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:boing: Random Occurrence ...

Today while I was driving down Hollywood Blvd. on my way to deviantART headquarters, I witnessed something that I had never seen before. :O  As I pulled into a left hand turn lane, I noticed that the traffic light was lit as both yellow and green.  And this wasn't simply a quick anomaly.  Since oncoming traffic didn't know whether to speed up or yield, I waited to turn for a good three minutes.  I even had time to snap a quick picture of the traffic lights on my camera phone, but accidentally forgot to save it!  That would have been a great photo.

:boing: Quote Book ...

In other news, about a month ago, I started keeping a book of quotes comprised of things I've heard in real life.  "Why?" you ask.  So that when I'm old, in a nursing home, and relying on others to keep my frail body alive, I will be able to laugh and remember the good times.  For example ... when a certain English professor said that she "tossed her aunt's salad over the weekend." :eyepopping:  Or when a well-known male deviantART staff member said, "Today I decided to be a girl."  In just a month, I've collected some real gems.  Be careful what you say; you may be next.

:boing: deviantART Related ...

I hope that everyone has seen the new look of Premium Content on the front-page.  So far, we've taken baby strides in improving Premium Content, but in the near future, things will really begin to heat up.  There are definitely some interesting articles and interviews that will be released soon. :postit:

On that note, if anyone is interested in joining the Premium Content team, please let me know.  Keep in mind that I'm not looking for anyone who simply wants to become a deviantART staff member.  I'm only interested in people who are willing to work, can meet deadlines, are active in the community, and are reliable people overall.  If that's not you, please don't apply.

:boing: And Finally ...

If any Southern California resident :handshake: is interested in hiking around Griffith Park or Runyon Canyon, or would perhaps like to go see the Lakers, Clippers, Dodgers, or Angels, play ... drop me a line and hopefully we can work something out.  

~Heidi
  • Mood:
  • Listening to: The Darkness - I Believe in a Thing Called Love
  • Reading: Global Journalism
If you are reading this article right now, chances are pretty good that you have seen the newly launched version of Premium Content.   If not, simply visit the front-page of deviantART and look under "Featured Articles."  For those who don't know, the Premium Content team is responsible for the proliferation of quality and timely information developed specifically to intrigue, captivate, educate, and inspire deviantART users.

One of the Premium Content team's main goals is to live up to our name; "premium" meaning superior quality and value.  We will be delivering "featured content" on a rotating basis of at least two to three times a week.  By doing so, we will ensure that fresh information reaches deviantART users in a timely manner.  This content will include everything from artist interviews, to tutorials, to contests, to targeted discussions, and anything in between.  It is our ambition to develop and create news articles that are not only interesting, but also innovative.  

As a member of deviantART, if you have ideas, suggestions, or questions for Premium Content, please feel free to contact me or anyone on the team.  We highly value all input from the community because it is the community who we are writing for and aim to please.  
Throughout the year, but especially during the holidays, I try and do nice things for other people.  Not because I expect to get anything in return, but simply because I like to.  In my opinion, one of the best feelings in the world is doing something kind for someone else when they least expect it.  For this season, I sent a care package to Iraq for American troops, donated to Toys for Tots, and sent get well cards to people in the hospital. :heart:  Yay for me, right?  How am I repaid for my kindness?  With a $340.00 traffic ticket.

Don't get me wrong.  I'm not saying that just because I did a couple good deeds that I should be exempt from going through a red light.  (Which I obviously did because the city of West Hollywood so graciously mailed me a photo of myself going through the light.)  All I'm saying is that sometimes, "Poop happens" to good people and that $340.00 is a lot of money for a photo traffic light ticket.  %*&#$!@ :censored:  I just hope that I can do online traffic school.  And I wanted to point out, that anyone who has driven in Hollywood/Los Angeles/Beverly Hills knows that the traffic at intersections is insane.  You either go through the green/yellow light when you have a chance or the car behind you will go through you.  Your choice, you pick.  

In happier news, I finally got my new cellphone. :phonecall:  I switched from AT&T to Verizon and in the process chose the Audiovox 8900 camera phone.  I'm very please with it.  Even more so, I'm pleased with Verizon.  I have fewer dropped calls, a better coverage area, and the people on the other end sound much crisper.  

Best wishes to everyone this holiday season and for health and happiness throughout the year.

Merry Christmas!  :santa:

~Heidi    
Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat
Please put a penny in the old man's hat
If you haven't got a penny, a ha' penny will do,
If you haven't got a ha' penny, then God bless you
:xmas: :santa:

Random Things ...

