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Collection: Shine A Light

Tue May 12, 2015, 12:37 PM
Img-00 by techgnotic

Light means so many things in our lives beyond mere illumination.

Cinematographers call the hour just before the sun sets “the magic hour.” Movie producers and directors schedule the shooting of love scenes and other important moments in their script to take advantage of the powerful effect that “magic hour” sunlight subliminally exerts on our psyches. The Dutch master painters of the 17th century were expert in focusing the eye on the “story” of their canvases by how they presented the light source of a scene. But more than that. In those times before modern heating, the northern cities of Europe could be cold, rainy and depressingly dark for much of the year.

The bright hues of yellow and gold in the Dutch paintings added value to their worth, for the “warmth” they brought into the homes of the wealthy when hung on their walls. From the earliest times when the light of fire was used to drive more powerful beasts from the caves so that our ancestors might have shelter, and firelight each night at the entrances kept out those beasts as well as the evil spirits that lurk in the darkness, light has been our salvation. Here’s a gallery of photographs and paintings demonstrating how much lighting impacts our senses, our moods and memories and the stories of our lives.

I decided to fly through the air and live in the sunlight and enjoy life as much as I could.”

— Evel Knievel

I think of marriage as a garden. You have to tend to it. Respect it, take care of it, feed it. Make sure everyone is getting the right amount of, um, sunlight.”

— Mark Ruffalo

Plants exist in the weather and light rays that surround them - waving in the wind, shimmering in the sunlight. I am always puzzling over how to draw such things.”

— Hayao Miyazaki

The sunlight ranges over the universe, and at incarnation we step out of it into the twilight of the body, and see but dimly during the period of our incarceration; at death we step out of the prison again into the sunlight, and are nearer to the reality.”

— Annie Besant

The movie Beautiful Creatures in association with deviantART are pleased to present the "Light" or "Dark" contest. Using the asset pack provided, and with inspiration from the trailer above, get ready to create your most compelling LIGHT or DARK version of Lena!

In the film Beautiful Creatures, based off of the best-selling novel, Lena is a caster, a person who can use magic, and on her birthday she will be Claimed for either Light or Dark. As that day approaches, Lena along with her love interest Ethan uncover dark secrets about their respective families, their history and their town. Is it fate, or does Lena have a choice? Help her decide by creating your vision of her as either a light or dark caster! Dark secrets will come to light when Beautiful Creatures is in theaters VALENTINE'S DAY 2.14.13.

Watch the trailer for Beautiful Creatures above.
Download the Asset Pack for more information about Lena to inspire your original entry.
In the medium of your choice, create a visual depiction of Lena as either a Light or Dark caster. (You do not need to depict the actress from the film but may do so if you wish.)
Submit your entry as a single .PNG or .JPG to the contest. Be sure to read the Official Rules.
  • All expenses paid trip for two to Los Angeles where you will get to attend the US premiere of Beautiful Creatures, take a tour of deviantART headquarters, get a personalized tour of Panpipes Hollywood, and a guided tour of the Magic Castle.
  • dA PRO Digital Artist Backpack
  • deviantART Hoodie of Winner's Choice*
  • dA Notebook Set by Leuchtturm
  • Panasonic 3D Wi-Fi Blu-Ray Player
  • One-Year Premium Membership to deviantART
  • 8,000 deviantART Points
  • $2,000 USD

* (depending on availability)

Panasonic 3D Wi-Fi Blu-Ray Player • Six-Month Premium Membership to • deviantART T-Shirt of Winner's Choice* • dA Notebook Set by Leuchtturm • 4,000 deviantART Points • $1,000 USD
Panasonic 3D Wi-Fi Blu-Ray Player • Six-Month Premium Membership to • deviantART T-Shirt of Winner's Choice* • dA Notebook Set by Leuchtturm • 4,000 deviantART Points • $1,000 USD
Panasonic 3D Wi-Fi Blu-Ray Player • Six-Month Premium Membership to • deviantART T-Shirt of Winner's Choice* • dA Notebook Set by Leuchtturm • 4,000 deviantART Points • $500 USD
Panasonic 3D Wi-Fi Blu-Ray Player • Six-Month Premium Membership to • deviantART T-Shirt of Winner's Choice* • dA Notebook Set by Leuchtturm • 4,000 deviantART Points • $500 USD
dA Notebook Set by Leuchtturm • Three-Month Premium Membership • 2,000 deviantART Points

* (depending on availability)



  • Entrant must be at least 13 years old as of December 17, 2012 and a resident of the United States, Puerto Rico or a U.S. military installation to be eligible to enter the Contest;
  • Entries must be received by 11:59:59PM (PM) on January 20, 2013 and be submitted through the contest gallery on deviantART;
  • Membership to (the "Contest Site") is required to enter the Contest;
  • Membership to is free;
  • Entrant must submit: an original work depicting the character Lena from Beautiful Creatures as either a Light or Dark caster. (You do not need to depict the actress from the film but may do so if you wish.)
  • The Work may originate in any medium but must be submitted as a single JPG or PNG file;
  • You may not use any third party stock images for the Work however licensed brushes and textures are acceptable;
  • You may use the Assets provided for download in your entry if you wish;
  • Your entry should be able to accommodate a logo in the lower left or right corner of the image you submit;
  • You may submit more than one entry;
  • Other requirements and restrictions apply and please read the Official Rules carefully.

25 Finalists will be selected by full-time deviantART Staff. From the Finalists, the final five winners will be selected by the authors of Beautiful Creatures, Margaret Stohl and Kami Garcia! All entries will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Overall Visual Impact
  • Strength In Depicting "Lena" as a Dark or Light Caster
  • Technical Skill

Back light.
Friend or foe of a photographer?

We'd like to go for friend this time. Blind us with light! Forget all you learned in photography class, leave the lens screens at home - let the sun touch the lens. Let the incredible feel and mood of a back light scene touch the viewer's heart.

The scenery itself is open to you: wether it's a landscape, portrait or architecture, we want to see back light!

Rules & Requirements:
:bulletblue: One entry per participant!
:bulletblue: The deviation must be new, please be so fair not to re-submit old deviations.
:bulletblue: Photography only! Slight corrections in Photoshop are allowed but make sure your piece doesn't transform into a photomanipulation.
:bulletblue: Submit the deviation to the category Community Projects > Contests > 2007 > Against the Light.

:bulletgreen: Starting date: March 13th, 2007
:bulletred: Closing date: May 13th, 2007

1st Place: 1 year subscription + Daily Deviation
2nd Place: 4 months subscription
3rd Place: 2 months subscription
4th Place: 1 month subscription
... and several features!

The contest will be judged by:
:iconstaged: :iconsuperkev: :iconequivoque: :icon5inclair: :iconigy:

Let these pieces inspire you:
Hh by bocokok :thumb2247238: Lady in the Lake by Staged monochrome saturday 3 by aykanozener La vie est une gitane by ennil

:community: We're looking forward to all your entries!
This journal was updated in July 2012 to include some new information and replace outdated terminology.

How can I help?

At regular intervals, new faces appear in the Community Relations team as open positions for Community Volunteers are filled. All these new additions to the team can spark interest in volunteering for dA and can inspire people to ask "What can I do to support my favourite gallery?". You don't have to be a Community Volunteers or have a fancy symbol next to your name to promote and support artists within your favourite gallery.  The suggestions listed below are for everyone, and in case you want something a little more useful than just my ideas I've included links to FAQ entries with more information.

Featuring art

To avoid repeating myself, I'd like to point you in the direction of an article called How to promote other people's work on dA that I wrote back in December 2008.  It's a few years old but the information contained is still relevant, including...

:bulletpurple: Featuring art in your journal
:bulletpurple: Featuring art in news articles
:bulletpurple: Making sure your features are accessible to all
:bulletpurple: Suggesting Daily Deviations
:bulletpurple: Sharing deviations

Contests and collaborations

While dA almost always has a few official contests on the go, hosted by the CR team or run in conjunction with an outside sponsor, anyone is welcome to run their own contest.  Running a contest can be great fun and is a wonderful way to inspire your fellow deviants and encourage participation in a community-wide event.  Please bear in mind though, if you want to run a contest with prizes you can't rely on other people to provide these prizes.

