Smeargle's Studio Arterviews [LifeisDANK - post #46]

tiki

ok???
is a Site Content Manageris a Social Media Contributoris a Top Artistis a Super Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Top Smogon Media Contributoris a member of the Battle Simulator Staff
Art Leader
For December's arterview, we're talking with lei! You can check out her twitter here, and her art thread here. Please feel free to reply with any additional questions of your own after reading! :toast:

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tiki: Hey Lei! For those who aren't familiar: how would you introduce yourself?

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lei:
hi tiki! i’d say i’m an artist, and a mixed odds shiny hunter. i LOVE cute things, and i try to show it off in all my drawings! i like to think i’m an approachable person, and i’m always down for a chat c:

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tiki: You've drawn a whole bunch over on Smogon, how did you end up finding out about the forums?

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lei:
i’ve been a fan of pokemon since i was really young, and i found out about showdown through youtube. from there i met with a few friends who taught me about smogon and encouraged me to join!

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tiki: Any other interests/hobbies you'd like to share with us apart from mons and drawing?

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lei:
i’ve been learning how to speedrun games i like lately! nothing submitted yet, but its a really fun pastime to learn how to do something from scratch and challenge myself.

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tiki: Sounds interesting, from an outsider perspective speedrunning has always sounded super difficult, good luck with it! Back to art, do you maybe have any advice for those just starting out? Or just sharing some of your experiences so far in general o/

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lei:
i think anyone who is learning how to draw should not feel afraid to use references! whether it be for poses or coloring or anything really- learning anatomy and the like early on will seriously help. for me, for the art i do, i think its good to reference official media of anything you want to draw! the arts and culture room on ps has a page on their website with impeccably useful sheets of pokemon references, which helps me so much. :D dont feel afraid to ask for help as well! getting criticism from the right people can help loads. as for general experience, well, i think ive been pretty blessed. the people i surround myself with are so warm and loving! it really is important to be in a nice environment while you learn.

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tiki: References are a huge help! Def a good thumbs up, don't hinder yourself by avoiding using them esp when starting out. Glad to hear you've been enjoying your experience so far, do you maybe have a single favorite piece you've done until now? If you do, tell us more about it!

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lei:
i think its my oshawott sailor image! its done for my dear friend boat, who requested it a while back. it wasnt a particularly detail oriented or time consuming piece, but i really started to work on using gradients during that one, so it holds near and dear to me in my art journey, given how much i adore using them now! i also learned how to shade using separate layers in that one, which was REVOLUTIONARY lolol way easier just to slap a filter on

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tiki: Do you have any favorite artists from the forums?

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lei:
yes!! particularly i feel inspired by kaiju bunny, ausma, fusion flare, and you. the forums harbors some amazing talent, and you all have such unique art styles that i feel so happy to see your work! i think my absolute favorite is ausma, because her art style is so fluffy and warm to look at, but it’s so hard to pick favorites like that!

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tiki: It's super exciting seeing so many artists group up around the forums for sure! So many different people to look up to. As far as your own art journey goes, is there anything you're currently looking to improve on/something you want to learn more about in the coming year?

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lei:
DEFINITELY perspective! i find that my drawings tend to look very flat and i want to make them pop out a lot more- its my biggest goal! i would also like to work on proportions since every pokemon i draw looks chubby T_T

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tiki: Wishing you all the best with that! Is there any topic you'd like to talk about or share something more about yourself that we haven't covered yet?

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lei:
not particularly! i think i covered all the grounds :>

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tiki: Alright! All that's left is the most important question, what's your favorite pokemon?

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lei: there's so many, but i'd say a tie between cleffa, raichu, and cinccino is fair ^^ ;; theyre all so fluffy and cute!

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tiki: Thank you for taking your time to answer these questions, studio visitors will be able to follow up with any additional ones afterwards!

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Notice: On pause for the month of January! Arterviews resume in February :)
 
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ausma

imperfection is beautiful
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LEI YOU'RE SO FRICKING COOL!!!!!!!!!!! [also i am incredibly flattered you like my art THANK YOU! WHA??????T??????????]
i have some questions for u!

what's your favorite aspect of the pokemon franchise as a whole and why?

what inspired you to get into drawing and what's made it stick?

what has inspired and helped you develop your art style over the past few years?

lastly (and most importantly):
what is your favorite among us color
 

R8

FREE IRAN
is a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Top Contributor Alumnus
Honestly big big fan of your art lei, your drawings are one of the things that finally gave me the motivation to start to learn to draw after years, and even if that probably wasn't intended lol i'm thankful for this

ANYWAY:
- do pizza belongs on pineapples?
- do you have a favorite metagame?
- what is the most uninteresting fact you could share about anything ?

yes the struggle to find good questions is real ;-;
 

Kolohe

star overhead
is a Top Artistis a Community Contributor
LEI YOU'RE SO FRICKING COOL!!!!!!!!!!! [also i am incredibly flattered you like my art THANK YOU! WHA??????T??????????]
i have some questions for u!
love u!

what's your favorite aspect of the pokemon franchise as a whole and why?
i love how simple the series is at a surface level! you can pick up any game, play it, and understand. i love that. i love that you can start anywhere, and work your way through them if you want, but still be satisfied at one. it sucks you in! and fans can make whatever they want, of anything, because the games are so simple. i love the creative freedom you get!

what inspired you to get into drawing and what's made it stick?
oh dude. i loved how to draw manga books. my mom would get me the christopher hart books that showed you how to draw like magical girls or whatever and i would study them religiously because i could just MAKE THAT if i wanted. that is so awesome man!! so i just stuck with it after that
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what has inspired and helped you develop your art style over the past few years?
you
i think music has rekindled my love for art and creating art, and the style development has just been natural from me loving round things and wanting to convey the utmost cuteness in my art. every time i find a new way to make something cute, i add it. i use it more, etc. i want to make people think "awww!"

lastly (and most importantly):
what is your favorite among us color
i use the yellow one with the egg hat!

