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Do you believe that art can fundamentally change your sense of who you are?

Vote! (54,483 votes) 710 comments
55,367 Deviants Online

"Why do you artists always get so pissed off when someone uses your artwork? You should take it as a compliment!"


"You should take it as a Compliment --"
2579886-5567648625-incon by NinjaKato

A compliment would be admiring an artist's work where they post it, and if you really want to use it that badly, complimenting them would be you having enough respect for them to ask first. 
Most of us don't get mad because you use it, it's because you use it without asking or pretend you didn't know who/where it came from when there's a link to where you can find the original artist on the image. 
Taking someone's car to crash it in a derby isn't a compliment to them any more than taking someone's art to wreck it or claim it is a compliment. More so without asking. 

"What about realism artists?! They copy from photographs all the time, no originality there but you don't yell at them for copying photos! What makes some one copying/tracing another artist's work so different?"

Thinking-cap1 by NinjaKato

Firstly -- When someone is referencing a photograph they are essentially looking at pure material. When you do this you are usually looking to draw something realistically and precisely enough to where it's recognizable and anatomically correct. 
Referencing is not the same as tracing. Copying? Yes, to a degree but there's a hook -- Copying a stock photo to ensure decent anatomy is different than taking another artist's work and copying/tracing it for anatomy practice. If their sense of anatomy is wrong you aren't learning anything at all. 
Photos can technically be someone's property but if they put it as stock or reference material they offer it for free license and use by others. They took the image with their camera but they forgo complete ownership in a way. 

Secondly -- Copying a photograph for anatomically correct proportions hardly renders an image 'not creative/original'. Creativity doesn't come from the references used, it comes from the artist's ability to use them in a creative and innovative fashion. Copying or closely referencing a photograph merely dictates whether or not the final outcome is either believable or properly proportioned. 

"If you didn't want it stolen, don't post it online."

Kevin-Hart-Really-GIF by NinjaKato

If I got money for every time I've heard this, I'd have a Ferrari by now... 
Look, just because it's there doesn't mean it's free to take. More so if it's got someone's name on it. My car being parked on the street doesn't mean someone can just hop in and take it for a spin -- "It was just sitting there, your name isn't on it!" 
"Online ≠ Mine" 
A store putting a plate of cookies out on the counter doesn't make them free unless they say 'free cookies!' and even then, you're better off asking in case it's not THOSE cookies that are free. Artists shouldn't have to be worried about their stuff getting ganked because people can't keep their hands to themselves online. It's called common sense. Use it. If you didn't make it or ask for it and get the 'okay', it's not yours. 

"I'm just using your character's likeness -- it's not like I'm claiming I drew it or created it!"

tumblr m4usxzWq5j1qezk6n by NinjaKato

And you can't create your own characters? I mean, you can write out everything about them so why not write out a description as well? 
I can't entirely speak for other artists on this one but creating a character is hard work enough let alone drawing it out to the specs you want. Many of us spend hours or even days-weeks-months trying to come up with decent characters and we put a lot of heart and soul into them. To you they may just be cool drawings but to us they're our creations; part of us. 
I think a lot of people are well aware that if you see someone with 20 different art styles in their list of characters chances are they didn't draw them. So it's not that people are claiming they drew them (not all the time anyway) -- it's again, using our IP for your RP without asking or respecting our rights and terms as the original creator.
You can't copyright ideas or even colours, markings, poses, and personality traits. However, images are something an artist CAN copyright. If you want to have a blue and orange wolf character that acts like Optimus Prime, fine. You can do that, but you can't take someone's wolf version of Optimus Prime and use it as a bio pic for your character without asking. Catch my drift?  
Write out a bio to describe your character, it works just as well if you're a good writer -- And if you're that hard up for a visual, ask or pay an artist to draw it for your personally. Then your character will be made up to specs you want instead of having to steal to get something close.

So you see, it's not that we're selfish whiny pissbabies... It's more because we love our work and we'd love you to enjoy our work as well. On OUR terms. If you respect an artist, respect their rights and terms. 
End of story.

As a statement of empowerment and artist prestige, we're pleased to reveal deviantART's official poster for Artists’ Alley at San Diego Comic-Con – designed by the exquisitely talented Artgerm!

DeviantART couldn't be more excited to sponsor Artists' Alley for the fourth year in a row.  Our aim has always been to keep focus on those who not only make the entire convention possible, but provide us with a world of entertainment across all media: the artists.

Go forth and march with your creative brethren!

DeviantART San Diego Comic Con 2014 Poster by Artgerm

Get the poster!

Spread the word!

Arm yourself with the above image.  Plaster the poster on the walls of your bedroom or school, share the image across social media, design mash-ups and remixes to be submitted back online, or make print-outs and start your own local art revolution.  (The image is available for any use, as long as it's non-commercial and in the spirit of deviantART.)

What is art?

In keeping with artist solidarity, we want to hear what art means to you! 
  • Is art what gets you up in the morning?
  • Is it what you live and breathe?
  • Is it a way to connect with friends across the globe?

Leave a comment and finish the sentence, “Art is __________.”

'Add Media' functionality has been enabled for all deviants in this journal.  Feel free to upload your Comic-Con poster-related photos and images!

