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Introducing depthRADIUS

Tue Feb 25, 2014, 11:01 PM by techgnotic:icontechgnotic:
Logo design by Mario Luevanos
Film and animation by Scott Pagan

About depthRADIUS

depthRADIUS is named after the deviantART community that it reflects and represents. This on-line journal explores the depths of the arts world from fine art to the most eminently accessible community arts projects. depthRADIUS endeavors to connect artists and art enthusiasts with other artists and arts-related individuals from all levels of the arts community, from its most successful stars and innovators to beginners just learning their crafts. The “radius” of this journalistic conversation will extend in its boundaries into arts advocacy, education and appreciation.

A Few Recent Journals

“We are all listening to each other.”


    "There is no escape. You can't be a vagabond and an artist and still be a solid citizen, a wholesome, upstanding man. You want to get drunk, so you have to accept the hangover. You say yes to the sunlight and pure fantasies, so you have to say yes to the filth and the nausea. Everything is within you, gold and mud, happiness and pain, the laughter of childhood and the apprehension of death. Say yes to everything, shirk nothing. You are not harmonious, or the master of yourself. You are a bird in the storm. Let it storm! Let it drive you!"

Herman Hesse

empty by Kosmur

Ellipsis (plural ellipses; from the Ancient Greekἔλλειψιςélleipsis, "omission" or "falling short") is a series of dots that usually indicate an intentional omission of a word, sentence or whole section from the original text being quoted, and though necessary for syntactical construction, is not necessary for comprehension.[1] Ellipses can also be used to indicate an unfinished thought or, at the end of a sentence, a trailing off into silence (aposiopesis)

The Ladder Song - Words And Music by Bright Eyes

On the Edge by lesley-oldaker

No one knows where the ladder goes
You're going to lose what you love the most
You're not alone in anything
You're not unique in dying
Feel a strange day every now and then
Fall asleep reading science fiction
I want to fly in your silver ship
Let Jesus hang and Buddha sit
It's on now
The days are long now
The ups and the sundowns
And a twisting mind
If I got to go first
I'll do it on my terms
I'm tired of traitors always changing sides
They were friends of mine

Don't hang around as the promise breaks
You'll be there when the next one's made
Kiss the feet of a charlatan
Some imagined freedom
All the rest is predictable
You can say you're the first to know
Bought a mantra to concentrate
Car alarm or hissing snake
I know now
How it's gonna turn now
You got to calm down
Or I'll lose my place
Got to get to the center
Got to get to the concert
Run off with a dancer
Going to celebrate

Welcome the new age
Covered in warrior paint
Lights from the jungle to the sky
See now, a star's born
Looks just like a blood orange
Don't it just make you want to cry
Precious friend of mine?

Well, I know when it's finally done
This whole life's a hallucination
You're not alone in anything
You're not alone in trying 
To be

Dave Elliott, An Authentic Citizen

Mon Sep 23, 2013, 1:57 PM

Weirding Willows

A New Wind Lifts Storytelling

First imagined as a bedtime tale for his son by Kenneth Grahame in 1908, The Wind in the Willows has remained in the top twenty children’s stories ever since. But things have been getting weird out in the Willows, as the new comic on deviantART, Weirding Willows, will attest to.

Badger, Mole, Ratty and Mr. Toad are back… but they’re joined by Alice, Frankenstein’s Monster, Mowgli, The White Rabbit, Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny as they defend the world from the Wicked Witch of the West, Doctor Moreau, the Mad Hatter, Mister Hyde and the Queen of Hearts (not to mention the flying nightmare monkeys from Wizard of Oz.)


The new direction taken by Weirding Willows, recently published in multiple formats, reflects the new worldwide comic audience being opened up by the Internet and the new technologies and the needs and desires of that audience being serviced by those who recognize it.


reator and writer of Weirding Willows, Dave Elliott, is at once introducing beloved childhood fables and adolescent fright tales in Western culture to new readers, while re-imagining them for those of us already familiar with them on some level. Tying the separate strands of the disparate fantasies into a cohesive narrative is accomplished by centering the narration in a new Alice in Wonderland. And by “new” I mean smart and engaging—rather than being simply the target of CGI effects as she’s been reimagined in the latest studio rehashes. Librarians and teachers have been embracing Weirding Willows and are reporting a heightened interest in the classic “Frankenstein” and “Jekyll & Hyde” texts as well as a revisiting of all the other fantasy figures of bedtime tales. This new comic seems to be generating an interest in a dozen classic characters’ “back stories” and that couldn’t be better news for the future of fantastic storytelling.


No better an example of the new storytelling is to be found in Weirding Willows, published by Titan. What would have once been developed as a simple “mash-up” of diverse childhood story characters in a sort of very strange Justice League, Weirding Willows has the benefit of fan input into precisely which characters have been chosen to resurrect from deepest childhood dreaming as well as a continuing conversation with the story direction with the writer as the issues progress.

The new paradigm, wherein lies the future of storytelling—opens the next chapter in the history of pop literature.


funny thing happened on the way to the funeral for the storytelling narrative, its obituary written by the traditional publishing industry: the genre is thriving rather than dying, and with an infusion of more independent spirit and creativity than has ever before been possible. Weirding Wilows is a prime example. The Internet has done more to liberate rather than destroy storytelling, the new technology encouraging fan comment, contribution and even collaboration on an unprecedented scale. The publishing houses feared their loss of total control of dissemination of “IP” (intellectual property) would mean novels, comics and all other storytelling vehicles would be pirated into chaos, creators unable to find a way to get paid for their art.  Instead of this deathly scenario, a new dawn has broken – with fans exercising more direction over their favorite stories and characters while the narrative is still in creation.


Dave Elliott puts an enormous amount of effort into helping deviantART community members move forward as artists as they try to determine how they want to enter the industry.

After launching two of his own anthologies Dave has just announced, through a journal on his page, plans for a third regular anthology locked and loaded with deviant artists of every medium exclusively.

