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News + (late) Feature

Journal Entry: Tue Jun 24, 2014, 8:25 AM

Maybe (hopefully ;P) some of you were wondering where I had disapeared to - the answer is Lago di Garda :D

Lago di Garda by kuschelirmel

[view from Rocca di Manerba - click to enlarge]

It was a nice, relaxed vacation (if you don't count the traffic jams on the way back over the Brenner - next time, we'll drive through Switzerland like we always do) - just one week, but the weather was (surprisingly) good and the relaxation-effect was enormous. I think that may be to blame on good food and drink :D

Anyway, before I went on my vacation, the "In Roman Times" Contest was concluded and I actually forgot to distribute the prizes I had promised ^^; Sorry!!! Better late than never - and now without further ado:

In Roman Times Contest - More Intermediate / Advanced

1st Place: Mr-Ripley

Burning Rome by Mr-Ripley

On Golden Pond by Mr-Ripley Romantic Night on a Hill by Mr-Ripley I Can't Stand the Moon by Mr-Ripley

2nd Place: naradjou14

point de repere de roman by naradjou14

Stand and Resiste by naradjou14 new day in my room by naradjou14 Music Storm by naradjou14

3rd Place: RohMah1

In Roman Times by RohMah1

The Fall by RohMah1 Mechanical Birth by RohMah1 Calvin and Hobbes by RohMah1

Honorable Mentions:

My Ancestors by Wesley-Souza  In Rome by sekiqIl Generale by DriPoint

In Roman Times Contest - Beginner / Light Intermediate

1st Place: Kibblywibbly

Roman Times - The Homecoming by Kibblywibbly

Sunset at the ruins...... by Kibblywibbly My friend is..........a MONSTER! by Kibblywibbly Some Bunny Special! by Kibblywibbly

2nd Place: Tegori

the fall by Tegori

rust by Tegori the magic has come by Tegori Christmas contest -silent night by Tegori

3rd Place: Dejavuestudios09:

The Empire shall rise again by DejavuEstudios09

My little paradise by DejavuEstudios09 Wondering about the future by DejavuEstudios09 Hidding in the bush by DejavuEstudios09

Honorable Mentions:

THE  TIME  PORTAL by MataHari22 Rome by EpicMisterMag
The Gladiator Twins by recareta


Skin by SimplySilent

Tagged + Chibi Version

Thu Jun 5, 2014, 9:15 AM

I was tagged by Aeirmid who already altered some rules and I am doing the same ;P Plus, mine has extra Chibis :D

Da Rulez

  1. You must post these rules.
  2. Each person has to share 10 things about themselves.
  3. Answer the 10 3 questions asked to you and invent 10 3 questions the people you tag will have to answer.
  4. Choose the 10 7 people and put them on your journal.
  5. Go to their page to inform them they are tagged; No longer necessary thanks to dA's Mentions system.
  6. Not something like "You are tagged if you read that."
  7. You have to legitimately tag 10 7 people.
  8. No tag-backs.
  9. You can't say you don't do tags.

10 things about me and my life:

  1. I'm an engineer and true to this, I'm a very practical person.
  2. I'm often torn between wanting to get some new clothes / shoes / etc and finding going out to get them too much work (also a true engineer) - so I do online shopping a lot ^^; When I do go out to get something, I often end up with nothing of what I set out for and settle for coffee and people-watching instead :giggle:
  3. I have never been discriminated in my job or at uni for being a woman. I may have been lucky - or it may have something to do with engineering being a discipline where in general, what you know counts more than who you are (or who your parents are etc) - or I may just not be very receptive to that stuff to begin with (if I hear something idiotic, I will tell whoever said it what I think; if I get teased for anything, I will tease back etc - you could call it good self esteem or simply having a big mouth ;))
  4. My vacation starts on Friday the 13th of June - Lago di Garda, here I come!
  5. I get cold very easily and as soon as my toes are freezing it takes ages for me to get warm again. Thankfully, summer is here now and for the next few months I won't have to worry about keeping warm.
  6. I don't like labels because they (pretty much) always fall short. For example, I may be an engineer / a woman / a photomanipulator / etc but I hardly can be reduced to any one of those things. Also, labels tend to help with stereotypes: an image may be clicheed / dark / the girl-in-dress-in-cemetary-kind / ... but just because one of those things fits, doesn't mean I automatically (have to) like it or dislike it.  But I (like everyone else) use labels all the time because they simplify things. I just hate it when in some arguments, nothing but labels are used and no one dares say anything going against the current trend of how to view those labels because they can't be bothered to actually have a discussion (which would be time consuming and distract them from whatever is important today). And I hate it when I find myself thinking "ugh, I shouldn't use this model / background / whatever because it will lead to a manip that is unoriginal" - because let's face it, that's then all in my head and has nothing to do with what I *could* actually do with that stock.
  7. I wish people would stop talking about being tolerant and fucking act like it instead.
  8. I wish artists would stop selling their art for a dime a dozen - a commission no matter how low the price may be great for your ego, but it destroys the market prices for everyone else, specifically for those who actually do this for a living. And for the love of god, stop falling for the "this will be great advertisement for you"-line that always comes with the "unfortunately I cannot pay you for your efforts"-line. Also see this wonderful journal.
  9. What's up with people doing crowdfunding for stuff at least I would consider to be nothing but luxury? And why do other people actually give them money in those cases? I don't get it. I always thought if I want something, say go on holidays, buy a gadget or clothes or shoes etc, I needed to earn (and save) money to do so and not beg others because, hey, if I have to save up for it, it'll take fucking ages, *doh* :o Appartently, it's all about marketing these days. So: would you please give me money because I so badly want to go to the caribbean islands - I'll bring home some stock pics for you, too! *prettyplease*
  10. I love butterflies and chocolate and strawberries and sitting on the balcony in summer with good food and a glass of wine or cocktails with some company to discuss anything and everything until it's too cold to stay outside :love:

3 Questions from Aeirmid for me to answer:

  • What was your first thought when you got out of bed this morning?
Ugh. No.
  • What 3 words describe you best?
tenacious, vocal, colourful
  • What would you like your last words to be?
I don't think about such things and I'm not going to start now ;) So no answer to this one

3 Questions for you to answer:

  • What is your favourite place to go on vacation to (i.e. where you have already been and (would) love to go back to)?
  • If money and time was no issue, what would be your dream vacation?
  • Do you use the chat network on dA? If so, where do you chat?

One additional (optional) "task"

...if you like...

