Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login
About Deviant Core Member Commission Connoisseur27/Male/United States Groups :iconall-things-military: All-Things-Military
 
Recent Activity
Deviant for 10 Years
5 Month Core Membership
Statistics 112 Deviations 3,037 Comments 48,788 Pageviews

Newest Deviations

Favourites


Flash Player 8 is required to view SitBack. Get the latest version of Flash Player.

Coming Down The Pipeline...

INCOMING ART:

:iconcrys-art: - Zerro and Suriyawong/ Fullbody, Colored
Commissioned: March 13th, 2013
Status: Paid; Waiting...

:iconhaihovothan: - Valencia w/ BG
Commissioned: May 26th, 2013
Status: Paid; Waiting...

:iconm-o-c-h-a: Suriyawong/ Pixel
Commissioned: May 25th, 2013
Status: Paid; Waiting...

:iconoverlordjc: - Tactical Zerro and Suriyawong/ Full-body, Colored
Commissioned: August 29, 2013
Status: Paid, Waiting...

More to come and, hopefully, more to remove from this list. I've been waiting on several of these commissions for over 3 months now.

The Finish Line

A list of my latest completted commissions for future records.

:iconnekora907:
Commissioned: June 3rd, 2013
Received: July 28th, 2913
:thumb388842530:

:iconshibird:
Commissioned: June 3rd, 2013
Received: July 28th, 2013
www.deviantart.com/users/outgo…

:iconmieuchan: - Suriyawong/ Fullbody Pixel
Commissioned: July 11th, 2013
Received: July 29th, 2013
Suriyawong by MieuChan

:iconsabviee: - Kaciana, Valencia, Haliwyn, Vitani/ Full-body, Colored
Commissioned: August 3rd, 2013
Recieved: 1. (09AUG13) fav.me/d6hd53e 2. (11AUG13) fav.me/d6hm3b8
3. (22AUG13) fav.me/d6jbwo7 4. (25AUG13) fav.me/d6jr6ek

:iconmzzazn: Anime headshot of Umbra
Commissioned:September 2nd, 2013
Received: September 4th, 2013
fav.me/d6kya1r

:iconjanirotluvx: Umbra and Moana/ Fullbody, Colored, No BG
Commissioned: July 23rd, 2013
Recieved: September 10th, 2013
:thumb399369045:

:iconorichie: - Haliwyn and Fali (seperate)/ Headshot, Colored
Commissioned: June 30th, 2013
Recieved: September 12th, 2013
sta.sh/01d4f32gbxp8
sta.sh/02dyfxfv8nzt

:iconcookiehana: - Valencia
Won Raffle to Commission: May 18th, 2013
Recieved: September 12th, 2013
CM:: Zerro by CookieHana

If a tree falls down in the forest and there's not a single creature around, does it make a sound? 

87%
46 deviants said Yes
13%
7 deviants said No

Visitors

:iconyoko-tan:
Yoko-tan
Feb 6, 2016
10:56 pm
:iconowlvortex:
OwlVortex
Feb 4, 2016
4:36 pm
:iconchibichipie93:
ChibiChipie93
Feb 4, 2016
9:27 am
:iconmr-annonymous:
Mr-Annonymous
Feb 3, 2016
4:44 pm
:iconmoonkelpie:
Moonkelpie
Feb 3, 2016
4:24 pm

deviantID

Zerro's Profile Picture
Zerro
Commission Connoisseur
United States
:star:Every piece of art you see in my galleries, aside from literary entries, has been commissioned and crafted by other, highly talented deviants. I don't have an artistic bone in my body.:star:


PLEASE DO NOT ADVERTISE YOUR ART TO ME.
I only commission artists that fit my personal interests.

A Cornered Knife-Wielding Fox by Zerro

DO NOT ASK, BEG OR PLEAD FOR A PREMIUM MEMBERSHIP!
However, if you know of an amazing Deviant who you believe deserves one, please feel free to let me know~

Zerro = Zero + Rebirth. A long time ago, I felt like a nobody. A loser, a chump, a... zero. I was a sad, pitiful excuse for a man, a fact which I reveled in for the better part of the beginning of my life. I don't exactly remember how it happened but, I do remembr how it felt when I suddenly realized that my exsistence wasn't just that of a failure. I felt like I had been pardoned after commiting a murder. It was my rebirth.

From then on I decided that, in my personal life as well as that of the world wide web, I would have a name which reflected my past mistakes and deeds while, at the same time, conveying my newfound glory. Thus the moniker Zerro was born. Troubled past combined with unbridled future.

Later on, I joined the United States Navy and have served proudly ever since. I reemlisted July 24th.

I try to do things that I think wil make people happy. That doesn't make me a good person. Empathy is a nice quality for a person to have, but it isn't always a determining factor for someone intentions. Contrary to popular belief, you can't always judge a person purely on their actions.

Current Residence: USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72)
deviantWEAR sizing preference: Medium to Large
Print preference: Semi-gloss
Favourite genre of music: Alternative, Smooth Jazz, J-pop
Favourite photographer: Myself
Favourite style of art: Literature (Cause I can't really draw)
Operating System: Windows XP
MP3 player of choice: iPhone 4S
Shell of choice: Triple-Plated Titanium
Skin of choice: Active Camo
Favourite cartoon character: Huey, Heathcliff the Cat
Personal Quote: "Stranger things have happened..."

Official PayPal Seal
Interests

Activity


So, what do you do when your "friends" promise to do something nice for you and never deliver?
100%
3 deviants said Comment or Go Away
So, here I am, yet again waiting months for commissions I've had to pay up front for. Simple commissions, as a matter of fact. So simple that they are deemed "sketches". But, for some unexplained reason, my orders go unfulfilled, as if I had requested a home renovation project.