  • All of the artists hired to create artwork for Weirding Willows and Dave Elliott's Odyssey are all from the deviantART community.
  • Reviews portfolios for community members whenever he can.
  • Introduced spyed to Clydene Nee which launched the powerful collaboration between deviantART and Comic-Con for a newly reinvigorated Artists Alley.
  • Judged the first two deviantART San Diego Comic-Con scholarships reviewing 100's of portfolios  determining the finalists from the deviantART community.

  • In his free time he art directs deviants work when they've attained their first paying gig.
  • Three previously unpublished deviant artists work were featured on to the back of Heavy Metal magazine from a competition off of his own page.
  • A full issue of Heavy Metal Magazine will be curated form submissions from Dave's deviantART page. Go to his page for more details.


he comics industry’s insiders know Dave as the go-to guy whose name alone will lend mighty credibility to any project in need of more lift to get off the ground. He’s the best coordinator and facilitator of talent in all comicdom. He’s the man who finds a way to make independent projects happen. What should be better known by the reader-consumers, fans and advocates of comic books and graphic novels is Dave’s extensive resume and well-deserved reputation as one of the most influential figures in the industry, as both creative artist and businessman.

For the last few years Dave Elliott has become known as one of the most sought after World Builders, an essential skill necessary to facilitate “Full Spectrum Narrative” IP development for the entertainment industry. From co-founding Radical Studios where he developed a new more realistic and grounded version of Hercules, that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is currently shooting under Brett Ratner’s direction, to co-founding Benaroya Comics, creators of Red Spike, Samaurai’s Blood, and The Marksman, all released last year through Image Comics.  Sam Sarkar’s comic series The Vault sold to Graham King after being co-developed and packaged by Dave.

As the industry stands now, what are the best tips for breaking in?


I think the ‘Industry’ is being redefined right now. The traditional model of publishing is crumbling and what ‘is’ Industry has almost personal relevance now. If you draw Superman every month your idea of the Industry is the Direct Sale Market which caters to the 1,200–1,500 physical stores around the countrty. The Direct Sale Market expanded into the digital domain through companies such as Comixology and iVerse.

Breaking in is actually best done by proving you've got what it takes to do a great job and producing high quality, consistent, work.  Marvel and DC look towards IDW, Boomstudios, Dark Horse and Image Comics for their talent. They do that because there is no hiding when a creator can't keep their deadlines or has an emotional meltdown. Editors are also scouring deviantART for new talent. They're watching creators who post often, consistently and get a lot of traffic. If you do a piece of work that you want a specific editor to see tweet a link to them but don't always expect a response.  Don't send a Wolverine pin-up to the Batman editors. If you want to draw something in particular you're going to have to do some samples of that character. You can always get more eyeballs on your pages by doing mash-ups where characters meet who couldn't in their own books.  Have Batman meet the new Sherlock. Draw how you would imagine the Justice League would look in J. R. Tolkien's world. Have Blade and Buffy team up against the Twilight characters.  Images and ideas that will get people adding your images to their favorites and talking about them.  Send people to your deviantART page by using Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with teases.

All these additional hits will increase the chances of you getting noticed.

What are your top tips for launching a new story or intellectual property into the world?


First ask yourself do you love the idea or are you doing it because others might like it. You have to love your own idea and world. If you want it to resonate with an audience it has to resonate with you first. You have a far better chance of connecting with people if your heart is in it. It'll come through. It's no guarantee of success but your chances will be higher. Here's a small list of things that you must know before you start;

  • Know your world.
  • Know your characters.
  • Know the physics of your world and then make sure you stick to them.

If you have come up with the story first and are creating the characters afterwards, make sure they stay in character. Don't have them go against character just because you want something to happen, plan ahead. It sounds obvious but people run into it all of the time and many end up creating a new character just to move the story along. Those characters are always forgettable and a distraction.

Have you experienced having your comments and suggestions alter the narrative of stories-in-creation on deviantART or elsewhere?


Yes, we all suffer sometimes from being too close to our ideas and think that we've explained things out well enough only to find someone ask a really obvious question that leaves us scratching our heads.

This happened only recently when I posted a couple of pages of Weirding Willows up relying on everyone knowing who the characters were and the setting. You can't always rely on people having read all your deviantART entries or read every issue of your comic or book.

It's also happened when I've seen people warm to characters I wasn't expecting them to and after reading comments and seeing what they saw you have greater appreciation yourself for them. That happened when I decided to team Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny with the White Rabbit. Their dynamic changed and I now want to do a set of stories focusing on just them (and their new friend Jack. Who isn't a rabbit).

Do you see artists considering the suggestions of other artists and fans as democratic or authoritarian, as community building or interference with artistic freedom and independence?


Every artist is different. Some just want fans. Some like the real artistic discussion of method and influences. Remember, when you post something you're going to get comments and not all of them you'll like. It is something we all need to come to terms with that not everyone will like what you do. Some may take time to warm up. It is your artistic freedom to post just as it is for someone to make a comment. It is how we react to those comments that will define how we grow as artists and as members of this community. You have your freedom and your independence and only you can give it away.

Do you think stronger (or weaker) mythic narratives will be the ultimate fruits of technological changes underway?


I believe if you want to connect with as many people as possible using a mythic narrative is essential especially if you ever plan to open up your narrative to others to participate in. A well thought out mythology to the world (no matter how real or grounded) adds to the believability of it and encourages immersion into it. Techgnotic came up with the best term for the development of a story or concept that can spread across many different platforms and art forms; “Full Spectrum Narrative.” We are all in this new technological age of communication. A single device can be a book, a comic, a video game, an animation and they can all be about a single idea. Each medium can be a different facet of your concept, not just the retelling endlessly of the same story.  A rich mythology give you and others a universe to play in without once bumping into each other.

Can you talk a little bit about the artist, writer, producer collaboration when building new narrative worlds? Should creators be their own Editor/Producers?


