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Book of Life

Fri Jan 16, 2015, 6:51 PM
Img-10 by techgnotic








A Collaboration between MARX77 & DeevElliott

What must any of us do before we can understand what we read in the Book of Life? When is one ready to write upon its pages his or her own contributions?






Life is no passive gathering of information. It is not a spectator sport. Only in participation is one truly alive. In order to express feelings or opinions about anything in life, one must have a personal experience of it. Only personal experience conveys the qualification and the right to speak, to write or to create art as explanation and explication of any topic of discussion and debate.










We amaze ourselves with our achievement when we look at photographs taken of objects by man trillions of light years away, yet we are still so primitive a species that we throw rocks at one another. We grasp tightly onto the words, rituals, and beliefs of our ancestors, that our reverence might imbue them with magic and ultimate truth, so fearful and unprepared are we to attempt to understand or even acknowledge new realities and more accurate truths.


We clothe and feed ourselves from creatures we deem lesser than ourselves, even though technology has eliminated the need for this sacrifice. Can any of us who have been shown love by an animal ever look a pet in the eye and not see a kindred soul returning the gaze? Is it not our recognition of similar thoughts, feelings, needs and emotions in animals the very reason we are drawn to them and bond with them and bring them in to shelter within our homes and the bosom of our families?











We carelessly pollute our atmosphere, the single biosphere that sustains us, with the unnecessary waste products of our energy systems. Even though we have been gifted with the miracle of the singular star anchoring our solar system that made all Life on Earth possible. This same star can provide all the energy we will ever need.  Why do we allow the corrupt, greedy few endanger the future survival of the vast global majority? These are the shameful passages of fearfulness, cowardice and indifference that darken the Book of Life.



When did we stop listening to our elders—those with the life experience to know better?


Those whose deep wisdom is informed by the bitter struggles that are Life’s lessons?


They are founts of Information that could be invaluable and always available to us. Yet we choose to put them away in homes once their needs interfere with our lifestyles. Those who were the active participants in Life, whose minds are treasure troves of accumulated experience, are warehoused to await death along with those who chose to remain bystanders.










It is never too late to go back to the Book, to pick it up and dust it off. Open its pages and dip that quill deeply as you seek to capture the most honest and accurate assessments of your life experiences. Scratch into the pages the most salient and illuminating details of the experiences in your life. We have only each other and the records of life we leave in our wake to learn from. You are not inconsequential, not in your Book, for there you are a powerful transformative agent, the Hero who must triumph in writing his or her story – a tale instructing in how to protect and secure the future for all those wise enough to consider your words.











Every Book of Life can be read and experienced on its own, but there are always so many more things to be revealed in the sequels and prequels and contemporary narratives of other active participants in Life. Fulfill the promise of this greatest franchise by taking risks with your writing in the service of truth. This instruction may sound obtuse presently, but you’ll know what to “say” when your ultimate moment of truth presents itself at the most inopportune time and place.











What must any of us do before we can understand what we read in the Book of Life? When is one ready to write upon its pages his or her own contributions? Life is no passive gathering of information. It is not a spectator sport. Only in participation is one truly alive. In order to express feelings or opinions about anything in life, one must have a personal experience of it. Only personal experience conveys the qualification and the right to speak, to write or to create art as explanation and explication of any topic of discussion and debate.
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Angel (light) by jameswolf








“Hush, my friends. Let me tell you of those gods whose lore has left our lands, of the long–dead songs of angels and demons; let your hearts brave the ill–luck of broken vows and breathe the influx of borrowed spells. Walk with me on the winds of a victory of kings, and tell me now: whose flock will be crushed under the blow of defeat? Will you bathe in the white solace of the banners of salvation, or burn in the fiery fire of the warriors of damnation?”


TheMaidenInBlack, of theWrittenRevolution














About Realm-of-Fantasy


Fantasy, by it's core definition is: the free play of creative imagination. At Realm-of-Fantasy you are welcome to explore your imagination. From Fantasy to Science Fiction, Horror to Steampunk, Superheroes to the Surreal; it's all there just waiting to be discovered.