Back when I first started commissioning artists here, on DA, things were different. Firstly, I used to NEVER paid up front. If wasn't a requirement in those days, as it pretty much is nowadays. This guaranteed that I would get prompt and excellent service everytime. In those days, the artist worked hard to earn their coin, adjusting and growing to fit their commissions' particular perspectives. The artist would often times have to break away from their comfort zones and would thusly improve their craft.

Recently, things have gotten so warped and twisted that the commissioner, the person who actually brings monetary power to the table, is nothing more than a declawed cat, pawing helplessly as it is mawed by greedy, self-serving artists.

Have you ever been to a resturant where you pay before you're allowed inside? Do you go to a department store and spend money before you even have your hands on the product? If so, I wonder just how that business has managed to survive as long as it has. That is a TERRIBLE business plan.
As a commissioner, your power comes from the money you offer. By paying for art before it is even partially developed, you completely surrender your only leverage. And trust me, people will gladly take advantage of you once you have nothing else to offer them.

The artists here, on DA, have come together and made it so we, the humble commissioners; whom offer our hard-earned money, which we earn from jobs less glamourous, as a sacrifice so that we might have a small piece of art to represent our ideas and fantasies; are the villians of this online community.

Now, it have become the assumed custom to actually pay double and/or triple digit figures before a single line has even been drawn. These days, ideas like updates and proof of progress are borderline offensive when asked for and if you request a completed product a month after the initial deal, you are consider a person of no self-control and little patience.
No longer do we have say in the way our commissions are created nor are we alloted the chance for refinement if the image we recieve is lacking in certain aspects.

We have become dogs, biting at whatever chance we can get for a semi-decent reproduction of the images floating in our heads, which we lack the skills to make into reality. We whimper and beg, bowing our heads and tucking our tails between our legs, under artists whom take our money and leave us with nothing for months, even years before regurgitating some half-assed attempt at art and walking away.

My fellow commissioners, it is time we demanded our rights back. Why should we have to settle for rules that are deliberately devised to depower and demeem us? What we bring to any deal is, by far, more powerful than art; we bring money.
Yes, currency, the physical manifestation of potential and unbridled free will. So much can be done with it, so much can be gained from it. And we have the excess. So why is it that we are not being dealt an equal hand? I'll tell you: it's because we've allowed ourselves to become dependent on the talent of the artists.
Everyday, many of us come to this amazing online community and view art that we, ourselves, could never produce. Perhaps we don't have the time or energy to develop the same amazing talent as the more popular citizens of this electronic city. Perhaps our lives did not allot us the same oppurtunites or maybe our focus was shifted towards other avenues. Regardless, of the reason, we still feel drawn to art and its appreciation. Many of us enjoy art made for other while quite a few of us, myself included, relish in images crafted specifically for ourselves. Though we cannot forge such grandiose pictures ourselves, we don't mind paying someone else for the trouble of doing so for us.
So, we work and skimp and save all the while waiting patiently for a particular artist to become available to take on our modest requests. We rise up, dress and go to our, more than likely, thankless jobs, suffer the company of our less dignified coworkers, bear the burden of our employer(s)' expectations, deal with deadlines and sometimes undefined urgencies before going home to rest, so that we may do it all again later. All the while, we put a few dollars aside, like wishful children, hoping that our patience and financial restrain will pay off when we finally get our long-awaited chance to claim the slot on the list of our favorite Deviant.
Then, when that magical day finally arrives, what are we met with? Unfair and unbalanced rules.

•100% payment up front

•No "rushing"

•No WIPs

•Pay in a different currency (which actually forces you to pay more than what you probably intended)

•Though you paid for the entire image, I have the right to put it (including any of your ideas/concepts/original characters that just so happento be in it) wherever I choose

No edits after [enter specific phase of art here]

Apply rules like this to any other business environment and you have a recipe for disaster. Again, the only reasons restrictions like this exsist, my fellow commissioners, is because WE have allowed them to. We hold the power. We are the consumers. We are the "Demand" in "Supply and Demand".

It's high time we stopped rubbing our noses against the ground like pigs rooting through garbage. Someone once answered my previous complaints with "if you don't like it, you don't have to buy it". Well, I say we DON'T buy it. Not with the current stipulations, anyways.

It's time for reform, my fellow commissioners. Nobody should be taken advantage of; not the Artists and especially not us. There needs to be a compromise and an understanding between the two individuals that come together and agree to exchange monetary power for artwork. Stand up for yourselves, my fellow commissioners. You aren't helpless or weak. In fact, you are the strong.
You go out into the cold, dark world and survive the struggles and hardships of a job, bills, car payments, rent/morgage while still maintaining enough to sacrifice a small portion to some random person online, who is more interested in taking your money than actually providing you with excellent service and a decent product, within a reasonable span of time.

It's time we stand as one to put an end to the unjust treatment! Don't we deserve more? Shouldn't we be treated with equality??

My fellow commissioners, ask yourselves why it is okay to give tens or hundreds of dollars to a stranger without proof of something in return? Why is it acceptable to then wait months, even years for the art you've paid for to be completed? Then explain why, after all that time and money, you can't have mistakes and errors fixed?
Why is it that you have to simply trust the word of an artist while they demand 100% of your committed payment weeks before they even intend to began working on your commission?

The system is unbalanced, but we can make it fair. We hold the power to change this corrupt way of business.

Demand more professionalism from the artists you commission. Pay 50% up front and 50% when you are satisfied with your order. Don't deal with artist who aren't willing to show you progress and don't update you on a reasonable basis.
Warn other commissioners about artists who were unwilling to tweak and change certain details of their work that you weren't happy with.
Above all, don't let any artists take advantage of you any longer. Draw the line and stand firm.
If we all do that, the system will change. It won't be fast or immediate but, it WILL change.
Those artists whom are willing to work with us will survive while the stubborn will eventually fade away.