Volunteers (people with ^ and @ symbols in front of their username) do not have a contest prize budget, so while some of us may volunteer to offer prizes for unofficial contests relating to the galleries we moderate it is unfair to expect this.  GMs are here to help though, so we can help you to promote your contest through our journals and news articles.

You can find out more about running your own contests on dA in this dA Life article at fella.

Running a contest with big prizes isn't the only way to hold an inspirational and exciting event for your fellow artists.  If you're not in a position to give big-money prizes but would still like to run your own event, here are some alternatives...

:bulletpurple: Have an art trade, where you create a piece of art dedicated to someone else and they create one dedicated to you.

:bulletpurple: Offer gift art or ask your friends to inspire you by suggesting topics or subjects to base your next work on.

:bulletpurple: Instead of prints and subs, offer journal or userpage features as prizes.  On a site as big as dA, a bit of extra exposure can really make someone's day.

:bulletpurple: Start a thread in the Thumbshare Forum asking people to link you to pieces of art that they'd like critique on, or ask for examples of work on a theme to illustrate a news article or journal entry.

:bulletpurple: Start a collaboration project to encourage people to work together, either on small creations shared between two people or on something bigger than you create as a group.

Be a teacher or a mentor

If you have a brain packed full of useful information, share it!  Anyone can submit a tutorial to the Resources gallery and whatever you write about, someone will appreciate you sharing your knowledge.  If you enjoy writing tutorials, make a folder for them in your gallery and display it on your userpage so that other people can easily find all the useful things you've made.  If you enjoy collecting other people's tutorials, you can feature the collection on your userpage.

:bulletpurple: FAQ #90: How do I customize my profile page?

If you'd like to share your knowledge in a more personal and involved way, you can offer critique on other people's art (keep it polite and constructive, please!) or volunteer your time as a mentor.  Check out ArtistsHospital or write a journal to let people know that you'd like to critique people's work or help a younger or less experienced artist by mentoring them.  I can guarantee that you'll have people jumping at the chance to receive helpful comments on their work from someone who knows what they're talking about!

You can browse deviations with critique enabled here and find out more about how to use dA's official critique feature in this FAQ...

:bulletpurple: FAQ #95: What is the Critique Feature and how do I use it?

Set an example

Who inspires you more - the person who submits three dArama-filled journal entries a day, bitches about other people all the time and publicly insults everything that isn't to their taste?  Or the person who writes tutorials and helpful news articles, features art in their journal and helps out with promoting other deviants' projects?

I'm not saying that everyone should censor their opinions or silently tolerate unpleasantness, but when the majority of your journal entries are based around complaining about things you hate without offering suggestions, you aren't doing anyone any good.  If you've got a problem with something, try and deal with it maturely.

You get out what you put in, so if your interactions are based in positivity you'll have a much more positive experience.  It sounds obvious, but it never hurts to have a unto others, and all that.

Make yourself known

Say hi to a Community Volunteer today!  We aren't scary and unapproachable, and when you send us notes or leave comments talking about the galleries we look after you are NOT bothering us or annoying us.  We want to get to know you better, to be introduced to the artists who submit to and care about the galleries we moderate.  We love it when community members help us out with promoting projects and contests and give us a hand with sharing important information, so displaying stamps and linking to our informative journals is definitely appreciated.

We also want to know all about the contests and clubs YOU run, the news articles you write, the art you love and the artists you admire.  We're here to help you promote your projects and we actively want you to feed us with awesome things to pimp.  We aren't just here for the good stuff either.  We're also here to help you deal with any problems that you're having and bad stuff that you've noticed going on.  If we can't help you directly, we'll be able to let you know who can help or contact a staff member on your behalf if necessary.

So don't be scared to make friends with your GM - we WANT you to and we love meeting active members of the community!  When you dedicate time and enthusiasm to supporting us and each other, your efforts certainly don't go unnoticed.  If you aren't sure who your GM is, you can find a list of the current CR team at communityrelations.

If you do want to volunteer in an official capacity...

If you do want to volunteer for dA, whether as a Gallery Moderator in the Community Relations team or a Message Network Administrator in Community Operations, check out this FAQ for more information:

:bulletpurple: FAQ #85: Can I be a volunteer on DeviantArt?

:idea: Read this in Spanish, by JacquiJax, and in German by Shadowelve.

:community: :gallery: :star:
Hello everyone ! :wave:

It is with great honor that I present to you our newest contest, The Light Source Contest. It is a contest hosted by :iconskyandnatureclub: and co-hosted by :iconfeature-club: and :iconunknown-artists-club:

SkyAndNatureClub's Blog entry

Feature-Club's Blog entry

Unknown-Artists-Club's Blog entry

:bulletblue: About the groups

:iconskyandnatureclub: is a group for all sky and nature lovers ! It's for APN photographers ! It's for anyone who enjoys Nature :heart:  The reason for starting this group is to support all nature photographers, and to show other members the beauty of nature from all around the world! :D

:iconfeature-club: is a community of new and old, seen and unseen artists who just want to share what they have. The group aims at featuring only 5 deviants a day to allow them to be seen by the entire group.

:iconunknown-artists-club: is a group that tries to help unknown artists get more attention here on deviantART.

:bulletblue: About the theme:

This contest is about "Light", and how you best show it in your entry. The "Source" of light could be anything. It could be natural (eg: sunlight), or artificial (eg: lamp). Light could be directed on the object from any angle. Back Lighting is an example.

For the visual media (photography, traditional art, digital art), the objective will be to use a source of light in your work. The objective is not to show us the lamp for example, but to show us how it lightened the work.

As for Literature, the objective is to write about Light.

Your deviation does not have to be nature related. There are a few examples below to show you what we need.

Good Luck ! :w00t:

:bulletblue: Examples:

:bulletblue: Contest Guidelines/Rules: (Very Important!)

:bulletgreen: This Contest is open to everyone worldwide!

:bulletgreen: You MUST be a member of at least ONE of the three groups to be able to submit your entry.

:bulletgreen: The media allowed are Photography, Digital and Traditional arts, and Literature.

:bulletgreen: Mature content deviations are NOT allowed.

:bulletgreen: Every person is allowed to submit ONE entry, to ONE of the three groups only.
(You may not submit both literature and photography for example. Choose one.)

:bulletgreen: Submitting more than one entry will DISQUALIFY all your entries!

:bulletgreen: Your entry MUST be submitted to your gallery either in 2009 or 2010.
(We will not accept any deviation submitted to your gallery before 2009)

:bulletgreen: Online entries only. Hard copies are not accepted at any time.
(Details of entering is written below)

:bulletgreen: If you use stock, please credit the owner. Your entry won't be accepted otherwise.

:bulletgreen: Entrants MUST be at least 13 years old as of the date of their submission.

:bulletgreen: Entries must abide by deviantART Rules.

:bulletgreen: The Contest's Deadline is September 19th at Midnight GMT.

:bulletgreen: Please think carefully before sending an entry! You wont be able to change the entry you submit!

:bulletgreen: Judges have the final word. Deviations will be judged on quality, and use of the theme. Judges will not take notice of aspects such as the number of favorites, comments, popularity, etc. or to pieces that have received a Daily Deviation.

:bulletblue: How to Enter:

:bulletred: You could only submit to ONE of the groups (SkyAndNatureClub Feature-Club Unknown-Artists-Club)

:bulletred: There are 4 folders to submit to. If you are submitting a photograph, then submit it under the "Photography" folder. and so on.

:bulletred: You may only submit to ONE folder, otherwise all your entries will be DISQUALIFIED.
(i.e. Choose one medium only)

:bulletred: Submit your ONE entry to SkyAndNatureClub's folder.


to Feature-Club's folder.


to Unknown-artists-club's folder.

