Mar. 12th, 2019 20:21
ratcreature: RatCreature as memesheep. (memesheep)
Grabbed from [personal profile] gwyn: I currently have 91 works posted on AO3. Choose a random number—no peeking!—between 1 and 91 inclusive (where 1 is the first work ever posted and 91 is the latest), and I will tell you three things I currently like about that work.
ratcreature: headdesk (headdesk)
Mine currently responds to even slightly suspenseful moments in fiction, even ones that I know will be okay, like in romance, with a strong urge to abort and avoid in favor of weird displacement activities, like playing a some game or making a cup of tea or scrolling through Tumblr.

I already read soothing, fluffy things, what more does it want? These phases are very annoying, and disruptive for immersive reading.
ratcreature: RatCreature as Rodney recoiling from a Lemon: Gaah! (gaah)
For example I really like the "fish out of water" trope in stories, but I also have a pronounced embarrassment squick. Unfortunately far too often the former is peppered with the latter. So I end up being lured into reading stories and then have to put them down frequently because I just can't deal. That doesn't make for an immersive reading experience. I wish I could just bring myself to power through the squicky bits rather than taking breaks.
ratcreature: RL? What RL? RatCreature is a net addict.  (what rl?)
In general (if I don't forget) on DW I give plain access to all people who subscribe to me and give me access (which I take as request to read locked posts in return) even without being familiar with the person. I mostly use the plain access lock for RL posts and the occasional fannish frustration post/rant that doesn't need to be public, but I wouldn't mind much if it became so.

If you'd like access but I haven't given you access when you subscribed to me, you can check this poll. BTW mutual access-giving is not necessary. Also, if I you have access but would rather just see the public posts, click that option:
Poll #17845 managing access
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 8

Should I give (or remove) access from you?

View Answers

Please give me access.
8 (100.0%)

Please remove my access.
0 (0.0%)

In addition to the plain access-lock which equates to plain f-lock on LJ, I also have an access filter "personal posts" which I originally created for LJ, because there access and subscription aren't separate and I had friended people for reading with whom I had never even talked.

Often I use that filter for not very happy personal posts, and it is not really a reader-oriented/lurker-friendly filter, if that makes sense, i.e. more often than not I tend to be in need of internet hugs when I post to that filter. The post frequency varies widely from not used at all for months to somewhat frequent posts. Recently I haven't posted to it often. If you can see this older post about grief for example, you are on that filter. If you request access in the poll below, but I can't place your DW name, I might message you to ask how we know each other, before adding you.
Poll #17846 managing access
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 6

Should I add (or remove) you from my "personal posts" access filter?

View Answers

Please add me to that filter.
6 (100.0%)

Please remove me from that filter.
0 (0.0%)

Obviously if you're content with the state of your (non-)access to my journal no responses are necessary.
ratcreature: RatCreature at the drawing board. (drawing)
[personal profile] tassosss asked: "Do you have a process for how you approach your fanart? Certain things you do first? How you work with ideas?"

(Also, please, if you have a question or prompt for me in the January Talking Meme, you can comment here. Most remaining dates are still open.)

I have an art process tag for posts with in progress stages of several fanart pieces, so there you can see some of the specific details.

In more general terms, I think the central thing about my approach to fanart is that I'm lazy, that is I experience a great deal of inertia before doing anything, and also I have real trouble to self-motivate, which is very bad for something that only truly thrives with practice like drawing/painting. So the problem is that I know in my head that I would need to draw a lot more to gain the ability to draw and paint the kind of thing I would like to produce, but that that would take a lot of effort.

And I don't have any real inner urges to draw or anything like that, which is why last year and the year before I only managed any fanart for exchanges. And it is not that I have a bunch of drawer scribbles or unfinished WIPs or drew non-fanart stuff. I did not draw at all otherwise.

I often have ideas for things that would be cool to draw or paint as I engage in fandom, whether with the source or with other fanworks. These sometimes are a conversational impulse, and that usually results in an uncomplicated doodle that I don't refine further and that takes only a very short time, because the point is just the reaction, or someone said something funny and I want to sketch it or such. Examples for that are this cracky doodle I did for one of Beth H's stories or this reaction to a posted chat transcript.

Far more often I have ambitious ideas for awesome art, both in reaction to canon and illustration ideas for fanfic, or sometimes just daydreaming cool scenarios with characters. Those ideas usually die, because they would be hard to realize and I can never make it look like in my head anyway etc. Sometimes I put them in my "fanart ideas" textfile and then they die.

Looking at that file right now, there are about two dozen fanart ideas I felt strongly enough to make a note about, and then I never did anything further, though in one SGA case I actually started some pencil sketches and intended that to be a reversebang piece where I had signed up, but RL stuff happened and I had to drop out, and then I became less interested in SGA soon after, so that got abandoned even though I had some scribbles. Usually once I start to invest some time into a piece I then bring it at least to a point to show, because one thing I loathe more than making an effort is wasting it, and not have anything to show for the time I spent. Though larger projects can be abandoned in the middle, like I did an SGA/ATLA fusion with Teyla as Waterbender, and in my head I had a full set for the team with John as Airbender, Rodney as Earthbender and Ronon as Firebender. Obviously the last three never materialized, because sadly we still don't have the brain-interfaces to make images happen as you think them.

My fanart ideas are often scenes of fanfic that stuck with me as I read them, same with written canon sources, and then I make a note of the scene with a link to the fic in case of online fanfic. For example while reading the Dresden Files, I found numerous scenes compelling to imagine in my head, so I made notes in that file like "Dresden and Michael at Union station, the hobs (baboon monsters) surrounding them visible in light of the newly drawn sword. (from Small Favor, p 185/186)" or "Dresden in church, standing in shadow (from Proven Guilty)" and such. Of course none of these compelled me enough to actually overcome inertia, but that's how I jot down ideas.

Same when I read fanfic, for example one that I eventually painted was the illustration for [personal profile] basingstoke's Unalienable (I did a process post about that here), and that started as a note "X-Men/HL xover illustration for basingstoke, Methos with mutant baby" with a link to the story.

