Friday, March 30, 2012

A Gift: Happy Birthday Ponydora

My dear friend. You thought I had forgotten about you, didn't you. ^_~

If nothing else has come out of it, I'm at least grateful to deviantART for giving me a heads-up on your birthday, so that I was able to make you something in time for the special occasion! I've been a bit pressed for time, of course, so the effort is perhaps not as grand as I might have initially wished, but I can only hope that you will enjoy it all the same.

This picture is something of a reference to a scene in chapter 1 of Flight of the Alicorn (Ponydora's excellent and widely lauded fanfiction, of course), even though it's not entirely faithful to the story, and more than anything was meant to show an appreciation for a correspondence that I've come to value highly. For those who are familiar with the story I can say that many of Rarity's thoughts and feelings in the narrative of the first chapter have echoed my own quite a bit as of late, and I felt that it was the absolute least I could do to show an appreciation for an individual who I most respect and admire. Again, I can only hope that you are happy with it, my excellent friend. ^_^

As I'm sure you all know by now, deviantART is keeping me rather busy lately as I work to get all my fanart uploaded, but I will do my best to get back to all of my messages (meaning on posts past included) as soon as I'm able. And in the meantime, as promised on my last art update (before I initially anticipated having this one done and posted quite so soon!) commission #8 will be shortly forthcoming, and with any luck I will be able to share that piece with you all very soon.

Until then, cheers my friends. And Ponydora-dear, best and warmest birthday wishes to you, you deserve them! **virtual hugs!** =^.^=


WD

184 comments:

Harwick said... Reply to comment

Honestly, if that's a rush job it doesn't show it in the least... I think it's absolutely fabulous, and seems to match my recollection of the story quite well, so I don't know what you fear might be inaccurate. (Was there a more specific description of what each was wearing?) Rarity's ready to start kicking those drinks back and get herself into trouble.

I love the colors here, as usual, but these really pop. Everything about it has a certain confidence to it, which suits a scene between two such movers-and-shakers of Equestria.

Beautiful work... no wonder you've taken the world by storm. ;-)

CaineScroll said... Reply to comment

Well, there's me as yesterday's news. Again. XD

It's a well done sunset once again, and this goes harmoniously well with the swing music I'm hearing these days (admittedly from Fallout 3, but it's still swing music). Also, excellent work on the shading once more, you're really putting a lot of pressure on me here! =O

Kein said... Reply to comment

Well, WD, I'm not really fan of shippping, and I probably mentioned it already, but there is one good thing about your artwork with couples - the idea is always subtle, there no way to say it is actually shipping. In any case I still can express my appreciation for the artwork but unfortunately, I won't be original here - I really adore your colors and highlights (sahding), a lot. Even despite it was quick one, your skills and technique still shows, heh.

Sellyme said... Reply to comment

@Harwick She ALWAYS says that. It's actually quite demoralising for those of us who don't have that amazing level of skill xD

Also, WD, you got put on Reddit already. Again. http://www.reddit.com/r/mylittlepony/comments/rlzkn/the_ponies_whom_everypony_should_know/

(I checked links to this blog and your dA, you've been posted over 60 times, and accumulated around 5,000 upvotes. Sweet jesus.)

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@Harwick

Hahaha no, the fashions at least are accurate, of that I made sure! But I believe the initial champagne-sharing took place in the interior of the ship, and also do not recall there being any mention of this particular flight taking place anywhere near sunset (or sunrise, for that matter). But again while I hoped to pay tribute to Ponydora's work, more than anything I wanted to create a scene for these two ponies which has been running around in my mind for quite some time now, and hope he appreciates it despite the disparities.

On that note, I'm so happy to hear that you like the colors, because I initially tried doing it with a blue-sky background (yes, to fit the story!) but found it looked terrible in this particular instance! In fact I tried making the blue work in as many ways as I could, but kept coming back to these colors because somehow, they seemed to bring the scene to life and my gut feeling was that it was the better decision. Who am I to argue with that aesthetic sense that (if all of you are to be believed, at least) usually knows what it's talking about better than *I* do.

Anyway though as always I must thank you sincerely for your lovely words to me, Harwick-dear, and even if I'm not entirely sure I deserve them all. You're a terrific friend.

@CaineScroll

Oh darling, why would you even say something like that?! Honestly I hope you realize you're your own worst enemy. Besides as the occasion we are celebrating in this instance is dear Ponydora's birthday, I would hope there wouldn't be any need for comparing gifts (even though your picture came out beautifully, as I truthfully said to you already).

I am glad to hear that you like it though, and appreciate the reply very much. Also, swing music? I can't say that it's the genre I might have thought of if asked, but now that you say that I suppose it might compliment the scene rather well.

@Kein

Actually dearie this particular piece wasn't intended as a shipping scene in the slightest; you all know me and the thought of pairing Rarity with anyone other than Applejack in my drawings would make me feel positively unclean! But no in all serious romance was the last of my thoughts when I had this idea, and again hoped only to convey a mutual appreciation and friendship between two ponies who were lucky enough to bump into each other... if people wish to interpret it as shipping though then I guess I say they should feel free to have at it.

In any case I do very much appreciate the reply and you sharing your thoughts, thank you! I'm so happy that everyone seems to think the shading turned out well, since it was my own personal feeling that it could have been a bit more if only I'd had the time. You're very kind though, thank you again~!

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@Sellyme

But-but, this picture really was a rush job, I'm not just saying that! ^^; I only found out about Ponydora's birthday the evening before last, and have been so busy with other tasks that I wasn't able to put as much time into it as I wanted. Thank you all the same and sorry if I seem to repeat myself in that sense... I'll try to work on that from now on, heheh~

And oh, really? I only just posted it and it's up already!? You all move so incredibly quickly, it's amazing to me really... ^^;

Anon said... Reply to comment

It's probably rude of me to comment on this one before CaineScroll's, but this is the blog that I leave open at all times...

Oh, Diamonds, you and your followers never cease to surprise me with their admirable taste. This is one of many of your artworks that I feel as if I might commission you for them, if only I could. Every component in the picture's entirety is so fresh and pristine, classy and clean. For the moment, however, I find my focus being directed to our newest addition to the WhiteDiamonds collection of ponies; the great Fancypants. I aknowledge the fact that he likely represents Ponydora (or should I say, Prancypants), and that makes it all so much deeper. The thick, warm collar, the pleasingly oversized ferryman's cap, the golden glow of his horn left underneath... What a sublime entrance to your gallery. I figure that if I stay at this blog for long enough, eventually you will draw everything I could ever ask for.

My knowledge of the duo's relationship status as not much more than aquaintances greatly adds to atmosphere of mutual, unhidden respect and grace. The two could be siblings judging by their resemblance, and the only romance present in the scene is that of their character and the luxurious view around them. It is a mood that all is well, if only for the moment. Cheers and celebrations compose the ambience of this accomplished assemblage. It only takes a brilliantly radient view and the influential aura of these two ponies to be captivated by the setting of this formal, yet well-anticipated event; Rarity's expression says that she is happy to be here, which would be an immense understatement of her enthusiasm for this opportunity. Fancypants, in turn, is quick to express his appreciation of the arrival and inclusion of 'such an important pony'. This gathering may start out hauntingly similar to the Gala, but Rarity cannot be convinced. She is exactly where she has always wanted to be.

I am sure that your esteemed friend could ask no more of an esteemed portrait in his well-deserved honor. No matter how rushed you feel you were to make this, and no matter what small details you may have taken liberty with or felt were in some way lacking, your work is, and will always be enrapturing, enthralling; extraordinary.

PonydoraPrancypants said... Reply to comment

I had only just returned home from a birthday repast of Caligulan proportions and switched my newly over-tight slacks for my favorite blue plaid pajamas when I popped open my browser, refreshed my windows, and saw, to my utter wonderment, a gift artwork, to me, from my dearest, dearest, dearest friend and a lady in every sense of the word: the fabulous, incomparable, astonishing, and beautiful to her core, Ms. WhiteDiamonds.

What is the right way to describe my reaction? Let's say that after a few drinks and a dinner heavy on cream, butter, and red meat, I was teetering on the edge of a myocardial infarction after seeing this. I still may not recover. It'll be touch and go for awhile.

To say that I was surprised is putting it far too mildly. You wrote that "You thought I had forgotten about you." To be absolutely honest, I never in my wildest dreams imagined that you would create something so special for me. I am aware of the time and pride you put into your work, and I am aware of the crushing demands your analog life and your digital stardom place on you. I can only hope that you had some fun drawing this one (actually I can tell just from looking at it that you did!).

I suspect I know what you are referencing with regard to the first chapter of Alicorn, though I say no more here. Suffice to observe - much like Rarity, you make yourself the toast of the town and the star of the show in whatever scene you may be found. You OWN the scene in fact - talent, grace, charm, wit, and a sparkling personality ... what other famous lady dominates her field with those traits?

Have I expressed yet how very special this is to me? It is a gift I will treasure forever, and will occupy a place in my heart (as do you) and on my study wall (as you do not).

Should I write something about the art as well as the artist? Oh, where to begin? Where to begin?? First, I love Fancypants. I am a bit of a fancy sort of fellow myself, insofar as I enjoy a bit of clever colloquy and a bottle of bubbly from time to time. He looks splendidly dashing in his captain's cap and azure mustachios. As for the beautiful Rarity, she is elegant as always in her nautical-inspired couture. What thoughts and emotions are running wild behind those confident blue eyes of hers? It is another brilliant piece by a brilliant artist, made a million times more special because it is for me! Simple multiplication (amazing x 1,000,000) means that this is the single greatest thing in the history of ever (except that it is tied with the beautiful drawing of Rarity CaineScroll made for me).

Thank you for this perfect present. What a nightcap to an excellent birthday! **so many virtual hugs back!**

P.S. I could not help but notice that both you and CaineScroll drew me Rarity with a drink. I get what you are trying to say here, but please do not stage an intervention. I'm fine, really!

zhoomcar said... Reply to comment

Absolutely fabulous. And what a way to end March, too - what a productive month it has been for you Di, and Scrolls! Won't add much else due to Harwick and Anon already covering most points, but I know for now that I really need to get around to reading Flight of the Alicorn. I must. I mussst. I MUSSSSSSST.

TomTheRock said... Reply to comment

I might have to go read that now. Very nice!

Sond said... Reply to comment

Oh this is absolutely wonderful ^^ And a fine gift for anyone.

