Deviant Login Shop  Join deviantART for FREE Take the Tour

The Stock Market - No. 9

Fri Apr 4, 2014, 2:03 PM









About Stock Market


The inspirational magic of one image awakening the creative muse of hundreds of artists.


This issue's stock image


White Peacock 01 by MapleRose-stock







Recent Issues









Issue No. 5


Queen 2 by visualgraffiti-stock






Issue No. 6


Lost by dazzle-stock






Issue No. 7


Nano: Stock by nothingreal0






Issue No. 8


Valentine by faestock










Cinema Makeup School

Wed Apr 2, 2014, 11:40 AM











Mastering The Magic ofMonster Making






15.7 million fans tuned in for the fourth season finale of the AMC cable channel’s hit series The Walking Dead, making it one of the most watched hour-drama broadcasts in cable history.





More than a mere gore fest, critical approval for the show has come by way of nominations from the Writers Guild of America and the Golden Globes. World War Z (2013) presented The Walking Dead on an epic scale, starring no less a Hollywood Mega Star than Brad Pitt, and has grossed over $600 million worldwide. A sequel is planned. The zombie movie has come a long way from Night of the Living Dead, the weekend movie project shot by George Romero and friends in Pittsburgh in 1968 on a $114,000 budget. Romero’s zombie concept, little-changed from then to now, was at the time reviled by critics as the worst thing to ever happen to the horror genre, but is today considered the genius zeitgeist forerunner of all that was to follow. Questions of pop psychology and sociology aside, one thing is certain…




But with such a growing demand for zombies, needed in greater and greater numbers to fill screens depicting the various takes on the imminent worldwide zombie apocalypse, how is Hollywood managing to supply the putrid zombie pipeline vomiting out these rotting living-dead brain-eaters? What was once the specialty make-up of a handful of Hollywood horror movie make-up artists has now become by necessity a standardized category of the special effects profession—which is currently being taken up by legions of young monster makers.  We here present a visit with one such school in this relatively new world of “physical character development.”






Special effects makeup has been a part of movies almost from the inception of popular cinema.









Lon Chaney Sculptures
Saul Alvarez and Mark VanTine.




Lon Chaney was the first great master of the physical transformation of an actor to fit an unusual or fantastical role. His silent movie masterpieces of the silent era included The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923) and The Phantom of the Opera (1925). He created and applied his own creative (and often painful) makeups personally, guarding the secrets of his process like a magician guards his tricks. When Lon died in 1930 the torch was passed to Jack Pierce who was the lead makeup maestro at Universal Studios just as it became the reigning House of Monster Horrors.  Pierce created the makeup for Boris Karloff in Frankenstein (1931) and The Mummy (1932) as well as Lon Chaney, Jr.’s The Wolfman (1941).


From the time of Jack Pierce the trade of special effects makeup remained a vocation pursued by individuals inspired by Chaney and Pierce, artists like Rick Baker and Tom Savini, who had to learn their craft largely on their own, there being no formal makeup schools teaching monster making and other special makeups required by horror, fantasy and sci-fi films.






The special effects makeup deficit was finally addressed in 1993...


With the founding in Hollywood of the first incarnation of the Cinema Makeup School (CMS), which has since become recognized as the leader in the genre makeup field, with graduates going on to great achievements critical acclaim at the highest levels. CMS’s longtime Director of Education, Leonard Engelman, was elected the first Governor of the Make-up Artists and Hairstylists Branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (the governing body for the Oscars®), and continues his work with the school to this day as a special instructor and chairman of the school’s honors program.








































The school’s plan was always simple:


Offer shorter, more concentrated classes; keep all instruction up-to-date with the latest professional methods and standards; and attract top working artists to teach at the school. The results have been impressive. Students have gone on to high-profile jobs with effects shops like Amalgamated Dynamics, Inc.; The Character Shop; Legacy Effects; and assisting well-known artists such as Ve Neill; Steve Wang; Kazuhiro Tsuji; and Joel Harlow. Enrollment continues to grow. The plan remains the same: pair eager students with top established talent, and then teach them the latest methods in a concentrated creative environment.






Cinema Makeup School is yet another example of a special creative need being recognized and then “solved” by artists, visionaries, entrepreneurs—a special breed of creative individuals come together in a single cause.







Eat breakfast. Go to school. Make monsters.





Cinema Makeup School Artists


Interviews



Five top students at the Cinema Makeup School (CMS) are deviantART members so we thought they would be the best source for information about the complexity and discipline around SPFX artistry.










Interview with

Midge Ordoñez (MidgeO)






Has what you’ve learned at CMS impacted your other creative work? Sculpting etc?



Midge Odoñez:

Yes it has. CMS taught me to create a full character, not just something that may look cool. I learned how emphasizing certain parts of the anatomy will change the emotion on a sculpt. I also think more about detail and the smaller shapes on the face and body when sculpting.



Has training in special effects makeup enhanced your skills in traditional beauty makeup?  Has being a “double threat” resulted in better employment opportunities?



Midge Odoñez:

I came to CMS with a few years doing beauty makeup under my belt, and learning about special effects has made me think more creatively about my beauty makeup. Being a "double threat" has definitely resulted in better employment opportunities, as more employers would rather hire one person who knows how to do both rather than two separate people. It's also good to know in case my creature needs any sort of beauty enhancement.





Will you continue in the makeup field or do you aspire to mastering any of the other aspects of movie production?



Midge Odoñez:

Working in the makeup industry  has been a dream of mine for years, one that I will continue to strive for, but being at CMS has opened me to exploring other facets as well. I want to get into making dolls and collectables, and after taking the Zbrush class CMS offers, I want to do more conceptual work as well.














Anatomy


by MidgeO
















Interview with

Jordan Morris (key-0)






What is the status of “Harbinger Down”, the Practical Creatures Effects Kickstarter project?



Jordan Morris:

Last I've heard is that the script is done!



Do you think special effects makeup produces a better result than CGI every time?  Is CGI too often automatically the first  choice?



Jordan Morris:

I'm on both sides of that conundrum. Honestly, I feel the mix of the two mediums have given the best results in recent days. Here I'll bring up the Pale Man and the Faun from Pan's Labryinth. It's not just makeup FX! Let's not forget miniatures, models and other practical effects as well! (Go watch some behind the scenes for Nolan's films... you'll see!)


As far as CGI as a first choice... it's hard to judge. There's many reasons for choosing CGI over practical for the set. Mostly monetarily reasons which falls onto studio pressure. However, I honestly believe that if there's something tangible right there on set you will get a better performance from your actors, your directors, your cinematographers, everyone.





Has training in makeup at CMS enhanced your drawing skills in any way?



Jordan Morris:

In a strange way, yes. Especially with sculpting appliances and maquettes. Working in 3 dimensions and making sure that a form fits and moves on a face... it can change the way you think about how anatomy works, not just how it's rendered. I've also found myself becoming more painterly now that I think more in shapes and planes. Better understanding how light hits a form. I still need to figure out environments though.






What do you see as the next big advancement in the field over the next 10 years?



Jordan Morris:

I think the only step in the 'future' I've ever really pondered would be something like 3D printed appliances. I haven't a clue how that would work but it would be pretty awesome!








Moth


by key-0








Zombie Tutorials with MidgeO & KCMussman


































Interview with

Melissa Jimenez (0oMrsHydeo0)






How has makeup training at CMS enhanced your costuming skills?



Melissa Jimenez:

Being a trained makeup artist has opened up a lot more possibilities when it comes to costuming. I’ve always wanted to work as a special effects makeup artist but being raised and born in Colombia never really allowed me that possibility, so costuming, cosplaying and character creation in general was my attempt at getting close to this craft.


Now with the combined knowledge of costuming and makeup I’ve been able to develop characters in a more complete way, since I get to be involved in more areas of the creation process and I’ve even been able to get more work because of my specific skill set.







Would you recommend CMS to your fellow Cosplayers?



Melissa Jimenez:

If you’re interested in makeup, absolutely. Not everyone that cosplays wants to get involved in makeup, since they’re more interested in the costuming side of it. But, for me, cosplaying and doing zombie makeups on myself and on friends for Halloween was my attempt at getting closer to my dream career—a career which at several points in my life I didn’t even believe I would be able to pursue. Luckily enough, costuming and cosplaying lead me into a natural transition over to makeup.


I had to work really hard to be able to move from Colombia to LA to pursue my dream, and I still have to work very hard to be able to do makeup for a living. It’s a very satisfying line of work and, at the end of the day, instead of working at an office I get to make monsters, play with clay and paints, work in movies and make the creatures that live in my imagination come to life; what could be better than that?



Does knowing you can produce superior effects makeup free you creatively when you are planning a costumed character?



Melissa Jimenez:

Definitely. For me creating a character not only involves thinking of the specific look and features that it might have, but also figuring out how that character would choose to dress itself or what attire would make sense in its everyday life. There’s a very good reason why the makeup and wardrobe department always work together in movies. Attempting to create a complete realistic being will always require a cohesive overall look; so personally, having knowledge in both departments allows me a lot of creative freedom.



Has what you have learned at CMS help you get modeling jobs?



Melissa Jimenez:

Of course, thanks to what I learned I model all the time, I model figurines out of clay, monster busts, creatures…


All jokes aside, modeling for me was never a set career; I always enjoyed the creative side of it, which for me involved doing makeup, creating outfits, props, set design, etc.  It was fun and thanks to it I met a lot of great people but I never saw myself doing it full time.


Nowadays I’m lucky enough to be able to work as a professional makeup artist which between being on set, working at special effects labs and developing personal projects, allows me very little time for anything else.











Interview with

KC (KCMussman)






Israel played such a big part in “World War Z”.  Is there as much interest in the zombie craze in Israel as there is in current American culture?



KC Mussman:

It seems these days that we are craving for zombies more than they crave for us, and yes-indeed even in smaller parts of the world such as Israel (because lets face it zombies are COOL!)


The Cinema of Israel is mostly traditional and comprised of mainly classic genres such as docu-dramas and military. Therefore I am not surprised that a new generation of film makers rose recently, pushing the limits and introducing Israel's big screens to horror, but still there is a long way to go.







Was becoming a working SPFX make-up artist the impetus behind your transplanting yourself in Hollywood?



KC Mussman:

When I got into makeup I started finding myself working on sets hands deep in (fake) blood and the deeper the blood the more I realized that I wanted to make movies!


I wanted to learn the real deal- and due to the limited resorces and knowledge in my country I knew i had to look elsewhere and Hollywood was just the place to get started!



Was there one movie in particular that made you decide you wanted to be a SPFX make-up person?



KC Mussman:

Many movies have inspired me, but my strongest inspiration comes from books. with a book anyone can become an artist- envisioning a written word and translating it into a character or a monster or a wondrous land. I am very influenced by Neil Gaimen, George RR Martin, HP Lovecraft, Alister Reynolds, Tolkien, Roger Zelazny, Issac Asimov, Richard K Dick, JK Rowling, Robin Hobb and many many more.



Your “glamour” make-ups seem to focus primarily around exotic and or horror-themed eyes and mouths. Are you a big fan of otherworldly seductions and dark sensuality?



KC Mussman:

Otherworldly seductions? Haha I guess you can say so. I love to focus on emotion, especially with my lip and eye art, in every makeup I emote a different feeling, I try to bring out conflict and contrast, to show the beauty of the beast.







I always knew I wanted to be an artist when I grow up. What kind I couldn't say but I knew it would be art.


When I was 6 years old my mother took me to audition for my first fine art school. there was a table with some drawl items- old bottles, a tin box, some books and a cow skull. I was given a set of pencils, charcoal and an aqua palette full of colors.


I did not touch the pencils nor the charcoal but went straight for the colors and used everyone of them. I painted a fiery sunset over a desert oasis with the cow skull resting beneath a palm beside the water. when we where done they set all our drawings out and to my surprise no one but myself has used any color, all I saw where copies of bottles and tins and books.


I was not accepted to that school, They said that I didn't follow the rules and that If I wanted to fit in I would have to paint what i was told like everybody else. Since then I have been accepted to several art schools and colleges, always in search to improve my skill-set and techniques but keeping true to myself and my vision.


In makeup I found the applicability of my art skills, and how I could use them to my advantage to transform Idea into Material, turning fantasy into reality. It amazes me to see my Imagination come alive and the happiness it brings to others, there is no other way to describe it but a mix of self accomplishment and excitement towards dreaming up the next living creation.











Tell a little about your latest work.



KC Mussman:

From monster movies to Japanese pop videos I defiantly am enjoying my job, not just creating creatures and corpses but also being part of the team and watching that movie magic come alive with my own eyes and knowing I had something to do with it.