Sometimes I have ideas for scenes or scenarios that are not illustrations for something existing, but ideas for something I'd like to see. Those are often AU or worldbuilding ideas, because my imagination runs in the worldbuilding direction rather than imagining plots for characters I like. Examples for this from my fanart idea file are (translated from German, my notes file is bilingual): "AU: Erik as Celtic druid (romano-celtic Britain, power over metal seen as magic? Charles as upper class Roman?)" or "X-Men AU, Erik & Charles meet in the Spanish Civil War in the international brigades".

So those are pretty vague ideas. The next step is that I look around for images for further inspiration and ideas, like for example I googled for images of the international brigades and the Spanish Civil War for potential ideas of what I might draw to visualize that AU idea. So in this case I ended up with a folder of mixed historical pictures on my hard disk, from propaganda posters to group photos, but nothing really grabbed me, so thus far it hasn't gone any further.

If I have a specific scene in mind I look for references I could use for my picture and collect all sorts of stuff. With elaborate scenes I sometimes do thumbnails and such for composition, later on sometimes studies of bits (like a hand pose or such) and then I sort of try to assemble it into my first pencils. It's sort of like using photoshop layers but in traditional media, i.e. I often do things on transparent paper and move them around, and use my self-made light box too.

If I was lucky enough that the reference matches closely what I want in the scene, I sometimes even trace it in that step to get the posture right (see the whole lazy part above), though it usually morphs from that later on. As side note: I know tracing is contentious (much more than even photo reference which some life drawing proponents don't like either), and it just doesn't work for faces, as anyone who traced a face hoping to end up with a reliable character likeness will have noticed (because unfortunately humans don't really have lines, and to get likeness you need to either faithfully copy all shades or actively do some abstraction towards cartooning, mere "edge detection" won't do it for our finely tuned face recognition). But if you want to draw, say, a human jump, and have found a picture of such a jump from the perspective you want showing a human of roughly the right body type matching your character, and you trace where the arms and legs go that works well enough to have something in your draft quickly. Of course to not end up with some kind of Franken-drawing of mismatching parts, you have to watch that whatever you traced at some point will coalesce with the rest, i.e. the morphing I mentioned above, same as you do any time you reference things in bits and need to make them fit.

Anyway, looking at pictures on the internet (for backgrounds, actions, costume, character likeness, even just moods) is a big part of clarifying an idea for me, and usually at that point also my vague ambitions of gloriously complicated, epic scenes get broken into something that I might be able to draw in some way at least. Naturally at this point once again many fanart ideas stall.

But if I arrive at something workable I eventually assemble the parts into a whole, this process post about my Star Trek reversebang piece goes into the details, and is an example of the most effort I go to. Often I do less.
ratcreature: Procrastination is a Lifestyle. RatCreature in a hammock doing nothing. (procrastination)
I saw HabitRPG linked on Tumblr, and decided to give it a try. Basically it allows you to keep a task list (with the option of daily/scheduled activities, habits you want to form/break and one-off to-do list items you can check off), and then you earn or loose points (and various gimmicky extras I haven't explored yet) depending on how well you are doing like in a game.

Is anyone else using this? I decided to see whether it might motivate me better for the things you are supposed to do regularly to not have your space slide into squalor. In a fit of ambition I also added some like "draw something" that I manage even less well, because unlike a giant pile of neglected dishes, unaccomplished drawing doesn't build up its own pressure eventually. I also added some chores and stuff I already manage decently for the most part, so my avatar won't die right away from not getting any points at all.

One thing I already find not very practical is that with the "dailies" (which is the only category that also penalizes you if you don't manage them), you can't seem to make them just weekly, without setting specific days. There are many cleaning tasks that I'd ideally accomplish once a week but not every day, and I don't want to have to do them every Tuesday or Saturday or whatever. So for now I put these in the "habit" column.
ratcreature: First fandom: RatCreature as Donald Duck (first fandom)
[personal profile] astridv gave me the prompt "First online fandom, and first fandom overall (in case those are different replies.)"

(BTW, if you want to ask me a question or prompt me for the January Talking Meme, you can comment here. Most dates are still open.)

I have always been a fan. I've been collecting comics even before I could properly read, and I can't remember a time before I self-identified as a fan. And I don't mean that I did fannish things and had fannish feelings while not aware of fandom, but I always knew that there were other fans like me.

My biggest early comic love were definitely Disney comics, in particular the Duckburgh ones, but I've always read and collected other comics too, like Yps, and a bit later I started reading Spirou and Tintin and all kinds of Franco-belgian ones, which my sister collected too, so once I was old enough not to destroy her stuff, I was allowed to borrow those, and of course I read comics from the library too. Though I soon bought my own copies, even if I had read them elsewhere, because collecting comics as physical objects has always been something I loved.

So well before I found internet fandom I was in offline comic fandom. I regularly went to comic stores and collector meetings, attended comic cons, bought zines, read books about drawing comics and comic history, went to open university lectures about comics, and drew comics and cartoons myself. I still have the comics I did in fifth grade. They aren't very good of course, but I was never a "drawer production" person, so I was showing these to my friends. Unfortunately even then I had trouble coming up with interesting stories. Worldbuilding I could do, but not plot. The results were best when I could collaborate with someone, so I did comics together with my older sister and with classmates, but it was hard to find someone wanting to write comics, have it be the kind of comics I'd want to draw and also have them happy with my drawings. I even met with other local teenage comic fans in a comic drawing workshop, but the others there were also into the art mostly, so that wasn't for collaboration. Also quite hilarious in retrospect, this comic drawing group for teenagers was actually some sort of thinly disguised city social work for drug and gang prevention, I think. Only at the time I didn't realize that I probably wasn't the target audience.