Above all else, remember this: You've worked hard to get what you want. Don't let yourself be cut short.
For those of you not "in the know", I transferred to a new command. On the 10th of December, I left the safety and warmth of Japan and returned to the United States, where everybody has a gun and has/will have used them on another person within the recent past/future and you even if you lock all of your possessions up in your house, you can still be robbed with realitive ease.

Needless to say, I was too thrilled. America has problems, a lot of which has become increasingly and painfully obvious within the past two years that I've been stationed overseas. But, I digress. This is supposed to be a happy update, not a political debate.

Anyways, so now I'm stationed somewhere in South Carolina ("Bum-Fuck Nowhere", as an old pal of mine would call this place) and have been readjusting. Police presence has apparently skyrockted since I last visited my home-state as have gun-related deaths and natural diasters...

Yay for being back home...?

Well, anyways, be that as it may, I've managed to realign my body with this continent's timezones, I've quickly relearned how much I hate people (The people of Japan were so courteous and respectful that I'd almost completely forgot) and I'm at the bottom of the totem pole of my new job, yet again.

However, there is a bright side to this. For one, the people I work with seem to be EXTREMELY nice. I don't mean the "Oh, I brought everyone cookies" nice, more like the "Oh, you need a ride to the car dealership? I'll drive you." kind. They've been helping me get allocated to the area and are uncharacteristically patience, for military folks.

I still haven't decided whether or not to make contact with my family while I'm here but, either way I'm fine. I've sorta made being alone my "thing", you know? Most people feel the opposite and even depend on their families for love and support. Me? I don't let te lack of their presence halt my progress. In my opinion, that's a rare stength. Some people I know allow their whole lives to be steered by the whims and desires if their parents and family. But I feel that all those extra expectations bog you down and dillute your own choices until you've become a product of someone else's designs, instead of your own person.

if you want to be a doctor, go and be a doctor. Don't study something completely different because you're afraid of what your Dad and older sister think. (Yeah, that was pointed at someone in particular. I doubt they'll see it though but, whatever)

Being alone, like this, it's the most liberating feeling. You don't have to argue or explain the path you want to take or deal with any emotional warfare bullshit that someone wants to thrust on you. You just do what you want to do. If you're lost or confused along the road, find an old-timer and ask them their story. More often than not, you'll gain valuable insight that'll help you achieve your goal. And, if not, then you'll have to find your footing by yourself. The road may not be easy at the time but, once you pass the hurtles and look back, from atop your victory, you'll laugh.

Achievements mean more when you've earned them yourself, rather than when you relied on others for help. When you've made the final payment on your own piece-of-shit car, that feels ten-times better than making the final payment on a Lamborghini, using money you got from family.

If you don't agree, what the hell are you doing reading one of my journals? Cause I don't normally cater to self-entitled individuals; at least I hope I don't.

Anyways, where was I going with this... Went off on a tangent there for a spell...

Oh yeah! So, anyways, I particulary proud to announce that I now have my own house. Well, I'm renting right now but, it's a first step to true home-owning. For the whole of my adult life, which coincidently began when I joined the Navy, I've been living in barracks (barrackses?). I only had a certain amount of space, privacy and; the most important of; control. But now, NOW, I am master of my own domain. A domain, mind you, that I searched for, fought for (figuratively) and pay for with my own money.

I am currently leasing a nice, three-bedroom house with two bathrooms and a 20-30ft dining area. It's one story and, if I'm being painfully honest, the building is as old as dirt. It's been well-worn and, if this were a carpet, you'd be unable to ignore the areas where it's fraying. All in all, kinda a run-down little plot.

But, guess what? It's MY run-down little plot! If I wanna leave ALL the lights on? They're gonna fuckin' be on! If I wanna run around completely naked? Say goodbye to the boxers (I have done this by the way. Hah! Get THAT image out of your head! ...The half of you who imagined me as buff and sexy...thank you)!

This jaded, old fox, whom has no friends nor family, finally has a place of his own to rest his head. And just in time for the holidays~!

I've already spent upwards of $600 on appliances and whatnots for my hole-in-the-wall. Once again, that money I was saving for Ex has become a bles- Wait, no, actually; now that I'm looking at the numbers; this is the cash I was saving AFTER the breakup. See, I still had the automatic allotments going to my savings, I just decided not to cancel them.

Well... Shit... That means I really DID do this all by myslef. No outside presence or influence made this possible (besides He Who Maketh All).

I gotta tell ya, despite this happening so late in my life, it still feels... I dunno how to describe it. Good, obviously. But, more than that. Maybe this means more for me on a personal level. With everything that's happened to me these past few years (my major fallout out with my family and being dumped by my fiancé), this is a goal met I feel signifies a lot.

I've lost a lot of emotional support (which, if you know me even a little bit, you know means a lot since I'm an emotional kinda guy) and yet I still make my goals realities. And that makes me feel proud. Sure, my problems may be small compared to others; I've never survived a fatal diagnosis or made it through life-threatening encounters; but this is a different type of victory. It's one of the human spirit. And yes, it is a SMALL win, but it's a win I made happen without the support of something like family or a spouse.

I had the priviledge of going to a retirement ceremony for someone who served his county for over 20 years. Originally, he didn't want to do it because it'll pretty much a big to-do over something that could easily be summed up as "Thank you for your service, you're free to go now. Enjoy the rest of your life."
During the ceremony, the presiding officer, a Naval Commander, explained that things like this aren't for the servicemember but for their families, who support and suffer alongside that man or woman in a different way.
The Commander went on to explain how most servicemembers depend on their fathers/mothers/brothers/sisters and husbands/wives far more than the average citizen especially for love and mental (as well as physical, in particular, when speaking about spouses) comfort.

"The are glue that holds the man together and gets him through the rough times." The Commander said. He then went and shook the hands of the man's wife before give her a placard as someone else read her a speech, thanking her for all her diligence and selfless actions while her husband was on nine-month deployments and long patrols, away from the home front.

