Do you like IRC? We do. We also like you, so we’ve decided to combine the two and make a public IRC channel. Hooray!
What’s IRC? I’m glad you asked. IRC is a thing on the internet you can use to talk to a bunch of people in a big fun group. Now you’ll have the chance to interact with the Weasyl community, users and staff alike, in real time at any time. Hooray again!
How do you get on IRC? Another excellent question; you’re really good at this. To get on IRC you’ll need an IRC client, such as XChat (which is popular), Hexchat (which is supported), or mIRC (which is also a thing) if you use Windows, Colloquy if you use Mac, or Programming Your Own if you use Linux. Alternatively, XChat and HexChat are also available for Linux, and so is Irssi but whatever. Install one of those or some other one. After you have your client sorted, you’ll need to get on the server irc.weasyl.com on port 6697. Our server uses SSL so make sure you have that enabled before you log on or logging on won’t actually happen. Afterwards, join the channel #weasyl, and you’ll be ready for all the amazing text-based entertainment that IRC has to offer.
To summarize access:
*install a client
*have SSL enabled
*enter this: /server irc.weasyl.com +6697
*enter this: /join #weasyl
*have a lot of fun with everybody
Or follow this.
And if you want a quick overview of the IRC services we use, check this place out.
What could be easier? Well, not doing it, but easier isn’t always better. Better is being able to hang out with your fellow community members and talking about whatever makes you happy. The chat is moderated by Weasyl staff under forum rules and is open to everyone, so we hope to see you there, and we hope you all enjoy it!
And for those interested in helping out with coding and design for Weasyl we’ve set up a special channel so anyone interested can work with our development team on upcoming projects. Just follow the above instructions and enter /join #weasyl-projects. We’re looking forward to seeing more of what the community has to offer.
Thanks for taking the time to check in with us, and thank you all for the positive responses to our Weasyl Spotlight post. We plan to do many more of these in the future. For more updates please follow us on Twitter at @Weasyl and @WeasylDev or our Tumblr. You can also help take part in discussions about this post and anything else on our forums. We also have a public IRC channel now, and you know this because you probably read everything up until this point. Go there too.
Art by technicolorpie.
Hello everyone and welcome to Weasyl Spotlight! This is a new semi-regular series where we will take a closer look at some of the great artists and creators of the Weasyl Community. Through these interviews, we hope to not only learn more about our wonderful community, but also learn more about the creative process and life in the arts.
Without further ado, let’s kick off this inaugural edition with our interview with Deriaz!
Weasyl: How’d you get started in art?
Deriaz: Around the end of my junior year of high school, I met someone online on a game called Dungeons and Dragons Online by the name of Jaggie. We got to talking, and after the event, she revealed to me that she was an artist, and had drawn my avatar.
I never really had an artist friend before, and I sort of annoyed her by asking her to draw all our guildmates and everything. Eventually, she told me, “No, you draw me.” She sent me a little sketchbook, and even drew my avatar in it on the first page. So I drew her’s right up there next to him, and showed it to her. She told me, “You know, that’s not half bad. Now draw my other character.” And it just sort of snowballed from there, where I kept drawing anything I could think of. Mostly fanart stuff, but she was always giving me critiques.
Eventually, I had to decide on what I wanted to do in college, and was between Accounting or Art. “Jaggie” laughed and said, “You should apply to the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design up here in Canada, in my town. If you get in, you could move in with me and my boyfriend.” And I applied. And they accepted me. That was sort of my taste of “real” or serious art, and that first year got me hooked.
Weasyl: Oh wow. That’s certainly a leap from Accounting to Art. Was there any pressure from family or friends to pursue what most people may consider a “safer” major like Accounting?
Deriaz: Absolutely, and I still have that pressure now. When it comes from friends, I know it’s just them ribbing me, and I joke along with them. When I mess up while we’re talking about the sciences, or history, or whatever? “Don’t laugh, I went to art school, I have an excuse.” But when it comes from family, it’s a little harder to take, you know?
Obviously your parents want what’s good for you, and I know I’m blessed to have parents that trust the decision I wanted to make, but making them worry is not the greatest feeling in the world! I’ve always toyed with the idea of picking up a second degree in the Accounting field, though. Art is great, and I’m very happy with the decision, but I’m well aware it’s a super competitive field. Having a back-up isn’t a bad idea.
Weasyl: Were you able to earn your degree at school? What did you do once you graduated? Immediately look for work to start that cash flow?
Deriaz: To the first, yup! I was able to get a four year degree at the school; not in the exact field I wanted, but it wasn’t that far off from what I wanted. Plus, I’m still doing what I intended to do afterwards, and still have the same goals, so it’s all good! I think a solid portfolio speaks louder than an accurate major in this kind of field, anyways.