On my last zombie film "6hrs" by Rhona Horiner Rosner  we had around 30 zombies shambling about, it was a hot August day and we had a "corpse room" where the actors would come and lie down on the floor to rest in the air conditioning while I applied touch ups- it was so creepy and funny how they all looked so real.


On the set of Bass Orchestra's "My Zombie Valentine" we had over 50 zombie extras that got so excited about being zombies they took a stroll down the main street and terrorized cars and startled by passers.


A couple weeks ago we where shooting car chases and ninja fights in China-Town, Its always very exciting.



Which actor/actress would you like to turn into a zombie or vampire or alien (with or without infected space parasite bites)?



KC Mussman:

Tilda Swinton, not only is she an incredible actress but she has such a variety of features along with an amazing bone structure that has many possibilities for a sfx makeup. I would love to turn her into a dark and beautiful celestial being.



What advice do you have for young deviants wanting to break into the SFX field?



KC Mussman:

DO IT. If you want to make monsters—go out and make them! Get online—research your options, talk with other SPFX artists and get inspired.








Zombie Tutorials with MidgeO & KCMussman





































Interview with

Lee Joyner (SkinStripper)


The current leader in charge of propelling the school to even greater heights.






Why did it take so long for Hollywood to recognize that formal training in special effects makeup was almost non-existent, yet obviously becoming a more and more in demand specialty?



Lee Joyner:

There aren’t actually very many training schools for this type of special skill.  Cinema Makeup School is actually one of the few that train in silicone gel filled appliances, creature maquette and ZBrush sculpture, moving blood flow (such as cutting throats, blood cannon), and combining all of that with the other classes such as airbrushing, beauty, hairstyling and others makes us quite a formidable facility.  We don’t advertise very heavily, so people who are looking to do this for a living search us out due to our high number of graduates that are alums of Face Off, our instructors who are considered the top in their fields and our commitment to providing a high level of technical and artistic quality to our instruction.











What has been the response to your school by the maverick outlier makeup artists like Rick Baker and Tom Savini?



Lee Joyner:

We have great respect for Tom for his contributions to the field with his book he wrote back in the ‘70s. Rick Baker is considered the new Godfather of special makeup effects, having had the torch passed down to him by the legendary Dick Smith. Rick and Dick are friends of CMS (Dick sponsored our first Legends of Makeup Scholarship, of which Face Off star Wayne Anderson was the recipient), and we’re proud to call them thusly. In fact, when Rick received his star on the Walk of Fame, he asked if we could bring out our students in full fx makeup to help liven up the event, and we were thrilled to participate!  Since we’re just a 5 minute subway ride from where his star was, we all went out (myself included, and how could I not!).  It was a rainy day, but the opportunity to see the makeup legend get his star on the Walk of Fame, along with legends such as Guillermo del Toro (with whom I worked on his first American film Mimic) and John Landis, well, it was a day to remember. I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention Jack Pierce, who is my personal makeup hero. Jack created the original Wolfman, Frankenstein’s Monster, The Mummy, and most of Universal’s classic line of Hollywood monsters. I was thrilled to be able to preside over the dedication of our Jack Pierce Gallery, where we showcase work from talented graduates and legendary makeup artists, such as 2 full sized silicone mermaids from Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011), donated by Joel Harlow.



Do you see a problem with a certain “routinization” of certain makeups (e.g. the current zombie look-alikes glut), or do you think the creative impulses of makeup artists will continue innovation despite producers’ “standard” requirements.



Lee Joyner:

There will always be innovation in the fx makeup industry. That’s what we love the most, to be honest.  We’re problem solvers.  We’re hired to make something that sounds impossible in the script become a reality, on time and on budget. It’s the most exciting part of the job for me.  We’re artists, magicians and mad scientists, all wrapped up in one. Sure, zombies can be similar, but compare the feeling of zombies across the spectrum: from Walking Dead to 28 Days Later, from the original Day of the Dead to Warm Bodies. There are huge differences of creative ideas there.  Compare werewolves!  Look at Dog Soldiers and American Werewolf in London, then take The Howling and The Wolfman. The creative freedom makeup artists gets is based on their passion and their ability to convince the production team that their design is what is needed for the project!  We teach our students to stand up for their ideas and their designs, but to also listen and be flexible. Being able to subtly manipulate the client to believe that what you’re showing them is what they wanting, and indeed, needing.







Lee started sculpting at the early age of 12, drawing for years before that, after being raised reading authors Madeleine L'Engle, H. P. Lovecraft, Stephen King and Piers Anthony, as well as the fantasies from Watership Down to Duncton Wood and many others. His brother raised him on Dungeons and Dragons in the 70’s, which moved into the rpgs Chill and Call of Cthulhu (due to his love of horror).  This love of escapism and fantasy worlds naturally led to all things video game (he is still an avid gamer today).  His obsession with fantasy and creature art led to Lee attending Savannah College of Art and Design on scholarship for Illustration, then traveling the country to various other colleges and majors, ending at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh for Industrial Design.


After working with various animatronic firms (trying desperately to not have to work in the real world) from Florida to Tennessee to Michigan, moving from one job to the next.  Lee ended up in Los Angeles, creating and contributing to some of Hollywood's iconic creations, from Mimic to Godzilla, and Star Trek DS9 and Voyager to Stargate SG-1. He started teaching at Cinema Makeup School to make ends meet between industry jobs, and eventually became one of their directors. Now, semi-retired from the industry, Lee focuses on Cinema Makeup School and his creature concept design, bringing to life creatures that are an amalgam of books, films and illustrations and paintings that have influenced his psyche and made him who he is today.














What are the benefits of your school to the young artist interested in special effects makeup beyond the actual training in makeup skills?



Lee Joyner:

There will always be innovation in the fx makeup industry. That’s what we love the most, to be honest. We’re problem solvers. We’re hired to make something that sounds impossible in the script become a reality, on time and on budget. It’s the most exciting part of the job for me. We’re artists, magicians and mad scientists, all wrapped up in one. Sure, zombies can be similar, but compare the feeling of zombies across the spectrum: from Walking Dead to 28 Days Later, from the original Day of the Dead to Warm Bodies. There are huge differences of creative ideas there. Compare werewolves! Look at Dog Soldiers and American Werewolf in London, then take The Howling and The Wolfman. The creative freedom makeup artists gets is based on their passion and their ability to convince the production team that their design is what is needed for the project! We teach our students to stand up for their ideas and their designs, but to also listen and be flexible. Being able to subtly manipulate the client to believe that what you’re showing them is what they wanting, and indeed, needing.


We train them in set etiquette, terminology, breaking down and bidding on scripts, as well as balancing the makeup training with our advanced concept classes, such as Creature Maquette Sculpture, ZBrush Digital Sculpture and Digital FX Makeup Design, not to mention our Advanced Beauty Theory. They also have access to our job emails and seminars and events for the rest of their lifetime, and can come back and use any available space at our facility for practice makeups, production meetings, equipment usage, as well as hit up any of our staff with any industry advice they need. We’re always available to help our graduates!









What was the turning point when you knew your vision for CMS was becoming a reality and success was at hand?



Lee Joyner:

I would say it was in the early 2000’s when I instituted silicone gel filled appliance training at the school. That’s what they use today to create realistic prosthetics that have beautiful movement and translucency, seen in Benjamin Button, Norbit, Star Trek, etc. At that time no other school was teaching it. I kept waiting for other schools to catch on, but they never did. The reason was it was difficult and expensive. Their attitude was “why do something if we have students and doing well?.” Cinema Makeup School wasn’t about the status quo. We were, and are, interested in the furtherance of the craft, keeping it alive, and doing what we can to increase its reach and use. Training today’s new generation of makeup artists requires cutting edge techniques and technology. We’re adjusting our curriculum constantly to reflect what is required in the field and to help our clients achieve that edge over the competition. When I realized the other makeup training facilities were not going to change their attitude, I knew we could achieve anything we set our minds on, and we have!



What is now your greater ambition for the school and its impact in the industry?



Lee Joyner:

Our goal at CMS is strive to attract the most passionate, creative and artistic makeup artists the world has to offer. I see as our duty to fill the void left from the old apprentice system. We need to instill in these creative monsters a love of the craft, the knowledge of who paved the way before them, and the tools to keep improving their makeup and design skills every time they pick up a brush or a sculpting tool.








Is there a general acceptance of or prejudice against genre makeup artists in the traditional Hollywood film and TV makeup community?



Lee Joyner:

We always recommend a makeup artist be as well rounded as possible, as there are not always genre jobs available. That knowledge of beauty and fx makeup tends to reduce any prejudice, since they can usually speak on the same level with other makeup artists. In regards to general prejudice, no, in fact it’s usually the other way around. Who doesn’t love blood splatter day on set? Everyone gets to wear their rain gear and be in the middle of a gore explosion!  As I always say, makeup is makeup is makeup. A makeup master like Joel Harlow, who has created Johnny Depp’s amazing transformations for films like Alice in Wonderland, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, The Lone Ranger and Dark Shadows, also has to create his subtle looks and perform his beauty makeup as well. We’re also incredibly fortunate to have someone like Joel as an instructor here at CMS, when he has the time between working with Johnny.



What do you see as the online future of the CMS?  How are technological advances evolving the possibilities of teaching and learning effects makeup?



Lee Joyner:

There are incredible opportunities for online instruction!  Hollywood has opened up to the entire world the majesty of fx makeup with shows like Face Off (Cinema Makeup School has had 16 graduates, so far, having appeared on Face Off) and films like The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, and of course countless others. Now, people are searching for schools that can provide that training and knowledge. The internet has enabled us to create a bridge, giving those passionate about becoming fx makeup artists an avenue to make that dream a real event. The best way to train is in person, standing next to your mentor, having them guide you step by step. The ability to have someone show you in person what needs to happen to turn your makeup from ordinary into extraordinary is crucial. That being said, we also share telepresence with other schools around the world for seminars, and do have a library of DVD instructional training that we will be making public for sale.










Lee Joyner's


DEVIANTS


To Watch









:iconnisachar:

Nisachar



“Nisachar’s use of color and composition with such powerful emotion create beautiful tapestries of illustrative art reminiscent of Babylonian murals from millennia past. His MBX Vol 01 20 Battle Kauravas was what keyed me in to his work initially, and I have a rotating desktop with his work daily to keep reminding me that such art exists.”


—Lee Joyner




:iconriccardofedericiart:

Riccardo Federici



“What more can I say. Riccardo’s usage of traditional pen and brush in such small spaces astounds me with the amount of detail he creates in his powerfully moody tableaus. I’ve never seen such a classical treatment of such strange and dark subject matter. To me, he’s channeling da Vinci. There. I said it.”


—Lee Joyner




:iconcreaturesfromel:

Ellen June



“Ellen June creates such a wonderful flow of positive and negative space in her sculptural designs. Her Petal Deer and White Dragon are just a few of the pieces that strike me deeply, and if you stare at them long enough, can bring you to tears.”


—Lee Joyner




:icondubisch:

Mike Dubisch



“Mike Dubisch and his usage of color and absence of color to create otherworldy creatures is masterful. His Black Velvet Necronomicon is one of my most treasured books.  His knowledge of tentacles, webbing and strange liquids is deep and disturbing, but in a way that makes you want to snuggle up to the page and sleep long and deep.”


—Lee Joyner




:iconjeffsimpsonkh:

Jeff Simpson



“Jeff Simpson puts his character design first and foremost, fusing the technical simplicity of Syd Mead with the warm focus of Zdislaw Beksinski. Combine that with a talent for bringing forth the imperfect spark of real personality and you get a beautiful package of character art that inspires one to simply create.”


—Lee Joyner






Questions





For the Reader









  1. Have you had the experience of having a particularly frightening horror movie being ruined when the monster finally revealed isn't so scary?  Conversely, do you think horror movie makers today rely too much on the extremely effective make-ups and put too little into making the actual stories scary?
  2. What was the first memorable halloween mask or make-up your ever wore?  Did you like the sensation of being a scary monster?
  3. What's the best horror or fantasy make-up you've ever seen in a movie?
  4. Which movie or TV show has the best (most convincingly rotting, etc.) zombies?









I Need Feminism

Fri Mar 7, 2014, 3:19 PM







I need feminism because
It’s acceptable to call me a slut.
I need feminism because
It’s okay for a guy to slap my butt.
I need feminism because
It’s my own fault if a man rapes me.
I need feminism because
I should look good for men to see.
I need feminism because
People think it means ‘anti-man’.
I need feminism because
I can’t do things that men can.
I need feminism because
Girls think it’s cool to shame each other.
I need feminism because
The world has higher hopes for my brother.
I need feminism because
My femininity makes me ‘weak’.
I need feminism because
If I act masculine I’m a ‘freak’.
I need feminism because
My boobs are my ‘best quality’.
I need feminism because
I believe in equality.


