I figured I'd mention it in case there are some voyeurs out there.
**Must have a Livestream account to view!**
Or look me up under the user name Bloody William.
I wanted to give y'all a heads up that I will be removing some things from my gallery. A request went out on the Paperpusher Message Board (where Daria fans congregate) from Daria fan fiction author Roentgen to please remove all derivative works of his story "The Hallowed Halls of Fielding." It seems Roentgen's Daria fan fiction story "HHoF" is insanely popular and he is attempting to take out all references to Daria and make it a 100% original work so that he can publish it. Like, into a for really real book. The thing about that is, if there are derivative works around, potential publishers MAY have an issue with copyright, and that it could POSSIBLY give the appearance that Roentgen plagiarized his story from the fan works, both fan fiction stories of "HHoF" and also fan art.
Which is, unfortunately, how this effects me and my gallery. Fans of "HHoF" have approached me several times to draw their "HHoF" OCs, usually wearing the school uniform from the series, thus making them derivative works. Heck, Roentgen himself asked me draw one of his "HHoF" characters. These now need to all come down, even his own requested art.
Am I sad about this? Of course. Drawing stuff takes time and effort, and I am very pleased with how the majority of these particular ones turned out. However, I am also SUPER EXCITED AND HAPPY for Roentgen taking a big step and looking to get this MASSIVE story he has been telling for literally YEARS actually published. Seriously, how fantastic is that? Of course I want to be supportive of this in any way that I can, and honestly, all this art is based off of a world that he created. Roentgen has been nothing but a fine fellow to me, that when I saw his announcement, I made sure to message him to see what he wanted me to do to help.
I wanted to give all you wonderful people who keep tabs on my art and my gallery and whathaveyou the opportunity to download any "HHoF" related works BEFORE I take them down (I ran this by Roentgen and he's totally cool with it.). This would include my depictions of Sue Bentley, Quinn in the Fielding uniform, and any and all art containing the Fielding uniform, such as Devil Elsie Sloan, OCs, and ALL ASPS ARTS *INCLUDING* THE COMIC STRIPS.
LET IT BE KNOWN THAT NOVEMBER 1, 2016 SHALL BE THE TAKE DOWN DATE. You have until then to save any of these piccies FOR YOUR OWN PERSONAL ENJOYMENT. Please don't go and repost this stuff elsewhere. That would be really shitty.
DeviantArt is the reason I have several layers of ad blockers IN THE FIRST PLACE. Not long after I joined in 2011, my PCs, both my laptop AND my desktop got the worst virus I had ever encountered in my life. I tried to figure out where I had gotten it because I don't really go around to "questionable" sites, except once in a great while on my laptop (truth be told usually by mistake looking for reference photos), but absolutely never on my fancy desktop PC that I use for art and has my important personal files. Well, the only thing to help either system was a full factory restore, and after that was done, by sheer coincidence, other DeviantArt members were talking about the same horrific computer virus. It was embedded in an ad.
So, screw you, DeviantArt and your gigantic orange colored plea for my ad revenue. Unless you're going to send a representative to my house to factory restore and then painstakingly reinstall all of my programs and personal files, I simply cannot trust that you have my back on this.
Well, this is way past due. I apologize for that. This covers several years' worth of actions which some may find questionable, but at the time they honestly seemed best. Hopefully, people will read through to the end and see where I'm coming from. Bear with me; this is going to get long.
Here's the deal: I am of the female persuasion. I, williamthebloody or BloodyWilliam, whichever handle by which you know me, am in fact a lady with lady parts. Dun-dun-DUN! I also used to be married. Double dun-dun-DUN! Many people whose acquaintance or even friendship I have been lucky enough to make over the years may be questioning why I would perpetrate such a ruse, re: pass myself off as a dude. To get the full picture, a flashback is in order.
Let's go back in time to… 2002? I think that's right. Waaaaaaay back then, a big thing when using a chat room was the question “asl?” from other users. In case you are too young to know, this stands for “age, sex, location” meaning people expected you to divulge this info when asked. Believe me, I tried dodging it, but if you did, other people wouldn't let it go. At the time, it was considered common courtesy. If pressed, I usually responded “25, F, New England.” This is when the problems started. When certain people found a female, they were like a dog with a bone. I was often met with this type of response:
“tits or GTFO”
“wanna cyber?” ←Code for cyber sex
“wanna RP?” ←Code for role playing a sexy situation
My favorite television series at the time was Buffy The Vampire Slayer, which had just moved from The WB to UPN, and UPN had the Buffy website outfitted with a few live chat rooms. The rooms were not regulated as far as I could tell. No moderators. No admins. You did not have to create an account. You merely invented a screen name for yourself right then and started typing away. My first few forays here went extremely well. I talked with other fans, we exchanged theories about how the season would progress, and played trivia games. Then all of that nasty business of looking for naked pictures of me and such started.
