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Force Awakens by skyrace











It seems the Force has truly Awoken, at least it has here on DeviantArt.


It has been one week since the teaser trailer for the first of the Disney owned Star Wars movies was released. Twitter and Facebook nearly broke under the deluge of postings of the trailer and frame by frame commentary of it. Each commentator hoping to spot something everyone else had missed.






Meanwhile on the far distant planet of DeviantArt, the community was drawing and designing up a storm of material. Where else could you possibly go and see hundreds of pieces of awesome art be rendered and posted in just one week?


The hopes and dreams of two generations are hoping for this feature to respark the wonder the original film inspired back in 1977. Based on what we have seen posted here on DeviantArt this week we can only presume those hopes and dreams are going to keep growing.


Now, we know you saw the trailer. Admit it, more than once.







Everyone of course is asking the simplest of questions, why is the Imperial Stormtrooper on the run?






We won’t really know until well into next year… and that’s way too long to wait because we are the spoiled children of modern generations accustomed to instant gratification in all things pop. So we have for you a dilemma, a conundrum, A CHALLENGE.


Do you have the creative mind of a “Star Wars” imagineer? When you see the young man, sweating, breathing heavily, running in the desert of some nameless planet, running from something… do scenarios begin taking shape in your head? Do questions demand answers? Is he actually a stormtrooper, or is he disguised to escape stormtrooper captivity? Is he a deep undercover agent of the Federation who’s just had his cover blown? Is he a once loyal soldier of the Empire who saw something he shouldn’t have seen, something that now has him trying to defect to the Federation, something that has generated his death warrant?








Open your mind to the all–powerful creative storytelling streams of The Force, and write a few paragraphs of the story you see developing… because a year is just too long to wait.

















Your Thoughts




  1. Can you name who said all the above quotes? For extra brownie points, name the movie they’re from.
  2. What is your favorite Star Wars quote?










It has been one week since the teaser trailer for the first of the Disney owned Star Wars movies was released. Twitter and Facebook nearly broke under the deluge of postings of the trailer and frame by frame commentary of it. Each commentator hoping to spot something everyone else had missed.

Meanwhile on the far distant planet of DeviantArt, the community was drawing and designing up a storm of material. Where else could you possibly go and see hundreds of pieces of awesome art be rendered and posted in just one week? The hopes and dreams of two generations are hoping for this feature to respark the wonder the original film inspired back in 1977. Based on what we have seen posted here on DeviantArt this week we can only presume those hopes and dreams are going to keep growing. It seems the Force has truly Awoken, at least it has here on DA.

Author: techgnotic 
Curator/Editor: DeevElliott 
Designer: seoul-child

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Star Wars: A New Hope

Thu Nov 20, 2014, 7:41 PM
Img-00a by techgnotic














Who’s the most important person now in the Star Wars franchise? JJ Abrams? Think again!


It has begun. Below you will find the trailer to the beginning chapter of the next Star Wars sequels, Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens,a new trilogy for a new generation. One well crafted 88 second trailer later, and it's just what we were hoping for. X-Wings, Tie Fighters, brand new Light Saber designs, the Millenium Falcon and just enough intriguing character moments to have us all guessing at plot points until the next one arrives. The style of camera work is also very interesting, a bit cinema verite, as we open on a character obviously on the run. We will have a full breakdown of the trailer coming next week. Our global Star Wars culture stirs in its sleep. George Lucas is whispering, “Wake up…” — for he has more life lessons for the youth. He continues on in his role as our children’s modern Walt Disney.


This second batch of Star Wars movies will hopefully fare better with the fans than the near-disastrous rollout of The Phantom Menace in 1999. The Star Wars community was split in two by the prequel trilogy. While on one hand it brought in a whole new younger audience to the franchize, the older fans who had waited so many years for these films were devastated that they were skewed to such a young audience.



But there was something else missing, one might say the vital ingredients that made the original franchize so great.



There was no hope that we’d ever see Francis Ford Coppola, writer and director of the fantastic Godfather Trilogy as well as Apocalypse Now, work on the scripts as he had done on A New Hope. There was also no chance that Gary Kurtz, the original trilogies producer would be back either. Gary was just as involved with Star Wars as George Lucas was. He kept George on track on both development and production through American Graffiti and their early desire to do a Flash Gordon adaptation, the latter project evolved into Star Wars.


We can relax because J.J. Abrams, who so successfully resuscitated the Star Trek franchise with his reboot, is the director this time out.


No worries, right? So who’s left?



Lawrence Kasdan. The man who co-wrote Empire Strikes Back and Return Of The Jedi. The man credited with breathing life into Luke, Leia and Han, then taking them on a slightly darker path. Kasdan was the man who also helped bring Indiana Jones to the screen, co-writing Raiders Of The Lost Ark! Many fans, with serious Star Wars knowledge, were relieved when the first video journal for Star Wars had both JJ Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan in it. A hopeful sign that JJ wouldn’t have final say on the script, something many Star Trek fans had wished someone else had on that reboot. Lawrence will be around for a while, his name already linked with the further sequels and spin-offs planned by Disney for Star Wars.


So as the Jedi nation grows in its multitudes and the 2015 Star Wars Celebration Convention, scheduled for April 16-19 in Anaheim is projected to shatter attendance records, there remains little evidence of the Force ever having being asleep in these years after the third “prequel.”


Lawrence, our faith is with you.


No pressure.



























Your Thoughts


  1. Which Star Wars characters are best suited to be featured in their own spin-off films?
  2. Do you hope Lando makes a surprise appearance?
  3. What are your hopes for the new series of Star Wars films?
  4. How would you like to see Han Solo and Princess Leia's relationship play out?
  5. What is your favorite Star Wars Fan Art or Fan Fiction?











Who’s the most important person now in the Star Wars franchise? JJ Abrams? It has begun. Below you will find the trailer to the beginning chapter of the next Star Wars sequels, Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens, a new trilogy for a new generation. One well crafted 88 second trailer later, and it's just what we were hoping for. X-Wings, Tie Fighters, brand new Light Saber designs, the Millenium Falcon and just enough intriguing character moments to have us all guessing at plot points until the next one arrives.