           










Foreword





It’s a rare enough occasion when a literary deviant posts a poem that elicits over 2,000 comments for that feat to be acknowledged and celebrated. CorporateRockWhore recently graced the deviantART community with her work, I Need Feminism which generated a firestorm of opinion, both positive and negative. By serendipitous happenstance, her poem was published just as depthRADIUS was releasing our Coven article about the American Horror Story TV show, which also blew up a gale force of discussion, mostly centering on current perceptions and feelings about “feminism”.




We invited Ellie (a.k.a. CorporateRockWhore) to share with the community a little about the genesis of her poem and her feelings about the overwhelming response, positive and negative, it has received.  In her comments, published below, she addresses several misperceptions about her “feminist” intents, including the toxic notion (pervasive amongst so many men) that feminism is not so much about equal access and opportunity for both genders, but much more about female supremacism and the crushing of the male spirit.









Follow Up





Recently, as some of you may know, I wrote and posted a poem entitled I Need Feminism. This was inspired and prompted by a multitude of different factors, from things I’ve experienced myself to things that I have some across on the internet. For example, one of the lines in the poem is:



It’s okay for a guy to slap my butt.





Not particularly eloquent, I know, but it is based on several experiences that I have had; men, usually older than myself, copping a feel and then, when I protested, finding it funny. Of course, not all guys are like this, but some (a small, small amount) are and, just as equally, some women support it too (a few times I’ve complained to fellow female friends about it happening and a few of them acted as though I should have felt flattered). Another example is this line:





I can’t do things that men can.





Here I’m talking about things in a sort of socially justifiable kind of way. One instance of this could be the idea that it’s ‘cool’ if a man has sex with lots of different women, but when a woman has sex with lots of different men she is shamed for it. Personally, I don’t think either gender should get shamed for that sort of thing—the amount of people you have slept with doesn’t make you any better or any worse a person.


I spend a lot of my time on the internet, probably more than is healthy, and it is from the internet that I got into the concept of feminism. I’d see a post on websites such as Tumblr of instances of sexism that people (both male and female) have encountered and it made me angry, extremely angry. A person shouldn’t be defined by their gender or race or religion or sexuality; they should be defined by whether they’re a nice person or not. Simple. Equally, I have found examples of sexism taking place on the internet. It is all of the above (and a bit more) that inspired me to write I Need Feminism.











by Dolk Lundgren







Nothing could have prepared me for the reaction that it got. Honestly, I never expected it to be seen by so many people and to generate such diverse, strong opinions out of people. Nor did I expect it to cause so many arguments between commenters. I think it’s great, that something I wrote got people talking and brought up the issue; as an aspiring writer, that’s the best thing that I can hope for. I must admit, though, that it did get a bit scary with some of the more aggressive comments—I’d never set out to infuriate or offend anyone.


When someone comments on something of mine, I only think that it’s fair for me to respond. After all, they took the time out of their day to talk to me, so why shouldn’t I grant them the same courtesy? This is how I found myself proactively engaged in both conversations and arguments with the readers of the piece. Also, when I feel strongly about something, I’m always happy to talk about it and hear other people’s opinions.


The comments ranged from in-depth arguments and analysis to people complimenting the piece, from people agreeing to people asking me questions about it, from “you’re my hero” to “slit your wrists”. I found each comment interesting and uplifting, even if they weren’t always intended to be as such. The one thing that came up time and time again throughout the ~2,900+ comments was the idea that feminism is anti-man. I would like to address that here.










Let’s take a look at the Wikipedia definition of Feminism

Feminism is a collection of movements and ideologies aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, and social rights for women. This includes seeking to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment. A feminist advocates or supports the rights and equality of women.







It is not about women being better than men, it is not about taking rights away from men and it is not about beating men down; it’s about bringing us all up to the same level. There are plenty of male feminists too – Matt Damon, Joss Whedon, Richard Branson and Prince Harry, to name but a few that you may know. In a similar vein, it is not the idea that all men are evil. It’s the idea that some people (both male and female) are sexist and that isn’t cool.





But, Ellie, why don’t you back equalism?





I hear you cry. Simple answer: I do.


I had an influx of comments saying that I should be backing things like egalitarianism, not feminism. I, personally, back both. Egalitarianism aims for complete equality, right? And then feminism aims for complete equality for women; you can’t achieve egalitarianism aims without also achieving feminist aims too. If you look at equality as a fight, then feminism is a faction of the army. I support equality for all, regardless of gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, sexual identity or any other factor that isn’t based around whether the person is nice or not. I can be a feminist and still back other movements too.


I’m going to wrap up with this, my own personal view on what feminism means. Feminism is an idea, a concept and it is not tangible – it is not concrete. Feminism means different things to different people. To some it may be used as an excuse to promote anti-male and female-supremacy ideas, but to many it is used to genuinely promote equality. Feminism, to me, means equality, means loving myself, means respecting women as you would men. Feminism isn’t evil or dangerous. Well, no more so than any other idea is.










Interview




@tecgnotic

Do you find it ironic or maddening when people with unquestioned social and economic advantages feel threatened by a disadvantaged group demanding equal status in society?  If this is “feminist” is it really all that radical or just common sensible?  Is “feminism” simply synonymous with “pro-fairness?”  This seems to be what you are saying.




CorporateRockWhore

I find it slightly annoying but I think I understand why some people might feel threatened. In the case of feminism I can see it, seeing as it gets a lot of negative press. I'm not going to deny that there are some radical feminists out there, but it's important to bear in mind that there some 'sane' feminists too. To me, feminism does mean “pro-fairness”; it's about equality/fairness between the genders. At least, that's how I interpret it. It means different things to different people, I think.






@tecgnotic

Would you agree that “feminism” has evolved away from an organized political movement for most women, and become more of a personal code of rules for self-respect and self-worth?  Is this a good or bad thing?




CorporateRockWhore

I think that, in most areas, it has moved away from being an organised political movement. I'm not a member of any feminist groups, but I see it as a mindset or, as you put it, a personal code. I think this is a really positive thing because it makes feminism much more accessible for everyone.






@tecgnotic

Do you think you’ll ever lose your need for feminism in your lifetime, or will your need always approximate your assessment of gender inequality in the world?




CorporateRockWhore

I think I will always need feminism, or the ideals behind it at least. Saying that though, I'm only seventeen; there is plenty of time left for the need to deplete over my lifespan.


















Questions

For The Reader


  1. What does feminism mean today? Is it authentic to its original intent or has it transformed into something for a new generation?
  2. Do you find a person having solid feminist convictions to be a positive, empowering, attractive personality trait, or is it a politically and/or socially polarizing?
  3. When does our obsession with the female body cross over from being an appreciation of physical beauty to objectification?
  4. Does objectification deny the fact that women are human beings who are sexual, but who are also thinking, creative, artistic, loving and in need of being loved?
  5. Is objectifying the female human body a violation of the principles of feminism or does it embrace them?
  6. If a woman thinks it’s OK for men to comment on women’s bodies, or make sexual suggestions in public, or touch a woman they don’t really know, is she just reconciling herself to the reality of male-female relations or is she enabling bad behavior that harms men as much as women?
  7. Do you think poems and other personal statements like “I Need Feminism” are bridges of hope for a more equal future, or just provocations meant to stir the pot?
  8. Do you think there is too much female focused nude subject matter on deviantART or is it a non-issue for you?  How much do you think your gender or sexual preferences might influence your answer?







Mansions of The Mind

Tue Mar 4, 2014, 2:26 PM






Mansions of The Mind

“Some use Ink, I confide in Silver”
Lauren E. Simonutti








Quote by Lauren E. Simonutti

“ The misfirings of my beloved/despised mind that conspire to convince me to destroy all have rendered me housebound and led to a solitary life. A creature of past, proof, memory and imaginary friends, I am aware enough to know the things I see and hear are not real, but that does not mean I do not still see and hear them.”









Forewordby techgnotic






For a very long time Lauren Simonutti's haunting photographs were a spectral presence amongst the deviantART community, as emulators sought to discover and replicate the mysterious processes of the uncommunicative artist. They could not have known that an unceasing physical and mental anguish was the key engine driving her artistic achievement, an inner pain that could never be duplicated.


It was shortly after she had agreed to be interviewed by techgnotic about her life and her art that she passed away, her unbroken silence proceeding with her onto her next plane of existence.




Ellen Herbert, owner of NEAT Production, a company specializing in all aspects of art production services and tools, is a longtime admirer of the work of Lauren E. Simonutti, a.k.a. lauren-rabbit. Ellen has written this appreciation of the artist as a special guest correspondent for depthRADIUS. She has worked on the deviantART Stock Project and is a lecturer at Art Institute and ACCD. A bit of a different career in photography, her creative guidance has allowed her to work on everything from ad campaigns to Academy Award winning documentaries. Let's welcome her to the depthRADIUS.









Mansions of the Mindby ellenherbert






What made Lauren Simonutti spend three and a half years, withdrawn from society, working alone in an initially dilapidated house that she converted—every corner, every nook, every stairway, used to stage frightening and preposterous and wonderful events—into a series of photographic tableaux?






These darkly configured dreamscapes contain phantoms of her own making—clocks frozen, sometimes double exposed, glass eyeballs, bedsheets stung with the sun, mini-ziggurats of prescription pill bottles—and, in most, she becomes her own phantom, the subject at the center of this seemingly supernatural world.











Admission












By her own account, it seems to have been a way to try and introduce some sense of “silence” into her life, some measure of artistic control over the voices that continually echoed through her head.











As she describes:





“ I began to hear voices. Three of them, quite distinct. Two are taunting and the third voice is mine, as I have heard it externally, on a tape recording or answering machine. That voice has some reserve, it seldom makes itself heard. The others are a constant. They all live in my right ear which rather makes sense as I spontaneously went deaf in that ear a decade ago and it has been vacant ever since. As time and treatment progressed they have stopped screaming and contribute only a dull murmur. Except at bedtime, at bedtime they like to sing.”








Before her death in 2012, Simonutti suffered from bipolar and schizoaffective disorder, and in a short period of time from 2006 produced an incredible array of haunting photographs that reflected (and shattered into different reflections, like the mirrors that she sometime used) the mind of a woman who tried to balance the chaos of creativity with the chaos of her thoughts, and try to seemingly find a defining organizational coping mechanism in both.





Simonutti’s process was to stage still-lives and memento moris for her camera, often appearing as the disembodied subject within her own mindscapes. Colluding with her own visions, externalizing them into negatives, she danced with herself in the ghostly double-exposures of her set-pieces. Her process, though, wasn’t yet finished; these were just the first iterations of her compulsions. Working both in camera, and then in darkroom, Simonutti re-manipulated her photographs by individually toning them, obsessively (which she acknowledged, with a wry sense of humor and self-awareness that she was maybe being a bit “obsessive”), until she had images that she could collate into a small series of extremely limited-edition hand-bound books.


The three books that Simonutti produced are more tactile than even the misleadingly dense surfaces of the prints. Inlaid with delicate papers suffused with rose petals—symbols of both joy and memorializing—her prints sit, glued to the surface, and adopt the mien of a kind of psychic scrapbook; chaotic but beautiful, intimate but sometimes incomprehensible. Each book was color-coded: one blue for “memory”; one rose petals red for “passion”; the third yellow for “hope and promise.”









writer's block















By The Catherine Edelman Gallery





That Simonutti, in collaboration with the Catherine Edelman Gallery (who first discovered her work, and wanted to bring it to a wider audience), invested in books with print runs of, sometimes no more than 43 copies, is a production process that contains its own internal logic: after all, here was a woman whose mental illness catalyzed her alienation of most of her close friends and family, so such small runs seem, somehow, appropriate.






Inner Pages










Instead, discretely sending out her books that she punched and combed-bound herself—via outlets such as deviantART—she might, perhaps, have preferred that unknowable intimate connection with a mail order stranger; opening her book, feeling the infused paper on their fingertips, the lovely binding, ringing the tiny bells, attached, so that the buyer, like her, would not know what silence is. Dark feathers allude to her compulsion with, unsurprisingly, Edgar Allan Poe.


The final touch, again demonstrating her self-awareness and fortitude with her condition, was a spare book band, labeled, as she put it, “...should the first one break.” Fragility within strength.
















Luckily, for the rest of us who are unlikely to ever see these rare editions, Simonutti’s prints are just as visceral as her books.