How to get better at art

Journal Entry: Fri Jul 18, 2014, 1:45 PM

People keep asking me what programs i use, and what program is the best for drawing and what brushes i used for this artwork or that. Those are legitimate questions, sure, but not entirely accurate. There are differences between programs and brushes, but in the end, they are all tools. They are tools artists use to put their imagination onto a canvas. Just like a traditional artist can use 10 different brushes to paint an artwork, or just one single brush, digital art is the same in that regard. There is no one brush that can achieve an effect that none other can. Sure it's a little more difficult if you're using one brush type to draw everything, but not impossible. Artists might have hundreds of brushes in Photoshop but in truth, we use 2-5 brushes the most and those hundreds only in special cases. I personally use a hard brush and a soft brush for 90% of things, what i do change is the opacity and turn the pressure on and off, change the size etc. 
And the most common misconception is that if someone uses a specific brush or program, that will magically enhance their drawing skills. Well unless you use magical fairy dust along with that brush, chances are they won't. What will enhance your skills is daily practice. I see people literally on the hunt for artist's brushes hoping something magical will happen when they get it. They get angry when the artist doesn't want to share them thinking he is holding the secret to art skills all to himself! That meanie! Well some artists are too busy or don't feel like sharing but trust me, whatever brushes you find on the internet, they are just as good as the ones he/she has. This endless quest for this special technique or trick or brush that will make their art skills better over the night, has artists feeling cheated when they don't find it but the cold hard truth is talent is only 1% of the job (although some speculate talent doesn't even exist) the rest of 99% is hard work. 
There is one more thing besides hard work that is needed if improvement is to happen at a fast pace, and that is applying a learning method. The reason schools exist is because you get to have teachers that guide you in the right direction, provide learning material, and keep the students on track all the time. If you would learn at home, you might fal into the trap of lingering for too long at something, or slacking, or trying too many things at the same time and learning none, or not trying anything new. There are many many problem that occur in self learning. If self learning were so easy then teachers would be out of jobs. 
But chances are most people reading this are in fact self taught, so am i actually. So here are my tips (they're not magical unfortunately) for learning by yourself.

1.) Gather learning materials. (This is the easiest step :) (Smile) ) Make a folder in your computer, and download there all the books about drawing you can find on the internet. Go in deviantART's resources and stock category and browse the most popular brushes and download them. Browse the resources and stock category for step by step tutorials on how to draw water, fire, etc. And save them all, gotta catch 'em all gotta catch 'em all!
Here is my collection… although on my computer i have much much more saved. Keep adding in this folder whenever you find something new, this journey never ends. Save in this folder any artwork you find intriguing and want to replicate this effect or that. 

2.) Identify your weakest point. Ask someone to critique your whole gallery and find the thing you need to work on the most. With that weak point in mind, make your learning be focused on that aspect of your art more than the others.

3.) Make a plan. Teachers have all the things they need to teach planned for a whole year, and that's what you need to do as well. You're missing a teacher so you have to act like one for yourself. So make a document, .doc or paper, and divide the year in 12 months. Each month should have a theme. Like for example you want to learn anatomy, then each month should have a body part attached to it. You can allocate 2 months for hands since they are harder, and 2 months for feet. The rest i leave it up to you to decide, for me personally was neck, head, hands, feet, male torso, female torso, butt (yes, need to learn how to draw that), shoulders, i found those to be more important. 
Each month should be divided in weeks, and each week should have a separate theme. Here's where the learning materials come in handy. You pick go through your tutorial folder and pick a tutorial for each week. You can make things last for 2 weeks but don't linger to much on only one subject. Here are the subjects i choose, a few examples in case you don't know what to pick: how to draw water, fore, earth, grass, crystal, folds in material ( i allocated this 2 weeks), hair, fur, metal, glass, fish, etc. Whatever suits your fancy :) (Smile) If you look at a piece of artwork that is so good it makes you wanna quit, then don't quit! Try to find the one thing you really like about that artwork, allocate it one week to try to replicate the effect, and move on. 

4.) Stick to the plan! This is another thing teachers are good at, keeping you on track. But you have to find it within yourself to stay on track because you have no one pushing you to do it or threatening to give you bad grades if you don't make your homework. It's tough, it's an interior battle, so it's good to find something on the outside that helps keeping you motivated. 

5.) Stick to the plan! No, this isn't a a copy paste error, sticking to the plan really is rule no. 5, and rule no. 6, 7, 8... 1000 because it's the hardest to follow. 

And i wish you all the best in this learning journey 

I did not proof read this journal o___________o  


The thing about getting known is that people say funny things to you. Most of it is bullshit. Some of it is true, and some of it is downward inconsiderate. Some of it does make me think, though.

One of those things said to me, a while ago, was that I wasn't so much of an artist.
That, despite the fact that I was decently known on the internet nowadays, I didn't make actual great art.
(The actual comment phrased it somewhere along the lines of "famous as hell, but still draws like a college art student")

And you know what I thought? This guy actually did have a solid point. The way he worded it down was just... not so clever. 

Throughout my life I've seen people with great skills in everything. I've learned soon enough that people typically see themselves as either a left-brain or a right-brain thinker, meaning so much that their either go with logic or intuition, and are often either good with numbers or social skills/art (that come with that). While many of these tests where proven myths long ago and it's already well known that we use both sides of our brain, we do have a dominant side and it does firmly leave its fingerprint on who we are, how we think, and often what we will end up doing. 

I'm the person that's in the middle. I don't have a particular dominant side. I'm between logic and intuition. A confused mind, as one of the teachers that took my career test in high school used to typify me. And that's basically what I am. I enjoy art and social science as much as I enjoy building computers and programming, and the thought of giving up either of them would make me incredibly sad. This rather unique feature of me, however, does make it hard to focus on one thing as I enjoy so many of them, and I enjoy them equally. It makes it hard to blend in society as well... but that's a whole different story.

When I was younger, I used to envy people that were 'pure' in the sense that they had only one goal in life and one single thing that interested them. Not being able to focus on one thing alone, I generally saw myself as a huge slacker, and that wasn't too good for my confidence in general. A few years of experience learned me that I am in fact dedicated. I spend most of my time learning new stuff, as I'm curious by nature. But I share my time between many very different fields of interest and spend time on whatever has, on that moment, the most interesting thing to learn. And like the proverb "jack of all trades, master of none" already implies, it's very hard to maintain great knowledge on multiple fields. You can't basically outdo the experts that do that same thing all day... and with a good reason. Life wouldn't be exactly fair if people that talented existed. 

