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Tell me your secrets

Journal Entry: Sun Aug 2, 2015, 4:54 PM

...or what you got up to at the weekend

Hello, my lovelies! I forgot to do a Five on Friday last week because sometimes I don't realise what day it is until it isn't that day any more. It's not just me who does that, right? I had a fabulous weekend of birthday celebrations (a friend's birthday, not mine) on Saturday and some hardcore lazing action on Sunday. It was exactly what I needed. What did you do? Anything exciting, relaxing, monumentally life altering..?

Also, if you comment, you're invited to leave a thumbnail for one of your own recent pieces of work and a thumbnail of one of someone else's recent pieces of work and I'll do a feature.


[ Shower of Blood skin by RockstarVanity with Exodus 7:19 ]
...just looking and seeing and being distracted is exactly what I need and any comment would just be some mess of words about how your art has taken me out of my own head for a little while and I am so very grateful.

It wouldn't be a comment about your art. It would be a comment about me and this anxiety, or whatever I use 'anxiety' as shorthand for, that takes up too much space in my mind while I wait for the urgent psychiatric referral that was meant to come through a month ago but still hasn't. It would be a comment about how I'm actually alright, honestly, in a getting-through-the-day kind of way (most of the time, sometimes, right now anyway, sort of) and about how I have good people around me and I'm scared that I talk about myself too much in times and places when I shouldn't. You don't deserve that. You deserve a comment about your art.

So when I silently add something you have created to my favourites, it means I love it and it's fascinating or challenging or funny or cute or inspirational and thank you for creating it and sharing it and making the world a more beautiful place.

Welcome to the fourth in a series of features where five pieces of art,
from a group or artist, or on a theme, or in a particular medium,
are shared on a Friday to help inspire your weekend creativity!

This week's features are recent creations by MachinesBleedToo

15.07.12.untitled by MachinesBleedToo

birb concept by MachinesBleedToo

A prison cell by MachinesBleedToo

COMM: duality by MachinesBleedToo

Creature of habit by MachinesBleedToo
Welcome to the third in a series of features where five pieces of art,
from a group or artist, or on a theme, or in a particular medium,
are shared on a Friday to help inspire your weekend creativity!

This week's features are recent submissions to Human-Photography

[Project IDK] Feathers by mangawildcat

Canvas by ForlornTreasures

Carnivore by luna-tides

Chasing the deers by Smashedintoyou

FADE TO BLACK 10 by Michela-Riva
Welcome to the second in a series of features where five pieces of art,
from a group or artist, or on a theme, or in a particular medium,
are shared on a Friday to help inspire your weekend creativity!

This week's features are recent submissions to Playing-Dress-Up

Purple Night by gestiefeltekatze

No hero in her sky by M3LL0N-3M

Misaki meii by BakaaChuu

dust by M0THart

Dragons Light by TEMPERATE-SAGE
Welcome to the first in a series of features where five pieces of art,
from a group or artist, or on a theme, or in a particular medium,
are shared on a Friday to help inspire your weekend creativity!

This week's features are recent submissions to SkyAndNatureClub.

The split stone by ibasimaikataimeto
Lakeland Evening 2 by Capturing-the-Light
Warme Sommerbrise. by dragonfly-oli
Breathing color by Mogrianne
Coreus marginatus by tom00-85

Because Vikings

Journal Entry: Tue Jun 23, 2015, 3:06 PM

I've been doing some binge watching of Vikings today, so couldn't resist featuring
some stunning Vikings fan art from DA. Look at these beautiful pictures!

Vikings : Lagherta the shield maiden by GakggGak
Icy fire by Ssarawolf
Vikings Tribute by ronmonroe
Ragnar Lothbrok - Vikings by Greg-Opalinski
Athelstan by Vaan37
Vikings by lilhydra

[ Shower of Blood skin by RockstarVanity with Exodus 7:19 ]
I was tagged by pulbern to browse Traditional Art > Collage and feature some lovely art! Voyage to the Unknown was started by Mrs-Durden and you can find out more about it here.

"The idea is to browse through a category or sub-category that you don't necessarily visit frequently, or that you browse the least, and collect some of the art you find stands out! The point of this is to challenge ourselves and discover new art in the process!"

I'm not going to tag anyone, but if you'd like to get involved by browsing a gallery you don't usually visit and making a journal feature with some of the awesome things you find, feel free to leave a link in the comments here so I can check out your discoveries.

Traditional Art > Collage

The travellers by frenchapple10

Did You Cry by zoshabryll

Righteous anger,2015,collage,290x290mm by Maria-the-artist

fresh by bluespectralmonkey

savva by cuckoo-koo-koo

Ps. How cute is this journal skin? I'm using it in honour of the bright evenings around the Summer Solstice, where darkness never entirely reaches our nights in Scotland.

