This journal is made to celebrate Deviant Art's 14th birthday and to particapte in "My deviantART Story" event. I know I haven't been active lately. Since I get a desk job in a local computer store, I barely have any time (and inspiration) to write new novellas and create arts. But I still visit deviantART on daily basis.
DeviantART has encouraged me to grow as a photomanip artist. Like most artists, I started from zero. In fact, I didn't take any formal education or crash course in graphical design. I learned it by myself, either from reading online tutorials or imitating other arts. DeviantART has a good repository of both.
When I first started, I couldn't even use Photoshop! What I used was Ulead/Corel PhotoImpact. It was user-friendly, easy to use, full of template, but not powerful. I forced myself to learn Photoshop after a major incident involving a gay DA member who took my PhotoImpact arts to a so-called humor forum to laugh at. It ended with 3-day flame war in my journal. It had a devastating effect on me, but I gathered myself and vowed to take up Photoshop. And look what I can do now.
Of course, I never state that I'm a master. It'll be too arrogant. There are still so many things to learn and so many ways to improve my arts. In fact, I'm still learning new techniques. If you happen to be an ordinary guy/girl who likes my arts and thinks "I can never make that"... Well, you're wrong because you CAN!
Below I list some of my arts based on several categories, along with some explanation.
BEST DOCUMENTED: Leviathan
Leviathan is my character in my up-coming gay novella series: Daemon Dominus. Leviathan is my most famous art, as well as best documented. I deliberately keep track of any major changes I made, so that people can see how much my art style has grown over the years. It started as a bad photomanip cover art using PhotoImpact. After the flame war, I decided to learn Photoshop and revised the art based on my new knowledge. But I was never satisfied. Therefore, the art keeps changing until it reaches its current form. Of course, there's no guarantee I won't revise it in the future
BEST FANART: Sagittarius Knight
Sagittarius Knight is actually a fanart character from Japanese manga/anime Saint Seiya. This fanart started from my dislike over manga-drawing style: long spiky girlish hair. I longed to see manly knights and the only way to achieve it is by photomanip. I combined photos of handsome models and toy armors. The result is almost like a cosplay. It's not easy because toy figures are stiff-looking. Matching human head and toy body is a challenge as well (owing to the size distortion of anime head vs human head). I created a series of arts but Sagittarius Knight is the best.
MOST BESTIAL: Behemoth
All my arts are basically about men, men, and more men. However, on rare occasions, I do create non-human arts such as Behemoth. He is also a character from my up-coming gay novella series: Daemon Dominus. I try to be faithful to the medieval depiction of Behemoth which is elephant-headed man. However, instead of making him pot-bellied, I make him muscular.
BEST KNOWN SUBJECT: Castiel
Among all my arts, Castiel is the best known subject. Well, at least among Supernatural fangirls. However, to avoid copyright infringement, I choose not to use Misha Collins' face. Another consideration is because my Castiel is an OC, based on medieval angel lore. To my surprise, one Supernatural fangirl resented my Castiel when I posted it to Supernatural group. The short clash I had with her ended up with my forming a new group: Castiel and Friends.
MOST UNORIGINAL & UNPROFESSIONAL: Trucker
This is actually a sarcastic category, inspired by a DA group called EliteArtist. It started when a mod rejected this art with a rude comment: "your artwork is just not our style. We look for more professional and original photomanipulations. A major problem is that there is quite a lot of text on it which is rather annoying. Sorry." In other words, this art is unoriginal and unprofessional. I have to disagree with her because this art is a composite of various elements (not a simple copy-paste one background and one model). Also, it's not bad for a cover art.
MOST 3D: Ukobach
I usually never want to photomanip a 3D character, however Ukobach is an exception. According to medieval Christian legend, he is an imp with a big spoon whose job is to fry people alive in hell. Because imps are not real, I have to turn to 3D to materialize my vision. He appears in the first episode of my up-coming novella series Daemon Dominus.
MOST EXPENSIVE COMMISSION
I'm available for cover art commissions. Educating Noah is technically the most expensive commission I've ever received. It's commissioned by Ryan Carlyle, a friend I've known for years. The art itself cost $100 but he also added $99 for 1-month Deposit Photos subscription (300 photos). The second most expensive commission is Practical Guide To trying Not To Die, which cost $180. Although my fee may sound terrifying for self-published writers, I do accept cheap commissions!
My deviantART story is not over. In the future, you'll see more arts from me. Thanks for everyone who has watched me and/or commented positively. And happy birthday to deviantART.