one of the greatest artists ever

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Here’s some of the most amazing and invaluable advice you’ll most-likely ever get from one of my good colleagues and legends in comics/gaming, creator JOE MADUREIRA. It’s what i’ve been preaching to you aspiring artists since i arrived on DA, but i think his POV says it perfectly:

*WARNING: SOME MATURE LANGUAGE*

“DO YOU REALLY WANT TO BE A SUCCESSFUL ARTIST? 


Or a successful WORKING PROFESSIONAL?



Believe it or not there is a difference. I’m not usually a soapbox type guy, I don’t like instructing people, and I think I’m a terrible teacher. But hey, it’s Friday and I’m in a strange mood. So here goes:

I’ve noticed that a good number of my fans happen to be aspiring artists themselves. This is for all you guys. I get asked constantly: "Where should I go to school?” “What classes should I take?” “What should I study for anatomy?” “What pencils and paper do you use?” “Should I be working digitally now instead of traditionally?” “How do I fix my poses? Learn composition? Perspective?” “When am I going to develop my own style?” “Who were your influences?” “Teach me how to draw hands!” The list goes on…

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Here’s the deal. All of that stuff *is* important, and it may nudge you in the right direction. A lot of it you will discover for yourself. What works best for one person doesn’t work for another. That’s the beauty of art. It’s personal. It’s discovery. DON’T WORRY ABOUT ALL THAT CRAP!

Instead I’m going to answer the questions that you *SHOULD* be asking, but aren’t. These are things that have only recently occurred to me, after doing this for 20+ years. These things seem so obvious, but apparently they elude a lot of people, because I am surprised at how many ridiculously talented artists are ‘failing’ professionally. Or just unhappy. The beauty of what I’m about to tell you is that it doesn’t matter what field you’re in or what your art style is.

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In no particular order:


1) DO WHAT YOU LOVE. If you are passionate about what you’re doing, it shows. If you’re having fun, it shows. If you’re bored, IT SHOWS. Some guys are able to work on stuff they have zero interest in, and still pull off great work, but I find that when I do this my motivation takes a huge hit. And Motivation is key. Money is not a great motivator. It’s temporary like everything else. And honestly, I’ve gotten paid the most money for some of the shittiest work I have ever done. That may sound awesome, but it’s not. And here’s why…

2) You MUST stay Excited and Motivated. Have you noticed that there are days you can’t draw a god damned thing? And some days you feel like you can draw anything? It’s 4am but you don’t notice because you are in the ZONE. Your hand is racing ahead of your mind and you can do no wrong?! Maybe it’s some new paper you got. Or a new program you’ve been wanting to try out. Or you just found some amazing shit on DeviantArt, or watched some movie that just makes you want to run straight to your board. This relates to the above because while it is possible to involve yourself in projects you aren’t excited about—maybe you need the cash, or think it will look good on your resume, whatever it is—it’s not going to last. You need to stay fresh. Expose yourself to new things. New techniques. You should be getting tired of your own shit on a fairly regular basis. Otherwise other people will.

3) Check your Ego. If you think you’re the shit, you’re already doomed. You may be really, really good at what you do, but there’s someone better. Sorry. There’s always plenty to learn, even for us old dogs. So when I meet young upstarts who have this sense of entitlement, or a know-it-all attitude, I just have to laugh. Some of the biggest egos I’ve ever witnessed were from people who have accomplished the least. Meanwhile, most guys who are supremely talented AND successful, and have EARNED the RIGHT to have an ego and throw their weight around, don’t. Why is that? It’s because…

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4) RELATIONSHIPS ARE IMPORTANT. This may be one of the biggest lessons I’ve had to learn. Early on, I didn’t value my relationships with people. Creatively or otherwise. I felt like I didn’t need anyone’s help and I could figure everything out on my own. Let’s face it, many of us become artists because we are reclusive, social misfits. We’d rather stay inside and draw shit than go outside and play. We like to live inside our own minds. Why not?! It’s awesome in there! And sometimes we don’t want to let other people in. But like I said—you can’t do it alone. I can honestly say that as much as I try to stay current, as much as I try to push my work and draw kick ass shit that will excite people, I would not be where I am today if it weren’t for all the other people I’ve met and learned from along the way. Guys who pulled strings for me. Took risks on me. Believed I was the right guy for the job. You need to manage your relationships. You need to network, and meet people. Drawing comics is still a pretty good place for reclusive types—but if you want to work in big studios—Making games, Films, animation, basically any other type of job on the planet, you’d better start making some connections. Be likeable. Be professional. That doesn’t mean be an opportunistic ladder climber. Fake people lose in the end. Be yourself, but be professional. It’s no secret that when people are hiring, our first instinct is to bring in people we know. It’s human nature. I don’t like unknowns, even if their portfolio is awesome. If we have a mutual connection, if they have great things to say about you, you’re in. If you have AMAZING artwork to show, and I call your last employer and they tell me what a pain in the ass you are to work with, you’re done. Talent and skill only get you so far. I am literally amazed at how often I meet guys that are total assholes and think they are going to get anywhere.

5) Here’s the BIG ONE. The greatest obstacle you will ever have to overcome IS YOURSELF. And the Fear that you are creating in your own head. Stay positive. Stop defeating yourself. There are artists I know that are so damn good they make me pee my pants. I look up to these mofos. I study their shit and I want to draw like them. And they are almost NEVER working on their DREAM project. And—big surprise, they aren’t happy in their job. “Why NOT?! WTF is WRONG WITH YOU?!” is usually my reaction. And the answer is almost always “The market isn’t great right now” “Other stories/games/comics like mine don’t do very well” “The shit that’s hot right now is nothing like mine, It’s just going to fail.” “I’m not sure I’m good enough.” “I need the money.” “Too Risky.” “I tried it before and failed. ” It doesn’t matter what words they use, they are afraid for one reason or another. I know. I’ve been there.

