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So, I was painting Finding Nemo characters on the wall of the waiting room of my pediatrician's office and thinking... this is funny, how'd I end up here, doing this? All the time, all the years of hard work, and here I am... painting Disney/Pixar stuff on somebody else's wall. Dana took a picture and I uploaded it to my Facebook page and wrote "Yep, the degree I am working on is not an MFA... it's an MFN... a Master's of Finding Nemo degree!" And yet, even as I joked, I knew wouldn't trade anything of what I have. Here I am then, reminding myself that life is awesome... even when you're not doing exactly what you'd want to be doing... but, I AM DOING IT! Here is my lovely wife Dana, my awesome little man Kaden, and I am creating art... even if not my own characters at the moment, but it is still art. Time tells me that I am right WHEN I should be! :ahoy:
  • Listening to: Crazy neighbors, sounds like guns are comin'
  • Watching: My little man grow faster than I can freeze frame
  • Drinking: DiHydrogen MonOxide!
My kid sister and I recently had an interesting conversation which involved inspiration and the important point I left with was this ~> don't go looking to be inspired, BE INSPIRING!

Too many of us, myself included at times, are constantly scouring our friends, the internet, our world, etc, looking for something inspiring... we want to feel that invigoration, a new found motivation, the hope of a brighter day and tomorrow. I understand, most of us do, we really get it at a gutt level... but, is looking for inspiration the best way to find it?

Have you ever had a friend say "I'm bored," "this is boring," or mention that another person is "boring?" Well, what is boring? I am tempted to say "boring is as boring does!" If you are saying that, then YOU are probably allowing yourself to be bored (and boring)! Almost every moment of every day is filled with wonder and delight, you just have to open your eyes and your mind to it. Nothing is "boring," but we may just be. And, likewise, nothing is uninspiring, really... only we can be (but not really, really!!).

I am sure there is some kind of confucius saying, or taoist truism, which relates, but I do not know one, except to say... you are what you are, and you see what you see. What is, is. If you really want to be inspired, BE INSPIRED and INSPIRING! Is this making any sense yet?

William Glasser, in his book "Control Theory," made note of an extremely strong association between what we think and what we exhibit physically. This mind/body relationship is above and beyond a normal pavlovian response (classical conditioning) or placebo effect, but is a real and measurable physiological response to what we think and how. What you think becomes you. Glasser makes this critical suggestion, consider your emotions as verbs. You are not in love, or have love, but are "loving." You are actively choosing to love.

We are not depressed. We are actively choosing to depress... we are "depressing," in a sense (this is not to be confused with a physiological/chemical or clinical depression, that is real and much more serious). Well, there is no bored, just choosing to bore, or boring. And, perhaps you can see where I am going with this... we are not inspired, or uninspired, we are choosing to, or not to, inspire... we are inspiring.

It has been a long time since I woke in the morning with a BOUNCE in me, one that seemingly popped me out of bed, wanting to just DO SOMETHING wild, and crazy, and fun... and, inspiring. When I was in high school, during the winter season, I used to wake up on saturday mornings and could not wait to go skiing. I LOVED to ski. Well, I have not skied in years... although I still love it, but I cannot remember waking up feeling that energy and excitement since then. There have been moments, to be sure, but not something consistently motivating.

Well, I woke this morning and BOUNCED out of bed, excited for this term in school. When, oh WHEN, is the last time that happened, if ever? I feel inspired... no, let me rephrase and reframe that, I AM inspiring!!! =Þ

Realize it, choose it, be inspiring! Do it now, there is no other time better than now.

~REN
  • Listening to: puppy paw clicks on the wood floor
  • Watching: Gnomon clips and vids...
  • Drinking: WATER! Always water.
SCAD is an incredibly work oriented school, with the MFA program being that much more involved, and it moves quickly! If you want to get the most out of this place, which you should if you are even going to bother paying the tuition, you really do have to devote yourself to a full artistic immersion. Anything less would be a waste. This term had a slew of problems and challenges for me and my family... and at times I really thought I might not make it. But, with a lot of love and faith and hard work, *we* managed to get very good grades. Even now, I am shaking my head and thinking, I surely hope next term is not this tough... and yet, I know I actually do want it to be intense, to be ready for it, worthy of it, and make the most of every moment, making it matter! What else is there?
  • Listening to: The Dryer...
  • Watching: Heroes, Season III, Vol 3
  • Drinking: WATER!
It is official, I am headed to Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) to work on my Master's Degree in Fine Arts (MFA), specializing in Sequential Art (Graphic Novels, Comics, Storyboarding, etc). Since my last semester working on my BFA, a degree in painting and drawing, I have been wanting to go to SCAD.