What I do think needs to change, is society's attitude towards people that generalize in multiple crafts, instead of choosing a single one.
In the art world as well, I found people only moderately understanding towards how is to have multiple interests besides from art. All classical art education says you have to study for 40+ hours a week, draw a lot of anatomy and such -- oh, you know the drill. The point is; not everybody can do that. Being in school I've told my teachers many times that such a thing was, for me at least, not the way to learn. Because people with a mind like me basically need variation to pick things up. Doing the same thing over and over again for a period of months would lull my brain to sleep. But I learned pretty soon that saying such a thing in this society (or school -- in that regard) was just not done. I was seen as weak, unprepared for society, and just another lazy slacker that only wanted to party (while I ironically never attended parties in university, actually).
For those that want to know how the story ended. Eventually I did things in my own way. My unique combination of knowing both design and computer science landed me a good job... and basically didn't do as bad as the horror scenario the teachers predicted. Everything ended up pretty well. 

The point is; it takes all kinds of people to make the world run.
We need people that specialize in things and we need people that can do a lot of things to connect those. I see may people nowadays make the mistake to link fame directly to artistic skills, and be disappointed if this doesn't match up. While, as a matter of fact, there are so many more skills needed to get known than just being good with a paintbrush. What about social skills? How about thinking up good concepts for your work? Or storytelling? How about marketing? How about networking? These are a plethora of skills that increase your chances of 'fame' that don't directly involve holding a paintbrush, but do involve actual skill and a lot of practice. They are, unlike visual art, not directly visible. That doesn't mean, however, they aren't there. And that doesn't mean they don't deserve appreciation.

It's important to realize this, and appreciate people for what they are. Because that not-so-good artist you look down on today, may have great networking skills. Skills that might one day bring him to the top of a company, where he might actually offer you a job if he liked you...

Milk for The Ugly

Tue Jul 22, 2014, 8:07 PM

of Beauty

Imagine that you are a young social worker, dedicated to finding out the hidden and forgotten old souls who haunt the cold, mean streets of the city. You seek to report on their living conditions, possibly recommending they be removed from their roach-infested “homes.”

So it is that you have come to find yourself sitting at the kitchen table of a cadaverous old shut-in you’ve been assigned to visit. The kitchen is spotlessly pristine while the adjoining darkened living room reeks of rotting garbage.

The sun is setting. You rise to leave. You step over a cardboard barrier separating kitchen from living room, seeking the front door. But it is too late. They have risen. The old woman’s many “children” are awake... and they are hungry.

Let us pause here... this preview of the new Madefire Motion Book experience, Milk for The Ugly, to tell you about the two longtime deviant artists who have created this remarkable achievement in storytelling.

In any case, no prose preview could begin to do justice to the Madefire experience of shifting illustrations in a fully soundtracked narrative. Milk for The Ugly truly has to be experienced to be really appreciated.

Anna & Kate

Rarely do artists of the deviantART community exemplify the skill, creativity, spirit and sheer arts career tenacity of Anna & Kate, the deviants we profile here, who have become, singularly and when working as a team, favorites and real role models within our community.

Anna Podedworna (akreon) & Kate Redesiuk (vesner) were born and raised in similar households in Poland by similarly “overachieving” parents who wanted only the best lives for their daughters, both girls being told, “You can choose whatever you want to be in the future, as long as it is a doctor, a lawyer or an architect.” Anna, being torn between natural science and the fine arts, chose a compromise in pursuing architecture. Kate was “persuaded” to choose architecture by her parents, who just happened to work in construction. Anna & Kate met over doodlings of mutant zombie bunnies at the university. Drawn together by their similarly off-kilter tastes in illustration, they eventually became roommates hooked on digital art, working on projects together.

During their time at the university they learned from one another and their roles started to slowly reverse. Ann grew to like the technical part of architecture, and Kate got more and more into art.

Anna works as a freelance artists while finishing her masters degree. As a freelancer she has worked on illustrations, comics and recently gotten into the world of fashion by working for Ewa Minge and creating a few designs series for her new brand Eva Minge Milano. Once she gets her master degree she wants to get back into architecture and continue pursuing her career as an architect.

Kate dropped out from the university just before becoming an engineer, after realizing she was living someone else’s dream. She decided to become a professional artist. At first she worked as a freelance illustrator for advertising companies but has now made her way into the game development industry and works full-time as a concept artist at CD Projekt RED.

Anna & Kate are known by their deviant followers to sometimes to embody and inhabit their peculiar alter egos, “Pugbun,” a bunny-eared pug dog and “Tailcat,” a cat with a second head on the end of her tail.

Battles over unwashed dishes and strewn crayons have led to war between the two characters. Pugbun of Pugbunistan usually upholds the Anna banner, with TailCat of Tailcatica being a spokescat for Kate’s positions.


But it is Off-White, the ongoing adventure tale of a wolf clan on a mythic journey that has become a phenomenon for Anna & Kate as their premier collaboration. This project began as an experiment, a 5-page one-shot, but generated such a warm reception from the community that more pages were created and soon the tale snowballed into it’s current six chapters. The success of the story has spun off its own group on deviantART and a product line of Off-White artwork and collectibles. What Anna & Kate have achieved here is truly an ongoing fulfillment of the deviantART community spirit put into action.

Not satisfied to rest on their laurels, Anna & Kate have now raised the bar of comic storytelling by utilizing the cutting edge comics sound and motion technology of Madefire, in which illustrated panels come alive at the tap of your device’s monitor screen.