Often, refusing to comply with these requests met with hostility and questions like “wtf not?” or “you think you're too good for me?” as though they thought they were somehow entitled to a detailed explanation. Unfortunately, with no regulation, there really was no one to tell these dude bros to knock it off with any authority to back it up. Also, folks could sign out and sign back in under another name in ten seconds. It became obvious that people used multiple “sock puppet” screen names for the purposes of trolling and harassment.
I decided to try an experiment. I ditched my old screen name (usually “DancingFaith” or something similar) in favor of a male oriented name, “williamthebloody.” Again, I would avoid answering ASL as much as I could, but if someone were dead set on it, I would answer “25, M, New Hampshire.” Suddenly, my experience was very different. I had maybe three people ask to RP a sexy scenario, but when I politely refused, I was met with a polite response, and that was that. No haranguing or harassment. Just a “no prob” or “ok cool.”
Wow. I had found a way to enjoy the good, fun parts of the chat room and easily avoid the nasty ones. Sweet! Then, something unexpected happened: I made friends. Weird. Chatting online was every bit as liberating as talking in person was debilitating for me (more on that later).
I started to think that I had more to say than just stuff related to Buffy, and began looking into my own website for ranting, movie reviews, and posting art work. My issue then became: how do I get an audience? Literally the only people I knew online were in Buffy Chat. If I used my Buffy connections to “market” my personal website, I would be stuck in my “williamthebloody” persona in order to “sell” it. Worth a try. Not like anything would come of it. It's just for fun.
Well, the personal website wound up getting more involved than I could have anticipated, and as a result, so did the williamthebloody identity. He became a character I played, and in order to make him more consistent, I based his physical appearance and a few other details on my then-husband. The rare photograph was of him as well. I made him single instead of being married because I felt it lent itself well to self deprecation and I thought he would be more relateable to what was a primarily single, unwed readership. Williamthebloody got more internet friends and even fans, and by extension, so did I. It was crazy.
I started the twitter account as a way to better connect with the friends I had made as williamthebloody. Many of the regular readers of my site followed williamthebloody on twitter. Twitter was much easier than running a full website, so I decided to explore deviantart for posting my art, which was one of the main reasons of the site. Williamthebloody now became more BloodyWilliam because the former username had already been taken. It was around this time that BloodyWilliam was found by the Daria fan community, and he got more friends and fans.
My real life interfered with my BloodyWilliam time due to the fact that my marriage was slowly falling apart. Super long story short, my husband divorced me so he could hook up with the young neighbor. This pretty much knocked me into an emotional tailspin of severe depression. It got so bad that I finally surrendered to a mental health evaluation where it was determined I had social anxiety and depression. I have had the social anxiety my entire life, but was heretofore undiagnosed. (And social anxiety is a way more complicated thing to have than I ever thought. Simple decisions like “soup or salad” with zero consequences are actually stress inducing problems. I can go more into it, just ask.)
Which leads me to the next part: up until my divorce, my only online presence was as BloodyWilliam. This was a completely online entity and he very rarely interacted with anyone from my real life. I wanted him to be a totally separate being and didn't want to drag my real life family and friends into my complex online situation. However, with the impending divorce, I was afraid of disconnecting from my family and friends, who would want to be updated to my well being, and decided for the very first time to create a social media account for my actual self. So, at this time I'm going through a deep dark depression, but none of the people who know me online know I am a woman or was ever married, and thus I couldn't really get into details with my internet friends and acquaintances without getting into a complicated back story. Frankly, the depression sucked out an awful lot of energy that it was hard for me to even figure out where to start.
Mainly, this is what lead to a change in focus for me from my online BloodyWilliam accounts to my actual personal ones which I needed for support from family and friends through my divorce. BloodyWilliam would have to wait while I sorted through my personal crap.
Which brings me to the here and now. After about eight months, I dealt with the worst of it, got my head screwed back on about right, and have been thinking about resuming some of BloodyWilliam's activities. However, now that I have personal accounts with family which have been separate from BloodyWilliam, I have been considering integrating them. Previously, I had made a considerable effort to make BloodyWilliam his own person and not have any of my own personal things within ten miles of him. Now I think it might be nice if I could talk to my internet friends (of which I consider you all to be… and will hopefully still be after reading this) and my family without being afraid of them finding out about each other and having to explain what's going on. I'd like to post the same art work to both accounts, to link to the same deviantArt page, and to share my life with both. My REAL life. All that.
That's what this is about. I wanted to tell the people I managed to meet online what the score is. Where did BloodyWilliam go and why? You all deserved an answer, and an honest one. I feel it is something that has needed to be divulged for a very long time now. I never anticipated meeting such great folks online and actually fostering friendships. My social anxiety wouldn't allow me to entertain the possibility before. But it happened.