But here’s the deal. YOU NEED TO TAKE RISKS. Guess what? YOU ARE MOST LIKELY GOING TO FAIL. If you want it—REALLY want it, that won’t stop you. You will learn A LOT. My good friend Tim constantly jokes about how I jump out of planes without a parachute and worry about the landing on the way down. You may think that I’m lucky, that it’s easy for me to say because I’m already successful, that I’m in a different situation than you all are. But it’s not true. Risk is risk, no matter what level you’re at. If you’re already successful, you just take even bigger risks. But they never go away. Everything in life is Risk vs. Reward. Not just in your career. LIFE. You’d better get used to it.

I didn’t know what the hell I was doing when I got into comics. I left the #1 selling book at the time ( Uncanny X-men ) to work on Battle Chasers during a time when 'Conan’ was about the only fantasy comic people knew. And no one was buying it. I wanted to work in games, so I started a game company. I had NO IDEA WTF I was doing. I just wanted it, really bad. We tanked. It failed. No big surprise. But the people I worked with got hired elsewhere and rehired me. I started ANOTHER game Company. We had 4 people and a dream, and some publishers wouldn’t even meet with us, because their 'next gen console’ teams had 90+ people on them. I literally got hung up on. “Stick to handheld games, it’s smaller, maybe you can handle that…” one MAJOR publisher told us. I don’t blame them. But we didn’t let it stop us. Thank god we didn’t listen to them. Vigil was born. Darksiders happened, AND we got to make a sequel. It stands shoulder to shoulder with the best games in the industry, and the most elite and experienced game dev studios in the world. How is that possible?!!! Hardly any of us had even worked on a console game before. I’ll be honest, I was thinking we would fail the whole time. I just didn’t care. If I had to play the odds on this one, I’d bet against us.

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Why am I telling you all this shit? This is not me patting myself on the back. It’s just stuff that has somehow only dawned on me recently when it’s been staring me in the face for so long. I feel like I need to wake you guys up!!! I’ve been limiting myself. I’ve gotten afraid. I’ve taken less risks. I saw my career going places I didn’t want to go. I wasn’t happy and I wasn’t excited. And I’ve realized, that all that stuff I just talked about is the reason I am where I am today. Not because I have a manga style, or I draw cool hands, or there’s energy in my drawings, or all the other things people rattle off to me. There are other guys that do all that same shit, and do it better. And amazingly, those same guys constantly tell me “Man, I wish I could do what you are doing.” “SO DO IT!!!!!” PLEASE listen to me—because I want you guys to make it. I want to look to one of you people for inspiration some day when it’s 2am and I need to keep drawing. Stop worrying about all the other stuff—the pencils, the paper, the anatomy, all that shit. It will only get you so far. You’ve already got most of what you need. I hope this helps some people. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for all the support over the years. You are all one of the greatest motivating forces in my life and my career. Sappy but true. Ok, let’s go draw some shit!!!“

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To me, Van Gogh is the finest painter of them all. Certainly the most popular, great painter of all time. The most beloved, his command of color most magnificent. He transformed the pain of his tormented life into ecstatic beauty. Pain is easy to portray, but to use your passion and pain to portray the ecstasy and joy and magnificence of our world, no one had ever done it before. Perhaps no one ever will again. To my mind, that strange, wild man who roamed the fields of Provence was not only the world’s greatest artist, but also one of the greatest men who ever lived.

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Doctor Who––Series 5, Episode 10: “Vincent and the Doctor”

“Between you and me, in a hundred words, where do you think Van Gogh rates in the history of art?”
“Well… um… big question. But, to me, Van Gogh is the finest painter of them all. Certainly, the most popular, great painter of all time. The most beloved. His command of colour the most magnificent. He transformed the pain of his tormented life into ecstatic beauty. Pain is easy to portray, but to use your passion and pain to portray the ecstasy and joy and magnificence of our world, no one had ever done it before. Perhaps no one ever will again. To my mind, that strange, wild man who roamed the fields of Provence was not only the world’s greatest artist, but also one of the greatest men who ever lived.”

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“To me Van Gogh is the finest painter of them all. Certainly the most popular, great painter of all time. The most beloved, his command of colour most magnificent. He transformed the pain of his tormented life into ecstatic beauty. Pain is easy to portray, but to use your passion and pain to portray the ecstasy and joy and magnificence of our world, no one had ever done it before. Perhaps no one ever will again. To my mind, that strange, wild man who roamed the fields of Provence was not only the world’s greatest artist, but also one of the greatest men who ever lived.”

Doctor Who , Season 5 Episode 10 ,Vincent

Vincent Willem van Gogh ( 30 March 1853 – 29 July 1890) was a Dutch Post-Impressionist painter who is among the most famous and influential figures in the history of Western art. In just over a decade he created about 2,100 artworks, including around 860 oil paintings, most of them in the last two years of his life in France, where he died. They include landscapes, still lifes, portraits and self-portraits, and are characterised by bold colours and dramatic, impulsive and expressive brushwork that contributed to the foundations of modern art. His suicide at 37 followed years of mental illness and poverty.