- The Minnesota Vikings have lost two games in a row.
- I'll be going to the Vikings vs. San Diego Chargers game next week.
- I'm getting a new cellphone at the end of November.  :phonecall:  
- I've randomly seen Kato Kaelin and Leah Remini in the last week.
- It rained for the first time in Los Angeles in over 170 days.
- I love to go geocaching.
- I have a major crush on Mark Cuban.  :heart:
- I "collect" glow sticks.
- I've never seen Cherry Coke in a glass bottle, but I know it's out there.
- Things at deviantART headquarters are going well and cool things are in the works.

That's all for now.  Only 50ish days until Christmas! :holly: Get your shopping done soon!

~Heidi
A small update in the life of Heidi ...

The Minnesota Vikings are 5 and 0.  That's right, 5 wins and 0 losses.  Who would have guessed that after such a terrible season last year, they would make this kind of turn around?  It's pretty exciting if you're a Vikings fan.

I love this time of year because something is always happening, there's always a holiday to celebrate, and always something to look forward to.  What more could you ask for?
Here's a quick timeline ...
Halloween -> Thanksgiving -> Christmas -> New Year's -> Valentine's -> My Birthday -> Easter.  
:pumpkin: :xmas: :heart: :party:  

On the deviantART front, I've been keeping busy by helping spyed with various odds and ends at the office.  This includes making phone calls, setting up meetings, paying bills, ordering hardware, sending stickers, etc.  There is never a shortage of things to do.

And now a nice quote from Jack Handey on Saturday Night Live.  "I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it."  :earth:

I also wanted to take a moment to say thank you to some of my deviantART friends.  (This is just a partial list, in no particular order, off the top of my head.  If I missed anyone, please don't be upset.)  :love:  

~Chad, *redm, ~rhysd, *richieZ, *symonx, ^alphakx, $chris, $jark, +mccann, %musicinmyhead, $MikeyLove, *splat, $spot, $spyed

~Heidi

P.S. - Bonus points and gold stars :winner: to anyone who knows what this journal's title is from.
In light of the recent attack on America, it is good to know that our country is pulling together in this time of tragedy.  As I drive down many streets in my neighborhood, it is comforting to see that almost all homes have their American flags displayed proudly.  If you too feel this sense of patriotic pride, I urge you to do the same.

~Heidi   
Tomorrow we find out the winner of American Idol, so my American Idol fever should be coming to an end.  Although, if Kelly loses I might have to start an anti-American Idol campaign. :clap: Haha, just kidding.

But before the fever does subside, I just uploaded a wonderful drawing of both Kelly and Justin.  Also, be sure to glance at my webcam as it features my true devotion to the show.

In other news, the NFL season is starting soon and MLB has managed to not strike.  I can't wait.  Sports are great. :love:

Go Kelly! :w00t:

~Heidi
The past two weeks have been busy ones.  After spending some time visiting family in Minnesota, I came home and prepared for Chad's visit.  He came to California from Illinois for the weekend and we completed the total tourist package: saw the beach, checked out Hollywood, visited a theme park, went geocaching, etc.  We even hung out with fellow deviants symonx, redm, and spyed.  A good time was had by all.

In other news, I've been busy helping spyed with different deviantART odds and ends.  Everything from making phone calls, to getting ready for the upcoming CPL event, to sending deviantART stickers to staff members, etc.  (For anyone who is interested in stickers, they will soon be available online at a very reasonable price.)

This weekend some friends and I are heading to Las Vegas for a little rest and relaxation.  I haven't been there a while so I'm really looking forward to going.  Then afterwards, it's back to work.

~Heidi

P.S. - I :heart: Voyager.
This happened to me recently, so I though I'd post about it ...

Last week as I was lying in bed, I wondered what time it was. :yawn: So, of course, I looked at the clock.  But before I actually saw the clock, I saw its reflection in the mirror.  It said, "POE."  I thought to myself, "Haha, the clock says POE.  The clock isn't supposed to be able to talk."  (The actual time was 3:09.)

Then, as I was looking at the clock's reflection, laughing at the new realization that it contained secret words ... can you imagine what word appeared next?  It said, "DIE." :omfg: I was looking at the clock tick from 3:09 to 3:10 and it actually spelled "DIE" right in front of me as I watched.  For someone who just learned about the clock's ability to spell, this was quite disturbing.

Needless to say, I did not die, and in fact, I lived to write this message.

~Heidi

P.S. - When the clock hits 3:19, it says "PIE."  That's a good one. :nod:
By mistake I came across this piece of work, and when I looked at it I couldn't believe my eyes. The movement is so smooth and the pieces fit pefectly into shape. Great work and congrats on the Pixel Art Daily Deviation!  (Selected by ~digi-fix.)