I hope all of this makes sense. When I try to explain things, I take forever and day, especially when I'm nervous. I want everyone to know that BloodyWilliam was not a malicious deception to dupe people. He was more or less an identity that allowed me to better communicate online. He was at least 98% me and honest.
What I'm getting at is that you're important to me and I hope this new information isn't anything you will hold against me. I'm going to be more up front and open about who I really am and what is going on in my life, but everything else will pretty much be exactly the same as it had been.
Can we still be friends? Any follow up questions will be answered to the best of my ability, but beware there may be other Borg Cubes of text in your future.
Thank you for reading through the end and for being my friend.
Why the hell did I join DeviantArt? is part of the point of this journal entry. Well, the long and short of it is, I have my own website over at williamsbloodyhell.com and I've have it since like 2003. I used it for everything: I'd write about things that annoyed me, or that I thought was weird in my Rants; I'd write reviews of books, movies, and TV shows; I used it as an online portfolio to showcase my artwork; and I kept many of my favourite websites bookmarked there. However, in 2011 it started to become tedious to update my website on a regular schedule. Coming up with multiple new and original things was turning more into work instead of the fun it used to be.
I was running out of ideas in every area except one: I still liked to draw and make pictures. If I were going to stop updating my personal website, then would I stop uploading art to it as well? How could I force members of the unsuspecting public to look at my drawings?
Over the years of maintain my website, random people would see that I had an art gallery and ask me if I was a member of DeviantArt. Why would I do that? I would say. All of my art is here. Why do I need THEM for? Well, this sprang to the forefront of my mind during the hard debate on putting my website on indefinite hiatus, and just like that it became obvious that hibernating my site was the way to go and the art work go on a new DeviantArt account.
Now comes the portion of our show where I pick a handful of my own deviations and talk about why they are so special. Coz, if it's one thing I'm GREAT at, it's talking about how terrific I am and why, he said sarcastically. Anyway.
This is my Deviant ID. It is the first thing I uploaded to this account. I had already drawn it, I want to say, a year previous for use on my personal website (it is still on the main page there as well). I use this currently as my avatar on every account. I'm told this is to he "brand" me and make me more recogisable across my accounts to folks who may be looking for me. Sure. I based this pic on 19th century woodcut portraits. It is a traditional pencil drawing with digital clean up and effects added via photoshop.
My second uploaded deviation, and my first Daria alter ego series pic. This series of images of characters from the TV series Daria in crossover costumes, in the spirit of the Daria end credit sequence as seen here:
Yeah, a Youtube link. Available purely at the discretion of Youtube, so some day it may come down. I include it because I've had to explain this series of character drawings to folks and they have no bloody idea what I'm talking about. The fans have dubbed these pictures of Daria characters during the end credits in non-canonical garb "alter egos" but some call them crossovers.
Cheerleader Brittany Taylor made up to look like the film Kill Bill Volume 1 promo image was my first in a long, ongoing series. Yes, this series is still going on to this day. I try make a new one at least once per month. It was my Daria Alter Ego Series that brought me to the attention of the Daria fan community, which is surprisingly large and active. I had no idea they were linking each other my alter egos and excitedly talking about them. NO IDEA that is until the end of 2011 when they hold their annual Fanwork Awards and they apparently nominated the hell outta me. I won Best New Artist of 2011 and I had no clue until a Daria fan posted a comment congratulating me on my big win. Imagine my surprise at finding out there was an active fan community for a cartoon series which had been off the air for over five years, and not only that, but they liked my fan art! I decided it was time I joined their community to see what that was all about. I'm still a member and active with them as they are some of the nicest people I could have ever hope to meet online. You could join us, too, if you want: www.thepaperpusher.net/forum/i…
This here is mt first original character art request; it's Daria as a boy for an alternate universe series of fan fiction by ST91. He asked me to draw a few of his original Daria fan fiction characters and I was so flabbergasted anyone would ask that of me that I said yes. This started me on a slippery slope of drawing fan fiction characters for several people over the last few years. The vast majority have been an absolute dream to work with and I'm glad I had those opportunities. Drawing requested characters for people get me to draw things I normally wouldn't have done on my own and get me to try new things. They can be fun and interesting to do and I've met and talked to new people because of it.
Deviant AntonioRentaria antoniorenteria.deviantart.com… requested I draw his original fictional character which is actor Donald Sutherland as a World War I general, stitched up like Frankenstein's Monster. This was frankly too cool NOT to do. I decided to make it look like an old military portrait, and in the end, I rather quite liked it, and so did he. I don't do digital paints as often as I should. I thought this pic would be a good one to show the odd things people sometimes ask me to draw (that I no way would have come up with on my own) as well on of my other lesser used art techniques. I really like how the spot colour works in this one.
