Award July's Featured Contributor is Shakune!

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July's Featured Contributor is Shakune!

Postby Gossamer on July 5th, 2015, 8:53 am

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Hello Fellow Mizaharians!


Keeping with our tradition, the Founders Circle and Regional Storytellers are proud to announce that the Featured Contributor of the Month of July 2015 is Shakune. As you know, Shakune is one of those brilliant photoshop guru's that selflessly make box codes for people who politely ask. She's done dozens and dozens. So without further ado, here's the interview!


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The Interview


The Featured Character! Below is Shakune’s interview.

1. Please tell us what you feel Mizahar’s value is in your life. Why are you here and why do you give back?


To me, Mizahar is a chance for me to fill that hungry part of my brain that craves something creative. Sometimes I won't even write anything, just read the latest threads or something. It's fun, relaxing, inspiring. I think I'd go a little crazy without it because I wouldn't have anything like it to vent on. If I'm pissed off, I can go to the gym (or eat my weight in carbs). But if I'm, say, reading a book and I suddenly want to write myself, without Mizahar I'd just be writing really detailed facebook statuses that get one like at the most. And I guess I give back to try and fulfill that same gap for someone else, be it a writing partner or someone who'd like a boxcode. Anything that makes this experience better or prettier or more fun for someone else is totally worth it.

2. Why do you think box code and cs design is important? Or is it really? Let us know why you do what you do in terms of fulfilling requests.


I think it's important in that it gives a writer the chance to reflect their personality (or their PC's) in a non-verbal way. from looking at someone's box codes, you can usually tell A) the characters race/sex B) their employment/occupation/interests C) their overall 'scheme'. A dark, mysterious character isn't likely to have pictures of cute kittens and bubblegum pink borders on their boxcode, are they? I just like creating pretty things in photoshop, and so if I can combine that interest of mine with giving somebody something that reflects their character in a way that wasn't done before, that's all good in the hood for me.

3. Life can get you down sometimes. What keeps you going? What inspires you both IRL and in Mizahar's World?


In terms of RL... the main thing that inspires me is to finally get a job. I'm studying for a master's in Neuroscience and although my course finishes in September, it's been bloody hard. I didn't study chemistry/biology since I was 16, and I'm 23 now. So when I started my course I was SO far behind everyone else. And that was really depressing because I was forever playing catch up. But the thing that kept me going was my interest, and my desire to get into the world of research, which I wouldn't be able to do without understanding all that stuff. So I guess... the thing that gets me through RL stuff is knowing that it should all pay off eventually, and that it is working towards something.

In terms of Mizahar, I don't try to force myself to write. If I'm in a bad mood, or simply just don't want to write, I won't. I'd rather NOT do something, that do a half-assed job that I'm going to cringe over in 6 months time. But what inspires me is reading other people's threads. I get so into all the character's story lines that I end up stalking PC's for their latest posts to know how their current plot ends. Stalky stalky.

4. What makes a creative person in your eyes? Do you admire any famous people whom you consider creative IRL or on Miz?

I think a creative person is anyone that enjoys making stuff. It might be a boxcode, or a papier-mâché horse, or a cake or a garden or anything.

And God, there's so many creative people I admire on this website! When I first joined Mizahar in 2012, I remember slowly closing the laptop after reading a few threads and thinking 'damn. I am knee deep in creative talent here'. It was a little intimidating because although I'd roleplayed before, I hadn't seen such a rich and creative world inhabited by rich and creative characters before. What's safe to say is this: if I've read your threads before, either as a stalker or a grader, I'll have mad respect for you.

5. What sort of inspiration do you take into your designs? Do you have to know the pc, read their cs, that sort of thing? Or is it just whatever strikes your fancy?

I try to do each boxcode separately and based on the request from each PC. It's really easy, I think, to leak some of my own preferences into each code, but what I like might not be what they like. So I try different colour schemes and patterns and pictures until there's something that I think fits the PC's criteria. Obviously I have to be happy with it too, but because each PC is so different, I try to make each code suit each one.

6. Is there any sort of mood music you listen too as you work on code? Maybe its just a set of comfortable clothing you wear or a favorite place?


I usually do it whilst watching TV, as un-glamorous as that seems. I use it as a kind of test: if I find myself really distracted by the TV, then I know I'm not dedicating myself to the code properly and so should come back to it when I'm more focused. Daytime TV in the UK, for those that don't know, is not that great and if even that's distracting me, I need to burn off some energy so I can fully focus.