We are all producers. We ‘produce’ our work. In this new age we also need to be our own editors. More and more we'll be assembling projects to be published ourselves rather than have a publisher come along and act as the producer for us. We all have to learn how to wear more than one hat. The process of sharing messages between each other isn't much different than utilizing social media to bring an audience to our work. Fortunately as deviantART has grown so has the variety of skills coming to the community. If you need a letterer or colorist or a model just write a journal. It may take a while but somebody will always know someone who you can talk to. In comics, the writer and the artist must become their own editor and production managers. They must learn how to assemble and format everything they need, figure out how to post it and then promote it. Good material will usually get discovered but banging the drum really does help.

Producing The Lost Kids has forced me to wear a lot more hats than I could ever have imagined. Dave is absolutely right; we must all be producers as well as editors for each new IP.  This takes someone with a lot of focus and energy and someone who knows how to surround himself with the right people for a direct delivery the audience.

Internet sites like deviantART have bridged the separation between creator and audience so that we are talking every reader, viewer or player in a very particular way. DeviantArt has done the same with creator and other talent. Now, being able to draw but not able to write or being able to write and not being able to draw or letter is no longer an excuse to abandon your vision. deviantART has killed that excuse. If you want to work on your own comic book, your novel, your film, your art, but lack skill in certain areas, you can now find artists to collaborate with who can fill in the blanks.

The Lost Kids and Weirding Willows are prime examples of artists coming together for a single vision, for a single story. What aspiring story creators should take from their example is that your own project is possible if you put in the time, energy and focus to put together the team you need. If you have a vision, you can now assemble the right support team—and be gathering feedback from your audience throughout the process. Storytelling is a very collaborative medium and Internet sites like deviantART are making it more and more possible and more and more fun.


A wonderful example of the potential of deviantART and how to use it to build out your concept even if you're not an artist is FelipeCagno and his series The Lost Kids. His ideas resonated with so many artists he was able to persuade them to do pieces that he could post on his page and in doing so designed his characters and gave life to his world. He is about to finally release his comic series on multiple formats.


Bradley W. Schenck

“I like Bradley's work because you can tell that from time to time he wants to get lost in his own details of the world he has created for his Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual adventure series. He has created a world spawned by his own interests and his love for them pulls you in.”

–Dave Elliott


Possibly drunk right now

“Maybe it's a generational thing but I really miss the three panel newspaper strip format in this age of digital news.

2GAG (Two Guys and Guy) is a reflection on society and how we interact with each other in relationships. It is also very funny because of that. I've found myself laughing at myself many times.”

–Dave Elliott


HUNDREDS of antiseptics!

Lost in the Vale is a lovely series produced by Julie and Alan Curtis. Julie's artwork seems to mix several influences, such as manga, anime and traditional American comics, but doesn't adhere to any and so she's created her own look that appeals to several different tastes.

Her deviantART page complements her website nicely where you can see all the designs and thought processes going on.”

–Dave Elliott


Wah! What'd I do?

Plume is an awesome fantasy, action, supernatural western. Hopefully this will find a good publisher that will get it out to a wider audience. K. Lynn Smith has a fun series here that should appeal to most ages and sexes.

There is a universe built around Plume that even though it is only hinted at you know it is there and that she's not about to run out of story material soon.”

–Dave Elliott


Toby Cypress

“Toby Cypress is one of those artists who grows and grows on you. His influences are diverse but don't expect all those influences to show in his art as many of them influenced what he draws more.

Toby decided to not bother waiting for the main comic publishers to discover his talents, instead he went it alone and self published Rodd Racer through his own company Punkrock Jazz Publishing and has been working on his next big project KURSK that he's gearing up for a Kickstarter launch but has been sharing pages and designs of his deviantART pages.”

–Dave Elliott



“Humor is usually tied by geography and local circumstances. MAD magazine used to be awesome when every country could do its own thing. Carpediem, created by Rhoald Marcellius (from STELLAR Labs), is one of those action strips filled with humor that crosses every border. It wouldn't have been out of place in MAD magazine and, I'm going out on a limb here, it may just be the next Tank Girl.”

–Dave Elliott

  1. Have you experienced having your comments and suggestions alter the narrative of stories-in-creation on deviantART or elsewhere?
  2. Do you like the idea of story narratives being opened up to “consumer” preferences pre-publication—or do you prefer to hold your comments until after the author has completed his or her vision?
  3. What are your favorite story collaborations on deviantART?
  4. Can you share your own favorite top storytelling and OC building tips with the community?
  5. Do you think comic book publishers are making comics for you or for themselves? Does this drive you to make your own?

Looking for an exclusive insiders view on participating in the Comic book/graphic novel indusry. Look no further than this journal series "Acts Of Creation."

• • •

“When the well’s dry, we know the worth of water.”  ~ Benjamin Franklin

Franklin Gasmask by myseps

“Don’t sacrifice yourself too much, because if you sacrifice too much there’s nothing else you can give and nobody will care for you.” ~ Karl Lagerfeld

Karl Lagerfeld by MissMatzenbatzen

Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.  ~ Lucille Ball

Lucille Ball by creaturedesign








"When things get tough, this is what you should do: Make good art. I'm serious. Husband runs off with a politician -- make good art. Leg crushed and then eaten by a mutated boa constrictor -- make good art. IRS on your trail -- make good art. Cat exploded -- make good art. Someone on the Internet thinks what you're doing is stupid or evil or it's all been done before -- make good art."   Neil Gaiman

Portrait of Neil Gaiman by MatthewRabalais

Comic-Con 2013, Initiate Launch Cycle

Tue Jul 16, 2013, 11:06 PM

Initiate Launch Cycle
Tuesday, July 16, 2013 by techgnotic

Last day of Mission-Preparation-Protocol. Slow roll of the mighty Artist Alley rocket ship out to the launch pad has begun.

Systems and housings look stable.

Fuel lines clear and steady.

Test firing booster engines.

San Diego flight and arrival path confirmed.

The 200 wondrous artists of Artist Alley are approaching, armed, adrenalized, and ready to draw.

Psychologicals of all deviantART personnel and support staff assessed and locked down.

Llamas prepped and groomed.

Security alerts and procedures initiated. All Creative Systems cranked to “11” and then broken off.

