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Paul Tobin, There and Back Again

Fri Oct 10, 2014, 1:28 PM
Approach to Rivendell by PaulTobin

























Most denizens of the West think of New Zealand as a little known outpost of civilization somewhere beyond Australia at the ends of the Earth.






Could any land be any farther from the European motherland, birthplace of the Renaissance that is the Genesis-point of the visual arts narrative we continue expanding and evolving today?  And yet this remote country of islands in the Pacific has suddenly become a cinematic storytelling powerhouse, a film-friendly factory for the creation of some of the most important touchstone mass entertainment experiences to influence our popular culture in recent years.







King Thranduil, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
© Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
& Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc.


The digital revolution has liberated the “casts of thousands” from the Hollywood studio back-lots once needed to populate action-adventure epics, and the Internet is changing financing, production and distribution models so drastically as to forever diminish Hollywood’s hegemony over the movie business, with hundreds of smaller, but just as productive hubs becoming new centers of filmed story creation worldwide.


New Zealand is one such center, exemplified by Weta Workshop's role in changing the film-making landscape there, taking advantage of its wonderfully diverse landscape offering several completely different terrains to film in as well as its artistically talented inhabitants.


For over twenty years this creative powerhouse has been at the forefront of conceptualizing and then bringing to reality imaginary worlds. Beyond Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, their work has guided the cinematic visions of films such as King Kong, District 9, Elysium, The Adventures of Tintin, Avatar, and most recently The Amazing Spider-man 2, and Godzilla.


Perhaps Weta Workshop's greatest contribution has been its ability to instill passion and inspiration to all those who follow their creative dreams. One such artist was so inspired eleven years ago through his love of Lord of the Rings and is now a senior concept designer at Weta Workshop.










Peter’s Shield,
Narnia, LWW

©Disney Enterprises Inc. &
Walden Media, LCC. All rights reserved.

















Paul is a conceptual designer, illustrator & graphic designer who has been working at Weta Workshop since graduating from Wellington’s Massey school of Art and Design in 2003.






He has worked on films such as Andrew Adamson’s The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, Prince Caspian, Peter Jackson’s King Kong and James Cameron’s Avatar and most recently The Hobbit. An artist and concept designer who has had gallery showings of his own original fantasy artwork, he has taken it upon himself to become an advocate for other New Zealand fantasy and sci-fi artists.






“Weta Workshop...” says Paul,



...was the starting point of my journey and my 11 years of adventuring in Imaginary lands with a host of very talented artists. It was an experience that I would never have attained otherwise. Like everyone on a quest, sometimes the challenges can wear you down and that’s where your companions can help you onwards and help support you. For me this was the community that I discovered first at Weta, and then later through a broadening range of artists in NZ and eventually overseas at events like Spectrum Fantastic Art Live and on line like DeviantArt. White Cloud Worlds was me setting out on my own self determined quest to reignite my own creative interest and fan the flames in other like-minded artists.”










Bilbo Costume Concept
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

©Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. &
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc.









Miraz, Prince Caspian
©Narnia, LWW - ©Weta Workshop
Disney Enterprises, Inc. & Walden Media, LCC.







Radagast The Brown & King Thror - The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
©Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. &
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc.


















The publication of White Cloud Worlds was a major statement demanding original digital fantasy art be considered collectible “fine art” rather than mere disposable commercial illustration.






In the volume’s foreward, Guillermo Del Toro shreds the stale bromide that illustration cannot be fine art because it relies on another narrative rather than standing alone as a singular expression. The best illustration “…pre-empt(s) the literary elements which it is meant to serve. In other words, the image becomes the tale. This is true of the best illustrators of all time: Pyle, Frazetta, St. John, Rackham, Tenniel, Quentin Blake, etc. They all become part of the essence of the book they illustrate and, in some cases, seem to reinvent them entirely.”



