Deviant Login Shop
 Join deviantART for FREE Take the Tour
Well its been about 4 months since my last update in my journal so I guess its about time. The last 4 months has been exceptionally busy for me with remodeling my home (still), looking for a job and just normal everyday family life.

Ok first lets cover my remodeling. I bought my new home about a year ago now and i have been constantly working on it every day since and finally I am done for now, not because I got everything done but because I have run out of money to do it :( . That is ok though because I am totally burnt out. I have my computer room and second bath now done. I was able to drywall the basement and I'm going to have some people come in and mud the walls for me. I'll then pant the walls but the ceiling and the floor will have to wait till we get visa under control. If you want to see what I have done so far in the basement take a look here www.okongraphics.com/temp/base… the basement is still a complete mess but when i get the walls painted everything will find a home.

Second thing that I worked on is a new website just for my artwork and photography. The reason I created the new site was because I talked to a friend of mine that I knew when I was in the Navy about 25 years ago. His name is Alex Bostic and he was a wonderful artist / Illustrator. I looked him up just recently and found out that he is now a professor at University teaching art. I contacted him and  we talked. I asked him to look at my artwork here on DA and wondered what he thought of it. He told me he loved it and that I need to have other people in the industry look at it too. He said that DA might be a fun place to show and talk about art but that I need to get people that would hire me to look at it. He said to build a simple website showing my work and not to worry about a fancy site because  the people that will be looking are not interested in how fancy the site is. They just want to see the work that I have done.

Now another important thing that he told me was that if I want to know what was hot in the art / Illustration  world that I should get the Spectrum books www.spectrumfantasticart.com/ . These books contain the very best works from artist all over the world. This is the book that art directors look at first to find talent. He told me to submit some of my stuff for the book. After looking through the book I thought no way I could ever get in there but I will try anyway. The book also contains art directors and client so that I could compile a list of people to email and try to get them to look at my site. That is way I created my new simple site.

Please take a look at it and tell me what you think. I will be open to all suggestions. russokon.com/

Lastly I am trying to get back into creating again but I still have a few family issues that I have to work out and the stress of finding a new job is not helping my creativity. So stay tuned Im not going anywhere.

My Photography
:iconnoko-photography:

Member of
:icondark-arts-asylum: :iconabstractsilence: :iconthe-surreal-arts:
Once again real life stuff has kept me away. Im working on the basement now as you may or may not know. There are alot of problems Im running into here like working around plumbing, a stairway that is going to be a pain in the ass to get right and completely rewiring all the electrical. I have to run at least three new lines and although Ive done this before Im always nervous going into the main box. If you dont see me around here for a long time you know that I am in manip heaven somewhere.

Ok enough of me bitchin, I hope to have something new soon.

My Photography
:iconnoko-photography:

Member of
:icondark-arts-asylum: :iconabstractsilence: :iconthe-surreal-arts:
  • Mood:

Voices in my Head - Contest Winners

Sun Jul 16, 2006, 10:40 AM
Contest hosted by Madam-Natas
:iconmadam-natas:

Congratulations to all the Winners

First place goes to :pointr:

Cinaed-the-Gnostic


Second and Third in no paticular order as these two pieces tied...


                          


fensterer



pawnx


My Photography
:iconnoko-photography:

Member of
:icondark-arts-asylum: :iconabstractsilence: :iconthe-surreal-arts:

  • Mood: Mad
Actually this is my usual three month journal update. I just want to let anybody who is interested in me know what I have been doing, currently doing and planning to do. As you may or may not know I bought a new house about 7 months ago. Its a good house in a good nieghborhood. My old house was very nice also but hood changed for the worst with gang bangers moving in along with the graffiti and not to mention the drive by shootings. Anyway like I said its a good house but it needs allot and I mean allot of remodeling. This house was not touched since 1954 when it was built.

Here are some pics of the house before we moved in www.okongraphics.com/temp/hous… . I really like the crazy wall paper in the bathroom lol.

So for the past 7 months I've been working non stop remodeling, repairing and soaking a large amount of money into this money pit ;) . So far I have the kitchen done and the yard along with many other small projects in my home. Doing all that along with your normal real life stuff and having teenaged kids has been a real strain on me. I just keep telling myself that this will pass and all will be well in about a year or so. Here are some before, during and after pics of what I have done with the kitchen and the yard www.okongraphics.com/temp/hous… .

