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:iconegypturnash: egypturnash
a deviant since February 11, 2003
35 deviations
3,495 pageviews

1. Tell us a little about yourself, where you come from, your education background and what excites you artistically. Where do you get your ideas and what kind of software are you comfortable using?

I was born in New Orleans somewhere in the seventies. Gave up on a computer science degree, drifted to a commercial art degree, then out to LA for animation school around '95. And then learnt a lot more about drawing when I actually managed to start working - far too many of the fundamentals I hold dear didn't really start to gel in my head until after I was working too hard for too little money.

Other trivia about me: I'm very nearsighted, my hair is currently pink with some pink-and-purple foam rubber falls in it, and people often feel unsure as to my gender when meeting me face-to-face.

What do I find artistically exciting? Energy and life. I can't bear to look at stiff, dead images. This is pretty obvious in my art, I think; liveliness has always been a strength, long before I could actually draw well. I'm also fascinated by the strange, the fantastic, the alien. To be blunt, I'm a xenophile - weird alien things turn me on. This, too, is probably pretty obvious in my work. Also, there's contrast, and succinctly minimal representation. Someone who can say something in three lines gets my attention a lot faster than someone who renders every detail.

I get my ideas from a small mail-order operation in the Antarctic. I'm not sure where they get them from; I just get a regular shipment every few months.

Um... but seriously? I'm not sure where, exactly, my ideas come from. I'm sure a lot comes from the fact that I'm a bibliophile - I read. A lot. My personal library is measured in feet of shelf space, not number of books. Mostly SF and fantasy, from the most recent popular stuff to early classics. And more and more myth, of late; I've been digging into the more feral translations of many cultural cycles, and find them fascinating and inspirational. A lot of this informs how my work ends up. I'm stuffed full of weirdness and it shows. In terms of the actual images, a good amount of it starts as just a few random lines in my sketchbook; these lines begin to suggest something and my hand starts fleshing it out, almost on autopilot - I've spent enough time drawing that I have a lot of the fundamentals beat in beneath conscious thought. And then a chance line suggests a feature to me, and I develop it into something more.

Software? Adobe Illustrator. Pretty much exclusively. I use Photoshop mostly as a scanner driver. Now and then I dabble with Painter. I'd also like to get a copy of Creature House's Expression (natural-media vector package), but it's sadly no longer available due to Microsoft eating them up. I really prefer the flexibility to tweak everything up to the last minute that vector packages offer; I feel hemmed-in by bitmap tools, even though I rarely take advantage of most of this freedom.

Also, every now and then I get a nostalgic urge to get Deluxe Paint running under a virtual Amiga and use the king of pixel art packages - but then I never get around to actually finding images of the OS and the tool, and have never been motivated enough to try and drag both off of my dusty 1200! Pencil, paper, a cheap Canon scanner, and Illustrator. Ask me again in a few years and maybe I'll be a dedicated gouache painter. I like change.

2. Do you have any artists that you respect, any techniques that you hold dear, anybody's braincells that you'd like to steal and keep for your own?

* Edward Gorey (I had a cross-hatch phase for years; his haiku-oblique rhythms of story and his ballet-mannered posing still lurk somewhere at the core of my art)
* Carol Lay (studying Lay's work was a big influence on my own constant shifting between rubber-hose stylizing and anatomy, plus her use of solid blacks and whites is inspiring)
* John K. (I worked at Spümcø for a few years, though never as an artist. His lessons permeated the culture of the place; the main thing I learnt from him is the concept of having a wide array of diverse stylizations at your command, and combining them as appropriate, even in the space of a single image)
* Mike Mignola (the lovely compositions of solid black, plus the beautifully deadpan inking - most of my formally-inked work owes a lot to Mignola at the moment)
* The Fleischer studios (the acme of rubber-hose animation, sheer joy in motion for the hell of it)
* Ralph Steadman (The mad energy!)
* Matt Howarth (wonderfully oblique sf/horror comics; also, the music reviews in the back of said comics introduced me to the world of industrial, electronic, and weirder music)
* Winsor McCay (turn-of-the-century comics and animation master, creator of 'Little Nemo in Slumberland' and one of the first fully-animated cartoons, 'Gertie the Dinosaur')
* Al Hirschfeld (masterfully minimalist celebrity caricaturist)
* HR Giger (the nastiness turned me off, but, um, some of my earliest xeno art involved his designs.)
* Brian Froud (whimsical and dark at the same time; my decaying copy of 'The World of the Dark Crystal' is a treasured possession!)
* Phil Foglio (delightfully expressive sf/fantasy cartooning)

…I could go on into more obscure and oblique artistic influences. These are the people whose influence is easy to see in my work. People like to describe it as very Art Noveau, and compare it to Mucha or Erte sometimes; there's a little influence from there, but I've never consciously studied it, and rarely deliberately swiped from it.