This time out, as befits the subtle movements of light and shadow enabled by Madefire, Milk for The Ugly is more twisted to the playfully macabre tastes of creators, presenting what can be enjoyed as if it were a lost episode of The Twilight Zone. But upon deeper reflection, their little story would appear to be commenting upon modern times at several different levels. In this inside-out classic children’s cautionary tale, the terror in the “woods” has been transplanted to the environs of an urban apartment building.  The old crone’s face has been drawn to hint she might be Death him/her/its self, regenerating discarded half-eaten edibles into human-eating little monsters—making for a horrifying “cycle” of environmentally rational endless re-use.

Or possibly the darling little girl’s rejection of the street hag at the tale’s beginning is simply meant to raise the question of who are the true “uglies” of society? It’s the sort of “instant classic” must-have story that will be returned to again and again by readers. Best of all, the creativity and stylistic artistry (especially in their characters’ facial expressions) achieved in Anna & Kate’s book makes Milk for The Ugly is one of the most beautiful Motion Books you’ll ever experience. It will no doubt be regarded as one of the seminal issues of the "new comics."

Interviews with Anna & Kate

1.As master storytellers and world builders with a wonderful and attentive fan base on deviantART; What excites you most about how Milk for The Ugly looks and feels in terms of storytelling for an audience?

Art style in comics is a great tool of conveying mood and atmosphere of the story. We were very excited to try out a different style that isn't really signature for any of us. It's creepy and grungy, but also cartoony and expressive. It's a nice contrasts that hopefully makes the story feel even darker and more eerie.

2.Can you share what you feel are the most important aspects of telling ongoing episodic stories? Specifically as it relates to cultivating a fan base?

Since internet communities became a thing there have been tons of works written about cultivating fanbases. It takes a lot of time and effort but the theory is rather simple and can be narrowed down to a few most important points.

To be successful be sure to update your story regularly, so fans have something to look forward to every one or two weeks. Stubbornness is the key here, especially with webcomics—it's hard to have a fan base with just one or two pages. The more and the better story you deliver, the more people are going to get hooked up.

Be respectful to your readers and interact with them as often as possible. Answer questions, have fun in the comments, share your thoughts, organize small contests or giveaways.

Try keeping a relatively consistent style of art and writing. It doesn't mean that all parts of the story have to have the same mood and/or art style but it's best to pick 1-3 genres and stick to them.

Or just be like us—scrap the theory, do none of the above, and hope for the best.

3.What are the essential elements of building a complex escalating story world? Order of importance of these elements?

Have a top-down approach. When imagining your world, set a few basic rules for it and start from there.

These rules can be anything from "all animals can speak with humans", through "rain raises instead of falling down" to "ghosts are real and everyone knows that."

Build your story around it and keep questioning everything.”

Make sure your story makes sense within your universe. Think what would happen if your rules were the same but the story different. Always come up with more than you want to tell. The world you build is as important as your story, and can greatly enhance it. The rules we set in our stories are usually bits taken from different mythologies from around the world. We don't like to hold to them too tightly though and usually try to twist and turn them in a way that makes the stories fresh and interesting.

4.How does your process work as far as art creation and the actual writing of the story and dialogue?

Story, art, dialogues. We love telling each other stories while drinking tea. We tell each other's ideas and come up with new ones on the fly. Having someone who listens to your stories is very important. There are always plot holes and mistakes that need to be patched up or reworked, so critique is always important. If you don't have a partner to work with in a team, tell stories to your friends, family or people on the internet. After the story is ready, we sit down and come up with art sequences that could illustrate it. Rough thumbnails showing what's most important to show in a given panel are enough to plan everything out.

At this point we still don't have any specific dialogues, but rather a few important words that need to be spoken or emotions that need to be conveyed.

Only after the art for the comic is done, we once again sit down and try to figure out what would each character say in a given situation.”

Would they have the time for a few sentences or would they be too shocked to say anything at all? Would they use complicated words or simple ones? In some cases dialogues aren't even needed and the story tells itself by images alone.

Milk For The Ugly Character Creation In SketchBook Pro

Kate Redesiuk shows us how to create a character for Milk for The Ugly using SketchBook Pro.

5.Do you see Motion Books online as the inevitable next level of our increasingly mobile society?

It depends. Motion Books are a relatively new medium that still needs to be fully explored. On one hand they add a new value to the traditional comics, but on the other they require much more work. They have the potential for interactive storytelling, but could also go completely opposite direction and get closer to animation. It's all up to creators, and the more motion comics we get, the greater the chance for them to grow into something unique and irreplaceable.

6.As visual artists telling a story, what is the most valuable storytelling innovation enabled by the Madefire process?

Subtle movement! A gentle nod of the head, a flinch of the body, a twitch of an eye. In traditional comics it's incredibly hard to illustrate something that ephemeral without big close-ups or repetition. The motion tool makes it very easy and intuitive.

7.Fans are most familiar with your work as a team on your wolf clan adventure epic, Off-White. But does the darkly humored Milk for The Ugly better reflect your comic sensibilities?

We're very happy that we had the chance to work on something so different to our ongoing comic, but we honestly feel quite free in all sorts of different styles and stories. Off-White is a collaboration that is quite different from both our individual works and personal comic tastes. Milk for the Ugly brought together our joined love for dark and twisted stories, but on the other hand required a more work in finding a middle ground in terms of our art styles. Who knows what the next Madefire Motion Book collaboration between us will result in!

8.Will Off-White continue for as long as fans ask for it, or until you decide your own logical end for it?

Off-White is planned from start all way to its definite end. Our fans will know for sure which page is the very last one in the series.

9.How are Pugbun & Tailcat getting along? Or is that stalemate situation best left uncommented on?