Of outside interests informing his art, Paul responds:



If I look at my career in design (I am more designer than illustrator) and my life interests outside of work they tend to revolve around exploration of cultures and archaeology and narrative “quests” in film, like Bilbo and his quest to the Lonely Mountain, the kids in Narnia and their journey to rid Narnia of winter. Even Avatar follows this ‘hero’s journey’.”








Asked about his own “hero” status amongst fans and fellow artists, Paul replies:



Just a note on the ‘Hero’ thing. I am keen not to be portrayed as a hero in the context of a modern day meaning of the word. It's more in context of the film meaning of the word where an ordinary person goes on an extraordinary adventure. Luke Skywalker the farm boy, Bilbo the ordinary Hobbit, a bunch of displaced kids in war-torn England for the kids in Narnia. I was quite an ordinary artist technically when I started out, but it was the journey and dedication that pushed me well beyond my humble beginnings.”









And we are all the richer for Paul’s dedication to his continuing journey as master and advocate of the arts.  His peers and admirers will continue to affirm his “hero” standing in fantasy and science fiction art.


More of Paul’s work can be perused at on his profile page.












Orcrist, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
©Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. &
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc.


















1.What’s your opinion on the continuing resistance to the acceptance of digital art as a “legitimate” art form? Is it just a general anti-technology impulse or an actual fear of the future and new realities?









I think within the commercial and wider art community the digital medium has become accepted as just another tool for an artist to employ and enjoy.







I think the primary resistance lies more in the monetary institutions that trade in “fine” art. Much of the fine art market is defined by the exclusivity of having an “original” and “physical” representative art form and this financial tradition spans centuries. Art is like any long-term investment, you need to protect it and control the criteria by which it grows in value. Digital art is problematic in that there is no “original” or physical representation and duplication is easy, so it’s harder to assign value within the existing art order.


Ironically with the proliferation of digital art many artists are rediscovering and pursuing traditional methods as there is greater value now being placed upon producing art the “old fashioned way”.






2.What was the popular reception of “White Cloud Worlds” like amongst fans and fellow fantasy artists, and what was the critical response to your achievement?







White Cloud Worlds had a fantastic reception amongst fans and artists alike. I always assumed that it would be well received in NZ, but I was really pleased and surprised at the level of interest we got from abroad. We were always keen to offer up a book that treated genre art with the respect it deserves, but as kiwi artists not take ourselves too seriously. I think this combination of really high level art and informality and fun struck a cord with many readers. I also think the level of professionalism we brought to the project which was in large part due to Kate Jorgensen’s production management skills (I like to think of her as a master artist wrangler) that really helped lift our game and give the artists confidence in what we were promising to produce.






One thing I did feel we improved upon with the second volume was seeking out artists that had less connection to the film industry and a greater number of women genre artists. Ironically, I found many of these new artists here on DeviantArt!







Susan's Horn, Bow & Arrow
©Narnia, LWW, Disney Enterprises, Inc. &
Walden Media, LCC.













3.What do you see as the next level for digital art in movies, video games, etc?  what’s the next big thing that few see coming?



I think the trend thats become very evident in film and games is the gradual removal of 2D artwork and design in favour of designing and rendering in 3D. As a 2D artist I hope there will always be a place for 2D design, but 3D has the advantage of being one step closer to the final product whether its a in game model or digital effects asset or a prop that can be rapid prototyped for physical use. Programs like ZBrush that work much more intuitively to painting and drawing have really accelerated this process and with the ever increasing demand for digital worlds and the convergence of film and games designing directly into a 3D space is going to become the norm I suspect.




4.“White Cloud Worlds”, your coffee table volumes of New Zealand fantasy artists, has been out for several years now. Do you feel it has made a real impact in how you and your fellow artists are regarded in the fine arts milieu? Is real respect growing for what you do?