Van Gogh suffered from psychotic episodes and delusions and though he worried about his mental stability, he often neglected his physical health. His friendship with Gauguin ended after a confrontation with a razor, when in a rage, he severed part of his own left ear. He spent time in psychiatric hospitals, including a period at Saint-Rémy. After he discharged himself he came under the care of the homeopathic doctor Paul Gachet. His depression continued and on 27 July 1890, Van Gogh shot himself in the chest with a revolver. He died from his injuries two days later.

so you mean to tell me beyoncé gave us one of the greatest albums i’ve ever heard, combined with a literal art film rather than music videos and put her everything into this literal artistic and musical feat so y’all could give adele best record and album of the year for basically rereleasing her last two albums with new and terrible vocals

k.

Edit: it won’t let me put this in normal title format, so:

Almost Peaceful

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Four thousand planets in the Great Unity. Six thousand sentient species, give or take. Technology so complicated it could only be repaired by crews with multiple different cognition types on the team. And that’s not even mentioning the violent flare-ups that had brought the Great Unity down from eight thousand planets and fourteen thousand species. It was entirely understandable for the humans to be intimidated. But no, that wasn’t quite it.

To the species with similar intelligences and social structures, it almost seemed that the humans were embarrassed, of all things. But nobody paid them any mind. Their insistence on using the freely given technologies to outphase the signals that they had been broadcasting for cycles? Odd. Same with their social quarantining of all human history, and with the electromagnetic shielding of their quadrant. The only thing people really paid attention to was when this backwater nothing asked for the other species to delete the preliminary data gathered earlier. Some worlds balked at that, but this tiny, flimsy race was so obviously terrified that even the most predatory of the war races consented to the purge. It didn’t really matter anyways - their quadrant, an even mix of death worlds and featureless rocks, was otherwise entirely empty of life, sentient or otherwise.

The Alab were the first to realize how strange that had been. If humanity had then hidden itself away, kept from the rest of the universe, it would have been as expected (there were many shy, prey-evolved races), and they would have been ignored, as seemed their wish. But no. The flimsy bipeds built ships of their own, founded settlements on half a dozen worlds. And these places weren’t shielded like Earthspace was; instead they were as obvious and unshielded as possible. Curious about the oddity - they were a plains evolution, so curiosity fit them - the Alab ventured as close as they could to the strange cities without being spotted, hidden beneath the best cloaking the Great Unity had to offer.

As it turned out, they didn’t need to hide. Partially because the Humans saw them, somehow, and partially because the Humans invited them down. By now the Alab’s interest had attracted the attention of most of the Great Unity, who telepathically watched through the Alab sensory hearts as a world opened up around them.

This colony was not the tarnished scar they would have expected of a nascent race. Even the planet was different from the dusty rock it had started as.

A cool breeze touched the Alab delegation. It was scented with so many things that, for a moment, the Alab was frozen in simply trying to process the variety. The variety, of course, came from the masterpiece of terraforming before them: where there were one craters, glittering pools shimmered with the reflective scales of aquatic creatures; the star-burnt ridges now housed both massive, rigid photosynthetic organisms and prancing furred quadrupeds.

Even that brief glimpse sparked massive speculation on the universal scale. Were the humans genetic engineers whose art surpassed even that of the Tra'di? Did their planet simply have that many organisms, with an evolutionary history far enough beyond anything seen elsewhere, to create such variety of perfectly proportioned life? Landscape designers hurriedly took notes and scans, preparing for the unavoidable rush of requests for the new style.

But that wasn’t the mission, as stunning as the landscape was. The Alab turned around, clicking their hearts at the abrupt change in input. The city was massive, a gleaming wonder in stone and steel, somehow surpassing the crystal forests of the Mavse in elegance. The ships soaring through the skies above shone like the stars they sought, yet the Alab could pick out individual details on the designs adorning them.

Not long after this event, other species began to visit Humanity’s homes. Without fail, each and every one of them was uniquely beautiful. Their ships weren’t the fastest, but one couldn’t help but be impressed at their symmetry. Their music wasn’t the most complex, but it often gave rise to more emotion than actual empathic abilities. And each colony had its own biome, its own set of unique species, each more impressive than the last.

Rumors began to grow, as they do, surrounding the home world of the greatest artists the universe had ever seen. Some said that it was drab, focused on training the artists they sent out rather than on making the art itself. Others declared that Earth obviously was a religious secret (they had found out that humans had religion only a few cycles earlier. Of course, their prayers and monuments were the most beautiful anyone had ever seen), but that was scoffed at. The sheer breadth of human religions wouldn’t allow a decision that unified, the debaters pointed out, and at least one human would have given it away before now if it was something centered on faith.

By far the most popular opinion was that even the most wondrous works on the colony worlds paled in comparison to the splendor of Earth. Tales spread, saying that anyone nonhuman who saw Earth in all its glory would be struck silent by awe, never to speak again, for fear of diminishing the memory of what they saw. That Earth was so wondrous that the colonists saw their own worlds, home to more abstract riches and honor than most of the rest of the universe, as hopelessly utilitarian, as gray and lifeless in comparison as Raner Alikrem to Ormek 8.

Over the Human cycles, Earth grew in fame and mystery. Despite taking advantage of every advancement shown to them, Humanity never once volunteered knowledge or technology beyond that of their art and culture. Nobody minded, though, as said art was definitely worth the cost. Humans got more and more famous, and continually better educated, as the Great Unity slowly funded and rewarded their astounding work. But they retained their peculiar aversions, never accepting any weapons, or training, or even remotely militant designs, acting almost horrified at the thought of violence. It made sense, in an odd way. The fragmentary human history that had been gathered from the occasional interview with the taciturn race was as pure as it came, one where even hinting at conflict would see one shunned. Traders and scholars learned this quickly, taking specialized training in avoiding the subject just to avoid scaring their precious artists.

