Day 6 (and the last for now) of Meet The Artist project. I’m pleased to say that below is the interview with Yama, a fan-artist from the far away land, where there is always warm weather. He has been most enduring during the torment of this interview and an absolute pleasure to work with :)

MEET THE ARTIST: YamaOrce

DeviantArt | Facebook 

Please state your name, pseudonym, age and nationality
Yamandú ‘Yama’ Orce, I’m 27 and I’m from Uruguay.

How have you heard about the Witcher first time?
I got my first contact with the books when I was a kid. A friend’s father was pretty obsessed with it and used to tell me stories about this Geralt of Rivia. When the first game came out, I made the connection with the character and it was awesome! I think I share the curiosity and tenacity with the character.

What is your favourite Witcher related work that you have done (or top 3)?
The Witcher 3 Geralt 
The Witcher 2 Geralt
The Last Wish Yennefer 

Who have you sided first time with in Witcher 1 and 2 (if applicable) – Scoia’tael or Blue Stripes. Or have you managed to remain neutral? Did you regret the decision? What were the other times?
I tried almost every option. Remaining neutral was the best, yet not the coolest.

Why do you think being neutral is not the coolest?
Picking sides always involves you into more dramatic situations.

What ending did you choose for your first TW2 playthrough? (Give Anais to Roche, give her to Redania or did you do something else?)
Both, and still not convinced haha.

Did you have any moments when you had to put the book down or stop a game just to have a break because you were quite shocked of what happened? Books and games are Witcher related of course.
With The Witcher 2, the visuals stunned me, it was amazing! With the books I had some moments of reflection.

                                   The Witcher 3_Geralt by YamaOrce


What was the most challenging work that you did? Why?
It was my first related artwork. It was for a contest and I put a lot of pressure on myself. I was not even close to winning, but it worth the effort.

What is your all time favourite work that you have done (or top 3)?
I would dare to say it’s my next artwork, and I’m sure right after I finish it, I’ll hate it and think on the next one as my favourite. This is a metaphor of my artist life. I’m never happy with the result of my work. The only thing that keeps the challenge, is working on it. After the artwork is done, I have to pursue another challenge. The last three portraits I made made me really proud and inspired me to keep working on some other related stuff, probably comic book pages.

What methods do you use to create your work?
I start with a loose pencil sketch, then scan it and go for digital painting over it.

Have you got a favourite artist?
There are hundreds! Would be hard to name them all but I could say anyone with a mastery in their technique and concept.  If I have to choose a top 10, I would say: Andrew Loomis, Frank Frazetta, Bruce Timm, Alex Ross, Adam Huges, Alex Alice, Michael Turner, Wayne Reynolds, Aleksi Briclot, Jim Lee.

What does a day have to be like to get you inspired? Or what inspires you? 
I’m inspired by many things, people and events. Mostly depending on the moment of harmony and balance. This balance makes me feel content and happy. That way I feel inspired.

                                     Arkham Sirens 1 by YamaOrce


Have you got any favourite quotes or sayings?
‘Don’t give up, challenge yourself again’

What is your favourite drink: alcoholic and non alcoholic?
Chocolate milk.

Tell us a story from your childhood.
You are already looking at the story of my childhood haha! When I was around 9 years old, I wanted to adopt a dog. Since there were no dog shelters around I decided go out on my bike and bring home a street dog. Obviously without my parents consent, I took some food out of the fridge and went for a ride, baiting the dogs around to come home with me.  I came back with 11 dogs. How my mother almost kicked me out is another story!

Ah, a fellow dog lover. What is the most exciting thing you’ve ever done or would like to do?
Running horseback naked while trying to shoot with a longbow of my own craft. I used to do it at the countryside when I was a kid.

Sounds.. er.. exciting :D How many languages do you speak or/and what languages would you like to learn?
Spanish is my native, I also speak English and understand some Italian and Portuguese.

Tell us 5 facts about your personality.
I’m a guy of ideals, I’m a freedom fighter, I’m a pirate (Boatswain, but I look forward to be a Captain!), and a thief but I like to play hero. 

