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Thank you so much everybody for all your kind words and support! :D
I didn't expect to see myself in my inbox today! ;) The dA community has been really warm and helpful, not only recently but ever since I joined the site.
I recently had a short interview with blog Alive For Art. The blog is fairly new, but has already featured a great variety of artists. Here's the… :)
Holy crap, I am now a Doctor! (in computer science, not in medicine). I managed to unintentionally set up a Hollywood finish to my PhD, that resembled those movies where the hero goes through the most sadistic struggles, kills the baddies and finally diffuses the bomb with not even a second to spare, just as the counter reaches zero - all played in very slow motion but with equal suspense. I went through all sorts of problems, from research that I would have thrown out of the window (at great cost) had it not worked at the absolutely very last moment, to personal trouble, bureaucratic trouble that required travels and weeks from my non-existent time, etc etc, all stuffed in the last few months. But now, after months of 16-hour-work days, finally everything seems in its right place: I defended, submitted my PhD thesis (in Computer Vision, if it matters to anyone) and have two months to draw, build stuff and travel (or maybe just sleep) until late February when I'm starting work at a cool company here in NYC.

That was by far the most tiring thing I've ever done... and I really hope it will keep that title.

This is also why I didn't get to respond to many awesome comments and notes on this page - and didn't make any new drawings - during the last months, but it's now time for things to change!
  • Listening to: Misfits
Wow, there has been a huge peak in the traffic in my account lately. This: sweet halloween dreams by begemott was posted on reddit - and a few days later this: jump by begemott became a DD!

At the same time I am at a computer vision conference, where 1500 people have brought the wireless to a complete crawl, so it takes ages to see my messages on dA, let alone respond.
I will try to reply to at least some when I get back in a few days. Until then,
thank you so much for the support everybody! It is amazing to get this great feedback!
Today I felt like that guy in some older Adidas ad, who walks a bit longer one day and discovers something awesome.
I was walking on the dirty, gloomy street in front of Sculpture Center towards a lumber yard when I saw the open door of some garage with no other identifying marks. Inside the door was a very clean, upscale workshop where a kind-looking white-haired Italian was working on three Alfa Romeo racing prototypes from the 70's. One was a Tipo 33/3, and another should be a Tipo 33TT12 (the body was removed, but I could see the flat-12 engine). The cars looked old and dangerous, with their menacing Alfa red color, green four-leafed clovers and their old-fashioned, hugely fat rear tires. I walked inside being very embarrassed, said hi to the man and tried to explain that I wanted to just have a look at the cars. He said something incomprehensible in a mix of English and Italian, which I interpreted as "ok". I admired the excellent Italian machines while a bunch of Italians arrived and started talking loudly to each other in their native language. I finally waved goodbye to the white-haired man, who sent back a wide smile - maybe he was satisfied a stranger appreciated the amazing machines. It was somehow moving to see the beautiful old racecars and the old Italian engineer hidden in that frustrating and dirty corner of New York.
  • Drinking: espresso
Until recently I used to draw with a mechanical pencil on plain, cheap a4/lettersize printer paper - the way an engineer doodles :P. But lately I took my mechanical pencil for a spin on Canson 14x17'' bristol paper, which I had laying around for ages but was always too scared to use because it feels too nice and precious. Oh my.. it's a sensual experience! :D

The paper feels so good to the touch, and the pencil moves so satisfyingly on it. Every line tickles some weird area in my brain that produces the good kind of chemicals. My line work is nowhere near as good as I'd like, but it's still so satisfying to draw and I can't help stopping and looking at my lines like an idiot for much longer than justified. It's hard to explain the feeling of drawing a beautiful line. There's one catch: it is impossible to make "sketches" on it. It is so pleasant to draw, that I have to build up more detail and then more detail and then some more. I decided to make a drawing that would have taken maybe 8 hrs on my regular paper/style, and I've spent maybe 16hrs now and I'm only half-done. And I still feel that I'm rushing through it. I would really like to redo it spending maybe 100hrs on it, and then I would be happy.