I mean, I was of course in the sense that I was a teenager and wanted to become better at drawing comics, and I had seen this offer advertised at the central public library, and went because it was a free comic drawing group. However, the group leaders were an artist together with some sort of youth social worker, and we always met in these youth centers in slightly dodgy places, first some mildly dilapidated building near the central station, then in some sort of anti-drug youth project thing, where I (as sheltered comfortably middle class girl) would have never gone otherwise. I was somewhat out of place, one of the few girls and among the youngest too, but it was quite fun, I learned a lot, and we did a fanzine together and had an exhibition at a local comic con (though I'm still disgruntled that I never got my original art back from that).

That was the only comic fanzine I've had my comics published in, though I also had my comics as serial in our school paper, and did some cartoons for that too.

The first times I ever used the internet were also because of comic fandom. I think it was in 1993 or 1994. My older sister had access through the university, and had told me about this, and I wanted to find what fan resources there were. So I visited her, and browsed newsgroups and FTP sites with FAQs about comics, using Lynx and Mosaic and Gopher for searching, and then printed the pages for reading at home. I still have a folder around somewhere with a stack of these printouts, I think.

But accessing the internet that way is rather inconvenient, so I didn't get to participate in online fandom yet. When my brother got a Compuserve account, I also visited him to use that, and I tried joining a due South mailing list, but the list traffic flooded his mailbox capacity, and it turned out to be totally impossible. But as you can see I was kind of trying to join online fandom before I was online, so as soon as I had personal internet access, even if it was dialup and cost me per minute, I was in online fandom. That was late 1997, iirc, and by then there were already many web sites and lists and lots of infrastructure besides newsgroups.

My first real online fandom was The Sentinel. As usual episodes aired here were much behind the schedule in the US and initially I just wanted to find an episode guide to see whether it was continued in the US, and I found Nightowl's Nest, and found much more than just an episode guide. I read my first fanfic then, and promptly wrote a squeeful email to the author how awesome it was to have found fanfic and their story (it was probably odd, I never heard anything back, and unfortunately a hard disk calamity destroyed my carefully hoarded early emails, so I can't reread it now with hindsight to check how it comes across). But as you can see I wasn't shy, and not even everything being in English could deter me (it certainly increased my English language practice a lot).

So soon after I joined my first mailing list (Senfic), didn't bother much with lurking there either, but started to participate in discussions. Of course I was reading lots of fanfic once I had found it, only gen at first, mostly because I was confused by all the slash warnings, assuming they were for violence (as in "slasher movies") rather than sexual content, though I couldn't quite put together why TS of all things would inspire so much gore, but that didn't misunderstanding didn't last long.

As far as online participation goes I was almost a monofan for my first years in online fandom, though I did read X-Files and Star Wars and some other fandoms too. I wasn't drawing fanart, because it never really occurred to me that I could. It wasn't a very fanart friendly environment. Part of it was technical, with it being on mailing lists and bandwidth issues on archives, but the bigger part was that there was little diversity in styles, and it didn't seem like fanart was welcome. What little fanart there was, were mostly just collage type photomanips (often not very good ones either, so I didn't like what I saw of that art form) and the few illustrations were all aiming for a very photo-realist style, which is not anything close to what I draw like. I know now that even at the time there had been other fanart styles around for tv fandoms, but I didn't know that then. Very few artists showed anything online, and zines were expensive, so I only ever ordered a couple, and even those often did not have any illustrations at all.

Anyway, I thought to be accepted as fanart in live action fandoms art had to try for photorealism. So at that time I didn't even realize that anyone might be interested in the kind of fanart I could do.

For full disclosure of my firsts in fandom, eventually there was a Sentinel fanfic for which I couldn't resist drawing an illustration, but the result was really quite bad. I was too embarrassed to attach my internet identity to that, and incidentally was also for a story I did not want to admit to have liked under my regular pseud either. These days I'm much less embarrassed about my kinks. Of course like I said above, drawer works are not my thing, so I actually posted my first piece of fanart as a sockpuppet (in a way similar to daring to post in anon kink memes first these days). The author didn't react at all though to getting my illustration for her story, so that rather confirmed my impression that fanart wasn't wanted.

Sentinel fandom quieting down coincided with the shift towards LJ, and I became more actively multi-fannish there, and I got drawn into DC fandom (against all my expectations, I never thought I'd like superhero comics in my first decades of comic fandom). Unlike the live action fandoms I was in, it seemed less daunting to draw comic characters than to have to try for a realist style, and there was more encouragement for it too, and with LJ it was easier to post pictures. So I posted my first proper fanart only after being in online fandom for over five years already.
ratcreature: navel-gazing RatCreature (navel-gazing)
[personal profile] kass prompted: "Would you talk about how you created your Ratcreature avatar (did it evolve into the current recognizable form, or have you always drawn it this way?) and what do you enjoy about having a customizable avatar of yourself?

This is going to be a bit rambly, because the origins of my avatar are something of a confluence of things.

I got my LJ in September 2002, and at that time I already had chosen "RatCreature" as my pseud for my website and generally for posting in places that were indexed by search engines, though I had used my first name on mailing lists earlier. On my website I had initially a color-shifted picture of a rat as image to go with the pseud, but that wasn't very fannish or personal and I wasn't invested in that. Icons were an important marker to recognize people, so I wanted mine to be unique and recognizable (I didn't really think I needed more than one initially, little did I know, heh), and a picture of a pet didn't fit that. Also at that particular time I didn't actually keep rats, though I had before.

Of course many fans chose pictures of their favorite characters/actors and such, but I wasn't comfortable to represent myself through photos of other people or objects or something like that, I wanted my icon to be *me* and completely mine not just a rat, but I also didn't want to use a photo of my face, in part because my LJ was for my fannish pseud not about RL. On blogs and on LJ as well many artists choose a drawn self-portrait as avatar, so I decided to do that, even though back in 2002 I hadn't drawn any fanart. There was much less fanart then, and all the art I've seen for the online media fandoms I'd been in had been very realistic art, so not suited to my style or abilities at all.