The Origin of Realm of Fantasy







"Hush, my friends. Let me tell you of those gods whose lore has left our lands, of the long-dead songs of angels and demons; let your hearts brave the ill-luck of broken vows and breathe the influx of borrowed spells. Walk with me on the winds of a victory of kings, and tell me now: whose flock will be crushed under the blow of defeat? Will you bathe in the white solace of the banners of salvation,
or burn in the fiery fire of the warriors of damnation?"


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Img-og by techgnotic














Staring is not the same as intently gazing into another person’s eyes as a manner of communication.


That can be a quite pleasurable experience. Staring into another’ eyes too often presages the delivery of a warning or very bad news. The fixed stare is the facial equivalent of a flashing amber light, indicating you should proceed but only with great caution. Keep that in mind as you peruse the following gallery of staring faces, a photographic minefield of human tension ready to explode.
















With eyes that look’d into the very soul — …Bright — and as black and burning as coal.”


— Lord Byron










The eyes have one language everywhere.”


— George Herbert










To any artist, worthy of the name, all in nature is beautiful, because his eyes, fearlessly accepting all exterior truth, read there, as in an open book, all the inner truth.”


— Auguste Rodin










To see with the eyes of another, to hear with the ears of another, to feel with the heart of another. For the time being, this seems to me an admissible definition of what we call social feeling.”


— Alfred Adler

















Staring is not the same as intently gazing into another person’s eyes as a manner of communication. That can be a quite pleasurable experience. Staring into another’ eyes too often presages the delivery of a warning or very bad news. The fixed stare is the facial equivalent of a flashing amber light, indicating you should proceed but only with great caution. Keep that in mind as you peruse the following gallery of staring faces, a photographic minefield of human tension ready to explode.


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  • Mood: Artistic
  • Listening to: Assassin's Creed Walkthrough
  • Reading: none
  • Watching: Assassin's Creed Walkthrough
  • Playing: none
  • Eating: none
  • Drinking: none
Some quotes are both in Italian and English.
Enjoy reading!

"Self expression is vital in understanding and enjoying life." - Maria Auditore

Maria: You should find an outlet.
Ezio: I have plenty of outlets.
Maria: I meant besides vaginas.
Ezio: Mother!

"I'm not contented to capture the world. I want to change it." - Leonardo Da Vinci

"May death provide the peace you sought. Requiescat in Pace." - Mario Auditore

"Meglio essere felici in questa vita che aspirare a esserlo nella prossima. Requiescat in Pace."("Better to be content in this life, than aspire to it in the next. Rest in peace.") - Ezio Auditore

"While I thought that I was learning to live, I have been learning how to die."―Leonardo da Vinci

"Ora sei libero dalla paura. Requiescat in Pace." ("Be free of your fear now. Rest in peace.")- Ezio Auditore

"Che tu possa alfine trovare riposo nel corpo e nella mente. Requiescat in Pace." ("May your body and mind at last be still. Rest in peace.") - Ezio Auditore

"La fede dovrebbe dare conforto, non pena. Requiescat in Pace." ("Faith should bring comfort not pain. Rest in peace.") - Ezio Auditore

"Vai amico libero da fardelli e paura. Requiescat in Pace."("Go forward friend, unburdened and unafraid. Rest in peace.") - Ezio Auditore

"Taking a life is never easy. But sometimes there's no other way. Sometimes people have to die for things to change." - Rebecca Crane

"There's something exciting there, you know-a sense that life is more interesting, more mysterious than we've been raised to believe." - Shaun Haustings

"Where you stand, and how you move, can make ALL the difference." - Mario Auditore

"To act in haste would only bring more losses." - Antonio de Magianis

"Progress demands sacrifice" - Emilio Barbarigo

"Nothing is impenetrable"- Ezio Auditore

Ezio: It takes one Assassin to kill another, it seems.
Carlo: We kill thinking it's best for us, do we not, Messer Ezio?
Ezio: I do this not for myself. Compio questo sacrificio per il bene superiore. Requiescat in Pace. (I'll make this sacrifice for the greater good. Rest in peace.)

