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Ugh.  2011 was not what i'd call a particularly good year.  Figures that it was the 10 year aniversairy of MT and stuff, too. ^^;;  One casualty of the year was a lot of BS with my host and the loss of the server containing the Fredart and Sarah's Origami websites.  I have backups, so i can put things back together, i just haven't had the time yet... that and the fact that i really want to change fredart itself into a site i actually use to post and organize stuff rather than an older, rarely used repository of my older work.  

When i built the site back in 2000, non-static websites were kind of the new thing, sites that built themselves, parsing themselves server side when someone visited them.  Up till then, updating a site was usually a manual task, editing the code to add stuff, tweak things, break things ^^;;  Of course, the kind of interconnected social platforms like DA and Pixiv and Facebook and Twitter and stuff were not something to really worry about integrating.  I was proud of the fact that i had a little codebit on fredart that allowed TINAMI to index any new art i posted.  Back then, your homepage WAS where your work went, and the goal was getting people to your page to look at your stuff.

Today, things are kinda different.  The weird thing is, most of what i do and post and share can be (and often is) shared via the various active social network style 'enclaves' and in the case of Fredart, having the site be offline for several months is barely noticed.  I post art here on DA and on Pixiv, something things on Tumblr, i link things in Twitter and Facebook, and (way too rarely) on the Megatokyo page itself.  In what was a very disorganized and messed up year, it probably helped that all of this was plugged into neetworks (<-- that was totally a typo, but i think i'll leave it) so a lot more people saw stuff i was able to post and share than would if they just got tired of visiting my cricket-infested webpages.  

There are two kinda negative sides to all this, i think.  The first is that while each of these social networks (Facebook, Deviant Art, Tumblr, etc) are quite large, they are in a way like a gated community.  People have their favorite haunts that they tend to spend most of their time.  It sorta feels like it has compartmentalized the internet a little bit too much, imho.  The second thing has to do with what you have to do to reach everyone in this compartmentalized social networking age - you can't just post stuff to your homepage and know that people looking for your stuff will find it there.  You have to set up shop in each of the various social networking enclaves you have readers/fans/followers.  If i was a more organized person, i'd have a much better system for posting things cross-enclave.  As it is now, i post some stuff here, some stuff there, the result being that people often miss some things i post.  Since people usually hang out in several enclaves, you have to worry about spamming them too (i don't like the idea of bothering people too much).  When done well, you can reach a lot of people and keep people pretty happy.  If you flub it (which i am prone to doing) you will miss out on sharing your stuff with everyone.

I dunno, back in the 90s when i first got on the internet, i think the thing that was exciting was the idea that things could be in one place and everyone could find it there.  That idea is a bit fractured these days, but i guess it was inevitable in a lot of ways.  The net is vast, as they say, and content is not the problem - finding it is.  Fredart was a PHP coded website that i did myself that was remarkably archaic - all of the data was handled with flat text files (no databases for me, hacking around with PHP was hard enough to get my head around) and it was a massive pain to update (i had to create a txt file with the data all in the right places, and the site would count the number of files in the directory to determine how many elements were in the gallery, for instance).  It was kinda cool, but nothing like the things you can do with DA and stuff.  The trick for the new Fredart site will be that i want it to be a go-to point where all the different places things get posted will be shown and organized properly.  A place where i can start posting things, something idiot proof (a requirement) where i can start rambling on something (like this rant that sorta came out of nowhere) and be able to share it wherever i feel it should be shared.  

I totally passed on Myspace when it was the thing, but i was an early adopter on Twitter and a begrudging user of Facebook (where i probably reach the most people with the Megatokyo facebook page) and i still have no idea how to use Tumblr properly (who does?).  I still have no idea what im going to do with Google+, and like so many 'companies' you can only be active on so many social networks.  For instance, what about the people?  I have friends who use that, but i don't post anything there.  It makes you want to tear your hair out sometimes, and frankly... i'd rather be drawing or writing than fiddling with this stuff.  It used to take a long time to update - editing text file, making thumbnails, uploading manually, etc.  But now, having to cross post in so many places, i think it actually takes longer to post new artwork than it used to.  Odd, really.