                                            Impervious by YamaOrce


What accomplishments are you most proud of?
Having a life I love and feeling free to live it.

What music genre do you prefer? What are the 3 bands/musicians that really define you or have shaped you as a person?
The Rock! U2, Led Zeppelin, The Who.

Who is a character from a TV show or a book that you’ve always identified with?
I feel more identified with Batman, but I’d like to be a Witcher too.

But if you’re a pirate and a thief, how can you fight crime? Wouldn’t you have to fight yourself? :D
The pirate and thief thing was metaphorical.

If you could wake up tomorrow in the body of someone else, who would you pick and what would you do?
Frank Sinatra, and I would sing amazingly!

Don’t you trust your singing skills? :D
I do trust my singing skills but singing like Sinatra would be awesome!

What question do you hate to answer?
I hate asking more than answering.


                                Dragon Age-Cassandra by YamaOrce


Have you read Witcher books or/and played the games? Which one was first?
Playing and reading at the same time (more playing than reading)

Are you going to play Witcher 3? What are you looking forward/hoping to see if so?
Yes, YEEEEESSSSS!!!! I guess I’m looking for some awesomeness!!! Great story, stunning graphics, comfortable gameplay and endless inspiration.

Have you got any favourite characters from the Witcher? If so, then which ones and why?
Raymond Maarloeve, I love his name for a detective. And of course, Geralt.

Describe us your perfect day.
It would be perfect to do everything I plan to do when I wake up. It kinda never happens.

What’s the weather like where you are right now?
It’s awesome! It’s the beginning of a warm fall. Sunny days and fresh breeze.

Sounds perfect to me. Would you like to say anything to the other artists? Any advice? Any suggestions?
Never give up following your dreams, don’t surrender to frustration, work hard enjoy what you do.

Thank you very much, Yama!

While manspreading is a well-known issue on public transit, there are very few public transit agencies talking about it. In December, New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority took the plunge and included manspreading in their “Courtesy Counts” campaign. Among a dozen messages targeting public transit do’s and don’ts installed on subway cars, one placard read, “Dude… Stop the Spread, Please.”

All the media coverage on MTA’s efforts got me interested in what subway riders themselves were saying about manspreading. So few weeks after the MTA’s efforts made headlines, I filed a public records request through MuckRock.com for MTA emails containing the word “manspreading.” The transit agency sent me a file of 18 email comments about the campaign from over the course of one month.

Of the 18 emails, nine of them called out the campaign for being sexist against men, anti-male, or contained gripes about how they ways women take up space are a far worse problem. The complaints range from the predictable to the offensive to the downright perplexing. A couple of them contained weird racial microaggressions (“Would the MTA also have a campaign ‘hey black folks, stop using the poles to do your dance routines?’ That would be racist by most counts, correct?” You’re correct. It would.) But from the worst of the worst we get a glimpse into the push-back a public agency gets when it dares to address issues around gender.

Day 4 of Meet The Artist project. Please meet Tatiana, an artist whom I know made most of the Witcher fanart than anyone else on Deviantart. It was an absolute pleasure to interview her and even more so to be the one who did it :) 

MEET THE ARTIST: JustAnoR

Day of Meet The Artist Project. Meet Tanya, a fan-artist who’s obsessed with Witcher universe. In fact, she’s so obsessed with it, she made more artwork of TW than I have fingers and toes altogether! 

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Please state your name, pseudonym, age and nationality
I’m Tatiana Anor, originally I’m from Russia, but living in the US now. I’m 25 years old and I’m Russian.

How have you heard about the Witcher first time? Was it a book or a game or something else? How long ago was that?
First time I’ve played the first game in 2008. I just started when I learned about the book. I decided to read it first. Then I continued to play the game and was in love with this world and characters. I always loved fantasy and games, so the first Witcher game and the book was phenomenal for me, I just couldn’t stop playing and reading.

