I'm not sure if people are interested in such things, but I've thought about doing this for a while now...
Pretty much every day I get questions about all kinds of subjects, and I thought it might be useful to put all of them into one place so others can see the answers, too. So, if you have any question about my art, techniques, characters, games, me or anything else you'd like to know feel free to drop a comment to this journal - I'll add it up here and try to answer the best I can. Bear in mind, I might ignore too personal questions, but other than that: fire away!
Now let's see how this is going to work...
What is your favorite detail to draw (ex, hands, lips, fabric, trees...)?
Eyes, most definitely. Though I really enjoy painting hair, too.
How long does an artwork like Submit Yourself to the Taint generally take you?
That is a hard question to answer since I hardly ever finish anything at one sitting or even in course of few days. I may draw a sketch and pick it up two months later, and then maybe finish it (or not) so it's difficult to be very specific. For that particular artwork in question, though... I don't know, maybe something between 10-20 hours? I swear, one of these days I'm going to clock myself so I could even once tell you accurately how long it takes to paint something like that...
You answered how long a full painting takes you to draw, but how about a comic strip?
Well, about same answer as above... I hardly ever observe how much time I spend, and in comics it really depends on the amount of panels. One panel thing like this fav.me/d59p5cr I may be able to finish in four hours or so, but something as long as this fav.me/d4vstir or this fav.me/d4j6e5d ...I dont even know.
Was it hard to learn digital art?
Yeah, it has been challenging and it still is. In digital art you'll have to learn lots of things that every visual artist has to know regardless of media: general understanding of anatomy, lights and shades, perspective, proportions and so on. Another challenge in digital art is to learn how to use your equipment effectively - basically to know what tools to use, plus how and when to use them. I've been working with Photoshop for years and I swear I still don't know even half of things you can do with that program. I learn something new every day.
Do you have any advice for young artists?
Study your subjects and keep practicing even those simple things that seem redundant and tedious. Even if it doesn't feel like it at the time, every line you'll draw now will pay off later, trust me. Also, don't give up on yourself drawing or painting if it's something you enjoy - no matter what anyone says or even if you feel that you fail at everything. I remember those times when I felt that I never wanted to draw anything again because everyone else was more talented or better than I was. Now I'm glad that in the end I always picked up the pencil I had earlier thrown across the room. Oh wow, I sound so cheesy now... My bottomline is: practice, and after you think you've practiced enough, practice a bit more.
How to do a good picture without using a tablet?
It is a matter of practice as well. Even tablet is not a magical tool that suddenly makes everything easier - on the contrary, when I was really frustrated by my Wacom when I got it, and for first two years I felt like a toddler learning to draw even though I could use traditional tools without problem. Same applies to other tools. I know there are people who only paint using a mouse, and they can do wonderful stuff with it. Whatever tools you decide to use, make sure they work well enough and then practice until using them feels so natural you don't even have to think about it. That's the only piece of advice I can think of at any rate.
Do you write stories or only draw comics and snippets?
I've been writing stories of my own for ten years now - all of it in Finnish, though. About 90% of them are fantasy themed stories which take place in a fictional world I've created myself. The other 10% consists of fan fiction and such.
I've noticed that you like American Crime dramas. Are there no good crime shows in Finland?
If by that you mean the ones that have the kind of actors, screenwriters, budget and resources Jerry Bruckheimer has, no we don't. There are many Finnish crime series and some of them are even pretty popular, but personally I don't watch any Finnish tv-series/movies at all. For some reason I end up facepalming and groaning every five minutes very time I try to watch them.
I've never met a person who didn't like music. Do you think music has affected you as an artist?
Yes, it has - thematically, mostly. I draw much inspiration from the music I love and from the songs that are meaningful for me. Even most of my fan art is based on some song or piece of lyrics I've had in mind while planning the concept - even though it doen't necessarily show in the final artwork. The influence of music is even more evident in my other dA account where I've posted a whole range of artwork which illustrate some of my favorite songs.
