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Lady D

By Blazej Szpakowicz     August 20, 2006

Welcome to thelatest edition of the DCG Artist Spotlight!

Our victim today isDebbie Alves, aka Lady D.

Debbie Alves (DA):First, I'd like to say I'm honored that the DCG Gang still remember me! I love beinga part of this group, being here has a lot of meaning to me. And I had the pleasureto meet great artists, and more importantly, wonderful people. We rule!! And, justfor the record: you still have to excuse my typos... Long time since I wrote in english!!!

[Naah, I edited. If there's any typos left, everyone can blame me. -ed]

Comics2Film (C2F):What brought you to C2F?

DA:A friend of mine introduced me to C2F. I guess he only submitted one pic, hisnick was KnightAngel.But as I was one of the few girls he ever met who likedcomics and photomanipulations, he said "you know, there is a cool site...".And the rest is history :).

C2F:What software do you use?

DA:I guess I am the only one from DCG Old School that used Paint shop Pro!! I thinkit's more friendly than Photoshop. And Plugins as well, such as Alien Skin andEye candy. Poser just showed up some years after I started to photomanip, andit was helpful sometimes and hell other times...

C2F:What's your favorite part of doing a manip?

DA:The concept, the planning... That's why I loved to do series, I believe. Thecasting call, the uniform design. The adjustment of the little details... Thefinal manip is really a consequence of all these steps.

C2F:What aspect of your work do you think sets you apart from the crowd?

DA:I'd like to say "moody", but looking it now, I don't consider my work so darkand gothic as I'd like it to be. I also always wanted to do pics with meaning,with a visual concept, something more than "this is a superguy, and this is hiscape!" kind of thing.

C2F:One of your strengths as an artist is your deft touch in incorporatingPoser figures into your photomanips. Do you have any thoughts on thestrengths and weaknesses of that program? How has it helped (orhindered) your artwork?

DA:Poser IS a helpful tool. It saved me hours of internet searching, trying to finda pic I could actually manip the way I planned to do. But the "posery" lookreally isn't cool... You know, when the character looks like a dead corpsetwisted in some awful way. The Poser characters used to suffer a lack of visualexpression & they all look the same plasticized dead person. Creepy! Poser demandstime and effort to use it. As does any other software.

C2F:What image(s) would you consider your turning points(s) as an artist?

DA:Well, I did grew up as artist, indeed. I started painting girls of white andorange to do Deaths and Starfires... In a really, really lame way *laughs*!! Iguess my first turning point was my"Natalia Semanovaas Death", where I startedto worry about backgrounds and different tones of her pale skin. The Mantle piecesI did with Bearbot [1and 2]showed me how to work as a team, and how cool is have someoneto advise and cheer you up.

C2F:What do you see as your greatest strength as an artist?

DA:It would sound a bit snob, but I guess it's my imagination, the creative forcewhich allows me to see a picture and think: "Hm, she would look good as someLegionnaire girl...". And I'm also a detail freak. For a while, I had problemswith my monitor, but I kept doing manips anyway. When I got a new monitor andsaw the color and background problems I had with the pics I submitted when Iwas using the bad monitor, I got really ashamed!!! But the details do make aHUGE difference...

C2F:What aspect of your art do you still need to work on?

DA:Shadows and lights. I ALWAYS do my shadows and light look wrong, lol!! I guessit's a perception problem... *blushes*

C2F:You were one of the early members of the DCG community, what did youenjoy most about the community? Do you have any thoughts about how it's changedand developed over the years?

DA:Way back in time, we used to be a very united community. We knew each other, wekept in touch every day, we developed projects and series together. I rememberhow happy I was for this contact with people who could actually UNDERSTAND whatI did, and enjoy it as well! But unfortunally, the major part of the old groupwas trapped in the "adult life", including me... Such a tragedy, isn't it? Thereal life tears us apart. But it's nice to know there are new kids around,having the same fun and creating the same bonds we used to share.

C2F:Who are your favorite DCG artists?

DA:I believe they are all old-school now... But Marcelo Gomes,Weapon X andKev_Incalare classics! They are my two favorite superstars. But I alsoappreciate a lot these guys:Millenium Bum,Trygonez,WWG,Amy Karas,Zac,you B,Marrow,JuvenileMike,RyanArya,StrangeFish,Pirate King,squedge,Jemstone,Bearbot,Daniel Zarco...And I'm probably forgeting someone. It's what happens when you get old! :P

C2F:Who are your inspirations in comic books and/or mainstream art?