:bulletred: You will not get a message in your correspondence items that you submitted an entry, but don't worry, we will receive your entry. Once you submit, you should get a message that says: "Your submission is being reviewed".

:bulletblue: The Judges

:iconpurpelblur: :icontimberclipse:

:iconuae4u: :iconanoya: :iconmoonbeam13: :iconayame-kenoshi: :icondantastic202: :iconlazdude:

Traditional Art
:iconegil21: :iconhellobaby: :iconsraffa: :iconfourteenthstar:

Digital Art
:iconnorke: :iconyasny-chan: :iconcsnyder: :iconconzpiracy: :iconlokiev:

:iconkaz-d: :icon3wyl: :iconladylincoln:

This list is not final.

:bulletblue: Prizes:

:bulletorange: First Winner: :bulletorange:

:bulletgreen: 1500 points :points:
:bulletgreen: 6 month Premium Membership from dantastic202
:bulletgreen: 3 month Premium Membership from LadyLincoln
:bulletgreen: Stamp or Avatar (winner's choice) from 12knight12
:bulletgreen: A photograph commission from xSakuraSyaoranx
:bulletgreen: A Drawing commission from Lesronheart
:bulletgreen: A Digital Drawing commission from xanadu125
:bulletgreen: A chibi sketch commission from blaze-faerie
:bulletgreen: A Full sketch from Hardrockangel

:bulletorange: Second Winner: :bulletorange:

:bulletgreen: 1100 points :points:
:bulletgreen: Stamp or Avatar (winner's choice) from 12knight12
:bulletgreen: Stamp from TimberClipse
:bulletgreen: A Drawing commission from Lesronheart
:bulletgreen: A Drawing commission from Das-Pfanntom
:bulletgreen: A Digital Drawing commission from xanadu125
:bulletgreen: A pixel avatar character from Hardrockangel
:bulletgreen: A story request from DazzledByNorrington

:bulletorange: Third Winner: :bulletorange:

:bulletgreen: 500 points :points:
:bulletgreen: 3 month Premium Membership from Twins72
:bulletgreen: Stamp or Avatar (winner's choice) from 12knight12
:bulletgreen: A Drawing commission from Lesronheart
:bulletgreen: A Digital Drawing commission from xanadu125
:bulletgreen: A pixel avatar character from Hardrockangel

:bulletorange: All Winners will recieve: :bulletorange:

* Journal Feature by SkyAndNatureClub
* Journal Feature by Wonderful-World
* Journal Feature by Cityscapes-Club
* Journal Feature by Close-Ups
* Journal Feature by NaturPics-club
* Journal Feature by sunsets
* Journal Feature by Photo--Assignment
* Journal Feature by ProjectEarth
* Journal Feature by Scapes-club
* Journal Feature by Shutter-Vision
* Journal Feature by Shutter-Scene
* Journal Feature by The-Big-Cats-Club
* Journal Feature by Abstract--Reality
* Journal Feature by theskyclub
* Journal Feature by Belle-Art
* Journal Feature by PhotographersClub
* Journal Feature by Craftcycle
* Journal Feature by PurpleClub
* Journal Feature by alwaysmotivated
* Journal Feature by Elements--Club
* Journal Feature by ILoveAnimals
* Journal Feature by MountainShots
* Journal Feature by Insect-Lovers-Club
* Journal Feature by ProjectComment
* Journal Feature by Feature-Heaven
* Journal Feature by blue-club
* Journal Feature by DigitallyCreated
* Journal Feature by Feature-Club
* Journal Feature by TimberClipse
* Journal Feature by uae4u
* Journal Feature by Hellobaby
* Journal Feature by Unknown-Artists-Club
* Journal Feature by Lokiev
* Journal Feature by 3wyl
* Journal Feature by eschlehahn
* Journal Feature by alone-maggie
* Journal Feature by xSakuraSyaoranx
* Journal Feature by Kostandina
* Journal Feature by Psi-Psiana
* SitBack Feature by quarterbacker
* Journal Feature by BelleMeansBeautiful
* Journal Feature by butterfly-mayutzu
* Journal Feature by NikolasBrummer
* Journal Feature by Wolfpackwithme
* Journal Feature by Gex78
* Journal Feature by Egil21
* Journal Feature by TheFavouriteShowcase
* Journal Feature by Aspiring-writer16
* Journal Feature by Twins72
* Journal Feature by OmiAna117280
* Journal Feature by Penguinsontoast
* Journal Feature by Elephants995
* Journal Feature by Zwoing
* Journal Feature by Shadow-and-Flame-86
* Journal Feature by VirtuallySane
* Journal Feature by Ciarameow
* Journal Feature by WALKING-GIRL (or news article)
* Journal Feature by That-Feeling
* Journal Feature by GramMoo
* Journal Feature by Jolly-Imp
* Journal Feature by LAPoetry-n-Photo
* Journal Feature by gold-rose
* Journal Feature by FlyingMantaRay
* Journal Feature by Krissi001
* Journal Feature by sillysally3456
* Journal Feature by kerrybushphoto
* Journal Feature by AelizeA
* Journal Feature by HungryxHungryxHippos
* Journal Feature by BillyTheKid-90
* Journal Feature by daisukekuroneko
* Journal Feature by sillysally3456
:bulletgreen: Virtual hug from eschlehahn
:bulletgreen: Virtual hug from Zwoing
:bulletgreen: LLama Badge from dusmo
:bulletgreen: LLama Badge from xSakuraSyaoranx
:bulletgreen: LLama Badge from Lesronheart
:bulletgreen: LLama Badge from Kostandina
:bulletgreen: LLama Badge from Wolfpackwithme
:bulletgreen: LLama Badge from Aspiring-writer16
:bulletgreen: LLama Badge from Elephants995
:bulletgreen: LLama Badge from Zwoing
:bulletgreen: LLama Badge from jasmine111196
:bulletgreen: LLama Badge from Tulla-Morwen
:bulletgreen: LLama Badge from monchito001

:bulletblue: At the end ..

:groups: Please read all rules carefully, and then look for a good entry and submit it ! :w00t: If you find a nice deviation that you think would fit for the contest, please recommend that person to enter the contest :)

:groups: Please let us know if you can give any prize, ANYTHING, even llama badges. It really will mean a lot. Thanks in advance! :heart:

:groups: If you have any question, feel free to contact:

uae4u of SkyAndNatureClub
TimberClipse of Feature-Club
Lokiev of Unknown-Artists-Club

:star: We wish you the best of luck !! :iconcarameldansenplz:

uae4u on behalf of SkyAndNatureClub
:rose: Narmo

Niko and the Sword of Light

Tue Feb 3, 2015, 7:22 PM
Niko by techgnotic

DeviantArt is excited to share the recent release of the pilot for Niko and the Sword of Light, a new fully animated piece from Titmouse Animation Studio currently available to watch for free on Amazon’s website. It’s based on the motion graphic comic created by Imaginism Studios that was showcased in an earlier article upon its release in 2013. Several of the major figures involved in the production are longtime members of the DeviantArt community, many of whom are part of Titmouse’s group.  The show’s creators are Bobby Chiu and Kei Acedera both Toronto deviants and the founders of imaginism Studios.  Since 2005, their studio has specialized in pre-production character and concept art for movies, TV, videogames, and traditional publishing. On DeviantArt, they have built an international fan base independent from their contracted projects. Bobby and Kei are exemplars of newly emerging online entrepreneurship, understanding and exploiting the new online economic ecology. Niko and the Sword of Light marks the ascendancy of Imaginism Studios to their next level…

Enter Titmouse

A veteran in the animation space, with shows under their belt such as Black Dynamite, The Venture Brothers., and Metalocalypse, Titmouse was the perfect partner to help bring this project to life. Ben Kalina (aka bkalina7) first discovered and fell in love with Niko during its Kickstarter phase and jumped at the chance to be the one to help transition the motion comic to an animated pilot.

As the producer on Niko, Ben assembled a team of artists including tapping one of their own animators, Sung Jin Ahn, to serve as director on the project. Once they had the key members in place, Ben and Sung Jin took to the web to find the rest of their team searching DeviantArt and other sites for portfolios that might be a fit for the show’s style.