All nations beware and all nations rejoice.

We are Inked, Locked, and Loaded.

Fella just flashed the GO Signal.

ComiCon 2013 is on


Come join us at

Come join us at San Diego Comic-Con 2013!  DeviantART's booth, located in Artists' Alley, will be open and available throughout the convention.  Stop by to play with one of our many computer stations, take a photo in front of our deviantART/Comic-Con backdrop, or just say hi to deviantART staff members!  Additionally, we're also hosting three interactive panels that cover a range of topics from motion books to the business of fan art.

For deviants who can't make it to San Diego, follow hq for daily Comic-Con updates, and keep an eye on our Twitter account!


As soon as you're born they make you feel small
By giving you no time instead of it all
Till the pain is so big you feel nothing at all
A working class hero is something to be

They hurt you at home and they hit you at school
They hate you if you're clever and they despise a fool
Till you're so fucking crazy you can't follow their rules
A working class hero is something to be

When they've tortured and scared you for twenty-odd years
Then they expect you to pick a career
When you can't really function you're so full of fear
A working class hero is something to be

Keep you doped with religion and sex and TV
And you think you're so clever and classless and free
But you're still fucking peasants as far as I can see
A working class hero is something to be

There's room at the top they're telling you still
But first you must learn how to smile as you kill
If you want to be like the folks on the hill

A working class hero is something to be
If you want to be a hero well just follow me

Working Class Hero by John Lennon

John Lennon vol.2,5 by Zaider

With the singularity right around the corner, leading neuroscientists, social psychologists and philosophers from universities around the world consider the ongoing, cutting-edge, scientific and philosophical research on the question of free will to be the most important inquiry occurring today as it relates to the fate of humanity.  Millions of $'s in funding are being allocated to answer these big questions and concepts.   (As technology for mega-destruction or mega-healing becomes available to every human, will our survival depend on individual will (“free” or conditional) to simply use or not use it.)

Is free will compatible with determinism?  (Does every new bit of information I consume instill qualifying conditions on my “free will” decisions?)

"The classic problem of free will is to reconcile an element of freedom with the apparent determinism in a world of causes and effects, a world of events in a great causal chain."

Are determinists and compatibilists correct in that if our actions had random causes we could not possibly be morally responsible?  (If the only true freedom is possible in a state of absolute chaos, of what value or valor is having “free will” anyway?)

Does Accumulated Knowledge Affect Free Will?  (Would we still pursue lives of wealth and excess If we knew our “footprint” to be reducing the quality of life of unknown others?

As an artist, have you ever felt the pull of self-censorship, of the need to water down an image to the level of the artwork being "dishonest" -- all in order to at least get a "partial victory" in a subject getting presented at all?  Is this choice of compromise to achieve some partial good an example of the complexities of exercising your free will as an artist -- or is it an example of the betrayal of the very principle of free will?

The Conundrum:  Your free will demands you make a decision that is an equitable solution to all involved.  But what if your free will entertained the notion that your work deserved a greater slice of the pie.  What if you wanted more though you recognized you didn't deserve more?  Is free will a force that can empower either good or evil impulses?  Or does the ethical development of the individual over time temper free will to the consciousness of consequences for one's actions to the point of "free will" being no more than the selfish uninformed stage of childhood or the earliest savage ages of humans fighting for survival at the dawn of time?

A magic of effective art can be a drawing that appears to be a movie still, clipped from a film narrative, evoking a powerful sense of storytelling— and the viewer wants to know the rest of the story. This phenomenon has recently manifested itself on deviantART— and in a big way— once again.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson will produce a movie based on a drawing (“sweet Halloween dreams”) by deviantART digital artist begemott. The drawing depicts a tiny teddy bear with a tiny wooden sword and shield defending a sleeping child from the advances of a hideous beast sprung from the child’s nightmare.

The drawing was spotted on deviantART and brought to the attention of The Rock, film company, New Line, and the production company that produced The Rock’s successful movie “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island.

Begemott’s gallery is full of wildly imaginative art works... We want to become a part of that world and find out what happens next.

Begemott’s gallery is full of wildly imaginative art works that succeed in capturing the moment in an idea’s “story” that represents a portal into a separate world. We want to become a part of that world and find out what happens next. Almost any of the images from this artist’s gallery could serve as a more interesting story platform than the mostly stale stories released every Friday in our movie theaters. So what at first blush might seem a bit crazy— constructing an entire film narrative from a single artist’s image— becomes much more understandable.

Even within short viewings, the striking and evocative story possibilities of begemott’s artworks spark the imagination. But so many of these paintings deserve longer viewing sessions offering even greater reward by allowing the constructed tableau to percolate and truly come to life. Sensing the dilemma these characters are facing becomes the core focus when viewing these works. Empathy for the subject and situations and the just occurred events comes easily as the scenes unfold and the characters’ relationships with themselves and others become clear. These newly familiar characters exude more identity and personality than the scripted clichés populating too many a screenplay.

The creativity, imagination and resonance with seekers of art that is always next-level, delightfully wicked and yet thoroughly human, always the portal moment of a story we want to enter, is what makes begemott’s art so special. And as a moment of captured “living narrative” his work is drawing in those in the entertainment businesses charged with finding life buried in the stacks of deadheaded old-thought pitches and submissions.

DeviantART's great proletarian aesthetic is infusing media. Presented for your consideration: the likeness of a central character in Bioshock Infinite was sourced from a prominent cosplayer on deviantART, ormeli; and the recent suggestion by a snarky critic that the key art poster for The Great and Powerful Oz must have been made by a “14 year old on deviantART”— it certainly reflects deviantART because that’s what the world wants to see.

This community is the dominant aesthetic.

DeviantART is becoming known as the place to come to, where the imagination for the new millennium and the new narrative spaces of the Internet are to be found. And begemott is the newest example of the narratives being discovered here.

Deviants should be made aware that this phenomenon of Hollywood finding movie ideas in the galleries of deviantARTists is not novel. This community’s impact on the aesthetic and narratives of all media is substantial and constant though frequently invisible. This event is distinguished by the high profile acknowledgement of the artist and of deviantART as the source of his work.

