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About Deviant Don FlawsMale/United States Recent Activity
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Don Flaws
United States
Current Residence: So Cal
This is from a game forum where I was helping a few artists get a kickstart to their learning:

Postby Odon » Thu Nov 19, 2009 1:38 pm
I posted some comments about art and got several PMs about how helpful they were so I'm going to post some of the stuff I've been PMing to people so everyone can see it.

Real nice pic of Bashiok. You're already good enough to get in an art school. The only problem I'd see is if you don't follow through and consistently learn and add to your knowledge. Concept art is changing fast these days. And add to your portfolio, you want your best stuff in it but you also need enough stuff to show that you are consistently working.

Oh, for the Bashiok image: the pants don't look like cloth because the highlights are too crisp and too high contrast on the folds and the scratches high on the thigh look like they are real deep, deeper then pants are thick. So keep in mind the qualities of the material you're painting. NOT to get you off on a happy trip of cool brushes but to add a little realistic texture real easy---try something like these brushes from Chris Wahl: chriswahlartbrushes.blogspot.c… In set 10 there is a "straight hatching" brush that you could add a tiny bit of rough cloth to his pants. Just angle the brush one way and do a few strokes then turn it 90 degrees and lay down a few more strokes. Do it on a sep layer and then erase most of it leaving just a hint of texture. NOTE from his descripition: 'Three paint texture brushes and a straight hatching brush (You can change the angle of this brush in the 'Brush Tip Shape' window in the Brush Presets)'

Another tip I'd give would be to set aside time to study. Every day if possible, just plan on an hour and go from there. You may end up studying all day if it's fun. I plan on going to the gym or riding my bike every day because I know it will actually only end up being 5 days, or 3 because crap happens. But if I try to schedule workouts on specific days then I'm consistently missing those days and I end up with 1 or 2 days. Make it " yourname here Time". If you live with your parents work out times with them to not bug you. Ditch your friends or work it around the times you hang out. Find the time.

Pick a free tutorial from Gnomon or and follow along and duplicate what they are doing. Kinda hard to follow along when they speed up their work and narrate over it later but try to apply what they are saying, don't just watch. Pause and work a bit then go back. Or pick something about Photoshop you don't know and look it up on Youtube. There is a whole series called "You suck at photoshop" which is pretty good. has quite a few good tutorials, find another artist you know and share the cost maybe or each buy one and trade later. --that's another tip: Get yourself around other artists, it's real motivating. I worked in my own little vacuum for years and it was awesome to finally be around other artists.

Something else to think about-- If you are planning on working in games or film where are you going to have to move to get those jobs? If there is only one possible company to work for in your town chances are you're probably going to have to move somewhere else once you get out of school. So I'd suggest moving to those towns to get your schooling also, don't wait until you've graduated and then think about moving. Surround yourself with the environment you're going to work in and you'll be twice as motivated in school. You'll also be making connections and have access to info that you wouldn't otherwise.

I mention some good schools in So Cal below, I'm not sure where there is a similar density of schools and production companies in Europe but if there is a "place to be" for art and the industry you want to work go there now, don't wait until school is over. You'll have a huge advantage by being around the scene the whole time you're in school. Cal Arts is the "farm school" for Disney, good students don't finish school there, Disney hires them. You need a great portfolio to get a job in art, nobody cares where you go to school or if you have a degree or not.

I PM'd this to REMOVED NAME but I should have found a place to post it:

Crap man! I didn't know you were that prolific! You can be working way sooner then 2 years. From your uncertainty I thought you were someone who maybe drew once in a while and wasn't sure what to do with your life. If at all possible money or responsibility-wise get your ass to LA and go to school for a year. You'll be 5 years ahead of trying to learn on your own or at some school filled with teachers that have never worked in the industry. Go to a workshop at least so you'll know a good teacher when you see one. They have workshops in Europe. There are lots of links at the bottom....

Make it happen. Read this thread by Jason Manley the guy who runs and Massive Black:… ... p?t=144069 ---screw it I'm gonna post it here:

Originally Posted by Jason Manley

first, you are not trapped in your situation. You can get out of any situation you want if you are willing to take the pain of doing all the things you dont want to do..the long hard way. The fruitful way.

At seventeen I was homeless and orphaned, taking care of my fourteen year old brother who I somehow managed to keep in school. I had dropped out of school. I did two years of wasting time eventually trying to get my head on straight. At nineteen I was homeless again. Scraped together enough money to get my ass to arizona to study art. Got a temp apt to get me through to the end of the month and took a job at subway (applied all over til I found something). The subway job paid enough money to sometimes eat and pay my small studio rental. I went back to school to get my graduation and was working full time (thought I needed to graduate from HS to get into a good college). Trust was fucking painful. I transferred to a community college the following year and slowly got better and better jobs. Worked telemarketing fundraising to afford a 1977 datsun and art supplies. Shittiest job ever but paid double what subway did. Worked three jobs during the summer to get caught up including going to alaska to work the salmon docks across the country. I did not give a shit what it was, if it paid for my goals to be met and didnt involve anything illegal, I did it.

As time went on I realized I needed to arrange my priorities again. I took a night time job so I could exhaust all my energies in my art and studies. Eventually got a job at AT&T...Att this is Jason how may I help you?...I was still far behind those who had life handed to them their whole life. However, I was catching up. In time I realized it was not a chase against others but to only my own race to my goals. Kept the nose down. Chose friends who worked on art or learning always. Ignored the time wasting folk who never will amount to anything other than regular. Grew up around enough of those to realize the difference. After three and a half years I took my first art job and quit my shit job...have lived with and from art ever since.