Author/Curator: DeevElliott
Designer: seoul-child 

For more articles like this, visit depthRADIUS.
Want to submit any ideas, suggestions, collections, or an existing work for consideration for the Today page? We'd love to look at it. Email us at share@deviantart.com
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Paul Tobin's Scavenger Hunt

Wed Dec 10, 2014, 6:41 PM
1200x700 by techgnotic










The Hobbit: Inspirational Tutorials


Masterful Resources on DeviantArt


:iconpaultobin:

PaulTobin is a conceptual designer, illustrator and graphic designer who has worked at Weta Workshop of New Zealand since 2003.




He has worked on films such as Andrew Adamson’s The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, Prince Caspian, Peter Jackson’s King Kong and James Cameron’s Avatar and most recently The Hobbit.


A master illustrator who has had gallery showings of his own original fantasy and sci–fi art, he has become a spokesman and advocate for other New Zealand fantasy and sci–fi artists. White Cloud Worlds was the 2010 “coffee table” anthology edited by Paul featuring the works of 27 of his amazing fellow NZ fantasy artists.


Paul has recently been the subject of a series of DeviantArt tutorial videos in which he outlines his work as a conceptual designer in film production and describes his methods at Weta Workshop for developing the best original concepts for the prehistoric or alien inhabitants of other worlds of the artist’s imagination. These tutorials should prove an invaluable resource for deviants interested in pursuing careers as studio graphic designers and illustrators in fantasy films.


Read the full interview.


Paul Tobin There and Back Again








White Cloud Worlds Volumes 1 & 2






With forewords and introductions from Guillermo Del Toro, Richard Taylor, Iain Craig and Wayne Barlow, these two lavish volumes represent the finest fantasy artwork from New Zealand.






Paul Tobin has graciously given us 20 copies of his books for a DeviantArt competition.


What you need to do


All you need to do for a chance to grab one of his books is to post in the comments below a link to a piece of art from the community that you think might inspire Paul for his own personal upcoming project about the lost city of Atlantis. Paul will then select 10 of the pieces and the deviant posting the piece will get a copy of one of the books as well as the deviant who produced the piece.


Paul will select his favorites on December 31st and we’ll post a wrap–up shortly after.








View the rest here










Paul Tobin's Scavenger Hunt Series










Leave your selections for Paul in the comments below









A master illustrator who has had gallery showings of his own original fantasy and sci-fi art, he has become a spokesman and advocate for other New Zealand fantasy and sci-fi artists. White Cloud Worlds was the 2010 “coffee table” anthology edited by Paul featuring the works of 27 of his amazing fellow NZ fantasy artists.


For more articles like this, visit depthRADIUS.
Want to submit any ideas, suggestions, collections, or an existing work for consideration for the Today page? We'd love to look at it. Email us at share@deviantart.com
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Billm by techgnotic













Sometimes a painter’s vision expresses and inspires what the zen philosopher’s words can only define and describe.


When remarkable lives defined by success and abundance are reviewed from their beginnings, it is remarkable that the narrowest of paths, sometimes a precarious balancing between life and death itself, led to the decision to fight on when failure seemed certain. So it was for our beloved friend Bill Murray, having once entertained the thought of ending it all before his career had a chance of getting started.


Just imagine how much pure unadulterated joy the world would have been denied had Bill taken that one fatal misstep in his journey on a cold day at the water’s edge…



Nixon’s world imploded…


…With his resignation as President of the United States in the summer of 1974 and a more hopeful America arose in its place. A part of this new world was a fresh anarchistic current of comedy that satirized all the stale conventions of the society that gave us Nixon, ‘Nam and “TV Dinners.” In ’75 a funny guy named John Belushi brought Bill Murray into the “National Lampoon Radio Hour” (a sort of post–grad project of “Harvard Lampoon” alumni). In ’77 Murray was drafted into the then–revolutionary Saturday Night Live during its second season to replace it’s first “star” departure, Chevy Chase. Hip America fell in love with Bill’s “unmade bed” everyman persona over the next three SNL seasons.


Bill then transitioned well into the movies with Meatballs, Caddyshack and Stripes.


In 1984 he agreed to step into a part vacated by the death of his friend, John Belushi, who was perhaps the single most significant champion and promoter of his early career. He took the part to help finance his remake of The Razor’s Edge, from the Maugham novel about a man’s search for spiritual meaning in a violent and randomly cruel world—issues obviously on Bill’s mind in the wake of John’s death. Ghostbusters went on to become one of the box office blockbusters of all time. Razor’s Edge is gone and all but forgotten.



Bill starred in audience favorite Goundhog Day, but most of his film work has tilted into more experimental and eccentric moviemaking, like Wes Anderson’s Royal Tenenbaums, Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, Fantastic Mr. Fox and “Moonrise Kingdom.” In 2003 he starred in what he has claimed is his favorite role, as the American movie star Lost in Translation in Japan, having flown in to pick up a big check for doing a TV commercial. The Sofia Coppola–directed film afforded Bill the space to examine a life of fame, opportunities, generous remuneration for one’s talents—and yet still nagged by the core loneliness afflicting all humans. That we’ll never know what it is (perhaps some zen wisdom from Razor’s Edge) that he whispers to fellow traveler and lost soul Scarlett Johansson is the moment that elevates this movie into humanist masterpiece, the small detail that defines our lives on Earth. Pure movie nirvana.


Bill may be our slacker Buddha who continues to define in his every brilliant comedic choice the finer ironic points of modern living, but there was a time when darkness nearly swallowed his developing mind after a comedy club audience gave a thumbs–down to his stage debut. Bill was the disgraced newbie with the Second City crew in Chicago and in fit of depression decided to drive to Lake Michigan. Lucky for us, he had to pass the Chicago Art Institute on his way to the murky shore.


Lucky for us



He decided to stop and take a moment before entering oblivion to put some beauty in his head. Lucky for us, that Jules Breton painted The Song of the Lark in 1884. The painting is of a stoically beautiful peasant woman at dawn, readying herself for another day’s hard labor in the fields. Her eyes are raised heavenward, as she apparently hears a lark, a small bird living hidden on the ground, but a singer of beautiful songs when having raised itself up into full flight. Lucky for us, that this painting was there to save Bill Murray’s life and renew his spirits, as he recently revealed, obviously resonating with the comic capable of transcendent humor but who had, nonetheless, crashed and burned on his first attempted public “flight.” Lucky for us that an appreciation for art was a large enough part of his life to inspire him to soar again.










