Favorite Quote: I don't suffer from insanity; I enjoy every minute of it.
Favorite Movie: Pulp Fiction & Shawshank Redemption
Favorite Book: Anything Chuck Palahniuk
Favorite Bands: No one has ever surpassed Tupac!
Favorite Songs: Too many to get into
Favorite Photoshop Tool: I like clone stamping out pimples!
How did you get your PSC nickname?
Funny you should ask! It's kind of gotten old, but where ever my wife and I go and we say our names we are always met with the same response "awww how cute! Nathan and Natalie! When we were going over ideas for our email account we came up with Nat_g31. Nat is the 1st three letters of both our first names and g was both our last names first letter before we got married.
I have always considered 31 to be my favorite number and felt like it was meant to be because in highschool everyone called me Reggie Miller because I am told that I look dead on like him. In fact I signed autographs in Vegas a few years back because the dealer thought I was Reggie. I was extremely pissed at my friends for that! Anyway, Reggie is number 31 and my wife's birthday is also on the 31st. I have worn that number when I play recreational sports ever since.
What is your real name and age?
Nathan G and I am 34 years young.
Where are you from and what do you like best about being there?
I was born and raised in Nor Cal. 45 minutes north of San Francisco in a town called Rohnert Park (Next to Santa Rosa). Much of my family resides in Humboldt county ,but most of them live in Sacramento. I recently (well, it's been 2 and a half years now-- how time flies!) moved to Tennessee. I live about 30 minutes from Nashville. I miss Cali because of the people but enjoy the area I live in and the quiet country life. One thing about the South is that they know how to eat!
What do you do to keep the bills paid?
I am an assistant store manager at a major grocery store. I would love to get out of this line of work but I am good at it and it is a stable career, in a not-so-stable world.
What do you do in your spare time?
I spend a ton of time with my daughters (2 and 5 years old). My five year old is a certified Diva and her younger sister is right behind her. When I am not slaving away to make them happy, I am picking away at chopping, playing on-line poker, doing yard work (I have about 5 major projects in the works), golfing or playing basketball, writing, reading, catching up on missed TV shows, watching movies with the wife, I could go on but you've already endured so much!
How did you find PSC, and what do you like most about the site?
I am new to photoshop and ran into it while I was looking for contest. Seemed like a great site but I feared I was not good enough. Submitted an entry, go advantage, and here we are. Had good times and bad times but overall the people are awesome and it is a lot of fun!
If you could change one thing at PSC, what would it be and why?
I think there really should be more anonymous contest. I think the fact that PSC members talk so openly about buddy voting speaks volumes. I have seen too many great entries go unvoted and par ones get tons of votes. I think this contributes to the large turnover that you see here.
Also, keep images up longer so more people can vote on them. I also like the idea of having a new contest every other day.
I would also love to see the winning percent be based on 1st, 2nd, and 3rd and not just wins. A lot of us only have like a .something and I think our work is better then that.
Is there any other information about you would like to pass on?
I am addicted to fantasy football during football season. If you ever want to get into a league or are looking for players let me know!
How many hours per week do you spend on PSC?
It varies. . . I've spent hours on a single chop. Lately I haven't felt so inspired to do a lot of chopping. I probably spend about 2 hours a week here.
What other sites, not Photoshop related, do you like to surf?
CBSSportsline, myspace, yahoo, ebay, cnn.
What tools do you use to chop?
What gets your creative juices flowing, how do you create a masterpiece?
It just takes the right source image. I think for me a lot of luck is involved. if I can find a good externel then my image will be great, if I lack the patience to search for great externels my image will suck. So really it depends on my patience level at the time I am doing a chop.
I think I am yet to create a "masterpiece".
What inspires you?
I am inspired by competition. I think some of the greats here have inspired me and made me better. If I can't think of something to do on a chop I move on to a different picture and come back to it later. This will usually work, if I am really stuck I ask my wife or daughter and they tell me what it looks like to them and I roll with it.
Do you have a system? Does a chop have to be done a certain way following steps or are you a messy chopper and just go with the flow?
I am usually very messy, but I'm trying real hard Ringo, not to be. I have to really slow down and tell myself "self, name all your damn layers". I feel much better about my chops if I actually name the layers and use groups but I rarely do.
What style of chop do you prefer to create?
I prefer to do photo-real. I will try anything though. . . Look at my portfolio, I could have an image get 50+ votes and turn around next time and only get 7 votes. I think this is a tribute to staying true to myself and not giving a damn what people think, if they like- they like it! I respect all source work but so far I haven't faired to well in my all-source images.
Filters, brushes and techniques: Which do you use, and not use, and why?
I like the filters, I am still amazed by the things you can do in photoshop. But on this sight I don't use them as they seem to be taboo around here. I use some though as I see any choice like: liquefy, blur, render/clouds, sharpen, lighting, etc. I think you get the point!
When do you know that you have it just right, or is it constant changes up until, or after, you post?