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Ah, the ASPS characters! The ASPS are from an ongoing Daria alternate universe fan fiction by PrecambrianStudios precambrianstudios.deviantart.… He had asked me to render character drawing of his main protagonists. They go to a private boarding school and so they mostly wear school uniforms. That sounded pretty easy, since I wouldn't have to design outfits for them, so I thought why not. Well, Precambrian told me a bit about them as characters, and I was intrigued enough that I thought I'd read some of the fan fic chapters to get a better feel for them (and I rarely EVER read fan fictions. Seriously. It's weird, my near aversion of it.). When I finished them, I really had a feeling that I nailed it (for once!) and so did Precambrian. I was so proud of how they looked, that I thought I'd try them again only doing something, but what? I somehow came to the conclusion of a parody of the Breakfast Club film poster, and it came out loads better than it had any right to. Precambrian was pretty pleased at this unsolicited bit of fan art, so he was pleased I was pleased, everybody was pleased. I continued to read the ASPS fan fiction chapters as they were posted online, and eventually decided I was going to do a stupid fan comic strip. near the end of 2013 I posted ASPS Comic 01, just a silly little thing, really, but people seemed to like it, so I have made two more ASPS Comics so far. I hope to do more.
Well, that's enough of that nonsense, I think. I'm not really one for self-congratulatory yap.
In the end, I have to say having a DeviantArt membership has been pretty keen the last few years.
Oh and, here are links to some cool-ass Deviants you all should check out:
And that's all, I guess. Thanks for putting up with my tomfoolery, DeviantArt, and DeviantArt members. I'm sure I'll only get more intolerable as time goes on.
Mandy is a Crust Punk sort of gal, which means she wears skin tight black jeans covered in patches, has dreadlocks, and a selection of stick and poke tattoos. Needless to say, this was a fun and interesting draw. Nice to render a character who actually identifies with a subculture and actively dresses as such.
Since what I personally know of crust punk consists of two things: Jack and Shit, and Jack left town, some internet research brought about the initial pencils. After a bit of digital magic refinery, I got a decent character drawing. Now Mr. Garrett has given the pic his official seal of approval, so it's time for some serious inks and colours.
THIS IS WHERE YOU COME IN.
Any and all interested parties who have a few hours to kill can stop on by my Livestream at about 2pm EST on 22 February 2014 to make fun of me try to make art. As always, THERE WILL BE NO SOUND. I can't figure out how to do that without it sounding like utter shite. There will be a chat board, so all viewers can comment to each other and me, but be aware that I will be focused mainly on the picture, and may not reply right off. If it seems like the art-action has stopped, I'm probably reading the chat board. Keep in mind there is a LAG between me doing something and you seeing it (which causes my sound problem).
I have no idea how long this will go. I have a history of losing all track of time while I'm working on a thing. I have designated the Livestream for three and a half hours, but who knows, really. Could be less, maybe more. No idea.
SUMMARY: Livestream: 2pm EST 22 February 2014 new.livestream.com/accounts/60…
See you there, maybe?
Please remember that there is a significant lag between what I do and what you will see. Also a reminder that there will be NO SOUND. There is a chat board, though. Feel free to talk with the other viewers and ask me questions, but I will be working, so answers will not be right off. If the art action seems to stop for a minute, I'm probably reading the chat board for comments and questions. If I have to step away to answer the phone or something, I'll mention it in the chat board.
I have the session earmarked for 2 hours. last time I got inks and flat colours done in and hour and a half. Maybe this time I can finish the whole thing. It may be shorter or longer, who knows?
See you there, maybe?
The comic strip nearly killed me a thousand times, so I drew something simple to unwind from that hideous project. I KNOW I HAVE SOME REQUESTS BACKLOGGED. Be patient, my requesters! Your projects will be forthcoming! I just had to get this out of my system before doing another more serious project.
I'm going to be LIVESTREAMING some digital inking Saturday November 9, 2013 at 4pm. Slated to run until about 6:30pm or so. I will be working on my latest Daria character alter ego.
You will need a Livestream account to view. Sorry, but that's how it is.
There will be no sound. I couldn't figure out how to get music to play without it sounding horrible.
There is a chat function. Feel free to talk amongst yourselves, or even post questions and comments to me. I will be busy drawing, of course, but I'll try to keep an eye on it and respond.
Keep in mind there is a bit of a delay. Actually, like a full minute at least delay between what I do and what you see.
I have never done this before. Bear with me through any glitches and weirdness which may ensue. Also, I have performance anxiety, so this could get weird for the both of us regardless of functionality. So, yay!
If you are interested despite all of these hideous warnings:
See you there, maybe?
* The first 10 people commenting this journal get a feature and the three deviations I like most from their gallery will be put on the list below!
* If you comment, you have to do the same in your journal, putting the tagger (me) on the first place.
* The idea of this is not to get a free feature, it is to spread art around for everyone!