Techniques? My technique is as dirt-simple as I can make it nowadays. A rough sketch in pencil and paper, thrown into AI, where I make the final decisions on lines as I turn it into one shape layered over another. Get a copy of 'The Illustrator Wow! Book', spend a few years doing rapid figure drawing and beating your head against construction, and you, too, can draw like Peggy.

I don't think there's anyone whose brains I'd like to eat. Well, sometimes I envy Jim Smith's (Spümcø artist) ultra-solid construction and anatomy. But ever since seeing one of his high school drawings one day, a lumpy and mediocre Fantastic Four rip-off, I've realized it's just the fruits of years of practice. I'd rather let other people keep their brains and use them to keep making their own things that inspire me.

3. How did you find devART? According to your userpage journal, you spend time on a few other sites as well... any hot communities we should know about, and what would you do if you woke up tomorrow and found out there was no more internet?

I'm not quite sure. Folks I know started mentioning it a year or so ago. I was initially put off of it due to the oppressively green and cluttered layout, but eventually succumbed to peer pressure and opened up a gallery. The lack of theme makes up for the slowness and pea-greenness; the other gallery sites I'm on are themed one way or another. Furry (which I drift in and out of the edges of), fantasy/sf (frequent, but not always), Illustrator-only...

In terms of community, I'm pretty reclusive. Mostly I hang out on Livejournal these days. (Yes, I know, the style's broken in IE. I use Camino on a Mac, working around IE's broken CSS isn't a high priority for me. n.n) There's a small high-intelligence MUCK I spend a lot of time on lately. And I snark about on the furry-art forums of the VCL and Yerf now and then.

Without the net I'd probably get more art done. When my machine was being repaired, followed by a net/phone disconnection, over the past January and February, I got a lot more stuff drawn than I had been lately. Most of it remains in my sketchbook or on loose paper, but still! The net is a huge timesink, because it puts me in contact with the far-flung people who're clever and creative enough for me to be able to stand hanging out with them. (Yes, this is a somewhat elitist attitude; I make no apologies for that.)

4. Your art has a clean minimalism that many attempt but are often unsuccessful. You have many drawings in your gallery that really show what's capable with an intelligent eye and a good vector program. Do you have 2-3 gallery pieces that you are particularly proud of?

Cold Pursuit - my first and only piece in the aforementioned Expression. The pencils I worked from are here if anyone's curious how my work evolves.

Raindance - I set myself a difficult challenge, only using three colors (including the off-white of the bg), and pulled it off. There are a few details I mischievously did in other colors, just because it's fun to break the rules, but you could only see these in a 200dpi image! This one makes me kind of wistful due to its emotional resonances - but that's another story entirely.

Contragravity (Audion face) - this was one of the first pieces I did in Illustrator where I dared completely toss out the scan. Now I use iTunes like everyone else - I really miss having my own art floating free on my desktop like that! I've done far better with AI, but this one was an important milestone.

Myra - I just think she's really sexy. Shame the source file got nuked.

I, Drumbot - Mechanical, yet kinetic and alive. I was intending to do a more 'traditional' cartoony outline sort of style on this t-shirt design, but my preference for dramatic contrasts asserted itself!

Okay, um, that's five instead of three. I'm feeling verbose today. n.n I also draw too many goddamn furries lately.

5. How did you get your job as "a humble minion at an animation studio" and do you have any tips for aspiring artists who want to get their foot in that particular door?

Well, that job's gone now with the evaporation of Spümcø; I'm currently unemployed!

I got in at Spümcø due to a more motivated friend (Gabe Swarr, my second room-mate in animation school, currently working on his own show at Disney TV - buy Big Shorts Mouse stuff when/if the show comes out!) who bulled his way into an internship there, and dragged me in, initially, to do the programming on a Flash game. When that was over, I stuck around, first as a Flash coder, then as a Flash animator and director. I got depressingly stuck in this track for several years, though there was a moment last year when it looked like I might be cooperating with Ralph Bakshi on story and design for a sf-noir series. Unfortunately Ralph pulled out and it went nowhere.

Right now my biggest tip is 'have something to fall back on', because, frankly, the business of animation is in the toilet right now. I'm sure it'll swing back the other way again, but I'm not holding my breath. I'm looking into a few video-game studios around town.

Also, learn to shift styles, learn more than just the half-understood tricks of whoever your favorite artist is. Learn the fundamentals and how to stylize them yourself, not third-hand copies of someone else's shortcuts. Watch great works to remind yourself why you want to get into it in the first place. Watch the most horrible by-the-numbers weekday-strip stuff and ask yourself if you can bear working on it, because someday you will if you have a career of any length.

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:icontrevorgrove: TrevorGrove
a deviant since December 10, 2000
41 deviations
8,870 pageviews

1. Tell us a little about yourself, where you come from, and any art training that you've had.  Do you anticipate any future schooling in art, and do you consider it to be a full-time career or a part-time hobby in your life?