At first, I did not even know what SCAD was, but when I told a classmate of mine, another artist here on dA, naruto-sexy-no-jutsu, what I wanted to do she replied "You're gonna go to SCAD!!" ...and, well, she was right! See my original journal post "SCAD is MAD!" here: rawren.deviantart.com/journal/…

Since that time, I have made several new acquaintances with SCAD grads (Quinn Johnson and Robert Atkins ~>RobertAtkins) and am even happier with my decision to apply myself towards gaining the opportunity to study at SCAD. Anyway, I am ubber-stoked and am truly grateful for all the wonderful things life has brought my way and I hope to be able to give as much, if not more, than what I have been given.
  • Listening to: Street Fighter IV, family chatting, and crickets
  • Reading: The Prince of Marshes (still, RORY!)
  • Eating: Fra-jeeeters, yum-yum
  • Drinking: Distilled H2O
Finally HOME, yipeeeee! So, I have bounced around several countries over the past year and a half and have finally made it home this past month and just renewed my dA subscription. Time to start digging up the new (and still some old) art and posting it! Hope you have all been happy and well and, um, productive? Do say hello and hopefully I will get my current watch inbox up and going so I can follow what all y'all have been up to!!


Previous AFK note: "For those of you who do not know, I have been, and will be, away from my computer and the internet for a good deal of time. I will try to drop by and reply to any comments or questions left for me, but please be patient if it takes several weeks, or even months."
  • Listening to: the FAN of my COMPUTER
  • Reading: The Prince of Marshes
  • Drinking: More GREEN stuff
Here's the (original) gig: Time to Show Case your art! So the first 10 people to comment here I will laud, praise, and all around pimp on this journal. Broken down, that means I'll link back to you, say what I most admire about your art, style, technique, what have you, and also place up links of some of the art I most admire of yours. The only hitch is that IF you are one of those 10, you must post this on your journal and do that same thing for 10 people as well! And so around and around it goes!

Here's the page bluebeauty875.deviantart.com/j… by BlueBeauty875 that got me, and a link to the first half of my Art Showcase rawren.deviantart.com/journal/…

BE SURE TO MOUSE-OVER THE TITLES, AS I USUALLY WRITE IN EXTRA STUFF... let the fun begin!

6. :iconnaruto-sexy-no-jutsu: Oh my, this girl, NARURU! here, is a lot of fun to be around and talk with. She's always drawing and I have always been weak-kneed for pencil works like Naruto : What I've Seen, KH2: Show off..., Naruto - Depression, and Merry Xmas to the following DA. It's actually nice seeing the original pencil marks and drawing process, I wouldn't change a thing. Now, she's also a great colorist, especially digitally, and I offer the very limited color pallet work Axel as an example. If you look closely, she's used an interesting color fading/shifting technique within the hair and skin tone (NICE!). If you look carefully in her Gallery naruto-sexy-no-jutsu.deviantar… you'll find one of the best CG coloring tutorials I've ever seen, look here How to CG Part 2. Thanks for sharing this with me and us, I love your work and can't wait to see more!!!

-Chibi Axel- by naruto-sexy-no-jutsu naruto-sexy-no-jutsu

P.S. I have to link -Chibi Axel- again because it reminds me of my kid sister.



7. :iconn2large0shirt: n2large0shirt is probably best known for his frogs and bugs, as in Frog Eye and Twelve-spot Skimmer Dragonfly. But I think his real strengths are in his higher contrast, more saturated hue nature shots, as exemplified by Yellow and Unfolded. There are also several great landscape shots hiding in this gallery, such as Generic sunset and silhouette (which is one of my personal favorites so far). I must make two honorable mentions ~ clover and Pheasant Eye Narcissus! Now, wouldn't you also love to have parents with this incredible backyard to shoot in with your Macro? (see Icon below) I sure would. Thanks for sharing!

My yard by n2large0shirt n2large0shirt

8. :iconcarmelward: A recent dA find and new friend is Carmelward and she's grabbed one of the few last slots left on my Showcase, this is fun! The work that first found my attention was Self portrait 07. I love the color most, but I really get involved with the shading and subtle light play on the right cheek of the portrait (see thumb below). On the front page right now, you'll find Blue samurai, which I also really enjoy. Now, as an artist who's growing more and more interested in sequential art, and keep buying Scott McCloud books on the subject, I couldn't ignore Muse on holiday. It's a lot of fun and you have to keep  practicing somehow. Another thing I enjoy seeing in an artist's portfolio is a lot of roughs and sketches, and "Carmel" doesn't disappoint here with Sketches. Hat tip to the nicely composed Man and Rose. And last, but least, not really because I LOVE the color and head tilt, woah frankenstien!

