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If I may be permitted a moment to point out the obvious – there is an absurd volume of crap here on deviantArt. At times it can be very disheartening to wade through this swamp of mediocrity. If it isn’t rank amateurs (who really need to learn the value of the expression ‘keep practicing’) seeking commissions for their significantly less-than-stellar artistic talent, it’s fan-artists regurgitating that same mundane pop-culture flotsam that has driven consumer culture for many decades. If it isn’t  nauseatingly-adorable young cosplayers in sexy outfits, it’s severely untalented ‘people with cameras’ playing at being photographers by posting a thousand and one uninspired, yawn-inducing snaps of their cats, or whatever else they come across. If it isn’t vanity-driven young girls posting nudes to get attention, it’s misogynist assholes barely able to call themselves men posting nudes of young girls to feed some perverse need to keep the conversation on true beauty in their hands...I guess… If it isn’t shit-stick gamer-gate losers attacking competent women for speaking out about the inequalities in society, then it’s right-wing (in the U.S. sense) morons with regressive minds whining about how they’re being shut out of the conversation, when what is really happening is that they are being marginalized for regressive thinking that reasonable people have decided has no further utility in a reasonable world.

At any rate, over the last five or six years I’ve struggled, to one degree or another, to hang on to my love of art. To give some context in that regard, allow me to provide some insight on mental illness and depression. As people age, it’s natural that they lose interest in things that once gave them pleasure. And as these things fall away, people find new sources of enjoyment to fill those gaps in their lives. Where it differs with the mentally ill, though, is that those gaps don’t get filled with new interests as the old ones get chipped away, bit by bit. In my own case, I once had a great love of film, to the point that I would, on the rare occasion, see two or three films in a day. Now, I limit myself primarily to superhero and comic book films and give no more mental energy to the complexities of these films than I would to why everything gets wet when it rains. I used to be a devoted fan of the Chicago Cubs, Green Bay Packers, Iowa State Cyclones and Australian Cricket, but now I couldn’t care less about sports. I used to be a devoted Trekkie, Star Wars nut and Stargate fan. Now, for various reason, I don’t even want to watch television. I used to take great pleasure from playing music on my guitar and bass, but after a heartbreak nearly two years ago (and a few other, tertiary traumas) I can’t even conceive that I’ll ever be able to pick up my instruments again and play with the same love as before.

In light of all that, there’s a very real fear inside me that if my love of art vanishes, I may not have anything left to live for; which makes all of the mediocrity here on this site that much harder to bear. I don’t go in for religion, as anyone who knows me will tell you, but I do hold a degree of reverence for certain things and when so many people take for granted and eschew the higher consciousness that goes with being an artist, in the purest sense, it can make me feel very defeated. As artists, we should all strive for artistic purity in the sense that we should always cultivate a sense of the student within by exploring ways to make ourselves better in the creative sense, for one. And I will admit that a fair number of people who post work here do exhibit some level of desire to advance their craft. However, the pride many of them take in work that can hardly be called art sort of makes this a zero-sum equation. For another, we should always strive to cultivate a generosity of spirit that allows us to recognize the best in others while we are keeping one eye on our own development. So while I often feel a great sadness about the debasement of this artistic purity, thankfully there are a few bright spots here that give me enough hope that it’s worth my time to remain a member of this online community and I would like a to take a moment to recognize a few of them now, as they do for others on occasion, in order to express how important their examples have been to my staying afloat, emotionally these past few years.

:iconsambeawesome:

Sam is a multifaceted talent from Southern California who takes great pleasure in her craft and is devoted to living as an art communicator in the same way that Neil deGrasse Tyson is a science communicator. Her personal philosophy of community learning has been very inspirational for me and I would very much like to see more people support her work, if only for the value she brings as an art educator. And I have to say that her self-published novel ‘Angel’ holds a great deal of potential value for people who’ve suffered childhood trauma and struggle to put a narrative to their own story.

These are a few of her works that I’ve enjoyed -




:iconcanankk:

Canan is a wonderful photographer and creative talent from Turkey. In many cases, she has demonstrated a profound ability to capture the majesty of the world in which she lives and I very much enjoy her photography for this reason. Her collage work is also notable in that it gives a great sense of her ability to take old ideas and make something new and relevant from them. Though I don’t interact with her as much as I would like, I very much appreciate her willingness to take time out of her creative pursuits to recognize and promote other artists here on dA. She also has a love of music comparable to my own and is fond of punctuating her promotional journals with a relevant musical selection.

