EDIT: My Commission Info has MOVED, please see here for pricing and terms: wildspiritwolf.deviantart.com/…
Welcome To WildSpiritWolf's FAQ Section!
If you have a question that I've missed and you'd like to see me add it to the list, reply to this journal entry and I will update it with the answer. Kay, here we go...
Q. How long have you been drawing?
A. I've been drawing ever since I could hold a pencil, but I've only been seriously drawing since about 2001. That's when I first started to really explore the internet. It led me to find some of the great artists like Auryanne, Moon Wang, and Snowy who ended up intensely inspiring me and starting my artwork along the path it's on today.
Q. Where do you find your inspiration?
A. The biggest and best place I find my inspiration would be from my own thoughts and feelings. Drawing from my emotions especially with music on in the background can be one of the most productive ways for me to come up with creative poses and ideas. I also find a lot of inspiration in other artists' artwork, many of them are here on DevART though I appreciate many of the classic artists' work too. Another place I find inspiration is looking at animals. Pets, animals on TV, or photos of animals are all good, readily available sources.
Q. What inspired you to start drawing tribal designs and Celtic knotwork?
A. I found inspiration for my tribal designs from a scrap of paper that someone else had anonymously doodled on and left behind. Their style was abstract, raw, and intensely inspiring to me. From that inspiration, I drew this: fav.me/de4o35 and things kind of took off from there.
My knotwork style (example: wildspiritwolf.deviantart.com/… ) isn't true Celtic work but actually developed as my attempt at mimicking it to the best of my ability. I have since gotten a great book that teaches the methods of Celtic knotwork construction (book here: www.amazon.com/Celtic-Art-Cons… ) so I can now do proper, traditional Celtic designs as in this piece: wildspiritwolf.deviantart.com/…
Q. How did you come up with the name "WildSpiritWolf"?
There's something that has long since drawn me to the idea of a spirit that's as wild and unbroken as the earth's natural forces. It fascinates and inspires me and I wanted a name that brought that strength to mind. I used the name "WildSpirit" on my first artsite (Lion King Fanart Archive) and tried to use it here on DevART but it was already taken. So I just tacked the word "Wolf" onto the end of it and that's how it came about.
Q. What is your favorite breed of dog?
A. My favorite breed of dog is the German Shepherd, but I also adore Huskies, Bernese Mountain dogs and many of the breeds in the sight hound group. The rare Welsh Collie is also a breed that I'm quite partial to.
MATERIALS I USE
Q. What do you use to color your pictures? It's so smooth, is it digital?
A. No, the majority of them are actually done by hand with my set of 120 Prismacolor colored pencils and blended with the colorless blender pencils also made by the Prismacolor company. As of recently, I've also been doing some of my artwork with Copics.
Q. Where do you get your Prismacolor colored pencils, Micron pens and Super Sculpey?
A. I purchase mine at Hobby Lobby or Michael's craft store. Dick Blick is also a good store when it comes to art supplies. If you don't have any good art stores in your area, try looking up what you want on Google. There's a good chance you'll find what you're looking for.
Q. What kind of paper do you use?
A. For the majority of my pictures, I use standard, 8.5x11" printer paper. The exceptions are when commissioners want to upgrade to something of higher quality. I have some acid-free Strathmore paper for that purpose as well as several different papers with various colors/patterns. For when I'm going to use Copic markers, I have some smooth-finish paper that is something between average paper and cardstock. I get this particular paper from a friend and am not sure where one would get it otherwise.
Q. What do you use to sharpen your Prismacolor colored pencils?
A. I use an old style school pencil sharpener that my dad has had since his college days. It works fairly well for the most part but when I saw the cute, little, "official Prismacolor sharpener" hanging in the store, I had to buy one and try it out for myself. It gives the pencils a sharper point but there is a much higher chance of breaking a lead when I'm using that stupid thing. So, I switch back and forth between the old-school pencil sharpener and my Prismacolor sharpener depending on what type of point I want and whether or not the pencil lead is behaving.
Q. Your pictures are always so bright and clear. Do you have a special scanner?
A. I had a Hewlett-Packard 1210 but I upgraded to a Canon Pixma MX850 scanner at the end of '08 so all my new pictures will be scanned with this one. Once the art is scanned in, I use Photoshop to whiten the whites, darken the blacks, and, if the picture is a color one, bring the colors as close as possible to what the original art looks like in person.
Q. How do you make your sculptures and what clay do you use?
A. I start with an armature made from florist's wire. Once it's shaped roughly into the animal that I'm creating, I then wrap aluminum foil over the entire frame, making it thicker in the head, chest, hips and if it has a fluffy tail, that area too. Finally I can start adding the clay. Once I'm happy with how it looks, I then bake it in the oven for 25-35 mins. I use oven-bake Sculpey clay. You can find this at most craft stores.