Honestly big big fan of your art lei, your drawings are one of the things that finally gave me the motivation to start to learn to draw after years, and even if that probably wasn't intended lol i'm thankful for this
that makes me so incredibly happy to hear, i am deeply honored i could inspire you. show me more of your drawings, please! i love them and would love to continue to help
ANYWAY:
- do pizza belongs on pineapples?
yes! as long as youre not putting kiwis on pizza we are good. i would love mini pizzas on pineapple slices too, might just be my islander blood

- do you have a favorite metagame?
i adore zu and 1v1! i feel very inspired to play both because of people like rumia smely socks Rosa and thebtboy , who are all incredibly welcoming and helpful to someone like me who just wants to learn after only doing art. i also love natdex because of the people in mt moon (like you and sol and omi!)

- what is the most uninteresting fact you could share about anything ?
i ate trader joe's branded cheetos today and they sucked hardcore.

thank you for your questions!!
 
Fsr I thought you already had one, delighted to have been wrong! As (probably) the person I have known the longest on this site, I have a bunch of quality questions to ask of u.
  • What do you think you have perfected about your art? Is there a trademark that you have BESIDES drawing fattys?​
  • Will U EVER PAINT?!?!?!​
  • When will u win the next ZUPL :pimp:
  • Have a favourite PS!/Smogon moment? I'm sure there is something funny worth sharing tee-hee​
  • Is shapeshifter broken in 15-lobby games or not this is urgent​
i also love natdex because of the people in mt moon (like you and sol and omi!)
Finally validated for playing this untier :blobsad:

Lots of love, lei. You're the reason why I am on this garbage website and I think you're amazing :) Keep on being awesome
 

Kolohe

star overhead
is a Top Artistis a Community Contributor
Fsr I thought you already had one, delighted to have been wrong! As (probably) the person I have known the longest on this site, I have a bunch of quality questions to ask of u.
i love u.

What do you think you have perfected about your art? Is there a trademark that you have BESIDES drawing fattys?
i think my lineart is my trademark! it looks clean. its got shmoovement. i like it!

Will U EVER PAINT?!?!?!
canvases expensive, or else i would love to try! maybe if i find a nice watercolor brush i could try digital though hehe.

When will u win the next ZUPL :pimp:
when DurzaOffTopic decides to carry me again!

Have a favourite PS!/Smogon moment? I'm sure there is something funny worth sharing tee-hee
meeting rumia! that's the funniest thing i can share since she's the biggest clown known to man

Is shapeshifter broken in 15-lobby games or not this is urgent
ban it. its broken.

Lots of love, lei. You're the reason why I am on this garbage website and I think you're amazing :) Keep on being awesome
again; i love u!! i am so happy i got to know you so far and i hope we stay besties frfr ! thank you for the questions <3
 

Zephyri

she's cheer captain and i'm on the bleachers
is a Top Artistis a Forum Moderator
Moderator
lei HELLO QUESTIONS ME ASK UWU

- Are there any pokemon that you've disliked to begin with but have come around on? Conversely, are there any pokemon that you've disliked in the past but have grown to appreciate?

- What's something you've experimented with recently in your art that's led to a cool result?

- Opinions on broccoli?

- Would you rather have to move to a new place every week or have to stay in the same place for the rest of your life?

- Finally, and most importantly
are you sus
 

Kolohe

star overhead
is a Top Artistis a Community Contributor
Are there any pokemon that you've disliked to begin with but have come around on? Conversely, are there any pokemon that you've disliked in the past but have grown to appreciate?
i'd say the biggest contenders for this are dragonite and wigglytuff haha. i love both so much now but when i was a kid i thought they were too girly, which is funny because i loved mons like tsareena.

What's something you've experimented with recently in your art that's led to a cool result?
u taught me how to use blue to shade and that was gamechanging bro. now i use the gradient tool with that, so hair and stuff looks more vibrant
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Opinions on broccoli?
broccoli soup is my favorite soup! i also love them steamed.

Would you rather have to move to a new place every week or have to stay in the same place for the rest of your life?
if my girlfriend was with me i wouldnt mind where i live at all hahah- wherever it may be. id love to move once a week tbh it sounds cool

Finally, and most importantly
are you sus
 

tiki

ok???
is a Site Content Manageris a Social Media Contributoris a Top Artistis a Super Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Top Smogon Media Contributoris a member of the Battle Simulator Staff
Art Leader
We're back! Thank you for your patience with the continuation of arterviews, we'll be talking with Brumirage! Please feel free to reply with any additional questions of your own after reading! :toast:


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tiki: Hi Brumirage! You've been an active artist on the forums for a while now, but for those who aren't familiar: how would you introduce yourself?

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Brumirage: Hi Tiki! So, I'm a French artist who joined the site in 2018, especially for the strategy. At the time, I was making logos for the French community, and some time later I started producing art for Smogon! Since then, I don't really make logos anymore, and now I am making custom avatars for the players. This is my main activity.

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tiki: Most people definitely know you through your amazing customs! Do you have any advice for people looking to learn more about pixel art and making custom avatars?

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Brumirage: Well, what I often advise to beginners, and even to the experienced spriters, it's to start step by step. Start by making "revamps", take an existing sprite and apply a skin of another character, or modify a bit the posture, face, body etc. It's a good way to start experimenting with customs, but you'll quickly find yourself limited. And you should try to make customs from scratch. To start, don't take characters with complicated poses or too many details. You'll do it when you are already comfortable enough.

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tiki: I'm sure everyone will appreciate the advice! How long do these custom sprites usually take you to make in your experience so far?

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Brumirage: I hope! Personally, it takes me between 1 and 5 hours depending on the difficulty of the custom. It can be fast if the pose is simple, but it becomes long when the pose is complex or there is a lot of detail.

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tiki: You've been on Smogon for a few years now, but when did you first end up getting interested in Pokemon in general?

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Brumirage: I started to discover Pokémon with the Mystery Dungeons and Sun and Moon games. At that time I was mostly a fan of the lore. I used to create fakemon a lot when I was a young teenager. I used to draw pokémon and create trainers, like many people.

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tiki: Do you have any other interests or hobbies you'd like to share with us apart from pokemon and making art?

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Brumirage: Hmm next to art, I really enjoy prototyping websites and applications. And I have to admit that one of my favourite hobbies is to do is walking in the forest and picking mushrooms. A passion from family.

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tiki: That sounds like fun! As far as art goes, do you have any favorite artists that you particularly like? Be it from smogon or just in general.

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Brumirage: Oh there are many! I'd like to mention Zracknel and Blazenix, they really inspired me when I was making logos. Their skill was a goal for me when I started. Concerning pixel art, Beliot and Kyle-Dove, both are incredible spriters. Beliot made the gen7 sprites on PS, it is by discovering his work that I started pixel art.

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tiki: When it comes to your own art, is there anything you're currently working on improving, or something new you're looking to learn? Feel free to mention whatever you'd like!

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Brumirage: I would like to be better at anatomy. I'm pretty bad at it and I lack practice. But I don't have the time to practice and improve as I would like. When I draw characters it is always in portrait format

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tiki: Anatomy is definitely a huge hurdle to overcome, wishing you all the best with that! Is there anything else you'd like to talk about that we haven't covered yet?

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Brumirage: Maybe, I would like to take this opportunity to give an advice to spriters. There are a lot of people on Smogon who do sprite trainers, who have difficulties and come to ask for advice. What I say is to go step by step, and not to set insurmountable goals when you start. Start slowly, with revamps, recolors, to understand how a sprite works, what are the style rules, how proportions and colours work. Once you've got the rules down, you can start creating sprites from scratch. It's hard, but with perseverance you'll get there. It's just a matter of practice. Pixel art doesn't particularly require drawing skills I think. Just an understanding of the logic of the style.

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tiki: That's a nice way of putting it! I hope those that are interested in sprites will find the guidance useful. Being persistent is super important, so I hope they'll take that advice to heart. While we're on the topic, what motivated you to start improving and working on your art, do you have any particular inspiration to keep practicing?

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Brumirage: Actually, for months I was motivated by one project: Gen8 sprites for PS. The only answer I got at the time was that they weren't good enough, so for months I tried to give the best of myself, to make the best sprites possible so that Zarel would accept them. It was really this project that motivated me to improve.

I don't really have any big new projects in mind now. I'm already glad I didn't get bored.

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tiki: We've definitely come a long way to finally have those trainer sprites on PS, huge congrats on that! For our usual final question - what's your favorite Pokemon?

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Brumirage: Thank you very much! Manaphy without any hesitation.

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tiki: A nice choice! Thank you so much for making some time to chat with me. I hope those reading once this interview gets posted will consider asking any additional questions of their own if they're curious!

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Kaiju Bunny

♥・゚: * ̄(♡ㅅ♡❀) ̄
is a Site Content Manageris a Top Artistis a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Smogon Media Contributoris a Battle Simulator Moderator Alumnus
Moderator
Good evening, from the East Coast!! This month, the artist being interviewed is Zephyri! Please feel free to check out their Twitter and show them some support! n.n Without further ado, let's get into the interview!

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Kaiju Bunny
So, I'm pretty garbo with intros, but you've been hanging around Smeargle's Studio for quite a while I'd say. For those who aren't too familiar with you, how would you introduce yourself?

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Zephyri
oooo I'd say I'm Zephyri, a Smeargle's Studio mod that's decent at drawing and hangs out in CAP and Smeargle's. I joined the community about two years ago, posted shitty fakemon ideas on the CAP forums, and I've been here ever since.

irl, I'm a 15-year-old high-schooler living in India, hoping to major in econ for my undergrad and go into law school. I'm a rare case in that I'm pretty extroverted but also have anxiety issues, which has led to some... interesting social interactions in the past. If you ever see me rambling in a smogon discord server, feel free to say hi; this community's filled with interesting people, and I want to try and talk to as many as I can :>

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Kaiju Bunny
Ooh, all the best with your endeavors with school! Law stuff always seems like an intimidating topic to study, but well worth the risk.
Now I have to ask: when and why did you get into art? And how did that help you get introduced to Smogon as a whole?

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Zephyri
I got into drawing fakemon when I was 8 after I saw a MandJTV video about possible designs for unused type combinations or something. Suffice to say, I... wasn't good at art at all, but it was definitely a fun pastime. I've known of Smogon's existence for basically my entire childhood, but I only got into it after finding the CAP27 art submissions thread and thinking "hm, this sounds fun; I think I can draw better than most of these submissions". I was, however, pretty freaking shit at art; I ended up getting 4th from last iirc, which was sorta crushing, but also gave me the motivation to become better at art and stick with the community. I wound up finding Smeargle's Studio from there, and the rest is history.

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Kaiju Bunny
I think I can speak on behalf of the Smeargle Community when I say that we're glad to have you be a part of the forums! Besides art, did you have any other notable hobbies you wanted to tell us about?

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Zephyri
Outside of 'mons, I love reading novels; I’d say my general taste is pretty varied, but as of late I’ve really been into chick flicks and fantasy. I also got into chess recently! I’m not very good at it (650 ELO on chess.com) but it’s a very fun pastime, and I want to try and get better at it over this summer. I’m also a huge Swiftie; I listen to Taylor to, like, an unhealthy extent gxgdhfhhrt. Feel free to ask me about my favorite songs and albums :>

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Kaiju Bunny
Gimme your top 3 songs by her :eyes:

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Zephyri
ours, dancing with our hands tied, and a tie between Cornelia street/long live I cant pick!
oooo wait are you a tswift fan too o.o
fave albums are speak now and lover because I'm super basic and hella into the cheesy romance boppy stuff

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Kaiju Bunny
I wouldn't necessarily call myself a fan, sadly (pls don't kill me), but honestly, I can understand the appeal!
Back to art, are there any artists that you generally look up to or take inspiration from? :o

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Zephyri
Oh, 100%. W.r.t artists within smogon, ssensenh’s stuff has been of huge inspiration to me; I think I’ve referenced their lighting and color blocking stuff on basically every painting I’ve done. h_n_g_m_n (I hope I spelled that right), is another big one; their use of color, composition, and perspective is freaking amazing and I want to try to get to that level of proficiency in those areas at some point during my art journey. For character and mon design stuff, I’ve been very inspired by a bunch of CAP folks, the biggest ones being Pipotchi, Sunfished, Gravity Monkey, Golurkyourself, and Quanyails. I’ve been inspired by tons of artists on Smogon, but these are probably the most significant ones.

Outside of Smogon, BlueKomadori is probably my biggest inspiration; I stumbled upon their work during an unproductive Twitter scroll session, and was just taken aback by the sheer quality of their artwork. Ever since, I’ve used their work as an ideal of sorts; a level of art prowess that I want to strive to aim for

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Kaiju Bunny
That's awesome that you have so much inspiration! It can be super fun to learn from your fav artists while also giving your pieces their own unique flair! Do you have any plans throughout the rest of the year for things you'd like to improve on or experiment with as far as art?

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Zephyri
Painting is one thing I'd like to perfect over 2022; most of my work for smogon as of late has been very painterly, but I don't think I'm at the level I want to be at just yet. Linework is something else that I'd like to improve; I'm very cheaty with my linework in that it tends to be very rough, bold, and sketchy, for no other reason than it's easier for me to draw it like that, but I'd like to get better at "proper" linework and further my repertoire with art through that.

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Kaiju Bunny
Wishing you luck with your endeavors! Kinda going out of one's comfort zone can always seem scary, but you end up learning so much through the process. Super excited to see more of your work and progress! Did you have any tips, tricks, or anything else for new artists?

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Zephyri
This isn’t really a “trick”, but some general advice I’d like to give to newer artists would be this: when you’re looking at reference art, or just art that’s of higher quality than yours in general, try to really dissect the art. Don’t just look at the art and think “oh wow pretty”; try and figure out what exactly makes the art so pretty; is it the brushstrokes, the lighting, or maybe even the colors? Then figure out how the artist made the lighting or brushstrokes or color so pretty, pull up a blank canvas, and try and imitate what they did. Analyzing and dissecting other people’s art pieces to figure out what made them so good, and adding those aspects and skills to my personal repertoire, was probably the biggest factor behind my relatively fast improvement as an artist.

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Kaiju Bunny
solid advice! It's especially a treat when artists give a step-by-step that allows you to have an even closer read on an artist's process! As we wrap up, was there anything else you wanted to add that we might not have covered in this interview? :o

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Zephyri
OOOOO hm, the biggest thing I'd like to talk about would probably be learning to develop a healthy relationship with art and critique. Critique has played a massive role in my art journey, and I've seen a lot of newer artists get distressed and disappointed by criticism, which is honestly natural! Critique, in general, is pretty double-edged; on one hand, receiving good critique and implementing it in your art is a great way to improve, but on the other hand, it can feel sucky when people dig at work you've put a lot of heart! Taking critique became easier for me when I started recognizing that my art is a separate entity from myself, and critique of my art isn't critique of me or my skill; it's just other people's opinions about my art.

It's also important to recognize that not all critique is created equal. Sometimes criticism just isn't useful to you, and doesn't align with your artistic intention, and that's alright! As an artist, you need to figure out what you think needs improving with your art, and take critique that helps you progress in the direction you want to go in. Finding people that give good critique is also important; taking and accepting critique from just anyone will almost undeniably lead to confusion and dilution of artistic intent. CAP has taught me that respecting some opinions more than others when it comes to art is OK, and probably the best way to preserve your sanity lol. In general, artists that are more experienced than you are probably the best source of critique, but there are definitely exceptions to this rule.

tl;dr: critique is complicated and important, and solidifying your relationship with it as an artist is probably for the best :>

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Kaiju Bunny
Genuinely could not agree with you more on that one. To finish wrapping things up, it's the age-old question: What's your favorite Pokémon and why? :^)

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Zephyri
Noivern, 100%. Fell in love with it after catching a Noibat in Ultra Moon and going through an awful time leveling it up, only for it to end up being the best Pokemon on my team by a huge margin. Porygon2 and Reuniclus are close seconds though :>

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Kaiju Bunny
Honestly, pretty stellar choice, you have exceptional taste! Thank you so much for your time with this interview! I know timing has been a pain, but it was def worth it and I know others will be super excited to read!!