I do hope your venture onto dA is a prosperous one :D It does take abit to get notice but seeing as you've already got a really good following I don't think you'll have problem in that department. If anything, its a really cool way to get in touch with fans (which, can be overwhelming at times XD)

Anywho, I need to get back to ponies. Rarity in red is SO very interesting ;)

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@Anon

Why, Anon-darling, what an incredibly lovely and eloquent post you have written me! That was all beautifully worded my dear, and such a pleasure to read, and really I'm only touched and flattered once again by all of the gracious praise that you've seen fit to bestow on me... thank you.

First off, of course, I'm sure you know how happy it makes me to hear you like the picture. I'm a bit surprised, I'll admit, that you are seemingly so happy to see Fancypants... I never realized he was a pony who you liked quite so much! I'll agree that I'm pretty fond of him as well as not only is he a decidedly distinguished sophisticate with impeccable manners and composure, but also of course is a true gentlestallion in every sense of the word, and I'll have to agree seems to me to be a perfect compliment to Rarity (and as I said, in a totally non-romantic sense. In fact strangely enough I think romance would ruin what I see as a perfect dynamic of their relationship).

The rest of your compliments regarding the artwork are of course lavish, and again I'm only happy (as well as a little surprised) that you liked it so much. As you already know creating a good sense of atmosphere and mood is something which I value very highly, so to hear that you feel I was successful on all counts with this piece is wonderful, and even if I wasn't able to put as much time into it as I would have liked.

Thank you so much again, dearie, you are fabulous!

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@PonydoraPrancypants

My dearest, lovely, most eloquent friend, I only wish I could fly at you with a tackling hug right now! I am so, so, SO incredibly happy to see and hear that you enjoyed your gift; it really-truly does mean the world to me! ^.^

You really are so incredibly good to me. You sing my praises to the heavens even when I don't think I've done any more than a proper friend should; that is, present a small gift to show my appreciation for a most enjoyable and rewarding correspondence. As I mentioned in some of my posts made earlier I've actually been wanting to draw something similar to this scene for some time now (I honestly still really like that wine-tasting idea, and might have to put it on the back-burner for a later date), and when I saw your birthday was fast approaching courtesy of deviantART I did what I could to make the deadline! It was a bit of a crunch but certainly, I have dealt with far worse before.

But anyway yes, you are more than welcome for the gesture and as I said, I can only offer you my humblest of thanks for the heaps of praise you never seem to tire of sending my way! You really are too good to me... in all honesty, did you just compare me to Meryl Streep? If I had even half of that wonderful woman's grace and composure, I would have no reason to ever want for anything again, I don't think.

Once again I'm so thrilled that by the sound (and looks!) of things you had an excellent birthday, as you definitely deserved just that! Oh and as far as the intervention I'm afraid I'm probably the last person whom you would have to worry about doing such a thing... in all honesty I expect you and I would be more likely to be enjoying a toast somewhere, of something when Harwick would finally arrive for the occasion, caterer bearing cannolis in tow. ^_~

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@zhoomcar

Thanks so much dear and you're absolutely right; March really has been an amazingly productive month for me! Of course one of those posts was merely an announcement and two others were gift-arts (which one can hardly postpone, of course) but still, I think I got more art pieces done than I have in the previous couple of months combined.

Anyway though thank you again; I'm glad you like the piece! And yes if you have not yet done so you really do need to give Alicorn a read... I'm not caught up on all the chapters to date just yet but it really is a most gripping story!

@TomTheRock

Yes, as I said to zhoomcar above I really do recommend it highly! A Rarity-centric story (which of course, I can't see that anyone could ever complain about) with a very driven plot... Ponydora really is a very talented author.

Regarding the artwork thanks so much dear, I'm very glad you like!

@Sond

Oh, hello Sond my friend, such an unexpected pleasure to welcome you on my blog again! Thank you so much for stopping by and I'm very glad to hear you like the picture; I'll agree also that Rarity really does wear red well (along with most everything else, of course!).

Thanks also for the welcome to deviantART (both here and there as well!)... in all honesty gaining more of a following is not anything that I've ever been concerned with, and indeed was one of the things that I'd been a little worried about. ^_^; As it is, managing this blog and getting my fanarts and commissions finished seems to be taking up an increasing amount of my time, but it's all good as I really do enjoy most of the former, and will admit that the warm reception on dA has been very humbling and flattering thus far.

Well, I expect that I will be seeing a bit more of you now, most happily, and thank you again for dropping by and for all the lovely sentiments! They're very much appreciated!

CaineScroll said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds

Believe me, if I could just be totally happy with what I do and not take everyone else's comments as seriously as I do now, I'd do it without hesitation. But...let's just say that some parts of the internet really do leave me in despair. Zetsubou shitaaaa~~~!!

Of course, that doesn't mean the Internet's all bad. On this blog alone I've met some truly wonderful people who were willing to lend me an ear when I needed someone to talk to...I won't give any names here, but I'm eternally grateful to them for being such terrific friends who always manage to bring a smile to my face! =D

@zhoomcar

Heehee, I might not be as productive as Di (I'm infamously slow when it comes to art, something which most of you must've noticed by now), but I do agree wholeheartedly that March has been a really fruitful month indeed in more ways than one: I received three commissions this month, which is a personal best!^^ But more importantly, thanks very much for keeping track of me in the first place, you've been a pretty active commenter on my blog (despite the seemingly short-lived threads), and I really do appreciate it!

zhoomcar said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds
@PonydoraPrancypants
I've since started reading Alicorn in the hours leading up to the airing of the latest episode (12am to 3am! Australian time!) and knowing that Daylight Savings time just ended that night, it was a truly strange moment to see the clock cycle through 2am twice. But anyway, I got through the first five chapters, and I must say, I'm intrigued. I must admit it's a bit wordy for my young brain, but it's nothing a dictionary (physical or digital) can't fix. It's slowly starting to pick up well... steam at this point, will get around to reading the rest sometime soon!

@CaineScroll
Well, I can't say I've actually noticed your slowness (I only hopped on the Scrolls Express (heh) a month and a half ago, really?), so I'm yet to experience long loading times for your next artpieces! Three commissions is definitely something, and then I look at what I've achieved this month, and that was only spoof WhiteDiamonds' work with glue bottles for some silly fun.

Huzzah for short threads! You and Di pretty much have the honour of being the few blogs I frequent to pass the time, and I must extend my thanks to you also for sharing your ever improving works with all of us!


Oh, while I'm on about episodes (because it is inevitable anyway), what did you think of Ponyville Confidential?

@Favo
Yes, it's been a very rough couple of months, which has definitely brought out the worst of us. Fare thee well.

And my head is feeling really unsure about all this with April Fools flying around the internet (despite it being April 2 here now). But surely you would at least stay for the rest of the season?

Anon said... Reply to comment

@Favo

I had the feeling someone might, jokingly or not, leave the blog on April 1st. I just didn't expect it to sound so honest. But I can't assume that it's a joke, because that would be terrible.

I will give you the same advice as I did to that certain person and say that, while I wish we didn't always have to be associated with even the worst parts of the fandom (EQD can be like a YouTube comment section sometimes), I hope you will always know to do whatever makes you happy, keep your options open and stay wherever you feel you are accepted. I would like to think that this is one of those places, but if we remind you too much of a bad thing then it's your decision, and I have no control over it. But remember that we won't ever hold it against you if you see this blog in a better light once you're feeling better about all of this.

@CaineScroll

"(forgive my complete uncouthness)"

Heh, I would have used such stronger words.

I will get around to commenting on your blog sooner or later, but as you might know I'm quite busy these days. I haven't seen the episode yet, and I suspect I won't at least until 8:00, at the very earliest. I just had to take priority and put this comment out sooner than later.

CaineScroll said... Reply to comment

@zhoomcar

Personally, I think I draw at a much slower pace compared to Di, Harwick and pretty much every major pony artist out there...I suppose this is the reason why I don't make Drawfriend Doodle Roundups (or Caravaggio Reports in my case) containing multiple drawings, or even doodles for that matter (they're called "doodles" for a reason), because the time taken for me to attempt them would be excruciatingly long...=.= However, if you really do think that the wait for the next post isn't long (because to me it certainly seems so! =P), then there's still hope that I'm not a complete slowpoke after all.

*Blush* Oh, stop that, you. But don't stop. =D Seriously though, I do try to devote as much time to my pony art as I possibly can, not only for my own enjoyment but also for my followers'. But as mentioned above, I only wish I could stop taking comments, view counts and similar stuff so seriously and focus more on doing art as an enjoyment...this number crunching society drives me to despair. Zetsubou shitaaaa~~~!!

As for Ponyville Confidential (incoming essay)...I absolutely loved it! It never fails to amuse me that there's constantly a case of Aesop's Amnesia whenever a CMC episode comes along, and this one is no different. Those little fillies never learn, do they?

There was one thing about the story that stumped me quite a bit...Since the CMC haven't received their cutie marks (which is the pony equivalent of puberty), we can safely assume that they're in elementary school. Yet they are given the huge responsibilty to operate a form of media which is easily widespread through the general public. Also, not only was it rather illogical of the entire town to treat the CMC as public menaces, given their age, but in a way they brought it upon themselves: their thirst for gossip was what eventually drove the CMC to obtain more embarrassing stories about themselves in the first place. And bear in mind that if Rarity hadn't spread the word, the paper would've been confined within the school. (also, did anyone notice that Cheerilee got none of the blame? You'd have thought that as a teacher, she would've intervened given the circumstances and stopped the presses when things started going south. But then, remember another role her voice actor plays within the show...

Also, it was nice to see the many allusions the team incorporated into the episode! At long last, the Great and Powerful Trixie has been at least officially mentioned after a full season's absence (she never got to make an actual appearance, but I'll take it for now). Then we had an actual shot of Celestia being a total goof, which (theoretically speaking) is supposed to be impossible since the show normally depicts her as a regal and respected princess pony and a role model to all young girls who actually watch the show. And of course, the Big Mac/Smartypants candid was pure comedy gold, as well as the truth behind Mayor Mare's real mane colour.^_^

That said, the best part for me was probably the highly unexpected character reversal between AJ and Big Mac...hearing Applejack giving short, sharp "yup"s and "nope"s and Big Mac going into a wide-vocabulary rant was simply priceless in my opinion (speaking of which, I'm going to have to do some fanart of him sometime soon, the big guy needs some love <3). There were a lot of fabulous Rarity moments just waiting to be converted into fanart as well, but...I'll leave that to our own Rarity incognito here.^^ All in all, it might not have been the most logically accurate episode, but it certainly made up points for good ol' slapstick humour. Nicely done indeed! =)

Favo said... Reply to comment
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Favo said... Reply to comment
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Anon said... Reply to comment

@Favo

Like I said, there was an equal chance that it was a joke, but what would it look like if I took it that way? I don't like just leaving people that are feeling down. It doesn't feel right.