I think the books in combination with the travelling art exhibition (which was seen by over a 100,000 people nationwide) had a huge impact in raising awareness that NZ produces world class fantasy artists. This was especially true of school kids who flocked to the exhibition and became big fans of the books. For many of these young artists it was a revelation that you could make a living producing fantasy art from New Zealand. I think for all of us this generational influence was one of the greatest outcomes from the whole endeavour.






5.What comments have other artists included in the volume reported back to you?  Has the book’s publication changed the lives of some of these talented working artists?



I think the greatest endorsement from the artists has been there incredible level of enthusiasm and support that spilled over in creating volume 2 and the desire to now do a volume 3 (hey we always wanted to do a trilogy.) I think the community that we have created around WCW has really had an impact, especially around events like San Diego Comic Con and Spectrum Fantastic Art Live. White Cloud Worlds gave us all a product and purpose to take to the international stage and its still unbelievable to me that many of these artists have poured their savings into traveling half way across the world to share in our artist adventures at these events.











Smaug Head Concept, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
&Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. & Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc.









Goblin King Head Concept, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
©Warner Bros. Ent., Inc. & Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures, Inc.






6.With the continuing production of Peter Jackson’s “Hobbit” movies coming out of New Zealand, can this “Land of the ‘LOTR/Hobbit’ Giants” sustain as the center of all such epic fantasy filmmaking?  Or is the Jackson phenomenon sui generis and a gradual dispersal of digital fantasy adventure movie production inevitable? Is the model that has been built in NZ being adopted in other parts of the production world?











Bard, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
©Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. & Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc.



Whew thats a big question! I think that New Zealand has certainly generated a convincing legacy around fantasy based projects that certainly had its genesis with Peter Jackson. However, it’s long been acknowledged in the NZ industry that we have need to form new creative partnerships with other giants in the fantasy and science fiction industry to stay relevant and viable. When a director like James Cameron actually shoots in NZ then that really helps a much larger part of the industry. At Weta Workshop there has always been a huge focus on diversifying and not limiting ourselves to just working on fantasy project being brought to NZ. A good example of this is the work we do for Neill Blomkamp who shot in South Africa for District 9 and Mexico forElysium but we provided principle design and physical manufacture on.


As for this model being adopted abroad? Well I certainly saw signs of this in Belfast Ireland when I visited the Game of Thrones studio and taught some workshops. They very much reminded me of where NZ was at after LOTR became a global phenomenon. There was the same determination and sense of pride to build a industry from the ground up and to foster local talent while still embracing the expertise of folks from abroad.









Radagast,
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

©Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. &
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc.












Na'vi Costumes, Avatar
©2009 Lightstorm Entertainment









Na'vi Costumes, Avatar
©2009 Lightstorm Entertainment






7.What projects are you working on currently?



If only I could say… It’s the hardest part of working in the film industry, you get to work on the coolest projects but can’t say anything about it. I just did a fun stint of design work on the new Hercules film starring The Rock and a cool Chinese fantasy film called Zhong Kui: Snow Girl And The Dark Crystal. Then of course there is the final Hobbit: Battle of Five Armies coming out in December.




8.Is there a “dream” project (like your “Atlantis” story) that you hope to one day put into production?



I have no shortage of dream projects but a serious shortage of time Even with the help I receive from my small team on White Cloud Worlds working and working the full time job at Weta Workshop there seems little time to work on my own projects.


However, things are freeing up a bit and after reconnecting with all my new friends in the US and abroad I am all fired up to tackle some new projects. I guess after helping to build worlds for clients I am really excited to embark on creating my own world and I am at work on a Reimagined Atlantis that I want to produce as both a story and concept design book. So hopefully it will hit Kickstarter later this year, so watch this space!






9.Could you speak about the importance of community in an artist's life artistically, professionally and personally?







I think with art there's really no right or wrong way about how you learn and thats where community is hugely beneficial. Getting involved with a wider circle of artists exposes you to a diverse range of approaches and helps you find your own path. At a professionally level it's really important step in building up a network of friends and peers that can help you navigate the the challenges of making a living in art. When I first started out as a freelance illustrator I never knew what to charge and so I reached out to other artists for advice as just one example. Now as I get further down the professional road it's more about passing on what you have learnt from hard work and experience to a new generation of artists.