It was with this in mind that the Gald set out for Earth. They were one of the oldest species in the galaxy, and undoubtedly one of those for whom the times of peace chafed the most. It was in seeking both truth and conquest that they sent out their expeditionary force towards Earth. The logic was plain even to the most sedentary of species - if the most fascinating mystery in all the universe was being guarded by the eleventh most physically weak of the races, and the second least violent (the least being an immobile, telepathic cellscape that covered a small moon), then of course a predator-evolved race with an undeniable urge to spread their reach, grow their power, would eventually come after them.

The first fleet was more of a team of armed ambassadors than an armada. Even as they attacked, the Gald hoped to stay in Humanity’s good graces. The Gald kept in careful contact with them up until the moment they crossed over into the shielded Earthspace.

The first fleet was never heard from again. The Gald, logically assuming that some standard space disaster had befallen their fleet, sent another, this one with precautionary reconnaissance and messenger ships. Again, all was well up to the shielded space. The Gald, sure that the new fleet was safe from all but the strangest disasters, waited with bated breath for the return of the messenger ships.

The first one came back early, not only with a report from the fleet (no notable planets had been found yet, other than twelve deathworlds. The fleet continued its search for Earth), but with cargo. That was unexpected, to say the least. The messenger ships had been intended to fly back and forth across the shield, transmitting messages from one side to the other. That one had been used instead to transfer what looked like an derelict satellite meant that, whatever was on that satellite, it was worth looking in to.
The satellite proved a welcome distraction from waiting for the return of the second fleet. It had turned out to be an old mining surveyor, sent into what would become Earthspace mere ertd before the humans entered the Great Unity. It had been destroyed - they couldn’t tell by what - only twelve Human cycles before said entrance.

Excitedly, the Gald searched the recorded scans from the surveyor for images of Earth. It only took them a few hundred false positives - deathworlds and wastelands all - before they found it. A world, extremely high in water content, of substandard gravity. Cloaked, seemingly unintentionally, in a cacophony of electromagnetic signals, the world had all the readouts of a near-spacefaring race. The Gald, elated at their discovery of Earth’s exact location (what kind of planet hides themselves in the exact center of the protective shielding?), sent the messenger ship back across, with new commands for the fleet.

There was no response. The second fleet had, somehow, vanished.

Frustrated now, the Gald sent a proper fleet for the third time, targeting the exact location of their quarry. Armed with the most formidable equipment the Great Unity (home to almost a thousand intelligent warlike species) had to offer, and with a borderline-forbidden Breacher signal processing unit that would allow them to transmit past the shielding back to their home planet, they closed in.

Everything was going well - the invasion force was actually feeling a bit pointless - when they reached the first field of wreckages. They stopped for just long enough to check that there were no survivors of their fleet, and that there were no intact ships or weapon systems to harvest. It was when they reached the second fleet that they realized something might actually be wrong - these ships were perfectly bisected along the power cores, the corpses of their crew shot midfloat even as they died in the depressurization of space. But again, scans revealed no useful resources, personnel, or information about the opposing force.

By then the crews had begun to mutter. Nobody had any idea of what could have done all of this - the technology was far beyond that of the rest of the Great Unity. Some said that it was a rogue member of the Great Unity who had gotten there first. Others said that it was even a species from outside the known, who was trying to infiltrate the Great Unity through their physically weakest link. Either way, the mission of the Gald shifted in a new direction: save the humans from this strange new threat. The fact that doing so would net them the secrets of Earth was simply a bonus to a glorious war.

The high command glinted at that - it was a political win/win from something that they had expected to bring them only hatred. As the Gald, weapons primed against the unknown threat, passed into the solar system that Earth was supposed to be located in, they began to broadcast their oncoming victory across the universe. Every member of the Great Unity guiltily watched, greedy for the final answer to the Question of Earth.
The Gald passed the star that Earth circled. They counted planets our from the center, pausing when they got to the third nearest. It wasn’t Earth. Or at least, it didn’t look like it. There were no towering cities of light, nor were there full monasteries of inspiration. There were no massive tracts of wildlife, no “forests”, no poles of ice, no massive mountains. Even the water, which had before been one of the natural wonders of this world according to the mining satellite, had vanished, leaving the continents indistinguishable from the sea floor.
Horror and sadness filled the galaxy - clearly whatever had destroyed the Gald fleets had also smote the Earth into oblivion, leaving slag where there were once mountains, and radioactive craters where the satellite showed had once been glorious cities.

It was while the Gald drifted in shock that the armada appeared, dropping cloaks unlike anything the Great Unity had ever seen before unleashing whirlwinds of light and kinetics upon the unfortunate war fleet.

The signal cut off. Silently - so as not to alarm the human colonies, who had, of course, not watched - the myriad worlds of the Great Unity came to a consensus. They would keep this horrendous act of violence from the Humans for as long as possible. They would arm themselves, surrounding Earthspace with the best and brightest of every militant force the Great Unity had to offer. And they would study every recorded trace of the Gald transmission until they knew everything possible about those monstrous destroyers who came to be called the Worldbreakers.

Several erdt passed, with no trace of the Worldbreakers. Another fleet, armed again with a Breacher, was sent into Earthspace. They didn’t last long.