But I had drawn goofy cartoons a lot in school when I was bored in lessons, which teachers generally tolerated because I wasn't disruptive and could still follow the material and participate even while getting a lot of drawing done. Being lazy by nature I appreciated that I could get good grades without much effort and had strongly resisted any suggestions that I ought to skip grades, and I liked my classmates too for the most part, so I got a lot of doodling done. Anyway, the things I doodled were mostly funny creatures with big noses, initially just with feet and no arms, and some had trunks like these in this very old drawing. I've also always loved anthropomorphic animals, and comics with them. Not quite a furry inclination (I've never been into cosplay), but the Mary Sue self insertion characters in my early teenage fantasies looked like this.

So I generally didn't draw cartoon humans, but anthropomorphic animals and odd creatures in my cartoons. By the time I was finishing high school I regular drew creatures that looked quite similar to my avatar to represent humans, not just me but humans in general, in cartoons for our school paper and such. So naturally in our end of high school yearbook ("Abizeitung") on which committee I was (and suffered much frustration) on my personal page I drew myself like that, rather than as a cartoony human resembling me.

Anyway, when I needed a default image for LJ a few years later I thought back to that, and pretty much took the image from the second panel from the old personal page above, removed the braid, because in 2002 my hair was short and I wasn't wearing a braid like in high school, and made it smile, but I didn't really start drawing RatCreature icons just yet, I had just modified that one picture.

So I had my first icon, and it was good as default, but of course fans did a lot of things with icons on LJ in 2002/2003, There were icon memes and icon makers doing certain themes and such, and being as much of lemming as the next fan, I wanted to participate and have icons like the other fans had, but I still wanted my icons to be unique and immediately recognizable. You can see how that is something of a problem.

One of the prominent icon things at that time that many people had were [personal profile] lanning's "zen fen", with calm pictures and such. I wanted one, but still didn't want to represent myself by an object, like a pond or a zen garden. Also, in kerfluffles I'm not actually very zen (then even lessthan now), so I thought it would be funny make mine a little different, and in February 2003 I drew my zen...or not icon. You notice how the angry posture is pretty much copied from the typical Donald Duck outburst, a scan of which you can also see on my personal high school page. I think I've gotten smoother drawing my avatar with practice since then.

That sort of broke a dam, because the same month I made my first fandom themed avatar, Batman!RatCreature, because I was very much into Batman comic fandom then, and posting about that, and it seemed easy to dress up my avatar with a Batman costume, to have a fandom icon and still a recognizable image that would be me. Sort of like virtual cosplay. Free LJs had three icon slots back then, iirc, and in the Batman GIP post I said "BTW, were I using this LJ and not my blog as main journal, and thus paid for a LJ and had more icons, I would have more different moods and actions with my cartoon personality." (I had started a blog on my own website earlier and was still posting there and on LJ).

Of course with other fans being awesome and enabling, I was promptly gifted with some paid account time, and drew Happy!RatCreature as a celebratory response the same day, and the next day followed Spiderman, Superman, and a tv watching RatCreature, and that has expanded to now 136 icons.

What I still really like about my decision to stick with my avatar in variations as icons, is that all of my icons are recognizable as "me" regardless of their topic or fandom, once you are familiar with their basic "premise", even if you haven't seen that particular icon before. I like that my picture can always be me yet still be flexible and express my mood, so I don't have to be a Sad Panda one day and a Grumpy Cat the next in my images, but I am sad RatCreature and a grumpy RatCreature etc. It does take a little more effort to make new icons and to adapt icon memes and such to my theme, so that can be a bit frustrating at times, but it can also be really fun, and it has been inspiring me to draw. I'm not sure I would have started to draw anything in fandom without first venturing into fannish drawing through these doodles where I couldn't really do anything "wrong" or not get characters right or anything like that, because it is just my avatar.
ratcreature: RatCreature as a sloth (sloth)
My output this year is barely worth summarizing as I don't even need one full hand to count, but I've indexed every year since 2006.

This year there was only one piece of art, two drawbles/doodles, one icon and eight months entirely without art, compared to 2012's three pieces of art, nine drawbles/doodles, no icons and nine months entirely without art. 2011 it was six pieces of art, 36 drawbles/doodles, seven icons, and three months entirely without art. Not a good trend. Well, maybe 2014 will be better.

a fashion meme drawble (XMFC)

a doodle for Beth H's Third Time's...the Charm? (Avengers)

Nothing :(

an Iron Man ratcreature icon

Steampunk Maria Hill/Steve Rogers (Avengers), my Yuletart drawing
ratcreature: RatCreature as a sloth (sloth)
2012 saw a plunge in art production (insofar as you can "plunge" from a not very high previous level). It started out fairly well in January, and December was good, but nothing in-between. I even failed with the fashion meme sketches I had offered.

It's almost too depressing to index, but I've indexed every year since 2006, so: This year there were three pieces of art, nine drawbles/doodles, no icons and nine months entirely without art, compared to 2011's six pieces of art, 36 drawbles/doodles, seven icons, and three months entirely without art. 2010 it was four pieces of art, 28 doodles/drawbles, one icon, and also three months without art; 2009 five pieces of art, 20 doodles/drawbles, three icons and six months without art.

I posted the 2011 Secret Mutant XMFC/HP art, Learned Trust, to my journal (linked in this roundup because it wasn't yet revealed in last year's)
Illustration for Best Laid Plans (Pinky & Brain)
Seven More Joy Day drawbles five here, one here, and one illustrating Basingstoke's duck!John Watson

February - May
Nothing :(

Hulk with a lead binkie (Avengers/Peanuts fusion doodle)

July - November
Nothing :(

Solace (Captain America/Spider-Man), my Yuletart painting
Christmas Bakery (XMFC), my Secret Mutant painting
Logan as fluffy wolverine doodle (X-Men)
ratcreature: RatCreature is dead by anvil. (dead)
It's five in the morning, but I'm done now (in every sense of the word). With the deadline being tomorrow night, I could have even taken a break and gone to bed at a slightly more reasonable hour, but I was afraid that if I stopped in the middle of coloring it, it would have been even more stressful, and I'd just have fretted even more. Now I only have to think of a title and post it for the exchange on AO3.