Use this to create a Chibi of yourself :D

Mine is here:

7 People I tag:

:iconmippieart: :iconceeek: :iconkimsol: :iconkingabritschgi: :iconarrsistable: :iconneverdying: :icontalty:

(if you have already done this or simply don't have the time, no worries - it should be done for fun or not at all)

In Space Contest Winners

Sun Mar 30, 2014, 8:46 AM

1st Place

MAYDAY by peroni68

peroni68 with "MAYDAY"

more from this artist:

Arachnophobia therapy by peroni68 Lost in Fashion by peroni68 Free Spirit by peroni68

2nd Place

In Space by Wesley-Souza

Wesley-Souza with "In Space"

more from this artist:

Happy Thoughts Make you Fly by Wesley-Souza  A Wonderful Dream by Wesley-Souza The Goddess of Darkness by Wesley-Souza

3rd Place

Dome by Dani-Owergoor

Dani-Owergoor with "Dome"

more from this artist:

Heaven's Gate by Dani-Owergoor Long Way To Home by Dani-Owergoor Mayan Mysteries by Dani-Owergoor

Honourable Mentions

Farewell by vs3a  <da:thumb id="431872085"/> SUPER NOVA by CaoChiNhan


Advanced Lighting Video Tutorial

Sat Mar 1, 2014, 9:28 AM

I finally managed to cut the raw material and
add voice narration and some captions :heart:

I suggest to view it on the deviation page at my stock account in 720p
(otherwise everything is really tiny)

I hope you'll find it useful :love:

Thank you for all the positive feedback on the artwork that goes with this,
Beneath the Tulips. :heart:

Beneath the Tulips by kuschelirmel

I am now also on

youtube Icon Youtube

so if you like the video, pop by and give it
a thumbsup (or whatever it is you do there)
--> kuschelirmel <--

Back + Promo + Features

Fri Feb 14, 2014, 9:49 AM

Wohooo! :w00t:

How are you my lovlies? -- no, I am not drunk ;P Just in a good mood (but I will open a bottle of wine in a minute :giggle:)

Aaanyway, I was kinda "gone" for the last three weeks: first out with a cold, then wrapped up in cooking dinner last Saturday for friends, then moving with the office (a company of ~ 700 people moving to a different bulding will manage to stress you no matter how well organized it is from "above" - and how well exactly we'll see on Monday) and trying to rekindle my muse (who thought it was funny to just up and run with this so-called winter doing nothing to improve my mood)...

For the rekindling, I found some cool stock and managed to create Beacon and Mary had a little Lamb. Both are very different in style, but I like them both. For the latter, I used chronolapse, a free software, to record my progress and upload a time lapse video of it. You don't see that much (it was a first experiment), but I think it's fun to watch nevertheless.

I'd love to see others use this, too! Will you? If you do, link me to it, I'll put together a feature :dance:

Promotion 1

TheVoiceOfManips is a wonderful project overseen by mippieArt where you will get all relevant info on the manip community on deviantArt! Be sure to watch the group and provide Leana with suggestions as to what you want to see :love: The first two episodes are on youtube, but the next ones should be on dA :aww:

Promotion 2

Contest Time! Our wonderful stockers YBsilon-Stock, EveLivesey and :devcdstock: have devised a contest that will make your heart thump faster (see what I did there?!): In Space is the theme and you have to use three stocks minimum - one per stock provider hosting the contest.
Aaaand speaking of prizes: all those who enter will receive a surprise pack from YBsilon-Stock - so what are you waiting for?!


Just some images that have recently caught my eye :heart:

Keeper by Drake1024

Dark Preacher by geduliss Little Garden by Kryseis-Art Ms-Majestic by Mr-Xerty

Ophelia by Blavatskaya

O b l i v i o n by Aeternum-Art 7b by 25kartinok On the rise by TARGETE

Aesthetic Intervention by Shades-Of-Lethe

The regal chapters by MarcelaBolivar Deep in the Forest by Aeternum-Art Void by JamesLedgerConcepts

Queen of the Damned by StarsColdNight

what a beautiful excuse by AquiloniusLupus All These Memories by Cosmas Peacock by alexnoreaga

spam! by SoulcolorsArt


CIC Winners + Judges

Journal Entry: Thu Jan 23, 2014, 8:41 AM

Before we come to the winners, I wanted to thank everyone who participated - it was so cool to see what you all came up with :love: All entries can be found here. The prizes are listed in the Contest Journal - you will be contacted :aww:

Time to meet...

The Judges

At first I wanted to make sure no one whose art was used as inspiration would be judging, but after seeing entries based on my own work, I thought I would level the playing field and invite some of those who were chosen as inspirations:

:iconj-u-d-a-s: :iconneverdying: :iconkingabritschgi: :iconcgsoufiane:

plus myself.

Thank you for helping me judge this - it was not easy!

Now without further ado, the winners:

1st Place

The Threads of Life by kimsol

kimsol with Threads of Life

More from this Artist:

Woodlands Gathering by kimsol Doombringer by kimsol Cars from Mars by kimsol

2nd Place

Goddess of the Woods by Carlos-Quevedo

Carlos-Quevedo with Goddess of the Woods

More from this Artist:

For You by Carlos-Quevedo <da:thumb id="422962085"/> Darkness Princess by Carlos-Quevedo

3rd Place

Marise by Flobelebelebobele

Flobelebelebobele with Marise

More from this Artist:

Theresa by Flobelebelebobele I hate bugs by Flobelebelebobele Shoot the dentist by Flobelebelebobele

Honourable Mentions

Augurum by erimu <da:thumb id="421023302"/> Terra Vulgaris by brietolga

Vivian, the Lady of the Lake by annewipf Touch by AbbeyMarie  <da:thumb id="425539533"/>

Dealing with no God by passion-aesthete rain in the city by ZedLord-Art


PS: you will be contacted for your prizes shortly!

Skin by SimplySilent

CIC Closed + Other Stuff + Features

Journal Entry: Sun Jan 12, 2014, 2:41 AM

Creative Inspiration Contest - Closed

Wow! I have to say it again - wow!

Wow!  32 Entries!!!  Wow! 

You blow me away!

Okay, enough incoherent babbling ;) I think it's already fair to say that the Creative Inspiration Contest was a huge success! I was also able to get some great judges, but I will only announce them (hopefuly) next week when the end results are in. :D  Until then I wanted to say THANK YOU! to everyone who entered!

Another huge thank you

Goes to everyone who was kind enough to think of my birthday and leave a comment or even dedicate me an image! I am terrible with remembering birthdays myself (even if they are shoved in my face at the side of my message center), so I really do appreciate it when others do!

Journal Skin January

You may have noticed that I have been absent from this account more or less the whole January. One reason was that I didn't want to put a journal up that would kick the contest journal from my userpage, but that doesn't explain the lack of deviations, of course.

Well, bradleysays has launched the Journal Skin January project and since I have been wanting to do more in that department and just needed a friendly kick in the butt, I am participating and coding like crazy. And not just coding - redoing some of my css tutorials to fit with the gruze style coding.

The first skin is up (second to follow today / tomorrow) as well as a gruze css guide (more for advanced users, but as I said, I'm working on redoing some tuts)

Underwater CSS by kuschelirmel-stock Gruze Style Journal CSS - a guide by kuschelirmel-stock  Skeleton Journal With Comments/*--------------------------------------------------------------------
Blank Journal (gets rid of all tiny images and preset backgrounds, borders, margins & paddings)
* {background: transparent; border: none; margin: 0; padding: 0;}
.gr-top img, .gr1, .gr2, .gr3, .tri {display: none;}
a {font-weight:normal;}
a.external {text-decoration:none!important;}
a.external:after{display: none!important;}
Journal Design overall (you can put font, background colour, border etc for the whole journal in gr-box -- the other tags are optional to style, but as they work with the menu it makes sense to include them)
.gr-box {}
a {}
a:hover {}
blockquote {}
h1 {}
h2 {}
h3 {}
h4 {}
ul {}
ul li {}
ol {}
ol li {}

And I want to show you my favourites from the project so far:

.:Morning Glow by ginkgografix  Welcome to the future! by pica-ae Surreal Journal CSS v3 by SimplySilent

Feature Time!