Interviewwith begemott

How integral was your network of friends and watchers on dA in the “discovery” of this artwork?

I think it was crucial. It is only a guess, since I cannot know the people who posted the image on reddit and facebook, but I would expect that it started from people watching me on dA. Same for the people who posted links to my page in comments when the image appeared without attribution. I'm very thankful to them.

With so many screenplays competing for the attention of movie producers, how surprised were you that your drawing was chosen as the basis for a feature film?

It was very unexpected. I guess it shows how social media are changing the landscape. I think that recently another movie project was based on comments on a thread in reddit. It is certainly exciting to have such opportunities offered to outsiders. I would guess that one attractive property of picking up an idea from the internet, is that it has already received feedback from people.

What do you think it was about your drawing that so intrigued a producer looking for a unique story to tell?

I think that the drawing implies a larger story, and it's probably easy to relate to. The night is scary when you are a kid, and I'm sure many children have comforted themselves by imagining that something in the room protected them from all the imaginary dangers in the dark.

There are so many elements balanced in your simple piece – childhood fear and wonder, heroism and loyalty, the safety and the terror of one’s own bed. Do you spend a lot of time thinking about achieving desired balances or effects, or do you just construct “story narrative platforms” instinctively? What can you tell us about your process?

I try hard not to think! When I do try to think about such things explicitly, it all goes wrong. I don't have a process as such. What usually happens is that at some point, usually late at night, often after listening to music for a long time, I have an idea, and I make a quick sketch on a piece of paper to remember. These quick sketches are very rough and probably totally incomprehensible to others. At some other time, when I have time to spare, I go through these sketches, find one that seems like it's worth the effort, and finish it.

Have you been approached by Hollywood about obtaining film rights to your other artworks?


Can you share with us your preferred tools when creating your artworks?

I usually draw with a mechanical pencil on plain paper. When I want more detail, I may use larger Bristol paper. I then scan it and do the coloring on the computer using a Wacom pen.

There is an ongoing rash of movies “updating” classic fairy tales that all seem to fail by losing all sense of childhood as adult themes are added to the mix. Do you think the “Rock” might succeed in creating a gem like “Time Bandits” amidst the current mishmash affairs like “Snow White and the Huntsman?”

I don't really know much about the movie. I will not be part of the creative process, but I certainly hope the end result will be enjoyable. I don't think that adult themes are necessarily a bad thing in a child story. I think that the problem is that in many recent movies revisiting fairy tales, the adult themes are simplistic and inserted in a forceful and explicit way. On the other hand, many good child stories have real underlying adult themes, without losing their magic.

Questionsfor the reader


Is there a particular artwork, or an artist’s work in general, in which you notice this “moment from an unwritten story” phenomenon?


Have you ever been intrigued enough by a “narrative moment” artwork on dA to ask the artist in a comment to tell the rest of the story? Would you like to do that?


Do you think the Hollywood studio trend in seeking more imaginative narratives in dA’s “unwritten stories” will increase?


Is this because audiences in the Internet age in general are demanding more full spectrum or multifaceted platforms for their narrative entertainment?

To Converse With the Greats - Poetry by Vera Pavlova

to converse with the greats
by trying their blindfolds on;
to correspond with books
by rewriting them;
to edit holy edicts,
and at the midnight hour
to talk with the clock by tapping a wall
in the solitary confinement of the universe.

Dedication to a New Year

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 4:39 PM



Nuances of an Annual Ritual

Which brings us to each year’s communal celebration of the passing of our lifetimes:

New Year’s Eve

So what did you “actually get done” in the past year? How closer are you to a grand goal in life? An assessment is made and then the inevitable Step 2 of the yearly process is engaged, which is often a word for word repeat of last year’s Step 2:

The New Year’s Resolution

There seem to be two main strategies that emerge at this point of facing the New Year, a “brand new morning.”  The lone wolf quietly acknowledges goals not yet reached, and is even more secretive in the “new plan.”  “I’ll show them,” becomes the new private mantra.  It works for some people, but my experience has been that I’m splurging on Star Wars memorabilia by Valentine’s Day.

I’ve found that rather than making secret contracts with myself, a much higher success rate is always achieved as a combination of two other elements.

Pablo Picasso

To a truly worthy vision, maybe even one that cannot be achieved in a year, but in a lifetime, is just the sort of quest that engages the starving soul so much more than the common shaving a few digits off of the weight scale. (I personally implemented the "no cookie left behind" program this holiday season so I might want to think about that one too.) But the truth is, New Year’s comes but once a year. It would seem better to me to go big or not at all. Pick projects of real importance in your life – ones that require the more personal attention and dedication to the better.

Should not be a dirty word in the strategies of personal achievement. It has been my experience that the more genuinely useful support I’ve received from the like-minded (as well as the merely curious) has always gone a long way to keeping my Big Picture from faltering. When the potholes in the road forward begin to resemble archeological digs, as it seems they usually do, there’s nothing more heartening in being able to take it all in stride than a word of admiration, advice or encouragement from a fellow dA community member.

In his book "Outliers" Malcolm Gladwell outlines the 10,000-Hour Rule, the thought being that spending ten thousand hours practicing a particular discipline is necessary for mastery of that skill. He also brings up the importance of support in the from family, friends, and mentors in the ultimates success of an individual. No one achieves the highest summit's of success alone. No one. Even the most unique vision requires the nurture of human camaraderie if it is to be developed to it's fullest potential and efficacy.

I find myself thinking about recent achievements as well as a grand vision currently in formation here at deviantART, and how much the atmosphere of this community – how much dedication to art and artists, and how much they are supported and support each other – and I can’t wait to see where life will take all of us in this new year.  A tough statement to put out there, considering the unbearable horrors that have recently rained down in our world from weather catastrophes, classroom atrocities, civil wars and the violence related to a radically altered political landscape around the world.  But it’s true.  I am still hopeful.  I am still ready to rededicate my dreams on New Year’s Eve. I’m not sure I’d be making that statement were I not now ensconced and engaged in the deviantART community.  But as Kurt Vonnegut used to say, “So it goes.”

























