AI: De-lurking

One of my favorite things to read in the comments section of a blog is this phrase: “Long-time reader. First time commenter.” I have been (and I am still) a lurker on many a blog. I enjoy reading the conversations and experiencing the sense of shared-space within a community. It’s like watching your favorite TV show, with all your favorite characters: “Ooohhh, I wonder what Buttslap_76 is going to say about this article?!” But when you join in on the conversation, it’s like being on that TV show! And I really love seeing that first cameo appearance.

When it comes to Mad Art Lab, I often wonder “Who’s reading this?” I know that we have readers, but I must ask, before the curiosity explodes my brains:

Who are you? Would you be willing to de-lurk to just say “Hi” and tell me a bit about yourselves? You know we do Comment of the Week here, right? You can win stuff.

The ART Inquisition (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Mad Art Lab community. Look for it to appear Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 3pm ET.

Brian George

Brian George is an illustrator and designer who lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. In his spare time he makes videos of Spirograph drawings and complains about doing laundry. Website: Twitter: @brianggeorge Insta: @brianggeorge If you're into what I'm doing, feel free to throw down a bit in my tipjar here: @brianggeorge

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  1. ok. I will DeLurk… I am a ceramic artist and Nursing student with a deep interest in the biological sciences. My ceramics are more about monsters and fanciful, made-up things, but I ma a serious materialist when it comes to things outside my ceramics. Well, technically, I am a materialist when it comes to ceramics also since it would be really hard to formulate glazes while denying the reality of chemistry πŸ™‚ I am starting the nursing BS program at San Francisco Sate in January and am completely enamored of proteins and DNA. Srsly, proteins are freaking insanely awesome. I love them.
    I also like to throw poo at Surly Amy

  2. I’m Seth, I’m a skeptic, and I designed the 16-page colour insert for Scott Sigler’s The Starter. I got that gig in part by occasionally de-lurking on Skepchick.

  3. Brilliant.

    *grabs popcorn, offers some to Skeletal Dropkick and w_nightshade*

    Hey Skeletal, have we met? Do you come to any skeptical/atheist meetings in the Bay Area? You going to see JT speak?

  4. @SkeletalDropkick: Welcome! Thanks so much for saying Hi and sharing. Also, I will be ordering a robot mug from you in the very near future. SO COOL. Also, also, throw poo at SurlyAmy? But why?

    @w_nightshade: Sweet! I already knew you from Skepchick actually, but I’m glad you’re here as well.

  5. Thanks for the welcome!
    reuschelles- thanks for the popcorn. (: doubt we have met, I am a lurker IRL,too, hehe… Between school ceramics and kids, I don’t get out much.I would like to, but am usually just too busy for a social life. I keep meaning to get to one of the meetings, but they are usually held on a weeknight when I have no hope of escaping domestic responsibilities.

    Brian- you will have to ask Amy about the poo… and let me know who you are when you order, I will send along a little extra fun in the box : D

  6. Hi. I comment on one other blog frequently, and one or two others in a delurky kind of way. I haven’t got any relevant art experience, I just love the topics covered here. I was still talking about the “Virgin Mary” painting from yesterday this morning at the gym.

    Also, I’m Latina. How about some Fabelo one time soon? Sometimes his mermaids make me think he’s a feminist, but truth be told I just don’t know.

  7. Since you asked nicely I suppose I can de-lurk. I’m an English/music teacher who’s (hopefully) about to switch careers into water systems and management. Besides art and science (quite obviously) I enjoy Hapkido, ponies, and stuffy archaic etiquette rules.

    The convergence of music and science was a favorite study of mine in college which no one else in the department found interesting; one reason I love this site!

  8. Hi, I’m Elianara, or Eli for short, skepchick from Finland. Active reader, occasional delurker both here and Skepchick and

    Just like rodrigues here above, not an artist myself, but I like the topics covered here, that’s why I read the blog. I like to learn new things, and I seem to stumble upon things I haven’t thought about on this blog.

  9. @rodriguez: I’m really happy to hear that you enjoy our content here. And if I’m not mistaken, you were the first person to post a comment when MAL launched. So for you, Achievement Unlocked: “1st!” And thanks for the heads up on Roberto Fabelo. His artwork is pretty fascinating! I like it a lot.

    @The Duchess: Thanks for saying hi! If you are interested in the convergence of music and science, I highly recommend that you give a listen to the Scopes Monkey Choir podcast. It’s fun and funny and extremely informative.

    @elianara: I’ve seen you de-lurk from time to time, so thanks for reading and participating and saying hi! I’m am constantly learning new things here as well; both from my fellow contributors and from our wonderful commenters. Cheers!

  10. @Bjornar: You are definitely not a lurker as I have known you for several years as a fellow commenter at this point. You are now banned from this thread. NO TOOTING *banhammer*

  11. Semi-lurker here. Sorry, I do really mean to post more, but life, work, and baby on the way make it harder than I’d like.

    Also, one of these days I’m going to have to get out and meet some of you people. Need to put a face to those I’ve spent time talking to here and the other blogs. πŸ™

  12. @MiddleMan, meet us? and ruin our mystique?

    @rodriguez, Fabelo AI in the works. That’s right, we do take requests.

