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103-img-og by techgnotic














January 19 marks the birthday of Paul Cezanne in 1839.


By the time of his death in 1906, he was recognized, especially by younger artists, as the genius who began his career under the tutelage of impressionist Camille Pissarro, and then went on to become the “architect” who reduced the subjects of his paintings to cylinders, spheres and cones before then building upon their geometry, careful stroke by careful, laborious stroke.  This “deconstruction” of subjects into their basic forms laid the basis for “cubism,” pioneered by Picasso and others, which then spawned a multitude of art movements. Cezanne was responsible for the revolutionary ideas about the essence and perception of art that inspired all that soon followed in modern art.  Picasso declared Cezanne “the father of us all,” and “my one and only master!







It would sometimes take hours for Cezanne to commit a single brushstroke to his work in progress, because he wanted each stroke to contain “the air, the light, the object, the composition, the character, the outline and the style” of the subject he was painting.  He believed in “seeing and sensing” subjects he was painting rather than “thinking” about them.  He sought to unify sight with touch, allowing no cognitive distraction to block the path between what his eyes were perceiving and his fingers were recording.  His mission was to capture a moment in time in his art  -- a moment that was about to cease to exist and never return again.







Art is a personal apperception, which I embody in sensations and which I ask the understanding to organize into a painting.”


— Cezanne








Unlike most other important figures in modern art who were forced to live most of their lives one step ahead of abject poverty and starvation, Cézanne was fathered by the co-founder of a banking firm and enjoyed a life of financial security, including a large inheritance.  Rather than poverty, it would be poor health that would be the bane of his existence, beginning with the onset of diabetes at the age of 51.  His father’s death and his chronic ill health are thought to have been what so negatively impacted and wrecked the all too briefly idyllic period in his life that came with the bourgeoning respect he was finally receiving for his art and his ideas.  His long friendship with author Emile Zola soured and ended and he wrote his wife out of his will, leaving everything to his son.  In the autumn of 1906, he was caught in an unexpected rainstorm in an open field where he was painting.  For two hours he continued to work despite the deluge.  Walking home, he collapsed and was rescued by a passing driver.  The next day, he tried to work, but fainted and was put into bed.  He died a few days later from pneumonia.  He was 67.






Cezanne, though well-known as an “important” painter, is not the creator of any single “fan favorite” paintings, in the manner of art history’s other great movers and shakers.  His importance came as being the architect who constructed the bridge from impressionism to modern art abstracts by inventing (though he was unaware of it at the time) “cubism.” He sought to see the “solid” forms in impressionism that could be built upon to create more accurate perceptions of moments of ever-elapsing and lost forever time. He was important as the visionary capable of mapping modern art’s course out of impressionism and onward to diverse new schools of artistic perception and expression.












Your Thoughts




  1. Can you name a Paul Cezanne painting without consulting Wikipedia?
  2. When you are enjoying a particular work of art, do you become interested in the artists who influenced the creation of that art, or do you leave that to the academics?
  3. Do you enjoy reading about or hearing lectures about great artist’s theories of the essence of art and how they perceive their missions as artists creating beautiful and inspiring moments for people through creating and displaying their art?  Or do you prefer just “looking” and having your own thoughts, free of the influence of having heard the artist’s ideas and theories?










January 19 marks the birthday of Paul Cezanne in 1839. By the time of his death in 1906, he was recognized, especially by younger artists, as the genius who began his career under the tutelage of impressionist Camille Pissarro, and then went on to become the “architect” who reduced the subjects of his paintings to cylinders, spheres and cones before then building upon their geometry, careful stroke by careful, laborious stroke. This “deconstruction” of subjects into their basic forms laid the basis for “cubism,” pioneered by Picasso and others, which then spawned a multitude of art movements. Cezanne was responsible for the revolutionary ideas about the essence and perception of art that inspired all that soon followed in modern art. Picasso declared Cezanne “the father of us all,” and “my one and only master!


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Saint Nick by CrazyAsian1








SPOTLIGHT CHALLENGE: JUST FOR FUN
SANTA'S ELVES NEED NEW OUTFITS
Deadline: December 17th — Wrap Up: December 20th













After many years of heated negotiations, only the threat of unionization and a crippling holiday season strike by worker–elves could finally bring Santa Claus, the ultimate traditionalist, to the bargaining table to discuss new designs in elf attire.


The iconic tights and tunics, belled “Aladdin” booties and “elf–hats” worn by Santa’s helpers’ today are no different than those worn by their great grandfathers centuries ago.


NEW ELF OUTFITS NEEDED


The heavy, scratchy woolen material still used in elf uniforms turns the Christmas “crush” time for filling last minute toy wishes into an oppressively hot experience. The elves have long contended that as a practical matter more “breathable” fabrics, would mean more productivity and fewer trips to the hospital for heat stroke. The Elves would also welcome the obvious technology adjustments, and some updated style would be welcome as well.


Santa needs you to create the blueprints/outfits for his elves’ new look. Entries will be judged on creativity, practicality and evocation of undefinable indescribable magical “elfiness.”


Entry drawings will be selected for a wrap up feature by Santa, Mrs. Claus and select editorial staff members. Rudolph will vote if needed as a tie–breaker.




DEADLINE IS MIDNIGHT DECEMBER 17 PST


The winning submissions will be posted in a wrap up article on December 20, 2014.


Post your submissions in the comments below!




Disclaimer: Naughty and Nice lists have not been locked in by the Clause Conglomerate so DeviantArt is not in any way responsible if your list standing is affected by your entry in this Spotlight Challenge.











After many years of heated negotiations, only the threat of unionization and a crippling holiday season strike by worker–elves could finally bring Santa Claus, the ultimate traditionalist, to the bargaining table to discuss new designs in elf attire. The iconic tights and tunics, belled “Aladdin” booties and “elf–hats” worn by Santa’s helpers’ today are no different than those worn by their great grandfathers centuries ago.

Deadline is Midnight December 17th PST.