Curtain Call





Her inventory covers more than what was printed in her volumes (and, prior to her death, she was planning a new spirit series of images). Overall, it’s a stunning and compulsive series of suites that are protean, and disturbing, and mesmerizing. Certain images of Simonutti, as subject, elicit a Victorian-era milieu, of bourgeoise seances (and certainly her double-exposed ghost figures hover within home-scale proscenium arches); but also of those staged scientific photographs in which male doctors dressed troubled women in white robes so as to better ‘prove’ their hysteria. Simonutti, whilst playing with such references, also has a much clearer sense that she is the one, this time, doing the manipulating; she is the one exploring her own sense of her fractured self. She is the enabler that exerts control and makes the decisions, in her images; not some third party quack, or caregiver, or a frustrated relative disappearing into silent disapproval.















Resume










here there be monsters










at night they still remember u










Simonutti’s legacy lives on, after her death; but amidst the terror (because there is terror), and the magic, and the wonder of her images, it’s important to understand how pure her photographs truly are.








In a world where, for more than a century, artists have purposefully played with their own manufactured personas as an integral part of their artwork—from the provocations of Dali, the cold winking contempt of Koons, and even the distancing ironic refractions of Cindy Sherman—Simonutti never had this arms’ length luxury, this freedom to posture outside of herself. She was always inside herself, even when she wanted to get out.


Maybe this is one reason why Simonutti has struck such a chord within the community of deviantART artists. Her account page lauren-rabbit is filled with comments on her passing. One in particular stands out:




“ I really hope you find a way as a spirit into images visible to us given your late interest in that subject! Would be so wonderful.”




which is one of many.






The tragedy of Simonutti is not her art (that is her triumph); but that she sometimes seemed to have endured a solitude that, as much as it drove her art, maybe also contributed to her feelings of alienation, (as much as she also seems to have needed it). Maybe the truth is also that, without those voices in her ear, she would not have been able to access her inner spirit to produce works of such resonance. All artists, after all, like to think that there is a little madness in them, a sense that they are swimming against a stream of conformity, and find themselves, thankfully, alone in the blank canvas of their studio...


The only certainty is that Simonutti used her own conditions to make work of lasting inspirational value to many others. Maybe she was happy to be isolated in her workshop/sanctuary; not least because she had enough voices in her head already, and assistants and sycophants might have gotten in the way of her art. Simonuti remained alone in her dilapidated house, restoring it, and herself, one room of the mind at a time.














the pendulum swings










convoluted










the captive of all her vices












trial + error










mobile










Sixth year-me, myself + I










Artist Talk with Lauren E. Simonutti (2010)from Catherine Edelman Gallery












QuestionsFor The Reader






  1. What feelings are provoked within you when viewing Lauren’s art?  Mystic wonder?  Sadness?  Alienation and loneliness?  A sense of reconciliation with the physical corruption of death?  Claustrophobia and release?
  2. Lauren worked almost entirely in a traditional process – no photoshop or other digital trickery.  Just camera and darkroom.  Does this add value or a greater “validity” to her work as fine art?  Why or why not?
  3. Have you personally ever been an artist in crisis or sought to help an artist who was suffering with overwhelming personal demons?  What do you think is the best advice for artists on the edge, and for those trying to pull them back from that edge?
  4. Do you think there is a danger in being too isolated with your art and letting no one else be a part of the process of your creativity and execution of your art?  Do you find you need the community of other artists or supporters to be able to face your daily duties as a struggling artist and functioning human?






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.”

:icondepthradius:


The Stock Market - No. 8

Fri Feb 14, 2014, 12:27 PM




About Stock Market


The inspirational magic of one image awakening the creative muse of hundreds of artists.


This issue's stock image


Valentine by faestock







Recent Issues









Issue No. 4


Faballa 4 by liam-stock






Issue No. 5


Queen 2 by visualgraffiti-stock






Issue No. 6


Lost by dazzle-stock






Issue No. 7


Nano: Stock by nothingreal0


















The FX Channel has just concluded the highly successful third season of its American Horror Story series.






Each season has featured its own stand-alone storyline, insuring against series stagnation and creating a story competition as the ever-ravenous horror audience eagerly awaits each season’s next outrageous attempt to top the last. Coven, the third entry in the series, a witchcraft genre entry, has not disappointed. Its star, Jessica Lange, was nominated for a Golden Globe. Critical reception, despite the considerable gory fx (envelope-pushing for network TV), has been uniformly positive. The ratings have soared.




Set in contemporary New Orleans, Coven tells a tale of internecine struggle as the dying matriarch of a clan of young witches fights the inevitable succession of the next “Supreme” witch, soon to usurp her leadership.  She simultaneously wages a struggle against the loss of her youth, her seductive beauty and death itself. The narrative punch is Stephen King meets Tennessee Williams.









Quote from Katy:



The Supreme—The concept of this is very interesting to me. I feel that it’s sort of a high priestess in a coven, the witch the rest of the coven looks up to for guidance etc. I think it’s strange how they set it up that the supreme gets sick as the new supreme comes into her powers. I think that’s pretty unrealistic in terms of witchcraft, as we all have our own power and grow into them with time and practice and while we do so, it doesn’t take away from anyone else.”


Astralseed (Katy), Modern American Witch





American Horror Story: Coven deviations:











While pop culture commentators have made much of Coven reflecting the psychotic levels of youth and body worship that we’ve reached in our society, as well as the aggressive edge that has developed, socially and especially sexually, amongst today’s young women (the debate raging as to whether this signifies growing empowerment or just a general coarsening of the culture)—I think there’s something more to the special response received by Coven. I think a far deeper chord of male and female identity and relationships may have been struck for there to be so much resonance in response to this show.
















Does Coven reflect a realignment in the male/female power paradigm?




The concept of “witchcraft” itself was invented by the Holy Roman Church when it assumed authority over all Europe after the collapse of the Roman Empire. During the Medieval reign of the Roman Church, all religions competing with Christianity were obliterated or driven underground.  Pagans who refused to convert to the official state religion withdrew back into the deep woods and continued with their rites of ingesting natural herbs and seeking oneness with the spirits present throughout nature.


The Church responded to these homeopathic healers and midwives by denouncing them as “witches” and lodging the Big Lie against them that they were practitioners of “demonology” (raising demons from Hell to do bad things) and that they were Satan worshippers.  Crop failures, livestock epidemics and still-births were attributed to witchcraft. And so, each time, a few more non-conformist unmarried women were “convicted” as witches and burned, hanged, crushed or drowned. And the good people felt safe again.












Quotes from the Community:





I come from a family who has generations of individuals who have believed and practiced in what many outsiders refer to as witchcraft. However, my family does not call it witchcraft. Nor do we like being called witches. Instead, we refer to it as being spiritual or rather enlightened or living with the veil lifted.”


diphylla (Star), modern American Witch




I know of no one who can bring back the dead. I don’t know any human voodoo dolls. I for one cannot flip buses. For me, Witchcraft is about connecting with the world with both physical stuff and ether (it’s all one) and fighting to make a difference for other people.”


diphylla (Star), modern American Witch








I think Myrtle’s gift is the closest to realistic abilities out of all of them. Misty’s being the least. Although I love Misty! She has the personality and attitude of a true witch I feel. She’s in touch with nature and she wants to do good with her abilities… I’m in love with nature, I draw all of my energy from nature. It makes me so happy to see somebody else also as in love with nature as I am.”


mippieArt (Leana), Modern South African Witch











After an estimated half-million executions in Europe and America, witch lynchings became rare after 1800.








In the modern age, witches and witchcraft have become more the stuff of children’s tales and Halloween fun.  Belief in actual Satanic covens of beings empowered through magic potions and incantations has become nonthreatening superstition.  Recently, a revival of a “positive” version of witchcraft as a rediscovered Pagan religion has evolved into the thriving Wiccan movement, in which spellcasting is practiced for the good and Satanism and demonology are denounced and rejected as having nothing to do with “white witchcraft.”






This Chinese Wall now separating Satanism/demonology and the modern witch was most evident in the popular show, Charmed (1998-2006), in which the three young “white lighter” protagonists were constantly forced to defend themselves against demon assassins sent to kill them.




Quote from Jaimie:


There is no such thing as “white” or “black” magic. Magic has no color. It is the reflection of the intention of the Witch who is using it. So, there are really no intrinsically “good” or “bad” witches; rather, it depends on intent.”


Aeirmid (Jaimie), modern American Witch





Coven represents the latest “rebirth” of the witchcraft narrative.






As a story centered on contending generations of females, birth and rebirth are in fact a constant theme throughout the story. The witches kill each other, but sometimes bring each other back from the dead. The “Supreme” fights for immortality, while her old rival chooses self-immolation, her life’s work having been completed.  What’s new in this latest plunge into the pop zeitgeist is the story’s “report” on two rapidly evolving issues.


First, there’s the current state of how young women value themselves as independent beings beyond body-image slavery. Jessica Lange is a brilliant choice to play Fiona, the Supreme on her way out. She is about as classically beautiful as any Hollywood actress working today. Her character is driven to murder and madness by her inability to stall the natural aging process by yet another century. The young witches of the coven are, in contrast, a collection of the most anti-cliché beauties imaginable.  It is definitely a new dawn on television when Gabourey Sidbe and Jamie Brewer can be cast as protagonists non-ironically.  This update bulletin on the current changing state of young female body-image attitudes is definitely a positive report.







Second, there is the male/female power issue. Whatever the historical reality or actual metaphysical possibilities of the practice of witchcraft – there is always the power of the witch as metaphor.  Here is a witchcraft story that, in trying to entertain the 29-49 demographic, reflects back to that audience what the makers intuit is their sensibility in male-female relationships.  What’s unique in the witch narrative is its constant theme of female subversion and non-compliance with male power. It’s all about females banding together to learn arcane methods of alternative defense and weaponry to battle male oppression. I believe Coven has such deep resonance because it’s a snapshot of the current state of female strategies of advancement and simultaneous accommodation within our contemporary patriarchy.









Quote from Jaimie:


I was disappointed that there was no talk of energy or anything like that. I don’t mean energy as in, “Here, let’s do Reiki on you!” but rather in terms of spirit or essence of existence. Also in terms of personal power.”


Aeirmid (Jaimie), modern American Witch





We see in Fiona’s downfall not only the demise of the witchcraft of her generation, but with it the demise of her generation’s stale male/female power paradigm.








Fiona’s power flows from her physical beauty, her sexual allure. Inflaming men’s desire is her method of control and power over the opposite gender. The traditional male response to this sort of female “empowerment” is to hate being controlled by one’s own hormones. Fiona’s sexiness is her source of power, her true worth. Each wrinkle is a devaluation of her being. Her lover is The Axeman, a revived serial killer. Fiona’s horrible fate is to end up in Hell living out an eternal Groundhog’s Day existence with the brutish Axeman in a tiny 50’s-style claustrophobic domicile. She will endlessly reap what she has sown, being simultaneously adored but also brutally controlled by her significant other.










The love interest of the younger generation of witches is Kyle, the only “nice” frat boy amongst a crew of rapists, all killed in an act of vengeance by one of the witches. Kyle is revived from the dead, but with body parts borrowed from the dead frat boys. The witches attempt to literally preserve the prospective boyfriend’s non-misogynist mind and sweet spirit, and – of secondary concern—reassemble the rest of him into a generically hot stud from spare boy parts. An interesting play on the difference between male and female priorities. Of course, the well-intentioned use of witchery goes awry and he becomes a raging mental defective who has to be cared for by the coven like a pet dog. But the theme of male-female connection through appreciation of specialness, of placing a premium on, rather than casting stones at, otherness, is constant throughout the young witches’ relations with the opposite gender.







Quote from Jaimie:


What is it, at the core, that we believe in? For me, it is that energy flows and envelops everything that is, and that we are manifestations of that energy. I believe that we can manipulate our energy and influence others’. I believe that there is something so much greater than I am “out there,” but that I am part of it (as we all are). I rarely differentiate between spirit and flesh, as it is really kind of a continuum. I am super excited about this opportunity to learn what others believe and to share it with you.”


Aeirmid (Jaimie), Modern American Witch





Coven uses the darkness of the horror genre to illuminate the stark difference in how today’s younger generation of females (as represented by Coven’s young spellcasters) balances body-image with more important personal traits in nurturing self-value and a healthy self-identity. This, as opposed to the old style notion of a women’s main worth being her physical attractiveness. Coven also rings a death knell for the “traditional” (often lethal) formula of male absolute adoration of a woman’s physical beauty coupled with the need to absolutely control the “beloved” woman. The attitudes of the young witches point to a major positive sea-change in the male-female power-control equation. Pursuing and preserving power and control over others would appear to be a life strategy that is dying off with the older generations. It may be gradually being replaced with a growing appreciation of the value of all the small wonders and personal gifts that give a truer value to all our lives.
















Out of a deep-fried southern gothic fever dream of contemporary New Orleans saunter the decadent libertine belles of the delicious pulp that is American Horror Story: Coven.