Well, I'm Trevor Grove, and I have lived in a provincial little place called Yucaipa all my life-located in Southern California. My introduction to art was from my brother Troy, who is the oldest of my two brothers. There is something to be said about the influence of siblings, because I cannot begin to wonder the kind of apathy I'd be trapped in had I not had the friendship and constant guiding of my friends, my two brothers. That influence was really the only training I ever had. Troy and I explored the techniques of Drew Struzan, whom we both greatly admire, and that's what has taken me to where I am now.

As far as the future of my art career goes, I don't really have any particular idea in mind of where I will be in five years, or even one year. I simply follow the winds of change, as one of my friends might say. I don't have a high opinion of public education, but I really want to take some figure drawing classes, and work more from life than I currently do, so that's on the agenda.  The art will be my career, if that's what you call it...I've already chosen to dedicate myself to it completely...because it makes me feel...

2. Give us a rundown of your favorite tools, both in digital media as well as traditional media.  Is there any software or art materials you haven't used yet but would like to try?

My favorite tools...well, I simply can't resist, a great TOOL of mine is the music from the band of the same name. ;) I do consider it a device, because it gives me motivation and inspiration, and incredible imagery... the more I listen to more I want to explore new mediums. My favorite mediums are acrylics and colored pencils, simple graphite, but I've grown to love oil pastels, and oil paint too. With the digital stuff, which I've been introduced to by my brother Trent sycophant13x. I value Photoshop as a GREAT tool for comprehensives. I use it all the time to lay out big ideas that need more intricate compositions, or what have you. I also really love what Corel Painter has to offer, since I love the traditional methods. I think this program has a remarkable ability to emulate similar qualities that traditional mediums do, if you aren't in the mood to get messy. (and I think that's half the enjoyment ;) ) Take a look at some of the artists here to see what Painter, or similar programs can's awe inspiring. My future exploration of mediums is limitless...I want to know every kind of way I can express imagery, and so I pursue everything that catched my fancy....I've been aching to do some more scratchboard and ink work, though, in particular.

3. Do you belong to any online communities other than deviantART?  What brought you to devART and what kind of appeal does it hold for you?

I belong to another online group known as Raster. I suppose my stuff adds a contrast to things and it has been something I've valued being a part of very much. I have to be honest though, I've been very frustrated with the way things have been done lately at Raster, seeing as I had been under the impression it wasn't a moderated environment. Knowing that the two men in charge have the self proclaimed right to declare what is, when it gets down to it, "good" or "bad", totally turned me off to the whole thing, which deeply saddens me. I can't really tell you how much longer I'll be a part of Raster, however, I do hope that things change for the better, and I can feel as free as I did with it in the beginning, because there are some great people there.

I came to deviantART when it first took off...three years ago. The appeal was that it was unlike anything else Trent or I had found, and we both enjoyed the feedback and the wonderful art we got to see through it. I believe Trent suggested I start posting my work. I still love how it offers community, even though it is considerably larger now than it was three years ago, I still enjoy it's inviting aura, and sometimes constructive feedback.

4. Your illustration style is very warm and inviting as well as alarmingly accurate when it comes to drawing the celebrities you do... which 2-3 pieces in your gallery do you find successful or hold a special interest for you, and tell us why.

Why thank you. I'm happy that most of my work is inviting, and that the accuracy I sometimes reach makes that all the more true. I tend to feel just doing a picture all the way through is enough to consider it a success, but there have been some works that I have found more rewarding to do than others:

Although I feel most of the interest in the piece is because of who it is,  I feel one of my most current film related successes was my first Jack Sparrow painting:… I loved the film and character of course, but I found it very rewarding trying to nab the right kind of pose and overall feeling of the character, which is the essential reason why I bother doing movie's fun to celebrate and capture characters.

A memorable experience for many reasons, my Oklahoma Film Society advertisement of Corky from Tales of the Gold Monkey holds a special place in my heart.… as I said, it was done as an advertisement for the oklahoma film society and made to promote their Tales of the Gold Monkey themed event. the design of the piece and it's execution were both very enjoyable, but the most rewarding aspect of this was that it put me in contact with the actor who portrayed the character, Jeff  MacKay. Talking with Jeff, and hearing how much he deeply appreciated the image I had created of his character was wonderful. I sold the piece to Jeff, and I later heard that when he showed his elderly mother, who is in poor health, the piece , she completely lit up. I was so touched by that...Thanks, Trent, for getting in those overalls and posing for the body, wouldn't have been able to make the piece otherwise. ha!

A sharp contrast to what I commonly do, but one of my most fulfilling experiences was Atrophy in Silence The picture was done from the imagery, the emotion and the movement I experienced one afternoon while listening to TOOL's album Lateralus. Like them or hate them, I was so mezmerized by what I was experiencing that day, that I had to paint it for Trent, who is also a fan of the music, and who introduced me to it. the designs of the characters came after I was submerged into the environment, but I feel every design element I implemented throughout the piece has significance to what I was experiencing, and I felt good making it, and doing what art should inspire you to do: create more art. I see myself doing more visually expressive work such as this in the future...