Sky by s0ggywaffls Ineffable by MirellaSantana

Thanatos by Yoann-Lossel The Conquest by Nikulina-Helena Wildfires by saftkeks13

A Whole New No by TsaoShin Boat by Katie-Watersell

Intuitive Perception by Ash-3xpired Illustration by HuntAng Lion-Mighty by Mr-Xerty

Little Red Riding Hood? by Vasylina Doctor Blumenauer by AlexanderJansson

Bloody Zodiac. Libra by Vasylina Falling Angel by eerilyfair Never Let Go by ReyeD33


Skin by SimplySilent

The Creative Inspiration Contest [closed]

Journal Entry: Sat Nov 9, 2013, 1:55 AM

12.1.2014: Contest is now closed
Thank you for all the wonderful entries!!!

11.1.2014: Only today left! Get your entries in!

Edit 24.11.13: Updated prizes + put the date in proper format; updated rules - one line added:
"Entries that keep too closely to the inspirational source (i.e. the ones that basically copy the image by just switching the stock) will be rejected."

I have decided to wait a little longer before adding any judges so you are not limited by maybe wanting to avoid certain people as inspirational sources ;)
Edit 4.12.13:
Please, please, please, read the rules before you start!
I hate to decline work on the grounds of formalities (especially when I can see you put a lot of effort
in your work) - this includes the DO NOT COPY part!
Edit 14.12.13: Updated prizes :)

The Idea

When we browse dA, we constantly get inspired to create something ourselves. Sometimes this inspiration is very obvious, for example liking a colour scheme or lighting concept in another piece and trying to use that in ones own creation. Sometimes the inspiration is more obscure, for example when you see an image and its theme resonates with you and pushes you to create something of your own that catches that mood or atmosphere.

For this contest, I challenge you to browse deviantArt (any category) and find a deviation or an artist that inspires you. Then you create something based on this inspiration, but without copying the deviation or actually using it in your entry. Describe in your artist's comment how your image was inspired by the one you chose and link the deviation you were inspired by.
This does NOT mean you should go out there and find an image to copy or incorporate - it means you should find an aspect of an image and use it in your own art: the colour scheme, the atmosphere, the topic, the way perspective was used, a certain technique you want to try for yourself,...

We want to see your creative interpretations of your inspiration!

- Note: This is a contest for photomanipulators only (mixed media allowed as long as the main part is a manip) -

The Contest

  • Theme: Creative Inspiration - show us what inspires you!
  • Medium: Photomanipulation (with additional digital media if you want - but the main part has to be a manip)
  • Deadline: The contest runs from November 9th, 2013 until January 11th, 2014 23:59 CET --> countdown
  • Judges: :iconkuschelirmel:  more to be announced soon
  • What we will be judging on: Of course your entry needs to fit the theme, brining your inspiration into a deviation of your own, using photomanipulation (with additional digital media if you want). We'll be looking at creativity and technical skills (like blending, use of light and shadows in a logical mannor, etc).
Reading Make sure you read the rules below carefully to avoid having your entry rejected!

The Rules

  • The entry has to be a photomanipulation - that means it has to use photos: at least two and they have to come from an actual camera (i.e. no "in game photography" like you can do in Second Life for example). Also, for this, 3D stock does not count. You can however use any other digital techniques to finish your piece off. Meaning you can add some 3D stock, painted elements, fractals, or whatever else you like BUT the main part has to be a photomanipulation or it will not be accepted.
  • Crediting all your stock sources is a must (if you use your own images, please say so)! It should go without saying that the stock sources have to be legitimate stock, but it seems I have to point it out anyway. If you are unsure about which stock you can use and what is not stock at all, please read Of Copyrights & Premades as well as Photomanipulation for Beginners. This also means that if you use pre-cut stock or premades you need to be sure that the original images were either shot by the resource provider or provided by sources that allow such use. Taking images from google, or other stockers who do not allow redistribution is a no-no!
  • You can enter as many times as you like, but you can only win once. If you want to avoid competing against yourself, you might want to choose just one entry, your best.
  • In your artist's comment, include the deviation you chose as your inspirational source (with link or thumb) as well as some explanation on what inspired you and what you were trying to do with your entry.
  • The inspirational source has to be a deviation or an artist from dA - no outside sources allowed.
  • The inspirational source deviation may not be used directly in your manip or if you choose an artist as inspiration none of his work may be used in your entry- it is just there to provide inspiration, not to be copied or used as stock. Entries that keep too closely to the inspirational source (i.e. the ones that basically copy the image by just switching the stock) will be rejected. You can use an image from the resources category or a resource artist as inspiration, but you cannot incorporate the image(s in the artist's gallery) into your entry - that would be too easy, sorry. You cannot use other people's artwork as a basis for any photomanipulation - this is a copyright infringement. 
  • You need to show us the inspirational source by linking it in your artist's comment.If it's a deviation, please use a direkt text link or thumb, if it is an artist, use :devartistname: or :iconartistname:. Also, please add a few lines about why you chose this particular deviation or artist and how this has influenced your entry (we want to know your thought process behind the piece because the connection does not have to be blatantly obvious).
  • Your artist's comment needs to include a statement that this is an entry for the Creative Inspiration Contest held by kuschelirmel.
  • The entry has to be made for this contest and this contest alone - uploaded after the start date and before the deadline and only submitted to this contest, not to multiple other ones.

How to Enter

Upload your image on dA (photomanipulation category) and specify in the artist's comment that this is an entry for the Creative Inspiration Contest held by kuschelirmel. Don't forget to include a little information about how your contest entry relates to your chosen inspirational deviation / artist as well as the deviation (with link or thumb) or artist (with  :devartistname: or :iconartistname:).
Finally, Note note me on my main account kuschelirmel with your entry so I can add it to the Contest Collection.
All entries can be found here :heart:

The Prizes far...

First Place

Second Place

Third Place

There will also be journal features for honorable mentions.

Thank you to the lovely donators! :love:
If anyone else feels like donating, please contact me via note (I'd rather have a note so I can keep track more easily than with comments) - no llamas please!



