It’s with great pleasure I welcome you to the sixth edition of SteemMag, A Weekend Digest For Steemians… Every week, I take a look at some of the most important topics on Steemit and have a chat with top Steemians who have expert views on such topics.
This weekend’s feature is about one of the earliest tags on Steemit – “art”. And it’s going to be chock-full with a lot of interesting details. ;)
We will be putting the spotlight on top Steemians that are rocking the art tag. Also, we would also announce the launch of:
a. A Steemit Arts Mentors Club
b. SteemMag in Chinese This is to help provide more contents for the most popular language tag on Steemit - cn. The translation process for this weekend issue is on and will published asap.
In page 1:
A chat with: fairytalelife / pixielolz / opheliafu / anca3drandom/cryptocreative
Launch of artists-only mentorship channel on Steemit.chat (for budding and accomplished artists to interact with one another)
In page 2:
We would be introducing a new feature: Behind the Name ( Steemit Special) ;
This Week On Steemit and From The Archives – Articles Worth A Re-read.
CHATS WITH ARTISTS OF STEEMIT
From art challenges, wonderful drawings to animations, Steemit has been attracting a lot of creatives. In continuation of last week ‘Steemit is 5’ for this month, I decided to take a look at one of the oldest tags on Steemit. In doing that, I reached out to top Steemians who have consistently produced cool artworks and asked them a few questions.
I really enjoyed the replies and I hope you will gain more insight into the lives of those who have consistently charmed us with their creativity.
@annca3drandom is the artist behind the popular pyrography works- a wood drawing of steemd robots
(Thanks for this piece you made for SteemMag)
How did you get to know about steemit?
You graduated as an engineer. Did you face any challenge when you decided to be an artist?
I was an artist at heart all this time, but circumstances led me to choose an engineering career. Deciding to take a more artistic approach was a hard choice to make because it felt like I was given away four years of my life.
In the end, I found somehow a middle way, and now I'm working as a 3D Visualizer, mainly 3d modelling and rendering interiors and exteriors. I have however decided to improve my artistic skills and took a three year class of visual arts. So the only challenge was to follow my real passions, even though I was raised to do the opposite, to choose a more stable future.
What was running through your mind when you decided to run the steemitartchallenge?
I wanted to do something nice for all the fellow artists at Steemit, because some of them get overlooked and they have great talent. Inspired by the photography challenge, I thought it would be a great idea to gather all the artists. First edition was a success, accumulating good entries. I got a sense that the art community grew stronger.
Your steemd robots’ drawings were very popular and I loved them. How did you get the idea for that and what got you into pyrography?
I had a desire to include some fellow steemers in my art; I was lucky to be part of @opheliafu art a while back, and that's what inspired me. I was checking out my Voting power on Steemd.com one morning, and suddenly it hit me: I can use the robots distributed for every user.
Luckily @cryptoiskey gave me a hint where I could find better resolution images for the robots, and I made a second part. I didn't expect that it would gain so much popularity, and I was grateful that people liked them. I learned pyrography a long time ago at school, but only a few months ago I decided to give it some more time after I saw some great wood burning designs on wooden spoons.
Thank you for the questions and for your time! I am very grateful!
Follow @anca3drandom for more exciting art projects.
@cryptocreative - The first motion graphics / VFX artist on Steemit
Being the first Steemian with a professional animation background, what impressed you most about stemit and how do you plan on carving a niche for yourself on steemit?
What impresses me the most about Steemit is the fact that it’s a platform where the individual is getting value from their creations. The fact that sites like Facebook, Youtube, Vimeo and Instagram to name a few make the bulk of their profits off of our online habits, skills and creativity make Steemit the perfect alternative to at least give a sincere try and show support.
We are all valuable, and Steemit aims to reward us for generating unique, interesting and immersive content. How can you not be interested something like this?
For too long, I have put all my eggs in one basket, as many of us do in todays world. Steemit actually allows you to entertain your hobbies and stimulate your mind with potential to generate some independence from the old way of doing things which is truly refreshing. Feel like I’m in a 7-Up commercial.
I want to carve a niche in topics and tags section for motion graphics / vfx and all other forms of creative digital. Most websites that host other professional and enthusiast’s art works and animations tend to generate a tremendous amount of unique user traffic and interest.
The best way to achieve this is to lead by example and contribute more in the way of blogs and animations. I am currently in discussions with a few people in the Steemit community to do some animations for their Steemit blogs.
I’ve got a lot of ideas for future animations and concept art that I will post on to Steemit. Hoping to have Steemit as a place where I can host my professional portfolio and experiences with the world. Potential future employers will be directed to Steemit to view my showreel and profile, which in turn will delivery tremendous exposure.
I loved your Driven by Steem animation. Where do you get ideas on concepts to animate?
Glad you like the animation! Cheers for the love!
Ideas and concepts come from everywhere. Sometimes they are planned and sometimes they are happy accidents.
The idea for “Driven by Steem” came from what I thought success looked like as a kid.
