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About Digital Art / Professional Official Beta Tester Rory Alden Nielander22/Male/Australia Group :iconsolar-abyss: Solar-Abyss
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My deviantART Story

Journal Entry: Thu Aug 7, 2014, 6:49 PM
Featuring five artists that have really shaped not just my art but my life through / around this site being a thing. So grateful for everything that's been able to happen in the last 8 years and it really does tend to orbit around DeviantArt.

I've been drawing for as long as I can remember and I used to just consider it a hobby, I never thought about how I drew ALL the time and loved it. I can't remember much of what I drew when I was really little though there's so much of it stashed away at my Dad's house. I'd have to say my first big phase I remember super well was Dragonball Z and copying all the pictures from the Tazos / K-Zone magazines. It went on like that for a long while and around 2004 (Grade 7) I started thinking about my own story, though looking back on it I can see it was my brain stitching the dream idea from Final Fantasy VIII, between Squall and Laguna, together with a bunch of other plot points from shows / books I'd read.

For most of high school, I drew dragons and mythical creatures in my school books and did a BUNCH of Yugioh, Kingdom Hearts and Naruto fanart as high school drew to a close but I still drew that character of mine (Zero, best name ever right?) here and there.

In 2007 (Grade 10) my last year of High School because this is Tasmania and we're cool like that, my art teacher had actually almost put me off thinking of an art career entirely and all my pathway planning *VOMIT* stuff from back then says "Actor / Director" since I'd been doing youth theatre stuff for AGES and I really thought my drawing would stay a hobby while I'd make that my work. Until one day towards the end of the year, Deloraine High School had this afternoon thing where students could pick from a bunch of different workshops for their afternoon, ending the day in home room whenever each workshop wrapped up! I saw a cartooning type workshop on the list and thought "Oh gee, I don't know if I can draw properly anymore. So scared etc." but went for it anyway. The exercise that these two people had us do was to design a character on a sheet of paper and then draw them in a side view etc. with the same height. A consistency exercise! I'd never heard of that kind of stuff before having little to no access to the internet / never really knowing other artists. I was so ashamed of my own style, though it was SUPER yugioh-wannabe looking at the time, that I drew something super deformed and tiny and I just wasn't happy with it at all while this girl I had no idea could draw, drew this amazing looking gothic dress wearing chick and it was super detailed. At this point I thought "Yep. That's it, I've lost it." and was packing away my stuff pretty slowly, a lot of the students had left already and for whatever reason the topic of Toonami came up? So anyway, Vamore (one half of the workshop dude/dude-ette pair) and I got talking about it excitedly and he asked to see what else I usually draw. From there, we must've mentioned Trigun because carnival nearly jumped across the entire room and suddenly they were both talking to me for what felt like half an hour about drawing, personal style, original characters / stories (which they highly recommended I work on because they liked my stuff and wanted to see what I could do with my own universe.)

Both Vamore and carnival highly recommended that I make a DeviantArt account and to their shock I'd never heard of it before. So later that year I made one while at a friend's place in town and the real journey began! (I was super starstruck once I saw their work online and found out they had been to conventions and stuff. 16 year old me was in awe! Still am for anyone that can do conventions, I haven't had the chance just yet but MIGHT get a spot at AI-Con this year? Not sure if I can yet. Back to the epic saga!)

Hero Redd by Vamore

Vamore and I gushed about Bubblegum Crisis and how badass an ultra-violent Power Rangers could be. Can you imagine?! He sure did and it still holds up super-badass.


I've always loved the crazy energy and colours that carnival uses in her work. Super vibrant stuff! Her hype-ness definitely shone through when we talked about Trigun that day.

Now on to Newstead College days! (2008 - 2009)

Despite being excited to draw and having people I looked up to and wanted to impress, I didn't enrol into an Art class for Grade 11. I went with high level Maths and English stuff because I qualified for them and also Japanese foundations out of sheer interest. (A little bit of a weeb reason too but that's neither here nor there and you should never feel bad for wanting to learn stuff.)

None of my core-friends from Deloraine High School (except a handful of non-core friends) came to Newstead with me, Luke did but had to move right away, so it was a complete restart for me and I was super happy in some ways because there was no heirarchy! No bullying Rory! Things were good until I started skipping classes and losing sleep but besides that, I met my current housemate / husbando Viper-mod too! I made some friends in my Japanese class and they started hanging out with their other friends infront of the Art room and there was this guy there who seemed really quiet. I noticed he was drawing one day and within the week we were hanging out at his place (like, 4 houses down from college) playing Halo and eventually getting to the point where we'd feed off each others' hyperness. Also, he's a painter and I was freaking out because I was always terrible at working with paint and he made it seem so easy. Another case of me wanting to get good at something just cause someone else was! HAHA.

I found out he was making this comic and I thought "AWESOME!" and then it was a sprite comic and I was all "SUPER-AWESOME!" cause I'd done some spriting before and the ideas were just fun and over the top. I had a lot of fun drawing fanart type stuff of what he had already done and I saw it bubble up even stronger over those years.

Towards the end of that year, I had an English creative writing assignment thing and wrote a short story. I showed Viper-mod and he encouraged me to develop it more and I sorta tried but gave up for a few months. BUT, out of that, I made Cannonfodder from just a gamertag into a character and he made his debut in M.O.D. in October, on my birthday actually! About a month later we were sitting in the bus terminal and I drew a map of a fantasy looking continent and had serious plans for my story to become a "thing." Solar Abyss (my story) was quietly born. It really helps to be around other creative-minded people!