Till Death Do Us Apart by kuschelirmel

"Till Death Do Us Apart" was inspired by the work of
J-u-d-a-s and his way to use muted colours :

T h e C r o w m a N by J-u-d-a-s .: The ghost in yoU :. by J-u-d-a-s Harmony... by J-u-d-a-s

If you have another example I could add here, please let me know :heart:

Skin by SimplySilent


Winners Planetary Mythology Competition

Here are the winners of the Planetary Mythology Competition (again sorry for the delay - my prizes will be sent out shortly):
First Place:
Poseidon - God of the Sea by Wesley-Souza

Sweet Girl and the Guardian by Wesley-Souza Sweet Dreams My Dear by Wesley-Souza The Goddess of Darkness by Wesley-Souza
Second Place:
Pluto. Ambitions of World domination by lombrascura

Spell by lombrascura Hunting by lombrascura Pumpkin Pixie by lombrascura

Third Place
Space Birth of Venus by PerlaMarina

mermaid's body art by PerlaMarina The Dragon's Egg by PerlaMarina Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo by PerlaMarina

Honorable Mentions:

Hades by AbbeyMarie EROS and PSYCHE by babsartcreations 
Poseidon - Ruler of the Seas by llinute Mars by annewipf Life on Neptune by Charmed-Ravenclaw

MOAR Contests around dA

These are still ongoing (partially not for all that much longer, so hurry if you want to enter!)

Halloween Contest!!!! Prizes update + Folder fixedHi guys,
I'm a bit late, but here it is. This years annual Halloween Contest.
HALLOWEEN!!!!! need I say more?
17 October 2013 - 16 November 2013
Bullet; White Only Photo Manipulations are allowed
Bullet; White It's only a photo manipulation if you use 2 or more different stocks
Bullet; White You must one at least 1 of the stocks in this folder
Bullet; White All stock must be properly credited (direct link to the stock item included)
Bullet; White Your entry must be relevant to the theme
:bulletwhite: Submit here (I fixed it, you should be able to submit now. If you have any troubles, please note me)
Spotlight1st Place
Bring out your dead side
Ever had that feeling, that a portrait is watching you? No matter where you stand in the room its gaze seems to follow you,.. staring... waiting...
We invite you to join us in making a grand collection of horrific hounds, voluptuous vampires, and ghoulish ghostly portraits this Halloween in best Haunted House style!
Its time to unlock your inner Dorian Grey, and all those other creepy strange ancestors, cousins, uncles, aunts and grannies that the family don't like to talk about!
Even if you aren't normally a model stock provider - or if you don't usually provide stock at all, this is your chance to dip your toe in the murky waters and have a go! Bring out your face paints and props and make a dashing Halloween portrait entry! The more creative you are, the more creative the results of the second half of the contest will be!



WHY to get noticed on dA

Journal Entry: Tue Nov 5, 2013, 9:59 AM

There are tons of articles out there that describe what you should do to get noticed on dA. The advice contained pretty much comes down to "if you are active, people will notice you":

  • fave other people's art - they might fave yours back
  • comment on other people's art - they might return the favour
  • use your comments to actually talk to the other artist; don't just say "wow", but tell them why you liked their art; give critiques
  • use the chats & forums
  • use your own journal to its full advantage (tell people about yourself / art features / ...)
  • take care to make your userpage nice-looking and informative
  • give out llama badges
  • find some groups to submit your art to
  • and don't forget to actually post something to your gallery regularly

While all of this is certainly true (seeing as when you don't put your name - with the attached link to your page - out there, no one will have a chance to find you to begin with), the question that remains for me is:


Why do you want to get noticed?

What about you should others be noticing?

Why are you here?

Are you here for your art? Do you think it could use some improvement? Yes? Then you probably want to get noticed to get some help and encouragement or simply some feedback which doesn't necessarily need to be novel-length comments with tons of useful critique - sometimes a "great work" comment can make your day, too.

Or maybe you are here to find some likeminded people; friends at best, or "just" some acquaintances to share your hobby. Maybe you are someone who likes to help others with their art or with the site or by providing resources.

I'll go out on a limb here and say that most of us are here for a combination of art feedback and friendships.

But of course there are also those of us who have made art their profession (or plan to at least) and for whom dA is more than a "I show you mine, you show me yours" platform. They are here to promote their art on a completely different level. They use dA as a portfolio, as calling card and digital mark. And sometimes as a sandbox for new ideas to test if they work for a broader audience (or if they just work in their heads). Some focus more on their art while others also put a big emphasis on interacting with their watchers and viewers. 

All of the above is what has shaped this site into what you see today. That is why you can get into conversations over giving llama badges or share muro doodles or have the ability to give critiques through a special feature. It's why you can customize your journals to suit your personality and it's the reason there are so many different sub-groups on dA that each have their own unique communities. It's why we have the Commission feature or the possibility to upload Premium Content. The reason we have a Stock & Resources section on this site and so much more.

deviantArt is ALL of this.

Not just one aspect, but all. However, the individual deviant will always choose the aspects of the site that are most important to him or her:

  • If you are here to admire art and support others, you probably will not upload a whole lot of art yourself or the kind of art you upload shifts toward resources and deviantArt related items.
  • If you are here because you want to improve your art, you will probably want to concentrate on creating art and sharing it with a more select group of people so you can get the feedback you are looking for (think beginner groups with challenges or a focus on tutorials / resources).
  • If you are the type who loves chat rooms (and have the free time), then of course you will jump at the chance to use the dAmn network to find others to interact with (art, friendship, laughs - whatever topic, there's something for everyone).
  • And if you have something to sell, then you will surely put great emphasis on a neat looking userpage and concise journals with information on how to contact you, what you have to offer etc.

I could go on endlessly, my point is this:

Everyone comes here with something in mind and the part where you try to get into contact with the rest of the
community often is not so much about getting yourself noticed than about finding your place on this large
site. A place where your very personal needs are fulfilled and not some generic
"ideal" of "getting noticed" just for the heck of it.

I am talking about all of this, because I have the feeling that more often than not, people on here forget why they came here in the first place. And suddenly, we have users wandering about the site with only one big goal: becoming more popular. To them, popularity is the be-all and end-all. They do everything they do just to get more watchers / faves / comments / pageviews, but why they want that so badly, they couldn't say.

So the question remains:

Why are you here?

I know this article is does not deal with every last aspect of why people can be here, what they (may) seek here and why they might think "becoming popular" (whatever that may mean) is the biggest goal. It does touch the main aspects as far as I can see at this point though and I would very much love to discuss your view on this in the comments, but before you jump in, please finish reading.

Some more explanation on why I am picking this topic up
(please read if you are interested in joining the discussion):

My personal view is that I cannot be happy in this community unless I find out what I personally want from it. For me, it has always been a mix between

  • showing others my art (which in real life, no one is interested in as much as the people here are - that's not to say my friends and family don't care, they do, but they have a different approach to this and I am very glad I have people here who share my hobby),
  • helping those new to manips (because that is what dA has done for me and I want to give it back) and
  • trying to keep a circle of friends here who appreciate my critiques / feedback / comments as much as I appreciate theirs (because giving random critiques is unbelievably frustrating when you try to give one to a deviant who can't deal with them, no matter how sensible you are -- I found I do not need the drama).

Those interests can also change with time, for example when I first got here (and had more time for dA) I loved the chat rooms - today, I don't recognize the names of those sitting in my favourite ones (provided they still exist). But it is okay: my life has changed and so has what I want/need from this site.