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Animals Within, Spirit Animals

Wed Dec 17, 2014, 5:34 PM
71-img-00 by techgnotic













There has always been this obsession with the others we share this planet with.


We communicate with them on certain basic levels and yet they inhabit a plane so different from ours: savage, instinctive, a life of sheer survival. At the same time they can do things beyond human abilities: fly through the skies, swim the oceans, apply the physical strength of a dozen strong men. They survive and thrive where we would perish. Yet animals cannot tell tales of their experiences. When we speak of an animal, even our beloved pets and friends, we can only imagine their emotions, thoughts, and inner lives.


Is it then any surprise that from cave paintings to cereal mascots—animals and art are inseparable?



From the beginning of recorded time, animals have been immortalized in pottery, statues, been worshipped as gods, and had fables and myths created in their image. Seventeen thousand years ago, in a cave shielded from the sun, a Cro–Magnon artist raised her bundle of split reeds, dipped them into charred black soot, and began illustrating an opus of animal life: stags, cats, bears, birds. Five thousand years ago, Egyptians integrated animal features into creation myths, and used them as hieroglyphs, adapting the recognizable forms of vultures, bulls, cobras and lions (among others) into a communication system.


Today, in every culture across the globe, animals serve as mascots for sports teams and cereals. We have Tony the Tiger and Toucan Sam. Anthropomorphized animals star in movies and comics. My Little Pony has amassed groups of Bronies. Animal cosplay is mainstreaming into mass culture. It all still begins with a child given that first crayon who immediately begins to sketch the familiar forms of cat and dog.


Animals are intrinsic to creativity and art—but why are they so satisfying to observe, mimic, and draw? What is the power they maintain over us to the extent that so many feel an actual spiritual connection with a particular species of their own extended family—cats, dogs, wolves, dolphins, raptors? While so many feel this connection, artists seem particularly sensitive to the presence of their animal spirit kindred and guides.












Why are artists so drawn to animals?


Visually, animals are beautiful and compelling subjects.


Animals are an efficient subject. Identifying characteristics can be drawn and recognized easily— cat eyes, elephant tails, butterfly wings, bunny ears: all unique visual traits. Powerful physical capabilities lend themselves to artistic expressions of motion. The long fluid moves of a deer, expressively captured with a few expert lines. Quick brushstrokes sketch a hyperactive monkey. Heavy pen lines suggest the static power of a stoic elephant. Physical similarities help artists develop a quick visual shorthand for a specific species—but unlike humans, animals that look alike often behave similarly. While anyone who’s ever lived with a pet knows animals have individual personalities, it’s not over–simplifying to state that each type of animal has its own range of specific behaviors and attitudes. It’s this species–by–species predictability that draw individuals to become fond of a particular animal. Just as an artist may prefer certain subjects or materials, so do artists become fascinated with the idiosyncrasies of a species.



Emotionally, animals express primal urges and desires.


Animal personalities are predictable. Tigers are fierce, squirrels are nervous, sharks are stealthy, hippos are lazy. Compared to the complexity of human behavior, animals are simpler beings. They behave according to instinct, not reason. As such, they serve artists well as ciphers for emotion. It’s not just art that allows us to connect spiritually with animals. It’s easy to observe, in ourselves and others, subconscious similarities between personal behaviors and the characteristics of a favorite animal. We’ll call a clever person a fox, or a stubborn child a donkey. A sweet guy is a puppy dog. A sexy lady is a minx. An angry, stubborn man is a bull. Animals serve as elements of our visual and written language.


Humans explore our own instincts through animal art.


Using animals in art, we recognize the most beautiful and terrifying parts of ourselves—our instincts. Society and language are important for humans, but when we feel urges or emotions beyond what is widely accepted or understood, both of these creations fail us.


When we talk about “spirit animals,” it can be in a magical sense, the idea that an essence we can’t see is guiding us through our lives. Or it can be an affinity for a species we find our instincts connecting with. Perhaps we have a fondness for the way they move, finding them fun to draw. Maybe we can imagine the world through their eyes, running, flying or swimming at top speed. But perhaps we see something more than the animal. We see ourselves.


Animals provide a bridge between the alien and familiar, allowing humans to recognize ourselves in strange forms. We can represent our fears and our desires expressed without reserve. Through animal eyes, we can acknowledge the oddness and the fallibility of humanity. Featuring animals in art, we can interpret many spiritual aspects: the primal and the innocent, the beautiful and mysterious. As long as we share a planet, artists will look to our Earth companions for inspiration and understanding of ourselves.






Community Thoughts



I personally have been drawn to animals my whole life and my earliest pictures were always of wildlife. I think artists see the world through different eyes than most and the things that fascinate us speak to us on a deeper level. Animals are an enigma, they have intelligence and their own means of communication and yet we can only hope to understand and be a part of their world. If you've seen my gallery you know I clearly have a fondness for big cats, I find everything about them to be beautiful and awe inspiring. My art is a way for me to get close to these animals in the only way possible, I’ll never be a zoo keeper (because I know myself and I wouldn’t be able to respect the boundaries they do and I’d get eaten—that’s a fact) and I’ll never own one because it goes against everything in their nature to held in captivity as a pet. It can be a very intimate experience to draw an animal in detail and it makes me feel close to them and privileged to show a side of them that others may not see. Any great animal art in my opinion has to come from a deep love and respect for the subject first and foremost by the artist, and what follows is their tribute.”


:iconheatherzart: Heatherzart






I think people gravitate toward depicting animals in art because they are simply aesthetically stunning to look at. Humans are very visual beings and we have always enjoyed striking colors, beautiful patterns, flowing lines and powerful forms. All animals have something which can be appreciated. Like for example dramatic plumage, or the intricate silver and black patchwork that is the coat of a snow leopard. To capture that on canvas is something many artists find alluring.”