Afterwards they kissed and everyone aww'd, including me cause, deep down, I still want something like what he has: a loving trustworthy wife, some kids, the whole nine.

But, you know, I'm making my way, my own way. In fact, I'm walking the same same same path as everyone else, just with no fallback and no partner at my side. If I stumble and fall, there won't be anywhere to turn. I can't go back and live with family. I haven't even SPOKEN to them in over three years. I can't go live with my girlfriend, cause I don't presently have one of those either.

I never explained why the fox is my favorite animal. It's because foxes are very flexible creatures, in terms of what they eat, where they can live and, perhaps most relevant, how they live. Unlike most canids, the fox is capable of surviving with or without a pack.
Most of the time, we think of the Lone Wolf as the perfect example of a badass animal. However, that's a mistake. Wolves are 100% pack animals. They depend on numbers for everything. Hunting, safety, protection of their turf, the whole nine. To be a Lone Wolf actually means that you failed to meet the expectations of the pack and were subsequently given the boot. A solitary wolf is a DYING wolf.
Now, a fox, on the other hand, can hunt for itself, think for itself, and protect itself if push comes to shoves (Ergo the saying, "A cornered fox is more dangerous than..."). They don't depend on others to survive; doing so only to enjoy the convenience, it would seem. Alone or in a small group, a fox is an expert of surviving and thriving.

With nobody else in my corner but me, it's no wonder I use a Vulpes-Vulpes as my emblem. And at last this fox has a den all his own.
The exciting saga continues!

    Morning came earlier for me the next day than most previous. I couldn't sleep as much as I wanted to because I was just so excited about the climb, which was bearing closer and closer with every passing hour. It was a feeling akin to the night of Christmas Eve. Wondering if there'll be presents under the tree and, if so, what we they be. Will they be everything you hoped for or a build up only met with bland disappointment? I woke up twice that night/morning (since I had gone to bed past midnight) and finally, at 0500 hrs, I said "screw it" and pushed off the blankets of my comfy bedding to rise and greet the day.
    Untitled by Zerro

    Not wanting to waste my chance for enjoying such luxuries, I once again visited New Century Hotel's indoor onsens; this time the first, admittedly better, one, which is situated on the top floor and offers a magnificent view of Fuji-san and Lake Kanaguchiko. Because it was so early in the morning, I was not surprised to find myself alone once again. I even decided to sneak a few pics of the place with my camera, which would have been awkward/impossible otherwise (Sorry, because the steam from the water kept fogging up my camera, this was the best pic I could get).
    After a nice, half-an-hour soak, I returned to my room and gazed out of the patio, snapping a few pics for the scrapbooks.

Untitled by Zerro

    Basking in the authenticity of the atmosphere, I turned off the lights and just sat down, taking everything in as the summer morning breeze wafted in through the open patio door and skimmed over my cooling body. A sense of peace came over me and, before I knew it, it was already 0600hrs. I wanted to stay and what the sun peak over the hills, next to the lake but, I came here on a mission and I couldn't allow myself to be so easily swayed. With a reluctant sigh, I broke the tranquility of the moment and began to dress and pack (for the record, I was in the yukata the hotel had provided, not naked).

    At 0615, I was all ready and at the reception desk, checking out. The old man behind the counter, who had also checked me in, processed me out while asking, in halting English, how my stay was. Using universal signs of approval (the Thumbs-Up has almost never let me down in my 7 1/2 years over globe-hopping) as well as vigorous head nodding, I displayed my endorsement of the hotel. After paying I asked in the man could call a taxi for me. Japanese Luxury Hotels normally have private shuttles for their guest and this one was no different. However, by their schedule (which was conveniently posted on the interior of my room's threshold door), their route started at 0800. Way too late for me, who had at least 12 hours of mountain climbing ahead of me, by Fuji's website's description. Some people might have tried to insist one special treatment but, as I've said in previous journals, I try to make a GOOD name for Americans out here. People, world-wide already believe us to be self-entitled (which, generally, they're right). So I willingly subjected myself to another $30 cab fee.
    Imagine my surprise when the old man tells me to wait a moment, disappears inside the office adjacent to the reception area and reappears with the keys to the hotel's shuttle.
    
    "Where you go," He asked, holding the keys up for me to see "I drive you."

    I really hadn't wanted to impose. Being military, following schedules is second nature to me. If someone says lunch will be served from 1100hrs to 1230hrs, I'm not gonna waltz up to the chow line at 1000 and ask for food and expect to get anything other than either a middle finger or an ass-chewing.
    But in all my self-consciousness, I had forgotten that hospitality and care for their customers are things that the Japanese practice almost religiously. They thank potential customers who enter stores and restaurants and, even if there isn't a single yen spent, they always bid them a fond farewell as well, thanking them for merely taking the time to visit. They always bag items and treat the customers personally belongings with just as much care as if they were their own. Most places of business have stands where customers can hand umbrellas when it rains and bins that fit under chairs for purses, backpacks and even coats. The amount of quality of customer service almost never differs. You'll be treated the same way at Matsuya (one of my favorite quick-food restaurants, which I shouldn't even get started on cause I could write a whole other journal about how awesome they are) as you would at a high-class, upscale place like The Grand Prince Hotel (the hotel I stayed in during my trip to Kyoto, in June). People first: that's the Japanese business model, at least as far as I can see.

