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Drama

Journal Entry: Wed Mar 19, 2008, 7:20 AM
Nia Black. An infamous go-to girl for the criminal underworld possessed with matchless fighting and shooting skills, she performs jobs for small time crooks while making a mockery of law enforcement, evading every bullet, escaping every trap. She lives a carefree lifestyle, hitting the clubs with the payoffs she gets after every mission, with little concern for anyone but herself.

But when she incites the ire of a corrupt secret agency bent on taking advantage of her unique gifts, her personal life and her street life collide and a citywide conflict erupts, pitting the young and beautiful bandit against platoons of soldiers and hideous amalgams of man and science.

And when she is drawn into a conspiracy that dredges up a repressed sorrow and ignites a fierce rivalry, Nia will be forced to put her skills to the test and her life on the line, to find her purpose in a world where absolution comes from the muzzle flash of a gun and blood speaks louder than emotion.


The first Nia Black novel, WEAPON is
Front cover by Dualmask
AVAILABLE NOW





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I usually don't bother with the drama that happens on dA, revolving around what's really "art" or whether or not someone is truly an artist, or whatever. But I have something I want to get off my chest.

It involves this piece right here FF: Tifa - Are you Ready... by Cataclysm-X that I'm sure, if you surf dA enough, you've surely run across. At first, I, like the thousands of others who have commented and/or favorited this piece, loved it for what it appeared to be, a well-done pencil drawing of Tifa Lockheart from FFVII. Then someone brought to my attention the reference for the original piece , and claimed the pencil drawing was in fact Photoshopped from this original official image.

But I'm not about to debate whether or not the person did or did not Photoshop the work. After all there were WiPs posted showing the drawing in process, so, giving the benefit of the doubt, I have every reason to believe the person did in fact draw a rendition of the official Tifa pic on paper. Plus, I don't give much thought to whether or not anyone is lying...this is the Internet, after all. I just liked what I saw, which is why I faved it myself.

My question is this: even if the person who drew/Photoshopped or otherwise rendered this image is 100% genuine...does that make this impressive, in and of itself? I guess what I'm asking is, while trying to avoid being judgmental, is whether or not this drawing deserves props on its own merits, being so incredibly close to the original image?

One might say the pencil shading is so impressive that, even with the fact that the image practically mirrors the reference, it definitely stands on its own merits and the artist deserves props for what was created. Another might say if the original image did not exist, it would call into question whether the artist could actually have accomplished something of similar quality without reference. What do you think?

For the record, I am keeping the image in my favorites and I'm not attacking anyone. As I said, I like it for what it is, and I really don't care how it was created. But how does something like this make you feel as an artist?

JP

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:iconsodacan:
sodacan Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2008  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I would say, photoshopped or drawn, there's some skills going on there. Skills doesn't mean creative or original. All in all, from a purely visual aspect, I like the "penciled" version the best. As far as the drama goes, it's art and artists are involved. Drama is part of the deal.
Reply
:iconjuggertha:
Juggertha Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2008
I believe that the outline may have been photoshopped or traced, but the pencils are pure quality.

On the skill of th pencils alone, I'd be more than happy adding this to a collection.

That being said, I would have prefered more deviation from the original reference.
Reply
:icondualmask:
Dualmask Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2008  Professional Digital Artist
Agreed. Not that I don't respect the skills, and not that the artist isn't amazing at what he/she does...I mean, recreating that image with perfectly realized shading with graphite is beyond impressive... but 99-100% adherence to reference isn't as impressive in and of itself, as original work. That's why it got my attention.
Reply
:iconaquillyne:
aquillyne Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2008  Hobbyist Writer
definitely isnt photoshopped - theyve just done a darn good job. dont get all philosophy of art on me though, i study it :|
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:icondualmask:
Dualmask Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2008  Professional Digital Artist
You're not the only one...
Reply
:iconspideredge:
spideredge Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2008
Wow, I wish I could mimic that shit dot for dot. It almost looks like a close call when you second guess it. worst comes to worst if it was photoshopped, making it looked penciled and not takes some talent. As for doing it all and making it look point on point with reference, well...no one would criticize drawing a tree or building in the same format. Originality is just a whole other way of categorizing it.
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:icondualmask:
Dualmask Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2008  Professional Digital Artist
You make a good point. No one would give a crap if it were a tree or a car or something drawn so accurately from reference. But because it's based on official art of a popular character, people get all hyper about originality and what not.

And you're right, even if it were Photoshopped, it would still be impressive in its own right that the artist could make it look so much like a pencil drawing (I personally believe it is a pencil drawing). I know I wouldn't know where to begin turning a digitally-rendered image into something that looks like a pencil sketch, and I'd think it would be more trouble than it would be worth.
Reply
:iconspideredge:
spideredge Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2008
I went to her page and saw some of her older work. If you use your magic artist eye that we all have, you can see her progression.
Reply
:icondualmask:
Dualmask Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2008  Professional Digital Artist
Yeah, I'm definitely not contesting the artist's skills or growth; they put me and a whole lot of others to shame.
Reply
:iconundergrounduno:
undergrounduno Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2008
I'm always a stickler for 100% originality. I even enjoy a well used reference that has originality applied to it. This piece here I still think is awe inspiring. To me, it doesn't matter if they recreated it line for line or not. It's a cg rendering of Tifa, done with Squaresoft's amazing programs that make her look very realistic. The artist had to spend an inordinate amount of time recreating each detail, each shade... and let's face it, recapturing things in pencil is really hard for people like me. Trying to figure out how dark to apply for the color red or how light to make the skin when they're wearing a white shirt, etc.

