”Please, you have to understand.
The Internet is evil. It corrupted me.”
--- --- --- --- --- ---
”Now, I make Royalty-Free Music.”
PFP By GXLpics

Aalasteir @Aalasteir

Age 23, Male


DK -- Timezone: CEST

Joined on 3/21/22

Exp Points:
7,262 / 7,510
Exp Rank:
Vote Power:
6.77 votes
Audio Scouts
Global Rank:
B/P Bonus:
2y 1m 19d

Skoops - QA

Posted by Aalasteir - 1 month ago

@Skoops - @Aalasteir (Q) - Index

Q: When and why did you join NewGrounds?

2020, early months of the pandemic. Work was slow and I'd been unsuccessfully trying to get some kind of social media presence off the ground before ultimately deciding it was too much of a hassle. Oney was doing Slightly Artistic at the time, and those videos mentioned posting draw-alongs to NG, and that just reminded me that oh yeah, Newgrounds is still around. Gave it a shot, reminded me of a simpler time when the internet didn't suck so bad, so I'm still here.

Q: How do you feel about the Internet?

It sucks! I owe my career and a million other things to it being the way it is, but I still feel like we'd be better off without it in a lot of ways. I think we'd all get our shit sorted out if the internet just went away for, like, two years. Let's make it happen, people!

Q: When did you decide to move to Taiwan?

I was moving around a lot back then. Long story short though, I had a high school buddy that was already out here teaching English, and he offered to help me get started with teaching work, so I took him up on it. Originally it was just to make money while I looked for an art job somewhere else in Asia, but turns out they have some of those jobs here, and I really vibe with Taiwan, so I'm still here almost a decade later.

Q: When did you get interested in art?

Kindergarten. I couldn't watch TV while I was at school, so I needed to make my own entertainment, scribbling out crude abstract shapes that were supposed to be Power Rangers or Sonic the Hedgehog.

Q: How did you become a Concept Artist?

I mentioned I was moving around a lot; before Taiwan, I was in Singapore attending a one-year intensive trade school specifically for concept art. By that point I was old enough and traumatized enough by my jobs in the service industry that taking one last risk to escape that life was worth taking. I'd say I made the best of it, turned my life around and all that. Fucking expensive, though. Just have someone keep you in a cage and force you to do Drawabox if you want to get good, save some money.

Q: How did you get interested in posting in the BBS?

Came part and parcel with my interest with Newgrounds overall. I grew up with BBS forums pre-facebook and all that other bullshit, so it gives me that warm and fuzzy nostalgia to talk shit and make children cry using such a classic medium.

Q: How do you actually relax?

Video games most days. I do pottery on weekends.

Q: What do you see when you see someone having an opinion you don't like?

I see a pissbaby that needs to be put in the corner.

Q: Who made Madness?

Tomberland J Folpus, Kristopher Krinkelles, etc.

Q: Your advice for life

Everyone says "be yourself" and "don't compare yourself to others," and that's bullshit. Stop living in your own head, stop pretending that your inner world is some precious, fragile thing that needs protection from the real world. The self is meant to learn and grow through interaction with and comparison to the physical universe. We find and correct our flaws that way, we find and develop the best parts about ourselves that way, and if you do it enough, the universe might improve itself through you. If you trick yourself into being scared of letting that happen, you're gonna spend the rest of your tiny little life just rotting and taking up space.

Q: How does a person start drawing?

Hold out your arm, use those little dangly bits and the end there to pick up a pen, now bring that pen to a piece of paper, apply pressure and start wiggling around.

If you want to start getting good at drawing, I've put together a list of resources for people that are ready to take it seriously. Literally just do Drawabox; I can count on one hand the people I know that stuck all the way through, but they're all improving faster than I did.

Q: What is the origin of your name: Skoops

Two reasons. Reason One is this classic bit of MVC2 trash talking:


Reason Two: wherever I first used the name, "Scoops" with a C was taken.

Q: What were the BBS forums pre-facebook and all that other bullshit?

Oof, that's bringing me way, way back. Three that I remember were a local anime convention's forum, the Mega64 forum, and most importantly, YouChew - RIP.

Q: Do you feel people are bad at taking advice?

