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Thu Nov 1, 2012, 12:52 PM
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Thank you to everyone who participated in The Lexus IS Design Contest! Judges from MotorTrend, Calty Design, VIP AutoSalon, and Lexus, collaborated to select our winners, and were truly impressed with the quality and skill represented in all 25 semi-finalists.

~psas has won

  • 1-year lease on the all-new 2014 Lexus IS
  • All expenses paid trip to see your IS design revealed at The SEMA show in Las Vegas*
  • 1-Year Premium Membership to
  • 8,000 deviantART Points
  • $2,000 USD Cash Prize
* Airfare, two night hotel accommodation and The SEMA show ticket.

Judge's Comments

This entry has an aggressive design with a bold stance showing IS attitude that stands out. It is almost animated but with just enough realism. It screams SEMA and is an instant eye catcher that will fit right in.

~moondoni has won

  • 6-Month Premium Membership to
  • 4,000 deviantART Points
  • $1,500 USD Cash Prize

Judge's Comments

Menacing and sleek. This design has amazing aesthetic consistency and a great presence that introduces unique components front to back. It is both conceptual and consistent with the evolution of the IS line.

~hgh0518 has won

  • 6-Month Premium Membership to
  • 4,000 deviantART Points
  • $1,500 USD Cash Prize

Judge's Comments

Fully embracing the Lexus spindle grill, the front facia is very bold and has just the right amount of attitude. The subtle use of color accentuates the lines without overpowering them.

Thank you to everyone who participated in The Lexus IS Design Contest! Judges from MotorTrend, Calty Design, VIP AutoSalon, and Lexus, collaborated to select our winners, and were truly impressed with the quality and skill represented in all 25 semi-finalists.
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Riddick 'Rule the Dark' Winners

Thu Aug 29, 2013, 1:39 PM



Strap on your goggles, Riddick fans! Director David Twohy reviewed each of the 25 amazing semi-finalist entries into the Riddick: Rule the Dark Fan Art Contest, and after careful consideration, he's chosen three bounty hunters to win tons of cash and prizes! "You're not afraid of the dark, are you?"


The Dark Hunt

by ~ArchLimit

The Winner Will Receive

  • $4,000 USD
  • Survival Kit
  • 8,000 dA Points
  • 1-Year Premium Membership

Judge Comments

"Great pose, great vibe."


Carnivorous Cavern

by *Comikidd

The Winner Will Receive

  • $3,000 USD
  • Survival Kit
  • 4,000 dA Points
  • 6-Month Premium Membership

Judges Comments

"Felt like a Steranko comic book cover."



by ~AngelitaRamos

The Winner Will Receive

  • $2,000 USD
  • Survival Kit
  • 4,000 dA Points
  • 6-Month Premium Membership

Judges Comments

"Put me in the middle of the action."

The time has come, Riddick fans! Director David Twohy has reviewed each of the 25 amazing semi-finalist entries to the Riddick: Rule the Dark Fan Art Contest.  After careful consideration, he's selected three winners who will claim the bounty of cash and prizes! "You're not afraid of the dark, are you?"
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Remember the control room scenes of The Hunger Games? Did you know the concept work for that control room and the 3D displays was done by our very own Reid Southen (Rahll)?

Reid is a senior member on deviantART who has been on the site for six years. Reid is also doing concept work for Jupiter Ascending, an upcoming 2014 sci-fi film.

He had posted a journal about his work on the Hunger Games back in February, but wasn't able to upload his work right away. He posted this deviation to his deviantART gallery yesterday:

Hunger Games - Control Room by Rahll
"I had the pleasure of doing a lot of design work on the control room in the movie, from the interfaces to the holograms and such. Hybride in Montreal did a great job bringing it all to life, and it was fun seeing their tests and the final result.

I spent a lot of time time designing specific interfaces for certain scenes in the movie, and while a lot of that didn't make it in, it was cool to have to think through the sequences and decide how the gamekeepers would create things and manipulate the arena.

