Category: Writing

Artist Interview: 1tiptip1

Hey guys and gals, it’s been a while! Today I’ve got an artist interview for you from 1tiptip1 on deviantArt. I recognize her by the wonderful nature photographs on her account and her pet reference photos.

1. How do you view your artistic activity?

Right now it’s just a hobby.

My dream is to someday write a novel. The novel I’m trying to work on is a science fiction/paranormal/fantasy type setting. Basically a world where people have traveled to other planets through out history but still has the fantasy paranormal elements to it.

I really love table top RPG books. I always thought it would be awesome to design one. I love building worlds and thinking how things can fit into them.

I’d also love to make my own Tabletop RPG books.

2. Where, when, with what are you the most inspired and in touch with your creative energy? 

I actually get a lot of inspiration from documentaries. I’ve come up with a few ideas watching everything from history to nature and thinking of how things could work in a different world. I find if I’m trying to work on some concept in a story looking at the concept in real life from around the world and through history helps put a bit of realism to the story.

3. What are your favorite kinds of pieces to work on and develop?

I love character and world building. To me the two can really go together. Whenever you work on a setting, world or piece of history it can really make other parts of your story really click together.

4. Who are some of the artists who inspire you the most?

Aerophoinix, Abbysol, Armanie-Zacharias, DarkQuartz, Jolsma, DancesWithDreams. There are a lot more. These people are creative and when speaking to them [I find that] they put a lot of thought into their characters and worlds.

5. How do you recommend other artists/creatives address their difficulty or skill they find lacking and want to improve?

I find sometimes when I’m really not happy with something I should leave it alone for a while. Sometimes if I take my mind off something and work on something else all the stuff I was stressing over isn’t so bad when I look at it again. Or sometimes the thing I was trying to desperately fit in that didn’t work won’t seem so hard to let go.

6. What are your interests outside of your artistic endeavors? Do you think these are important to explore to improve your art?

I like to work with polymer clay and in the summer try to garden. Also, cats – I have a horrid obsession with cats.

7. Is there a place you would like to visit in the future (out of state/abroad)?  

I would like to someday see Alaska or Australia. Someplace with a lot of nature.

Thank you for taking a moment to read this interview and thank you, Tip, for participating! Take a moment to look through Tip’s gallery – linked above.

Prizes from the writing contest “And Scene” are in progress on deviantArt. Links will be available soon!

  • First Prize: 1tiptip1 – artist feature and color illustration of one character [Kaleb]

  • Second Prize: Sleyf – flat color illustration of one character
  • Third Prize: GerryTHC – chibi illustration of one character
  • Raffle Draw: DancesWithDreams – icon
  • Raffle Draw: Feu-en-Bleu – icon

Thank you for keeping an eye out, patient ones! I do have a few write-this-again posts developing from the most popular research topics on my last blog site. They should be fun and amusing – at least for me. Catch you around!

 


Other Artist Interviews:

  1. Artist Highlight: Shannon Hogan (Khezix)
  2. Artist Interview: Ag-Cat
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Mermaid, Siren, Harpy, or Banshee? (part 1 of 2)

The powers and attributes of these mythological figures are commonly mixed but I’m particularly curious as to the original distinctions which, as you will see, vary depending on culture. As always each image is linked back to the source simply click to follow. Also, let’s be clear: I like seeing different mixes but we are dealing with the traditional figures in these two posts.

mermaids_atoll___the_lost_ship_by_daninaimare-d4cs3vr

Let’s start with the most common mix up, ey? Mermaids have appeared in Walt Disney Pictures’ 2011 film Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, stories about Peter Pan, and C.S. Lewis’s series, The Chronicles of Narnia. The earliest mermaid comes from Assyrian mythology in 1000 BC by the Goddess Atargatis – the first mermaid (known as Derketo in Greek mythology). Goddess Atargatis was the goddess of fertility and responsible for the conservation of fish – fish were sacred to her and it was forbidden to consume them especially in Ascalon. Atargatis fell in love with a human shephard who she then accidentally killed during lovemaking. Guilt overcame her and she threw herself into the ocean to become a fish but her beauty was so great that the transformation was not completed. Why? Because the waters refused to conceal her divine beauty.

