cases of Type D art thieves).  After all, they drew it.  And, they never give credit to the original artist EVER.  It's a little hard to take down these particular thieves because it's sometimes difficult to locate the original source image, and often times, people don't even realize there IS a source image out there, and the thieves are off the hook indefinitely.  However, this is most certainly a Third-Degree Identity art theft.  Somewhere out there, the real artist is NOT getting credit for the work they did, and worse, not getting EXPOSURE for what they did.  The exposure instead is being given to someone who refuses to share it with the original artist.  If I were the original artist, I'd be pissed as heck.  That's a classic art thief.

• Type D-II Thief / (aka. "Second-Degree Art Thief / "But I Made The Original.  I Don't Care If NT-Devont Already Posted It.  It was Mine To Begin With"):

I'll keep this short and simple.  This is what happens when a classic case of a"Photobucket" Type-A Art Thief becomes possessed by THE DEVIL.  This is someone who honestly THINKS... they THINK they can get away with this monstrosity of an idea, that they can post EXACT copies of the original artwork, and use their limited Photoshop skills to ERASE THE WATERMARK, and in many cases, REPLACE THE WATERMARK WITH THEIR OWN SIGNATURE.  There . is. a . reason. for. watermarks!!!  The fact that the thief went in to ERASE the watermark, and REPLACE the watermark is a form of identity thief.  Not just that, but EXPOSURE thief!  Imagine if some DA soul came to the page, really liked the art, didn't know who the original artist was, and LEGITIMATELY WAS FOOLED into thinking that the thief was the original artist?  What if the poor soul went to a forum and POSTED it?  And other poor souls would then be completely confused as to who really made it!  It's not FAIR to the artist.  This isn't just about not giving exposure.  This is about taking AWAY exposure.  This is not just robbing them of their artwork, but robbing them of potential FANS!  The watermark is there to at least insure some kind of security in case a Type A "Photobucket" artist comes onto DA and doesn't know any better.  But a Type D-II thief DOES know better.  They do it so they can experience the rush and thrill of being a talented artist, and receiving an inbox of praise, faves, and a whole supply watchers.  At the same time, though, this type of artist is delusional.  They often don't realize HOW. FAST. the fan base .WILL. discover them, and it will NOT be a pretty sight.  For however many lost poor DA naive souls there are who can be fooled by it, there WILL BE HUNDREDS MORE who DO know better, and they make it their mission not only to flame the art thief's deviation page and their profile page, but they reply to EVERY COMMENTER who -was- fooled by it, to source the original artist and clarify the true ownership of the artwork.   I don't know what the art thief would be thinking to truly attempt a misdemeanor of this sort, but it DOES happen.  And they very quickly realize that it's only sparkles and rainbows for the couple dozen pageviews, before it quickly turns into a giant roasting pot of flames.  Because of this, we can only suspect that TROLLS attempt this crazy feat.  No sane person could withstand such heat from the community without having some kind of meltdown.

But even THAT case scenario isn't as bad as this ultimate one, which is the king of all Art Thievery, to the point that it's beyond that.  It's worth suing over:

Type D-III Thief / (aka. "Identity Thief" and/or "Hi, I'm AnauchihaD!  I Just Moved Accounts!")

