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Interview with daigonite

Posted by TheInterviewer - May 1st, 2013


Interview No. 122

Interview By: @The-Great-One

Today's guest you may have heard of if you're a fan of Team Fortress 2 or a visitor of the Audio Portal. She is an artist and musician of great valor with hits such as Revengineering, for which she would receive the Daily Feature award for, HERONDANCE and Eyes, which she would receive two Daily 5th Place Awards for. Her musical works include titles ranging from epic proportions to 8-Bit Nostalgia, with Sky Battle (Final), Space Mission, Regular Battle, and Neutral March. This is just a small offering of her skills as an artist, animator, and musician. Please welcome... @daigonite.

Q: How did you find Newgrounds and why did you join?

A: I used to go on here when I was younger but I never made an account. I made an account in October of 2011 because I wanted to extend my art to a different audience, which originally started with hand drawn works in the art portal. I didn't really receive much attention before releasing Revengineering.

Q: At what age did you become interested in art and animation?

A: I started drawing around the age of 7, and persisted in drawing wildlife and basic high contrast characters for many years. I did not indulge in animation until much later, when I was 17, because I was given the entire CS3 package for free by my school (I had limited internet access before then so obtaining anything was rather difficult). I experimented with Adobe Flash Professional for about a year, working on and off three projects until I started working on Revengineering.

Q: Your first submission to Newgrounds would be Revengineering. Oddly enough this is based off of Team Fortress 2, but to those who don't know anything about the game wouldn't notice and wouldn't have to to get it. What is it about Team Fortress 2 that inspired you to make this and how long did it take?

A: Team Fortress 2 has a very distinctive art style, which goes well with my high contrast Soviet propaganda like style that I use for painting several pictures in the past in art classes. I came up with the idea to use silhouettes to animate the characters because of my lack of knowledge in animating, but I had a distinct vision and in the end it worked. I've learned a lot from my later works but this one sticks out to me as the most ambitious until I worked on Eyes.

Q: One of my favorites by you has to be HERONDANCE. Where on earth did you get this idea from? Why this song?

A: My friend at the time suggested that I listen to a band called Caravan Palace. This song was the one that stuck out to me the most. I'm not a particulary huge fan of this band, however this song had a very quirky nature that reminded me of birds. Bird courting behaviours are very interesting, especially those associated with birds like herons, which is what the inspiration of this particular flash is. Essentially, it's about birds courting.

Q: Event Horizon tells quite the story. There is no real beating around the bush here... when were you diagnosed with autism, what variant of autism? Could you tell those here who don't know what autism is and what your diagnosis entails? What events happened that lead to the creation of this movie?

A: At the time I was really worried about having autism because of the stigma associated with it. There's no real "variant" that I was diagnosed with, just good ol' run of the mill autism. The whole DSM definition is changing and mutating because of controversy over overdiagnosis, but everything I've looked over with it still pretty much applies to me.

I'm no doctor but the biggest thing to understand with autistics is that it's basically three big ideas - communication problems, difficulty in understanding emotions and obsessions. It's a VERY VAGUE definition and can mean a lot of things, which is why I urge people to try to help people with autism, not hold them back. To me though, my diagnosis helped me figure out what I was doing wrong and helped me become more aware of the problems I do have to help me benefit in everyday life, and honestly it has helped.

This didn't happen at the time though. I was being fed some total bullshit from this lady who tried to tell me how retarded I was, and believe it or not I actually bought it. It wasn't until I met Kyle in September that I didn't buy her bullshit anymore and I gained some independence from the stereotype.

Q: How did the events in your life lead into a month's work with Arctic Sea Diner?

A: First off, Arctic Sea Diner, like Trinity Fascist, is an acronym that is the same as ASD, which is the technical term for Autism (I'm surprised nobody's noticed that yet). Secondly, I essentially overcame my fears of who I was and just dealt with it. It was pretty much me starting to evolve my independence from the label and helping me become my own person, which is what happened in the months in between this flash and Eyes.

Q: Eyes I believe to be your best work. Who is Kyle and what made you want to turn this parallel universe idea into reality? Where are things with you and Kyle now?

A: Eyes, bar none, was my most ambitious flash. It took almost 80 hours to complete and has a run time of over 4 minutes, and uses colour schemes that I rarely use, as well as being very streamlined in performance, and relying on the "trippy graphics" to illustrate the idea of seeing for the first time in your life, which are a lot of work to keep interesting. It also has a very distinctive story, very different from my last two flashes.

This particular flash arose from a peculiar discussion I had with him at one point, discussing an alternate universe where I was blind and he was not. The idea fascinated me to the point to bringing this flash to fruition.

Kyle is a friend of mine who was born blind who I'm very close with, and talk to every day. I see his struggles not just physically but how people treat him, and honestly he's one of the most phenomenal people I've ever met, and it's disappointing that so many people brush him off because of his disability. It drives me crazy that people really pull their children away from him like he's some kind of monster or something. People are really uneducated. I really tried in this flash to explain how I feel about his character and I used the story to really just prove it. It's also kind of a love letter because I really do love him a lot.

At the time I had a big crush on him (and admittedly it was pretty selfish), and it's evolved into... something crazy. I mean really crazy. He's currently in a failing relationship right now though so it's less about "getting him" and more about helping him out right now. He's going through tough times so yeah, that's been occupying a lot of my life at the moment (hence the lack of works being sent out). We're still best friends for sure, but it's obvious he really likes me and I really like him and well, it's just a sticky situation. NOT IN THAT WAY GAWD.

Q: A lot of your works hold this style of somber colors like black and gray, as well as colors such as red and white. Where did you adapt this style from?

