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Behind The Symbol
with Annie Crabtree (aka northengirl )


Welcome to the second issue of Behind the Symbol, the weekly news article which aims to go behind the dashes, at signs, beta tester and subscribers symbols to find out more about the deviants we all know (and not know!).


Don’t forget to check out the Behind The Symbol Contest at the bottom!



This weeks interview is with our one and only miss suzi9mm

Mature Content

the mind by suzi9mm
   your favorite color by suzi9mm   unreachable by suzi9mm  

Mature Content

i fuck like a girl by suzi9mm
   uniqueness 3 by suzi9mm



So, tell us about yourself - we all know you as the fluffies obsessed admin who has a slight fascination with fake blood, but who is the deviant behind the symbol?

S9M: If I say ‘just a girl’ it’s boring aye? I….umm, just finished watching a mixed martial arts fight on video and now I’m listening to piano music by someone called ‘Goldmund’.

The spike in my tongue piercing has caved the inside of my mouth in an interesting manner, there’s like this long cut, but I’ve learned to use my tongue differently and don’t hurt myself a lot anymore. I have no idea why I do something that would hurt myself like that, I just don’t question it, I must have that spike – because. It’s nice staying a teenager in some ways, is it not?


NG: Some interesting facts there! I must admit, I never knew you had a tongue piercing!



How did you come across your passion for photography, especially the experimental kind of photography we see in your gallery?

S9M: It just happened really. I’ve always been into visual expression, I used to draw a lot. The themes in my drawings shifted slowly through the years from princesses into dead princesses. And as I quit drawing due to dissatisfaction with the results, it was only natural to continue expressing myself in another form. I didn’t realize this until later though, that I had to let these ideas out in some way. Dark themes have always been with me, and I think whether I photograph or paint, the themes would be roughly the same. I dunno about experimental though, it’s just what comes out naturally, I didn’t decide the direction I have.



We all have those artists which inspired us, who has inspired you the most along the way?

S9M: actually I’m disappointing that way, I can name one guy whose photographs influenced me somewhat during the past 10 years, and that was Sante D’Orazio, but only in the recent years have I come up with more names that I can honestly say I like. Bettina Rheims’s feminine but edgy style is enviable, while Erwin Olaf does some really smooth and controversial stuff that I admire. They’re my top favs. To throw in a few more names that have impressed me I’ll say Terry Richardson and Rankin.



Would you say deviantART has influenced your work?

S9M: Oh definitely. I think anyone who has been active in dA for a while and says it hasn’t, is lying. Everything we see and experience affects us, whether we realize it or not, and hanging out at an art site is bound to have an affect. It’s really impossible to say what the effect is, but I know it’s motivated me loads to have an audience on this site, I happily admit I enjoy having my work looked at. I’ve seen work on dA that inspired me and gave me ideas for techniques, and seeing different types of photography and styles has been an eye-opener sometimes. I need to point out that in ‘real life’ I don’t follow the art or photography scene much, and in addition to taking the photos and occasional commission work, I don’t have much to do with photography. I know it’s the opposite as to what many think it should be, but I kinda like this balance, we don’t all have to follow the same pattern. I like exhibiting online.

NG: It's nice to find a photographer who feels satisfied with just the online experience, i meet many people online who say 'yeah online is great but i want to get into the 'real' world' - it's great that you’ve found that balance and are happy with it.



In the words of deviantART, what are your tools of the trade?

S9M: It’s the mind of course, much more than the camera, although having a cam helps lol. I can’t really press that enough, the things inside the head, from experiences to imagination to DNA, that’s what I have and use. A little bit of energy drinks here and there help too…  

NG: yeah I agree, although a posh camera does help - in the end its the person behind the camera that makes the picture, not how many mega pixels you have.



We all have our own opinions about DA, what is your personal opinion at the moment?