These are a few of her works that I’ve enjoyed -




:iconpitnerd:

Dan is an artist and professional graphic designer who lives and works in Central Texas. He has been a great asset where it regards my need to interact with more Atheist artists, more of an asset than most of the people I’ve known in my own local Secular community, if I’m to be honest. His artistic style is very different than most artists I’ve met and I find his sense of humor, however dark it may seem, refreshing in a world dominated by naive consumerism and the constant ‘scratching and clawing’ for social relevance by way of our seemingly toxic consumerism. I’ve also developed the sense that he operates best in opposition to social norms, much like I do, so for that I consider him a valuable ally in the world.  

These are a few of his works that I’ve enjoyed -




:iconeintoern:

Ulrich is a prolific photographer from Germany who also takes time out from his creative pursuits to recognize other talented artists here on dA. How he manages the sheer volume of submissions he makes is a bit baffling to me, and makes me a little jealous that I can’t be as prolific in my own pursuits. As a former student of photography myself, I appreciate very much his eye for detail and composition (to say nothing of his sense of color) whether he is capturing landscapes, perspective shots of city streets or taking close-up shots of every-day objects.

These are a few of his works that I’ve enjoyed -




:icontrippy4u:

Richard is another talented photographer who hails from the Northeastern United States, New York I believe. Like Canan and Ulrich, he has taken to periodically recognizing other creative talents here on dA with his journal entries. Where Richard is different, though, is that he focuses on one artist at a time where the others give a more varied cross-section of talent. His photography has a touch of the experimental about it but is still very competent. He seems to favor expressions of light and contrast more than anything else but his action shots are also well-executed. He has also been one of my most frequent sources of feedback where my writing is concerned and I am very grateful for that.

These are a few of his works that I’ve enjoyed -




:iconsabz0r:

Sabina is an illustrator and artist from Romania. Though I’ve known her for a relatively short amount of time compared to the other people I’ve listed here, I have had the opportunity to engage in some very worthwhile intellectual discussions with her on a variety of subjects and I find her level of insight on the world comparable to my own. I am rarely afforded the chance to talk with people at this same level so it has been a refreshing change of pace to chat with her in recent days. She is very dedicated to producing well-crafted illustrations and has a depth of imagination to which more people should aspire.

These are a few of her works that I’ve enjoyed -





As a last note, if I would want you to take a lesson from this post, let it be the importance of cultivating a generosity of spirit that allows you to not only recognize the best in other talented artists, but also the importance of cultivating the tools necessary to verbalize and express your admiration in a meaningful way. Artists value interaction as much as they value a ‘sale’ and when it comes to social networks, simply ‘liking’ a post or giving a Llama as a means of appreciation is far from adequate in that regard. So I encourage you to help make other lives meaningful by cultivating a better sense of meaning in your own.

Adieu Friends.
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:iconsambeawesome:
sambeawesome Featured By Owner 5 days ago
(Super late to this, sorry!) But THANK YOU for the feature and my goodness your description of me :XD: You hold me in way too high of regard, haha.

I'm sorry to hear about your stories though. Falling out of love is a difficult experience. In regards to film, I'm curious if you've heard of these YTbers? You don't need to see the films they discuss to understand their critiques/analyses, and you might find them thought provoking? If they're not up your alley, no worries, thought it was worth suggesting them regardless :)

Folding Ideas: www.youtube.com/channel/UCyNtl…
FilmJoy: www.youtube.com/user/chainsaws…
Pop Culture Detective: www.youtube.com/user/rebelliou…
Lindsay Ellis: www.youtube.com/user/chezapoct…

In any case, I'll keep hoping for the best for you. I'm sorry I can't do more for you, but I wanna say I appreciate our chats. :hug:
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:iconcorsecagent:
CorSecAgent Featured By Owner 5 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
It's fine. I understand that you're a busy woman, plenty of interesting things on your plate. And to be honest, I think you undercut yourself a little too much. So there! :P :XD:

Anyway, I appreciate the YT suggestions but I'm just not that into film or television anymore. I wasn't making a lament in that regard when I described how the personality gets chipped away. I guess I just watched too many of the same types of shows and movies over the years to be interested that deeply in pop culture any longer. Art, music, literature, history - keep it simple. :-)

Besides, I've had enough of pop culture 'commentary' videos, what with all the crap political stuff polluting the airwaves anymore. I get a lot more enjoyment out of those crafty 'life hack' videos that are just a pair of hands and music making interesting stuff. And art instruction videos are good as well. I could so fall asleep to any given Bob Ross video on any given day... :D

So yeah...

