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DeviantArtist Questionnaire

Journal Entry: Fri Aug 7, 2015, 2:59 AM


How long have you been on DeviantArt?

4,5 years on this account and about three years before that I had another account which I barely ever used though.

What does your username mean?
Watch Stargate SG-1 and read Wheel of Time to find out. ;)

Describe yourself in three words.

Loner. Dreamer. Lost.

Are you left or right handed?

What was your first deviation?
Pastpresentfuture-new-p-2-small by ValaSedai

What is your favourite type of art to create?

I think a look at my gallery makes this question useless, but okay: digital fan art, in particular TES related landscapes.

If you could instantly master a different art style, what would it be?

What was your first favourite?
How the HELL am I supposed to know that after almost five years?

What type of art do you tend to favourite the most?
fan art or fantasy art

Who is your all-time favourite deviant artist?
I honestly don't have one. There's too many artists I appreciate for different reasons.

If you could meet anyone on DeviantArt in person, who would it be?

How has a fellow deviant impacted your life?

namenotrequired offered me a very warm welcome back on my first day with this account, making sure I was gonna stick around and feel motivated to carry on instead of abandon again as I did with my other account.

What are your preferred tools to create art?
Wacom tablet and Photoshop CS.

What is the most inspirational place for you to create art?

My couch, in front of my computer, whenever I am playing a good video game.

What is your favourite DeviantArt memory?
Receiving my first DD was pretty insane since I would never have expected to see such extreme interest in that particular piece. But every time I meet a cool person on here would count as well. :)

Purple CSS

Images & Code by CrimsonReach
  • Listening to: Draconian
  • Reading: Knife of Dreams
  • Watching: Doctor Who
  • Playing: Gothic
  • Drinking: green tea

To the Morrowind fans among my watchers...

Journal Entry: Sat Jul 18, 2015, 1:14 AM
I was wondering if anyone has ever tried the MGE mod? I've been reading up a little on it and looking at screenshots and now I'm just curious if anyone here actually has experience with it. 'Cause it seems interesting but I'm iffy since I don't want anything that changes the original atmosphere of the game, which I'm obviously very attached to.
So let me know, does it change the original feel? Make it better, worse?
And does it work without issues?

Purple CSS

Images & Code by CrimsonReach
  • Listening to: FM4
  • Watching: TBBT
  • Playing: Morrowind
  • Drinking: green tea

Back to the Roots

Journal Entry: Tue Jul 14, 2015, 1:43 AM
tl;dr: Life can be a bitch but we survive and my art's gonna take a positive backwards swerve.

Hey guys,

once again long time no see. Life has been tumultuous. School ended for good about two weeks ago which was very emotional and saddening on my part, I'm getting rl projects such as a driver's license rolling over the summer (heck, I've waited long enough), been hit with another harsh wave of depression (which is, I'm pretty sure, mostly thanks to loosing the red thread school had provided)...but that doesn't mean I'm not doing alright. So don't you dare worry!

As for my art...I've had to come to a certain realization. Well, to be honest, I've known it for a while already, but this time it's really started to crystallize more clearly.
You've all noticed my uploads were a pretty darn rare thing as of late. Yes, that was in part because of a relatively intense lack of time. You can probably imagine that doing a study that usually takes three years in eleven months is...well stressful. A great time saver, seeing as I'm not getting any younger either, but still stressful.
There's another reason though and that's my own...ambition. It's hard to find the right word for it but I guess ambition works best.
 Let me explain.

If you've been with me for a while, maybe even the whole 4,5 years I've been on here now, then you must have noticed that I've gone through some drastic changes in my art style and direction. (if you're new, you can get a small idea by looking at this work here, even though it encompasses a bit more than just my time on dA and doesn't even take into account my pixel art)
It started out with a lot of experimentation until I finally touched at a style and motifs that made me happy and satisfied. They made me feel good. Simply good. But then I got ambitious. I wanted to push myself. I wanted to do more. To step out of my comfort zone. Which, as pretty much any professional artist will tell you, is a great thing to do. And I don't regret it. I've learned to draw humans. To draw realistic anatomy. Certainly not flawless, I'd never assume that. But I know now that I CAN. I've worked with colour themes that literally made me feel uncomfortable and were a pain in the ass to do. But I did it. I know I can do it now.