With online communities like DeviantArt it's never been easier to share and at the same time keep learning as well.


At a personal level it's simply about FUN! I love discovering new art and artists and working collaboratively whether it's at work like Weta, a personal project like White Cloud Worlds or talking to someone at a convention or online!


















:iconevenskarangerart:

Even Skaranger


EvenSkarangerArt

“I really enjoy Even’s bold use of shape language and attention to detail. He also presents his work really well, often giving additional information about the design through graphic design elements.”


PaulTobin



























:iconyip-lee:

Yip-Lee


Yip-Lee

“Yip-Lee was a student at my old design school and I am really impressed with his use of lighting and stylish rendering and design coming through in his more recent work. I hope he keeps cranking out pieces like these as he would make a great addition for White Cloud Worlds 3!


PaulTobin












:iconowl-in-a-box:

Mallie


Owl-in-a-box

“Mallie does great costume design! I love the huge variety of designs communicated with a simple and very effective rendering style. Each round of design is frequently accompanied with a great write up explaining the culture and history behind the costumes. Fantastic stuff.”


PaulTobin
































:iconstucat:

Stuart Thomas


stucat

“Stu had the honor of introducing me to all the awesome that is DeviantArt. He’s a colleague at Weta Workshop and in his spare time he produces what I think is some of the finest anthropomorphic art anywhere. Not only is it technically mind-boggling, its also damn funny!”


PaulTobin












:iconkr0npr1nz:

Ilya Kuvshinov


KR0NPR1NZ

“Unbelievably awesome work. Enough said!”


PaulTobin











































  1. Before reading this article, were you aware of New Zealand becoming such an important hub of fantasy adventure filmmaking, even beyond Peter Jackson making LOTR there?

  2. Do you agree with Guillermo del Toro and Paul Tobin that fantasy "illustration" should be considered as a fine art when the quality warrants that assessment? Are you tired of college professors, art magazine critics and art galleries deciding what's "real" art and what's just "advertising?"

  3. Paul Tobin has an "Atlantis" dream project. Is there a book, historical episode, children's fable, childhood favorite TV show, movie, cartoon or comic book that would be your dream of seeing on the screen in full LOTR digital glory?








Collection: Urban Cats

Fri Oct 3, 2014, 12:00 PM







Urban Cats


They are always there. The street sentinels. Witnesses in the night. The urban cats. Some insist a cat always prefers human company, a warm bed and provision of food and affection. So why are these felines out here? In the cat there is an independence like no other animal one shares a life with. A cat cannot be “owned.” A cat chooses you to be allowed to groom and feed and love him. If the unspoken pact somehow fails, then the cat, uncompromising, moves on to survive the cold, cruel streets on his own. But he is free. Forever free.













:iconmarx77:


MARX77


I'm a Dubai based Pakistani Street photographer who is madly in love with the genre. Even though I try my best to convey the spirit of this wonderful city of my birth visually through my photography, the sounds and smells of the streets of downtown Dubai is something you'll have to experience for yourself. In addition to Street photography, I'm trying to further hone my pictorial skills enough to break into freelance photojournalism and fine art photography. I also enjoy taking photographs of stray cats - a personal project that is very close to my heart.

















Movie Poster





About


It's October and the sacred 31 days of Halloween are upon us-time to get your gore on! The chill is in the air, the leaves are on the ground, and Halloween candy has been out since Labor Day. So while you’re waiting in the Starbucks line for an overpriced double pumpkin spice whatever, pass the time with this year’s scary movies reviews!







