Artist Interview: Ag-Cat

Happy weekend guys and gals! Briefly: As you know regular posts are on hiatus until August. I will post as often as I can until then as I prep for Metrocon and moving!

Today we have the pleasure of learning more about deviant Artist Ag-Cat! I’ve interacted with Ag-Cat on and off before and again have the pleasure of completing some prize art of her characters. She has a great resiliance to sticking with it and you can see the color selection and anatomy adjust and change to improve across her pieces.

On the Bus
On the Bus

Ag-Cats started out on traditional mediums such as pencil, crayon, paper, and anything else she could get her hands on. Partially due to the cost of traditional supply she she started practicing digital art in 2012 and now works primarily in that medium. Ag-Cat views her artistic activity as a passionate hobby and she is looking to build a career with it in the future. At the moment she takes a particular interest in working on original characters and enjoys fleshing each one out in both design and personal development. Recently I’ve noticed a different shimmer to her shading and I enjoy her colorful combinations!

Fall Leaves
Fall Leaves

So what should you do if you are on a similar journey and are looking to improve? Ag-Cat’s advice is this: “Learn the basics first…then practice, practice, practice.” She cautions not to rush into copying your favorite artists and idols but encourages you to examine the pieces by those persons you admire. Pay attention to the form, light, shadow, anatomy and flow of those pieces to understand what you do like and can apply to your own work versus what you would want to do differently. Your process is also improved by asking for critiques from others, by nursing your motivation to improve, and believing you can do better. “Don’t forget to look back on how much progress you have made and give yourself a highfive!”

Sweet Demure & Sweeter Demure
Sweet Demure & Sweeter Demure

Ag-Cat finds it relaxing to spend time developing a piece and helps take her mind of things she worries about. While spending time with friends and family is important to her and can also be stress relieving Ag-Cat reminds us it is important to let your loved ones know that you also need time for yourself. Simply talk to them. Creating art is one of Ag-Cat’s methods to handle stress and her internal struggles. Sit down with your craft and let the stress bleed away into the simple fact in the work of it.

Jawesa
Jawesa

What does Ag-Cat do when she’s not creating artistic pieces and is looking for a break and recharge? “I like listening to music. I hope that I will have time (and money) to learn an instrument one day. I have also started to dapple on film critique, just for my own enjoyment. It gives me an insight on what make a movie good: script, screenplay, cinematography, etc.”

Blue Ruin
Blue Ruin

Finally, a last few encouraging words from Ag-Cat no matter what you are pursuing: “Do you want to create? Then pick up your chosen tool and just do it! If you only have five minutes to draw a day, draw something in that five minutes.” You got this!

Thank you for taking time with us today for this interview and thank you Ag-Cat for taking time to participate in the recent raffle! Please take a moment to peruse Ag-Cat’s gallery: Ag-Cat @ dA

All prizes from the raffle are now posted on deviantArt – follow the links below to see them:

The next raffle is projected for August/September. Keep your eye out on Twitter, deviantArt, and Facebook for the notifications! I’ll see you in a bit my wonderful, patient blog checkers. Have a great weekend!

 


Other Artist Interviews:

  1. Artist Highlight: Shannon Hogan (Khezix)

The White’s of Their Eyes

It’s a battle cry that has trickled down from history and into group role playing games, common in phrase and easy to make sense of. Where did it come from? When did you first hear it?

It may be that this was among the tactical ideas shared by military commanders across the world so perhaps we cannot attribute it to one person, one culture, one time. The phrase is most popularly associated in American culture with the battle of Bunker Hill in May 1775. For 18th century armies this battle command increased the possibility of a hit when your troops only had access to the inaccurate smooth-bore muskets and risked a shortage of ammunition.

You can track similar statements back through leaders such as General James Wolfe leading his troops on the Plains of Abraham in September 1759; it was used by Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Andrew Agnew in the Battle of Detingen in June 1743; by Frederick the Great in 1755; again from Prince Charles of Prussia in 1745; all the way back to General-King Gustavus Adolphus who instructed his musketeers “never to give fire, til they could see their own image in the pupil of their enemy’s eye.”

While these variations have common military recollections, what comes to mind for me is a display of fear from animals. For a time I was around a lot of show horses and got to visit a small barn to see some roadster ponies. Now, I am by no means an equine expert but I am knowledgable to the account of interpreting body language very well. These horses were fearful, something I noted not only by that they jumped and scrambled away from the stall entrances as fast as they could with taunt necks and turned, trembling bodies, but also by the amount of white sclera I could see.

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At normal, or resting, position the white sclera is not usually visible all the way around the iris on horses.

2012-04-25 19.14.51

 

It can be seen most often in appaloosas but its not a trait limited to the breed.