Who Is Niko?

NNiko is the story of a ten-year-old boy who is the last of his kind, living in a strange, fantastical world. Darkness has descended on the land. He must embark on an epic quest to defeat the Darkness and bring the light back to his home. Armed with his magic sword, brave Niko journeys to the Cursed Volcano, making new friends and powerful foes along the way, all while uncovering secrets about his mysterious past.

The results speak for themselves as Titmouse works to bring back the action cartoons so many other studios have foregone in favor of comedic cartoons. For those of you ready to embark on Niko’s exciting, but dangerous quest head on over to Amazon’s website, then after watching the show let us know in the comments what you thought of it.

Watch Pilot Episode on Amazon

Interview with Titmouse Animation Studio & Imaginism

What cartoon shows or animated films inspired you the most?

Sung Jin:

I always had great exposure to both American and Japanese animation, so my personal taste and style have evolved around those two industries. My inspiration changes day to day, but I always have interest in combining the aesthetics of American and Japanese animation in my own work.

Where does your creative process start? What comes first the writing, drawing, characters or environments? How do you work?

Sung Jin:

It really depends on the project. But for Niko, Bobby and Kei had already created such a lush world, it was really fun and enriching to get creatively involved. That being said, I always try to think about how other peoples' visions compare to my own, and try to find a perfect blend of both.

What was the process of working with Bobby and Kei to bring Niko and the Sword of Light to life like? Was this experience everything you expected it to be?

Sung Jin:

Working with Bobby and Kei was great. They had a clear vision of what Niko should and shouldn't be, and it really gave us a good footing for our own creative take on it. Being involved on a project as unique and special as this, I honestly didn't know what to expect, but thats what made it such a great experience for me.

Working with Bobby, Kei, and Jim and Adam at Studio NX was great.  They’re all artists so it made the design process one of the best experiences we’ve had on a new project.

Often series creators are writers and it takes a lot of talking to get concrete visual ideas out of them.  In this case we started with tons of reference straight from the creators heads.  Through the process we’d send illustrations and doodles back and forth to communicate ideas for story, design, and revisions.  It was great.

Sometimes we would go too far with reference and have to tell the team know they didn’t have to spend a day creating a beautifully rendered piece to get a simple note across.

How did Titmouse Studios become involved with this project?

The Niko Kickstarter was released when we were working on Motorcity.  We saw the first trailer and were like “Damn! I wish we were making this!  This feels like Titmouse stuff!”

Years later, Melissa Wolfe (our executive at Amazon) called us to see if we’d be interested in working on the project.  When networks call us about new shows they usually keep the details a little vague at first.  All we knew on that first call was  “Its a new 22 minute Pilot.  6 -11 age group.  Based on existing digital comic book. Adventure show.  Its like Adventure Time meets Avatar”.

Immediately we thought “Are they making Niko into a series?!”

When we found out it was Niko we started campaigning get the project.  Niko is so in line with what we at Titmouse love to create.  We’re very happy to be apart of it.

Titmouse Studios has a great track record of hiring artists from within the DeviantArt community, what suggestions do you have for up and coming artists to get themselves noticed?

Keep posting new work, be active on the site, make friends, and let people know what you want to do.  When we look for artists we usually start by looking at the pages of people that we work with already or people that we know and like, and see who are they following, what artists and work do they like?

Ben, you are an producer on Niko and the Sword of Light, while that title on a show can mean different things depending on the project, can you tell us what your involvement on the show is?

The topline job description is bringing in work for the studio, budgeting, scheduling, making sure the work is up to the quality of the studio, putting out fires, and making sure everyone is happy when its delivered.

On Niko a lot of my job was working with Sung Jin and Antonio (our art director) to put together the right team.  Bobby, Kei, Jim, and Adam already had great concept for the show, so we had to find artists that would do their work justice.

Sung Jin Ahn (our director) started at Titmouse when he was still in high school.  He’s done everything. He’s gone from intern, to assistant designer, to animator, to storyboard artist, to director.  Sung loves doing action comedy, so he was a natural fit for the project.

Antonio Canobbio (Creative Director at Titmouse) oversaw the art direction and helped communicate with Imaginism and Studio NX on designs.  Antonio put together a great team of in house designers for the project.

After we had our in house team, Sung Jin and I spent a lot of time on the internet searching through DA and other sites to find portfolios we liked and sent out freelance to artists around the world that could assist our staff with the project.

You worked as a storyboard artist on several animated shows. What advice would you give to aspiring deviant artists looking to break into the field?

Sung Jin:

Keep setting short term goals for yourself and just churn out bodies of work, good or bad. Those small milestones of challenges and struggles will add so much to your growth as an artist. Don't get caught up on where you want to be, but instead focus on the next step you have to take to move forward.

With Niko and the Sword of Light you’ve successfully made the jump from storyboard artist to director. How did you become involved in the project and what made you want to make the transition to director?

Sung Jin:

Luckily for me, Ben thought my sensibilities would be a great fit for Niko. So when he first introduced the idea of this pilot to me, I was immediately on board without a second thought. Most of my career was invested in storyboarding, but since Titmouse is a full service studio, I was exposed to all the different processes of the animation production. I guess the interaction of all the artists and the amount they had to collaborate attracted me to directing. Because you are involved in every step of the production, being a director at Titmouse is really collaborative and rewarding.

What were the biggest challenges you faced making in turning this popular comic into an animated show?

Sung Jin:

The actual animation process was pretty challenging. Since the original comic was already animated, we had to make sure we carried on the same caliber and even plus it. Our talented team of animators really made sure that this pilot stood out from other shows and that the level of animation went the extra mile.

How closely did you work with Kei and Bobby to make sure the essence of Niko and the Sword of Light carried through from the page to the screen?

Sung Jin:

We worked very closely with Kei and Bobby, because keeping the essence of the comic book was a mutual goal we both had. And it was awesome having consistent communication with them on every step.

What other shows is Titmouse currently involved in?

  • "Moon Beam City" - Comedy Central (premiering later this year)
  • "Venture Bros" - Adult Swim
  • "China IL" - Adult Swim
  • “Nerdland" - A new feature we’d producing
  • "Turbo F.A.S.T."- Dreamworks / Netflix
  • "Randy Cunningham 9th Grade Ninja" - Disney XD
  • A new pilot with Jhonen Vasquez and Jenny Goldberg for Disney
  • A new short with Jhonen that we can’t talk about
  • "Kirby Buckets" - Disney XD
  • Our Canadian team is currently animating “Breadwinners" - Nickelodeon

There’s some other really cool stuff in production right now, but I don’t think they’ve been announced yet.


We also reached out to the show’s creators, Bobby Chiu and Kei Acedera, to update us since their previous article on the show:

What inspired you while you were growing up to focus on your art?

:iconimaginism: imaginism — Kei:

Getting exposed to a lot of art from the past. All the great masters and what they achieved made me want to contribute to the conversation of art as well.

:iconimaginism: imaginism — Bobby:

For me, a huge amount of inspiration came from cartoons, comic books and comic strips. Growing up, I loved studying them, copying them and eventually trying to create my own.

Did you ever consider that art might be a possible career?

:iconimaginism: imaginism — Bobby:

Not until my 20s did I consider a career in art. I always thought that art would be just a hobby and that I'd gravitate towards being a lawyer or a business man. It wasn't until I realized that I could work in the movies that I switched my focus from making art as a hobby to turning it into a career.

:iconimaginism: imaginism — Kei:

Yes! I always thought it could be a possible career. My family brought me up to be very creative and crafty because they are! I never really thought I'd be anything else but an artist.

Who were your main influences growing up and was there a particular artist that inspired you more than any other?

:iconimaginism: imaginism — Kei:

I'd have to say Bobby Chiu. I've never met anyone who so successfully balances their life with their art. Early on in my career, and still to this day, that balance has been instrumental to my own success.