Are you going to play Witcher 3? What are you looking forward/hoping to see if so?
As fan of the book first of all, I hope to see more from the book. Some familiar characters who weren’t revealed by developers. No doubt that the story will be epic and exciting, I just can’t wait :D

Have you got any favourite characters from the Witcher?
Ciri impressed me from the beginning: her story, her rebellious character, tragic fate and relationship with Geralt. I love her horse Kelpie! :D Maybe I like Ciri even more than Geralt. :)

                                            True Hero by JustAnoR


Who have you sided first time with in Witcher 1 and 2 (if applicable) – Scoia’tael or Order/Blue Stripes. Or have you managed to remain neutral?
I played both “Witchers” so many times and chose all possible options. First time it was Scoia'tael in the first game and Iorveth in the second. For some reason in most cases I chose Iorveth, he is closer to my vision of the world. I regret nothing :D

What ending did you choose for your first TW2 playthrough?
[SPOILERS AHEAD] Actually I don’t remember situation with Anais. I chose Iorveth, killed Sheala and Saskia, released Letho. That’s all I remember now :D

Did you have any moments (if you remember) when you had to put the book down or stop a game just to have a break because you were quite shocked of what happened? Books and games are Witcher related of course.
No, on the contrary, I wanted to read or play more and find out what will be further. :)

What was the most challenging work that you did? Why? 
I think drawing such characters as Rats was the most challenging work because of lack of their descriptions in the book.

Was there a particular Rat you were looking forward to on putting your imagination to paper?
The most difficult were Reef and Asse because there were minimum descriptions for them in the book.

                                The Hunt Time - Adult Ciri by JustAnoR


What is your all time favourite work that you have done (or top 3)?
All works with Ciri are my favourite because she’s my favourite character. My first work was a portrait of Ciri with sword. I’ve made as soon as I finished reading the book. Since then I reread Ciri’s description, changed and improved her portrait many times. So now she looks like I wanted her to look from the beginning.

What methods do you use to create your work?
I like to use different materials but my absolute favourite is pencil and ink. I love black and white graphic works, clear strong lines, deep shadows and contrast. So in basic I always use pencil. My drawing begins from pencil sketch on paper and then, depending on what I want, I use ink or water colour. Sometimes it’s charcoal pencil. I use water colour only for general colours. After the sketching I scan my work and finish it digitally on the computer via tablet.

Some of your works even look engraving like. How did you decide to pick such style for some of your paintings? Did you get an inspiration from particular artists, like Caravaggio?
That’s my favourite style. I love engravings by Dürer, he’s my favorite one. We made such an engraving like etching at the University, so I have practice. But for my works I use black ink, pen and brushes. I add colours later in Photoshop.

                                       Emhyr and Kalante by JustAnoR


Have you got a favourite artist?
I love Gothic and Renaissance periods in general. Some of my favourite artists are Leonardo da Vinci, Caravaggio, Velazquez, Albrecht Dürer.  Also I love illustrations of Arthur Rackham and Alan Lee and John Howe. Of course I like many modern artists, some of them I follow on DeviantArt, such as Yoann-Lossel. Her works are amazing!

What does a day have to be like to get you inspired? Or what inspires you? 
What inspires me? Music first of all. Games, books, movies, people, stories, photography, beauty of nature, history and cultures. Even a new sheet of paper and colours. There is nothing better than to start new drawing on a new sheet of paper. :)

Can you tell us more about what kind of music inspires you? Does it depend on the mood? Do you just get a sudden inspiration from a wave of symphony?
I always try to choose the music of my mood for inspiration. I mostly like melodic instrumental post-rock but sometimes I watch a movie or listen to a new song that I like and get inspired by this that I start my new drawing.  Recently I watched The Phantom of the Opera movie, so I was in love with that music and story. I read the book, watched all musicals that I could find and drew the picture. This is pure inspiration :)

                                                  Milva by JustAnoR


Have you got any favourite quotes or sayings?