Within the first hour, these sultry divas brandish their feminine powers to telekinetically destroy vicious rapists, tap the fountain of youth by draining a man of his life force and resurrect an undead torturess, firing the opening salvo in AHS’ first gynocentric season.  Beyond its obvious main directive of being a shocking scare-fest, Coven explores themes of misogyny, youth obsession and toxic female rivalry against the backdrop of feminism and witchcraft in all their seemingly contradictory permutations and agendas.




The young witches of the coven embody in their unique supernatural gifts the full spectrum of Wiccan Triple Goddess archetypes. They also display the full spectrum of body and personality types, providing an accessible role model protagonist for each and every young female viewer. The coven is governed by Supreme witch Fiona Goode (portrayed by classically beautiful Jessica Lange).  The Supreme is aging and she is fighting to cheat her impending death by all manner of experimental pharmaceuticals and dangerous arcane incantations.







Fiona warns, “a storm is coming,” and as the season unfolds we’ll witness the women unifying their powers and banding together for survival. To that end, a new coven leader must be chosen. According to the mythology of this witches’ tale, there must be a contest between the young witches that will result in a successor to the “retiring” Supreme. The true Supreme is a chosen one always meant to assume power, her messianic identity to be revealed by her victory in the competition.




The greatest danger to the survival of the coven is Fiona’s sabotage of each witch she senses may be the chosen one.  Driven mad by the loss of her physical beauty and desperately seeking a “magickal” way out of ever dying, Fiona would rather kill her own daughter than give up her power. This hidden handicap is only discovered by the contestants very late in their competition.


Here we have one of Coven’s intersections between witchcraft and feminism. Fiona is old school, using her sexual allure to exercise power over men, a crude traditional strategy of empowerment rejected by modern feminists.  Her empowerment relies on “playing” the male power structure rather than altering it or replacing it. The misogyny that birthed this coercive form of female empowerment only gives rise to male resentment and abuse against females in response.









How is it witches came to be associated with feminism?






The simple answer is that any act of female defiance against male diktat is considered by the male power structures (religious, corporate, legal and cultural) to be de facto “feminism.” When Pagan herbal healers refused to convert to Christianity in Medieval Europe, the propaganda stereotype of the Satan-worshipping crone dancing around a fire and sacrificing children was first born as the Church’s response to female non-compliance. The concept of the witch as a nature-loving healer and nurturer is a more modern Wiccan construct, arising alongside a growing cultural interest in ecology and protecting the natural environment in general. The witch as hot sexual succubus has always been a male fantasy disguised as being somehow “feminist.”




So long as “witch” indicates defiance of the male order, witches will be persecuted simply for existing. Trying to accommodate men by becoming providers of kinky “sex magick” or, conversely, detaching completely from males and forming insulated Wiccan communes are both doomed strategies. The poison pill is the question of power. Men have it. Women are denied it. A suspicion of a female coveting that power can mean lethal consequences. Witches symbolize that covetous conspiracy that never sleeps.







Is it any wonder witches cling to their magickal abilities as a path to empowerment?











coven


by 021





When denied the basic human right to exist, those who were forced to cower in the shadows can find a voice in magick, a torch to carry into battle. The young charges of Miss Robichaux’s Academy do just that, using their powers to forge strength under the siege of male oppression. We see the Academy’s ancestors banding together to thwart an impending attack by the Axeman (“If we embody our feminine might: intelligence with grace, strength with an iron will, no man can make us cower in our home.”).   Misty Day resurrects slain swamp gators and turns them back on the red neck hunters who slaughtered them, a low tech metaphor for triumph over male brutality. Zoe and Madison use their collective powers to destroy Madison’s frat boy rapists in a scene ripped right from Steubenville’s headlines, with the coups de grace performed poetically on the last male by Zoe’s powers of vagina dentata.




The one male-contrived bastion of oppression that seems to be the chink in our witches’ armor of empowerment is obsession with youth and beauty. In modern society, beauty standards are set by male opinion and catered to by women who continue to perpetuate those stereotypes, influencing generations of young women after them to live up to an impossible ideal. We can see this in everything from Maxim spreads to the average age-range and body type of actresses who stay gainfully employed in Hollywood. Coven’s Crones Fiona, Marie Laveau, and Delphine also fall victim to these standards, desperately trying to revert back to Maidenhood by any means necessary. Fiona Goode is the quintessential Norma Desmond figure, sneering disgustedly, “I’m starting to look less Samantha and more Endora everyday.” In a twist of irony, the one thing that seems to make her feel young and vital is finding solace in the ghostly arms of a long-dead serial killer.










Men know that they can best control females by constantly increasing the rewards, acclaim, approval and adoration (the males’ double-edged conceit of being “pro-woman”) rained down upon females for their physical allure. This emotional extortion is so potent that it makes women turn upon each other and then spiral down into their own solitary self-contempt. Only when women manage to truly find self-worth according to standards set by their own sensibilities, completely independent of male judgement and approval, will genuine sisterhood finally prevail.







At story’s end, the young witches who emulated their mentor Supreme, using their powers to control and hurt others in order to increase their own power end up in Hells created especially to fit their crimes. For the rest of the coven, renewed strength comes after these toxic creatures are finally purged from the House of Robichaux. Although male oppression was always a real and present danger, the external threat just beyond the iron gates, the coven was in greater danger of foundering from the internal threat of insidious narcissism.  After the deaths of Fiona, Madison, Laveau, and Delphine, chlorine is introduced into the witch pool in the form of new Supreme, Cordelia Foxx. Finally able to throw off the weight of Fiona’s malice, Cordelia abandons the shadows and accepts her powers and her place as Supreme, shedding self-hatred and instilling a new sense of pride in the Coven.


In a speech that echoes current day minority struggles, a self-assured Cordelia encourages all magickal folk to live openly and reject any societal attempts to relegate them to outsider status. With Zoe and Queenie by her side, she ushers the coven into a new era of tolerance and renewed power. Lines of new students overtake the street like vines of kudzu, signaling morning for Miss Robichaux’s Academy and incubating the hope that these former outcasts have finally found their tribe. We’re reminded that life is about survival and salvation is ultimately found in each other. Perhaps if we can learn to embrace uniqueness, to value one another over our own agendas, and to recognize that true empowerment comes from lifting each other up, that would be the real magic the witches of American Horror Story: Coven had to show us after all.














For the Readers




  1. Do you think about any deeper meanings when watching shows like Coven, or appreciate them strictly as scary fun entertainment?
  2. Do you believe witches are real? (“Real” meaning able to harness special abilities by supernatural means.)
  3. Do you think modern covens are actually practicing a “witchcraft” that produces tangible results, for good or bad, or do you think of covens as an alternative religion’s church?
  4. Have you experienced evidence of actual witchcraft in your life?
  5. Would you (or have you) ever sought out a witch for the potions or spells to attract or win over a prospective love interest?  What about exacting revenge on an enemy?



For the Witches




  1. Does being a witch mean:
    1. Simply adhering to a religion that celebrates the spirits inherent in all nature’s creation.
    2. Having special inherent powers I was born with and the ability to change things, affect minds, through potions and spells.

  2. Have you suffered discrimination or physical threats because of your beliefs?
  3. Has witchcraft been a mainly positive or negative element of your life?
  4. Under what circumstances would you recommend an exploration of witchcraft to another woman?
  5. Are there aspects of witchcraft that enhance or liberate the creative energies of an artist?






The Stock Market - No. 7

Fri Jan 31, 2014, 12:37 PM

Watercolor

Sat Jan 25, 2014, 7:31 PM






Foreword by techgnotic






Christopher Behrens, the 7-year deviantART member contributing this wonderful history of watercolors to depthRADIUS, along with curating artists and interviews, is a modern renaissance man held in high regard by fans of his unique artistic vision. He is an independent filmmaker, author, and a masterful watercolorist in his own right. His gallery of works can be perused here.







Watercolor by ctbehrens






T

he history of painting begins with watercolor as it is the oldest painting medium. Ground pigments have been unearthed in Africa dating as far back as 60,000 B.C., and we are all familiar with the Paleolithic cave paintings in Spain and France.












Lascaux Caves containing Paleolithic wall paintings and engravings thought to date Magdalenian times (c13,000–8500)




The Egyptians used water-based paints to decorate their tombs and temples. With the pulp of the papyrus plant they became one of the early adopters of watercolors on paper.


The Chinese have a long-standing tradition with watercolor dating back to 4,000 B.C. It was their developments in paper making production around 100 A.D. that brought about a marked advancement in technique and sheer amount of produced work.


It wasn’t for another 1,000 years before mass paper manufacturing came to Europe, as the Arabs, having learned the basics of papermaking from the Chinese and making improvements of their own, spread the new product to the West—namely Spain, Italy and France.










Lascaux Cave


Artwork (c13,000–8500)









However, for the next several hundred years, watercolor use in the West was primarily used for religious book ornamentation (Book of Kells), and for frescoes as the water-based pigments were applied to wet plaster (Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel).











Sistine Chapel ceiling 1508-12 Fresco Cappella Sistina, Vatican.







The Book of Kells containing the four Gospels of the New Testament, created by Celtic monks circa 800.







In the 1500’s, the first acknowledged master of watercolor, German artist, Albrecht Durer, developed new techniques which showcased the luminous properties achievable with watercolor on paper (Durer’s The Hare.)




Despite Durer’s advances, over the next 300 years watercolor was used mainly as an aid in preparatory sketches for oil paintings, or as a simple medium for wildlife & botanical illustrations, and map-making.









Hare


Albrecht Dürer(1502)









It wasn’t until the late 18th century with the introduction of specially treated and sized papers produced exclusively for the medium that watercolor painting as we now know it gained its prominent place in Western art.




The 19th and 20th century saw a revolution in watercolor techniques, with many modern masters pushing the envelope of this ancient medium.




The artists of the 21st century, many of them here on deviantART continue brilliantly in their tradition.









Vincent Le Café de nuit by Vincent van Gogh (1888).







Study for American Interior by Charles Sheeler (1934).







Carolina Parakeet from The Birds of America, by John James Audubon (1880).









Muddy Alligators by John Singer Sargent (1917).





Self Portrait by Mary Cassatt (1880).









Mink Pond


Winslow Homer(1891)











Interview


with


reubennegron







1

What are you favorite brushes, paints, paper?



I prefer to use Arches Cold Press paper, typically the 300gsm weight. I also pretty much exclusively use Winsor & Newton Artist Colors. My brushes vary. I'm a fan of the Raphael Kolinsky brushed but lately Ive been relying heavily on the Escoda Prado brushes. I tend to beat up my brushes so I also like the Winsor & Newton Sceptre Gold series for their affordability and durability.





2

What artists have influenced you?



I've been influenced by a number of artists across several different media. My work is very narrative so I am drawn to anyone that can tell a story or convey a mood. I value empathy over technical skill. Some of my favorites (in no particular order) are Nan Goldin, Andrew Wyeth, Stevie Wonder, Stanley Kubrick, Bernardo Bertolucci, The Talking Heads, Neil Gaiman, John Gardner, Douglas Adams, Dave McKean, Kent Williams, Diego Velázquez, Gregory Crewdson and Tori Amos.





3

What drew you to watercolors?



Oddly enough, I started using watercolors out of necessity rather than choice. In college I painted with oils and the fumes from the medium and thinners started giving me migraines so I switched to watercolors to avoid any longterm health issues. I've never looked back.







4

What is your favorite aspect of watercolors?



I love that every time I begin a new piece it's as though I've never used the medium before. Watercolors always present a different challenge—from taking into account the humidity in the air, the quality of the paper, or the complexity of a drawing, to the mineral content of the water or the wear of my brushes... that is always some variable i can't control so I have to be flexible and quick on my toes while I paint. It's controlled chaos.





5

What do you feel is your unique technique/skill with watercolors? Weakness?



I think my strength in watercolors doesn't necessarily come from a learned technique but rather a desire to challenge people's perceptions of what a watercolor can be. It's such a beautiful medium but is often regaled to second class status under oils. I enjoy creating dense, opaque watercolors that are often frustrating to create but fulfilling when they demonstrate the versatility of the paint. As for my weakness - Sometimes I wish I had someone standing behind me telling me to stop. I often find myself over-working a painting and then struggling to get back to where I was the day before.












6

Are you a purist? Do you consider the use of gouache/masking fluid cheating?



I rarely use masking fluids in my own work but that's a personal choice. The same goes for gouache. Up until very recently I'd regularly employ gouache as pert of my paintings but now it's all pure watercolor. I stopped using them for color and opacity issues over anything else. As for masking fluid - I have from time to time used them but I like seeing the flaws in my work and often try to capitalize on overlaps or drips.





7

How long does your average watercolor take to paint?



It depends on the size of the piece, complexity of the drawing and the weather. Some can take a few days while others have taken me months. On average I'd say I'm hovering around 2 weeks for a large-scale (40”x26”) watercolor.