For the Reader


Do you make New Year’s resolutions? If not, why not?


Does a goal achieved with the help and support of friends in any way diminish the power of that achievement, or does it become something made all the more memorable and special because of the participation?


What’s the most farfetched resolution you’ve ever declared?


What is your yearly resolution that has still never been achieved?


Do you think it helps to rededicate oneself to a cause, no matter how large or small, regardless of how many times the attempt has failed?


Can you share with us the personal discipline system that works for you as an artist in bringing your work to a next level?


More specifically do you have any tips for those of us balancing multiple responsibilities along with our creative endeavors?

Odyssey Propulsion 6

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 6:51 PM

We want to especially thank an elite core of Odyssey II writers:

Those deviants truly embodying the spirit of the project by continuing to create and submit next chapters – no matter the story’s refusal to go along with their proposed direction. The zeitgeist is a powerful force, but the artist must know when to sail against the been-there-done-that. And our writers, artists and poets have been doing that week after week. So many artists and writers continue to send in wonderful material week after week.

We have decided to extend the writing deadline for the last chapter to December 31 and we're expanding the Word count to 800 words for our final chapter! Artists will then have two full weeks to illustrate our final chapter - meaning artwork for Chapter 8 will be due by January 14, 2013. Any Animations/films and poetry deadlines are now extended until Jan 14! We will then unleash, I mean publish, this tale of Paul’s very unexpected journey!

Visit Odyssey II Project Page

Elite Core Odyssey Participants - Profile 1


Kill-Natalie, whose vibrant kinetic wordsmithery is always a pleasure to read. A young artist with a sense of grotesquerie that’s quite remarkable.


The atmosphere of friendly competition, mutual aid when needed and fulsome community that has endured throughout all the glitches and hiccups of Odyssey and Odyssey II is something I will always be grateful to have beheld and well worth all the 4 a.m. technical meltdowns. Hopefully this is only the beginning of many such innovative projects. The real prize in this “contest” is witnessing how deviants and other creative entities from around the world can come together in a mere flash of time to help each other build something unique in storytelling that points to the very future of the written narrative.

Odyssey Propulsion 5

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 3:33 PM

We have decided to extend the writing deadline for the last chapter to December 31 and we're expanding the Word count to 800 words for our final chapter! Artists will then have two full weeks to illustrate our final chapter - meaning artwork for Chapter 8 will be due by January 14, 2013. Any Animations/films and poetry deadlines are now extended until Jan 14! We will then unleash, I mean publish, this tale of Paul’s very unexpected journey!

The final battle to block Tal’shen’s launch of the takeover of Earth. Paul, from whose own body Tal’shen, the gelatinous beaked tentacled monster, was gestated and born. Paul says he knows how to destroy the creature. And who better than he, he being half “mother” of the monster.

So now 800 words, give or take, is the space we have to wind up our story, a story that has expanded and mutated like the first bit of subway vomit that was Paul’s ticket into what has now swollen to Lovecraftean and Cthulhuean dimensions testing the boundaries of space and time. 800 words will be more than enough for the creative minds in the worldwide orbit of deviantART. In that I have a sure faith. Paul vs. Tal’shen. Paul’s ingenuity in thwarting (or maybe in his failing to thwart!) the alien invasion will render our story just another tale among similar tales, or... a dash of genius and madness here may elevate our efforts into a lifelong memory of creativity, collaboration, and community convergence!

Good luck directing what’s left of Paul’s head and heart!

Submit Chapter 8 Literatureby Dec 7th (5PM PST)
Submit Chapter 7 Artworkby Dec 10th (11:59PM PST)

Recent Literature Submissions

RebirthHe was here. But where was "here"? Who was "he"?
He stared.
What was he looking at? A mass of flesh twisted. Half of it was peach colored, stained scarlet. And the other half?
A monster.
Pulsating currents of gelatinous substance reflected a thousand colors, glowing eerily. Scales and thorns of grey curled like a ribcage, like a shield around itself. Its alien neon colors rippled with the thrashing of its tentacles. The other half was that. It did not feel like it was part of the sallow peach creature. That beast had an evil sort of grin to it. It was an uninvited stranger burning the house in which it stole into. It was a parasite. It was taking control of him.
And worse than that, it seemed to be winning.
Get a grip.
He was Paul. He had gotten puked on. That puke was killing him. He was infected by an alien that wanted to eat his face off and a stranger who named herself after an ancient civilization was hacking at him with a knife.
He wanted to say thank you
A Man Reborn"Go."
Somewhere, Lysanna clawed at the shards of mirror, using the last of her strength to send the message.  The words came to Tal'shen as needling pain, piercing her mind.  "Forget them," her mother said.  "Go now and do as I've created you to do!"
Tal'shen felt her mother die.  It did not matter.  There was no feeling of attachment; only the drive to carry out her purpose.  Growing still, her monstrous form filled the room.  She shot two massive tentacles upwards, rending a large hole in the ceiling.  Outside, she blinked in the fog.  London, that was the name of this city, wasn't it?  A good a place as any to begin.  
Inside, Maya coughed back the bits of dust and plaster.  "Paul," she breathed, wincing at the mass of flesh Tal'shen had left in her wake.  She went to him, gasping at his flayed carcass, nothing more than quivering bits of meat and bone.  She closed her eyes.  One chance.
All or NothingALL OR NOTHING
Odyssey II - Chapter 7
Paul's scream is soundless, without vibration, boundless without borders. Heard by no one, reverberating through the psychic realm, a cascade of destruction. Both sisters battling within his very blood, phages using his cells as a playground and a battlefield tearing apart his very flesh.
"He has spirit after all. Welcome to our realm, Paul You will never leave this place." Tal'Shen voice is cold, diffident, indifferent.
"He only does what he must to survive Tal'Shen, you would mock him for that."
"His will means nothing, Maya. Our Mother must be served. The only question is how."
Maya binds more of Paul's unwilling flesh beneath her knife, attempting to wrest control of his body from Tal'Shen.
Tal'shen fights back, wrapping Maya's body in the tentacles on Paul's back, his flesh more liquid with every passing moment. "Will she be served by a simpering sycophant like you? Or a loyal daughter who sees the ends and the means at hand doing whatever is