This is the WORST situation for an artist AND a thief to be in.  There's NO mercy here.  The sky will not only fall, but it will rain hammers and shards of glass into the eyeballs of the thief.  It's bloody, it's not pretty, and the worst part is people LOVE to participate in this kind of drama.  To an art thief hunter, this is like the smell of blood to sharks.  A Type D-III thief is someone who posts an ENTIRE GALLERY based on ONE ARTIST'S WORK.  And on top of that, they claim to BE the original artist.  They "moved accounts", and this is their "new" account.  And, until the original artist gets wind of what's going on, they can pretend to BE the person for whatever window of time they might have.  It's a momentary thrill of stepping into someone else's shoes for a day.  Or an hour.  Or 10 minutes.   Or however long, really.  Until the original, official artist signs online and publicly states that they're NOT the impostor, the impostor/identity thief will run rampant in the community. This is the classic case of art thief that will almost GUARANTEED get a journal entry written about them by someone.  And they are GUARANTEED to be hunted down and banished from the face of DA.  And not just DA.  This often happens OFF of DA.  This is the reason why watermarks are SO important, because the identity thief will go to a site like and make a username based on an existing artist, and submit their entire gallery, and PRETEND TO BE THE ARTIST WHO DECIDED TO OPEN AN ACCOUNT ON ANOTHER SITE.  They get away with it!  It's more than just a window of time.  It's a whole set of time, really.  The more unfamous the original artist is, the longer the thief can continue to prance around in the original artist's shoes.  This is TERRIBLE.  Absolutely revolting.  Especially if they interact with other people and give other people some kind of IMPRESSION of how the original artist is.  I'm not even going to say it's not fair to the original artist here.  It's more than that. It's unfair to the entire COMMUNITY when something like this happens.  It's the worst kind of theft that can possibly happen.  I hold no remorse for this kind of thief.  Nobody does.  Not one single person in the entire world holds remorse for this kind of thief, so you can bet there will be an ARMY of people out to rip the thief to shreds.  It'd almost be a beautiful sight if not for all the digital blood XD  So a word to the wise, don't be an identity thief.  Not a good idea.  Not a good idea at all.  Watermarks are there for a reason.  Respect the original artist.


So in closing, I want to say that I'd RATHER be either a naive Type-A "Photobucket" deviant, or a Type-C-III-a "Reference with a link the original artist and drawing" deviant.

I'd also like to establish that if you get an artist's permission to do anything, then you're totally free to do whatever you want.  I mean, dude, if an artist tells you it's totally okay for you to steal their identity, man, GO for it.  All they have to do is write a journal saying "I'm moving accounts" while linking to your fake account and voila, you're a legal art thief!

is hosting a new contest!

:bulletpink: Theme: Be different
:bulletorange: Deadline: November 6 2011
:bulletyellow: 1 entry per Deviant Entry must be made for this contest only entry's submitted after October 6 will be accepted
:bulletgreen: The entry must be send in a note to EliseEnchanted with the subject: Be different contest In this note you send me a link to the piece you want to enter. (this must be on DeviantART)
:bulletblue:You may submit: All mediums are alowed
:bulletpurple: Everyone in Deviant ART may be a part of this contest!
:bulletred: The contest must be stated in the artist comments

Prizes will be announced in our blog:

Be Different by theprodiqyTriumph of Individuality by inObrAS2 - Pencil Vs Camera for AOC by BenHeine

Different by KayleighJune.Think Different. by PsychosomaticcUnique by oastraeoStand Out by Only1ne

Be different. by addy-ackSomething unique by AlephunkyBe Unique by oO-Rein-Oo
I refuse by ZoeWieZoEvery Month by bebefromtheblock:: mission completed . . . :: by HarisDrako

Stand Out Be Different by fear-the-brillianceToaster Love by xXMandy20Xx


Journal Entry: Wed Nov 26, 2014, 9:32 AM

Please unwatch me. I do not want to be watched by people who have a different opinions than mine OR simply prefer to be neutral about something, EVEN if you have no idea what you need to have an opinion on or didn't hear the whole story, you cannot be indifferent to the situation. There is only two sides to an issue, a good and a bad one. If you don't pick one or don't support mine, you are disgusting! So please unwatch me, NO exceptions! Because you shouldn't have the right to watch my art if your opinion is different!

/end of sarcasm

You probably know what I'm talking about by now. If not, then that's ok and you can move on to something else.

I choose to not share my opinion about this. If you choose to assume what my opinion is and now hate me for it, then that's your problem, not mine.