But yes, whatevers. Now you know what we would say.

CaineScroll said... Reply to comment

@Favo

Wha---ACK! I suppose you're perfectly fine with me getting a heart attack, you! Now you make me want to leave out of shame... T_T

Silly, silly Scrolls. XD

Forderz said... Reply to comment

Hello again, everyone. It's been a while since I've checked in last, and hat damn you've churned out some slick artwork in my absence, WD. I'm sad to see that someone tried to steal that fabulous artwork of Rarity, but I can't find too much fault with the result. More exposure is rarely a bad thing, especially for a creative artist like yourself.

Fancypants is probably my favourite pony behind Rarity, purely because he's pretty much exactly what I hope to be one day. Smooth, calm, cool, and always in control of the situation, Fancy is my moustached hero. He's a cool cat that cruises to his own beat (and on his own yacht).

Unfortunately, I've had less than stellar success emulating him in real life. My boss at work has decided to turn his trolling up to 11, playing fun games with me like: Secret Tests of Character, where he attempts to get you to lie to him so he can call you a liar, and CSI: Car Dealership, where I get to utilize my knowledge of forensic science to discern the identity of a car thief by picking through such wonderful items like piles of underwear and everyone's favourite, Mystery Fluid!

I'm trying to find time to work on an entrance portfolio for a journalism course and escape the harsh hellscape of UNEDUCATED EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES, but it's rough when you get home after a truly rough day at work to sit down and work some more.

Favo, don't play mean pranks.

Prancy, keep on writing that goldmine of a fic.

Harwick, Caine, keep on arting.

I aplogize for the formatting of this post, its time to go to bed. See you all in a month, if I'm lucky enough to not lose my job. If that happens, expect to see a lot more of me!

Forderz said... Reply to comment

@Forderz

I forgot! Prancy, don't let Capn_Chryssalid dethrone you as best Rarity writer!

zhoomcar said... Reply to comment

@Favo
I totally saw that coming, and bonesaw through the neck? Really? Übersaws are my specialty, mate. Don't mess with me and my Kritzkrieg. I guess at least one person here has to pull of this kind of stunt... And being about 16 hours ahead of America makes me (and Scrolls even) have to cycle through the jestivities for almost two days o.o

Meanwhile the only April Fools' joke which made me chuckle was some article posted on BBC News about the world exploding and killing everyone. And that EQD is a very stupid place right now.


@CaineScroll
Placebo effect activate! I can probably say one reason that I don't notice your slowness because my tendency to hang around here more (WhiteDiamonds is like the town hall meeting and you the rendezvous) and there's the seven hour weekday grind of school... but now that term break has come around it's time to see this theory tested.

As for the episode, I can say I enjoyed it as well, though as my sister pointed out, it's a very strange choice to almost entirely exclude Silver Spoon though seeing as DT and SS are buddies, right? (Or is this another one of Friendship is Witchcraft's things coming true? Gasp!) and I particularly loved Rarity this episode, as usual. The GPT was a nice namedrop, and her secret is probably pine cones or something. AJ and Big Mac role reversal was also a very surprising (and almost chilling) moment for me. I mean talking in stringed sentences AND being angry? woaaah! (Also I couldn't help but think of Sweet Apple Massacre then, eep) Oh, and the CMC's walk of shame just made me think of Twilight going grey.

And meanwhile, I thought nothing of the whole "why are the CMC who are kids being treated as public menace" thing. Leave it to bronies to over think everything 8)

PonydoraPrancypants said... Reply to comment

@Forderz

Oh, thank you for the encouragement, but I graciously concede that title to Capn_Chryssalid. "Best Night Ever" was the inspiration for "Alicorn," and it is still my favorite fanfic of all time. I consider my Rarity story a "spiritual sequel" to "Best Night Ever," but it will never be quite as fresh as the original.

Favo said... Reply to comment
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Favo said... Reply to comment
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zhoomcar said... Reply to comment

@Favo
My Medic's loadout for me is Kritz + Übersaw due to the former's faster Ubercharge rate and the latter's ability to add to the Ubercharge bar with each successive hit. Generally I don't tend to pair Kritzkrieg with Heavies, but using it in conjunction with a good Demoman can call for some devastating results. as for the Medi Gun, I never really use them anyway, but I decided to pair with the Overdose purely for its ability to up my speed up to 10% depending on my charge percentage, which makes for good opportunities to leg it.

zhoomcar said... Reply to comment

@Favo
Love jumping the gun on my comments but hey, recently I've been starting to look up to EQD the same way I look at Kotaku. Hate some of the things they post, can't help but use them every single day.

And there's hate for you.

Coconutswallow said... Reply to comment

Oh my, that is one FANTASTIC piece of art! This is a rushed work, you say? Then what does a carefully crafted work look like? Will I have to go to the Louvre to see it?

The atmosphere presented in this picture is wondrously tangible and the facial expressions are exquisite. I'd go on but sweet applesauce, what can I say that previous posters haven't already? The sheer elegance of those posts are something. Your followers are classy people, Ms. WhiteDiamonds. Though I suppose this shouldn't surprise me given that you are without a doubt the classiest artist in the fandom.

@PonydoraPrancypants

Between a recommendation from WD and a comparison of your story to Best Night Ever (my favorite pony story), I think I ought to jump on Flight of the Alicorn with hungry ferocity.

zhoomcar said... Reply to comment

Excuse my rambling but Blogger, aaaaaah, what are you doing, sporadically removing my profile image! I do not enjoy seeing myself represented as a broken image thing! :(

-picture changed for time being-

jodyjm13 said... Reply to comment

I was going to comment on Favo's frustrations with the fandom, but just trying to organize my thoughts on what I've seen the past couple of months was souring my mood, so I'll just say I can sympathize, even if my own difficulties lie in a different direction.

On to happier matters: This is another lovely portrait, as everyone else has so eloquently stated. You always excel in portraying the characters' personalities, even in "rush jobs" such as this; and for what it's worth, I believe you made the right call in using artistic license to make this a sunset scene.

"Ponyville Confidential" was another fine episode, if not quite in the same class as last week's "Hurricane Fluttershy". The story was paced perfectly, and the CMC's inevitable descent into a trap of their own making was very convincingly portrayed. The gossip gags were terrific, funny and mostly unexpected, deftly dancing the line between acutely embarrassing and cruel. Big Macintosh's first significant dialog since "Applebuck Season" was set up flawlessly to be perfectly in-character for him, and Angel got to be Fluttershy's protector and a jerk simultaneously. And oh, that Diamond Tiara; there've already been quite a few funny and appropriate comparisons to J. Jonah Jameson, but my favorite Diamond Tiara fan image from the episode went in a different direction for its inspiration.

There were a couple of minor flaws with the episode, though, IMHO. First is the anticlimactic way in which DT's blackmail threat was resolved: we go from her declaring that she will publish the CMC's photos, to Cheerilee demoting her from the editorship, without a mention of what happened to the photos. I think it would've made a stronger episode all around if, after DT's declaration, she noticed a p.s. to the column: "To show we're sincere about our apology, here's our own embarrassing photos." Second, I thought one of the strong points of the story was showing the hypocrisy of laughing at gossip only as long as it was about someone else, but it was (except for Rarity) downplayed so much that I wonder how many kids will get that message.

Still, even with those quibbles, I thought it was a very strong, entertaining episode. Now, who's up for drawing fan art of Namby Pamby? I need drawings, drawings of ponies!

Favo said... Reply to comment
This comment has been removed by the author.
Miris said... Reply to comment

Rarity's dress is really cute.
I would like to comment a bit more, but my knowledge about art is zero =(.

Sond said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds
So I posted a reply to the comments section 2 days ago, and I guess it didn't take and didn't realize that till now ^^;

Anyway, I do agree that managing everything between dA and sculpting as been taking ever increase portions of my time. Its espcially scary how much time its taking up since I have others to attend to, but reality always gets me back on track. I'd never want to let others down, not in real life or over the internet.

Its all about balance I guess~


@jodyjm13

Hey there Jody! Long time no see :DD

I do agree with your evaluation of 'Ponyville Confidential'. I actually thought that DT was going to post those embarrassing pictures. As a result of the CMCs own humiliation, everyone would capitulate and accept the CMC back as friends. This would've emphasized the moral of the hypocrisy of gossip and derision as you had mentioned.
But overall it still was a good episode with fun little things like Big Macs lines as you said. And Diamond Tiara as JJ was so awesome, I laughed so hard~ :DDDDD

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

My goodness everyone, my apologies for taking so long to get back to you all of! I guess, looking at my last post it really hasn't been so terribly long, but probably feels like much longer considering how much I have to respond to! Eep..

Anyway, I do apologize for it.

@CaineScroll

You and I have discussed many of your points on more than one occasion dear, and I'm sure you already know how I feel on the subject. But I'm very glad to hear that you value many of us (or well, I hope I was included in those sentiments at least!) as I'm sure it's obvious that we feel the same about you. ^_^

Also, for what it's worth I wouldn't say that I'm more productive than you... we seem to keep pretty even pace from what I can see. I realize I have far more artworks under my belt at this point but of course, I have been at it for quite a bit longer... I don't know if I'd count my Doodle-Roundups either (or at least not the older ones) because they truly are little more than doodles with color.

Hugs to you! <3

@zhoomcar

I'm glad to hear that you've been enjoying Alicorn thus far dearie! And while I suppose some might consider it "wordy" I personally enjoy and appreciate such a thing in a fanfiction, but then again considering how I tend to write I doubt any of you would be surprised to learn that. I'm sure Ponydora appreciates your readership, as well!

As far as the episode, I'm sad and somewhat ashamed to say that I haven't had a chance to watch it yet, and so had to scroll through all of your comments very carefully! Hopefully I'll be able to watch it soon, though at the moment that seems... doubtful considering all of my other obligations. Judging by what I have seen and heard thus far though, it seems like it was quite an enjoyable one.