    So, I graciously accepted the old man's offer and we both stepped outside. Once more, he told me to wait as he walked over to the shuttle and drove in front of the hotel. I decided to go and snag that lake-side pic of Fuji that I posted a few weeks ago while he do so. The drive was nice and quiet, just how I like my early morning commutes, and I leaned my head against the window as we sped along the side of the lake. After a short while, we were past the hills enough and I saw the waking sun's rays shimmering brightly among the ripples of the lake's water. Fifteen minutes later, I was back at Kanaguchiko Station, which I came through the night prior (for all you guys who forgot from my previous journal). Remembering my manners, I bowed deeply and used and said "Domo Arigato Gozaimasu" (yeah, I know the grammar of how I typed that is off), which is the super formal way of thanking someone. I had hoped it showed just how much I appreciated the way the old man broke away from the rules of the hotel just to get me my own personal ride. Things like this don't normally happen without me having to ask, so I was feeling REALLY good at this point. Giddy is the closest word I can think of right now to describe it, I guess. He nodded and smiled before waving and driving away.

    After watching the shuttle disappear, with a sharp inhale/exhale, I gripped the straps of my backpack and resumed my journey... For all of five minutes.

    By my phone, it was a few minutes after 0700. The earliest train arriving at Kanaguchiko Station wasn't gonna show up until 0900.

    "Well damn," I said to myself, succumbing to a bad habit I've possessed since I was twelve, "I could'a stay at the hotel longer." I would have rather spent the two extra hours soaking in some nice, warm water than standing in the cool, almost cold, morning air. I sucked at my teeth before sighing. "Too late now, I guess..."

    An unexpected, two hour wait. I needed a new objective in the mean time. Fortunately my stomach provided diversion. Can't very well go mountain climbing on an empty stomach, now can you? ...Well, I mean, yeah you can but people say it's not the best idea. So I decided to listen to those faceless "people" of vary intelligence and education that day... Expect the station's restaurants were closed too, so I didn't.

    Now, to some, this would have been a disheartening discovery but, to me, someone who laughed our loud when Alex yelled "FUCK BREAKFAST!" (I wonder how many people will get that reference if I don't give them a hint...), It wasn't ever something worth snuffing at. Food would have to wait. Ironically, I do better when I'm hungry. It brings out more primal senses and dulls me to pain a tad. I learned that when I first started weightlifting. Natural instincts surface in lieu of luxuries, which makes physical activities easier for some. If I'm hungry, my body tells me its time to hunt and prepares my body for a challenge. Now, obviously, I'm a far cry from my ancestors, who had to hunt wild, dangerous animals in order to get their daily beagle and coffee but, I attest that I do preform better when hungry.

    Anyways, so no food for Zerro. Next objective: WAITING. DunDunDUUUUN!

    To be honest, I don't really know what I was doing at that point. After the guy at the ticket counter told me, in better English than the old man from the hotel, told about the train schedule and my subsequent discovery of no breaky, I just sorta started pacing along the front of the train station. I had come out thinking that I'd be in constant motion, so I didn't have anything of my entertainment items particularly handy and I didn't want to unload to get them. Unloading means pulling properly placed things out of my backpack and strewing them along a bench or atop a newspaper stand while searching for that one thing I want, then putting everything back, more often than not, incorrectly which takes time, throws off my balance (even a inch in the wrong direction can have consequences during long hikes or treks, believe you me) and hinders other people. In my opinion, when you set out for something, what you have on hand and easily accessible is what you have. Nothing else exists at that point (which is why the first-aid kit is ALWAYS easy to grab. So are the condoms for that matter~ ...Okay okay, guess I'm not fooling anyone with THAT joke).

    I was in the middle of my fifth or six pass when suddenly, like a beacon from the heavens, a man steps in my path, extending his hand as he smiles. "Hey, I'm Drew."

    Now, if this had been the States, I would have been extremely weary of a total stranger walking up to me like this but, this is Japan, which allowed be to do what I did next, which was firmly grasping the man's hand, "Hey I'm [censored], nice to meet you."

    "You climbing Fuji too," Drew asked as with both considered one another.

    I noted the 'too' in his question and had almost immediately knew where this conversation was headed. Just like the previous evening, when I met the three fellow sailors in the station before Otsuki.
    "Yes I am. All the way to the top!"

    "Awesome! Would you like to split a taxi with us? It comes to about $40 and should get us there in less than an hour."

    If Luck were a lady, at that point I would have married her cause she's more faithful than my Ex.

    I weighed my options, which took all of a second. Two hour wait just for the train to arrive then the subsequent time needed to travel to wherever the hell else I needed to go or spend forty bucks and jump in a cabs with a stranger who possibly wants a climbing buddy as well. Uh Bob, I'll take 'Option B" please.
    Now, Option B is NOT always a good idea. In fact, I'm truly blessed that it worked out as well as it did. To be fair, I AM a tall, still semi-muscular guy who just so happened to be wearing a military-themed shirt that day, so maybe things weren't as shady as I describe them but, if this had been anyone else, in any other place besides Japan, I might have ended up on the 6 o'clock news: "Man's body is discovered in the woods; his face and genitals: missing".

    The Powers At Be had my back that day though and I followed Drew and was some acquainted with his friend and neighbor, Ethan. Now it was time for introductions and the whole spill. I nonchalantly told them who I was, that I'm a sailor station in Yokosuka, that I wanted to climb Fuji before the end of Climbing Season and that I've served for eight years (I tend to round up just to avoid that whole "and a half" nonsense). Thinking I would be the most impressive gambler at the table, I was taken by surprise. Drew was a plastic surgeon from Florida and Ethan was an commercial airline pilot from Denver who flew for Delta (I am seriously not making this up. God, life totally IS stranger than fiction). They both own neighboring vacation homes on a harbor in Florida and decided to climb Fuji, get this, on a whim. Drew apparently wanted to go and invited Ethan, who apparently agreed.
    My small ego was crushed. All I had ever done of my own volition was join the Navy out of high school. Somewhere I heard a taunting voice yelling "LAAAAAME" at the top of its lungs. It was probably all in my head.