Anna Kate'sArtists You Better Be Watching

Pascal Campion


“Pascal's works may seem simple at first glance but that seeming simplicity is what makes me love his art so much. Thanks to his minimalistic approach the amazing array of emotions he puts into each painting shines trough even more brilliantly. Every of his paintings tells more story than many movies or books can only dream of.”


Yoann Lossel


“All of Yoann's works are heavy in atmosphere. His unique technique of mixing graphite and gold is simply an epitome of class.”


Stephanie Pui-Mun Law


“My favorite contemporary watercolorists hands down. Her paintings are rich in detail, colors and texture. I especially love when she approaches mythological themes in her artwork. She has this wonderful gift to make the stories she illustrates seem satisfactorily familiar and at the same time amazingly fresh.”




“I'm always impressed with how Levente Peterffy can archive realism with the simplest of brush strokes. In every one of his painting you can find a very creative texturing, strong composition and moody lighting.”


Noah Bradley


“Noah Bradley is not only an incredible artist but also an amazing teacher. The advice he shares on his blog helped me grow as an artist and allowed me to become a successful freelancer.”


Hannah Christenson


“Hannah Christenson is by far one of my favorite illustrators. Thanks to the finesse of lines and incredibly tasteful details, her art is always full of life and emotion”


Serge Birault


“My daily dose of beautiful women and tentacles. Serge's art never ceases to amaze me with how clean and fresh it looks without losing its realism. I'm in love with his unique stylization and lighthearted approach to all of his works.”


Michal Ivan


“Michal is a master of color and composition. He tames and controls chaos, creating incredibly detailed and yet perfectly clear compositions that flawlessly lead the viewer's eyes.”


A revolution in digital comics

When future anniversary celebrations mark the release of Madefire Motion Book Tool, much will be made of “under-the-radar” revolution this event precipitated in the creation, production and delivery cycle of content distribution.

With the Madefire Motion Book Tool on deviantART the artist controls the full creative, production and distribution chain, making it possible to self-publish digital comics for free or for pay, in motion or static, with or without effects, episodic or periodic. But it is really any “book” form that has become liberated—the Full Spectrum Narrative comes to life. And fans are empowered as well to directly engage in the the equivalent format with their favorite stories.

A new dawn is breaking in the online digital and mobile comics world—and Madefire is leading the creative caravan into the new day.

Questions For The Reader

  1. Have you had to make hard decisions between pleasing those who care about you in your family and following instead your own path to achievement no matter how difficult your chances might be?
  2. Who would you choose to have your alter ego or avatar befriend choosing between Anna & Kate’s Pugbun & Tailcat?
  3. Do you have an alter ego who can talk on your behalf. If you do, please place a picture in the comments?
  4. Motion Books open up a new medium between storyboards and animation. What would be the perfect fit for this medium?

Watercolour tutorials

Fri Jul 18, 2014, 12:52 PM
At Traditionalists, each month is dedicated to one traditional medium - July is for watercolour. Here's a collection of 32 very nice and well made watercolour tutorials and tips.

Everyone can contribute and post their own journals! How to take a part: simply send a note to Traditionalists and tell us what would you like to write about (or what art would you like to feature). We'll provide any needed help (including spell-check).

Watercolour Textures V.2 by DragonsDust Extremely Easy Tree Tutorial by GrimDreamArt Watercolor Tutorial by Claparo-Sans Watercolor Effects by CyprinusFox Textures in Ink and Watercolor by hibbary Watercolor Tutorial: Skin by Xadrea Watercolor Tutorial Series: Lifting by Xadrea Watercolor Tutorial Series: Bleeding by Xadrea Watercolor Tutorial: Salt Glaze by Xadrea Watercolor Tutorial Series: Masking by Xadrea

Watercolor Stretching Tutorial by blix-it Watercolor Stretching Tutorial by MisttheWarrior How To Create A Watercolor Panel by kellymckernan Watercolor paper Guide by jane-beata Watercolor Techniques by JoJo-Seames Watercoloring tips by dodostad  Practical Colors Tutorial by KelliRoos 

Watercolour 1: Material by Gold-Seven Watercolour 2: Painting Basics by Gold-Seven Watercolour 3: Tricks by Gold-Seven Watercolor skin tones. by tremani Watercolour Texture Techniques by hatefueled Watercolor Textures Tutorial by ElvenstarArt bubbles texture tutorial by i-am-yaser Sherlock Holmes Preview and Steps Tutorial by AuroraWienhold

Tutorial: Mood in Watercolour by Gold-Seven Watercolour Basics - Technique by the-artists-cubby Watercolor bleeds notes by StevenLipton Know how to buy colors at the store by martinacecilia Masking Fluid Tutorial by martinacecilia Watercolour Basics - Greens by the-artists-cubby Watercolour Demos - Wet vs Dry by the-artists-cubby


Literary Terminology Guide

Mon Jul 21, 2014, 12:00 PM by IrrevocableFate:iconirrevocablefate:

Lit Basics Week
This will be a straightforward article that lists some basic literary terms (in alphabetical order) that can be found in, well, literary works. You could use some of these terms to write a spectacular poem or prose piece about cake.

Before we get started, head on over to this other PE article that lists a BUNCH of Poetry Terms and Techniques.


An item of soft, sweet food made from a mixture of flour, shortening, eggs, sugar, and other ingredients, baked and often decorated. Also known as the first half of my otp.


A narrative that has multiple layers of meanings. Allegories are written in the form of fables, parables, poems, stories, and almost any other style or genre. The main purpose of an allegory is to tell a story that has characters, a setting, as well as other types of symbols, that have both literal and figurative meanings.


A reference to something well-known that exists outside the literary work.


Character that is the source of conflict in a literary work.


Archetypes are literary devices that employ the use of a famous concept, person or object to convey a wealth of meaning. Archetypes are immediately identifiable and even though they run the risk of being overused, they are still the best examples of their kind.