:iconimaginism: imaginism — Bobby:

Not to copy Kei's answer, but I'd say Kei was a huge influence at the beginning of my art studies because I was — and still am — in awe of her creativity, her ideas and her love of art. It's quite inspiring.

What made you decide to create Niko and the Sword of Light as a motion comic and not as an animated feature to start with?

We decided to create Niko and the Sword of Light as a motion comic and not as an animated feature because our mission was to make something that felt like a 'magical comic book.' Something that, when the viewer started using it, they would feel like the comic book panels are coming to life.

How has being a part of the DeviantArt community helped your career and/or artistic process?

:iconimaginism: imaginism — Kei:

I really like the variety of art in the DeviantArt Community. It's chock-full of great artists, inspiration, ideas, and wonderful things to look at. DeviantArt is a bottomless font of inspiration that I can draw on anytime I need to!

:iconimaginism: imaginism — Bobby:

Being a part of the DeviantArt community has been a huge help to get our art out there into the world. Everyone seems to have a DA account so it's kind of a must-have for artists. Also it's a great springboard for trying out new ideas and getting instant feedback. My favorite thing about DA is its huge community. There is always more feedback from DA than from anywhere else, and we wouldn’t be where we are without it!

A native of Southern California, professional photographer Chris Weeks loves to travel but has never found reason to permanently leave what he describes as the "ambient shooting conditions" of his place of origin.  That seems fitting for someone whose work is as connected to the original intent of light as his seems to be.  In fact, after I having had the pleasure and privilege of reading his responses to my questions, it seems to me that the same kind of decisiveness he describes regarding his place of residence has always been present in the choices that led him to a career in photography.  Although he has had a camera to his eye since age eleven, his life has not been limited to career.  In addition to being a photographer, he lists being a father, discovering new restaurants, attending art and photography exhibits, and spending time with his significant other at home as the things that make a difference in his life.

reflection ID by cweeks
"I have had a camera to my eye since I was 11."

Like many professional photographers, Weeks began his education in photography but left school to pursue work that was already available to him.  Beginning in his twenties, he began photo-assistanting commercial and editorial motorsports photographers.  He says that if someone considering a career in photography doesn't opt for photo schooling, assisting is the way to get trained but cautions that "you could go to Brooks and become a photo assistant for life."  While he likes some of the work he's seen from students coming from the Art Center in Pasadena, Calif, he is wary of the schools that offer cookie-cutter educations and says simply, "Good luck working at Olan Mills".  This kind of healthy sceptisim and sense of humor combined with an innate confidence in his ability to make choices has put him in a position to be represented by the biggest wire services and agencies on the planet.  He is really and artist who has used his craft well and practically to make a living doing what he loves.

even more ... mischa ... by cweeks engrossing conversation... by cweeks  a dog's afternoon... by cweeks

What initially inspired you towards the direction of photography?
I liked the way geometric elements existed in a frame. I liked the way light reflected off of subjects.

Never really wanted to be a starving artist so... I was a principal of a consulting organization to Fortune 500 multi-national companies.  When I saw how uninspired the guys I first assisted were, I decided to leave "my other world" and make photos for clients, agencies and wire services.  Whilst assisting I shot editorial features for lifestyle magazines.  Since I had a book of published tearsheets, it was much easier to segue to a much larger national and international audience.

I think it's funny when I hear from younger photographers thinking they can eclipse putting in their dues and immediately shoot for agencies and wire services.  Perhaps they actually can "make a photo" but they know nothing about WORK-FLOW in the REAL WORLD nor what the market wants from a photographer (e.g., art buyers, photo editors, etc., etc.).  Thinking you're going to shoot 2,000 photos and take more than one hour to "get the photos out" ... makes me laugh.  You have to start small.  Local outlets.  You're probably going to have to work for free.  I mean everyone is a f---ing photographer now so ... you're really gonna have to work for free tear sheets now.

Get your tear sheets and then approach.  Otherwise, they will not return your telephone calls because no matter how much you think you know about shooting your Rebel XTi ... they don't want to train you in photographic methods you should already know. ;)

So ... having assisted primarily available light commercial shooters ... I knew I'd never shoot "that kind of commercial."  It's interesting learning how to light very large objects such as cars and motorcycles.  I may not shoot them today but learned plenty of lighting tricks which translate to many other subjects.  I was always attracted to "making it work" and "making it look beautiful" with just light.  The shit we did out in the desert in the middle of nowhere with nothing more than positioning, time of the day, bounce, anti-reflection and other things ... really intrigued me.

Even though I have to shoot a lot of on- and off-camera flash for the weeklies -- they love a well-lit, if not a touch on the overly-lit -- I always loved shooting available.  Back when I was "doing something else" but perhaps always being very observant of what was going on...  I would make photos with my F3's, F4's and F5's...

Even though I was "on the street" for wholly different reasons, yet fitting in because of the fact I "could have been a tourist", I rarely got caught making the sneaky street photographs.

Since then I use only the most inconspicuous equipment to make street... lit by light which is preexisting... with only me to "make it work."

I'm very happy the people I assisted largely used available light... it's stuck with me.

lynch smoking by cweeks pigeon attack by cweeks christina's new ring... by cweeks

For how many years have you been doing photography, and how would you describe your evolution as a professional photographer?
I've made more than 80 percent of my income as a photographer for more than ten years, however, I've received commissioned assignments since my early twenties, augmented, of course, by the assistant dayrates.

I shot for the local paper as a teenager.

When I don't have to work as much as I do at the present time, I will only shoot what I want.  I won't, however, ask 15 year old girls to pose halfway naked. ;)

My evolution went from shooting editorial assignments for lifestyle publications whilst assisting to shooting more editorial assignments to being asked to be represented by an international agency.  From that point I've shot for a few different agencies, which have now all been absorbed by the "dark star" of the photo-world, and the most prestigious wire services on the planet.

Interestingly, because of the work I do personally I've gotten more editorial assignments in that they were "looking for something different," which is read "shot with film."  There is a look and feel to film which cannot be duplicated with digital.

In a way ... my personal work (e.g., with a film camera and black and white film) has driven me to take my professional work in different directions.  I wish more of my shooter-friends would do more personal work.

how to blow a bubble by cweeks asian tourists in las vegas... by cweeks Brad by cweeks

Could you qualify your personal experience as a photographer? (For example, as an artist.)
Qualify?  Hmm.  My work has been published tens of thousands of times in over a thousand publications worldwide. The same could be said by many of my contemporaries yet I would hardly f---ing call them "artists."  Most "just show up" and don't use the access we're given to "push the envelope."  The set it at f/7.1 and forget about it.  They do the same boringly lit portrait setups they've been using for years.  Those who "only do their job" and fail to develop their passion through personal... I don't have much respect for their work.  Yes, I've told some of them that to their faces.

I have met some amazing people through photography.  In fact, what's cool is that I've been able to introduce my personal work because of the professional work to very interesting people I'm not going to name.

My archival photographic catalogue includes numbers in the millions redundantly backed-up over three terabytes of drive space in addition to boxes upon archival boxes of carefully preserved negatives.  

I've spoken, written and been interviewed on behalf of internationally-known photographic brands.

I used to even DD stuff here on dA! :)  That was a pretty cool experience...

Describe some of the important influences and inspirations that have helped shape your vision, whether they be cinema, photography, general art, literature, people, etc.
I now this sounds pretentious but I shaped my own vision.  As much as I love Helmut Newton's work ... I don't think that it's influenced anything in my style, he used tight apertures and lotsa light in his work, and I love as much light as is needed and wide apertures. with blown dreamland-like backgrounds.  

I'm influenced, if there's anything that really influences me, by knowing that if I have "goose bumps" I know I'm on the right track.

I'm influenced by being allowed to be breathing when I wake to an entirely new day.

I'm influenced by seeing that one angle on a face which would make any person fall in love with that person.