What I have never been able to understand (and maybe someone wants to enlighten me) is why "being noticed" for the heck of it is so important. I'm not talking about seeing a piece receive many faves and enjoying the feeling - I'm talking about those groups people can join where you can swap or even buy watchers / faves / comments (using points). If you are only doing something because you either want the points or because you also want another watcher / fave / comment, then what does the fact that you just got a watcher / fave / comment mean when you get down to it? To me that could never be as flattering as getting any of the above just because the other person saw my art and spontaneously felt the need to watch / fave / comment, but it seems to me to others this matters a great deal more. But why?

I have the feeling that those who do feel so strongly about "getting noticed" by any means necessary are not as many as it sometimes feels like. I think some people have just never asked themselves what they want from this site - why they are here - and kinda just "go with the flow". This being a very large site with countless sub-communities it is easy to get lost and think that once you become popular, you will stop being lost. But in my opinion, unless you find out where you want to be, this feeling might always sneek up on you, no matter how "visible" you are on the outside.

I hope I'm making sense here and I'm very much looking forward to your comments!

What are your thoughts on this topic?

Why are you here?


 PS: I'm a bit behind on answering your comments, but I will get to every single one - promise!

Articles and Links
Photomanipulation for Beginners

an article about what photomanipulation is and what you need to try it - and on the ever so important issue of "where do I get pictures to play with?"

--> read article <--


Of Copyright & Premades
is an article that strives to explain what copyright means, who it protects and that simply putting work into something will not make using something without permission okay.

Know your Basics - article series:

A series of articles that try to explain some basics in art that you may or may not have heard of before but didn't know what to do with them. All of them are written especially for photo- manipulators, but the principles should hold true in any genre.

--> Know your basics - Colour Theory <--
--> Know your basics - Composition <--
--> Know your basics - Perspective <--
--> Know your basics - Textures <--

Tutorial Treasury

--> 01 | 02 | 03 | 04 | 05 <--

Journal Stock Credits: Kaotiksymphony-Stock and MouritsaDA-Stock.

(No) News and Features

Sun Oct 20, 2013, 1:45 AM

Soooo, what's new with you my lovely watchers?

For me, it's been same old same old mostly since coming back from my vacation in Italy (still sorting through the images). It's definitely getting colder here and the leaves are turning yellow and then brown. Not long and they will be gone completely. As each year around this time, I'm battling a cold (which is not bad enough to stay at home, but has been nagging for over a week now). So you see, not much to tell.

Maybe you have been up to something exciting and want to share?

In the meantime, I'm gonna share some artwork with you all :love: But before we get to that, I'm going to leave a link for you that you should follow. Please read the journal and think about it: do you really want to be that person that uses all their energy to complain?

Where's the love?Dear beloved photomanipulation community . . .
Where's the love?
It seems like everywhere we look, someone is saying that the community is dying or that things are going downhill: the DDs aren't good enough, there aren't enough DDs, the wrong people are getting DDs. People are getting away with theft and copyright violations, and others are harassing them about following copyright laws that, in truth, only dA staff themselves can enforce. Meanwhile, no one is receiving feedback on their work. Where's the love?
We all want our community to be bright and strong, a place where we feel loved and where we feel comfortable coming to create and to interact with others. But, how many of us are actually willing to do something about it?
I know, we are all really busy. We all have lives and families, and sometimes trying to get involved with this community takes more effort than we are willing to expend. But, sometimes, even if everyone can just do something small,


Blue electric angels by Gejda

Dream is Destiny by Oer-Wout A lesson about colors by Pompuri The Cage by stellartcorsica

The Orchestra by AquaSixio

Legends of the Forest by Brumae-Art Dragon Mountain by ginkgografix <da:thumb id="390768285"/>

Halloween 2013 by UnidColor

Death Bringers by CGSoufiane What are you looking for, huh? by jaceknawrot Unichorn by eerilyfair

Three Seerers by tallouh

Labyrinth by Aegis-Illustration Rage by AquaSixio Foreign Object by AbbeyMarie

Tears by Aegis-Illustration

"Got some bad news this morning
Which in turn made my day
When there's someone spoke I listened
All of a sudden has less and less to say
Ohh, how could this be?
All this time I've lived vicariously

Who's gonna save my soul now?
Who's gonna save my soul now?
How will my story ever be told now?
How will my story be told now?


Who's gonna save my soul? ~ Gnarls Barkley

Yeah, it's that time of year ^^;

Tutorial Treasury 05

Journal Entry: Thu Oct 3, 2013, 2:14 AM

In the Tutorial Treasury, you will find tutorials geared towards Photomanipulators and some that will deal with a broader subjects, such as lighting, colour etc. The tutorials will be from dA as well as from all over the web and in each episode, there will be 3 to 6 tutorials for your reading pleasure (any more than that I guess no one will have time to read anyway). If you find any good ones, shoot me a note so I can include them in the next installment!

The Tutorials

Image063-250x250 by kuschelirmel

"Learn how to create this cinematic scene in quick and easy steps! This Photoshop tutorial will show you how to blend images to create an apocalyptic scene and add flying meteors with premade Photoshop brushes. You’ll also learn several different ways to add lighting effects and create a strong atmosphere. ~ written by  Jarka Hrnčárková ~"

:bulletpurple: Read more here

Photomanip Tut by kuschelirmel

"tamaraR shows you how she created her deviation Wild - please respect her wishes not to copy her work, but to use the techniques taught in your own way."

:bulletpurple: Read more here

Water Creatures by kuschelirmel

"A bug made out of water - or a violin - or whatever your heart desires! This tutorial by B-O-K-E shows you how to do it."

:bulletpurple: Read more here

Watercolor31final1-250x250 by kuschelirmel

"Create this spring-inspired abstract photo manipulation by Jenny Le! This tutorial will show you how to combine stock photos and splatter brushes together, apply textures, and more."

:bulletpurple: Read more here

Broken Glass Tutorial By Abbeymarie-d5rbl88 by kuschelirmel

"Feels just like I'm walking on broken glass... If you want to have some flying shards of broken glass in your manip, this tutorial by AbbeyMarie is just the thing for you!"

:bulletpurple: Read more here

Making Ghosts  Tutorial  By Zummerfish-d5j6nec by kuschelirmel

"With Halloween right around the corner, here's a little extra for you: zummerfish shows you how to create a ghost for your spooky manip!"

:bulletpurple: Read more here

Articles and Links
Photomanipulation for Beginners

an article about what photomanipulation is and what you need to try it - and on the ever so important issue of "where do I get pictures to play with?"

--> read article <--


Of Copyright & Premades
is an article that strives to explain what copyright means, who it protects and that simply putting work into something will not make using something without permission okay.

Know your Basics - article series:

A series of articles that try to explain some basics in art that you may or may not have heard of before but didn't know what to do with them. All of them are written especially for photo- manipulators, but the principles should hold true in any genre.

--> Know your basics - Colour Theory <--
--> Know your basics - Composition <--
--> Know your basics - Perspective <--
--> Know your basics - Textures <--

Tutorial Treasury

--> 01 | 02 | 03 | 04 | 05 <--

Journal Stock Credits: Kaotiksymphony-Stock and MouritsaDA-Stock.