But now? I feel like I've gotten to a point where I can't be happy with a work until it shows something new, something I've never done before, something that pushes me once more, and if it's just a small detail that no one else would even notice. And THAT, that's a bad thing. I'm not a professional and never will be. Art is a hobby for me, a means of relaxation, a way to do something creative that I can be proud of.
My head is still filled with innumerable ideas, but as of late I discard the majority without seriously considering them because I feel they are too ambitious. Because I don't think I could get it done how I would really like to. Because a lot of them are so huge that just thinking of them makes me tired and drained. I sometimes manage to open a canvas in PS and then just stare at it for a long time, eventually closing it again. Oooh wee, so productive.
When I look at some of my more recent works I still feel proud of most of them, even the ones that weren't that much fun to draw, but then I look at the ones I really enjoyed...and I wanna get that feeling back. And you know which works made me happiest? Simple ones like these:

The Tree Stone by ValaSedai Forgotten Waypoints by ValaSedai To High Hrothgar by ValaSedai The Atronach Stone by ValaSedai
Koal Cave by ValaSedai At the Sanctus Shrine by ValaSedai

Do you notice a pattern? The colour themes maybe? The lack of characters? The fact that they're actually ALL TES fan arts?
Yes, in the end those are what I love doing. And it's not like it has to be exactly that, I mean I've immensely enjoyed doing these two here as well:

Meditating the Emblems by ValaSedai Discovery at Dusk by ValaSedai

Different colour themes, small characters...but when it comes down to it not so different.

Bottom line: I'm getting tired of not doing anything because I wanna push myself so hard. I'd literally forgotten why I picked up pen and tablet in 2010. I want to get that feeling back. I want to get back to drawing works that I can finish in a day or two, not a whole month.

Basically what to expect from me in the near future. Besides that art trade and that contest prize I still owe. No, I have not forgotten you. I hide in shame but I have not forgotten you. Aroccon and VanoVaemone, your works WILL come, rest assured.

And now I'm out to get some breakfast. Cheers for having read it all.

Purple CSS

Images & Code by CrimsonReach
  • Listening to: FM4
  • Watching: The Walking Dead
  • Playing: Super Mario 3D Land
  • Drinking: green tea

Gazing into the Black

Journal Entry: Fri May 29, 2015, 11:11 AM
School's more or less over, I acquired my diploma with first class honours, we do however still need to do one last four week internship. Since I don't need to study anymore though, I'll finally have time to draw again. There's even something in progress already for a couple weeks. Hoping to finish it soon.
And since the last, totally useless courses in school today bored the shit out of me I doodled. So have some half-assed ballpoint pen drawings.

Img 20150529 0001 by ValaSedai

I should also, over the course of this summer, finally get to drawing the two works I still owe people.
Then in autumn I'll start another study. If I get in. Cross your fingers and toes. :)

Purple CSS

Images & Code by CrimsonReach
  • Listening to: lots of Blackgaze
  • Reading: Requiem - Chevalier Vampire
  • Watching: Friends
  • Playing: Dark Souls
  • Eating: Tikka Masala
  • Drinking: apple juice

When you die and die again...just to die some more

Journal Entry: Sun Apr 12, 2015, 1:21 AM
That's pretty much what's been keeping me busy when school hasn't.
Maybe some fan art at one point.

Purple CSS

Images & Code by CrimsonReach
  • Listening to: radio
  • Reading: Battle Chasers
  • Playing: Dark Souls
  • Eating: muesli

To see the world, things dangerous to come to...

Journal Entry: Sat Mar 14, 2015, 1:00 AM
Saturday morning, sipping hot ginger-lemon infusion, listening to chill Austrian radio and being circled by a slightly hyped-up's pretty good I'd say. All of that doesn't take into account the humongously important exam I've got next Thursday and the four-week internship I'll start the week after. And getting school applications done. And planning a trip to Austria in summer. Haha yeah, stress is ever-present anyway.

