The Oracle
The Oracle, Brad Lohr - October '99- 01:00 PDT

Excuse me.. ahAhh..AHHhh..FNART! .. okay, so it's not much of a sneezing noise. But it is the subject of today's Themed Q&A Column! .. oOooh.. AaaAh. And here with us is Lorelai, of RPGamer Fanart(..fnart!), and Aimo, of "Draw An Anime Brad" contest winning fame...

Anyway... This'll be quick. I know you guys want to get to the questions... well, Veronica will be out at some party getting really drunk tomorrow night, so it seems I will be doing tomorrow's column. ... other than that.. er...

Other than that.. nothing. Here's the stuff!

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Really tired.
First At-bat: Lorelai Aimo Double-team
Got some questions for y'all

1.) As an inexperienced and quite frankly BAD artist asking a pair of highly expereinced and very GOOD artists...and Brad, which is the better program for touching up those hand drawn images, Corel Photo Paint or Adobe Photo Shop? HA! You thought I was gonna make it easy for you...I also want to know...WHY you think one is better then the other?!

Lorelai: Photoshop is my choice out of the two. but there are thousands of good programs and many are much cheaper than Photoshop. for example, Paintshop Pro and Painter Classic really grew on me. I worked with the Corel series for some time too.

Aimo: I'd go with Photoshop. I don't know about Photo-Paint (since I've never used it before), but for me, Photoshop is relatively easy to master. And that History window is a God-sent gift for a mistake-prone one like me!

2.) I was rescently told that anyone can be a good artist so long as they learn how to observe. Fact or Fiction?

Lorelai: I think fact. After all, I didn't really go heavy on the art lessons (those I did take I dont' really credit for improving my art a lot...) and I'm too lazy to really *work* on a skill, so how else could you explain my ability (if any) to draw? ^_^ also, when I critique works I tend to give the advice "observe stuff around you" a lot. so, yeah, i think fact.

Aimo: Fact. It's always good to draw something you know and understand thoroughly.

3.) What is your advise to the aspiring "artist as a hobby" type person.

Lorelai: You asked for it: Observe a lot. ^____^;;;

Aimo: Practice, practice, and more practice. But don't forget having fun while doing so. This is one particular interest that would give satisfaction by the roomate still doesn't understand why and she goes naggy when I stay up until 4 am with really baggy eyes to SKETCH :P

Thanks Alot!

J Cat

2nd Inning: Aimo goes Solo
Oh Oracle of Great RPKnowledge, Heh, just thought you would like to know, when I read about Triangle Man beating Person Man in the quickies yesterday, I happened to be listening to the theme from 2001.... nice effect. Oh, and for Aimo, I just wanted to say that I really admire your work (your TriGun Montage is very, very cool). As for a question, I was wondering (for all those fledgeling artists out there...) How do you decided how the light source makes shines in the character's hair? The shaodws and lighting in your art is very good, and I just wondered if you had any words of wisdom! ^o^!

Lighting, whew, this used to be a problem for me until a year or two ago. Basically, when it comes to lighting (on whatever body part it may be), always determine the location of your main lightsource BEFORE you start painting...nothing beats painting 50% of your watercolor art before you suddenly realize that the shines and shadings look funny. It's always good to have a copy of that particular art and plan the light & shade on it first, making note of additional light sources and shadow-casting objects.

-Keep up the good work all of ya!
-Silver Dragoon

Lighting, whew, this used to be a problem for me until a year or two ago. Basically, when it comes to lighting (on whatever body part it may be), always determine the location of your main lightsource BEFORE you start painting...nothing beats painting 50% of your watercolor art before you suddenly realize that the shines and shadings look funny. It's always good to have a copy of that particular art and plan the light & shade on it first, making note of additional light sources and shadow-casting objects.

Round Three: Lore helps out....finally! :P
What is your motavation for drawing? Do you do it just because you can, or do you draw for us, or maybe something else?

Aimo: Back in the earlier years, I used to draw simply just for fun, and nothing else. But now, maturing as an artist as time passed by, I'm aiming for producing works of artistic value, by this I mean skillfully incorporating the elements of art like line, shade, shape, space, texture,color, etc. That's why I'm MUCH slower in producing art now compared to back then, because I realize that it takes time to produce a well-constructed artwork. The fun's still there though!

Lorelai:It's because i REALLY like it, and i like anythign to do with graphics too, like webpage design, character design, gallery-esque painting and displaying, painting.....well, and the fact that I can helps a bit I guess. but then, I firmly believe that EVERYONE can create art. Also I believe that I express certain ideas better in art than I do verbally (I stutter sometimes) and writing (I tend to run on and on...) A picture is concise, beautiful, and expressive. bingo. ^^

Are you considering a career in art?

Aimo: Yeah, I guess, since I'm studying for it; I'm taking Multimedia production in my university and there's lots of art, design & animation involved. I'd like to be a comic artist, an illustrator, and/or character designer for Square (yeah, right ^_^;). Basically, I would really want to earn a living from something I love doing.