You can read a little more about it here in an interview with my VFX Supervisor Sheena Duggal."

Still from the film:

TV spot from the film:

Go +watch him! Rahll

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Traditional Art Week

        In last Traditional Week, we talked about the elements which if you ignore can destroy your painting and all your hardwork.
What Ruins A Painting?

       Contrast and Values were one main element that either can make your works fruitful or ruin it. It needs to be discussed more broadly as a lot of new artists have trouble to establish a good tonal contrast. Result? Despite their brilliant artistic skills, the picture does not pop up! It looks dull, muted. That is not the fault of the drawing or skills, it's the lack of observation and understanding lights.

       Contrast is the difference between two values which helps you to distinguish them 'clearly', regardless of the hues. Every colour has it's own grey value. It is easy to make someone understand in this digital era, because if you turn any picture in greyscale, you will see the hues are gone and there are only and only Greys. This is determined by how much light is falling on some object, no matter what the colour is. The part where least light reaches, it's darkest dark and where the most light falls, is the lightest light (Lightest light is not Highlight, mind it.) Between these two points, there are numerous shades of grey. These greys build the depths, make your drawing or painting come alive, pop up from the paper. Actually the dark can be explained as darkest grey and white can be explained as lightest grey for the sake of our understanding. Now if the two values of grey can be understood clearly - that is a good contrast. And if they both looks almost same - then it is a bad contrast, responsible for muting your drawing or painting.
Now by basic understandings, you obviously will agree that light will never reach every part of an object equally. Means there will be difference and you must establish that difference in your drawing to make it look real. And there are two ways to do that - Shades and Lines. Both follows a same method.

        First lets start with shades. For this, observe any object near you. Anything. Best with an one-source light. You will notice there are minimum 4 parts of variations you can observe. The darkest part is the shadow right behind the object. That's called core shadow. Then the shadow becomes less dark and strong a few centimeters away and farther it dissolves. That is cast shadow. The edges of the object is bright where the light is falling - it's called lightest light. Right there, at a point the light is bouncing back making the part look most bright and white - that's our highlight. And the rest of the object has a tone of something between the dark and white. That is our halftone or midtone. And a slight part between the core shadow and the object's backside - there the surface is bouncing light on the object - looks slightly brighter than the rest of the shadow body. That is called reflected light - Establishing this one successfully makes the drawing come alive. Here is our tonal values. We did not need the colour of the object to get these. The eyes and brain will determine more variations in the object, and when you establish that variation closely in your drawing- then only brain takes it as 'real looking' drawing. But the brain will not mistake it as a real object because our brain can recognize a lot more shades than you can establish, unless you are a brilliant realistic painter.

       Below is a drawing that I did in my earlier learning days to understand the lights and the shadows and their domains, following artist Will Kemp's kind articles. This I think is a good example to point out light and shadows' subparts.

        Anyways, so we got our tonal values. And now how to establish the contrast? It has few methods. First you can replicate the exact tones that you discovered, or you can choose your own tonal scale and establish contrast within it.
Here is a tonal scale ranging from pure white to pure black. Every shade in between is grey.

How dark shades establish contrasts?
       Artists don't do under-painting to be extra cautious only, it serves them greatly ahead of their painting. When you are drawing something or painting, start with the darkest dark and then establish the lightest light. Now as you have the two sides of your tonal scale, you easily can derive the middle tones. The trick is when you put more dark in an drawing or painting or when you make the dark dominant, with a slight touch of white - it makes a brilliant dramatic contrast. I shall not say more dark is always a good contrast, but the dark parts kind of balance your drawings. White blinds us. An entire drawing of light-grey is pretty uninteresting and dull (in comparison of the dramatic strong contrast that dark greys yield). Every hue and colour has their own grey value. This is applicable when you are trying to analyze the grey value of a photograph or painting or scene etc. When you are painting, the process is exactly the reverse. You put appropriate grey values, and let the colours adopt the grey values. Because after doing an underpainting and value study, all we just do is to put layers of colours to match the values underneath. Like putting clay on a wireframe.