derceto

Another origin story belongs with Thessalonike of Macedon, Alexander the Great’s sister. Her story is tied to that her hair was bathed in water from the fountain of immortality in the Aegean. After Alexander’s death she was so stricken with grief that she threw herself into the sea to drown but was instead transformed into a mermaid who thereafter lived in the Aegean. Any sailors who discovered her were asked only one question: “Is Alexander still the king?” Should they answer no, she transformed into a gorgon and summon a deadly storm. Should the sailors answer yes, she would grant them calm seas for the remainder of their journey. There is also the African water spirit, Mami Wata/Mamba Muntu, who was a source of healing and good luck for her followers but dealt sickness, delusion, and drowning for those who disobeyed. She sometimes appeared as a mermaid but never as a human and was often associated with a snake. There was also the chance that she could return a person to land with increased wealth, beauty, and psychic power. Mermaids from the One Thousand and One Nights were anatomically similar to humans but could breathe underwater. They could and would reproduce with humans and their children would have the ability to live underwater as well as on land.

mermaid_by_sharandula-d3d1wmu

In most cultures where mermaids were present it was always considered bad luck to do anything unkind to them. They could grant wishes or present humans with cures They could not thrive out of water except for the ‘Merrow’ from Scotland and Ireland who would sometimes marry and live with humans. Some mermaids wore a red cap which if it was stolen and hidden from them they would shed their tails and live on land much like with selkies when their whole skins were hidden. However, in British folklore seeing one was a sign of bad luck and they were attributed of causing storms that brought ships to wreckage. Though mermaids lived for a long time none of them had souls, particularly in Slavic mythology where mermaids came from the spirit of a drowned woman who then lured men to their death, dragging them down to their underwater kingdom.

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Any recorded biological possibility of becoming a mermaid surfaces in the medical condition of sirenomelia (Mermaid Syndrome) where an infant is born with their legs fused together. Historically they never live more than a few days due to bladder and kidney malfunctions but there are modern cases when the mutation has been corrected for prolongued land life. It seems the rule of thumb is the more beautiful the mermaid the less likely they were to outright kill you and the more sympathetic and helpful they were likely to be – although mermen were typically wilder, uglier with green seaweed for hair, and had little interest in humans.

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Sirens are the most commonly crossed with mermaids. The physical distinction is that mermaids and mermen were part fish while sirens were part bird although they also lived by the sea on an island or cliffs. Though mermaids had beautiful singing voices their power lay in the ability to cause storms which wrecked sailors and their ships while sirens mesmerized men into a trance with their voices, compelling them to reach the siren whereby she brought sailors to death from her perch upon rocky islands, cliffs, and the shore. Sirens are present in the 2003 Dreamworks movie Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas, before that they are notably present in Homer’s Odyssey and date as far back as the Greek story of Persephone and Hades. In the original Greek story the Sirens began as the human companions of Persephone. After Persephone was abducted by Hades they were turned into half-bird, half-woman by Persephone’s mother Demeter. In some versions Demeter did this to help the women locate her daughter but in others it was punishment for failing to either prevent Persephone’s capture or locate Persephone. A siren’s song is irresistibly sweet yet sad, an eternal call for Persephone’s return.

sirens_feast_by_immarart-d79sogg

In India they are usually depicted with harps, lutes, or lyres which were used in combination with their voices to lull men to sleep before then tearing the men to shreds with their talons. Sirens were said to be so gifted musical talents that they could calm the wind. The bane of the siren comes in the elaboration by post-Homeric writers: if someone heard a siren’s song and escaped alive that siren would die as after Odysseus passed their island unharmed the sirens singing to him flung themselves down to perish among the rocks and waves. When Jason and his Argonauts came across sirens in their search for the Golden Fleece, Orpheus drowned out the siren call with his lyre. When Christianity took over sirens became a mere symbol of worldly temptations such as that of prostitutes.