I'm not entirely happy with how it turned out, but I am glad that I won't end up defaulting after all. And in managing to do two exchanges, I made more art recently than in all the rest of the year, which was nearly completely lacking in art production.


Oct. 24th, 2012 20:04
ratcreature: Flail! (flail)
I made the last minute decision to sign up for [ profile] secret_mutant after all. So now I'm committed to two exchanges. *gulp*

But I got my assignment for [community profile] yuletart where you could pick prompts, and while I didn't get my favorite for a match, I think it is very doable and I have an idea how draw the prompt (my first two preferences weren't the first preferences the recipients wanted to get, whereas the one I got assigned was the first the recipient wanted, so I get why I was matched there).

And if I successfully manage to make these two pieces, my art output this year won't be quite so abysmal.

I am a bit worried about [ profile] secret_mutant because it is a mixed exchange, and in these the problem is always that many just don't think about art when prompting or giving extra info in exchange letters. I mean, I browsed the couple of letters people have already posted (I still need to post mine, I only just signed up), and three of the four only have sentences how they look forward to what people *write* or start with thanks for *writing* something, so if I got matched to someone like that, it would make me feel somewhat neurotic, that they'll just resent that they got matched with someone for art rather than getting a story and will not be happy with my gift no matter what.
ratcreature: RatCreature is conflicted, and ponders under the influence of hovering angel- and devil-RatCreatures. (conflicted)
I'm wondering whether I should sign up for [ profile] secret_mutant this year. It'll have quite a tight schedule, with just five weeks between getting the assignment and its due date, and I already signed up for [community profile] yuletart, which also gives about five weeks, though that'll be due about two weeks earlier. So they don't overlap completely. OTOH, I've not been productive art-wise at all recently, so I'm not sure I ought to sign up for multiple things. On the third hand I usually do manage to produce art with the pressure of an exchange, and I would get a fanwork too.
ratcreature: RatCreature as memesheep. (memesheep)
Your main fandom of the year?
Definitely X-Men: First Class in the second half, and probably rediscovering Highlander in the first half.

Your favorite film watched this year?
X-Men: First Class

Your favorite book read this year?
Possibly Midnight Riot by Ben Aaronovitch. Though I was probably more invested in Ghost Story by Jim Butcher.

Your favorite album or song to listen to this year?
I don't listen to a lot of music.

Your favorite TV show of the year?
Merlin, like last year.

Your favorite DW/LJ community of the year?
I haven't been very active on any comms besides my own (obligatory plug: check out [community profile] fanart_recs *g*), but perhaps the XMFC kink memes? But then I don't really like the kink meme format that much, it's just that I go where stories are to be found.

Your best new fandom discovery of the year?
X-Men: First Class again. Though I've been into X-Men before, so it's not strictly new. Then again the non-reboot media launches seem to get ever rarer.

Your biggest fandom disappointment of the year?
Hmm. I've not been really disappointed in a fandom in which I was still very invested. Perhaps that so far I haven't even watched SPN season 7 anymore counts? In fandom I've missed [ profile] yuletart a lot. And as far as general infrastructure goes, I really wish Delicious hadn't self-destructed.

Your fandom boyfriend of the year?
I'm still not sure how to take this question. A character I really like? Someone whom I fantasize having a relationship with? In the latter case none, in the former, possibly Erik Lehnsherr (with the understanding that I want Charles and/or Raven to keep him occupied and far away from me).

Your fandom girlfriend of the year?
I don't think I fell in love with any characters this year specifically.

Your biggest squee moment of the year?
Uh. I actually have no real idea. Possibly Ghost Story arriving by mail?

The most missed of your old fandoms?
Like last year, when it comes to nostalgia I probably still miss The Sentinel most for the complete fandom immersion of being almost mono-fannish in a big and centralized fandom, that was very active with both fic and discussion.

The fandom you haven't tried yet, but want to?
I can't think of anything. Feel free to suggest stuff...

Your biggest fan anticipations for the New Year?
The next thing in the calendar I look forward to is the new Sherlock. Later 2012 there's the new Temeraire book (I wasn't that thrilled with the last one, but still hope for the next), the Legend of Korra, and later The Hobbit movie comes to mind as well.
ratcreature: navel-gazing RatCreature (navel-gazing)
I'm curious which content people are most interested in, thus a poll:

Poll #8020 Shared Fandoms?
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 31

Which fandoms do we share that you are currently into, and are hoping content (recs, art, talk,...) for them might appear here?

View Answers

1 (3.2%)

DC Comics
8 (25.8%)

Dresden Files
9 (29.0%)

Harry Potter
16 (51.6%)

10 (32.3%)

Lord of the Rings
7 (22.6%)

13 (41.9%)

6 (19.4%)

1 (3.2%)

3 (9.7%)

Sherlock Holmes
16 (51.6%)

Stargate Atlantis
18 (58.1%)

Star Trek
16 (51.6%)

Star Wars
7 (22.6%)

10 (32.3%)

11 (35.5%)

5 (16.1%)

White Collar
14 (45.2%)

17 (54.8%)

other fandoms not on the list above that I'll mention in the text box below
3 (9.7%)

The other fandom(s) we share that I'm into is:

Rate how interested you are in the type of post (from 0 = not interested at all to 4 = very interested), with the assumption that you are interested in the fandom for the fannish post types:

Poll #8021 Preferred Content?
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 26

polished fanart

View Answers
Mean: 3.64 Median: 4 Std. Dev 0.62
00 (0.0%)
10 (0.0%)
22 (8.0%)
35 (20.0%)
418 (72.0%)

art process posts

View Answers
Mean: 2.83 Median: 3 Std. Dev 1.03
01 (4.2%)
10 (0.0%)
29 (37.5%)
36 (25.0%)
48 (33.3%)

drawbles (i. e. doodles made for prompt memes)

View Answers
Mean: 3.32 Median: 4 Std. Dev 0.79
00 (0.0%)
10 (0.0%)
25 (20.0%)
37 (28.0%)
413 (52.0%)