So, yay! You don't have to watch me or fave this journal, all you have to do is comment on this entry and make a post of your own. It's pretty easy. Though, I don't know how many responses I'll get, or how quickly. If an inordinate amount of time goes by without commenters who are interested, I may just feature people I like. But who knows.
Now get a-commentin'!
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From January 1 to January 15 nominations are collected for the annual DARIA FANWORKS AWARDS. Right now the Daria fan community is collecting noms for fan fiction AND visual arts posted to the web in 2012. I am mentioning this here because apparently there have been few nominations in the visual arts category for some reason. The Daria fan community is very active, but I suppose they are more into the fan fic than the fan pics. Me, on the other hand, I am all about the fan art. TOTALLY ABOUT IT. It makes me sad that there are low turn outs for fan art nominations when I KNOW IT'S OUT THERE (which may lead to fewer awards being handed out. Too few nominations means fewer categories!).
The thing of it is, you have to be a member of the Daria fan forum Paper Pusher Message Board (or PPMB for short) to nominate and vote. You can become a member pretty much just by asking at the log in page here thepaperpusher.net/forum/index… then posting somewhere on the board within 48 hours so everyone knows you are a human and not a spammy spam bot of doom. When I joined the forum, my account was activated within 24 hours. Once you are in, you can review the rules and nomination categories here: thepaperpusher.net/forum/viewt… Sorry, but you cannot even LOOK at the forum unless you are a member. That's just how it is. But if you are an active fan of Daria, you may like joining. The members are pretty cool and they talk about topics other than Daria. It's fairly busy in there, too.
Keep in mind that if you are scheming.... YOU CANNOT NOMINATE YOURSELF. I know. That stinks, but come on now. Be a sport. It's all in good fun.
Last year I won the Best New Daria Fan Artist for 2011. I would really be saddened if this faded away immediately after. It'd be like I cursed it or something.
And if you need ideas for fan art nominations, try these great groups:
Daria Fans dariafans.deviantart.com/
Daria's Sick Sad World darias-sicksadworld.deviantart…
alt dot lawndale alt-dot-lawndale.deviantart.co…
Thank you for your consideration.
VOTING IS NOW OPEN UNTIL THE END OF JANUARY!
I've been nominated in a few fan art categories, so thank you all who sent my name in! It'd be really swell if y'all VOTED, too! Not necessarily for ME, but yeah, voting for me would pretty keen!
For starters, know how and what I draw. Look over my art gallery for an idea as to what this entails. I am really only a figure artist. I cannot draw lavish backgrounds and scenery to save my life. You will find that most of the characters I have drawn exists in some nondescript void, usually only a solid colour for a background, sometimes it is plain white, even. Every once in a while I'll slap in something simple like clouds or a brick wall, but that's about it, really. If you want a drawing of Superman flying over Metropolis, that is not what you're going to get from me. Superman, yes, Metropolis NO. We're talking a figure and MAYBE some incidental objects ONLY.
That's WHAT I draw, but also pay attention to HOW. I have a style. I cannot be expected to draw your requested character in a completely differently way. It will not be pretty. If you're looking for something that looks like an oil painting, for example, I'm NOT your guy.
If you want me to draw a specific character for you, please supply me with as many details as possible, and reference pictures are even better. If you want fan art of some anime character I have never heard of, send me a link to where I can see pictures of them, please. If you want me to draw an OC you invented, please give me as detailed a description as possible. Eye, hair, and skin colour are great, but things like height and build are a big help. Sometimes even personality details will yield a picture that looks more like the character you have in mind, too. Whether or not a girl character is slutty or shy will make a difference in the pose I put her in, for example.
If you have a clear idea of the clothes you want them wearing, you have to tell me. This goes double for OCs. If you are leaving it open for me to design their outfit, please point me in the right direction of what you want or else who knows what you will get.
Don't be afraid to critique the works in progress I may send to you. Once I have started working on your picture, I will try to periodically show you where I am with it during development. Please tell me if something does not look how you want AS SOON AS YOU NOTICE. Seriously. The early stages of the drawing are the easiest ones to fix. If I just sent you a line drawing and you think the hairstyle is all wrong, it is loads easier to fix than if you want me to change the completely coloured version. When you want a change, it is not a problem. I am drawing this for you and I want you to like it, so speak up. I am not a mind reader, so be as specific as you can with what alterations you want done. Requesting something be "20% cooler" does not help me. Again, any image references you can supply will be appreciated!
I try to have good communication with you during the process. When you request something, I will either reply to you with a work in progress or a reason why there is a delay and when you expect to see something. I will expect a degree of communication from you as well. If I send you a sample picture and ask you "what do you think?" or "did I do this correctly?" I WILL NEED AN ANSWER. I'm not going to finish your picture only to hear back days later that you hated it and want me to start over. If I ask you "do you like it?" I want to know before continuing. Your work may be put on hold until you reply. Just FYI on that.
