Friday, November 28, 2008


Just a heads up, I finally started using my Vimeo account, even though I've had it since August. Check it out.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

New Song!

Shining Jewel Underworld (download)

This is a cover of Jewel Man's theme from Mega Man 9. You can hear the original here. I started doing a remix of this song last night and it just wasn't coming together well, so I tossed it. This morning, I got the urge to give it another shot, so I tried a different style and it just worked. And, well...this is the final result! The only bad thing about working on a song for so long is that once you finally finish it, you don't want to hear it anymore, heheh. Anyway, enjoy!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

First Snow

I drew this last Tuesday (I think). Some people actually liked it and a couple people brought up making wallpaper versions of it. I may put up some wallpapers for download along with some other pieces, but for now, here's the normal-sized one.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Artist survey

I just did this for the hell of it, nothing more.

100 Questions for an Artist

01. What is your pen name?
Just Niko. I'm not creative enough for a good pen name.

02. What made you choose this name? parents? They gave it to me.

03. Do you use PC or Mac?
PC. I don't have any qualms with either, but I think if I got a Mac it'd be a lot

easier for distributing my animation in different formats

04. What programs do you use most often?

05. Do you use mouse, or tablet?
Tablet. It's a small Wacom (I don't know the exact size) but I've gotten used to it,

so it gets the job done.

06. What color or color combinations do you find yourself using most often?
A lot of blues, it seems like. Not constantly, but cool colors are more pleasing to me

most of the time

07. What part of a picture do you put most effort into?
Depends on what it's a picture of. Most of the time I'd say the character(s).

08. How long does it take you do draw a picture?
Again it kind of depends, but generally a couple hours

09. Do you keep your rough drafts?
All over my floor, haha

10. What font do you use most often?
I'd say Comic Book, Arial Black or Coolvetica, but I really like old computer/video

game fonts like Emulator or Commadore 64

11. When you scan your image, what DPI do you use?
My scanner is terrible, so...whatever it decides to do, and I fix it myself in


12. Do you do anything else when you're drawing?
I used to always have the TV on when I drew, but not so much anymore. I usually have

music on though.

13. Approximately how many pictures do you draw in a month?
Polished pictures, it varies. If you want to count sketches and other drawings,


14. What kind of paper do you draw your pictures on?
To be honest, I have no idea what the actual kind of paper in my sketchbooks is

15. What kind of paper do you use for rough sketches and drafts?
Same as above

16. How long does it take you to ink something?
Not too long. Sometimes I go straight to inking even.

17. Do you do comics, or fan comics?
I do fan stuff occasionally, but most of the time I find myself drawing original


18. Do you like comics? Are they fun to make?
Yes, but I haven't made a solid, complete comic in a very long time

19. Have you ever submitted anything to a magazine?
No. Never had anything I thought was good enough..

21. Who are your favorite artists?
Oh man...Charles Schulz, Shigeru Miyamoto, Joe Murray, Genndy Tartakovsky, Keiji

Inafune, Rob Renzetti, Craig McCracken, C.H. Greenblatt, Maxwell Atoms, Dan Meth,

Jeaux Janovsky, John K., Andrew Kauervane, Tara Billinger, Gabe Swarr...there are just

too many distinct styles out there that I love and have influenced me over the years

22. Do you like anime/manga? If so, what are your favorite series?
I'm not a big fan of it, but I do like a couple series like FLCL and Shin Chan, mainly

because of how different they are from what I see everywhere day after day after


23. Do you like cartoons/comics? If so, what are your favorite series?
I love cartoons and like my favorite artists, I have a lot of favorites: Rocko's

Modern Life, Angry Beavers, Dexter's Lab, Powerpuff Girls, Chowder, Flapjack, Teenage

Robot, Homestar Runner, FLCL, Harvey Birdman, Billy & Mandy, Spongebob, Aqua Teen

Hunger Force, Superjail, South Park, Shin Chan, Meth Minute, Nite Fite, El Tigre,

Johnny Bravo, Faily Oddparents...holy crap, the list just goes on and on

24. Any artists that you wish you could draw like?
I'm always looking at other people's work and saying "Man, I wish I could draw like

that." It happens all the time heh

25. Do you read a lot of books?
Comics, yeah

26. Did you ever buy a book to inspire or teach you to draw?
Uh...I know I had a couple as a kid, but they were all terrible. I never learned a

thing from how to draw books, and I don't think anyone ever does. I learned just by

observing other comics and cartoons and constant practice. That's still what I do


