I hath found my next victim, a lovely lady who is talented, witty, and generous enough to bleed answers to my questions- I introduce to you Syyd Raven from Runtime DNA.
Tell us about yourself and Your family?
I'm a single Mom, with two grown children, two Siamese cats, Samson and Delilah, and a doggie, "Mr. Comhere". I live in a small house just outside of Buffalo, where I garden avidly, my affliction are Lilies of all kinds. In the last year I began running, participating in one 8k and 2 5k runs. I train four days a week doing core, cardio, and weight training, in addition to some Ironman training as well as kick boxing. One sister, to five older brothers, I grew up in a big family.
My kids and I spend a lot of time together, we workout together and they both run competitively with me. My daughter is a professional photographer who has graced magazines, books and print ads all over the world. My son is a full time student, in his last year of undergraduate work, and is going into audio engineering, a talented musician, and a real mover and shaker.
How would you best describe yourself?
Driven, motivated and creative. Creativity is a part of the core of my existence in a way that I approach any task from a highly intuitive creative level. I'm a quirky 50 year old lady, with the drive of an 18 year old. I love my work, I am passionate and intense about what I do. I don't like status quo, and really love to shake things up, personally and professionally.
What is your greatest strength?
I think constantly.
What is your greatest weakness?
I think constantly.
What kind of movies and / or music do you find entertaining?
I'm really an HBO series girl, True Blood, Boardwalk Empire, I've seen almost every HBO series. Movies are tough, I find a lot of movies today boring. Big Batman Christian Bale fan, and anything that evolves 3D. I love older movies, "To Kill a Mockingbird", Sidney Poiter movies, anything historical. Mel Gibson's "Apocalypto" is a piece of savage art. I also love Big Bang Theory, and would marry Sheldon Cooper in a heartbeat. Music is a part of my everyday life, as singer and pianist, trained classically, music unleashes a part of me in a very private and universal way. My old go to's for creation were always NIN, Radiohead, electronic music, Gary Neumann, David Bowie, the Beatles, and some other stranger stuff, Portishead, and then a host of classical, Liszt, Chopin, Beethoven, and my Wolfgang! (Mozart). I went to my first JayZ/Kanye concert this year in Toronto, and stood for three hours dancing like a mad thing.
When did you first become involved in art?
I have been involved in art and music since I was able to sit up. I used to sing Bachianias Brasilerias from my high chair for more food, at 3 years old. My mother loved to tell people that, and would say "I just knew she was going to be another Ima Sumac". I liked drawing all my life, I drew wild life in high school and won an award. I won a Betty Crocker Bake off too, for decorating a cake. So, even frosting can be heavily influential in art :-)
Who are some of the artists who have influenced you?
Both musically and artistically, John Lennon, no matter how many times I hear "Imagine", its stark message and yearning for a brotherhood of man, makes me cry. It was the first piece of music in the Olympic Closing Ceremony last weekend, and I just sat there crying softly. I wonder if he ever "imagined" how prophetic his words would become.
Caravaggio, Bosch, the Pre-raphaellites, Geiger, Brom, Goya and his use of candel light, are a big influence on the colors I like to tinge my art with. Salvador Dali's "St John the Cross" is one of my favorites. 3D art is explosive, and constantly evolving. One of my favorite artists probably my favorite is David Ho. Surrealist Gilles Tran is amazing. I was heavily influenced by an artist that used to hang out with us on Renderosity, called "Februus". It was really early days, and I could not believe my eyes when I stumbled into Renderosity in 1999. Februus was my god. These people were truly at the forefront of what we are doing. Back then, we took Poser and twisted it out of its skin making it something else altogether. From that a movement was created existing now in unheralded intensity and strength.
Continuing with this, who has been the greatest influence on you in your life?
My Mother, Madeline. She passed away March 29th of this year, at 93 years old. She was quite a lady. She believed in me, she supported me financially, she bought me my first graphics computers. She passed on the love of gardening, and nature, and she shut me up when I had too much to say. I miss her terribly, and hope that wherever she is in the universe she is flying free. There are so so many things I still have to tell her! To suddenly lose your best friend after 50 years is strange. My mother raised me as her friend, there are some that would say that's not a good thing to do, sometimes it blurs lines of conventionality and privacy, but, in truth, it was perfect for us. I keep her last phone messages on my call box, so that when I get down and I miss her, I listen to her, and I feel like she's right there again.
What are your artistic motivations (your muse)?
Human beings. People. My muse is the human race, in all its glory, and stinking filthy retch.
What tools do you use when creating your art?
Poser 2012, and Photoshop, Deep Paint.
What is your artistic background?
My background is mainly in music, although I was a sketch artist when I was younger. Interestingly enough, I always sketched portraits. I am a trained classical vocalist and pianist. I took up photography as a hobby in 2002, and sometimes will dabble there as well.
What endeavors to you hope to accomplish with your talents?
To bring about a global unity at Runtime DNA, where all members of all communities feel they can participate. Cross platforming highly divided sectors in our industry. Motivating people to understand that there is no dividing line, there is only a technology of your choosing, and the industry and art that it creates.