Feature Time!

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 6:36 AM

Lurking behind the scenes seems to be doing wonders for my inspiration - as do these wonderful images I would like to share with you :love:

Insomniac's nest by MarcelaBolivar

make a wish by vanesagarkova silencio by dihaze Stars forever by ForestGirl Unlocking Time by DesignbyKatt

Gravity: Falling in Love by KatjaFaith

 Essence of life by MaliciaRoseNoire Emily and I by Blackpearls91 kevlar soul by DariaEndresen Time keeps on slipping by barbranz

Sands of Oblivion - collaboration by neverdying

Dead Men Tell No Tales by najtkriss The Place Where Monsters Live by San-T Ending Life's Dejection by FacelessFiend6 Umbrellas by NImportant

A whisper in the woods by xSimonneTx

Phoenix awakening by Aeon-Lux Der Elefant by melonenmann Darkness by TamilyTam

Avialae by J-u-d-a-s

My own recent work:

Castle Grounds by kuschelirmel My Roots by kuschelirmel Tier in Dir by kuschelirmel

Not here much

Sun Jul 7, 2013, 5:16 AM

Hi everyone,

I'm basically just popping in to tell you I won't be here much over the next weeks at least. In fact, I haven't been here much for the past month either. I try to answer urgent notes and such, but that is basically it as far as my involvement will go (not counting the occassional upload here and especially on my stock account kuschelirmel-stock).

The reason is not related to my last journal (where I was venting about the attitude of some idiots here). As I said, I was just venting some frustration there, it's not something that would drive me away or anything.

What does keep me away though is a combination of circumstances:
  • Work is picking up some speed these days as one project nears its end while something else is already on the table along with some "minor stuff" to be done in between. this results in long hours.
  • Work also means travelling between Frankfurt, Paris and Krakow, which in turn leaves not so much free time.
  • On top of that, I currently only see my boyfriend on weekends which means I rather do something with him than sit in front of the pc.
  • And lastly, it's summer (finally) and I just bought a new bike (street racing, not a mountain bike) and it's fun to be outside!

So you see, no drama, just life :shrug:

I hope you're good, wherever you are and whatever you do!


PS: I got this skin from Drake1 here - isn't it gorgeous?!

...and the winner is

In my sight You were just in time by StarsColdNight

"In my sight you were just in time" by StarsColdNight


you will be contacted for your price.

The two runners up:

Embracing The Sun by naradjou14 Regeneration by PhoenixalThor

"Embracing the Sun" by naradjou14 | "Regeneration" by  PhoenixalThor

:bulletred: :bulletred: :bulletred:

and now for something unpleasant

Some thoughts

This challenge doesn't have much to offer in terms of prices, just some stock and some features. It's supposed to be something to either help you get over artist's block by giving you something to play with or to actually challenge you to do something extraordinary with the stocks given (which are usually chosen in a way to be easily usable).

There is just me choosing the best ten for a poll, just for some extra kicks and so I'm not the only one deciding who gets the stock this time. And there is one little rule: don't ask people to vote for you. Not in a journal, not in a poll, not in notes. It's unfair because some have more watchers than others and will therefore be able to get more support. Even if your watchers only vote for you if they really like your work, it still stands to reason they will like your work more than others because after all they watch you for a reason.

This was the first time I had to disqualify someone for asking for votes (in a journal AND a poll). I believe them when they say they didn't know (despite this rule being clearly stated in the challenge journal and the headline of the voting poll). What I don't understand is why I had to put up with the journal being altered in a way that made me look like an unfair bitch while the deviant was simulatenously whining via note how unfair I was to disqualify them and their flock was commenting on said journal and poll how unfair that was, too, without ever reading our rules or having ever heard about the group I imagine...

I should have warned them, I was told - but how else besides putting the warning in the poll headline? I should have given them an oportunity to explain and do something to correct their mistake - but how do you "undo" a public journal and get the votes undone?

And the joke: the deviant was in the lead the last time I checked before the journal and poll came out. So why on earth ask?! Is it that important to get a few votes more? Do some of you need that for your egos?

I have removed their donations from the challenge journal as I was asked.

I don't know yet if there will be another challenge soon. I don't have much time aside from work and each of the last times I made the effort to do something, someone was there and ready to complain. This time it was the poll, last time it was the apparent sameness of the entries,... I'm tired of this.


Manip Challenge Special (#005)

Sun Apr 28, 2013, 2:18 AM

Welcome to another round of Manip Callenges!
As we haven't had one of those in a while (okay, understatement of the year), I thought we'd do a special this time. Normally, I give you 8 images and you have to use at least 2 - today, I'm going to give you 10 images and you have to use at least 3 (differenent ones, not three fire images)! And not just any stock images - these are the ones I used for my latest image Dragonsbane.

Your task is to create an image using as many of the same stock as you can, preferably with your outcome different from mine - before you say anything: I'm well aware that with the same stocks you can only do so much. If you like you can even try to do the same image (a little credit for the idea would be nice though), it is up to you. This is a challenge for you after all, and if you think you rather try to achieve the same result and work on your technique rather than follow the approach of trying to create something else, I'm fine with that! The official criteria for judging who gets a spot in the final poll will be the diversity as well as technique, so whichever way you choose you have a chance (just be aware that the closer to my image you decide to go, the more I will look for your technique).

Dragonsbane by kuschelirmel

I've been wanting to do this for a while because I think that sometimes, copying someone else's ideas gives your own art a new perspective just as using the same stock but aiming for a different outcome can. I know there are many people out there who will take offense at this approach, saying that copying others' ideas is anything from lame to despicable, but never legitimate. I'm not saying that there isn't a very fine line between being a despicable copycat and what I am proposing here. There sure is and it is hard to put into words. For myself, I've found that when someone does little but copying other people's ideas, it's pathetic. But those who do nothing but copy themselves (because they have such a great & unique style after all) and don't look left nor right fall into the trap of stagnation. As an artist, that cannot be good either, no matter how many followers tell you how great you are. And besides, some stock images are made for certain ideas - it's not rocket science to arrive at the same outcome whether you've seen the other person's manip or not. In cases like that I find the whole discussion about copying the most ridiculous. But anyway, enough of my musings and on with the challenge!

The Rules

  • You are given 8 10 stock images (see below) of which you have to use at least TWO THREE (different ones, not three fire images ;P) in a way that we don't have to go
    hunting for them with a looking glass.
  • You can use additional stock, but I ask you not to use premades - this is a challenge for your skills, not for someone else's.
  • Your entry has to be a photomanipulation or a digital mixed media piece with a good deal of photomanipulation in it.
  • Please specify in your artist's comment that this is an entry for Photomanipulated's Manip Challenges Special (#005)!
  • Your entry has to be uploaded to dA and submitted to Photomanipulated's Manip Challenges folder (you need to be a member for that - everyone is welcome to join, just click the "join" button on the left side of the group's front page!) before the deadline specified below.
  • All stock used has to be credited properly and it has to be legitimate stock to begin with. No stock see !
    No celebrity pictures, no stuff "found on google" - you can't use anything you don't have permission to use. Plus you should be aware that not everyone offering free stock has the right to offer the images in the first place (so called "renders" are a no-go, as are premades using stock from or other stock sites!). Please read this article for more information on copyright.
  • If you are using your own photos I ask that you say so in the artist's comment to avoid any misunderstandings
  • You can enter as often as you like, but keep it reasonable. Personal tip: choose one entry (your best) to officially enter, so you don't have yourself as competition.