Finally, before i shut up, i'll note one other casualty of this social networking enclave thing - the web pages themselves.  Now i know you can customize things like DA and Pixiv to an extent, but you are still working within a framework that is exactly the same across the network.  Its sort of like the difference between an older neighborhood with lots of different kinds of houses that look different and unique vs. a gated community with rules about what your house can look like and what you can do in your front yard, etc.  I'm a contrarian by nature, i guess, and i miss the fact that in the past most people had to cobble their own websites together.  Sure, the results were often horrific, but they were still unique.  It used to be a lot of fun perusing japanese websites looking for artwork.  You can say that its much better this way because it's like seeing artwork on gallery walls and much easier to find and share them, and that you can still have your own website to present things in a creative way.  Thing is, most people's experience of your work will be in these social networks, not on your website.  

At least with Deviant Art and Pixiv and stuff, your art itself is your expression and says a lot about you.  The site itself is tuned out, mostly, and your work is what people look at.  Also, DA and Pixiv and the like are actually not bad to look at.  The thing that really grinds me, though, is Facebook.  Has it really happened that the way almost everyone these days presents themselves to the world is via a website that is really that... fuggly looking?  Sure, myspace was hellish, but facebook is way too restrictive and ugly.  But they didn't ask me about it, so what can you do. :)

i'll shut up now.  Sheesh, i was just gonna write a quick 'blah blah here, im posting some more stuff' post and it turned into this.  Maybe it should be a rant?  I wonder where that button is that will cross-post this to the Megatokyo site and... oh, i don't have that yet.  Maybe someday.

  • Listening to: Light Colors by LIA
One nice thing about the premium membership stuffs is that i can edit and customize the page here a little.  I get the impression you still can't change the background colors (i coulda swore there was a way to do that, but whatever, it's not a huge deal).  Need to work on interconnecting this and my PIXIV stuff via my Fredart page.  

oh wait, there it is, at the bottom of this very page.  Journal Skin.  Doh.
When i poked at my email this morning i saw that someone had given me a Deviant Premium Membership account for a year.  It was given anonymously, so i don't know who to thank specifically, but thank you :)  It is something i think i will actually be able to use, my experience here at dA has been pretty good so far. :)  

So, thank you for the Christmas give, anon DA person, and a Merry Christmas and happy holidays and whatnot to everyone.  Here's to looking forward to a much more interesting (content filled and productive) new year as well :)

Hey folks,

someone commented on the Kimiko AJWB2M image that they'd love to buy a poster of the image... not realizing that the posters have been available in the MegaGear store for a few weeks now.  Duh.  ^^;; I guess it would help if i like, yknow, told everyone.  Here's a link:…
I'm sure that over the years most people who've done MT fanart, in particular those that have either sent me a link or given me original drawings or printouts at conventions and such, have often wondered if i even look at them because i've never put together any sort of MT Fanart repository to collect and share the voluminous amount of stuff out there. Truth is, i DO look - i look at everything that i come across, but almost never know exactly how to reply.  Even for works I really like (trust me, I have seen a LOT of awesome) I am hesitant to say so.  Why is this?

The reason, i think, mostly has to do with the fact that i don't want to discourage ANYONE in their artistic efforts.  I feel like i have a responsibility to respond to everything, not just the ones i that really grab me.  There has always been so much, i feel like i'd be slighting people if i just responded to some and not all.  Also, i know i don't really have the gift of critique - you know what a good critique is like, it's supportive but also helpful and constructive.  When you have such a cross section of work from people who really struggle with drawing to people who are so good it makes me want to stick both my useless hands in a food processor, it takes a real gift to be able to comment constructively on such a broad range of skills.

That said, i probably am just have always over thought things.  I'm positive that there are fans who were really disappointed by the general lack of response from me, and that's not good either.  />_<  

So, here i am putzing around on DA, and now i have the option to fav things and comment within the community here.  I've decided to err on the side of just going ahead and commenting and faving things i like or want to comment on and to stop worrying so much about it.  Maybe that will help me get some momentum on actually getting around to showing off some of the more incredible work that has crossed my desk over the years.