With all this work that I've been doing I also bought myself a few gifts, you know rewards for all my hard work ;) . My first gift was a new lens for my camera. I got the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM and its one hell of a lens, it weighs as much as a car but the pics that it takes are just outstanding. My second gift to myself is a new mountain bike. I use to go mountain biking many years ago but when the kids came into my life that all ended. So now that the kids are older I decided to get back into it with a new bike. I don't know if this was a good idea now that I'm 44 years old. I've taken a couple of good falls on the bike and instead of taking a couple of day to heal, it now take takes a couple weeks. Just the other day I was biking and launched myself off a log. The friend I was with said that I was at least 4 feet in the air and sailed about 8 feet. I still don't know if this is fun or insanity at this point. So if your into biking here's a pic and the specs on my new bike www.okongraphics.com/temp/bike… .

Ok now the future ...... as far as the house goes I'm going to start redoing the basement of my home. The basement is going to be the most important part because it will contain my computer room, workout area, home theater and my photo studio so I cant wait to get it done.

Lastly my artwork ...... in between all this I've been trying my best to create new works. I'm really trying to come up with a new style for myself. I'm going to attempt to combine my current style of dark realism with a more grunge, abstract, surrealism look. I don't know how I'm going to do all this but I will be experimenting.

I hope all this makes sence, since I'm on my 4th martini writting this :) .

Noko-Photography
:iconnoko-photography:

Member of
:icondark-arts-asylum: :iconabstractsilence: :iconthe-surreal-arts:
  • Mood: Remorse
Well recieved my first DD on my manip site and would like to thank mirrorkills :iconmirrorkills: for suggesting me for the DD. Its not one on my manips :( but for a tutorial that I did, I'll take what I can get :)

OK a quick update for anybody who is interested..... Been in my new house for almost 3 months now and I'm ready to drop from all the remodeling that Im doing. I've been work about 12 hours a day non stop now. The kitchen is just about done, all the major work is complete now, like tearing down part of the cieling, laying new hardwood floors, re-running the electrical and re-working the plumbing. Im glad Im an handy man or this would have cost me a small fortune. All I have to do now is decorate the thing.

Just to give you an idea of how most of this work has gone...I moved the sink to a corner of the kitchen so I had to run new line for the water supply and drainage. I'm working on the new drain pipes, putting in new PVC. Well Im trying like hell to  take some of the old pipes apart in the basement and as Im pulling on the pipe wrench not one or two but three pipes crack right in half OMG. So instead of a simple run to the drain I ended up redoing the entire system from the main floor down. Every job that I think will be a simple on turns into a major project.

Anyway now that I have running water in the kitchen I made up my mind that Im going to slow down. Ive been trying to get a years worth of work done in just a few months and thats not going to happen.

I need to get back to my artwork so keep a heads up from me. Im back at the computer trying to create again. First I have to thank everybody for their comments and check out everybody I watch. I only have about 600 hundred deviantions to look at lol.

Noko-Photography
:iconnoko-photography:

Member of
:icondark-arts-asylum: :iconabstractsilence: :iconthe-surreal-arts:
  • Mood: Remorse

Moved

Thu Dec 1, 2005, 8:31 PM
Moved

Well Ive been missing in action for awhile now and just wanted anybody who watches to know that Im still alive. I sold my home and bought a new one. We moved on November 17 and Im still unpacking boxes. The new house I bought is a fixer upper built in 1957 and has not been remodeled since . Its a great house in a wonderful location here in Chicago but I have mountain of work to do to it. Some work Im doing myself and some is going to be done by contractors, hell in just one week I spent $24,000 on upgrade to the this place. Basicly what Im doing is gutting one room at a time and completely remodeling them.

Im going to busy for some time here just getting this place livable...meaning getting all the computers running, my home theater put back together and just trying to unpack all my stuff.

This should take another 2 or 3 weeks so hopefully around the new year I can  get back work on my manips. I will  try to repley to all my comments and comment on the people that I watch but I will be very very busy for awhile here.

So to everybody who watches me thank you for all your wonder comments, just give me a little time to get back into the swing of things here.