The Deadline

May 24th, 11:59 pm CET (German time zone)
:pointr: Countdown (so you don't have to wrap your head around the whole time zone thing)

The Stock

Remember: you need to use at least TWO THREE (can use more) of the stocks below.

Mystical Forest Background by Burtn Jungle by Jisei
vines by EricaMarieArt Embracing the Storm by Erethkhaniel Fountain 03 by ArnaTornwolf
Woodland Floor by SalsolaStock Mad Sky 8 by SalsolaStock
Fire.. by PavStock Magic fire 01 by Ayelie-stock
(you don't have to use this particular Magic Fire image, there are 6 "Magic Fire" images
in Ayelie-stock's gallery you can choose from - but only one
of them counts as one stock image used)

The Prizes

This is not a contest as such, so the prizes will be small. I hope you'll find inspiration in these, not riches. However, a little incentive
doesn't hurt, so I'm offering exclusive stock from my stock account kuschelirmel-stock for the winner (maybe for the top three, but
that depends on the turnout). And of course there will be a journal featuring all participants and the winner especially.

Exclusive stock donated by WDWParksGal & kuschelirmel-stock
Journal features donated by: nikkidoodlesx3 & kuschelirmel

Donations are welcome, but keeping with the challenge idea, I don't want to offer points! If you want to donate, please donate exclusive stock or journal features! No llamas either please.

The Judging

I (kuschelirmel) will narrow the entries down to 10 (should there be more than ten entries to begin with) and then we will have a public vote at Photomanipulated -- there will be no asking others to vote for you! If I find out you're cheating, you'll be disqualified.

The Entries

All entries can be found in this folder (where they should be submitted to by you to officially enter).

:dalove: Good Luck! :dalove:

CSS credit goes to:
Stock: Dragoroth-stock, little-spacey, mimose-stock, Dralliance-Stock, Dracoart-Stock, gaiastock, CAStock
Brushes: MouritsaDA-Stock
Coding & graphics: kuschelirmel-stock

Best of #photomanipulated March 2013

Tue Apr 9, 2013, 11:02 PM

As usual, better late than never ;) I hope you had a wonderful Easter weekend :heart:
So here goes: the best submissions to Photomanipulated in March:

Succubus_02 by zero-scarecrow13

I Swear to Drunk I'm Not God by Flobelebelebobele L'odore Mortis by gogomelone The end of the world as I see it by EmbrisionArts

Tulip mania in the country of the windmills by Leina1

Imperceptible by nikkidoodlesx3 Renewal has begun by akhkham moon lamp by ZedLord-Art

Stupiditron by Maxdamagetorture

Baba Yaga by Gejda Atlas Helix by RGDart Fountain of Youth by AbbeyMarie

Gold Swan by RazielMB

The Photo Shoot (The Three Graces) by KingaBritschgi Serotine by Notvitruvian Ghost Story by DarkDevil16


Know your Basics - Textures

Journal Entry: Thu Mar 28, 2013, 10:44 AM

There are a lot of tutorials out there on how to create / photograph texture as well as how to use them on a technical level, but the question of why and when to use textures is rarely touched. This article wants to fill that gap and therefore looks at texures from a slightly different perspective.

Textures in Manips as you know them

For a photomanipulator, the first thing that comes to mind when hearing the word "texture" are images that can be used in soft light or overlay mode to texture a manipulation or parts thereof. What most manipulators therefore have in mind, are images like the following:

Dear Hermine Grunge Texture by ValerianaSTOCK 2477x3889 Untld. 96 by pandoraicons green distressed wood textur2I by beckas Broken stone texture red by Seeb-san Northern Lights by pendlestock

Beautiful textures, sure, and useful, too, but have you ever thought of doing more with them than the aforementioned overlays? And have you ever considered using other kinds of textures, too?

A more objective look at Textures

The following definition is an excerpt from the google dicitionary (I omitted the parts that have nothing to do with this article):

  • The feel, appearance, or consistency of a surface or a substance (skin texture and tone; the cheese is firm in texture; the different colors and textures of bark)
  • The character or appearance of a textile fabric as determined by the arrangement and thickness of its threads (a dark shirt of rough texture)
  • The tactile quality of the surface of a work of art

So textures in "the real world" are something to touch and feel, something that will also influence the appearance of a surface - for example think of naturally occuring textures such as bark, velvet, leather. And they are something you can see, too, think of smooth skin or rough wood, of messy hair or grass and smooth, polished metal.

 Leather Texture by Limited-Vision-Stock Grass Stock by FairieGoodMother
Birch Tree Wood Bark Texture by Enchantedgal-Stock black crushed velvet by objekt-stock smooth blue :.: texture by kunthi
Skin and Hair Texture Brushes by castrochew

That in turn means: not only something with bumps and ridges and obvious structure is a texture, but also what we generally perceive as "not textured" is!

Let's take a look at an image that you would normally call "not textured" to illustrate this point:

Untitled Drawing by kuschelirmel

What you can also see in this example, is that smooth and rough textures are both in there and their contrast is what makes the image work. For example, if the sea were not calm, the waves would create unrest and the trees on the hill would no longer stand out. It would all just "mush together".

And that is an effect you can also get from overlaying one texture over everything. I'll show you one of my "early works" to demonstrate:

January by kuschelirmel

While at this point I had figured out how to use masks to get smooth transitions as described in this tutorial, there's just something off about that load of textures. Today, I would do it differently: I would get rid of the overlay textures in the middle where the fractals are to make sure the fractals could stand out from the background (maybe I'd try to make them glow - definitely I'd change the overall lighting which here is not existent).

Let's look at some more examples from around deviantArt:

and see why they work so well from a texture point of view:

This images uses all kinds of different textures to draw your eye to the focal point: the girl is smooth throughout, even her hair seems soft and orderly without being unnaturally neat. The ground is made of stone and sand within a relatively calm sea. The almost idyllic image gets some tension through the sharp edged shards of glass, the glass itself being smooth.

Detailed and contrast-rich smoke textures around the figure give it an eerie quality which is enhanced by the none-distracting outer edges of the canvas. There you have only hints at the big folds of a curtain or something similar.

Boundaries between life and death by IvanVlatkovic

The subtle use of textures in this image is just stunning: they serve as a 3D environment forming the ground and the back "wall" of the "room" the guy is kneeling in, while keeping it abstract enough so our brain doesn't protest at the surrealism of the other elements in the image (tiny trees, big leaves etc). Other textures have a more graphic function, pulling together the elements (the light bent lines that go over some of the leaves or the dripping textures on the heart for example).