DA:From comic books: Paul Smith, Arthur Adams, Adam Hughes, John Byrne, GeorgePerez... Various Manga Artists: Rumiko Takahashi, Yuu Watase, Takaya Natsuki, CLAMP.And always the classics: Da Vinci (The artist, not the code), Michelangelo,Caravaggio, Rembrandt...

C2F:What was your favorite theme day?

DA:X-mas in July!!!!

C2F:What inspires you? Where do you get your ideas from?

DA:I guess good concepts inspire me. We can find a good concept almost everywhere,if we know how to see the world around us... But TV, Music videos,comic books,regular books and movies are a few good sources of inspiration.

C2F:Do you have any advice for aspiring artists?

DA:Learn how your tools work. And then work, work, work... And always try to finda nice background to your picture!!! It really helps. And you need more than an ankhand a funny black sign on the face to do a good Death!

C2F:What characters do you want to manip?

DA:I wish I've done a better, complete job with the Camelot 3000 characters. DoctorStrange was always one I planned (I never did him because of that cape...:P).I'd also like to complete the DCG Clan Destine/Excalibur series... And Anime/Mangachars are also a good challenge.

C2F:What are your favorite comic books?

DA:Anything Neil Gaiman wrote!! *laughs*. Seriously, the entire Sandman series.X-men, always. I love Teen titans... And lots of shoujo manga: Fruits Basket,Merupuri, Chobits and things like that.

C2F:Do you find it hard juggling the life of a lawyer and the life of anartist?

DA:It's absolutely HARD have an adult, not-art-related-at-all life. Despites what wesee in TV law shows, being a lawyer is essentially non-creative work. And ittakes time... In fact, it steals the major part of my free time!! And the moneyisn't that good :P!!! Of course I'd like to be involved in a more artistic,creative job... Maybe after retirement.

C2F:I think your gallery has the most pictures of the DCG artists as Various characters. Is there anyone you didn't get a chance to manip that youwould have liked to? Who was your favorite to manip?

DA:It really is a good use of that photoalbum, isn't it?! *laughs* I guess Iportrayed everyone I liked and I wanted to manip. When we didn't know ifRobbo had a chin, it was hard to manip him (I used Joshua Jackson's chin to doa manip of Robbo, full face, lol!). My favorite models: Jemstone, Zac,StrangeFish, Kev_incal and MilleniumBum. They always enjoyed my interpretationsof them... No matter how twisted or insane the idea was...

C2F:You have done several series (Xifgp, Anime Babes, Young Justice, DCGTitans, Ultimate X-men) of images. What led you to do each series? Anyseries more challenging than another?

DA:I guess the series idea was born for the fact the planning was a big part ofthe fun for me. And, with the series, I also could work, for a period of time,with fave subjects. The entire series portrait a particular passion: x-men,pop music, teen titans, the tarot... I had so much fun creating those pics.And I also had a chance to celebrate people I like a lot, other DCG artists,who I proudly call friends. The most challenging series? The Young Justiceseries!! I came up with chars I had basically no material to use as reference...

C2F:I have always enjoyed your work, you are one of the reasons I am at C2F. One of my personal favorites of yours is yourUltimate Rogue image,it's simple, yet very detailed. It strikes a subdued mood, very much in characterfor Rogue. Can you share your process in making this image?

DA:At first, thanks for enjoying my work! It's always nice to hear that. I hope no onesays I "corrupted" them with my art. *winks* My Ultimate Rogue is a miracle ofpatience. I should become really zen after this, because it took so much timeto get started! I started the work with Poser, as usual these days. And I couldnot find a pose that fit. Nothing looked good enough, Rogue enough. Maybebecause I was trying to capture that "southern belle" mischievous spirit ofRogue. So I considered the fact that she has no reasons to be giggling around,right? After this, the Poser work went really well... in fact the final pose wasjust my second attempt. The casting was the second ticket to hell. I tried fromRicci to Landau, without success... And then, popped up in one of my backup cdsthis gorgeous profile pic of Thora Birch. Bingo! She was in the right pose, withthe right look on her face... It makes me really proud and happy, it's not Poseryat all. It's an all-time classic. It's also one of my faves.

Special kisses to all DCG folks, old friends and a big special one to you,B!!!!


For more of Debbie's art,check out her DCGgallery.

Interviewers:Blazej Szpakowicz and Dan Perceful.

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