Shaun of the Dead (2004)



Review by Gypsycurse71


Overall Grade: A



This 2004 horror-comedy from across the pond shows us how you can manage a mid-life crisis in the midst of a zombie apocalypse through protagonist Shaun, who tries to iron out his personal life with one hand while clobbering zombies with the other. After all is said and done, he'll learn what he's really made of. Equal parts gore and gags it's both scary and hilarious at the same time. No one has topped horror satire since Scream but leave it to Brits to challenge and win! (even Romero was impressed!) A horror film with a heart and a smile, Shaun of the Dead is fresh, fun and destined to be a cult classic.










A Quote by Charles Bukowski

Wed Jun 18, 2014, 2:15 PM



Charles
Bukowski


“We're all going to die, all of us, what a circus! That alone should make us love each other but it doesn't. We are terrorized and flattened by trivialities, we are eaten up by nothing”







Collage - Alchemy of the Quotidian

Thu May 1, 2014, 11:18 PM
Red and Wolf by RevolverWinds








Foreword







Please welcome suzymae as our newest guest writer for depthRADIUS. Journalism is the latest turn in Suzy’s communications-dedicated existence, her resume revealing her to be a lifetime arts world gypsy only recently having alighted in Los Angeles where she is involved with not only transmedia artwork, video and collage but also the stand-up comedy scene. Please join me in welcoming suzymae to the deviantART family, the best home for artists displaying Suzy’s spirit of peripatetic creativity, thoughtful human observation and all-in life commitment to self-expression through art.









Collage, Alchemy of the Quotidian







It’s a simple art form, yet it provokes extreme reaction. One either loves it or hates it. Children understand it. What child has not cut out and glued together collages of family members or friends or favorite entertainer role models? Yet when an artist combines objects that evoke more subtle meditations, collage is often dismissed as the lazy man’s art form.






Where’s the technique? The hours? The “value.”




Indeed, collage is often assemblages of roadside detritus. But the power or melancholy of the image then created to be experienced uniquely by each of us can be a thing of wonder, magical. How to appraise this “value?” Quotation fails. Perhaps it’s the purity of this magical artist-viewer exchange that so confounds the assayers. Sometimes junk can be pure gold.










Collage II by psychoticsounds






collage by Lucardo






Old Tales by ebbing-gale








Transforming with Intent


Collage, as a fine art form, was consciously explored in the early 1900’s across Europe and the Americas, inspiring a new wave of contemporary commentary, as artists integrated physical objects from everyday life directly into their art, transforming pieces of mass media into imaginative, opinionated statements on society.








Das Undbild, 1919by Kurt Schwitters




In its purest form, collage is alchemy:  a power that transforms something in a mysterious or impressive way, merging components from multiple sources into an entirely new expression of emotion.




One need not be a technically skilled illustrator or photographer to assemble an effective collage—but to invoke a new reality out of existing components, a sense of storytelling and composition is crucial.


As each observer develops their own unique emotional perspective on the piece, attaching their personal history to the components within, viewing a collage becomes an act of alchemic creation in itself.











“Collage is the noble conquest of the irrational, the coupling of two realities, irreconcilable in appearance, upon a plane which apparently does not suit them.”



Max Ernst










Collage derives its name from the French verb coller, to glue.






It’s a technical description, reducing the practice of collage to its most basic form: attaching things to a surface. Conceptually, collage is controlled serendipity, combining disparate pieces of imagery into one singular experience.


Materials are limited only by imagination: parking passes, fine Japanese papers, cigarette butts, doll arms, dollar bills, seashells, human hair. Anything on earth becomes a medium.










Breaking by KanchanCollage






Collage by foot-foot






Magnolia Warbler by ursulav








Collage through The Ages


Since the invention of the printing press, words and images have been re-appropriated to tell stories and process information.






  • 1600s

    — Commonplace Books

    Information retained by a single person, such as quotes, recipes, poems and laws.

  • 1700s

    — Friendship Albums

    Compendium of signatures and drawings, collected from a variety of individuals.