A pattern developed, over time. A fleet would go in, armed with the newest equipment, often technology inspired by their very foes. They would briefly be able to scan Earth and the neighboring systems, often places with even more melted planets, before being extinguished by the Worldbreakers. It happened again and again. The newest of weapons would be blocked with shields specifically designed against their unique energy signatures. The most outlandish of strategies was outdone as if textbook. Nothing could phase the Worldbreakers; it became clear that they had played at war at extremes beyond the imaginations of even the sadistic Denwim.

The Worldbreakers became a common component of human-free discussions. Cults formed around them, both worshipping their undefeated might and fearing the eventuality that they would notice the rest of the intelligent universe. And then the day came. The day that turned everything around. It was a combination of three simultaneous events, between an obsessive astronomical historian, a lab treating a Human child for brain damage, and a student’s analysis of the Gald transmissions.

The historian was comparing old electromagnetic transmission records to the current species database, to track how many near-spaceflight species actually developed it and entered the Great Unity. It was quite surprised when it found a plethora of electromagnetic records, all obviously from different species, from all across what became Earthspace. It wondered to its colleagues what could have happened to seventy-three distinct species that would leave no trace of their civilization. No disaster they could imagine would have allowed the survival of only the Humans, a race too fragile to survive much of their own planet, much less interstellar catastrophes.

The doctor who headed up the lab was doing routine lobe simulations, checking that each repaired part of the Human child’s brain worked as properly. He was quite interested in this, as Humans generally performed their own operations, and the Human brain was largely a mystery to most of the universe. He was hoping for some distinctive part that would explain Humanity’s artistic skills, so his simulations were very in depth.

One can imagine his surprise when, instead of symmetry and resonance being the core of the Human biopsychological makeup, his simulation showed little other than pure, unadulterated aggression and greed. Uncertain, he ran it again. And again. Then he called the other interspecies doctors he knew to have them replicate the results. It was confirmed - Humans, the race so famous for hating the mere thought of conflict, was at its core the most hateful species the Great Unity possessed, orders of magnitude worse than the Gald.

And the student’s work sealed the matter. In a thermometric readout of the planets destroyed by the Worldbreakers, she found that, according to standard interplanetary cooling formulas, the Earth had to have been destroyed long ago, before even the Humans reached out to the Great Unity to ask for privacy. Unity laws prevented locations with signs of unknown species from being placed under electromagnetic shielding and social quarantine, so the Worldbreakers couldn’t have been there to destroy Earth before the shield was placed. The paradox did not lend itself at all to any known theories.

The logic was clear. Even the hive minds agreed. Humanity was not the docile race of scholars and artists that they appeared. Nor were they shy about their homeworld. Not shy, but paranoid. Sensibly paranoid that, should the Great Unity discover their war-torn past, that they had not only destroyed at least seventy-three sentient species but also their own planet in the short time between when they had developed space flight and joined the Great Unity, the other members would have either fled or tried and failed to exterminate them. So they went with their other option - beauty. They hid their ugliness under a veil of wonder, only sending their unstoppable armada after those who came close to finding out their secret past.

The understanding rocked the galaxy. Nobody sane had even contemplated this before, that one species could appear so innocent and yet be so terrifying. Their worlds would never be the same.

Despite all of this, little to nothing changed for the Humans. Aliens still came from all over to view their work, even if they now did it with apprehension. Scholars still appreciated their mystery, perhaps all the more.

And, of course, the unofficial rule that the topic of violence was never, ever to be breached while Humans were in contact suddenly became a lot more official.


Tl;dr: Humans are the super shy aliens. Too bad. It’s always the quiet ones.

Google Salutes the Birth of Hip Hop with Interactive Doodle

Google is celebrating the 44th anniversary of hip-hop today with an interactive doodle on its homepage. Kool Herc’s party at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue in the Bronx 44 years ago is cited as the crystallization of influences that became known as hip-hop. Google’s keyword team spoke with Kevin Burke, Ryan Germick Perla Campos who are behind the doodle. They also worked with hip-hop legends Fab 5 Freddy who was the first host of Yo! MTV Raps and Def Jam logo creator and visual artist Cey Adams. Check out their story behind the doodle,

Keyword: How did you come up with the idea for this Doodle?

Kevin: I’m a huge Hip Hop fan. Growing up outside New Orleans, it was a part of my DNA-performing Hip Hop in my high school band, adding Hip Hop to my college radio station’s rotation, and working on the set of Outkast’s “Ms. Jackson” music video in my first job out of college. Hip Hop has been a constant thread through my life and I wanted to bring my love of it to a Doodle. I developed the concept for interactive turntables, showed it to my manager Ryan (also a fan of Hip Hop), and he lost it. He said, “let’s make it tomorrow!”

OK, so people were into the idea. But Hip Hop is such a big topic. How did you decide what to focus on?

Perla: From the beginning, we were thinking big. I mean, Hip Hop touches so many parts of culture but a lot of people don’t know much about its origins. So, we anchored the Doodle to the birth of Hip Hop, and wanted to celebrate the people who pioneered the movement. We hope to give them the voice and the recognition they deserve, which is what Doodles are all about-shining light on times of history that maybe you didn’t know about. 

Keep reading

CRAZINESS
Last night, JUGHEAD won the Eisner Award in the Humor category! I couldn’t be at the ceremony, but it was pretty great to see photos of my pals, Ryan, Erica and Derek, up there getting those trophies. I think that’s Ryan reading my too-long speech that I sent him in case we won (I stole that pic from Comixology. SORRY).

Starting this book with Erica, one of the most talented people I’ve ever met, was a dream. Getting to continue with Derek, an extraordinary artist who exudes fun on the page, extended that dream. And then reading the book when Ryan took over with Derek was yet another dream, getting to enjoy it as a reader. I could not have asked for a better Eisner winning scenario than with this group of people.