It is a hell full of pleasure for obsessive-compulsive line fetishists :P
  • Listening to: lofi versions of misfits' songs
  • Drinking: espresso
As I was driving back home on 495 today, I fell into a traffic jam caused by a car on fire.. several miles later, as I drove along, I came upon a second car on fire! (seriously!) I should have realized that Gran Turismo 5 had finally been released today...

I was very pleased to find it waiting for me in front of my door (preordering is nice). I slipped it into the PS3, and... the first thing it did was to ask me to download the update to Gran Turismo 5 version 1.01... Seriously, guys? On release date there is already an update? After 6 years of development?

Anyway, after a whole hour of installing, the pretty nice introduction started playing, after which I was finally able to buy a used Miata and play my first races.. And my second "what the hell" moment: The 3D model of the Miata sucks! The Miata is not one of the premium cars, and as a result, I can notice pretty crude polygons. Even worse, there are shadow map artifacts what make the car cast a shadow with disturbingly jagged edges onto the track. Well, I'm sorry, I've written code for shadow maps and I don't believe it would have been so hard to fix this artifact (unless the PS3 is such a terrible machine after all). It's also hard to understand why there seem to be different shadow rendering paths for the premium and the "standard" cars. The first car I won, the Toyota Vitz (aka Yaris) is an equally terribly modeled car (eg the rims seem to be just painted on a texture). I feel that it might have looked better in Gran Turismo 4.

I know that the premium cars have much better models, and they do look excellent, and I know that there are almost 1000 cars in the game (actually more like 200 when you remove the duplicates). But they had 6 years to develop this thing. I bought my PS3 3 years ago
assuming that pretty soon I would be playing it. And, after waiting for all this time, listening to my beard grow, patiently dusting the PS3 off and regularly removing the spider webs from the cables and gamepads, I expected to find a game that was polished and, if not perfect, near-perfect.

To be honest, the most important part of the game, the driving model, is greatly improved (over both GT4, GT5 Prologue, or the GT5 demo that came out some time ago). The cars finally feel like real cars (in GT4 it was like a magic force was keeping things in order, even with all the assists off). I smiled wide when I drove a kart - it's so much like the real thing, even the bumpiness of the ride was there (and this kart will not give me bruises like the real ones). But the imaginary tracks are totally uninspired, and the computer opponents ridiculously slow and probably drunk, just like GT4. I'm sure I'll drive it as much as I did with GT4 and GT5Prologue, but... right now I feel like ranting about how they made the fans wait for so many years for something which is just "good".
  • Drinking: espressos

I wish I was something
I wish I was good
I wish I was made of
Mahogany wood

He looks at me sometimes
And sometimes he knocks
on doorways beside me
And sometimes he rocks
me to sleep in a chair
For he knows that I need
affection as much
as a cut needs to bleed

I wish I was something
I wish I was good
I wish I was made of
Mahogany wood


(Dead Wood - The Residents)
  • Listening to: The Residents
I felt kinda sad reading people eating their little hearts out in the comments under the Beasts of 9 finalists article (despite the fact that the finalists selection doesn't seem  particularly great). Makes me regret participating. Contests should be a chance for a community like dA to celebrate and have fun, not to bitch and whine.

Anywayy.. to lighten the mood, here are some pictures from the Porcupine Tree concert at Terminal 5 in NYC on Thursday :)

Porcupine Tree 2009-9-24 III by begemott Porcupine Tree 2009-9-24 II by begemott Porcupine Tree 2009-9-24 I by begemott

And here is one from the Motorhead concert in NYC earlier this month =)

motorhead-2009-9-9 by begemott

I also watched Juliette Binoche dancing at the BAM yesterday, but didn't have my camera, sorry :P
  • Listening to: The Residents
Wow! I was away for a couple of days, logged in today to dA to check my messages and... wow, DD!..

Thanks a lot everybody! :D
I really appreciate the support!

I'll try to reply to as many comments as I can.
Hopefully I'll also be posting some new artwork soon. :)

UPDATE: Many many thanks to :iconsupremextreme: for giving me a subscription! I'm speechless! :thanks:
  • Listening to: Velvet Underground
So I got this book for my gf and I was so impressed that I felt I had to share. It's "Little Nemo in Slumberland", a comic strip that ran in the New York Herald in the beginning of the 20th century - and, for me, the best comic I've read so far. The imagination and sensitivity in this book is unrivaled. I was so amazed by the illustrations (which is helped by the fact that the book is so large, it barely fits on a small table) that I've been studying each page frame by frame.