    Drew and Ethan were totally American. It was obvious to me that, even with such amazing lives (as one could assume from the conversations between the two about house parties, lobster-based cookouts and the fact that they own VACATION HOMES IN FLORIDA), they didn't leave the US often enough to understand that our customs make us out to look like pretentious assholes to the rest of the world. Fortunately, we're in Japan (Japan-Ex-Machina *ding*), so the people didn't take apparent offense to their somewhat boorish mannerisms. Now, don't get me wrong, these guys were GREAT guys! In the States, I would have been happy to be in their company. They were funny, charming even, despite the fact that they were both well into their forties and kept referencing pop-culture moguls from the 80s. They also sang "Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto" which was... yeah...

    Anyways, during the cab ride up to the beginning of the Yoshida Trail, we talked and answered each other's questions while eating the hot Seven-Eleven food that Drew had snagged while we were looking for a taxi earlier. Boiled eggs and Daikon Radish, the breakfast of champions. Like Drew predicted, the ride was about 40 minutes and we piled out at the 5th Trail Head (I think... Was never too sure about what to call it, really. Here's a link to the website www.fujiyama-navi.jp/fujitozan… )
Untitled by Zerro


Untitled by Zerro

    Drew and Ethan, much like the other guys I met, where equipped with all the bells and whistles. Drew especially, who had two layers of water-proof clothing on. I, on the other hand, had stupidly decided to grab gear at the shop at the beginning of the trail. Ideally, it was so that I'd have souvenirs specifically from this event in my life, however, I would soon come to realize that the stuff they were selling was only meant for the best of conditions. Regardless, I geared up and bought my walking stick. I mention the stick because, as per tradition, as you ascend Fuji and visit the rest-stations situated among its craggy face, you're supposed to have special little symbols "stamped" onto it, which serves as a testament to your dedication and commitment. Really they heat a metal thingy and brand your stave which, in my opinion, is a lot better than ink.

    With about ten bottles of water between the three of us, Drew, Ethan and I began the climb.

Untitled by Zerro

Untitled by Zerro

Untitled by Zerro

    I paused at this sign. "Bullet Climbers"; people who ignore the importance of a good night's rest to rush up to the submit before sunrise. At that point I began wondering if Leader and his crew made it up okay. I had to push that aside though, as I needed to focus on my own climb foremost.

Untitled by Zerro

Untitled by Zerro

Ethan embraces the rainbow. Also, yes, that IS a double rainbow.

Untitled by Zerro

Untitled by Zerro

Untitled by Zerro

Untitled by Zerro

    I hoped you guys enjoyed those wonderful pics of an amazing climb because, just as in reality, they come to an abrupt end. From this point on, the weather decides "Hey, Zerro, FUCK YOU!"

[End of Part 2]
    So I climbed Mount Fuji the other day (Sunday, September 13th; for future reference). It's something I've always wanted to do, ever since I was a little otaku-weeaboo, in my socks, hugging a bowl of cereal, Saturday morning while watching Pokémon. Of course, I've grown a lot since then, mental and physically, and now have a deeper appreciation for the symbolism and religious significance of undertaking such a challenge. The beauty of nature and the power in the serenity of the atop Fuji-san's mighty slopes; this would have been lost on me had I'd been younger. I am truly grateful that I had both the opportunity and fortitude to be able reach the summit and pray at Asama's shrine.

    Getting there was a challenge though.

    The official end of Mount Fuji's climbing season is in mid-September (the 15th or earlier, depending on the weather) and, afterwards, you aren't allowed to go to the top because it's considered to be too dangerous. Some of the individuals who have tried in the past have ended up either missing or dead, so I knew that this weekend would be my last chance in a very long time to achieve my childhood goal. As a sailor near the end of a two-year tour in Japan, there's no guarantee that I'll be able to come and live in The Land Of the Rising Sun ever again, unless of course, I renounce my American citizenship (Japan is one of the few countries in the world that does NOT allow dual-citizenship. It's one way or the other, not both). So, I had to seize this final chance before it slipped through my fingers.

    So, Saturday afternoon, around 1400hrs, I packed a small bag, grabbed some yen from the ATM and hopped on the Keikyu line bound for Yokohama. I hadn't left Yokosuka since my boat pulled in from our summer time patrol, almost two weeks ago, so I was a tad more energetic than I normally tend to be; like an animal released from his cage to play fetch. Or maybe it was the fact that I was actually doing it: I was really about to go and climb a mountain. I can't say I wasn't anxious at the thought. It was something I had never done before, after all. Something that some other people had tried to do but failed and, sometimes, died from the attempt.
    So, yeah, I was sorta rocking in my seat on the train. That died off after the first thirty minutes though. Adrenaline can't pump ALL the time.

    Following Google Maps (which hasn't let me down once since I've started using it for my escapades) I circumnavigated Japan's artery-like railways and, four hours after leaving Yokosuka-chuo, I finally found myself on the Fujikyu Commuter Train, leaving Otsuki.

Untitled by Zerro

    Originally, I had decided to climb Fuji-san by myself which, in hind-sight, was completely stupid and arrogant. In my defense, however, I only choose to do so because the potential partners I tried to recruit reneged and left me with the options to either go solo or not go at all. I wasn't about to miss this chance because none of the other kids on the playground would come, join my game. I've missed other opportunities in life because of that same reason and, once you realize just how much you lose, waiting on other people, the idea gets really old, really fast. So, yeah, Zerro goin' Solo.
    However, apparently the Powers That Be (for me that's God; for you it might be nobody. Let's not get bogged down on that detail) saw my not-so intelligent decision and decided to intervene, lest I die after falling, breaking my legs and starving to death on some cliff-face. While trying to figure which track would get me to Otsuki, I ran into a group of fellow sailors. Coincidentially, not only were they all from the exact same ship as me, they too also wanted to monopolize on this last grand chance to reach Fuji's summit. With so much in common, it was only natural for them to invite me; stupid guy who wanted to do this alone; to join them. Of course I accepted. These guys were the real deal. Packs, boots, headlamp, camelbacks; they were loaded for bear. Well beyond my level of preparedness. In fact, when the actual invite came out of their mouth, I said a silent prayer of thanks to The Big Man for having my back as awesomely as he did.
    So out of one, there was now four dedicated individuals who all came to do one thing. I have to admit, when everyone agrees on one thing, it's a really good feeling. That means you have support when you want to keep pushing forward and you have resistance when you want to stop and quit. It makes reaching your goal that much easier.
    Not to mention, these guys obviously workout. Their leader (not technically, but more because he was asserting himself) was definitely on a good, solid regiment. His body was in great condition. I knew that, if I were to slip and hurt myself to the point where I could move, I could depend on that guy to fireman-carry me to safety. Not that I expected it but, you gotta have your bases covered. Contingency.
    Couple their physical readiness with that of my own (now that I've been back in the gym), I was all too confident that nothing would stop me from seeing Fuji's summit.