I'm influenced by redirecting energy in a positive way, as much as most would fail to see how that's possible. ;)

Having a child influenced me the most.

the beautiful molly... by cweeks Server against artist's wall by cweeks okay dad ... one more photo .. by cweeks

What subject matter do you prefer to photograph?
I love photographing people.  People are totally different from one another whereas landscape is ... like the same ... unless ... of course ... you're working that 20th layer of saturation into the HDR mix. ;)  Working with people includes a dynamic much different from still life and landscape shooters.  In fact, I find that most still life and landscape and Photoshop-jockeys don't even know how to interact with human subjects.  

Photography is all about details.  And, most importantly, nailing the details you see IN-CAMERA!  

The light reflected by a face is one of the most amazing things one can play with as a medium for creation.  I think, at least.

I prefer natural-looking fashion.

I love playing with off-camera flash without being one of those Strobist-geeks. ;)

his name is hermanito... by cweeks sundance session with crispin by cweeks alone in conversation by cweeks

Tell me about your interest in street photography.
When I'm shooting for weeklies and monthlies I'm there to make certain photos for specific purposes.  Moreover, even when I'm doing commissioned editorial portraits it's very specific.  There is room for artistic vision but given the timeframe I'm there to "make the photo" it seems very confined to me.  Not quite stifling but ... when a publicist is hovering and there's hair and make-up, styling, grooming, art direction ... an assistant and some other fucker's assistant ... there's only so much you can do.

With street ... To me ... Its like fly fishing.  Not that I fly fish or even golf any longer ... but ... it's one of those pursuits which is always fleeting and hard to grasp and that you only know by doing over and over and over.   And, perhaps over and over again.  One practices street yet I'm not sure If one ever completely masters.  I don't know any studio-only guys who could do street.  If it "isn't there" and "setup" and that's what you're used to shooting, then street will elude you.  So much out there yet ... it will elude them.

Street is like riding a wave of anarchy and random events and coming away with a nicely composed photo of a detail ... such as a moment between humans and their environment.  Photos of streets are urban-friggin-landscape.  Just so you know.  

It's one thing to make overt observations of the human condition -- whether that's in some 2 stop light town or in a metropolis -- but it's quite another thing to do the same thing but covertly.  When you read this I'm sure there are those that will say this "covert talent" was probably because I was a paparazzo.  Not even close.  Trust me on that. Street photography -- because of it's nature -- could almost be called "Street Pap" (as in paparazzi) but it's INTENT is different.  Papping by pappers is there to covertly -- and now very overtly -- exploit some fucking celebrity buying groceries with their child.   Yet, when I make a photo wherever the f--k I'm making the photo ... of someone selecting the perfect apple ... to me ... it's not exploitation ... it's a statement about how I see the human condition.  Intents is big.  Ask someone up for 1st degree murder; it's all about the intent.

As much as I love a lot of the work by HCB or Erwitt or Doisneau I think we are so lucky today to have meters in our cameras, fast lenses and fine-grained fast film at our disposal.  I think there is better street photography being produced from many different photographers today ... than there was when the genre was pretty much defined.  And not only in black and white ... I love Helen Leavitt's colour work in NYC.  I totally agree with her in so many ways.

Unlike so many other genres where you really do need expensive gear ... with street ... you need a camera ... some film ... expert knowledge of changing light conditions ... and the thirst and passion for "chasing the moment."

It really is almost the most simple form of photography -- which so many art-f---ing-donkeys call puerile or simplistic -- yet is so damn difficult to be even halfway good at doing.  There is not a perfect street photograph.  That's another reason I love the genre.  No matter how much you may chase a moment you'll almost never get the perfect photograph of the unobserved statement of human condition.  Why?  The nature of the subject matter is not perfect:  How can a photograph of the same be perfect?

Moments of singular personal introspection.

Moments between a human and their environment.

Moments between parent and child.

There are so many.

And getting it "right" and getting it RIGHT in-fucking-camera ... ah ... the pursuit.

What are your favorite tools of your trade as a photographer?
My Leica MP with the Summilux 35/1.4 ASPH is my favourite artistic tool yet as a professional-professional. I utilize Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III digital SLR's with L-series glass and San Disk CF cards.  In my professional world an old photo is a dead photo.  In my artistic personal world getting contact sheets is like Christmas morning.  Every-single-f---ing-time.

I think it's so f---ing funny to hear the discourses of "supposedly good photographers" and their continued lust for more and more megapixels and more Photoshop techniques.  Many of them shoot cropped-sensor d-SLR's and bitch about wanting fullframe sensor dSLR's.  Amazing film-based gear is like a fraction of what it used to be.  If I had only one camera and lens to make photos, it would be the MP and the 35-'lux.

My new favourite camera is still being built for me and I cannot wait to get it.  It's a rangefinder.  It shoots 4x5 polaroids.  Cannot wait!  

I'm not much of a gear-masturbating-whore. Don't get me wrong, I know gear. Just because you "know gear" doesn't mean you know shit about photography.  I know a very very well-known photographer who doesn't know crap about anything technical but he makes better photographs than 99% of the people reading this.  In fact, he makes better photographs than 100% of the gear-bators out there. ;)

I also use Apple equipment and Aperture as my RAW-converter.  Yes, I know Lightroom is cool.  I like Aperture better.  

I love the look of Ilford Delta 400 (scans nice on a neg scanner), Ilford Delta 100, Porta, APX 25 and Velvia.  All of those are tools of the trade as well.  Best full-frame sensors out there ... those rectangles of film. ;)

What does photography mean to you? What is its most important aspect, which makes you want to go out and shoot? What is center to your creative experience?
Photography in its purest sense of the word is capuring something written with light.  Beyond what one normally associates with "slight darkroom adjustments" I believe a photograph is made in-f---ing-camera.  I've heard from people who knew certain famous landscape photographers that, in fact, their negatives were ugly and most of the artistry came out in the printing.  So ... even they ... didn't "get it right in-camera."  Whatever.  F--- viewcameras.  They suck.  I can say that as I had to shoot and prep those lumbering bitches whilst assisting and vowed to never use one personally.  That was back in the day when the client had to Scitex the 4x5 chrome for additional post-production.  There's almost no need for that in today's world.

Adding 19 layers, excessive toning and saturation or adding or removing photographic elements IS NOT PHOTOGRAPHY.  That is graphic design.  

For those you who don't have that many pageviews, don't let that intimidate you.  Comment on work you admire.  See if they comment back.  Luckily, you have many great examples of amazing work on dA.  I mean that.  Amazing.

The other day i saw Rebecca's work ( fondaffections ) ... it's different and very interesting to look at.

What I like about that is I could probably see something she's done and say to myself, "That's that Rebecca from dA."  She has style.

Trust me ... oversaturation is not a style.  Shooting on a diagonal is not a style.  Shooting genre-specific themes is not style.  People will tire of your work; you will tire of whatever you're doing because you're not getting the attention you think your "style" deserves.

You'll move on to other things.

Photography isn't about some fad-bullshit ... it's something that you MUST do every single f---ing day.  I don't feel complete unless I've made a photograph.

Photography should be your passion that gives you a lump in the throat and chills on your arms or legs or back or scalp.

If it isn't, those with a "real eye" know.

Who are some of your favorite photographers?
Newton.  Allison Jackson.  Doisneau.  Boubat.  Jaimie Trueblood.  Erwitt.  Jim Marshall.  Platon.  D'Orazio.  That dude who did the crazy things with the elephants whom we spoke about the other night over dinner.

Who are some of your favorite general artists?
Jeff Koons.  Monet.  My Kid.

Who are some of the deviants who have inspired you, either socially as friends or artistically?
Honestly, no one on dA has really inspired me individually.  I'd say it's more of a collective (speaking about my photo-friends) inspiration.  dA to me, back in the day, was somewhere I could share some personal photos.  It seemed to be like a giant photoclub and at the time I thought it was about the best thing out there.  I'm "real world friends" with several people I met on here.  Matt Craig.  Charlotte, Gonzale.  Severin, coxi & kinderschokolade.  Arthur AKA banxter.  The lovely Elinor, of course.  Laith Majali, lmajali.  There are so many.  Some will be pissed I didn't say anything about them, but I type fast.  

