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One of the WORST things you can do...

Journal Entry: Sun Apr 11, 2010, 8:51 AM
  • Mood: Sympathy

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...to an artist is to take away his ability to do art and cripple him in a way that makes it almost impossible to start again.  Well, that's what happened to someone I love and respect a lot: Aegis-Strife

Here is what happened in his own words:

"Hi folks…

Yesterday at night, some guys entered in my house and stole everything from my studio: computer, cameras, lenses, hard drives… they only left one hard drive (which miracoulously is the one in which my PSDs and RAWs are) and the tripod.

The total value is around 5.000 €… everything I ever needed or got…

I've got to buy a computer this afternoon, the cheapest one, with my very last money. Goodbye to everything else…

So yeah… I'm an empty man now… Those bastards stole all the stuff for which I've needed a life to get… great…"

I'm just sickened by this hateful act and if anyone out there can help with donated equipment or money, please do.  

Thanks!

A Public Service Announcement. Or is it?

Journal Entry: Wed Feb 3, 2010, 10:03 PM
  • Mood: dA Love

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So, I may have found a collaborator for future stock!  :)  No solid plans yet, but I did get to meet the loverly staffdancer and family and hopefully we can both recharge our inspiration for our respective stock accounts. So that was very cool.

Also, still very involved in dog rescue.  Your help is needed here: shelterdiaries.blogspot.com/20… .  And speaking of dogs, would stock of dogs of various breeds be useful to anyone?  Just wondering...
  



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Eulogy

Journal Entry: Fri Aug 14, 2009, 9:07 PM
  • Mood: Miserable

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(Written 8/13)



Buster was the perfect dog.  He wasn't some exotic pedigree or AKC-worthy purebred.  He didn't know any tricks or excel at any doggie duties.  He wasn't even a particularly good watch-dog.  What he was, however, was gentle, dignified, loving, patient and so eager to please.  He endured the juvenile machismo of our other dog, Rufus, yet found his position in our little pack without problem. He never disobeyed when he could figure out what we wanted him to do.  He learned "sit" and had almost figured out "lie down."  When it was time for a walk, he waited for his leash and then patiently sat at the edge of the entryway with Rufus for us to say "Okay, let's go."  The night before he died, we were going to leave him to rest while we took Rufus for a walk, but little Buster clambered shakily off of the futon and wobbled over to us, as if to say "Hey, I'm still part of this family.  I'm supposed to go with you."  We took him down the block just a bit until he flopped down in a yard.  Then we walked him slowly home.  

He was a part of our family from the moment we let him into the backyard to meet Rufus.  Rufus is happy all the day long, so rather than treat this new dog like an intruder, he sprang about playfully, trying to determine the parameters of our new dynamic.  Buster was at first quite all right with letting Rufus be "top dog."  But Rufus, having so little doggie-sense, wouldn't let it go.  So Buster, over the course of the next few days, put the little brat in line and enjoyed a little more respect, (off and on.)

One thing Buster liked was to wade around in our little plastic kiddie pool.  Rufus uses it as a glorified water dish, but Buster would climb right in and slosh around.  After a particularly hard rain, I poured the water out into the yard so I could refill it with clean water.  Oh boy.  The mud puddle was epic and both dogs ran around in it like lunatics, and then chased each other through the house, leaving a trail of mud across the livingroom, onto the futon/couch, and all over both bathroom floors.  It was impossible to be upset about it: they were having so much fun.  

When we took Buster to get neutered, the vet noted he had an upper resperatory infection and gave us some medicines to give him.  Three different pills, twice a day.  Well, Buster was one of those dogs that could eat peanut butter from around a pill and spit it back out.  We tried just shoving the pills into the back of his mouth but his jaws were so strong.  And he had no appetite so it was hard getting him to eat.  The first couple of days, we just pulverized the pills and slipped the powder into Yokult (Google it) and squirted it into his mouth. Once his appetite kicked in—and did it ever—he gulped all three pills down inside meatballs made of canned dog food.  When the wet dog food ran out, peanut butter and then hot dogs did the trick. (And then we bought more wet food!)

He never finished off his prescription.  Never even finished off that last can of dog food.  Never even got his stitches taken out.  He blew into our lives and we were making plans for years and years of belonging to each other, but he was sicker than we realized.

Yesterday morning I noticed the muscles in his head and neck twitching continuously.  We had no idea what it was and so later that day we asked Doc.  She said it sounded like distemper.  We weren't sure if that was a death sentence or not, so I planned to go online and find out what I could about it.  As proof of an indifferent universe, the power supply to our connector box was fried and we could not find a replacement anywhere.  Our provider promised to send one within a couple of days.  So we were left to call a friend and ask him to tell us what he could find.  Still, there was nothing we could do but keep him as comfortable as possible until morning, when we could take him to see Doc.