  • 1800s

    — Victorian Photocollage

    Photographs and drawings cut, colored, & pasted to depict relationships & events

  • 1900s

    — Papiers Colles

    Artworks incorporating mass media objects alongside traditional materials.

  • 2000s

    — Blogs

    Digital compilations of moving & still images, text, and sound.









“In collage you can mix up new flavors and thoughts for people to find.”



KanchanCollage :iconkanchancollage:





“The outsider might see it as collage; I regard it as painting. The paint I use comes with ready-made pictures and ideas in it, and as it doesn't blend, painting with it is like playing a giant game of open-ended three-dimensional Tetris, wherein each piece retains its roots in the material while the growth is angled towards the topic it portrays.”



Zaider :iconzaider:









Stormy Sea by J0nnyL0ve






Self Portrait Collage by danalightbourne






water collage by kirbyrevo








The first deliberate and innovative use of collage in fine art came from Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso in the spring of 1912.








Fruit Dish & Glass, 1916by Georges Braque






Pushing the limits of dimension and illusion via Cubism, the two broke 2D barriers with a series of papiers collés. Picasso incorporated an Italian postage stamp in his painting “The Letter.”




Braque used a wallpaper wood grain to conjure café tables in Fruit Dish and Glass.




After these well-known artists initiated the use of everyday objects within traditional paintings, the technically simple concept of collage came to affect the trajectory of contemporary art over the following century.











“Regardless of the medium, whether it is in Eliot or Picasso or a TV thirty-second advertisement, I think collage is the twentieth century's greatest innovation.”



Robert Motherwell










The process of collage is anarchic and constructive at once, a practice with infinite possibilities.






This freedom and power inspired progressive artists to push boundaries, while simultaneously legitimizing pop as culture. Cubists, Surrealists, and other visionaries took on collage as idea, creating assemblages, constructions, readymades, and cut-ups. Neo Dada, Pop Art, and Conceptual Art all sprung out of this radical transformation of what art could be and contain.




As a process to invoke new realities, collage allows any artist to explore immortal nostalgia:  transforming what already exists into a desired reality. Inclusive and quick, open to personalization and multiple mediums, the lack of rules and infinite sources of material challenge all creative individuals to develop their own innovative approach to collage.










295.5 by BLDRDSH






taxi by igorska






like so many by CanaryInTheCathouse









roma surrealismo by fleetofgypsies






Orange Brain Unlimited by bluespectralmonkey






Ruby behind Emerald by Culpeo-Fox









RESCUED FROM LIFE by PancreasSupervisor






Fall in Love by Risata






Red and Wolfby RevolverWinds








“It’s not where you take things from—it’s where you take them to.”



Jean-Luc Godard










Questions for the Reader


  1. What if any difference is there between digital collage and photo manipulation? Should they be considered a separate art form from collage, just as collage is from assemblage?
  2. Is effective collage harder or easier to create than a traditionally illustrated image?
  3. What attitudes set collage artists apart from others?  Why might they choose collage over other methods?
  4. When can a collage be perceived as a cop-out?  Is there something less noble about using other’s visuals?
  5. As artists broke the 2D barrier by adding 3D components, how do we explore the fourth dimension with 3D materials? What’s the next conceptual step collage might inspire?
  6. Has collage become the standard of modern media consumption?  How does the fractured multimedia landscape we all experience affect our relationship to collage as an art form?









What Lurks Behind Wil Wheaton

Sat Apr 26, 2014, 12:55 PM





Road to Comic-Con

What Lurks BehindWil Wheaton


What's Behind Wil Wheaton?


 That’s what he’d like to know.









Saturday, April 26, 2014

He could just turn around but he’s asking his army of twitter followers to photoshop the hell out of whatever it is that's on the green screen directly behind him.  What an opportunity, deviants ;)









Oh hi twitter I'm on a green screen again today. Want to #photoshopwilwheaton? pic.twitter.com/OTiZLmFW43


2:15 PM - 25 Apr 2014






spyed and myself have been wishing Comic-Con was NOW. We just, miss it. The artists, the alley, the 120,000 kindred souls all together aligned in the collective world mission of a color exploded pop culture singularity, blending every possibility real and imagined.