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There is abundant research to be had on all of these figures and their variations and I have only covered bare basics for each of the umbrella nominations as far as origin, appearance, and attributes. Want to delve into more information but not sure where to start? Check out my references below!

 

Part 2–> Mermaid, Siren, Banshee, or Harpy? (part 2 of 2)

Sources:

 

Other Ratified Research posts:

  1. The Luckdragon
  2. Beneficial Stress
  3. another link coming soon
  4. another link coming soon

1000 Words on the Legend of Korra

Hey guys and gals, I know it’s been a while since this series ended but at the time it was airing I was following other series and this was one of the sacrifices I made in order to keep some peace of mind. I finally finished it earlier this year and here’s what I thought!

Confluence
Confluence

I have heard a lot of chatter on how Korra’s story is not as good as Aang’s. I disagree and find this opinion the majority of the time crops up from persons clinging to an extension of Aang’s journey. While the Avatar is a streamline of rebirth into each generation I believe each individual Avatar’s story is unique to themselves.

Of course we became attached to Aang – the kid was pure happy energy and believed in no limits. He came to us from a spiritual place where everything was possible, the world less strict for a mind to open to the possibilities. His lessons learned and wisdom were easy to sneak in with head-fakes (indirect learning) disguised in light hearted jest. As you progressed through Aang’s show seasons he eased you into the material world – a world of limitations and rules and fire nation tyranny.

Aang
Aang

Korra starts on the other end of the circle: her journey as the Avatar beings with rules and walls and limitations from the moment the White Lotus confirms her the next Avatar. This well-meaning organization takes charge of Korra’s path, choosing her lessons, making decisions for her. A flash back of young Korra shows her to be tenacious and as brightly burning in spirit as Aang ever was. Her rebellious flashes are a mix of her make-it-happen attitude in a world of limitations and typical cooped-up-teenager frustration.

The burning-brightly-fire of Korra’s personality was very pretty and shiny and when you have an instant-hook like that it’s hard to keep the fire going all the time. Her constant antics wore me out at first no matter how much I related with her. The first time I started watching the Legend of Korra (LoK) I had recently finished re-watching Avatar: The Last Airbender and was still raw to Aang’s story. I feel my love for Aang’s character was more of a slow burn. He started at a much lower energy and strung you along with attractive laughter. I have never watched the live action film after such strong negative feedback from the fanbase and even without the desire for redemption the viewers probably felt going into Korra’s story I was left wanting – so I stopped watching halfway through the first season.

Awakening
Awakening

From a creative perspective I would like you to note a few things:

  1. you can see in LoK how legends are fluffed with meringue and the grandiose over time is exaggerated from Aang’s legacy.
  2. the effect of a long-ruminated story has a stronger, clearer base of execution in the first ‘novel’ (Aang’s series) versus when something is pushed faster (Korra’s series).
  3. In watching each Avatar we needed to be mindful of what they lacked while watching to help stoke long-burnin embers: for Aang we needed seriousness and and understanding of the gravity of his world; for Korra we needed the patience as she struggled to learn not only air bending but flexibility of nature in any given situation.

Difficult as Korra was to swallow I find it hard to believe anyone did not feel chills when Vaatu struck Raava and disintegrated Korra’s connection to the previous Avatars: Aang, Roku, Kyoshi, and the male water bender and female air bender Aang called on for advice when meditating on the lion turtle. Don’t tell me you didn’t feel a surge of familiarity and pride on discovering that Wan started the sequence of elements each subsequent Avatar learned not only in turn but in rebirth; that the order was established not by a grand or philosophical design but by Wan’s motivation to be a protector of the helpless. Seeing the framed story of Wan built up that sense of nostalgia we had for Aang in layers by the time Korra reconnected with Raava and we were back, rooting for the water tribe Avatar.

Harmonic Convergence
Harmonic Convergence

Aang set an example of what greatness could look like and how to nurture the inner child – our inner magic. If you want desperately for the unexplainable magic of a miracle you have to start by believing in magic. Korra and Wan showed us a person of great influence, power, and inspiration can rise from anywhere and anyone.