"It depends how you understand religion, my son. It's not just man's souls that call for soothing." - Sister Teodora

"Men would hold God only as an idea in their heads, not in the depths of their hearts and bodies. Men must know how to love in order to reach salvation" - Sister Teodora

"Che la morte non sia crudele. Requiescat in Pace." (Death be not unkind. Rest in peace) - Ezio Auditore

"What good in a man's life if it's not lived free eh?" - Bartolomeo d'Alviano

"Non temete l'oscurita - accettarte il suo abbraccio. Reqiuescat in Pace." (Fear not the darkness - but welcome its embrace. Rest in peace) - Ezio Auditore

"Where other men blindly follow the truth, remember nothing is true. Where other men are limited, by morality or law, remember everything is permitted. We work in the dark to serve the light. We are the Assassins." - Niccolo Machiavelli & Ezio Auditore

"Muori col tuo orgoglio, per quanto vale. Requiescat in Pace." (Die with your pride, for all it's worth. Rest in peace.) - Ezio Auditore

"Che miserie nascono dall avidità. Requiescat in Pace." (What wretched things are borne of greed. Rest in peace.) - Ezio Auditore

"Rare is the man willing to oppose the status quo. And so it falls to us to help them see the truth." - Niccolo Machiavelli

"All men are equal in the eyes of the Lord." - Condottiero

"Wealth and power do not ensure contentment." - Condottiero

"Not all of us required deception to be convinced." - Corrupt preacher

"Nothing is true." - Ezio Auditore

"For if divinity was perfection, then surely capturing it would be divine?" - Beguiled artist

"All that remains is for us to cast off the shackles of our troubled past - and accept the Lord as our savior and true leader." - Merchant

"Sometimes people must be told what to think." - Merchant
"No good has ever come of that." - Ezio Auditore

"We don't need anyone to tell us what to do...We are free to follow our own path. There are those who will take that freedom from us, and too many of you gladly give it. But it is our ability to choose - whatever you think is true - that makes us human. There is no book or teacher to give you the answers, to show you the path. Choose your own way. Do not follow me or anyone else." - Ezio Auditore

"You take your image of the creators from an ancient book - a book, mind you, written by men." - Rodrigo Borgia

"Nulla è reale, tutto è lecito. Requiescat in Pace." (Nothing is true, everything is permitted. Rest in peace.) - Ezio Auditore

Glyphs

"Fights between individuals, as well as governments and nations, invariably result from misunderstandings in the broadest interpretation of this term." - Nikola Tesla

"Money does not represent such a value as men have placed upon it. All my money has been invested into experiments with which I have made new discoveries enabling mankind to have a little easier life." - Nikola Tesla

‎"Misunderstanding are always cause by the inability of appreciating one another's point of view. The best way to dispel ignorance of the doings of others is by a systematic spread of general knowledge. With this object in view, it is most important to aid exchange of thoughts intercourse." - Nikola Tesla

"The death of all tyrants will set the people free." - Guardians

Codex Pages

"...great ironies of the Assassin Order: (1) Here we seek to promote peace, but murder is our means. (2) Here we seek to open the minds of men, but require obedience to a master and a set of rules. (3) Here we seek to reveal the danger of blind faith, yet we are practitioners
ourselves."

"Why do our instincts insist on violence? I have studied the interactions between different species. The innate desire to survive seems to demand the death of the other. Why can they not stand hand in hand? So many believe the world was created by the hand of a divine power - but I only see the designs of a madman, bent on celebrating destruction and desperation. Our origins seem chaotic. Unintended. Purpose and being instilled solely by the passage of time. Imposed first by nature - and later men . . ."

"Over time, and sentence uttered long and loud enough becomes fixed. Becomes a truth. Provided, of course, you can outlast the dissent and silence your opponents. But should you succeed - and remove all challengers - then what remains is, by default, now true.

Is it truth in some objective sense? No. But how does one ever achieve an objective point of view? The answer is you don't. It is literally, physically impossible. There are too many variables. Too many fields and formulae to consider. We can try, of course. We can inch closer and closer to a revelation. But we'll never reach it. Not ever . . ."