    On the hour-long train ride to Kanaguchiko (the same place where I snapped that lake-side pic), we came together to discuss a plan. Being military, I guess it's second nature to us to have all the p's and q's covered. Leader dude (I'm not going to use their names or show you guys the pics I have of them, cause I didn't get their permission to do so. Also, they might be like me, in the sense that they might like the anonymity that the internet provides) came up with the idea of being at the top when the sun rises. Nobody could disagree with something like that, so we were all in for night-climbing. The only thing they couldn't agree on (I was just happy to have someone to climb with so I basically became a yes-man at that point) was when they were going to set off. We had different hotels, obviously, so we also needed to plan a time to meet up, back at Kanaguchiko Station. In the end, there was no consensus, so we exchanged Facebook info (Man, I remember when it was either telephone numbers or mailing addresses... To the future! Cheers!) and parted ways.

    I spent that night in the New Century Hotel, in a beautiful, traditional Japanese room, for two (minus the tv, mini-fridge and stuff).


   Untitled by Zerro          Untitled by Zerro

    Of course, I'm glossing over the part where I hopped a taxi to the wrong hotel and ended up wandering around for two hours. And, as is always custom with my little misadventures, I stumbled onto something, like a romantic, French-style amusement park. 

           Untitled by Zerro Untitled by Zerro Untitled by Zerro  Untitled by Zerro


    When I finally did check-in, I sent the group a message through Leader's FB and then went to bathe and then soak in the hotel's onsen, which felt, pardon my French (heh, see what I did there), fucking GREAT on my sore feet (Keep in mind, ever since leaving Fleet Activities Yokosuka ;the Navy base for the less military-inclined folk; I've been 100% on foot). For those not in the know, onsens are public baths or "hot springs", for the less-cultured among us. They aren't all naturally supplied but the concept and rules still abide.
    Anyways, me being the tall, buff American that I am, I always tend to get a bit of attention whenever I go into an onsen. I don't mean to brag (well, okay maybe a little bit) but I do stick out among the regulars. Ahem! Anyways, this time was different. I had the whole thing to myself, which was nice but also diminished the experience. Like I said, public bath. I'm not a meat-gazer, for the record, its just if you're going for the experience, it should be the full experience. It's sorta like saying 'I visited Hawaii', but no Hawaiians were there.
    Anyways, I still had a great soak and also dawned a yukata for the first time. Had to learn how to properly tie the obi, which reminded me of the Sunday my dad first taught me how to tie a tie. Afterwards, I lay down on one of the sleeping mats (sorry, I haven't researched enough to know what they're actually called) and began to drift off. It was about a minute later that Facebook's email system decided to tell me about Leader's response from an hour ago.

    "Hey, we decided to leave at 23:00. I know it's short notice, but you're still more than welcome to tag along!"

    
It was midnight. So much for that plan.

    (End of Part 1! Stay tuned for the action-packed conclusion to this harrowing tale!)
So, here I am, yet again waiting months for commissions I've had to pay up front for. Simple commissions, as a matter of fact. So simple that they are deemed "sketches". But, for some unexplained reason, my orders go unfulfilled, as if I had requested a home renovation project.

Back when I first started commissioning artists here, on DA, things were different. Firstly, I used to NEVER paid up front. If wasn't a requirement in those days, as it pretty much is nowadays. This guaranteed that I would get prompt and excellent service everytime. In those days, the artist worked hard to earn their coin, adjusting and growing to fit their commissions' particular perspectives. The artist would often times have to break away from their comfort zones and would thusly improve their craft.

Recently, things have gotten so warped and twisted that the commissioner, the person who actually brings monetary power to the table, is nothing more than a declawed cat, pawing helplessly as it is mawed by greedy, self-serving artists.

Have you ever been to a resturant where you pay before you're allowed inside? Do you go to a department store and spend money before you even have your hands on the product? If so, I wonder just how that business has managed to survive as long as it has. That is a TERRIBLE business plan.
As a commissioner, your power comes from the money you offer. By paying for art before it is even partially developed, you completely surrender your only leverage. And trust me, people will gladly take advantage of you once you have nothing else to offer them.

The artists here, on DA, have come together and made it so we, the humble commissioners; whom offer our hard-earned money, which we earn from jobs less glamourous, as a sacrifice so that we might have a small piece of art to represent our ideas and fantasies; are the villians of this online community.

Now, it have become the assumed custom to actually pay double and/or triple digit figures before a single line has even been drawn. These days, ideas like updates and proof of progress are borderline offensive when asked for and if you request a completed product a month after the initial deal, you are consider a person of no self-control and little patience.
No longer do we have say in the way our commissions are created nor are we alloted the chance for refinement if the image we recieve is lacking in certain aspects.

We have become dogs, biting at whatever chance we can get for a semi-decent reproduction of the images floating in our heads, which we lack the skills to make into reality. We whimper and beg, bowing our heads and tucking our tails between our legs, under artists whom take our money and leave us with nothing for months, even years before regurgitating some half-assed attempt at art and walking away.