Check out this guy here on youtube if you're into gaming and metal. He's doing some pretty sweet shit and definitely deserves a whole lot more attention.

On another note, I am totally psyched about recent news concerning the announcement of a Battle Chasers game. Would I have preferred Joe Mad to announce a Darksiders 3? Ofc I would have but I take what I'll get and Battle Chasers DOES look like a freakishly beautiful series and knowing it'll be an RPG, on top of that in Mad's style...I can't help being excited. :)
Been feeling a whole lot like gaming in general again lately. But besides weekends I hardly find the energy to do so. :/ Good thing it IS weekend!

How's life treating everyone?

Purple CSS

Images & Code by CrimsonReach
  • Listening to: radio
  • Reading: The Call of Cthulhu
  • Watching: Boston Legal
  • Playing: Professor Layton
  • Drinking: ginger infusion

Engineerings of Life

Journal Entry: Sat Feb 14, 2015, 3:07 AM
Woah it's been a small eternity since I've talked to you guys on here.
I'm not gonna apologize 'cause why would I apologize for life? =P

No seriously, it's simply school that's keeping me busy. Full time hours, exams almost every week and recently a three week internship in the freezing winter cold. Drains you, I tell ya, drains you like hell. On top of that I got to think a lot during said internship. Think about my path after I got the diploma I'm currently working on.
And I came to the conclusion that it won't be a life choice, that it's just a stop on the way. I simply can't stay in this particular niche of the profession forever. Gonna start doing my driver's license now on the side already if I can find the right financial aids, then go back to work for a year after school, collect some experience in this particular field and then it's probably back to university. I found an incredibly promising study of 3-5years in my immediate proximity on a prestigious faculty and well... friends at school keep telling me I am wasting my potential where I am right now and as much as I hate admitting it because I loathe sounding arrogant,...they do have a small point.
Either way, won't be finished with school before July, can't start with uni before Sept 2016 most likely, so there's plenty of time to think things over.

Bottom line being: I am both physically and mentally exhausted but happy. Yup. :)
Well, I'm kinda sick right now, still got a little cold that I thought was gone but decided to bother me again. So I'm gonna spend my weekend watching The Evil Dead, Nightmare on Elm Street, baking homemade Apfelstrudel, sipping lots of ginger infusions with honey and lemon and ofc, play Majora's Mask 3D. :la:

What about you guys? What's new? What's old?

Purple CSS

Images & Code by CrimsonReach
  • Listening to: Tears for Fears
  • Reading: The Hound of the Baskervilles
  • Watching: Boston Legal
  • Playing: Fallout: New Vegas; MM 3D
  • Eating: pain au chocolat
  • Drinking: ginger infusion

There's fungus on my TV

Journal Entry: Tue Dec 23, 2014, 11:48 AM
So I noticed I missed my 4yr dAnniversary. Shocking!
Anyway, moving on.

Got a little thing on my mind for like ages already.
I've done a few tutorials over time. People seem to have liked them. Still do.
But oh gosh, I look at them and my eyes are burning with all the horrible things I passed off as advice in those deviations. Like seriously, so much multiple bad advice. Makes me wanna tear out my hair and throw it at myself.
I'm playing with the thought of deleting them. Besides one or two which are still acceptable.
Here's the thing:
People are still constantly faving them. They're probably the works in my gallery which get the most and constant faves. Hell knows why. I even still get people thanking me for them.
But argh they really pain my eyes.
To delete or not delete, that is the question for sure.
Can something really be helpful even though it's so horribly wrong?

And 'cause I'm so darn lazy I'm already gonna wish you all a very merry Christmas or whatever you celebrate this time of the year! :B

Purple CSS

Images & Code by CrimsonReach
  • Watching: Boston Legal
  • Playing: Deadlight, Limbo


Journal Entry: Mon Nov 25, 2013, 11:12 PM
Today would have been Sophie Lancaster's 27th birthday.
Yet Sophie was robbed of the chance to live any more of her birthdays on Saturday, 11 August 2007
when a group of teenagers beat her to death and heavily injured her boyfriend for the simple reason of looking different.