The manner in which an author develops characters and their personalities.

Colloquialism / Slang:

A word or phrase that is not formal, typically one used in ordinary or familiar conversation. This is often region specific.


The most intense or exciting point in a literary work.


Denotation refers to the use of the dictionary definition or literal meaning of a word.


Literally meaning the action of untying, a denouement is the final outcome of the main complication in a play or story. Usually the climax (the turning point or "crisis") of the work has already occurred by the time the denouement occurs.


Word choice to create a specific effect.

Figurative Language:

Language that represents one thing in terms of something dissimilar (non-literal language).  (Includes simile, metaphor, personification, hyperbole, symbol)


A foil is another character in a story who contrasts with the main character, usually to highlight one of their attributes.


A hint or reference of what is to come in a literary work that usually isn't obvious until is has already occurred.


The whole system and structure of a language or of languages in general, usually taken as consisting of syntax and morphology (including inflections) and sometimes also phonology and semantics.


Type or category to which a literary work belongs. Such as science-fiction, romance, and horror.


Language that appeals to the five senses.


A literary term referring to how a person, situation, statement, or circumstance is not as it would actually seem. Many times (but not all the time) it is the exact opposite of what it appears to be.


A significant point or central theme, especially one that has political, social, or moral importance.


The atmosphere that is in a literary work that evokes a certain emotion or feeling from the audience.


One who tells a story, the speaker or the “voice” of an oral or written work.


The sequence of events in a literary work.

Point of View:

The vantage point or perspective from which a literary work is told. First and third person point of views are the most commonly used.


The main character in a literary work.


The part of the plot line in which the problem of the story is worked out or resolved.


The time and place of a literary work.


The literary element that describes the ways that the author uses words.


The actual way in which words and sentences are placed together in the writing.


A common thread or repeated idea that is incorporated throughout a literary work.


A set of forms taken by a verb to indicate the time (and sometimes also the continuance or completeness) of the action in relation to the time of the utterance.


An attitude of a writer toward a subject or an audience. Tone is generally conveyed through the choice of words or the viewpoint of a writer on a particular subject.


The author's distinct personality, style, or point of view.


  • Are the definitions clear enough for you to understand?
  • Did you recognize many of the terms? Which were new to you?
  • Can you come up with an example of some of these terms?
  • Did I miss any important terms? What are they?


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Wed Jul 16, 2014, 12:47 PM
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How to participate:

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Sentience by TylerReitanCruel Beauty by TylerReitan
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Nelson Mandela

When image must speak for the silenced voice


Ruth is the Editor-In-Chief of MILK Books and PQ Blackwell Ltd., based in Auckland, New Zealand, publishers of Mandela: The Authorized Portrait—a photographic history of the great man. Ruth's heartfelt and insightful article represents the intersection of the artistic and the newsworthy. DepthRADIUS is honored to present Ruth's memories of Nelson Mandela as well as her as well as a unique perspective on his mastery of image and visual communication. From round the other side of the world, thank you, Ruth, and welcome to depthRADIUS!

DepthRADIUS is proud to present this remembrance of Nelson Mandela by guest reporter Ruth Hobday as part of the July 18 international celebration of what would have been Mandela's 96th birthday.  Nelson Mandela, the anti-apartheid revolutionary and one of the great moral and political leaders of our time, dedicated his life to fighting racial oppression and remarkably forged peace in South Africa.

Ruth Hobday

Quote by Nelson Mandela

“During the worst years of repression, when all avenues of legitimate protest were closed by emergency legislation, it was the arts that articulated the plight and the democratic aspirations of our people.”

The Power of Art & Photographs

of Nelson Mandela in the

Transformation of South Africa

by Ruth Hobday

Nelson Mandela
Mandela poses in a traditional kaross after his arrest in 1962.Robben Island Museum Mayibuye Archive/Eli Weinberg

In August of 2004, our boutique publishing house in New Zealand, PQ Blackwell, received an e-mail informing us that Mr. Nelson Mandela had granted us permission to produce the definitive illustrated book on his life, Mandela: The Authorized Portrait.

That message remains the single most exciting moment of my working life and it marked the beginning of my involvement with a man who had always been a personal hero. I was a trifle overawed and approached my new role with enormous trepidation.

When I first met Mandela, I heard him long before I saw him. He was coming down the corridor at the Nelson Mandela Foundation that separated his private office from the formal sitting room where he received guests, and he was joking around with his assistant, Zelda la Grange. He had a deep, booming voice, filled with laughter and, it seemed to me as we waited rather nervously in the sitting room, the voice of a much younger man than the 87-year old I was expecting.

When he entered he was leaning heavily on Zelda’s arm and I was to learn later that the great icon’s knees had become so bad he could barely walk without assistance. Mandela, however, steadfastly refused to use a walking stick because it would make him appear frail and, as it became quickly clear to me during our conversation, there was nothing frail about the warmth of his welcome, his quick and ready wit or his obvious affection for his former cellmates.

I have spent some considerable time looking at images of Mandela. Every piece of art, every representation of Mandela I could find, was based on a photograph. Clearly this makes sense… it’s rather hard to ask one of the world’s most famous people to sit for you, particularly if, as in his case, he was rather enjoying his retirement. But it did make me remember Mr. Mandela’s knees, and think about his stubborn insistence on not using a cane: to wonder about Mandela’s desire to control his image; how his life and his immense presence on the cultural and political map of the late 20th and early 21st centuries can be understood through those representations.