  13. @MiddleMan: You know, it’s funny but I don’t consider you a lurker. I think it’s because I’ve known you as a fairly frequent commenter on Skepchick for a long while.
    You are in NY, are you not? Ryan can be all dark and mysterious if he wants – It’s the Canadian way from what I’ve read – but if you’re ever around for events and such, let us know! Maki and I regularly patrol the mean streets of Brooklyn fighting art-crime and we may run into you! (Okay, skipping lunch was a bad idea. Everything is getting foggy and I’m not coherent anymore)

  14. Semi-lurker here. I try to comment more often, but I usually have such a back-log in my RSS feeds that I don’t get to entries in any reasonable timeframe to make a worthwhile comment. I was kind of surprised that I happen to catch this “de-lurking” post only a day late!

    Anyway, I’m a composer for film, tv, etc. in Los Angeles. Besides music, I’ve always had a secondary love for science and I got hooked on skeptic and science blogs a few years ago.

  15. Although Brian might be a bit weak from maintaining his girlish figure, his mental faculties have not suffered one dot. Encouraging you fascinating folks to de-lurk and pop up all meerkat-like was brill. Great to see you all. Don’t be strangers. K?

  16. I highly encourage everyone to delurk, even if it’s just to say, “Hey, great read!” Part of the greater-internet-asshat-commenter problem is that it seems like everybody on the internet is a jerk because the jerks are just more likely to comment. But if you, the loving many, comment (not just here, but everywhere) just as much, the internet would be a happier place for bloggers and youtubers everywhere.

    I really enjoy constructive feedback on my own blog, otherwise I’m just grasping, trying to figure out what people like based on google analytics, and that’s boring.

  17. Total lurker checking in, although I did tweet pics of our Nikola Tesla dolls. 😎 My boys & I are waiting for Isaac Newton dolls, since I have an Isaac named in his honor.

    I’m a musician (I play bassoon) and a geologist, even though I don’t make money at either right now. I really enjoy seeing the intersection of art and science, especially the science behind art and the beauty in science. So this is a wonderful place!

  18. Hi maggielou42! Thanks for commenting. I’m sure we’ll have an Isaac Newton at some point, as well as others. We’ve had a blast making the paper dolls and we’re so happy that folks have had a great time playing with them πŸ™‚

  19. Hi! The only reason I haven’t yet posted is that I’m technologically challenged.

    I’m a grad student in hydrology, and also a painter. When I graduate, I hope to be able to develop a professional art practice that deals with the scientific world view. I am very glad to see this blog in action, because it can be hard to find people in my local art community who have such a good understanding of my motivations. I will be keeping my eyes on things here, and I hope to be more active once I graduate (December!).

  20. I am such a lurker that I didn’t know until just now that you need to register to comment here…

    I’m a writer and artist, and live in NYC. At the moment I’m making a living writing for a design firm that makes interactive exhibits for museums. It is a sweet, albeit short-term gig.

    I don’t actually identify as a skeptic, though that’s more because I haven’t formally made it a part of my identity than because it isn’t applicable…I do identify, casually, as an atheist, and I think I got here through some linksurfing a few months back. It seemed like a cool place, so I added it to my RSS feeds. I’m more of a generalist when it comes to reading, so my feeds are full of a lot of different stuff: design, technology, feminism, racism, sociology, sexuality, business, etc.

    I know comments are part of what makes blogging a good experience, so I hereby promise to try and comment more often.

  21. @Hanna: Hi and thanks for the comment! Local art communities can be tough if they have their own ‘flavor’ that you aren’t a part of. That’s what’s so great about online communities; find like minded folks and sharing ideas, no matter where they are. Also, I checked out your website. You are a fantastic painter! Everyone should click Hanna’s name and check out her artwork. Do it!

    @saraeileen: Hey! Your job sounds really, really cool. Wanna trade?
    Seriously though, welcome and thanks for sharing your story!

    Glad you are both here!

  22. I’m Madfishmonger, I am opinionated and post often about things I might sometimes have been better being quiet about. I’ve been on Skepchick for a long time but for some reason only recently to Mad Art Lab, which is weird because it’s totally my thing. I do art stuff when I can tear myself away from the computer. I like to learn things, and I would rather be wrong and learn I’m wrong and be embarrassed by that than be stubbornly, stupidly wrong forever. And that was the most I ever threw up. The end.

  23. @ Brian G:

    Thank you kindly. I can’t wait to get back to painting; I haven’t done anything substantial since 2009. As happy as I am to see all you guys doing creative stuff, I’m also kind of jealous.

    Yeah, yeah, thesis writing can be creative . . . but not, you know, TOO creative. Sigh.

  24. @Madfishmonger: Welcome and thanks for commenting! And may I just say, that that is a really impressive amount of vomit. Just top notch.

  25. I lurk all the skeptical blogs, occasionally commenting on Bad Astronomy to win swag haha. I’m the girl who did the logo up top. I’m just starting out as a freelance illustrator still working on my degree in Fine Art. Ideally I’d be doing concept art for video games someday. I love science… and plan on going to TAM in the future when time and money allows it.

  26. @Juli: Hey! Thanks for introducing yourself. And thank you SO MUCH for designing and sharing the logo. You have no idea how much we love our Mad Art Rat. Best of luck with the freelancing and a future in concept art. That has always seemed like such a cool gig.

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