GIPs with RatCreature icon doodles

View Answers
Mean: 3.28 Median: 4 Std. Dev 0.87
00 (0.0%)
11 (4.0%)
24 (16.0%)
37 (28.0%)
413 (52.0%)

other doodles

View Answers
Mean: 2.96 Median: 3 Std. Dev 0.81
00 (0.0%)
10 (0.0%)
28 (34.8%)
38 (34.8%)
47 (30.4%)

fanfic recs

View Answers
Mean: 3.54 Median: 4 Std. Dev 0.76
00 (0.0%)
11 (4.2%)
21 (4.2%)
36 (25.0%)
416 (66.7%)

fanart recs

View Answers
Mean: 3.44 Median: 4 Std. Dev 0.75
00 (0.0%)
10 (0.0%)
24 (16.0%)
36 (24.0%)
415 (60.0%)

thematic lists

View Answers
Mean: 3.42 Median: 4 Std. Dev 0.79
00 (0.0%)
10 (0.0%)
25 (19.2%)
35 (19.2%)
416 (61.5%)

squee and short blather about a source

View Answers
Mean: 3.42 Median: 3.5 Std. Dev 0.63
00 (0.0%)
10 (0.0%)
22 (7.7%)
311 (42.3%)
413 (50.0%)

fannish rants

View Answers
Mean: 3.31 Median: 3 Std. Dev 0.72
00 (0.0%)
10 (0.0%)
24 (15.4%)
310 (38.5%)
412 (46.2%)

longer musing/meta about a source (doesn't happen that often recently, but something tl;dr like this)

View Answers
Mean: 3.38 Median: 3.5 Std. Dev 0.74
00 (0.0%)
11 (3.8%)
21 (3.8%)
311 (42.3%)
413 (50.0%)

blather/meta about fandom in general (like this)

View Answers
Mean: 3.46 Median: 4 Std. Dev 0.69
00 (0.0%)
10 (0.0%)
23 (11.5%)
38 (30.8%)
415 (57.7%)

fanart/drawing meta (like this)

View Answers
Mean: 2.83 Median: 3 Std. Dev 0.80
00 (0.0%)
11 (4.2%)
27 (29.2%)
311 (45.8%)
45 (20.8%)

rat related posts

View Answers
Mean: 2.60 Median: 2 Std. Dev 1.02
00 (0.0%)
13 (12.0%)
211 (44.0%)
34 (16.0%)
47 (28.0%)

RL related posts

View Answers
Mean: 2.91 Median: 3 Std. Dev 0.93
00 (0.0%)
12 (8.7%)
25 (21.7%)
39 (39.1%)
47 (30.4%)
ratcreature: RatCreature as memesheep. (memesheep)
3 – For each of the fandoms from day two, what were your favorite characters to draw/paint/depict/...?

Answering just for the fandoms where I created a couple of planned things: For DC that would be Dick Grayson followed by Tim Drake, for SGA John Sheppard followed by Teyla, for HP I really enjoy doing magical creatures most rather than characters, but numerically as far as characters go Snape is ahead in my fanart, even though he is actually not my favorite character, which is Harry. Whom I oddly enough have only drawn as platypus animagus outside of drawbles. (It was an animagus challenge, so not as odd as it seems, and really platypuses are awesome.) For Temeraire he is my favorite dragon, but Iskierka was fun to paint.
ratcreature: RatCreature as memesheep. (memesheep)
2 – Name the fandoms you've made fanart for, and how much you've created in that fandom, and if you still create in it.

For main numbers I counted only "regular" fanart, but because I'm not very prolific in the brackets is the number if I include quick drawbles, meme responses, comment pictures and such. I didn't count icons of any kind, neither my own, nor the ones I've made from the sources. Some crossover and fusion pieces are counted twice. I omitted some fandoms for which I've only done a single drawble.

Avatar the Last Airbender 1 (4)
DC Comics 23 (48)
Dresden Files 2 (4)
Farscape 0 (4)
Harry Potter 9 (17)
Marvel 3 (9)
Merlin 1 (4)
Muppets 3 (5)
Sherlock Holmes 0 (3)
Stargate Atlantis 6 (25)
Star Trek 1 (8)
Star Wars 1 (7)
Supernatural 0 (6)
Temeraire 3 (6)
Terminator 0 (2)
Watership Down 1 (2)

As to whether I still create in a fandom, that's hard to say. I never really leave a fandom completely, and for many my interest is somewhat cyclic, i.e. I drift out for a time, then revisit them. For the fandom where I've been most prolific, i.e. DC, I have currently no plans to tackle any of the fanart ideas I jotted down back when I was active there, though I'd still do drawbles in it. I have a partially-finished SGA piece that I have the best intentions to finish at some point, not least because I already put a bit of work in the pencil drawing beyond merely scribbles. Looking at my file with fanart ideas, there are still several I'd like to realize in Harry Potter, Merlin, SGA, Star Trek and Dresden Files, but who knows. I guess It would be more truthful to say that I'd like to have those images finished (bonus points for magically looking like in my head), but the realization part is rather more tricky with my work ethic routinely hovering between "inert sludge" and "sloth".
ratcreature: RatCreature as memesheep. (memesheep)
I've seen this meme around on my network, most recently from [ profile] penknife, and because I don't write fanfic I adapted the questions for fanart. Some of the phrasing is a bit awkward, because due to all the different kinds of fanart I didn't just want to replace "write" with "draw".

1 – How did you first get into creating fanart, and what was the first fandom you made art for? What do you think it was about that fandom that pulled you in?

This depends a bit on how narrow you see what's "fanart". I've been in (non-superhero) comic fandom and drew comics as a kid, but those were more or less original, i.e. I did not use existing characters or copied comics except for style.

Even then I was much better at worldbuilding than plot, so for my first real comic project (that was back in fourth or fifth grade), I wanted to do a comic about these fluffy creatures I imagined (called Wuschels, kind of like tribbles, but with eyes, noses, feet and antenna and not as fertile), but what I ended up with was a sort of background treatise with illustrations detailing how they lived and their society and biology and such. I only managed two pages of an actual comic, then ran out of plot, and strangely enough did another illustrated thing about their version of football. IDEK. I mean, I've never been a sports fan, this just shows how pervasive football is. I did share these with my family and subjected my long suffering best friend to my efforts as well. I was never one much for drawer projects. I still have the drawings and texts from that project in a binder, but I lost the ones I made from yarn. From then on I drew comics all through high school. Some of them are posted on my website.