:thumb52654417: Carmelward

9. :icon1footonthedawn:  I met "Silky", 1footonthedawn, when she faved an illustration of mine rawren.deviantart.com/art/Olym… and I asked why in her comments section. Silky sweetly replied that she was (a) LDS, which is the faith of my family, and I love it when people aren't shy about their beliefs and stand up for them. I am not a Mormon, but I love Mormons in general and respect their beliefs. This leads me to Silky's Articles of Faith (which I wish more people knew and understood) series Apophysis: TWELFTH. The fractals are beautiful on Silky's pages, and it's unfortunate that their creation are physically difficult for Silky. Here's a few of my favorites Apophysis: CHERUBIM and Apophysis-OREALLY?. Silky's animated images are a lot of fun and are very eye catching as well, one of my favorites is the colorful image The Crow, and then Inconstant Moon (I want to read Larry Niven's story by the same name now). Only a handful of people know this, but I actually collect images of nuclear explosions, and this image caught my eye Terragen: DESTROYED. And, at last, but not least, a mixed media image, with a willing and helpful model, which ties together so many of Silky's talents into one awesome work Secret.

Secret by 1footonthedawn 1footonthedawn

10 (coming soon, under construction)
  • Reading: The Five Love Languages
  • Eating: Whole Grain meal w/ Black Beans and Peaches!
  • Drinking: Green Drinks w/ Goji Berries!
1. hdragomir

2. :thumb45167946: RCatossi

3. thepurplemonster

4. EyE by Frandali Frandali

5. Grease it up with.... by Icarus-Fish Icarus-Fish

6. -Chibi Axel- by naruto-sexy-no-jutsu naruto-sexy-no-jutsu

7. My yard by n2large0shirt n2large0shirt

8. :thumb52654417: Carmelward

9. Secret by 1footonthedawn 1footonthedawn

10. (coming soon, under construction)

Congratulations to my lucky Showcase volunteers, but as you volunteered, there's really nothing to congratulate anybody for, lol. All joking aside, I may juggle a few of the images for newer works, but these are the originals posted on the first version of my Art Showcase. Art Showcase Part II journal, here: rawren.deviantart.com/journal/…
  • Listening to: Gregorian Chants
  • Reading: Overachievement! (performance psychology)
  • Drinking: Trusty 'ol green smoothie w/ goji berries.
...and so are most girls. What's my point? Okay, really, my point is that I will only be home for a short time, then I gotta run again. BUT, not before finishing the last two slots in my ART SHOWCASE! Go to the last page of the Showcase "Art Showcase (part II) rawren.deviantart.com/journal/… and sign up to be showcased in the comments!! I'm going to do a thumbnail round-up of all the entries once I've finished number 10, so HURRY UP and get in on it while the gettin' in on it is good!!!

Here's the page bluebeauty875.deviantart.com/j… by BlueBeauty875 that got me, and a link to the first half of my Art Showcase rawren.deviantart.com/journal/… and the second half rawren.deviantart.com/journal/…
  • Listening to: August Rush Soundtrack
  • Reading: Elantris by Brandon Sanderson
  • Eating: Homemade whole-grain oats with peaches!
Just letting you know that I will be off my computer for a good deal of time and won't see messages posted to this account for a while. Thanks for visiting and please feel free to share any thoughts or critiques you might have in the meanwhile. Eventually I will return and would love to continue the chats then. Thanks guys!

~rawREN

P.S. There are still a few slots left on my Art Showcase, part II, sign up for a spot for a positive review and a spot on my soon to come Showcase Display (I will post images from each participant, in a new Journal with no text, for more exposure of my favorite images from each artist). Click rawren.deviantart.com/journal/… for more.
  • Listening to: Stardust Soundtrack
  • Reading: Ishmael and more...
  • Drinking: Smoothies, smoothies, smoothies!
After I graduated with my art degree, a friend of mine, who knew I was growing more and more interested in comic book art, wrote to me to let me know there was a college that had a special Sequential Art program track.

I looked it up at once and requested their information packet, thinking that it would be really neat to see what they offered. This college offers both a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in Sequential Art (wow). Well, after getting their promotional material and reading through it, I had a chance to spend the weekend in Savannah, Georgia, home of Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD).