S9M: Good question, how do I handle this honestly? dA is a big part of my online-life so it’s hard to take a step back and compile an honest opinion. It has plenty of good and bad sides to it like everything, I will always be grateful for the positive affect it has had on my photography and for all the great friends and experiences it’s enabled me to have. Culturally I think I am somewhat a stranger to dA because of it’s American background, that’s a minus but on the positive side it’s given me an opportunity to work and cope in a slightly different environment.  Big websites as well as companies in general tackle with a lot of legal, ethical and communicative issues and I’ve seen this in deviantart and that part is hard and not always so positive. It’s impossible to please everyone fully but I’ve been lucky to experience some of the extremes, good extremes especially (I think it’s impossible to appreciate the good in anything unless you’ve felt the bad). I think dA is pretty good as an online experience, it has space to develop and time will show what happens, but I am proud of the possibilities and tools it offers for all kinds of people both art and community wise.

NG: thanks for you honest answer, I think it must be hard for someone so heavily involved in DA and behind the scenes to be able to answer a question like this so honestly.



Creativity can be frustrating sometimes, what is it about your art form that just makes you want to chuck it all in?

S9M: I don’t know if there’s anything specific in photography as such, I think with all creation we come across the same issues…  self-criticism is one of my strengths but it’s a real killer too if you know what I mean. It’s had me close to quitting several times. Having big goals and seeing how far they are is frustrating, our limits and the patience that photography demand are sometimes unbearable. But, in Africa kids are dying of hunger so I guess I’m pretty well off anyway and should just shut up.



On the bright side though, what do you find to be the most fulfilling aspect of your art?

S9M: Those moments when I press the button and the shutter captures a scene and I know it is a good photo. I’ve been caught saying it’s better than sex. It is (note: ~average sex, not mind-blowing sex).

I love good visuals, having created something that pleases my eyes is really rewarding. Then last but not least, I do love it when I get feedback saying someone enjoyed my work and got something out of it, was perhaps even inspired by it. Having affected someone’s day or life with my work is quite honouring as well as humbling.


NG: I agree, there is nothing quite as good as the feeling one gets when you create a photo which meets or exceeds your expectations. and of course, the comments rock!



What do you feel is the most common mistake you see people making when it comes to using special effects such as fake blood in their photographs?

S9M: Well, like with any effect, probably when they don’t know how to use it really. Bad details, lowsy photoshop work, things like that. Also lacking content, but that could be a matter of opinion as well. But we all start somewhere. I think most photographers ditch blood and death themes when they grow older and become ‘pros’, those topics are easily labelled as clichés but I think it depends.

NG: they are common, it's true - especially in art community such as DA where the majority of the population are under 25. But as you’ve proven, dark themes can carry on past the teen years ;)



Would you describe yourself as a professional artist who makes money from their work or someone who creates for the sake of creating?

S9M: I do create for the sake of creating, it’s really important to me and that’s how I’ve started, but now that I do have the possibility to profit from my work sometimes, I do. It enables me to work only part-time. I still take photos because I want to, and rarely shoot for money, but if and when I can get some of my time and money investments back, it’s rewarding and does make me feel better about it all. Like, I would buy a new camera anyway, but if I can buy it with money that I passively made with my photos, it’s great and hence I really appreciate the support I get.



If you had to choose between making money from your art or growing as an artist, which would you choose?

S9M: Oh man, that’s kinda tough u know, as if the other was the opposite of the other, which it doesn’t have to be. But okay, if we assume making money is just being a puppet to make a buck, I wouldn’t do that, my photos are more important. I’ll choose the latter even if I don’t use the word artist to describe myself. I’ve noticed u can have a little bit of both, so I hope I never really have to choose and that I can just go by instinct and ‘fun’ as I have so far.

NG: good answer to a tough questions :)



What can we expect to see from suzi9mm in the near future?

S9M: Same old, same old. Haha. I don’t plan too much. I’m thinking of running a fluffy-photography contest soon though, I asked people about it earlier and it seemed they liked the idea. Any other ideas on how to amuse and entertain the community are welcomed ;)

NG: haha, I find it funny how you combind your love for blood and gore along side a love for anything cute and fluffy! Maybe you should considering something along the lines of our Deviant Question further down the interview ;)



Any final words for us?

S9M: Yea, please come and model for me :P   

Besides that, well, do what you need to do and don’t let anything come in your way.


NG: well, if you ever run outa models, I'd be happy to help :P Thanks for a great interview Jen!



Deviant Question:

This weeks questions comes from: cweeks

Question: Ask her if she'll ever bloody-up a fluffy? I won't tell PETA ... swear.