This is important: BE PATIENT. I like to draw, and most of the time am drawing something just for myself. If you make a request while I am in the middle of something, you will probably have to wait until what I have already started is finished. So, if I am drawing for me, you, and some other guy, I can't draw all this stuff all at once. Making a request of me does NOT mean you will get a drawing instantaneously. When a request is made and I know there will be a bit of a wait, I'll reply and let you know. Please be understanding.
Do NOT make a drawing request with a strict deadline for completion. I cannot guarantee I will be able to make it. In addition to drawing, I have a full time day job and, if you can believe it, friends. Sometimes I have plans to go to a barbeque or the cinema, and I'm not going miss out just because you want a drawing. Sorry, but that's how it is.
Keep in mind my right to refuse. I can't draw everything for everyone. There are some things people may ask of me that I have absolutely no interest in doing. Perhaps I know right from the get go that I will have no talent for the task. Or maybe I will have made several attempts and failed horribly. These are just a few of the things that may come up which would mean I won't be drawing for you, but there are of course, other things, too. If I say "no," then I say "no." It is not personal. Please do not bombard me with hate mail or start a silly flame war because I wouldn't or couldn't draw your picture. I mean, really.
Lastly, I appreciate points. I am hoping to try out a premium account some day. If I draw something for you, giving me points for it curries my favour. Make me your art-whore. You know you want to.
That covers most of the important points. There may very well be other things, but of course, when I go to actually write it all down, it escapes me. But, if you can deal with all of this I laid out here, and want me to draw something for you, I think we can do business, sir or madam. You can send me a DeviantArt note or an email at bloodyhell [at] myfairpoint.net or just about any other sort of communication, so long as I can message you back. Carrier pigeon, maybe? Is that still a thing?
One of the main factors about it, though, is that I am picky. If I am going to do something, I am going to really think it over and do it right. I know my clumsy self, and I really, honestly could not see me figuring out how to work the "standard" Bamboo or Intuos tablets properly. The whole touch-the-stylus-to-the-tablet-but-the-action-is-on-the-main-monitor idea seemed beyond my grasp. My hand-eye coordination ain't so great, and I know it. The Last Starfighter alien folk aren't going to be breaking down my door to pilot a craft for them any time soon, capice?
Therefore it was rather serendipitous that a few events coincided, thus prompting me to buckle down and make the major purchase of a Wacom Cintiq tablet. Firstly, I had started work on my pretty ambitious Lawndale Tinies art project, a series of rather rough pencil drawings in digital surroundings. Secondly, I saw my US income tax return estimate from my accountant. The Lawndale Tinies project would have been a horrendous work effort if done entirely by mouse. I had started working it that way, so believe me. Then I saw my tax return amount, and thought, "Yes, I am going to bite the bullet and get that fancy tablet I've had my eye on." Finishing the Lawndale Tinies project really drove the concept of tablet ownership home as it seemed nearly fundamental to have to get the art completed before I died of old age.
So, I bought the Cintiq online and began the waiting game. All in all, it didn't take any longer than a normal mail order purchase to arrive, but it simply FELT like eons. The first time in a long while I had bought something truly expensive for MYSELF and I could not wait for it to show up. Seriously, Wacom needs to invent some kind of teleportation device for delivering their Cintiqs. I paid a lot for it, so it should just materialise in my hands, yes?
When the Cintiq FINALLY got delivered to me, it was quite magnificent. First of all, the box was much larger than I expected, and I really wasn't sure WHAT to expect. Then I opened it, and lying on top in a lightly padded liner was IT. The Cintiq. I do believe my hands were shaking slightly. Also, I think I let out a kind of mad scientist-like cackle as I unwrapped it and held this piece of machinery in my hands for the first time. Only slight insane laughter, I promise, but it still felt as though Optimus Prime had handed me The Creation Matrix.
Getting the Cintiq set up was another matter. I have not previously owned an art tablet, so was rather unsure on the set up, yet had this idea of "plug and play" set in my brain. I hear tell many OTHER tablets are ready to work with just a USB attachment, but with the Cintiq, this was not the case. The Cintiq, you see, has a monitor screen on it, therefore, you NEED to have TWO VIDEO CARDS in your computer for it to operate properly, IF you want to use your "regular" computer monitor as well (and I do). I had no idea before I tried hooking it up that this was the case (and I found out from another new Cintiq owner on Twitter that he didn't know either), so I recommend Wacom try to better label that on their website. Maybe an annoying flashy disclaimer somewhere.