"...there is no such thing as an absolutely truth - or if there is - we are hopelessly under-equipped to recognize it."

"Man seeks dominion over all that he encounters. I suppose it is a natural tendency for us to aspire towards mastery of our surroundings. But this should not include other human beings. Every day more and more are pressed into service - by deception or by force. Others, though not so firmly imprisoned, are made to feel as if their lives are worthless."

"If there is one think I know for certain, it is that men to not learn by being told. Instead they must be shown. They must make the connections themselves."

Assassin's Creed Brotherhood (Book)

"It cannot be called prowess to kill fellow-citizens, to betray friends, to be treacherous, pitiless, irreligious. These ways can win a prince, but not glory." - Niccolo Machiavelli

"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against Principalities, against Powers, against the Rulers of the Darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, and the shield of Faith, wherewith you shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the Wicked." - Vatican cardinals

"There is a saying that it is less dangerous to do battle with a lion's whelp than with an old, dying lion." - Niccolo Machiavelli

"Our fate is only partially in our own hands. There is a certain amount of it that we can control. But never forget, never forget....that whatever happens to you, or to me, this day, there is never a feather lost by a sparrow that is not brushed away by the finger of God." - Mario Auditore

"Just this: People need someone to look up to - even to adore. It may be God, or Christ, but better yet someone you can really see, not an image...Even a great actor or singer, as long as they're dressed well and have faith in themselves. The rest follows quite logically. It's part of us, you see...but there are people out there who have a hunger to be followed, and they are the dangerous ones." - Niccolo Machiavelli

"Good instinct's worth a hundred men in the field." - Armorer

"Giving up is a sure way to failure." - Ezio Auditore

"Even tyrants cannot function if enough people refuse to obey them." - Ezio Auditore

"You see? Sometimes logic is not the only way to win a war. Luck can play a part, too." - Ezio Auditore

"The ignorant and the passive make easy targets." - Ezio Auditore

"Helping one man is good, but it will not solve the problem."  - Ezio Auditore

"Tyranny is unbearable, but it never lasts. It's too brittle." - Ezio Auditore

"The finer things in life makes power so rewarding." - Banker

"Well, at least I have lived. The things I have seen, felt, tasted. I regret none of them. I do not regret a moment of my life." - Banker

"You have played with the trinkets power brings. A man of real strength would be contemptuous of such things." - Ezio Auditore

"Unearned pleasure only consumes itself." - Ezio Auditore

"You are the agent of your own destruction! If you live, well, a dog always return to its master." -Ezio Auditore

"What debt can there be amongst friends who trust - who must trust - one another?" - Ezio Auditore

"There will come a day when men no longer cheat each other. And on that day we shall see what mankind is truly capable of." - Bartolomeo d'Alviano

Bartolomeo: I'll kill the lot of them and eat their kidneys fried for breakfast. By the way, I didn't know you spoke French.
Ezio: Picked it up in Florence. Couple of girls there I knew.
Bartolomeo: You rogue! Still, that's where they say the best place is to learn a language.
Ezio: What - Florence?
Bartolomeo: No, you fool - bed!
Ezio: Shut up.

"You think that commanding an army in itself grants you status - nobility? True nobility of spirit comes from fighting alongside your men..." - Bartolomeo d'Alviano

"But real respect is earned. Not inherited, or purchased. And it cannot be gained by force. Oderint dum metuant must be one of the stupidest sayings ever coined. No wonder Caligula adopted it: 'Let them hate, as long as they fear.'" - Ezio Auditore

"Laa shay'a waqi'un moutlaq bale kouloun moumkine...We work in the Dark, to serve the Light." - Niccolo Machiavelli

"Where other men are limited by morality and law, we must, in quest of our sacred goals, always remember: Everything is permitted. Nothing is true. Nothing is true. Everything is permitted." - Ezio Auditore

"Financial difficulties strike all of us from time to time, my boy, even those of us with armies and overweening ambition." - Rodrigo Borgia