You're encouragement is always a blessing. So if I am putting you on a pedestal of any kind, it's only because the 'nice ones finish last' cliche annoys the hell out of me and I want to see decent people, who care about more than merely themselves, get a bigger piece of the recognition pie. We live in a society that can be very toxic and I think you've got the right idea with your 'learn together' philosophy. :hug:
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:iconsambeawesome:
sambeawesome Featured By Owner 1 day ago
Idk about interesting, but it definitely keeps me on my toes :XD: Baww, you are too kind :hug: I hope you give yourself as much credit as you do me. :)

Ah yeah, I understand that. It can for sure get to be a lot. I get overloaded sometimes too with what all is going on, those videos can often just be like, woah okay, slow down, let's just have some fun for a minute :XD: I know I've watched my fair share of DIYs that I'll never DIY x'D They're too addicting to not watch :O Haha, get to chill with some Bob Ross. 

Goodness :hug: I love that mindset though. Cheers to helping each other out :)
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:iconcorsecagent:
CorSecAgent Featured By Owner 1 day ago  Hobbyist General Artist
It's difficult to give myself credit. I grew up in an environment where it wasn't ok to mess up. I mean, two of my earliest memories are of spilling strawberry yogurt on a military foot locker and pulling the stickers off of a Rubiks Ball and getting yelled at, quite vociferously, for both mishaps. So yeah, it was ingrained in me pretty early that it wasn't good to mess up, and I've only recently come to have an understanding of just how much fear was instilled in me because of this, at least where it regards stepping outside of my comfort zones; and it's become very comfortable over the years to dismiss my own efforts as less than adequate.

I actually read something interesting recently on the effects of growing up with mentally unbalanced elders. You might find it interesting in terms of insight. I'm guessing you've met a few people who fit the descriptions in the link...IDK... Anyway, here's what I read - This Person Explains Why Children From Abusive Families Analyze Every Single Detail And It’s Heartbreaking

The part therein that rings true for me, apart from the over-analyzing which I've known about for years, is the 'subtext' aspect. Like the writer, I don't care for subtext and prefer to communicate in genuine, upfront terms without hidden meaning or subtext.

DIY vids are SOOOO addicting to watch... :XD: It's just fun to see all the things people come up with.

Anyway, yes, it's a good mindset for people to have. Like I intimated in the journal proper, we can create greater meaning in the lives of others by cultivating better meaning in our own. :nod:
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:iconpitnerd:
pitnerd Featured By Owner 6 days ago  Professional Digital Artist
LOVE IT! Thank you for the kind words, my friend!!
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:iconcorsecagent:
CorSecAgent Featured By Owner 6 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
Always a pleasure, Dan. Cheers! :beer:
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:iconcanankk:
Canankk Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2018
It is very beautiful to read such nice things. Very encıuraging, too.  Thank you very much for featuring my works among all these great photographers, artists. :hug: :heart:
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:iconcorsecagent:
CorSecAgent Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
My pleasure, Canan. :hug:
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:icontrippy4u:
Trippy4U Featured By Owner Edited Sep 14, 2018
Thank you so very much, J...I'm honored to have been made a part of your fine journal :iconbrewplz:

Well said, "...help make other lives meaningful by cultivating a better sense of meaning in your own." :thumbsup:

And your opening monologue (editorial) brilliant :clap:

One thing I'd advise you to do and that is to pick up your guitar again...playing is the best shrink that money can buy Guitar Pixel Art 
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:iconcorsecagent:
CorSecAgent Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
You could be right but my heart just isn't in it any longer. Besides, the guitars will have to say silent until I can afford to replace the tuning pegs. Having a string go out of tune halfway through a riff is almost as irritating as hearing nails on a chalkboard...