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Zephyri
<3 thank you for being so accommodating with times gbufvhnihfvnt

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~ Please feel free to ask Zephyri any questions by replying in this thread! ~
 
1- How did you discovered your style? im still trying to make my own style, because i dont really want to imitate the Sugimori style (thats the style that a lot of people use to do fakemon right?), did you start with that style?, did your 1st style was like your actual style, but not as good?, did your 1st style was completely different to your actual one?

2- For what i saw, you are indian, so how hard has it been to learn english?, im chilean (basically funny spanish), so my native language has also not been english, i at least learned a little bit of english, how did you learn english?, or on india they also talk english?

3- What kind of brushes do you use?, because im probably sure you dont use Ibispaint X so that you can just share the brushes xD, do you also use some kind of digital pencil? (thats how they are called right?), do you draw on your phone or computer?

Those are all my questions =)
 

Kolohe

star overhead
is a Top Artistis a Community Contributor
Hey howzit zeph!! So happy to see your arterview went well, lots of interesting stuff to unpack here.

I wanted to ask, does music have any significant impact on your art? I know you're a very devoted swiftie, and I've been wondering for a while if the music you listen to changes your mood when you draw, if it pumps you up, motivates you, etc. Do you base any of your works on what you hear? Would be cool to know! :noivern:
 

Zephyri

she's cheer captain and i'm on the bleachers
is a Top Artistis a Forum Moderator
Moderator
1- How did you discovered your style? im still trying to make my own style, because i dont really want to imitate the Sugimori style (thats the style that a lot of people use to do fakemon right?), did you start with that style?, did your 1st style was like your actual style, but not as good?, did your 1st style was completely different to your actual one?
ah alright, so with style specifically I think a big thing is not forcing it. in general, if you're starting out as an artist, you want to try and master the fundamentals first; that is, you want to learn how to draw lineart, shapes, color, lighting, and perspective at a solid level. Those skills are necessary with EVERY visually appealing artstyle, so getting them down first is downright necessary for proficiency. Styles are just combinations of quirks w.r.t how you portray those fundamentals in your art; for example, I tend to use one brush throughout a piece, I tend to have thicker, more flowy lineart, and I tend to use a desaturated blue for shading; these tiny differentiations in my fundamentals are what "form" my style. Going into art with a focus on style might make it so you end up having weaker fundamentals because you're so focused on making the style unique; you need to start with fundamentals, and let style come naturally.

W.R.T my current artstyle specifically, I'm not actually all that sure how it came about LOL. A big part of it is the fact that I only use an ink brush for the most part, which kinda just stems from the fact that I'm lazy and don't like switching. The stuff that I draw atm is definitely very different from my earlier stuff; I used to have very wack lineart and even wackier shading ugvbhstst; I'm not going to post it here but you can probably find some examples of it on my art thread :>.

2- For what i saw, you are indian, so how hard has it been to learn english?, im chilean (basically funny spanish), so my native language has also not been english, i at least learned a little bit of english, how did you learn english?, or on india they also talk english?
I was born in New Jersey and lived there for 7 years before moving to India, so English is essentially my first language vhgibibhststst. India, specifically the part I live in, is also mostly English-speaking with a bit of Telugu/Hindi so I talk English irl for the most part, meaning I unfortunately can't really give you advice in that regard, sorry :<.

3- What kind of brushes do you use?, because im probably sure you dont use Ibispaint X so that you can just share the brushes xD, do you also use some kind of digital pencil? (thats how they are called right?), do you draw on your phone or computer?
I use an ink brush on Autodesk Sketchbook for most of my art, and I draw on my laptop with a stylus (I assume that's what you mean by digital pencil) :D

I wanted to ask, does music have any significant impact on your art? I know you're a very devoted swiftie, and I've been wondering for a while if the music you listen to changes your mood when you draw, if it pumps you up, motivates you, etc. Do you base any of your works on what you hear? Would be cool to know! :noivern:
o/ hoku! so i basically always listen to music while drawing, and it has a somewhat significant impact on my mood, yeah. I draw best when I'm completely calm, so I try to listen to taylor albums that sorta "neutralize" my emotions, if that makes any sense? like if im tired or bored I'll listen to something upbeat, like lover or 1989, to get more pumped; if im pissed off at something, I'll listen to something louder like reputation or speak now; if i'm excited, I'll listen to like folklore/evermore to calm down; does that make sense? i dont think i base anything I draw off the music I listen to, but that sounds like it might be fun honestly
 
Why were you on this site when you were 8 years old

I’ve seen you do the Kanto starters on twitter, ever thought of completing a dex project or something of the sort?
 

Zephyri

she's cheer captain and i'm on the bleachers
is a Top Artistis a Forum Moderator
Moderator
Why were you on this site when you were 8 years old
it was ELEVEN not EIGHT and i made an sm team with like no-rain mega swampert+cm ghostium blace and wanted it rated or something. it's a pretty cringey post thats really funny in hindsight but we all have our starts ig LOL.

I’ve seen you do the Kanto starters on twitter, ever thought of completing a dex project or something of the sort?
the kanto starters thing was MEANT to be a kanto dex project i just sorta lost the motivation to do it midway. i def want to do one at some point but rn, with school keeping me hella busy, it doesn't seem like a possibility for the near future gfjdgbrht. maybe i'll do one during the summer, we'll see!
 

Deleted User 589082

Banned deucer.
Hello Zephyri :)

1. Is Noivern your favorite Pokémon, if so, why, and if it's not which is your favorite and why?
2. What are some animes you'd recommend? I'm a big weeb X)
3. Which art application or website do you think is best?
4. What are some video games you'd recommend?
5. Have you ever written a story? If so, what was it about?
6. What is your favorite school subject?
7. What is the best piece or your favorite piece of art that you've ever made?
8. Which do you like better: singing or dancing, both, or neither and why?