Now, I don't know about you, but when it comes down to the inside guts of my computer, I have no idea what is what and how that crap works. Really. There could be elves in there for all I know. Luckily, I have a friend who is super smart about these things and he helped me get set up. This wasn't very simple, either. Turns out, my local computer-tech-type shop does NOT have video cards (they are 85% refurbished laptops and miscellaneous cables) and neither does Walmart. The nearest Radio Shack and Staples stores are over and hour's drive away. However, my super smart friend found a spare video card he had squirreled away somewhere, and installed it into my PC for me with the gentleman's agreement that this summer I help him with remodeling (This friend can build a PC from parts but cannot rewire a house, which I can do. Our skill sets help each other, which is handy.). Also, I let him fart around on my swell new tech toy for a little while.
Now that my tablet is working and configured, I got down to actually using it for art things with the Lawndale Tinies project. I could not believe it. Using this device was LIKE BLOODY MAGIC. Normally, retouching raw pencil work and blending it with digital effects is difficult and time consuming. The tablet just made it FEEL so damn easy. I got my scratchy pencils all cleaned up and it felt like nothing, as compared to the arduous task it regularly amounts to.
After the Lawndale Tinies was all done, I tried out the Cintiq with digitally inking. i had only straight up digitally inked two or three REALLY simple images before, and this time I wanted to test it out with something totally full of lines. So, I drew a silly little mummy picture on paper, scanned it, and began inking all of those damn bandages digitally. Now, I'm a big supporter of using varying line thickness when inking. It is very important to me that you can get more of a sense of depth from the inks by making some spots of a line thicker than another, so using the Cintiq stylus as a means to ink bandages wrapping AROUND a body, was a really good test. The stylus was a zillion times easier to use in this way than a mouse, but I still think I need to get way more proficient at using the stylus AT ALL before inking everything in this method.
All in all, the Wacom Cintiq tablet was a very hefty purchase, but it really does feel like it was worth it. If you're a person who does some or all of your art creation digitally, this might be something you want consider for yourself, too. I've said this before and I'll say it again, the Cintiq tablet WAS CRAFTED BY WIZARDS. Using is like wielding sorcery, and it's frakking AMAZING.
The thing of it is, having your own website and making it up to a decent standard is hard work. I posted to that thing every week for YEARS. Good updates, too. All original stuff. My art, contests, reviews of various things like books and movies, and a new "rant" every single week. Ah yes, The Rant. Every week you could count on one of those. I would ramble on about everything from Harry Potter to tooth brushes on there. It was good fun, but after writing several hundred of them, you start to run out of ideas. I think The Rant is what made me kind of "give up" on my own website. The writing was getting too difficult. It was running weak. I couldn't produce anything of any semblance of quality. But I like the website in general. I like having a place to post my images and host stuff online. I felt as though it would be "cheating" in a way, I suppose, to keep on adding art work to it and NOT writing the Rant every week. Loads of people liked the Rant. How would people see my drawings if I stopped updating my website? DeviantArt seemed to help with this problem: I could post my arts online and let my own website sit undisturbed. I wouldn't post updates there AT ALL and art would come to DeviantArt and still be seen. I like my arts to be seen. It makes me happy. (I bet for a while you were wondering how paragraph 2 connected to paragraph 1, but it did, see? It came around.)
I am rather pleased with how this first year of DeviantArt membership has gone. There are some cool groups and/or clubs or whatnot that I have joined and submitting my pics to them really does increase the number views they get. I've gotten a few new watchers literally MINUTES after sending an image in to a group, and that feels fantastic. There are also some sweet contests and challenges that have given me ideas on what to draw when I was in the mood but had no inspiration. This is a big help, trust me. It has BLOWN MY MIND that my Jane lane as Coraline Jones pic, by far my most popular, has itself crossed over 1,000 views this month. My pics were not getting this sort of traffic on my own website!
In December of 2011, I was so amazed and grateful that my profile on DeviantArt had gotten 2,000 views. It took me an entire year to get that on my own website, and here it is three months later and I'm about to reach 3,000 views. That's an exponential jump, is what that is! I mean, I'm here so folks will look at my pretty pictures, and damnit, they're LOOKING. Mission-fraking-accomplished.
Well, my interest in producing Daria based fan art turned into my "latest thing" in 2011. I had found quite a fun source of artistic inspiration in the creating of Daria character alter-egos. If you have not seen the show, over the end credits they display the characters in a variety of "costumes." Here is a sample on the YouTubes: www.youtube.com/watch?v=GrFheM… The alter egos shown during the end credits can be a crossover into anything. They can be as simple as dressing Brittany as a surgeon to performing straight up film parodies such as Daria as the Barbarella poster. I was always amused by this idea. Daria characters as ANYTHING. It looked like it could be fun.
The main appeal for wanting to try out creating Daria Alter egos of my own is twofold. First: there are typically no backgrounds. If you've seen my gallery, then you know I have no talent for them. All the Daria alter-egos require is a solid colour. Easy. Second: The characters in the actual end credits for the most part simply look as though they are posing for a photo shoot, in other words, no action scenes or crazy camera angles; it's all look at the camera and smile stuff. Most of the time my figure drawing tends to look rather overly posed and stiff, and these alter-egos WANT to look that way. It's how they are SUPPOSED to look. These are two big wins for me to be able to produce them. It also doesn't hurt that my own inking style tends to be on the thick side, which is in sync with the canon Daria art style.