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Fargonon/Syd’s cute Orion

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Dogs have a similar display. You know the look, the one that makes us all feel pathetic and off-set inside.

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Yep. That one. What about you? Are you most familiar with the phrase from a military aspect or from your pets at home?

Equine Tip for the Week: Horses are very aware of their personal space and when you venture into that space I highly recommend you both let the horse know you are there and that you be very respectful of a prey animal whose build is designed to be a weapon. Make sure you can see the horse’s eye when approaching. This guarantees that the horse has you in its field of vision and is much better than if you approach from a blind spot. Why? If the horse cannot immediately identify if you are a friend or foe it will strike out. More of this can be explained in an earlier post:What colors do Horses See.

Go learn something new about a topic that interests you. Share it with me in the comments below!

Sources:

  1. The Battle of Bunker Hill – Wikipedia
  2. White’s of Their Eyes – Teaching History
  3. Appaloosa

Other Ratified Research Posts:

  1. Glaucus atlanticus: The Blue Dragon
  2. People, Horses, and Halitosis
  3. Beneficial Stress
  4. (another link coming soon)

Raffle Nearing End and Potential Faux Wolf Tails

Yes, another raffle reminder! Go here for the journal with all instructions and dates: RAFFLE OC MEME – ART and/or WRITING

Deadline: Friday May 27th 2016

Stream: Saturday June 4th 2016 @ 4pm

View the entries so far – eee I’m so excited for you guys! It looks like a lot of people have many different types of characters and a few of you are learning new things about your cast with questions they never considered or were never asked.

I found a tutorial for how to make a fluffy wolf-like tail from braiding and brushing yarn. I’m planning on experimenting with that this week in the hopes that I can offer a few at Metrocon this year for cosplayers. If all goes well I may be able to offer commissions of it in different colors, patterns, length, and animal type. I could be getting a little ambitious but we shall see!

What have you guys and gals been up to this weekend?

Green Book Characters Illustrated Meme

Good morning gals and guys!

Today is a hustle day! I’ve got two events and a lot of deadlines to meet in between so for today’s blog I’ll let some key characters of the Green Book cast do the talking. Have a great day!

OC Meme - Green Book Characters
OC Meme – Green Book Characters

Raffle Reminder

I apologize for my absence. I’ve been chasing sleep.

Remember I’m hosting another raffle!

For the longer, fuller spiel go to this journal: “Raffle – OC Meme – Art and/or Writing

This month’s raffle is all about celebrating your creations, introducing their world, and welcoming a whole new avenue for inspiration! Come grow the story you want to write or even simply flesh out more of your details with questions via meme and community interaction. You may even make some new friends to grow with! Some of my most prevalent friends here on dA I became friends with discussing our OCs.

***feel free to adapt any illustration meme to a written/journal meme and vice versa***

 

What can we win from the raffle?

You get a free commission from me! It can be fan art or original illustration of your OC.
The first drawn number will get a color sketch of two characters and a journal feature.
The second drawn number will get a color sketch of one character and one icon.
The third drawn winner will get one colored chibi.

 

This sounds interesting, how do I get started?

The required bit of this is simple: complete one of the memes linked (find the links in the journal linked above). You can complete the meme either by writing/journal or art and illustration. You don’t have to have a fancy art style or super edited writing, just have fun and complete the meme to the best of your ability while staying true to your OC personalities~

When you complete the meme show me on whatever host site you are on (deviantArt, Facebook, etc) I’ll add it to a contest folder and send you your raffle number via note! If you do a meme with a partner/double meme it counts as one entry for both yourself and your partner.

**YOU MUST HAVE COMPLETED THE MEME AFTER April 19, 2016**

Try to link back to the original meme creators, after all, we wouldn’t be here without them!

 

What is the deadline? to complete the meme?/comment on other memes?

To complete the meme: Midnight of Friday May 27th 2016
To comment on memes: Midnight of Sunday May 29th 2016

 

When will the drawing be?

Saturday June 4th 2016
Time: 4pm Eastern Standard Time

I will host a live stream* for us to gather and interact live! You can save the link to my channel but I will post the link again on Facebook, DA, and Twitter. Stay tuned~

*You do not have to be present for the stream in order to win a slot at the raffle drawing*


Any questions or anything unclear please let me know and remember – have fun!!

 

 

 

 

Passion versus Effort

Okay guys and gals, do a thing with me:

First off get yourself into a positive mindset or at least a peaceful one – burn candles, meditate, dance to your favorite song, sing along to your favorite song, play a round of a game you like, look at motivational pictures – whatever it is that cheers you up do it.

Look back at some of the things you have done so far in your life. Now, answer some of these questions for yourself:

  1. Which activities made you feel the happiest?
  2. During which events did you feel fulfilled?
  3. Which did you put the most effort towards?
  4. Are you spending a good amount of time and effort doing those things? Why or why not?

