teknidermy editor's notes art uproar puppy love fashion victim elwin the fool the skinner who came in from the cold show us your honz babyafied whodunnit? issue eleven
elwin the fool

Elwin the Fool

Get to know Elwin: Admin, Skinner & Part time Court Jester…

Tek: Hello Elwin thanks so much for your time, lets start off w/ some personal stuff like your real name, Birth date, Social Security Number you know stuff like that… =)

Elwin: Must stay positive must not curse uncontrollably, must stay fully clothed and rational, “Text, text, text. They'd rather hear me speak…” Wow — I can hear my own thoughts! And they echo too! But they sound like a girl — I wonder why that is? Boy, there's one to share with the analyst in our next session. Now where did I put that Extra Strength Prozac?

Oops! Sorry — did the interview start?

Well, let's see. My name is Rick Collins and I'm known in the skinning community as Elwin, or Elwin Ransom (and formally known as the skinner Delevan). And before that, I was known as The-guy-who-puts-the-burning-paper-bag-of-dog-poop-on-your-doorstep-then-rings-the-doorbell-and-runs@hotmail.com, but I only used that one to rip skins and flame newbie's with…

Age: Well, let's just say that Jafo and I both stepped off the Ark together but Noah always liked him best. Jafo got to go top side but I had to swab out the bilge for forty days and forty nights. Do you realize what that smells like? But I digress… I'm from the state of Misery, err, I mean Missouri, in the good ole' United States of Armed response. I'm a sign painter/maker for a small, state university. I'm a single, heterosexual male, and very, very, lonely…

Tek: You know what? I think I can almost hear your bells on that hat! hehe okay but what about your social security number?

Elwin: Me too — oh, wait that hat is real… :)

Tek: How long have you been around the skinning community?

Elwin: Well, a gentleman of my years never discusses crass things like that, but lets just say that I remember when Skinz.org was blue.

Tek: Hmm that long? well then you've been around longer then me cuz I only remember the brown, so what brought you into the skinning community in the first place and why?

Elwin: What brought me? A bus. I couldn't pay my bills at the “home” anymore, so a couple of attendants gave me an extra large dose of sedatives, snuck me out the back door, and put me on a bus. When I came to, I was here in the skinning community. Never have been able to raise enough cash to leave…

Tek: Well then thank God the bus turned left instead of right cuz right takes you straight to ebay! hehe

Elwin: scary… !

Tek: What are some of your favorite things within the skinning community that keep you around?

Elwin: The drugs. Well, that — and the chicks. Yeah, it would have to be the drugs, and the chicks. I mean, who in their right mind would stay here otherwise?

Tek: What are some of your dislikes within the skinning community?

Elwin: Lack of variety. I mean, take Skinbase for example. You go to the salad bar and what do you find? At the most, maybe 3 different types of coffee. And Chickpeas? Who eats those things anyway? And do we ever have any white radishes? No. Just the same old red ones cut to look like little roses. No variety — same stuff every day. And the young kids that always butt in front of you in line. The youth have no respect any more. Pitiful — just pitiful.

Tek: hehe oh boy never seen that question answered like that before that must be a hugh does of prozac! (silly, now I'm over here trying to figure out what's a chickpea?)
hmm okay, well how do you feel about the skinning scene and where do you think it is going?

Elwin: :) Skinning has become a more known concept to the general public. But I'll “buck the tiger” so to speak, and predict that skins and themes are never going to be as popular as some shareware authors would love to promote. I truly believe that in the business environment, skinning is a detriment because of the lack of a consistent interface.

Go outside the skinning world for a bit and see it without the “rose coloured glasses” of the skinning hobbyist, and you'll see that people like to know exactly where their Start button is. As a matter of fact, just the other day, a woman that works on the floor above me gave me a call and asked me to look at her computer. Now she's not an ignorant woman by any means. She knows more about Database programming than I ever will. But when I got to her office, I found that she had somehow dragged her task bar to the left side of the screen and was lost as to how to restore it to the bottom “where it belonged”…

Tek: What skinning sites do you visit daily?

Elwin: Hourly: Skinbase.org. Daily: VelocityArt, Skinnables, and Deskmod. Weekly: All the other skin sites, along with Virtual Plastic, Desktopian, Shellfront and Shell Extention City.

Tek: What is your status over at Skinbase.org?

Elwin: I'm the full time Village Idiot / Court Jester, and part-time Admin, on Skinbase.org. Which, by the way, is simply the finest, friendliest, skinsite on the web. We don't have to tell you we love you — we show it… {:p

Tek: Any things you yourselve would like to see implemented on Skinbase.org or any of the other skinning sites?

