~XilaPhoenixArt: How do you deal with stress situations?
Depends on the situation I guess. If it's meeting a deadline at work, I have found that panic solves nothing. It will rather keep you from doing your work properly and you'll end up fixing things right and left later. So, try to keep calm and do one thing at a time. If you're afraid you might forget something, make a list and start with whatever is most important. Everything else will have to wait and the world will not fall to pieces if you're a day late (once).
If the situation is having to do something that makes me nervous (like giving a presentation in front of lots of people or going somewhere where I don't know what's in store), I also try not to panic and to compensate what I'm insecure about with trying to learn everything there is to know. For example, I make sure my presentation is good in my eyes and if I'm insecure about anything I check with a collegue (or two).
~XilaPhoenixArt: What are the best/worst qualities in your character?
I'm an open person and a fast learner. I like to share what I know, but sometimes I need some time to myself - especially in the mornings I'm just no good at small talk. I can be impatient and sometimes I come across as arrogant and bitchy because I am very outspoken. Especially when I see something happening that I feel is injust, I will speak up and be very direct about what I think needs changing.
~XilaPhoenixArt & =CamaroGirl666: What inspires you the most to make your art? what inspires you and keeps you going?
Books, TV shows and movies I think. I'm a big fan of good stories! But of course there's other stuff, too, like seeing what other people do and travelling to different places. Lately, I've been so uninspired it's not funny anymore. I'm not sure what to do about that but wait and see. It's not the first time that I feel like that and it won't be the last, so I know it'll pass sooner or later, but it still sucks.
^ginkgografix: What things - beside Photomanips and photography - would you be interesting in learning additionally?
I've always loved to write, but mostly fanfiction and when I do write, it takes me ages to finish a story. I'd love to learn how to get faster and how to start writing somehing original. But then again, I'm not really dissatsfied with the writing I do, it's a hobby after all and it gets done when I feel like it.It doesn't have to be the best out there as long as it takes me into a different world and makes one or two others happy when they read it
^ginkgografix: Have you ever considered a creative carreer or was and will it be always just a hobby?
When I was still at university, I tried doing some commissions. It was kinda fun for a short while, but on the other hand it was frustrating as hell: payment was bad especially considering the hours it took, the clients seemed to be either undeceisive ("could we maybe try it this way, too?") or so set on something I simply hated ("How about orange?!" - yuck!) that the going was slow at best and then there were the tons of requests that offered no payment at all but "exposure" (biggest lie ever). I came to the conclusion that if I were to actually live off of this, I would need to learn to view manips not as fun, but as work. And I didn't want to do that. In my current job, I also come into contact with clients who may be indeceisive or stubborn, but it's engineering, so I can mostly say things like "it's a nice idea, but it won't work for this or that technical reason". It's a lot better than trying to keep someone from using garrish colours as you can imagine.
^Aeirmid: Photomanip gets a bad rap sometimes, especially considering we are such a small gallery. Still, we are pretty awesome. What is our biggest strength, and how can we capitalize on that to make the community even stronger?
We are small enough so that we can actually know each other (at least by nickname and in passing), and yet it is big enough so that everyone can find like-minded people. So we should use that to our advantage and make this a community that is inclusive instead of giving others a hard time for doing goth / horse / beginner / ... manips. To each their own - you don't have to like any given style, but you should respect it.
^Aeirmid: I'm handing you a magic wand. What would you change about dA? Or about the photomanipulation community specifically?
I wish people in general and on dA specifically would stop pretending they are tolerant and finally live it. The whole shouting about who stole whose idea (when it's so obvious that the manip's idea took like 10 seconds of looking at the stock to use it in that specific way), what group rejected you (when you didn't even bother to read their rules or ask why afterwards) and the constant bitching about faves and watches and what not just shows you are not tolerant, not open and very self-centered. You're not here for art, but for some sort of popularity contest. Personally, I just ignore most of that, butsometimes it is hard not to listen. If I had a magic wand, I would make people understand that their millions of faves and watchers and what not are not going to get them anywhere. If you just have watches and faves galore because you are a nice person who is always on dA commenting on other's work (and there's nothing wrong with that by itself, don't get me wrong), but your art is mediocre, you will not get asked for those commissions you'd love to be doing, those big ones for big companies/movie makers/writers/musicians etc.
^Aeirmid: You've been a CV for photomanip twice. Are you a glutton for punishment? (I'm kidding, you don't have to answer that.)
Haha, maybe? When I came to dA in 2004, dA was a much smaller place than it is today. And the volunteer team was also very different. For one, there weren't this many and for two, they stayed until they were fed up. Also, they were called gallery directors back then and the general idea was for them to handle miscats, feature DDs and write some informative news articles (which back then was a priviledge for admins and volunteers only).