Your Thoughts






  1. Have you ever had the experience of being lifted out of a seriously dangerous depression or sadness by losing yourself in a work of art? Was the artwork on deviantART and would you share by posting it here in the Comments section?

  2. Is there a particular artist whose works you look at to be uplifted or that invariably just make you feel happy?










Sometimes a painter’s vision expresses and inspires what the zen philosopher’s words can only define and describe.


For more articles like this, visit depthRADIUS.
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The Resurrection of Mara Jade

Fri May 29, 2015, 10:42 AM
Img-og by techgnotic














Like millions of kids growing up in the 1980s, I spent many happy hours imagining what it would be like in the rosy future when George Lucas made new Star Wars movies. It was almost as difficult and delicious to imagine as adulthood.


Return of the Jedi came out in 1983, but many, many years would pass before we had new stories. In the meantime, we created our own stories with fan art, fan fiction and epic action figure play sessions.


But the real change came in 1991, when science fiction novelist Timothy Zahn published Heir to the Empire, the first in a trilogy of books telling the story of what happened to the Star Wars heroes after the events of the original movie series. Those books steadily climbed bestseller lists, giving fans like me the new Star Wars stories we craved.


This trilogy was one of the first bricks in a mighty mythology that became known as the Star Wars “Expanded Universe” (or EU, as abbreviated by many fans). The EU filled gaps in the Star Wars story for millions of fans like me—a huge bookshelf of novels, comics and fan art. You can see examples in every corner of DeviantArt.



DeviantArt creator and illustrator Grant Gould (grantgoboom) has worked on Star Wars kid’s books, trading cards and web comics.



At the recent Star Wars Celebration convention in Anaheim, California, he created an exclusive licensed tribute to these classic Star Wars novels.


Grant told me about the moment he discovered those books:



I remember the excitement. We hadn’t had Star Wars in a long time, and all of a sudden, there’s this great book and the adventures continue. I just fell in love with the series.”





I devoured the trilogy as well back in the 1990s, but I forgot the stories as I grew older. Then I re-explored the Expanded Universe while preparing for the Anaheim Star Wars convention. Once again, I was captivated by one character in particular: Mara Jade.


Mara is one of the most beloved characters from this trilogy. Early in her life, she worked as the “Emperor’s Hand,” a trained killer serving the most loathsome villain from the original trilogy. She entered the Expanded Universe by trying to kill Luke Skywalker, but she would finish her epic character arc by falling in love with the great Jedi.


My first DeviantArt search turned up more than 2,000 results for Mara Jade fan art. Author Chris Taylor described Jade in his excellent history, How Star Wars Conquered the Universe: The Past, Present, and Future of a Multibillion Dollar Franchise. He wrote:



She would inspire the first online mailing group (and later the first blog) to cover the Expanded Universe, Club Jade … she offers all of the feisty, fiery personality that Leia should have developed, but ultimately lacked.”


— Chris Taylor



You can still visit Club Jade online, a busy site with a pointed mission: “Club Jade is a group of (mostly) female fans who love Star Wars - particularly the Expanded Universe novels - and other things of that nature.”


When Disney acquired the Star Wars franchise and created a new slate of films, the media company praised this epic collection of novels, role-playing games, comic books and fan art:



For over 35 years, the Expanded Universe has enriched the Star Wars experience for fans seeking to continue the adventure beyond what is seen on the screen. When he created Star Wars, George Lucas built a universe that sparked the imagination, and inspired others to create. He opened up that universe to be a creative space for other people to tell their own tales.”



Despite all of the excitement online about the Star Wars: The Force Awakens teaser released last month (47 million YouTube views and counting), thousands of fans were heartbroken at what they did not see in these new stories about a galaxy far, far away: Mara Jade and the rest of the Star Wars Expanded Universe.















In fact, Disney nearly destroyed this imaginary universe in a single press release. The Expanded Universe characters were exiled in a single sentence:



In order to give maximum creative freedom to the filmmakers and also preserve an element of surprise and discovery for the audience, Star Wars Episodes VII-IX will not tell the same story told in the post-Return of the Jedi Expanded Universe.”



At the Star Wars Celebration, I spoke with a 17-year-old fan dressed as Mara Jade. She had a passionate response to Disney’s Expanded Universe decision:



I found out about that in school, I actually screamed ‘WHAT THE ACTUAL F***!?!’ Then I started getting louder and louder and my teacher said that we need to either stop this conversation or take it into the hall because people weren’t able to work with me screaming about this. Then I went home and cried a lot.”


— 17-year-old fan


While the Star Wars universe is changing, the EU is not being discarded. Disney has dubbed the Expanded Universe “legends,” but also noted: “Creators of new Star Wars entertainment have full access to the rich content of the Expanded Universe.”


So there is always the possibility that these great characters will return in some form, someday. But judging by the most recent trailer, none of the Heir to the Empire characters made the cut this time.



Illustrator Grant Gould dreams that Star Wars storytellers will bring back Grand Admiral Thrawn.



I’m hoping Disney will realize what a great character he is and maybe bring him back in a similar capacity somehow. That would be awesome.”




Thrawn was a brilliant and blue-skinned villain who brought back the Empire after its defeat at the end of The Return of the Jedi. He has inspired many pages of DeviantArt creations as well.



“I don’t think this will stop artists from making more EU art,” Gould concluded when I asked him about Disney’s Expanded Universe policy.


“When we were submitting ideas for our prints, I emailed my contact at Lucas Film and I was like, ‘would I be allowed to draw Thrawn?’ And they were like, ‘why not?’ So even though they’ve declared that it’s ‘legends,’ they are still all about letting us draw the characters. So who knows? As of now, my Thrawn print is the only official Thrawn Celebration print ever, but who knows? Maybe there will be more in the future? I hope so, because I love it.”


Beyond books, comic books and art, cosplay has played a major role in the evolving legacy of the Expanded Universe. After spending a full day on the convention floor at Star Wars Celebration, I reached the unscientific conclusion that Mara Jade is the most popular EU character for cosplayers.