27. Any video games you enjoy?
I love Mario games, the classic Mega Man series, Kirby, Pac-Man, Zelda, and lots of

arcade games

28. Any favorite characters from video games?
Mario and Mega Man

29. Do you have a favorite writer?
Not really

30. Any books you really enjoy?
Catcher In The Rye, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy...uh..those are really the only

non-comics I like, heh

31. Do you draw fanart?
Sometimes, yeah

32. Do you listen to music while you draw?

33. Any recommended songs?
Not any in particular. I would just say listen to Ska, heh

34. Any art websites that you really enjoy?
Channel Frederator and CF Raw, Deviantart (sometimes), and just blogs of other


35. Are there any websites that you go to everyday?
Tumblr, Facebook, Youtube, Myspace, Deviantart, etc. All those community sites


36. What is your dream website like?
I don't really have a...dream website

37. Do you like your own art?
Sometimes. As time goes by, looking at my stuff tends to make me sick

38. What do you enjoy watching on television?
Cartoons and news. Go figure

39. Favorite celebrity?
None. I don't really pay attnetion to that stuff

40. Favorite color?

41. Favorite food?
I like pretzels

42. Favorite drink?
Iced tea or Dr. Pepper

43. Do you like to go shopping? If yes, where? And for what?
I don't really "shop." If I go somewhere, I know exactly what I need and where it

would be. I don't waste time looking around and buying all this crap I don't need.

44. Can you cook?
Some things, yeah. Nothing incredibly complicated though

45. Any devices you use often for email? Any electronic pets?

46. Are you tech-savvy?
Not as much as people seem to think

47. Do you want to become a professional artist?
Yes please

48. Are there any other jobs you're interested in?
Cartoonist/animator. I would love to work for Frederator at Next New Networks up in

New York. I see a lot of stuff from people there through Tumblr and whatnot, and it

just amazes me.

49. Any other hobbies or skills besides drawing?
I write and play music. I used to play trumpet, but no so much anymore. I've been

playing piano and other key instruments for a long time though.

50. Do you like to watch movies?
Eh, not very often. I dunno why, I just don't

51. What's your favorite movie?

52. Have you ever entered an art contest?
I've entered a couple over time

53. When did you start drawing seriously?
Hmm. Well, I knew by around 8 years old I wanted to be a cartoonist, but I don't think

you can consider anything from that time as serious. I'd lean more towards the end of

middle school/beginning of high school when I started doing comics and cartoons on the


54. Do you use references? If so, for what?
If I'm doing a serious piece (not just doodling) of characters that aren't mine, then


56. Do you have a lot of net friends?

57. Do you have a lot of friends that also draw?
Net friends, yes. Around here though, no one's really into the same stuff that I am

58. What time of the day do you usually go online?

59. Do you like to go to chat rooms?

60. Do you have your own computer?

61. What would you say to the person that you admire?
Uh...I dunno, heh. I admire a lot of people.

62. Does your mind wander when you draw?
Yes, definitely

63. Have you drawn poorly because you think too much?
Hah yes

64. Do you have any friends who are professional artists?

65. Where do you often hang out?
Well, most of my friends have scattered all over the country now, so I don't really

hang out

66. Are there any popular artists that you don't like much? (no need to name names if

you don't want to)
In a way, yeah

67. Are there any situations in which you really don't like being an Artist?

68. How about situations that make you love it?
Uh...all the time?

69. What's the one thing that makes you grateful that the internet exists?
The ability to show my work to the world and not just my friends, and the ability to

talk to and work with other cartoonists from all over

70. Is there anything out there that makes you wish the internet didn't exist?
Fan fiction.

71. What's your first drawing?
A little something I like to call Crayon on Old Computer Paper

72. Any art you did prior to that?

73. Has your style changed a lot since then?
Since I was a baby? Yeah, I would say so.

75. Have you experienced artist's block before?
Many times, yeah

76. If so, how do you usually get out of it?
I dunno, it just kind of works itself out I guess

77. What do you do when you can't get out of it?
It always ends eventually.

78. Any people that have influenced you a lot?
Charles Schulz and Shigeru Miyamoto were my first and probably biggest influences

79. What made you want to start drawing?
I just love cartoons

81. Has anything ever made you want to quit art all together?
I have wanted to quit sometimes but I could never do that

82. What do you think about netiquette?
The way I am online is just how I act in "real life."

83. Have you ever been spammed or trolled?
Several times, yeah.

86. Do you upload high quality versions of your art submissions, or do you prefer to

upload a lower quality?
Usually high quality, unless it's too big to fit on the screen easily; then I upload

it at a smaller resolution

88. Do you have good vision?
I can't see worth crap!

89. If you can get anyone's autograph, whose would you get?
Too hard to say, there's just too many people

91. Do you like to draw on Oekaki BBS?

92. Do you have a job?
Just some hired help here and there. I would say animation, but it's not really a


93. Did you take art in school? If so, did you do well? Are you still taking it?
To my surprise, my high school offered Animation I and II courses which I took in my

sophomore year. Much to my disappointment, it was really just odd projects that

involved drawing cartoon characters. No actual animation. I didn't learn a thing from

it, either; I knew more than the teacher.

