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Identity Crisis

Journal Entry: Thu Feb 20, 2014, 1:52 PM
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Crisis is probably an overkill word, but I can't seem to think of a better title. So, let's get right into it; some of my current tentative plans, thoughts, and little snags.

I've been here for a while. Seven years; soon, it'll be eight, since that first time I stumbled upon deviantART, thought to myself "let's go for it!" and made an account; I went straight into the galleries, found some drawings I liked, and asked the artists if I could try my hand at coloring them. I wasn't very good at first, but it was a first step, and I'm proud of where I've come from that point. And coloring other artists' work helped me get a leg up on networking right out of the gates, even to the point where I had one or two requests from artists for me to color their works. It wasn't anything big, I was in my early teens and so were most of the people around me, it was just fun.
And, in a way, that's a part of why I'm at this point now. It was fun at the start, but things didn't last; now, only a select few of the artists I'd interacted with are still around, a good portion of them moving on to non-artistic careers and all that fun stuff that comes with growing up. A couple have stuck around to continue working on art; I can probably count these on one hand. Even the group of friends I've picked up from only a few years ago, members of DAcademy and ArtistTree, a lot of the names I remember from the earlier days of all this have moved on elsewhere or simply drifted off in their own directions. Life goes on.
And I've not been immune to all of this, either. I've been here for close to eight years now, but it wasn't eight straight years of art. It came in smaller bursts, with some really busy years, and a couple where I had next to nothing to show at the end of them. Those "Year in Review" memes have been my bane for a while now, since I don't have enough finished pieces to fill them up!

I'm starting to ramble on, though.
Where I sit right now is a bit of an odd spot; I've gone through a couple of little evolutions and a few bigger ones, and while my most recent works have taken a big step up in scope, they've also slowed way down. And in the midst of all this, I went and started working on an alternate account as a bit of an experiment; that little "experiment" has, over the past year or so, turned itself into something a lot more successful than I could have imagined. Which has been a confidence boost, a motivator; it's taught me that, with the right drive, I can absolutely send myself to a higher level, but it requires that I shake off all those little self-imposed limits and imagined expectations.
...That is probably more complicated of an explanation than it needs to be. What I mean is, my alternate account had a clean slate, it was completely anonymous, and I could do whatever I wanted. There were no expectations to fall short of, I could do all the weird stuff I liked without being judged by anyone I cared about. And what I got instead was a ton of people who just enjoyed what I was doing.

So, that's what I want to do again. Jioruji Derako has come a long way from being a name generated by an English-to-sorta-Japanese website, and it's been a great journey. But I want to start fresh; I want a clean slate. and at the same time, I don't want to throw things away. I'm tempted to just start another account, but then this one just rots away (and I end up wasting my premium membership); I can rename this one and clear things out, but some little OCD part of me wishes I could reset my pageviews and comments and all that too (without losing that little "seven years old" marker of course). Another option I suppose would be to try and set my focus elsewhere entirely, make a name for myself on Tumblr instead, but deviantART is what I'm most familiar with and it's where I continue to have the most success.
I don't have to do anything really, I could just change the name here and start doing whatever I liked, but it's more of a mental thing; I feel like I'm still tied to all the little things about this account that have dragged me to a halt here, and I really love the freedom that comes with a fresh start. I just don't know how to go about it.


So there's my current... crisis. I guess I just want to hear thoughts and opinions from others; I certainly have no plans to start fresh and leave friends behind in the process, but I can't help feeling like a lot of my watchers here are just empty accounts or people who are waiting for me to do repeats of some of my older works. (that one Absol picture I did years ago continues to get favorited, and occasionally gets me a watcher, despite the fact that I haven't done anything related since then.) If only there was some way to merge accounts, so I could start fresh on a new one and then scoop this one back up later. Or a way to selectively clean the slate (I did figure out how to remove the deactivated accounts from my watchers, so I could clean that out entirely if I liked).

What do you think? what would you do if you wanted to reinvent yourself?

ĜЄΘ.>
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Fragmented Infinity
on Tumblr
on Facebook

Gearing Up!

Journal Entry: Sun Aug 11, 2013, 8:40 PM
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Hullo there, everyone! Especially anyone who's come across my gallery here from my business cards. :meow:

Due to a little hiccup with my personal site's webhost, the site is currently unavailable, so until I can get things fixed up on that end, my fragmentedinfinity.com URL redirects right to here instead. It's probably for the best! Having a personal site appears more professional, of course, but it's hard to compete with the ease-of-use from a deviantART gallery.

Otakon was a mixture of success and failure for me. Pretty impressive result, considering I wasn't even there! With a bit of encouragement from a friend of mine, I managed to make some updates and get a few prints done just in time to send print #1 - my very first print to be printed - off to be auctioned-off in the Otakon Art Show. Unfortunately, it didn't sell - and none of my fellow artists' prints did, either - so that was a failure. Getting the prints done in the first place was a success, though, and I've been told that a number of my business cards were distributed, so if I get even just one new fan from that, I'll call that a success as well.
But with the print still in my possession, or soon to be back in my possession at least... well, it seems like a waste not to do something special with print #1! I've got some plans for it, I think. But no hints! Okay, maybe one hint, "giveaway".
Oh, that may have been too big of a hint. No matter. You should probably keep an eye out here, for details on that sometime later.

What else?
Not too much else to say, I suppose; I'll be getting some more paintings finished up to be sold as prints, and hopefully soon. I should probably do something about my website, too, but that's not a big priority right now.
Commissions are still open, if you were wondering! Prices are still fairly cheap at the moment, because I also need more stuff to fill my gallery; I'll probably raise the prices up a bit later on though, since it's pretty low when you consider the amount of time I spend on each piece! So you should definitely jump on board sooner rather than later. ;P

Thanks for stopping by! If you've found me thanks to one of my business cards, I'd love to hear it, too.

ĜЄΘ.>
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Fragmented Infinity
on Tumblr
on Facebook

Sorry for the inactivity!

Journal Entry: Wed Jun 12, 2013, 3:31 AM
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So some of you may have noticed - or more likely, not noticed - my lack of activity recently. I'm not dead! Just focused elsewhere.

I've been a bit unmotivated lately, at least for my usual painting work; most of my efforts are currently spent working on commissions (which I am very grateful for). A little more than half of these commissions are actually coming from elsewhere, so they're not getting posted here. Likewise, a fair amount of my recent work is also diverted elsewhere.
I do intend to put a bit more focus here at some point, however. Coming up in August, I'll be sharing an artist's table with a friend of mine at SaikouCon, in Bethlehem, PA. (if you're in the area, consider heading to the convention! It's their first year, but they're aiming to be one of the larger anime cons on the east coast.)
I've got to finish up at least a few more images I can sell as prints at the con, so once I finish up my current commissions, that will be taking a priority; I've got one project in mind so far, and a couple concepts which are currently written on sticky notes on my wall.

Beyond that, though, I'm really not sure what more I can do to boost my activity! It's partially a lack of motivation and willpower, combined with distractions from my other online projects... I have been starting to get into storywriting a bit more lately, and I've got new ideas for a larger story I'd like to tackle, but I have no idea if or when that will come to fruition. (I have grand plans for the one story, but it's likely too big of a project for it to be my first foray into storywriting.)
I'm also hoping to buckle down a bit - well, a lot - and start to develop my drawing skills further. I've had plenty of success with painting, but I generally rely on 3D renders I do to provide a base to work from. I'm confident that I ultimately do have the ability to draw a figure from scratch, but I simply haven't had the practice to be able to do so with any sort of comfort or consistency. If I can get into a habit of doing daily sketches or the like, perhaps that will help; and perhaps it will do nicely to boost my activity, here. Weekly sketch dumps would be a good start.

Anyway, for any of you still out there and watching... what is new with you? Any big projects, or changes, or just interesting things going on today?

ĜЄΘ.>
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Fragmented Infinity
on Tumblr
on Facebook

Show me your original characters!