Das it for now :)
 

Zephyri

she's cheer captain and i'm on the bleachers
is a Top Artistis a Forum Moderator
Moderator
1. Is Noivern your favorite Pokémon, if so, why, and if it's not which is your favorite and why?
Noivern's my favorite, yep! Talked about why in my arterview so im just going to paste that here:

Noivern, 100%. Fell in love with it after catching a Noibat in Ultra Moon and going through an awful time leveling it up, only for it to end up being the best Pokemon on my team by a huge margin. Porygon2 and Reuniclus are close seconds though :>

2. What are some animes you'd recommend? I'm a big weeb X)
My anime taste is super mainstream but My Hero Academia and The Promised Neverland are really nice, although if you're a weeb you've probably already watched them :P.

3. Which art application or website do you think is best?
Clip Studio Paint and Medibang are probably the best art applications solely off of how many functions they have and how similar their interface is to Photoshop; Procreate's also solid but I think it costs money+is only for iPads. I use Autodesk Sketchbook because it has a friendly interface that I'm used to and I have no real reason to transition, but if you're starting out with digital art I'd recommend :>

4. What are some video games you'd recommend?
I don't really play a ton of video games rvhuiotsnktst; if I had to recommend something, probably Minecraft? It's probably the videogame I'm most into outside of Pokemon.

6. What is your favorite school subject?
mmm probably english; it's a fun subject that I enjoy and am solid at. math and history are close seconds, though.

7. What is the best piece or your favorite piece of art that you've ever made?
this is difficult frbivfbhigt. I'm really proud of this piece I did for pannuracotta's National Bazaar thread; it's probably the most complex painting I've done so far:
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8. Which do you like better: singing or dancing, both, or neither and why?
singing! shower concerts are the best :>
 

Zephyri

she's cheer captain and i'm on the bleachers
is a Top Artistis a Forum Moderator
Moderator
heyo, we're back with May's Arterview; this month's featured artist is Shadowshocker! you can check out their webcomic here and their art thread here :>



Zephyri
Hi, Shadow! To start this off, for those who don’t know you, how would you introduce yourself?


Shadowshocker
Well, above all I think you could say I'm a Pokemon enthusiast, and have been since getting a copy of Pokemon Red ever since 1998. I've been in and out of various Pokemon communities, from fanmade cards to roleplay of varying quality. Relevant to Smogon, I'd actually lurked in Smogon since the 12th Create-a-Pokemon, submitting a couple of sketches and names on occasion before taking a blind leap of faith and making a proper design attempt for CAP 27. Since then I've tried my hand at submitting article art for the Flying Press.

Away from the keyboard, I'm just a guy from Singapore in my 30s who dabbles in Pokemon just as much. I've had some background in animation and game design, the latter of which I'm still not sure how to get into, so I've been in a couple jobs outside my field for a good few years now.


Zephyri
That’s an extensive experience with Pokemon! How did you end up becoming a part of the art community on Smogon, or finding yourself on Smogon at all for that matter?


Shadowshocker
The first time I knew Smogon existed was likely in the early-mid 2000s, looking for movesets to use on Ruby version. I stumbled on a Gamefaq that liberally mentioned and revered Smogon (and berated every other resource for being inferior). So I looked up Smogon, tried my hand at that strategy I was thinking of in NetBattle (it was Flatter/Psych Up/Baton Pass Illumise), but by and large didn't actually participate in the community since it felt rather elitist and exclusive, in that way teenage boys on the Internet enjoy being (myself included at the time, to be fair).

I think CAP always held some form of fascination for me though, as much as I didn't have any competitive or OU experience, so I did try for a couple sketches. CAP 12 was my first attempt with a very simple pencil sketch, followed by Volkraken when I submitted an idea I designed way before Clawitzer became official, but faded out from a lack of feedback. CAP 27 was where I got a bit of feedback for my design, wandered on to the Discord channel and there I've been since mid-2020. As for the art aspect, The Smog (as it was known at the time) was one of the other things drawing me back to the site. After hitting my stride in CAP 28 and finishing in 3rd, that's when my itch for doing more Pokemon doodles really took off again and I made a request in Artist Approvals to do Flying Press art. That's basically the bulk of what I do in the artist community.


Zephyri
And we’re so glad to have you here in The Flying Press! Do you have any other hobbies you’d like to talk about?


Shadowshocker
Primarily gaming, not really a surprise. I certainly spent a lot of time on Pokemon-related anything until a friend in school introduced me to other series primarily on Nintendo systems. A good amount of my game history is still on Pokemon - main games or spinoffs - even a short stint in the Pokemon TCG for most of the BW era and up to half of XY. These days I'm mostly on Hearthstone and Pokemon GO, some Minecraft and Overwatch, and whatever nice and easy F2P mobile apps that catch my fancy. Alas, nothing I'd call interesting enough to get into streaming. I did use to read a lot as a kid, with Scholastic's Horrible series of books forming a lot of my foundation to drawing and terrible pun-based humour. Odds are high you'll catch me briefly reading articles on intellectual property law as a weird side interest of mine. I do also have a background in school choirs and a cappella singing as much as the pandemic put the kibosh on a lot of that, and run a sarcastic little webcomic on the side I update twice a week with droll musings.


Zephyri
Ayy, i’m a Minecraft fan too! Getting back to art for a second; do you have any artists that you look up to or take inspiration from, both on Smogon and outside of it?