It got worse last night, (yet he still wanted his walk) and by this morning, he was having seizures that left him frothing at the mouth.  We both knew this was probably the end, but kept trying to hold on to whatever sliver of hope there could be.  When we got to the shelter, Buster was so scared he tried to run away.  I don't know if he thought we were going to abandon him there or if it was the disease making him panic.  We wanted to be with him to the very end, but because of city ordinances, we had to leave him with the vet and vet tech.  We walked out and just stood there, holding each other and crying in the parking lot.  He was our perfect dog.  He was the missing piece that we didn't know was missing until he clicked into place and made our lives so much happier.  

Just a handful of days ago, as we were lounging around on the futon with our two sleepy dogs, Tim said "It's stupid, I know, but right now I'm so happy, it kind of hurts.  I'm not used to it."  

Preparing for the worst, we spent that last evening giving him every ounce of love we could.  He could hardly sleep through his tremors so I gave him a midnight buffet of hot dogs, yogurt, wet dog food and water.  He still had his appetite and still loved meatballs.  He seemed unable to walk so I carried him into the bedroom to sleep with Tim one last time.  

On the way to the vet, he sat up in the back seat, in spite of his seizures, and looked out the window at the world he was leaving.  Trees in bloom, blue skies with thick white clouds, cars, people, buildings, all in colors that seemed so bright, painted especially pretty just for him.  He seemed to savor his time here and was filling his eyes with a last look at his world.  He didn't know what was happening, I know.  I'm aware of anthropomorphising our pets, but I want to believe he was still full of doggy curiosity and wonder, up to the end.  I just wish he hadn't been afraid, those final minutes.  I wish we could have stayed with him.  But in the end, death is death and he's not scared or suffering anymore.  

We hardly had time to make memories, but my favorite one, the one that will stay with me the strongest, was one afternoon when I came home from a day out with Tim.  I flopped down on the futon and Buster came in the room, looking perky.  I opened my arms wide and said "Buster!" in a cheerful voice.  He suddenly sprang onto my chest, laying his forelegs around my neck and resting his head against mine.  A perfect cuddle, a wonderful surprise.  I honestly didn't expect that reaction.  It made me laugh and call Tim in from the other room to see.  He lay on me like that for a while, just "hugging" me.  I would give the world for that moment one more time.

I kept his collar and tags.  His id tag is on my keyring for now.  I think I'd like a more fitting tribute to him, but I'll have to figure that out later.  Maybe a photo with his tag attached to the frame.  Simple and classy, like my Buster.

There was a meteor shower last night.  I think I saw a meteor but it went by so quickly I'm not sure it wasn't just a trick of the light.  Buster was like that: a brief, bright, beautiful light that was gone before we could blink.  He was the perfect dog for us and there is a huge hole where his piece of the puzzle used to fit.  But we got a glimpse of the whole picture, and it was wonderful.





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We have a new addition to the family!

Journal Entry: Mon Aug 3, 2009, 3:21 AM
  • Mood: Joy

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It had been a particularly bad week at the shelter.  One by one, dogs were falling ill or else simply running out of time as the spaces filled up, and so many of our little pals were being put to sleep.  Buster was the last of the "oldies" who'd been there the longest.  We loved him but knew that there were and always would be dogs we loved but we certainly couldn't save them all.  However, he just seemed like the right dog for us.  The right personality.  And, with the week as horrible as it had been, maybe this was our last chance to pull something good out of it all:

Buster's Last Stand

That was yesterday.  After he and Rufus hashed out who was going to be alpha (Rufus, apparently) it's like a final puzzle piece of my life has suddenly clicked into place and I haven't stopped smiling.  I think I even fell asleep smiling, one dog on the floor beside me, the other one curled up by my feet on the futon.  The cats even seem more relaxed now that Rufus has someone his own speed and species to roughhouse with.  Even though this will make things tight, financially, I have to say I have a strange contentment now that I really can't explain.  He was the right dog and though we may not think so, this was the right time for him as well.  

I love my fuzzy family.

Speaking of fuzzy family members, RTyson's new doggie needs surgery soon, to the tune of around $3,000.  She's having an art sale but donations are always appreciated.  Please check out the art for sale here: rtyson.deviantart.com/journal/… and if you want to donate, the paypal address is aggieslegs@live.co.uk
Every little bit helps, so don't hesitate if you have even $5 to spare.  

Have you hugged your pets today?  :hug:


Stamp by cyrano82

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:thumb126412277::iconidriskhaleesi:
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Long ago, in Someone Else's lifetime

Journal Entry: Wed May 13, 2009, 5:43 AM
  • Mood: Homesick

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Have you ever googled your own name, just to see what, if anything, would come up?  Well, I did.  Not the name I go by now but my "old" name.  My "real" name.  And I caught a glimpse of the girl I used to be.  Just some really old fanfics I wrote about 18 years ago or so that someone had posted on a fan site.  Most of what I saw filled me with a good dose of embarrassment but I also came to miss that part of me.  The writer.  The young girl who dreamed of being an artist/writer and fully believed in those dreams.  The girl who never saw herself doing anything but that and I wonder what she'd think of me now.  I kind of miss feeling that sort of confidence and ambition.  I'm nothing that I wanted to be other than having the sexy husband and house full of cats.  I know she'd be pleased about those things.  ;)  But I wonder when exactly it was that I finally put down the pencil and stepped away from the word processor (yep, these were the old days) for the last time.