I had already drawn four alter-egos by the time I got my DeviantArt account, and they were the first things I uploaded to my gallery. They got a comment, maybe two. Nothing of note happened. Then I drew Mr. O'Neill as the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. It was weeks before he got any faves. Months before a comment. But then I drew Jane Lane as Coraline Jones, and she got noticed. Five comments in three days (I felt like John Grisham) and the Jane Lane Fan Club solicited me to add her to their gallery. A club was asking me?? What? It wasn't long after that when I realised I ought to list and link my all of my alter-egos in each description so that people who may have found one Daria pic by accident would know there was more without having to search for it. That's when I noticed that my Daria alter-ego series was BY FAR my most popular art stuff on DeviantArt. My most popular pic in my whole gallery is still Jane Lane as Coraline Jones with Daria as Clark Kent second. My most popular NON-Daria art is an evil comic book villain likeness of an online friend and it has only a FRACTION of the views of my Daria art.
The steady views and frequent comments (pretty much ALL PRAISE, oh my ego) inspired me to keep the series going strong. They are fun to create, but it feels even better knowing people actually LIKE what you're putting out there. I have made one to two alter-egos per month in 2011 and it was some of the most fun I've had creating fan art ever. I was having fun, and I'm getting positive feedback, yes sir, this is as good as it gets.
Or so I thought.
I had NO IDEA there was a hugely active Daria fan community out there. I had even LESS idea that these fans had been showing around and talking up my Daria Alter-Ego series for MONTHS. So, imagine my surprise when I get a comment on my DeviantArt profile informing me that I had been NOMINATED FOR AWARDS. The Daria fans all got together and decided they liked my pics so much they nominated me for their 2011 fan art awards. WUT?
Now, people who know me know that I am a bit of a whore. I like to draw stuff and I like it when people look at it. I post links to Twitter when I have uploaded something to my DeviantArt gallery and I am a member of a forum where I have an art thread that begs people to look upon my arty offerings. AND YET these Daria fans found my art ON THEIR OWN without me having to unceremoniously shove in their collective faces and shout at them to look at PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE. It just feels good, is all. They found it and checked it out without my having to ask; and then they showed it to their friends. And then they nominated it for awards. And then I was so grateful that I joined their online community that I didn't even know existed until they decided to tell me they might give me an award.
The voting for the 2011 Daria Fan Art Awards is over. My pictures didn't win any awards, but that's okay. I didn't even know they COULD win awards. The other art nominated was lovely and there was that one pic that I knew no one could beat. I was simply so honoured to be nominated. I know that sounds cheesy and cliched to say, but it really is true. How often do people I don't know put me in the running for art awards? Let's go with NEVER, so being nominated alone shot me over the moon.
My pretty pictures may not have won any fan art awards, but, well, I myself did. Yes, not only were my pics nominated, but so was I for "Best New Artist" and I freaking WON. How that happened, I haven't a clue, but WOW.
I AM DARIA FAN ARTIST OF THE YEAR FOR 2011, SO THERE.
I learned of this about three hours ago and I STILL haven't gotten over it. I'm just so... wow. I can't even. srsly.
I want to say also how welcoming the Daria fan community have been since I joined their forum. They are a bunch of cool people who are really nice and talk about other things besides Daria as well and will be nice to you if you are nice to them. If you like Daria and talking to cool people about Daria (and other world events, too) you should really join: www.thepaperpusher.net/forum/
I do plan on continuing my alter-ego series, and since they've given me this HUGE boost in confidence, I think I MAY take on this CRAZY Daria fan art project I've had rolling around in my mind. I just hope I can get it to work. If I can, it'll be freaking EPIC.
Once more: THANK YOU, DARIA FANS!
Thanks also for all the comments and faves that I have received so far. These make me feel extra super special. Like someone besides my mom thinks I'm cool.
To my 29 Watchers, the biggest thanks of all for finding me worthwhile enough to watch. I hope I have not disappointed you with my paltry quasi-artistic offerings.
You know, I mainly draw these things for myself. I like it. It's fun and it passes the time in a pleasing manner. But knowing that all of you delightful folks have watched, faved, commented or even just plain LOOKED makes me feel like I wasn't wasting my time on a foolish pursuit that wouldn't amount to anything except as a means of killing time. Somebody out there other than me actually likes some of this stuff, too. Sometimes enough to say something in a comment, or, dare I to dream, fave it so that it can be viewed over and over they like it so much. That just.... wow. It's a really swell feeling, that.
And once again because I simply cannot say it enough: THANK YOU!