How did you first discover deviantART?
Ten years ago an online friend, ~alijha, linked to some of his work on dA.
What was it about dA that made you want to stay?
I didn't! I was off and on for 6 or 7 years focusing on marriage and real life.
In 2010 I decided to pursue writing more seriously. I tried participating in a few writing sites, but couldn't quite figure out how fit in. Then I remembered good old deviantART, that great community with a place for all types of artists. It's hard to pinpoint exactly what about the community makes it easier to fit in, but it's a priceless quality I haven't found anywhere else.
What is the story behind your username?
As a teenager I stole the name from a song to compensate for my lack of originality. It was Thorns by Wumpscut, which was recommended to me by ~alijha as well. (Alijha also performed my wedding ceremony and I think I should send him a thank you letter one of these days.)
What do you remember of your childhood in regards to art?
Christmas ornaments in kindergarten, poetry books in 2nd grade, masks of our own faces in 6th grade, then Junior high honors art was the best! These are some of the things we did: colored pencil, pen & ink, watercolor, dinosaur embryo sculptures, Chinese terracotta army statues, Aboriginal dot pots, Balinese shadow puppets (my favorite!), molas, "x-ray" Aboriginal drawings, and even silver jewelry.
Visual art died suddenly for me in high school where the assignments were 'trace this photo' and 'draw that vase.' After creating strange and amazing art pieces in junior high adjusting to basic art class was impossible.
I refocused on my writing. I wrote poetry drowning in angst which I posted to dA and smutty fanfiction that wasn't on dA. I may cringe now but it sure was awesome back then!
Was there anything or anyone in particular that prompted your choice of art form?
I read a lot as a child. I even won an award for reading over 200 books in like 2nd grade. Ever since I started reading I would imagine conflicts and stories all day every day. Didn't matter what format the story was in either, I just wanted one.
Who or what motivates you to continue creating?
Ideas would make me crazy if I didn't write them down. I create to stave off the insanity.
Well, and I enjoy it.
Of your own work, which has the most meaning to you and why?
I narrowed it down to two pieces.Mother Nature's WrathThe supposed deity, Mother Nature, was always present on the backwater planet. The bitter cold wind, stinging Bosch's face and ruffling his fur, was a constant reminder of her wrath. At least the sun was shining as he trudged through the deep snow.is my first decent piece of short fiction written for #ScreamPrompts and I struggled with the prompt until pretty much the day of the deadline. In the end it solidified my loyalty to the community here.
"Machu's hungry." Shelly, his small human mate, lagged behind him. The snow was knee deep for her, but she struggled through without complaint.
He did not speak her language, but the translator implanted in his ear understood most human words.
"Soon." In the distance, he still saw the human structure they had escaped. He had killed the humans, but now they were in a race against time. Rescue was
Though I loved the story my confidence was shaken since I had just come off some lit group rejections (rejected twice by the same group ). I was worried people would say, "A yeti and a human pairing? What the hell is wrong with you?" No one did. It was featured as a DD by the wonderful `nycterent and the community gave me great support and awesome critique.Beta Reading Tutorialmeans a lot to me because I wish someone had written it when I was starting out. Beta readers over the last decade helped me improve my writing the most, and I couldn't imagine where'd I'd be without them. Unfortunately there aren't a lot of guides available to learn about the process which discourages many from participating. You really had to wing it and learn as you went. I created the guide to help spread awareness and remove some of the guesswork.
What is a Beta Reader?Apart from being a writer's best friend, beta readers provide a cross between edits and a critique. A beta reader does not edit a manuscript, but will note the errors for the author to fix. Advice and critiques are other services a beta may perform.
Establishing a RelationshipYou've just partnered with an author; what do you do first? Establish with your author what each of you expects from the relationship. A solid understanding of expectations starts the partnership on a productive path and avoids misunderstandings.Time Expectations
Is the author expecting a 24 hour turn around, while you're thinking a week? If not
Do you have any personal goals in relation to deviantART?
I do! I want to encourage other writers to write, improve and participate in the community. There are a lot of great people and projects on dA but you have to actively take advantage of them. I've needed quite a few nudges in the past and I like to pass it on to other writers. Sometimes that's a reminder note and other times it requires a emoticon. When in doubt though I like to trick people into projects with premium memberships.
I also abuse dA to meet my personal goals all the time! My social skills are sorely underdeveloped and I want to fix it. By chasing my goal to encourage other writers it forces me to trudge through social situations.
Are you working on any projects or wish to promote some projects?
The Word Wars Chat Tour is kicking off on September 10th, 2011 @ 2:00 PM EST. We're going to play a fun writing game and everyone is invited.
#Beta-Readers is always looking for new members who want to be matched up with (or as) a beta reader. Any skill level and type of writing is welcome.
~FocusOnLit is a great for chapter fiction writers seeking motivation and consistent feedback.
