When Renderosity redesigned its homepage, Community Manager Ashley Buchanan knew exactly where to find the first artist to be featured in the spotlight image.
She went straight to Nyala's gallery to browse art created by the Artist of the Year and selected Anasasiel to be the first image nonmembers see when they visit Renderosity.
"It had a certain mystery to it and a warrior spirit that we wanted to show visitors when they first come to Renderosity.com," Buchanan said. "You could see the effort put into it and the care she took to create it."
Her attention to detail has brought accolades from the community. Nyala, who is known in real life as Melanie Moeller, was awarded the Artist of the Month for October and Artist of the Year for 2017.
Specializing in fantasy portraits and landscapes, Nyala creates exotic and beautiful warriors, witches and elves. All are rendered with great attention to color and detail, especially lighting, in DAZ Studio.
As Ricky Grove put it, Nyala's work "is filled with emotion and feeling. It's one of the things that make her work stand out from other artists."
Nyala said her hobby may be reading, but her passion is DAZ Studio.
"DAZ is the perfect medium for me. For pen and paper I have unfortunately no talent," she said, adding she tried Poser but prefers DAZ and she does post-work in Photoshop. "DAZ offers everything I need for my requirements."
She started with DAZ in 2008 after she stumbled upon it while looking for an avatar for a character forum.
"They fascinated me. I thought I could try that too. With DAZ, I have the opportunity to express myself in an artistic way," she said.
Like some artists write poetry and others sculpt, Nyala uses DAZ to "create moods and emotions and thereby also deal with my own emotions," she said.
An evolution of art
Her art has evolved from her first upload THE OPPOSITE OF ME, which she uploaded Dec 30, 2008.
She calls her first attempts "horrible," but she persisted and honed her skills.
Artists who are new to 3D design and computer graphics should try to please no one but themselves and "always make pictures that you like yourself," she said.
For her, she draws inspiration from her life, she said. She is often inspired during walks with her husband and two children in their home in Germany. She also finds inspiration from reading, good music and film.
"My feelings flow into the pictures, too. Am I sad or happy? You can see this in my pictures. In many of my pictures, I try to capture a very special mood or moment," she said.
When asked what other artists influence her work, she listed many visual artists but insisted that authors influence her as much.
"I'm a book nerd, a bookworm, a person with too many books. I have a more than a thousand books from all genres. But most of all, I like to read fantasy, thrillers and books from the horror genre," she said.
Because she finds inspiration in so many places, she feels comfortable creating in many different genres. Her gallery contains everything from fantasy and horror to steampunk and sci-fi. She's even done a few apocalyptic images.
"I like doing art in a genre out of my box. I can not say what I like the best. When I'm inspired, it does not matter," she said.
"But in the end I'm just trying to find my own way, my own art ... I hope someday I'll succeed," she said.
Michelle Willard, Editor of Renderosity Magazine | Former newspaper reporter. Recovering archaeologist. Political nerd. True crime junkie. Read her articles here.