"We all know that a victory is not a victory until it is absolute." - Ezio Auditore

"Even friendships die..." - Giulia Farnese

"Well, at least God gave us good minds." - Niccolo Machiavelli

"...The world wouldn't be the world, without trouble." - Leonardo da Vinci

"Enlightenment comes through years of thought, not through blind conviction." - Ezio Auditore

"Wanting something does not give you the right to have it." - Ezio Auditore

"A true leader empowers the people he rules." - Ezio Auditore
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Ebony Armor Tutorial

Journal Entry: Mon Jan 6, 2014, 1:13 AM
Gallery l Watch Me l Note Me

Happy new year, guys!

Still working on my Ebony Armor every day.
Now, I'm back from my 2 weeks off and I can only work in that armor in the evenings :(
Anyway, I wanted to create a small booklet for you with a step by step guide
of the build of the Ebony Armor with included patterns.
For people out there who want to do the same armor.

I hope, this turns out well.
Never done a whole tutorial by myself before.

And if you like to commission me with something, dagger, sword, armor, don't hesitate to ask me :)

Here's my Ebony Armor collection so far…


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Mini Horror Reviews - Mama (2013)

Tue Oct 8, 2013, 4:26 AM








Movie Poster





About


It's October and the sacred 31 days of Halloween are upon us-time to get your gore on! The chill is in the air, the leaves are on the ground, and Halloween candy has been out since Labor Day. So while you’re waiting in the Starbucks line for an overpriced double pumpkin spice whatever, pass the time with this year’s scary movies reviews!







Mama (2013)



Review by Gypsycurse71


Overall Grade: B-



Depressed man offs his business partners and wife, kidnaps his two young daughters and crashes his car on the getaway. Stranded in a nearby cabin, Dad is brutally killed by an unseen entity. Fast-forward a few years and the now-feral girls are discovered and taken in by their uncle and his reluctant girlfriend (played by an almost unrecognizable Jessica Chastain). Of course the maternal ‘Mama’ entity that has been caring for them all these years comes with the deal... and she’s none too happy!


Overall, a haunting, dark fairy tale in the grand Guillermo Del Toro tradition. If I had to fault the filmmakers with anything it would be the corny CGI Mamaand a rip off of The Exorcist spider-walk scene but it’s still a spooky enough film that you won’t mind so much.








Review by rydi1689


Overall Grade: B+



I recently watched Mama and even though I was pleasantly surprised by some of the aspects of the movie, like Lily seemingly playing with her sister but actually playing with Mama, as well as the spooky flashbacks that could send shivers down your spine, I can honestly say that the scenes seem to follow a hit or miss pattern in which some of them are incredibly haunting and refreshing, while others become absolutely tedious due to the slow pace at which the story develops. However, what really enthralled me from this movie was its ending, I was yet I wasn’t expecting it, the way it all unfolded had me torn between how I wanted it to end, how I thought it would end and how it actually ended.


Mama manages to create an eerie feeling from the very beginning but it is the final resolution of the movie that crowns it.







Review by kingmancheng


Overall Grade: A



I am a huge fan of horror films, however I have to say over the years I've found it hard to find many horror films that I genuinely like. I think one of the current masters of horror though is definitely Guillermo del Toro. So when I heard he was producing Mama I couldn't contain my excitement. The story plot was fantastic, something that I think a lot of modern horrors seem to sacrifice for jump scares. It keeps you engaged throughout the movie and as you keep watching, unraveling past mysteries as we go along.


The only major problem I had with the film is the ending, I felt that was the only glaring weakness in the film, however I'm obviously not going to spoil that for you. I would definitely give this one another watch sometime in future!







Review by Cinestress


Overall Grade: B



Directed by Andrés Muschietti, the film does contain Guillermo del Toro's thumbprint, but it lacks the solidity of a del Toro film.  The atmosphere of the film is dark and beautifully adds to the creepiness.  The story is refreshing and a decent story is hardly seen in modern Western horror films.  However, the CGI takes away from the authenticity of the film and ruins the decent story.