7. Tell us about your design process and how you set the scene both as an artist and as a writer trying to set a scene in a post.


When I make a boxcode, I'll look at the PC's CS, maybe their other templates to get a feel of what they might like. Then I'll look at what style they've requested, or what pictures to be included. From there, I'll usually try and find a decent picture of the PC's model, or some other scene to use. And just build on it from there. Certain pictures work with certain layouts better, but others I'll try loads of different layouts until I'm happy.

As a writer, I tend to read the last few posts of a thread before replying. I think it's quite easy to forget the history of a thread and to simply reply to what's immediately happened. But then you as a writer might repeat yourself or something, and the story might not flow as well. After reading that, I just sit back and start writing.

8. How would you encourage people to start working on their own art in regards to Mizahar? How did you get started and how far have you come do you think? Are there noticeable improvements?

I'd just say: play on Photoshop, and get inspired by those around you. I started out just cleaning up images, or changing the colour of a model's hair or eyes to suit my PC. But then I paid more attention to people's boxcodes, and I just got really inspired and attracted to working with that. It's just practice, but I find it really entertaining and rewarding so I'm happy to spend hours tweaking a code to get it just right.

9. How do you infuse character into your designs? Are there MUST HAVE elements or is each design different?


It's always easy to infuse the PC in when you include a picture of the PC. But actually, having written that, I've realised that for the vast majority of the boxcodes I've created for my own PCs, I don't use model's face. So I think it's just using all other possible methods, colour and text and layout. So, for example, for Shakune, I have a code that features a couple of letters at the top to represent her career as a courier (which is what she would define herself as above anything else). And likewise, for Ayatah, I have one that features tribal-like patterns down the side to pay homage to her Myrian heritage. I quite like using subtle things like that to just create a little whisper of what a PC is like.

10. If you could take any Mizahar location, monster, creature, NPC or PC and turn them into a real person place or thing, which would you choose and why?

The Akalak. Because damn. I like purple. And I like big men. I think combining those two things would be just... wonderful.

11. This is your soapbox space. Feel free to tell the masses anything you want talk about any subject that comes to mind. The Soap Box is yours!


Make the most of Miz! It's a great community and an inspiring place to write. And pretty terrific in every other sense, too.


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July's Featured Contributor is Shakune!

Postby Elann on July 5th, 2015, 10:33 am

Hah! Your "stalky" answer made me laugh. I must say that I'm kind of where you were at the start. There is -so- much talent here. I feel I'm dwarfed and unworthy. I myself am trying to make a box code for my character that looks like what I want it to and am trying to experiment with images and looks just as you did, so if you can do it, it gives great inspiration for me.

Really, congratulations!
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July's Featured Contributor is Shakune!

Postby Estrellir Konrath on July 5th, 2015, 10:53 am

Congrats! Now I have to get a closer look at your boxcodes... and as a fellow artist, I found your answers very insightful.

But I have to agree with Elann, you're not the only one feeling intimidated. The only solution is really to get over it and try to thread with those people so you can read even more of their writing!
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July's Featured Contributor is Shakune!

Postby Rathe on July 5th, 2015, 12:38 pm

Congratulations!
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July's Featured Contributor is Shakune!

Postby Sayana on July 5th, 2015, 12:39 pm

Congrats Shakune! I haven't looked at all your boxcodes but one that stands out to me is your sea and sand one with such a beautiful gradient going from blue to sandy tan. I've always been a sucker for gradients and even though it's simple, it's really effective.
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July's Featured Contributor is Shakune!

Postby Achenar on July 5th, 2015, 3:13 pm

Congratulations Shakune! Definitely well deserved. Your boxcodes are amazing and I've always admired them.
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July's Featured Contributor is Shakune!

Postby Kaie on July 5th, 2015, 7:44 pm

Congratulations! Well deserved for sure! :)
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July's Featured Contributor is Shakune!

Postby Plume on July 5th, 2015, 9:34 pm

Congrats!!
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July's Featured Contributor is Shakune!

Postby Logan Storm on July 5th, 2015, 10:19 pm

That's Sunberth's gal.
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July's Featured Contributor is Shakune!

Postby Tanna on July 6th, 2015, 9:17 am

Congratulations lovely!! So glad to see you get this :)
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