We have all seen the name CutTheRedWire throughout the skinning community via his faithful news posts all over trying to keep us all up to date with the latest skinning related news, now lets see if we can find out more about who this guy really is.
Tek: Hello CutTheRedWire =)
CutTheRedWire: BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!! >;}
Tek: Thank you for your time to do this interview, we appreciate it…
CutTheRedWire: It's a pleasure. I've always thought it would be awesome to be interviewed by Tek. I'm having fun already. =^.^=
Tek: Good! Seeeee I haven't killed anyone yet! Well, since I know you're one of our 3 readers, you know the drill. We begin the interview with some personal stuff and usually get that out of the way first, but since prior to the interview you informed me you are one of those personal type guys, I'm going to let you off the hook on this part and just ask you one personal question =)
Boxers or Briefs? And do they have li'l Boo's printed all over them in Candy red? hehe =)
CutTheRedWire: Boxers and preferably black. I don't own a pair of boxers with li'l red boo's on them, but if you want to get me a pair… >;P hehehe j/k
Tek: Hmm I guess I'll have to go looking into a few Halloween stores for some Boo Boxers… hehe
Tek: So when did you first come into the skinning community and what exactly brought you to it?
CutTheRedWire: This is sort of a long story. ^.^;
You might say that music brought me to the community. I was figuring out what the whole MP3 things was on my own. I was starting from scratch since none of my friends knew about it. I knew about winamp, but had never seen it. I was doing research one day and came across Sonique and C-4 Player. This was way back before they were skinnable though (I still have them someplace). :P Still, I was amazed at how they looked.
One day I checked out sonique for an update and they said it was ‘skinnable’, but I had no clue what that ment. A little reading, a download spree, and dozens of skins later I eventualy found a readme from one of Doodle's skins with a link to skinz.org in it. I was a lurker there. I was too shy to talk to anyone. Still, it felt like home sorta. I spent plenty of time at Custo too, but was even more shy there (didn't even have an account).
When DevArt sprang up, I did the same thing at a new site. I didn't sign up until the whole screwed-up eFront thing. It was towards the end of that that I signed up at DevArt and started to try and come out of my shell.
I saw somebody said they where a skinz.org refugee too in their journal, so I sent them a note. She wrote me back and was really nice and encouraging. I took a look at her stuff and it turned out she was THE TANANDA! o.o; I had never put the name to the skins before. Man did I pick a good person to start making friends with. ^.^
She taught me a lot about the community and skinning. She was the first to teach me about things as simple as “Skin for yourself.” She may be a lot of why I turned out the way I did. So really, it was quite a chain of events that brought me here. Some may have stumbled on a site one day, but it was so simple for me. ^.^;
Tek: I remember Tananda she was extremely sweet and helpful. I also remember beta testing a few of her skins for her once or twice, she did excellent skins =)
Tek: What is your favorite flavor of art or skins that you download and use from the various skinning and art sites?
CutTheRedWire: Oh that's a simple one: Black. >:]
The darker the better. I download interesting ones too. They type that make you wonder: “How did they do that?”. I also download some gothic, teck, anime, or abstract ones if I feel there is hope of a decent decoloring. I've gotten pretty good at it, some walls are just unsalvageable. >;}
Tek: Yup, gotta love black! It goes with everything! =)
Tek: Do you yourself create and share wallpapers and/or skins? If so what skinnable apps do you skin?
CutTheRedWire: A few, but I'm working on more. Funny thing is I made my first public skin suite before I could do graphics. >:P Walls I really haven't messed with yet. I'm going to focus on skinning first, and then move into walls to match my skins. Right now, there is no shortage of wallpapers.
For apps I skin, the only one that I've stuck with over time is Equalizer. I've done kewlpAd, MadCow, MyPad, QuickNotes, SysMeter, Tyme, Beatnik, Eppie, eFX, CoolPlayer, BS Player, CodeName2, JS Pager, and messed around a little with some other apps like Winamp and LiteStep, for skinnable apps I use a lot.
The ones I use the most are LiteStep and WinAmp (virtually the same app to me). I use BS Play, Equalizer, Sonique, and k-meleon (if you count it) too. At different times I use different apps to get the look and functionality I want. I've used or tried a lot of them. I also have hacked program interfaces, change icons, replaced marlet.ttf, set colors, etc.
Tek: MadCow, boy, that brings back memories hehe
Tek: What graphic applications do you use or favor to use the most and why?
