45 degrees off

Seeing the same thing from a different angle.

Monthly Archives: November 2011

Being Thankful

Pies - Episode art for Drabblecast #105

This is a cover art piece I did for an episode of The Drabblecast. The story isn’t about Thanksgiving, but I was looking at the piece last night shortly after going over my mother’s menu for Thursday and realized it does make me think of Thanksgiving and harvest festivals. (If you enjoy pie, odd stories, or especially odd stories about pie, go ahead and give the episode a listen.)

It’s time for Thanksgiving here in the United States. It gets a little easier each year for me to just say, “I’m thankful that I made it through another year!” It sounds a little cheap, but it’s the shortest way to say what I may be most thankful for… that I still have so many new things to be thankful for each year.

It’s not always easy to be thankful. It may be hard to see many of the things happening in the news and still come up with a list of ways you feel your life is better this year. Some people may feel guilty that they can have a Thanksgiving meal when others have so much less. I can’t imagine how difficult it might be to keep being thankful when you’re one of the people categorized as “the less fortunate”.

I’d like to share some of the things I’m thankful for with you.

Last year, I was an aunt to a beautiful niece and awesome nephew. This year, I am an aunt to a beautiful niece and TWO awesome nephews!  I’m thankful for all three of my sister’s kids, and for the experience of  being at the hospital when he was born.

I haven’t been in the best of health this year, but it’s been managed better.  This has been a reminder to me that, no matter how weak I may feel some days, it won’t last forever. It also reminds me to take stock of the way I’m doing things from time to time. Habits can become clutter in one’s life, and having to adapt to health issues now and then means clearing out that clutter. Facing the challenges my health has thrown at us has been an important experience for my husband and myself as a couple. Even some of the hard times can be something to be thankful for.

I’ve grown as an artist. I’ve tried new things this year with my art. My list of projects to do has grown a lot. I shouldn’t find myself running out of ideas for a long while.  Not every piece works out just the way I want it to, but I am happy with my work.

It’s not as easy for me to socialize as it used to be, but I have found a regular group of people I enjoy talking to on the internet. They keep me from pulling too far into my own shell. I’m closer to some of them than others, but I’m thankful for all of them.

I am thankful that one of the best friendships I have ever experienced has grown over the past year.  I finally understand just how much of a treasure That One Friend can be.

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Advertisements

Google+ Link Update

Quick note – There was a problem with the link to my Google+ profile on the sidebar. I’ve corrected it now. If you’re on Google+ and would like to Circle me, please feel free to do so.

If you’re not on Google+, I can’t tell you what’s best for you. I can only say it’s a service that fits me better for most social interaction than Facebook does. You can still “Like” my Facebook page to get basic announcements, but I’m more active on Google+. Choose what works for you. :)

Speaking Out Against Art Theft

World of Warcraft is a game with 11 million subscribers.  It attracts people from all walks of life. In fact, WoWInsider has an entire column called “15 Minutes of Fame” devoted to highlighting notable players. Sometimes they are people notable within the gaming industry. Sometimes it’s someone who is an inspiration to others because they’re living with (and fighting) Alzheimer’s. Sometimes it’s a well-known actor, or a physicist who works at CERN.

The game attracts a large number of artists, which shouldn’t be surprising when you consider the role art plays in building a virtual world. There is a ton of fan art out there! It ranges from quick, unskilled doodles of someone’s favorite character to professional quality pieces that were not done to be licensed by Blizzard (the company behind the game), but simply out of the artist’s love for the game. DiscoPriest has done some beautiful work that can be seen on Disciplinary Action.

Mage art from disciplinaryaction.wordpress.com

One of my favorites from the Stained Class series at disciplinaryaction.wordpress.com.

I said this a few days ago on Twitter, and I’ll say it again here – fan art is art. In some ways, all art is fan art. Artists are inspired by something and moved to show the world not just what it looks like, but what it looks like through that artist’s eyes. Art comes from passion. Someone who puts the time and effort into doing a series of stained glass style pieces based on a video game is creating art just as much as someone who paints landscapes or illustrates stories.