Here’s the speech I gave to Ryan:

“I’d like to thank Mike Pellerito at ARCHIE for bringing me onboard for the JUGHEAD relaunch, which was a childhood dream come true. And I’d like to thank Erica and Derek for their amazing art on the series. Erica crafted a fun, modern vision for these characters, and I’ll always remember when she told me I was the best writer she’d ever worked with. That truly meant the world to me.

Derek seamlessly picked up where Erica left off, deftly handling some difficult and emotional scenes. They’re two of the best artists in the business, and every company should be showering them in money ha ha just kidding this is comics

And then there’s Ryan.

Ryan, I am so proud of you, of the man you’ve become. You’ve always been so kind and generous with others, and to see you succeed like you have has truly been one of my life’s greatest pleasures. Looking at you now, all grown up and handsome, in your reasonably priced suit and tie, I know that the sky is the limit for you and your dreams.

I love you more than anything. And remember that I’m there with you now, watching from Heaven; which, as you know, is the gentleman’s club here in Toronto that broadcasts the Eisner Awards every year.

Take care,

Chip” 


Lilly submitted:

You want Jeremy vid recs?  *pushes glasses up on nose* let me see what I can do for you (note: this is in no way a comprehensive list but got kinda long because I freaking LOVE Jeremy and his dynamic with basically everybody, also this list is immensely long sorry):

  • LP Dead by Daylight series:  Watch as Jeremy progresses to become the best player in the game.  Also just an immensely entertaining game to watch tbh.
  • LP-8 man Gang Beasts and LP Gang Beasts with Kinda Funny:  Ray is to CoD as Jeremy is to Gang Beasts
  • LP Gmod Trouble in Terrorist Town pt 3: the AH guys have little to no patience in identifying the terrorist, resulting in hilarity
  • LP Gmod Murder series:  AH + a game of trust = a game of betrayal
  • LP Gmod obj hunt series:  a combination of Jeremy being both incredibly good at this game and incredibly entertaining
  • LP trivial pursuit pt 8: typical amount of hilarity/cringe at AH’s general (lack of) knowledge, specifically recommended for the victory chant at the end 
  • LP Mario Party 8 series with Jeremy in it, starting at I think King Boo’s Haunted Hideaway: Ryan + lads + nintendo is always a winning combination
  • LP Speedrunners Part 3: the lunch money saga 
  • LP Mean Greens: s/o to Team Markiplier
  • LP Fibbage series w/ Jeremy, starting w/ Fibbage 2: Jeremy’s improvisational humor becomes one of his greatest assets
  • LP Drawful 2, 2 pt 2, & with Funhaus: great showcase of Jeremy’s Artistic Abilities 
  • LP Bidiots: features possibly Geoff’s most stupid moment ever, also Prickasso
  • VR Job Simulator: the first of the
  • VR series and a great Jeremy/Ryan/Gavin combo video
  • VR Gorn: Jeremy essentially evolves into Mad King Ryan Sports Friends: Poleriders Tournament:  less for the videos and more for the incredibly underrated Jeremy/Michael team aka team “Short Temper"
  • GTA V offense defense series: an immensely entertaining game type, and features many of team Little Britain’s greatest hits
  • GTA V Snipers vs Stunters series: essentially turns into a game of Jeremy vs Jack
  • GTA V Slasher & Slasher 2:  another immensely entertaining game type to watch
  • GTA V Yacht Party: a fantastic Geoff-less “fuck around” lp where the others basically screw around with Geoff’s money/things
  • Los Santos in Minecraft: Jeremy’s antics cause him to nearly get kicked from the server
  • GTA V Cloud Down: mainly for the last 10 minutes with Trevor’s magnificent editing Minecraft 198:  Geoff and Gavin put Jeremy On the Spot and give him control of the letsplay with zero direction
  • Minecraft 199: less the whole video and more 5:30 minutes in, Jeremy and Gav converse about Jer’s url puns, and Jeremy creates his best url pun of all time. 
  • Minecraft 216: Gavin costs Jeremy the victory by mistaking him for “Big Johny 64”
  • Minecraft 236: “Did you know there’s mansions in minecraft?”  and the Compass Argument 
  • PS: I have no idea what vids you have or haven’t seen so sorry if this list contains a bunch you have
  • PPS: also every live AH antics video featuring Jeremy
  • PPPS: also every video of On the Spot with Jeremy especially 22, 46, 71, and 80 
Design Analysis: The Alien Films

Giger’s original alien design is fairly well recognized as the pinnacle of the art, so sequel decay was inevitable. Once you have something perfect, anything you add to that perfection will alter it and by definition make it imperfect. The further the Alien films diverge from the design above, the worse the designs get, sometimes by fractions, sometimes by great leaps. This is not a comprehensive list of all changes made to the design over the years, but a look at the directions other artists took. Essentially, a brief Fall of the Roman Empire for alien design.

Giger’s only “hands-on” involvement with the series to make the final cut was on the first film. His most impressive creation for that movie is, in my opinion, the Space Jockey, the truest fusion of flesh and machine, literally grown into the ship despite what unbelievably horrible ideas future movies would try to retcon into the series. But the alien itself is the most enduring work. The elongated head, the inner toothed tongue, the mechanical components within the meat of the creature, its ribs, its inexplicable back-pipes, it all manifests as a symphony of disturbing elements that, when combined into a humanoid figure, speak of pain, wounds, death, cruelty and danger. This is widely known.