Issues can be complexes things, it's not simply black & white, with a side A and a side B. I refuse to pick a strict side on anything that I'm not 100% sure of what really happened, with all the biased info the media are giving, if that make any sense. I won't agree/disagree with something because it's what the majority expect me to do and want from me. I'm not sheep.

I will make my own search and build my own opinions, no matter if others agree with it or not. I prefer to listen to people that are more neutral and open minded, than listening to people forcing me to agree with them or otherwise there is probably something very wrong with me.

And please, if you start trying to justify your side/post proofs/etc, congrats for missing the point of this journal.

88-img-og by techgnotic

His main subject matter was the beauty of nature.

His art was a life–long expression of his perceptions of the great outdoors, his being the finest practitioner of “plein–air” (open air) landscape painting.

He pioneered a school for artists who left the art studios to focus their talents in the fields and meadows and seascapes of France. He often created a “documentary” of a landscape in a series of paintings, each bathed in the sunlight of a different time of day, or brightened or darkened by the season of the year. “Impressionism” was a label ascribed to his work (including his painting, “Impression, Sunrise,” of the Le Havre seaport) by a hostile critic, who meant it as an insult.

Today, “impressionism” is the term best known by the public for what has come to be their favorite, most embraceable, type of “modern art.” The father of Impressionism would no doubt be pleased to know how many people around the world have sought to bring something of the beauty and tranquility of nature into their homes by hanging prints of his famous water lilies on their walls.

In 1883, Monet moved his family into a house on two acres of land on the right bank of the River Seine in the village of Giverny in Normandy. He had by chance spotted the location as he looked out the window of the train he was traveling on. As Monet’s art began catching on and his sales increased, he spent almost all his income on creating several magnificent gardens on his property, all suitable for painting.

Giverny is where he created his subject, and then painted it, in his most famous work, “Water Lily Pond,” in 1899. Many impressionist painters came to Giverny to visit and never left, so entranced were they by the natural beauty of the land and the spiritual presence of their mentor, Monet. The master of “open–air” painting finally built himself a huge art studio—but one with very large skylights to let sunshine fill his workspace. As his wealth grew, Monet at one time employed seven gardeners. They received detailed instructions each morning for the caretaking of the gardens, grounds and lily ponds. Monet’s home, gardens and lily pond underwent a major restoration in 1980 and are now open to the public.

Monet and his fellow impressionists were obsessed with the effects of natural light on objects, and secondly, with the effects of color juxtapositions. Monet sought for himself, and then taught others, to be free from cliché art instruction’s focus on scenes and objects. He depicted the world in its light and shadows, in its shapes and colors. He created paintings in dabs and dashes of bright colors resembling dapplings of ever–changing sunlight dancing on wind–blown leaves of trees. He explained his method as, “I like to paint as a bird sings.”

Your Thoughts

  1. Why do you think “French Impressionist” paintings are the most beloved of all the different types of “Modern Art?”
  2. Do you ever wish you had “portraits” of places where you once lived, as they looked then, that have now become barely recognizable? Can portraits of “lost” landscapes evoke the same emotion as portraits of family ancestors?

Happy Holidays from DeviantArt!

Wed Dec 24, 2014, 6:16 PM by Heidi:iconheidi:
‘Twas the night before Christmas on DeviantArt,
Not a paintbrush was stirring, and creators took heart.
The artists scrolled through Daily Deviations with care
Knowing kindred warm-fuzzies soon would be there.

Deviants were all swiping, all snug on their phones
While visions of inspiration across all time zones
Were zapped to their smart device, quick as can be,
At the tap of a button in a +Fav’ing spree!

When across the Interwebs there arose such a clatter,
I sprang to the Comments to see what was the matter,
“I’m bored,” the Journal wrote, “I’m on a long trip, too.
I don’t have my laptop, and there’s nothing to do.”

I cracked all my knuckles, settled down in my chair,
Then descended upon the keyboard and wrote with a flair:
“Dear Friend, did you not get DA’s early present?
We now have an app, and it won’t cost you one cent!