Freelance illustrator Annie McBeth used her Mara Jade costume to show me the essential elements of Mara Jade cosplay: red hair, a sleeveless black shirt, leather shoulder harness, a belt, goggles and a scarf.



You can see how hundreds of cosplayers interpreted the famous character on DeviantArt:


Annie told me that Disney’s decision will never influence her cosplay adventures:



I’ll still dress up like Mara Jade. Because she’s fun. I look at it the same way as dressing up like mash-up Disney characters. It’s fun to come to conventions and see the die-hard fans. You can definitely tell the difference between film fans and expanded universe fans. They give you a look up and down, you can tell that they immediately recognize the character.”


— Annie

















Indeed, the convention was packed with cosplay fans wearing lovingly hand-crafted costume tributes to beloved character(s).


One group mashed up Stormtrooper suits with the white jumpsuits of Clockwork Orange hooligans; another crew combined Darth Vader and Santa Claus suits; or the stunning Snow White and Boba Fett costume that charmed my four-year-old daughter so much she ran across the courtyard shouting "Snow White! Snow White!”


Star Wars fans will never play by Disney rules. You can't control Star Wars mythology any more than you can refill a bottle of uncorked champagne. Mara Jade charmed millions of fans, and they will never be able to un-imagine her.


Watching my daughter run around with her Jedi robe and blue lightsaber, I vowed to teach her about the WHOLE Star Wars story—Mara Jade and the Expanded Universe are counting on these kids.















Your Thoughts


  1. Should massive media companies like Disney be able to re-write or erase massive parts of a beloved franchise? Should media companies do more to support fan art and fanfiction?
  2. What are your favorite Star Wars mash-ups on DeviantArt? What mash-ups would you like to see an artist create?
  3. How do you feel about the new Star wars trailer? Can it ever live up to your expectations?
  4. Who is your favorite Star Wars character? Have you ever created fan art or fan fiction about that character?
  5. Would you be open to allow other community members to write and create stories around your original Characters? If yes, what rules would you set in place for doing so?











Like millions of kids growing up in the 1980s, I spent many happy hours imagining what it would be like in the rosy future when George Lucas made new Star Wars movies. It was almost as difficult and delicious to imagine as adulthood.

Author: istickboy, Truepicturesinc
Designer: seoul-child

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Collection: Space Art

Wed Nov 5, 2014, 5:33 PM
Castles In The Sky by Kimmokaunela







Space Art


There was once a time when art depicting the lands west of the Appalachian Mountains as pristine wilderness awaiting exploration was censured by church and state as distracting from more important matters of the common pieties of home life. But there have always been those who need visions of grander realms for the journeys they can only dream of experiencing, but that may one day be rest stops on their great–great–grandchildren’s celestial road maps.









:iconrealm-of-fantasy:

About Realm-of-Fantasy


Fantasy, by it's core definition is: the free play of creative imagination. This is a place for Fantasy Artists and Enthusiasts to come and share their imagination, and meet others with a similar passion. Whether you have come here to share, enjoy or learn you will find what you are looking for. Artists of all skill levels are welcome, from beginners to professionals. Join us at the Realm of Fantasy. Where the only limits here is your magination.









"In space, race doesn't matter, nationality doesn't matter... you see the world as a globe and you don't see the boundaries." — Maggie Aderin–Pocock


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James Joyce In Space

Mon Dec 29, 2014, 7:30 PM
15-img-00 by techgnotic












What do you think about when you look at the stars in the night sky?


Every June 16, the day fans of novelist James Joyce celebrate “Bloomsday”–the fictional date when Leopold Bloom wandered around Dublin in Joyce’s most famous novel, Ulysses.


Joyce never wrote science fiction, but he wrote some gorgeous descriptions of the cosmos. We find inspiration in all corners of reality—including classic literature with a powerful voice.


You should download a free eBook copy of Ulysses. In that book, Bloom stares up at the night sky, seeing “The heaventree of stars hung with humid nightblue fruit.”



Joyce followed that sentence with one of the loveliest descriptions of space and time I’ve ever read:



Meditations of evolution increasingly vaster: of the moon invisible in incipient lunation, approaching perigee: of the infinite lattiginous scintillating uncondensed milky way, discernible by daylight by an observer placed at the lower end of a cylindrical vertical shaft 5000 ft deep sunk from the surface towards the centre of the earth: of Sirius (alpha in Canis Maior) 10 lightyears (57,000,000,000,000 miles) distant and in volume 900 times the dimension of our planet: of Arcturus: of the precession of equinoxes: of Orion with belt and sextuple sun theta and nebula in which 100 of our solar systems could be contained: of moribund and of nascent new stars such as Nova in 1901: of our system plunging towards the constellation of Hercules: of the parallax or parallactic drift of socalled fixed stars, in reality evermoving wanderers from immeasurably remote eons to infinitely remote futures in comparison with which the years, threescore and ten, of allotted human life formed a parenthesis of infinitesimal brevity.”


— James Joyce




Joyce followed with a meditation on life at the smallest scale, a cosmic counterpoint:



Of the eons of geological periods recorded in the stratifications of the earth: of the myriad minute entomological organic existences concealed in cavities of the earth, beneath removable stones, in hives and mounds, of microbes, germs, bacteria, bacilli, spermatozoa: of the incalculable trillions of billions of millions of imperceptible molecules contained by cohesion of molecular affinity in a single pinhead: of the universe of human serum constellated with red and white bodies, themselves universes of void space constellated with other bodies, each, in continuity, its universe of divisible component bodies of which each was again divisible in divisions of redivisible component bodies, dividends and divisors ever diminishing without actual division till, if the progress were carried far enough, nought nowhere was never reached.


— James Joyce




Ulysses by James Joyce is one of those books that fills the young aspiring novelist with both soaring inspiration and deepest depression.


Ulysses is the inner monologue of one man on one day. The ultimate blog. The quotidian is presented as miraculous as it really is.  The problem is, having read this book begs the question:  Need you ever read another book, let alone spend a lifetime trying to write another novel of such scope and profundity?  Where do you go beyond utter perfection?   Hence the depression and consideration of exploring other forms of artistic expression.  So I dare you, young word-slinger, firing off your hot ink e-bullets all over the ‘net.  Read Ulysses.  Then take a few days to decide what to do with the rest of your life.  Whether you choose to write on or take up the accordion, I wish you best of luck.