So yesterday, after Tim cleaned out his old art studio (and therein lies a REAL story of dreams gone wrong... but that is his story to tell if he wants to) I asked him for one of his unused sketchbooks and some pencils.  I miss that girl and I know that it'll be like trying to stir up half-set cement, but I'm going to try and find some of those ideas and some of that artistic enthusiam in me once again.  I was way better as a writer than an artist but I have to start back somewhere.  The stories I used to write... well, I may have become much too self-conscious to share those with anyone, but who knows?  


PS. If anyone is interested, I might post some of my really old art on my vkacademy page.  Maybe.


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Give Me Liberty... by RafkinsWarning:iconrafkinswarning:
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In Thine Name by bkhook:iconbkhook:
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Puppy photos: what is he?

Journal Entry: Fri Feb 20, 2009, 3:31 PM
  • Mood: Apprehensive

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Well, we all survived our first night together.  Beanie is still hiding but the other 3 cats are being slightly braver although not really happy about him being here.  

Here are a couple of photos to give you an idea of what kind of puppy we're fostering.  Isn't he cute?  But man, his breath is STANK!!!
Mishka and Tim by lockstockMishka conquering the dog food by lockstock



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President Obama asked me to do this.

Journal Entry: Wed Feb 4, 2009, 11:59 PM
  • Mood: Helpful

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My president has asked me (and every other American) to donate time to community work.  Volunteering.  So I'm registering on VolunteerMatch.org to give time and energy to causes that matter to me.  The awesome thing about volunteering is that you can choose whatever it is that you feel strongly about.  Me?  It's going to be animal shelters.  Cleaning cages, playing with animals, maybe even taking really great photos of them for the animal rescue website!  (The photos on most sites look like doggie Gitmos.)  My first gig is going to be taking care of the cats that are kept at the PetSmart across the street from my workplace.  My other gig will be at the Irving Animal Shelter working with both dogs and cats.  The IAS is a kill shelter so it's especially important to me to make these animals as friendly and adoptable as possible.  Luckily, they have a very high rate of adoptions.  In the three days since Tim and I started going there, we've seen at least 8 dogs getting adopted.  

So, what do you want to do?  Senior centers, nature parks, soup kitchens, highway cleanup, so many places to do your patriotic duty! :D  
   


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Lady with Ivy by cyrano82:iconcyrano82:
Pisces by iizzard:iconiizzard:
Forest poetry by skyggenframyra:iconskyggenframyra:
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Seraphic Solitude by DreamingLizard:icondreaminglizard:
.Fallen. by LadyUndone:iconladyundone:
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A voice needs an ear

Journal Entry: Sat Mar 8, 2008, 1:53 PM
  • Mood: Compassion

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NEWS!


In 1908, 15,000 women marched through New York City and demanded better pay, shorter work hours, and the right to vote.  A hundred years later, many women in the world still are struggling for basic human rights.  In societies where rape victims are ostracized and even punished, the cost of speaking out can be devastating.  Yet even so, there are women who are fighting to change this.  They have found their voices, but they need someone to listen.

Women For Women is an organization helping these women to rebuild their lives and to build strong communities in war and post-war areas.  It costs as little as $27 a month to support a woman and her kids.  In a lot of war-torn areas, the women are widows or have no family to turn to.  They alone must provide for themselves and their children.  

Read Kizende's story to see how this program can change a life.

Even if you don't have the financial means to help, at least listen to what she has to say.  She risked everything to say it.


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. . .and they called her Eve by Joaris333:iconjoaris333:
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Designed and coded for the lovely `Lockstock by Elandria

Goodbye Lou

Journal Entry: Fri Nov 9, 2007, 3:00 PM
  • Mood: Tearful

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CLICK!


If clicking a button and downloading a text file would save someone's life, would you do it?
THIS IS THE MEGAUPLOADS LINK  You can click once every 24 hours.  Keep clicking as if a life depended on it.  Because it DOES.
CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL STORY Please read the original livejournal here: community.livejournal.com/proj…

I've already done it myself and can verify the file is virus free. It literally takes about 2 seconds and requires no sign-up, no password, no personal information at all. You have nothing to lose but a portion of one minute of your day. Please do it.




NEWS!



:blackrose:

Today I carried Lou out into the back yard for one last bask in the sunlight, one last breath of fresh autumn air.  Then we went back inside and I laid him on the floor.  The other cats sniffed at him and Ghira kept vigil beside him.  About an hour later, he took his last breaths and died, surrounded by his family.  

Thank you, Lou, for being my kitty.  I'll miss my little silky-soft boy.

Right now, Tim's gone to get a spade or shovel.  Tez is lying beside Lou, staring at his body and face.  The kittens were playing in the box that was going to be Lou's coffin but I think the bare earth will do nicely.  Right now, everyone is is still and quiet, even the kittens and bird.  I'm just typing this in between bouts of crying and petting his body.  I will miss that so much, just the feel of his fur and the warm softness that he once had.  