A: This style was adapted from a set of "ATC" cards (Artist Trading Cards) that I did for a project back in 2010. Basically, I was assigned to making 9 of these cards, and I made these 9 cards by using alliteration in the names, such as Funky Felines and Gaudy Gryphon. The idea was to use only white and red paint on a black background to make these characters come to life. I might scan them and post them on NG, they're really cool little things. But yeah, that's the origin of that style.

I really love the contrast of Red, White and black, which are my primary colours. I find it difficult to diverge from my main colour scheme so much, which made Eyes and some segments of Event Horizon and Arctic Sea Diner especially difficult.

Q: When did you become interested in music?

A: I've been playing guitar ever since I was 5, and I've always been very musically inclined. This is part of what makes me so readily able to imagine things when I hear music. When I was about 9 years old I began to sequence music on the computer, which is mainly what I do today.

Q: Your first two songs submitted to the Audio Portal were DKL2 - Zinger and DKL2 - Bramble. When did you play Donkey Kong Land 2? What is the process in bringing music from a Game Boy to life on a computer?

A: This is a game that I've played ever since I was very little, it really is a part of my childhood. Basically I transferred the notes to the midi software, using my guitar as an aide, and writing out the song to match the personality of the 8bit originals. Particularly I was experimenting with filter techniques which is obvious in the Zinger song.

Q: Trinity Fascist is quite the diverse song mixing multiple instruments together while never seeming repetitive. What instruments went into this song and what was the inspiration for it?

A: Trinity Fascist is a dumb name - it has the same initials as Team Fortress. Each segment of the song represents the 9 classes in their presented order, plus an intro at the beginning. The instruments are too many to list, but there's a lot of filters I put on a lot of unusual instruments, such as amp filters on Kalimbas. Listening to it again, I used a piccolo, oboes, french horns, strings, keyboard, synth, bagpipes, guitars, accordions... the list goes on. I really just went all out with this song.

Since the characters are so varied, I kept the song varied as well. Keeps things moving. If you listen to it again you can now hear how each segment relates to the character.

Q: Sky Battle (Final) is quite the epic song in every sense of the word. Where did the inspiration come from for this piece and what was the process you brought into making it?

A: I was working on a game back in 2011 that had a sky world. The song that this song is based off of is based on the regular music for the sky world, and this song is the boss battle of that world. Like my other midi songs, I wrote it first in a midi, then worked on it in a fancy program with better samples.

Q: You have done quite a bit of 8-Bit Music as well, such as Strategy, Regular Battle, and Neutral March. What inspired you to do 8-Bit Music and what is the differences for you in making more modern electronic music and working within 8-Bit limitations?

A: It should be noted that the songs listed are not true 8-bit and were written in a similar fashion as my previous songs. However, the songs "The One and Only", "Ich Warte", "The Drummer's Theme" and "Chance" are true 8Bit and are written in LSDJ.

LSDJ is a song writing system for the Gameboy that makes writing chiptunes actually quite easy. It takes a lot of patience though and because the method is different, the songs I write with it have a different taste.

Learning how to use LSDJ was frustrating because of the limitations of the software, however I developed a new style to compensate for it's differences - this is why the true chiptune songs listed sound quite different than the ones that were just written from midis.

Q: You have been talking about an upcoming game for quite sometime now in the descriptions of a lot of your works. What game are you working on? What can you tell us about it?

A: Unfortunately Kyle hasn't been doing so good right now so it's been put on hiatus. I've worked on a couple of projects from time to time but they just aren't panning out. I think he's dropped programming on the game, which means I might either pick it up from where he left off or might just drop the project altogether.

For those curious, it was a text-based strategy RPG that I was going to port to flash with graphics.

Q: You are no stranger to the Art Portal with a variety of bird pictures. Are you a bird watcher? If so when and how did you become interested in it?

A: The art portral like previously stated was the reason why I joined NG in the first place. I wouldn't say that I go out of my way to do bird watching but I do enjoy the presence of birds. Birds are very enjoyable creatures for me to draw and I'm honestly completely memorized by them, which is why they are a primary focus. I also use birds to symbolize people when I don't want to actually draw that person for whatever reason.

Q: Jungle you state is a self-portrait. Why did you decide to do a self-portrait and what problems come with doing a self-portrait?

A: I just felt like drawing me (lol). I was really craving a joint at the time so I drew that. Simple stupid story. The character is based off of "Matilda" who is essentially a self portrait in of herself. So when you see her, that's me! But basically she was an interesting character to design. I associate myself with crows and ravens and usually wear dark colours, which explains her colour scheme. I also wanted to design her to be kind of mysterious and seemingly emotionally distant distant, but powerful enough that people could still understand her emotions.

Q: What can we expect from daigonite in the future?

A: I'm starting a band with Kyle. Not sure when we're going to pump out our first songs, but we're a talented group. He's a total bro and I'm really excited. In addition, I'm thinking about creating a flash called "Furanufutari" about a legendary warrior that uses a white sword to pierce through the darkness, and will be my first non-music video flash. In addition, I swing back and forth with doing "Wings of Glory", the flash about the TF2 soldier. It's a hard flash to conceive but I think my techniques are going better. I also plan on making music videos for our band.

daigonite is one of those individuals who I had stumbled upon while reading news posts. It truly is amazing what you will find upon digging around Newgrounds. It is what makes me happy about Tom's Treasure Hunt that he does. However you don't have to wait for the Treasure Hunt to go looking for those diamonds in the rough. daigonite is no exception. Truly an underrated artist, animator, and musician here on Newgrounds.



We gotta learn to appreciate more of these underground artists not only the next Egoraptor or Weebl video. Also I would suggest the Great One to ask how do the users choose their name, what does it mean cause I think it's interesting personality wise.

Nice one. Had never heard of LSDJ before. daigonite--good luck with your band and future flash submissions.