If you had to list one item you have created which is your favorite, which item would that be?
Art-wise a piece called "Magnus Cries". Another piece of art called "The Crying Game", and "The Last Sentinel". That's three. Sorry!
Product wise: Vanilla Sky baby! She gave me back my humanity at a time when life was pretty raw. The experience was surreal to say the least.
Describe what it's like working with Colm Jackson and Traveler.
I've been with Colm and Trav since 1999. We were together before we started DNA, I married and divorced one of them, the other is my best friend. The three of us work very closely together. Eric and I are the creative brain of DNA, and Colm is our Quality Assurance Director, handling all aspects of product control from the moment it comes in, till it goes into the store. I could not have picked better partners for each area of my life. Through the relationship with both of them many of my inner and outer dreams were fulfilled, in a way I never thought possible. I am very lucky to have experienced that. As artists, and creators, it is exciting to work with two people who's development of product has consistently put them on the cutting edge of their profession. The nucleus we formed those many years ago, is as strong today, if not stronger than when we first sat down and broke bread together.
How do you handle stressful situations?
I go quiet. Very quiet. And then I start thinking. I call Eric and voice that thinking into reality. I run, or I work out hard, as it really breaks the tension for me, and often find that I power-lift much heavier weight when I'm stressed, it breaks the physical tension that runs like a knotted cord, through my body. I will also block out everything and play Bejeweled like a maniac. I mow the lawn, and that is no joke. I will just break away from the computer, run outside, weed, garden, mow and trim, and in an hour I feel at peace.
What is the toughest problem you’ve had to face, and how did you overcome it?
The breakup of my marriage and the death of my Mother, brother and sister in law in a very condensed three year period. The feeling of loss was incredible. Overwhelming. For months it felt as though I lived in the dark, I just never saw the sun shine. I overcame it, by living day to day, by replacing "but" in every sentence, with "and". By understanding intrinsically that if I let light into almost every area of darkness, I would eventually feel light again. I engaged my body in the process of healing my mind.
What are some of your favorite things in life?
Cooking, reading, gardening, being with family. Games, gaming, word games, scrabble. I love hanging out with my kids, and watching them go on their journey into life. I get a kick out of my kids. I love technology and gadgetry, bells and whistles. My pets. I love my animals. My two cats are a riot, a petite little lady no bigger than 6 pounds, and her brawling lovable oaf of a brother, who tries to eat my fingers every morning at 6 am. My beloved 13 year old doggie, who is my most faithful companion. Getting the box covers for Poser 9 and Poser 2012. Unbelievable moment.
If you could change anything in the world to improve it or maybe contribute something to humanity for the good of humanity... what would that be?
I would erase race hatred. Its wrong on so many levels. Fanaticism at a terrorist level baffles me. Call me simple, but I believe in the brotherhood of man. If hate is universal then love is even more so. The basic tenet "Love one another as I have loved you". "Before you condemn a man, walk a mile in his moccassins". "Go placidly amidst the noise and haste". Not easy words to live by. There are good people in the world, and then there is some human evil on levels that we cannot comprehend, but to simply hate someone because they are not like you, when there is so much we can learn from each other, seems an awful waste.
Two fold, to end violence against women and children. If I could seed a foundation it would be to create a nurturing environment, a place where women and children can fulfill their very basic life needs, and springboard it into a functioning, secure life. A constructive, positive and well earned safety net that lasts a lifetime.
Using your imagination, tell us what fantasy realm, world or time period you would like to experience and live in.
Oh this is a TOUGH Question!!!!!!!!!!! Fantasy Realm.....geez. some weird geigerish sci fi kinda fantasy is me. I'd really like to be Dr. Who's assistant. No kidding! My Rose to David Tennant's Dr. Who, would be sublime. To fly the Tardiss. Futuristic robotics, I would love to wear AlfaseeD's "Amost Human". The idea of merging metal and man. Bionics. A Bene Gesserit, in Dune......or To live in Westeros, ruling the throne as Daenerys Targaryen, mother of dragons.
World....I think I may have chosen to exist in Rome, Tudor england during the reign of Henry VIII, or Elizabeth 1, at the beginning of the industrial revolution. Then in the end, my heart's longing would be to live as Native American before intruders so carelessly destroyed their civilization.
Would you like to share anything else with us about yourself?
I love what I do. I'm in this because I believe passionately in what I create. I stand behind Runtime DNA. It is my heart and soul. As much as humanly possible, I reach out into the community and try to dig deep to help people. The greatest outpouring we have experienced is in the relationship we have developed with our community. Some of my most trusted friends and business partners are people I've never met. I think it's amazing to live in the world we do, where global communication is instant and creates bonds that can last a lifetime.
Edit- I've noticed in Firefox, even the updated version I have, does not play the video. Try another browser if you have issues. Thank you, Dar. :madtyper: AND- I apologize- I misspelled Syyd in the title bar, which I can't fix. *Sigh* Distractions are killer. *Smirk*