P.S Your temporary avatar is fabulous by what I can tell, I must say! <3

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@Favo

So, my dear! Even though you deleted your comments out of consideration for my heart (which I appreciate, considering the silly thing has been fluttering a great deal the past several days already) I can gather that you posted a would-be goodbye message as an April Fool's joke, and I will only say that it's a very good thing I didn't see it after all! I'm sure you can already guess how I would have reacted, and am incredibly relieved that you were only joking. Even if it wasn't a very nice prank to play on everyone who values your company here; you really shouldn't do such things because I'm sure I'm not the only person who would have been saddened by that news!

@Forderz

Oh hello dear, such an unexpected surprise to see you posting here!

Thank you very much for the immensely kind comments on my recent submissions, and yes it was awful that someone tried to claim credit for your artwork especially... I don't think I would have been nearly as upset about it if it hadn't have been one of my commissions (and I am admittedly very fond of that one in particular). But I'm glad the situation was resolved and even if the individual in question was allowed to keep his account. Also, I really must agree with many of your thoughts on Fancypants... I can only wonder why I haven't drawn any fanart of him before honestly, because I've certainly had the idea to do so.

I'm so incredibly sorry to hear about what's been going on with your work dear, that sounds absolutely awful! You really, truly have my sympathies regarding the difficulty in finding a good paying job. I hope that everything does indeed get better for you soon, and hope you'll let us all know how your situation progresses (or at least, let me know), as I would be glad to hear the news when you manage to find something better. I'll certainly be keeping you in my positive thoughts in any case.

@Coconutswallow

**blushy** Meep! <3 My friend, though I do not know you too well I really must thank you most sincerely for your gracious words; to call me classy really is a lovely compliment, and you're right about all of my friends and followers here. Aren't they just fabulous, really? I feel like I must be one of the luckiest people around to be honest~

Thank you SO very much for the generous compliments on my artwork, I have to say that they really do mean the world to me! Especially because you touched on two matters which I have always valued above all others, atmosphere and expression. While the picture was indeed a rush job, or compared to what I originally might have hoped to do with it I at least made an effort to pay proper attention to those two factors, and so to hear that you feel I was successful on both counts is a wonderful thing to me, thank you. <3

And yes, as I said to zhoomcar and others above I really do recommend the story highly... I hope you'll let me know if you enjoy it!

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@jodyjm13

Thank you so much for that lovely feedback my friend; as always I very much value what you have to say! I'm so glad that you like the picture and (as I said to Coconutswallow) feel the ponies' personalities managed to shine through, and I'm sure it goes without saying that the sunset remark is very much appreciated. Again, I really did try to make the blue work but it just didn't feel "right", and so had to trust my intuition as I normally do in these matters. The fact that you think I made the right decision honestly does make me feel much better about it!

@Miris

Oh it's quite alright dear and there's certainly no need to apologize for that; I'm just happy that you take the time to comment at all honestly, thank you! I'm very glad to hear that you like the way her dress turned out, but I'm afraid I can't take credit for the design this time... it's one she wore before (and designed herself!) in Green Isn't Your Color, and yes which also appeared briefly again in Sweet and Elite. Thanks very much for the compliment though!

@Sond

Oh, I'm so sorry to hear if my blog has been mistreating you at all my friend, and apologize that your comment seemingly went astray. But once again, it's always a lovely surprise to see you posting here.

Yes, I feel quite the same as you do when it comes to getting back to comments and such (both here and now on deviantART)... I know it's not necessary for me to respond to every single one but I really do try my best, as I sincerely appreciate all of the support and want people to believe me when I say as much. And actions speak louder than words, as my father always said!

I think you're right and balance must be key, otherwise I spend far more time stressing when I could otherwise be involving myself in other activities. I sincerely hope that things get a little bit easier for you soon, as well!

zhoomcar said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds

Huzzah! The princess hath returned once more! I thought you had pulled a Fluttershy on us and exploded... and exploded again or something. As for Favo's farewell follies I guess your reaction would have been something along the lines of this. Or, you know, exploding and exploding again.

As for the picture it was something that caught my eye while trawling through Rarity blogs, full image over here.

And suddenly I'm Sweetie Belle / Bot.

Addendum: Do you have any intention of drawing humanised ponies? Which also brings up my curiosity towards the kind of art you did prior to joining the herd, as they would say.

Favo said... Reply to comment
This comment has been removed by the author.
WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@zhoomcar

Oh, you're so incredibly sweet! Thank you for that enthusiastic welcome back, and even if I was only gone for four days!

Haha yes, that probably would have been about the size of it (and as a minor aside, I have always loved Rarity's "fainting whimper", so hilarious). Thanks for sharing the link with me as that really is some nice expressive artwork, and in answer to your question I have considered drawing humanizations before, if only as a fun experiment to see if I could do it well! Who only knows if I'll ever actually get around to it, or at least at any point in the near future but yes, it has crossed my mind and maybe someday.

As far as the question of my other art, I have been asked about this before and quite a bit recently, as well. Much of it of course is work for clients which I probably can't share and which I doubt many of you would be interested in seeing anyway, and otherwise I do/did a lot of (wannabe) portraits/artistic nudes, clothing and interior designs and things of that nature. I have made other fanart in the past but most of it was quite some time ago and I have a lot of unfinished projects... I posted some of them up here before but it was a while back and on one of those ridiculously-long comment threads... I'll make an effort to see if I can find them for you a little later.

@Favo

Now now dear there's no need to worry about it; I wasn't upset with you! But obviously, as you can see many people here like you and value your contributions, and would have been sad to see you go if you hadn't been joking when you said that. I'd hope you would appreciate the fact that they actually care, as I do!

Favo said... Reply to comment
This comment has been removed by the author.
jodyjm13 said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds

Take a half-hour, make yourself a doctor-approved indulgent drink, and watch "Ponyville Confidential", ASAP. There's lots of choice Rarity moments for you to enjoy.

And it also seems like you're overdue for a good solid night of sleep, the kind where you don't have to set an alarm in the morning and can stay asleep until your body says you've had enough.

Go on; the world will still be here when you get back, and we'll be happier knowing you're not exhausted and stressed out. ;)

Favo said... Reply to comment
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kateasaurus said... Reply to comment

Goodness I've had ZERO time to myself because of work. I only have a spare moment before passing out to tell you: Your drawing is amazing and fabulous! Also, I <3 you for being amazing and fabulous yourself!

:dies: I need a day off to form better sentences and thoughts.

CaineScroll said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds

I know that, it's just sometimes my head just keeps spinning down Negative Alley, and I'm really annoyed at myself for that. Don't get me wrong though; I'm definitely grateful to those who value me as a friend, not just another random artist, commenter, or fan (in your case)! In fact, if some of you guys weren't there to keep me grounded, I'd have stopped commenting and drawing in frustration. Okay, the latter's not true, since I draw regardless of how I'm feeling (though the quality of the final product might be affected by my mood at the time), but y'all get the idea. =P

And when it comes to productivity, keep in mind that I have a reasonable amount of free time, and you have daily work to cope with...and when you compare the gaps between blog posts, there isn't much difference, so it's pretty obvious that I'm much slower. Too bad I was trained to be a perfectionist in my childhood...*sigh*.

Right now I'm taking Sia Furler as a role model when it comes to art---keeping a low profile while doing what I love. Hopefully my bruised ego won't get in the way this time!

@zhoomcar

It's almost a week after April Foals' Day, so let's not go in that direction again, mate. Bright, happy, non-patronizing thoughts for all, joy~ =D

Now that you mention it, I have an urge to go make a humanization of somepony...maybe sometime in the near future. But let's hear what Di has to say on the subject!

zhoomcar said... Reply to comment

@CaineScroll
April Foals Day? What April Foals Day? -liarjack-

Besides, there's more pony to look forward to in just a couple of hours. Thats all the rainbows I'll need.

CaineScroll said... Reply to comment

@zhoomcar

Eeyup! More pony = more smiles, more happiness, more possible ideas for art! =D

zhoomcar said... Reply to comment

Just watched the latest episode, and I must say, it was absolutely -brilliant! Won't say much just to spare a certain somepony (or several, actually) who seems to be in a little need of catching up! :)

Anon said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds

When I read your comment (as well as Coconutswallow's and Jody's; I hope you're reading this), my reaction was similar to the first few seconds of this. For a speaker of such grace to say so means a lot to me. Due to the subject matter and who it was for, I did do my best. With such capable writers actively commenting here, I can hardly keep up. You deserve every word.

I think that Fancypants was well-taken with the fandom for being one of the few minor characters that chose to help the main characters (thus creating the ponified version of the meme Good Guy Greg, "Good Guy Francypants". This one says it all). He saw value in them when all others would only work against them, knowing that his guests and peers already disagree. That is hardly touching on his uniqueness as a genuinely polite upper-class unicorn. (Though I have to wonder why some male ponies like Big Macintosh and Blueblood are so much larger than the females, yet most of the ones in Ponyville are exactly the same size. Not to mention his tall trophey wife.)

Much of my praise, however, was derived from your rendition of him. Everything in and about this picture is accordant with my preference, as I said before. Certainly if I was a wealthy pony with no rules for myself, I would try to act much the same. And for what it's worth, when I wrote that comment, I had just noticed that at its current length, my hair looked remarkably similar to his. Now all I need is some blue hair dye and a thicker mustache than I can get by going without shaving. Of course, I practically look like a different person after every shower. I've never watched Doctor Who, but I must be a Time Lord, and my shower is a TARDIS. I should take a picture, and never show it to anyone. I have always used blue, white and yellow/gold throughout my childhood, so along with the appealing choice of outfitting, it feels as if you made an OC for me. But I recognise that as Rarity likely represents you here, Ponydora is the best fit for Fancypants. (I see that as very respectable symbolism, if it was intended. Certainly it doesn't keep me from wondering who I must be.) Part of what really stands out about this one is that it clearly depicts and describes the relationship between the two characters. Most artworks only include one character, and while I don't tire of all of your Rarijack, this is one of your only drawings that show a different pair of two characters to reflect on eachother. It seems like half of your pictures that fall under that category were commissioned. I know that commissions force you to try something new, but I think that their requirements take away from character's natural depth of expression. I don't mean to say that AtomicGreymon didn't have a good idea, but I can tell that he had some pretty specific requirements regarding what Dash and Pinkie's expressions should be for the Tron commission. They weren't chosen because you personally thought that Dash would really be sporting a look of determination, and Pinkie would look very excited, as if it was her first time to fly. It just looks cooler that way. That's fine, and I had nothing to complain about in that picture, but your personal work shows more personality because it came straight from your own concept. You made them look the way you thought they should, not the way that a client wants them to look. That is why they often feel deeper than some of your elaborate paintings.