Answer: That’s evil, he must know that annoys me :D I will never bloody-up a fluffy, fluffies represent all the good things in life and my sense of humour just doesn’t stretch that way…I’m narrow-minded that way :D


Thumbs etc:

  • Name your top fav deviants of the moment and why:

    lithiumpicnic   always quality work with a dark essence, I don’t know this guy personally but I have the impression he’s cool
    drahomira  I always first drop my jaw and then realize whose work I’m looking at, his art is so distinctive and original I have to respect it.
    dahlig   everyone knows her amazing digital paintings but for me she’s special cos I’m so stuck in photography, yet I find her stuff mesmerizing.
    fangedfem  a fellow fluffy lover! This woman probably loves kitties as much as I do and that alone makes her a good person. Great personality and brain help though.
    natashalyonne   I just want to brag about meeting her again in a couple weeks, she’s smart and sexy and I wish we lived closer to each other.

    • Any thumbs we should check out?

      Here’s a random selection from my favs and elsewhere
      Inquietude by Maxwell-Vibe  

      Mature Content

      I Feel It In My Fingers by JeanFrancois
        

      Mature Content

      Starbelly by fetology101
         Technicolor 2 by drahomira   interrogation by mudri

      • Any museums/art galleries/art exhibitions you think are worth seeing?

        I suck in real life art things…I rarely go out to see anything and I’m pretty clueless about the local art scene. Sounds dumb but what can you do. Apparently there’s a photo exhibition on ‘death’ by different artists at Kaapelitehdas, Helsinki. I think I actually might have to check that one out.

        • Any useful/interesting/fun websites worth going to:

          I just found Elena Dorfmann’s site today; www.still-lovers.com/ . She took photos of dolls and their owners and made it into a book. By dolls I mean real-life size and real looking ‘artificial women’.
          A few great photo sites are
          <a href=www.frank-wartenberg.com>Frank Wartenberg,
          <a href=www.ranjitgrewal.com/>Ranjit Greval, <a href=www.milesaldridge.com/>Miles Aldridge and <a href=sugarcut.com/>sugarcut (a selection of different artists, focusing on women, yay!),

          I also have to mention <a href=”cuteoverload.com/”>cuteoverload, <a href=”grouphug.us/”>grouphug and <a href=www.last.fm/>Last.fm as sites that everyone should check out :)

          I tend to give at least a few good or fun links in every journal of mine, so check that out if you’re looking for the new and interesting :)




          The Next Issue


          The next issue of Behind The Symbol will be featuring DivineError
          If any of you have a burning question you’re just dieing to ask him, then send a note to me ( northengirl ) and your question may feature in the interview!


          Behind the Symbol CONTEST

          As you may all have noticed, the title and header decorations of this news article is just a little boring and nothing compared to some of the fantastic graphic designs we see on other news articles like hesitation ‘s The Crop.

          Think you could come up with a cool design for the headers and title? If so send your entries to northengirl in a note.

          The winning design will be used every week in Behind The Symbol news article!

          Good luck!

          (please note all designs title designs must include the text featured in the title above. If you have any questions please feel free to note me ( northengirl ) ! )


Add a Comment:
 
:iconpulbern:
pulbern Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2006  Hobbyist General Artist
I skimmed most of it but it was awesome :D
Reply
:iconpixiesque:
Pixiesque Featured By Owner May 15, 2006  Professional General Artist
Bloody awesome interview :D
Reply
:iconjeans16:
Jeans16 Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2006
Very good interview, very nice to read. Not too keen on the italics nor the 'responses' to Suzi's answers - I think that's unnecessary.
Reply
:iconxehara:
Xehara Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2006   General Artist
I can't remember a time when I didn't watch +suzi9mm and I can't think of a reason as to why anyone shouldn't watch her... It's almost absurd to think theres someone out there who isn't watching her. Her work is amazing, and I love that you interviewed her.
Reply
:iconsuzi9mm:
suzi9mm Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2006   Photographer
:o
Reply
:iconmissm69:
MissM69 Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2006
Great reading waits for the next article :)
Reply
:iconaleksandra:
aleksandra Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2006  Professional Photographer
Good reading :D I enjoyed it very much! :hug:
Reply
:iconsuzi9mm:
suzi9mm Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2006   Photographer
:)
Reply
:iconaleksandra:
aleksandra Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2006  Professional Photographer
:heart:
Reply
:iconleahenning:
LeaHenning Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2006  Student Photographer
<Those moments when I press the button and the shutter captures a scene and I know it is a good photo. Iíve been caught saying itís better than sex. It is (note: ~average sex, not mind-blowing sex). >