What do you like, and dislike about DeviantART?
I've been following this site for 5-6 years now, and all in all I've really enjoyed my stay. I like how I can get exposure for my art, get tips and share something I enjoy with others that are equally enthousiastic. I also like how easy it is to meet and get to know people who share the same interests - folks in Neverwinter Nights 2 and Skyrim groups for example are simply awesome.
What I dislike then... Well, there are not that many things I'd complain about, but one thing which frustrates me is how people who come here don't seem to understand what this site is for. As far as I'm concerned, it's not ok to grab some cool or funny pic from Google search and post it here. There are many other websites for that, and in my opinion dA should be primarily a place for your own creations.
You mentioned you have other dA accounts. Would you please tell us your other names?
My other accounts are Iribel where I have my photomanipulations and Eirian-stock where I provide stock images for other artists to use (I do both modeling and stock photography). Feel free to take a look!
What fantasy books have you read? You mentioned Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter but what else?
Are you sure you want to ask that? I'm a literature student, you know... I've probably read half of fantasy books our local library has to offer, but to mention some of my favorites... Every book in A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin, The Farseer trilogy by Robin Hobb, both Songs & Swords and Starlight and Shadows series by Elaine Cunningham, The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley, pretty much everything written by David Eddings and Terry Pratchett, Eoin Colfer's Artemis Fowl books, The Earthsea series by Ursula K. Le Guin, The Old Kingdom series by Garth Nix, Andrzej Sapkowski's The Witcher books, some works of Diana Wynne Jones, Katharine Kerr, Guy Gavriel Gay, Philip Pullman... I'm not kidding, I could go on all day. I'll stop now, though, for all of our sakes, lol.
You mentioned you just got a bow recently. Are you a new archer?
More like would-be archer. I'd love to practice archery in a club and get real instruction and all, but it's pretty expensive and the closest club is quite a drive away from my home. So, for now I'll settle for playing Robin Hood in the backyard, and trying not to cause any serious harm to myself or my relatives while doing so.
IRL, what's it like where you live right now? My county (in USA) is still in a perpetual drought/heat wave combo.
Well, it seems the short Finnish summer is coming to an end. Days are still relatively warm 14-19°C (57-66°F), kind of gray and cloudy, and with quite a bit of rain. The summer wasn't that warm this year, anyway, but I was still kind of shocked when I went for a night stroll few days ago and the temperature was barely 3°C (37°F). Damn autumn, why must you always come so soon...?
I'm just curious about Finnish Mythology; is it the same as Norse Mythology (the Aesir, the Giants, Valhalla, Midgard, Nifilheim, etc. etc. etc.), or is it something completely different?
It is something different. Both Norse (Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden) and Baltic/Slavic (Estonia, Russia etc.) Mythology have influenced Finnish one so there are some similar features. There are many thematic similarities (e.g. Finnish god of sky and thunder, Ukko, resembles both Norse god Thor and Baltic god Perkūnas) but Finnish Mythology (and language and culture) has a different origin from other Nordic countries. The mythology survived within an oral tradition of mythical poem-singing and folklore, but since it was originally documented by bishops and such (Christian people in general since they were pretty much the only ones who could read and write) the influence of Chriastianity is pretty strong in these accounts. For those who'd like to know more about Finnish myths, tales, deities and such, this page might interest you www.finnishmyth.org/FINNISHMYT… Also, Wikipedia is more or less accurate source.
How many characters in Skyrim do you have?
Currently two, Bron Martes and Skaila Skaran. I do plan to create a mage character at some point, however.
You mentioned a mage character (in the making) can you tell us more?
Well, I can tell that she's a female Altmer who has already been around during the events of Morrowind and Oblivion. EDIT: In fact, I went ahead and painted a little portrait of her isriana.deviantart.com/art/The…
So what are Bron's and Skaila's levels?