“Before he fused with Rava, Wan was just a regular person.” 

“You have always been strong, unyielding, and fierce.”

— LoK Season 2, ep 14

The ancient lion turtle that aided Aang before his confrontation with fire lord Ozai taught us that the greatest and purest form of bending was the bending of energy in oneself. This lesson was brought back in LoK and first glimpsed at the end of season one when Korra, brought low when her bending was blocked by Amon, learned to bring back the bending of herself and others. She continually shows us how to stand up and believe in the limitless power inside of ourselves. Wan also taught us this lesson on a less magical level when he focused on his motivations to provide aid and reached past his limitations. They teach us to believe in ourselves and affirm, at least for me, that magic comes in many forms.

Raava and Vaatu
Raava and Vaatu

Aang’s journey was more focused on the external movement of the war and Korra’s was the internal journey of who she was and what degree if significance she held in the world. As a sequential series yes, perhaps Aang’s was better, subjectively. He was first and, let’s face it, it was sentiment for his journey that brought us fans back for Korra. For me they are separate. From Aang’s story I only pulled the lore forward with me. These two avatars are presented in the same world but they had to work in differing eras. I saw the making of two legends.

Aang and Korra Collab
Aang and Korra Collab

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

You Should Be Writing!

When I was in high school I wrote often. At first it was only school work, poetry, stories, and keeping up a dream journal. I also wrote when I became angry and upset. Turns out this is very beneficial.

Writing when I was upset helped me the most, even if at first I was writing with bad form and in all caps in frustration. The key at first was to just get the strongest emotions out at first and then work my way through the jumble of thoughts bouncing around in the aether of my mind. Doing it this way I was able to figure out what I wanted and provide options for myself for how to go about getting it. How? Tara Parker-Pope explains this well in “Writing Your Way to Happiness.”

” The concept is based on the idea that we all have a personal narrative that shapes our view of the world and ourselves. But sometimes our inner voice doesn’t get it completely right. Some researchers believe that by writing and then editing our own stories, we can change our perceptions of ourselves and identify obstacles that stand in the way of better health. “

I believe writing to organize your thoughts and perspective like this can lead you to better health. Maintaining good health is not only in the body by exercise and good food but also in the food we feed our mind and souls. For me writing helped me lift myself out of a self-defeating way of thinking – not to say having bad thoughts at all means you have failed. It’s okay to be upset about things, to be vulnerable or bothered or sad. What matters is how you deal with the situation and work through it. Did you learn anything? Can you improve? Most importantly, can you move yourself forward?

Writing has done a lot of good for many of my friends and associates. Not all of them are writers but you don’t have to be a novelist to write for yourself. You write every day. Some of you write text messages, others emails, role play, nonfiction essays, journals, etc. The best part about self help writing is that no one has to see it – it is all for you.

Whether you have done it before or this is your first time trying it out I encourage you to open a new file or pick up a pen and start writing. It does not have to make sense right now, the meaning and interpretation can come later. Take the first steps to a happier, healthier you~

A preview of things to come!
A preview of things to come!

Licensed to Kill

We are nosey.

Or curious.

It depends on your definition and point of view.

I was driving home one night from work and reached a point where emergency response vehicles had blocked off three of the four lanes. Of course I took advantage of the slow flow of traffic to peek at the accident.

The first thing I noticed was the black and silver pile of metal. I thought it was the smashed front end of a black car. We crept on and next to the misshapen silver and black pile was a whiteSUV. Behind this was a green car. It wasn’t until I saw the entire scene that my mind was able to wrap around the concept of the black and silver vehicle.

It was a motorcycle lying on its side.

You know that feeling when the muscles around your face slowly pull tight? That’s what came next. I turned back around.

The bike looked almost identical to one that a neighbor I barely know drives (his bike was safely in it’s spot when I got home though). My next thought was what if someone driving by knew the motorcyclist? I tried to imagine the frantic phone calling that would ensue to find out if the person was alright. Was the driver wearing the proper safety gear? Had the helmet worked?