I find equal amounts of blogs telling you to pursue your passion or to just work hard and follow your effort good things will come from that.  I don’t think this is that black and white.

If you’ve gotten a taste of success pursuing a field you prefer to put more time and effort into, actually made money doing it, but you can’t yet get off the ground to at least fly at low altitude with it, this is frustrating as heck.

There are a lot of younger people getting to chase down the things they like spending a lot of time on (cooking, making videos, art, training animals). I have also noticed that a lot of those kids – not all of them – do not have to worry about paying bills on top of breaking into their field. I’ve even heard Concept Cookie/CG Cookie‘s Tim Von Rueden say during a stream that it’s harder to get into a field when you get older. Now, Tim has  a great teaching style and runs fantastic improvement workshops. Not only is he good at it it was something unexpected he came into and you can tell he loves doing it. Back on point: although I agree it can be harder the way he phrased it (possibly unintentionally) made it sound like if you haven’t already chosen the field when you are younger it’s not as worth it when you get older.

Woah, hold up.

Let me tell you something – Harrison Ford broke into fame when he stared as Han Solo (and later Indiana Jones) when he was 35.

35, people.

Richard Armitage built bookcases and laid flooring well into his 20s between acting and theater jobs to make ends meet.

If you are balancing paying bills and putting more time and effort into a differing preferred field that has to cheer you up at least a little.

The main thing I agree with in the whole passion versus effort debate is this: time.

When you spend a lot of time on something you become good at it. When you put in that extra amount of effort to excel and step out of your comfort zone you’re pushing boundaries which builds the passion for it. Along with Kate McKeon (founder of Prepwise) I agree you should be prepared to feel out of your element for between a few months to two years. Focus on your good habits and believe you are strong enough to get through this transition period in your life.

You can do this on your own will power. I believe you can do it.

So, what’s the short answer?

You can do anything you want for a living you just have to be willing to work hard putting in the time and effort.

Welcome to the April/May Raffle: Meet My OCs!

~click the linked image~
~click the linked image~

Not my OCs though, yours! This month’s raffle is all about celebrating your creations, introducing their world, and welcoming a whole new avenue for inspiration! You may also meet some people whose interaction with you and your worlds could inspire you to finally start the story you always wanted to write – or to finish the last chapter before you fix up the manuscript and send it to an editor then publisher. You’ll probably also find lots of people to talk to and develop your OC – some of my best friends here on dA I became friend with discussing our OCs.

So, how do you participate in this raffle? Simple, simply participate in a meme whether by illustration or writing some short scenes. It has to be a new meme – as in created after today’s date.

Want to get more entries? Interact with your peers. Look through the entries and interact with the OCs; find some characters that interest you or that you are curious about and talk to the creator about them – ask questions and share about your character.

I’ll be doing some memes this month [both written and illustration] which will hopefully inspire you. See mine below:

***feel free to adapt any illustration meme to a written/journal meme and vice versa***

Try to link back to the original meme creators, after all, we wouldn’t be here without them!

 

 

How to Participate:

You don’t have to have a deviantArt account to participate (though it certainly makes tracking your comments and entries a tad easier) – feel free to out-link me if you still want to participate!

Illustrated or write answers to one of the OC memes linked below. This will get you one entry (no matter if you do a single meme or an entry with a partner). Make sure to tag me or send me a link so I can see it then I’ll note you your first raffle number!

You only get one entry for completing a meme but you are welcome to do more than one or make friends and do a double – I love learning about your characters!!

**written memes can be done either by telling me what your character would do (like my examples above) or write a short dialogue or scene (try to keep it under 300 words). Remember you want a snapshot of your characters to entice readers~

 

How to Earn Additional Entries:

Once you complete your meme go here [link coming soon] to view the current entries and interact. You must comment more than a, “cool character” or “tell me about [insert character]” – read the meme, learn something about the character, and ask something more specific like “what is [Jon]’s favorite thing about winter?” or “why did [Jacqueline] stop being friends with [Ash] when they were seventeen?” etc.

For each different participant’s meme you comment on you’ll get another entry.

 

Prizes:

Will be announced soon!

Two possible winners – THREE if a certain entry amount is met [TBD]

 

Deadline:

May XX, 2016 (coming soon)

 

Drawing:

May xx, 2016 [date TBD] during a live stream, just like the last one.

 

Memes – Single (feel free to use these for either illustration or writing):

— there are short and long memes available

*no tagging necessary*

 

Memes – Partner (want to do this with a friend? one double meme will count for one entry each for both of you):

— there are short and long memes available

— discussion while completing the memes are permitted unless it is a surprise picture!

*no tagging necessary*

Any questions or anything unclear please let me know and remember – have fun!!