How did you first discover deviantART?
A long time ago, a friend of mine mentioned that there was an art site, something new and still fresh, and he directed me to deviantART, thinking I could make an account and mingle. I used to spend a lot of time looking through the backgrounds, and the anime/manga, but I didn't settle in to an account name for good until a few years ago.
What was it about dA that made you want to stay?
The community, for sure. A lot of people complain, a lot of people think there isn't a proper one, but you just need to surround yourself with people you want to be around. I've met so many people on deviantART who are brilliant, sweet and talented, people I will never forget. I'm glad I took the time to develop a relationship with the community when I first came, and I'm glad I continued to cultivate it in the years since.
It also gave me a place I felt I belonged - there isn't a huge window of opportunity for people who actually like to cover themselves in fake blood and take pictures of it. Of course, I'm kidding, because that's not all I do, but I do enjoy having a place where I can make something gory or grotesque, and have it at least slightly accepted. Being on deviantART gave me the feeling of being part of something instead of being weird.
What is the story behind your username?
I've been asked about it a lot, but there isn't really an in depth tale to tell. It's from a poem I wrote a long time ago, when I was in my favorite angst filled stage. I also really like toffie, and you have to pull that. And it's candy.
What do you remember of your childhood in regards to art?
I enjoyed art, was always doing something with my hands, when I was younger. I used to paint, draw, sculpt, sketch. I would be in to anything that was art related, from conte to oil paints. I'd draw on my bedroom walls and get in trouble, I'd draw with chalk on the sidewalk. I was very interested in dinosaurs, so I would draw these huge, complicated diagrams on my driveway of Tyrannosaurus Rex fighting off Velociraptors and Cavemen, and my Mom would get people to come and see them. I guess I had a pretty good grasp of depth and scale, and used it well. Unfortunately, all of that faded away and now I rarely paint or draw, and now, when I do, it's mostly things I shouldn't. I've graduated to a Wacom, and from that to using just my mouse, as well. No more driveways for me.
Was there anything or anyone in particular that prompted your choice of art form?
A lifestyle change prompted my choice of art form.
The moment I got diagnosed with bursitis, and osteoarthritis, I had to stop drawing and painting. I knew there was no way I could keep going with the repeating movements required for paint strokes, or sketching, and it would cause me serious discomfort. So one day, I was thinking to myself, "I wish there was some way I could recreate a B horror movie set..." and I picked up a small digital camera that also happened to be a webcam. I kind of went crazy from there. I can easily press the shutter button on the camera, and I've found that it's just the same as painting or drawing, just my canvas is different.
Who or what motivates you to continue creating?
Just the sheer love of creating motivates me to continue. It's easy to want to do something you love to do, and I think once you figure out you're artistically inclined, you'll never truly feel comfortable or happy without creating at least sometimes. It doesn't matter what I am doing, from cakes, to writing, to photography, the love of actually being able to say, "I made that!" keeps me doing it, so I can have that feeling again. My husband also helps, he's very encouraging and likes to be my champion. Oh and...shock value. I don't post nearly a quarter of all the work I do on the internet, but a key element in how I create and what motivates me is attempting to produce emotion. A lot of the time, it's shock. I love getting the what, why, where and WHY questions out of people who see my work. They're always so baffled, they don't understand why I want to gore up and go out, it makes me want to do it again and again.
Of your own work, which has the most meaning to you and why?
That's a toss up between so many things, but I think I would have to stray away from my normal genre and dip in to my literature as my most meaningful work.
Dear You, Nee: MyselfDear You (Nee: Myself);
Sometimes when I am hazy (See: Unconscious) and out of my mind I think back to those tumultuous days when barefoot was mandatory and dress pants were for old people - I'd laugh, but I wear shoes now to cover my feet, cracked from years of wandering down the same path, and dress pants to present a respectable front for society, that very same one which together we would shun from an alley while sipping cheap beer directly from the bottle, pretending it was wine in a silver goblet, keeping a lazy eye out for the police.