- What of Art?
- It is a malady.
- Love?
- An Illusion.
- Religion?
- The fashionable substitute for Belief.
- You are a sceptic.
- Never! Scepticism is the beginning of Faith.
- What are you?
- To define is to limit.

I love all possible quotes of amazing Oscar Wilde. I’ve read all his creations and he is one of my favourite authors. “The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it”. Love The Picture of Dorian Grey. Also from The Witcher I like Dandelion’s sayings the most, he’s truly the Bard! :)

What is your favourite drink: alcoholic and non alcoholic?
Water, tea, coffee. As far as alcoholic drinks, I like spiced rum, “Kraken” is my favourite.

Ah yiss, rum. What is the most exciting thing you’ve ever done or would like to do?
I love travelling, it’s the most exciting thing I’ve done and plan to do in the future. Dreaming to visit Scandinavia, especially Iceland and visit a concert of my favourite music band Sigur Ros there. ♥

                           Geralt and Triss in Kaer Morhen by JustAnoR


Which places have you visited so far?
I visited Quebec and Montreal last winter. Canada is so beautiful and inspiring but is so cold :D I adore this old medieval city and all vintage and ancient things. Also I was in amazing Yosemite National Park in California last fall. We had a road trip from Sacramento to Grand Canyon in Arizona. We passed through Las Vegas. I’m not a big fan of huge cities, I prefer nature and private life. :) Also I visited most of the eastern coast of USA in 2011.

How many languages do you speak or/and what languages would you like to learn?
Russian is my native, English is second. It will be cool to learn language of Tolkien’s elves sometime. Also I like Italian.

Tell us 5 facts about your personality.
I’m an introvert. Almost always have a pessimistic mood. I love nature and travelling. Dream about living somewhere deep in the mountains with horses. :)

Do you like those horses that have lots of hair near their hooves? Or you don’t have any dream species that you would like to have?
I adore those horses! Friesian horses are absolutely my favourite! They are black and beautiful, just like Kelpie :) I always imagine Kelpie as Friesian horse. Perhaps one day I will have one :)

What accomplishments are you most proud of?
I live with a man I love in old beautiful city of Charleston near Atlantic Ocean. :)

                                A Shard of Ice - Yennefer by JustAnoR


What music genre do you prefer? What are the 3 bands/musicians that really define you or have shaped you as a person?
My favourite genres are post-rock, new metal, indie-rock, ambient, trip-hop, ethnic and classic music. Sigur Ros, A Perfect Circle, God as an Astronaut pretty good define me as person. Also I adore music of Akira Yamaoka from Silent Hill :)

Who is a character from a TV show or a book that you’ve always identified with?
Difficult question because I wasn’t in any of the situations as these characters. I really have no idea. I always empathize with a particular character trying to live his/her life. If you take a little bit of character traits from each of them then you can get my personality.

If you could wake up tomorrow in the body of someone else, who would you pick and what would you do?
I prefer to stay in myself :D But if I could become one of directors on HBO (for example), I immediately start casting for a new The Witcher show, just as Game of Thrones (with permission of Pan Andrzej of course). :)

What question do you hate to answer?
Can you draw me? :D

Describe us your perfect day.
Foggy weather, hot chocolate, exciting game and lot of inspiration. Or travelling and taking photos. :)

What’s the weather like where you are right now? 
It’s very hot and sunny, I want go to the ocean. :)

Would you like to say anything to the other artists?
Be observant, catch your inspiration and create.

Thank you very much, Tanya!

My favorite subway conductor is the angry dad. Put him on a rush hour train and just listen to the irritation grow.
“Step all the way in, please. Stand clear of the closing doors.”
“Please pull your bags out of the way of the closing doors.”
“Don’t lean against the subway doors, that keeps them from closing.”
“Will whoever is leaning against the subway doors please stop as you are preventing the doors from closing.”
“Well, ladies and gentlemen, it seems we won’t be moving anytime soon because someone is leaning against the subways doors and preventing them from closing.”

I swear if this subway car was a station wagon he would have pulled over to the side of the road and threatened to make us all walk the rest of the way home.