Anon said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds

I can interpret their thoughts and sense their feelings because I agree with you that they are accurate for the situation. There may not be much raw content to behold (it is, after all, a drawing of two well-dressed ponies and a nice cloudy view in the background), but you make use of every fine detail of their expressions and body language to form the setting, which is what we really see as the value of this piece. What matters is not how much you draw, or how polished it is, but how you present and make use of what you draw. You succeed at showing more than just an image; you create a scene. A setting, personalities, thoughts, surroundings and feelings. You do not focus on technical impressiveness in your personal work like many artists (the prevalent example of one being PurpleKecleon). Your effort goes towards the small details that give the picture meaning. A commissioned painting may be nice to look at like a decoration, but its purpose is what makes it something to think about.

And, fabulous, me? That must mean a lot coming from Rarity herself. I think that could likely be the trait that you live by.

@CaineScroll

Well, aren't you writing long comments now. I need to make sure I maintain my title, but I make no complaints.

Perfectionism is even worse when you're trying to imitate another artist's style (whether you know them personally or not) and you don't want to misrepresent them by doing it wrong. You're both more productive than anyone else here, but the most productive artist is actually Ponydora. He doesn't even use SAI, and he's still better than I am.

I think everyone here already knows my feelings on the matter of humanizations by now. They aren't my thing, but as long as she is still drawing ponies, I could tolerate it.

@jodyjm13

I also expected that the episode would end with them sharing their embarassing photos. The ending seemed sort of rushed to me, so it's possible that it was planned, but they had to change course. I will also agree with WhiteDiamonds; you and Harwick share a unique charm that makes the mood of the blog brighter. She certainly is not the only one who appreciates what you add to the conversation.

@zhoomcar

Here they are. Press ctrl+F and search "tid".

You thought Sweet Apple Massacre, but with the film at the beginning of Hurricane Fluttershy about how the pegasi send water to Cloudsdale, Fluttershy's flashback of failing the flight exam and the large machine in Canterlot that we see puffing out clouds in the background at the very end, I thought Rainbow Factory.


I usually just wait for someone else to leave their thoughts on an episode, so I think will just wait for everyone else to return. I will say, though, that it's a shame that they had to cross over with James Bond. That kills the possibility of any potential fanart that would do it differently. (My idea was better, too...)

Favo said... Reply to comment
This comment has been removed by the author.
WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

Oh, dear, I was just coming on here to wish everyone a Happy Easter (belatedly for some of you now, I realize) but now this is happening, and I have a feeling that this time, Favo-dear you're not just trying to tease everyone.

@Favo

Dearest, you and I have been here before, and as then I'll tell you now that I'm very sorry to hear that you feel this way. Especially when you say why it is that you feel you should stop commenting here. I realize I'm a busy person and unable to respond here, on my deviantART, and to emails immediately after receiving them (and frequently, it takes me several days or even a week or more to get back), and I'm very sorry for that, but I hope you don't think that means I don't value your correspondence and presence here. You've been posting on this blog for months now, and you were one of the very first people who started following me and supporting my work, and just because you don't like to write long elaborate posts doesn't mean I don't enjoy hearing what you have to say... in fact your own sense of humor is usually very refreshing and entertaining to me.

But I imagine you already know that I feel that way. If you don't want to continue commenting on here, of course I'm not any person to stop you, but I hope you realize that I'm telling the truth about how I feel, and I would think considering how everyone reacted to your April Fool's prank, you'd know that they value your presence here as well.

I hope you'll change your mind when you think about it...

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@jodyjm13

Thank you very much for that, Jody-dear. I'm afraid that I still haven't watched the episode yet (and not the newest one now, either) so I still can't comment, but I truly do appreciate your looking out for me so... you're so good. <3 And yes, I will confess that perhaps I have looked a bit too much like Rarity in that picture as of late, but at least I managed to get a bit more rest the past few days as I have told you... I certainly feel much better for the fact. One step at a time!

@Kateasaurus

Obviously I've commented on your dA blog since, my dear, but I really am so sorry to hear that things have been so difficult for you recently. We both need a Rarity-approved day at the spa, by the sound of things!

And thank you so much for that, you're far too sweet! I'm really glad that you like the picture, and hopefully if I can get through the rest of my older backlogged messages on deviantART soon I'll be able to post up the rest of my fanarts, including this one!

@CaineScroll

You've got the right idea dear, and you know what you need to do. Just keep at it, like you always have and like I've always told you! Certainly you can do nothing but get better and more confident in your art, procure more commissions and receive more recognition as you go, so try to focus on the future and tell yourself there's no need to sweat the small stuff anymore!

And yes, I can certainly relate to being a perfectionist with my work, and as I've said many times before it has taken me years to get to the point that I can share what I consider to be doodles and quick works without feeling terribly embarrassed. It wasn't easy, but sometimes you really do just need to loosen your grip on those reins a little bit.

@zhoomcar

Heehee, Liarjack. I seriously adored Applejack's little moment in that Discord episode, she was so incredibly cute! I've already drawn one fanart of her with that face but it was such a genuine doodle... one of these days I might have to come back to that idea again.

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@Anon

Oh, well I most certainly did mean every word. And I really hope that you, like Favo, really don't feel I value your comments any less than everyone else's... I come and talk to all of you here because I genuinely enjoy everyone's company and unique personalities.

I have to agree with your thoughts on Fancypants, and regarding Ponydora, the picture and myself I guess it sort of could be said to represent us there; I wanted simply to show appreciation for a valued friendship as I said through one of my character pieces, and at the same time knew that he could appreciate something relevant to his own work probably more than anything else. What I said about Rarity's feelings being similar to my own in the first chapter were true, and so in that regard yes, I guess it would make a very appropriate visual metaphor!

I think I really can understand what you mean about my commissioned works versus the ones I make for myself... if my heart is in them and the characters when I'm working on them I like to hope that the end result is similar, but it's never quite the same as when I get my own ideas and wish to bring them to life for sharing with others. I'm sure that only makes sense. On the other hand commissions push me to really apply myself when I'm working on them so as not to fall short of my client's expectations, and I often end up making things I never would have thought I could otherwise, or wouldn't have been inclined to try on my own. And that's a very valuable thing as well... it's all about maintaining a delicate balance I think.

Anon said... Reply to comment

I really have no time to be making comments right now, but if it is in fact your birthday, WhiteDiamonds, I wanted to direct sufficient praise to Harwick's work of art for you. Applejack and Rarity have that in common; they both have little sisters, and they can both be protective in their own ways. It's a very deep scene, capturing the action of the moment and the emotion of each character. Ponies are not violent or especially dangerous creatures, but they will make use of anything they have if they absolutely need to. I'm blown away by the detail you managed to fit in. Everything from the twists of the rope and the yellows and reds of the fire to the trees and forest in the background is nothing less than expertly done. If I may ask, how long did it take for you to do all of this? Did you plan it far ahead of time? To say that this is amazing, by most people's standards, would be an understatement. And it's all for the sake of a friend, and no other reason. There is clearly much more thought and effort put into this than I can comprehend. As I was saying before of WhiteDiamonds' art, the emotional expression of everyone present is vivid, but this painting is also incredibly textured, shaded, formed and executed. I might have to return later to continue revering this marvel. It may not be the cutest Rarijack fanart there is, but it certainly is the best.

As a side note, out of total coincidence, I have recently conjured a small thing for her despite having little idea that her birthday was near. I noticed the "Keep Calm" poster in your favorites, Diamonds, and it is good...but I thought you needed something more personal. So, I made this. Yes, this was made for you. It's easy for me to modify it if you want something changed. Hopefully, I can help make up for someone taking your signature off a painting you made by putting the same signature on a two-color picture that you didn't make.

Harwick said... Reply to comment

First off, Happy (Unconfirmed) Birthday to White Diamonds! Should we actually be mistaken, feel free to have a Very Merry un-Birthday instead!


@Anon
Thank you for the excessively kind praise! While I'm never satisfied with an image, I did try and go all out on that one despite the limited time in which to make this date. I'm glad people are enjoying the results.

The image idea has been knocking around for a long time now... It's actually the idea I first discussed doing as a collaboration with White Diamonds herself a month or more back. We never decided on an image to do, however, and with her being absolutely swamped we tabled the idea of collaborating for now and I told her I might go ahead with something like this one on my own.

I had not actually started it though, until this last week when Mr. Prancypants contacted me and we discussed the possibility of birthday payback (in the nice way, of course.) We latched upon the idea of doing a story and an image that tied together, and I brought out the prior collaboration scene idea. He liked it, and so off we went. Both were created inside of a week... I couldn't tell you how many hours were spent on mine, though, as it was a few hours here and there after paying work and such. With yesterday used for polish, it probably averaged to about 2 hours a day or so, around 14 total.


@Everyone

Of course, everyone should read the accompanying story by Prancypants as well, The Fires of Friendship. It's a story about the only 2 members of the Mane Six to spend their entire lives in Ponyville, and how their past affects their behavior today. Really good stuff.


@WhiteDiamonds

I do hope you have a wonderful day, regardless of whether it's special for you or not, and that you like our little tributes to you in return. No one here makes any kind of effort to hide their affection for you, and it's well earned. You're a beautiful person and a true joy to know.

PonydoraPrancypants said... Reply to comment

@Harwick

Aha! The train has left the station, the cat is out of the bag, and the timberwolves are a-howlin', as 't'were!

@Everyone

With Harwick's caveat in mind, that we cannot be one hundred percent certain that today is in fact your birthday - happy birthday my dear White Diamonds! If we got it wrong, take everything I've written to you on the subject and pin it up on your calendar on the correct date.

It was Harwick's brilliant idea to do a collaboration. He gave me the idea of timberwolves and Rarity and Applejack protecting their sisters in the forest, and I turned it into a tale of friendship and adventure, past choices and how they shape the present, and a lifelong relationship between two very different ponies.

@WhiteDiamonds

You already know that I consider you a very special friend, even though I "met" you no more than a few months ago. You're pure fresh air in a world polluted by cynicism and casual indifference, unfiltered fresh-squeezed joy, and a living ray of sunshine. You actually unquestionably make the world a better place, because you bring a smile to hundreds, if not thousands of people who love your work or read your thoughtful comments.

More specifically, you never fail to brighten my day, and as I've already written to you, I consider myself extremely fortunate to count you as a personal friend. I cherish our written correspondence and even our silly banter on deviantART.

So Happy Birthday. I hope it's a good one, you utter delight!

