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Why Newgrounds? Template88 interview

Today’s featured Why Newgrounds? creator is Template88!

What do you create? Art, cartoons, music, games, etc?
I mostly focus on character design and illustration with more of a focus on pixel art animation currently. I want to make games and animations but finding reliable people to collaborate with is challenging.

What inspires you to create?
I feel like the answer to that question evolves with the artist over time. When I first started drawing for example I would’ve said simply that I saw other people around me that could do it and I knew I could learn to do it better. Not exactly a noble cause. Nowadays I mostly draw as a means to simply express my ideas. No matter how trivial or ridiculous, being able to summon forth a visual manifestation of your idea on demand is a pretty nifty ability. It doesn’t feel like anything in particular is inspiring me as much as I am just squeezing out a tube of art whenever I feel like it.

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How do you keep yourself motivated? Do you work in short bursts of inspiration or do you have a daily routine?
Motivation can be extremely fickle at times. I can work with irregular moments of random motivation or I can put on my big boy pants and force art out if I need to. Generally the longer I have to think about how I can approach a piece the more original and comfortable an experience it will be.

What do you do when you hit a creative block?
For me there’s two approaches, take a break from drawing for a good while or just draw mindless comfort zone stuff until I get bored and want to draw something challenging again. There’s never really going to be a time where I ‘cant’ draw something though. I can always draw a request, it’s just the level of quality is directly proportional to my interest in it.

How do you deal with trolls online and in real life?
There are as far as I know, no real life trolls for me. Don’t really got much in the way of online trolls either. To be bothered by a troll means you gotta care about them or what they are saying, and there’s not a lot of people who troll that actually say anything worth paying attention to.

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?
This seems to happen universally to everyone. It happens because people don’t perceive the artist’s work the way the artist does. It’s really that simple.

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Has rejection ever affected your creative process?
Rejection? From what exactly? What was her name KungFuSpaceBarbarian?
How did she hurt you?

What is the best advice you ever received?
I’m so used to giving people art advice that I think people just assume that I don’t want advice or that I know everything or something because I can’t remember the last time anybody gave me any in any sort of recent interaction. The last time I got advice might’ve been like ten years ago when I was talking to https://thechamba.deviantart.com/ on AIM and I had no idea what I was doing and he told me to stop using Photoshop filters on my art. It was pretty good advice. Stop using Photoshop filters on your art when you don’t have any idea what you are doing.

What do you do when you’re not creating or posting on Newgrounds? Do you have a job? Are you a student?
I’m a pretty private person, so all I’m willing to say is that I work a job that’s chill enough to let me draw on the clock.

What does the internet mean to you?
Being a part of the first generation that got to have PC’s in the home I’d say the internet has shaped me more as a person than it has any right to. In a way I’m sure it has irreparably damaged me socially but now I have dank memes and a fountain of limitless bad porn and unending videos of cats. Literally. There’s never going to be a time when people stop posting memes and videos of cats and drawings of bad porn, ever.

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Why Newgrounds?
I joined Newgrounds well into its twilight years, and I hear a lot about its golden days where it was relevant as a platform and it was a source of quality content. I didn’t draw back then and I never really used the site much either, I was too busy playing ‘real’ videogames instead of the goofy flash ones on the internet. Coming late into the party and thinking back without any sort of rose tinted glasses, I can’t think of the old Newgrounds as actually being good. It was good because there was no competition. There were groups of people that existed who’s entire purpose was to get bad content past the content filtering system and they were not only allowed to do this, but they were celebrated in this act. They are still celebrated to this day, well past their relevance, presumably because one or two members of that group made quality content once or twice. Multiple groups of this kind existed. It was a different time I guess. Fast forward to today, Newgrounds is apparently a former shell of its past self. All of its more famous content creators have left it for Youtube and its forum community is centered around General which is filled with rubbish, while its creative forums are underused, stagnant and filled with mostly new accounts asking for free work. So why would I stick around and make this site my primary platform? It’s due in part because it is a shell. I can upload artwork and it will actually stick on the submitted artworks page for a while because of how few people upload their artwork to the portal. The posts I make on the forums stick around for a while because there are so few people posting on them. So in a way it is because Newgrounds is so bad and that the community is so small that I feel my actions can actually have a (positive) effect on the site.

What is your favorite accomplishment? Post a link if it’s available online!
Probably https://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/674369 which is a collab between me and https://moawling.newgrounds.com/ when she first started posting in the forums on the site. It’s not really a game so much as an entitlement simulator. She soon then abandoned the forums picking up on the community over on Twitter instead. Kind of sad that Newgrounds has more of a community on Twitter than it does in its own forums.

Do you enjoy sharing your work with others or do you prefer to go unnoticed? Why?
I feel pretty dissatisfied with submitting my work to the actual portal since it’s just going to be arbitrarily given a score by random people and probably get some sort of butt pat feedback response. That’s not specific to Newgrounds though, that’s just about any platform out there and that’s fine, just not really for me. I like posting my work to my Art Forum thread because it’s kind of like a public art journal that describes how my art is evolving over a long period of time. People can still leave feedback but it’s probably going to be another artist since it’s in the Art forum which usually more worthwhile to me.

What do you wish to accomplish with your art? Is it a hobby or do you plan on making it a career?
Art is really just a way to express my ideas, I rarely draw something for somebody else, and money isn’t really a motivator for me. I like teaching others ways to be a better artist regardless what direction they wish to go. I like speaking with and seeing other artists work. Art is just a way for me to connect with other artists, that’s all for me.

Do you ever feel that you have to censor your creativity because you don’t want to offend anyone?
That’s part of the reason why I’m so private about my life outside of art, so I am not bound by that sort of thing.

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Do you have your own “style” or do you just make whatever feels right at the time?
I feel that the mark of a good illustrator is being flexible but I do have quite a few unfortunate habits that will give me away as an artist even if I do try to adapt somebody else’s style into my work. Those mistakes and biases would constitute my “style” I suppose.

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?
That stuff isn’t important to me. I care about my peers and what they think more than anything else.

Do you ever find yourself limited by the materials that you have available?
Digital art pretty much gets around any sort of materials issue you could have. You can do basically everything even with the cheapest tablets available.

What advice would you give someone just starting out?
Well when I first started out with the site I made a thread that kinda touched upon that. I would kind of amend and expand upon a lot of this stuff If I were to remake this thread but here it is; https://www.newgrounds.com/bbs/topic/1299983
but otherwise it’s on a case by case basis depending on what the artist is going for.

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!

My Newgrounds page links to all the other relevant platforms.

 

Thanks for the interview, Template88! If you’d like to be featured on Why Newgrounds? click here to find out how.

If you want to help keep this party going so we can all keep creating on Newgrounds, click here to become a supporter!

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