5. Can you tell us about the Oklahoma Film Society and your involvement with it?

Ah, the Oklahoma Film Society, my first real gig. :D I became friends with a guy from Oklahoma by the name of Bradley Wynn. He had seen my art, and was really taken by it, and what I could do, that we started chatting. that was three, almost four years ago. since then, I have helped him by giving his ambitious pursuits image-my art. My first job for him was, in fact, last year, with a Star Trek convention (some of the art, for which, can be found in my gallery) I was so frustrated by that experience, and yet I had created something that really caught the attention of the attendees in May, when all the art was used and the event poster was showcased and auctioned off. Immediately after that Brad began pursuing his main ambition, the Oklahoma Film Society. His intent, with the help of many other Oklahomians, is to give Oklahoma film makers an epicenter, if you will, or in other words, a venue for them to get out there, and be seen. An art community, I suppose. ;) He hopes to one day get a backlot built in Oklahoma.

My involvement has come in the form of my art. The society is rousing attention by holding their inaugural event, Real to Reel 2004, which is built around the theme of Tales of the Gold Monkey, a short lived 1982 adventure television series that starred Stephen Collins, Jeff MacKay, Caitlin O'Heany, and the late Roddy McDowall. Brad believes my art is the one thing that can give the society a foundation, and allow them to actually be acknowledged, and I hope that he is right. ;) I've been working feverishly on and off for about 6 months to bring them all the artwork they need, for advertisements, logos, a website, and what I'm working on now, a tshirt design, and a future event poster. it's been very stressful at times, and I love every bit of it, because it has given me the amazing opportunity to experience the work environment, without having to worry about earning an income. It's been bumpy, and I've been driven to madness on some days, but in the end, I always feel very fulfilled, knowing that my art is being appreciated and used for a good purpose...and besides, it has been giving me more recognition than I could have ever hoped for, and the opportunity to chat with the subjects of the work. :D For more info, just keep checking the website and to find out about Tales of the Gold Monkey, a show that simply kicked butt, visit

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:iconfleeet: fleeet
a deviant since January 8, 2002
72 deviations
8,645 pageviews

1. Tell us a little about yourself, where you come from, and what motivates you.  Where do you get your ideas?

All authors have a name and mine is Sean Mathew Mayer, born in that wonderful country of England roughly 2 decades ago. I started writing on a whim, a complete accident, which always makes me laugh. It was close to eleven years ago in 93, and a childhood prank turned into what I now hope to one day be my proper career.  

My motivation in writing stems mainly from the reactions I get from the people who read my work. I love losing myself in my stories and writing about these characters and crafting these plots, but I also get spurred onwards by someone telling me they liked a specific line, or that a plot development really captured their interest.

As for my ideas, well, that's more difficult. You know sometimes you'll be doing the most inane of tasks, making a sandwich, taking a shower, and an idea will arrive. No warning, no little voice saying 'By the way, you're just about to cook up a plot,' its simply there.

That's how TMSOD came about, it's also how Digital Redemption came about. My other project, due for release on deviantART within the next few months was one of the strangest ideas yet.  

It was 7:10am and my alarm went off. I opened my eyes and suddenly an idea jumped into my mind. I got up so fast you'd have thought I was electrocuted and I jotted the idea down as fast as I could.

Lets just say those people who are enjoying Digital Redemption will probably like this.

2. Who are some of your favorite authors and/or literary works?  Do you try to emulate them or learn from their mistakes?  Do you find yourself reading things and saying, "ooh, that's all wrong, if it were me I'd do it this way?"

I have a great love of books and many authors I enjoy reading, but there are only a few standout authors to whom I owe my own style and love for the craft. One of these is Michael Marshall Smith, a fantastic British writer who is the proud author of my all time favourite story; Spares. I also believe Spares is the only book of his published
in the United States, so try to grab a copy if possible.

Without Spares, the character of Anthony Lafayette in my own tale would not exist the way he does, if at all. He is a lot of my inspiration in the way he tells his tales and grips the reader. He is someone I aspire to be like, to have his magnificence and control at weaving the plot.

You could say I tend to emulate now and then, however, I never fully copy. I do have my own distinct style, which took my English teacher and I two long years of extra tutoring to fully perfect. I used to be a terrible at any kind of writing, I'm still not fantastic, but the more I write, the more I mature and I'm happy with the way I am growing and developing as an author.

3. What brought you to devART?  Since it has a history of being primarily a skinning and wallpaper site, does the Prose & Poetry sections here give you the comments and critiques you're looking for?