Journal Entry: Sun Feb 24, 2013, 1:39 PM
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Got an original character of your own? Got a bunch of characters? I'd love to see them!

I've been working a lot of character designs lately, and one thing I'd really like to do now is see what sort of characters other artists have created. No design is too complex or too simple, if your OC is a stickfigure with a chip on his shoulder, that's A-OK!

Why do I want to see your characters? Inspiration for one, practice is another reason. Most importantly, I'm interested to see things like common trends, unique approaches to particular traits... I just want to expand my own knowledge of characters and designs.
This is not one of those "show me your character and I'll draw it" sort of deals - every time I attempt something of the sort, I never end up finishing anything - but I would love to have the opportunity to draw some of your characters if I can. So please, if you would NOT like me to draw your character, let me know when you send me their link! I know exactly how you feel if you'd rather others not draw your characters (I love to show off my own characters, but I can occasionally be a little protective of them).

Um, that's about it! I'm mostly looking to see visual character designs, i.e. images, but if you want to describe your characters to me, that's totally fine too.
Leave me comments, send me notes, whatever you like. Tell me all about your character!

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In other news, I'm back from Katsucon; I had an amazing time there, met a bunch of artists (which reminds me, I need to sort through some business cards right now), and wrote a blog entry all about it!


ĜЄΘ.>
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Fragmented Infinity
on Tumblr
on Facebook

Katsucon in 3... 2... 1...

Journal Entry: Wed Feb 13, 2013, 11:29 AM
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Two to be exact, I'll be headed up to the convention on Friday morning (and staying until Sunday night).

Anyhow, who else is headed to Katsucon? For those of you too lazy to click through the link, it's running from February 15th to the 17th, in National Harbor, Maryland (Eastern US).
I'm not headed up there as an artist just yet, though I will have a small stack of business cards in tow to try and promote myself a bit (I'm not used to spending this kind of money on a for-fun trip, so any commissions I can score while I'm there will help out a ton).
It's not entirely for-fun, though, I've got some work to do there as well! Probably the easiest way to find me will be at the Zenkaikon table in the Artist/Dealer area; I'll be helping to provide early-registrations for Zenkaikon (which will be later in March, I'll also be on-staff for that one), as well as answering some general questions about Zenkaikon. My shifts are a few hours from Friday to Sunday in the afternoon, so come find me and say hi! Oh, do save me the awkwardness of asking "do I know you?" though, mention where you're from if you do track me down. :aww:
I'll also be hanging around the Artist's Alley quite a bit (I know a few of the artists there, and I'll be trying to network with some of the others), and I'll also be at various panels throughout the day and doing other convention-things. No cosplay for me just yet, but I may try to spiffy my outfit up a bit with some artistic flair. ;P

If you have trouble finding me, I look (roughly) like my deviantID, and answer to either Jio or Geo (they're both pronounced about the same). Happy hunting!

ĜЄΘ.>
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Fragmented Infinity
on Tumblr
on Facebook

Self-Critique / Setting Goals

Journal Entry: Sun Feb 3, 2013, 9:36 AM
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Hello again, everyone!
Been a little while since I've properly updated anything on here. I've been distracted elsewhere; keeping updated with project progress on Tumblr, working on story-related projects on other accounts... and kinda leaving things to sit over here (it's easier to post smaller updates on Tumblr, so I tend to leave the journal updates here reserved for larger topics... which rarely come up).

I'll try to break out of that habit, though. Tumblr's still my go-to for personal updates, project notes, and work-in-progress stuff; I'll try to post a bit more of the art-related writing to here when I can.

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First off, just a bit of a "current events" update; I'm a good ways through with my current painting project, "dragongirl", and still working on that one (though now that I've reached my deadline for finishing enough of her to use on a business card design, I'm taking a short break). Speaking of, I've got business cards all ready to go; just waiting for the to arrive, and I'll have them with me for Katsucon (on the 15th-17th of this month) and then Zenkaikon (March 22nd-24th). If you're headed to either, drop me a line! I'll be working the Zenkaikon table at Katsucon, and on-staff during Zenkaikon.

Looking forwards...
One thing I've been trying to do lately is a bit of self-reflection on my artwork. I've been having some small frustrations with my work, lately; mostly frustrated with my slow progress. I think it's in part due to the amount of detail I try to put into my work; I won't try to be humble here, I think it works out very well and I'm quite proud of what I can achieve.
The problem is simply in how much time it takes me to create all of this detail. It's not terribly efficient, and it's probably not doing me any favors in practicing, either. Faster sketches would be a better practice, rather then spending days working on one section of a single image.

I'd like to start setting some smaller goals for myself. One being to practice simplifying my work; I'd like to eventually reach a point where things are simple enough that I can do projects quickly without reference, and then from there keep refining my technique until I can start re-injecting detail.
Not really sure what the best way to go about this is, but I'll try to make a point of posting my attempts somewhere public, even if I'm not especially proud of them. ;P
The other project I'd like to start working on is landscape paintings. Have I mentioned this one before? Pretty sure I have, but it was probably on Tumblr.
Landscape paintings are something I've done before, every now and again, with decent results; nothing spectacular, but it's relaxing and good practice. As a self-identified fantasy artist, landscapes are a big part of fantasy art, beyond just characters and stuff like dragons and other creatures/monsters.
I haven't started on anything quite just yet, beyond a couple pen doodles in my notebook, but you'll probably see me posting up landscape speedpaintings later on; it'll be good practice in-between other projects.

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One last note; I keep mentioning it offhand - and I'm sure it's starting to get annoying - that I've got an alternate anonymous account that I use for more sexual content.
Rather than constantly hint at it being there and being a secret (why mention it if it's supposed to be a secret?), I'll bite the bullet; it's still not something I'd like to put a direct link to, but if anyone is genuinely interested, send me a note and I'll give you a link to it.
I am quite curious to see how some of my watchers here feel about that sort of stuff; despite the nature of it, I'm also fairly proud of some of my work, and naturally I want to show it off. It's just a bit more personal than my work here, in a way, thus the hesitation. (I could care less what people think of my work, things are different when those people are friends however.)

So yeah, there's that.

To sum things up, conventions incoming, which I'm excited about; painting projects to finish and start, and some style study to work on. Hopefully there's something to show for all of it soon enough, I'd really love to be able to call myself "active" on this venue again! hard to attract commission clients when there's almost no recent work to show off.

ĜЄΘ.>
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Fragmented Infinity
on Tumblr
on Facebook

A Brand New Name

Journal Entry: Tue Jan 1, 2013, 1:35 AM
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"Capricorn (A Brand New Name)" by 30 Seconds to Mars

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Hello there!

A new year, a new name... well, not exactly new, but updated. I haven't really been using the full "Jioruji" for anything, not for a couple of years now. still feels weird to change it, though!
I've got faint twinges of regret, even though I can't think of any reason why I'd regret it (the old URL is still there and everything, even)... just a matter of getting used to it. I'll be feeling good about it in a day or so, hah, I've been planning to make this change for a while now.

I hope everyone's had, or having, a good New Year! As the years pass, the celebrations of New Year's seem to feel more and more meaningless... a shiny ball drops in Times Square, fireworks go off, and people get drunk, before we all switch to that new calendar with kittens on it (and throw out that old one that had puppies on it). I don't have a calendar to switch out, and I actually opted to sleep through the celebrations this year instead.
But all that being said... it is still a great time to refresh yourself and start anew on projects, set new goals, and just look at things in a new light.

I've already posted up a couple arbitrary New Year's resolution posts on various sites (well hey, I actually just did one on Tumblr with that exact title, what are the chances), so I'll spare you all the reading. Instead, I'll just say that nothing has changed since last year... but at the same time, things are different. I'm not really sure what it all means yet, but I think the general message is that you should expect some new work from me soon.
I'd like to really start to buckle down on, well, being an artist in general. Re-thinking some of my themes, expanding my comfort zone, and just generally being more active; if not more paintings, then more drawings. And if not more drawings, then at least more writing (and not just journal updates).