Fighting to be freePaul floated around the room. There was barely enough left of him to be called a consciousness. He was the energy equivalent of throwing a handful of flour into the air with just enough floating around to allow thought. Not that it did him much good. He had lost almost every name he could think of.
There wasn't enough of him to see, but he could feel the fight that was going on between Tal'shen and Maya. They are wrapped up in each other, trying to tear the other apart, but there wasn't enough of Paul left to care. Even if there was, he was too enthralled in the movement of disembodiment to notice his old body being torn to pieces.
What was left of Paul knew there wasn't anything else for him here, not in this place and not at this time. He floated out of the room, leaving Tal'shen and Maya to their fighting.
Maya had cut off a lot of Tal'shen, but not without gaining a few broken bones.
"Why do you care so much for the humans?" Tal'shen said, her voice broken and warped by the transfo
Time And Time AgainHis scream resonated his soul which echoed into oblivion as he swirled amongst gleaming twisted rainbows of pain.
Then nothing. Nothing but the darkness and the empty idea of a constant faded scream, imperceptible by the void he now was.
Until, an eternity later, he regained a grain of the sand that was once his consciousness and was able to discern the sound again. Then the grain slowly became a beach as he regained his senses and connected to a watery dimension. The sound no longer a pain bearer but a whirling wave. Around him not darkness but the ocean floor, glittering like diamonds hidden in the shadows. His feet, returned, embraced by living mud.
Sound and sight kept morphing. The wave bigger and closer, the diamond glitter now secondary to moving silhouettes.
His feet, now grounded, seemed like roots, nourishing him to wakefulness, spreading life upwards.
His legs, his torso, his arms came back.
He felt his face again, his identity, as all became clearer. Locked in place, he saw
Shifting PiecesLysanna was crumpled in a pathetic heap on the dirty floor with just enough strength to hold the two mirror shards in front of her shriveled face. She was about to die, at least this part of her. Her spawn, Tal'shen, was at the very moment being birthed into the realm of humans. There was only one thing left to do; she exhaled heavily onto the shards, fogging them over. As the moist remnants of Lysanna evaporated on the mirror, so did her husk of a body. She crossed over, through the mirror, until she found the rest of her; mother and child one at last.
The moment the symbiosis occurred, her strength, and drive, returned. Maya had been right, she wanted it all and her dynasty was about to begin. With one mighty push she seeped through every orifice in Paul's body, becoming fluid one moment and solid the next.
"Never!" Maya screamed as she swung her blade, only to find her arm ensnared in a sea of tentacles.
"Sister," Lysanna bellowed, "is that any way to welcome your queen?"
Lysanna st

Recent Artwork Submissions

within by scifo
Odyssey II Chapter 6 Art by deanhsieh   The Entity - Red by Apollomidnight
Chapter 6 - Out by littlecrow
in my blood the remnants of a forgotten divinity by mooname
Consumption - Odyssey II Chap. 6 art by smjblessing
Cutting ties by gameofdolls  Odissey II - Chapter 6 - Get Out by TravTheMad

Odyssey Propulsion 4

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 2:14 PM

Artists, Writers, Poets. Through artistry and words command and focus this intense narrative for the final two chapters of our story to be published next year. Best selling author CliveBarker will continue to guide us through the final passages and incredible visuals as we head toward the end of our story. Join the Collaboration!

Is Paul’s final scream the sound of his soul being released?

Can he have an existence outside of his corporeal being, outside “nothingness?”

Or is this spectral plane the only reality to the trusted – the only viewing platform offering a truly objective view?

ONLY TWO(!!!) chapters left, and still we don’t know the possible parameters of the alien invasion. Obviously, in chapter 7, being the penultimate piece of storytelling, all consequences and secret alignments of forces must be revealed. And the set-up for the gut-grating, mind-mulching climax of the final chapter. Paul must be forced to put all his chips on “Maya” or “none of the above.”

So here we are at Chapter Seven of our story. Calling all storytelling individual geniuses! This is the final push before total revelation. This is the Odyssey’s siren call to Greatness.

Submit Chapter 7 Literatureby Nov 30th (5PM PST)
Submit Chapter 6 Artworkby Dec 3rd (11:59PM PST)