Harwick said... Reply to comment

@Anon

Whoops, I forgot to mention, your poster in honor of WD made me laugh out loud. It offers sage advice, for sure.


@PonydoraPrancypants

Pfft. Your writers and your flowery speechifying... always got to show up us art-types who only took the required amount of English Lit. in college. Still, very well said.

Oh, and WD... if this whole "birthday" thing wasn't supposed to get out, then it was entirely Prancypants' idea. I was just the poor dumb patsy.

PonydoraPrancypants said... Reply to comment

@Harwick

My idea? You're not gonna sell me down the river, pal! It was all Harwick, I tells ya!

CaineScroll said... Reply to comment

Haha, a birthday thread that eventually reaches the birthday of our fabulous hostess herself, what a laugh...anyways, happy birthday Di~! I have to admit, for an event that you wanted to keep as discreet as possible, there sure are a whole lot of people tweetin' around about it!

And also, a story by Ponydora along with fanart by Harwick? I can already see where this is going. ^^

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

.........OH. MY. GODDESS. You didn't!! I don't believe you, Harwick, and you, Ponydora! I don't believe either of you!! I... eep, I guess I realized my birthday was showing by default on deviantART a day or two after I made the account, and I hid it ASAP but you, you incredibly sneaky, clever, FABULOUS men! SO fabulous.... my reaction right now seriously is like Rarity babbling incoherently when she sees all her friends have finished her dress for her, I'm not even going to lie...

Yes, my birthday really is today (I have met and moved past the... third decade barrier now.. *sniffle* No really it's okay, I'll be okay!), and I really can't, I cannot believe you two! Not only were you kind enough to take your time and make me amazing gifts, but you did it together and collaborated on something that must surely be among the most epic of pony-projects, considering the immense and undeniable talent that both of you possess! You are both real movers and shakers in this fandom, whose respective works are renowned by all, and again to know that you both worked on something of this scale for me and me alone is flattering, awe-inspiring and humbling to the extreme... thank you so much... <3

@Anon

Yes, I guess that one little lapse in vigilance on my part was all those two needed, and as I said today most certainly is my birthday! I am older than I might wish, but that is okay, and especially given this incredibly warm, delightful and entirely unexpected outpouring of well-wishes from all of you! You're all so incredibly good~!! <3 <3

Harwick's artwork is indeed phenomenal, and yes I have already gushed about it some and will continue to do so the first real chance I have believe me, but I also have to thank you most sincerely for that fabulous, albeit unintentional little birthday gift you made me as well, hah! That is ridiculously cute and funny and admittedly, altogether appropriate and I thank you for it dear... you are so incredible sweet! <3

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@Harwick

Oh, you! So incredibly sneaky as I said, and the fact that you ended up doing this artwork for me, of all the ideas is just pure absolute perfection, thank you so much!! <3 <3 It is stunning, and in fact I don't even know if that adjective alone does it proper justice, as I keep looking at it but still seem unable to wrap my mind around it entirely. I don't even think I can comment on the artwork itself properly now because it's leaving me speechless, but make no mistake that I will and absolutely love and adore it, and am blown away by the amount of time and effort that so obviously was poured into it. You are an amazingly talented human being! <3 I know you and I had originally discussed this idea and the notion of collaborating on it together, but it looks like the fact that we didn't go any further turned out to be something for the best after all, and I can only imagine destiny must have had a hand in this and that you were meant to produce this masterpiece yourself! Really, thank you so much my friend, I wish I could genuinely hug you right now..!! <3 **infinite digital hugs though!** <3

@PonydoraPrancypants

Agh, you as well; you you you!! You fabulous thing you, and just as generous as you are talented (and honestly, is it just me or is it incredible how I seem to know so many people like this?!). That story... I saw that you had written something for me, and my heart leapt right up into my throat; you are such an amazing writer and the knowledge that you did something like this for me is incredible to me, thank you so much! <3

I just finished reading it now, and I will tell you in perfect honesty that I teared up a little bit at the end. That was so perfect, going back and forth between sweetness (filly Rarity with her 'proper advanced vocabulary'; I nearly died from the attack of the cutes <3) and moments that made my heart ache, but it all came together at the end and then of course you had to leave me that beautiful note, and I really did want to cry, thank you thank you thank you! <3 I don't even... I know it deserves to have more said about it, just like Harwick's artwork but regrettably, I lack both the proper time at this moment as well as the presence of mind to be able to sing the lavish praises that it deserves, and can only tell you that it means so much to me. Thank you so much for the lovely gift, I adore you as well.... <

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@CaineScroll

And oh, dearest there you are, and thank you so very much for that! Of course you, being the fabulously sweet thing that you are made me a wonderful, charming, adorable and incredibly thoughtful birthday gift as well (which I have gushed about already, but would be happy to do again), and I'd like for everyone to see it but I don't want to put it up here without your permission! I was hoping that you might post it up either on dA and/or your blog so that I could rave appropriately in the comments there and everyone could get a look at it, but if you don't want to I'll try and upload it somewhere so that I can share it a little bit later with everyone! ^_^ Thank you so very much! You really are such a dear, and I am so grateful I've gotten to know you, yay! **crushing hugs**


@Everyone

So yes, once again I really must thank you all most sincerely from the bottom of my heart. Even if I was trying to be horribly stealthy about this whole thing before, I could never deny that all of these wonderful birthday wishes mean the world to me, and I am so pleased and grateful that I've gotten to know all of you. I can't thank all of you enough for the beautiful gestures and praise spoken about myself, but just know that the sentiments are entirely mutual; I treasure each and every one of you as well! <3

Favo said... Reply to comment
This comment has been removed by the author.
CaineScroll said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds

Well, the reasons I didn't want to upload it were because it might've given people an idea of when your birthday was (though that's pointless now; well done, mates); and secondly, remember the other person in on it? Posting it on my personal space would've seemed rude at some point, at least to me. So if you want to share it, go ahead, I'll be perfectly fine---as long as I won't have any part of the posting. =D

And not that it really matters, I personally think that stealth is NOT one of our strong suits! ^_^

P.S: Aww, end-of-comment hug! *cuddles*

Kateasaurus said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds Luckily my time at work is slowly decreasing, so I'll have a bit more free time. And *gasp* a WEEKEND off! Which will most likely result in lots of naps and falling face-first into a basket full of leftover Easter candy.

I do hope you had a lovely birthday as well! I had a big drink after my post-work nap tonight in your honor! :P

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@Favo

Oh please don't be so down darling, it makes me feel something awful! =(You're such a sweetness, I don't care whatever anyone else may ever think. Of course take as much time as you like to think your decision over, and whether you decide to post here, or not I'll be okay with it. I just don't want you to be unhappy, that's all!

Thank you also for the birthday wishes, and I hope you won't feel badly about not doing or making anything for me or whatever because honestly, I did my best to be sneaky and keep it secret from everyone (with the only exception of CaineScroll, but he confessed to me some time ago that he'd already made me a birthday gift as he knew my birthday was in April, and he was going to get it to me whether or not he knew the real date!). So yes, no guilt and it means a lot to me, thank you! *digital hugs!*

@CaineScroll

Ahh I see, well thank you for your discretion anyway dear, I appreciate your thinking of me in that regard! And yes, you have a very valid point about that, but as long as you're okay with it I'm happy to upload it; on that note, everyone do check out CaineScroll's and Katie's incredibly sweet and thoughtful gift! <3 Aren't they all just darling?? ^.^

Thank you so much again for that dear! I'm not sure if you ever intend to post it up on dA or on your blog or not, but I really would be happy to see it there if you did. They're all just so incredibly adorable here! I love everypony's expressions and also (small details though they are) the berries from the cake (which actually look good enough to eat) and the little blue diamond as the dot on my "i", awwww~!! SO cute, really...

Thank you so much again~! <3

@Kateasaurus

So obviously you are included in the heartfelt thanks for that adorable birthday gift Katie-darling, I really appreciate you two working on that for me! Your OCs are so lovable. I also appreciate the drink you had in my honor, haha... my mother and stepfather took me out to lunch today, and I'll confess I... might have had a bit much myself. I went fabric shopping with them afterwards and admired the latest embroidery machines, plush polyester blends and pretty thread colors in a pleasant state of intoxication, and it was absurdly enjoyable... too bad about me.

Anyway it's definitely nice to hear you'll be getting some much-needed time to yourself dear, that's excellent! Easter is actually my favorite holiday, and my reasoning for that (aside from the fact that I adore springtime) is the candy; so much of it is Easter-exclusive and delightful, and I absolutely love it! <3

zhoomcar said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds
Happy birthday to you Di! Watch some ponies, you probably deserve to at some point!

@CaineScroll
Oh wow, cute work you've produced there!

@Everyone
Ninjas! Ninjas everywhere! Aaaaaaaaaaah!

Favo said... Reply to comment
This comment has been removed by the author.
PonydoraPrancypants said... Reply to comment

Allow me to direct your attention to a little website called Equestria Daily. ;)

Let the world proclaim that there is none more fabulous!

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@zhoomcar

Thank you so much for that darling! <3 You are so sweet! ^.^ You have a very good point, and I now proclaim that I WILL watch ponies tonight in at least some capacity, no questions and NO exceptions, because it's been far too long since I have gotten my regular dose and I really do miss them!

And yes, CaineScroll really did great job with that didn't he? ^.^ So incredibly cute..! <3

@Favo

Oh my dear, please don't feel the need to apologize. Not ever! You do whatever it is you need to do, and if you decide you'd rather not comment here anymore I'll understand... I know we can always continue to keep in touch via email if that was the case. But again, I just want you to do what makes you happiest, and know that we really do value your presence around here! <3

@PonydoraPrancypants

..Oh my goodness, I really was beginning to think this day could not become more amazing. I... you... I just... meeeeeep..!! <3 <3 <3

Coconutswallow said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds

An out of the way source notified me that it was in fact your birthday. Some rarely frequented blog of some sort.

In honor of the occasion I... Made you this post! To think, it's not even gift-wrapped. 'Tis rather embarrassing. Just imagine it has something wondrous and impossibly beautiful attached to it and perhaps my pride will stay intact.

In all seriousness, however, best birthday wishes, WhiteDiamonds! Keeping FiM art elegant and fabulous since ever.

(I'm hoping the irony of you wanting to keep your birthday discreet only to have it subsequently announced on the biggest pony fan site on the internet is of the "ha ha" sort of funny as opposed to the "egads this horrible" sort of funny...)