What are you all most excited for, this year? New resolutions? Old resolutions? Fresh projects, or closure on older ones? Or just continuing along as you have been?

I'm eager to see what twenty thirteen brings.


ĜЄΘ.>
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Fragmented Infinity
on Tumblr
on Facebook

Website (mostly) live!

Journal Entry: Tue Dec 11, 2012, 3:05 AM
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Why hello again, everyone!

Things have been surprisingly busy for me lately (though somehow, I'm still finding lots of time to be bored), but perhaps most important of my current projects is the designing of my own website.

Fragmented Infinity



So far, I've laid out the basic framework for just about everything; I was somehow able to convince myself that things don't need to look incredibly fancy and overdone right from the start, and as a result, I'm actually quite happy with my progress so far.

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When the site is entirely finished, I intend to have:
:bulletgreen: an artblog (general, small updates, along with sketches and in-progress works, as well as tutorials and tips)
:bulletgreen: a gallery, featuring all of my finished artworks (essentially the same as here, but focused more on my best portfolio pieces)
:bulletgreen: "about me" section, contact information, commission details (by the way, I'm open for commissions now if you didn't see earlier)
:bulletred: stories area, which will feature things like my comics and written works, as well as introductions and information on the various storyworlds within Fragmented Infinity (before you get too excited, I only have the one test comic so far, I'm not sitting on a pile of unreleased stories)

Three of the four are already up on the site, though missing content.

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Alright, so I'm not just here to pimp my site, I want something from you fellas too. Namely, I'd love it if you could take a moment to give me a bit of critique on the site. Is it easy to navigate? How does it look? What do you think of my goals for the site; too big, too small?
Basically, anything you can think of; go nuts, pick apart anything on the site. I'm open to suggestions and critiques alike, so speak up with whatever's on your mind; I'd really appreciate it.

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Oh, and on the subject of activity, which has been rather low lately... I'm currently in the middle of a commission painting (of which you can see daily work-in-progress images on my tumblr blog), as well as some more plans for my eXcel Vector characters, so with a bit of luck there's going to be at least one new image to show off soon enough!

ĜЄΘ.>
<<>>---------------<<>>
Fragmented Infinity
on Tumblr
on Facebook

Commissions are now open!

Journal Entry: Wed Nov 14, 2012, 11:54 AM
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Hello everyone!

It's been a long wait to reach this point (and probably could have been faster, if I were less of a perfectionist and procrastinator), but I'm proud to say that I am now open for commissions!
Let's get right into things, shall we. I've got a fair variety of styles I'm comfortable with, so with any luck, there's a little something for everyone here, regardless of your own style or budget.

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Commission Info & Pricing


All work is digital unless otherwise noted. Prices are flexible, depending on complexity and content.

<> Line drawing
- Character portrait (headshot/bust): $10
- Character profile (full-body): $15
- - Group images: same as above, add $5 for each additional character beyond the first.
examples: commission: Elle by Jio-Derako

<> Colored drawing
- Character portrait (headshot/bust): $20
- Character profile (full-body): $25
- - Group images: same as above, add $5 for each additional character beyond the first.
examples:

<> Full painting
- Character portrait (headshot/bust): $30
- Character profile (full-body): $40
- - Group images: same as above, add $10 for each additional character beyond the first.
- - Full backgrounds (scenery, etc) will cost an additional $20, and are usually reserved for full-body profiles. (if you want a background for a headshot/bust, I'll lower the price accordingly.)
examples: commission: Miracle by Jio-Derako

<> Non-character artwork
These will usually be priced similarly to their character counterparts (line, colored, or painting), but prices and availability will vary depending on the content you want; some scenes may not be my strong point. I usually prefer to do paintings for landscapes in particular, so my prices may be lower than character paintings in some cases.
examples:

<> Other options:
3D character headshots/busts/profiles are also available, but are much more limited in complexity; depending on the content, I may or may not be able to properly depict what you've got in mind, so ask first and I'll let you know if you might be better off requesting a drawing or painting instead. Prices will vary here as well, though usually around the same as line or colored drawings.
I'm also fairly proficient with other mediums as well, so if you've got something in mind that isn't listed here, it never hurts to ask!
examples:

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Other Information


As stated before, all prices are flexible! Depending on what sort of piece you want exactly, it may cost a bit extra, or possibly even be a bit cheaper (I'll always let you know up-front what I'll charge, before we've finalized the commission terms). You're allowed to haggle a bit on the prices, if you so desire, but be tactful about it; I'm the one who gets to decide whether or not a project will be "easy", not you.

Also keep in mind that I will decide for myself whether or not I accept your commission. I'm not especially picky - if I turn you down, it'll usually be because I don't feel my skills are up to the challenge - but if you are turned down, please respect my decision. (throwing money at me will not help the situation.)
As far as subject matter, so long as I feel I'm up to the task, it's pretty much "anything goes", including sexual themes or even pornographic stuff. My strong points however are fantasy, sci-fi and modern-day themes, particularly characters (and especially female characters, though I'm pretty good at drawin' dem boys too). I put my best into all of my work, but if it's a theme I enjoy, I'd like to think the results will reflect that.

Need to contact me outside of deviantART? You can email me directly at fragmented.infinity (at) gmail.com.

And lastly, don't send any money until I request you to! I'll let you know how much you owe after we've worked out the commission details. If I randomly get $10 in my Paypal account before you've even requested a commission, I'm just going to assume you're a huge fan and wanted to make a donation.
(though if you are really just a huge fan and want to make a donation, I certainly won't complain.) Wink/Razz


<<>>---------------<<>>


Thanks for your interest! The economy is still in pretty poor condition, so I appreciate you even considering commissioning me.
Every little bit counts! I'd love for nothing more than to fund a new tablet entirely with commissions.

ĜЄΘ.>
<<>>---------------<<>>
Fragmented Infinity
on Tumblr
on Facebook

The Art of Popularity

Journal Entry: Fri Nov 9, 2012, 9:41 AM
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Hello there, everyone!

A bit more of an article than a journal this time around; lately, I've been making some observations and doing research on the social aspects of art, or more specifically, promoting yourself. Alternately, "being popular".
By no means am I an expert on the subject... certainly, I've not done a terribly good job of promoting myself, though I intend to take more steps in that direction as things go onwards. But have a read through; don't take my every word as 100% fact, do some research ofyour own and find out what works for you. I can only hope to share a bit of my own insights, and maybe give a few of you some helpful advice,or just a better understanding of some of the science behind it all (if it can even be called that).

----
Let me start off with a bit of background; I've been on deviantART for a little over six years now, with just under 70k pageviews over the
duration. Not particularly impressive, seeing as the "popular" artists way back when I first joined up were all over a few hundred thousand
pageviews, over the course of a lot less than six years.
It should go without saying that I'm not especially well-known on dA. For a long while, I found this to be quite frustrating; I could see that my art was improving, and in some cases, I felt that my work was more technically proficient or otherwise better than some of the other artists who were so much more popular than me. I would make lots of excuses to myself, telling myself it was all a catch-22; I couldn't get noticed because I wasn't popular, and I couldn't get popular without being noticed.
But that's not at all fair to those who were successful; essentially saying that they were only popular because they'd gotten lucky at some point, or "pandered" to their audience a lot. In all honesty, my lack of success was my own shortcomings; just because so many of the more well-known artists are seemingly popular without even trying, there is agood deal of work involved in the process. Done correctly, it doesn't look like you're trying hard at all; indeed, for some, it probably doesn't even feel like hard work.

----
Somewhat related to this observations I've been making, I've also got an anonymous alternate account; a test if you will, seeing how well one can do starting from nothing and working their way to success. And so far, it's been working out! With the addition of a lot of tools for promoting your work (things like Groups, which weren't around when I'd started), it's only gotten easier to get yourself out there; sure, there's also a lot more people to compete with, but if you know where to set your sights, it's not as daunting an obstacle as it first seems.