My fellow commissioners, it is time we demanded our rights back. Why should we have to settle for rules that are deliberately devised to depower and demeem us? What we bring to any deal is, by far, more powerful than art; we bring money.
Yes, currency, the physical manifestation of potential and unbridled free will. So much can be done with it, so much can be gained from it. And we have the excess. So why is it that we are not being dealt an equal hand? I'll tell you: it's because we've allowed ourselves to become dependent on the talent of the artists.
Everyday, many of us come to this amazing online community and view art that we, ourselves, could never produce. Perhaps we don't have the time or energy to develop the same amazing talent as the more popular citizens of this electronic city. Perhaps our lives did not allot us the same oppurtunites or maybe our focus was shifted towards other avenues. Regardless, of the reason, we still feel drawn to art and its appreciation. Many of us enjoy art made for other while quite a few of us, myself included, relish in images crafted specifically for ourselves. Though we cannot forge such grandiose pictures ourselves, we don't mind paying someone else for the trouble of doing so for us.
So, we work and skimp and save all the while waiting patiently for a particular artist to become available to take on our modest requests. We rise up, dress and go to our, more than likely, thankless jobs, suffer the company of our less dignified coworkers, bear the burden of our employer(s)' expectations, deal with deadlines and sometimes undefined urgencies before going home to rest, so that we may do it all again later. All the while, we put a few dollars aside, like wishful children, hoping that our patience and financial restrain will pay off when we finally get our long-awaited chance to claim the slot on the list of our favorite Deviant.
Then, when that magical day finally arrives, what are we met with? Unfair and unbalanced rules.

•100% payment up front

•No "rushing"

•No WIPs

•Pay in a different currency (which actually forces you to pay more than what you probably intended)

•Though you paid for the entire image, I have the right to put it (including any of your ideas/concepts/original characters that just so happento be in it) wherever I choose

No edits after [enter specific phase of art here]

Apply rules like this to any other business environment and you have a recipe for disaster. Again, the only reasons restrictions like this exsist, my fellow commissioners, is because WE have allowed them to. We hold the power. We are the consumers. We are the "Demand" in "Supply and Demand".

It's high time we stopped rubbing our noses against the ground like pigs rooting through garbage. Someone once answered my previous complaints with "if you don't like it, you don't have to buy it". Well, I say we DON'T buy it. Not with the current stipulations, anyways.

It's time for reform, my fellow commissioners. Nobody should be taken advantage of; not the Artists and especially not us. There needs to be a compromise and an understanding between the two individuals that come together and agree to exchange monetary power for artwork. Stand up for yourselves, my fellow commissioners. You aren't helpless or weak. In fact, you are the strong.
You go out into the cold, dark world and survive the struggles and hardships of a job, bills, car payments, rent/morgage while still maintaining enough to sacrifice a small portion to some random person online, who is more interested in taking your money than actually providing you with excellent service and a decent product, within a reasonable span of time.

It's time we stand as one to put an end to the unjust treatment! Don't we deserve more? Shouldn't we be treated with equality??

My fellow commissioners, ask yourselves why it is okay to give tens or hundreds of dollars to a stranger without proof of something in return? Why is it acceptable to then wait months, even years for the art you've paid for to be completed? Then explain why, after all that time and money, you can't have mistakes and errors fixed?
Why is it that you have to simply trust the word of an artist while they demand 100% of your committed payment weeks before they even intend to began working on your commission?

The system is unbalanced, but we can make it fair. We hold the power to change this corrupt way of business.

Demand more professionalism from the artists you commission. Pay 50% up front and 50% when you are satisfied with your order. Don't deal with artist who aren't willing to show you progress and don't update you on a reasonable basis.
Warn other commissioners about artists who were unwilling to tweak and change certain details of their work that you weren't happy with.
Above all, don't let any artists take advantage of you any longer. Draw the line and stand firm.
If we all do that, the system will change. It won't be fast or immediate but, it WILL change.
Those artists whom are willing to work with us will survive while the stubborn will eventually fade away.

Above all else, remember this: You've worked hard to get what you want. Don't let yourself be cut short.

So, what do you do when your "friends" promise to do something nice for you and never deliver? 

100%
3 deviants said Comment or Go Away

~WINNER'S CIRCLE~

#1 Watchers' Favorite
:star:Suriyawong:star:
~:star:COMMISSION: Suriyawong by arekupacific:star:~

Journal History

Groups

Comments


Add a Comment:
 
:iconsleepybirdie:
SleepyBirdie Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2016
*so touched tht u still use my art as ur icon* :iconspongebobrlyplz:
Reply
:iconzerro:
Zerro Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2016
I use it for everything, even my Facebook and Paypal profile pic!
Reply
:iconsleepybirdie:
SleepyBirdie Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2016
woahhhh awesome!!! thankyou so very much hhhh i just---- huhu anyways im only here for a while coz imma be back in school tmoro TwT uhuks,, 
just thought i go check out stuff on DA n noticed ur icon huehue
Reply
:iconzerro:
Zerro Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2016
Aww

I thought you'd be sticking around this time. You are one of the only people on DA who has turned out to be a huge disappointment.

I miss you and your adorable drawings
Reply
:iconzerro:
Zerro Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2016
OMG MELLY BELLY!!!
Reply
:iconsleepybirdie:
SleepyBirdie Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2016
heyyyy hehe! missed being called that xDDD
Reply
:iconzerro:
Zerro Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2016
How ya been doin'?
Reply
:iconresadoptables:
resadoptables Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2015
i hope you're doing well, zerro!!
Reply
:iconzerro:
Zerro Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2015
To what do I owe the honor of this visit?
Reply
:iconresadoptables:
resadoptables Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2015
I haven't been on in a while, I saw you on my latest deviation, so I thought I'd say hi since last I remember you were having a tough time!
Reply
Add a Comment: