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About Damátir Ando



"If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all that before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap..."

—Holden Caulfield



My Self-Portrait
Name: Damátir Ando
Age: legal drinking age in the U.S.
Location: Pasadena, California
Occupation: Unemployed

Damátir Ando (also known as Raskolnikov) was born around 500 B.C., the son of an Oriental princess, who was imprisoned in a gigantic floating labyrinth, and Apollo, who appeared in the guise of a giant bottle of Asahi Super Dry. After digging through the stone walls with his fingernails at the age of 30, he embarked upon a career in slaying assorted monsters. During the Middle Ages his interests shifted to literature, and as a side project he became the first person to write down the Çomyopregi language. Around 1700 he formed what is, in fact and unbeknownst to most, the world's first speed metal band, Combustible Soul, formerly a klezmer kapelye. In 1960 he was snubbed for the Nobel Peace Prize but awarded immortality by Jehovah. He currently lives with his four wives and sixteen angel-wingèd babes, dividing his time between mansions outside of Paris and in Yakima. Currently he is working on drawing, writing, inventing fake languages, and solving all of mankind's woes.

.......

Actually, not. I just like to make up elaborate fictional biographies. I have no life, to the extent that I can be bothered to make up elaborate fictional autobiographies. I write, draw, sleep, listen to music, invent useless languages, and spend an inordinate amount of time thinking.

I was born to a lower-middle-class family in Southern California, although I developed an attitude appropriate for dwindling nobility. My upbringing was cramped and, relative to modern American standards, deprived: no air-conditioning, no cable, no internet (until we got dial-up a few years ago). We washed our dishes in a sink and listened to casettes. I spent the standard thirteen years (including Kindergarten) in the public school system, and played violin in the orchestra for seven of those years. I got admitted to the University of California at San Diego where I studied linguistics. The main reason I picked that school was because I loved all the eucalyptus trees, and I spent many of my favorite moments wandering in the Ecological Park. After five years there, during which time I also had a fantastic year-long study abroad adventure in Japan, I graduated in 2009, leaving me unemployed.

My musical experience has been an interesting one, because unlike the expectation that people's tastes will broaden as they age or get educated, my musical taste has become more restricted the more I've learned. I call it "specialization." I became interested in metal about five years ago, following my enthusiasm for Master of Puppets. Most people have one of two inaccurate images of metal. Beyond the popular images of it, metal isn't all about inflated rock star primadonnas only interested in laying groupies or superficially rebellious suburban teenagers who think it's profound to describe being molested by "Daddy". I know because I used to be a dupe of those stereotypes. In fact metal — true metal — when done by intelligent and talented people offers an experience and perspective that is extremely rare in other art forms. I was lucky enough to be introduced to it through old Metallica, and then proceed beyond to discover some of the great, mostly little known bands. (Extreme metallers may argue that Burzum is not "obscure," but theyshould realize they are small in number and to 99% of the world Burzum is not a household name.)

Art, in the sense of marks on paper or canvas forming more or less representational images, is something I've been doing here and there since forever. I don't have much artistic training; I had a couple of art classes in public school which basically taught me how to draw perspective and clean oil pastels from a brush. Unfortunately I found the university art department to be very cliquish - even the introductory photography class was restricted to art majors. I got far more practice by doodling pictures in the spaces between my notes about the Civil War. I did some more "official" drawings on Xerox paper too. Now I use an actual drawing pad, but I still sketch with regular pencils and a Bic pen, and sometimes I use Sharpie markers or whiteout. I studied the human figure with a copy of Grey's Anatomy (the textbook, not the TV show) and by downloading pictures of Japanese celebrities and sketching them.

Self-Portrait

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Some frequently-asked questions:

Who are you?

I am one of the lesser gods. My particular kind are sometimes called Nephilim.

Are you doing homework?

When relatives see me working on Sopih or Çomyopregi, writing all kinds of notes, arrows, and tables of sound correspondences, they often assume I'm working on a project for class and start asking me about my studying. In fact my work has little practical purpose. I am simply a nerd, and enjoy things other people think are odd. Indeed, when bored I've been known to attempt to reconstruct middle Chinese. (It's fared better than my reconstruction of Proto-Uralic.) I'm not getting paid, nor getting a grade, to design and fill a site with elaborate languages. Nearly everything on this site is something I've done for fun, because I love it.

How did you make your website?

People who work with computers professionally probably aren't impressed by this website, but some other people have commented that my website seems very well-designed. However, I'm not actually a tech-savvy person. I've been able to do this website with a few fundamentals of HTML, and a bit of aesthetic taste as well. I use Tripod (and formerly GeoCities) because it's free, easy, and convenient. I type out the pages, with all the code and tags, in Notepad and save them as HTML files, then see how they look in Internet Explorer and Netscape. When I think I've done a decent job, I upload them. I give all the pages the same consistent style by use of a stylesheet. My stylesheet can be found here: link. A link to the stylesheet is then embedded in the "head" section of each webpage.

How do you draw? What do you use?

I'm really not the person to ask for art tips. Since I'm rather ignorant about these kind of things, I simply use what's convenient and what's been shown to work in the past, if not what's appropriate. In the past I used to draw on Xerox paper, the kind you put in your printer. Now I use sketch pads. I outline with a regular pencil, then go over it with a ballpoint pen and / or charcoal. Sometimes I add colored pencils, permanent markers, whiteout, or I wash over charcoal with a wet brush. Not very high-tech or specialized!

You're funny! Have you ever done standup?

No. I have no sense of humor.

What does The Wheel mean?

Originally, it didn't have much of a meaning, it just looked cool. The first wheel image was made by photomanipulating a picture of a protractor. I used it as the symbol for a fictional rock band called Blac Ice. Later when I got the more serious idea of making a death folk band, I continued using it as a symbol for that band. I've thought about different aspects of it and imagined them at different times representing certain ideas, for example, the cyclical, non-progressive nature of history.

Reguándóy domum (Return home)
© 2005 by Damátir Ando
Updated 29 December 2010