:iconailah: ailah












Your Thoughts




  1. What animal do you find yourself drawn to in your art? What about this subject is so ennobling that you would seek to emulate?
  2. What personal qualities do you possess that drive you to feel a shared connection with a particular animal?
  3. Do you have vivid dreams in which you become, or run with, your “spirit animal”?
  4. Over time, how has your understanding of this animal evolved? Has your perception of the creature changed?
  5. What are some challenges you’ve experienced in terms of drawing animals, and how have you solved them?
  6. How does drawing an animal compare to drawing a human?
  7. Who are your favorite animal-focused artists in the DeviantArt community?









We share the planet with them and communicate with them on certain basic levels. Yet they inhabit a plane so different from ours: savage, instinctive, a life of sheer survival. At the same time they can do things beyond human abilities: fly through the skies, swim the oceans, apply the physical strength of a dozen strong men. They survive and thrive where we would perish. Yet animals cannot tell tales of their experiences. When we speak of an animal, even our beloved pets and friends, we can only imagine their emotions, thoughts, and inner lives.


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subject from Casey
By Kasandra A. Poindexter

She was going to see the pandas today if it was the last thing she did. She had primped for the panda and everything! Pig tails and an adorable pink dress. She curtsied and bowed and danced for the panda.

The sad part of this tale, it really was the last thing she did. The panda became so enthralled with her that it fought its way out of that cage and gobbled down the little girl.

  • Mood: Joy
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Reading
So impersonal until I knew the author.
His words struck me like a cord of music.
Awe inspiring.
Do I believe him now? Yes.

Feeling
To believe these that are inside me.
To not hold back the hopeless romantic that I am due to fear of getting hurt again.
To open my vulnerability to my best friend who has only just discovered my existence.
For him, I will try.

Touching
His heart.
His soul.
His mind.
His body.

Freedom
Is to be there for him because I know he needs it just as much as me.
Is not letting him take the brunt of the abuse, even if he thinks it will help.
Is tenderly kissing him no matter how my friends feel.
Is the goal both of us are striving for.

He is finally mine, and I am not letting that go.
  • Mood: Wow!
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Goodbye baggage. I don't need you.
Be smushed and crushed and demolished in some other place.
My heart is not for you. My soul is not for you.
I don't need your clutter anymore.
Goodbye baggage.
You do not deserve my tears. My emotions shall not be focused on you anymore.
I will grow from this. For every destruction allows for new life to grow.
The seeds of hope have been planted. Soon they will sprout with new thoughts.
New words. Softer thoughts. Kindness towards myself and other.
Peace will ingrain itself into my psyche that I will have no choice but to be calm.
Emotions will be pure. Happiness will flow without being forced.
If I want to smile, I will. If I don't, I won't. These are my life rules now.
Goodbye baggage. I wish you the best of your destructive life.
Breathe.
Calm.
Breathe.
Love.
Breathe.
Open.
Breathe.
Stand.
Breathe.
Step.
Breathe.
Step.
Breathe.
Move forward.
  • Mood: Neutral
  • Listening to: Just need a Little Bit of Everything
  • Reading: My words
  • Watching: My screen
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just so you know, if you all think you can't wait  for chapter 5, try wondering what it's like for me! XD

i have 3 massive bomb moments in it

1 the obvious one which comes at the very end

2 ally and lisa figuring out their   glitch

and 3

the big one that i have been building up for 4 chapters now XD
why is alan an asshole XD

seriously, i am shaking with glee here XD

trust me, it will be fun!
and till then...

Gcd by shiniez
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so the book came out today,  

i am currently up to my eyeballs in finishing the next one, should be up in 2 days
and then the last one by years end :)

for those who asked for digital version comixology has it

www.comixology.com/Sunstone-Vo…

don't ask me why it is the same price as printed one... i'm just as baffled by that practice

anyhoo, merry christmass, happy holidays, oh and here are some reviews :)

www.needtoconsume.com/comics/s…
fantomzone.org/2014/12/23/revi…
all-comic.com/2014/sunstone_vo…
www.geekedoutnation.com/comic-…
outrightgeekery.com/2014/12/26…
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Regarding the debate of whether comic artists should continue selling unauthorized prints/sketches of characters they don't own, I think Bissette and his legal advisor are 100% correct.  So from now on, I won't be doing any sketches or commissions at shows of any character that I don't own.  Am I rolling over in fear of Marvel?  Maybe, but as it states below, they're in their legal right to come after me if there's ever a dispute.  I love to complain about the Big Two, but I can't (in good conscience) get upset at them if I'm breaking the rules myself.  Being DC exclusive, maybe I can get a waiver that allows me to sketch DC characters, so I'll keep you updated.

From Steve Bissette's FB page:

ALERT, ALL COMICS CREATORS: With permission, I'm quoting key points my dear friend and own legal advisor/contract consultant (since 1992) Jean-Marc Lofficier raised on his posts to a Yahoo forum discussing Ty Templeton's cartoon concerning the Gary Friedrich v Marvel judgment. Jean-Marc succinctly notes WHY this judgment has changed EVERYTHING for anyone who has worked for Marvel, or what this judgment changes (probably irrevocably) about the landscape for all concerned:

"...with all due respect to Ty, he's talking (drawing?) out of his ass.

So to clarify again, here is what I thought is important to remember here:

1) This is the first time Marvel is using convention sales of copyrighted Marvel characters as a "weapon". They are of course perfectly entitled to do so, legally speaking. But it does mean that, from now on, all of you here who draw sketches of Marvel characters for money at conventions or sell sketchbooks containing pictures of Marvel characters are on notice that you might be sued (usually for triple the amount you made) should Marvel decide to go after you.

My legal advice to you guys is simple: STOP and destroy all sketchbooks for sale with copyrighted materials in it. I'm serious. You've just been put on notice by this case.

[Note: In a followup comment to a question on the matter of selling sketches/sketchbooks at conventions featuring Marvel characters, Jean-Marc added:]

If Disney and/or Marvel have a policy to deal with that sort of business, I would encourage anyone planning to sell sketches, etc. to contact them and obtain a waiver or a permission of some kind under that program.