You never know if you got it just right. I usually work hard and then rush the end because I feel like I invested too much time and want to move onto something else. This makes me miss some fine details I should have noticed. I try to close it and come back later because the mistakes are glaring then. Also I have my wife look at some and point out the obvious. Of course some of the greats here aren't scared to criticise your work and they will leave comments about it. Then you pretty much have to update your entry. I have even updated pictures that have ended long ago.
What is the limit to what you will chop?
I am willing to do anything. If anyone is offended they can easily leave my image and go to another. I have had some ideas that I have cancelled because I didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings.
Are there any tips and/or tricks that you would like to pass along to less experienced choppers?
Do your homework. . . Go look around at choppers portfolios and see what they have done. Take the critiques and use them to get better! No one is trying to talk bad about your chop so you lose votes, or make you update so they can go ahead of you in a tie-break! Just do your best and eventually the votes will come.
What is your favorite type of source image, and why?
I like an image that allows me to be creative. I prefer to tell a story if I can and keep the viewer thinking about it after they have left. Any of the above sources work if I am feeling inspired.
There is often talk about how the source is used and to what extent it should be. What are your views on all sources, outside source use and animations?
I don't understand GIFs. I think there are some really cool ones and I vote because they look cool and seems like a lot of work. Maybe when I learn how to do a gif and see the work involved I will stop voting for them.
What is your preferred resource for outside source images?
I usually use google or stock exchange.
In your opinion what makes a good chop?
Something that no one else thought of. If 10 people made the same thing I will only pick 1 or 2 that look the best. If someone had a great idea and made a valiant effort, they will get my vote.
Do you have a system to get things started?
No system, just random madness as is my life.
Have you ever completed a chop and then decided not to enter it in the contest? If so, why?
This happens a lot. If the finished work doesn't look like what I envisioned I will trash it, sometimes I can start over with the same idea and come out with something good.
After you finish your chop do you just post it or seek opinions of family and/or fellow choppers first?
If I have any doubts I try and get my wife to look at it. Sometimes we argue and I call her Simon Cowell, but I hate to admit she is right. Besides she thinks I can do anything and I explain that I don't have the abilities. She pushes me to try and a lot of time it actually works.
If some one finds a fault in your work do you change it or stay with what you posted?
I change it.
What qualities do you look for when deciding to vote on a chop?
If the person took some time to think about their chop and didn't just toss it together in the last minute.
Some member prefer not to vote for filtered chops or animations. Is there any particular style/type of chop you won't vote for?
If I like it I will vote for it. It's my vote and I use it as I please.
Time is always a factor, how much time do you spend on a chop and how much time is too much?
It depends. I will probably spend at least 2 hours. Sadly I spend way too much time looking for externels.
We all love to get votes. Now are you a constant vote checker or do you just let it go and check once a day? (be honest)
Of course at first I was insecure and unsure of my abilities (for good reason), so I would check based on that to see if anyone would give me a vote. As I got better I checked a ton because it was exciting, now I limit myself unless I am super thrilled about a picture and want to watch it's progress.
What chop of yours did not do as well as you expected?
I honestly loved this chop. I put a lot of thought into it. It was supposed to be innocence vs. Evil. I tried to make it look half lit and half grey. The man sitting was supposed to be a child molester. I really felt like I had captured that feeling but apparently no one else did:) To me this is one of my favorites.
I mean I put some major thought into this and just go dogged on the votes.
These were images I thought would do very well but sputtered out. goes to show that you just never know.
What do you consider your best chop so far?
I was really happy with this:
I wanted to change day to night and make it humorous.
This chop did OK in votes and had some flaws but was one that shaped my style as a chopper.
Also has a few flaws but I absolutely love it! Plus it stars my 2 daughters.
What do you consider your worst chop so far?
Why do we have to bring up painful memories? Unfortunately, I have way more bad ones then good ones. Here's a couple:
This started off as a cool idea but something went awry and I ended up ruining it by trying to make it look like a watercolor.
This one came out really bad! I really tried hard to create Toilet paper in photoshop and it proved to be a daunting task. Regardless I posted it and you see the results. Luckily I had a few kind voters who gave me sympathy votes for my hard work/crappy result!
Who is your favorite chopper out there and why?
It depends on what this question means?
As far as work goes I would say Rey Rey. But there are a ton of great choppers that I can't even start to name.
As far as being my favorite choppers(people wise) I would say that I really like Tesore, Eve, Nogoodsk8ter, Marco, Shaman, . . . Sorry if I missed anyone!
My favorite as far as helping me learn- Shaman, Goat (although he can be a harsh jerk at times ;), Vokaris, candron and burning couch.
What do you NOT like to see in a chop, and why not?
I don't like self promoting chops unless it is done stylish and comically like some of nogoodsk8ter's.
What is the best chop of all time?
I think this one from Rey Rey is my favorite of all time.
but I gotta say that I haven't seen all of the great chops and cannot say with certainty this is it. but it is damn good isn't it!?
Do you have any other PSC related comments to add?
Lets have more contest and fun events. This place should be for having fun and not knickpicking!