He came along when I was wishing for a kitten of my own.  He was so small and had apparently crawled up into the engine area of Tim's car and even gone for a ride, as his whiskers were singed.  But he wasn't timid or shy and he became mine.  

He'll always be mine.
:blackrose:



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Trick or Treat by patriciabrennan:iconpatriciabrennan:
a-typical flower by metaltoby:iconmetaltoby:
Preponderance by ImaginedMoments:iconimaginedmoments:
Daydreaming by Al-Wafyh:iconal-wafyh:
The Autumn Butterfly Fairy by Pretty-in-Pixels:iconpretty-in-pixels:



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Seniormentor!

Journal Entry: Fri Oct 12, 2007, 2:37 PM
  • Mood: Love

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CLICK!


If clicking a button and downloading a text file would save someone's life, would you do it?
THIS IS THE MEGAUPLOADS LINK  If you get a "file unavailable" message, please try again later.  You can click once every 24 hours.  Keep clicking as if a life depended on it.  Because it DOES.
CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL STORY Please read the original livejournal here: community.livejournal.com/proj…

I've already done it myself and can verify the file is virus free. It literally takes about 40 seconds and requires no sign-up, no password, no personal information at all. You have nothing to lose but a portion of one minute of your day. Please do it.




NEWS!


:iconseniormentors:
That's right!  I've joined the seniormentors program, but at the moment, there don't seem to be any stock models needing mentoring.  I've got spaces for three, so if you DO want to be my protegeé and you ARE very new at this, put in an application at seniormentors.24bps.com/signup and choose "Photography" since there isn't a "stock model" category.  I am only taking on three "mentees" at a time, so please don't feel rejected if I can't take on every applicant.  I wuv everyone!

The one millionth pageview was nabbed twice!  I got one note from EMTGlen and one from drizztbsd and so I'll give props to them both!
lockstock's millionth by EMTGlen (EMTGlen's screencap)
img211.imageshack.us/my.php?im… (link to drizztbsd's imageshack screencap)

First off, EMTGlen doesn't have any art in his gallery, so he's graciously allowed for me to feature his favorite artist on dA!  So here are a few images from the remarkable gallery of stephanielynn
Reflections-Tiger Totem Card by stephanielynnBat and Blossoms Final by stephanielynnWinged Cat FINAL by stephanielynn

Here are some works by drizztbsd
too much lsd by drizztbsdTOYS by drizztbsdBioHazard by drizztbsd


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:thumb66715068::iconchasing-the-rainbows:
:thumb66522609::iconneralune:
:thumb66390631::iconkatinkajoy:
Daybreak by patriciabrennan:iconpatriciabrennan:
Profile by michb1:iconmichb1:



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Designed and coded for the lovely `Lockstock by Elandria

Who are YOU?

Journal Entry: Sun Sep 2, 2007, 9:15 PM
  • Mood: Overwhelmed
FAQ including stock usage terms

Visit the BlockBusters Chatroom to work out those artist blockages, burnouts and frustrations. Come talk about your problems or just hang out and have fun! Everyone is welcome and sometimes just goofing off releases some of the stress.



icon by ^lyastri




::News::

Of all the pieces in your gallery, which one is most "you?"  Which of your works do you feel you've put yourself into the most and why?  Post a link in the comments to this and lets all get to know each other better!

As for me, well, I think this most captures what I'm like in real life:
Newton 051507a by lockstock
Me-- plain and unglamorous, with something that's important to me: a precious little critter.  This is me when I'm happiest, when I'm most feeling "right" in the world.  Helping others, whether an orphaned bird, abandoned kitten or a stranger on the street, is what makes me happiest.  Helping artists is why I'm here.

So, who are you?  





::Featured Art::
Stars of the Week

moonmommas moons by patriciabrennan:iconpatriciabrennan:  Jasmine Marque by Kittenpants:iconkittenpants:
Pencil Drawing - Figures by Ice-brand:iconice-brand:   Blow by etherealism:iconetherealism:
:thumb63633551::iconarden18:  Natural.elf by Matkraken:iconmatkraken:
the Cancer V2 by azurylipfe:iconazurylipfe:  :thumb63837445::iconevilpixie71:



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Lamarck died today

Sat May 12, 2007, 7:59 PM
  • Mood: Tearful
  • Listening to: "Meadowlark"
  • Reading: websites on bird care
  • Playing: Momma bird
  • Eating: kolaches
  • Drinking: Red Bull
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Visit the BlockBusters Chatroom to work out those artist blockages, burnouts and frustrations. Come talk about your problems or just hang out and have fun! Everyone is welcome and sometimes just goofing off releases some of the stress.

icon by lyastri

Thanks to everyone for the advice and the sweet and funny comments about my boys.  I'm really sad to report that Lamarck died today from his injuries.  He tried his best to survive and we tried our best to give him every chance but... it wasn't enough.  I didn't think it would hit me so hard but I've been in tears all day.  I feel like I really let him down.  I know baby birds are fragile and nature is harsh but even so, I thought we could save him.  Please-- no comments on "birdie heaven" or any of that fluff.  Just wanted to let you know he's gone.
Newton is still doing well and his eyes are open even more today.  Also I think he'll lose his feather sheath thingies in the next day or so.