Generally, yeah, they're terrible. Plenty of people will ask for it, but they're really just venting about the stuff that's frustrating them. They won't act on anything they get, because they've already gotten their little dopamine rush knowing people spent time trying to help them. Occasionally you get some that straight up ask for critique, but they'll get prickly when they actually get it. All they really wanted was idle praise.

I don't really care though; it's all a numbers game. If the person I'm giving advice to is definitely not going to act on anything I say, there's still a chance that someone else will see our exchange and get something useful out of it. I've told countless young artists that they need to do their fundamentals, and maybe two or three actually gave it a shot. But I see people I never advised directly making threads where they just so happen to be using a bunch of the resources I keep posting, so something tells me that I could be having a bigger effect than I can see directly. Or not! I have no idea. Writing things out is partly for myself, too. Talking confidently about what people ought to do forces me to walk the walk, lead by example and live up to my own standards.




(Sorry for the late reply. Other matters got in the way again and again.) As somebody who hands out advice on NG every now and then, I can confirm that there's a lot less follow-up on said advice than one would expect. I have pretty much given up writing game reviews for that reason. Nowadays I read the artist news and try to help those "in need" if I can. I think I'm slowly getting better at resisting the temptation to engage with users who give off the impression that they might be too lazy to even 'begin' to figure stuff out on their own, but nobody can be an expert in 'everything', so I still give people the benefit of the doubt from time to time.

But recently it has gotten to a point were I have been writing comments telling people to read the Help/FAQ. Or pointed them to the Audio Appeal Thread after hearing them whine about being banned from the Audio Portal for two years. There is a possibility that I have 'Newgrounds-brain' and am unable to see how certain things might be confusing to new users, but the FAQ...? Even a child should be able to figure that one out...
On one hand I genuinely feel sorry for those users, on the other hand I'm -worried-for-humanity- I mean: 'worried that they'll never learn to figure stuff out on their own'. I wish I could just take more of an Harlan Ellison-approach* but I'm afraid that's not who I am - and not every user would have the mental capacity to 'get' harsh advice.

In the light of this: What is 'your' decision making process to decide who gets your help and who doesn't? And how do you avoid getting frustrated to the point that you don't want to help 'anyone' anymore?

Also: Thank you so much for adding a link to that list of Tutorials and Learning Resources! I'm sure the artists who come across this interview will greatly appreciate it.

* Before he was successful, Joseph Michael Straczynski (who later went on to create 'Babylon 5') got in touch with American writer Harlan Ellison to ask for advice. Ellison's reply was: "Alright, I'll tell you what the deal is. I can tell you why your stuff isn't selling: It’s crap! Stop. Writing. Crap! If it weren't crap it would sell!"

@Yatsufusa It's mostly just passing a vibe check, but just about everyone gets one real attempt at help from me, and from that point on, the ball is in their court. I dunno if they'll try harder, work smarter or anything else, but if they don't, no biggie. They can only waste my time once.

So far nothing has made me want to give up entirely, though I often think I try too hard for free. Maybe I should do my own tutorials and then I can just link to them whenever those redundant questions crop up. ?

@Skoops Thanks for making time for me. I can relate: At times, talking to artists feels like an unsalaried job... :|

(To avoid misunderstandings: I'm not asking for help with the next one, I just thought it might be interesting to you, since you brought it up.)
On the topic of tutorials/guides: Aside from the illustrated tutorials and videos, I've seen many users (mostly moderators) write up guides in the form of news posts. Since I don't have that much 'original insights' to offer, I have taken a different approach: Since the playlists have become more versatile, I've been collecting Guides, Tutorials & Other Help* in a group of playlists for a few months now - to the best of my ability and understanding. 'Compiling them' in that form has been going "okay", but since there are no measurements of "success" (view count, rating, favorites, display what other playlists added this one...) the creator remains in the dark about how helpful and visible they are for people.
I think it's an "okay" way to build a 'library' for people to explore on their own. But like with the NG wiki, you just put it out there and how for the best without knowing how many artists it really reaches. Or how many even look for guides in the first place. ("You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink.")

* Shameless self-promotion of 'me promoting what is mostly the work of others': https://www.newgrounds.com/collection/330234/guides-tutorials-other-help
(Since animation and anatomy have a ton of overlap with everything else, I kept most of it bundled together for now; instead of splitting it into a bunch of tiny, specialized playlists users would have to navigate back and forth through.)