Tiepolo Underpainting - Class by telophaseunderpainting of mirian by danjacobStill Life underpainting WIP by MyOwnInvention

Underpaintings are done only to do value study.

Notice that the colours eventually 'adopt' the values of the underpainting underneath

Underpainting by HYBRiDsunshIneStep 3 Underpainting by evincent
Or the underpaintings like these which have the darkest darks and lightest lights are precisely distinguished.

        So you absolutely don't need the wireframes (underpainting) to be pretty! or even clean! It may be ugly and let it be so. No one will ever see the underpainting. Only you need it to 'build' your painting. So keep it as you want but keep it accurate. Later we will see how disbalance in tones and values can ruin a work.
       Artists who are specializing in pencil drawings, do it better, because their entire work is a value study - an underpainting which they modify and clean up and make accurate further on.

Distinguish between light grey and white.
       One always should establish the lightest light as a lightest grey. Because in most cases (not all), the highlight will be pure white. Now if you have already used white as your lightest part, you have nothing to establish the highlight because there is nothing brighter than white. You can move between dark and light as long as you stick to greys. If you introduce white, you can not go beyond that. White is the end point. The numerous tones of grey can serve the need of your contrast and lights. These rules are flexible with black, because black is always put as the end point of tonal value. Like white, we can't go beyond black, and we don't have to. The tonal scale is like a tower. With each step, the next floor is smaller than the below one and it rises higher. Therefore if you limit the topmost floor as smallest, you can't go higher. In contrast, we do not need to go beyond the base/ground floor (pure black). But of course, if you are using pure black as your middle-tone, obviously you are building a tower in air, which can't reach ground and thus has no touch of reality.
       In the fruit-drawing above, you can see I have drawn it in high tones (darker tones) because my page is near white and used the page's white only to introduce highlights, which is the lightest part on the object.
Drawing the object in low contrast would make the white in background engulf the foreground. So a good 'contrast' was needed. Darker tones did just that.

Gary Oldman by drSIDDHI
Notice how the drawing has a grey tone. The only bright white parts are the fine highlights only. This is also a very good example of a drawing drawn in near darker values.

Why to start with darkest dark?
       That obviously has an advantage. You can only go as light as you can from that point, until you hit the pure white. And before you do that you will have hundred of grey tones. Which is more than enough for your drawings. The opposite of true too (white to dark) but that is more troublesome. After working with the brightest, we hardly can determine the darkest part.

[Please note that when we are saying darkest dark - it does not have to be the purest dark in the tonal scale. Just the most dark part 'of' the object.]

       Now most of us draws on white paper. You have a full page of white, so you can make the dark to darker values, because you have to leave that white for highlights. With that much white on your page, if you don't establish strong darks, your drawing will go imbalanced and look dull - like the drawing has been dissolved in the white of the page - like you can see only blur things in strong light. This is also the reason why most artists draws or paints on any surface that is not white. White blinds us. It is so strong that you will not want to mess with it. When you draw on a surface that is not entirely white, you are always free to introduce as much light as you want, because that will not go absorbed in the page's colour.
           It is another thing that the colour of the page will match the tonal scale at some point. But that's not a problem. It is good as long it does not match the top and bottom tone.
The point is, when you are drawing on a white page, use strong darks to nullify that strong white and establish the rest of the drawing with a full range of grey.

Choose your tone.
       Now we come to the starting point of two paths. Which tonal scale you will use? Do you must replicate the real tone of the object or you can shift the tones yourself? The answer is - it depends on you. But both path will end at the same point. One will have more adventure and one will have more peace. That's all.
The thing that you must consider that, whichever part of your tonal scale you choose, you must make sure the mid-values are not matching with another value. Every part of an object can never look the same or get the same amount of light. So you must be precise to establish those tones.