THE BACK STORY:
My husband-- the sweetest guy I know-- found two baby birds whose nest had blown out of a tree (apparently) and who were the only survivors of a clutch of five.  (One other survivor got run over before Cobweb-stock could pull over and rescue it.)  They're bald, ugly, wobbly and I love 'em already.  We don't know what species of bird they are, only that they are insectivores (beak shape) and gonna be fairly big (feet size.)  We're hand-feeding them baby bird formula and keeping them warm and clean so hopefully they won't die.  We named one "Newton" and the other "Lamarck" (as in Isaac Newton and Jean-Baptise Lamarck.)  I'll take photos when they're more birdly in appearance.  And we're making a video diary of our efforts.  They seem pretty tough so I'm hopeful they'll thrive.

In other news... eh.  There is no other news.  I need sleep.  Hopefully tonight I won't be waking up every hour on the hour to see if it's time to feed them.  Unlike human babies, birds aren't wired for nighttime feedings, but at the first light of day.... "peep! peep! peep!"  

Cute little critters! :D

Bird themed art using my stock:

.Peacock.Queen. by Trisste:icontrisste:  Andromeda Chained by Offering:iconoffering:  
:thumb53796270::iconfedericopyramid:  Hidden Place by blackwoodfarm:iconblackwoodfarm:
Boat under the Sun by cyrano82:iconcyrano82:  Fly away by spllogics:iconspllogics:
Bachelorette-new by Cutteroz:iconcutteroz:  Rainbow Bee Eater + Fairy Art by enchantedgal:iconenchantedgal:
:iconemeralddeleeuw:  Mother by FernandoTabanera:iconfernandotabanera:

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  • Mood: Pain
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Visit the BlockBusters Chatroom to work out those artist blockages, burnouts and frustrations. Come talk about your problems or just hang out and have fun! Everyone is welcome and sometimes just goofing off releases some of the stress.

icon by lyastri

Check out Chilling Effects, a website that covers just about every imaginable topic on internet copyrights.  (go to the FAQ page for a list of topics.  Some of you have had your copyrights violated while others have been accused of violating the copyrights of others.  Bookmark that site and use it for your edification.

Today's gallery features a variety of works that all use traditional media.  Thanks to zeldyn for the suggestion!

Support Your Local Goddess by zeldyn:iconzeldyn:  Sophie by ClawryArt:iconclawryart:
the muse by henny73:iconhenny73:  Portrait WIP2. by Leebea(WIP):iconleebea:
lost innocence by czochanska:iconczochanska:  donne al bagno by antrisia:iconantrisia:
:iconcliz:  :thumb43467747::iconseed-of-beauty:
Card12 - Follow the Moon by ravynnephelan:iconravynnephelan:  no Title 4 by badbasilisk:iconbadbasilisk:
Escape by Wenchworks:iconwenchworks:  Tribute to Mucha by arpiwane:iconarpiwane:
Reclining Nude by RTyson:iconrtyson:  Ruby Wings by helenabeana:iconhelenabeana:
Lock's Pin Up by Aggie93:iconaggie93:  Lockstock nude portrait by Yaro42:iconyaro42:
Flora - Sophie 150307 by AEnigm4:iconaenigm4:  :thumb28702922::icongrisalisan:
lockstock pinup by renonevada:iconrenonevada:  update of orange chairs by classina:iconclassina:
Emerald by redheaded-step-child:iconredheaded-step-child:  :thumb49901541::iconcharles-hall:
Queen of the Realm by MPFitzpatrick:iconmpfitzpatrick:  :thumb31704967::iconlibellia:

Man, so much good stuff, it's hard to limit myself just to this handful.  You guys are ace!

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I dreamed a dream

Mon Feb 26, 2007, 6:02 PM
  • Mood: Passionate
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icon by lyastri

When I was a kid, I knew no shame.  I used to load up my little wagon with props and costumes and go around my neighborhood with my "talent show."  I'd sing and dance and act.  There wasn't anything I couldn't do. (Well, my neighbors might have a different recollection of my skills but... :D)  It never even occurred to me that I wasn't just amazingly entertaining.

I wanted to be a singer when I grew up.  But my mom told me I couldn't carry a tune and it was too hard for people to become successful singers.  I became self-conscious in my teens and although I still dreamed the dream, I no longer believed in myself.  The seeds of anxiety had been sown and as I grew, I lost that fearless joy of performing.  I developed horrible stage fright that kept me from joining the drama department or trying out for choir.  Instead I turned to writing and drawing -- art forms that could be polished and perfected before being shown to the world.  I wrote stacks of stories (both prose and comic-book) and for a while I dreamed of being a writer or an artist.  But I never really believed in myself and I let that slip away from me too.  Failure is so easy as to be comforting.