In fact, I have an original Polaroid by Elinor on my wall.  Um ... I have one from Seamus.  I have one from Severin.  I have one from Riccardo as well.  There are others which will be framed soon. I'm working on a six foot print for myself. :)  Yep, six feet.  It almost ended up being a bald head.

The one thing I'll say for dA is that it, perhaps, inspired me to do more and more personal work.  I enjoyed sharing my work here.  Flickr seems like a place where people just "dump their cards" and call it photography.  Dunno if that happens here on dA.  In fact, I rarely went outside the photography community of people I was acquainted with on dA.  Flickr is the new Photobucket.  I hope that never happens to dA.  

Photography being defined as someone writing with light inside a camera's shutter box ... means not only those who nail it with film ... with confidence ... but those who nail it and make a beautiful file on a sensor as well.

That I respect.

If it weren't for the time we're at and place we're at in this world ... I would have never met some of the people I consider friends.

That I think is cool.

Personal experience can be an amazing thing.  Walking around Paris with Sev and f---ing with people ... chilling with Michael,micdt, and making photographs in Amsterdam ... shooting a protest with Charlotte, Gonzale... I believe that those experiences have enriched my life both as a person and an artist ...

And even though I have had my differences with the direction dA has gone -- in my opinion, of course -- I will be forever grateful.

I forgot to mention that I really enjoy Errol's work ( erainey ) and that of MyPrivateParty, too!  Sorry. ;)

Anything else you haven't said?
Probably not, except that I wrote this question as kind of my way of getting the last word in. ;)

I basically go upon the assumption that most people who photograph and do it from the heart would probably like to do this for a living and see their work published.  Given that, that's who I'm really speaking to... You may have an amazing gallery.  There are lots of good photographers out there.  Always have been.  But just having an online gallery of good work will not always get you work.

You have to edit-edit-edit the best of the best of the best ... and make prints ...

And make your book.

And then find out what it's like in the real world ...

After you get assignments and commissions...

Once you have the book and assignments start coming in...

And you know how to make it...

Then ... your opinion counts ...

I know I sound harsh.  I don't offer my advice to many people.  In fact, there are those few who know who they are... to whom I actually gave personal advice.  Knowing I've helped at least one achieve their success...  There are those who know that I've opened a door for them that they probably would have opened ...

That makes me feel good... Because all I care about is making photographs with the best of your ability ... from your heart.

Your eye may see it.

Your brain may process it.

But you know it in your heart when it's right.

I hope you feel that in your heart.

And then know it's right when you feel the chills go down your arm or your neck or your back or wherever...

A note from the author:  I am personally grateful for opportunities made possible to me on dA.  Meeting top-notch photographers such as Chris is one of the many opportunities that dA has afforded me.  As always, I have learned but have confirmed a lot of what I already knew about this artist by participating in the interview process.

light inspiered

Journal Entry: Thu Nov 21, 2013, 12:01 AM

Val D'Orcia by dfm63

Golden by slickwilly182 The Explorer - Looking for the trail by matthieu-parmentier Autumn splendor by matthieu-parmentier
The green coast by matthieu-parmentier Unknown Germany pt. XXXVIII by TheChosenPesssimist High jump by matthieu-parmentier
Descent from Karchung La by Dominion-Photography Carving green mountains by Lidija-Lolic Mountain - Tatry by miirex

October splendour again by jchanders Autumn walk pt.X. by realityDream Follow the Path by IndigoSummerr
The Rail goes ever on... by Celem Autumn Kaleidoscope by tourofnature -Charming present- by Janek-Sedlar
Kirnitzsch by TobiasRichter The Clarity of Autumn by tourofnature Unknown Germany pt. XXXVI by TheChosenPesssimist

Unveiled by Nate-Zeman

-Moravian lines- by Janek-Sedlar San Francisco, unseen night by alierturk -Moravian fields III- by Janek-Sedlar
Reinefjorden Rainbow by Dave-Derbis Spring by MindShelves :thumb399973891:
Alpine Firmament by davidrichterphoto Small by Nelleke Autumn morning by Aphantopus

Blue Ice by KennethSolfjeld Discoverer by uberfischer Colossus by Inebriantia
Nordlys by steinliland The Horseman by tihomirmladenov Aurora Borealis by porbital
Assiniboine Sunset by Dani-Lefrancois Guardians of the Ice Temple by matthieu-parmentier Giants in Winter by FlorentCourty

A ghost story by RobinHalioua

The Mytic North - Pt. XI by TheChosenPesssimist La Billaude by matthieu-parmentier Muuratjoki by m-eralp
Silent Whispers by Nelleke Maerchenwald by RobinHalioua Light and Dark by erynlasgalenphotoart
:thumb400621531: :thumb405929956: Elder Souls by FlorentCourty

:thumb412162189: Reha nera thunderstorm RN10 after sunset wallpaper by LemnosExplorer Reflected by m-eralp
Behemoth Stranded by uberfischer Winter is Coming by cprmay Iceberg Beach by porbital
Sunlight and Storm by cprmay Puerto Natural by nahojsennah Hell on Earth - Long exposure by matthieu-parmentier

Obelisk by DMMDesign

Sunrise overture pt.IX. by realityDream Daydreaming the path I meet you... by borda silent hill by KR-2Y-51-3K
The Dawn by cprmay -At beginning of the day- by Janek-Sedlar Darkshines by jkrab
Sunrise overture pt.VI. by realityDream Haute Terre by Annabelle-Chabert Pray for Rain by Questavia

Blue Alps III by Addran Aurora Borealis 9 December 2012 by KennethSolfjeld On Colorado Plains by INTOtheRFD
San Francisco, on clouds by alierturk Far Away by Annabelle-Chabert Autumn Morning by RobinHalioua
Contrasts by kkart Into the Blue by erynlasgalenphotoart Myrland beach I by acoresjo88

Prelude to winter by matthieu-parmentier

Secret Life by ildiko-neer Red Nirvana by DMMDesign Peak Season by hougaard
Cherry Haze by tvurk :thumb407961090: Hulne Park Autumn by newcastlemale
-Timeless- by Janek-Sedlar Contemplation (4608x3456) by Fan-Gogh Before the Storm by xavierrey

:thumb412274274: The Journey Continues by Oer-Wout I'll Meet You On The Other Side by jkrab
Silent Waters by Oer-Wout Secret pathway by lieveheersbeestje After The Storm by jkrab
Mt Assiniboine from Niblet by porbital The Odyssey by ColinHSillerud Pebble's View by Dee-T

dawn by vicente-oliveira

Behind the clouds by TomazKlemensak Sulfur Wastelands by JoelBelessa For Such a Time by werol
:thumb410601842: Where Horizons End by Ondskapens mi querido otono 2 by kriakao
:thumb411967500: The shire by RobinHalioua Road to Heaven by RobinHalioua
Conway Summit by tassanee Milky Way Rainbow by ExplicitStudios Lake Langisjor by Aphantopus
Big Red by CainPascoe Before Night Falls by SvenMueller lonely tree panorama by acoresjo88

Mothership Landing by fistfulofneurons Mount Teide by Hestefotograf Light Through the Valley by PeterJCoskun
Yin Yang FAll by Dee-T Cascade Canyon - Wyoming by wyorev Cascades by MartinAmm
the everforest. by etheraiel The last sunny day in October by freMDart Claree river stairs by matthieu-parmentier
Trinity by A2Matos To the unknown by erynlasgalenphotoart Al-Hada by eyesweb1

Golden October by TobiasRichter The Unknown Lands by ahmedspeculates Out Of The Woods by valiunic

.:Virgin River 2:. by RHCheng

thank you for all your beautiful works

This Journal Skin was designed by Night-Beast

Lena's transformation is complete! The entries for the Beautiful Creatures  Light or Dark contest showcased Lena, a caster faced with the choice of Light or Dark, in the midst of making her selection. Lena wasn't the the only one with a tough decision to make! Judges and authors of the Beautiful Creatures  novels Margaret Stohl and Kami Garcia had the difficult task of determining the top five winners from our 25 Semi-Finalists. Check out Lena as Light and Dark, as well as our top winner who clinched an all-expenses paid trip to Los Angeles, CA among other amazing prizes!