Nearly everyone's goal is to broaden their audience, but something that's never mentioned is that it's actually a good thing to start off being a bit more focused. If you're focused a bit more on a particular genre, you only have to think about attracting that genre's audience; once you've got yourself a bit of a base, you can start to widen your focus, attracting more and more fans and/or customers (assuming you want to start making a profession out of your art).
Now of course, this is just one way to go about things, there's almost certainly other paths to take. But this one in particular is the only one I've had any experience with.

Starting off with a focus doesn't necessarily mean, "I'm only going to draw pictures of girls with pink hair". What it does mean is that you're not coming right out-of-the-gate with a painting of a mountain landscape, then a drawing of a car, and topping it off with a photograph of the sandwich you just made. While all of these things will appeal to different people, a very small number will actually like all three; as a result, you may draw the attention of the landscape lovers, and the car heads, and the... er, sandwich fans, but all three are going to look at your gallery and feel no compulsion to press that "watch" button. Why would they? Your first piece grabbed their attention, but there's nothing more to it to pull them the rest of the way in.
Your focus doesn't have to be narrow, but it shouldn't be all over the place. That sandwich photo could be one of many photographs of still life. (as a matter of fact, I'd advise against being entirely focused; you do want to have appeal with more than just a few people.)
One easy way to have a bit of focus to your work is actually quite simple; create artworks of things you yourself enjoy. Chances are, you've got hobbies and interests beyond just doing art; these can be perfect choices for focusing in on.

Which leads to another important point; work on things you enjoy! Don't try to artificially attract an audience by picking a topic that's popular.
Not only will it likely not be a fun subject for you to work on, but your lack of interest in the subject is going to show, on some level. People aren't necessarily going to look at your art and say "this person doesn't like what they're doing" - they may not even notice - but when you truly care about the subject of your work, it'll convey itself to the viewer.
Could I myself do a pretty good job on some My Little Pony fanart? I probably could. But I've got no interest in the series, or the characters; my work may be technically correct, but it won't feel very original, it won't have any life to it. (and what if I do a great job on it and start getting lots of MLP fans? Now if I want to keep their attention, I'm stuck working on art I don't really enjoy doing.)
Whatever it is you like, there's someone (or many someones) out there who shares your interests. Not only are these the sorts of people you'll probably want to make friends with, but if you're looking to work on commissions, these people are going to be your best clients, too.

One more very important thing is activity (or at least, some level of consistency). You can't expect to gain - and keep - the interests of any audience if your activity involves posting up some new art piece once every few months. (yeah, I'm guilty of that. It doesn't work well at all.)
This is another reason why working on a theme or genre you enjoy is such an important thing; you want to keep up your drive, and it's a lot easier to stay motivated to continue working when your art is enjoyable for you.
It won't always be easy to keep your motivation going; real-life problems, feeling sick or depressed or just tired can all get in the way of consistency. But it's not all meant to be smooth sailing; if you're serious about your art, as a profession or just a way to reach out to people... it's going to be a fair bit of work. It won't always feel like work - that's one of the joys of art - but that doesn't mean it takes any less dedication to be successful.

----
While I don't think what I've just laid out is all-encompassing, it's the most important aspects I've found so far. (if you've got more thoughts to add, I'd love to hear it!)

All of that is great as an overall foundation, but even the largest castles are built of smaller stones; let's see if I can't provide a few stones to use. (you'll need to find more on your own, but it's not all that hard to find them; just gotta dig a bit sometimes!)

One of the more recent additions to deviantART is also one of the most helpful, and that is the Groups system. Most groups are focused on specific topics, genres, or styles; a majority of their members will usually be fans of that particular subject, and tapping into the resource that is group galleries is an amazing way to attract new audiences.
Think carefully about where you submit your work; submitting to every group you can find is fairly effective for gaining attention, but it's also quite annoying and may turn some folks away. Don't limit yourself either, though; for any one piece of artwork, there's often numerous groups it can fit into, all of which potentially have their own audiences already. I've had a lot of success on my alternate account by submitting my work there to groups that fit my themes; I've had days where I log in to find that a submission has been accepted, and I've got five new watchers and about twenty new favorites over the past few hours (usually on the piece I submitted, but you'll often get people looking at the rest of your gallery afterwards and finding more art they like).

Another little trick is to pay attention not only to how often you upload art, but when exactly you do it. Being active is always a good thing, but if the majority of your art is being added to your gallery at three in the morning, it's not going to do you as much good as uploading in the middle of the day. Some of the best times to upload are on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays; this may seem like an odd spread, but let me explain a bit of the inner workings, here.
Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays all have one thing in common; they're workdays for most people with 9-to-5 jobs. When you've just finished with your weekend and aren't all that thrilled to be at work again (on a Monday), you might be inclined to browse a bit online. Middle of the work week, there's perhaps not all that much actual work to do (Wednesday)... head online to pass the time. Friday afternoon, you've finished your work and you just need to pass the time a bit until you're allowed to head home and start your weekend... you guessed it, browse the web.
This particular bit of advice came from a webcomic creator I know, during a local meetup, so it's more specifically geared towards webcomics; when people are bored at work, they like to read webcomics online, so those three days are among the best for a weekly webcomic update. But it also applies just as well to deviantART, where you may just as likely find those bored workers watching the front page's newest deviations go up, or looking through the various galleries.

One more little tip that's also incredibly important; tagging.
When you submit any artwork, you get the option to add tags to the piece; do this every time. Those tags will affect where and when your art appears anytime someone does a search, so they're very important!
Be generous with your tags; certainly, don't waste people's time with tags that don't apply to your work, but be creative when picking ones that do apply. Generic tags that people often forget are ones like "boy" and "girl" for male and female characters; other general tags like "tall" or "wings" or "blue" or "fantasy" are all great, and will allow your art to come up in more general searches ("fantasy", "tall girl", etc). People search for these sorts of things all the time, and unless your art has really generic titles like "tall fantasy mage girl with blue dress", or you're mentioning things of the sort in the description, your art is never going to show up in the search results.
I've gotten three commissions so far, all from a client who stumbled upon my work while doing a search for general fantasy artwork (I used the "fantasy" tag for my magical faun-girl artwork, as an example). If I hadn't ever tagged this piece, I would have never gotten those commissions; it's a case where adding just the one tag to my work has earned me money.

----
I'm sure I could go on for pages and pages and hours and hours if I let myself, but I think for now this is quite enough. Have more tips or opinions you'd like to share? I'd love to discuss the topic with you, so comment away! A lot of these observations of mine are still from limited personal experience, so I'm always eager to hear other perspectives on the subject.

ĜЄΘ.>
<<>>---------------<<>>
Fragmented Infinity
on Tumblr
on Facebook

On the Horizon...

Journal Entry: Fri Oct 5, 2012, 2:00 AM
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Hello there, everybody! Hope you're all having a great day... yes, even you!

So many new projects in the works for me, I figure we're way past due for a new journal update here. Let's get right to it, shall we.

<<>>---------------<<>>


First and foremost, I'm starting to make some progress on a longtime goal of mine, becoming a professional freelance artist. Nothing too big just yet, only the one commission piece so far, but it's a big step from doing art as a hobby, towards doing art as a career.
I've still got a few more projects to get squared away (more on that in a moment), but I intend to start doing commissions in the near future; look forward to more info on that soon!

In the realm of Real Life, I've also been making some changes and progress. Most notably, I've started to delve into the convention scene, starting with anime/gaming convention Zenkaikon earlier this year, and internet/geekery convention Intervention more recently. I'll also be on-staff for the next Zenkaikon, in March of next year; for those interested, it'll be in Lancaster, PA (see here for details). Let me know if you're headed up there, I'm always happy to meet up with new and old friends alike.
Zenkaikon led to making a few more connections with other local artists, and the formation of the Philly Web Comics group; PWC will be holding its second meetup this Saturday, as a matter of fact, so I'm quite excited for that.

