This issues letter is:
The deviant that is being featured and interviewed today is:
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I'm a 24 year old "jack of all trades" sort of. I'm a photographer, mostly nudes, and fetish, and a model - again, nudes and fetish, and I'm also a designer - couture and costuming, and mixed media creations. I'm also a Burner, and run a camp called Incendiary Intent, which will be out at Burning Man for our 3rd year this year. I live in Southern California, because I hate being cold, and I like the ocean, and other than that, I work, just like a normal person, I have two mildly insane cats, and spend way too much time on dA.
^Nyx-Valentine, how did you find deviantART?
Years and years ago my friend ~gbisus13 was making all sorts of cool metal structures and creations. I had just moved to California to go to Fashion design school, so there was really no good way for me to see what all he was working on, which was kind of sad! Then he told me he had signed up for this cool site where he could upload pictures of his stuff, and I could see it. And then I realized I could upload my fashion illustrations, and even my nude photography here, and I was hooked!
How did you get your username?
You know, it's one of those things where if I could go back and change it, I totally would, because it doesn't have anything to do with me any more, but oh well. Anyways, when I was in middle/high school, I had a best friend that I spent -all- my time with. And when I was a kid, I was pretty soft spoken, and shy (which is why it isn't accurate any more! Everyone knows I'm a loudmouth...), and my best friend was the outspoken wild one. Her dad used to joke that I was "his quiet child, and she was his wild child", and it just seemed like a good screen name at the time! These days, I prefer to go by Nyx, but it's really difficult to give up an old and established account like this!
What do you like most about deviantART?
Definitely the community. I've met some amazingly, incredibly talented people here on dA that I've then gotten to work with later on, or just become good friends with, and there's so many more artists here that are a huge inspiration for me. One of the coolest things to me is that so many times I've seen something really awesome - especially in the Artisan Crafts gallery, and ended up having a great conversation with the creator about how they made it, and what inspired them, and the whole process, and in turn, that inspires me in my work. And as a GM, I got a sort of "birds eye" view of the art nude and fetish galleries in particular, and it's just a really cool group of people. For the most part, we all have our differences of opinion, or approach, but there's still a lot of respect for other artists, regardless of personal differences. There's always a few bad apples, but really, the community is what has kept me here on dA for all these years, and keeps me coming back.
Are there any deviantART features that you have never used?
MURO. I've seen people do some really amazing stuff with it, but I don't have any talent for digital art to start with, and definitely not with a twitchy wireless mouse, so I pretty much ignore it. I also don't use the Prints system, because as a model, I don't have the copyright to sell prints, and as a photographer, I largely shoot film, and prefer to sell original film prints of my work rather than digital reproductions.
How old were you when you first became interested in art?
I've been into art for as long as I can remember. I was home-schooled for most of my childhood, so my mom developed my curriculum. She included a ton of art projects, arts and crafts, and art history from a very young age, and I've just grown from there. Interestingly, no one else in my family is really into art, so I'm kind of an odd duck, but I'm always thankful to my mom for giving me a foundation, and encouraging me.
Which artists (off and on dA) inspire you?
Oh, lots and lots! Go through my favs sometime! No, but the team of people I work with on a regular basis, in real life, and on dA, are incredibly inspirational - *Doomsday-Dawn, who runs Incendiary Intent with me, and tells me there really isn't anything wrong with making a 60' long dress, and then maybe burning it, ^Battledress, who encourages me to take on new, and strange projects, ~DRSPhotography, who inspires me daily, and ~Zathros, who is unfailingly there to support us all. Other than that, there are a ton of models here whom I really admire, and of course tons of photographers, designers, and creators. The Artisan Crafts gallery generally blows me away, there's so much stuff there that I really wish I knew how to do, or had the talent to do, but I don't, so I just love looking at it!
What are your pet peeves on dA?
Hmmm...Disrespectful comments. Of any variety. Whether it be "critique" to the tune of "this sucks, you shouldn't be on dA", or rude things like "I want to *bleep* her!!", or stupid things like "I hate *subject matter*, so this sucks!!" As a GM for two fairly controversial galleries at one point, I got to deal with lots and lots of flaming, and so much of it could have been resolved with a simple "turn on your mature content filter, click the back button, and move on with your life!!!!" Or, better yet, "Think about the fact that a -real, live human being- is on the receiving end of your invective, and how would you feel if you got this comment from a stranger?"
Oh, and flaming DDs in general - seriously, it's a day long feature chosen because the GM liked it. If you don't like it? Tell the GM personally, if you just HAVE to say something, or better yet, wait 24 hours, and there will be something new to look at! Even BETTER, go through that particular gallery, and send in some suggestions for stuff -you- like (to the appropriate GM of course.) Rather than being a negative voice, try to build a community you want to be in, and are proud to be a part of.
Where do you see yourself in one year, deviantART wise?
I'd like to get more active with #MaturexContent, and start posting more Artisan Crafts stuff, and more fetish work. Unfortunately, the next year is pretty busy for me in terms of real life projects, but hopefully I'll get some good photographs of all of it to post here! And maybe sometime, when I'm a bit less busy, I'd like to think about returning to the art nude or fetish gallery moderator position
What do you think about Deviant Stamps getting DDs?
As I mentioned earlier, I really dislike when people complain about DDs. It's not a reward, or award, or prize. It's a feature. For one day. That the GM liked. There is no particular policy about artistic "talent" or skill, or even subject matter, and all the galleries deserve representation on that page - that's why there's so many GMs, after all. Stamps should certainly be DD'd if the GM for that gallery feels that they want to DD it!
So, it comes down to while I personally may not be super into the stamp, or may even just not like it, I also don't like everything I see anywhere else either. Click the back button, and go look at any of the other awesome DDs posted that day instead of complaining or being rude. It'll be gone in 24 hours, after all.
And, as an addendum, I'm always troubled by people who jump all over GMs. We're just people, like everyone else on dA, and it's really sad to see the community ripping someone apart without bothering to get any clarification, explanation, or anything. Patience is a virtue, don'tcha know?
What type of music are you into?
Oh, that's a toughie! I listen to really, just about everything. I grew up listening to bluegrass, and barbershop quartets, and morphed into a rivithead industrial goth kid in my teens. At some point, I started listening to a lot of Tool, and then somewhere along the line, ended up at Burning Man, and developed a deep burning dislike of dubstep, house techno, and fog horns.
These days, I look for anyone doing something interesting, talented, and new. Right now, I'm listening to a lot of Southern Sludge like Monster Magnet, Union Underground, and Kyuss, a band called The Great Mundane, which is pretty indescribable, but awesome, Adele, because her voice is amazing, Jesse J, because she makes me laugh, and PJ Harvey.
What kind of movies are you into?
I like funny movies. I want to watch stuff that makes me smile, and laugh. I hate horror movies, especially "torture porn." I do love True Blood like a little fan girl, but hey... I need a guilty pleasure or two! I also like strange, beautiful art films with deep underlying messages - if you're a Vonnegut fan, you have to find a copy of a film called "2081", based on his short story "Harrison Bergeron." It is stunningly beautiful and heartbreaking, and Kronos Quartet did the sound track, and it's amazing.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I like kittens! And kitten pictures. Send me kitten pictures. It will make me happy. (I'm terrible with open ended questions like this....)
I'd like to say a huge thanks to ^Nyx-Valentine for taking the time to be interviewed.
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