When I was about 18 or 19, I decided I would take voice lessons in college.  It was a nightmare.  I could sing just fine in class, but when I had to perform in front of all the other (really GOOD) vocal students, I totally crashed.  It was awful.  Humiliating.  I dropped it.  I decided I'd just stick to singing alone, when no one else was around.

Then, for some reason a few years later I decided to take private lessons.  I'd been sort of teaching myself with what I remembered from class and my voice had gotten stronger.  So I found a guy who taught music (mostly instrumental) from his home and although he wasn't strictly speaking a voice coach, he could at least help me a bit, I figured.  And at the worst, he'd tell me what I already knew: I had no talent.

For my "audition" I sang Faure's Requiem Opus 40 (if I recall the opus correctly.)  And I KICKED IT'S ASS!!!!  Hell yeah!  Even my mother was surprised.  "When did you learn how to sing?" she asked in genuine surprise.

Now, I'm not going to tell you I have a silver-sweet voice.  Some of you have already heard me sing here: www.acidplanet.com/artist.asp?… and there's weakness and missed notes you can hear.  And it still terrifies me to get up in front of anyone, even Tim, and sing.  But I DO it.  And it makes me happy.

And some of you -- a LOT of you-- have been told "You can't be an artist."  Maybe your family or friends have told you how impossible it is to make it as an artist.  All I can say is, don't give up.  Don't let THEIR doubts infect YOUR mind.  You are the one with the dream and the talent.  It's on YOU to succeed or quit, and your choice how much you are willing to fight, cry, bleed and pay for it.  Don't lose your childlike trust in the world. "Rage against the dying of the light," so to speak.

I believe in you.  Look around and you'll find others who believe in you too.  People are more than happy to reach out a hand to pick you up.  Encourage each other.  Lift each other up.  When you hear someone saying that their parents or lover or anyone else is telling them "You're wasting your time" or "Give it up and get a REAL job," I want you to jump in there and tell them "I got your back.  You keep doing what your doing."  Stand up for your dreams.  Stand up for all artists, all dreamers.  

And if you feel as strongly as I do about helping others fight for their dreams, hop on into the chat chat.deviantart.com/chat/Block… and lend an ear or the voice of experience or just kindness.  And if you NEED some support, don't hesitate to ask for it.  

This post inspired by jessicaloraine.deviantart.com/… give her some dA love!  I think she's got talent in spades!

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Are you an artist who is looking to take on some new commissions?  Or are you looking for an artist to hire? If so, drop by my page lockstock.deviantart.com/journ… and leave a note along with three thumbnails of your finest works.  Also take a look at the freelancers already advertising.  All deviants are invited to participate, but only those who are serious about taking on commissions should reply.  Spread the word, spread the work.  

Free Stock: a gift or a right?

Sun Feb 4, 2007, 11:20 AM
  • Mood: Lazy
FAQ including stock usage terms
Visit the BlockBusters Chatroom to work out those artist blockages, burnouts and frustrations. Come talk about your problems or just hang out and have fun! Everyone is welcome and sometimes just goofing off releases some of the stress.

So, there's been some drama lately because of a stock artist who has offered some exclusive stocks which you can either buy (for just $5) or win via contests.  She's got LOADS of free stock in her gallery and it's all quite good.  Her free stock pack enraged a photomanipulation artist who says that it's not right to charge artists to make art.

What do you think about it?  Most stock sites charge and even on sxc.hu there are certain images where you must contact the photographer first before getting the full size image.  

Is it better for a stock photographer to just ask for donations in general rather than offer free stock in exchange for those donations?  

Or do you feel that unless the stock photographer considers him/herself "self-employed" as a stock artist, they can't earn any revenue from their work?  Do you consider stock photography "work" at all?  If they do receive payment for stock, should that be taxable?  

And would you want exclusive stock for yourself?  Does it bother you to do a work of art and see the same image used in a hundred other pieces?  Does it "cheapen" the work?   Technically speaking, someone can take all of the same stock images as another artist and recreate the exact image and still claim it as their own.  Exclusive stock certainly makes that harder to do.

So what is your opinion on exclusive stock?

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My Valentinr - vkacademy
Get your own valentinr

Getting Paid What You're Worth

Fri Feb 2, 2007, 1:56 PM
  • Mood: Happy
FAQ including stock usage terms
Visit the BlockBusters Chatroom to work out those artist blockages, burnouts and frustrations. Come talk about your problems or just hang out and have fun! Everyone is welcome and sometimes just goofing off releases some of the stress.

First, thanks to everyone who's passed along the journal entry here: lockstock.deviantart.com/journ…
By the way, I didn't write that (and I said so at the top of the page) so no kudos to me for the great article.  

Now that brings up a sticking point for a lot of beginning (and not so beginning) artists: getting paid for your work, and asking for a decent fee.  

First I'll ask those of you who DO make a living or side income as artists, how do you price your works?  Do you use something like www.amazon.com/Graphic-Artists… The Graphic Artists Guild Handbook?  

Second, it can be very awkward and embarrassing for a new artist to put a price on his or her work.  What would you suggest?  