Your Thoughts




  1. Have you ever considered ‘Why you write’?
  2. Have you always wanted to be a writer?
  3. Do you think about whether to write for yourself or for an audience?
  4. What authors inspire you?











Every June 16, the day fans of novelist James Joyce celebrate “Bloomsday”–the fictional date when Leopold Bloom wandered around Dublin in Joyce’s most famous novel, Ulysses. Joyce never wrote science fiction, but he wrote some gorgeous descriptions of the cosmos. We find inspiration in all corners of reality—including classic literature with a powerful voice.


For more articles like this, visit depthRADIUS.
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There is no such thing as suddenly knowing when you are ready to turn your
passion into your profession. But there is a way of measuring your chances on being
able to get work and eventually sustain a living from it.
Accepting commissions or freelance for low payment won't help you. You can think any penny counts, but it will lower the worth of your work and damage the market.

:bulletblue: How to measure that you are ready?

You probably have high goals, but they are usually not your first step. You must search out the clients who can be that first step. Often found in the card game industry, book cover illustrations and smaller game company's. 
Look at the artwork shown by a company such as the card game company: Fantasy Flight games. Compare your skills with the average of their artworks. If it matches yours, you will have a chance. However, keep in mind that those artworks had been done in a limited timeframe, usually within 12 hours.

:bulletblue: What to show in your portfolio?

Don't show to many artworks, you will always be judged by your worst piece.
Show the work that is suitable for the company's you'd like to work for. Show work that they would be able to fit in to their game right away, proving you are the right person to do so. Did you know that if you're a paid DA member you can make a portfolio website through DA? You will find it in the menu :)

:bulletblue: What to write in your CV?

Don't write about those years you worked in the supermarket or you black belt in karate, they will not care and again it looks unprofessional. Don't share your high school information or grades. If you have done a uni course related to art, you should put that information in there.
Other sections will be: Languages, Software, Art achievements( like book/magazine features.) art-courses and previous clients. Are there no previous clients? That is okay.
Don't advertise yourself as a freshly graduated person, you don't have to lie about it, but avoid the mention if possible.

:bulletblue: How to approach a company for work?

Never come across as a fan. You, of course like their work, and would like to create artwork for them, but don't phrase your fandom to them, it will come across as inexperienced. 
Explain what you can offer the company or the company's art-team with your personality and passion. 

:bulletblue: How to calculate your basic freelance rate?

The price must include: Your rent, other living costs like food & bills, equipment(pc,software and Wacom), training-days(the days you wont be working for clients) and taxes( add 21%, this variate's per country so do your research).
Example
1 year of rent (500x12)+ (600x12)1 year of living expenses+(1500) 1 year of equipment= 14700 euro.
The year has 365 days approximately 250 workdays. 50 days will probably be spend, without a client to work for, sick, or holiday. But those days will still need to be covered so they will stay included.

14700 euro : 250 days= 58.80 euro a day. + 21% taxes(12.34 euro) = 71.14 euro.

That 71.40 a day will give you a very basic living in a country such as the Netherlands. However, if you'd like to be able to pay a vacation, a nice Christmas, a car? You have a child to take care of?
Don't forget you need to save up for a pension too! As a freelancer that needs to come from your own wallet!!
This will most certainly higher the price to a 120 euro a day easily. 
Most professional rates are between 120-500 euro a day! But these are from experienced artists and you should be able to achieve that within 1 year. But please don't ever work for lower than this previous calculation has shown you. Flipping burgers would be more sustainable otherwise XD.


These website's feature okay freelance work from individuals from time to time:
www.elance.com
www.freelance.com
DA jobs forum.
CGhub jobs forum.

Ofcourse you will always have to keep honing your skills and strive to become better every day to climb up the career ladder :D

I wish you guys goodluck!! :D
Let me know if you have some other questions about this that I haven't covered :D


All my other journals:
The 5 bullshit myths of concept art.Concept art is getting bigger and bigger. More people know what it is nowadays, it gets shown in the media more often and more books get released. This automatically results into more people wanting to become concept artists. So many artschools are now creating special courses all towards game art or concept art. (Game art can also include UI design, 3D modeling etc.).
Yet it is a fairly new thing to most people and the idea of "becoming a concept artist" has grown rapidly over such a short time that a lot of people who are new to it seem to get a lot of misguide info. I am going to try to list this misguided info and direct you to the correct info.
(Again I would always advise you to do your own research and form your own knowledge and not just simply agree with what you read online, not from anyone, not from me. Even though i'm right ;) .. ofcourse. :P *wink *wink )
  
  Are you on the right track? + Fuck Talent!Am I on the right track?
This is a thing people often wonder and think it's a complicated to find out, but it is actually pretty simple. It's a different question you need to ask yourself based on different topics.
As for: Fuck talent! You'll find it if you scroll down :P
:bulletblue: Topic 1: Am I on the right track to becoming a better artist?
Does your work from today, look closer to your initial goal than your work from last week? (this needs to be both in skill and idea.)
:bulletgreen: Good skills: Honing your technique, training you muscle memory, being more knowledgeable about your tools and art rules. With art rules I mean: Perspective, form, light, texture, composition.
:bulletgreen: Good ideas: Storytelling, characteristics, charm, emotion and design. Not just making things look polished but also convey something more, something that brings it to life and speaks to pe
How to win Art-contests! (+ Caldyra winners!)Let me start by saying how incredibly happy I am with all these amazing and inspiring entries! This definitely calls for doing another such contest soon!
Most of you have really tried their best and it shows! I couldn't have asked for better or more, choosing the winners among these was already aching my brains.
This journal will show the winners and the special mentions but also a bit about how to higher your changes on winning contests (maybe good for the next one).
This was my contest for those interested:

