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Initially, I feel the need to say that this thing of yours is quite fan-bloody-tastic. The method you have gone with is truly prodigeou...

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AF40K Q&A

Q: What do you use to create your art?
For my lineart I use .5mm pencils with either regular office-supply graphite or blue-lead. In both cases I prefer to use 110lb cardstock, but regular printer paper works just as well in a pinch.

For digital work I use Photoshop CS5 or Paint Tool SAI, depending on what it is I am working on.


Q: Where do you purchase your materials?
In the event that I need pencils and paper, I usually go to office-supply stores, such as Office Depot or Staples. If I need blue lead, I normally order that online from Pentel (art supply stores are notoriously out of stock). For my other artistic needs, I either go to Utrect or Plaza.


Q: For your traditional artwork, how do you manage scanning your work? Do you feel the brand/type of scanner makes a difference?
For the time being, I use an HP Officejet v40 (…which is about 12 years old now). This is why I don’t have anything from sketchbooks or stuff from art class posted; there is no way for me to scan it in.

As far as the hardware is concerned; no, it doesn’t make a difference. The only thing that matters really is how large your scanning area is.


Q: How long does a drawing take, in all your chosen mediums?
Depends on far too many factors for me to answer easily. Some sketches have taken me a few minutes while there are some drawings I have lost track of how many hours I’ve put into it.


Q: How often do you draw?
I *try* to draw a little every day…even if they are mindless doodles when I should be taking notes in a meeting.


Q: Do you have any tips for lineart/coloring?
Yeah, draw and color. If you have a digital art program, don’t be afraid to screw around with stuff. If you don’t and money is not an object, do the same thing with any manner of materials of your choosing.


Q: Do you sketch your drawings and trace later over them for lineart or do you use the same page/layer?
Yes.
Ok, seriously, it really depends on the situation again. I’ve sketched out ideas only to expand on them further on the same page because I liked what came out, others get entire new pages. Sometimes I will work a sketch, take it to a light table to make some cleaner lineart, only to take that to the light table again 2 or 3 more times before I’m satisfied.


Q: Do you draw with any tutorial-style guidelines when you begin?
While I certainly apply the concepts I have picked up from a number of tutorials (such as setting up a skeletal structure/framework), I avoid a lot of tutorials like the plague unless there is a specific effect that I am looking for. I don’t need my work to look like it came from the exact same cookie-cutter styled colorist.


Q: How do you get over an artist's block?
I usually take four or five steps to the right (or left) and then press on.


Q: What is your favorite thing to draw?
My favorite thing? Mecha, armor, weapons and atrocities…what appears in my gallery tells a different story. You see, I am actually pretty good at the stuff I like to draw, but I need to get better at the squishy stuff (and I’m not necessarily talking about female body parts).


Q: At what age did you consider/begin getting into art?
No idea. I’ve been doodling and drawing ever since I could remember. That may be a painfully common answer, but it’s true.


Q: Did you ever attend art classes/school/academy/college? Did they benefit?
Yes; I took the required classes in high school, but I also took some basic classes through the Art Academy of Cincinnati for a painfully brief time and a number of courses through University of Maryland University College. And yes, I do feel that the more consistent and recent classes have helped me a lot.


Q: Did you ever try to adapt to someone else's style or start with developing your own?
I think I have always had my own style. Even when I was a lot younger when I traced pictures from video game manuals, they still looked different from the picture I traced from. Never could figure it out really…


Q: What types of color combinations are your favorite to experiment with?
Hmmm… well, I can’t say for sure, as I really don’t color too often.


Q: Do you prefer digital or traditional? Does either have an easier skill level/set of benefits over the other?
I prefer traditional, as that is where I have the most experience. I am working to change this by doing more digitally, but that doesn’t come overnight.
Both mediums I think have their own learning curve, and you can do things in one medium that you can’t do in the other. So I really can’t say if one is better than the other. It all comes down to personal preference really.


Q: Are you happy with your current level of art? Do you wish to improve?
Fuck no, I’m not satisfied! I am always looking for ways to get better. Of course actual execution is another kettle of worms and I need to put the time into that… which I have been lacking lately. But I do what I can…


Q: Do you plan before touching a layer/sketchbook, or make it up as you go?
A little of column A and a little of column B.