I don't know where we went wrong, where we separated and fle
It's so very truthful, I let myself write as if I was an outsider chronicling events for somebody. I dipped in to a well inside of myself and just...wrote. And then, I posted it. It took a great deal of courage to submit that because it was so raw and unhindered but in all honesty, it did me a great deal of good. And it changed what I submit to deviantART, for before I took that step and decided to write that, I hardly submitted any kind of writing. But it brought me a new aspect of the community, and it gave me a great big sense of relief that I had finally started to tell somebody, anybody, all of those painful things that scar you inside and eat you up. It helped me get some release, and some closure.
What are the duties of your role as an admin of deviantART?
I am a Community Volunteer for the Horror/Macabre photography, and Cosplay photography galleries (The Cosplay equals the artisan crafts > cosplay section as well) here on deviantART. I take Daily Deviation suggestions, I pimp awesome things if they come my way, I help promote, and bring awareness to the galleries I help to look after. And while it's not on my actual list of duties, I also try to be as active as I can be promoting and assisting any literary activity I come across, because I love literature.
What are the most challenging and most rewarding aspects of your position?
I think that the most rewarding aspect of my position has been the ability to assist other people. I like it when people tell me I have been helpful, because I do try to be. If I can't help, I always try to point them to somebody who can. If I can help, I always try to make sure I do it 100% so they walk away knowing they have been assisted. I also really believe that having this position has helped me work through some shyness I just happened to have - I had to learn to be professional and polite, to give detailed answers, and to not just lose my head or not reply at all when I was presented with a problem. It's given me some comfort and assistance in my real life because of all the interaction I have to do here. It makes me stop and think, "What would I say if this was somebody I didn't know asking me something on deviantART..." and I go from there.
Challenging, for me, is also the same thing. Besides having to find daily deviations for two seperate galleries, dealing with people is a huge, huge challenge. If somebody comes to you angry, you have to understand why they are angry. I have to treat them with a great deal of respect and I must remain calm and collected, and deal accordingly, if I can. It's also a challenge to know if I can deal with something myself or if I have to redirect people. If somebody comes to you happy, which I always love to see, you get to be happy with them, and that's a huge bonus in itself. It makes up for all the other trials I face.
What can you reveal of projects you are working on for deviantART? Personal projects?
For deviantART, I was working on some Cosplay news articles, because I should be more active in that section, seeing as I'm featuring it. I'm always working on some featurettes of spooky, gory, scary and eerie artwork and costume ideas to deviantART, along with a tutorial or two, but it's actually slightly slow as of right now around here for me.
In real life, I'm contracted to take stills for a book trailer, which is almost wrapped up, and it's my first job of that sort. It's interesting being a makeup artist and photographer for something so diverse as a trailer, the models constantly need touch up and they always need to be positioned and directed. It's been interesting, and rewarding. That's about all though, I've recently had surgery, which has given me time to work on my short story collection. I'm boring, I fear, because I don't have that much on my plate.
What would you like to achieve in the long term and short term on dA? In life?
In the long term on dA, I would like to have this kind of opportunity again. I am aware that my CV position will come to an end, but I am hoping to stick around the site, be as active as I can, and have this chance again. I'm also very interested in learning more about the literature community here, but that's something I can work on later, if they'll let me.
For the short term, I want to continue to work on my side projects, and branch out to working more with other people as much as possible, to overcome how shy I am, and to learn more about being behind the camera.
In life, I want to finish my short story collection. That is short term. In the long term, I want to publish it, if it's good enough. But that's a hurdle I will jump when I come to it.
What movies did you enjoy most?
Pan's Labyrinth, Jurassic Park, The Fountain and Repo! The Genetic Opera are my favorites. I like to be amused, and I really, really like dinosaurs.
What type of music do you listen to? Specific groups/artists?
I don't listen to mainstream music, or artists, very often. I'm really in to industrial/gothic/darkwave, and I'm captivated by anything that uses violins. Dark, dreary and gravel-like voices, growling, and lilting female backup vocals make me very happy. A few of my favorites would be The Sins of Thy Beloved, Theater of Tragedy and Wumpscut. I'm also ridiculously partial to Katatonia, and Cradle of Filth. Anything that tells me a story, I like. I don't like pop or rap or country, though I respect all musical artists for what they do, even if I think it sucks.
