opening words of the Artist:
Well, hello thar.
1. Programs of choice for emoting?
&amp;nbsp;Personally, I use Photoshop CS5. I used to use CS4, but my old laptop crashed and burned and took everything with it, including my Photoshop, so I got the new one.
2. What is your favorite legend emote?
&amp;nbsp;Oh wow, this is a toughie... I'd probably have to say either or , but then I use and a lot more than either of those, and when I used to be in dAmn all the time was doubtlessly my favourite - applicable to every situation from bad puns to trolls!
3. How important is shading/size/colour in emotes?
&amp;nbsp;To me, shading is one of the most important things about an emote. When I first started emoting, I think I only made one emote before I set out to create my own unique shading style - simply because I could not get a gradient to look good. Some people can pull it off, others can't... I can't.
Size isn't really important except in certain cases, for example Droneguard's OCs have to be the sizes they are, because they don't really... work... with a standard 15x15 base.
Colour depends on the emote IMO, for example would probably work in almost any colour, but something like really needs a 'sad' colour to work.
4. Have you told people in real life about your emotes?
&amp;nbsp;I have, vaguely. I have a few IRL friends who have dA accounts who watch me and have therefore seen my emotes, and I've mentioned them and displayed them to my family once or twice, but they don't really... get them.
5. Who or what was your main reason / biggest motivation for making emotes? And what makes you want to be an Emoticonist?
&amp;nbsp;Actually, originally I got into emoting because of splices (putting two existing emotes together to make a new one). There were a lot of emote combinations people wanted on dAmn, and I was new to dAmn with some very vague pixel experience, so I thought I'd give it a shot. Some of them (even the more recent ones) are really bad, some work. These days they all hide out in my Scraps, because I know they're not mine and I don't want to display them as such, but people still use them on dAmn.
Making splices led me to the original creators profiles whilst crediting, so I got to see some pretty amazing emoticonists (to name a few: Synfull, BlissfullySarcastic, LeoLeonardo and darkmoon3636), who inspired me to try my hand at making my own emotes from scratch. In the beginning, it was really hard, but I stuck with it, and now I have a style of my own that I'm happy with.
6. What do you feel are your strengths and weaknesses as an emoticonist? Is there anything you've consciously worked to improve? If so, how?
&amp;nbsp;My strength would have to be my shading, I'm actually really proud of my shading style, I like the way it looks and how smooth it is (even if it does contain umpteen colours and is horrible to shade without a base ) and my dithering, I love dithering random patterns and seeing how they look. Other than that, I'd say almost everything else I constantly work to improve. My expressions, props, backgrounds, animation. For me, emoting is a learning process; I'm still learning, and I have a long way to go.
7. If you had to live for a day as an emote, would you hate yourself for the torture and abuse you put them through?
&amp;nbsp;Without nipping into my gallery to check, I don't think I've ever been particularly evil to any of my emotes. But considering most of my emote ideas are still doodled into notebooks waiting to be pixelled, I think I'd have more reason to hate myself then. I'd likely just bounce around, smile and wave a lot, they're my general emote actions.
8. What do you think is the most fun part when you make emotes?
&amp;nbsp;I love watching an emote take shape. Seeing it go from a blank piece of checked canvas to an emote I'm reasonably happy with, changing things with critiques from friends and watchers and seeing how the teeny tiny difference they suggest - sometimes as little as "Move that hand over a pixel." - can change the appearance of the piece as a whole.
9. How long does a simple/complex or animated/still piece take?
&amp;nbsp;My nano-emos (the ones actually in my gallery and not hiding out in my documents or in notebooks) averaged about 10 minutes, I think. But then, I have all my bases saved in a document and I add them every time I make a new one, so they were literally a case of adding expressions. In general an emote can take anywhere from 10 minutes to several hours, depending on the complexity of the background, the number of emotes, the amount of critiques and how distracted I was at the time.