Q: What kind of tablet/sketchbook do you use?
For my digital work, I have an Intuos 4. Traditional stuff is pretty much regulated to whatever is within reach.


Q: What digital painting program do you use?
Paint Tool SAI and Adobe CS5


Q: Do you feel supported with your artwork? How do you deal with the choice of life/school/work/parental advice when pursuing your art?
Not really, no. I get very little feedback from my friends, and my parents can’t be bothered to give a damn (the ones that are still alive anyway).

Right now, work and school go hand in hand, with life and art taking a back seat to them. While I don’t decline going out with my friends in favor of art…I often bring my drawing materials with me.


Q: Do you listen to music/watch TV/read while drawing?
WinAmp is always running when I am at my computer. Enough said. If I watch anything, it would be fellow artists as they stream, but that is rare because it is a distraction.


Q: Who/what are your inspirations that you feel show in your artwork?
Most “Old School” anime (mostly stuff from the 70’s through the 90’s) has been an influence. Some artists like Joe Mad, Newt Ewell, Masamune Shirow and Fred Perry have also added some influence to my style as well.


Q: What have you done in order to obtain the financial necessity to purchase your tools?
I work, duh.


Q: Do you do requests/trades/commissions? Do you have a link that explains more in depth?
I very rarely do requests. I have done one or two at conventions, but I have to remotely feel like doing it. I would do trades if I felt that someone would want to trade with me. I offer commissions when I am at conventions.


Q: Do you have any final words for me?
Reality is for those who can’t handle √-1.

Thoughts on Suicide

Journal Entry: Thu Aug 14, 2014, 12:23 PM



Convention Status


MAGFEST: 2-5 January, National Harbor, MD

Katsucon: 14-16 February, National Harbor, MD

BronyCon: 1-3 August, Baltimore, Maryland

Otakon: 8-10 August, Baltimore, Maryland
Most likely will not even attend, however I may just hang out near the convention...

MAGFest: 23-26 January, National Harbor, MD
Doing this one, improving my aim to get a table this year.

Any other conventions are pending time, money and interest.




I DO take requests in that I will entertain any request. Whether or not I will actually work on the request is another matter entirely. The fact of the matter is that a request is just that: a request; something that you would like to see me do. This said, I am under NO obligation to do it at all.

If you're still here and want to request something from me send me a note or email and then wait. I will either do it or I won't. If you ask me whether or not I got your message about the request, rest assured that I have and that I have at least skimmed it over and am considering it. Good ways to ensure that I will NOT do your request include, but are not limited to:
- Requests that are outside of my interests (take a look at my gallery and faves to get an idea of what those are).
- Requests that put my characters outside of what they normally do or suggest that they behave differently than how they normally would.
- Badgering, pestering or otherwise being a nuisance is a quick way to see your request sent to a quantum singularity never to be heard from again...you are on my time and I've got stuff to do.
- Should a request actually get completed, you accept it as-is. Period.
- Friends, family and business partners get special dispensation and are far more likely to be considered. Those people know who they are...and no, just because you are on my 'Friends' list here or are watching me does not make you my friend by default.

If you find that these terms are unreasonable, then put some money on the table and commission me. You will find that I am MUCH more reasonable and FAR more inclined to bend over backwards for you.



When I heard about Robin Williams’ death, I refused to believe it. I heard about it while playing MechWarrior Online and, to be honest, you can’t always trust what it is that people put out there, especially when that sort of stuff is spouted in an attempt to get a rise out of others. So yeah, I called bullshit let it alone until after the match, then I hit up Google (Google pretty much knows everything) and I found the early release articles that were published hours after he was pronounced dead.

I wanted to call bullshit…

…I still do…

…but reality has since sunk in and one of the greatest men on the face of the planet has passed on.

Since then, I have noted some of the tributes, well-wishes and stories of others about the news. I have read a fair number of articles on the matter as people tried to understand what could drive a man to take his own life.