Review by KovoWolf


Overall Grade: B



The movie starts out in complete chaos as a troubled father and husband kills off his wife and takes his two daughters on a high speed chase along a wintery road, where he ultimately crashes the car and ends up at an abandoned log cabin in the middle of the woods. He attempts to off his two daughters in this lone cabin but is quickly whisked away by a mysterious entity haunting the cabin. The story of this forlorn mother who lost her child after leaping off a cliff develops in the most eery way as she clings to these two children and refuses to let anyone take them from her. Bits and pieces of her past are brought to light with quick flashbacks which explains the attraction she had to the two children to begin with.


I find, however, that there wasn't much to her story save for the subtle hints that she wasn't a fit mother to care for her child due to mental illness?  And as a result her child was kept from her. Resulting in her stabbing a nun in the neck, stealing her own child and leaping off a cliff and killing the pair.















It's October and the sacred 31 days of Halloween are upon us-time to get your gore on! The chill is in the air, the leaves are on the ground, and Halloween candy has been out since Labor Day. So while you’re waiting in the Starbucks line for an overpriced double pumpkin spice whatever, pass the time with this year’s scary movies reviews!

Writers: *Gypsycurse71, ^rydi1689, ^kingmancheng, =Cinestress, ^KovoWolf
Designers: $marioluevanos

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Hmmm... (Little Edit)

Fri May 16, 2014, 1:42 AM
.... what is it with all those tits- and lady-crotch-shots with those pseudo-intellectual titles like "A dream of your lost desire" or "Loneliness of your heart" that spam DA? Giving it those "artistic" names does not turn a cheap tits- or vagina-shot into an artwork automatically. I am so annoyed, not so much with seeing female parts again and again *yawn* but with the fact that so many people try to sell sex with the "arts" label.

Looks like I should create a penis-cloesup with the title "Bringer of life" or "The mighty snake of forgiveness" or something like that. I wonder if it would be deleted?

EDIT May 27th:

Now look what I just got! :love:

Serpent of Unforgiveness (Nudity) by Xyshurondor

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Fursuits & Costumes


What are "fursuits" you ask? Fursuits are animal costumes made from various materials. They range from simple tails and ears to full costumes cooled by battery-powered fans. Fursuits can be worn for personal enjoyment, conventions, work or charity.

The standard fursuit is a full body costume that consists of a head, forepaws (hands), hindpaws (feet) and a body with an attached tail. In some cases, the tail is connected via a belt to the wearer and hangs out through a hole in the back of the body. Many suits include special padding or undersuits to give the character its desired shape (this is especially present in larger characters or those of a particular gender). Owners can spend less than one-hundred to many thousands of dollars on one fursuit, depending on complexity and materials used. More advanced fursuit features include jaws which move when the user speaks, and moving tails. Furry fans make their own using online tutorials or advice from newsgroups; the suits can also be purchased online or at conventions.

A partial suit or half-suit has all of the parts of the standard suit, with exception to the body. This allows the wearer to have different clothes over the paws, head and tail, such as another costume or street clothes. In partial suits, the tail is usually attached to a belt, and the arms and legs have sleeves that can go up as far as the shoulders and pelvis, respectively.

Most recently, a third type known as the three-quarter suit has been developed, which consists of a head, arms and pants made to look like the legs, tail and feet of a specific animal, or a torso in place of legs. This type of fursuit works well for characters who only wear a shirt without pants or just a pair of pants without a shirt.



Why wear a Fursuit?


People who wear fursuits are sometimes referred to as "Furries", however, you do not have to wear a fursuit to be considered a "furry". People who own fursuits enjoy wearing them for parades, exhibitions, conventions and informal meetings or just for fun! They can be from the very basic tail and ears to the very complex costumes! Regardless, there really are some amazing works of art out there and some beautiful, intricate costumes. A form of art all together and one that I hope you find and appreciate!