When I showed up on a whim, unannounced, I asked about possible "tours". I thought they'd maybe show me the building, talk a little, and give me some updated information. To my surprise, I got a two hour tour the next morning, driving around Savannah in a SCAD student shuttle with a tour guide and two other prospective students and their families. And I can tell you right now, I wish I had known about SCAD years ago, I LOVE THIS PLACE!

If you ever want a tour of Savannah, take the SCAD tour, it's free! And I gotta tell you guys, an art school is the way to go if you are wanting to live, breath, and eat art... I was ready to redo my Bachelor's degree right then and there, and then STILL do my MFA there after that. I'll opt to just do the MFA though, lol.

It may take a few years before I apply for my MFA, but I can already tell you that it WILL be at SCAD. If you ever get a chance to visit Savannah, Georgia, take the tour, I think you'll love it too!
  • Reading: Ishmael
  • Drinking: A blush wine.
NOTE TO REGULAR READERS: This is the top half of my last journal, I separated my current book/reading list from my art interview notes. If you've read these before, there's nothing new here... but, please do feel free to comment on your thoughts about art, what it is and how to do it!


****

So, I had a chance to chat with Kate (aka BlueBeauty875) the other day and decided to just post the notes I had made to myself right before the interview. I'm not going to actually break down the ideas and explain what it all means, I just find it interesting and it contains many of the names and ideas I mention in the interview. As usual, I ramble and wander quite a bit in the interview and gave Kate full permission to cut up and arrange the chat any way she sees fit. There's a lot in there and it's not all that well organized and reasoned, from my end, I have WAY TOO MUCH on my mind these days, lol... anyway, enjoy!


NOTES:

Art as a way of seeing and understanding ~ in that way, better than photography. You don't just click and turn away, maybe shooting again and maybe noticing it in your dark room or on your computer ~ you *really* have to *look* and *see* and *understand* when you draw. This is why all students should take art classes, to learn how to better see and understand life.

many quotes below derived from www.myamericanartist.com/2007/…

Ingres: “To really succeed in a portrait, first of all one has to be imbued with the face one wants to paint, to reflect on it for a long time, attentively, from all sides, and even to devote the first sitting to this,”

“Botticelli and Ingres are thought of as ‘closed-form’ artists, they enclosed everything in line; whereas Delacroix and Rembrandt are examples of ‘open form’—their drawings explode over the edge of the contours.”

Ingres: "One must keep right on drawing; draw with your eyes when you cannot draw with a pencil." …"Make copies, young man, many copies. You can only become a good artist by copying the masters."

As a professor of mine would say, attributed to Ingres [paraphrase] “First we’re going to draw… then we’re going to draw some more… then we’ll just keep drawing.”

Losing the edges
Tight contour
Blind Contour
Combining techniques
Energetic lines and starting with the energy

What is beautiful? (attraction and… form/function)

Important to learn:

How to use VALUE,
then color, without extreme value,
then push the value range (compliments, triads and limiting color palates)

Artists I like:
Frederick Remington
John Singer Sergent
Bouguereau
Pierre-Paul Prud'hon
Ingres

Romantic Era artists in general.

More "MODERN":
Jenny Saville (saa-ville?)
Phil Hale
Odd Nerdrum
Wade Reynolds (figure as a landscape)
Ovanes Berberian

My teachers (a short list):
John Erickson
Roger "Sam" D. Wilson
Justin Diggle
Tony Smith
Kim Martinez
Maureen O'Hara Ure
Kaiti Slater
Paul Davis www.codagallery.com (view by gallery, choose Park City, go to featured artist, find Paul Davis, then look at his figure paintings)
(I'm leaving out 3D and Art History)

Comic Books:
Alan Davis (Excalibur, Old Captian Britians, the Uncanny X-Men)
Paulo Eulerti Serpieri (Druuna, adult material warning)
Berni Wrightson (Frankenstein)
Frank Frazetta
Samura Hiroaki (Blade of the Immortal)
Seung Kim  (kse332, Hellboy/Wierd tales, Volume 1)  
Frank Miller (Sin City, 300, etc..)
Adam Hughes
Mike Mignola
Neil Gaiman
  • Listening to: What Painting Is
  • Drinking: Green Drinks (as usual)
***It's official, I graduated this Spring 2007 with a Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts (drawing/painting emphasis). My Diploma will also have a special "Service Learning Scholar" designation on it. This was a result from putting together a large collection of community service hours, special service-learning classes and a service-learning project of my own creation. You have no idea how happy I am right now!***

I'm about to begin what should hopefully be my last week of my undergraduate education in Art. I keep discovering new hurdles and may trip on one if I'm not careful ~ I just found out last week that I hadn't met one of two parts of the 'residency rule' for graduation at my University. I had spoken with an academic advisor three times this year, twice this semester alone, and wasn't ONCE told about an essential part of this rule (it was the graduation office that told me when I went to them to ask about something else entirely). I'm requesting an exception to policy, but I hear that they aren't very nice in considering exceptions, lol. Fingers crossed.