Ivan is incorrect about one thing: Disney, if not Marvel, does have a full office staffed with para legals of young lawyers whose only job is to look for copyright/tm infringements and send C&D (cease & desist) letters. I have seen them. They don't do it for the money or to be a pain the the ass, they do it based on the legal theory that if you don't actively protect your (c)/tm, you run the risk of it being used against you as an affirmative defense in an infringement case.

Based on the GHOST RIDER case, it is, in my opinion, only a matter of time until Disney, now aware of the issue, sends one of their young attorneys with a stash of blank C&D letters at conventions and start handing them out to everyone selling Marvel sketches without authorization.

Receiving that letter will oblige you to hire a lawyer and even if Disney lets you off the hook (which they probably will), you might be out of a couple of grands by the time the process is over -- or you run the risk of being stuck with a $15K bill if you fight them.

Again, I emphasize: this is sound business practice for Disney; NOT doing it entails risks far greater than doing it. They have gone after children's nurseries before which had Mickey painted on their walls for the same exact legal reason. And that was far more time consuming and bad PR-wise that going after some comic book guys at artist's alleys.

It is only a matter of time.

So if they have a waiver/permission program as Ivan says, join it; if not, stop.

[Back to Jean-Marc's original, full post:]

2) Although there never was any serious dispute that Marvel owned whatever share of GR Gary Friedrich was claiming (personally, I'm not a mind reader but I think Friedrich was hoping for some kind of settlement), there remains two legal issues that Ty obviously didn't grasp:

2.1) When Moebius drew his SILVER SURFER with Stan Lee, he got royalties and he was still getting them when Starwatcher split in 2000. You will note that modern-day WFH agreements spell out that the money you're getting will be the sole compensation you will ever receive and you're not entitled to anything else. It is spelled out because if it is not, courts are at liberty to interpret the contract and decide whether or not you should be gettong something extra.

The back-of-the-check contract signed by Gary did transfer ownership of GR to Marvel, and the amount of that check was the consideration for publishing rights, but nowhere did it actually state (as it does today) that it was the ONLY consideration to which Gary might be entitled in the event of a film or a TV series. The Court could have easily decided that on the absence of that clause, Gary was owed something.

2.2.) There is a famous case about singer Peggy Lee who won her suit against Disney for their reuse of her songs in LADY & THE TRAMP on video, because that medium didn't exist when she signed her original agreement with the Mouse, and contracts at that time didn't specify the now standard "and other media to be invented in the future". The Court chose to interpret that lack of specificity in favor of Peggy Lee. When Marvel sold the rights to GR to the studio which produced it, they likely sold the video, DVD and game rights. These media did not exist when Friedrich signed his back of the check contract which did not list any and all future media. Therefore, based on the Peggy Lee case, the Court could have found that Marvel didn't own those rights, and therefore couldn't resell them, or, as in the Peggy Lee case, simply that they owe the plaintiff some kind of percentage, that's all.

So it remains my contention that Marvel owes "something" to Friedrich (and Ploog as well) based not on the publishing, but purely on the disposition of the multimedia rights to GR. That the Judge decided otherwise is a tough break for creators, and unjust.

3) Which brings me to my next point, which is that documentary standards are being unfairly applied throughout the judicial system, and somehow mistakes always seem to favor the corporations, not the small guy. The enforceability of a contract depends on accurate documentation which must be produced in Court. If you have a mortgage, but the bank cannot produce your properly signed promissory note, then the court has the possibility of nullifying your mortgage. It's happened in a few rare cases, but more often than not, people have been thrown out of their homes despite banks being unable to produce a properly signed note.

In this case, has any of you seen the back of the check signed by Friedrich?
Was that check properly endorsed? Was there anything crossed out? Why should mistakes in documentation automatically benefit the corporations, and the little guy should be held to standards of evidence that the companies themselves don't respect? Why did the Judge assume that the paperwork was in order & automatically benefited Marvel? What I'm saying is, if people can lose their homes despite proper paperwork, well, then, Marvel could lose GR despite its paperwork. It's up to the Court.

So whether or not you feel any sympathy for Gary and his cause, this is another loss for the Little Guy which, in the greater scheme of things, impacts all of us."

SPREAD THE WORD. SPREAD THIS LINK.

And QUIT doing, creating, selling ANY sketches or sketchbooks or prints featuring Marvel/Disney characters, IMMEDIATELY. And let fans know WHY you are no longer doing them, and/or CANNOT do them ever again.
  • Listening to: Charlie Rose
  • Reading: Trotsky
  • Watching: Top Gear UK
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To many people in comics, I only arrived a few years ago with Joe the Barbarian. Then came Hellblazer (completed in 2008 before I began working on Joe), American Vampire: SOTF, and finally Punk Rock Jesus. Once in a while someone will mention Off Road (an OGN I did with Oni back in 2004), but for the most part it seems like I've been published only these last few years when in fact I've been published professionally for a decade now.

This isn't a plea to have everyone go back through my previous work--in fact, I'm glad that a lot of the books I've done over the years aren't on readers' radars. I'm proud of it all, but the books above are a nice, tight group of titles to be associated with. They're all in a similar brand, they're all recent, they all have good creators/publishers associated with them, and the artwork is mostly consistent. Go back further than that, and you'll see artwork that looks nothing like the stuff I'm doing these days. (Although Off Road still holds up to some degree.)

I realized I hit the 10-year-mark only a few days ago, and I wanted to write something about the past 10 years, so here's my list of Top 5 Mistakes

5. Not getting paid

I won't mention the company (I have in the past, and it's not worth more drama)--at this point it would only give them undeserved attention. But when I was still in college, I did 3 issues over a summer and never got paid. I had a contract, but it was written in such an amateur way by the publisher that there was nothing I could do legally. 3 months were wasted when I could have gotten a job at Home Depot to pay my college bills, but I learned a valuable lesson about trusting publishers. I haven't been burned since, and that's because I've become a viper when it comes to paperwork and negotiations. I can be unpleasant and overly suspicious, I'm sure, but it's the only way I know how to protect myself.