Once I graduated, I immediately started putting out resumes and portfolios to businesses around town. My main focus was trying to get into the local animation studios, but either due to a lack of skill in the field (my dabbling easily does not compare to a trained individual), or my work limits due to being a foreigner (20 hours per week in a town filled with young folks who can work full time), it fell through. I returned home, and just continued putting out resumes to get cash moving.
The first place to accept me, I’ll admit, was a dollar store. And I took it. I still work there, and it’s just over minimum wage. Yeah, it sucks, but it’s a job, you know? You take what you can get when you’re fresh out of the gate. And a second one, if you have to, which I did. But on the side, in my free time, and probably with a bit of harm in my social life, I kept drawing and painting. Just sharing the work eventually led from one thing to another, to finally getting a job doing some art. Not that I’ll settle for just the one — still hoping to hit that point where the dollar store isn’t necessary, but that’s still a bit of a wish at this point.
Weasyl: It sounds like you’ve had your share of tribulations in regards to finding work. How have you been able to stay motivated through some of your more rough patches?
Deriaz: I’d say I’ve done a decent job at it, though I could probably do better. Having the two jobs, you lose a lot of free time. And sometimes, days or even a week goes by where I just don’t really have the time to sit and draw. I usually spend my work breaks surfing on my phone for tutorials or new imagery to get me motivated again — seeing an artist create something that I know I’ve struggled with, or who shares a process of how they tackle a tough part of a drawing, is great for me.
There are still days as well where I sit and worry, “Ah, I’m not working for Blizzard/Marvel/RIOT, woe is me.” It’s a rough rut for me, personally, to get out of sometimes. Especially when friends are being successful at work, or are buying a house, or planning marriages, or whatever. I haven’t found a great solution to that, but slamming Facebook shut and just getting my rear in gear and doing anything at all, even if it’s mindless like the laundry, seems to help.
Weasyl: That’s interesting because at least through browsing journals I see a lot of people who look at other people’s art and tend to get frustrated as opposed to motivated to get back to the easel, tablet, or sketchbook. It sounds like you try to keep a fairly positive attitude towards your passion, despite the hardships.
Deriaz: This is the part where I admit I used to do that, every single day! And I got nothing done! Because I would sit there and think, “Oh, X did it already. And there’s no way I can do it better! Ugh.” Art’s not a contest to see who gets crowned King of Art and Artsy Things. I learned that in one of the most harsh critiques I’ve ever experienced in my life, in front of 18 other people.
And that’s where I used to get caught up, and where friends I have who wish they could draw still are. The moment you can distance yourself from other people and just think, “I’m going to do it. I’m going to do it, and I’m going to do it as best I can,” you’ll be a lot happier. I feel like when you compare yourself to someone who’s better, you’re only putting yourself down. You’re not them.
I know it’s cheesy, because I’m 90% confident it came from Adventure Time, but the most motivational thing I’ve ever heard is, “Sucking at something is the first step to being sort of good at something.” I try and keep that in mind every time I upload or share something. Yes, it’s not the best. Yes, I made mistakes that I may or may not know about. But if you try and are willing to take in criticism and critique, you can only go up. And eventually, you’ll be able to fairly compare yourself to others. You’ll become them eventually.
Weasyl: What exactly is your inspiration for your style? How’d you arrive to “your voice” in a manner of speaking?
Deriaz: Ah, that’s a tough one for me, because I don’t know if I really can call what I’m doing a style yet. When I first started drawing, I was heavily influenced by comic books. Grew up with superheroes and their villains, especially Spiderman and Venom. That sort of created a love of anatomy, with how Spiderman would bend and twist, constrasted to Venom’s bulk and strength. At the same time, I was being introduced to Dungeons and Dragons, so the Monster Manuals were filled with illustrations of creatures and things that I had never heard of.
So I had this mix of anatomy alongside realistic fantasy, I guess you’d call it? As I entered college, I discovered a much more varied love of music, which I tried bringing into my drawings. That didn’t work out so well, but I have a habit of listening to a track or album on repeat for extended periods of time, so mood or tempo began effecting my thumbnails and sketches. At the same time I was discovering anthropomorphism more, having been able to play games that I could as a child like the Sly Cooper series or having the a bit of time to read through Aesop’s Fables a bit more. So that sort of tied back in to the anatomy and fantasy, in trying to create these believable animal people.
Weasyl: So you have some variety in your work between what appears to be more fantasy-driven along with some anthro work. What would you say you enjoy doing more, or is it all rewarding to you?
Deriaz: I like them both equally! The anthros are fun for me right now, because it’s new territory after doing lots of humans in college. I’m just beginning to figure out how to make fantasy that can be believable, on the other hand. So it may switch again. I’ve been doing a lot of knights recently because of that. I don’t think I’ve mixed the two too much yet, though. Maybe that’s my next step.