We want the obligatory Wil Wheaton Comic-Con sighting now.


Meanwhile...


Do it to Wil. Do that now.


What better way to kick things off for the depthRADIUS Road To Comic-Con than by feeding poor Wil to a one-eyed-one-horned flying people eating Cthulhu! marioluevanos could do it blind (and he may) but consider Wil’s green screen, fellow kindred deviants, as your first Challenge!


This weekend do your thing! Get crazy!! Expose Wil to every dark corner of the universes that so far he has only pretended to be in. The clock is ticking!!! Tweet it to Wil #photoshopwilwheaton and then link us to your devious efforts in the comments below.







We will showcase The Best of The Outrageous Best next week as a Stock Market feature on depthRADIUS!



Some suggested themes and prompts to whet your Wheaton:


  • Crown of Thrones or whatever it’s called?
  • Hey, is that Dick Cheney with a water bucket and a dirty rag?
  • Roller Coasters, Ponies and Meatballs.
  • An inflated Jean Luc Picard gone Vore.
  • Check out Stock Resources for inspiration!

Only you have the answer, lazing in the darker depths of your sleeping psyche.  Time to conjure up some silly madness and surface the winning tweet!  Don’t worry, more to come on the way to Comic-Con San Diego!













Introducing depthRADIUS

Tue Feb 25, 2014, 11:01 PM












About depthRADIUS


Foreword by techgnotic

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.



“We are all listening to each other.”















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

Herman Hesse

empty by Kosmur

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

The Ladder Song - Words And Music by Bright Eyes


On the Edge by lesley-oldaker




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

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

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

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

Dave Elliott, An Authentic Citizen

Mon Sep 23, 2013, 1:57 PM






Weirding Willows

A New Wind Lifts Storytelling


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


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



dino

















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






C

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





amigos










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









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





A

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



Rodents

















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









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






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





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

























T

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










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

















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








:icondeevelliott:



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



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


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










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



:icondeevelliott:








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


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

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









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



:icondeevelliott:







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


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


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











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



:icondeevelliott:





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














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



:icondeevelliott:















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










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



:icondeevelliott:










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








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


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


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


:iconfelipecagno:FelipeCagno






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






































:iconbws:



Bradley W. Schenck


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


–Dave Elliott












:icondrunken-novice:



Possibly drunk right now


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

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


–Dave Elliott



























:iconcrystalcurtis:



HUNDREDS of antiseptics!


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

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


–Dave Elliott












:iconhandmade-crown:



Wah! What'd I do?


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

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


–Dave Elliott






















:icontcypress:



Toby Cypress


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

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


–Dave Elliott











:iconpumpkinbear:



Rowal


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


–Dave Elliott




















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











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





• • •









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

Franklin Gasmask by myseps



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

Karl Lagerfeld by MissMatzenbatzen



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

Lucille Ball by creaturedesign




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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


Portrait of Neil Gaiman by MatthewRabalais


Comic-Con 2013, Initiate Launch Cycle

Tue Jul 16, 2013, 11:06 PM













Initiate Launch Cycle
Tuesday, July 16, 2013 by techgnotic



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











Systems and housings look stable.


Fuel lines clear and steady.


Test firing booster engines.


San Diego flight and arrival path confirmed.


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


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


Llamas prepped and groomed.


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


All nations beware and all nations rejoice.


We are Inked, Locked, and Loaded.


Fella just flashed the GO Signal.


ComiCon 2013 is on


Welcome.











Come join us at




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


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






           








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



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



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



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



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



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



Working Class Hero by John Lennon




John Lennon vol.2,5 by Zaider











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


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


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


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


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


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


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