In any case, I will have finished every class and earned every credit needed and will go on to be an 'artist' no matter what they say, no matter when I actually receive the diploma. Art isn't made by diplomas anyway, it's made by artists who need to do little more than go about making art. So that's it, time to sprint through the last hundred meters with my eye on the finish line, which is really just another starting point... wish me well.
  • Listening to: The Closing of the American Mind (audiobook)
  • Eating: Pro Bars
Books I like, listed just for the fun of it (some favorites and recents)

FICTION:
Musashi (Eiji Yoshikawa)
Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
The Walking Drum (Louis L’amour) like Last of the Breed
The Princess Bride (William Goldman, Florinese author "S. Morgenstern")

NON-FICTION:
Mark Bowden books (Black Hawk Down, Killing Pablo, Guests of the Ayatollah)
The Denial of Death (Becker)
Color Atlas of Anatomy (very expensive supplementary text book for an Anatomy class I never finished, but kept the book)
Characters and Viewpoints (Orson Scott Card on Writing)
Self-Made Man (a woman spends over a year dressed as a man)
Slow Burn (nutrition and ultra-distance running)
Introducing NLP

Recently read (this year, or simply finished this year):

1 The Perfect Mile (Bascomb, the story of the breaking of the 4 minute mile)
2 Charlie Wilson’s War (Crile, late 70s through the 80s, Afghanistan/Soviets ~ soon to be a movie, sure to be slanted!)
3 Imperial Grunts (Kaplan, U.S. Military around the world today)
4 The Coming China Wars (Navarro, more economic than military)
5 America Alone (Steyn, on the War on Terror, very interesting writer)
6 Real Food (Planck, I love books on food and nutrition)
7 The Truth about Lying (Walters, an Interrogation/Interview manual)
8 Iron John (Bly, about Men)
9 Women Can't Hear What Men Don't Say (Ferrell, about Men)
10 While Europe Slept (Bawer, what he unfortunately found in Europe, when fleeing American religious "intolerance," whoops)
11 Menace In Europe (Berlinski, about Islam and Immigration problems in Europe, not unlike the book listed above but from a different perspective, BOTH written by people living IN Europe)
12 The Big Silver Book of Russian Verbs (Dr. Franke, I'll read this one again and again)
13 Guests of the Ayatollah (Bowden, mentioned above, about Iran hostage situation in 1979)
14 Denial of Death (Becker, philosophy and psychology on the topic of life and the fear of death)
15 The Lexis and the Olive Tree (Friedman, about the only thing I like about the NY Times are his articles)
16 The Looming Tower (Wright, a must read for those interested in knowing what 9/11 was and what it means)

This is only a partial list and doesn't include books I am reading now but haven't finished, lol. You can see that I tend to read a lot ~ I usually read 3 or 4 books at once, at a rate of about 3 or 4 a month, moving from one to the other as my schedule, interest,  or situation dictates (am I flying/travelling? in school listening to an audiobook? just reading for fun or for class? etc...) Yeah, my list is a little short on the Fiction novels this year, but I'll get to them. I just feel the need to read the heavier stuff right now ~ and I'm obsessive, what can I say?

If you think I really, really, really should read a favorite book of yours, please share the title, author and why it's such a good read! I'm always open to checking out new books and authors... and would love to hear what your favorites are.
  • Listening to: What Painting Is
  • Drinking: Green Drinks (as usual)
UPDATE: Kate had to delay our podcast interview for a bit, due to continuing health problems. I'm still looking forward to the interview, when Kate is feeling better of course, and I wish her well until then.

In the meantime, thanks for the questions guys, keep 'em comin' if anything else occurs to you. I have had a few friends say that they 'don't have any good questions' and then go on to state several REALLY GOOD QUESTIONS that they COULD HAVE ASKED. LOL, come on guys, go ahead and ASK THEM, it's ALL GOOD!

I'm going to be doing an interview with Kate (BlueBeauty875), sometime soon. She has her very own Art podcast, check it out if you haven't already. If you have any questions you'd like to see me answer, please post them here as a comment, give me a note, OR drop them as a note HERE in Kate's inbox.