For the curious:… (btw the pics there dont do any justice to the actual illustration)
  • Listening to: Fu Manchu \m/
A few days earlier, we chose to dine in a good-looking italian restaurant in Paris because it had several illustrations by Jean-Jacques Sempé on the menu. Talking with the owner we learnt that he had been a good friend of Sempé for many years, and that Sempé himself was dining a couple of tables from us (as usual, apparently). Now my girlfriend has a Sempé drawing in her sketchbook.. :D
  • Listening to: Elliot Smith
yay, back to deviantart!
I hadnt logged in to check my messages for almost 4 months.. 2632 messages.. uhm, that's going to be a problem.

thanks to everybody who added me to their friends list or fav'ed my work lately! I'll try to respond to some of the messages.

Anyway, had been really busy with other stuff all this time (life, went to Jamaica, submitted a paper to a conference -if it passes I go to Tokyo- etc etc) so I put deviantArt on the side for a while. But now I have some free time again, so new stuff will be coming soon - beware.
  • Listening to: misfits
  • Reading: patterns on my wall
..when I was a kid, 8 or 9 yrs old, I had a recurring nightmare. I saw it over and over again. It was a heart. An alive human heart, pulsating. It was mine, my own heart. And it was in some kind of a solid metal box. I could only see it from the inside. The inside surface had the same shape as a heart, only three or four centimeters bigger, so that the heart had space to beat. I could only see it from the inside, but I knew that the metal walls went on for miles and miles, probably for ever. They were nice, strong walls made of sleek steel. The box was made from a single, solid piece of metal. And in the inside, the walls of this metal box were filled with metal nails. Hundreds of them. Their tips pointing to the inside. They were a couple of centimeters long. They couldnt reach the flesh when it was still. But every time the heart would beat, it would get pierced by them.

And in my dream, I just sat there, floating inside this infinite box, and watched
my heart beat and bleed in a silent loop. If it didnt beat it would die, but every time it
did beat, it bled more and more. I kept dreaming it for years, until it was so easy to recall that I didnt need to dream anymore.
  • Listening to: her absence
  • Reading: patterns on my wall
  • Eating: can't..
I have been almost completely absent from dA for more than a month and a half now, so I thought I'd write something to explain myself about disregarding my non-duties.

Well, ok, I was working.

That's all. But, after my research proposal exam on Wednesday, I break free. A roadtrip to California, and after that, I'll take care of the neglected pets languishing on this page. I have started accumulating 5-minute sketches on my desk..

..and /me going to Type O Negative in two days in NYC :D (instead of working for my exam.. yeah, to hell with work, I've had enough for at least two lifetimes)
  • Listening to: hellfire choir (?!)
  • Reading: computer vision papers.. tons of them
  • Watching: myself grow old and tired
  • Drinking: coffee
just made two deviations available as prints.. not that I expect anyone to ever bother to buy them, but, what the hell - it was free to offer the option, so I thought I could see how it works.

in other news, if anyone has a time machine, plz lend it to me, I'm in desperate need of one - I promise to bring it back to you yesterday :P
  • Listening to: nico
  • Drinking: coffee black
I arrived home in greece yesterday night. No sleep for more than 24 hrs, since on the plane (10hr flight), there was that 5yr old girl next to me, which kept kicking my ribs and arm (and food in one occasion) and shouting 'I wanna get OOOUUUUUUT'. I drew a scary looking witch on the inside cover of my book to scare her off : P, but just before I was finished she started crying for some other reason so I changed my mind. It was like a condom commercial...(u know, 'next time, use protection') I even made up a couple of stories to distract her... damn people, keep your kids sedated! (ok, ok, kidding..)

anyway, what I started out to write is that, since I'm at home now and havent my wacom with me, I wont be posting anything for a couple of weeks, and probably not even logging much to dA to check msgs. Have a happy new year everyone!
  • Listening to: a clock ticking