Consider donating to the Sophie Lancaster foundation, an organization that aims to promote tolerance and acceptance.
The organization and the values it stands for are particularly close to my heart
since I am part of the same subculture as Sophie but I believe
that each and every single one of us should not forget that we might not all look the same
but aren't that different on the inside after all.

Have a look at the organization's official promo movie:

And Dutch symhonic metal band Delain's tribute to Sophie:

This Journal Skin was designed by Night-Beast

Last month's collected DDs from the Icons & Handhelds gallery. :)

:bulletpink: 2013-10-01
Free Love Sushi Avatar by zara-leventhal by zara-leventhal
suggested by Rosella-of-Daventry, featured by ValaSedai

:bulletpink: 2013-10-05
Free Icon: Flabebe's Flower - Orange by SinfullyCute by SinfullyCute
suggested by RRRAI, featured by ValaSedai

:bulletpink: 2013-10-06
by Rigune
suggested by cliselle, featured by ValaSedai

:bulletpink: 2013-10-11
Jello Cake Icon by rosesfairy by rosesfairy
featured by ValaSedai

:bulletpink: 2013-10-13
Social Media by givesnofuck by givesnofuck
suggested by Kida-neechan, featured by ValaSedai

:bulletpink: 2013-10-18
Tryst iPad Theme by Friggog by Friggog
suggested by Kida-neechan, featured by ValaSedai

:bulletpink: 2013-10-21
Dancing Dalek by CookiemagiK by CookiemagiK
suggested by winterei, featured by ValaSedai

:bulletpink: 2013-10-26
FREE Icon / Avatar : Balloon Float Candy Pandy by Sarilain by Sarilain
suggested by JupiterLily, featured by ValaSedai

:bulletpink: 2013-10-31
Free avatar: Frankenstein by Tipleloop by Tipleloop
featured by ValaSedai

Never forgotten

Journal Entry: Tue Oct 29, 2013, 10:20 AM

In memoriam Jens-kun
25.06.1996 - 29.10.2012


This Journal Skin was designed by Night-Beast

Do's and Dont's of Digital Painting

Tue Jul 23, 2013, 7:05 AM

Do's and Don'ts of Digital Painting

    The possibilities of digital painting and digital art in general are almost infinite. There is basically nothing you cannot do as long as you just know how to approach it. Yet an abundance of programs and tools has both advantages and disadvantages. Knowing what to favour and what to avoid can be both a huge time saver and help you sidestep frustration.
    What we will focus on in this article are some basic tools and techniques of digital painting; we'll try to root out pitfalls and see how to avoid them. Mind that all of the points mentioned below aren't rules carved in stone; there are always cases where breaking the rules can be much more fruitful for a certain effect than following them too strictly. With time and practice you will gain good judgment over when to follow the guidelines and when to leave them aside.

Note: Names of certain tools might vary depending on the art program you use.

:thumbsdown: White Backgrounds

    While a clean white background can be just fine for a simple line sketch, it is not advisable to leave the canvas colour on default in cases where a certain mood needs to be set and for general works with background. Plain white will 'distort' your colours in a way that otherwise light colours seem too dark and washed out. Compare the impact of the interior colour on the left and on the right side in Img1.

:thumbsup: Remedy: Instead think about the atmospheric aspect of the image you have planned and floodfill the background with the predominant colour or even better a manual gradient of several of the main colours.

Img1 - Colour perception depending on background colour.

:thumbsdown: Blending with the Smudge Tool

    On first glance the smudge tool seems like such an easy and comfortable way to blend colours, particularly for beginners. Personally I believe however that this is the tool that needs to be avoided like nothing else when starting out with digital painting. On one hand blending colours with the smudge tool easily creates a very dirty and hard-on-the-eye effect and on the other hand it is thrice as time consuming as other blending methods.
    The main problem with the smudge tool is the fact that it doesn't so much blend the colours as it just pulls them into each other in a mostly very irregular way that can take a long time to clean up. That also touches on the problem that the amount of colour shades you are using will stay at a minimum and thus make your painting appear bland and flat.