What fewer people (including future creature designers) realize is that one of the most critical features of the alien is that it is aesthetically displeasing. It is not sleek. It is not cool. It is ugly. It doesn’t fit together right. It is not streamlined not conventional in color or form. Where Giger designed the Space Jockey to be oddly beautiful, he went for something in the alien itself that makes it hard to look at. Some consider this “cheap” or “incomplete.” I’d argue that it was not only intentional but one of the most critical features of the design.

The original alien was never meant to appeal to us. It was made to scare and disgust us. The original film is the only time it did so successfully. Commentaries on the series suggest that the repetition of the design in further movies made it less impressive, that it was done to death. This is not true because the original design only appeared in one film. Though that design too is demystified by now, the films did not need to suffer from any inevitable decrease in horror. That decrease is intentional.

James Cameron didn’t want to make a horror film, he wanted to make an action thriller with some horror elements. His alteration of Giger’s designs helps elucidate this. The design of the aliens from Aliens is close to Giger’s with three critical embellishments: The arms now have bony protrusions at the elbows, the dome has been removed revealing the ridged head, and the design has been normalized and streamlined. The alien is no longer grotesque, it is awesome.

The original alien looks dirty and ragged by comparison. This was not a mistake by any means. Aliens is not about hurting the audience like its predecessor, it’s an action movie and the turn from horror to action was extremely successful.

Cameron then took Giger’s aesthetic, more or less, and designed his own super-alien, the Queen. Little attempt at horror remains, if any. This is an epic beast made to appeal to the eye with smooth curved structures and spines that follow the form naturally and elegantly. It has less of a mechanical influence, and no sign at all of Giger’s ugliness. Its use in the film is similarly unhorrifying, it’s an intense escape followed by one of the greatest fight scenes in movie history. Cameron diverged from Giger and Scott, but what he made was a new expansion of the universe that was all his own, and in typical fashion for the director, it amazed audiences and proved highly influential ever after.

Giger was invited back to design a new iteration of the alien for the third film. He set out to perfect his original design, and did so artistically but not cinematically. His new design introduced an even more horrifying tongue that would enter the victim’s throat, and with shark-tooth-like barbs, come back out bringing their guts with it. It had a visible, moving brain under its dome, and it lost the back tubes in favor of a more animal-like structure. It also had new artsy elements that brought it further into Giger’s developing aesthetic. The filmmakers elected not to use it.

Tom Woodruff Jr. and Alec Gillis took over. Students of Stan Winston who had implemented Cameron’s concepts, they redesigned the alien into a near-fully organic beast. The only remainder of its mechanical elements are the repeated flutes on the side of the head. The rest is all animal, with inhuman legs and feet. Its cheeks are no longer messes of visible mechanisms, but rumpled skin. And it is sleek. It’s streamlined. It is, in essence, what the alien would look like had it been originally designed by someone other than Giger.

Alien 3 attempted to bring the series back to horror. That might have been a mistake but we can give the creators the benefit of the doubt and instead of criticizing the aspects of the film that have already been criticized ad nauseam, focus only on the design. Basically, it’s meatier and meaner and although it has lost Giger’s surface, it does retain his basic concepts and yields an appropriate movie monster for a very dark film. It would be brilliant had it not followed such vastly superior works.

Gillis and Woodruff returned for the fourth film and further organicized the creature. They took the Alien 3 design and regained the tubes, and made the back of the head a little less round. While the alien from 3 was alternately red or black depending on the lighting, the Resurrection beasts were generally greenish-brown or grey depending on whether they were computer generated.

But look at its cheeks and neck. The region on the sides behind its mouth. The clumpy skin of the third alien is now a total ugly mess, and not ugly in Giger’s way. Just a mess of blotchy crud. Its arm has little trace of the underlying tubes and mechanics, it’s just a bumpy human arm. Alien 3 took the creature into animalistic design, but 4 began to turn it into a mess.

The newborn has no mechanical elements whatsoever, or even any trace of them. It bears only the slightest resemblance to Giger’s design and that’s okay. It had a new purpose- To be gross. Not grotesque, necessarily, but icky. There it succeeded. Its face was also more expressive, at times almost human. Its sunken eyes, its bat-nose, the bloated filigree on the sides of its head, all contribute to something appropriate to the film this creature was designed for.

Notably, the creature was designed with genitals, which were censored from the film for being too much, the director said, “even for a Frenchman.” The Newborn represents the end of the series. The alien has gone everywhere it can go, and retains nothing of what made the original what it was. Evolution is inevitable but I can’t help but wonder what might have happened had the ADI team that handled the latter two films honored Giger’s new designs, or kept his originals, or designed new works of their own along his guidelines instead of simply making the aliens closer and closer to blobby animals.

Prometheus provides another succinct view of what happened- Giger’s original derelict ship was a misshapen bony surrealist sculpture. It had no visible means of flight, it had nothing to even compare to any vehicle ever designed. It made no sense. It hurt the brain to think of as a spaceship. Prometheus featured a similar ship- But made it work. It was streamlined and curved naturally instead of bent and ugly, it was a mechanical ship and not something that might have been grown. That’s what happened to the alien over the years. It was cleaned up, made sense of, and turned into something normal. But the final insult was yet to come.

That’s the finale of Prometheus. Look at it.

Now look at the original:

Now back to deacon:

How did anyone, especially Ridley freaking Scott, think this was acceptable? It’s a god damn cartoon. I mean literally! It’s what Gary Larson spoofed the aliens into!