The general theme here has been networking, starting to spread out a bit and connect up with other local artists and generally awesome people. To that end, I'm working on advertising myself a bit more; a short comic project should be wrapped up by this weekend (and will be posted up here shortly afterwards), and after that, I'll be taking some time to work on various art pieces suitable for a portfolio. Business cards and a personal website are also on the to-do list (website will come whenever I find the time, and business cards will come after I've got a site and some artwork to put on the backs of the cards).

<<>>---------------<<>>


Which leads me to my next topic, and a question. With networking becoming more and more important for me (especially if I'm to start doing freelance artwork), the internet is an obvious venue for such things. I've got deviantART, of course, as well as Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr; soon, a personal site as well.
Simply having a profile on a site doesn't mean you're networking, though. At the moment, my Facebook page is the most updated, with deviantART being close behind; my Tumblr blog has been rather neglected lately, and my Twitter feed even more so.
What I'd like to do is start to work on a bit more activity, but I'm not quite sure yet on which front I should focus, to start with. So how about you? Do you have a particular social site you prefer to use, or think is better than others? Not limited to just the sites I listed, of course. I'm interested to see where the majority of you folks tend to spend your time.

So, lots of projects in the works, lots of ideas, lots of little (and big) goals... with any luck I'll remember to make an update on progress soon, and I should at the very least have a five-page comic to show off after this weekend. :eager:

ĜЄΘ.>
<<>>---------------<<>>
Fragmented Infinity
on Tumblr
on Facebook
  • Mood: Eager
  • Listening to: computers humming
  • Watching: Sword Art Online
  • Playing: Guild Wars 2

Networking

Journal Entry: Thu Aug 16, 2012, 9:43 PM
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Heyo fellas! Been a little while since I've written a journal entry here, partially due to the topic I'm about to delve into.
You don't need to read the whole thing. But I'd appreciate it if you weigh in on the questions!

<<>>---------------<<>>


So, networking! Also known as self-promotion, getting yourself known, or "pimping yourself". It takes many forms, online especially; just about everybody does it, some more consciously then others. Sometimes it's as simple as saying hi to a few people, and earning a new friend. Farther up the ladder, you might find yourself traveling across states or even countries to attend shows and conventions with the hopes of widening your audience. It doesn't necessarily have to be your art that you're trying to promote, but for the purposes of this little entry, I'll mostly be sticking to the art topic.

Now, before you get your hopes up, this isn't going to be the part where I start explaining how to become well-known. I haven't figured that part out yet, myself.
Rather, I'd like to spark a bit of discussion on the topic, and maybe glean a few thoughts and opinions from all of you out there.

Let me simply lay out a by no means exhaustive list of some of the methods I've seen, though maybe not tried.
:bulletred: Online gallery/portfolio. This one's easy; you're on it! deviantART and ConceptArt.org are the two major ones that I'm aware of; creating your own website is less social, but does a much better job of showing you off. (On deviantART for an easy example, everybody tends to look alike at a glance; your gallery is the biggest thing setting you apart from everyone else, and even then it can be all to easy for your work to disappear beneath the mountains of fellow artists' works.)
:bulletred: Social media. Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr are three major ones, but there's plenty of others out there. Myself, I use all three, though Facebook tends to be less interesting, Twitter takes a fair bit of work to stay active, and Tumblr isn't well suited to showcasing a single artist's work.
:bulletred: Live streaming. Livestream is (unsurprisingly) the most popular one here. From my limited experience, livestreaming your artwork or some other art-related subject is a great way to reach out and involve your audience, though it's also not necessarily the best for gaining an audience if you don't already have one.
:bulletred: Communities. This also includes deviantART and ConceptArt.org, but primarily, when I say communities I mean forums, chatrooms, and other such social tools. There's no one example here; the communities that work for you will tend to be more specific ones, geared towards your art style or interests or related subjects. It's a great way to make new connections however, especially if you think outside the box. (An artist who primarily paints images of cars might find a lot of interested folks on a car-themed forum, for example.)
:bulletred: Conventions and shows. Yes, there is such a thing as meeting people off the internet! Conventions and shows are a great way to do so; anime conventions for example will almost always have an "artist's alley", where artists can get themselves a booth and sell some of their art. Other conventions and shows might not have a setup for artists - or even have anything to do with art - but they might have something to do with your art, like that previous example of a car artist finding an audience in a bunch of car folks. Tough to show off your work, but a great way to meet people interested in some of the same subjects you're interested in.

I'm sure there's plenty more to add to this list that I'm not aware of, or even some items I've simply forgotten about. But I need to cut myself short here before I get too far! My goal here is to spark discussion.
So, here's some questions for all of you (that's right, ALL of you, including you, bored passer-by who got distracted by my journal):

:bulletgreen: What (if any) networking tools do you yourself use? (well, obviously deviantART, but feel free to mention if you don't use it much, or use it all the time)
:bulletgreen: Do you try to network a lot, or not at all? What's your goal? (i.e., doing artwork as a profession, or just meeting lots of people)
:bulletgreen: Do you have any tips, opinions, or experiences with networking you'd like to share?

Answer as many or as few of the above as you'd like, or simply chime in with whatever comes to mind. I'm all ears! (well, technically, all eyes, in this instance.)

ĜЄΘ.>
<<>>---------------<<>>
Fragmented Infinity
on Tumblr
on Facebook
  • Mood: Eager
  • Listening to: crickets outside
  • Reading: nothing currently
  • Watching: Hyouka
  • Playing: League of Legends, Minecraft
  • Eating: nothing currently
  • Drinking: bottled water

ArtistTree: live Critique and Help session!

Journal Entry: Fri Jul 20, 2012, 11:06 PM
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Hello everyone! A heads-up for ArtistTree's live Critique and Help Session, which will be going down July 21st, at 9:00pm GMT!

The session will last for two hours, though of course, we'll still be offering critique and help throughout the day as usual; this will be two hours where critiques, advice, and inspiration are the primary topic. (we may extend it out a bit too, if two hours doesn't end up being enough.)
All you need to participate is a deviantART account, so you can get into the #ArtistTree chatroom (right here). Come, join in! Share some art, ask for critiques or advice, or provide critiques and advice yourself!
I'll be present of course, along with a fine selection of fellow AT staff members and chatroom regulars, so with any luck, we have nearly every genre of art covered. (I'll be happy to help out on anything related to digital painting and 3D modelling, though of course, I'm able to critique on plenty of other subjects; other staff members are much better at traditional work than I am, if you're not a digital artist.)

Mark your calenders! Set your alarms! prepare yourselves!

ĜЄΘ.>
<<>>---------------<<>>
Fragmented Infinity
on Tumblr
on Facebook
  • Mood: Eager
  • Listening to: crickets outside
  • Reading: nothing currently
  • Watching: Eureka Seven: Astral Ocean
  • Playing: Guild Wars 2 beta (third and final beta weekend)
  • Eating: nothing currently
  • Drinking: bottled water

Ask Me Questions!

Journal Entry: Thu Apr 12, 2012, 5:05 AM
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:dummy: A little bit of info about me: I love answering questions. Perhaps it's an ego thing; I've got a large one of those.

Anyhow, short and sweet entry here; ask me questions! I'm in more of a question-answering mood than normal lately, and there's really only one fix for it.
Two ways to go about it. You can ask me a question right here - ask it in the journal comments, or send me a note if you'd prefer to ask privately - or you can ask me on tumblr, right here; you can ask questions anonymously on tumblr without needing an account, but do note that the question (and answer) will be public.

Any sort of question will do, be it art-related or entirely personal; I'll answer every question, though how much information I'll actually provide will of course depend on the question! :aww: Want to know some details on my storywork? Curious how I do such-and-such with my art? Want to know if I sleep face-up or face-down? Fire away! (I usually sleep face-down, by the way.)

So to recap; ask me a question privately via a note here (but I'll know exactly who you are), or ask me a question anonymously via tumblr (but the question itself will be public). And of course, you can ask publicly both on here - via the comments section - or on tumblr, if you choose to log in there.

