What do you create? Art, cartoons, music, games, etc?
I create music and art, and I occasionally write poems and stories. I am predominantly a musician.
What inspires you to create?
Mainly, the knowledge that I have this skill and that I want to use it to the fullest that I can.
When it comes to outside inspirations, I take many things into account: my Catholic faith, the love I share with my fiancé, my interactions with friends, the places I’ve been to that have moved me, or even events in my life or events that I’ve witnessed, even from a distance. Occasionally, I create based on a text prompt; someone describes to me what an area or a scene is like, and I try to put these thoughts to music or to paper.
How do you keep yourself motivated? Do you work in short bursts of inspiration or do you have a daily routine?
I do not yet have a routine; I work in bursts of inspiration. They need not necessarily be short bursts, but if need be, I can work at any time of the day.
If I am not motivated, I find myself needing to pierce through the proverbial brick wall until it shatters. And it’s hard. Removing a mental block is hard, and sometimes it may take more than willpower. Sometimes we may need to be led by the hand through these moments. However, the end result is often determined by how willing we are to break it, I think.
What do you do when you hit a creative block?
I could take a break, or even just persist and feel the pain.
How do you deal with trolls online and in real life?
Burn them back, with words and actions! Even the act of living a good life, the best I can live, will burn them. I know I fall short of the standard, but I try to live by (Saint) Mother Teresa’s words: “Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway. For you see, in the end it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.”
I still grapple with PTSD because of what some of them have done to me in real life, but each day of overcoming the trauma and being better than it is a triumph.
Have you ever created something you thought turned out pretty bad but then when you posted it online everyone else liked it more than your favorite creations? Why do you think that happens?
Yes. For instance, I churned out a pot-boiler song called stand again, which is just really a short experimental loop. I remember people saying things like ‘oh this is some really good stuff from you, I never thought blah blah blah,’ and I was quite bewildered about it. I’d had better songs before and since then. I do not make electronic music these days, or if I do, I do so very rarely. So, what I do is not necessarily the most popular genre of music. I cannot explain why things like that happen.
Has rejection ever affected your creative process?
Yes, always. My childhood and adolescence was always marked with rejection in the strongest possible means, in the form of violence and abuse from my parents and others around me. Part of this violence and abuse was inflicted upon me due to my musical dreams. Rejection in smaller forms always seems to call to mind the greater rejection I suffered as a child, and brings everything back to the surface, and often prevents me from moving ahead. It takes talking through with others, especially those closest to me, before I am able to pick myself up and carry on.
What is the best advice you ever received?
Probably the words of Mother Teresa above.
What do you do when you’re not creating or posting on Newgrounds? Do you have a job? Are you a student?
I am not a student, and I am not employed. I lend my musical and artistic ability to Soundskills, a council-funded space for everyone in Preston to make some amazing stuff. I contribute to the self-help music group, the samba drumming group and open mics mainly.
I sing in my parish church choir, and occasionally lend my musical skills to events outside (e.g. weddings, funerals) on a voluntary basis.
Finally, two friends and I are in a band, and we rehearse together and play together. We haven’t got a name for the band yet, though.
Outside of all these, I play Scrabble and Uno and Cards Against Humanity with my fiancé and friends, and I am an avid gamer. While I do not have the funds to get new games or consoles, I try to do the best I can on the games I already have. Right now, I am playing Kingdom Hearts Union X on the phone and Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep Final Mix on the PS3, and trying to finish the most elusive bit of its story, the aptly named Secret Episode.
What does the internet mean to you?
As I perceive it now, it is an amplification of all that is good and bad about us as human beings. We are able to create, but we are also able to witness widespread criminal (or otherwise harmful) activity going on. But while we can stem things that we objectively know are crimes, the internet is ultimately our freedom.
I grew up in a place where internet activity was restricted and severely controlled. There were more members of the police force policing Facebook posts and blog comments than there were dealing with actual crime on the streets. Naturally, the amount of crime on the streets rose. The internet allows us to meet and create great good in ways that should not be restricted. Just because there is bad stuff on the Net, doesn’t mean that it should be stopped. The Net does not conform to one person’s or one group’s standard of what is good or bad. And I think, that is the beauty of it. It should remain neutral.
It has been a great resource of information, films, and inspiration. It has been a great way for me to collaborate. I learned a lot of history and general knowledge from it – things that I needed to catch up on due to the brainwashing I suffered in my childhood and adolescence by my family and by the state.
Because it is a springboard to get to better things. Many people who have made it big (TheWeebl, Dimrain47, Bosa, Waterflame) all started there. And we may not have the best fan counts but we know what goes into the making of games and movies and music and art.
I consider it to be a charitable place, much like this Soundskills place I mentioned above, with its motley crew of creators with all sorts of temperaments and aesthetics. Here is where we truly get along. Here I have been taught by musicians like myself, I have been schooled in the art of music production and sound engineering without going to university for it. In any community, there are people who freely give of themselves just because they love what they do, and they do so en route to getting big. Whether they are paid for their work or otherwise, they give. Newgrounds is where I’ve seen this happen the most.
What is your favorite accomplishment? Post a link if it’s available online!