8

With the rise of Digital Art what do you see as the future of traditional art/watercolors?



Digital art is a tool, not a replacement. It has it's place right along side oils, acrylics, graphite, charcoal and anything else we use to express our selves. I embrace digital art and find it new and fun and intriguing. But it's no threat to traditional mediums.





9

What question would you like to be asked?



I get a lot of questions about my technique and tools and I'm also no stranger to discussing the larger, social issues that surround my work. Honestly, rather than being asked questions I love hearing how about others' reactions to my work how it affects them or how they read it. My work is only partial stories that I depend on the viewers to complete. Hearing how each painting is seen by the audience never gets old.













Interview


with


taho






1

What are you favorite brushes, paints, paper?



I like Robert Simmons Sapphire series for brushes. Dick Blick and American Journey for Paint. Strathmore for paper, sometimes Arches.





2

What artists have influenced you?



Same artists that inspire me digitally—dcwj, krenz, Cushart.







3

What drew you to watercolors?



I was late to sign up for an acrylic class and watercolor was the only one left. I like it now, though, so good thing that happened, right?





4

What is your favorite aspect of watercolors?



The ability to spread a lot or a little pigment quickly and being able to use a blowdryer while painting to speed up the process.










5

What do you feel is your unique technique/skill with watercolors? Weakness?



I paint fast, I can make small details that others usually use watercolor pencil or pen for. I don't like to state my weaknesses.





6

Are you a purist? Do you consider the use of gouache/masking fluid cheating?



I'm a purist. I wouldn't call it cheating, but it should be mentioned and categorized properly.







7

How long does your average watercolor take to paint?



35 minutes to 1 hour.





8

With the rise of Digital Art what do you see as the future of traditional art/watercolors?



I think traditional art will always have a unique appeal to people.











Interview


with


Dark134






1

What are you favorite brushes, paints, paper?



I'm using some no brand brushes I've bought at my old school, my paintings usually have really small size so I love to use some nails painting brushes. Leningrad watercolors—Daler Rowney/ W&N Cotman paper.





2

What artists have influenced you?



So many many I can't remember all of them... I love many artists at Pixiv.







3

What drew you to watercolors?



I chose silk-painting to study in university. That was the time I had my chances to see many beautiful watercolor paintings. Watercolor gives me complicated and simple feelings at the same time.





4

What is your favorite aspect of watercolors?



I love to see watercolor most when someone uses it to describe the light. Light in watercolor is so pure. And when the deep in watercolor is made by many many layers, I've lost in that.












5

What do you feel is your unique technique/skill with watercolors? Weakness?



I think I have a patience with drawing details. I usually spend a lot of time on some tiny details. I don't know how to use wet effects much. That's really a shame...





6

Are you a purist? Do you consider the use of gouache/masking fluid cheating?



Maybe I'm almost a purist. Because I don't use effects much so I rarely use masking fluid but I think we can use any way to creat a painting. I hope I could find a good way to use those tools.







7

How long does your average watercolor take to paint?



About 8 to 20 hours.





8

With the rise of Digital Art what do you see as the future of traditional art/watercolors?



Although Digital Art may rule the world but I don't think digital art could show the artist's emotion better than traditional art. Traditional art always touches viewers's hearts and the artists themselves. So I think Traditional art never could/ should be replaced.












Interview


with


mariofdy






1

What are you favorite brushes, paints, paper?



Brushes: No matter, I can show photo of my set - must be not destroyed.


Paints: (1) Koh-i-Noor "brilliant water colours"—very strong colours, red and blue, sometimes orange. (2) Ecoline (talens), 2 colors, Ultramarine and Vermilion. (3) Van Gogh by Talens—"Classic" water colours, standart set, burnt sienna, ultramarine, vermilion, ochre, phtalo blue, celureum. (4) White Nights—Russian artist watercolor, standart set (24 colours box).


Paper: Just watercolor paper, bought as peaces 100x70 cm and then cut to smaller fragments, ussually A3, A4 or A5.







2

What drew you to watercolors?



I had some free time when my son was born and i couldn't work as an architect - i had to stay at home and had onle few hours a day to work. All I could do was to draw and to paint.





3

What is your favorite aspect of watercolors?



Speed of work and no need to have a lot of equipment.












4

What do you feel is your unique technique/skill with watercolors? Weakness?



A. using strong bright colours, which gives strong contrasting effect & B. Weakness... Don't know... I'm at the beginning of my carreer as an artist. I have still a lot of to learn.





5

Are you a purist? Do you consider the use of gouache/masking fluid cheating?



I'm not purist masking fluid is not cheating, according to me. It simple gives more options not available if you don't use it. Everything is ok to achieve effect. Even using coloured pencils, ink drawing, transfering details or fragments straight from photo, etc. Cheating is, if you use masking fluid and says you don't, or use a photo and pretend you draw without it.







6

How long does your average watercolor take to paint?



Depends from size, A4 - 4 hours up to 8 hours





7

With the rise of Digital Art what do you see as the future of traditional art/watercolors?



Plain - air painting, making quick notes, design, early stages of designing, concept drawings, ceating unique art (not mass prints.) I think one should join elements (advantages) of digital and traditional art. For example, as an architect sometimes i have to create a view of designed building, for architectural competition etc. I think it's better to create simple 3D virtual model, print it and then to color it using water colours, than to make photorealistic rendering using only computer.











Interview


with


EsthervanHulsen






1

What are you favorite brushes, paints, paper?



In water color I paint with Windsor and Newton, Rembrandt and van Gogh.





2

What artists have influenced you?



Carl Brenders, James Gurney, Terry Whitlatch, Joe Weatherly, Co Loerakker and Edward Aldrich.







3

What drew you to watercolors?



It is a very friendly medium to work with. No toxins, which are bad for the environment and health. It dries fast, and one can "push and pull" after the paint dries. It also lends itself very well to use colored pencils on top.





4

What is your favorite aspect of watercolors?



The fact that you can push and pul the paint after it dries. One also has to work purposely, there is only a limited amount of layers one can apply before the painting starts to look muddy.












5

What do you feel is your unique technique/skill with watercolors? Weakness?



I use some colored pencil in addition. And take the most out of the medium when it comes to detail.





6

Are you a purist? Do you consider the use of gouache/masking fluid cheating?



Absolutely no problem. It is important to save the white areas on the paper, because white does not et whiter that the white of the paper, but I also use gouache on top.







7

How long does your average watercolor take to paint?



Depends on the size. Tiny paintings can be done within a few days. Larger works can take up to two months.





8

With the rise of Digital Art what do you see as the future of traditional art/watercolors?



I think that Digital Art is just a new medium, added to all the other mediums that were already there. It is a new way of making art, but it is not better or worse that more traditional mediums. It is just another medium to choose from.





9

What is your favorite subject to paint?



Animals and nature, now living and extinct.











Interview


with


MistiqueStudio






1

What are you favorite brushes, paints, paper?



Escoda brushes (Toray Gold, round), Winsor & Newton watercolors (basic palette, primary colors) and Arches cold press 140 lb paper.





2

What artists have influenced you?



Gustav Dore, Arthur Rackham, John Bauer, Theodore Kittelsen, Brian Froud, Jean Baptist-Monge, Susan Seddon Boulet, Jody Bergsma, Stephanie Pui-Mun Law and a BOATLOAD of other fabulous deviantART artist.







3

What drew you to watercolors?



I think I've always just loved the "look" of watercolors. More than any other medium, I think, a watercolor painting is instantly recognizable as such. I love the effects one can achieve with water, salt, etc., what texture and distinction can be gained by just letting watercolors "do their thing". And, of course, paintings don't take months to dry, and I don't have to trash used paint that's dried out.












4

What is your favorite aspect of watercolors?



Oddly enough, my favorite thing about watercolor is what an unforgiving medium it is. For the most part there is no "Undo" button. Even with such traditional mediums as oils and acrylics, mistakes, and things you'd just rather not have done, are fixed relatively easily. I suppose I feel this gives anyone who's really good with watercolors a bit of a prestige boost, and it also forces me to not exercise my unflagging OCD-ness. Once it's done, it's done, and there's no going back.





5

What do you feel is your unique technique/skill with watercolors? Weakness?



Haha, I'm still working on that! I think that, what I try to achieve in my paintings (not to say that I always get there) is the impression that they were painted by someone who not only looked, but *saw*.


I may have to explain that. I see a lot of paintings whose backgrounds include e.g. trees, mountains, flowers, etc. And the artist thought, "I know what a tree looks like; this is easy. And he draws a tree. Or what he thinks a tree looks like. Often the result is simple, even a little childish, and looks very much like an afterthought on which the subject was unceremoniously hung. If the subject is taken away, the background looks no better than scaffolding.


When I sketch, I look at everything. What does a curled-up autumn leaf *really* look like? Or mushrooms? Branches, trees? My aim is that, if the subject of the painting was taken away, its setting would still look plausible, and would moreover be enjoyable in and of itself.


As for a weakness: obsessing too much over the details I love. And bad anatomy.





6

Are you a purist? Do you consider the use of gouache/masking fluid cheating?



I used to use both masking fluid and gouache a lot more than I do these days. If I can avoid using them I will. But I don't considering myself a purist. To me, more important than what materials I did or didn't use is the effect achieved, and if I have to stoop to gouache to get it, so be it.







7

How long does your average watercolor take to paint?



Starting from scratch, including the drawing/sketching phrase, anywhere from two to seven days. Longer if I procrastinate.





8

With the rise of Digital Art what do you see as the future of traditional art/watercolors?



I made a digital painting or two back in the day. When I first acquired a tablet no one was more excited at the prospect of digital art than me. But for some reason digital art has lost its shine in my eyes. Maybe I'm just getting old (-fashioned), but nowadays I like to see a painting whose maker got his/her hands dirty. I like to imagine the texture of the paper/canvas of the original. I like to know brushes were wet, palettes were besmirched, and strokes were made whose author couldn't take them back with the click of a button. I like to know that, somewhere in the world, that painting *exists*.


Although there's a lot of amazing digital art out there, I'd like to think there will always be a place for art made and appreciated by people who feel the way I do. I know a lot of work goes into making an outstanding digital painting, but I'd like to think there will always be those who appreciate art created in the absence of an "Undo" button.





9

What advice would you give to someone just starting out with watercolors?



Don’t be discouraged if your first attempts don’t turn out the way you wanted. If they do turn out the way you wanted, I want your secret. Practice. Practice practice practice. Paint things you've never painted before. Paint things you're afraid of painting. Be fearless: watercolors are not for the meek. Don't avoid painting something you really want to paint because you think you're not good enough yet. You can always do it over. You'll never be as good, in your own eyes, as you think you ought to be. Don’t think, “This turned out horribly.” Think instead, “I learned so much from this; I’ll do much better next time.” Then start on next time.











Interview


with


agnes-cecile






1

Your artworks are often described as “explosions” or “eruptions” of colors that capture in their moment of ignition an infinite variety of internal fires: moods, passions, melancholies, joys, sorrows. Is this method of generating the subtlest of emotions from a burning vortex of swirling colors a conscious strategy or simply the outcome of the evolution of your artistic process?



My paintings talk about feelings, each emotion is like an inner energy needing to have a form on paper, these explosions and implosions are the shapes of this strong invisible but concrete aspect of inner life. But to express different moods, I use different techniques too, the evolution of tools is important to be able to work with a diverse array of feelings. Sometimes this energy is inside, sometimes it needs to go outside, sometimes it's more violent and other times is more sweet.


Watching how a painting is born helps to better understand it, the story behind it. Often the little fight between the canvas and the artist is more relevant of the canvas itself, the relationship with the work is just there. I should make more videos! but it takes me a lot of time.





2

How did you get involved with Speed Art videos on YouTube? When you are creating a portrait from the fires of your many-colored watercolors, are you trying to capture the personality, in a momentary expression, of someone you know or of no one in particular?



Often I have some imaginary figures in my mind. I give life to some characters that help me to talk. So, they are no one in particular and also someone in my mind too. I never use friends or similar subject matter in my works, I prefer unknown characters where I find different aspects of me.







3

For an artist whose works are said to so dynamically “explode,” “bleed,” and “flow,” is there a great deal of physical and emotional catharsis in the creation of your artworks? Is what you do the greatest personal therapy any person could ever practice?



Yes, of course. As I mentioned, my paintings are a page of a diary, all of the time there is something big that burns inside my chest, I need to put it on paper, I’m quite uncomfortable to write or talk in these moments, painting helps me to find solutions to my troubles. It’s without doubt a therapy. Often my paintings speak more than me!





4

What can you tell young artists who worry that they will never be able to develop a unique signature style, instantly identifiable, as you have, to anchor and continue to build a career in art upon?