       But it's not mandatory that you must shift in the tonal scale with a particular sequence. You can omit a lot of values in middle, as per your choice. While doing that, when you are choosing tones from the bottom and top part of the tonal scale, you are establishing a a very prominent contrast. Those result in a striking image, seldom unrealistic but yet striking, clear and dramatic! Those are called High Contrast image. The name defines it clearly - tonal scale that establish a big contrast, a big gap in tones.
Similarly, when you are choosing your tones from the mid-values, there may be numerous greys but none of them as strong as the pure white or pure black. And also, as you are picking them from the middle, they relates to eachother in some way, unlike lightest greys and darkest darks which are like two different poles. Such tonal scales can define the three dimensions of an object too, realistically, and often more precisely than the High Contrast scale; thought not entirely as that will need a full tonal scale. But that lacks the dramatic effects of the High Contrast image. Low Contrast image is more like peaceful  content - stable, where the High Contrast image gives a restless feeling.
Tonal selections gives a solution to establish focus also which we will discuss in later articles.

[Drawing pencil] 2014-05-09 [Portrait] by ke-vo-danh[Drawing pencil] 2014-04-14 [Portrait] by ke-vo-danh
Drawings drawn in Low Contrast

Paolo Conte bic portrait by romonimo
Drawing and painting done in High Contrast

Girl06 by ekota21
A very exceptional drawing having neither any strong white, nor any strong dark

So what happens when you disturb the balance of light and shade?

Lets begin this with an example. The artist, at first, finished the drawing at the second stage.

Zhou Yu - reshading by blekimaru

The first stage is a simple line-art, but the second stage can not be the finished product. Notice the immense amount of details the artist has put. That took time, patience and skills. But the values of entire drawing is imbalanced in this second stage. The drawing has a bright white background for starter - in the foreground the tones are equally lighter. That can not balance the bright background. Even if we consider the drawing to be low contrast or light toned drawing, the small dark part still ruins the balance of the drawing. Also the part underneath the shoulder armour should be in shade and hence darkest. But the arm guards are darker than that even if it is a dark leather.

The highlights on the hairs should have been the brightest white part, but the dress is even brighter than that. At the end, too much bright strong white is engulfing the drawing and there is not enough dark to balance it. Even the tones are not relating among themselves as I said about the hair and the dress. After some advices on tonal contrast, the artist reshaded the drawing, introducing more dark where applicable and toning down the bright parts in the foreground. Now at the third stage, the drawing has enough darks to hold the bright background, and the tones are relating to eachother almost.
Now the drawing is prominent, lively and finally balanced.

Whistler's Mother by James Abbott is a very famous painting. The noticeable part in this painting is that the dark and light parts are precisely measured almost in equal.

Before finishing,

A few lines about the lines.

While we are talking about contrasts and tones, we must not forget the advantages of lines. Lines define edges - that's the most important property of lines among the seven. A deep line and a soft lines can similarly produce the imitation of tonal values. This methods are very useful for pencil artists or pen artists. It is true that where light falls, you shouldn't define it with an dark edge, but completely omitting a line will blend your object with the surround, here the background - the most crucial stepping stone of a painting. In reality, there is no lines or edges. What we see as edges is only the part where one matter overlaps another. Painters establish it with proper toning. But in case of drawings, you must introduce lines, otherwise the very low contrast in line's depth will make the image pretty unrealistic and imbalanced.


Paintings with various kind of contrasts -

in black by bohomaz13By The River 03 by szklanytygrysWaiting by Stranger-bot
3 Soup Bowls by KelliRoosPortrait of an old man by RAVANSKI

Little Landscape 2 by JohnPatienceEric Pedersen by laafa
Where are we David? by Life-takers-crayons


Until next time!


Traditional Art Week, January, 2015.

If you are interested in contributing Traditional Art tutorials or articles, please send a note to Traditionalists
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February And March Winners .