Anyway, thank you for the feedback. :iconwineplz:
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:icontrippy4u:
Trippy4U Featured By Owner Edited Sep 14, 2018
J, nothing for nothing but tuning pegs are not that expensive and can be easily replaced by the owner. So I ain't buying that excuse. Which guitar do you have?
Oh and one critique...dude there was not enough writing about ME. I want, I need, give me, give me, give me...20 more paragraphs :lol:
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:iconcorsecagent:
CorSecAgent Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm afraid you don't know my economic situation well enough to make that assessment. $50 (average) x 2 guitars is VERY expensive for someone in my situation.

Anyway, the acoustic is a lower-end Fender that was bought new for (i'm guessing) about $300 when I was in high school in '94. The electric is an Epiphone Les Paul from the '89 - '92 'Korea' era that I bought used for $300 when I was in college, around a decade ago. Not that it's relevant but the bass is a cheap Ibanez four-string I bought a few years back when I got some money for my birthday. Can't remember when exactly.

I'll get right on that more paragraphs thing. I'll take an hour or two out of my schedule on the second Tuesday of next week and get it done... ;-)
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:icontrippy4u:
Trippy4U Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2018
What I did once was take tuners from other guitars to make one whole. If you don't mind the esthetics of a hodgepodge of tuning pegs on your head-stock it'll do in a pinch.
Nice on that '89 Epi...I'm sure they were made a whole lot more substantial than the "knock-offs' currently being manufactured for consumer consumption.
 
:lmao: I'm waiting with bated breath :lol:
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:iconcorsecagent:
CorSecAgent Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Than the current ones...probably. However, as I understand it, the '89 - '92 Korean-made Epiphone Les Paul's are generally considered inferior to the ones made just before and just after. I mean, it still sounds good but I bought it because I came up in my musical infancy on Slash and Jimmy Page and I love the way it looks. Could never stand the way double-cutaways like Fender Strats or the Gibson SG's looked. Never could figure out why... Of course, I'd make an exception if it were a more rounded cutaway look a la the hollow-body ES models, like those used by BB King or in Back to the Future. I've also been partial to the look of Telecasters but never seriously considered buying one.
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:icontrippy4u:
Trippy4U Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2018
I don't know why the ones before would be better except for perhaps the woods used :shrug:
Ah Page, a guitar hero for sure but not so endeared by the Me Too movement right now...but I suspect a lot of those old rockers had many an encounter "back in the day" that would be considered abhorrent at best nowadays.
I know, never was a fan of the Strats either but love and own a Tele. I suppose they made a double cutaway on the Strats so that power chords could be played down at the 12 fret and below :shrug:
I have a Gibson ES-335 Dot reissued circa '92 and I love it to pieces...it's my go-to guitar when plugging in.
Acoustically I have a Custom Legend Ovation and a Santa Cruz D.
I know it's not easy for you right now economically but you're still young and have plenty of time to accumulate "things" that won't mean shit in the end. You know, that old chestnut, we come into this world with nothing and in most cases leave with even less.
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:iconcorsecagent:
CorSecAgent Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Just how 'young' do you think I am...? :O_o:

I don't want to harp on about my bad luck but I've been on food assistance for over ten years now and I'm looking at a lifetime of having to subsist on disability benefits because of my medical problems. The desire to 'accumulate' things is pretty much gone for me these days.

Anyway, I hadn't heard about any impropriety on the part of Jimmy Page but you're right, there was a lot of dubious shit going on back in the pre-decandence 70's pop culture scene. Just look at the shit Kim Fowley is alleged to have done during his tenure with The Runaways... And Gary Glitter and Roman Polanski and on and on and on...

Those hollow-body electrics are hard to match, aren't they...? :nod:

Never played either of those acoustics but I did get a chance to play a Martin once and it was beautiful... :love:
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(1 Reply)
:iconsabz0r:
Sabz0r Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
I know , follow and appreciate all the artists you have mentioned(:iconpitnerd: would be the exception but he's now in my watch list :giggle:) yet the way you have described them is so lovely! Thank you for the mention and awesome description ! Love Love the introduction and i'm sure many would agree , such a sincere view :giggle:

:hug: take much much care of yourself :hug:
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:iconpitnerd:
pitnerd Featured By Owner 6 days ago  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks for the watch ;) 
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:iconsabz0r:
Sabz0r Featured By Owner 6 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
Likewise ! :D And the favorites :hug:
Looking forward to seeing more from you !
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:iconcorsecagent:
CorSecAgent Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you Sabina. I will try. :hug:
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