Joining deviantART almost never happened. I first started browsing the site in the Summer/Winter of 2001, and I was enthralled by the level of quality and the general close knit love of the community. But also, it scared me at first. I would have loved to be a part of it, but with no art as such, I could not bring myself to join. I've never been proud of my poetry, I much prefer my story writing, but there were a few Bryce pictures I had made. (These no longer exist in my gallery, but were instrumental in acquiring my first fan, and someone who has stuck by me the whole two years). And I decided to join via the 3D artwork route.

Eventually I gained courage to submit some early poetry, and excerpts from my earlier novels, sadly no longer in production, and my additions to the community began from there. Culminating in the creation of, at one time for almost a year and three quarters, deviantART's most downloaded piece of general fiction; TMSOD.

Being primarily a visual site, I do tend to feel the prose section of the site gets a lot less coverage than the other areas of the site, but they are fantastically represented and could hold their own if needs be. We have some simply wonderful writers in our community. I do get critiques, now and then, and they are indeed helpful. I never shy away from suggestions and I take people's help seriously. Naturally I'd like more, but hey, who wouldn't?

I'd also like to thank everyone who has ever commented on my work, and most of all, those who have religiously followed Digital Redemption. The feedback I am receiving on that is staggering, and has been a huge boost for me and my faith in the project.

4. For some time now, your recent submissions have been in one of two themes, one is Digital Redemption, which is a compelling body of work, and then you do TMSOD, where you incorporate deviants as characters in a tale with almost dreamlike qualities... which 2-3 pieces in your gallery do you find successful or hold a special interest for you, and tell us why.

Aside from TMSOD and Digital Redemption, my two most well known pieces, there are a couple of others that I am extremely proud of. One of which is my first proper foray into visual artwork called Cold Ice. It's a space scene, a desolate one, and the result of a complete novice trying to create an image I'd had in my head for many years. I think I'm proud of it as it was the first time I'd really tried to create something visually appealing, not just a movie poster parody.

Another deviation that I am proud of is one of my first poems, and one that I actually won an award for, called E-less. E-less is easily one of my favourite and most simple of ideas. Those who read the poem will discover why. I was very surprised to win an award, mostly because the idea seemed so obvious, I had no clue that it hadn't been tried before. Or at least, the people who awarded me it had never seen so. Even now I'm still sure it has been attempted before.

Finally, a piece of prose I am exceptionally proud of is a kind of letter by the name of Farewell.  I cannot really tell you why it means so much to me. It's a very personal piece, and while not true, I based it on my own life. I guess sometimes people just feel a certain way, and as an author, I felt the need to write about what a possibility of my life was. Just because the subject isn't true though, doesn't mean that one of the ideas in it is any less valid. I suppose really I am using an emotionally stirring piece to get across an idea I passionately believe in.

5. Rumor has it you're involved with a deviantART snailmail collaborative piece called Project 11.  What the heck is that?

Project 11? Wait, how did you get hold of this top secret information?! On a slightly more serious note Project 11 is a collaboration between 11 artists, all members of deviantART, who have come together to put creativity to paper, an underused medium nowadays with all the digital creativity. Words, pictures, images, anything. Project 11 is insanity contained, and creativity unleashed. There's a site currently being finished off, and that should be able to answer that question far better than I could. But let me finish by saying that Project 11 is something I'm extremely proud to be a part of, just like I'm extremely proud to be a member of deviantART.

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:iconladyh: ladyh
a deviant since December 15, 2002
50 deviations
1,775 pageviews

1. Tell us a little about yourself, where you come from, and any art training that you've had.  Do you anticipate a career in the art or graphics field?  If money were no object, what would you see as "that dream job" you could do for many years and not get tired?

Hello, my name is Amy Dolphin and I'm an artist currently from Vancouver, BC. I say currently because that seems subject to change, a lot. I've been drawing and painting for most of my lifetime. A great deal of it is self-taught, but I am currently attending a post-secondary institution for the second time; the first time was for classical animation. Right now I am in a program for game art and animation, which I am almost finished. After my first stint in school I was hired by Walt Disney Television Animation Canada, which specialized in direct to video sequels such as Beauty and the Beast: An Enchanted Christmas, Little Mermaid II, and the feature film Peter Pan: Return to Neverland. I then decided to widen my field and am now learning the ins and outs of the gaming industry. That said, if money weren't a concern I would probably be happiest with a paintbrush or pencil, drawing characters and honing my painting skills. Novel illustration would be the coolest.

2. What are some of your favorite tools you use for your works? Do you find digital easier than traditional, vice versa, or is there no real difference?

I learned to paint the traditional way, with oils and acrylics, but they joys of having a two-year-old meant that I needed either my own space, or a less messy way of rendering. I found that a regular mouse was impossible to use (kudos to my fellow artists who can make it work) so I finally bought a pen tablet and I've never looked back. I find the only difference between digital painting and traditional is the preparation needed and space required. Digital is also better if you want to have copies. To this day I have still been unable to get copies of some of my larger paintings.

3. What made you choose to post your work on devART, and does the comments & critique system satisfy and help you become a better artist?  Are there any other online boards that you subscribe to or visit on a regular basis?