This Time , we will give 4000 Points Reward .

Please :fav: this blog.

For your information , we saw all of the works, choose the best ones and moved them to " Best Of " Folder and Gave them Rewards .

Also we started giving members Randomly Rewards…

Please read the whole journal , if you are one of our winners , just comment here .

To every one of our Winners: Please change your Work information , and add that your work got Rewards from our group and also add our Blog Link .

Every work gets 10 points Reward .
For seeing List of Winners open this :…
Please see all of the winners , if you are one of our winners comment here , then we will give you your reward .

Give your Vote about Group Here : :iconskh-spra:

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deviantART deviantMEET

Posted on October 21, 2013

Join us for a deviantMEET in Hollywood!

DeviantART's headquarters are located in Hollywood, and we're hosting a deviantMEET in our own backyard!

You're Invited!

HDR Hollywood by xraystyle

Come for the speech, stay for the meet!

Whether you've attended previous deviantART events, or you want to make this your first, this deviantMEET promises to be an event unlike any before.  Opening with an exclusive storytelling session, deviantART CEO and Co-Founder, Angelo Sotira (spyed), will share behind-the-scenes stories about deviantART's inception and formative years. Then, stick around for the fun, traditional deviantMEET-type activities – sketching with friends, chatting with staff, and maybe even walking away with a bit of swag.

Map to deviantMEET

WeWork Hollywood

  • Location: 7083 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028
  • Date & Time: Wednesday, November 20th, 2013 at 7:00 PM
  • Admission: FREE, all-ages event!
  • What to Bring: Laptops/tablets, sketchbooks, cameras

It's a rare opportunity that deviantART's CEO gets to share the vision of the company, where we came from, and where we're headed offline and outside of his Journals.  We wanted to invite local deviants to have some fun with our staff, hear the tales that made us what we are today, and generally recreate the friendships you've made online at this unique offline opportunity.

After Angelo's talk, you can ask staff your burning questions, hang out and create art with supplies you've brought with you, and enjoy some free snacks. We might even have some devious swag to go around.

Feel free to bring your favorite digital tablet, iPad, sketchbooks, notepads, cameras, and laptops if you feel up to it! We can't wait to meet with you!

On Wednesday, November 20th, deviants of all ages are invited to join us in Hollywood!  Whether you've attended previous deviantART events, or you want to make this your first, this deviantMEET promises to be unlike any other!
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PE: Literature Basics Settings

Tue Jul 22, 2014, 7:00 AM by SingingFlames:iconsingingflames:

Literature Basics Week

Along with characters and plot, setting is one of the most important choices we make when we write. In the most basic terms, setting is where your literary work takes place. It's up to you, as the author, to use it and mold it to fit the needs of your writing, make it more than just a backdrop to your prose or poetry.

Scenery by anatomista

A good setting becomes like a character itself. It can be express moods, offer comfort or hindrance. The setting can even be the main antagonist - consider the Overlook Hotel in Stephen King's The Shining, or the island in the 2000 Tom Hanks' film, Cast Away. In both of these examples, the protagonist(s) have to survive their surroundings, one mundane, the other ... less so.

Make Your Setting Work For You

Everything in your written work must be chosen for maximum effect. When deciding on your setting, decide what you want to accomplish with it. Here are some possibilities.

Emphasize the Mood
Imagine your main character has just learned of her husband's murder. She stumbles from her house, into the back alley and collapses, surrounded by discarded filth and vermin. A passing garbage truck drowns out her sobs. This setting emphasizes the character's solidarity and her loss.

Cheerful moods can be expressed with clear, blue skies or flower-filled meadows. Suspense and horror tend to use dark, lonely settings. The 2002 horror film The Ring used constant rain for its ambiance. Occasionally, in comics and movies, the writers will use a limited color scheme to emphasize the mood. Decide which emotions you wish to convey and pick settings that best encompass them.