Big city, tall buildings, night time, all the lights still on with people working / slaving away to meet targets that have been set by others. So many hours of your life honestly spent making someone else happy.
Steemit is in the picture now…..there’s massive potential and everyone can do it and potentially succeed in they’re new endeavors….imagine all those lights steeming it.
How long do you spend on creating animations for clients?
This is always a tricky question.
It generally depends on the client and what the animations are for.
I would say, anywhere from 2 days to a few months.
When I do visual effects for large automakers at their car shows, we usually start a couple of months before. It’s pretty hardcore most of the time. Long hours and up against it in the lead up to the events…..almost every time .
Driven by Steem took about 4 days to animate, composite and finalize.
Which areas do you think Steemit has to improve on in order to attract more animation-focused artists?
I definitely think that Tags and Topics section needs improvement. My last post was about the fact that I thought I lost my first topic which was “motion”. This was the post with the Driven by Steem animation. The first reply I got was by someone telling me it’s not lost but in another category called “trending30”.
That is all nice and well….but when I search for the tag or topic motion….it should come up regardless of where it is. That just tells me that the search option is not really working properly.
If you can’t find topics just by searching for them….then that is a bit of a put of for people that actually want to build their creative content database.
Another thing that would help as well is if Steemit could accept video links from other websites, not only Youtube. Places like Vimeo would be very helpful as well.
That’s all I can think of asking for at the moment.
Follow @cryptocreative for animation videos and cool creative digital projects.
(@opheliafu’s Top 10 Trending art piece)
How did you get into art?
I was born into it. Aren’t we all artists as children? Depending on the value that we put on Art in education we can either help children grow with that creativity or place a barrier to it.
I was fortunate enough to be encouraged from a young age and it has always been my way of reflecting or working out the world around me. I try my best to keep that childlike curiosity for things, and I hope this comes across in my work.
How do you source for ideas on what to draw? e.g what inspired you to make a drawing on the top 10 trending posts?
My sources are the things directly around me, or the daydreams in my head! If I was sat in a café, I would be drawing the people around me. If I was in the woods, I would be drawing the trees. If I am sat at the computer, then I am drawing the environment that I am engaging with. In Steemit the environment is the community and the constant flow of dialogue and conversation that moves through it.
You seem to have skills in different aspects of art. Oil painting, 3d, cyanotype etc. What motivates you to keep improving your skills?
I have always been a multi-skilled artist. I began my Art training in the late 90’s, and at this time the London art scene was full of Britart. The YBA’s (Young British Artists) in my opinion were all about the concept behind the work and many worked across mediums; combining painting, drawing, video and sculpture in their exhibitions. This was a huge influence on me as a young artist.
My work is driven by the idea, then I decide which medium fits best. Sometimes I work in video or animation, other times painting. I’m currently learning to work with metal, so I’m often in the workshop with a blow torch and a small anvil.
I like to work big, that’s how I feel most comfortable as a painter. Over the last couple of weeks I have been travelling and away from my studio, so I’ve had to work on a smaller scale. I’m looking forward to being back in my studio next week so I can get back to some larger scale pieces.
SM: What's your favorite art piece?
I’m drawn between two. The first was one of the early murals that I did for Steemit, a simple piece that reflects my early understanding of Steemit. Here
The second is the ‘Top Trending’ piece. I prefer the visual appearance of the first mural but I enjoyed the time pressure of making this work. I enjoyed the idea of racing to complete a piece before the Trending page changed again, a race against Steemit!
Follow @opheliafu for captivating oil paintings and other artworks.
(I love this piece. It captured my attention when it was posted a week ago. Sadly, it earned less than a $1. Overall, I’m glad this amazing artist who has a pretty popular Instagram page is finding success on Steemit.)
Your favourite art works are trading cards? How did you get into drawing them?
I won't say they're my favorite, but I really like them, and their small size allows for the possibility of showcasing a lot of them without them taking up every available space in one's home. These miniature artworks are incredibly addictive as well. I have around 30 of them in my living room, from several different artists around the world.
After a few months of drawing I got my first set of Copic markers, which I had been wanting since I started drawing. I quickly discovered that they were a lot harder to use than I had anticipated. All I drew looked streaky and uneven, and I couldn't see myself getting any better at using them. The first two months I almost didn't use them at all, it was easier just sticking with what I knew; colored pencils.
Nevertheless, I really wanted to learn how to use them, so I figured I'd take a different approach to it all and sort of force myself to use them. That's where Artist Trading Cards comes into play.
When working with Copic markers (or any markers I guess), it's a lot easier laying down even colors and getting smooth blends when working on smaller areas, such as an artist trading card. The small size is easy to work with, perfect for trying out new techniques, and if messing up one can start over without having lost several days work. I found that working with these small cards allowed me to try out and practice a lot of different coloring methods and techniques in a short amount of time, and by using them I had a very effective learning curve. After my first 9 trading cards things started getting easier. Soon, I fell in love with my markers, and now they are basically all I use. Working with these small sized cards was really how I learned to use Copic markers.