10. If you had to convince someone to become an emoticonist, what would you say?
&amp;nbsp;I'd say that you're entering an under-appreciated art form, outside of dA, emoting isn't really considered an art (as far as I've seen, anyway), but that it's all worth it for the support, encouragement and advice this community has to offer. Things like Emotication have all the resources and advice you need to start, and from there you just have to seek out critique and advice, there will always be people around willing to offer that to you. And there's nothing (for me) like the rush of seeing someone you don't know use your thumb in dAmn and whether or not they realise you made it.
11. What are the things that you don't like about the Emoticon Community and what things would you change if you had the power to do it?
&amp;nbsp;The drama. There always seems to be drama recently.
12. Do you think the popularity of an emoticon depends on its idea or just how pretty/shiny/bouncy it is?
&amp;nbsp;I think they're both equally important. An emote with an amazing concept but poor execution is unlikely to be popular, because people who want to use emotes in dAmn etc. want their emotes to be as asthetically pleasing as possible. Within the community itself, if you take an overused concept and execute it excellently it's still unlikely to be amazingly popular, because people want to see something new and exciting, not the same thing repixelled a million times.
13. If there was one person (on dA) who you could watch (educationally, of course) as they work without them knowing, who would you pick?
14. What would you say to those people who argue that emoticons are not art?
&amp;nbsp;I'd say that whilst my art is never going to sell for millions in a gallery, and it may never even be noticed by the wider community, it's still art. Everyone's perception of art is different, some people think a blue canvas is art. To me, a plain blue canvas is something anyone could do, it's not 'modern art', but to each their own. My art may not be your cup of tea, but it's still art. Art is about expression, and what better way to express yourself than with emoticons?
15. Which emoticon in your gallery is your best work? Why?
&amp;nbsp;I think I'd probably say my 2011 Yearbook entry, a random choice, I know, but I was really proud of how the clouds and the sky turned out, especially because I'd never tried to pixel either of those before (or never succeeded, anyway.)
16. What emote do you wish you could use in real life?
&amp;nbsp;The amount of times I've had to attempt to explain to people not on dA because I've accidentally used it in a text, or on skype, or facebook messenger. Eventually, waving your arms frantically in the air and hoping they get the gist gets very repetitive.
17. Was there ever a point in your emote making where you went on hiatus? If so, what brought you back?
&amp;nbsp;I'm kinda on hiatus now. I know I'll get dragged back, mainly because I have so many ideas for emotes I still need to make; plus I need to finish my NaNoEmo (I will finish it! ), and I have requests and prizes still to fill. I'm not the kind of person who could let those never get finished.
18. What do you like most about the emoticon community?
&amp;nbsp;The fact that, whilst we are a community of smaller groups as people have pointed out recently, we work together and collaborate better than any other community I've ever come across. There is a sense of togetherness even when there's drama. I value that.
19. Which emoticon group do you use most? / Support most?
&amp;nbsp;I don't really use emote groups. If people ask me for advice on starting making emotes, I generally direct them to Emotication simply because it's the biggest selection of resources and tutorials I'm aware of on dA. I also point a lot of people to Emoticon-Projects if they're asking for ideas on what to participate in or how to become more involved in the emote community.
20. In the past decade we've gone from plain text colons and parentheses to intricately designed graphics. Where do you think emotes will be 10 years from now?
&amp;nbsp;We'll all have a 30x30cm jellytype sphere that bounces along behind us and shows the emotion we're feeling and/or want to display at that particular time. They'll change colour too.
Anything else you want to say?
Thanks for reading and sorry I couldn't be more amusing!
"Never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down, never gonna run around and desert you."
"Never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down, never gonna run around and desert you."
Thank you very much for reading!
"See" you next time ;D
and now a huge thanks to the deviants who suggested these Questions to me:
1.Mirz123, 2.EastSideSunsets, 3.angelStained, 4.SanguineEpitaph, 5.litecrush, 5.DKayCrafts,
6.dirtypaintbrush, 7.stuck-in-suburbia, 8.IceXDragon, 9.eon-krate32, 10.TheGroovyMurphy,
11. / , 12.stuck-in-suburbia, 13.stuck-in-suburbia, 14.KatataEtc, 15.KinnisonArc,
16.SparklyDest, 17.litecrush, 18.Indae, 19.Indae, 20.dirtypaintbrush