I discovered deviantART through a friend and thought it was a wonderful idea. True, there is a risk of having your art stolen, but I figured that it was a small price compared to the exposure and commentary that my work would ultimately receive. I also have a gallery on Elfwood, but I like devART for it's wider range of categories and techniques. Commenting wasn't quite what I expected however. I enjoy all the positive feedback that I receive, but I find that it doesn't help me progress with my ability because it doesn't tell me what I can improve upon. This isn't always the case, but it happens often. If I thought I didn't have any more to learn, I probably wouldn't' think it was a big deal, but I know better :) I have a few clubs I like to visit in devART, such as :devlotrt: and galleriada, but I don't usually have time for the forums these days.

4. Your gallery is wildly varied, and it shows that you dabble both in 2D and 3D work with equal proficiency.  Do you have a preference right now of one over the other?  Which 2-3 pieces in your gallery do you feel proud of and tell us why.

As I learn more about 3D in school I find that I want to do more personal stuff with it. I'm sure I will never, ever give up the pencil (they will have to dig it out of my cold, dead hand) but I find that 3D has more options available to it. If I do a render and don't like how it turned out, I can change the angle and do another render in far less time than it takes to say, redraw or paint the entire piece over. Those that say it's easier probably don't appreciate the work that's involved to get a model/background that's renderable. Both have their challenges and advantages, so I don't think I could really pick one over the other. To me I just have more to learn of both. If I had to pick some favourites, they would likely be… for the simple reason that it is simple. It's playful and sexy without being offensive, and focuses more on her personality than other details.… This one I love because it is emotional as well as dramatic. Getting the sky and back light just right was a big thrill for me. Many have said that this is their favourite of my work.… I really like this one because it is my first game character. She started out as a character design project that I decided to take further, with satisfying results. This is definitely a portfolio piece.… This is one of a series of paintings based on our game mod from school called Creatures of Mass Destruction (pun intended) They make really good wallpapers and were probably the most fun to paint.… And this one just because it is my first try at painting purely with light and shadow. . . and she's hot!

5. I hate to sound like a typical hiring manager and ask the silly "where do you see yourself in 5 years" question, so I won't ask that outright, but do you have any upcoming projects on the back burner?  Any big goals set for yourself in the way of a book, a game, a demo reel, etc.?

In the near future I hope to find a position as an artist/modeler/texturer at some gaming company or another, but I will also try to further my own creative ideas in hopes of fulfilling the creative drive that always finds me with a pencil in hand. I am almost finished with the game level that my classmates and I are working on for the Unreal: Make Something Unreal contest. If all goes well I will put up a link to the installer so that everyone can play it. One of these years I might even draw that graphic novel that keeps poking me in the brain. I seem to be at a point in my life where anything can happen, and it's sure to be interesting. Hopefully it's fun too.

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:iconmountainhawk: mountainhawk
a deviant since January 15, 2002
74 deviations
5,715 pageviews

1. Tell us a little about yourself, where you come from, and how creativity plays a part in your life? Is there any non-visual mediums out there that inspire you as well, such as music, literature, etc.?

Who am I? Well I am Anglo Scot, born with, what has officially been diagnosed as mild Foetal Alcohol Syndrome. As a result of that I was high risk for addiction and have now been free of addiction for almost eight years. I was unable to talk for about the first 15 to 16 years of my life due to the damage. The brain was unable to co-ordinate those functions and I still have some residual effects though the majority of damage has predominantly healed. Art therefore became one of my earliest forms of expression and communication though most things were difficult as I was medicated with barbiturates to make my behavioral difficulties more manageable. Reading also was a means to fire what was and still is a very active imagination. Speaking was too much of a trial and only resulted in stress for both parties and intense humiliation for me. My sister went to art school and she was eight years my senior and she tutored me in what she learnt. I am forever grateful to her for the gift she shared. I love films too. I find I can disappear right inside those. Sobriety has taught me I never needed drugs. My mind is quite able to go beyond the fringe without

Music played a strong part in my life. I played in the City of Elizabeth Pipe Band from its inception with my father who was Pipe major. I played drums. It is interesting to mention here that Jimmy Barnes and his brothers were in the same band and we socialized with each other and it was Jimmy's brother John who taught me drums. My father taught them to play the bagpipes. Vietnam and conscription disrupted all that and it was many years before I returned to my art.

2. What are some of your favorite tools you use for your compositions? Do you dabble in any other art forms that you haven't put in your devART gallery?

Tools I have available on my computer are Photoshop7, PhotoImpact8, PSP8, COOL3D, ACDSEE5 and STILE99. I can also load Illustrator and InDesign along with Freehand MX when needed. Predominantly I use Photoshop, Stile and a 3D application called Amapi for building my bases. I am a qualified screenprinter and signwriter and worked for twenty-two years in those trades. I still do shirts and the odd poster. I also draw as in sketching and still life stuff. Living in the Alps here gives me some marvelous scenery for inspiration not to mention wildlife such as deer, goats, wild pigs and hawks and falcons.