Bron is currently level 40 (almost 41), and Skaila is level 24.
What can you tell us about your other Skyrim character (Skaila)?
Skaila is a young Nord warrior who has spent most of his life in her tiny home village in Winterhold. She hasn't ventured south until during past few years and she has been very eager to see all sorts of places and people around Skyrim. Skaila is a Stormcloak, like her father, but unlike most of them she tries to keep an open mind when it comes to other races. She dislikes Thalmor with passion, though. More info about her can be found here isriana.deviantart.com/journal…
About Dawnguard. Out of your characters, who is the vampire and who is the vampire hunter?
Skaila is a vampire hunter. Bron is still focused on shooting and looting random vampires he comes across - even I'm not sure yet whether he should join Dawnguard, vampires or none of the above...
Reedus saw Skaila at Fort Dawnguard the other day! He wanted to ask how shes liking her new home in the Dawnguard.
Skaila has enjoyed her stay a lot. Although she still spends a lot of time in her Whiterun home, she stays in Fort Dawnguard whenever she travels around The Rift which is actually quite often these days. She enjoyes chatting with other vampire hunters regularly and she tries to catch up with Agmaer every time she visits the fort - and she loves spending time with the huskies!
Pop quiz: how do you think my OC (of myself) would react to meeting Bron?
Well, it's hard to be that specific, but let's say you'd meet him at The Bee and Barb. He'd most likely to be all friendly and suave, maybe buy you a drink and have a little small talk. He would appear innocuous and benevolently curious about your stay in Riften so if you're not extra paranoid type he'd probably find out pretty soon where and how long you are going to stay (and for some reason you might find yourself telling him all sorts of menial details you certainly didn't plan to). Soon enough he'd excuse himself, wish you all the best and recommend you try some Black-Briar mead. Then at some point you'd reach for your purse and find your pockets surprisingly lightened... and your room remarkably emptier as you finally make your way back to your accommodation. Whether you'd fall for that or not, I can't tell - but that's something he'd definitely try to pull off.
I noticed Bron and Brenna have the same last name, how exactly are they related?
Bron is a lineal descendant of Brenna, though since there are about 200 years and several generations between them one can argue how much they actually resemble each other. At least they share the same taste when it comes to career.
What would be your favourite quest within The Elder Scrolls series & why?
Aww, but there are so many! Not to mention I've barely got started with either Oblivion or Morrowind. Oh well, based on quests what I have done so far Skyrim's A Night To Remember is something that I really loved just because of all that absurdity. The fact that I saw the movie Hangover some time before I played the quest just made it even better...
If you had the motivation to make a mod that added ONE new quest, along with a major OC of yours, what would it be like?
I would probably add Skaila Skaran as a NPC, and make a quest where she would try to find out what happened to her family while she was in the south doing mercenary work. That would include infiltrating Thalmor embassy, chasing down an artifact and finally the return to Winterhold. Well, something like that, anyway.
Do you like High Elves? (and why/why not?)
Can't really say yes or no since every race is consisted of individuals who are different by default. If the High Elf in question is generally nice, sure I like him/her. If they are pricks, however, not so much... In general I could say that I have nothing against any race in The Elder Scrolls universe, it's always individuals I have problem with.
What do you prefer to play as in Dragon Age: Origins?
That's actually a tough question, but I think either a Warrior (specializations Champion/Berserker) or a Mage (specializations Arcane Warrior/Spirit Healer) are my favorites.
Did you have a favorite origin when you played Dragon Age: Origins?
The very first origin I chose was Human Noble, and I think it still is the dearest to me even though I've tried all of them. I found that origin story really captivating (and heartbreaking), and I think that was the reason why I got sucked into the game world so completely - I was genuinely sorry for my Warden's family, I really worried what happened to her brother, and I found it utterly satisfying when I finally managed to hunt down Arl Howe. Not to mention I got to marry Alistair in the end - so much win.