You started drawing a year ago, what pushed you into drawing? And how much time do you spend every day on drawing?
I drew a lot as a kid, but for some reason I stopped when I was around 10-11. I had always wanted to pick it up again, but somehow it just never happened, partly because I figured it was too late to be any good at it anyway.
However, last summer, when the "Adult coloring book" phenomena became I thing, I bought a coloring book and some cheap colored pencils and started coloring. I quickly grew tiered of coloring other peoples' drawings, so I moved on to making my own drawings instead, which were a lot more rewarding.
Shortly after, I made an Instagram account and started following artists that inspired me. This has been a huge motivation for me. Suddenly, a whole new world of artists revealed itself to me, and I just knew that this was something I really wanted to do. Sharing artwork through Instagram has made me a better artist. It's very motivating seeing what other people manage to make, and getting constant feedback and increase in followers when you post your artwork is encouraging as well.
Whenever I get a new interest, I always go all in.
I get hyper focused on my new obsession and spend all day on it. So, in the beginning, I literally drew all day, as long as I was awake. I also study geophysics, so of course I had to balance the two as well as I managed.
In March I injured both my arms, and it was a long recovery with no drawing, writing or anything hand related at all... Very boring days so say the least, but I slowly got back into using my arms again... Sadly I have gotten what appears to be permanent nerve damage in my dominant hand, so now I can only draw 1-3 hours a day, a couple of times a week, depending on how my arm is feeling and how much it's hurting. It's driving me crazy not being able to draw (or do anything hand related) as much as I like, but hopefully I'll make a full recovery soon.
Do you think Steemit can overtake etsy in rewarding artworks?
Absolutely. In my opinion, Steemit has the potential to overtake both Etsy and Instagram when it comes to rewarding artists, especially when it comes to smaller artists.
Using Instagram to showcase artwork is very common, and besides free advertising, all one gets are valueless likes (although they're of course nice and encouraging to get). Selling artwork through Etsy and Instagram implies the use of Paypal, which is quite expensive to use. Etsy also has additional fees, both for setting up listings and for actual sales.
Steemit is still young, but it already offers most of what the other platforms are offering. In addition it offers the opportunity to make money on posts, which makes Steemit stand out from the other platforms available for artists today. One can potentially make good money on showcasing and talking about one's artwork, which is an amazing opportunity.
I have made more money during my first month on Steemit (sold one original drawing and have made some money on my posts as well), than what I have made in the 5 months my Etsy store has been open. I'm very excited to be a part of all this, and I'm confident that the art community on Steemit will continue to grow as time goes by.
Follow @piexielolz for stunning copic marker drawings, beautiful trading cards and lots more.
@fairytalelife (An author , art teacher (formerly @jlwkolb) has been the most consistent artist on Steemit of recent. Her wonderfully crafted words accompanied with great art pieces have been on the trending page on more than one occasion. It seems fitting to end this weekend’s special feature with her replies.
When did you discover you had a love for drawing and storytelling?
I have been drawing since I was two. I used to check out fairy tale records from the library, and as I listened, I would draw the scenes I imagined form the stories. I think I had to be extra creative growing up as an only child. I had to entertain myself since I had no brothers or sisters to tussle with.
You are one of the few Steemians that accompany their posts with original art drawings. What inspired you to do that?
It was a natural decision for me. I have been illustrating books for over 26 years. I'm used to pairing text with images. As Alice said, "What is the use of a book without pictures or conversations?" The pictures part holds true for me. As a mother, I made sure I read many many books to my children growing up. And they always had lots of pictures and conversations. Illustration is simply another form of visual communication. A picture is worth a thousand words - isn't that what they say?
As an art teacher and creator, do you think Steemit can be a huge market for encouraging and rewarding people for creating artworks?
I think Steemit is a huge boon to artists. It's imperative to get your work seen. And what an incentive to be compensated based on the value your art can bring to the community. It may be tough to get noticed at first - consistency is key. See what other successful artists here are doing.
What can you learn from their posts? It's an exciting new idea to share with the world your creative process. And I want to emphasize process. As artists, we take for granted all the steps that go into creating something. Initially it was hard for me to grasp why anyone would want to see the steps I take with my projects. But as soon as I started including the concept sketches and botched attempts, people started to pay more attention. And I understand that now. People really are interested in the way we work. They want to be there with us as we create.
Lastly, SteemMag would like to give a shout out to the pioneers of the art tag:
To: @stellabelle, @kaylinart and @camilla . You guys rock. :)
@stellabelle is busy on a project that involves sending things people for free. In her words,
“It's art related but more than anything, it's novelty and there's never been one Steemit post like it. It's a new format entirely.”
Cant’t wait for that.And don’t forget to follow all the interviewed artists for more breathtaking artworks. ;)
Do check out page 2 for the announcement of a mentorship club and lots more. I’m sure you would like it ;)
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