How to win contests?!
The change on winning a contest always gets smaller based on the amount of people joining in, however this doesn't mean that your work will be diminished by the numbers.
Here is a list of tips and tricks to make sure that your work gets into the top 10 !
:bulletblue: Triple read the contest's description. Make sure you got every detail right.
In this case it was pretty important that the Skyworm loo
A big black hole called: Procrastination.Procrastination is an infinite cycle that becomes bigger and bigger the longer it's there and the time wasted being sucked into it is a dark matter of nothing.
:P hahah I figured this was the most dramatic way to put it, but yeah, it's real and it sucks.
For those who don't know what it means: Procrastination is the practice of carrying out less urgent tasks in preference to more urgent ones, or doing more pleasurable things in place of less pleasurable ones, and thus putting off impending tasks to a later time, sometimes to the "last minute" before the deadline.
We all suffer from procrastination. It is pretty innocent when you have it with household chores or packing your suitcase before you go on a holiday. 
But it becomes a serious problem when you do it with the important things in your life. I take it you're an artist if you're reading this and the biggest aim of being an artist is to be an even better one.
As shown in previous journals there are many
What do do as an artist in training.There are many ways to Rome they say. But I find most aspiring artists lost and asking me for guidance
and this is what I tell them.
Find out for yourself what you really want to do with art, there are so many different professions.
Graphic designer, Concept artist (mobile and high end), Illustrator of bookcovers, or card games.
Once you can make your pick, or at least pick 1 or 2 you must find the best work on the market in those fields. 
Find out what makes the best art of your favorite field the best art. What do they paint? How do they paint it? With knowing this you can find out about the things you need to study.
The most basic study aims are the following:
:bulletblue: Lighting.
What forms of light art there? And how does it influence things?
The book Color and Light by James Gurney will give you a lot of insight.
  
:bulletblue: Shapes.
How do you paint shapes? How do you light them the right way?
You will learn a l
Where to get started before you can apply for workThere is no such thing as suddenly knowing when you are ready to turn your
passion into your profession. But there is a way of measuring your chances on being
able to get work and eventually sustain a living from it.
Accepting commissions or freelance for low payment won't help you. You can think any penny counts, but it will lower the worth of your work and damage the market.
:bulletblue: How to measure that you are ready?
You probably have high goals, but they are usually not your first step. You must search out the clients who can be that first step. Often found in the card game industry, book cover illustrations and smaller game company's. 
Look at the artwork shown by a company such as the card game company: Fantasy Flight games. Compare your skills with the average of their artworks. If it matches yours, you will have a chance. However, keep in mind that those artworks had been done in a limited timeframe, usually within 12 hour
This is why you (and your art) get ignored.People often get the sense of being ignored in the art-scene, especially here online. We all try so hard to get our foot in the door, it's like trying to stuff yourself in an overfull bus like a sardine in a can.
Sometimes you just want to socialize with other artists you admire and you seem to be talking into a brick wall or perhaps you've send your portfolio to a company over a dozen times and still don't even seem to get the smallest response or feedback. I will try and tell you WHY you get ignored and HOW you can get noticed instead.
I will go through the following cases of being ignored:
:bulletgreen: Your comment.
:bulletgreen: Your art.
:bulletgreen: Your Portfolio.
:bulletyellow: Do know, that even though being ignored feels very personal it's hardly ever personal at all! 
:bulletblue: Your comment(s) gets ignored.
It happens ever so often. You notice an artwork or a discussion and you weigh in with your opinion or admiration, perhaps even some feedback? T
The problematic behavior of online artists.There is a bunch of things online artist do terribly wrong on a regular basis. Some of it might be directly aimed to you and some might be things you from others. 
Shortlist:
:bulletblue: Way too little time spend on painting/practice.
:bulletblue: People making nit pick pointers.
:bulletblue: The extreme fuzz about labels and methods.
:bulletblue: Witch-hunting/ talking smack.
However I'd like to start with a totally opposite note:
This year I've also experienced great support from the art community for which I'm dearly grateful for.
:icontituslunter: got me an amazing birthday gift(video), made by him and fellow awesome artists:
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10203399746211607
And the support I've had this past week with the event of my sisters death has been incredibly helpful. (Thank you for all the donations, there are no more worries about money anymore thanks to you awesome people!)

:bulletred: (most of) You seem to spend way to li
Don't let the crap of the internet brainwash you.warning: This journal is my opinion and my view on things. I support open-mindedness and the possibility of anything.
The internet is full of it: People with strong opinions. Usually about 'how to do things' and 'how to absolutely not do things'.
Ask any given person this question: What is good art?
They will all give you a different answer and some of those answers are waaaay to specific for their own good.
Meaning they have a very specific view on what is good and see other work that does not meet up those qualifications as: bad, fake or cheating.
It is natural to have a preference toward certain topics or techniques when making art, but it's wrong to push those ideas upon others as a set of rules. (kinda like forcing someone into a religion)
Art should be a free medium for people to express themselves, even if this means their work goes against your standards or deems unpleasant for your taste.
(Child pornography, animal cruelty etc not included, there are limits to

The stuff that artists go through.There are so many pro's and con as to being an artist, professional or as a hobby. 
It feels nice to be able to express yourself through something you make and when that something turns out to be looking good we get this sense of accomplishment. 
Most of the time though there are bad feelings mixed with the good ones.
:bulletblue: Not being understood. Those moments where your friends or family does not understand that you have to desire to be alone and work on your art. Those copious amounts of hours you spend working and they wonder why you wouldn't rather be outside relaxing in the sun or hang out with your friends.
The only people who will ever fully understand this are other artists or simply very understandable people. It's important they they will eventually understand so there wont be any hurt feelings. Try to explain ti as calmly and rational as you can, perhaps with using examples in terms they would understand.

:bullet
  Overcome your unfair obstacles.We all have certain obstacles that gives us the feeling of: 'This is so unfair!.'
To me it's one of the most annoying feelings in the world because in general we don't really know how to deal with it. One little part of us says: 'Don't whine about it, you are just being jealous.' the other part of you tells you: 'If I didn't have this obstacle or disability I would rule the world!!'
So you bounce around anger, sadness, hopelessness and envy. 
If you were just sad about something or simply angry it would be a lot easier to deal with, you cry or you just vent a bit towards a friend. 
But how to deal with he feeling of unfairness? 

:bulletblue: There are many things that can form this unfair obstacle for you.
Physical obstacles such as: MS, Lyme disease, Arthritis, Color blindness, missing fingers?
Mental obstacles such as: Depression, being a procrastinator (yes I'm naming it because it's a mental blockade that keeps you fro
Fast lane to becoming a better artist.I often get this very question: How did you get this good this fast?