Possibilities:

1. How do you approach creating a good figure drawing or painting?
2. Why do you think tools like PENS are critical to learning how to draw well?
3. Do artists need to be neurotic to be really good?
4. Why do you really REALLY not like most modern and post modern art?
5. Why is Chunky Monkey your favorite Ben and Jerry's Ice-Cream?
  • Listening to: Denial of Death (audiobook)
  • Drinking: A lotta water...
I'm sure I'll ignore the visitor pageviews number soon enough, but it is fun for now. Seeing the number climb, even if slowly, just encourages me to start posting work more often. Thanks again for the views, comments and for your art too! I'll get crackin' on posting new works soon!!
  • Eating: Bananas, Mangos and Papaya!
:iconrcatossi: got me... jerky! lol, he 'tagged' me and here's my response:

1.) Grab the book nearest to you, turn to page 18, and find line 4.
*"i. surrounds orbital ring, extends to eyebrow" (describing the insertion of the muscles of the eyelid, the 'orbicularis oculi')

2.) Stretch your left arm out as far as you can.
*There's my free, second-hand, inkjet printer! I love how people just toss em out sometimes.

3.) What is the last thing you watched on TV?
*20/20.

4.) Without looking, guess what time it is:
*9:40pm.

5.) Now look at the clock. What is the actual time?
*9:37pm (I'm on a schedule these days, lol).

6.) With the exception of the computer, what can you hear?
*The Family Room T.V.

7.) When did you last step outside? What were you doing?
*Had to go out to the car, to bring in clothes from the tailor.

8.) Before you started this survey, what did you look at?
*Clearing out my Deviations list, lots of great figure work out there!

9.) What are you wearing?
*Jeans, t-shirt and a hoodie; it's cold out there!

10.) Did you dream last night?
*Dreamt about a stupid girl!

11.) When did you last laugh?
*I left a message on my parent's answering machine talking really slowly, pretending to be someone else. As I was helping my parents unload their groceries, my dad smiled at me as he was playing the message for my mom and I laughed.

12.) What is on the walls of the room you are in?
*A figure drawing made by my all time favorite professor.

13.) Seen anything weird lately?
*I watched a friend look at, and paint on, about a dozen paintings in progress, all at once. She's preparing for a gallery show and has an interesting approach to creating a cohesive, uniform style and look.

14.) What do you think of this quiz?
*I actually don't like questionaires like this and usually avoid them.

15.) What is the last film you saw?
*Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade with my kid brother and sister.

16.) If you became a multi-millionaire overnight, what would you buy?
I would carefully invest in (buy) a few residential and commercial income properties, making sure there was a positive income from each; I wouldn't want my assets to really be liabilities. Then, I would even more carefully map out my property incomes to decide how much I can afford to spend without disrupting the balance, perhaps even using the positive cash flow to increase the above mentioned assets. After all that, when the cash flow was enough to justify it, I'd buy my girl her dream car! Yeah, I'm a money geek, I know it.

17.) Tell me something about you that I don't know.
*I tend to read three or four books at once, and that's not including listening to audiobooks.

18.) If you could change one thing about the world, regardless of guilt or politics, what would you do?
*I would install a special reboot switch on people that could be used, by the courts, when they do something really terrible. The switch would wipe some or all of their memory and cause them to have to start all over again but without the trappings of their first round of experiences and decisions. That way you wouldn't have to lock them all away forever or kill them when they're way beyond counseling or rehabilitation!

19.) Do you like to dance?
*Um, only sometimes, but I do like dancing badly on purpose every now and then.

20.) George Bush:
*Naive, but not evil.

21.) Imagine your first child is a girl, what do you call her?
*Skunk-flower!

22.) Imagine your first child is a boy, what do you call him?
*Little-man!

23.) Would you ever consider living abroad?
*Of course.

24.) What do you want God to say to you when you reach the pearly gates?
*Did you like how I made you think it was all so important for the rest of your eternity, so you'd try harder!? It was a cruel joke, I know. But it worked, right?

25.) 6 people who [may] also do this in THEIR journal:

:iconbluebeauty875: :iconicarus-fish: :iconthepurplemonster: :iconsemini: :iconhdragomir: :iconjusdog:  

I'm not one to FORCE anyone to do anything; it would just be fun if you did.
  • Reading: Eragon (Book 1)
  • Eating: Bija Chocolate, made with Udo's Oil
  • Drinking: Apple Juice, with Creatine (in the AM)
I am noticing a theme in my classes this semester at school. Finding narratives and working out the processes and modes of expressing them. From painting sequential art to tell a story and suggest a 'narrative' to writing a research paper, with a perceived reader and a message to communicate.