I say this picture is awesome. The only thing that sucks to me is it means one less original piece. To me, that's what is most awesome about fanart. Creating a new image. In Tifa's case, there's tons already. If this was a recreation of a still from FF8 I'd be less inclined to be so favorable, considering there is such a sad, sad lack of original content, Squaresoft created or fan created or otherwise ;)
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:icondarkmastern:
DarkmasterN Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2008  Professional Digital Artist
I myself believe him, I mean I have a few friends who can copy a picture perfectly from a reference, causing it to look like they traced it but it's not the case. Plus even if it was photoshopped a photoshop job that well done is art in it's self so either way it is an art piece!
Reply
:iconpsychoheat:
psychoheat Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2008  Professional General Artist
the image is not photoshoped as far as I can tell, If you looked in closely you'll see quite afew more detailes ikn the penciled one that the original one has, I think it has his merits in the handdle of the shadows, but still is a copy of the original but it is a good practice for the person that did it, so i don't know if it should get that much of attention or no.
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:iconfraumerrick:
FrauMerrick Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2008
It seems that this image is the most discussed thing ever *lol* I'm absolutely, 100 % sure it is drawn . And that this girl is really skilled with the pencil.
But even then I'm worried why always this kind of pics ( 90-99-100 % close to the reference all neat and shiny) winn all the comments and faves until artist who do the real art stuff end with 30 comments for a month if not for one deviation for all the time????
I don't picture myself I'm too lazzy to call myself artist.*lol* But I catch myself often to feel sorry that I can't draw so perfect things from references I use. I always do it my way and it seems people don't really like that.That's what bothering me...
I have watched closely the process of faving of this pic - for 4 hours after submitting it had around 700 favourites...I'm not sure how it becomes that way...being old enough I don't really care but being childish enoguh as well I'm a bit curious.:lol:
Reply
:icondualmask:
Dualmask Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2008  Professional Digital Artist
Nah, this sort of thing happens on dA more often than you'd think. A LOT more often, unfortunately. And often, it tends to turn out that the person involved did either blatantly copy an image without giving credit or downright stole something and claimed it as their own.

To be honest, I deal with bouts of ';pageview envy' myself. I've been a part of dA for nearly six years, over four under this username, and collectively I have garnered way less page views in that time frame than some others have gotten in weeks or months. Is it because they're better than I am? Is it because they draw fan art? The real answer is...there is no answer. It's just the way it is.

I'm bothered by it less these days, but indeed it does suck to pour one's heart and soul into an art project only to get maybe 10 comments and 20 favorites tops. But that's when I have to remind myself that I don't draw to get comments or favorites. The question I often ask myself is, 'if dA were to go offline tomorrow, would I still draw?' If the answer is anything other than 'yes', then I ask myself if I'm drawing for the right reasons, take a step back and re-evaluate what I want.

Onto the subject at hand, it is a wonderful display of skill with a pencil, but I doubt it would have gotten nearly as much fanfare if it weren't so directly referenced from an official art. But as I said, I do love it for what it is, so I'll continue to admire it for the outcome of the project, not the means the artist took to get there.
Reply
:iconfraumerrick:
FrauMerrick Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2008
Yup, I'm with you for this one. It is a beautiful art!

DeviantArt it seems is a complicated stuff, I'm not really sure that this is the place where the real artists should be. Even when there is not exact answer it is obvious that Fanart in general collects more superlatives especially when it is about stuff which many people like and is done good as well.

Though I need to have connection with my pieces of art and although I want lots of faves I deny to draw things I don't like or have no attitude to. I suppose then that I should accept my invisibility over that place here.*lol*
I have another acount where I post art here and there, but I always think twice before post anyway because the lack of comments makes me down somehow...And even then I submit again. It should be some form of masohism I guess :/...It is just that feeling of "Do my drawings suck so badly?" or "Why I always do the wrong stuff" ...then once again I think that I want to have conection with my pieces of art and not only to please the "crowd" because after all I draw for myself...It seems it is complicatred and contradictional subject and as everything I say in contradictional in some way...
Complicated , strange world!*lol* :-)
Reply
:iconcrestent:
Crestent Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2008
Well I know some artist who are that good at pencils and such. Now if this person didn't have a reference I'd have to say they would probably have more "mistakes" in their work.
Reply
:icondualmask:
Dualmask Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2008  Professional Digital Artist
But that doesn't detract in any way from the quality of what was produced, right?
Reply
:iconcrestent:
Crestent Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2008
Right:)
Reply
:iconpsowill:
PSOWILL Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2008
[link] this isn't looking so good man.
Reply
:icondualmask:
Dualmask Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2008  Professional Digital Artist
Well, it's obvious that the artist used that Tifa image as reference at the very least, the artist even admits it him/herself in their comments (though I don't know if that was before or after the person was called out on it). The question I have is not about whether it's stolen or anything, but basically, does the pencil drawing desverves props on its own merits as a work of art.
Reply
:iconpsowill:
PSOWILL Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2008
hmm interesting paradox we have here.
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