this is certainly how I describe photography-in such lovely words xx
Reply
:iconvambo64:
Vambo64 Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2006
S9M's work is always amazing, long may it continue :-)
Reply
:iconannikaastra:
AnnikaAstra Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2006  Hobbyist Photographer
I love suzi9mm's gallery...Great interview =) I'm looking foward to future articles, this a really neat idea =)
Reply
:iconboum:
boum Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2006  Professional Filmographer
Great stuff. Watch out for spelling errors though, NG... I spotted quite a few in your responses. :)
A very interesting read. Again looking forward to the next one!
Reply
:iconpulbern:
pulbern Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2006  Hobbyist General Artist
ugh...why do I have to be obsessed with interviews and have to be a slow reader?! WHY!

Great interview :clap: loved every hour I spent reading it too :) I feel I got to know you guys a bit!
Reply
:iconshutdown:
shutdown Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2006  Professional Interface Designer
This is awesome, i'm looking forward to the next article. :nod:
Reply
:iconnuozek:
nuozek Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2006
:thumbsup:

Your amazing Jen! Fact.
Reply
:iconsjmx:
SJMX Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2006   Photographer
i would model for her :D

but im too ugly and... well yea! :P
Reply
:iconcolorblindme:
colorblindme Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2006
Wonderful!!!
Reply
:iconplornt:
Plornt Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2006
Wonderful interview, i really enjoyed this one :)
Reply
:iconppgrainbow:
ppgrainbow Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2006  Hobbyist General Artist
Very interesting interview! I can't wait to see what the next issue will bring. :aww:
Reply
:iconplornt:
Plornt Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2006
:lol: "interesting" is usually my word :lol:
Reply
:iconppgrainbow:
ppgrainbow Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2006  Hobbyist General Artist
:giggle::heart::rofl:
Reply
:iconduncanmcnicol:
DuncanMcNicol Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2006
:thumbsup: awesome interview, I'll be looking forward to the next one!
Reply
:iconc3h:
c3h Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2006   Photographer
Great issue once again. It's going to be hard to match cweeks' interview because he is so outspoken, honest, and such a great personality.

Cameron
Reply
:iconcherryboo:
cherrybOO Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2006   Photographer
real good questions
love it :D

specially the bloodied-up fluffy bit :giggle: aww...poor kitties :aww:
Reply
:iconelectricnats:
electricnats Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2006
This has reminded me to sign up for Lastfm.com! :D

Now I have the sudden urge to play with theatrical blood..Mm..
Reply
:iconpopc0rn:
Popc0rn Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2006
some really awsome stuff here! :D
Reply
:iconcweeks:
cweeks Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2006
me evil?

get out the friggin' stage blood already and dip a fluffy!

promise i won't alert PETA! ;)
Reply
:iconsuzi9mm:
suzi9mm Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2006   Photographer
we discussed this already ;) bring in the doggie and i'll do it
Reply
:iconcweeks:
cweeks Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2006
she can't wait .... she told me!
Reply
:icontemoc:
temoc Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2006
I enjoyed it, it was a nice reading :)
Reply
:iconamdesigns:
aMdesigns Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2006   Photographer
These are so awsome. Its great to hear all about these artists and these questions you ask are great. Keep them up. It helps so much. Thank you <3
Reply
:iconi-magine:
I-magine Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2006
As if suzi couldnt get any cooler. Awesome meter shattered.
Reply
:iconbiffmasta:
biffmasta Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2006
this is quite nice!
Reply
:iconthirdeyeswink:
thirdeyeswink Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2006   Interface Designer
She has a tongue piercing? That is SO cool!
Reply
:iconkrazie:
krazie Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2006
Damn, This is a lot to read.

Blah..



Joseph
Reply
:iconmikey-madness:
mikey-madness Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2006  Hobbyist General Artist
No kidding aye. Good stuff though. There are quiote a few emotion filled pieces.
Reply
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