Shadowshocker
There's certainly a few artists I can cite from my formative years: Martin Brown and Philip Reeves were a couple of my favourite illustrators for the Horrible Histories and Murderous Maths series. I'd also add Bill Watterson (Calvin and Hobbes) and Charles Schultz (Peanuts) for sparking my initial curiosity into drawing, as well as Tsai Chih Chung - a 4-koma comic artist from Taiwan - for shaping my approach to expressions and humour. On Smogon, there is honestly such a wealth of talent it's hard not to feel intimidated - but I hold Bummer as an inspiration on comical delivery. Really, anyone who does something memorable for Smogon media is an inspiration. I still remember that gag of a Tyranitar handing a TM Protect to a coy Gliscor - I'd certainly like to be remembered for that, albeit likely not so risqué.


Zephyri
Your comment about smogon having an intimidating wealth of talent is so true, honestly. Do you think there’s anything specific that defines your style as an artist?


Shadowshocker
I'd say one thing I try to do is have a little reference in the work I do for the Flying Press. It may be a nod to the article content, or a little in-joke, or even a slight detail that I feel adds to the artwork just to enhance it. One example I particularly like is the art I did for the Crown Tundra Monotype article featuring two sides jousting - not only are the Tapu Koko and Dragapult in knight's armour but the Dreepy poking out of Dragapult is wearing it too. Failing that, I like to use expressions to at least make a picture humorous. Half the things I draw are either angry or rolling their eyes or maniacal in some way and hopefully that makes up for my illustrative shortcomings somewhat.


Zephyri
Is there anything you’d like to work on or experiment with in the near future, with regards to your art?


Shadowshocker
Certainly I'd like to attempt dramatic action-based scenes a little more, not unlike some examples I've seen in Pokemon Adventures. What I find I need the most improvement is any kind of shading to make my art more convincing, which is something I've always struggled with - there's something in my mind that makes me terrified of toying with shades, the idea that it'll look off regardless of the treatment I give it, or whether I've done enough at all. And that's probably something I can only do with practicing more through contributions to the art aspect of Smogon, I'd say.


Zephyri
Shading’s always been an insanely difficult and complex part of art, and I wish you good luck on your journey in improving at it! Do you have any tips or tricks you’d like to give to newer artists?


Shadowshocker
Hm, this one's a toughie. I can't speak on behalf for everyone based on their own artistic journey, but there are a few things I'd like to generally comment on. One, and this is honestly a message my future self is sending my past self, don't shut yourself out of the world completely. You will want to, as artists are often in some ways sensitive, and feedback can often be very brutal regardless of whether it's true or warranted. It is very tempting to sequester yourself in your own world where things make sense the way you want them to - but at the same time, you have to admit to yourself that you don't know everything. You can't generate ideas in a vacuum even if you are creating fanmade OCs of dubious quality. Feedback is important, not only because it might help you notice things you hadn't before, but it trains you in explaining and justifying your work. And you will need to do this through your art, your design decisions, or the paragraph of text on a small gallery card or your deviantart description. Speaking from personal experience, feedback from others can suck a lot, and it will make you want to cut yourself off from others. But if you open up a little bit and find the right people, you'll be surprised how motivated you are to learn more and improve.

Two, I recommend that anyone dabbling in art have some foundation in form and anatomy. As much as art can be subjective, having some idea of how things and bodies look in perspective, in action, will help to give your work a better sense of realism, even within your own art style. This is something I struggled with a lot even watching 2D cartoons as a kid, never quite sure why my scribbles weren't as good as classic Cartoon Network things from the late 90s. You will need to, at some level, develop an eye for how forms like cylinders and boxes look in motion and poses, and how those change with perspective, then move onto how the body looks like when it's in motion. There is only so much simplification or exaggeration you can do and be satisfied with yourself. It took me until I was thirteen before I told myself to stop drawing clenched fists as boxing gloves.

Three, it's okay to be okay with yourself. There is a lot of pressure to constantly improve, and as much as you should, there is a fine balance to walk. I've seen artists become so obsessed with improvement, so critical with themselves that they ended up in a constant funk, unable to see the good in what they do. It's entirely possible and normal to feel this way sometimes, but just as you shouldn't rest on your laurels and reject all suggestions for improvement, you shouldn't push yourself to the point where you feel so burnt out you feel constantly terrible and worthless. The truth is you won't ever stop having room for improvement - but don't treat it as a distant destination to feel terrible about not reaching yet. This is not an experience you have to suffer your way through; there is room for slowing down, self-reflection, communicating with like-minded peers and working towards a solution. It won't be easy, but that doesn't mean it has to be unpleasant. And what are we doing art for, if not to communicate something we feel strongly and feel good about?


Zephyri
Your point about how it’s really easy to fall into a mindset of constant improvement, even at the cost of your mental health, really resonates with me, and I think a lot of other artists can relate to it as well. Is there anything you’d like to talk about that hasn’t already been discussed in this Arterview?


Shadowshocker
I'd also add on top of what I mentioned in the third point: don't feel pressured to have a "style". This is something you'll have largely when you're comfortable with yourself, your medium, your approach to art, and what you want out of it. And even then, that's going to change over time as you develop your skills and artistic flair. It's something that is cultivated, not something you have at the snap of a finger. Honestly, there are a lot of things we could talk about, but if I had to sum up being on your own journey as an artist, it's being open to change, not compromise. Unless you're in design, and that is a whole other can of worms.


Zephyri
Alright, then; we’ll end this with a classic. What’s your favorite pokemon, and why?


Shadowshocker
Duskull, hands down. Doodling lots of skulls and morbid humour certainly gave me an affinity for one of Gen 3's earlier reveals, and I'm honestly happy every time the Duskull family appears in some capacity in a game. It's a shame that the line has become ridiculously power crept with each new generation but I'm still holding onto hope. Close seconds include Rowlet and Golisopod, and after that it's a bit of a tough call to make. I don't have many Pokemon I absolutely detest, and it's going to depend on my mood that day.