Even my history class is all about loaded iconographic symbols and the messages contained within them. I was aware of the human want and need for understanding and meaning ~ a tendency to create narratives. This is just wild though.

I'm wondering if this is what my education is really about. Seeking out the origins of the stories of our lives and finding better ways of seeing and communicating it's path and progress? Perhaps this is just where my mind is at the moment and so this is a projection of what I think and feel.
  • Listening to: The Perfect Mile (audiobook)
  • Eating: Dried Goji Berries
UPDATED WITH THUMBNAILS OF WORKS NOT PREVIOUSLY SHOWCASED!!! add a comment response to this Journal if you'd like to be showcased as well ~> Hurry, only a few slots left!!

Thanks BlueBeauty875 for the Art Showcase bluebeauty875.deviantart.com/j… Now to repay in kind. It may be hard for me to gather 10 volunteers quickly, since I'm so new to deviantART but hey, who's in a hurry? I'll complete them as they come! Probably within a day or so.

Here's the gig: Time to Show Case your art! So the first 10 people to comment here I will laud, praise, and all around pimp on this journal. Broken down, that means I'll link back to you, say what I most admire about your art, style, technique, what have you, and also place up links of some of the art I most admire of yours. The only hitch is that IF you are one of those 10, you must post this on your journal and do that same thing for 10 people as well! And so around and around it goes!

BE SURE TO PAUSE ON THE LINKS WITH YOUR CURSORS, THERE'S USUALLY A MOUSE-OVER TITLE FOR EVERY LINK.

1. hdragomir  Is this guy really 20? If so, I'm really jealous of his obvious photographic talent at such a young age. Great light and color balance ~ even in letting his shots go a little dark, like in Peep. His cropping and sense of overall composition is outstanding too, as in Bega, love the green and the wavy emanations in the blue, or the ever popular Slumset. If your feeling a little political and like art that makes statements, check out Apuseni 2009, where I made my first comment on his dA page, it's hiding in there somewhere. Not to forget, I'm a sucker for clouds.

hdragomir


2. RCatossi There's so much good stuff to say, where do I start? Well, he's a great colorist, as seen in Red Monika. He also has a lot of talent for original comics, as shown in his older comic uploads "Rescue" (in four panels), here's my favorite example, Rescue pg 01, B&W, and then the same panel in color, with words and a change, Rescue pg 01, Color. It's amazing to me how much easier it is to read, visually, the color panels, I need to start using color like Catossi. But being more of the classical art fan, I see some of the greatest evidence of his potential in a simple art class drawing called Strawberry Seat.

:thumb45167946: RCatossi


3. thepurplemonster A new deviant friend and master commentator! PM is probably best known for her highly intricate and imaginative, um, abstract works (thought scribbles?) like Imagine... My favorites are very serene works, with lots of subtle, implied emotions, as in 05- Seeking Solace: Cliff Edge and Cherry Blossom Girl. Again, being the Academic, I'm always attracted to simple studies like Winebottle and 03 Light - Face the Future, I especially like the reflected light on the backside of the head/crown. I also admire the color and composition of works like The Flame Dancers. UPDATE: I can't ignore this new addition, very well balanced, simple and simply beautiful love birds - Feb.

thepurplemonster


4. Frandali The first time I spoke with Riazalea, she kindly translated the words in Albero surreale for me, from her native Italian into English, and it quickly became one of my favorites. Her Intaglio prints are especially interesting and my favorites so far are Paesaggio lunare, and When the sun dies. Riazalea also has a couple of beautiful graphite, watercolor drawings worth checking out as well, such as Grave "Sepolcro" and Battle Arena. Now for the figure paintings, which you KNOW I love, my favorite so far is La Poltrona Rossa. And most recently, she has uploaded a series of colorful oil abstract studies, such as Study3 from Franz Mark.

EyE by Frandali Frandali


5. Icarus-Fish Wow, where to start!? Let me begin by saying 'gross!' lol, the first image of hers that I commented on was Vampires 1, hmmm, think that's a little gross? Check out Sticky and New, although a little 'messy', it shows some wild spunk of imagination, along with Content and Pain, where she shows an even more intimate knowledge of anatomy. Her understanding of anatomy thankfully goes shallower than that, and with her unique style, demonstrates an already keen awareness of the subtler surface anatomy, as shown in Warmth, Dream, and Novel. If she keeps drawing like this, she's going to put us all to shame, I vote we sabotage her site and get her banned, ASAP!