Picture of Super Sculpey in box: i16.photobucket.com/albums/b35…
Picture of WIP sculptures: wildspiritwolf.deviantart.com/… wildspiritwolf.deviantart.com/…
Q. What do you use to paint your sculptures?
A. I use Windsor & Newton's "Finity" acrylic paints. To finish, I spray a protective coating of Krylon fixative over the entire sculpture. To give the character a more "alive" look, I've taken to glossing their eyes and nose. It makes'em cute. ^_^
Q. What are Copics?
A. They're the world's most awesome and amazing markers! They're made in Japan but they're starting to get a lot easier to find at art stores in the States now. They're about six bucks apiece but they're such high quality (and loads of fun to use), it's all worth it. Here is a link to a very informative Copic FAQ page: copicmarker.com/faq.html
Q. Where can you buy Copic markers?
A. I get most of my Copics at Hobby Lobby but they also sell them at Dick Blick art supplies and other specialty art stores. There are many online retailers that sell them as well.
Q. Which would you say is better, Prismacolor markers or Copic markers?
A. I can't really say since I've never used the Prismacolor markers myself but I've found this Copic vs. Prismacolor tutorial to be well put together and informative: www.deviantart.com/deviation/1…
Q. What do you ink your lineart and tattoos with?
A. I use Micron inking pens ranging in sizes from 005 to 05 for the lineart and the tattoos. Micron pens are about $3 each. Recently I've tried out Faber-Castell's inking pens and they're quite nice. These run at about $3.50 each. If there are large expanses of black area in the tattoo design I'm working on, I also use a fine point Sharpie marker or my black Copic marker to fill them in.
Q. When sketching, do you start with a circle for the head?
A. Yes, I do start with a circle for the head but it's usually a really rough circle and sometimes the finished face of my character isn't even all the way inside the circle. I put it there as a rough guideline mostly.
Q. How do you keep the color in your colored pencil drawings from covering up the lineart?
A. I have to go back over my lines and scratch off the filmy layer that the pencils have made with the pentip of one of my Microns that no longer has any ink left in it. Do not use your good Microns for this task since the oils/wax from the pencil will clog up your Micron and it will stop working. I've ruined many a good pen this way. Or if you sharpen the tip of your black colored pencil to a nice point and go over all of the outline with it, this also works very well.
Q. How do you do your artwork?
A. What I know is from years of observation and practice. As of yet, I have never attended any formal art classes and everything I know is pretty much self taught or random tips I've picked up from around the internet.
Q. Can you teach me? Will you put up tutorials?
A. I don't have the time to take each one of you and teach you how to create art the way I do. You'll have to figure out how to do that on your own. For tutorials, no. I simply and completely lack the interest to make one. I might take a fancy to the idea and try one out in the future, but for now, I have plenty of commissions and personal art I'd rather be doing.
Q. Well, if you can't teach me, do you have any tips you could spare?
A. Sure. Always pay close attention to what you see in front of you. If you have a dog or a cat, watch how they move, feel their paws, ears and such to get a better idea of how everything comes together. Another big help to me has been learning the internal structure of the animal I'm trying to draw. I recommend How To Draw Animals by Jack Hamm because his book really does that method of learning justice. I also have several animal toys and figures that (in my opinion) have exceptionally good anatomy. Do not keep the figures with bad anatomy sitting around. What you see goes in and comes out later. Only study the ones that will further your skills. I recommend:
Many of the Hagen Renaker figurines: animalfigurinesgallery.com/Min…
Most of the Papo big cats and all dinosaurs: www.papo-france.com/Collection…
Windstone Editions sculptures: www.windstoneeditions.com/inde…
Most Breyer models: www.identifyyourbreyer.com/ide…
And even the Playmobil animals: www.animobil.info/text/wit-toc…
Playmobil's animals aren't very detailed but the body structure is close to perfect and is a big help for learning body proportions for that animal in the simplest of terms, which leads me to my final tip. If it's too difficult; simplify, simplify, simplify and build up from there.
Q. You're a good artist, will you consider doing an art trade/request for me?
A. No, I'm busy enough with commissions and I just don't have the time anymore. If you would like to place an order for a commission, please check out my commission info and pricing posted as a link at the top of this journal and contact me by DevNote if you're interested.
Q. I really like your art. Do you mind if I DevWatch you?
A. By all means, if you enjoy seeing my artwork show up in your message center, go ahead and DevWatch me. I don't mind at all.