Oh, one other problem that i worry about. there are some pretty awesome MT fanart works here on DA, but i worry about going back TOO far because i know that it's not unusual for someone to have been a big fan of MT back in 2007 but be absolutely disgusted with it now ^^;;  

Ah, screw it, whatever.  I think too much.
  • Listening to: &amp;#12304;&amp;#20581;&amp;#38899;&amp;#12305;&a
Geh... i just updated my old website which requires me to add and edit .txt files with data and stuff on the artwork in question, make two (or three) different thumbnails in photoshop, manually put in the size of the image, upload everything and hope i got it all right...

Things like uploading images here or at Pixiv or, well, even wordpress, is easier than the PHP monstrosity that i cobbled together back in 2000 (shudder)
  • Listening to: Tohou Mathamatics - IOSYS
I've been experimenting with color a lot more recently, which is a good thing i think.  I'll only start to worry if i find myself wanting to color MT comics. I will make sure that i kill THAT idea long before it ever takes shape in my head. :P

One trouble with drawing, painting, creating, whatever, is that i (im not sure if others have this trouble) get into habits about how i create stuff, and it's really hard to experiment and break out of techniques that you know more-or-less work.  Being an 'additive' artist (i build my lines from shadows to some sort of collective whole based on building the lines over the course of the drawing, not by single strokes that are the finished line) and someone who works in a kind of analogue of wireframing rather than solids (i define the outlines of things to create a sense of mass more than using solid ares of color and building/subtracting from those) it's hard to challenge my creative workings without the result looking... generally horrible ^^;;;

anyways, been so damn busy lately trying to get things printed and getting orders out the door that i've had trouble sitting and drawing well.  That will change once i get all this stuff out the door.
  • Listening to: Sensou - Bakemonogatari OST
Hey folks,

Months ago i finally geared myself up to start posting artwork to two sites in addition to my fredart site (which i really need to get on the stick and update to make it easier to post).  I knew i'd probably step away from it for a while as i got cranking on finishing up MT volume 6... yeah, that was a lot more work than i anticipated, so i'm sorry i've been away so long.  

Anyways, i have a few sketches from last night that i'm posting today - one of Saeko, the other is an odd experimental piece that shows some definite FSc influence ^^;;

Now i have to look over the notes and msgs and other things... ugh.
  • Listening to: MORGA Volcaloid 5
I need to get back to work on the comic, but i thought i'd post a sketch first.  I do most of my drawing on the computer these days, but i still do a lot of fiddling around on paper.  You just can't beat the undo button that photoshop has, not to mention layers and...
I'm sure most of you are probably aware of this, but i fairly regularly work on the comic and other things live on Justin TV.  The broadcast resolution is the same as my screen resolution, so it's a fairly decent look at my rather inept ways of drawing stuff.  There is no set schedule, but if you follow my twitter feed i usually announce when i'm broadcasting stuff. Just a little bit left of the last panel in the next comic to, i'll be working on that in a few minutes or so.

(also, don't forget to check out the three new art shirts available in our store - I actually print these myself using a DTG printer (it's like a big, heavily modified large format inkjet printer).  Th… for supporting MT.  I'll post some more sketches this afternoon.

thank you very much for all the adds and follows.  Hopefully you will find the artwork stuffs i add here to be worth watching. ^^;;
  • Listening to: Heart Goes BOOM! - K-ON! Character Image Song Seri
Ok, blabbed the existence of my dA page to the twitterverse and whatnot.  I still think i might need my head examined about that...
  • Listening to: Dmitry Fyodorov - Warcollapse!
Y'know, i've had a Deviant account here for ages... i can't even remember how long.  Well, since i'm going through my galleries of unposted art and trying to put it up properly now, i might as well coordinate doing it here as well ^^;;
  • Listening to: Federsen Epoch