[ Blog | Twitter | Tumblr | Facebook | Instagram | ]

  • Listening to: Walk Off The Earth
  • Reading: Red Dragon by Thomas Harris
  • Watching: Orange is the New Black
  • Playing: Two Dots
  • Eating: Sesame snaps
  • Drinking: Damiana tea

Do people comment less now?

Journal Entry: Tue May 26, 2015, 5:34 AM

Having been away from dA (yes, I will probably always write it with the small 'd' and capital 'A' cause it's stuck in my mind as the way it is written) for a while and sort of drifting in and out for a couple of years before that, there have been lots of changes I've noticed and probably lots more that have passed me by. I feel a bit like I'm finding my way around again. It's kind of an adventure, discovering new things or old things in new places.

Something I'm wondering about is, do people comment less now than they used to a few years ago? I'm not complaining or griping or being all "change is bad mmm'kay?" and as nice as it is when people comment on my work, I'm not bothered if they don't. I post stuff here just to share it and I'm not looking for feedback or critique or anything, so when it comes to comments, I can take them or leave them. I just noticed that my older stuff would get loads of comments and my newer stuff maybe gets a few, but not always. This might be completely down to me not being super active on the site or maybe it's a combination of that and a general trend away from commenting.

What do you think? Deviants who have been here for a few years, have you noticed a difference in how many times people comment on your work? Do you think it's directly related to how active you are on the site or is it just the direction things have moved in, or is it a bit of both?

All of you, even if you've only been here for a few months or a few weeks - why do you share your work on dA? Is it just for the sake of sharing it or are you hoping for feedback and/or critique? Do favourites matter more to you than comments, or vice versa, or are you not particularly bothered about either, or equally as happy with either?

Go on, satisfy my curiosity!

Pop Rocks Journal Skin by RockstarVanity

Favourite dA photography groups?

Journal Entry: Fri May 22, 2015, 11:06 AM

I'd like to find some awesome photography groups to join on dA and there are SO many to browse through while looking for active and interesting ones. Plus, I like checking things out based on other people's recommendations, which is why I'm posting a journal about it.

I have no interest in "You may only submit one thing a year and our admins will decide whether it's good enough, based on their personal taste" and I also have no interest in "Everyone submit 20 things a day until all our message centres explode". I'm not bothered about contests, challenges etc. I don't object to that kind of thing - it's just not what I'm looking for. I'm not specifically seeking lots of comments and I have no particular interest in critiques either.

Basically, I'd like active groups where I can share my photos and discover other people's without it being either an uber-elitist validation factory or a total free-for-all. I'm fine with subject-specific and also with general photography. Please don't send me invitations. If you have a favourite group, or you run a group, that you think I might like, leave a link in a comment and I'll check it out.

So...any suggestions?

Pop Rocks Journal Skin by RockstarVanity

Instagram, Wikia, Nostalgia

Journal Entry: Sun Apr 12, 2015, 11:47 AM

After a lot of dithering about whether or not to set up an Instagram account for my art photography (as well as the one I already have for my happy snaps and random crap), I went for it. If you wish to stalk me there, I am (not surprsingly) RockstarVanity. I also wrote a reviewish kinda thing on my blog about Instagram, with lots of love and a couple of gripes, which you can read here.

Also, here's a cool thing you might not know about. DeviantartWikia is lots of stuff about DeviantArt (I will never get used to not writing it like deviantART...sigh, nostalgia etc) that I know almost nothing about cause I only found out about it today but wanted to share it cause it looks kind of awesome. I was asked for some details about my periods of joyous servitude as a Community Volunteer (and a Gallery Moderator, as we were back then...sigh, nostalgia etc) for the History of Community Volunteers page and realised I didn't actually know the dates when I started and finished CVing. I had a hunt through my journals to find said dates and guess what? Sigh, nostalgia etc.

I so rarely have time to spend on dA these days. I so rarely have time to spend on photography at all these days. I miss it so much. I have missed it so much. I pick up my camera and I feel like I've found a part of me that I'd lost somewhere along the way. When I stopped doing photography-as-business cause of health stuff (still putting the bits of my metaphorical heart back together after that) I really needed some time away from all of it, from everything, to figure shit out, find some meaning in other places and throw myself into other things to get over the hardcore sads caused by having to close the doors on the business I'd built. 