You can also choose specific moments to emphasize. Many climatic scenes in movies and TV occur during thunderstorms. While writing, you can whip up a windstorm or power outage as needed to create the perfect atmosphere.

Contrast the Mood
Take our first example, but instead place the wife at a playground. Children chase one another and run about, laughing, when she receives a phone call with the tragic news. Squeals of joy drown out her sobs. How does the different scenario change the impact of the scene?

Some other possibilities include a gunshot at a wedding or characters giggling during a funeral. These scenes stand out, they catch our attention, because of their contrast from what we've come to expect. From the popular Hunger Games books and movies, the Capitol (its flamboyant citizens and customs) offers a constant contrast to the protagonists' despair.

As a Metaphor
A character has an epiphany and, behind him, the sun breaks free from the clouds. Another character hears that, after many years apart, her love is returning home from war. Birds burst forth into the sky, singing.

In these (admittedly heavy-handed) scenarios, the settings carry extra meaning besides the character's surroundings. Subtle use of this technique can add layers to your work. If you choose to employ this, be sure to avoid clichés, as they appear trite and elicit bored eyerolls from your readers.

For Your Character to Interact With
Above, I mentioned Stephen King's The Shining and the Tom Hanks' film Cast Away as examples. The young adult novel, Hatchet by Gary Paulsen, has a young man surviving, lost and alone in a wilderness. In the 2009 film, 2012, the entire world becomes the adversary. In all of these examples, the setting is the main antagonist. It provides obstacles for the protagonist(s) to overcome. There is an entire survival/natural disaster genre in which the setting is the main antagonist.

The setting can also interact with characters in a more pleasant or beneficial fashion, or as their safe haven. Consider your own memories. Are there certain places that elicit "warm fuzzy" feelings from you? Your grandparents' house? A crisp spring morning, holding your favorite warm drink in hand? Your characters also have those "warm fuzzies" locations that they cherish, their own safe havens. It could be the local library, where he spend much of his youth, or the park bench where she had her first kiss. Those locales are there. Use them. Until the end of the film, Notre Dame was Quasimodo's safe haven in Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame. When he fled there, there is a sense of triumph that he had reached safety (until the antagonist chose to invade that safety as bad guys tend to do).
Scenery from Jeravna,Bulgaria2 by Majarov86

Economy of Words

When narrating your writing, remember not to spell out endless details, nor overdo the ones you include. Too many descriptors, no matter how well written, distract from your focus and bog down the writing. Details are necessary, but it's a fine balance between sparsity and verbosity. How much is too much? A lot depends on the genre. Readers expect more flowery details in romantic works, while in action/adventure fewer are necessary (however, this does not mean this genre does not need any details!). Not only does the genre influence the amount of description desired, each individual will have their own tastes. One person's vivid details is another's purple prose.

Purple prose is overdone and flowery writing. Whenever a passage draws attention to itself and away from the story or poem, it is purple prose. Purple prose is not limited to settings. Character descriptions, dialogue, any part of a written work can be purple prose. It can be ornate and well-written or meander and leave the reader baffled. In either case, the reader becomes distracted from the main piece.

For more reading on purple prose, check out this link:…

Sunset on foreign soil 2 by wazzy88

Other helpful articles:

Creating a New World
Please copy and paste this into a Word document or deviation. Then highlight the information after the colons and type over it.
Time/Era: Exact year or approximate time
Name of Country: For fun, you could alter the name of an old country to amuse more educated readers. For example, I altered the Assyrian Empire's name for a conquering people to evoke images of brutality and Mesopotamia.
Geography: Keep track of all the places you mention and their approximate locations. I find it handy to draw a rough map of the area.
Landscape: Trees, soil, water, buildings... Imagine you were flying over the place in an airplane. What would you see down below? (And no, you can't write "screaming people who have never seen airplanes before and think the apocalypse has come.")
Housing: How big are the houses that the people live in, and what are they made of? If they're members of a migrant tribe, what do they use for shelter, and how do they
  Writing Tips - Description
Description: Balancing Too Much and Not Enough
There’s an old adage about writing that says, “show, don’t tell.” But what does that actually mean? Surely, we’re not expected to illustrate our stories, are we? Christ, I hope not. Some of mine are rather long.
No. What that means is that you should use your words to paint a visual picture for the reader. “Talking heads” are both boring and confusing, and should generally be avoided. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, “talking heads” refers to the phenomenon where all, or most of story is carried out through the characters’ dialogue. You see it like mad in web and news paper comics, but it happens in prose as well.
The first, and arguably the most fun way to banish the talking heads is to make your characters act. This doesn’t mean action, necessarily. The character can do any amount of “going” from place to place or thing to thing, but so what? He’s still not rea……