Weasyl: Finally, what word of advice would you have for other Weasyl users who are looking to make a living in art?
Deriaz: Time and dedication are going to get you a lot further than underselling yourself and your imagery. You don’t have to hit it out of the ballpark on every submission, but a willingness to improve and grow as an artist is going to be more valuable in the long run. If you stick with it and your passion shows, opportunities will come to you, rather than having to work to create them.
Thanks again to Deriaz for his time! Please be sure to visit his Weasyl page at https://www.weasyl.com/~deriaz.
Weasyl Spotlight users are selected by staff. If you have a suggestion for a user who represents the Weasyl Community, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi again, Weasyl users!
We’re back, and this time we have big news! We’re here to announce the changes and alterations we’ve made to the Community Guidelines and Ratings Guide. We’ve gotten a lot of public and private feedback about our policies, so we’ve taken the time to address items which were in need of clarification as well as smooth out any rough patches in our rules.
There are a few rule adaptations which we feel merit specific attention: First, we’ve added a new item to literature section of the community guidelines so that in-depth reviews now qualify as literary submissions. We’ve also clarified our journal policies as they relate to things like harassment. Please be aware call-outs, insulting content, defamatory posts, etc. are not permissible in journals or any type of Weasyl submission regardless of the subject being a Weasyl user or not.
Finally, we have made the distinction between Mature and Explicit rating more clear in that it is now clearly stated that sexual arousal shown within a submission qualifies as sexual content and therefore requires an Explicit rating. This is also a reminder that neither rating category is meant to be viewed as superior to the other; both require users to be 18+ to view but the Mature category was created in response to user feedback to make it easier to browse content not appropriate for minors but not necessarily sexual in nature.
All of these changes, as well as all additional changes, can be viewed in the following links: Ratings Guidelines Adjusted and Community Guidelines Adjusted. We have highlighted the documents to identify the areas where the language has been clarified, a rule has been added, or an item has been adjusted, for easy review.
It is essential that each user fully reads and understands the changes and clarifications which have occurred and adjust their galleries accordingly. While submissions submitted before these updates will be reviewed with the date of submission in mind, it is primarily the responsibility of the individual user to ensure their gallery is in line with site policy.
If there are any questions or comments about these changes or current policies please let us know. We highly encourage user feedback and would be interested to hear if any items remain unclear or if there are items you do not feel are covered under the current rules. We can be contacted privately at Support@weasyl.com or on our forums
Thanks for taking the time to check in with us. Our next new post will be the first post in our Weasyl Spotlight series, so we hope you’re as excited for that as we are. For more updates please follow us on Twitter at @Weasyl and @WeasylDev or our tumblr . You can also help take part in discussion about this post and anything else on our forums.
Thanks again, everyone.
Art by Masked-Lion
Please be advised that the site will be down for approximately an hour on Saturday, April 26th at 8:00 PM PDT/2:00 AM UTC. We will be performing general maintenance on the site during this time.
Follow our Twitter for updates on the progress of our work. We apologize for any inconvenience.
Hello again to everyone, especially you.
We’re back once again to let you know about all the goings-on behind the screens here at Weasyl, but first we want to thank everyone for their patience during our unannounced downtime this past week. For a full rundown on what happened, check out the post here. We’re taking the necessary steps to avoid this happening again while we continue to push out new features for the site.
We’ve added some optional functionality to favorites. You now have the choice to display your favorites under your submissions on your profile’s front page in addition to having them as a tab on your profile. Alternatively, you can hide both and keep your favorites to yourself if you so choose. It’s your call. Do whatever makes you happiest.
Additionally, it’s now possible to remove submissions by category in your notifications page. In the past, users have mentioned the difficulty of sorting through different types and the instances of nuking everything at once without actually intending to. With this update, we hope the inbox will be more easily manageable.
Furthermore, the text and comment previews have been updated to make it a little clearer where it is you’re typing, the submission notification page has been consolidated to cut down on clicks needed to clear notifications, and we’ve addressed a bug that kept people from deleting submission notifications from their inbox.
Lastly, a quarter of our users have had the chance to test out live notifications. When this is extended to the community at large, you’ll have the option for your browser to let you know when a new submission, comment, PM, or anything shows up. We’ll keep you all informed as that date approaches.
That’s everything for now. To keep track with these updates as they happen, follow us on Twitter at @Weasyl and @WeasylDev. We’re also on tumblr, which is nice. To get involved with the community, check out our forums, and to help us keep track of bugs and suggest features, check out our public redmine.
We’ll keep you all informed as the site pushes forward. Thanks, everyone, and enjoy your holiday weekend!