For anybody that spent more than 5 minutes actually paying attention to Robin Williams, his various acts, how he carried himself (even with the genuine, warm smiles), you could see the pain just beneath the surface. Spend a little more time watching the man and you realize that he had always battled depression and suffered from both alcohol and drug addiction.

Robin Williams is the perfect example of what is known as a Sad Clown. That is, someone who suffers from deep depression, but they mask and cope with their pain by bringing joy to others. Among comedians, this is a very, very common thing. Many comedians are very depressed and sad individuals, believe it or not…and believe it or not, they are actually very good about hiding behind a mask; they have to be because of the stigma that surrounds people who are depressed or otherwise mentally and/or emotionally suffering.

…and that brings me to the topic of this giant wall of text that this will inevitably evolve into.

The various articles I’ve read and the accompanying comments from folks (with some even providing their own stories and anecdotes) struck a chord with me…a very familiar one.

In light of this, and the descriptions of the challenges that others face and have faced, I want to describe my own experiences with depression:

I will be 36 in November. For the vast majority of that time I have been battling a very similar beast that many people fight. While I cannot ever know the depths or details of the beasts and battles that so many other people do battle with on a day-to-day basis, I know that mine is a special kind of monster.

Mine never leaves me. It is always there, lurking just at the edge of my mind’s eye. Watching. Waiting.

It can sit there in the shadows for months at a time placid to the point that I almost forget that it’s there (you never forget that you are carrying around a 10 pound weight…you may become used to carrying it around, but you never forget you have it with you). Sometimes it will reach out and pinch, poke or nibble. It causes me to question things, or casually remind me of any number of truths that I have come to accept. Sometimes it doesn’t say anything it all. Sometimes it just sits there and smiles, and then shows me the chains that bind me…just a reminder that no matter what they’re still there and they aren’t going away.

…no matter how hard I try to remove them…

Those are the times that are easiest. They are the ones that I can most easily cope with, because I am used to it. Yeah, I may be lugging around a 10 pound weight, but I can still tread water easily enough.

Sometimes though, it gets ornery. Or bored. Or both. Sometimes it just wants to pour some salt in the wounds and do more than simply remind me of my place. Sometimes it decides that it wants to make itself known.

Sometimes, it just wants to break me.

These times are the worst. They are the hardest. These are the times where in addition to carrying that ten pound weight everywhere, the ground gives out underneath your feet. You struggle, you try to climb back up, but you keep slipping as the dirt crumbles to sand that constantly gives out underneath you. You fight harder but the sand continues to carry you inexorably downwards, eliminating any progress you have made instantly. If you’re lucky, you are able to maintain the status quo, you are able to postpone the inevitable descent a little longer.

Unfortunately, you can’t keep this up forever. You know it. As you fight, you become tired, fatigued. Soon, the effort required to stay in place exceeds your ability and now all you can do is just slow the descent. As you sink deeper and deeper, it becomes harder and harder to sit up, much less fight. The climb has become too steep and the weight too much. You are up to your waist in sludge that is puling you down and you just can’t fight it. You want to NEED to, but you can’t. The effort to just lift your hand through the mire and muck is just too much, especially now. Even if you don’t give up, you are either just too exhausted by this point or any efforts you make serve no purpose.

…and so you sink…

The deeper you go, the harder and more painful it becomes to resist, so you stop. You also realize that nobody actually cares. Oh, they say that they do, but it’s a lie. They never cared. At worst, they completely ignored you, at best they just passed on by after a smile and ‘how-you-doin’?’. Of course you told them ‘fine’ because that’s what’s expected. Couldn’t they see past the obvious lie? See the pain you were in? If they truly cared, they would have noticed long ago and done something then.

…you sink deeper… 

You are in a deep, black pit; surrounded by oppressive darkness. The ten pound weight now feels like a thousand. You aren’t sure if it’s the weight itself or if it’s just all of that sand, muck and mire. The pain goes from mental to physical. You feel a stabbing in the center of your chest. Your joints refuse to cooperate. It is physically and mentally draining to just stand up and go to the bathroom. You shut out the light and avoid going outside because it’s just too painful. Everything hurts inside and out. Its torture and you just want it all to end.