There is so much more happening in the lit community I'd love to promote, but it'd take up too much space! Check out Love dA Lit by `IrrevocableFate instead. It's a weekly article that has more listings than you could ever want.
Which movies did you enjoy most?
Shark movies. Even the terrible B movies. They scare me, but I love watching anyway.
What type of music do you listen to? (Specific groups/artists?)
I love a wide range of music, but lately I'm really into Mumford and Sons as well as Two Steps From Hell. I can put either on repeat and be happy for hours.
Which books could you just not put down?
I put down books I love in order to savor them longer.
I think the last book I had to put down so it wouldn't end too soon was Tempt Me at Twilight by Lisa Kleypas. Warning: it's a fluffy historical romance. I adored the characters, especially the hero who described himself as the villain. I never wanted it to end. (I really need a swoon emote for moments like these.)
What foods can you just never seem to resist? Drinks?
Bread. Rye bread, pumpernickel, french bread, honey oat wheat bread, most breads! When we go to restaurants I usually fill up on bread before my dinner arrives then have to take it home.
Tea. I have to find it in decaf most of the time, but I love brewed tea. Orange spice and earl gray are some of my favorites after standard black tea.
What are your pet peeves on dA and in general?
DD bashing on a featured piece. It's just wrong. There is no excuse for it. Don't do it.
Whining about "lack of promotion" or being "unknown" in the lit community bugs me. Similar to real life, you get what you put into this community. If you aren't where you'd like to be it means you haven't put in the work yet.
I'm a believer that if you have time to whine you're doing it wrong. In general, inactive people who complain make me crazy. (In context of attainable goals anyway. If you're dying from inoperable brain tumors I won't fault you for whining a little.)
Predator HolidayA human Christmas was difficult to manufacture on a Yautja space ship, but she gave the task best effort. Amelia surveyed their improvised Christmas tree. "It's missing something."
A lot of something in truth. The fat turquoise leaves looked nothing like a Douglas-fir's needles. The leaves and branches were trimmed into an ideal shape, but the vibrant color distracted her.
She didn't dare complain. Val'jek, her Yautja mate, had traveled to two different planets to chop down trees himself. This was their second. The first had looked remarkably similar to a pine tree, but gave her an allergy rash. Grumbling, Val'jek had seen to its disposal a
Something random about yourself you wish to share?
I have extreme social anxiety. The kind that sticks with you all day every day and makes you too nervous to order at a restaurant, answer the phone, or check your email. Because of that issue sometimes I don't respond to all my dA messages in a timely manner (if at all).
No snubbing or ignoring is intended, but sometimes people just scare the bejeezus out of me. I am working on it.
What tips can you offer to better oneself in his or her art? Life?
That means: Use your resources. Actively practice. Actively seek improvement. If you don't like how something is going, don't waste time whining. Create an improvement plan instead.
You may not reach all your goals, but you'll be better off than you were. That applies to art and life.
A History of PurgatoryFor more than a millennium purgatory's souls wallowed in despair while chaos and confusion ruled the realm. As a dark and barren pit, no sun lit the gray sky and no water gave life to the dry ground.
Souls appeared one by one as they died on Earth. They lingered in purgatory, weeping and cowering, until demon underlings dragged them to the pits of hell. The souls wasted their limited days huddled together for fear of the demons' frequent visits.
One soul broke apart. A soldier. Broad and standing tall in his gleaming armor, he held his spear at the ready and stood watch over the souls. He knew no other course of action.
As always the demon
What does Art mean to you?
For me it's an outlet for expression which is important since I have a difficult time communicating. It's also an excuse to explore ridiculous ideas.
Is there anything else you wish to say?
Sorry for long or rambling answers. Thank you, `PurpelBlur for adding me to your awesome collection of interviews!
Routine 23BioCorp America
Max listened to Emma's soft voice strain after reading aloud for two hours. Settled in her bed with her feet tucked under her, Emma read to him every night. A hint of rasp scuffed the lyrical recitation and she turned the page of the printed book. The paper had cost her a week's pay, necessary because the novel was unspoken contraband, but he treasured these moments. Hearing the controversial tale in her voice settled warmth inside him and, he suspected, the emotion was contentment.
At the end of the chapter she looked up. Her mahogany colored eyes were soft and the corners of her full mouth tipped up. "Are you sl
A Dinosaur for AprilHeart in her throat and belly in knots, April Kinsey knelt in the grass and straightened her finest dress over her knees. The surrounding group of family and strangers remained silent, watching her every breath.
Shirtless beneath his tribe's blue plaid, her future mate knelt, towering over her. He stood taller than even her grandfather, who was the largest man April had ever seen. A young man of seventy-two, his broad shoulders and thick muscles intimidated her. A large gold amulet with his family's crest hung around his neck and glinted in the moonlight.
Roy McGregor, third son of the Drago Tribe leader, intended to mate her of all people.
A list of previous Devious Minds can be found in a widget on my page.
If you have a recommendation of someone you think I should interview for this series please send me a note with a subject of "DM Rec"