To better understand Mandela’s desire to project a certain exterior image of himself as a source of empowerment, we must reflect on events that shaped Mandela from an early age. He grew up in the Eastern Cape of South Africa at the knee of his father, a respected advisor to the Chief Regent of the Thembu people who meted out ‘justice under a tree’ in the age-old African practice of people gathering beneath a tree to discuss important matters. When Nelson’s father died, the acting king of the AbaThembu people became the 12-year-old boy’s legal guardian. It was there in the royal household that Mandela learned the incredible power of image and imagery. One of the young Mandela’s tasks was to press the king’s many suits, and he learned the king’s attention to his wardrobe was not simply one of vanity; it was about dignity and self-worth. It was also about projecting an image of himself as a leader. This was a man who, in the rural Eastern Cape of the 1920s, would travel amongst his people in the back of a chauffeur-driven Ford wearing a three-piece suit and hat. A more impressive display of his royal status would be hard to imagine.

A film still from ‘Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom’ depicting the regent in his chauffeur driven car.

Keith Bernstein/Long Walk to Freedom (Pty) Ltd.

Early on in his legal career as a young ‘man about town’ Mandela knew that his own car and expensive suits were going to be important accessories in establishing his status as a successful attorney and up-and-coming politician.

The young Mandela’s stylishness was more than vanity. It was about his control of his image. This was a projection of himself and his position at a time when writing or voicing any kind of opposition to the apartheid government was forbidden by law. The dignity of his wardrobe and his bearing cried out in their contrast with his silenced voice in a way more powerful than a protest chant rising from the impoverished streets.

Nelson Mandela
Mandela as a young law clerk in Johannesburg, 1953.Ahmed Kathrada/Herbert Shore

Mandela the Advocate became “Mandela the Chief” when he arrived in court after his arrest in 1962. By this evolution in his rebellion, Mandela had been a wanted man for some time and the white South African press had dubbed him the ‘Black Pimpernel’ after the fictional ‘Scarlet Pimpernel’ of the French Revolution. Arriving in court to be charged, he chose to dress in a traditional kaross instead of his trademark suit to proclaim the heritage and history of his people. The effect on the crowds of onlookers was electrifying and, as he was hauled off to prison to await trial, the call and response cries of “Amandla!” (“Power!”) “Ngawethu!” (“Is ours!”) were taken up in the streets. The Black Pimpernel may have been captured but he was now the hero of the people. Unknown to most of them was the fact that Mandela hadn’t been able to get hold of an actual kaross, traditionally made from a leopard-skin, but instead Winnie had provided him with one made out of jackal skins stitched together.

Another important decision made by this people’s leader—suddenly facing the next 27 years separated from his people on Robben Island—was the decision to grow a beard. His more conservative African National Congress comrades were wary of the more provocative radical look. Mandela remained steadfast and his creation of a new ‘Mandela the Revolutionary’ look became the enduring image of him throughout his Robben Island incarceration. According to friend, comrade, and fellow prisoner Ahmed Kathrada, who occupied the cell next to Mandela’s on Robben Island, “By the time he went underground in 1961, his most recognizable feature was his beard. Among other things he had to forsake his stylish and expensive clothing. But above all he had to shave his beard. He agreed to most suggestions but simply refused to shave.” A photograph of Mandela taken at an Algerian training camp earlier in 1962, complete with a revolutionary’s beard, made him one of the most instantly recognizable figures in the world and led to him being dubbed The Black Pimpernel. Ironically it was this same image that became the touchstone of the international anti-apartheid movement.

Nelson Mandela
“Release Nelson Mandela” Poster 1.South African History Archives, courtesy Historical Papers, University of the Witwatersrand Library

Nelson Mandela
“Release Nelson Mandela” Poster 3.South African History Archives, courtesy Historical Papers, University of the Witwatersrand Library

The ‘Black Pimpernel’ image forms part of the backdrop to the 1988 concert at London’s Wembley Stadium, 26 years after it was taken.

Robben Island Museum Mayibuye Archive/IDAF Collection

Once he was jailed, Mandela had been silenced.

Nelson Mandela
“Release Nelson Mandela” PosterSouth African History Archives, courtesy Historical Papers, University of the Witwatersrand Library

Even quoting Mandela in South Africa became a criminal offence, so the only available voice became an artistic one. The ‘Mandela the Revolutionary’ photo became a template for art that called for an end to apartheid. It also became the basis for thousands of international campaigns around the world that used it on posters advertising anti-apartheid meetings and rallies, and at fundraisers and concerts such as the watershed concert at London’s Wembley Stadium in July 1988 celebrating Mandela’s 70th birthday.

One sometimes looks back on history as being somehow inevitable. But was Mandela’s eventual release and the dismantling of apartheid inevitable? Perhaps, but what is absolutely clear is that Mandela’s beard and the ‘Mandela the Revolutionary’ images became the most potent symbols of the worldwide movement that eventually made the inevitable actually occur. Artists used these images, re-interpreted them, added their own artistic vision, and plastered the streets with these re-imagined Mandelas, and in turn played an important role in contributing to the international pressure that led to Mandela’s liberation and the collapse of the racist and oppressive regime that had incarcerated him.

Mandela recognized this only too well, saying after his release,

“During the worst years of repression, when all avenues of legitimate protest were closed by emergency legislation, it was the arts that articulated the plight and the democratic aspirations of our people.”

It was Art in the form of those shared images carrying his message to the people. It was Art that had the power to transmit that message around the globe. It was Art that helped shape and change South Africa and the world for the better. And this should be something worth noting by present day artists.

Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandelaby rolandtelema

Nelson Mandela
INVICTUSby MarkRaats

Being an artist can be a lonely business. There are times when an artist wonders if what they do is either worthwhile or important and times when not creating art can seem a much easier prospect than continuing. But, as the artistic renderings of Mandela show, art and images have power, and that power can change the world. One need look no further than the Banksy-inspired graffiti on the streets of the world's largest cities to see how artists continue to fight oppression with the power of shared images. Or the Mandela/Obama ‘Hope’ poster mash-up with its collision of images and meaning that extends their once individual use as a means to continue to convey ideas. Today, more than ever perhaps, art continues to be one of our most important and powerful voices and, thanks to the free and unfettered sharing of images in communities such as deviantART, individuals are able to distribute their art more quickly than ever in order to exchange ideas and effect change.