Since then, I've found my way back to photography-as-art and fallen in love again. Because I'm not really able to do photoshoots with human models and heavy lights and being upright for hours, I've been noticing the world around me more, pointing my camera at things instead of people, and it's been kind of amazing. As much as I miss photo-work, taking the pressure away has completely changed how I approach taking and sharing photos. It's been more about play and experimentation, the way it was in the beginning. I feel like I'm finding my feet again, but wearing different shoes. I like these shoes. They're good shoes. They're comfortable. When I'm wearing them, I can dance again.

Since starting my forensic psych degree in February, I've realised I need to cut back on the volunteer work I'm doing (health stuff again, because my life is a balancing act) which also makes me a little bit sad but does have a lovely shiny silver lining - hopefully, in a couple of months, I'll have some more time to spend on creating art and enjoying art. You might even see me around these parts a little more often. After all, I've been a DeviantArtist for over 10 year now and this is still my home, even if it has gained a few fresh coats of paint, a massive extension and a few million more residents since I moved in.

Pop Rocks Journal Skin by RockstarVanity

Something Fishy Going On

Journal Entry: Sun Mar 22, 2015, 10:53 AM

After spending some happy chill-out time today pointing my lens at
the scalebabies who share my home, I started looking at other people's
fishy photos on dA. Here are a few particularly lovely ones...

Gold|Fish|7 by Dc-Creative

Gold as they are by van313

Idyllic Pond by CosmicRamble

Black GoldFish by PinkGlitterDragon

Goldfish #2 by MiriamViola

Pop Rocks Journal Skin by RockstarVanity


Journal Entry: Mon Jan 19, 2015, 3:50 PM

Rex by RockstarVanity

You may have met this little guy in my gallery already. He's called Rex Darwin-Rhind
(Rex is his given name, Darwin is his axolotl parents' surname and Rhind is the
surname of the human who grew him) and he lives in a big aquarium tank
in my living room. He's an
axolotl and since axolotls are officially the
cutest creatures in the world (cause I say so, ok?), here are
some more, in various mediums, for you to squee and aww over...

Polymer clay Axolotl by Zil-Foxxxil

Big Axolotl by ThreeLeaves

Happy Old New Year =) by Anarhia-2013

Lars the Axolotl! by ChaoticDrakness

Little cuties by kuromix3

Painting creatures with Bobby Chiu Assignment 7 by spiderman-mx

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Hello again!

Journal Entry: Sun Dec 21, 2014, 2:37 PM
So earlier today I thought it might be nice to log in to dA and check out some of the new features I've become aware of through other people's posts on Facebook and Twitter. OH MY GOD, I have missed this place so much and after not very long browsing around, I decided that I couldn't stay away. I quite like the feed stuff on the front page and the wee status update module. I know it's all social-media-y, but I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing. Maybe I just take dA less seriously than I used to and can look at new features now and think "Oh, new features" rather than "OMG WHY MUST EVERYTHING CHANGE?!".

I've missed sharing my art here, especially over the last year when I've been on a mission to experiment with different tools and processes in my photography. I wrote a blog post about that if you want to waste some time reading my introspective ramblings. I've missed looking at other people's art...friends' art, strangers' art, random art. I think the reason for my "blergh, I need to be away from dA for a while" feelings earlier this year was a weird kind of burn out. I've been a Community Volunteer twice, I've run a bunch of groups and adminned others and I'd reached a point where I felt like I was doing dA properly if I wasn't writing lots of in-depth comments and critiques. Yep, I actually felt guilty for not doing that stuff, which is utterly ridiculous. dA hasn't been about JUST the art for me for a long time and I really think it needs to be for me to be happy here.

I'm toying with the idea of starting a small group for artistic photography created with mobile devices, if there's enough interest to make it worthwhile. I've submitted some photos from the last few months. I've reactivated all my watchy stuff, left some groups I don't submit to any more and streamlined my watch list to only include people who have been active over the last year or so. I will make an effort to reply to comments cause I'm not an asshole. I doubt that I'm ever going to be super involved in a bazillion different things on dA again the way I used to be, but I'm ok with that. I'm here for the art, wherever that takes me.


[ Shower of Blood skin by RockstarVanity with Exodus 7:19 ]
I feel like I should say something here because I'm hardly ever on dA these days and I don't want to be one of those people who just vanishes without a word. I'm not like OMGLEAVINGFOREVER or anything that dramatic. It's just that other things in my life take up more time and energy so I haven't found myself frequenting these parts so much. I've been on dA for over 9 years and have gone through periods of spending hours every day here and periods of not being here at all. It's just the way things go for me.

I've added a list of links to all the other places me and my work can be found online in my deviantID, so if you'd like to keep in touch those are good places to start. I don't post my personal Facebook anywhere ever and all the stuff I have listed as photography links are specifically photography-related and not really social. My personal Twitter or Tumblr, or Instagram, are good places to find me-being-me, albeit under a different name.