“On, Watch Feed! On, Browse! On, Explore! On, Today!
Tap-and-hold to fave, share, and ‘More Like This’ – yay!
Read notifications on the go, or scan new search hits!
Check in on your friends, or even Submit!”

The deviant sprang to the App Store (or perhaps Google Play)
To download inspiration to read from his sleigh.
And I heard him exclaim, with all of his heart:
“Happy holidays to all, and to all a good art!”

–Creatively crafted by LaurenKitsune

Our sincere thanks ♥

In this season of reflection, we want to thank the DeviantArt community for the support, patience, enthusiasm, and love you've poured into our little slice of the Internet.

Whether you're a deviant who has been with us from the start or someone who is beginning their DeviantArt experience today, your path embodies everything our diverse community celebrates: inspiration to everyone around you, conversation to look forward to, a place you can be yourself, and a dauntless attitude that is so uniquely deviant.  Thank you for allowing DeviantArt to be the place where these common bonds of kinship are formed and shared.

Wishing you and yours health and happiness this holiday season.

–DeviantArt Staff

Happy holidays from deviantART!

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 11:12 PM by Heidi:iconheidi:
'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through dA,
Not a troll was stirring, nor Grinch in his sleigh.
Deviations were hung in digital Galleries with care,
In hopes that +Favourites soon would be there.

The n00bs were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of Daily Deviations danced in their heads.

And Fella in his 'kerchief, and spyed with his night-light,
Had just settled down to log-off for the night,
When over in the Forums there arose such a clatter,
Fella sprang back online to see what was the matter.

To the browser window he flew like a flash,
Tore open the tabs and refreshed the cache.
When what to his art-loving eyes should appear,
But an animated sleigh and eight commissioned reindeer,
With a little old driver, so creative and slick,
Fella knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.

More rapid than broadband, his reindeer were famed,
After all his favorite artforms, Santa had them all named.
"Now, Manga! Now, Photos! Now, Literature and Crafts!
On, Digital! On, Typography! On, Animations in Flash!

From the greatest masterpiece to the simplest scrawl
I'll fly 'round the world, inspiring them all!"
Fella heard him exclaim, as he flew off in the night,
"Happy Christmas to all, from your favorite website."

–Creatively crafted by LaurenKitsune

Our sincere thanks ♥

The holiday season is very special to us at deviantART.  We're all part of a diverse community celebrating many different forms of culture and spirituality, and we sincerely thank you for choosing to make deviantART a little slice of your Internet life.  

No matter what you celebrate this holiday season, we extend our warmest wishes to you and yours.  Happy holidays!

–deviantART Staff

Img-og by techgnotic

The concept of Astrology or “study of the stars” has been around since the ancient world and can be traced as far back as the first dynasty of Mesopotamia.

For some the stars are a portent of the future and help inform one on the best course of action to take based on the stars’ alignment. If born under a specific “star” or month during the year you may have certain characteristics and mannerisms that correspond to a horoscope sign. There are 12 different horoscope signs which make up the zodiac with each sign representing a different animal. Those born between the late January through late February fall under the 11th sign of the zodiac: Aquarius.

Aquarius (January 20 — February 18)

The Aquarians are the “water-bearers,” descendants of “Hyas,” who was killed by wild animals while fetching water from a river.  His sisters still cry for him, their tears being the falling rain. This rain from the heavens is why Aquarius is the zodiac sign based in air and water.  Children of the water-bearer are known for their independent nature, general weird humor, and quirkiness. An air sign, they are intellectual and witty having been gifted with an analytical mind. Always living in the future, they are ahead of their time and may come off as a bit strange to others.