My own suggestion is to find a reliable friend or relative to act as your agent when it comes to accepting offers and asking for payment.  Of course they would confer with you FIRST before accepting any commissions, but they would be the ones to say "All right, the cost for that is _____ and any changes to the commission will cost more."   Or "Sorry but my client does not work for free."   Or if that seems too pretentious, just come up with a written price list based on what you WANT to be paid, not what you think you can get or would be willing to settle for, and don't let them haggle you.  (Or you can just do what the car dealerships do and quote a really high price that you know will get haggled down to something still pretty decent.)  

Pricing your art realistically

Here are some links from the Graphic Artists Guild.  Take a look!
On estimating prices
How to negotiate a contract
Although these are for graphic artists, it does give some good guidelines for all artists to consider.

Robert Genn's Ten Commandments of Art Pricing

Thou shalt start out cheap.
Thou shalt publish thy prices.
Thou shalt raise thy prices regularly and a little.
Thou shalt not lower thy prices.
Thou shalt not have one price for Sam and another for Joe.
Thou shalt not price by talent or time taken, but by size.
Thou shalt not easily discount thy prices.
Thou shalt lay control on thy agents and dealers.
Thou shalt deal with those who will honour thee.
Thou shalt end up expensive.

Ten Rules according to someone else: www.artbizblog.com/2005/08/pri… (too long to post here)

So... what do YOU think?

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The "Don't Give it Away" journal

Thu Feb 1, 2007, 8:24 PM
  • Mood: Happy
FAQ including stock usage terms
Visit the BlockBusters Chatroom to work out those artist blockages, burnouts and frustrations. Come talk about your problems or just hang out and have fun! Everyone is welcome and sometimes just goofing off releases some of the stress.

I've seen this in quite a few journals today, and what it says is true, and so please take time to read this if you haven't already.  (Original author ???)


Every day, there are more and more Craigs List posts seeking "artists" for everything from auto graphics to comic books to corporate logo designs. More people are finding themselves in need of some form of illustrative service.

But what they're NOT doing, unfortunately, is realizing how rare someone with these particular talents can be.

To those who are "seeking artists", let me ask you; How many people do you know, personally, with the talent and skill to perform the services you need? A dozen? Five? One? …none?

More than likely, you don't know any. Otherwise, you wouldn't be posting on craigslist to find them.

And this is not really a surprise.

In this country, there are almost twice as many neurosurgeons as there are professional illustrators. There are eleven times as many certified mechanics. There are SEVENTY times as many people in the IT field.

So, given that they are less rare, and therefore less in demand, would it make sense to ask your mechanic to work on your car for free? Would you look him in the eye, with a straight face, and tell him that his compensation would be the ability to have his work shown to others as you drive down the street?

Would you offer a neurosurgeon the "opportunity" to add your name to his resume as payment for removing that pesky tumor? (Maybe you could offer him "a few bucks" for "materials". What a deal!)

Would you be able to seriously even CONSIDER offering your web hosting service the chance to have people see their work, by viewing your website, as their payment for hosting you?

If you answered "yes" to ANY of the above, you're obviously insane. If you answered "no", then kudos to you for living in the real world.

But then tell me… why would you think it is okay to live out the same, delusional, ridiculous fantasy when seeking someone whose abilities are even less in supply than these folks?

Graphic artists, illustrators, painters, etc., are skilled tradesmen. As such, to consider them as, or deal with them as, anything less than professionals fully deserving of your respect is both insulting and a bad reflection on you as a sane, reasonable person. In short, it makes you look like a twit.

A few things you need to know;

1. It is not a "great opportunity" for an artist to have his work seen on your car/'zine/website/bedroom wall, etc. It IS a "great opportunity" for YOU to have their work there.

2. It is not clever to seek a "student" or "beginner" in an attempt to get work for free. It's ignorant and insulting. They may be "students", but that does not mean they don't deserve to be paid for their hard work. You were a "student" once, too. Would you have taken that job at McDonalds with no pay, because you were learning essential job skills for the real world? Yes, your proposition it JUST as stupid.

3. The chance to have their name on something that is going to be seen by other people, whether it's one or one million, is NOT a valid enticement. Neither is the right to add that work to their "portfolio". They get to do those things ANYWAY, after being paid as they should. It's not compensation. It's their right, and it's a given.

4. Stop thinking that you're giving them some great chance to work. Once they skip over your silly ad, as they should, the next ad is usually for someone who lives in the real world, and as such, will pay them. There are far more jobs needing these skills than there are people who possess these skills.

5. Students DO need "experience". But they do NOT need to get it by giving their work away. In fact, this does not even offer them the experience they need. Anyone who will not/can not pay them is obviously the type of person or business they should be ashamed to have on their resume anyway. Do you think professional contractors list the "experience" they got while nailing down a loose step at their grandmother's house when they were seventeen?

If you your company or gig was worth listing as desired experience, it would be able to pay for the services it received. The only experience they will get doing free work for you is a lesson learned in what kinds of scrubs they should not lower themselves to deal with.