Especially the part about the "staying till you drop" was a two edged sword: on one hand, there was a constant for the galleries (which I'm glad has come back somewhat with the mentoring program which allows those who are not burnt out to stay on longer than a year), but on the other, it often happened that activity from one gallery or other was low. And when someone handed in their hat, it always was a huge drama because deviants would first think "who made them leave?" rather than "oh, they've had enough". Today, deviants will shout for your head when you don't set a DD every single day. Strange how this has changed, isn't it?
So, what I'm trying to say is that both of my terms were different experiences, but both were definitely worth it. I could probably ramble on about those differences, but I don't want to bore you to death. I just want to say this: if you love what you do here on dA, just do it. You don't need a hat to write articles, found groups, initate projects etc. Sometimes, being in the spot light like that can even be a negative experience. There will be folks complaining about your choices (DDs, features, articles, interviews) who previously knew you but didn't complain because to them, only now that you have that hat, they see your choices as life-altering somehow. When in truth, they are not. But no amount of reasoning will help there and if you're the person who takes such things to heart, I would think twice about putting on a hat. Sad but true.
^Aeirmid: You are a brilliant artist *and* a brilliant engineer. How does your head not implode from all the brilliance? (Read: How do you stay grounded, and how do you not let one side of your brain take over too much?)
*blushes* I'm not so good with compliments
Both my art and my work are things I very much love. And they have more similarities than one might think which makes them easy to get into one head. For instance, a manip can be like a puzzle: you know what you want to create but you need to find the stock first and then blend it and put the finishing touches on it. In process engineering, you have a similar puzzle: you get a request from a client. You now need to see which basic components you need to make that happen. Then you start to make them fit together and fit with the overall concept (for example low energy consumption or low investment) and then at some point you go into the details (what does this heat exchanger need to do exactly, how should it look?) until you get a complete processing plant ready to build
^Aeirmid: As a friend, I would describe you as passionate yet pragmatic, very well-balanced, and courageous/fighting for what you believe in. What are the three traits you most value about YOURSELF?
*phew* I would sign off on passionate yet pragmatic and fighting for what I believe in. And I think I am self-confident most of the time
^Aeirmid: Relativity: theory or inescapable truth?
^Aeirmid: Where's your next vacation going to be? We'll hold a devmeet there. I'm kidding. Just curious about where else you'd like to travel.
my boyfriend would have something to say about a devmeet at our vacation lol
Seriously though: we have already booked two weeks in Italy in September. Tuscany Expect pictures And in May we wanted to go to southern Bavaria (Germany) for a week, near the mountains for some hiking (or what I call hiking anyway, nothing too stressful *grins*). But that isn't booked yet.
^Aeirmid: What is your favorite color, and what does that say about your personality? Does that come out in your art, do you think?
My favourite colour is purple. It might say that I loved my first car, a Nissan Micra, to death In my art, I use just about any colour as long as it's bright and positive, so not really much of a connection I guess.
Chocolate!!!! Always chocolate! In all forms: regular chocolate, pralinés, drinking chocolate, ice cream, cakes,...
*astrangeallure: How do artists get their photomanips to look so polished....smooth...blended?? Almost like a photo? Is it a matter of coloring or filters or gradients???
That is a very complex question because there is not just one thing that makes or breaks a manip. It's more a whole host of things, but filters usually break a manip, rather than help it, because they are often used unspecifically on the whole image without regard of if they're actually needed. For me, the two most important aspects of a photomanipulation are 1) is the stock cut out with care? Or are the edges too sharp or too smooth? and 2) Is the light fitting? do the shadows sit right? And the highlights? Including the colours of those - for example, using pure black and white for shadows and highlights will make your work look flat and lifeless. To achieve these things, you have to combine all the techniques you know about and if you don't know many, I would suggest to read and follow some tutorials to build up your repertoire. Even if you think you know a lot, there's always something new around the next corner And then just practice, practie, practice. There are no shortcuts here, I'm sorry.
~natash29: I was wondering how you got started and any advice on where to start. I love photography but I'm looking to make more creative pictures. Any advice would be appreciated.
Originally, all I wanted to do was learn HTML and create my own website, so I started by following tutorials on how to make buttons and layouts in Photoshop. So my advice to you would be to find out what interests you in manips and start following some tutorials that teach you that look or technique and then branch out from there. Don't try to take on too much too fast or it will be frustrating. Rather try playing around with the program of your choice and your photos; maybe start by doing some digital scrapbooking to get a feel for the tools. For more on starting with manips, you can also read this article.
*Lou-in-Canada: are you on dA all day every day?
I used to be when I was still studying, but these days I'm here once a day without really doing much on weekdays and a bit more on weekends - I wish the day had more hours