What was once touted as one of my worst songs, Mio/Homura, has now become my best song yet. My fiancé had begged me to remake that song and I tentatively tried in 2016, but finally mustered the courage in April of 2017 to finish the work. In July that same year, some friends and I recorded a music video for it.
Where it had previously been a point of anger and frustration and trauma, it brought healing, and strength, and joy, and reconciliation with many of those who had hurt me. Something immensely negative was turned into something immensely positive, and that is an accomplishment to me.
The video can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Us06RUYC5O8
Do you enjoy sharing your work with others or do you prefer to go unnoticed? Why?
I enjoy sharing my work with others. I don’t know why, because there is always a vulnerability involved in baring one’s soul out to others. I just do. I think sharing one’s art is an act of love, because love requires vulnerability, reaching out to others.
What do you wish to accomplish with your art? Is it a hobby or do you plan on making it a career?
I yearn to make it a career, yes. I hope one day to earn enough with the music I make.
Do you ever feel that you have to censor your creativity because you don’t want to offend anyone?
Occasionally, yes, when I am influenced by my faith. I sidestep it by singing about it. Some people get very hot-tempered when they encounter religious people because they assume that we’re all part of a brainwashed cult of nutjobs. And I’ll grant you that some of them are abusive. But I think it all boils down, at the end of the day, to whether the individual and his belief system do not condone the abuse. In my experience, it has enriched me and filled me with awe and wonder, to the point that I want to sing honest songs about it. I always want to be honest with myself and with others. Singing and weaving words into poetry do provide me with these windows of opportunity to break free from self-censorship.
In a way, it isn’t much different from when I had to self-censor in the country in which I grew up, because I had to be censored, really. If I mentioned human rights abuses or flaws in the education system, that was enough to get me or my family harassed by the police. But again, it is different, because at least when I sing about the things I cherish the most, the most I’ll ever have to face is harsh words and bullying. It’s not like where I grew up, where I would face imprisonment and torture, and possibly worse. I don’t condone bullying, of course, it’s just that there was a greater sense of urgency in the past.
Do you have your own “style” or do you just make whatever feels right at the time?
I don’t know if I do have my own style. I’ve had people, especially fellow musicians on Newgrounds, tell me that they could recognize my style from a mile away. For me, it’s whatever feels right, and a lot of it is based on what I have previously heard. That’s how inspiration works.
Do you believe it’s important to get good reviews and have lots of followers or is just doing what you love to do enough to justify your work?
I think there’s a balancing act to be struck between both. Persistence pays, especially if what you’re doing feels right – but we should be open to good critique, the kind that points out why things sound better a certain way, or why certain progressions exist, or why certain techniques are used, and what effects they have on the body and the mind.
Insofar as followers are concerned, even a big fanbase on Newgrounds does not guarantee that they’ll be active in years to come. I know this from a good few people I follow. Popularity waxes and wanes. Any musician will tell you how fickle the entertainment industry is, but this sort of tendency applies to indie musicians as well. People’s tastes change. I sincerely hope that enough people will be influenced by what I do and how I grow as an artist, for years to come.
Do you ever find yourself limited by the materials that you have available?
No, I’ve even done some of my best pieces with decrepit computers on their way out:
- Mio/Homura was composed with a computer that was extremely prone to overheating, back in 2012. A month or two later after it was submitted, that PC breathed its last. Its motherboard was fried.
- One of my best covers in my early years on NG was that of the Ballad of the Wind Fish from Link’s Awakening. I did that with an 8-year-old computer running Windows Vista, with broken hinges, a faulty touchpad and missing keys.
- People used to proverbially spit at those of us who were using soundfonts. For those who don’t know what they are, they are sample packs in .SF2 file format that often sound MIDI-ish, but if you know how to use them, you could make them sound like actual instruments. I’ll have you know that entire soundfont pieces of mine got played by BBC Radio Lancashire, thank you very much.
What advice would you give someone just starting out?
Persist, whatever befall you.
You will come to those moments where life, and even art, may have no purpose anymore. Persist anyway.
You will feel like you walk a solitary road with your craft. Walk the road anyway.
You will be rejected and scorned for sharing your heart with others. Share it anyway.
You will not necessarily gain popularity just by sharing something of yours. Do so anyway.
You will be treated as one of the lower castes in some cases for being an artist, rather than having any one of the typical townie jobs. Yet, be an artist anyway. Art is what shapes culture, influences minds and hearts, and stirs people to action and inspiration.
When you do gain popularity, people will expect you to bow to their demands rather than what you want to create. Create anyway, and be as true to yourself as you can.
When you grow old, you will not necessarily remember how much money you made from something you created. Rather, you will remember the creation of something by your hands, and how it came to be.
And always remember that without people like you, having the spark to create things, the world would be a very desolate place indeed.
Where can we find out more about your work? Post links to your Newgrounds page, Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, website, or anywhere else we can find you on the web!
- NG: https://troisnyx.newgrounds.com/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/TroisnyxMusic
- YouTube: https://youtube.com/Troisnyx
- Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/troisnyx
I also have a Discord server; feel free to message me on either Newgrounds or Twitter if you would love to join me and keep abreast of the work I do!
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