Did you ever try to play Jade Dynasty?
Nope, so far I haven't. I've never been a big fan of MMORPG's but that may change now that I've bought a decent headphones with a microphone, and I can bribe/intimidate/persuade my brother to team up with me.
So we all know you like the computer RPGs but have you ever played pen and paper RPG? Like REAL Dungeons and Dragons?
Sadly, no I haven't. I'd love to try that or some tabletop RPG's, but there really aren't that many people who share my interest in such things where I live.
The Zombie Apocalypse has fallen. Name your A) Projectile weapon of choice B) Your Melee weapon of choice and C) what you would pack in a standard size suitcase.
A) My brand new bow and arrows I bought from a medieval festival
B) Axe, mattock or something similar sturdy thing picked from our garden shed
C) Clothes, medicine, canned food, coffee, flashlight and lots of batteries, stack of paper, handful of pencils, and The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien (in case of emergency, it can be used as a melee or projectile weapon, too )
If you could aquire a super power what would it be?
An ability to manipulate time, definitely - more precisely, an ability to literally "seize the moment" whenever I like so I'd have time to do all the things I want.
If you had a time machine that could only be used once would you go into the past or the future (or sell it to the highest bidder)?
I would use it and go back in time, probably to Middle-Ages, Renaissance or something similar. I would take some antibiotics and few other usables with me, though.
I have four questions: 1) If you were suddenly magically teleported to a fantasy world, which one will it be? 2) If you are giving a choice, which race would you be in that world or staying the same person? 3) What type of class or profession would you go after? 4) What is the first thing that you do in that world and later on?
1) Aww, so many wonderful worlds where I'd gladly be... I'm going to say Faerûn, just for the diversity and awesomeness of that world.
2) I'm kind of tied between human and elf - I wouldn't mind staying as myself, but it would be wonderful to see Evermeet, too.
3) Some kind of mage/bard/scholar/artist mixture...
4) I'd head to Neverwinter or Waterdeep, depending on which one happens to be closer, goggling at everything like a complete tourist and probably get myself pickpocketed/robbed/otherwise tricked the very moment I take a step inside the city walls. Later on, when I'd manage to earn a little money and get equipment, I'd definitely go travel around the world and see all those places I've been reading about.
I read somewhere on here that you had stopped reading Harry Potter at the 4th book. Have you watched movies past that point, or have you avoided the series entirely? Bonus question: Do you think you'll ever pick them up again?
No, I haven't seen the movies either since I always read the book before watching any other adaptations. And yes, I do plan to read the rest of the series and watch the movies at some point. It is going to be pretty hard for me, though, since I've grown super attached to the characters and Hogwarts in general, and I know some serious shit will go down as the end draws near. Honestly, I'm a little scared.
Did you know that Norway, Finland, Sweden, and the Netherlands are considered the Nordic lands? Vikings = Nords. Who woulda thought?
Yes. That makes me almost a real-life variant of TES Nord, and I'm happy about it.
What's your opinion on Pokémon?
I was a fan of the tv series back when it first aired in Finland 1999. I even collected cards and all that stuff even though I never played the games (video games began to appeal to me only several years later and I have no experence of card games whatsoever). I lost track of whole Pokémon fandom at some point, and now only things I know about it is what my 7- and 8-year-old little brothers tell me.
Have you ever considered making a painting of mad skeever guy, Hamelyn and, if the answer is no, I'd like to ask why.
As a matter of fact, I have not. I have no idea how I could have forgotten the existence of this profound and utterly essential character in the game, but to my shame I must admit that such is the case. Or maybe it's just a defence mechanism, and I've chosen to repress the memory of our encounter because of those embarrassingly numerous times he got Bron killed. Skeever King, you have traumatized me for life.
If you suddenly realised you are on fire, what would you do? If you suddenly realised I was on fire, what would you do?
Two questions, same answer: scream like a baby hyena and try to find water.