By the time I was 29 I had achieved every goal I had reached for when I first set out. That is when I realized it was time to set new goals...each time this happens it feels like starting over...get something done..start time your life becomes what you want it to be. Even those of money have to do this if their life involves learning, skill, and growth. It is not money that holds people just their own mind.

The hard part about certain situations is not everyone is told they can do and reach their goals if they just work their ass off starting RIGHT NOW. Some know it and wont work for whatever reason. They listen to that voice that says I want to chill and watch tv or i dont feel like it. Others have addictions or mental issues keeping them from growing and learning. I didnt want to be any of that. I wanted to do cool have an interesting life...and to work in a creative way.

Hard manual labor growing up taught me that my mind would rot if I chose that kind of path. I wanted something to use my mind. Bored if not...and with boredom comes making trouble or distraction. Gotta turn that into work choice. Carl Dobsky was telling me this about the atelier every day. It has to be just uncomfortable enough to make the coolest thing to do be art. If there is a blaring tv or anything else, than there are other options. Options that keep one from not working to reach their goals.

Complacency is the womb of mediocrity. You clearly are not complacent. So do something about it in every free second of your day. All this wandering around doing not a whole lot but thinking isn't getting you much done. It is however, giving you a taste of life many others would never have the guts to explore. Just dont stay down there too long without coming up for air.

Good luck,


Some resources and books to learn from:…… ... s----Kevin Chen is an awesome teacher in SoCal--his school is below-………… free turorials…

Great schools in So Cal:  … Center… Chen's school… Lemen's school LAAFA---having some management issues I've heard...

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PERSONALITATI Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2011

- Cartoonists Association of Romania is preparing a major exhibition EMINESCU.

- We invite you to participate in this cultural project.
For this you need to send the portrait or caricature of Mihai Eminescu ([link])

- All drawings from [link] will be exhibited.

- It also will print a catalog of all drawings from exhibition. The catalogue will be send to all participants.

- Digital art must be 300 dpi resolution and size 21x30 cm or greater.

- It also send the photo and a brief biography. They will be printed on the album.

Email Addresses: ;

The deadline for submission of drawings: May 15, 2011.

I wish you much success,
Nicolae Iontia (

= = = = = = = = = = = = =

Exposición de retratos y caricaturas "MIHAI EMINESCU"

- Asociación de Caricaturistas de Rumanía está preparando una gran exposición MIHAI EMINESCU.

- Te invitamos a participar en este proyecto cultural.
Para ello, tiene que enviar el retrato o caricatura de Mihai Eminescu ([link])

- Todos los dibujos serán exhibidos en [link]

- También se imprimirá un catálogo de todos los dibujos en la exposición. El catálogo se enviará a todos los participantes.

- Dibujos digitales debe ser una resolución de 300 dpi y el tamaño de 21x30 cm o superior.

- Asimismo, enviar la foto y una breve biografía. Que se imprimirá en el álbum.

Las direcciones de correo electrónico: ;
La fecha límite para la presentación de dibujos: 15 mai 2011.

Le deseamos mucho éxito,
Nicolae Iontia (

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =


- Cartoonists Association de la Roumanie prépare une grande exposition MIHAI EMINESCU.

- Nous vous invitons à participer à ce projet culturel.
Pour cela, vous devez envoyer le portrait ou la caricature de Mihai Eminescu ([link])

- Il seront exposés tous les dessins du [link]

- Nous avons imprimé un catalogue avec tous les dessins dans l'exposition. Le catalogue sera envoyé à tous les participants

- Les dessins numériques doit avoir une résolution de 300 dpi et la dimensions de 21x30 cm ou plus.

- Il a également necessaire d'envoyer la photo et un notte biographique. Tous ca seront imprimées sur l'album.

Adresses e-mail: ;

La date limite pour le dépôt des dessins: 15 mai 2011.

Nous vous souhaitons beaucoup de succès,
Nicolae Iontia (
najmulosmani Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
Hey odon! havent seen you since them times on diablofans! how are you doing bro? Surely u must be goig to blizzcon? :)
abearoriginal Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2009
love the animals do you have a better pic of the gorilla in pencil? great work
Mademoiselle-Yumi Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you so much for the fav ! C=
eflow1 Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2009
Got some real quality artwork here.

It's a wonder you don't have more pageviews.
dtf-stock Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2009
Thanks for the fave on my lion!
Valedhelven Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2009
:iconhappydayplz: Hello, Don!

I just wanted to thank you for the :+fav: on Elf Sisters… [link] I really appreciate your support and taking the time to browse through my gallery of fantastical creatures and beautiful Elf maidens!
:iconcookieteaseplz: As a special "thank you," I am continuing to offer one giant cookie for every fave! :cookie: So enjoy and come back when you're hungry again! :giggle:
:iconemotionkingdom:~Ellen :iconcookiefataleplz: :iconcookienomplz:

PS: I'd be interested to know how you found my artwork, if you remember... Was it just random browsing, or a search, or in someone else's faves? Or maybe you've come to visit me before and I just don't recognize your username/avatar yet?... Just curious :)
feral714 Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2009
Hi there,

I think I did a search for "elf" thinking it would be all artwork, but that picture is definitely attention getting. Nice work!

Valedhelven Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2009
:iconcuddlecat: Thank you for the feedback - I really appreciate it! As a token of my gratitude, please accept this carton of dancing milk to go along with your cookies! :giggle:
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