Fursuits & Costumes Features



A Wolpertinger in the Town by Ermelyn Fursuitwalk Frankfurt 2012 by AtmosFur




Longhair German Shepherd by Katmomma Realistic Hyena Ears and Tail by SteelJaw



It's PARTY TIME! by sophiecabraThe Doctor Is In by sophiecabra
Snail-Suit 1 by KampfkewobWolf Mask New Front View by SteelJawStarwolf: LED eyes and jawset by yeep-yeepFOR SALE: Black/blue wolf partial by yeep-yeep
Dark Chimera by QarrezelThe Spirit of the Forest by Qarrezel
Garbonzo 2.0 by QarrezelJulbocken in the Sun by Zhon
Harbinger by QarrezelA Dragon and Her Kite by Dream-finder





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81-img-00 by techgnotic












It’s almost Christmas.


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


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


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



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


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


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


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



“Rare Exports” is a superior horror story.


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


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


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


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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



Jarkko’s (aka jjnaas) Top Five Inspirational Deviants




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


    forest by Manadhiel The Old Forest by Manadhiel


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


    Tea Party for One by certifiedstrange La Lavande by certifiedstrange


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


    the library by DawnElaineDarkwood school grounds by DawnElaineDarkwood


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


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


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


    WAR by danmalone Monsters Djinn 02 by danmalone









Your Thoughts




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











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


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7 TIPS FOR THE 21-YEAR-OLD ME by Bobby Chiu

When I was a student in college working on my skills as a character designer, I’d had periods where I would sit at my desk working as hard as I could but having little to show for my efforts at the end of the day. I remember sitting there surrounded by blank pieces of paper, trying to come up with an amazing style that nobody had ever seen before. I would do one drawing and not be satisfied, so I would lay a new piece of paper over it, re-draw it with slight changes to features here and there. This would still not be good enough so I would put another piece of paper over my revision, make more minor adjustments trying to perfect this new style I was searching for. 

I did this for weeks on end, tweaking and polishing over and over, working hard every day. But in the end, did I come up with a brand new style, something amazing that nobody had ever seen before? 

No, unfortunately I didn’t. 

And how much did I improve from this experience? Not much at all. 

Spinning my wheels like this made me a little depressed and I thought to myself, “If only someone could tell me what to do to become a great artist, I would do exactly that and do it with all my heart.” 

That’s what this article is about: seven key things that I would tell the 21-year-old me, which I’ve found to contribute the most to having a successful career in art. 

1. “Focus, Bobby. Undisturbed focus, 90 minutes at a time.”

It’s actually really great to work intensely for short segments of time and take regular breaks. I’ve found that when I split my work into intense and focused 90-minutes sessions, not only do I have a good sense of urgency as the 90 minutes expire, but the regular breaks also give me wonderful, fresh looks at my work multiple times throughout the day.

2. “You have to practice, Bobby. There’s no way around it and there is no substitute for good, purposeful practice.”

There are many different ways to practice but I have found that practicing as a way of trying to learn has the greatest impact. What I mean by this is, I don’t practice drawing something just because it looks cool—I always have an objective in mind. What am I trying to learn? 

Am I studying how an artist does a certain technique or achieves a certain look? 

Am I learning muscles and other anatomy? 

I didn’t practice simply how to copy what I saw but rather I practiced fully understanding what it was that I was drawing and painting to the point that I could do it out of my imagination. 

If I had only practiced how to copy things, then I would have become a great copier. But by striving to understand what it was that I was referencing and trying to create something with the same essence and feeling, I worked multiple parts of my mind and skills.

3. “Embrace your routine, Bobby.” 

I used to be against routines. 

I used to think routines would take all the fun and excitement out of my life and lock me down. I started my own studio because I wanted to be free. 

But I’ve since discovered that I looked at it all wrong. 

Freedom isn’t necessarily a result of having spontaneity, it’s the result of having time. 

I feel the most free when I have time to do the things that I really want to do, and the best way to have a lot of time is to be better organized. Having a great routine allows me to be more productive, which gives me more time to do the other things I love to do. 

Routines are also extremely powerful for creating momentum but they only work if we make them a priority. I became better at drapery and drawing people by sketching for a few hours on the subways of Toronto every Sunday. This was part of my routine for five years and I did it consistently even if it was raining, Christmas, or my birthday. And even though subway sketching only took two or three hours every seven days, the routine helped improve my skills dramatically.