:thumbsup: Remedy: The most effective, time saving and visually most satisfying way to blend colours is a combination of eyedropper tool and airbrushes. Colour A and Colour B can easily be blended by eyedropping A and applying it with a low opacity airbrush (soft or hard depending on the desired outcome) on the border between A and B, then eyedropping B and applying it on the same border. Keep eyedropping the colour blend you create and applying it to the border. Rinse repeat.
PS Hint: Holding down Alt while having the brush tool selected gives you quick access to the eyedropper tool.

Img2 - Comparison of airbrush and smudge tool blending.

:thumbsdown: Shading with Black and White

    Choosing colours when shading should never be done by shifting them straight towards black or white. Natural lighting will always create a variety of hues even on a monochrome object and shadows are hardly ever clean black or grey. Ignoring that fact will result in unrealistic and flat looking objects.

:thumbsup: Remedy:
Use hue shifts of varying degrees to shade. For instance highlights on a red object could go over into yellow, shadows on a blue object into green,...
An easy rule of thumb would be to use the next warm colour in the colour diagram for highlights, the next cold one for shadows. Keep in mind though that depending on the prevalent lighting this could easily change. If in doubt don't hesitate to look at objects under different lighting in real life if available or make use of reference photos otherwise.

Img3 - Shading with and without hue shifts.

:thumbsdown: Shading with the Dodge/Burn Tool

    The dodge and burn tools pose a problem not unlike shading exclusively with black and white. Even when making use of the different settings these two tools allow they still tend to mainly blacken and whiten, thus easily washing out vibrant and clean colours and creating the same flat effect as shading with black and white.

:thumbsup: Remedy: Always favour shading with brushes. Airbrushes, basic round brushes, calligraphic brushes, texture brushes,...anything goes depending on the visual impact you are going for. The important thing to remember is that only brushes will give you full control over the colours you lay down while tools like dodge and burn create shades automatically which hardly ever look good.

Img4 - Comparison of brush shading and dodge/burn shading.

Remember that when it comes down to it, you should use what works best for yourself and what YOU feel most comfortable with
but keeping the above guidelines in mind can never hurt. :)


Gallery Makeover: Icons and Handhelds

Mon Mar 11, 2013, 3:48 AM
   We're slowly nearing the end of this first phase of the Gallery Restructure Project which means if you would still like to give us any kind of feedback related to the Icons & Handhelds gallery structure, now's the time to do so! :)
    Please also scroll down and see which points have been brought up by the community and feel free to tell us what you think about them.

     As recently announced by Moonbeam13 in this article deviantART will soon be undergoing a rather extensive makeover of the gallery system in order to streamline categories and simplify submissions. That will amongst others include the removal of dead categories, merging where it makes sense or simply a complete restructuring of a whole root category if necessary.
    Community input is highly important for this so with this journal you have  the opportunity to specifically give feedback concerning the Icons & Handhelds part of Customization. I will present you some personal thoughts as well as Athos-of-Light's input and then it's time for you to weigh in and let us know what you would like to see changed or kept as it is. :)

    First off though, why is it even necessary to change anything about this part of the Customization gallery?
    While I personally believe that the structure of the Icons part is quite well established and makes sense as well as it is easy to submit to, the Handhelds part is simply put a mess. Different customization elements don't have their own areas but are squished together with their respective technologies and even worse part of those are so outdated that their viability is more than questionable what with receiving maybe four submissions per month, half of those miscats. On the other hand too many newer technologies and devices aren't represented at all, leaving a good number of deviants planless when it comes to submitting their works which in turn leads to even more miscats.
    As Athos-of-Light put it, what we need is a much more flexible tree that can adapt to new technologies as well as creating broader and more open categories in order to avoid miscats as much as possible and to make it easier to locate specific types of works.

    Below you can see a quick graph I put together of Athos-of-Light's mock up. Check it out and let us know in a comment if you think it would improve the situation.

Things we would specifically like you to think about and get your feedback on:

:bulletblack: Are you satisfied with the gallery structure of the Icons and the Handhelds area?
:bulletblack: Have you encountered difficulties while finding the right place to submit to?
:bulletblack: Are there any subcategories you believe redundant?
:bulletblack: Any that you are sorely missing? (e.g. any technologies in Handhelds that you believe would deserve their own subcategory)
:bulletblack: Do you have anything else that you would like us to be aware of?