It has no surface detail, just some bumps like what a child might push into a lump of clay. Its pointy head is a joke. And its inner jaw is based on the goblin shark’s:

The goblin shark is notable in two ways- One, its jaws are horrifying. Good. Reason two- It looks like Jerry Lewis.

It’s goofy! It’s silly! The prominent upper maxilla looks absurd and funny despite its sharp spiny teeth. The goblin shark is certainly bizarre and bizarre is often good, but in this case it turned the iconic alien, the greatest design in the history of creature effects, into an absolute total JOKE.

Never mind the squid. Never mind the plain white tentacled blob that replaced the chestburster. Never mind the idea that the brilliant concept of a pilot grown into its ship was made into a white guy in a suit. Never mind the dull serpents or the atrocious uncreative bumpy makeup on Fifield. Ignore all the problems with Prometheus because this is about the design of the adult form alien. Look what they did to it.

Resurrection ended the alien’s tenure as the greatest monster. But it did not make it into a joke. The deacon is a poorly sculpted, plainly painted, uncreatively applied, horribly conceived, silly, pathetic, absolute low point of creature design in cinema. That’s where the alien ended up.

This is one of the greatest plummets in art. From the pinnacle to the nadir. So what comes next? Alien: Covenant, appears from its trailer, to be even more of a remake of the original than Prometheus. The same plot, slightly different specifics. Of its true story and creatures, only time will tell. But I have the lowest expectations. I expect the worst, for the alien to go from joke to insult. Or further insult, all things considered.

The trend in cinema (among other things) right now is to take whatever was good once and ram it into the ground as hard as possible. I don’t know what more they can do to the alien after the pointy headed atrocity above, but I have a feeling we’ll find out.

But I also have hope. Worst expectations but a glimmer of hope that we’ll see the redemption of this creature. Giger is dead, and the world is poorer for it. I hope Scott has found someone new, an unknown artist as Giger was in the 70s to come to fame as the next great surrealist. I hope we’ll see the birth of a new form of horror cinema. I hope a great many things every time an alien movie comes out.

My mother was pregnant with me when she saw Alien. I drew it over and over as a child. I studied it above all other films and designs as an adult. I grew up with the alien on every level. I don’t know what will come next, and I will go in with an open mind.

But I can’t help but feel that the iconic monster has hit rock bottom, and it’s about to crash through the stones down into hell.

@euclase youve understandably closed your inbox but i just wanted to say youre one of my biggest inspirations, as someone who’s been entirely self taught until recently and am now attending a community college for art classes that gets looked down on, i used to be so hard on myself bc i didnt think i could possibly be a “”“real”“” artist if i didnt go to a fancy art school and own all the best supplies. seeing what you can do with only what you’ve learned yourself makes me feel like i can succeed too.
your art advice has helped me grow in my own work and even just looking at your pieces i feel like ive gained an understanding of light that i never had before. your dedication as well as your beautiful art inspires me to keep working, even when i want to give up and delete everything im working on bc i hate it so much, i keep going bc if you can do it so can i!
all in all i guess i just want to thank you for being here and doing your thing, youre one of the greatest artists ive ever found in life ❤️

Melodrama is truly the greatest album I’ve ever heard. It breaks your heart then picks you off the floor and let’s you know everything’s going to be okay. It’s a sonically cohesive concept album with new, vibrant, and genius sounds that break your heart and make you want to dance at the same time, just like you’re Lorde herself at the party getting dumped. The lyrics feel like hearing the truth for the first time in your life. It’s full of poetry and easily quotable lyrics all at once. I’ve never heard a breakup so accurately and artistically and beautiful expressed. This is what Album of the Year sounds like and quite possible one of the greatest albums of our generation.

4

Happy Birthday John, 0ctober 9th, (1940-1980) 

He transformed the pain of his tormented life into ecstatic beauty. Pain is easy to portray, but to use your passion and pain to portray the ecstasy and joy and magnificence of our world, no one had ever done it before. Perhaps no one ever will again. To my mind, that strange, wild man who was not only the world’s greatest artist, but also one of the greatest men who ever lived.- Doctor Who Season 5 Episode 10 

6

historical figures postersLouis XIV, “The Sun King”.

Born in 1638, his name ‘Louis-Dieudonné’ means ‘gift from God’ and is foretelling the story of his life. Crowned at the age of four after the death of his father Louis XIII, he reigned for 72 years and 110 days until his death on September 1, 1715,  longer than that of any other known European sovereign.  During his reign Louis transformed the monarchy, ushered in a golden age of art and literature, presided over a dazzling royal court at Versailles, annexed key territories and established his country as the dominant power on the continent until the War of the Spanish Succession. Breaking with centuries-old tradition, he declared in 1661 that he would rule alone, without a chief minister. He became the symbol of absolutism in Europe, and as he saw it, he was the direct representative of God. He chose the sun as his emblem and cultivated the image of an omniscient and infallible “Roi-Soleil” (“Sun King”) around whom the entire realm orbited. His rule was a divine right and he would go on to wield the absolute power of the monarchy; and in 1623, he built the famous Palace of Versailles. With its Hall of Mirrors and lavish apartments, the palace, surrounded by stylised French and English gardens, was built to symbolise the king’s power. Lover of art, litterature, music, theatre and sports, some of the greatest artistic and intellectual figures of the time were members of his retinue. Lover to dozen of women, great war chief and stratege, he was one of the most poweful monarch who ever ruled. When he died in 1715, he was 77, had ruled for 72 years, and was the living embodiement of absolute power. 

NEC PLURIBUS IMPAR” I am enough for several worlds.