It took me much longer to try creating fanart in a narrow sense. The first media fandoms I got into online weren't good places for fanart. My first major online fandom was The Sentinel in the late 90s, and there was very little fanart online, and mostly just collage type photomanips that often weren't all that good. Zines were expensive, so I only ever ordered a couple, and even those often did not have any illustrations, and the few that did were all aiming for a very photo-realist style. I know now that even at the time there had been other fanart styles around for tv fandoms, but I didn't know that then. I thought to be accepted as fanart in live action fandoms art had to try for photorealism. So at that time I didn't even realize that anyone might be interested in the kind of fanart I could do.

Eventually there was a Sentinel fanfic for which I couldn't resist drawing an illustration, but the result was really quite bad. I was too embarrassed to attach my internet identity to that, and incidentally was also for a story I did not want to admit to have liked under my regular pseud either. These days I'm much less embarrassed about my kinks, and the author managed to push all my buttons really well, despite that the story was an unfinished WIP, not even spellchecked and OOC. But I still wanted to give the author the drawing her story had inspired (like I said above, I never saw much sense to produce for a drawer rather than public, not even if it's somewhat cringeworthy, I mean it still took time and effort after all), so that led to the only time I ever created a sockpuppet account in fandom. So I actually posted my first piece of fanart as a sockpuppet. I guess it is similar to venturing forth into anon kink memes first these days. Luckily afaik the yahoogroup where I posted the picture in the file section has vanished by now, so I don't think it is even on the internet anymore... Which is really better for everyone. I don't recall even the author responding with anything after getting the art.

The first fanart I posted properly was after I got drawn into DC fandom. I was inspired by [personal profile] cereta's story Secrets, and unlike the live action fandoms I was in, it seemed less daunting to draw comic characters than to have to try for a realist style, and Cereta and some others on my flist were encouraging me to try, so I took the plunge. Also at that point LJ was replacing mailing lists as platform, so not only seemed comic fandom easier to draw for and more receptive and open to art than the live action fandoms I knew previously, posting it was also easier.

The rest of the meme questions, slightly adapted to fit fanart )


Jun. 25th, 2011 21:54
ratcreature: RL? What RL? RatCreature is a net addict.  (what rl?)
I was looking at my website stats and noticed that there was a significant spike in traffic one day earlier this month, so I was curious whether I had been linked/recced somewhere, and checked the referrer logs which led me to a ONTD post titled "Amazingly Bad Fan Art", which actually didn't contain any of my art, also the art of the post was neither hotlinked nor credited with links, so artists "featured" there would probably not even notice. (Incidentally much of the art wasn't particularly bad either.)

Still curious I browsed the comments, and it turns out someone hotlinked my Nightwing/Arsenal picture there, also not crediting me with a proper link. (There's a reason I tend to make my sigs large, at least viewers can see my name on the pic.) Though the opinion in the couple of replies to the pic had also some that liked the art. So I guess the thing about any publicity sort of applies.

I still find posts like this obnoxious, not so much because people mock fanart they don't like(*), I understand that impulse (it's not like I don't post my own wtf? reactions to odd fanfic every now and then), but because so often there's no credit. I mean, while I was looking through the comment pages to find which of my art was linked, I saw a bunch of art I actually liked, and some art that wasn't my fandoms but still clever or funny. Only in plenty of cases where someone wasn't siphoning bandwidth from the original artist's pages but just grabbed the picture, you often can't find the artists.

(*) ETA: Though IMO it's mean and a cheap shot if the target is art clearly posted by children and teenagers trying to portrait their first crushes. Of course the portraits will have the typical beginner problems.
ratcreature: RatCreature at the drawing board. (drawing)
I made a process post in the [ profile] fanartivation comm for my previous SGA fanart "Offworld Team Camping". I haven't made a process post for that art here back when I posted it, so if you like process photos you might want to check out the post there.
ratcreature: TMI! RatCreature is embarrassed while holding up a dildo. (tmi)
I was reading a LOTR AU (No Man's Child by Anoriath, it's unfortunately an unfinished WIP, and sadly seems abandoned since 2007), and I had a hard time figuring out why I liked it so much, when at first glance it has a lot I don't care for: First, it is Aragorn/OFC and I'm pretty much set on Aragorn/Arwen as my OTP by inclination. And I like AUs much less in LOTR than in most other fandoms. Also, it is from the OFC's POV and Aragorn as well as other canon characters appear only occasionally.

Eventually I realized that the whole thing, all 180k words of it, basically caters to my service kink. The premise of the story is that a few years before the ring war in wake of suffering a serious injury Aragorn bows to pressure from the Dunedain to take a wife and produce an heir to secure Isildur's line, but it does not change that Aragorn loves Arwen. We don't get to see his thoughts on this as the POV is exclusively the OFC's, and she doesn't even know Aragorn personally before meeting him for the wedding, as he sent Halbarad to ask for her. So there is no love story at all, though eventually they become fond of each other in a way. She somewhat more of him than he of her, but the distance and ritual courtesy never vanishes.

The story then mostly follows how the OFC dutifully reorganizes his household, and tries to manage politics and feudal obligations among the remnants of the Dunedain with a good amount of vivid detail, because besides wanting an heir, Aragorn asked her help keep his remaining people safe while Sauron's threat grows, yet he is mostly away doing the things he does in canon at this time, i.e. hunting for Gollum, which the reader knows, but the OFC doesn't in any detail. Eventually they are also successful with the reproductive duties, which I found nicely handled, because Aragorn does not really want to have sex with her more than absolutely necessary (he doesn't confide to her about Arwen, but the OFC realizes fairly soon that he is love with someone he couldn't marry), while she is okay with the sex but uncomfortable to press him too boldly, but also feels the pressure that conception needs to happen for his dynasty as well as for her household position, which is all complicated by him being frequently absent.