Points to discuss brought up by the community:

:bulletpink: pica-ae mentioned that having a wallpaper subcategory might not make sense since a lot of handheld wallpapers are submitted to the general wallpaper category, both as part of packages and as standalone works. Would you prefer them merged or do you think they should stay separated?
VSConcepts as well suggested to remove the wallpaper subcategory and add it to the general Wallpaper one.
Example: Cust/Handhelds/../Wallpapers would become: Cust/Wallpapers/Handhelds/

:bulletpink: IridescentStardust suggested that a division between Free To Use Icons and Non Free Icons could be useful and would clear up some confusion when looking for usable icons right away.

    Please leave your feedback either here in the comments or send a note to ValaSedai and Athos-of-Light! :eager:


ValaSedai has limited the viewing of this artwork
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You can log in or become a member for FREE!

ValaSedai has limited the viewing of this artwork
to members of the DeviantArt community only.

You can log in or become a member for FREE!

ValaSedai has limited the viewing of this artwork
to members of the DeviantArt community only.

You can log in or become a member for FREE!

ValaSedai has limited the viewing of this artwork
to members of the DeviantArt community only.

You can log in or become a member for FREE!

How to feel good about your Art

Wed Apr 25, 2012, 5:57 AM
We've all had those moments as an artist where we just can't seem to like what we're doing, where nothing seems sufficient and everybody else seems to draw so much better than ourselves.There's a few simple things you can do to avoid feeling like that or that you can remind yourself of should you already be right in the middle of this mess.

  • Draw for yourself, not an audience!

     The first and probably most important point, especially for any artist on here who in one way or the other seeks feedback and recognition from their fellow deviants. You should never forget that your art is after all YOUR art, so it should be a means to express yourself, relax yourself, be proud of yourself etc and not anyone else. Never let yourself be pressured to do anything you don't want simply because your watchers might demand it or do anything for the sole purpose of getting more attention. It might make you happy in the beginning but loosing track of what art actually means to you and the things you really like to express with it will come back to you in the end.
(The only exception to this might be people who do art for a living. ;) )

  • Find your own pace

     It can be easy to rush yourself, to feel like you should be 100 times better with every drawing you do but that is simply not possible. Take it slow, especially if you're still young. You got your whole life ahead of you to improve. Do things step by step, not everything at once. Pick out those areas you know you want to improve at and concentrate on them instead of the whole thing or you'll feel overwhelmed and discouraged easily. No one can be a pro from one day to the next. Everybody advances with a different pace, you can't expect to get exactly the same results as someone else in the same time span. Which brings us to the next point.

  • Don't compare! Analyze!

     This is probably one of the main things that makes a lot of artists feel bad about what they do. They constantly compare themselves and their art to others. Funnily enough we always compare ourselves to those who are better, often way better than ourselves, never to those who are behind us in skill and experience. And it can get more than frustrating to see how good others are while you feel that you are still miles from that stage.
     Yet there will always, and I repeat ALWAYS be someone better, more skilled, more experienced, more famous etc than you. Not even necessarily because they really excel you but simply because you perceive it like that. Why is that? Because an artist is their own worst critic. That's right, you yourself will always be the one seeing the most mistakes and errors in your art, things that an outsider might never notice unless you point it out to them.
     That in itself is a good thing because it keeps the will to improve alive but the thing you need to avoid is to keep comparing your works to those of higher skill and seeing it as blows to your own art. See it as a chance to improve! Look at works of artists you admire and analyze them! Dissect them bit by bit and see what they do different to yourself, how you can apply what you see to your own techniques.