Aquarians really know how to stand out from the crowd and have great leadership potential. This sign is also the sign of friendship having the ability to make friends with almost anyone and most like has a wide social circle. Their sign rules surprises and originality, they enjoy shock value and love to change their minds. A practical joker at heart they are always fun to be around. Ruled by Uranus, Aquarians are tech savvy and all about progress, the love next generation technologies and can usually be found tinkering with the latest gadgets and gizmos. Water Bearers also have great imaginations and tend to see possibilities where there appear to be none.

  • Symbol: The Water Bearer
  • Element: Air
  • Ruler: Uranus — planet of originality, revolution, and electricity
  • Season: Winter
  • Stone: Amethyst
  • Secret Desire: To experience total freedom
  • Character Traits: Communicative, individualistic, inventive, open-minded, logical, friendly, eccentric, detached, opinionated
  • Compatible With: Libra, Gemini, Sagittarius, Aries

Your Thoughts

  1. What is your horoscope sign?
  2. Do you read your monthly horoscope?
  3. If you do read your horoscope, do you trust or follow its advice?

A Guide To Good-Looking Fire Breathers

Tue Apr 28, 2015, 11:37 AM
Img-00 by techgnotic

The dragon is a staple of so many fantasy stories that it can be difficult to keep up with them all.

Dragons in different universes abide by different rules; some are friendly, some are clever, some are pure evil, and some are trainable. What all dragons have in common is that in the realm of TV and movies, they need to look good to properly play their part in the story. There are hundreds of dragons that have shown up on screens throughout the years, so while this list does not claim to be any kind of definitive guide, these are five of our favorite representations of dragons on screen.


There’s plenty not to like in the recent three-part film adaptation of The Hobbit. That isn’t to say the films didn’t have any redeeming qualities, though. Among them was Smaug, the dragon whose residence inside The Lonely Mountain is central to the story’s plot; bungling this character would have detracted from the quality of the overall series so immensely that it would’ve rendered the films more or less unwatchable. Smaug was well portrayed, as far as we’re concerned. He was majestic, powerful, and above all, clever. Credit is due to Benedict Cumberbatch, who voiced the dragon, but more than anything to the graphics team that brought Smaug to life.

His movements all appear lifelike and believable. Live-action dragons are extremely tough to make realistic, as evidenced by the almost limitless number of films and TV shows that have failed to do it well. The Hobbit films succeed brilliantly though, and viewers don’t have to suspend their disbelief one bit to be moved by this compelling creature.

Every Dragon In ‘How to Train Your Dragon’

One of the most impressive things about Dreamworks’ How to Train Your Dragon is the sheer number and variety of dragons in the film. By creating different classes of dragons in a world where seeing a dragon is almost as common as seeing a pigeon, the animators had a hefty workload, but managed to create a myriad of unique, fantastically cartoonish dragons — each one of them a character worth getting to know.


Haku in Spirited Away has a special place on this list for being the only dragon who thoroughly stole our hearts away. Throughout the movie Haku aids and defends our protagonist, Chihiro, whose love ultimately saves his life. It isn’t just Haku and Chihiro’s relationship that makes this dragon special though.

At one point in the film, Haku is being pursued by a small air force of deadly-fast paper planes. He flies around and dodges them as long as he can in a memorable chase scene that delivers some of the most breathtaking animation in an already visually overwhelming film. Haku’s pure optic majesty — not out of the norm considering that the film was made by Studio Ghibli — and good-heartedness earns him high marks in our book.

Drogon, Rhaegal, Viserion

The dragons on Game of Thrones are special, no two ways about it. First, let's consider the fact that Daenerys Targaryen hatched three supposedly dormant dragon’s eggs into living, (fire) breathing dragons through some bizarre fire ritual we still don’t fully understand. It’s one of the more interesting origin stories in recent memory. The dragons get bigger and more ferocious with every season of the show, and charting that evolution presents the animators who make them with a unique challenge.

Still, they manage to make Rhaegal, Viserion, and Drogon some of the best-looking dragons that have ever graced the screen. Not skimping on production quality is what makes Game of Thrones the groundbreaking TV fantasy series that it is, and that philosophy applies to the show’s winged fire breathers, too.