Recent Literature Submissions

Sea and Starshine"Well now...aren't you just full of surprises?" Maya's flippant remark could not disguise her irritation or apprehension at Paul's sudden transformation.
Paul seemed frozen in time as he stared at Maya - not knowing if she was addressing him or the creature within. It was then that Paul realized that Maya might never have been been speaking to him.  In his own self-righteousness he never considered that whatever these things were they may place no more significance upon humans than humans would a slug or an amoeba.
His senses dull and feeble - smothered by exhaustion and the remnants of the Proxitol - Paul could feel Tal'Shen pressing into his consciousness.
If We Are To Survive We Must Work Together.
Paul had not the faculty nor the motivation to resist.
"What can I do?"
The Mind And The Body Are One But Your Mind And Body Are No Longer Aligned. You Cannot Control What You Are Becoming.
Paul's mind lost all distinction between truth and deception. Tal'Shen's prese
  To Conquer Land and SeaMaya gasped.  She was too late.  The transmutation had already begun.
At the sight of her, Paul's eyes rolled back and his mouth opened in a high-pitched wail.  The tentacles at his shoulders suddenly burst forth, growing and lengthening to the floor.  Thick, black and coated in a sheer, iridescent mucus, the new appendages continued to grow until Paul's body was lifted into the air.  They continued to multiply, reaching around the walls and ceiling, engulfing the sterile white in writhing, dark madness.
Paul's body hung suspended and lifeless, dangling at the epicenter of his new form.  His eyes, now shimmering with that same rainbow of colors Maya knew too well, centered on her.  The voice coming from him was not Paul's, but also one Maya recognized.  "Ma'Yenneth.  Cease this.  You know there is nothing you can do now."
"So is this how you seek immortality, dear sister?" Maya shouted.  "Ruling the greater part of the Mariana was
  Hit and Run"The bastard survived, huh?"            
 Before Paul or Tal'Shen had time to react, Maya's blade was at Paul's throat, pushing him to the back of the wall. Maya's face was inches away from Paul's, her teeth bared.
"This is what Lysanna, first born of Neiptiún, sends for battle? A tadpole?" The unearthly high-pitched laugh sent a chill down Paul's spine.
"Paul, This Is Our Chance, You Must Distract Her!"  Tal'Shen's voice ringed in Paul's head, and he felt imbued with bravery...or blind stupidity.
"You bitch! A few minutes ago I thought you're a friend , now you' re the enemy? Just who or what are you?"
"What I am? Well, love, certainly more than a woman"
Horrified, Paul watched transfixed as Maya's hair morphed into slimy tentacles.
"Brace Yourself! Here She Comes!"
  Hello, sister dear...Paul thought he yelled, "The hell are you trying to do to me?"  But the words got tangled somewhere in his throat, and what came up instead was more of gargle-screech than anything else.
Maya knelt next to him in a jingle of weaponry.  "Do shut up, love," she sighed as she slipped the needle into his forearm.  Paul shut up.  She sounded like Maya.  But of course, if she had been possessed all along, he wouldn't necessarily know the difference.  He struggled to focus his feverish thoughts through the fresh wave of Proxitol-induced nausea.  She looked up in surprise at his silence, and added slightly apologetically, "Not that I'm not terribly concerned about your psychological wellbeing…"  So it's a sarcastic flesh-eating murderous parasite. Perfect.  "I've upped the dosage, it should work better now…"  She was making to leave.  He concentrated on his mouth, on consciously forming the word:  
She spun around.  "Paul

Approaching Paul with calm, Maya, bent down onto one knee. A fresh syringe of Proxitol in her fist.
Recoiling, Paul brought his knee's into his chest. He shook his head and screamed, "No More!"
"Honey, this is a stronger dose. We have tested it, and it works. It will kill the parasite in you, and you will be free." Maya said.
She went to spread Paul's knees. Grabbed them and forced them apart. He fought back, pushing the opaque substance away from insertion.
"I said No More!" The childlike tentacles on his back raised, up, from behind him. Messes of pulsating colors lit the cell up. They began to shake and feel about. Feeling, suctioning, for the first time, like the newly blind. Popping sounds could be heard as it removed a cup from an object. Each new found object would jerk the host from side to side. Forcing Paul to move with it's outward growth. One particularly large tentacle reached up to the ceiling and leeched on. Lifting him off the ground.
"It's to late...." Maya yell
  Truth or ConsequencesMaya gasped in disgust and pulled out her knife.
Paul, still huddled before the toilet, felt his tentacles wrap themselves around his waist as if to protect him.
"Maya?" Paul asked.  Maya didn't lower her knife.
"Jesus, Paul, what--"
"--I was hoping you'd know," Paul said.  "I just woke up and...they were there."
Without taking her eyes off Paul, Maya moved over toward his bed and pulled off the thin blanket.  She tossed it to him, and he covered himself with it.
"I don't know what this is," Maya said.  "I've never seen anything like this before."
Paul stared into her eyes.  Maya averted her gaze and lowered her knife slightly.
His dream.  Something
had warned him about Maya.
But it had just been a dream.  Hadn't it?
"The Proxitol isn't working on you anymore," Maya finally said.
"Tell me something I don't bloody well know!" Paul said, his tentacles unwrapping themselves from around his waist.  They moved up, spreading ab
  Slip of a Girl"Jesus," said Maya.  
Before she could say anything more, the tentacles on Paul's back thrust out toward Maya.  The right wrapped itself around Maya's arms before she could draw her knife.  The left wrapped itself around her neck, winding up and across her mouth before she could scream out.
Paul hadn't willed any of this.  The tentacles had moved by themselves.
Maya wriggled, trying to free herself from her bonds.  Paul, firmly anchored to her by his tentacles, stood up and moved toward her.
He'd never noticed her smell before.  Actually, he had always noticed a slightly sour smell, but he'd assumed it was just his own stale body.  It hurt to shower now; anytime water touched his skin it felt as if he were being sliced by cold, tiny knives.  Moving closer to Maya, he realized she was the source of the smell.
He breathed in deeply.  Maya continued squirming in the tentacles' grasp.
Looking closely, Paul noticed something else.  He'd thou
  Odyssey: Chapter 5 SubmissionCHAPTER FIVE: ONE DAY AT THE EDGE OF TIME
   Before her eyes could register that the man before her seemed to be exercising tentacles that sprang from his shoulder blades like a set of profane wings, a blue electricity like the phosphorescence of a firing flash bulb filled the room, taking his shape and bordering him and then quickly shrinking until you never would have known that anyone had been there at all.
   Maya dropped the syringe she held, took two steps back and fell into a chair.
   15 miles away, Colin Edmunds was dragging his comic collection into the living room, an archive made up of 5 longboxes of magazines that were neatly bagged and boarded. The sight of them made Pete Andrews momentarily put down his cider.
   "You weren't kidding, were you, mate?" Pete exclaimed as his eyes grew wide. His passion for the art form virtually guaranteed that he'd never retain a girlfriend for longer than a week.
   "Course not," said Col

Recent Artwork Submissions

Chapter 4 - A Dream by littlecrow
Passing Through by lesley-oldaker
Waiting by lesley-oldaker

Chapter V by Micha-vom-Wald
Odyssey Project - MAYA - chapter 5 artwork by zyphryus  Chapter 5 - Psychosis by littlecrow
Odyssey CH. 4 by Cra-ZShaker  Odyssey chapter 4-Dream of the Deep by Solyane21
   V by FalkeSpassVogel   techno-colored psychosis with teeth by puzzledpixel