  • Learn how to deal with critique

     It sounds so obvious but it can be harder than you think. In particular here on dA where you will sometimes be confronted with feedback you didn't actually ask for. And even more so some of the critiques you will get might not be as friendly as you'd like them to be. They might point out faults that you can't quite comprehend or mark things as flawed that you were actually really proud of.
     Don't let those things get to you, don't let them discourage you! Once again you should see it as an opportunity to improve. I won't say that you can't become a pro all by yourself but you have a much better chance if you take advice and tips from others. Don't be too proud to accept their help. And should you ever feel that any feedback is highly unfair, then simply dismiss it instead of obsessing about it. It takes some strength of will to do so but if you let all those negative comments gnaw on yourself it will slowly eat up your drive to continue at all.

And last but not least:


  • Mood: Content
  • Listening to: Zelda OST
  • Reading: The Hobbit
  • Watching: Boston Legal
  • Playing: Morrowind
  • Drinking: lemonade

How to cope with Art Blocks

Journal Entry: Sat Mar 3, 2012, 6:03 AM
Almost every single artist has at one point or the other in their life lost motivation, inspiration or even both and without the knowledge of how to deal with what we then call an Art Block, it can take a long time to overcome this lack of artistic drive. A time that might otherwise be used for further improvement and personal artistic growth.

So today I would like to give you a few tips on how to defeat an art block. There is no definite guarantee to either of them, as everybody experiences their blocking differently but maybe you can at least find small suggestions that will eventually help.


:star: Retrieving Inspiration :star:

Inspiration is literally everywhere, you just need to open your eyes to see it.
We can find inspiration through:

Letting your favourite books, movies, series or games inspire you is always one of the most obvious ways. Fan Art is a good way to retrieve inspiration because most of all you will be spared the part of having to design certain things from scratch. Characters, locations and stories already exist there, you just need to work with that. Thus it grants you a slow and comfortable way back into creating art.
Music shouldn't be forgotten either of course. Just listening to a song and painting/drawing/writing whatever comes to your mind guided by the music holds infinite inspiration.

Go out and take a walk in your favourite park or forest, or any other spot in nature you love. Let your surroundings inspire you. That can be helpful not only for landscape or concept artists but also for those who design characters or sculpt materials. Maybe a certain location will plant the idea for a character who could live in a place like that in your head or the shapes of the wood and rocks inspire you for your next sculpture.

Drawing inspiration from other artists or even those who don't practice art themselves is always a very effective way.
Tell people you are taking requests and see if any of the suggestions interests you enough to get you going again.
Ask fellow artists for collaborations. Talking about ideas together can be a lot of fun and might plant the right seed in our mind again. If you feel you can't contribute any ideas of yourself then just let your partner know that they can take the lead in the creative part of the project, while you bring more of your effort into the actual execution of the work.

Take out a piece of scrap paper or open a new file on your computer and start scribbling random shapes. Try out different colours and brushes and you'll be surprised how many wonderful things can happen by accident.
Another option would be to do some very quick studies of random objects or people for instance.


:star: Taking a Hiatus :star:

Now you might object that if you have an art block, you basically are on a hiatus already anyway. That is wrong, because you are on a forced break, not one that you chose to be on. So instead of forcefully trying to get going again, embrace it. Tell yourself that you will simply use this time to follow other hobbies, concentrate on school or work or anything else you can think of.
The important thing is though that you will grant your mind a complete break from art. Don't try to force inspiration or motivation back, just let it come naturally. You will see that with a cleaner head, simple everyday things will bring both motivation and inspiration back.


:star: Art Theory :star:

If you feel that taking a complete break will be counterproductive but you also can't seem to find inspiration anywhere then it is always a good idea to do some theoretical art.
Go to a library and borrow some books on art theory, read articles on the internet or simply analyze pictures by other artists and see what you can learn from it.
That way you will maintain the feeling that you are in some way furthering your artistic evolution and not wasting your time.


:star: Exploring New Areas of Art :star:

If theory isn't enough for you then there's always the option to try out a completely new field of art. If you are mainly a painter then have a go at sculpting, writing or any kind of crafts.
Maybe you are simply empty of motivation because your mind needs a different kind of challenge. It can be incredibly refreshing to dabble in something new before you go back to your main artistic interests. And who knows, maybe you will even find yourself liking it enough to continue pursuing it in the future.