I'm not sure how I would have avoided this at the time. Now I'm better at noticing shifty behavior from people and knowing whom to avoid. Back then, I was too young to see it. Oh well, lesson learned.

4. Learning valuable things about art, then ignoring them

At SCAD Savannah (the impressive Atlanta campus didn't exist yet), I'd sometimes have time to do a page in a week, and I would use the time to explore a lot of different techniques, tools, and ways of mark-making. During the latter half of school, I began getting work with Dark Horse on Star Wars Tales, and then on a book called Crush (once I'd graduated). It was the first time I'd been forced to work at a page-per-day, so I stripped away the stuff I'd learned (in and out of class) for a more streamlined look. Instead of using brush, quill and ink, I used Microns and French curves. The art was slick and had lots of movement, but it lacked depth. It was plastic, lazy and unimaginative. For two years I was coasting on cruise control and not challenging myself. The art served the story and nothing more--there was never a panel to drool over. Never anything to hang on a wall. There are guys who have found many ways to effectively use Micron, but I'm not one of them.

It wasn't until I started inking Zach Howard on some unpublished Vertigo pages (this was 2004) when I began to use the brush and quill again. Microns and Rapidographs were taking too long and I couldn't make the tools embrace how dynamic Zach's art was, so I forced myself to pick up the older tools. It was clunky at first, but after a few months it was like rediscovering a limb. And I've never looked back.

To this day, I'm still trying to think of a good reason why I stopped using them in the first place. My career might be 2 years advanced if I'd never done that.


3. Store signings

The one thing I've never gotten over the past ten years is get a line of people at a comic shop signing. And I'm not asking for a killer line, just any line at all.

I'm sure if I did more high profile superhero stuff, it would happen. But with how well things have been going lately with Joe, Vampire, Blazer and PRJ, I would have expected to get a least some kind of showing, especially in NYC. But it never happens. The best one so far has been at Casablanca Comics in Portland, Maine. And even though it was somewhat successful, I had plenty of time to stare at stacks of books that I wasn't signing.

There's a lot to gain by doing store signings, of course. It means a lot to people who can't travel, it gives you time to spend quality time with readers, and it's often a free mini vacation to wherever the store is. But 9 times out of 10, it's usually a disappointment for me and the store owner. And I always apologize to him as I leave the store, my head lowered between my shoulders in shame.

Here's why I think I do so poorly at these things: half my readers are women who don't like going in comic shops. Lots of them brave it out, sure, but most don't because--let's face it--a lot of shops are creepy. I also think that many Vertigo readers prefer to buy the trades in books stores or order stuff online. Or they download in digital.

Whatever the reason, I've decided not to do any more store signings for a while. They're great for keeping an artist humble, but I've found them very depressing.

2. Turning down Assassin's Creed 3

I mentioned this before, but I was offered a chance to work on Assassin's Creed. I was also offered the chance to work with a lot of great writers over the past few years--one was even offering $1000 per page. But I turned them down to do Punk Rock Jesus.

I'm glad I chose to stick with PRJ--great gigs will always be there, but finding a window to do your own stuff is really hard. But every time I drive by an Assassin's Creed billboard, see a commercial or hold an action figure, I feel a tinge of regret. And now that I'm trying to put a down payment on a house in Brooklyn, part of me wishes that I'd taken a script more lucrative than PRJ.

But not really.

1. Insecurity

My thoughts on the psychology of being an artist are always evolving. I'll spare you a drawn out emo-description of what it's like inside an artist's brain, because most people on dA know exactly what I'm talking about. And that's my point--no matter how much we fight it, we can all be overly sensitive, emotional, and very insecure. That's just the price of creativity, I think.

I used to pretend that I wasn't insecure because I thought it put me above the drama and the hen-pecking I see at conventions and online. And you can see all kinds of insecurity playing out if you know what to look for. There's the "quick-to-anger" artist: getting upset so quickly is a defense mechanism to quickly isolate himself and appear alpha in a situation. There's the "emo-hipster" artist: being a comic artist isn't enough, so he decks himself out in some sort of costume complete with leather bracelets, floppy hair, and a b&w artist bio photo. Or there's the "I-don't-care" artist: he claims to not read comics and will go out of his way to act like he's not caring what people think--while constantly checking his Google alerts.

There are a bunch more, and I've inhabited many of these roles over the years. And there's nothing wrong with being any of them, but try not to kid yourself because (chances are) you've got baggage.

The types of creators I'm really drawn to these days are the ones who admit their insecurity in some way. And by no means are these creators above it; they still let bad reviews get to them, they're not above trolling the internet for mention of their name, and they usually keep a list of "I don't like this creator and here's why" on the edge of their tongue. But at the end of the day, these creators do their best to laugh, admit that they're not perfect either, calm down, and try not to take it all so seriously.

I find that doing this for a living requires constant monitoring of your state of mind. Patrolling myself for weirdness, immaturity and other artist-insecurity is part of the daily grind. Of course, focusing too much is its own form of insecurity and egocentrism, so be careful.

And when I fail at this (and it happens a lot), it's always my biggest regret.
  • Listening to: Beethoven piano sonatas
  • Reading: Attack of the Theocrats
  • Watching: Science Channel
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There are lots of tips, chestnuts, and other pieces of advice that I've heard over the years--tidbits of wisdom passed on from one generation to the next, from professional to professor to prospective student.  Some of them are drawing tips, some of them are tricks to dealing with publishers, and some are general guidelines on how to survive in comics. Most of them are useful and true and will stand the test of time, but a few of them  have become hackneyed platitudes and have gone unquestioned for too long. Here are 5 that I'm questioning...

1. READERS WILL ONLY LOOK AT A PANEL FOR 5 SECONDS, SO DON'T SWEAT IT TOO MUCH.

I understand the intention of this bit of wisdom, and I mostly agree with it: drawing great interiors is important, but at the same time, you don't want to get bogged down with small details that most readers won't even notice.