94. Have you taken art lessons outside of a school setting?

95. Have you ever drawn something just because it was the cool thing to do -- the hip

new fad?

96. What's your favorite phrase/quote?
"A cartoonist is someone who has to draw the same thing every day without repeating

--Charles Schulz

97. Do you present yourself differently online than you do in your real life?

98. What's your goal now?
To make a cartoon that people enjoy

99. What do you have to say to yourself?

100. Lastly, what do you have to say to everyone who read this?
You must've been really bored!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


So uh...I'm just in a really bad position right now with my personal/family life. I mean, it's been pretty bad for a while, but it really didn't start to get out of control until the past couple weeks, and now it's completely spiraling out of control. My mom is mad at my dad, my dad is mad at my mom, and my parents are both mad at my brother. And then there's me. I'm the only one no one's mad at (or at least nobody has really conveyed their position to me yet) and you'd think that would be the best situation to be in with this scenario, but it's bad in its own light, really. I'm here in the middle, torn between three family members, trying to help but also trying not to make anything worse. Most of the time I just find myself staying out of the way when arguments and whatnot break out, but it really hurts me; it's not something I can possibly ignore.

I don't know, I've just been completely disoriented these past couple weeks as things have gone on. I really wish now more than ever that I didn't live here and I was out on my own. The only reasons I'm not are because I can't legally drive because of how bad my eyes are (on a side note, I saw a new surgeon today and provided nothing gets screwed up, I'll finally have the eye surgery on December 15) and I also don't have a solid job other than hired help every once in a while, so I can't keep any kind of steady income. I can't afford college (I'd already be there if I could) and I know now that my parents aren't going to come to terms to help me out with that one. Not to mention, I'm still not completely "mentally stable," per se. I still have panic and anxiety attacks and even though I'm able to control them much better than ever before, it would still be hard to be completely on my own. Yet, sitting here just watching my family destroy itself doesn't really make the situation any better. It's a vicious cycle.

And even if I was out away from home, this would still be upsetting to me, don't get me wrong. The circumstances would be a little different as I wouldn't be seeing every little action that is leading up to the impending demise, but the fact of my parents getting separated or divorced is still extremely upsetting to me, even at this point. I do believe it's much harder for kids whose parents get divorced when they're younger and in school and stuff, because they have to live in the middle of that for a much longer time. But in my position...I don't know. I am very close to both of my parents and I always have been. And over the years, I have had many close friends whose parents I knew very well also, and one after another, that friend would break the news to me one day and tell me that his or her parents got divorced, and I would be...shocked, really. There's no other word for it. I was just shocked because all of these friends had good living situations and their parents were nice as could be. But all of a sudden, bam. Friend after friend was caught in the middle of a very unexpected divorce for years upon years. And it made me feel so bad, but all the while, I felt lucky that my parents never seemed to have any problems that would push them over the edge. I admit that I had wondered from time to time if this upsetting trend of divorces would eventually effect our family, but I generally dismissed the idea every time.

Clearly, it's inevitable now. I sit here and I just get chills every time I hear yelling or crying, even if I can't make out exactly what's being said (and honestly, I think I'd rather be oblivious). And all the while, I can't help but glance over at a small, heart-shaped frame here on my desk with a picture of my parents in it which they gave to me when I was very little. It seems kind of stupid, maybe even pathetic. I'm sure that most kids by their teenage years would not even have it anymore, or if they did, they'd mindlessly replace the picture with one of them and their own love interest. I never had the heart to do that. That frame has not changed in the nineteen years that I've had it. But looking at it now, I kind of feel like...maybe part of me is in denial. Maybe part of me still wants to believe that this is just a normal feud and after a while, everyone apologizes and everything's back to normal. But the logical part of me knows that's bullshit.

I no longer have any immediate family member or friend that I can go to at any time and confide in them. I have to say something to someone, though, so I guess that's why I've reduced myself to shelling out personal feelings and situations publicly on the internet where anyone can see them. But to be honest, I don't care, as long as someone's listening..