Elwin: The banning of Aqua and XP style skins. Well actually, I only want to ban those that didn't come from me. Otherwise, I could never get thousands of personal download stats. Oh, and I think there should be more skins for winamp and ICQ plus that are made solely with Britney Spears pictures. Specifically, pictures of her belly button. It should have it's own section — Britney's Belly Button. It should be mandatory on all sites.

Tek: True I agree, we definetly need a belly button section somewhere… hehe Are there any skinners you look up to and admire and gain some inspiration from?

Elwin: Well it's kind of a 3 way tie between Ed Gein, Norman Bates and Hannibal Lector. Those guys are fantastic…

Huh? Oh, those other kind of skinners. Well, Scarebear has probably been the biggest influence on me in the last 2 years or so. Not so much for skinning technique or style, but his attitude. His phrase “Because skinning should be fun” hit me like a preacher at a tent revival. I mean, Jason Brown is to skinning as to what the little boy was to the people of “The Emperor's New Clothes”. It's almost like Jason just stood up one day and said, “Hey! That bloke is as nekkid as a Jay Bird! What in the heck are you people fussing about? You're putting on all of this ‘pomp and circumstance’, and for what?“ That's when I just kind of woke up from this fog and said, “Yes! You're absolutely right! We need to lighten up!” To me, it was a revelation, and I've never been the same. I learned how to truly enjoy my hobby again.

Tek: very true and I look up to Jason too, he's one that never loses sight… Okay so what skinning programs do you prefer to use to make your skins in?

Elwin: PaintShop Pro for graphics and Win32pad for text editing. Darn! there should have been a joke in there somewhere. The Prozac is definitely kicking in…

Tek: Are you one of those guys that take 3 years on one skin? or are you a whip it out in one hour type guy???

Elwin: Well, I have been known to whip it out with the best of them, but on the other hand, I have partial skins and themes that I've been sitting on for more than a year. It always comes down to a matter of inspiration for me. Inspire me, and I'm a machine. I mean, you give me the right impetus, and I can go for hours and hours — you know what I mean?

Say — is this going to be read by young, impressionable, teenage girls? And if so, do you have any names, addresses, and 8x10 glossy photos?

Tek: me starts to search for names and addresses, hehe okay now it's “Embarrassment time” What was the first app you ever skinnned? And do you have a screenshot of it that you would be willing to share with us?

Elwin: I guess the first original work I did, as ‘Delevan’ would have been a LaunchKaos skin by the name of Cheap1b. Absolutely horrible. Not that I've gotten that much better, but it keeps me humble seeing that one… :)

Tek: Exactly we need to keep them in order to reflect on the past to see how far we've come right?

Elwin: Or we need to keep them from coming back to be blackmailed later in our lives… :)

Tek: “Brag time” now how's about sharing a screenshot of your mostest favoritest skin you ever made?

Elwin: Truthfully, it varies with my mood, but I suppose that the one I'm most ‘satisfied’ with is my last little mini-suite called Red Letter Edition. I think I put a lot of my private self in this one. My feelings and my beliefs are all there in a veiled sort of way, so maybe I should have called it “Step all over my feelings and crush my ego with your complaints”. :) But never the less, if people “get it” — great. If not, I'm not going to loose any sleep over it.
After all, skinning should be fun… :)

Tek: What app do you find the most fun to skin?

Elwin: I really don't have a favorite at the moment. Right now, I'm experimenting with a desktop shell called Aston. Very minimalistic compared to say Litestep, but I like minimal, and it's rock solid on my machine. I'm also reacquainting myself with the old app, Illumination. It's more powerful than eFX, and more stable than CustomEyes on my machine. Besides that, I always have a few others like Rainlendar and Skinmem that I never do without.

Tek: Is Aston new? or has it been around, I don't recall seeing that one

Elwin: No, — actually an older app. It had a section on Skinz but it's web page was originally all in Russian, so for a while communication with them was a little lite. They're doing much better now, with a choice of a full English site. They even have a deal where you skin the app, and get a free registration.

Tek: No way! something for free if you skin it!!!!!!!

Elwin: Imagine that… ;p

Tek: That's good maybe it will get more attention now…

Elwin: I see that their section on Devart has picked up.

Tek: So what do you feel is the hardest app to skin and why?

Elwin: Oh, come on! You know that no matter what I say, I'm going to offend some hard working programmer that no doubt spend many hours developing what they think is the greatest thing since sliced bread. And I'm an Admin on a site that prides itself on tolerance, so I'm not about to hurt the feelings of either the programmer, or the skinner, that thinks that program “X” is the 8th wonder of the world… :)

Tek: Hmm good safe answer chicken bok bok bok

Elwin: hehehe

Tek: What? we're done already with this interview? How'd that happen?