Try it yourself! Start off with something small that you know you can commit to. Do that thing consistently and you’ll quickly see the benefits of a great routine. Once you get used to it, add something new and soon you’ll have a great routine that will improve your skills and save your time.

4. “Cultivate a love for what you do, Bobby.” 

As a student, I was afraid to really, truly love doing art. Some artists get too obsessed about their art, and I didn’t want to go that crazy about my work. 

But what I found was that loving what I do doesn’t automatically make me crazy about it, and that’s a good thing. Loving art not only helps me get through the day, it makes me eagerly await the next day because each day is another opportunity to get better at doing what I love. 

Most of us who call ourselves artists love art, but like with any relationship, we have to put in the effort in to make our love affair strong and lasting. So we should all try to cultivate our passion, enthusiasm, and love for art; these can only help us on our artistic journeys. 

5. “Build a network of like-minded people, Bobby. Everything is easier when you have a group.” 

I could never do as much or go as far alone as I could with a group of like-minded people. 

I think part of the reason that I’ve had a successful career over the years is because I’m naturally curious about people. I love learning their stories and, in turn, making friends. In this way, I’ve been fortunate enough to meet many of the artists that I look up to and admire, and today, call them my friends. 

Because art is typically a solitary pursuit, many artists are naturally shy individuals, so building a network can be daunting. Nevertheless, I cannot overstate the value of having people. To get over my natural shyness, particularly when I first met my heroes, I had to consciously dig around in my mind for that little tiny piece of me that is not as shy, and expand it even if it’s just for a short period of time. I let this little piece steer the ship for a while, and that was how I got myself out there to meet interesting people or people that I didn’t know. 

Think of it this way: not meeting one person doesn’t mean missing out on that one person that you could have been friends with; it means missing out on that one person and every person that that person could have introduced you to, and one of THOSE people could have been the one to give you your dream job, been your best friend, or your wife or husband. 

Take every opportunity you can to get out there and talk with people, in person or online. Who knows where it will lead you. 

6. “Discomfort and fear can’t hurt you, Bobby. By challenging and overcoming them, you will always continue to improve.”

I have learned to challenge challenges, to be comfortable in discomfort, and to overcome my fears. By doing so, I constantly push my limits and therefore expand my potential and possibilities. I love doing things that are challenging, even when I might not know where to even start. These are the things that I live for and they have helped me to push my limits further and further. 

When I’ve been too comfortable for too long, I get unsettled. An alarm will go off in my head, compelling me to get up and do something challenging. 

Comfort is one of life’s traps and many new professionals fall into it, preventing them from continuing to learn and improve every day. The moment this happens will be the exact moment that you start to fall behind. 

The whole world keeps evolving and learning every day, so to stay relevant and to have the best chance at a successful career, we must continue to learn as well.

7. “Exercise your willpower, Bobby. When the mind is willing, the body has no choice but to follow.”

We are not born with willpower. As babies and children, we have to be taught (and taught and taught again) to resist urges, wait for rewards, and basically do the things we know we should do but don’t particularly want to. This challenge doesn’t end at adulthood, either. In fact, I’m sure we all know grown men and women who still have trouble resisting that extra slice of cake, hitting that snooze button one more time, or doing that uncomfortable and inconvenient thing in order to get the reward that they want.

Willpower is something that we can develop, like a muscle that we can grow and strengthen. To exercise it, do things that are challenging or which you don’t want to do but you know are good for you.

Willpower drains as we make decisions such as resisting what we want to have, waiting for a reward, or doing something we don’t want to do. For example, perhaps you can decline a piece of chocolate cake, but what if it was followed by brownies, ice cream, French fries, and potato chips? 

This is why I always prefer to make will-draining decisions the night before so that the following morning, I don’t have to make ANY decisions and can just jump right to the first item on my to-do list.

Follow imaginismcanvas.tumblr.com/ for more of my articles. Thanks!
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