forest scenery by Lunox-baik

Final Words

Your setting is one of the most vital aspects of any written work. It supports your characters and your plot, and can even take on the role of an auxiliary character itself. Decide what type of setting best suites your work and make the best use of it.


  1. Which author's or novel's settings have imparted the most lasting impression upon you and why?
  2. Share examples of settings in books, movies or television that emphasize or contrast the piece's mood, that are used as metaphors and/or examples of settings interacting with characters.
  3. Flex your literary muscles! In the comments below, write a brief scene, using one of the art pieces featured in this article. Please credit the piece that inspired you.
  4. Do you have any advice on writing settings? Please share!

Winter is coming by Gallynette

It's Literature Basics Week over at Project Educate! Let's talk about settings. They're more than just the story's background. Make the most of yours!

Please :+fav: and share this article! Be sure to :+devwatch: projecteducate so you don't miss anything!

:iconcrliterature: :iconprojecteducate:

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Years and years ago, at the beginning of my illustration career, a veteran illustrator got mad at me, and at a number of my colleagues, for charging too little.  We all protested loudly.  "But, dude," we said, "we are not veterans like you, with years of experience and stunning portfolios to back us up.  We are newbies, and we need to eat, too, so we'll take what we can get.  We're not in direct competition with you, so why do you care?"  Then, we added, with great smugness, "Oh, and our rates are the current industry standard, so pthbbbbbt!"

Except more than a decade's gone by, and I see that my colleagues and I are now veterans, with our own pretty portfolios and lengthy CVs.  We have become the indignant illustrator's direct competitors, and we're not earning that much more than we were at the start of our careers.  We're certainly not getting what he did, at the height of his.  And we did this to ourselves.  Oh, sure, we're not solely responsible.  These are hard times, to begin with.  Rates would've taken a hit, regardless.  But we're not blameless, either.  Rates HAVE come down to match what we were willing to work for.  This is something I've witnessed firsthand, over and over again.

Why did I do it?  Even at the start of my career, I was doing work that, for the most part, thrilled my customers to their boots.  This is not said with ego, to imply that I was at the level of a veteran illustrator even then--I certainly wasn't--but to point out that my product was exactly what somebody was looking for, and willing to pay for...and yet, there I was, producing it for what amounted to less than minimum wage.  I was even a bit proud of myself, when people were surprised by my low rates, and thanked me for making my work affordable.  

There are a thousand excuses.  I needed money fast.  I lacked experience.  There's no single set of industry standard rates for artists, only a loose collection of generally accepted rates, which vary wildly by market.  My living expenses were lower, then; I was in an area where a decent one-bedroom could be had for as little as $200 per month.  Food was basic, but cheap.  It didn't occur to me that my colleagues might be paying ten times the rent I was, for a home too small for their families, or that there was already a recession on, and that artists, furnishing a luxury commodity, would be among the first to see cuts to their earnings--and that my willingness to undervalue my work was not helping.  None of these excuses are particularly helpful now, when I find myself arguing with the next generation of people who Just Don't Get It, and probably won't, till it's too late.

