Power User Profiles: Suleman

So, as promised, Power User Profiles are coming back for a short run. Don't expect this to be very regular, on a weekly schedule or anything, I'll be posting these as soon as one of the people I've contacted gets back to me, though I'll try and have them up on a Tuesday like they used to be.

Anyway, this weeks featuree, what to say about him. Well, personally, I'd say he's probably one of the most overlooked creators in the community. His work isn't all that flashy, but his poses are always excellent, his shading atmospheric and his costumes manage to tread that oh so fine line of being visually appealing and believably functional in real life. Whether it be fantasy, oriental crime or wrestling, his work is never short of fantastic. Which isn't bad for someone who claims they don't know what they're doing. So ladies and gentlemens, please welcome to the Power User club, Suleman.

Username: Suleman
Origin of your username:
Hah, well, this isn't going to be an exciting story. When I was playing Might And Magic 6, a computer RPG, the game randomly assigned "Suleman" as one of my characters' name.
It grew on me. I laughed about it at first, since it was a clearly middle-eastern name assigned to a pasty white character. That does seem ironic, in retrospect.
Picture of you in real life: So here I am with a sword. It's sort of what I do.
Real life name: Karri
Where are you from? Finland. The southern part, where we get an actual summer.
Real age: 26.
Gender: Male
Favorite artwork:
This is not going to be easy, because I'm really critical of my own stuff. That I'm featured as a Power User Profile at all feels like more than I deserve.
This might be a cop-out, but I think my Lady Knights as a whole are my best work. The designs are okay by themselves, but I've done a lot of work to make sure the characters are all different and badass in their own ways, not just carbon copies.
Aside from those, I think Lucia Luna and Shin might be my best poses so far.
Favorite movie(s):
This changes fairly regularly. One movie I like to come back to is "The Good, The Bad, The Weird", a Korean action-comedy western set in Manchuria in the 1800s.
I just like korean action films in general. Whether they're sci-fi (Snowpiercer), thrillers (A Hard Day), martial arts films or whatever.
Oh, and if we're talking cartoons as well, there's a whole bunch of great animated films out there. Just recently, I saw Pixar's Inside Out and liked it a lot.
Favorite TV show(s):
In terms of currently airing shows, I'm a huge fan of Steven Universe and NXT, which is a pro wrestling show.
My all-time nostalgic favorite is probably Farscape. The sheer imagination and cleverness that went into that show was just inspiring.
Favorite Book(s):
I read a ton of sci-fi and fantasy, this is gonna be difficult. It's hard to go wrong with "Night Watch" by Terry Pratchett, though.
Pratchett was a master of his craft and Night Watch was him at the peak of his writing.
I also like China Mieville, Joe Abercrombie, Helene Wecker and Brandon Sanderson, among others.
Favorite Character(s) (comics/ TV/ film etc.):
I started reading Spider-Man when I was about six, and that changed my life.
Spidey simply has a completely different feel from most other superhero types. The combination of acrobatic action, clever stories and solutions and actually funny comedy made me a fan for life.
Favorite Music:
I'm a big metalhead, especially when it comes to power metal. Recently I've been listening to bands like Powerwolf, Pyramaze and Kiuas.
Aside from metal, I enjoy semi-electronic stuff like Pendulum and guitar-heavy rock, like Carlos Santana's stuff. I am open to just about every music genre, though Finnish pop has never really been my thing.
If you could have any superpower IRL, what would it be?
Copying myself. So many things to do, so little time!
What do you like to do (outside of HeroMachine) in your leisure time?
Oh boy. Look, I'm like the renaissance man of all things geeky. Books, comics and manga, movies, cartoons and anime, video games, tabletop games and roleplaying games, even pro wrestling.
...This might be a good point to talk about the whole sword thing. See the picture posted above? I actually practice historical swordsmanship. Our school specializes in the Italian longsword.
There is no living tradition, so the entire art has been reconstructed from old manuals and manuscripts. It's not really a self-defense system, the manuals at the time were all about maiming or even killing your opponent.
We don't do that, obviously. Anyway, I think training in swordsmanship has helped me with posing and armor design.