DiscoPriest’s art has been stolen and used in some YouTube videos recently. This isn’t a case of some relatively unknown individual putting a piece in the background for a homemade music video, or something of the sort. You can see how her art was used in this video. The original video was made private and many comments deleted once people called TGN.tv out on the art theft, but Rades was kind enough to make a back-up of the video. He also added commentary that points out how this is art theft, and links to relevant information in the video notes.

TGN.tv promotes itself as being a step toward making money from doing YouTube videos. From their website:

Do you want to do this *full-time* if it can pay your bills? If yes, and are serious about treating YouTube as a career, then follow the WAY movement.

TGN personally trains motivated and talented YouTubers so they start earning $1,500-$2,000 a month solely from revenue share on video views in 6-12 months, more if you learn faster, less if you learn slower. This is a goal, not a guarantee.

 

ETA: I’ve changed the mentions of “TGN” to “TGN.tv” because that is the full name of their YouTube channel and, as Julia points out in the comments, TGN is recognizable as Total Gaming Network. They have a good reputation with the same audience that is TGN.tv’s target audience and were around well before TGN.tv. However, the quotes above are from TGN.tv’s website and have been reproduced here exactly as they are on the site.

One would assume videos that are part of the TGN.tv YouTube channel are intended to help reach this goal. Taking someone else’s art and putting it out there as your own is theft, whether you do it for money or not. Doing it so that you can build a following that you’re hoping to make money from is even worse.

DiscoPriest has a rather large community supporting her right now. The blogging community within the WoW population is rather vocal when they’re passionate about something. That’s what led them to start blogging in the first place. I doubt there’s any way TGN.tv can come out of this looking okay in the eyes of a large portion of their target audience. The original theft has now been compounded by deleting comments and staying quiet, rather than removing the video and trying to make ammends with the artist.

I love the support artists on the internet give each other. I have met some wonderful artists who have been a true inspiration to me through Twitter and communities like RedBubble. None of us want to be the person who has their art stolen and feels like all that time and work means nothing now that someone else is using it. We may not be able to put an end to art theft completely, but we can speak up and support each other to make sure it is not the thief who profits.

DiscoPriest has an online shop, and her website also says she takes commissions. You can also find her on Twitter. Consider showing her some support.

Update! It looks like the videos have been taken down now, as opposed to how they were simply made private earlier. Update on Twitter by @DiscoPriest.

Jigsaw Puzzles!

I’ll just go ahead and say right up front that I am excited about being able to make some of my work available on jigsaw puzzles! It’s something I’ve looked into before, but found that my options were limited to services I didn’t trust and services where cost prohibited me from being able to do anything with the idea. Zazzle has recently added jigsaw puzzles to their marketplace. I’ve had a store with them for almost four years now and have ordered products myself.  (The shoes and mug pictured at the top of my Graphic Content store are two of the products I have in my home.) I’m very happy to finally have the jigsaw puzzle option available!

 

This Side of the Looking-Glass was the piece that first got me thinking about putting my work on puzzles. My grandmother enjoyed putting them together, and I would love to be able to give her one with my own art on it if she were still alive.

The puzzles comes in two sizes – 8″ x 10″ (110 pieces) or 10″ x 14″ (252 pieces).  The pricing is higher on the 8 x 10 puzzles. I thought that was a typo at first, but then noticed that it’s only the smaller size that comes with a tin to store the pieces in with the art also printed on the tin.

The selection is limited by which pieces of art fit on the puzzle template without having to be magnified to the point of getting fuzzy. (Not the good “kittens and puppies” kind of fuzzy.) There are several pieces I just can’t correct the sizing for.  You can look forward to more puzzles in the future as I complete pieces, though.

Annabelle the zombie , the pink fae dragon hatchling, and Flanders the gnome are available along with This Side of the Looking-Glass over at Everyday Myth. I’m quite pleased with how Flanders looks on a puzzle!

 

There are also a few puzzles at the Graphic Content store, including my recent La Bella Muerte piece and my popular Schrödinger’s Cat WANTED poster.

 

I hesitated to put the La Bella Muerte piece on puzzles because there’s a lot of empty space. I know there are people who simply collect puzzles, though, and those puzzles may find homes with them. Or the empty space may present a little more of a challenge than a puzzle with so few pieces normally would. Customization is enabled on them, so please remember you can choose a different background color if you’d like.