Lorelai: Yesh, i do. I currently make a bit as a website designer, and I'm an art/music double major. I've had several opportunities and jobs freelancing too, so i think I'm well on my way.

Brad: o-|-( look! my little man! I'm an artist!! ...okay, I'll shut up


Lore does Japanese..or at least attempts to..hehe
Watashi wa nihongo no san-nensei. Watashi no engeki ni, "Gokiburi wa anata no atama o tabete iru kara, anata wa nani o shita houga ii desu yo!" o hanashimashita. Hahahaha. Wakarimasuka? Watashi no warui nihongo o yurusu kudasai. Anata no sajiki no bubun ga tottemo suki desu!

- Leland

ohohoho, you're really pushing your luck, you bad thing you. Hrmmm....Well, hajimemashite. Watashi wa nihongo no ichi-nensei. And that's about all I can say, you show offy 3rd-year japanese student you. (I really hope I read your japanese wrong, cuz i'm reading "atama o tabete iru" as "head" and "eat..." and that is scaring me....Wakarimasuka? uh, no. ^_^ gomen nasai!! Watashi wa, uh, baka desu ne......ay me... (gives up on the japanese)

Heh, if you think that this person didn't just say that he/she wanted to eat your head, well, you don't know my reader base all that well...

That was a shore one...Lore flies solo again!
Hello, people!
I'd just like to say how much I enjoy the fanart section! I've really enjoyed the high quality of stuff people are inspire to send in on a regular basis. You guys are doing great! (Even Brad! :) Now, if I might ask two small questions:

Lorelai: Awww thanks! (eats the compliments gratefully ^_^)

1. Is there anywhere I can see some of the art for Xenogears? I know that once upon a time there was a book full of it, but even if I could find it somewhere I don't think I could afford it...

Lorelai: Bwa hahahahahahaha, that book - called Xenogears Perfect Works - is my most prized possession. It's no wonder you can't find it...anime stores sell out every time some come in stock (which is a rare event!) the art in there is superb, if there's anything you REALLY want to see maybe you could e-mail me and I'll see if I can't scan a pic or two...but don't ask me to scan all 300+ pages. You could also talk to Amber Michelle, (miss RPGamer fanfics) cuz she has the book too (indeed, she tipped me off on how to find it) and she's an even bigger Xenogears buff than me (if that's at all possible...well it is, actually, since I'm just sorta a Billy-no-miko...)

Brad: For those of you who don't know, a Billy-no-miko is a person who'd never leave the house if they made Billy showerheads....

2. Every time I start out drawing something, I can't get anywhere with it. The pictures I end up finishing are always those that I draw on a whim. That's okay, I guess, but they're not as good as the ones I really want to draw. Does anyone else in the world have this problem, and if so how does one get around it?

Lorelai: That's not a problem, it's normal. It's known for a fact that white paper is a very intimidating thing. You'll laugh at me, but recently, when I have a very important work to draw, I like to take the white piece of paper, throw it on the ground, and step on it a couple of times to get the "whiteness" out. that way, it's not so intimidating and I do tend to get better pics out. Drawing on binder paper sometimes helps too. You could then transfer it to a canvas for the final work.



And for Lore's final trick of the evening...
Joc wrote: *on my knees for all mighty oracle,Lorelai and Aimo* I want to know,especially Lorelai,...were you good when you first started drawing? Because I love mangas,and Anime and all that stuff but I can't draw decent things!!! I'm only``not that bad`` when I have a model.Maybe I just don't put enough time into it. Xeros

Hah! Good? gotta be first picture of Kain Highwind, done when i was in 7th grade or such, looked like a blue porcupine. It was hideous, I tell you. So no, I don't think I had any skill when i first started. But i definitely have to say that I really LIKED doing the art, and I kept at it for 16+ now, people generally like my work. And I agree that when one has a model the quality of work is more ... likeable, because you actually didn't have to work straight out of your head. It's hard to make stuff up without looking at something.

Big Suikoden 2 thing...
*** Suikoden 2 Spoilers ***

Hi Brad, Aimo and Lorelai First off, Suikoden 2 questions to Suikoden-playing Brad and Suikoden veteran Aimo. 1) In the Mercenary Fortress, there's a black cat sitting on the left hand side of the fort entrance. If you talk to it, the cat says "Sonya." Doesn't sound like a cat's meow to me, so what's that supposed to be?

Aimo: cat...I keep having visions of THAT black cat in TRIGUN ^^;

Brad: I actually thought the same myself, but the only person named Sonya in Suikoden is the chick who lives behind Teo in Greminister...

2) Why does everyone refer to the Hero as Genkaku's son when he and Nanami calls Genkaku 'Grandpa'? I know they're not blood related. Why 'Son of Genkaku' instead of 'Grandson of Genkaku'?

Aimo: I'd go for inconsistent translation :)

Brad: I'm telling you.. I'm not the only one with an evil twin grandfather...