But it can end you know...the pain, the sorrow, the helplessness.

It can all be over in an instant. If you just pull the trigger. A fraction of a second and not only will it all end, but you will never have to worry about it tormenting you again. So what about everyone else? They didn’t care then, why should they care now? What about your obligations and responsibilities? Irrelevant. They won’t follow you; they can’t.

It can all end. Right here, right now. It is just. That. Easy.


 

….and then the feeling passes.

Just like that, it’s over. You don’t know how, or why you are suddenly near the end of a dark tunnel, but there you are after stumbling out of the darkness. In the murky grey that surrounds you, you can see the light at the end of the tunnel easily enough. Not too hard to keep walking forward really. For a moment, you think that the darkness that you were in was just a dream, some sort of hallucination or something, but you look over your shoulder and see from where you had just come. It is a dark, terrifying place and you genuinely wonder how in the hell you ended up there to begin with. 

You pick up your pace a little, walking towards the light and more than a little eager to be on your way…there is so much to do and you don’t have time to dawdle. That ten pound weight is still there, but you don’t really notice it; its weight seemingly negligible, especially after what you had just gone through. You step out into the light. You feel better. Not quite totally relieved of everything, but still, you feel pretty good though.

Something catches your attention out of the corner of your eye and you see it, sitting there watching you. Waiting. It smiles. A shudder goes down your spine as you realize that this will not be the last time it puts you through that hell. Worse, you don’t know when it will happen again, or how bad it will be…only that it will happen again and when you least expect it.

 

If you got this far, thanks, I really appreciate it! If you also got this far, I think some things also bear explaining as well:

:bulletblue: I exist in a constant state of minor depression. That is, I am always slightly depressed. If, on a scale of 1-10, the average person sits at 5 as their day-to-day feeling, I tend to sit at about a 4. I have to actually make a conscious effort to look, appear or otherwise sound cheerful.

:bulletblue: I am not currently contemplating suicidal thoughts, but I have in the past and there is a non-zero chance that I will in the future.

:bulletblue: This is me putting my emotional state to paper (or, rather, pixels) when things get bad. This is not a cry for attention, rather it is an attempt to let others know what’s going on in my head.

:bulletblue: Reading similar perspectives from others helped me identify and better nail down the things I have been feeling, so it is my hope that by reading this, others will be inspired to do the same.

:bulletblue: For those that do not suffer from chronic depression, but have heard about it and/or know folks that do, I hope that this gives them a bit of insight to what is happening their friends and loved ones





Commission List:
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deviantID

AnimeFreak40K
has a low Idiot Tolerance!
Artist | Hobbyist | Varied
United States
Current Residence: My own little world somewhere between the State of Insanity and the State of Confusion
Favourite genre of music: Stuffs...some techno, Heavy Metal, J-Pop, J-Rock...y'know...Anime Stuffs...
Operating System: Windows 7
Skin of choice: my own? but only because im attached to it at the moment
Favourite cartoon character: you just HAD to ask that one didnt you?
Personal Quote: Sanity...is for the WEAK!
Interests

Webcam

Comments


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:iconramue101:
ramue101 Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2014
Thank you for the Ilama BTW. :)
Reply
:iconanimefreak40k:
AnimeFreak40K Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Not a problem ^_^
Reply
:iconramue101:
ramue101 Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2014
Your welcome. :) (Smile)
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:iconm00nr4ynight:
M00NR4YNighT Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2014  Hobbyist
thnx for the Llama!:D
Reply
:iconanimefreak40k:
AnimeFreak40K Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Not a problem ^_^
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:iconm00nr4ynight:
M00NR4YNighT Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2014  Hobbyist
^^
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:iconrammtomm007:
RammTomm007 Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2014
Thank you for the llama.
Reply
:iconanimefreak40k:
AnimeFreak40K Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Not a problem ^_^
Reply
:iconcimarronboy:
cimarronboy Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
thx for the :llama:
Reply
:iconanimefreak40k:
AnimeFreak40K Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Not a problem ^_^
Reply
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