But here's my concern with this: if you treat every panel like it's disposable, then you're less likely to make an impact with readers.

Think of it this way: even if readers ONLY look at a panel for 5 seconds, and your book sells 20,000 copies, then that tiny panel you were fretting over will be looked at for 100,000 seconds, which is around 28 hours of total viewing time. So, if you have the time and energy, try not to phone it in.

If the art is good enough then people will look longer than 5 seconds; readers will appreciate your extra effort even if they don't see every detail. And if you get REALLY good--if your art is thoughtful, layered, and compelling enough to withstand a second, third or forth viewing without falling apart-- then other artists will study you, which means they might be looking over your panels for hours.

2. TO BE A PRO, YOU NEED TO BE AT LEAST 2 OF THESE 3 THINGS: TALENTED, NICE, OR ON TIME.

I wish this was true. In fact, I wish that a professional artist had to be ALL 3 of these things in order to succeed--but they don't.

If you're talented enough, then you don't need to be timely or nice. Proof? We all know that some creators are always late. And on Twitter, we often see these same creators acting unsavory. So why do they have careers? It's because they're talented and sell well--publishers see them as an asset are willing to put up with difficult/late creators if the sales are high.

Keep in mind I'm not giving anyone full license blow deadlines and act like a jerk. If you can be all 3 of these things, you're better off. I've always liked this bit of wisdom, but I'd like to adjust it:

For me, success is...
70% talent
10% being nice/easy to work with
10% being on time
10% blind luck.

The numbers are all subjective, of course.

3. IF YOUR PAGES ARE GOOD, THEN EDITORS/PUBLISHERS WILL NOTICE.

You can be the best artist on the planet, and some editors/publishers might not see it. They tend to respond more to sales figures, internet hype, and buzz by the office water cooler. It's frustrating, but understandable. At least to me.

Try to keep in mind that most editors aren't trained as artists, they're trained as administrators and coordinators. They worry about shipping books out, not about facial expressions, mood lighting and fish-eye lensing--that's your job. Most editors are swamped with more work than they can handle, and they work for publishers who have hundreds of creators to keep track of. Getting dozens of books out on time is a difficult task, and while most everyone at these companies makes a genuine effort to put out a good, consistent product, sometimes things fall through the cracks. Plot lines don't come together, books ship late, and sometimes valuable talent gets overlooked.

So if you think you're talented, and you're frustrated that editors aren't noticing, don't take it personally. Hang in there, keep plugging away, and if you're truly talented, eventually someone will notice.

And if you meet a talented editor who DOES have an eye for art--someone like my friend Mark Doyle who edits me on The Wake--stick with him.

4. DRAW EVERY DAY.

Yes--practice, practice, practice. But once in a while, take a break and PURPOSELY let your drawing skills erode. When you relearn them, you'll come back a bit stronger.

This job is demanding, and if you're not careful you can end up in a sweaty, nervous, nail-bitten mess as you struggle to hit your deadlines. When you're in this state, you're probably putting out B level work. You start making mistakes you don't see while developing other bad artistic habits. Your style becomes stale and incestuous (when was the last time you actually LOOKED at a photo ref of a tricep?). And when you're in this state, you're usually not growing as an artist because your main goal is output--things are going out, nothing is going in.

Taking a break from drawing and letting your skills erode seems counter productive, but it's a good way to ditch bad habits and re-approach your style in new ways. It's like when master chess players set up matches with amateur players--they end up learning more about chess when the game gets shaken up.

5. DON'T GOSSIP.

It's naive to think you can avoid gossip, so I say embrace it in a healthy way. Gossip is a commodity, and it should be traded just like any other commodity.

I know "gossip" is a dirty word. And yes, gossip can often lead to useless, Jersey Shore style hen-pecking. But there's a lot of good information in gossip, and I don't see the shame in filtering it in a fair, balanced, and mature manner to help you make better decisions. Gossip can create friendships, solidify loyalty, help you avoid swindlers, spread helpful memes, weed out unsavory trends and raise awareness about issues that need fixing.

The "women in comics" issue is a perfect example of gossip being well utilized. The information came along with a lot of mud slinging, of course, but at the end of the day we've all had our awareness raised, and it's a good thing.

The trick is to utilize useful gossip while discarding TMZ style gossip. There's an art to it, and getting good at it requires practice. If you can ignore it--fine. But it might be worth listening in every now and then.
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111 points giveaway!The winner:

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 9:59 AM
Hello, sweeties (:

Ornaments by naked-in-the-rain

Sending huggies again while doing some fashion experiments with a skirt I found in my closet :giggle:

I also joined ask.fm so if you have any questions (photography and non photography related), you can ask me here: ask.fm/nakedintherain1
...
I decided to make someone smile again by giving one lucky deviant 111 points.

All you have to do to participate is:

:+fav: fav this journal
and
well, that's it :giggle:
_

You don't have to visit my gallery nor watch me, but if you do, thank you :heart:
_

I will pick the winner with a little help of random.org and announce it in this journal on 23rd January around 5pm (GMT+1) (:

Have fun :la:

Mia

+ random from my gallery:
Rapunzel by naked-in-the-rain
Snow Kingdom by naked-in-the-rainTen tousand fireflies by naked-in-the-rain
_

Thank you everyone for participating (:
The winner is
:iconplayboyvampire:

Congrats and enjoy your points :heart:


*naked-in-the-rain giving away 111 :points:
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Hello, lovelies (:

Since it's summer and the school is over for some people (*yay*) I guess everyone will find a little bit more time for deviantart.
That's why I decided to make some of our lovely deviants happy by giving them a premium membership and points :aww:

All you have to do:

fav this journal in order to participate and voila!

(*faving this journal is needed just so I can know who's entering the contest. Counting each comment would be a hard job
*the prize can't be transferred to someone else's account)

The prizes:

- 3 month premium membership
- 3 month premium membership



The 2 lucky winners will be chosen by random.org generator.

update* deadline:  8th July, 2012.