6. (This one is FOR the artists out there, please pay attention.) Some will ask you to "submit work for consideration". They may even be posing as some sort of "contest". These are almost always scams. They will take the work submitted by many artists seeking to win the "contest", or be "chosen" for the gig, and find what they like most. They will then usually have someone who works for them, or someone who works incredibly cheap because they have no originality or talent of their own, reproduce that same work, or even just make slight modifications to it, and claim it as their own. You will NOT be paid, you will NOT win the contest. The only people who win, here, are the underhanded folks who run these ads. This is speculative, or "spec", work. It's risky at best, and a complete scam at worst. I urge you to avoid it, completely. For more information on this subject, please visit www.no-spec.com/

So to artists/designers/illustrators looking for work, do everyone a favor, ESPECIALLY yourselves, and avoid people who do not intend to pay you. Whether they are "spec" gigs, or just some guy who wants a free mural on his living room walls. They need you. You do NOT need them. Say NO to free art.

And for those who are looking for someone to do work for free…please wake up and join the real world. The only thing you're accomplishing is to insult those with the skills you need. Get a clue.

If you agree with the above important information, please pass it along. The more people know, the faster we can correct this problem.


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  • Mood: Worried
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On why I don't comment to every submission

Due to notes of support and interest, the chatroom BlockBusters is now open.  If you are interested in moderating and have a calm, patient moderator personality, note me.  I'll be there from time to time but definitely would love to have someone with experience and understanding of creative block, burnout, depression and so on who will be there more often.  Note me!

It's been suggested by many researchers that creativity and depression are often coexistant in many individuals.  Some say there is a biochemical factor, while others point to the fact that the areas of the brain that are most active during creative processes are also the areas most active during depressive episodes.  Whether the emotional instability spurs the creativity or vice-versa is not certain, but what is certain is that there are many, many of you artists who suffer from manic-depression, schizophrenia, crippling depression and paralyzing burnout.  

Someone very near and dear to me is suffering greatly from the inability to draw, which is how this person earns a living.  What used to be a joy is now terrifying and where once they could spend 16 hours a day happily creating art, they find themself shaking and in tears at the very thought of picking up a pencil.  It's surely the stress of having to please art editors and the critical public, but what I want to ask you all is this: are there any of you who also experience this?  If so, what do you do?  How do you get past the self-doubt and anxiety attacks to become prolific again?  When all inspiration is gone, how do you push yourself through?

I hope some of you will post some of your own wisdom of experience.  And I hope that any of you suffering this right now will find some comfort and guidance.  I hope this can open a discourse on burnout, depression, and work-related problems.  And finally, if anyone wants to open a chatroom (or join one if I open it) focusing on support for the seriously depressed (not just emo.  I'm talking clinically depressed) then post a note here.  I can't fix my friend.  I don't have the experience to fully understand.  So please help.

F102 - Burnout by markus71


Articles of interest:
Brain Regions May Sap or Spur Creativity
Eccentric Artists and Mad Scientists
Defining Mental Illness
Creativity and Burnout
Anxiety Disorder

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Protecting the Schmoopie

Sat Dec 9, 2006, 9:23 PM
  • Mood: Worried
As anyone who's paid any attention to my ramblings or comments might have surmised, I am beyond devoted to my husband of nine years, the delightful Tim aka Cobweb-stock aka RazorGeisha aka various silly petnames.  He's the light of my life and the pickle on my joy sandwich.  
Well, he's got another account on DA which I haven't really mentioned to anyone, not because I am embarrassed or ashamed but because I am really freaking protective of him and I would have to rain down some hate on anyone who picked on him.  But I trust you guys -- my "regular crowd" who actually read my journals, not just look at the nekkid pictures, so I'm going to point you all over in the direction of his other account, Onnagata-stock  We work on those shots together, since there in a lot of makeup, hairstyling and body-morphing that goes on.  I'm totally cool with his dressing up, as long as he does it well and listens to my fashion/hair/makeup advice. :lol:  
If you've got any questions about it, I'd be glad to answer, or you can ask Tim.  No, he's not bi.  It's not a sex thing, it's a dress-up and look groovy thing.  Let's face it: girls get all the fun in looking flash.  Guys, unless they look like Johnny Depp or Gackt, pretty much are expected to do the jeans and jacket thing.  It's about the look.  Eddie Izzard fans will get this.  
Anyway, there's a reason I'm bringing this up and you'll figure that out in a day or two from now.  In the meantime, if you want to go leave a joy pickle of your own on his Onnagata-stock page, please do so.  If it's not  your cup of tea, just stay away and find something that you like somewhere else.  

Thanks for your time!
--Sophie

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Got a question about my stock? Go HERE and read my FAQ entry.
Want to print or publish a work using my stock? Great! Just let me know where, please!

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My Sweet Baboos: :iconauralis: :icondovasary: :iconlucias-stock: :icondelightfulstock: :iconkimmy-stock: :iconrachastock: :iconzeldyn-stock: :iconcobweb-stock: :iconeli-stock:

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