3. How the heck did you stumble across devART and what is it that makes you a self-proclaimed "DA Addict"?

Now that is a curly one and I guess the short version is I got my computer at the beginning of 2001. Never used a computer in my life other than the Ikara launch system onboard ship. That is what I find lacking with PC's. No launch capability. Anyway once I wrestled this thing into submission I began searching the net for design based sites and came across Customize first and after a couple of days noticed links at the bottom. One of which was devART. Then I .....I.....I....found Windowblinds! I was totally powerless over the compulsion to change the desktop that had been designed by someone with acute depression on mogadon. My life in computerworld became totally unmanageable from that point on and the addiction to deviantART became a reality. I will also add that I totally refuse to accept treatment for my addiction to deviantART. I need stimulation, I need inspiration, I need art and I need growth and the ability to interact with like minded people in the interest of sharing our experience , strength and hope in those fields. W e are people blessed with the capacity to visually communicate with people and that is such a gift. deviantART therefore is a very important asset and one that regardless of mood or circumstance should be embraced. I keep coming back to it whether I love it or hate it. Whether I am happy or sad. It has given me more than I can really convey in any real form........I just have to have it.

4. You have a sizeable selection of wallpapers that have a colorful symmetry and organic feel to them. Do you feel that abstract design is "your niche"? Do you make any reference sketches prior to working or do you simply sit down at the computer and let it flow? Which 2-3 pieces in your gallery do you feel are particularly successful or satisfying and tell us why.

Is abstract my niche......well....yes, I guess it is for now. I mean you need to understand I spent 22 years in a field that demanded on a daily basis that I be meticulous, perfectionist and completely accurate. I needed a break from that. I love the freedom that abstracts gives and the total lack of restriction. It is truly liberating for me. Colour?.... Yes I love colour and balance ...symmetry. I even dress with contrasting colours and balance. It is how I have always been. The organic part comes by way of a preoccupation with all things alien and intestinal. Plus I feel it gives an excellent measure of depth. I have a specific set of filters that I use to create all that wet look feel and a meticulous method that I stick too so discipline hasn't completely left my psyche..

Planning is a key part......Some people think abstract is hitting random buttons and coming up with an accident you then give some ethereal name and then post. That may be the method of sum....I always make a piece of base art ....different 3D shapes and bars, spheres etc and paste those in a specific configuration, superimpose them etc. then I load that into Photoshop. I have a vast array of plug ins and filters that then get used in a deliberate fashion to get the look I want. Sometimes it flows and sometimes it is a real effort to get what I want. Always satisfying though. I see plug ins and filters as no different to using brushes or tools I would utilize in printing or signwriting. They are there to be used as such. Using them solely to create a piece?....well....I can't see that being terribly creative....then it is just clicking the button.

Pieces in my gallery I like and find satisfying and successful?.....I guess I would have to include TRAX ....Why?...well that was when I first really got going and all I had then was a 15 GB hard drive with 64mb of ram. It is kind of funny in hindsight because then I didn't even own Photoshop and all I had was a freeware app called UFX that I had crammed with plug ins and it was pretty restrictive with what it could do. People often commented around then that I was using photoshop....had to be using photoshop! Yeah! righto. Anyway in that piece I was trying to get that Bladerunner come Tron type look to it. That view from a capsule passing over the surface and I was really happy with the result given the handicaps.....the computer really groaned and moaned rendering that

Next would be Moodswimmer . It is a mix of calm and foreboding and has a predatorial is a piece that a lot of people have liked regardless of time past. It has also provoked some interesting comments.

Pool of Lies was a cathartic journey for me. An internal cleansing of the lies surrounding my birth and the hidden truth that wasn't fully revealed to me until I was 43. It depicts the spiral that comes from constantly lying and having to remember what you said and the maintenance of all those lies. The spiral downward into a deepening trap that is inescapable until one is totally consumed and drowned by it......and yes...the flat pool in the middle depicts the calm that follows when the truth is finally revealed....pretty deep and meaningful eh?

5. You are a very outspoken individual in the forums, particularly when it comes to substance abuse and recovery. Some people feel that addiction is nothing more than a character flaw, a form of weakness that only needs to "be shaken off" by will and willpower alone... others feel that it's more of a genetic defect or physical trait that some are born with while others are not. What's your take on this?

Outspoken....I say what I think without fear....I state my truth.........If I am wrong, I will not die as a result of fault. There is no right or wrong. There are simply lessons and teachings. I believe in conducting a discussion without the need to use obscenities or expletives. Words are art and were given to us to use. Obscenity and expletives as a general rule create negative attitude and aggressive responses. They are the last line of defense by emotional and intellectual cripples.