My most recent skin (to be released in the next TR issue) was done in Gimp and Paint. It came out pretty well, and was pretty easy to do. I'm trying to learn more in Gimp and hope to use it for some future skins. I've tried photoshop, but really never got the hang of it even after dozens of tutorials. I think it's more an issue of how it does things.
I have to say I find them all lacking in someway, but I need to learn more about them. Gimp is my fav for now though. It's pretty easy to use, fast, small, freeware, and has a lot of features. Thing is I really like the interface of AutoCAD and how it draws. That's why I used PSP and Paint for so long. My skins are very geometric and would be most easily created as vectors. I have yet to try Illustrator, but friends tell me I would love it. It would be interesting to see what I choose a year or so from now. It would be quite an undertaking, but I am thinking about creating my own program. I think the time has come for a graphics program for skinners.
Tek: Alright another Gimper! Most ppl including myself never really get too far with Gimp, however I definetly have heard how good it is once you do grasp the concept of how to use it, and you can't beat the price right?
Tek: Tell me alittle about AutoCAD how did you get into that?
CutTheRedWire: All my fathers doing. He's used it for years, and started with the old manual methods. Everyone knew I loved to build things. He showed me how he did it with machines and buildings. A kid is always curious about what his parents do for a living, after all. Because of him, I've been using it since AutoCAD Release 10. I took a liking to it (with his mentoring), and eventually found to it to be a useful skill in classes with projects. Then I had a couple (paid) internships, but now I'm taking classes for it. I want to get an actual degree in it. The 3d stuff is what I'm mastering now. I'm hoping to continue my education after that. I will do this for a while and move on when the time is right. 8)
Tek: So which skinning and arts sites do you cruise around on daily and why are they your favorites?
Tek: Being one that has been around the skinning scene for a while what are your thoughts on where it's been and where it is heading?
CutTheRedWire: Well, I think there is going to be a small storm to weather. This the time of year when school starts to kick in. This may slow down in both skinning and skinnable apps. We also have DeskMod in Lite mode, features to be added in DAv3, and a lot of sites to thin the ranks.
I takes time to get stuff on several sites, and there isn't enough of that to go around. This should pass though. There will be new people discovering the community in the next few months, ideas will build up in the heads of coders and skinners, and there should be some awesome stuff this winter. I can't say for sure, but it seems like the pattern the community has developed. I think we are going to see existing apps mature, as well as young skinners and artist improve as well. Basic stuff, but it shows I think the community is doing well.
Tek: What kinds of things would you like to see take place, recommend or change in the skinning scene?
CutTheRedWire: A lot. I'd like to see some more intersite activities, projects, and contests for one. I'm considering going public with the underdog app contest in this interview.
Naturally since I deal with news so much I have a unique insight on that. I'd like to see an easier way developed to distribute it. I have developed an intersite format that could easily be made so that one article could be displayed on each site in the format of their choosing.
On a lighter note, I've noticed that white has become the new blue in skinning. There has been a shift from seemingly mostly blue skins to seemingly mostly white ones. I'd like to see a shift toward black. That should be no surprize to anyone who knows me.
Tek: Yeah, the colors are ever changing fads. But it's not so much the color, but the design and designer using it that makes the color work or not work, I think. I've seen people ‘make’ me like green which is not a color I usually tend to go for…
Tek: I noticed you are the main and most reliable source in news postings around in skin town. Why did you take part of that burden on your shoulders? What is your motivation behind that when it's such a tedious job and doing it on quite a few skinning sites at that!? BTW I do admire and thank you for doing that as I now seem to catch the news more frequently cuz of you =)
CutTheRedWire: Well, first of all thank you for the compliment. I sometimes wonder if anyone even seeing or enjoys my articles. It's hard to get feed back on them.
I took this on my shoulders when things slowed down to a crawl at velocityart almost a year ago. We had the same news for weeks. I was the only one with time to maintain the site, so I felt I had to do something. I started looking around for news on other sites, and saw that they didn't have much news either. I would see people write an article and only post it to one site. I decided to do something about it. It needed to be done, so why not me?
I feel that the community has separated itself too much. Like it or not, no matter what webiste you are on, you are part of the same community. As for tediousness, it is a little, but I've found ways to make things a lot quicker:
go directly to the news submission of every site all at once (I have a list)
copy my entire article to the clipboard
paste it to a form
delete excess links, titles, and sections (Tab, PgUp/Dn, and Shift help a lot)
hit submit or preview
go to the next loaded page
It takes 10-15 minutes to syndicate an article across the community. It takes about 20-30 minutes to write. Really, syndication only adds a little tediousness.