@Anon

"With such capable writers actively commenting here, I can hardly keep up."

I'm sorry, I can't hear you when you're ten miles ahead of me. I'm not even sure why I'm participating in this race...

Oh, and I am rather right with you when it comes to Fancypants. Best male pony? I do believe so.

@Harwick

I have a bone to pick with you. No where did I see a sign warning me about the dangerous level of detail used in your art piece. My eyes were unprepared.

Fortunately they recovered, but I'm not sure if I yet have regained enough coherency to say how amazing of a gift your picture is.

Pinkie only knows why I'm not following you more as an artist. I've admired your Drawfriend pieces as well as WD's. I think I shall rectify that sometime right about now.

@PonydoraPrancypants

Don't even get me started on you, sir! I started reading the Flight of the Alicorn the other day and I had to get a sling to keep my jaw from dropping.

Plus let's not mention what it did to my self-esteem. As an aspiring writer (do direct all your attention to the word "aspiring" here) you make me want to drain a wine cellar, and by that I mean drink several barrels of alcohol, and by that I mean get sozzled.

I can't wait to dig into this new story. Given the quality of its cover art and its author's previous work it will probably exceed some sort of legal limit of excellence.

@CaineScroll

And then someone had to make an exceedingly cute picture. As if we needed anymore superb artwork.


There's... There's just too much awesome going on around here. I might have to step out for some fresh air...

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@Coconutswallow

Oh, you! I feel like we know each other so much better already, and you obviously are an incredibly kind individual who has such a delightful way with words! Come here, you~ **more digital hugs shared, and it's a good thing I have them in infinite supply!**

Thank you SO very much for that! The birthday wishes really mean a lot to me, and please don't feel you ever needed to make or do anything for me because I can assure you that post was quite enjoyable enough (and gift wrap or no). I'm so glad you enjoyed seeing all of my gifts and have praised them accordingly because they really do deserve it (as do all of the people behind them, even moreso in all actuality). Oh and yes in answer to your question that whole thing on EqD was not altogether an unpleasant surprise... it caught me off-guard most assuredly, but I appreciate the gesture behind it so much that it really did make my day. <3

Oh, glad you've been enjoying Flight of the Alicorn as well (I told you it was a wonderful story!), and thank you so much once more for the great birthday wishes; they really do mean a lot to me! <3

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@Harwick

So! Harwick my dearest! Now at last, as I have time to do so I can gush about that astonishing painting of yours as it deserves, and it really, truly, and undeniably does deserve it! As usual I am absolutely in awe of your skills. There is so much detail in the piece, from the wisps of hair beginning to come loose from Applejack's ponytail to all of the gorgeous effects everywhere, and not to mention of course that fabulous background. As you already are aware, I'm sure, backgrounds are really not my strongest suit when it comes to my artwork, and so it goes without saying that I am always impressed by the amazing job you do with them in all your paintings. The textures and lighting here are really beautiful; I love the greenish luminescence coming from behind the trees and the way you painted the soft pools of water is really just fantastic!

As for the ponies themselves, well, I don't think you need me to tell you that I love them. ^.^; Honestly that's probably an understatement. Their expressions are perfect; fantastically fierce and determined in the face of danger, and the fillies by extension look appropriately terrified (I love both of them, I really do, but Sweetie's face in particular is just perfect! <3). I like how disheveled they all are, and I love how the firelight and such is illuminating them from the front... really I just, g'ah, well you know. I probably could go on about it forever, and that still wouldn't be long enough.

I was going to write my comment on your dA entry, but figured it stood a much better chance of getting lost there amidst all of the enthusiastic praise (which you deserve), and so am posting it here instead. I hope you don't mind! And once again I really, truly and most sincerely appreciate all of the work that you did for me, because I can only imagine how much time you must have put into it... thank you so much again for being such a wonderful friend, I adore you! <3 <3

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@PonydoraPrancypants

And you now, my most esteemed and fabulous friend, talented author that you are! I'm now able to formulate my thoughts on your beautiful gift as well, and am sharing them here as I don't yet have a FiMfiction account (though I might just have to make one soon, so I can comment on and fave this story and Alicorn if nothing else!). As I said I really found the story to be very sweet and touching, as well as quite heart-wrenching at times (well for me anyway, because I really do hate the thought of those two being so genuinely upset with each other! ;_;), but the ending was great and I truly could not stop smiling the entire time I was reading it. It was very sweet and yes, the whole thing is the perfect fit for that beautiful artwork of Harwick's... truly a match made in heaven.

I really love the way you write the ponies... we all know you do a fabulous Rarity of course, but I found your Applejack to be perfectly charming as well, and it was such a pleasure to read her as written by you! <3 Dear Applejack. Their filly scenes when they were first getting to know each other were so adorable I couldn't stop squeeing ("Distress"/"That is what I said", "big marshmallow", and the apple landing on her horn made me laugh out loud), and I love the way you handle their dynamic together; you brought out the interplay of their two respective, and entirely different personalities very well, and that is always something that I enjoy very much (if such a thing was not already apparent. Hah, I know better...).

Anyway yes, it really and truly was a fantastic little one-shot that was a perfect, self-contained story, and again I am so grateful to you for writing it for me; I can promise you I shall treasure it always! <3

Harwick said... Reply to comment

@CaineScroll
@Kateasaurus

Love the birthday art! You both have such charming OC ponies, and they go great together. Hopefully the poor guy isn't allegic to strawberries...

Charming linework, light, bright coloring and great expressions make it a winner.


@PonydoraPrancypants

Congrats on the feature on EQD! (As well as being one of the top stories on FIM Fiction, I see.) You're sitting at 4.9 stars after 98 ratings. I'm not sure when the "6 star" rating kicks in and don't want to jinx it, but obviously people are loving your tale of Rarity and Applejack's past, as well they should.

You did an absolutely stellar job on WD's gift, and I was honored to work with you.


@Coconutswallow

Thank you for the kind words, although these thanks should in no way be interpreted as accepting any level of legal/financial responsibility for any eye irritation/strain you may have incurred by visiting my site. Common side effects often include nausea, dizziness and painful swelling. Use only as directed.

Thank you for the watch, though! Your waiver should be in the mail.


@WhiteDiamonds

You know, I feel guilty these days any time I require you to write even one more response, but it is very much a delight to hear how pleased you were with our surprise for you, and to get such a heartfelt and warm review of the work as well.

I have to chuckle whenever anyone praises that background, because to me it's such a slapdash cheat. Still, I suppose if it works it works, regardless of how. I'm actually quite fond of Sweetie's face as well, but I can't take too much credit for it... it was inspired by one she made in the show itself (as love-sick Big Mac was charging her with a full house in tow. I rewatched Hearts and Hooves for reference on the CMC.) They've been pushing the funny character takes this season, and I've been enjoying the visual variety they've added.

In any event, I'm glad you enjoyed it, and while you might think it was meant for me to tackle alone, I'll always wonder what the WhiteDiamonds-Harwick version would have been like instead. Someday we'll have to get together on an image after all. In the meantime, please remember that any adoration is entirely mutual... you're the best. :-)

jodyjm13 said... Reply to comment

I'm away for a few days due to Easter weekend and work, and all this happens. I can catch up, no problem! So, without further ado, and in no particular order...

A slightly belated Happy Birthday, Di! I hope you had a chance to party hard! You're a wonderful artist and, more importantly, a wonderful person, and I just wish I had some way to adequately thank you for all you've given us of yourself.

And Favo, I know I've said this before but it bears repeating: I've enjoyed your contributions here, and while ultimately you're the only one who can decide what's best for you, I do hope you continue to post your comments. Being deep and insightful, or verbose, isn't necessary to leave a comment and be valued; you have a wit and a way with images and video clips that I only wish I could match. Regardless of what you decide, know that you're always welcome on this blog.

Harwick, I don't know how you make each drawing of yours so awesome, but this one is again one of the best pieces of fan art I've seen. Much of the praise I could give has already been said, and much better than I could hope to do, so I'll just point out some details I'm particularly impressed with, starting with the fire, which is rendered in such a way as to make it look real, yet with details and flourishes that add to the suspenseful, urgent feel of the drawing. I suspect these are the best looking timber wolves I've yet seen, as well, clearly made of branches and other plant matter, yet eerie and threatening. And while you've dismissed your background as a "slapdash cheat", it actually does a terrific job of bringing the Everfree Forest clearly to mind without distracting from the foreground.

CaineScrolls and Kateasaurus, your birthday drawing for Di is also a delight; it's a cute and amusing scene carried out to perfection, and makes for a wonderful birthday card of sorts. As Di has mentioned, their expressions are wonderful, and the poses are also well-chosen. I also love the colors, cheerful without being overpowering.

Ponydora, I haven't had a chance to read the story yet, but I promise to do so this week (if all goes well, no later than Thursday)! And I will have to start "Flight of the Alicorn" sometime soon as well, given how much praise I've read for it and despite my own fears of starting on a story that isn't yet finished. *^^*

jodyjm13 said... Reply to comment

@Miris

That's never stopped me from commenting on the art. ;)

@CaineScroll

"...sometimes my head just keeps spinning down Negative Alley, and I'm really annoyed at myself for that." Oh mercy, do I know that feeling, and I know how perfectionism doesn't help matters. That's one reason MLP:FiM is so appealing to me: it's so unabashedly positive and uplifting, without falling into the trap of being feel-good mush, that it really does combat my natural pessimism. Knowing that, however undeserved it may be, people here actually do like and care for me helps too. Group hug!

@Anon

You make an excellent point regarding the differences between commissioned artwork and artwork that Di (or any artist, really) draws just for her own amusement. Commissions can involve fun, new areas to explore for artists, but most of the time they don't have quite the same spark of life that drawings made for the sheer joy of drawing clearly display. Of course, that doesn't necessarily mean they're inferior, just different; I love seeing art of both classes. (Speaking of which, don't let the latest episode scare you away from drawing your Bond/MLP artwork; you've piqued my curiosity now!)

And thank you for your kind words regarding my comments, though I confess I'm not quite sure what it is that I add to the conversation that isn't already done better by others. (Not that that's ever stopped me before...) Sometimes I suspect it's my prose style which has tendencies to echo that of "Orator" Jim O'Rourke...

Nice job on the "Keep Calm" poster, by the way; it does seem to fit Di to a "T", and the color works well with it too. (Was it chosen to echo Rarity's mane and tail color?)