I hope that if you are suffering from an art block you will be able to extract some help from my words! :)

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How to get started with Pixel Art

Journal Entry: Fri Feb 17, 2012, 2:47 AM
Lately I have frequently been asked what programs I use for pixeling and/or animating and also in general how I go about it. Now I currently don't have the time to create a tutorial of my own but I figured until I will be able to do so I could at least give you some helpful tips and link you to some tutorials made by others. :)

:bulletwhite: About the programs I use :bulletwhite:

I do pretty much all the pixeling itself in Photoshop Elements 8.0 which sadly enough isn't free. But don't worry, in general photshop is even a little overpowered for pixel art, I simply use it because I am most used to it.
Technically you can even use Microsoft Paint for pixeling, after all the only two things you really need to be able to create pixel art is a pen tool and the ability to zoom in far enough. The only real disadvantage about Paint is the lack of transparency support so you can only create pixels with an opaque background.

However I can offer you a really great third option - Gimp - which is not only freeware, it is besides being an excellent general art program also capable of animation. It is the program I myself use for animation as well.
Now you could ask why I don't pixel AND animate in Gimp. Well it's a simple matter of habit. I just like the interface of Photoshop a little better and have been working with it for so long that I might have gotten too used to it. :D

You can download gimp here:

Download Gimp 2.6.11

[Edit: someone let me know that apparently there's a way to make pixels from Paint transparent with Irfanview (which is freeware as well). I haven't looked into how exactly it works but I'll try to add it once I figured it out.
Edit 2: I can't believe I didn't even think of it before but paint.NET is also a good freeware option for pixeling and this one does allow transparency. ]

white divider by ToxiceStea

:bulletwhite: Other tools :bulletwhite:

One of the great things about pixel art is the fact that it doesn't require a graphic tablet. It does usually go a lot faster with a tablet but only if you want to create a really big sized work of pixel art you will find that a mouse might not be sufficient anymore. Unless you have a lot of patience of course. ;)

white divider by ToxiceStea

:bulletwhite: How to get started :bulletwhite:

Before I will give you any concrete tips I should let you know that it's not absolutely necessary but pixel art becomes a LOT easier if you have some basic drawing skills. In general a lot of the same rules apply to pixel art that apply to any other form of performing art.

That said the very first thing you need to do is get familiar with the basics. The one thing I recommend to everybody who is completely new to pixel art is to start out by thoroughly reading this tutorial:

Pixel Joint: The Pixel Art Tutorial

After you have done this, try to create some simple 50x50 icons. Start out with simple objects, simple shapes, get familiar with the interface and probably very unaccustomed zoom factor.
There's enough time to start with bigger sizes later on. As small as it may seem, you can squeeze a lot into a 50x50 sized file.

Always save your file as a gif and most of all NEVER as a jpg since its compression algorithm will result in blurring your picture.
Another option would be png but once you go into animation you will need to save as gif anyway so you might as well get used to the format right away. Furthermore pixel works with transparent background saved as png will result in DA displaying its logo behind your work which will ruin half the effect. So bottom line: It's safest to save your files as gif.

white divider by ToxiceStea

:bulletwhite: Starting with animation :bulletwhite:

Like I mentioned above, you don't need any fancy animation program to actually animate. All you need is gimp and a little bit of basic knowledge.
Basically the animation works via your layers. Each layer will become one frame in your animation and by naming each frame accordingly you can set its speed.
But the best thing is to check out this tutorial:

Simple Animation Tutorial for Gimp

white divider by ToxiceStea

:bulletwhite: Additional list of useful tutorials :bulletwhite:

Colour Theory for Pixel Art

Basic Spriting Tutorial

Basic Dithering

"Pixeling Over"

A Selection of Textures

Animated Sparkles

Tree Tutorial

Hair Tutorial

If you can't find what you need in here then just take a stroll through deviantart yourself, there are a ton of other great pixel art tutorials on this site.

white divider by ToxiceStea

:bulletwhite: Final Words :bulletwhite:

Even though there are - just like in other areas of art - certain rules to follow in pixel art you should remember that it's always most important to have fun with what you're doing. Don't get too lost in following every single rule to the utmost and get frustrated while doing so. No one will kill you for breaking one of the rules here and there. ;)

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