ĜЄΘ.>
<<>>---------------<<>>
Fragmented Infinity
on Tumblr
on Facebook
  • Mood: Eager
  • Listening to: air purifier
  • Reading: nothing currently
  • Watching: Dusk Maiden of Amnesia
  • Playing: League of Legends
  • Eating: nothing currently
  • Drinking: bottled water

Activity, level up!

Journal Entry: Sat Feb 11, 2012, 11:32 PM
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:dummy: Heyo!

So it's been a long while since my last update (what a shocker). For a guy who loves to write so much, I don't do it very frequently, do I.

<<>>---------------<<>>


Right into things, since I want to keep this entry brief.
My gallery activity is a bit lacking at the moment, but there are a few things up right now, and others on the way. Most notably is my first foray into the tutorial realm, a quick briefing on Photoshop Brush Settings. I've been talking about creating some tutorials for a while now, so it feels good to finally get around to it; this also happens to coincide with a fresh addition to ArtistTree, which is the new Tutorials and Resources collection. As the name suggests, it's a collection of tutorials and other artistic resources, and a very helpful place to look if you're having trouble with something, trying to improve yourself, or just looking for new ideas. You can also suggest new additions, so don't hesitate to chip in if you've got some favorite tutorials of your own. :aww:

As for things on the way... for those of you yet unaware, I also have a Tumblr account, Fragmented Infinity (named for my storyverse, the setting of pretty much all of my storyworlds). I'm keeping my Tumblr account entirely art-related, so if you're interested in such, you can expect to see work-in-progress images, little doodles, written entries on topics such as art styles, techniques, inspiration, and so on.
At the moment, there's one preview of a future piece up there right now - Momo, who is serving as a testbed for some painting practice and contrast study - but there may be even more by the time you read this. (though unlikely. I don't move quite that quickly.)
On the note of Tumblr, if any of you happen to have accounts as well, let me know, I'd be happy to add some more of my fellow artists. :D

And before I wrap this all up, I just want to direct your attention to a pretty little piece my good friend Glorifin made recently:
Ayase and Yuuki by Glorifin

A bit of a collaboration between the two of us, painted entirely by Glorifin, using a pair of my 3D character renders as reference bases. Came out quite nicely, though I may be a bit biased, of course. =P
Be sure to check out the rest of her gallery!
One of those artists I've known since pretty much when I first joined dA, and it's been quite interesting to watch her art style progress in leaps and bounds over the past few years.

ĜЄΘ.>
<<>>---------------<<>>
Fragmented Infinity
on Tumblr
on Facebook
  • Listening to: computer and air purifier hum
  • Reading: nothing currently
  • Watching: Brave 10, Amagami SS+
  • Playing: League of Legends
  • Eating: nothing currently
  • Drinking: bottled water

Generic Update

Journal Entry: Sun Nov 20, 2011, 12:27 AM
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Heyo fellas!

As is becoming a bit of a pattern with me, silence for upwards of a month followed by a journal explaining said silence. Longtime watchers have probably seen enough of these already, so I'll try to focus on the news and thoughts more than the excuses!

<<>>---------------<<>>


Well first off, that bit of explanation. Autumn's arrived here in Northeast USA, and winter weather is occasionally poking its head in to see if it's time to come in yet (even got snowfall back in October, resulting in a "white Halloween").
Cold weather has always been my bane, and just as always, it has me feeling rather sluggish. Things are a bit chilly for my tastes outdoors, and when things are warm enough to get me outside, there's little to keep me occupied, so all in all I've been spending plenty of time indoors being bored and unmotivated.

For those of you interested in ArtistTree, this means there's little activity from me on that front; of course, it isn't just me busy there, so there's still plenty of activity, it's just mostly the efforts of others.
I've still got a fresh new ConceptJam planned for ArtistTree, but that's waiting on both a bit of motivation on my part, and a bit more movement from the rest of the group (things have been a bit quieter since school started for most of our members).

On the topic of ArtistTree, our Monthly Draw-Along has been revived, and is now back up and running; we've added a bonus in the form of an optional theme challenge, which challenges artists to use a pre-defined theme for their submissions, and rewards our favorite of these submissions each month with a front-page feature for the rest of the month. I encourage you all to give it a look, it's a lot of fun.

<<>>---------------<<>>


And now for some thoughts!

Despite the sluggishness and lack of motivation from me, I have been finding time for some creative work.
Most notably, perhaps as a result of my extensive 3D work over the past few months, I've grown a bit rusty in my digital painting; I've been re-introducing myself to that, and picking up on some general drawing practice as well, which has been going quite nicely. My painting is still feeling rusty, but on the drawing front, I've been finding new success with a bit of traditional drawing. Interestingly enough, thanks to a bit of tracing, which is giving me a bit more muscle memory for drawing shapes like faces at odder angles. I intend to continue there, so depending on when I find the time, some sketch dumps should find their way into my gallery.

Also making some minor progress is my storywork. My most recent gallery additions are characters from my eXcel Vector storyline, which is a rough sci-fi space setting; that's been set just off to the side at the moment (though still getting some attention), while a newer storyline, Vyria, is making some good progress (Vyria being a semi-modern fantasy setting, with a little bit of everything from elves to dragons to werewolves). As with eXcel Vector, the characters are being roughly designed in DAZ Studio, but the aim here is to focus a bit more on the final results, which should be a bit more stylized, drawn or painted characters. No promises on when some art will show up from that, but most likely the next few gallery pieces from me will be Vyria characters.

And for a last bit of foresight into my future gallery submissions, look forward to seeing some more artworks that simply have no real meaning other than to look good. Nearly everything I've worked on for the past year or so has been related in some way to my storyverse; characters and worlds from storylines, and so on. It's a bit suffocating to be limited to this sort of stuff; when everything has meaning, it's harder to compromise, and for me, that often means projects get stuck when I can't get it perfect.
I haven't quite decided yet on what sorts of non-story artworks I'll be working on, but probably a few that are a bit more "sexy" in nature; something I've never really had the chance to work on, since I prefer my story characters to stand a bit more on their personalities than their appearances.
Also, I think I'm old enough to draw some more sexual images by now. I don't think I have a single deviation in my gallery that's earned itself a "Mature" tag yet. Not necessarily aiming to be explicit, but aiming to stop preventing myself from being explicit, more like. I don't think it will come as a shock to many of you that I am in fact attracted to pretty girls. So it's probably a good time to stop pretending I don't like to draw 'em.



ĜЄΘ.>
<<>>---------------<<>>
Fragmented Infinity
on Tumblr
on Facebook
  • Listening to: air purifier humming
  • Reading: nothing currently
  • Watching: The IDOLM@STER
  • Playing: League of Legends
  • Eating: nothing currently
  • Drinking: bottled *sparkling* water

Tagged! (once more, with feeling)

Journal Entry: Mon Oct 3, 2011, 11:59 AM
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Tagged! By :iconepicmyst:EpicMyst.

Rules:
1. You must post these rules (VERY Important )
2. Each person must post 10 things about themselves on their journal.
3. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post, and create ten new questions for the people you tag to answer.
4. You have to choose 10 people to tag and post their icons on your journal.
5. Go to their pages and tell them you have tagged her/him.
6. No tag backs
7. No crap in the tagging section about "you are tagged if you're reading this." You legitimately (AKA, really, truly with all honesty) have to tag 10 people

<<>>---------------<<>>


1. Why do you love the kind of art style that you work with now?
Well first off, I should say that my current art style is still going through changes... artistic puberty of sorts.
However, there is enough of a style for me to love! I very much love having a hand in a number of styles and genres and mediums, so my current style - which mixes 3D work and digital painting - is always a fun adventure of experimentation.
It's far from perfect, and I'm still honing my style, but that in itself is something I love; I've gotten to the point where I do honestly feel that my own style is just that, my own.