Don't think in those terms, stop spending hours just looking at other artists and take a little more time with yourself. All of these outside images could smother you. It's ok to throw a lot of drawings out when you are learning and just starting out. This is normal. Keep spending the most time on what you love, firstly for yourself, then you will start to receive the rewards of your hard work and also receive many a “bravo!!” if there is a deep passion within you, everything comesnaturally!












Questions

For the Reader





  1. Should every artwork be judged and appreciated for its creative impact, emotional/spiritual appeal and sheer beauty regardless of the production medium?
  2. Are there digital artworks being produced currently that you have found to be every bit as engaging, satisfying and catharsis-producing as your most beloved watercolor (traditional medium) favorites?







The Stock Market - No. 6

Mon Jan 6, 2014, 6:02 PM

You're Not Alone

Tue Dec 24, 2013, 11:43 AM








“Sometimes we lay aside our own troubles when we wipe away another's tears.”
—Seneca















Apart...


Is no longer alone


T

his life is not easy; a winding, sometimes whimsical, sometimes tragic journey that ultimately finds terminus in the same common destination for each of us. No matter the brave, fierce constructs we build and serve that would have us believe we are each one of us all alone as we make this journey, we make our way toward the end of all things side-by-side in our community of the living each day defying death.  Our paths may be wildly divergent—the way of the hungry and impoverished traveling the same timeline with the grotesquely indulgent, the very best of us side-by-side with the most evil of us; but all headed for the same fate: dust. Every one hundred years or so, tribes of all new people roam the Earthsphere, trying to figure it out one more time from the handful of clues, many just recycled, left by those having come and gone before.







Until there were written records, the clues were all visual; a handprint on a cave wall and then a foot cast in dried silica turned to fossil; maybe a drawing of an animal; maybe a group of stones that is now incomprehensible but undeniably sculptural. Only recently do we humans use writing at all or keep things in books. Museums are only a couple of hundred years old.  Public ones are mostly younger than a hundred.  And now we collect clues in digits in quantities and scope unparalleled in the past with the vain glorious hope that our collective records will last for all ages and transmit out to other universes; when of course the reality may be that a single electrical blip, perhaps a sizeable solar flare, could wipe those digits clean in an instant.  It is the here and now that matters. It is the collection in front of our eyes that draws meaning. It is the art you make now that expresses your soul and reflects all that has come before worth knowing and projects forward all that will be forever.







It has always been easy to imagine ourselves, and truly believe ourselves, to be all alone in our journey through life.  For some of us this perceived loneliness is too much for a human being to bear, especially at the Holidays. But this cannot be.


In this new millennium, the spirit of the cyber-Magi, ghosts riding the world web, have brought us a gift of connectivity and global community such has never existed before.  The phantom of aloneness is finally disintegrating and blowing away amidst wave after wave of millions upon millions of web citizens linking with each other.








Communities like deviantART and others that have formed with the advent of the web have suddenly given us the opportunity to move past the confines of our own geographical “villages” and allowed a connection and sometimes, more aptly, a collision, of diverse humanity to connect and jack in to the collective Anima Mundi.


We feel alone with our personal problems, secrets, burdens, and self-destructive obstructive thoughts—suffocating thoughts that sometimes seem to be slowly killing the soul. Such are our thoughts of absolute isolation when confronting our hidden things that are too much for one person to handle.








But sharing our pain begins our healing.


And beyond that: Shared pain often leads to shared healing.








I have read so many deeply moving journals over the years with story after story of support and friendship both on the site between artists of every stage of development and off site between friends, colleagues, lovers, co-workers, activists, and everything in between. Deeply important connections shared with each other sparked by an initial passion for art years before. The deviantART community has proven to me again and again that at core it operates on a currency of love—love for art and love for other community members.








Since finding the deviantART community I have made friends and shared burdens with people on deviantART that were not shared in real life. Many burdens require just such a community of others who have endured similar fire or experiences, as they sometimes are the only healing waters that can extinguish tormenting flames. At some point I will write about my experience and I will share pivotal moments of peace I found at critical junctures through connecting with others around the world within the deviantART community. It should be no surprise that the deviantART community should provide such a source of regenerative person-to-person healing.







Many online communities are capable of providing loving curative support to worldwide members. But deviantART, for me, with the message of the special powers of ART at its core, is a massive supernova-strength engine for global as well as personal peer-to-peer communication and healing. The very idea, intention, comprehension, gift, and nature of art can be a powerful form of communal and personal healing. A community of millions with an art intention can heal multitudes.









Don’t believe the depressing hype.




It may just be you all by your lonesome, warming your bones by your fireplace yule log (or like me renting a video of a fireplace and watching it burn and flicker on a TV set), as the snow piles up outside… But you are not alone. If you are reading this Holiday Message it means that you have 24/7 access and instantaneous worldwide reach at your fingertips.






We’re on our way into 2014—and we’re going in shoulder-to-shoulder, side-by-side, connected and jacked into our worldwide community’s future.






The sum of our Karma will one day free the Universe (so enough with the too-hip-for-the-room grumpy Scrooge vibe).




Onward, to the next artful steps on our path.


















  1. Have you ever had a secret you feared would alienate your friends, but only strengthened your friendship when it was revealed?

  2. Do the holidays make you want to retreat or explode?

  3. Are the arts or the making of art a pathway to getting you through tough times?

  4. How have you used the deviantART community to connect during the holidays?














Poet of Lovers & Rebels, Poet of Dreamersby MARX77


•••




As is the case with all artists, poets too are greatly influenced by the world around them and how they perceive it. The splendor of the heavens above, the dynamics of the earth beneath their feet. The uncertainty of life, the inevitability of death. But more importantly, a poet's inspiration comes from what they carry within themselves; their memories, relationships, their dreams, joy and grief. Verses borne of turmoil and tragedy decades ago continue to resonate to this day and are as relevant now as they were back then. Truly poetry is an art form for the ages!


Among the few greats still spearheading the world of literature today, long after they themselves have passed on, is none other than Chilean poet, diplomat, and Nobel Prize in Literature winner, Pablo Neruda.




Unlike many of his peers and contemporaries, Pablo Neruda, to me, never really came across as a product of his time - he was way, way ahead of his time. True he supported communism, and his affiliation with the likes of Batista, Castro and Stalin raised many an eyebrow, even endangering his shot at the coveted Nobel Prize, which he won eventually. But one thing even his biggest critics cannot deny is the sheer genius of the man when it comes to poetry. Pablo Neruda's body of literary work has persevered over the years, and remains ever pertinent in today's rapidly changing world. Be it surrealist, political commentary, or poems on love and of course, love making, this Chilean poet was firing on all cylinders.









About Artists on Writers


•••



Writers will always find inspiration in the visions of artists, always feeling compelled to tell the stories behind the moments captured in artists’ unforgettable images,




Just as,




Artists will always find inspiration in the words of writers, always feeling compelled to lend visual reality and habitat to the characters described in the scribe’s haunting words.















A Quote From Pablo Neruda


•••

“Someday, somewhere—anywhere, unfailingly, you'll find yourself, and that, and only that, can be the happiest or bitterest hour of your life.”
— Pablo Neruda









Pablo Neruda Inspired Artwork











In You The Earth


by Pablo Neruda

Little rose, roselet,
at times,
tiny and naked,


it seems as though you would fit
in one of my hands,
as though I’ll clasp you like this
and carry you to my mouth,


but suddenly
my feet touch your feet and my mouth your lips:


you have grown,
your shoulders rise like two hills,
your breasts wander over my breast,
my arm scarcely manages to encircle the thin


new-moon line of your waist:
in love you loosened yourself like sea water:
I can scarcely measure the sky’s most spacious eyes
and I lean down to your mouth to kiss the earth.













Sonnet XI


by Pablo Neruda

I crave your mouth, your voice, your hair.
Silent and starving, I prowl through the streets.
Bread does not nourish me, dawn disrupts me, all day
I hunt for the liquid measure of your steps.


I hunger for your sleek laugh,
your hands the color of a savage harvest,
hunger for the pale stones of your fingernails,
I want to eat your skin like a whole almond.


I want to eat the sunbeam flaring in your lovely body,
the sovereign nose of your arrogant face,
I want to eat the fleeting shade of your lashes,


and I pace around hungry, sniffing the twilight,
hunting for you, for your hot heart,
like a puma in the barrens of Quitratue.















Si Tu Me Olvidas


by Pablo Neruda

Quiero que sepas
una cosa.


Tú sabes cómo es esto:
si miro
la luna de cristal, la rama roja
del lento otoño en mi ventana,
si toco
junto al fuego
la impalpable ceniza
o el arrugado cuerpo de la leña,
todo me lleva a ti,
como si todo lo que existe:
aromas, luz, metales,
fueran pequeños barcos que navegan
hacia las islas tuyas que me aguardan.


Ahora bien,
si poco a poco dejas de quererme
dejaré de quererte poco a poco.


Si de pronto
me olvidas
no me busques,
que ya te habré olvidado.


Si consideras largo y loco
el viento de banderas
que pasa por mi vida
y te decides
a dejarme a la orilla
del corazón en que tengo raíces,
piensa
que en esa día,
a esa hora
levantaré los brazos
y saldrán mis raíces
a buscar otra tierra.


Pero si cada día, cada hora,
sientes que a mí estás destinada
con dulzura implacable,
si cada día sube
una flor a tus labios a buscarme,
ay amor mío, ay mía,
en mí todo ese fuego se repite,
en mí nada se apaga ni se olvida,
mi amor se nutre de tu amor, amada,
y mientras vivas estará en tus brazos
sin salir de los míos.




















More on Pablo Neruda


•••



  • He was only 18 years old when his first and most famous volume of poems was published, Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair.  It was 1923 and the passionate eroticism that infused many of his poems was shocking to most critics, especially since the source was such a young man then studying at the University of Chile in Santiago.
  • “Neruda” was a pseudonym he chose to shield himself from his father’s disapproval of his poetry.
  • Neruda would become famous worldwide as a “poet of love,” yet his “other life” would be that of an adversary of the system who lived under police surveillance and official government condemnation.  When communism was outlawed in Chile in 1948 he had to be hidden by friends (being an elected senator for the party) before escaping through midnight mountain passes to many years in exile abroad.
  • He would return to Chile in his later years (after winning the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971) and become a close adviser to socialist President Salvador Allende.
  • When fascist forces overthrew Allende on 9/11/73, the aging Neruda was in the hospital.  He died of heart failure two weeks after the coup.
  •  
  • His bones were exhumed earlier this year by court order to determine whether or not he was, as rumored, poisoned by Pinochet’s henchmen.  No definitive answer has yet been proferred by the forensics experts.



  • Forty years after his death this poet continues to be a firebrand of controversy pitting the lovers of his intensely humanist poetry against those who consider him a wolf in sheep’s clothing fomenting rebellion against social order and authority.

A “Nerudean” posthumous episode… In 1994 director Michael Radford filmed the novel “Il Postino” (“The Postman”) in Italy.  The romantic tale is about a young wannabe poet in 1950 who manages to get the job of delivering Pablo Neruda’s mail (the poet being exiled for his political  activities at the time on a small island off the coast of Italy).  The young man seeks to gather tips on becoming a real poet.  Smitten by a beautiful young lady, the novice poet cribs sensual lines of love poetry from his new mentor Neruda to win over the subject of his desire.  The actor who starred as the Postman and contributed to the writing of the screenplay, Massimo Troisi, put his scheduled heart surgery on hold to complete the film.  On the day after filming was complete, Massimo died of a massive heart attack.  Such is the tragic romantic passion, wrapped in barbed wire bracelets of personal anguish and political tumult, that captures the heart and enflames the soul when one is touched by the poetic magic of Pablo Neruda.









Questions For the Reader


•••

  1. Do your political beliefs or associations influence your work?
  2. Should artists try to remain relatively “pure” and apolitical – concentrating instead on their art alone?  Or is political thought as much a component of an artist’s passion as love or pain?
  3. Has a poem, a song, or a text ever influenced you in your consideration of a political controversy?  
  4. Are there artists whose art you really like, but whose politics or public comments really offend you? How do you reconcile this conflict? Is there an artist whose work you greatly enjoyed, but whom you have now “abandoned” because of something you found about their political or personal life?







Research & Curation


•••














In Toronto & on deviantART


No better living functioning evolving example of the new pattern in the creation, dissemination and education in the visual arts can be found than Imaginism Studios, the online brainchild of artists Bobby Chiu & Kei Acedera. Established in Toronto in 2005, the studio has specialized in pre-production character and concept design for film, TV, gaming, and publishing. As creators of some of the most wildly creative and whimsical images ever presented on deviantART, this artistic couple has built an international fan base independent of their contracted projects.  They have understood and utilized the new technologies and “ecology” of the worldwide web arts community in ways other artists are just now waking up to and becoming aware of.