<center>DeviantArt Animated Iso Logo</center>
On November 15th, spyed and I attended the American Idol concert at the Anaheim Pond.  I know what you're thinking, but it was actually a good show.  All of the top ten finalists performed, including my favorite, Miss Kelly Clarkson. :love:  Our evening was topped off by getting to meet the man who "created" Kelly Clarkson; her Dad.  He was sitting only a few people over from our seats and we chatted with him for about a minute after the show.  Although, I must give props to spyed because it was his idea.  After the concert, spyed and I went to my house where we worked on a special deviantART Thanksgiving project until the wee hours of the night.

(I also bought a nice American Idol poster as a souvenir. :twocents: It was only $10.00 which is quite reasonable if you think about how expensive items at concerts can be.  The poster, now framed, looks quite nice on my wall.  It sits right next to my print of jasinski's "Are You Awake.")

In other news, my house is officially the first home in the neighborhood to have Christmas lights up. :xmas: w00t!  Who cares if it isn't even Thanksgiving yet?  Not me.  Christmas only comes once a year and if you love the season like I do, you might as well enjoy it while you can.  Hopefully we'll be seeing some Christmas themed deviations any day now.

I hope everyone out there on the Interweb is doing well.  Remember to be thankful for what you have during this holiday season. :thumbsup:

~Heidi
This great cinematic pixel art is gorgeous! The mood invoked by the imagery really pushes pixel art into places not many venture.  And that is why it has been awarded the Pixel Art Daily Deviation!  (vts31 and Heidi give love is lost two enthusiastic thumbs up.)

<center>love is lost</center>
Remember when you were little and attended the local carnival or fair?  Didn't you always have to stop at the game booth where you could win a goldfish?  FIshhy by hereticvnv takes you back to those simpler times.  His pixel art is simpistic, yet effective.  Also be sure to check out the glare off the tank's glass.  Excellent touch.  (Selected by $Heidi)

<center>FIshhy</center>
What may seem like a tiny pixel-icon-like drawing is in fact a pixel piece work of art. Working on such a small scale can be taunting even to some of the most advanced pixelists. Such a proportion of a room while keeping the objects in it recognizable is a technical feat mastered by few. With this, we award MyRoomInPixelArt by ~saurchilion the Daily Deviation!  (Selected by ~halfliquid.)

<center>MyRoomInPixelArt</center>
It's now official; the Anaheim Angels are the 2002 World Series Champions!  I must admit, when the San Francisco Giants were ahead in the series 3 games to 2, I had my doubts.  But after the Angels pulled off an amazing comeback in game 6, I knew they would win the title.  And with the Los Angeles Lakers three-peating the NBA Championship ... it's a good time to be from Southern California!  :winner:

On Saturday, I headed to a local Starbucks in order to see Nate (aka strangledbyart).  I ordered my usual, a tall White Chocolate Mocha, and it tasted fabulous.  I even recently ordered an expresso machine from Amazon so that I can make drinks at home.  With the generous help of Nate, my drinks will taste just as good as the ones from Starbucks.  :coffeecup:

I can't wait until Christmas.  It's my absolute favorite time of the year.  Once Thanksgiving is over, it's all about Christmas; the lights, the people, the atmosphere, the weather, the presents, etc.  How can you not love it?  I'm also excited to see some Christmas-inspired deviations popping up shortly.  Good times! :xmas:

And finally, the American Idol tour heads through Southern California in about two weeks.  What more could a girl ask for? :cd:

~Heidi
Mqe at LTs by friedl66 is a highly detailed pixel art made my day. I love the bottles of beer that are scattered through out.  It's the little additions that really enhance this piece.  I also wish I could see a music video in this style.  This deviation just plain rocks, quite literaly, and that it why it has been awarded Daily Deviation.  Congrats.  (Selected by *vts31</B>.)

<Center>Mqe at LTs</Center>
Sometimes it's hard to determine whether or not an arist spends a few minutes on a pixel piece, or if an artist spends several hours working on it. buente's Pixel Army series Deux is the latter. Upon viewing it you immediately see the amount of effort it took to collaborate such an extreme piece with amazing detail and a sweet birds-eye view of a pixel armies' barracks. With this, he is awarded a much deserved Daily Deviation for his dedication to pixel art.  (Selected by ~halfliquid.)

<Center>Pixel Army series Deux</Center>
Think of the following situation: You're visiting devianART and you click the link to the Pixel Art tier.  (My, what a smart person you are!)  Now that you're there, you think to yourself, "What exactly is pixel art?  How can I create this type of art?"  Well, in order to answer your questions, I have enlisted the help of pixel artist extraordinaire, halfliquid</B>.  So please, read on to expand your brain.

What is pixel art?