Don't forget to tell your friends so they can participate too :happybounce:

Good luck and xo

The Winners:

Two lucky people who random.org picked are

:iconspotlightplz:

:iconlucky88duck: and :iconpineap:

Congrats, guys!
Also, thank you all for participating. I am glad this giveaway has been very popular and many deviants entered.
See you soon in the next contest :la:
___

:iconnaked-in-the-rain:
my gallery

IMPORTANT update: I hope I'm not breaking any rules by organizing this giveaway contest. I sent a question to ask people in charge is this allowed after getting a note from one of the deviants.
This is a giveaway. I don't ask anything in return. I just wanted to be fair and give a chance to people who might have never had a premium membership to get one as a gift.

If being kind and generous will get me banned, someone please tell me.

Thank you

A forgotten fruit, all clad in veils,
So lonely in its mystery.
Its green skin tingles, shrouded in cloth,
A favorite of none, except for me.

I pity it, an odd recluse,
Similar to none in the family.
Its shield is thin, the mask could break,
And yet the mask is all we see.

It could be beautiful, if it tried,
Yet it hides in the leaves, afraid to be.
But oh, how curious, when we remove its leaves,
And cook it, it becomes a delicacy.
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Today I am having a particularly bad day. Let me open a box of chocolates I have in my drawer. There are ten in all.

First Chocolate: Plain, no filling, nothing fancy. Nothing spectacular
Second Chocolate: Again, it is plain, with no filling. Nothing Extraordinary.
Third Chocolate: I bite into it, and a sweet, creamy filling encases my tongue. This has got to be the best out of the ones I've tasted. Very delicious, very memorable.
Fourth Chocolate: Hoping for another delicious morsel, I bite inside, then spit it out. The horrible taste still lingers, as I realize this one is coffee flavor. It would take a long time to get the traces of this out of my mouth
Fifth Chocolate: Tentatively, I put this into my mouth. For some reason, I expect to taste a delicious one, perhaps to make up for the bland and horrible ones I have had in the past. Nothing. It is a plain chocolate. No filling, no frills, no risks, no ruin. It isn't sweet or bitter. It is just a regular piece. This is the last chocolate. This is life.

It is a fallacy to think that life will bestow upon you a happy ending, if you just sit there and expect it to happen. Time doesn't stop for anyone. It doesn't provide a happy ending to your bad day, it doesn't create a downfall for your better day. In the end, you come to terms with the simplicity of past events, and it is up to you to find the beauty in that.
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In a world where unarmed, innocent people are murdered freely by authority figures, slavery is at an all-time high, someone opens fire on an American school almost every month and people die from inadequate, needlessly overpriced health care, some people think the biggest and most upsetting issue in our society is about video game opinions.

And, unfortunately, these people create a serious issue. Despite the fact that they rally around a fundamentally trivial and pointless cause, their furious and aimless harassment of others has become something worth talking about.

If you ask a Gamergater, they'll tell you that their fight is over "dishonesty in journalism." That's a pretty big fight. Journalistic bias has convinced Americans that climate change might not even be happening, that minorities commit more crime than whites and that we actually have any reason to be dropping bombs on the Middle East. Mainstream media is a clusterfuck of biases and sensationali-wait, what's that? Gamergaters focus on video game journalism?

That's odd. I'm pretty sure nobody has ever died because of a video game review. I'm pretty sure nobody's life has ever been ruined because a video game review mislead them about the quality of an electronic plaything. What, exactly, do these people believe is "wrong" with video game journalism? What do they believe is so critically wrong that tens of thousands of them have tweeted #gamergate and formed e-militias devoted to terrorizing anyone they think can be blamed for it?

It all started with a single game review.

According to the Gamergate side of things, a woman used sex to get her video game reviewed by a popular outlet. That's the meat of it. That's what started the avalanche of rage and abuse.

The more complicated truth is that the woman's ex boyfriend alleges she was dating the writer who reviewed her game.

Now, presuming all of this is true, and her game was only reviewed because she was sleeping with the reviewer - what, exactly, is the harm here? What's the impact?

Video games are a hobby. They're playthings. Toys. While "casual" is a dirty word in hardcore gaming circles, the entirety of the video game industry is a casual thing by default, like all entertainment fiction. Video games aren't politics. They aren't science. They aren't medicine or law or any other subject that actually impacts the world. They are pieces of art that exist to amuse people.

The very website where this review was posted, Kotaku, isn't even a site that pretends to be serious "journalism" about anything. It bills itself as a blog. It has always featured subjective opinion pieces and even entertaining fluff as simple as a funny video post. Where anyone got the idea that it was some sort of journalistic leader is a baffling question.

Frankly, presuming it really is what happened, a person who reviews mere video games on any website, whether a blog or major industry site, has a right to review them as favors. There is no conceivable harm that can come of someone discussing their girlfriend, friend, work buddy or mom's video game. We're only talking about works of entertainment here; the worst thing that can come of a "dishonest" game review is that somebody plays the game with higher expectations than they presented with.

In any rational world, this would be met with a light scoff and quickly ignored in favor of things that, you know, actually affect people.

Unfortunately, we seem to be living in a world where, to many people, video games are life itself. Video games are so important to some individuals that they will band together to attempt to actually harm anyone who does not like video games or does not feel exactly as they do about video games.

Since these events, the "gamergate" movement has gone on to systematically harass a series of other game reviewers and designers, almost every one of them a woman, under the false pretense that they are battling against "journalistic corruption." Of course, many of their targets have nothing to do with journalism at all; women who both work on games and express anything either critical of the gamergate movement, or about the role of women in video games become targets of gamergater threats. Some have had to leave their homes when these threats escalated to doxxing and real-world stalking.

Apparently all because a bunch of little boys are just that protective of their equally little toys.