3) Is McDohl worth getting in the game? Especially considering I've played Suikoden 1 (no data save).

Aimo: Suikoden 2 doesn't seem to detect my Suikoden 1 savegame for some very odd reason, so I'm really trying to find ways to rectify that. McDohl is worth it if you want an extra cutscene involving him and Kasumi, and if you want the power of the Soul Eater on your side. Other than that, it won't be much of a difference.

Brad: I had the same experience. I'm thinking about going back and replaying Suikoden 1 just for the halibut. But.. well, we'll see when the time comes.

4) Know where I can find Suikoden 1/2 soundtracks? MP3 or CDs, doesn't matter.

Brad: Er.. I'd like to know that myself.. as for buying them, check out our Merchandise section.

5) Who're your favorite characters? I like using Ouran and Wakaba, and Richmond is so useful I just can't help liking the guy.

Aimo: Nanami, because the girl can kick ass (and mean it too!). Also Flik, Microtov, Kamiyu (I dunno if this right spelling...I play the Japanese version, ok?), and Carn the vampire hunter for obvious reasons ^_^

Brad: I must say that Sci-Fi Wakaba is a very consistent member of my team.. as is Georg.

6) Why do things grow so fast in the castle? I talked to Hai Yo one minute, and the next minute there's a restaurant with a outdoor dining patio. Another time, I gave a calf to Yuzo at the pasture, went in and out of the pasture entrance, and there's a full-grown cow in there!

Aimo: Er...really dedicated construction workers, perhaps? As for the cow, why complain? I smell steak :P

Brad: I'll go with that theory.

7) Lorelai (Suikoden 2) and Lorelai (RPPGamer). Coincidence?

Brad: Actually, Lorelai is part of Lore's name. If that sentence makes sense.. read over it one more time. Repeat until confused.

Okay, Fanart Qs, to Aimo and Lorelai

1) How long have you guys been doing fanart?

Aimo: 10 loooooooong years. I feel old.

2) Any plans on being a professional artist in the future, or it is just a hobby?

Aimo: So far, it's been a hobby. But I'd like to go pro in the future.

3) Advice for a budding fanartist? Please?

Observing is good. Practice is better. But of all that, you gotta have ENVY. Nothing works better than seeing other people's excellent work that will crush your ego flat...but envy will be the thing that brings you back up with a resolve to improve your skills. I've been practicing this throughout my whole life, and it worked for me ^_^


Hey.. none of you guys use Bradfan for your handles...
Aimo! I love your work.. about a year ago I came across a piece of your work, showing Sephiroth on a black background.. his hair was kind of bluish, and I believe it had some writing behind his back.. For 6 months now I've been trying to locate this picture, is there any place where your work is on display? -AimoFan

Well, well, er...AimoFan, it's time to thank your lucky stars. Fortunately, that particular artwork is still alive and well in my (dusty) archives, so here you go!

Mooooore Aimo!
A few questions.

1.)What do you think of when people continually draw the main chara of a game, and then neglect the great, even better side kicks? I know Squall wouldn't stand up to any of his buddies any day!

2.) Does Aimo have a site, and if yes, is this it? Aimo's Lil' Fan Art Gallery Main Page

3.) If above question is yes, then GREAT ART!

4.) Um, oh yeah, random FF8 question...I went to the Abandoned Science facility and every step I took, some monkeyed Anacondeurs would battle me. What's up with this? It's starting to get old!

Thank ye for the answers

~SmartLaine "Je deteste le vieux frommage!"

1)Hey, hey, I have yet to draw Squall-boy, so I don't belong in that category! But I do agree that supporting characters deserve equal (if not more) fanart spotlight/attention as their main peeps, so here's a quick sketch of Selphie, Seifer, and Zell doing the Can-Can...and hell, let's throw in the Galbadian President as well! (

2. Yup!

3. Thank's always great to know the hard work's appreciated :)

More info on Angel Wing
*** FF8 Limit Break Spoilers ***

Just so you know, her Angel Wing limit break does not take any magic out of stock, and she causes much more damage with her magic during this limit break.

HOWEVER... am I the only person when I'd use this limit break she would cast Scan 10 times in a row?!?

Ahh.. who cares magic attacks are for weenies :)


Yeah, I got a bunch of lame magic the times that I used it too, but then, once she cast flare twice, and I went 'woohoo'! Just like that. 'woohoo'!

Short Quickies

All knowing Oracle,
I have forty dollars. Do I get Suikoden 2, or Thousand Arms?
-Help me

Were I to make this choice, I would go with Suikoden 2. I have a copy of Thousand Arms waiting for me to play it, but I haven't touched it yet. But I absolutely love Suikoden2.

Words from the Wise One:

Well, there's the big FNart column. Good stuff....heck, I learned some art while I was reading it. Anyways.. long week's over.. I'm retiring. 'night!

Brad "-purple-" Lohr

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