2. Is there any aspect of the natural world that inspires you and your work?
Hmm. It's hard to place what in particular inspires me! I gather inspiration from such a wide variety of places. This question's got me quite honestly stumped!
If I had to pick one aspect of nature to call an inspiration, I suppose I would have to go with environments. The landscapes and unique weather of all the environments in our world - and indeed, even on some other planets - are a constant inspiration for my own world designs. Misty rainforests, lush forested mountain ranges, barren and otherworldly deserts...
I'm running out of words to describe this subject, so let's leave it at that!

3. What makes you happiest about being an artist?
While I've yet to reach the point I want in artistic skill, the ability to imagine something - then actually bring it to life - is a constant source of satisfaction for me. I'm a very creative person, I spend a good deal of my time daydreaming! Being able to take those daydreams and actually create something of them for others to see and experience is amazing.

4. If you closed your eyes, what colour would you like to see when you open them?
Lush forest green.

5. What's your favorite season?
Summer, by far.

6. Why is it your favorite?
I'm simply not very good with cold, while I'd like to think I deal with heat quite well. Having a birthday in very nearly the middle of summer is definitely a plus.
I love going for long walks or bicycle rides, and while I can certainly do so in late Spring and early Fall, it's not the consistently good outdoor weather that I enjoy.

7. Could you tell me a bit about where you live?
Ah, where I live right now is Northeastern USA, in what I believe would be considered the outer suburbs of Philadelphia (about fifteen miles out from center city, I'd guess). It's a very nice neighborhood, if a little quiet; not for lack of people, but lack of activity (my own street, very rarely do you see anyone else out in their yards or walking on the street).
We've got a rather large backyard, ending where it hits the SEPTA railway tracks (about a hundred feet from the house); hop over the rails, and you're in a good-sized section of woods, a large cemetery to the left and right, with what is now a township-owned nature preserve in-between. Plenty of cemetery access roads for walking and riding, and some good walking paths in the woods as well, with a good number of deer and the occasional fox back there.

8. Think of something cute! What's the first thing that comes to mind?
Not quite sure what just popped into my head, but it looks something like a squirrel with big round eyes.

9. Why do you think your artwork/style is so different now than it was 3 years ago?
Definitely progression; a few years ago, I didn't have nearly as many tools or skills at my disposal. Three years back, I was just starting to really get into my groove on painting, and still doing a lot of coloring work in collaboration with other artists; it was just about that time that I was starting to get into 3D work, using DAZ Studio. Over the next few years, I got deeper into the 3D aspect of it, picking up Blender and beginning to create my own 3D models; my painting took a bit of a backseat, I think, but I'm starting to get a much better grasp on the 3D nowadays, leaving me more room to work again on my painting, and more original works (this time, utilizing my 3D skills to make up for my shortcomings with layout and visualization).

10. Is there a particular song that you seem to listen to the most when you create?
Oh, I'd have to say no! Simply due to the fact that I listen to so much music while I work. More often than not, I'm listening to Pandora radio as I work, so it comes more down to which genre I listen to the most; a good amount of my recent work has been to the soundtrack of either pop-rock, electronica, progressive metal, or death metal (weird variety, I know; usually the first two and the last two are kept separate).

<<>>---------------<<>>


BONUS! Tagged (again) by :iconglorifin:Glorifin. (since this is a repeat tag, I won't be tagging anyone again, especially considering I haven't finished tagging anyone from the first one.)

1. Name something you've done today
Watched (and still watching) the live stream of IGN's Pro League tournament for League of Legends.
2. What did you do before you went to sleep last night?
Stalked people on Facebook, checked messages repeatedly.
3. Done anything naughty lately?
Yes.
4. Have you ever dipped your french fries in your ice cream?
Nope.
5. Get down! :icondiscoplz:
That's alright.
6. If you shave, list every part of your body that you shave.
Mustache, sideburns.
7. Do you like baby bunnies?
They're quite cute, yes.
8. Ever laugh so hard your drink came out your nose?
I've built up a good resistance, it's incredibly hard to make me laugh while drinking anymore.
9. What's your favorite thing to do?
Designing story elements and artworks.
10. What's your favorite weapon?
I love kusari-gama (chain and sickle), but as one might expect, I can't wield one. Out of weapons I can actually use, it would be staff (dur, stick) and katana (I've got some minor martial arts training with it).

<<>>---------------<<>>


My questions:
1. For how long would you say you've been an artist?
2. How would you describe your current art style?
3. Is there an aspect of your art that you wish was more refined/defined?
4. What inspires you as an artist? (music, television, nature, etc)
5. If you could make a living doing something you love, what would that be?
6. If you could add or remove any aspect or feature of deviantART, what would you choose?
7. What do you like to do when you're stuck on an art project?
8. What's the farthest you've ever traveled from your home?
9. If you could live anywhere, where would that be?
10. What is the answer to this question?

Now I am aware that this is the part where I tag ten people; clearly, having just written ten questions, I'm prepared to do so! ...but I don't know that I have ten people I'd like to tag, just yet.
So, what I'll do here is open things up a bit; if you want to do this tag, you got it! Let me know so I can stick your icon over here and pretend that I tagged you myself.
And if nobody volunteers after a while, I suppose I'll just go and hunt down some innocent victims...
I'm going to tag :iconglorifin: with my first tag, not the second one, to circumvent the "no tagbacks" rule.

ĜЄΘ.>
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Fragmented Infinity
on Tumblr
on Facebook
  • Listening to: air purifier humming
  • Reading: nothing currently
  • Watching: The IDOLM@STER
  • Playing: League of Legends
  • Eating: nothing currently
  • Drinking: bottled *sparkling* water

Still Alive, notes on notes, and a tag!

Journal Entry: Fri Sep 9, 2011, 10:35 PM
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Gosh, I make an awful lot of "still alive" journals, don't I. I suppose the easy fix would be to write more often, but it's seeming harder and hard lately to find either the time or motivation.

Anyhow, a few projects in the works, as always. The majority of my projects lately have been story-related, so not much makes it into my gallery; I do have plans for a few character images however, having reached the visual phase of a few character designs. With any luck, that gets finished up soon!

In other news, some of you may know that I have (and use) a Tumblr account for some creative musings. My latest entry is geared a bit more towards fellow artists and generally creative peoples, and covers what I feel to be an oft-overlooked topic, the importance of keeping notes.

Keeping Track: the Importance of Notes

Writing about topics of this sort is something I enjoy doing every so often, but don't usually get the chance to. I'm curious how you fellas like it; is it helpful, or informative? Would you like to see more writing of this sort from me in the future, or perhaps something a bit different you'd love to see? I'm quite eager for feedback, so check it out if you've got the time, definitely.

Next on the block: "tools of the trade", a quick look at what tools I use when I'm working on art, from my workspace to some of the software (and hardware) I utilize.

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And tagged, by :iconpiikachuu:piikachuu!

RULES
01 - You must post these rules
02 - Each tagged person must post 10 things about themselves on their journal
03 - You have to choose and tag 5 people and post their icons on the same journal
04 - Go to their pages and tell them you tagged them
05 - NO tag backs



1. I am a level one certified judge for Magic: the Gathering. What does this mean? I occasionally get paid to work as staff for large tournaments in and around Philadelphia, and I know altogether too much about Magic.
2. My current haircut was done by yours truly; the back is a little bit patchy as a result.
3. There is a tiny little bump in the right-hand side of tip of my nose. (it's nearly impossible to see unless you're right up in my face, or grabbing my nose.)
4. I can ride my bike with no hands for an indefinite distance.
5. I go out of my way to always use free and open-source software when I have the choice. (LibreOffice over Microsoft Office, Songbird or Rhythmbox over Windows Media Player, Firefox over Internet Explorer...)
6. When I was a kid, I loved The Beatles. As I grew older, I started to prefer techno and trance music. Later on, I started delving into industrial tracks, and as of today, I love melodic death metal, electro, hard rock, pop rock, and The Beatles.
7. I like starting projects more than I like finishing them.
8. While my username - Jioruji Derako - has grown into somewhat of a "brand" for me, currently serving as my username on an inordinate number of websites and games, there are times I wish I'd picked something else when I started.
9. I enjoy making things more complex than they need to be. (with my art, I like to start in 3D, then move to 2D painting, utilizing multiple techniques, rather than simply starting and finishing in 2D.)
10. I tend to agonize over details; this tag has taken me about fifteen or twenty minutes to write, while this tenth item has been re-written a few times (before I cleared it and wrote this instead).