I thought of all the motorcyclists I saw speeding around wearing flip flops, shorts, tank tops, and no helmets. What a pity. I also thought of all the drivers who skirt too close to motorcyclists – who pull up very close behind them or cut them off.

One of my last thoughts on this was why, why, why are we so callous when it comes to life? Why are people so lazy when learning how to handle a motor vehicle? Why don’t they realized the attention to detail is so important because they are operating a speeding death machine. Bones are fragile compared to a chassis.

My next step was to go home and draw. Being that close to death reminds me that there is no time like today to start something I’ve been wanting to do.

Be aware, my friends, and always move towards what you want – no matter how big or small – even, if like me, you have to crawl for now.

*click image to see it larger*

 

Green Book Update and Features!

Alright guys and gals, first off in the transposing process I’m up to chapter 9 of 15 transposed from the 300+ written pages to online format. That’s a lot of typing! I’m trying to take it slow to give my forearms adequate time to relax (the last thing I want is a burn out). I see a lot of things that are going to need to be adjusted and swapped around but I’m making a quick note and keeping on. The goal is to have everything transposed and then I will start fiddling with the book.

Art and jewelry commissions are still open! I take commissions for ear cuff sets (which you can see in the December section of this picture) and I am also offering special discounts for commissions throughout this year! Want to find out about the current rates, discounts, and get a special off on a Valentine’s Day gift for your friend or special someone? Check out my 2015 Themed Discounts journal!

Now, I’d like to highlight some of my awesome supporters:

"Dothan March Coloured Test 1" by SirRinge
“Dothan March Coloured Test 1” by SirRinge

I can’t remember what exactly caught me on to SirRinge but I remember being fascinated with his understanding for body armor – how if fit together, deviations of combinations, the variance in purpose and use between the different warriors he depicted. SirRinge has his own world simmering into being and shows parts of the planning in a journal and in the collections of his illustrations. Keep an eye on him.

Syndromax aka Max Petrosky
Syndromax aka Max Petrosky

I recently met Max (aka Syndromax) and upon discovering his compositions I was extremely enthralled with the balance in his work. I’ll put his music on for soothing, to write, or to draw to. No matter what it is I start moving unconsciously – tapping my feet, bobbing my head, dancing in my head while I lay out a new piece. The best thing I can tell you about Max’s work is simply this: You definitely want to come here for well balanced and electronic scores.

"Virgo Illustration" by Karin and Murielle Regnass
“Virgo Illustration” by Karin and Murielle Regenass

I’m more familiar with Karin personally but the Regenass sisters work together in a wonderful combination of skill to bring you illustrations that draw you into a story you know just just beneath the surface. The journey has been rough but their propensity for pushing limitations and metaphorical brick walls will definitely inspire you to keep moving forward. Each time I see their art or any of their developing work I become excited half for a piece I know is going to be great, and half to continue working on my own concepts. You can find them both on Facebook, on deviantArt (Marchands-De-Reves) – or click the image to be taken to their main website and portfolio!

Chest Capture by Alentrish
Chest Capture by Alentrish

Finally for today’s post I’d like to introduce Vicky (aka Alentrish). A little after I fell in love with Assassin’s Creed (sometime after I bought the first game) Alentrish and I found each other on dA. Picking through her gallery I found a mutual geek love for the Creed, skulls, and feathers. The metal chest picture above is one she found and decorated herself. Alas, this is not for sale. Alentrish has an affinity for a great many craft works including metal working, painting, feather wrapping and painting, accent decor, and (most recently) wire wrapping. I highly recommend you check out her work for trimmed artistic flare. You’re sure to find inspiration.

That’s it for this week! I will do more of these features periodically. Keep your eye out for new ones! Missed an old one? See more feature posts:

[Technical Difficulties]

My key weekly advice for you is to take time to walk your body. I found the inspirational editing seed for Green Book 2 (which is already written) walking through a park on a gentle wind in a clearing.

Keep exploring~