Bobby Chiu:



Becoming part of the deviantART community a year or two after we started Imaginism Studios, we posted one image every day for about a year and through that kind of consistency and prolificacy, we were able to attract not just an amazing fan base but directors and producers as well. Our website, Imaginism Studios, helps as well but the best way to get your art in front of people is to go to places where a lot of people already are, and there has been no better forum for this then deviantART. We have no doubt that the deviantART community has always played a huge part in helping us gain the exposure that we've built up over the years.”














It was Bobby and Kei’s dream to work on Hollywood movies, but they balked at moving to L.A. from their home and families in Toronto, which the Old School dinosaurs told them was essential to succeed. They were also told they’d need to hire a Hollywood agent. They decided to do neither and instead depend on the power of the Internet information revolution. They chose wisely.









Imaginism is currently giving back to the arts community with the introduction of their Schoolism project, an online arts education site that features cutting edge artists and other experts from the vast array of arts professions who share their special knowledge, techniques and advice on how to get established in the arts industry today.











by Bobby Chiu









by Kei Acedera










by Kei Acedera









“Art has always been about sharing,”


says, Bobby Chiu.










Bobby Chiu:



I believe art is a conversation going on for thousands of years in which one person discovers one thing, passes it on to another, who passes it on to many more. Now, with art forums that have millions of members, we are able to contribute to that ‘conversation of art’ in a much more meaningful way. People who love to share and spread their knowledge are the ones who will be remembered the longest and make the biggest impact in their field, whether it’s art or something else.”













Available Now for Apple & Android devices










Imaginism’s latest project is Niko and the Sword of Light, the animated comic book, available on Android that has zoomed to #1 on iPad in 21 countries including USA, UK, China, India & Brazil in the “Kids ages 9-11” category.










So what lies in the future for these artists already inhabiting the new modules and avenues to success?







Bobby Chiu:



I constantly visualize how I want my future to be.


Once I have a good idea, I'll start to visualize a plan of how to get there.  In five years, I see Imaginism doing more movie projects as well as independent projects. I hope to add a couple more great artists to our roster. And through Schoolism, I hope to help affect many more artists in positive ways, starting with online education, our live workshops, and through our in-house workshops.”













The visual arts will never die so long as we continue to visualize.  Art will always be our visualized future, alive in the here and now, a resonating menu of our endless possibilities.













by Kei Acedera












by Kei Acedera










by Bobby Chiu








by Bobby Chiu








by Bobby Chiu

















Interview with Bobby Chiu & Kei Acedera






How has your participation in the deviantART community influenced your path professionally, personally, and artistically?










by Kei Acedera




Authentic citizenship is a term that keeps coming up in community discussions about the future of online communities of artists. How would you define authentic citizenship in the deviantART community? What might be the crucial tip for young artist just beginning their journey?


Bobby Chiu:

I feel that authentic citizenship means that you give back to the community in some way. The easiest way to do this, of course, is to leave genuine and sincere comments of encouragement on other people’s art, and constructive and thoughtful suggestions for improvement. You can also participate in groups. Personally, I like to write helpful tips in my journals or articles about my thoughts and philosophies related to being an artist.


Posting your art on deviantART is great but I think true, authentic citizenship means genuinely trying to get to know people or do things to help others in the community.








by Bobby Chiu






Bobby Chiu:



DeviantART has helped and influenced our lives in so many positive ways. When Kei Acedera and I made our deviantART account (imaginism), we were able to create a stage from which our art could be seen by anybody from anywhere. Out of all the social media streams, deviantART is also where we have the most followers and which has allowed us to attract jobs and fans from all over the world. Furthermore, deviantART has been a wonderful tool with which we are able to meet new artists on a personal level.






While people might not know us personally, they often do know of our deviantART account, so when we meet in person, there is this wonderful instant connection that allows us to talk to each other with familiarity, building instant friendships. Artistically, contributing to the community always nets wonderful suggestions and ideas from other deviantART members that we might not have thought of otherwise. And of course, encouraging words from the community always help to inspire and motivate us to keep going and post more art.












by Bobby Chiu







In our conversation you brought up the fact that online communication and the deviantART community specifically has helped you to be near your family and still follow your dreams to your hearts content. Can you talk a bit about the career choice you made to stay near your roots?







When we first started Imaginism Studios, many people had their doubts. We were told that, if we wanted to work on Hollywood movies, we would naturally have to move to California. Now, California is a great place but we wanted to stay close to our family and friends here in Toronto; we didn’t want to move anywhere. So people told us, “Well, you'll have to get a Hollywood agent then.” And we said, no, we're going to use the power of the internet to attract our clients. Again, we were met with a lot of skepticism.



(Remember that this was back in 2005. To give this some context, Facebook was founded in 2004 and only went worldwide in 2005, YouTube was founded in 2005, and Twitter and Instagram didn’t exist until 2006.)



We didn’t join the deviantART community until a year or two after we started Imaginism Studios, so by the time we did, we had a lot of art to post. We posted one image every day for about a year and through that kind of consistency and prolificacy, we were able to attract not just an amazing fan base but directors and producers as well. Our website, imaginismstudios.com, helps as well but the best way to get your art in front of people is to go to places where a lot of people already are, and there has been no better forum for this then deviantART. We have no doubt that the deviantART community has always played a huge part in helping us gain the exposure that we've built up over the years.









Your "Schoolism"Enterprise keeps growing. Why is that the most artistically creative people seem to always be the forefront of sharing and spreading their knowledge of craft with newcomers to art?






Bobby Chiu:

For me, big part of art has always been about sharing; I believe this is a conversation has been going on for thousands of years in which one person discovers one thing, passes it on to another, who passes it on to many more. Now, with art forums that have millions of members, we are able to contribute to that "conversation of art" in a much more meaningful way. If you keep your techniques to yourself and never share any of that knowledge, you're not contributing to this "conversation", and what you've learned will mean much less once you're gone. I think the people who love to share and spread their knowledge are the ones who will be remembered the longest and have made the biggest impact in their field, whether it’s art or something else.










by Kei Acedera





The masterful level of your artworks elevates the value of moments of whimsy, capturing the most basic nugget of an artist's creativity at inception. Is the stuff of daydreams as valid a subject as any other more traditional visions?




Bobby Chiu:

I think painting from imagination is more of a valid subject matter than traditional. Everybody knows or can be shown what life looks like but nobody can really see your ideas or your imagination unless you created it and put it down on paper or the screen.





Are you just so naturally funny that the ideas from your creatures flowed easily. Is there never a danger of an element of "force playfulness?"




Bobby Chiu:

As a kid, I loved to draw things that made others laugh; I guess it has followed me into my professional work as well from time to time.











by Kei Acedera



You journaled that life and career path "visualization" should be a course taught in art schools. Can you talk a bit about that and where do you see "Imaginism" in five years?


Bobby Chiu:

The ability to "visualize" is the most powerful way in which to think. It’s also a skill that you can strengthen. As an artist, I am constantly exercising my ability to visualize: I would try to visualize the creature or the film before sketching it out. I would often visualize the next moves in my painting and see if I like them or not; if I do, I will proceed to paint them down.


I also constantly visualize how I want my future to be. Once I have a good idea, I'll start to visualize a plan of how I got there. Of course nothing goes perfectly to plan but at least this way I have a destination in mind. In five years, I see Imaginism doing more movie projects as well as independent projects. I would hope that in five years, we would be able to add a couple more great artists to our roster. And through Schoolism, I hope to help affect many more artists in positive ways, starting with online education, our live workshops, and through our in-house workshops.













by Bobby Chiu



Do you see online arts education, like "Schoolism" filling the gap between prohibitively expensive art schools and those artists forced to being self taught?


Bobby Chiu:

Wherever there is a demand, someone somewhere will inevitably fill it—that is what I think Schoolism.com has done. The whole reason we built Schoolism in the first place was because WE wanted to know how those artists did all those wonderful things that we admired only in books and on the Internet. Living in Toronto, the best way we could do this was to ask the teachers we wanted to learn from to teach over the Internet. When artists learn from others that are really at the forefront of the evolutionary wave of art, it's a different experience from studying at a traditional art school. Not only are we much more motivated when we learn from people that we greatly admire but we are learning the most advanced, the most innovative ideas out there from the people that are doing the work that we want to do. People that knew me as a student know that my level of painting really started to excel after I built Schoolism and started to learn from the various Schoolism teachers myself. For people that need the environment of school and classmates to motivate them, the experience of a great college is hard to replace. For those artists that are very self-motivated and self-disciplined, online learning is comparatively inexpensive and a more effective tool with which to develop top-notch skills, especially for people that have busy schedules.








by Bobby Chiu



The major animation studios have come up with some interesting fantasy characters in recent animated films, but all have been well within children's cartoonish standards. You see movement towards darker or more intense animated creature features featuring work like yours?




Bobby Chiu:

Anything is possible. The line between animation and live-action will start to blur I think. With the main themes this decade being fantasy and sci-fi films, I think there is a really good chance of seeing films branch out into all sorts of innovative styles and stories that we've never seen before.












by Bobby Chiu





What's the secret to remaining friends and artistic collaborators and business partners? These usually tend to be mutually exclusive categories.




Bobby Chiu:

Believe in "win-win scenarios" and try to be a good person. Make sure that the friends you collaborate with have the skills you need for the project at hand. Stay humble, and learn to communicate well, especially with those that have trouble communicating.

















Kei Acedera’s Interview







How excited are you about the “Niko” animated comic book?  What sort of response are you getting from your longtime fans?











by Kei Acedera







Kei Acedera:

I’m Very thrilled! And also relieved that this project is getting a lot of great response not only from artists but a wider audience of app lovers too. We’re very happy and grateful of all the support from our fans.








After working on concepts for other artists like Tim Burton, what’s it like fully taking over all the creative reins on your own project?


Kei Acedera:

It’s liberating, and at the same time very difficult because independent projects require even more hard work and focus. No one will tell you what looks right or wrong, or what should be in a shot…it’s total freedom so you have to keep organized and have a good clear idea of the kind of product you want to make. So having the years of experience of being independent artists helped a lot for us.











What’s the division of labor between you and bobby?  Is the original story concept a mutual imagining or is one of you better at conceptual creativity and the other at execution of your vision?


Kei Acedera:

The initial story was by Bobby, which was ALOT darker in theme. My part was mostly in the color scripting and some character designs. The 4 of us, (Bobby, Jim Bryson, Adam Jeffcoat and I) bounced off many ideas for the story together in the beginning, but the credit in the end goes to Jim and Adam who took charge in further developing Niko’s story. What you see in the app is really a (middle) portion of a bigger story.











by Bobby Chiu












by Kei Acedera & Bobby Chiu







Is creative partnership with someone as close as a spouse an overall positive advantage to each of you as artists?


Kei Acedera:

I think it depends on the relationship and personality of the people involved. I believe good communication is key in any partnership. You need to be thoughtful in your words and be a good listener to understand what the other person’s points are, because everyone has their own perspective. Then from there you can have a better sense of which next step to take. I’m very lucky to find someone I love to work with and live with.









When did you first know you wanted to be a creative artist?


Kei Acedera:

I always knew I was going to be some sort of artist since I was 2, but not exactly sure what kind. I was always into many things: painting, sculpting, dancing, music even sports. But what I was sure of is that I was very creative with my ideas and resourceful. I still think I’m still discovering the kind of artist I want to be, and I know it’ll keep changing.










by Kei Acedera





When did you first know you were going to be able to achieve your dream of being a creative artist?


Kei Acedera:

Hmm..I’m not really sure when I knew because I didn’t really think of it. I just kept doing art and focused on creating and improving.



Do you have any ultimate goal or project as an artist, either independently or in collaboration with team Imaginism?


Kei Acedera:

Yes. Many. But ultimately they’re all about creating good art with meaning, and that can inspire.



What do you think of a young artist’s chances of being successful today, in light of tech advances and arts communities? Do the new opportunities outweigh the traditional negatives of pursuing a career in art?


Kei Acedera:

I think the chances are greater (for independent artists). There are so many more avenues for artists today, alot of new ‘space’ to conquer and yet to be created.  I know many artists that make a good living just from selling prints and other products because of the internet and tech like 3d printing, etc… Yes, there is way more competition so it’s important to know who your audience is, and build on that.


In the realm of entertainment art, you have to show what your passion is and do it well with a twist that will make your work unique, and help you stand out from an overwhelming pool of talent out there.















Imaginism’s
Top Five
Deviants to Follow











Sam Nielson


Artsammich


“Sam Nielson's deviantART page is not only filled with great art but many of his posts are quite educational.”


—Imaginism Studios