So apparently now, I need to tag five friends! Man, it's been a while since I've had to tag anyone. Let's see who the lucky winners are going to be this time...
:iconblaze13:Blaze13
:iconexperimettle:experimettle
:iconplatinatina:platinatina
:iconchalmersartwork:ChalmersArtwork
:iconvixenthewolf:VixenTheWolf

ĜЄΘ.>
<<>>---------------<<>>
Fragmented Infinity
on Tumblr
on Facebook
  • Mood: Eager
  • Listening to: Phantom II (Soulwax Remix 2) by Justice
  • Reading: nothing currently
  • Watching: The IDOLM@STER
  • Playing: League of Legends
  • Eating: nothing currently
  • Drinking: bottled water

Free Feature Fun!

Journal Entry: Fri Jul 1, 2011, 7:22 PM
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It's been a while since I've written a journal entry, so let's get back into the flow with a "spread the love" feature meme! (as passed along by the wonderful Zue, who graciously requested that her spot in the features be given to either or sister or a friend of hers; I'll be taking the liberty of featuring both of 'em, since I'm simply that great.)

So right on into the rules!
For each of the 18 first people answering this journal, I will put his or her avatar and the three deviations I like most from their gallery on the list.
If you do answer, however, you must repeat this journal yourself, with me in the first spot (though I would like to take a page from Zue's book and offer that you replace me with either Blaze13 or EyeOfOmega). The whole point of the meme isn't to simply get a free feature (though that's certainly a bonus), but to spread and promote your friends and fellow artists!

As an extra bonus (not a part of the meme, this is my own addition), if you'd like me to critique one of your pieces, I'll offer to do that as well! (I'll provide the critique as a comment on the piece, I don't think I'll have enough room on here for critiques.) :aww: Just let me know what you'd like a critique on when you comment here.

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1a.> :icongenmadaioh:


1b.> :iconpenguin-pinpin:
Penguins go Shopping by penguin-pinpinA Letter Without Words by penguin-pinpinGift - Under the Blue Sky by penguin-pinpin

2.> :iconlacelazier:


3.> :iconmissourimutants:
:thumb182471698:Reaching... aka Coverpage by MissouriMutants:thumb180173827:

4.> :iconmage-116:
:thumb204130172::thumb199912272::thumb195980257:

5.> :iconexperimettle:
experimettle anatomy by experimettleDJ Goh-Goh by experimettlepensive chic by experimettle

6.> :iconepicmyst:
Star-shaped melody reverie by EpicMystFascination by EpicMystMy house by EpicMyst

7.> :iconreba:
Storm by RebaMayari by RebaThe Throne by Reba

8.>
9.>
10.>
11.>
12.>
13.>
14.>
15.>
16.>
17.>
18.>

ĜЄΘ.>
<<>>---------------<<>>
Fragmented Infinity
on Tumblr
on Facebook
  • Mood: dA Love
  • Listening to: &quot;Skinnyman&quot; by Static-X
  • Reading: &quot;Tongues of Serpents&quot; by Naomi Novik
  • Watching: The IDOLM@STER
  • Playing: League of Legends
  • Eating: nothing currently
  • Drinking: bottled water

Stuff in the pipeline...

Journal Entry: Thu Feb 10, 2011, 7:12 PM
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Ah, one last go-round with this journal skin before I can be bothered to make a new one. (it's not like it's tough to code something up, I just can't seem to find the motivation for it...)

Anyhow, a bit of a heads-up of some stuff to come down the pipeline from me! Hopefully soon (how many times have I said that, I wonder).

Tutorial: Using Blender 3D
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So here's something that was requested of me a little while back; a bit of a basics tutorial for Blender, the open-source 3D modeling program. I've been using it for a year or two myself, and while I'm no master (yet), I have gotten a pretty good handle on the basics of using it.
By far, one of Blender's biggest sticking points is the confusing user-interface. Now recently, Blender 2.5 was released, and with it came some huge improvements to the interface; it's much easier to use ... at least, compared to other 3D modeling programs. 3D modeling in general tends to be very complex-looking, and it's hard to wrap your head around it when you don't know what's what.

I'll be starting a new project hopefully tomorrow - trying to model a 3D house interior - so I figure, why not finish two things at once? I'll see what recording software I've got installed, and get started on a tutorial; a quick rundown of the very basics, navigating the 3D view and getting started editing, and from there I can just record a bit of my process and hopefully give people a good start in picking up projects of their own. (once you get started, you can learn most of the more complex stuff simply by messing around with it.)

Okay, what else...


Fragmented Storylines
<<><>>-------------------------------------------<<><>>
While it's unlikely any of this will see the light of day anytime soon, I am making sporadic progress on my Fragmented Infinity storylines (Fragmented Infinity being the core of my personal creative projects, and containing a number of stories within it).

I'm almost always working on Infinity Eight, my main storyline; this is where Jio Derako hails from. Lately, I've been working on character designs for one of the worlds within I8, and as I've mentioned in my previous couple of journals, once I get my drawing style sorted out I'll be working on images of Jio himself. (once that happens, it'll probably open the floodgates for a bunch of character images.)
I'm also planning out how to actually tell the story; I keep fiddling with the ideas of comics or graphic novels or stuff of the sort, but I think ultimately, the best way it's going to work is as a straight-up novel. That's how I see the story in my head; why give myself extra work converting the novel in my head into anything other than a novel? (although I intend to do a lot of pictures. I'll have to work out a way to make a novel with a lot of pictures in it.)

Excel Vector is a smaller storyline within Fragmented Infinity; this one's been making some good design progress recently as well, although the storyline itself is still quite incomplete (by that I mean, there is no plot yet). EV is a space-epic sort of storyworld; I've always loved the ideas behind things like Star Wars and Star Trek and all numbers of other games, movies, and shows of that nature.
A few of you fellas have seen some little peeks of works in progress from EV; my major project from the storyline right now is René Belle's starship (René Belle is the main character). That project's happening in 3D as well, with occasional detours into digital sketches; I'm designing and building the starship as I go, so it's been moving in short bursts depending on how creative and focused I'm feeling.
...ah, here, how about two quick peeks.

Anyhow, most of this is fairly irrelevant to you guys, considering that I'm keeping a lot of this stuff to myself. A few images will hopefully show up along the way, but I have no idea when that'll happen. But just a bit of a snapshot of what I'm working on when I'm busy being hard-to-find online.

Miscellaneous Works
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And of course, there's almost always some sort of random project going on, at least in my head. I do have at least one painting in progress right now, although I'm not sure how it'll turn out or if I'll show it off here when I'm done.
A friend of mine recently got a copy of Photoshop CS5 for me, so I'd really like to break that in with a fresh project; perhaps I'll revisit my old colorist habits and find some lineart I like, and color that. I've always loved coloring EpicMyst's work, and as proud as I am of some of my coloring jobs, I know for a fact that I could blow any one of my old works out of the water with my improved skills. Maybe even I'll just go back and re-do one of the projects I did for her so many years ago. "Kick your own ass" style.

Alright, that took longer to type than I'd expected. I'll just post it now.

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ĜЄΘ.>

<<><>>-------------------------------------------<<><>>
Shards Of A Broken Infinity (my blog)
Fragmented Infinity (official F.I. site)
Featured Deviants
My In-Depth Profile
<<><>>-------------------------------------------<<><>>
  • Mood: Optimism
  • Listening to: air purifier's humming
  • Reading: &quot;Men At Arms&quot; by Evelyn Waugh
  • Watching: Shuffle!
  • Playing: Borderlands
  • Eating: nothing currently
  • Drinking: bottled water