DA is now contributing to the problem, in their own small way, with a new commissions widget, which offers artists the chance to sell their services for a maximum of $50, minus a 20% fee.  At best, this feature will go largely unnoticed, and will be used primarily by kids and by hobbyists with no potential to become professionals (ie, people who will never be competing for mainstream jobs, and bringing that undercutting mentality to the grown-up arena).  The young, inexperienced, and simply oblivious will be exploited--and that's the best-case scenario.  At worst, it'll be used by people who are genuinely skilled, but who don't rely on art to make a living, or who have extremely low overhead, in terms of rent and bills.  Apparently, DA also plans to present the people using this widget as the artists on this site who are looking for work, contributing even further to the common perception of art as a commodity with little value, and artists as people who should work for peanuts.

On its own, DA's widget is not a disaster.  The problem is, it's part of a much larger trend towards rock-bottom prices.  A tiny part, to be sure, but a part nonetheless, and we shouldn't let it happen without a murmur.  Think of this widget as an ant.  When one ant comes in your house, it's annoying.  You stamp on it, and you're done.  When ten ants come in, it's a little problem.  Maybe you don't stamp on all of them, and one of them gets into the strawberry jam.  When a hundred ants come in, it's a disgusting infestation, and you'll probably get bitten.  When a thousand ants come in, they might actually kill you, or do serious damage to your home.
  • Listening to: birds
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Weekly Welcomes #10

Thu Mar 20, 2014, 10:16 PM by SimplySilent:iconsimplysilent:

Newest Members

Warm welcomes to all of our newest members from this week! :tighthug: :wave: Thank you for joining Rising-Artists, and I hope you have a great time with us here! :la:


If you ever have any questions or comments for us, please feel free to comment on our profile or send a note! :heart:

Weekly Wrap Up

Here's a wrap up for all of our older members, and a nice preview for the newer members about what sort of things we do here at Rising-Artists. :love: Our admin team works diligently to organize and host a variety of activites, so hopefully you'll find some things you enjoy!

Colors Contest

Make sure to check out our new Colors Contest. All art mediums are allowed, and the prizes include points, premium memberships, art requests, free commissions, features, llamas, and more! The deadline to submit your entry is April 6th.

Feature O' Friends (Mondays)

This bi-weekly series is aimed at developing and nurturing community spirit by allowing members to suggest a friend to be featured in the next issue. Those who suggest a friend can have their artwork featured as well.

Next Feature: Monday, March 24th by Penis-Jam

Random Member Features (Wednesdays)

This weekly feature focuses on promoting the work of one active member of the group. Want to join in? Read the Random Features each week and comment on the artworks to have a chance to be featured in the following week.

Next Feature: Wednesday, March 26th by Sserenita

Feedback Corner (Thursday)

Looking for some constructive feedback on your work? Leave a constructive comment on the most recent artwork posted on this journal, and then feel free to share one of your artworks for feedback. All participants will also receive a feature in the next Feedback Corner journal.

Next Feature: Thursday, March 20th Penis-Jam

Friday Favorites (Fridays)

The Friday Favorites are a themed feature of artworks selected by admins. Every week, admins pick one or two artworks that relate to the theme so that every artist, regardless of their skill level, has an opportunity for their artworks to be featured.

Next Feature: Friday, March 21st MiloticScale

Critique Me Folder

Want to receive constructive feedback and critiques on your work? Please read the rules for submission in the journal linked below, and then feel free to submit your to our Critique Me folder.

Chat Event!

Join us for some fun, games, and prizes on our very first chat event held this Saturday at 2 PM PST | 5 PM EST | 9 PM GMT. Activities will include a sketch match, scavenger hunt, group trivia, and collab drawing.

Member/Affiliate News

Have some news you'd like us to share with the group? Just comment below or send us a note, and we'll feature your contest, community project, etc. here! To advertise your commissions, please check out this month's Commission List instead.

:bulletblue: 100 Watchers Raffle by AsiaOneMoon
Join the raffle to have a chance of winning a free digital drawing.

Skin by SimplySilent
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