Zephyri
Duskull’s 100% one of the coolest Pokemon in Gen 3. Thank you so much for your time with this interview!!


Shadowshocker
It's been a pleasure, Zephyri.

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feel free to ask shadow any questions you might have by replying in this thread!!~
 
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Kaiju Bunny

♥・゚: * ̄(♡ㅅ♡❀) ̄
is a Site Content Manageris a Top Artistis a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Smogon Media Contributoris a Battle Simulator Moderator Alumnus
Moderator
Welcome back, folks! Apologies for the wait! As we wrap up our Arterviews, our final Artist to interview is none other than LifeisDANK! Without further ado, let's begin! :blobwizard:

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Kaiju Bunny:
So, you were def a staple on Smogon's art front for quite a while, so I can imagine quite a lot of people have at least heard of you, lol. For those who aren't as familiar with you, how would you introduce yourself to everyone?

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LifeisDANK:
I'd say I'm just a degenerate that found it's way into Smogon and took residence in the art form and just generally had fun drawing creatures n stuff so Pokemon fit that pretty well

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Kaiju Bunny:
Drawing cartoon critters can definitely allow for a bit of artistic freedom, I'd argue, lol; Pokemon are def not an exception. How long would you say you've been drawing altogether? Any particular thing you enjoy drawing or doodling most?

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LifeisDANK:
I've drawn since I was a kid, recently I am more into drawing grotesque creatures , sculpting and drawing caricatures. But still occasionally draw a cute cartoon animal

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Kaiju Bunny:
I'm sure I speak for quite a few people when I say it's definitely fun to see you make some bubbly pieces and then witness some of your more detailed and borderline eldritch horrors, lmao; quite the treat. Which speaking of seeing your work, I know you do still post your doodles in the Smeargle's Studio Discord Server, but how exactly did you come across Smogon / The Studio as a whole? Just a random lok up, or does it go deeper than that?

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LifeisDANK:
I checked out PS first after seeing a YouTube video about randbats and then started posting shit post art in lobby because I could get past the Lenny face rule if I drew and linked an imgur image. Then someone told me to look at smog art and thus I arrived to smog art

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Kaiju Bunny:
Being encouraged to make art for Smogon through shitposts sounds like a freaking blast lmfao. Besides art, were there other hobbies you had? Seems Pokemon played some sort of role at one point or another, which is that still applicable to today, or have you sorta moved past that?

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LifeisDANK:
I like to rescue baby birds, otherwise I play other videogames and have a manager position in food service.I only play Pokemon on ps now occasionally

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Kaiju Bunny:
Oh hey! Good on you for rescuing baby birds. How many have you been able to help? And do you perhaps have any tips for others should they see an injured bird or something to that degree?

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LifeisDANK:
Many years many birds mostly grackle babies. I'd recommend people know it's a myth that you can't touch baby birds. You can. Just wash your hands. Be gentle and feed them dry cat food mixed in a water slurry thru a medicine syringe squeezer. And take them to the local wildlife care if you aren't confident in what you're doing

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Kaiju Bunny:
Solid advice! I know the touching baby birds myth is insanely common to think about, but it's a shame that's the more popular saying to spread around. With your position as a manager, has it been difficult for you at all? Or does it seem not as bad as people would make it out to be?

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LifeisDANK:
No I'm pretty good at organizing and running functions I enjoy making sure shit can run well. Employees are the biggest grief as they constantly call out and other jank

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Kaiju Bunny:
Oh yikes, yeah I can imagine that'd be pretty frustrating to deal with ;_; Back to art, were there any artists you looked up to as you grew up (or even look up to now)? Or any particular styles you take heavy inspiration from at all?

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LifeisDANK:
Zdzisław Beksiński is a fave. Always thought bummer was awesome on Smogon. Otherwise I always enjoy seeing creepy art with lots of texture

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Kaiju Bunny:
Ooh, doing a quick search on Zdzisław, that's some spooky stuff going on there, whew. Can also agree that Bummer def has a good style with their pieces c: especially with some of those expressions, haha. Based on current trends, is it safe to assume you'll be continuing to work on making some detailed and/or more grotesque pieces in the future? Or did you different art goals in mind for the future and what you'd like to improve on?

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LifeisDANK:
Love bummer hell ya. And def continuing what I'm currently doing. I'd like to improve on finishing what I started

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Kaiju Bunny:
Wish you luck with your progress! We will watch your career with great interest! :^) Did you happen to have any tips or tricks for other artists at all? :o

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LifeisDANK:
Just keep drawing!

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Kaiju Bunny:
Simple, yet effective! A lot of artists may struggle with art block every now again, but did you have any suggestions for how to tackle that at all? :o

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LifeisDANK:
Switch up your style and comfort zone try something new

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Kaiju Bunny:
Sounds like something nice to keep in mind! As we start to wrap up with this, was there anything you wanted to add that we didn't already touch on?

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LifeisDANK:
Nope thanks for everything!

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Kaiju Bunny:
Absolutely! And of course, as a last question, it must be asked: What is your favorite Pokemon and why? :^3

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LifeisDANK:
Fuck. Tangela shaped like a friend. Delibird also

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Kaiju Bunny:
It wouldn't be the same not to mention Delibird LOL. Thank you so much for your time with this! I know others will be looking forward to reading! n.n

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LifeisDANK:
Thanks kb!


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~ Please feel free to ask LifeisDANK any questions by replying in this thread! ~
 

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