Dream of Freedom by ReyeD33

The grimy prison wall is in stark contrast with the world outside, just like life in prison and freedom are different things alltogether.

She draws crosses on the walls. by daunhaus

Smooth and textured areas work together to form something almost abstract.

Taste of Death by Keid

Darkness and light - good and evil - represented in colours, tones and texture.

DARK SIDE by grohsARTig

A great example of abstract art using textures and smoothness to draw the viewers' eyes.

Rusty Cage by NikkiNightBloom

And lastly, one image to serve as the exception that prooves the rule: in this one, the textures are very prominent throughout the image and in this case, they help to enhance the horror-movie atmosphere. But also note that even though the textured-vs-smooth contrast is not evident, there is another form of contrast to take its place: darkness and light.

So how am I supposed to use these textures?

In the case of textures seen as rough vs. smooth patches, the answer as to how to use them naturally goes beyond the aforementioned "use something from the texture gallery and put it on soft light" approach. Even if you include selective application of such textures, you would fall short of what we have seen in the examples above. Often, the texture is already inherent in the photographs you use to create your manips, so maybe instead of asking yourself if you want something to be "textured" at all (as in overlay a texture image), rather ask yourself:

"Are the different elements of these base images helping my image when i put them together or does it feel distracting?"

If you do it that way, yuo might end up deciding to get rid of some more bushes and use more uniform-looking grass instead (or add some bushes if you need more texture) to make sure your main object / animal / person is in focus.

A very popular method to get rid of texture and focus on the main subject is to blur the background and the foreground, mimicking photographic depth of field blur. This sometimes works great, other times I feel like someone was just lazy with their background and overall composition, so they blurred it. It's more or less the "oposite" of using a texture layer all over (or on just the background), just this time, you remove texture instead of adding it.

Here are some examples of where this method works well:

<da:thumb id="357467607"/> Moon Ninja by Nikulina-Helena
 Your ass belongs to me ! by blaithiel Old- Styled Life by DarkDevil16 Sacrifice by Rafaelll90
BUTTERFLIES by MirellaSantana Ghostly canyon 2012 by ilona-veresk

This method creates texture-vs-smooth contrast and a sense of depth (see Know your basics - Perspective) all at once, which is probably why it's so popular and often abused rather than used.

Just remember: whatever you do, do it with your eyes open and aware of the effect and considering its negative side effects. And besides: Thinking about an alternative is a good idea to stand out from the crowd.

In Closing

Textures are just one aspect of any image, be it a photomanipulation or a drawing or whatever else, but it can pay off to think about them for a few moments longer than you may be used to. Any image draws their energy from the contrast (or lack thereof) between its individual elements - and aside from light/dark and colour, texture is another way to create contrast!

If you liked this article, you may also like the others from this series, they are linked below.


Articles and Links
Photomanipulation for Beginners

an article about what photomanipulation is and what you need to try it - and on the ever so important issue of "where do I get pictures to play with?"

--> read article <--


Of Copyright & Premades
is an article that strives to explain what copyright means, who it protects and that simply putting work into something will not make using something without permission okay.

Know your Basics - article series:

A series of articles that try to explain some basics in art that you may or may not have heard of before but didn't know what to do with them. All of them are written especially for photo- manipulators, but the principles should hold true in any genre.

--> Know your basics - Colour Theory <--
--> Know your basics - Composition <--
--> Know your basics - Perspective <--
--> Know your basics - Textures <--

Tutorial Treasury

--> 01 | 02 | 03 | 04 | 05 <--

Journal Stock Credits: Kaotiksymphony-Stock and MouritsaDA-Stock.

Since you asked...

Fri Mar 15, 2013, 4:58 AM

Thank you to XilaPhoenixArt, CamaroGirl666, ginkgografix, Aeirmid, PirateLotus-Stock, astrangeallure, natash29, Lou-in-Canada and ZRobert for the interesting and funny questions :heart: This was harder than I thought - so please excuse the lateness ^^;


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 :aww:

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 ;P
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 :D

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?

:D 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.

:giggle: 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 :D Expect pictures :#1: 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.

PirateLotus-Stock: What is your favorite sweet?

Chocolate!!!! Always chocolate! In all forms: regular chocolate, pralinés, drinking chocolate, ice cream, cakes,... :drool:

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? :D

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 :heart:

ZRobert: Why? XD

Because! :D :D :D

I just came across a journal by Aeirmid saying that's terms of use have been misinterpreted by us (= photomanipulators) all this time!

She wrote an e-mail to to clear this up and the fact of the matter is is NOT availablefor derivative works, i.e. photomanipulations and collages

unless you ask the individual photographer for permission and get it (getting no answer is NOT an affirmative I'm afraid).

Here are Jade's journals on the matter:
About stockGreetings!
A few of you have been really worried lately about using stock from here because of the change in their ownership. Basically, you were concerned that their license says that you cannot redistribute their stock in whole or in part, by itself or combined with other elements, without the written approval of the original photographer.
As we all know by now, creating a photomanipulation is considered "making a derivative image." And we know we can't make premade backgrounds without permission from the photographers, as doing so is redistributing their work.
I advised a couple of you to check with the Help Desk and to find out the whole truth before making rash decisions about your group that could potentially make everyone panic.
Using my own personal account, I wrote to to find out what the story was. Here's what I said:
I was just wondering whether creating phot
Dead Horse is Dead.Hi all,
Thanks for your patience with the stock nonsense these days. I received this e-mail as part of a mass BCC today:
Dear [name of original writer],
Thank you very much for your email.
I have multiple requests for the same information from many devianart users, this response is bcc'ed to all parties seeking clarification.
I am aware of all the discussions regarding the use of images by devianart users. It appears a lot of the users have misinterpreted the terms of the license agreement granted by and I will be happy to clarify and hopefully answer all of the questions.
1. The rights granted by license are very limited and specific. You may not use images in photo-manipulations or digital collages. Furthermore, you cannot create any derivate works with the use of

Now, what you do with this information is up to you. I for my part will no longer use stock because I don't want to have to wait for permission each time I consider using something. Thankfully, our resouces and stock gallery here on dA is very extensive.

BUT also there I would be careful sometimes - if it feels off, I don't use the stock. That is especially an issue for premades, brushes and cut-out stock as some people seem to think that by altering something they make it their own and somehow have the right to pass something that was stolen on to others.

Please help by spreading the word!

What this means for #photomanipulated:

For Photomanipulated's gallery submissions, we will have a transition phase, I'd say until the end of this month (March), where we will still accept manips using stock. When the manips folder changes to April, manips will no longer be accepted (unless you have special permission by the photographer - this can be a link to their userpage where they give blank permission or you writing to them and getting personal permission. In both cases, give a link to the profile, in case of the latter, please write that you have permission from the photographer, just as it is customary to do when asking any other photographer for permission to use their image in a manip). I hope you understand we cannot make an exception there, just because it affects virtually everybody. I'm sorry.

Take care!

PS: I haven't forgotten about the "ask me anything" journal - I'm currently answering the questions, but some are trickier than I thought, so it'll take a few more days.