All of which is fairly bleak from a romance angle, but from a certain kind of service kink perspective it is a delightful wallow, because the OFC acts the whole time in the service to her lord, and while companionship grows between them over time the status difference is never forgotten, and meanwhile Aragorn is seen to act in service to his people even against his own desires, because it is his duty to secure his family line. So that satisfies twice over.

So I'm happy I gave this a try even though from its bare headers it seemed not to fit with my preferences at all. Anyway, if you share that particular kink (and don't mind the unfinished status) you should check this out. Also if you like stories of ordinary folk's everyday life against the backdrop of the build up to the ring war.
ratcreature: navel-gazing RatCreature (navel-gazing)
When I posted my first Tolkien fanart rec, I realized that I do not have a single Tolkien icon. I ought to fix this, but I'm not sure how to make it recognizable. My favorite character is Aragorn, so ideally I'd like my avatar dressed up as him, but what are the iconic attributes that would make it clear my creature is supposed to be him?
ratcreature: RatCreature as a sloth (sloth)
I thought 2009 was a low point in productiveness, but this year wasn't any better. Back in 2009 I made five pieces of art, 20 doodles/drawbles, and three icons, and in 2010 it was four pieces of art, 28 doodles/drawbles and one icon. Though I also created [community profile] fanart_recs, so that led to me reccing fanart at least.

Nothing. :(
though I posted the 2009 Yuletart SGA art, Offworld Team Camping to my journal (linked in this roundup because it wasn't yet in last year's)

creature doodle: a valentine's card of a sort

Nothing. :(

an Easter doodle: Infiltration

a Sherlock Holmes doodle that I did in response to a request in [community profile] artondemand
Trek Reverse Bang fanart

Nothing. :(

a Kirk/Spock mindmeld ratcreature icon

eleven drawbles: ten here, and a straggler here

eleven drawbles for the character roulette meme

a comment doodle I did for Te (DCU crack)

Graphorn (HP fanart)

Dresden Files doodle
Santa Claus with dragon
Dragon bookmark doodle
and the not yet revealed [ profile] yuletart art.
ratcreature: navel-gazing RatCreature (navel-gazing)
With my last acrylic painting I tried for the first time to skip the lineart inking, and now I'm wondering which version of my style viewers like better, if they have a preference at all, i.e. without inked lineart like in this Star Trek art, or with inked lineart like for example in this SGA art or pretty much any color art I've done before.

Poll #5136 lineart: to ink or not to ink
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 18

Which lineart style do you prefer for my fanart paintings?

View Answers

lineart inked in black (like the SGA example)
3 (16.7%)

lineart not inked (like the ST example)
10 (55.6%)

no preference
5 (27.8%)


May. 29th, 2010 20:36
ratcreature: RatCreature is dejected: sigh (sigh)
I dropped out of the [community profile] sgareversebang because I had procrastinated so much that turning my concept scribbles into pencils in time for this Sunday's rough draft deadline depended on being able to draw yesterday and today, as I had planned. Only then RL didn't cooperate at all.

It's the first time I dropped out of a challenge (not that I've done many), and it rather sucks. I also regret that now there won't be a story for my picture idea, but it couldn't be helped. :(
ratcreature: Procrastination is a Lifestyle. RatCreature in a hammock doing nothing. (procrastination)
Because I'm procrastinating on my SGA Reverse Bang piece, I've decided to do a process post about my last fanart, the one for the Trek Reverse Bang. That painting took me a long time, and quite a lot of work spread out of over three months, and maybe some are interested how I get from the first idea to a finished painting.

image heavy )
ratcreature: RatCreature is conflicted, and ponders under the influence of hovering angel- and devil-RatCreatures. (conflicted)
I've been waffling whether to sign up for the [community profile] sgareversebang (artist sign-ups end tomorrow).

+committing to challenges and the deadline pressure helps me to produce things, when I don't otherwise
+the Trekreversebang has been turning out to be quite fun so far, and I like this model of challenge, so it would be nice to do it for SGA

-I have not quite finished painting said Trekreversebang painting, both because this has been somehow taking ages to complete, even longer than usual, and because unexpected, stressful RL events have been taking up time and also energy
-it might not be so great to introduce additional pressure in form of deadlines just now with the RL stuff going on, and the timeframe of the [community profile] sgareversebang is rather tight considering my usual snail-like pace (first art drafts would be due May 30) and the overlap with the Trek challenge
ratcreature: navel-gazing RatCreature (navel-gazing)
Some years ago I posted some scans of a superhero drawing book, specifically from chapters where it explains drawing women. That post is widely linked, and google brings it up fairly high up when you search for "how to draw comics" and the like. This results in me still getting a steady stream of comments that range from clueless to horrible sexist drivel or worse.

Now LJ offers you the option to lock comments without deleting or hiding the old ones, and having once again an sexist idiot rant at me today (in multiple comments even, I assume the person didn't notice the comment field telling them I log IP addresses), I am considering to freeze comments there. In general I like to keep comments open, and normally I like getting comments on older posts, and every once in a while I get and interesting one even on that post, but is that worth getting enraged every so often? (I usually don't react anymore, but since I screen anon comments to weed out spam, I have to at least glance at their drivel.) The comments are an illuminating display of fail from certain segments of comic fandom, but then we all know about that already, so there is really not that much need to have them enact it over and over again in my years old post.

So I'm waffling, and wondering what you think.

Poll #2698 moderation question
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 24

Should I freeze comments in that post?

View Answers

23 (95.8%)

1 (4.2%)

ratcreature: RatCreature as memesheep. (memesheep)
I gacked this from [ profile] glockgal, but the original empty template comes from Kamaniki at dA. The time span for chronicling art in this meme fit me well, because I started posting fanart in 2003, so I took it as a sign that I ought to be a memesheep.

a huge image behind the cut, it might be considered NSFW by some strict standards due to kissing and groping going on in some art samples )

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