  • Mood: Remorse

My Birthday and stress

Wed Nov 2, 2005, 6:45 PM
So Im getting old

Well on October 10, I will be 44 years old and really heading into middle age now lol. Im sitting here with with my back aching from a 2 hour shooting session with a new model. I was doing allot of squating and now I can hardly move...this is so sad.

Its funny I still feel like Im in my twentys. I play computer games, I listen to Metal and do many things that a younger person might do. Then my body reminds me that Im not young anymore but thats ok. I will keep doing what Im doing even if Im in a walker. My family keeps kidding me that Im getting closer to that walker every day with my bad back lol.

On a different note Im still trying to find time to create my manips along with my photography but now Im right in the middle of selling my house and buying a new one. You want to talk about stress..... Im throwing around thousands of dollars like the were nickels. Im just figuring out that all this is going to cost me about $18,000 and it killing me.

THen add the fact that my daughter is having trouble in Algerbra so Im teaching myself that all over again so I can help her with her homework that comes every night. THen with my job they are cutting hours and laying off people. THen they still expect us to do the same job with less people and hours.

Sorry everybody...I know that this is going no where but I just needed to vent. I know that all this will pass and hopefully get better soon but for now OMG HELP ME !


Noko-Photography
:iconnoko-photography:

Member of
:iconabstractsilence: :iconthe-surreal-arts: :icongoregalore:

  • Mood: Remorse

Missing in Action

Wed Sep 7, 2005, 8:53 PM
So Much to do, so little time.....

The last couple of months have been reall busy for me. I havent had much time to spend on my Manips or here on DA. Im working more hours lately and with it being summer I like to spend time with my kids, swimming in my pool and just getting out of the house.

Well I finally sold my camera on ebay for more than I was asking here so that turned out good. I just bought my new camera last week, the Canon 20D and Im loving it. It has more pro options than my Digital Rebel. I also bought my first L lens, the 17 - 40 f.4 . All I need now is to get the 75 - 200 f.4 L lens and I will have everything I need. Well at least for now.

Since I got my new camera Ive also been busy with that so again no time to work on my art, but the inch is back and I really need to produce something soon.

Right now Im going through a bunch of Manips that I started but never finished, just to get them out. Some of manips are basic, more portraits than full hardcore manips but I hope that you will like them.

Anyway just to let you guys know that I am still alive and trying to get back into creating new peices for my gallery. I t may be a couple of weeks still with vacation just around the corner but I will be back in full swing soon.



Noko-Photography
:iconnoko-photography:

Member of
:iconwretched-fragile: :icondamaged-inc: :icondark-asphyxiation: :iconthe-dark-arts: :iconabstractsilence:

  • Mood: Mad
Well Im upgrading my Camera gear and want to sell my current camera which is the Canon Digital Rebel 300D. I was going to put it on ebay but then I thought maybe someone here would want to buy it Im selling it for a very fair price.

Im asking $500 USD and you pay the shipping. You would get the folllowing .......

Canon Digital Camera Body
17 to 55 Zoom
Canon BG-E1 Battery Grip (nice accessory) www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/Product…

The camera is only 10 months old and I love the photos this camera can take. This camera has taken most of the manips you seein my galery. Im only selling it because I really want to move up to the Canon 20D but must sell this camera in order to do that (so says the boss, my wife ;) )

If you are interested send me a note and we will work out the details.


Noko-Photography
:iconnoko-photography:

Member of
:iconwretched-fragile: :icondamaged-inc: :icondark-asphyxiation: :iconthe-dark-arts:
  • Mood: Mad
I just bought a new book buy Katrin Eismann Called "Photoshop Masking and Compositing". Anybody here you does Photo Manipulation this is a must buy. It has over 500 pages of masking and compositing Techniques in it. I just started reading it so I really cant comment on the entire book but looking through it I can see that this is an awesome book.

I have read her last book called "Photoshop Restoration and Retouching" and I learned allot of my techniques that I use from her and this current book takes a more indebt look into using masks. People ask me allot how I make my manips so seamless....well this is how through layer masks. Using layer masks gives you so much freedom to go back retouch over and over till its just right.

This book is not really for the beginner but for the average to advance Photoshop user this is a must have book.