A common misconception is the fact that "every digital media is made of pixels therefore it has to be pixel art." Even though there is some truth in that statement it's far from what pixel art fundamentally is.

Pixel art, down to the nuts and bolts, is the creation of an image pixel by pixel using a minimal amount of graphical tools.

That's right... pixel by pixel from the ground up.

What's a "pixel"?

Perhaps there is also some confusion over what a "pixel" is. First off, a pixel is derived from two words: Picture Elment. Secondly, it's defined as a single point on a web graphic. It is the smallest part of every image you see on the monitor (like how molecules make up us). When putting thousands (to millions) of these pixels together they appear connected and therefore create a digital image. You're looking at zillions of pixels as you read this as well.

But how do I go about creating pixel art?...

Using good ol' programs ranging from the simplistic (and often recommended) MS Paint to more advanced (but also often recommended) Photoshop (too many others as well, mind you).

If you think about it, pixel art would be almost impossible without zooming in so that you can work with the small dimensions that are required. Going in as close as possible will help you greatly. Just think of it this way: the closer you are the more precision you have and the better your work will be at the end.

It's important to remember that practice makes perfect. No one opens up MS Paint and creates Mona Lisa within a couple minutes.

Time is your friend. Respect it.

Formats?

For the most part you want to save the work you create as GIF format because
it does not lose an image quality (something that you need for pixel art). JPEG is another format that most would consider saving on though you should stray away from it like the plague. JPEG is used for images with high color depth (pics, etc) and with plenty of detail. Same goes for other formats as well (except for BMPs though you should only save pixel art in that format if you wish to include if you wish to put them in a game).

Stick with GIF. Period. End of story.

OK, so I know what it is now but what can it be used for?

You might think that the world has no use for pixel artists but that is quite the contrary. Most small hand-held devices use pixel art to display small graphics. Many videogames use sprites (characters and animations made of pixels; Mario, Street Fighter, Metal Slug) and tiles (floor textures that are repeated to create building blocks to assembling floors). Icons on your desktop are made of pixels. Your mouse point is made of pixels.  Your favorite WinAMP skin might be made of pixels.

Pixel art is all around you. You might not even know it... but it's there.

Sure, the 3D art scene might be creating a niche to stay in the computer graphics industry but the presence of pixel artists to create simplistic designs will also be needed.

There is a future for you if you want it.

So what are the restrictions that make pixel art pixel art?

As mentioned above, pixel art is created pixel by pixel using a minimal
amount of tools. It's obvious if you need to draw a long line spanning from oneside of the picture to the other you're not going to strain doing it pixel by pixel- you would simply use the line tool to speed up the process.

This is where the controversy- "If it's created pixel by pixel, should I not be able to use any form of tools?" As long as you create your work without using any program renderings or manipulation (effects, blur, sharpen, etc...) it is, for the most part, fine and will still be OK in many people's books. In other words, you can still use layers and the most simple of tools as long as you follow the rules of what pixel-art is. Only then can you truly appreciate your work and only then can it be
considered pixel-art.

* Fundamentally pixel rules are not set in stone and can be combined with "not-pixel art" things. However, avoiding most of these "time-savers" would be to your best interest if you wish to become a respected Pixelist (a pixel artist). Rendering is not your friend in the world of pixel.

I would again like to thank halfliquid</B> for his help and hard work with this article.  Go visit his userpage and comment on all his work!  halfliquid</B>, halfliquid</B>, halfliquid</B>!
In order to get everyone into the Halloween spirit, I thought I would award Spooooooky Grave by sawtooth the Daily Deviation.  Using only fifteen colors, the piece still has a great color scheme and is very detailed.  Give it a look!  (Selected by ^Heidi.)

<center>
Spooooooky Grave</center>
Let's see what's new ...

1.  I am the new Tier Administrator for Pixel Art; something that I am very proud to be.  If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions on that subject ... I am only a click away, so send me a note.  :phonecall:

2.  I've been very, very busy lately.  :crazy:  School, working at Warner Bros., and deviantART seem to occupy a lot of my time.  But that's a good thing because it keeps me out of trouble.  Or, according to spyed, it keeps me from being pimped around.  Which I guess is a good thing?  Heh.

3.  I have two tickets to the Angels vs. Twins game on Sunday!  w00t!  Can you say, "Go Angels!"  :trophy:  Look for me on the first base side, wearing red.  I'm sure you'll be able to find me.  Riiiiiiiight.

4.  In parting, I would like to say .. "Expand your mind; read the newspaper or listen to National Public Radio."  If you get all your news from TV, especially local news, you're not really doing much good.  :twocents:  I'm just trying to be helpful.

~Heidi