Elwin: Because I'm so swave and sophisticated hehe and It was certainly fun. Tho, I missed your Fnad 5… :(

Tek: oh! so you want the fnad 5's like boxers or briefs type questions? Why? We all know you wear boxers with lil court jesters on them I bet they even have bells on them! hahahaha

Elwin: Actually, I make my own out of burlap and barbed wire. And they're tight — very tight. :D

Tek: And your tryin to get a girl??? you better think about another fabric and lose that barbed wire it might help you alil. hehe

Anyways, Thanks again so much for your time Elwin this was fun getting together with you and I'll be seeing you around skin town… =)

— Doreen, August 22nd 2002

Yikes, the sarcasm is poisonous in here!

craeonics {08.24.2002|15.40}

and Elwin you can kick crae for the title up there that t'was not my doing! argh!!!!

Doreen {08.24.2002|19.23}

Sure, sure - blame it on Crae...

Kiddo, if I were really so ego-bent that I would have to worry about that title, I deserve everything I get.
After all, I'm the one that created this persona - not Crae.
He just played off of it...

So 'Lighten Up', Dor...


Elwin {08.24.2002|20.22}

no no really you Should kick him he likes it! hehe =)
(as a matter of fact I'm gonna go kick him right now)

Doreen {08.24.2002|21.07}

he he he..... it's not that hard to read between the lines :-) also a fun filled interview with some straight answers "I think" lol but I'll say this much, Elwin is NO Fool but likes to play that role and toy with you :-) Great Interview, you still have them guessing Elwin :-)

chichigirl46 {08.25.2002|02.06}

Doreen bombarded me with emails about that title. She worries too much.

craeonics {08.25.2002|07.34}

A great interviews with some of the finest thing on Skinbase. Good for you both!

BruB {08.25.2002|15.44}

Good interview, Elwin , Egore.. or whatever his name is :) is one of the best IMHO. Keep skinning bro!

CRUMBUT {09.04.2002|19.22}

hmmmm I think this is an awesome interview, but I never recieved this teck issue by email nor have I seen any where that this issue was released, or am I blind?

chichigirl46 {09.04.2002|19.56}

Best tek interview ever! Funniest ever! I see a mini-series here ;)

Scarebear {09.04.2002|19.57}

One of the best interviews I've read in a looooong while... Great job Elwin, Delevan, Court Jester, or just plain Rick... But you really should reconsider the burlap and barbwire... :-) Anyway your still one of the finest persons I've met in the community... Keep up the good work... :-)

Hobnobber {09.04.2002|20.14}

LMAO!! Way to go Elwin aka Evil hehe ;) No wonder you're the Village Idiot at Skinbase.org :p

Snowman {09.05.2002|02.47}

Hmm seems the commenters ride in packs?

Doreen {09.05.2002|18.01}

So it seems.

Chichi (who'll probably never see this): we stopped emailing people aeons ago. I'm way too lazy to mail everyone.

craeonics {09.10.2002|08.45}

Why you lazy butt you :-) No wonder I could not find a place to request it........ LOL Eventually I find out LOL

chichigirl46 {09.14.2002|00.25}

Elwin might be the village idiot masscot of skinbase, but he is one of the MOST SWEETIEST guy's you'll ever meet :-)

chichigirl46 {09.14.2002|00.26}

Fantastic interview Rick!
I must fire up ICQ some day, and have a yap with you again, it's been too long.

Hippy {09.21.2002|07.23}

OMG!! I loved it~ what an excellent interview :)

lesa~ the fanged one {09.22.2002|19.39}

oh crae that is too cute... =)
just look at that Mr. Jingle Bells!

Doreen {10.12.2002|13.46}

"We don't have to tell you we love you — we show it…"

I find that to be true as well. Interesting interview... :]

Attila {10.12.2002|16.19}


You fool! What have you done? Great... now every one knows. I'm surprised the girls aren't living up at your door now.

I felt it fit with the spirit of the interview. >:] Go Elwin go!

(psst I think doreen and chichi have a crush you you elwin ^.~)

Red {10.13.2002|02.19}

CraeL Cool jester bunny btw. 8)

Red {10.13.2002|02.20}

Don't know, it's a bit stiff if you ask me.

craeonics {10.13.2002|05.34}

you know actually I was expecting his bunny to not only have that hat but burlap and barbed wire boxers... hehe
(you're slipping crae) =)

Doreen {10.13.2002|19.13}

Great interview folks. Thanks!

Phar0e {10.14.2002|11.21}

LMAO! I want a big copy of that Elwin-bunny to hang on the wall! That's great, Crae!
Thanks... {:p

Elwin {10.15.2002|05.09}


]=(:) {04.17.2003|09.14}

teknidermy editor's notes art uproar puppy love fashion victim elwin the fool the skinner who came in from the cold show us your honz babyafied whodunnit? issue eleven
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