Ever met anyone famous that you really geeked out over?
Well, I did go to a sci-fi convention that had George R. R. Martin as a guest of honor. I sat behind him, close enough that I could have pulled his suspenders if I wanted to.
I always get excited about the guests at Ropecon, the finnish RPG convention. Lots of developers and writers come and talk about their games both at and with the audience.
Star Trek or Star Wars?
Man, this is tricky. Just in terms of which universe I enjoy more, Star Wars. It's the quintessential space opera setting, with spaceships and laser swords and big alien monsters, that leads to some great designs and action.
In terms of which franchise has the more interesting stories, I'd go with Star Trek. Specifically Deep Space Nine, the best of the Star Trek series by a mile.
DC or Marvel?
I'm a Marvel zombie. We don't get a lot of DC comics in Finland in general, so DC fans are a minority here.
Even after having read a lot of DC stuff now, I still prefer the Marvel universe. It's just more connected to the real world. Characters have real problems, or their problems are metaphors for real-life issues.
The X-Men are a great example of that. Their stories can often be compared to the discrimination many minorities face in real life.
Mage or Paladin?
Paladin. Gotta love all that armor, man. Besides, modern wizards with their fireballs and the like are so disconnected from what magic was like in folklore and mythology, and that bothers me.
Dungeons And Dragons is great and all, but I'd take mythological magic over that any day.
Character design turn-ons:
Clothing and armor that actually looks like it could make sense. It doesn't need to be hyper-realistic or necessarily even historically accurate, but it should be practical enough that the character can do their job while wearing it.
Color schemes and general designs that are simple enough that I could describe the key details out of memory.
Character design turn-offs:
Overly busy designs. THINK about what you're doing. If you see the silhouette of the character, are they still recognizable? Just how many colors do you even need?
No body type variance. This is especially true in the superhero genre. Superheroes are supposed to be fit, right? THAT DOES NOT MEAN THEY SHOULD ALL LOOK THE SAME. Look at these olympic athletes, for instance. http://www.boredpanda.com/athlete-body-types-comparison-howard-schatz/
Similarly, overly sexualized designs. High heels, boob plates, boob windows, armor with sculpted-on muscles, that sort of thing. It's just pointless.
Ever won a contest?
On the main site? Nope! I find it hard to motivate myself to make a design just for a contest. If I don't come up with an idea by myself, I probably won't do it at all.
I have entered designs into smaller contests on the forums, like the old Amalgam Character thread, and I won a few of those.
What's your take on the HeroMachine community?
It's great to see people making their own designs and using the tool in ways I could never think of. Just remember to comment, encourage and engage. It's always disheartening to post a design and get no feedback.
The community is about communication. We're creative people, we love talking about our creations. Don't be afraid to ask!
Any personal favorite members from the HeroMachine community?
There's too many to count! AMS is obviously everyone's idol, but there are plenty of other talented people. I'll try to mention a few.
Candruth's work with shading is incredible.
DeliriousAL, Stulte and Herman Smellville do some really imaginative things with Heromachine that go way beyond what the tool was intended for.
Djuby's and Ubiquitous Pixel's colors are just fantastic.
Skoul's posing is top-notch.
Best tip for a HeroMachine newbie?
Try something new, something that other people haven't done. Personally, I don't think I hit my stride until I started making my lady knight and pro wrestler designs.
No one else had really cornered those markets by then, so there was no one else to compare myself to. That left me free to figure my own way of doing things instead of imitating or comparing myself to others.
Don't try to be AMS, don't try to be JR, and for all that is holy, don't try to be me, I don't know what I'm doing.
Still, even if you're doing your own thing, it doesn't hurt to use references. Look at real people, look at real poses, look at real clothing. Keep your eyes open.
Final thoughts:
Exercise those imaginations of yours and be excellent to each other!

About JR19759

Email: jr19759@hotmail.co.uk Twitter: @jr19759 Deviantart: JR19759 Deviantart HM Group: Heromachine-Art