Which books could you just not put down?
The Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah is the most recent. And The Glass Castle, by Jeannette Walls. I really like books that tell you a story from beginning to end, especially life stories. The Winter Garden wasn't a true story, but The Glass Castle was, and it really makes me realize that no matter how bad I've had it, others have had worse, and they've made the best of it, and so can I.
What foods can you never seem to resist? Drinks?
I love energy drinks. I can't get enough of them. I'm pretty sure I'm going to die of an exploded heart because of the quantity I drink them in. I switched to no-sugar added ones, but I still drink them fairly often. As for food, I'm incredibly partial to Buffalo Chicken pizza, the store bought kind. It's so spicy and good. Mmm.
What are your pet peeves on dA and in general?
On dA, my biggest pet peeve is people who complain about everything that changes. Change is needed in life for life to continue. Everything and everybody changes, there's no need to complain about it. Even buying a new kind of toilet paper is change - so what if we have a new side bar script or a new place for thumbs or a llama or...? I kind of like the troll merchandise. I might not buy it, but you have to have a sense of humor! It's not a big deal. It drives me insane when people say they want to quit the site because of something trivial. I hate dramatics. If people stopped to look around they'd realize that nothing has changed so drastically that they need to be concerned or upset about it, they just need to keep calm and carry on. The people are still the same, and the people are what matters.
In general, my biggest pet peeve(s) are snoring, and over reaction. I can't stand it when people over react to things that are not a big deal. You dropped a plate? Why the hell are you shrieking, it's just a plate. Calm down, it's not the end of the world!
Something random about yourself that you wish to share?
I can memorize a song after only hearing it once. It's a curse, actually, because people really like to make me recite or mash up songs, or try to quiz me on them. I can do from the 1950's to the most recent, and I know some pretty obscure stuff. I don't know things like...where a band played on October 13th, 1967, but I can sing every song off the album. Folks will throw me a line and always seem to be amazed when I can name the song for them.
What tips can you offer to better oneself in his or her art? In life?
Don't. Ever. Give. Up.
Do what you want to do. If it makes you happy, if you feel like you're doing something you like, that you enjoy, just do it. Who cares what other people think of you. Be yourself - all the time. Don't become something or someone else just because you want to fit in. People should like you for you and not for who they think you are or what they want you to do.
The same applies for both life and art. Just do your own thing. A reaction is a reaction, good or bad - art is supposed to evoke emotions. If they are negative, you still set out to do what you wanted to do, which was make somebody feel something.
What does ART mean to you?
Art is a visual extension of myself. It means the world to me to write or photograph or create something that I can share with somebody else. They don't have to like it, but as long as I'm creating I feel fulfilled. It means everything.
Is there anything else you wish to say?
Thank you for giving me this opportunity.
And I, Well...
Decisions, direction and course of action.
Like a shopping list, I categorize, contemplate, and overcome on paper, I discuss with myself what shall be done, what won't be done, what could be accomplished. Reflection. Dismissal, interaction, vomiting. I feel the need to use inflection, punctuation, italics, bold and abrasive contextual language. Some more vomiting, followed by the sudden rupture in time and space, the orbit of our relationship, the infinite daily trial and tribulation and apparent boredom that surrounds you and I, well
I won't call my mother at th
I Want To FlyI want to dance.
Oh, don't I sound petulant with my legs dangling off the couch, toes to the floor. Pouting behind my hair, hands on my lap. I watch other couples swirl and twist and jitter to music, sometimes music only they can hear, and I wilt as if I have been sitting in the sun far too long. Going about daily routines like shopping, to me, looks like a waltz. Metered and perfect. Taking the dog for a walk is like a tango; luscious and daring. Dropping the children off at school is like ballet, yards of tulle tutu's and beautifully dimmed lighting, rose colored glasses. I sigh.
I want to talk.
I don't want to talk about it,
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