Now as I consider myself not being as good as people tell me, even struggling quite often with being an artist in general. 
I do know how to get better and how to reach it fast. I'm still growing as I go and it's the main thing that keeps me going.
You need to get into the right mindset and the rest will follow. With the rest I mean:
1. Willpower.
2. Endurance.
3. Positive energy.
4. The NEED to draw.
:bulletblue: Seeing growth in your work gives you the courage to work harder. You know that feeling when you're just about done with an image
and feel like this image is better than your last one, that great feeling. Use it!
:bulletblue: Do studies! Lots of them!! Make film shot studies, live object studies, master-painting studies. They will teach you a lot about composition, lighting, colors, shapes storytelling etc. 
You will hardly notice that you are learning thing
Why it's so important to unite as artists.We are with many though yet we are with few. We're all divided over little subgroups such as, fantasy illustrators, concept artists, comic book pencilers, photomanipers, techartists, anime drawers, realism sketchers etc. You might even find your place at multiple sections.
I found that the biggest united groups on Deviant Art are mostly evolved around fan art, such as Sonic, or My little pony. 
Observations aside, I think the good thing about those groups is that they serve for companionship. Being an artist all by yourself with no one to share/talk about/discuss your work with can feel rather lonely. And that lonely feeling is not encouraging at all. Most of us keep a lot of things taboo as well, like techniques or rates. If we were more openly with these the changes of being underpaid or missing out on a job because someone else does it for hardly any money at all will grow slimmer. People should know what they are worth and not be afraid to ask for it.
When I joined Deviant Art
Are you being honest with yourself?As part of becoming good at something you need to be able to reflect upon yourself. Judge your own abilities and work and consider the possibility that what ever you have been doing it wrong all along. Or perhaps you're actually being to hard on yourself and you're better than your conscious is telling you. (This is bad too because it leads to insecurities.)

Signs that you might overestimate your current skills.
Do you often feel these things when you look upon work from good artists?:
I can totally do this too.
This is not so hard, I can do this faster.
My work is way more interesting.
It's not fair that this person gets way more attention than I do.
Why am I not being recognized for my skills.
This other technique is cheating! (photo-bashing, using reference, filters, effects etc)
I don't need to draw and learn all day to become this good.
I spend 2 hours on a painting, Masterpiece!!
Signs that you might underestimate your skills.
Do you ofte
When someone brings your art down...Putting our art out there makes us very vulnerable, especially when you've made something close to your heart. Perhaps something of your own fantasy, a story, a fan fiction your passionate about?
As much as most of us really want to improve, we also simply want to make art because we love it and when we share it there is a slight hope there is someone out there who will love it too.
There are all kinds of ways other people can bring you down by saying something about your art, or by doing nothing at all! Perhaps YOU are even part of making someone feel down and you're not realizing it!

:bulletblue: The harsh critique.
This person might want to help you or simply likes to bring you down. In either case this person will write in length about your lack of technique, uniqueness and/or skill. 
:bulletred: Respond option: Thanks but no thanks! Tell this person you appreciate the time spend on their post, but you rather hear constructive c
How to deal with or get feedback.Getting feedback or critiques may be hard for people.
Some people want it really bad but can't seem to get it, at least not from the people he/she is hoping for.
And other get it all the time but feel a little attacked or bullied by it.
Pretty much anyone with eyes and some intelligence is able to spot mistakes or irregularities in someone's work. This person doesn't have to be more skilled than you. 
However, this person... might be wrong.... 
:bulletpurple: How do you judge a critique?
You initially made your artwork according to the knowledge you currently have. Leaving room for mistakes in the elements you're not trained or knowledgeable in. Or perhaps you think you know something and you are not aware that it's wrong.
When someone gives you feedback, even though it might feel incorrect. Take a little time to do some extra research on the matter. 
:bulletblue: You can ask others if they agree with someone's feedback.
:bulletblue: You can search online (with anat
So tired of not achieving what you want?So tired of not achieving what you want?

Everyone has something they really want dearly, a career, to have a certain loved one, to be able to make certain things...
The most common one among us artist are:
- I want to be able to draw better
- I want to be able to draw like "this"person.
- I want to earn money with my drawing.
- I want to be able to draw what I imagine in my head.
- I want more people to appreciate my art.
- I want more feedback from artists I admire.
- I want more..
- I want better....
All this wanting.. dreaming of... hoping for.
How about doing it!! With these sort of "wants", it's a matter of DOING IT!
How? You ask?
There are many ways, but the usual and only answers to those desires are: 
- Spend the most time you have on drawing/painting.
- Go and ask people for help, it is okay to do so!
- Look at that amazing artwork and try and figure out how this person made it, perhaps he/she will tell you? Perhaps this person has made a video or tutoria
Avoid getting ripped off by a client.As a freelancer most of your business takes place online, which makes it really easy
for people to rip you off. How many times have we seen the following scenario's:
1- Someone offers a descent payment for your artwork but wants you to do an art-test first.
after the art-test you're being told you're not good enough. Later you find out that other people
got to do different art-test topics and also weren't good enough. The client clearly ripped people off to get free artwork.
2- Someone offers good money for your artwork. The sketch gets approved so you continue working. Right when it's done the total image suddenly becomes a great disappointment and the client ends up not paying you.
These were just 2 examples of situations that happen a lot to freelancers. There are many more like it.
:bulletblue: How to detect if a client is a bit fishy...
Does their email address look professional? Some legit people may use their Gmail address, with their real name or nickname, those are questionabl

The emotional shield that prevents hurt.Being an artist = Being sensitive.
We all know it. Making something and then showing it out there makes you very vulnerable, emotionally.
What if people think it's shit? What if they think it's weird... what will they think? Will that reflect on how they think of me as a person?
I know what some of you are thinking right now... 'You should care less about what people think of you or you art.'
In a sense you are right.. than again, you SHOULD care what people think of you and your art! They are your market and potential clients.
It's easier when you're already doing your dream job and couldn't care less for other potential directions... but most of us will always stay interested in new opportunities.
They= Everyone who see your personality and/or artwork.