Grease it up with.... by Icarus-Fish Icarus-Fish

(the rest to be shown in Art Showcase Part II) rawren.deviantart.com/journal/… and rawren.deviantart.com/journal/…

6. :iconnaruto-sexy-no-jutsu:

7. :iconn2large0shirt:

8. :iconcarmelward:

9. :icon1footonthedawn:

10. (unfilled)
  • Listening to: Audioslave
  • Reading: Eragon (saw the movie, so why not?)
  • Drinking: Homemade Almond Milk
What can I say!? Thank you for viewing, sharing, chatting and adding me to your watch lists. I know that I will be keeping this a pay account (thanks BlueBeauty875 for the kick start) and revamping the site, I will also be adding a lot more art soon! For those of you who are here to be and make great art, to be better artists, not just be admired ~ I'm here with you, working on and making that goal happen!

As those on my watch list can attest to, I do look at your material and comment, and will continue to do so. Speak up, get involved and keep creating your awesome deviant work!!!

Oh yeah, if you haven't listened to the Art Cast podcasts yet theartpodcast.podbean.com/ get on it! Bookmark that page, subscribe with iTUNES, whatever, just check her interviews out! BlueBeauty875 is a very good host and interviewer and I watch her deviantly because I know she'll have a great impact on her own art, and others, if she keeps this up! When I guessed her age (which I didn't really have to 'guess' ~ research, research) she kindly rewarded me with a one month paid subscription to dA... but I asked her at that time if she'd consider interviewing me at some point and she said YES!

If you have any questions about me, my art and/or my art process, please send me a NOTE with your Qs. You can also send any questions, or COMMENTS about me, to BlueBeauty875 with a NOTE as well. I don't know how long we'll take before the interview is actually done, so send them in soon so we can gather them up and get it done!!

If you're stuck, hard pressed for good Qs ~ how about:

1 What do you think about Formal Schooling VS being Self Taught?  (Being a graduating Senior this Spring, I can say quite a bit about the differences)

2 Comics VS Graphic Novels? (I am currently writing and drawing a graphic novel)

3 What do you have to say about Art as a profession? (I've worked as a Graphic Designer and know several successful and UNsuccessful painters)

4 Politics in Art and Artistic Statements!? (If you've seen my Editorial Comics, it was my first, real venture into artistic statements)

5 Conte Crayons and Ink Pens, why you MUST use them!? (lol...)

etc, etc, etc...

For those of you who haven't considered it yet, please check out my Art Showcase Journal and sign up, be SHOWCASED! rawren.deviantart.com/journal/… At some point, I will be adding in thumbnails of my one favorite piece of each of these artists ~ get on the list NOW so that your works will be displayed and REALLY showcased later, for all time!! (well, as long as we're here on this site at least, hehe)
  • Listening to: Denial of Death (audiobook)
  • Reading: Guests of the Ayatollah
  • Watching: Avatar, The Last Airbender
  • Playing: Battlefield 2142
  • Eating: PB/AB/Udo's Oil Blend
  • Drinking: Homemade Almond Milk
I'm approaching my final semester at the university, this winter and spring, and feeling a lot of excitement but a little remorse.

Why the remorse? For a time, I ruined art for myself, stripping away a large portion of my motivation by discounting any and all praise and making myself my greatest, most harsh critic. After leaving the university in my Senior year, I took over four years off of school and art, only doodling for my personal amusent.

It's interesting looking back and wondering how I could let things get that bad, that extreme; to the point where I stopped enjoying creating art. Yes, I had great, interesting and informative experiences away from art and can bring those experiences right back into my art, but I still feel that remorse for time lost.

In the sixth grade, I had an art teacher tell me that she noticed naturally talented artists tended to often not become professional artists because they didn't have to work for it, earning it, and creating good work ethics. I understand what she meant but what I did was a little different, in an attempt to make my art purely detached from exterior meaning and validation, I risked deconstructing faster than I could reconstruct deeper meaning.

For those of you who understand what I mean, I'd love to have a dialogue about deeper meaning. I have so many echoes of wisdom from teachers in my head, so many thoughts and reflections on art and meaning. If any of you know of or participate in these kinds of discussions elsewhere, please share, I'm sure I'm not the only one interested in such things.

~REN
  • Listening to: Ender's Game sequels on audiobooks
  • Reading: 3 different books, Guests of the Ayatollah &..
  • Eating: Green stuff, always green...