To return to The Black Pimpernel and his infamous beard, it is interesting to note that this particular image is seldom, if ever, used as a template by today’s artists. This may be because upon his release Mandela created a new image, a new persona for himself; one that immediately consigned his beard to the back catalogue of history. As Mandela completed his long walk to freedom in 1990 he left prison in a crisp white shirt, suit and tie, arm raised and fist clenched in victory. He had become ‘Mandela the Politician’ and was soon to become ‘Mandela the President’.

This was not, however, the end of Mandela’s powerful use of wardrobe and image.

At the 1995 Rugby World Cup Final Mandela chose to manipulate his image once again. Rugby was the sport of choice for the white Afrikaner population and the jersey of the Springboks, South Africa’s national rugby team, was a strong source of Afrikaner pride. This, in turn, had made it a symbol of white oppression for the black population during years of the apartheid regime. When Mandela walked onto the pitch to greet the victorious South African team at the end of the game wearing that jersey, he captured the hearts of the largely white Afrikaner crowd and in so doing toppled one of last remaining barriers to reconciliation in South Africa without saying a word.

Mandela dons a Springbok rugby jersey at the 1995 Rugby World Cup final.

Picturenet Africa/Paul Velasco

After his retirement Mandela adopted his now famous ‘personality’ shirts that signified a more approachable, less political figure.

Nelson Mandela
Geoff Blackwell and Ruth Hobday with Nelson Mandela, Johannesburg 2006.Nelson Mandela Foundation/PQ Blackwell

Nelson Mandela
Mandela wearing one of his famous ‘personality’ shirts with longtime friend and comrade Ahmed Kathrada.Nelson Mandela Foundation/Debbie Yazbek

It is these ‘Mandela the Elder Statesman’ shirts that most of us now remember him by. It was what he was wearing the day I first met him. I was shaking with nerves, of course, but the combination of colorful shirt, immense charm, and his delightful, somewhat mischievous sense of humor put me completely at my ease. It’s always daunting to meet your heroes but it’s an intensely gratifying experience when you discover they are everything you’d hoped they’d be and much, much more.

It was ‘Mandela the Elder Statesman’ I met that day. An old man stubbornly refusing to bend to the tyranny of his aging knees but also a man who had always been keenly aware of his image and its various meanings. Advocate, Chief, Revolutionary, President, Unifier, Elder—all images carefully thought out and deployed as vital tools in the struggle against, and victory over, apartheid. I feel tremendously grateful to have had the subsequent privilege of working on a number of books based on his life and his writings over the last decade of his life until his passing last year.

Since that moment he has been transformed one final time, into ‘Mandela the Icon’.

July 18 has been designated Nelson Mandela Day to “inspire individuals to take action to help change the world for the better, and to empower communities everywhere.” The message behind the campaign is simple—that each individual has the ability and responsibility to impact positive change every day. Indeed, the image of Mandela walking free from prison in 1990, fist held triumphantly in the air, is the basis for the official Nelson Mandela Day logo — a powerful graphic derived from Mandela’s very last steps in his own personal ‘long walk to freedom’.

Nelson Mandela

Mandela spent more than 67 years serving his community, his country and the world. This number is symbolic of how people can start to do the same—one small step at a time—and in so doing become part of a continuous, global movement for good. I invite you to use 67 minutes today, tomorrow, and the day after that, to create or share art that reminds us that we can all make a difference, however big or small, and make every day a ‘Mandela Day.’

Because, ultimately, it’s not only the creation of art, but the sharing of it that makes it so potent. Sharing and distributing your art empowers it as a vital and important tool for change and reminds us that as long as we have art, we have a voice.

“Good art is invariably universal and timeless.”

Nelson Mandela, from a letter to his daughter, Zindzi Mandela, written on Robben Island.

Let it Ring Out Forever

There is a name, three syllables, that is a totem, a poem, a song of liberation and freedom that every day lifts lives pinioned by barbed wire and disappeared behind walls of cold stone. It is a name that sparks a burst of light in the brain of she who speaks it or he who hears it—a burst of illumination lighting pathways out of oppression that eschew violence in favor of the more powerful truth and strength of peaceful and creative protest.

There is a name for a man whose living example burst asunder the invisible manacles of enslaved millions in their own lands. That man’s “long walk” has now crossed him over from living role model to global spiritual legend.


May it ring like a garland of brightly burning bells revolving in our minds and guiding our hearts. DeviantART salutes Nelson Mandela and all those whose life’s art, like Mandela’s example, steadily cut like purifying streams of water through the hardest stone of prison walls.

Ours is a time of petrified ideology, non-negotiation and deafness hailed as strength. It is a time when we need not despair of any forward progress. We have the life of Mandela to guide our efforts, our art and our lives. In facing impossible obstruction with joy in our hearts—this is how we do honor to the great man.

Mandela! Let it ring out forever.

MILK Books is donating 67 cents for everyone who joins its database, plus the chance to receive one of five framed gallery prints from the Nelson Mandela Quotations Collection featuring original artwork based on Mandela’s words.


For The Reader

  1. How have you experience racism in your own life?
  2. Can art be used to cure racism?
  3. How did you first become aware of Nelson Mandela and his struggle to free South Africa from apartheid?
  4. Have you ever created and displayed art as an expression of protest? Do you think your artwork amplified your message? Better than a manifesto? Did you feel liberated in artistically presenting a political expression? Did you feel in any way endangered?
  5. What’s the most powerful protest you’ve ever witnessed in your lifetime?