Being an artist = Being lonely.
Artists of a certain type tent to stick together. Industry veterans seems to ignore the public eye and the internet fully. Some artists in the making clut
Being a miserable artist = being a bad artist.I recently felt it being one of the most important things, not just for an artist; being happy with what you do. No one wants to get up every morning thinking.. shit .. another work day. Of course there can be days, maybe even a full week of that, but the majority of your time you should be feeling content and happy even.
With that lack of love and enthusiasm it is most likely reflected into your work.

Now it's not always your own fault that your work doesn't make you happy and doesn't feed your creative monster. But it can be in these cases.
You make your OWN workday miserable when:
:bulletblue: If you don't speak your mind and stand up for your opinion and values.
:bulletblue: If you're not open minded regarding feedback and new techniques.
:buletblue: If you don't aim for improvement. (though aiming for perfecting all the time can be stressful)
:bulletblue: when you allow yourself to work under stressful circumstances for too long.
These are
Timing fucking matters.Time does a lot of things, it makes you older, it gets you to places, it never stops going forward. However you control when and how you use it!
Everyone makes choices on a daily bases, most of them are actually done with your auto-pilot function out of habit.

Most people usually sit in the same spot on the couch, chooses what to wear based on previously made combinations and so on, unless they consciously become aware of their action and might decide it's time for a change. It can be a small thing that makes people aware of their options
You can count that pretty much every person out there works like this and YOU often depend on THEIR choices.
My point of this journal is saying: Use this in your advantage!
Time can be compared to a diet. Eating to much bad stuff will make you unhealthy and feel bad, while eating healthy things will keep you going and feel good. So time can either make you feel stuck in one place, maybe even going backwards (ageing already does that for you) or
Things I learned at: The Industry Workshops 2014Holy shit amazeballs... this past weekend....
But let me start of by shortly telling you what the industry workshops actually were.
(The artwork in this journal are from some of the lecturers.)
:bulletblue: What is: #IW_14?
The Industry workshops took place last weekend August 29 to 31 2014, at 2 venues both located at Hoxton Square, London United Kingdom.
It was organized and hosted by a group of industry professionals in the fields of concept art, matte painting and illustration in film, games and freelance.
Let me name the people that profited the lectures and demo's from 10 in the morning to 8 in the evening, ending with a 1+ hour QA session as seen on the picture below.

(Not in the same order as the picture)
Alex Brady, Alex Heath, Alex Negea, Andrei Riabovitchev, Björn Hurri, Dave Neale, emrah elmasli, Jama Djurabeav, Jon McCoy, Jonas De Ro, Kan Muftic, Levi Peterffy, Mark tompkins, Nadia Mogile
When inspiration is far to be found...We all get these anoying times when we really want to make something cool, get inspired and work that magic. We see everyone around us (online) do it, but how come we are not?
So we look for ways to get inspired, we ask around, find these usual answers: go watch a film, listen to music.. take a walk...
But even when we do that, we still end up stuck most of the time.
Part of the solution is knowing WHY we get stuck and this is my theory.

:bulletblue: ADT - Attention Deficit Trait.
'Experiencing an inner frenzy of distractability, impatience, difficulty in setting priorities, staying focused and managing time. Those are our biggest enemies as they all end up cluttering your head and keeping you from spending quality focused time on a singular topic.
Everything we do now a days is based around multitasking and it is giving us a constant overdose of information. Let me elaborate.
How many of you travel daily by public transport and don't look away
A simple guide on: Commissioning an Artist.It's often not as simple as one wants it to be when both artist and client want it to be: Cost efficient, time efficient and quality efficient.
I've often spend my time discussing the best way to handle commissions with clients and artist friends that I came to the conclusion that clarity and understanding is key.
I will divide the guidelines I work with based on 3 commission types.
:bulletblue: Character commissions.
:bulletblue: Book covers ( or illustrations)
:bulletblue: Concept art.
Reading all 3 parts will give you the full scope as a lot of it applies to one another as well.

:bulletgreen: Character commissions.
:bulletblue: 1. Reference board.
If you as a client have very specific characteristic features all set and done for your character it can be very useful for the artist if you'd make them a reference board of art and photos that portray these things.
:bulletblue: 2. Personality.
The artist does not wish for a life story of your cha
The Key to keeping yourself motivated properly.Let me start off with telling you what motivation is and why you need it.
A motivation is a reason behind doing something a certain way to work yourself up to a certain goal. Just having a goal but no understanding of how to get there, means you have no way to motivate yourself and your goal will be hard to reach. 
Therefore motivation is needed desperately in order to become truly good at something.
The motivation to eat is the feeling for hunger and the end goal of ending the hunger and feeling healthy and energized. This type of motivation is a feeling. 
Which brings me to: Intrinsic motivation and Extrinsic motivation.
Shortly explained:
Intrinsic motivation: Is a drive that comes from within the person itself. It's a self-desire to seek out new things and new challenges to see how far you can reach to observe and to gain knowledge. This person can enjoy the struggle towards a goal absent the reward. 
Extrinsic motivation: This is a motivatio

Thanks for all the comments! I will do my best to reply to most of them, even if it sometimes takes a while, reading these always cheers me up a lot! :D (Big Grin)

Wanna ask me direct questions? Come hang with me on Twitch sometime where I paint and give feedback :)

Suzanne Helmigh Twitch channel




Disclaimer: The artwork posted in my journals are not made by me but artists I admire. This is my way of sharing their incredibly work with the rest of you. All these journals are based on my personal experience and that of artist friends. English is my second language and I have dyslexia so do note I am prone to make mistakes. I write these journals to remind myself of the things I've learned.

Thank you!
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2,500 Watchers Giveaway CLOSED

Journal Entry: Wed Jun 11, 2014, 12:01 AM
  • Mood: Welcoming
The giveaway has officially closed! A big thank you to everyone out there for all of your entries! :D

Stay tuned for the official announcement of the lucky winners coming up very soon! ;)

Treeline: by resurgere
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i can't draw or play games as much anymore QQ
and when i get a few hours to draw, i end up getting stuck on wut to draw o~o
so uh
Hatsune Miku sketch it is!
Miku by cath-ong
  • Listening to: Vocaloid
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