Gamergaters have used their tactics to bully even major outlets for holding any views they don't personally like:
bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/10…

They used shooting threats to stop one of their pet feminist bogeymen from speaking at a school:
www.xojane.com/issues/anita-sa…

They attacked one reviewer for a tweet clearly just parodying their outlook:
storify.com/Tolvo/gamergate-ha…

The author of this article critical of their behavior was also attacked en masse:
www.theguardian.com/technology…

These are only a few examples, but they keep coming. The targets are nearly always women, falsely perceived by thousands of gamergaters to somehow pose a threat to everything they hold dear about the gaming world. To these people, the moment a woman says "I wish there were better female characters in games" or "I wish there were more women getting hired by the industry," gamergaters hear "I hate men" and "I hate games."

It's fascinating the kinds of arguments these obsessive fans use to defend themselves, too. Not long ago I was receiving messages here on DA up to several thousand words long from a certain individual who swore that "most" of gamergate was against the bullying and harassment.

If that's the case, then why does it keep happening, and why does it keep winning? Where is this level-headed, compassionate majority when people are receiving death threats and intimidated into leaving their homes or jobs by this allegedly small, niche minority of "extremists?"

It's as if they think that by remaining neutral - by simply turning their backs and ignoring the problem - their hands remain clean enough to cover their own ass.

Of course, I've explained more than is even worth explaining on this topic. I shouldn't have even had to cite any links. The very fact that thousands of people are FURIOUS over some sort of "ethical issue" in nothing more than "video games" already ruins whatever argument they were fighting for, because it already shows that our culture has degenerated to the point where a staggering number of younger people care more about defending the good name of video games than virtually anything else going on in the real world. The very existence of a "gamergate movement" only proves how many people have cocooned themselves in their own entitlement complex, psychologically fellating themselves in a fantasy scenario where they are not only the center of the universe, but the universe is made out of copies of Halo.
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A little girl I knew was abducted.
I was very affected emotionally, and when I looked around my home town in the following days, I finally noticed all of the little fliers asking for help finding missing children. ( In America there are 1,500 missing child cases open every day. The fliers are often printed on the backs of coupons and are distributed as junk-mail.)

I just began saving the fliers, and after a year had a drawer full of them: Disposable mailers with tiny monochrome photos of missing children. It didn't seem right that these faces were so small and bland.

One night, out of nowhere, I was inspired to paint a full color portrait from one of the cards. As an artist, the question was this: How does a person paint a portrait of a missing child? I could not just approach it like an illustration. I could not just go about it as if it were a polite painting.

I began by putting away my brushes. They were too smooth. Too pretty. Too controllable. Instead, I began using palette knives. They were difficult to control and allowed for unexpected deviations. At times, I laid out my palette and created these in very dim lighting. Surely the way a person is painted may reflect the circumstances of the person...At times the process becomes very emotional for me. Each portrait may take as many as thirty of forty sessions, as each layer adds to the depth. It's like taking the long way home. The long process avoids superficiality. I think that the complexity of the paint reflects the complexity of the child's situation.

I have met many families who thank me for painting their child. They found comfort in knowing that "someone" was thinking about their family.
Occasionally, A recovered teen will write me. They find it fascinating that a stranger was compelled to paint them during their darkened childhood.

Actually,To me, these paintings are about love.

-John Paul Thornton
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You and I | Art Feature

Fri Apr 18, 2014, 12:35 PM


Others' voices by agnes-cecile

Suggested Soundtrack: "You and I" by One Direction | Artwork by agnes-cecile 



I figured it out from black and white.

lines hold the memories by agnes-cecile
Seconds and hours.
just one hour - memory III by agnes-cecile
Maybe they had to take some time.

two different lights by agnes-cecile
I know how it goes from wrong and right.
Silence and sound.

Others' voices by agnes-cecile

Did they ever hold each other tight
Like us?
intimacy on display by agnes-cecile

Did they ever fight
Like us?

our lines, our story, it isn't a linear path by agnes-cecile

We can make it 'til the end.
Nothing can come between
our great love story by agnes-cecile
Not even the Gods above
Can separate the two of us.

I don't want you to forgive me by agnes-cecile
I figured it out.
Saw the mistakes of up and down.

within the bounds of this single road by agnes-cecile
Meet in the middle.
There's always room for common ground.

wakeful by agnes-cecile
I see what it's like for day and night.
Never together

this thing called art is really dangerous by agnes-cecile

'Cause they see things in a different light
Like us.
But they never tried
Like us.

Forever yours, Freckles - detail - by agnes-cecile

We don't wanna be like them.
We can make it 'til the end.
Nothing can come between
You and I.

intimacy on display by agnes-cecile
No, nothing can come between
You and I.

xx love by agnes-cecile
Suggested Soundtrack: "You and I" by One Direction



Skin by Dan Leveille
Suggested Soundtrack: "You and I" 
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Howdy friends,

There has been an exciting development! 

A couple of months ago, the folks at Chaosium Inc. [ www.chaosium.com/ ], the publishers of the Call of Cthulhu roleplaying game, confirmed their desire to publish The Call of Cthulhu (for beginning readers).  When I received word I immediately began revising the now almost two-year-old text and illustrations to ensure that the print version is of the highest possible quality.  I am currently about a third of the way through this process, and thought it would be good time to let you all know that the oft-requested dead tree edition of this story looks like it is actually becoming a reality.

I continue to be grateful for the encouragement of the folks around here, and I look forward to updating you all with any further news as it arrives.

In the meantime, I'm posting up the pages of The Statement of Randolph Carter (for beginning readers) I was working on when the word came through from Chaosium.  Being very much aware of the irregular schedule that I have in posting these things, I was going to hold on to these until I had finished the whole story.  I figured folks wouldn't have to put up with the long waits betwixt posts, but with the whole thing on hold for the moment, you may as well take a look at them now with the adaptation currently incomplete.

(Yes, yes, I know - Dagon (for beginning readers) is also a few pages short of a complete story.  It will get done.  Eventually.)

Take care of yourselves, and be excellent to each other!

DrFaustusAU
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