I guess if you are interviewing me addiction would have to creep in. I spent decades in the misery that is addiction. When I came into recovery in 1997 I was 43 years old and had never had a straight day. I was believe it or not 71 pounds in weight, I had totally stressed all my body organs out and they were not effectively cleansing my system, I was jaundiced and smelt dead. Mainstream support services had totally given up on me and had diagnosed I would never clean up and that in fact I would die. I fully agreed with them and believe me I was looking forward to death with a passion. I had totally given up and the disease of addiction had smashed me to pieces.

That was not to be.....I had a bunch of New Zealands finest, A team of individuals who worked daily with chronic addiction cases and they knew me well. The government because of my past refused to fund my treatment. These people treated me for eight months free until I was well enough to leave and I was kept up here under strict supervision for a further three years until my health recovered to a standard that I was able to look after myself. I still have and always will have an advocate....a life coach if you will and that is ok. I was taught much and utilized in the recovery of others and I gave a total of six years service back into that hospital before the government in their ignorance closed it last month. N.Z. now has no facility for hospitalized chronic addiction.

Addiction affects ten percent of the global population. 10,000 in every 1 million people.....using those figures we feel detached from it. It hits home when you reduce it down to 1 in every 10 people. It becomes staggering when you further realize that out of all those who reach treatment, only fifty percent will remain in recovery and live. Many are called to recovery but few remain and survive. It is not about is about won't power. Character flaws are part of the disease brought about by the lifestyle and time spent in it and account for only a small part of the problem. I will let the American Society of Addiction Medicine speak at this point.......

Alcoholism and other drug dependencies are primary, chronic, often progressive and fatal diseases that affect almost every area of health. (Disease means involuntary disability) They are characterized by impaired control, preoccupation, continued use despite severe adverse consequences and distortions in thinking, most notably denial and rationalization. Denial is used here in the broad sense to include all of the range of psychological maneuvres developed with dependency, which reduces awareness of the fact that alcohol and drug use is the main cause of an individuals problems.  Denial becomes an integral part of the disease and a major obstacle to recovery.

The following are diagnostic features that are distinctive in identifying addictive disease:-

* Tolerance
* Withdrawal
* Loss of control or craving.
* Unsuccessful efforts to control or cut down.
* Pre-occupation with, or large amounts of time spent to obtain.
* Important other activities are given up or reduced.
* Continued use in spite of severe adverse consequences.

Any three of these present in an individual indicates a dependency. All seven indicate severe dependency.

So my friend that is the truthful tale of the tape. Let there be no misunderstanding. Drug use is not a kills. I am not saying that for dramatic is a statistical, medically proven fact. One we don't have to like but if we have any sense will respect and accept. Our community here is on average between 17 to 25. This group of people figure predominantly in increasing numbers in addiction statistics. Plus the types of drugs used by these individuals are becoming more addictive and the addiction is reaching the chronic level far quicker. As responsible adults we should be protecting our community from this disease and one way we can is to disallow threads promoting any form of illegal drug use. Drug chatter is one way to promote the vulnerable, naive and gullible into the dangerous are of addiction. It is a disease that cares not about dreams and aspirations. It doesn't care about friends and lovers or family. It cares not about careers or your health or sanity.....its sole intent is to control your mind and body completely sucking the very life out of it and eventually killing you.

Having said all that, the addict can only help themselves. No one can do it for them. If drugs are not a problem for you then congratulations and best of luck. For many of us it is not an option and if it is a problem for you then do yourself a favour and get yourself help. Human life is a gift and one that deserves honouring and protecting....not abusing. And with that thanks for the chat and I really enjoyed participating in this and am happy to answer questions anyone may have....just note me! Seeya....lock and load them apps guys and don't render until you see the whites of their
This edition of 5 for 5 showcases the words and works of ~peganthyrus, ~ trev-solo, *fleet21, ~ladyh and ` mountainhawk... enjoy!
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nemoorange Featured By Owner Feb 29, 2004
I really enjoyed listening to Mountainhawk's story. Great work, fun read.
dear-jb Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2004  Hobbyist Photographer
Excelent interviews; i don't normally read the interviews, magazine, articles posted on DA but those were some really interesting and captivating interviews.
da-interviews Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2004
:thumbsup: thanks-- all five seemed to be very passionate about their artforms, which made v13 a success!
yokom Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2004
good stuff; keep it up :)
muzikkman Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2004  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Good interview.....very interesting people up there....I'm glad da-interviews is back up and running!
yuria Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2004
I always somehow find inspiration after reading this. You guys are doing a great job. And this is by far the best issue.
revolutionmethod Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2004
Good job on the interviews, seem to be much more in depth this time around.
snowmask Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2004  Professional Traditional Artist
Good one Gary.

flameturret Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2004
:flame: Excellent interviews
My eyes where just glued to the page Well done:clap:
KylieKeene Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2004  Professional Photographer
very good interviews, just fix the boldness and it will be even better ^^;
da-interviews Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2004
fixed... those tags can be a hassle!
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