You can see why I would want a standard format for news. It would cut out the deletion process. I could cut my time in half. I've considered e-mailing my articles, but that makes more work for the staff there.
I pick the sites I sydicate to by a few simple rules.
If I'm staff there
If I'm a regulare of just like it there
If I get valuable news from them
You're more than welcome for the article too. I'm glad I've help keep you informed. =^.^= You saying that really does mean a lot to me.
Tek: Well, the problem with lack of feedback sometimes makes people that go out of their way to keep the community informed and active. I'm sure it makes people like you get discouraged, but it is appreciated just that most fail to comment, not only on newspost, but on work they snatch up for a free download too, so don't let that discourage you from stopping what you do, okay!
Tek: Do you think being very active in the skinning community actually complements your life or cramps it at times?
CutTheRedWire: It complements. I love art, and this is a great way to bring it into my life. Skinning is the most usefull form of art to me. If you know what apps to use, you can surround yourself in dynamic art.
If anything, real life cramps my online one. It has to come first. If you don't get things done in real life, you will probly end up losing your access to the net.
One thing I will say is that I wish had this kind of access to art and design in real life too. I'd love to have a few more artist friends, or a museum near by. I'm keeping an eye out for for stuff like that, but for now the net is supplying me nicely. It's also inspired me too. A lot of my poems and skins were done with encouragement from friends I only could know from online.
Tek: I know it seems most of us don't have the shared skinning interest with others in our real life huh?
Tek: What kinds of things do you think you would like to do in the future that are skinning related? Are there any behind the scene things you are currently doing that you'd like to share? such as forming contest or just anything at all?
CutTheRedWire: I've been working on the Skinning 101 tut a little recently too. A news site is in the works as well, and will have all my previous articles. I keep a copy of them all. I also want to start something of an art group of my own with a simple theme of black.
Tek: Sounds like you've got lots to do. I hope you do actually get around to those things. They all sound good! Also, I've heard you used to be a poet before a skinner? How did that come about? Was it a love that inspired you or art or what?
CutTheRedWire: I fell in with the poets at DevArt. The ppl I was hanging out with then were just a wonderful bunch. I still talk to Babysista, and a few others here and there. We all kinda commented on each others stuff, and encouraging while relating to each other. As for becoming one, one night I woke up and started writing. After that, I was a poet. Simple and crazy, huh?
As for what inspires me, it usually comes from pain or love I can't verbally express, or when someone asks me to write. An odd mix, but it works.
Tek: Okay well of course we must drop a sample of your poems for the readers, so Here is a quick link to go peek at Boo's poetic side… hehe =)
Tek: I know you admin on various skinning sites, what is that experience like for you?
CutTheRedWire: It's nice to be able to post my articles right to the page. It's an honor that these ppl let me. It feels kinda cool in general since I quasi-look-up to some admins, and that I still think of myself as quite a nobody. It also worries me. I don't want to abuse my privledges, nor do I want them to affect the way I treat those arround me. I'm grateful to all the sites that have let me help them and the users that further support me. I have to say that TR is my fav and the most challenging. We have been though lots of ups and downs, but we hang in there together. I just try my hardest to get my job done. This release came out great, so I'm actually looking forward to the challenge of next release. >:}
Tek: Abuse your privledges? That's silly, it's a priviledge you do for them I'm sure =)
Tek: What is your favorite program? Lemme guess, LiteStep? Do you make your own themes for it or mainly use other peoples work?
CutTheRedWire: I loved LiteStep since before I used it. I just waited until the installer came around. Little by little I got involved, and I'm hoping to make the themes I've stated work. I still use the ones made by others. [noir] is my fav right now. The program is just so visually and technically flexible. I pretty much just get what I want in looks, tricks, menus, control, and even more fun stuff. 8)
Tek: Yeah, LiteStep gives you alot of freedom & flexability as long as you have the time to set it up to your liking and stay on one theme and not change every 5 minutes like I used to… hehe
Tek: Well Boo, I meannnn CutTheRedWire, I want to again thank you for letting me get nosey on you. We read each other all over the place, but nice to get to know a little bit more about the person behind the text on the screen.
And since he is everywhere no need to drop links just follow the Boo's and you'll find him =)
— Doreen, November 23rd 2003