- This was created by Dreddon
@Saravi_ to @dawnsrose Ever tried to navigate the swtor Fan Art forum? So much hard work/talent, lost under new posts. There’s got to be a better way!
This is a good point. I have posted in that forum, and I read a couple of people’s work. But, my word, there is a ton of very good products in this forum. Is there truly a better way to organize it?
I know there is at least one author I would like to see get a blog site and post his stories there so I can read it from start to finish, and not get interrupted by comments. The comments are great because, as an author, you want feedback, good or bad.
Now, what about the pictures, the drawings, and all the other art of the Realm?
I felt overwhelmed when I went to the Community Creations page. There are three sections, Role-play and Play-by Post, Fan Art, Fan Fiction. Just in the Fan Fiction forum there are 140 pages of threads with 24 per page. That is 3,360 threads, give or take! That is a lot of material to get through. On top of that, some of these posts are not stories but comments on how to write, or comments on another thread or author.
When I went into the Fan Art forum, even with the thought of starting at the top and working down, I soon was overwhelmed with things that were not art, or the art was buried a few pages into the post.
I will say when I got into some of it, it was like an addiction. I had to stop due to real life knocking on the door, but I could have disappeared into many of these stories. And some of the pictures I saw. I wanted to add them to the stories I read.
Right here, I’m going to plug one author I have followed now for a while – The Voyages of Targon Karashi written by TargonKarashi. This story and other pieces he has written have engaged me completely in the SWTOR world. I want to take this work and put it out there so people can see the awesome skills we have in our community.
Now understand I am not a critic for anyone but myself. I read a lot, and love to be captured by the written word, and have to fight to come back to the real world around me. With that in mind, I think this is a wonderful story. I also think that it follows all the information that has been shared about the game very well.
My interview with the author:
1. Where do you get the ideas and inspirations for your Star Wars fan fictions?
My inspiration primarily comes from the games and stories I created with my brother when we were children and our own understanding of Star Wars. We all want to create our own characters and situations in such a rich fantasy story, so we find ways to come up with them. Most of it was action figures and miniatures with my brother – our stories got quite expansive and interesting. I thought that they’d make great writing, with a few touch ups of course.
2. How do you come up with characters of the universe without falling back on the cliché types?
To come up with a good character, I look at the attributes of famous characters in other stories and figure out what makes them interesting and different. Then I look at myself and others I know or see around me. Most people have lots of characteristics, and we are different in the ways we get mad, feel joy, or view life on good or bad days. I take those elements of a person and amplify them to create the basic attitude and behavior of a character.
3. How do you make sure your story doesn’t conflict or contradict accepted Expanded Universe canon?
To keep things in line with canon, I research the era and background of the setting I want the story to take place. Knowing important places and established characters, I am then able to start looking into areas that might not have been explored. After all, the galaxy is a big place, and the great thing about this game is that there are all sorts of people having their own adventures. So I start writing about what John Areos is doing while Luke Skywalker’s destroying the Death Star.
4. What motivates you to write stories that take place in the Star Wars universe?
The biggest reason I write Star Wars stories is the fact that I love the universe. I love Star Wars. However, I have a big ulterior motive, and that is to see how my writing style and ideas might be accepted in the world with so many different people. I’m writing books I hope to get published, but I want to know how my writing appeals to people, and the fan fiction forums are a great way to get feedback from other writers with many varying ideas and opinions.
5. Many people have hard times coming up with characters, names, and places. How do you deal with these things?
For me, names and characters are easy. Many use the basic “noun/verb” or “adjective/noun” mixing, but I don’t need to rely on that for names. I look at exotic cultures, something fantasy or science-fiction, and then I start sounding things out until it just “clicks” or just sound good to the ear. As for characters, well, there are lots of people to get inspiration from – goofy people, angry people, compassionate people, selfish people…and then there’s just coming up with over-the-top characters – obnoxious companions and truly wicked villains. And with places, I just take a look around the world and find places that would be interesting if they were emphasized or exaggerated.
6. What do you find to be your greatest strength in your writing? Your greatest weakness? How do you improve those shortcomings?
I have found that one of my greatest strengths in my writing is dialogue. I love dialogue because that is where you reveal your character, build relationships or conflicts, and connect readers with characters because they are interacting like we do in our everyday lives. I like description, but sometimes my description is a weakness. Sometimes it’s too much, too detailed, too boring. And other times it isn’t enough, it is lacking in substance. So what I try to do is get the right balance, where a reader can look at the words and get just enough detail to see the image, but then they fill it in with their own imagination. Another problem I have is telling too much. I am trying to work harder to show more, to let the reader figure things out for themselves and come to their own conclusions instead of just following my rhetoric to my conclusions. Hopefully, we both come to the same end, but each with different ideas on understanding and applying the idea.
Now, on to art! I really like the picture I saw from Dreddon that I was sent, so I decided to focus on him. He has a thread on the forums that show off some of his Star Wars work. I also found out he makes videos that are quite impressive.
1. Well who are you and where are you from? (General country is just fine.)
I’m 28 from the North of England I’ve been doing 3d for 5 years now after studying for a degree. Other than that a standard mix of nerd and gamer, dabbling in little bit of mountain biking.
2. Where do you get the ideas and inspirations for your Star Wars fan art?
I’ve been a fan for as long as I can remember I grew up with seeing the original films on the TV every Christmas, I’m a fan of sci-fi and games in general. The inspiration for the bounty hunter just came from a mix of Boba Feta and some of the amour progression screen shots. The back ground of the bounty hunter I had one of the opening scenes in Akira (out side the bar) and to wanted to get of a bit of that underground neon-city feeling going on.
The Ewok I was inspired by a little drawing on the Torocast site of a Ewok with a light saber, which I thought was totally super cool. The Imperial Agent I was asked to create something for a guild mate so I choose my favorite concept on the SWTOR site of an agent and just set about making female version of it.
3. What motivates you to create art that is based in the Star Wars universe?
I just wanted to make some cool Star Wars based art before the game drops and spend all my time leveling and raiding. The Original Trilogy has so much amazing imagery to draw upon, as a artist you can’t help to be inspired, and also the great concept art Bioware has produced. I wanted to get a involved in the swtor community, the news/podcasting sites do so much for free i wanted to give a little bit back to the swtor fans.
4. What do you find to be your greatest strength in your art? Your greatest weakness? How do you improve those shortcomings?
I have a tendency to get impatient and start to rush my art work, and I always have to go back and fix things later on, I should just set aside more time for doing my work and focus more on the part i’m doing.
I get easily distracted, which makes me put off doing anything for a while as an a example I’ve been engrossed in Skyrim and currently everything is on hold while I play that. I would like to improve my 2d skills so the next few images I make after the agent I’m planning to turn my hand to 2d concept work and see how that goes. The part that i enjoy the most is the initially creating a character in Zbrush so i consider that the part i’m best at.
5. What type of software do you use to create your art?
I start by Sculpting in Zbrush, I take the sculpt to 3d studio Max block out all the elements of the model then take them back to Zbrush to add some detail again. I use Photoshop for creating the textures and the lighting and rendering is done with Vray, I light the character separately from the environment so it helps it stand out a little.
I hope that you all enjoyed a peek at two of our community artists. I am hoping to look at another pair for a spotlight next month. I am very open to suggestions as to who to look at. I will read their work, and look at the pictures. So I ask you, the reader, who do you like? And who would you recommend I take a look at?
Our community creations are under publicized and I hope that this peek will get some people interested.
You can follow Rosie on Twitter at @Dawnsrose. You can also contact her directly via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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