Check it out www.photoshopmasking.com


Noko-Photography
:iconnoko-photography:

Member of
:iconwretched-fragile: :icondamaged-inc: :icondark-asphyxiation: :iconthe-dark-arts:
  • Mood: Unheard
Well now that the holidays are finally over I think I may have some time to get back to my Photo Manips. I haven't really done anything in about six weeks. I do have a few pics that I'm working on now that are very simple and I'm not sure if I will even post them yet.

I want to change my style of manipulation abit....well I really shouldn't say change but add to. I want my stuff to be more complete or maybe more of a piece of art. I love abstract pieces allot and might venture down that road but nothing is certain yet. I just hope that I don't end up coping someone's style but just to be influenced by them. I will have to be careful of that.

I just wanted to let everyone know that I'm still alive and will be getting back to work here. Stay tuned....

:shop-:

Noko-Photography
:iconnoko-photography:

Member of
:iconwretched-fragile: :icondamaged-inc: :icondark-asphyxiation: :iconthe-dark-arts:
  • Mood: Mad

Tutorials

Mon Nov 15, 2004, 4:23 PM
Tutorials

If you haven't notice by now I wrote a couple of tutorials. I wrote then to help beginners and intermediate users in Photoshop. I hope that they will help your work flow and produce better manipulations for you.

I wrote them because I see allot of artists here not paying attention to detail in their work. When you use the tutorial "Layer Adjustments" you will have the ability to go back have fine tune your Photos with ease.

I will be doing more tutorial in the future, so if you have anything you would like me to do, let me know with a message on this journal.

Noko-Photography
:iconnoko-photography:

Member of
:iconwretched-fragile: :icondamaged-inc: :icondark-asphyxiation: :iconthe-dark-arts:

  • Mood:

New Photography Account

Mon Oct 18, 2004, 7:17 PM
Noko-Photography

Well just created a new Photography account for myself. I wanted to keep my Photomanipulation stuff and my regular photography seperate. Please if you have the time check it out.

Noko-Photography
:iconnoko-photography:

Member of
:iconwretched-fragile: :icondamaged-inc: :icondark-asphyxiation: :iconthe-dark-arts:

  • Mood:

Yellowstone Pictures

Sun Jul 25, 2004, 9:23 AM
Yellowstone Pictures

Well got back from Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Tetons last week and just want to give you guys a link to some of the pictures I took with my new Canon Digital Rebel.

www.okongraphics.com/temp/yell…

Im working further on a select few to put up on my website. I should have those done shortly.

  • Mood:

New Camera

Tue Jul 6, 2004, 5:04 PM
Man I need to update this Journal

Well got my new Canon Digital Rebel a few days ago. This is really nice since I have many Canon lenses already to go with it, from my earlier film days. Now I can also pullout my studio flash and start shooting with that instead of my tungsten lights.

So far I love this camera. I like that now I can look through the eye piece and not be looking at a monitor. I can see what's in focus and what's not. That was my biggest complaint about other digital cameras.

I'm going on vacation next week to Yellowstone National Park. I have to see what kind of Ansel Adams I can be hehe.

My biggest goal now is to expand my tiny gallery, all I need is time and to stop playing Unreal Tournament :/.

  • Mood:

Hard drive crash

Mon Mar 15, 2004, 10:07 PM
God help me!

Well 2 days ago my 200 gig sata hard drive died, well kinda. It ended up with a lot of bad sectors. First thing I thought as damn, I didnt backup my latestest graphics like "Pain". I lucked out and it was just fine. I did lose some of my files on the lastest web site I was working on and had to redo some of that. Over all this is just a major pain in the ass, reinstalling everything now. Sent a RMA to western digital and should have my new hard drive in about a week.

I decided on top of that Im going to get another 200 gig sata. So along with my 80 gig that Im using now, I will have 480 gigs of space....almost 1/2 a tarabyte.....weeeeeee!

Anyway I hope to get back to my graphics in about a week or so.

  • Mood:
Well been here for a couple of weeks now and still finding out all the things you can do here. Its just amazing all of this on one web site. I think Im really going to enjoy being here.

I will probably subscribe.....the only thing that makes me hesitate is that there is allot of none art garbage here. People thowing up snap shots of themselves and what not. Well I shall see.........

Need to find though totorials on this place now.