Q. Why don't you use Photoshop to color your pictures? They'd look so much better if you did.
A. I finally got my Wacom tablet at the end of '08 and the PS4 program shortly after. My goal is to slowly practice myself into this new way of doing art but since commissions, personal art, and life in general have a way of keeping me busy, my practice in the world of digital art is going to take some time.
Q. Why don't you post more of your colored pencil pictures like you used to? I'm getting tired of seeing so many B&W tribals.
A. My commission work takes up so much of my time and creative energy that I rarely have time to do my own art anymore. And with most of my commissions being the B&W tribal designs, that is the majority of what I end up posting.
Q. How many of the people who buy your designs actually get them tattooed?
A. I'm not sure how many of the people who've bought a design from me have actually followed through and gotten it inked. Some of them do send me pictures of their completed designs and when they do, I place that link in the tattoo picture's description.
Q. Why didn't you respond to my comment/note?
A. I receive many, many comments on a regular basis and I just do not have the time to respond to each one. I am sorry to not be able to participate more but I do read and enjoy every single one and I thank you all for your thoughts and critiques.
With notes, I read and try to respond to all of them (even if it takes me a week or two to get to it) so if you have something important to ask, a DevNote is the best way to reach me. Every now and then DevART is fritzy and the notes don't go through or I accidentally delete a chunk of my notes, but both of these occurrences are pretty rare.
Q. I'm trying to get signatures for this petition or raise money for (insert cause or reason here) and I was wondering if you could post something about this in your journal?
A. No. I'm sorry to not help out with this but I get several people asking me to post stuff up in my journal for them on a regular basis for all sorts of different reasons and I need to keep it fair. Again, I'm sorry to decline your request but my personal journal isn't meant to be a public bulletin board. Exceptions are made on an extremely rare basis.
ART & TATTOO USAGE
Q. Can I use your artwork on RP forums/Neopets/MySpace/Bebo/Orkut/etc...?
A. No. I feel very strongly against having my artwork showing up on the public forums and other places like that. My pictures featuring my characters are just that... mine. I put time, thought, and love into each of my characters and I don't enjoy seeing them being reused as someone else's "personal" characters.
My commissioned artwork featuring other people's characters is off-limits as well. Any characters featured are the copyrighted work of someone else and belong to them so please do not reuse.
Q. Can I repost your images on PhotoBucket/Flickr/Webshots/etc...?
A. NO. Please do not repost my images anywhere without my given consent.
Q. I love this tattoo design! Can I use it?
A. No, all commissions are created for the sole use of the commissioner. I can create a similar custom design for you if you'd like to order a commission. Commission prices are listed below.
Q. Is it alright if I use parts of your tattoo designs and use them as a base for mine? I will alter it to make it not exactly the same as yours.
A. Still, no. My designs were created only for the use of my customers; not for someone else to redraw, alter, or reuse in any way or for any purpose.
Q. If you don't want people resuing your art, why do you post it online?
A. This is an art gallery. I'm going to post my art. Also, being an art gallery, it is not a Clipart CD nor is it a collection of generic flash designs at a tattoo parlor and it shouldn't be used as such. Please respect my art and my terms.
Q. But isn't imitation the highest form of flattery? Why wouldn't you be happy that I want to recreate your art or get it tattooed on my skin?
A. I'm sorry but I don't see how being stolen from or ripped off is flattering in any way. Again, we come back to the respect thing: if you really enjoy an artist's works, copying and stealing from them is not the way to go.
Q. Can I use your art to practice my animal anatomy, tribal designs, etc.?
A. Yes, you may use it for practice but only if you agree to not post any of your practice work that was derived from my art anywhere online or use it for any purpose other than practice.
For a more in depth look at the ways that I do not permit my art to be used, please see here: wildspiritwolf.deviantart.com/…
Q. Can I do some fanart of your characters?
Yes, of course. In fact, I'd be honored if you did; I love seeing other artist's interpretations of my characters. Just show it to me when it's done because I wanna see it too, okay? ^_^
Tahlin ref: www.deviantart.com/deviation/5…
Fallon ref: wildspiritwolf.deviantart.com/…
Hakurou ref: www.deviantart.com/deviation/5…
My White Wolf ref: www.deviantart.com/deviation/4…
Montague ref: www.deviantart.com/deviation/2…
Skylaar ref: www.deviantart.com/deviation/2…
Shen ref: www.deviantart.com/deviation/4…
Oren ref: www.deviantart.com/deviation/1…
Tarson ref: www.deviantart.com/deviation/1…
Well, that's what I have for now. Let me know if you think of anything else and I'll add it up there for you.