Judges' Comments

We each chose this piece for the Grand Prize without even discussing it; We found it to be true to the Lena of our novels as well as the film. We noted the charm necklace, the Chucks, the "Caster breeze" in the dynamic, curling hair, and the "naturalist" element with the doves. Well done!

*wylielise has won
  • All expenses paid trip for two to Los Angeles to attend the US premiere of Beautiful Creatures, take a tour of deviantART headquarters, get a personalized tour of Panpipes Hollywood, and a guided tour of the Magic Castle
  • dA PRO Digital Artist Backpack
  • deviantART Hoodie of Winner's Choice*
  • dA Notebook Set by Leuchtturm
  • Panasonic 3D Wi-Fi Blu-Ray Player
  • One-Year Premium Membership to deviantART
  • 8,000 deviantART Points
  • $2,000 USD
Judges' Comments

This piece so nearly won the Grand Prize! The degree of detail in the paper cutting is so incredible, and the single splash of color in Lena's heart is perfect. Lena is very "Natural" here, but perhaps less dynamic in the piece we ultimately selected for the Grand Prize. Still, well done!

*camilliette has won
  • Panasonic 3D Wi-Fi Blu-Ray Player
  • Six-Month Premium Membership to
  • deviantART T-Shirt of Winner's Choice*
  • dA Notebook Set by Leuchtturm
  • 4,000 deviantART Points
  • $1,000 USD
Judges' Comments

So cute, and so Lena. Clutching her notebook while the world turns into chaos around her. We really found this piece to be charming.

*bluespottedfrog has won
  • Panasonic 3D Wi-Fi Blu-Ray Player
  • Six-Month Premium Membership to
  • deviantART T-Shirt of Winner's Choice*
  • dA Notebook Set by Leuchtturm
  • 4,000 deviantART Points
  • $1,000 USD
Judges' Comments

The technical detail - as well as the character detail - in this piece was overwhelming. We love the way the light hits Lena's face, and the charm necklace wrapped in her hair. Bravo!

*enchantress-lele has won
  • Panasonic 3D Wi-Fi Blu-Ray Player
  • Six-Month Premium Membership to
  • deviantART T-Shirt of Winner's Choice*
  • dA Notebook Set by Leuchtturm
  • 4,000 deviantART Points
  • $500 USD
Judges' Comments

We loved the "turning Lena on her head" idea - because so often she does feel like her world is upside down, and like she's changing into something terrifying. A not very beautiful creature! This one gave us nightmares! Amazing.

*christina-the-weird has won
  • Panasonic 3D Wi-Fi Blu-Ray Player
  • Six-Month Premium Membership to
  • deviantART T-Shirt of Winner's Choice*
  • dA Notebook Set by Leuchtturm
  • 4,000 deviantART Points
  • $500 USD
* Depending on availability

Forward by techgnotic

Picasso seeing a seven as an upside down nose?

Right brain warriors in the new age will be the coveted candidates ordained to lead and guide us; lifting the torch to light the way forward into a brave new beautiful world.

Artists have always feared that they are unappreciated and that the march of progress comes only from business, science and their machines. 1984 was imagined by an artist projecting these exact fears. Our guest essayist suggests the computer will never be our master, but only the super high speed counting machine it was meant to be leaving humans with only one pure task— being creative.

The Right Brain Revolutionby Auren Hoffman

Over the next 100 years, the importance of creativity will trump systems thinking due to the rapidly escalating power of computers.

No, I’m not talking about an apocalyptic “Rise of the Machines,” but rather about the future ascent of people who excel in creativity, intuition, and the marshaling of original solutions, things that computers won’t be able to do for a long time. Tomorrow’s rewards will be won by creative people who contribute new ideas. Call it the Right Brain Revolution.

For the past few centuries, society has richly rewarded strong systems thinkers, logical, analytical, objective people such as computer programmers who build software, engineers who build bridges, lawyers who write contracts, and MBAs who crunch numbers. But as computers take over more of the pure systems thinking, people with only this skill set will find their importance decline. There are about 4 to 5 million engineers and computer scientists employed today in the US and few will be automated out of existence. But in the next 50 years, those that excel in creativity-- big picture thinkers, artists, inventors, designers -- will rise to the top. It could be as big a paradigm shift in labor market history as when tools made physical strength irrelevant, or assembly lines replaced the cottage industry. The illiterates of the future will not be those who cannot read and write or code, but those who cannot connect the dots and imagine a constellation.

From 1975 to 1994 only 0.5% of psychological studies concerned creativity, but now it’s a flourishing field complemented by an entire industry of self-help books on how to become more creative. A recent IBM poll of 1,500 CEOs from 60 countries and 33 industries identified creativity as the No. 1 “leadership competency” of the future (more than rigor, management discipline, integrity and even vision).


Instead of making a resolution to learn how to code in 2013, you might make a resolution to learn how to draw.

Auren Hoffman


Computers are no match for the average fourth-grader when it comes to creativity.

Auren Hoffman


Instead of encouraging your child to major in engineering, you might encourage her to study philosophy.

Auren Hoffman

In the United States, the key predictive score to spot a good systems thinker-- our future leaders-- has been the SAT and IQ tests. Our universities have, for the most part, outsourced their admissions decisions to these tests. And that was probably a good thing. In the last few hundred years, systems thinking trumped all other talents. We needed to build bridges and understand complex matters. While creativity, emotional intelligence, and other talents have been important, they were relegated to second place in predicting a person’s success. But while high IQ is important, it isn’t very correlated to creativity.

That is going to change.

Over the next 30 years, we are going to see a big societal shift that will give outsized rewards to creativity. Systems thinking, while still important, will move to second-fiddle in the talent hierarchy.

So What To Do?


Education and parenting should aim to provide the conventional skills (math, problem solving, and test taking skills) while also encouraging creative, out-of-the-box type thinking. Computers are no match for the average fourth-grader when it comes to creativity.


Instead of making a resolution to learn how to code in 2013, you might make a resolution to learn how to draw. After a few months of lessons you might begin to observe the world differently seeing details, light and shadows, shapes, proportions, perspective and negative space.


Instead of encouraging your child to major in engineering, you might encourage her to study philosophy, ask smart unsettling questions and practice making unusual and unexpected mental associations.

Albert Einstein said;

“I have no special gift. I am only passionately curious.”

About Auren Hoffman

Auren Hoffman is an industry visionary with a global battlefield view of emerging business, commerce, technology, and social realities that is truly second to none. His analysis of current trends, unique in a revolutionary perspective, makes him sought after as an advisor to a multitude of divergent companies and business professionals. In a recent essay Auren sounded the alarm alerting his colleagues across multiple industries to the radical shift in direction necessary to ensure success by sharing his thoughts on what will be of most value in the coming decades of this new emerging reality - - you, the artist.

Auren’s writing in future-speak. But the future may be now. The gigantic proletarian participation in the arts all over the Internet from deviantART to YouTube to Vimeo or smaller influential places such as Behance or 500 Pixels or the millions of Wordpress blogs and the complete wonder of a genuinely crowd-sourced and peer-reviewed Wikipedia— all of this is a massive popular takeover of the arts— not a revolution but an inconspicuous re-engineering enabled by technology.


Questions For the Reader

  1. Do you believe your art advances the human condition?

  2. Do you believe that those with more creative rather than systems-oriented thought processes are destined to assume the leadership role at this point in human history?  Do you see evidence of this happening already?

  3. Have you ever experienced a knee-jerk fear of advancing, accelerating technology "taking over" all human relevancy? Or have you always felt secure in technology remaining a tool serving a human master no matter how advanced the A.I. becomes?

  4. Are we at the apex of what is achievable technologically and now, as Auren Hoffman suggests, about to enter a Next Phase of human society beyond sheer survival emphasizing the arts?