As for my activity on dA, I've disabled everything in my message centre except for the things that can't be disabled. I'm in the process of arranging to hand the groups I admin over to other people. I may still post photography or writing here from time to time, but probably not that much to be honest. I've left my gallery, journal and prints all as they are cause I have no reason to delete or remove anything at this point. If you really want to get hold of me via dA and don't have any other way to contact me, send a note but don't expect a timely reply. My stock account still exists, although I pretty much never log in to it.

As far as life-stuff goes, things are pretty interesting at the moment and are definitely keeping me busy. My husband and I are running an IT business, I'm managing social media and online presence for a local art performance charity and as of February 2015 I'll be working towards a BSc (Hons) in Forensic Psychology. I still take photos, although my health mostly prevents the kind of shoots I used to do, and I still write. I can't imagine that I'll ever stop doing these things.

Much love to everyone on dA who has inspired me, supported me and encouraged me. There will always be a special place in my heart for this site and the people who have made it what it is over the years. It is a truly unique community and an amazing resource. If you have just found your way here, I hope you find what you're looking for.

Don't be a stranger.


The Camera In Your Pocket

Journal Entry: Fri Feb 28, 2014, 5:39 AM

Some beautiful pictures taken with cameras on phones. Enjoy!

jelly by pie-is-love

Twiglet by kittywoodphotography

Happy Melon by Hesthea

Foggy Morning by kareynomer

Taiwanese Bus Commuter by bQw

Halloween 2013 by Evil-e33

pink by Savaliste

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Elemental [a feature]

Journal Entry: Tue Feb 18, 2014, 6:05 AM

The Earth, the Air, the Fire, the Water
Return, return, return, return...

- E A R T H -

-TIMELESS- Mud Men in Kyrgyzstan Salt Lake by yavuzozer
Tables Turned by 3feathers
Brain by panzer-Gulwen
The Water's Fine by itsnotrocketscience1

- A I R -

Fly by I-Am-A-Flying-Bird
Swing Beautifully by JakeWhiston
Wind by Lalwendee

- F I R E -

Body. Art. Movement. - Fire (Inferno) by ElleFX
Vanuatu Fire Dance by little-spacey
Fire 1 by Scribbletracks
Fire Hooping by MissGeminiCosplay

- W A T E R -

Under water by DollK
Wash by necrooptics
Underwater 1 by MeghanaLynn
Girl Under The Water by jabrovc

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Flying visit?

Journal Entry: Sun Dec 8, 2013, 9:20 AM

I just posted my first photo here in for-bloody-ever. Even though I've been logging in regularly to look after group submissions and stuff, I've not really being dA-ing all that much over the last few months. Things have been busy, my muse took a holiday for a while, I've been inspired in other directions. Photography ideas seem to be finding their way back to me at the moment though and I'll share them here as they happen, however infrequently that might be due to a general lack of time for indulging artistic things at the moment. 

My message centre had reached that point where the number of things in it was genuinely terrifying so I hit the bad button and blasted it all away rather than procrastinate about dealing with everything that had built up in there since...whenever I last looked at anything other than group submissions. I suck. Forgive me?

My feelings about dA have been kind of caught in a drift lately. Even during the times when I don't visit often, I still think of this place as home. It's the place where I was first inspired to create artistic photography, where I've found lovely net-friends who I've been connected with for years since, where I feel like I can always return to and be accepted. For those reasons, it will always be special to me, as it and I change and grow.

I never really leave.
I just go travelling.
And I always come back


[ Shower of Blood skin by RockstarVanity with Exodus 7:19 ]

Support for a friend

Journal Entry: Tue Sep 24, 2013, 3:15 AM

Yesterday my friend Nadia (bleedsopretty) had some very sad news following an extremely difficult time. Her father, who had been suffering from cancer, passed away. Her family have fallen on hard times financially and are struggling to pay bills and medical costs associated with her father's illness. They are also finding it tough to cover the cost of the funeral, so have set up a fund on to ask for help.

If you are able to contribute anything at all to help Nadia's family during this painful time, you can donate via this link.


Pop Rocks Journal Skin by RockstarVanity

Still alive!

Journal Entry: Sun Sep 8, 2013, 5:35 AM
It's been sooo long since I've done anything on dA apart from group admin stuff, so I just wanted to post something to say hi and let you all know that I haven't been abducted by aliens or anything. Life is super busy at the moment and although I'm still finding time for photography, other things are stealing my focus right preparation and rehearsal for the Samhuinn Fire Festival in October (yay!).

If you have the desire to follow/stalk me, you can find me in the following places which I update a wee bit more regularly...

[ Shower of Blood skin by RockstarVanity with Exodus 7:19 ]