Credit where credit is due: Maleficent, aka the wicked-witch-turned-dragon in Sleeping Beauty, might just be the scariest dragon to ever be featured in a film. She screams of “all the powers of hell!” before turning into a black and purple dragon who spits green fire. As the forest of thorns she recently created is engulfed, the interplay between colors — yellow and green flames, with black silhouettes contrasting against them in the foreground — makes the climactic fight scene in this film a visual feast. Maleficent set the standard for Hollywood dragons, and she continues to be a reliable benchmark even after almost 60 years.

Your Thoughts

  1. We left video games out because their addition would really make this a complicated race, but who are some of your favorite video game dragons?
  2. Who is your favorite TV or movie dragon? Did your dragon make our list or would you have picked five completely different ones?
  3. No mythical creature commands quite the same amount of fanfare, awe, and fascination as the dragon. Why do you think the dragon is so pervasive in human culture?
  4. Is poor “Puff” still waiting in his cave for Jackie to visit?

Taurus: Beautiful Bons Vivants

Mon Apr 20, 2015, 2:09 PM
Img-00 by techgnotic

The concept of Astrology or “study of the stars” has been around since the ancient world and can be traced as far back as the first dynasty of Mesopotamia.

For some, the stars are a portent of the future that can and help inform you of the best course of action to take based on their alignment. If born under a specific “star” or month during the year you may have certain characteristics and mannerisms that correspond to a horoscope sign. There are 12 different horoscope signs which make up the zodiac with each sign representing a different animal or other totem. Those born between late April through late May fall under the 2nd sign of the Zodiac: Taurus.

Taurus (April 20 - May 20)

The are many tales of how this sign of the zodiac originated, the one that makes the most sense revolves around seven beautiful maidens known as the Pleiades, daughters of Atlas and Pleione, who were attendants of Artemis. The great hunter, Orion, was obsessed with all seven sisters pursuing them relentlessly. The poor maidens were not able to defend themselves from his advances and prayed to Jupiter for help. He turned them into doves so they could fly away and make a new home among the stars, but Orion was not deterred from seeking out the fair maidens and followed them into the heavens. Jupiter sent the bull Taurus to protect them and ’til this day Taurus stands between Orion and the Pleiades in the night sky with Jupiter forming the bull’s twinkling eye.

Taurus is ruled by Venus the planet of love and beauty and as such those born under this sign are generally charming creatures who enjoy the finer things in life. An Earth sign, Taurus enjoys being surrounded by nature and is as solid as the ground they stand on valuing stability and organization in their life. Taureans love the arts and can be gifted artists in their own respects driven to produce, grow things, create art, or build things. They are dependable, practical, hardworking individuals with a fierce determination continuing to plow forward when others would have given up, their sheer will ensures they succeed at anything they set their minds too. Taureans are extremely loyal making them excellent friends though they choose to have a small tight circle of friends. Those born under Taurus are generally easy going and patient souls, but make no mistake, the temper of a raging bull lies below the surface for anyone foolish enough to provoke them. Some of the bull’s less favorable traits include being stubborn, jealous, self-indulgent and lazy. Taureans can thrive in the farming, arts, banking, medical, or constriction fields and make great photographers, interior designers, bankers, real estate agents, art dealers, musicians, filmmakers, or actors. At end of the day Taurus just wants to be comfortable moving forward at their own slow and steady pace toward a good life surrounded by all types of beauty.

  • Symbol: Bull
  • Element: Earth
  • Ruler: Venus — planet of beauty and love
  • Season: Spring
  • Stone: Emerald
  • Secret Desire: To have the best of everything
  • Character Traits: Loyal, Dependable, Stubborn, Loving, Determined, Patient, Possessive, Hard Working, Honest, Brave, Musical, Practical
  • Compatible With: Capricorn, Virgo, Pisces, and Cancer