In 2009, after seeing that Art Classes ain't all that bad, I joined up for Certificate III in Visual Art and despite my teacher being possibly the biggest *$@^ I've ever had the displeasure of meeting (he was also a perv and several of my friends were made to feel SUPER uncomfortable because of him, thankfully he doesn't work there anymore. HAH!) I developed Solar Abyss from a fleeting idea into at least a loose framework with a pretty big cast of characters in my head / on paper with a really big dip into Digital Art / digital painting in the process. First year with a Graphic Tablet too!

Demonic Fire Overloaded Viper by Viper-mod

Viper-mod, the crazy mofo, used SAND to texture and grunge this up. Really thinks outside the box and it's great.

Inveresk Academy of the Arts (2010)

Viper-mod and I spent this whole year getting our Certificate IV in Visual Arts and towards the end, he introduced me co-incidentally to my next feature! He literally threw a headset at me while he was on Skype, I'm not even kidding. Nothing super important involving DA in 2010, EXCEPT that this guy met the next person through DeviantArt so THANKS AGAIN DA! <3

Living in Brisbane, Moving to Syndey by the power of LOVE! (2011)

December 2010, my friends and I moved to Brisbane and through the whole process a LOT of crazy stuff went down, for the better mostly, but I also lost my Mum and being my first time moving out of home AND out of state (which also means overseas for us Tasmanians) I was in a bad way. I'd continued talking to this girl who I mentioned before and in March we met in person despite her living in Sydney, trained it down to the Gold Coast and that was a fun trip!

I had jobs and all that life stuff so I didn't draw much and when I did, it pissed me off. But I fell in love and resolved to move to Sydney so I'd stop spending money on airfares and being mopey everytime I was back in Brisbane. In September I moved and started living with Tegz0rz and we had all sorts of crazy adventures together. I got my first taste of the big city and conventions and so many other things that it really makes my headspin that the past three years went by so quickly.

She's got a hell of a lot of cool ideas locked up in her head and will Super-DPS a mofo if you're in her party, in game or IRL. If she was in Final Fantasy X she'd have Break Damage Limit right off the bat. We collaborated a few times with art-trades and I even tried illustrating some comic pages based on stuff she was writing. Super fun stuff and a really important series of experiences for me as both an artist and just as a person in general.

We had our differences in the end and I've since moved back to Tasmania but that's life and hey, don't glue gears together if they don't fit. LET 'EM SPIN!

Cue Kill Bill Sirens by Tegz0rz

Tegz0rz draws BAMF ladies and doesn't afraid of anything.

Leaving Sydney, Back to Tasmania, Levelled Up Tho. (2014)

I'd like to think I've saved the most inspirational for last and dangit he's such a cool guy!

So when Tegz0rz and I hit up my first Supanova in 2011, I was checking out the Artist Alley and I noticed someone I'd been watching on DA for a while had a setup and immediately dragged her over and got him to sign my Death Note, it's become an inside joke that I've done to death... *crickets* HA!

That's right, that "annoying yellow rat" Ry-Spirit.

I'd make it a rule to see him every convention I went to and at Smash! one year, we spent the afternoon strolling around gaming and drawing. He hooked me up with a lot of useful info like life drawing in the city on Monday nights and to bring a Chinese friend along if you wanna buy an R4 from a certain place, which I never did, damn. Oh and let's not forget he treated me to my first and only bowl of Ramen so far. I'm so weak! I gotta adjust to the oil. Seriously, I've probably driven him crazy with all the times I've picked his brain about prints and selling, info about his process for preparing for a convention etc. AND he let me and Tegz0rz try his Cintiq 13HD when we went to his place one day and that was super cool. Not often you get to try before you buy with something that expensive.

His theme month idea has stuck with me since and it's really helped me with getting out of ruts by changing things up and making personal challenges and he introduced me to Bishi-Bashi so, 'nuff said. COOL GUY.

I'll never forget getting my arse handed to me in Street Fighter X Tekken with a captive audience at Smash! He's a Street Fighter kid and I'm a Tekken kid so that was crazy awesome timing to be able to compete against him as Yoshimitsu in a Street Fighter setting.

His work ethic and practical skill with colour is unmatched by anyone else I know in person and they really are things I aspire to learn from.

The good old Days by Ry-Spirit

Ry-Spirit makes such a vibrant atmosphere in his work. I've started adding easter eggs in my work because of his skill with them!

So there's my DeviantArt Story! November 21st is my 7th anniversary on this site and I look forward to making more connections as time rolls on.
I've never spent so long writing a journal before! Head spinning.

Here's to these five awesome people!

  • Mood: Zeal
  • Listening to: Alexisonfire, Kanye West, Maximum the Hormone
  • Reading: Heir to the Shadows
  • Playing: Yugioh TCG


Rory Alden Nielander
Artist | Professional | Digital Art
Fun-Employed, professional illustrator and designer. Surname pronounced Knee-Lander like a Daniel Bryan / Kenta knee to the face.

Certificate IV in Visual Arts AND Graphic Design but no Diploma. Next year... *points to Wrestlemania sign*


Add a Comment:
AkumaRyoshi Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Cool artwork! :happybounce:
Orlenius Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
AkumaRyoshi Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Cool artwork! :happybounce:
Orlenius Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you kindly!
SickJoe Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
thanks for the kind words and the fa/v/!
AkumaRyoshi Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Cool artwork :D
Orlenius Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Ry-Spirit Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Llama for your excellent answer sir
Orlenius Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
It's about time! *wink*
JonDavidGuerra Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2013  Professional Artist
Thanks for adding my Punk vs Jericho illustration to your favs! :)
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