@WhiteDiamonds

Third decade? Pfft, you're still a spring chicken; I've got just shy of a decade on you. Just remember the words of one of America's great philosophers: "Age is a case of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it don't matter."

And I hope that you, and everyone else on this blog, has had a chance to watch the previous two episodes; it'll be nice to talk about them without fear of spoiling them for those who haven't had a chance to watch them.

PonydoraPrancypants said... Reply to comment

@Harwick

Thank you for the congratulations! I did receive a note saying that the story would eventually be updated with the "Star-6" tag, so I admit that I am very pleased about that. I think I also learned a lesson here about having fun with writing. I did not take myself too seriously with this, because I just wanted it to entertain and make people happy (specifically, one person), and it has been a bit of a smash hit (it's already passing Alicorn in total number of favorites!).

It goes without saying that your amazing artwork is driving a lot of my traffic, and I am so grateful to be associated with talent like yours. It was a privilege and a pleasure to work with you, and I would do it again anytime (just not anytime soon, because I am afraid that some people are going to come to my house with large sticks if I don't get back on track with Alicorn!).

I haven't devoted space here to praising your art, and WhiteDiamonds has essentially made the case for its excellence most eloquently. That said, it really is incredible. I did go back and check out the Sweetie Face(tm) in Hearts & Hooves. Your version is even that much more adorable! I also can't go over how amazing and alive the wolves look, even though they are made of gnarled wood.

@WhiteDiamonds

An oft quoted bit of writerly advice is to think of the ONE person you want to read and enjoy your writing. If you can write for that ONE person, you will have probably put together something that works and which many people can enjoy. In this case, I literally had one real person I was writing for, and it was to my great benefit, since lots of other people seem to like the story as well! It's also a bit heartening to see something with a message that is ultimately uplifting be read and enjoyed.

I'm very glad you liked the filly scenes! I really enjoyed writing them, and those are the parts of the story that I invented out of whole cloth rather than writing based off of Harwick's artwork. I was not sure at all that they would work, or whether readers would be frustrated by intercutting the present day story with flashbacks. I had no idea whether this literary device helped or hindered the story, and I was prepared to get a lot of negative feedback on that point. I guess it worked, in the end!

Anyway, I would never written a one-shot story if not for you, and I would never have written THIS story if not for you and Harwick. It was a great experience. Most importantly, I am happy beyond belief that you enjoyed these birthday shenanigans that we pulled. You're pretty special (as everyone here knows), and pretty special to me besides.

PonydoraPrancypants said... Reply to comment

@CaineScroll

Every time I see your adorable OCs (and now Katie's) I want one of my own. I love what you put together for Di's birthday!

@Coconutswallow

Hey, thank you for the kind words! Anyone who can write a post like this obviously doesn't need to learn about writing from the likes of me. Still, I'm very happy that you are enjoying Alicorn, and I promise that I am working on the next installment!

Kateasaurus said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds So glad you had a nice birthday! :D I'm glad you liked your gift as well! Although I had only a very small part of it, (Still inept at drawing) I was excited to see the drawing come together bit by bit ^_^ .

@Harwick
@PonydoraPrancypants
I absolutely loved the collaboration you two did! So bravo to the both of you! ^_^

Harwick said... Reply to comment

A quick round-up of the comments I've yet to reply to...

@Favo
I admit, I am completely clueless as to what people are avoiding talking about when it comes to the community and the worse parts of it. However, I sympathize with your frustrations and hope you can enjoy whatever level of participation you want to put into the fandom, and especially to WD's blog. I see no reason to shut the door solidly on the chance that you might want to discuss things here on a whim in the future. I'd certainly be happy to see more from you.


@jodyjm13
Hey there... Good to see you, and not just because it makes the age difference between me and the rest of the board less drastic. I hope you had a good Easter indeed.

Thank you kindly on the art praise! You're a rather important figure in fandom circles yourself, and need to get more praise for all that you do, both as a commenter and especially as a patron of the pony arts. Sadly, though, your birthday isn't labeled on your dA account...

@PonydoraPrancypants
Your RariJack Friendshipping is obviously a runaway success at this point, and I'm glad it earned that Star 6 rating! I hope it does drive a lot of readers to Flight of the Alicorn, as that is a personal favorite of mine and can't get enough love in my opinion.

@Kateasaurus

Thank you! I had a lot of fun doing it.


I'll try and make it back here sometime soon to do some episode discussion.... Going to need something to help make it through the extra week before the big finale! I'll be sure to keep any episode talk contained by itself and with spoiler warnings, so people know they're not missing any other comments if they skip it.

Anon said... Reply to comment

@Harwick

As exhaustingly as I might try, I could never say enough about your gift and the thoughtfulness of doing so much for a friend. I was going to say that you are "phenomenal", but I realise now that WhiteDiamonds has already done so. I find myself verbally outgunned in her company.

By the way, I wanted to mention that if I had a deviantART account, my favourites list would look nearly identical to yours. Riz Cifra, PixelKitties, Stinkehund, Equestria-Prevails and ponyKillerX, not to mention single pieces like Celebi-Yoshi's "Princess Luna" and raikoh14's "The rulers of Equestria", or our friends CaineScroll and WhiteDiamonds... It has everything I have seen, and thought I would favourite if I could. I will now pride myself with the knowledge that I have similar tastes to those of a legend. It may be my greatest life achievement.

@Harwick
@PonydoraPrancypants

I hope I didn't ruin the presentation... I just figured that she probably had seen it already, but was too busy to comment at the time. In any case, it was an all together unexpected, but very impressive production, and I envy both your talents profusely. At this rate, her birthday presents next year will start its own genre. My regret is that I am currently unable to read the story that goes with the illustration (Despite it being a oneshot. I should be ashamed.), but I did happen to read Ponydora's "The Owl" a few days ago since it was short and captivating enough to be justified at the time. As I am familiar with the original, I think it goes without saying that I quite liked it. Poetic verses can often be easier to follow along than the lines of a novel. It maintained the pace of contemplation and told a story lightly and elegantly as The Raven. While I would not expect Spike to be so well-spoken, it was a welcome change for the purpose of expressing the complex emotion of the story's meaning.

@WhiteDiamonds

Ah yes, it was only 31 years ago, on April the 9th 1981, that an important event occured. The USS George Washington collided with the Nissho Maru, accidentally sinking the latter and straining United States relations with Japan. But there was another thing that happened that day; a great person was born: Belizean actor Arlen Escarpeta of Friday the 13th fame. How we celebrated... Oh, and something about a girl with a funny name. I must have had too much to drink at the time; I can hardly remember that day.

(Note: I have never even seen that movie.)

Shamefully enough, I don't believe I have given my well wishes for your day yet, though I wish nothing but the best for you for every day. (Except for the days with no artwork. You're really pushing it on those days.) I can only imagine Rarity's response; "Thirty-one!?" Erm, I hope you have a good...Friday the 13th?

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

Oh, well, I had been waiting for Anon to reply before coming and posting even more, so that he wouldn't feel at all obligated to respond to so many pages of comments (I understand he's done so before in the past), but of course he happened to turn up just this evening when I was planning to go ahead and reply anyhow. That's certainly convenient!

@Harwick

Oh no, not in the slightest dear Harwick... I've already assured you in the past that I enjoy everyone's company immensely (yes, including yours), and it's only ever an issue of time management for me. It really was my pleasure, and the absolute least I could do to show my gratitude for that fabulous, amazing, exquisite artwork you made me! I make a point of looking at it at least once a day, and it still brings me joy every time~ ^.^

Hah, please don't talk to me about cop-out backgrounds, either... as you can see in the vast majority of my fanarts, I tend to avoid the subject altogether and splash some shamefully simple gradients on a canvas just to fill up the space a bit. I think yours is amazing honestly, and apparently I'm not the only one... it's so delightful for me to see you receiving all the adoration you deserve for the piece on your own deviantART page, yay~! <3

I'll confess that I'll always be curious about that outcome myself, but someday we WILL collaborate on our own project and it will be fabulous, fabulous fun! And in the meantime, I'll just keep admiring your lovely artwork, and oh you're so incredibly sweet. D'awww~!! **tackling hugs** <3 <3

@jodyjm13

Oh dear, I'm so sorry I'm late for this reply but thank you so very much for that, dearest Jody! <3 I really do appreciate it immensely, and please don't ever feel as though you need to give me anything; you have been a terrific, thoughtful, supportive and fabulous friend and if it wasn't for you (and DJB123 as well) it's highly unlikely I ever would have created this blog that started it all to begin with, as I've truthfully said before. You've been the most constant source of support and encouragement ever since I submitted that first Rarijack doodle of mine to Equestria Daily (haha, memories), and believe me I am so grateful for that I can scarcely express it properly in words. <3

And yes I... know that I'm really not that old (I don't want to hear a peep out of any of you young kids here, either), but still, it's a bit mind-blowing to me when I reflect back on how these past few years have flown by... it's rather startling at times. But I am excited about the way my life has been going recently, and feel like it's only going to continue looking up from here... hooray for the power of positive thinking!

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@PonydoraPrancypants

I am so, so incredibly happy to hear that your story has been a runaway success, darling! *I* of course know that it's a wonderful read and that you're a very talented author, and now even more people have been made aware of that fact as well, and it fills me with joy. ^.^ Just like Harwick you absolutely deserve the attention, and I'm honestly thrilled if I've (inadvertently, even) brought you both some more well-earned recognition; it's just the fabulous icing on the cake really!

I honestly liked the way the story alternated back and forth between the past and present, and as a very small point which I neglected to mention earlier, and which nevertheless was one of my favorite little tidbits I loved when Rarity was talking about what she went through to make ends meet after first opening her boutique... I'm sure you already can guess why that meant a lot to me. <3 But yes, I have reread the story a few times now and love it more each and every time; I'm just so grateful for it (oh yes, and both ponies performing their Mystic Fire Ritual never fails to make me smile every time, hah! I love that. <3).

@Kateasaurus

I really did my dear, and once again I thank you for everything that you contributed to make my day that much brighter (which was quite a lot, really!). All of you really are some of the most lovely people anyone could ever hope to meet!

@Anon

Hello dear and thank you very much for the birthday wishes... belated or not they're much appreciated (and, ahem, mention of my age there or not). I hadn't seen or heard about that amazing collaborative gift before I read your post here but that's okay; I was going to find out sooner or later that day, of course, and it was still a lovely surprise that I was SO excited to receive! When you get the chance, you really do need to make a real effort to read Fires of Friendship as it really is a wonderful, sweet little story, and truly deserves to be enjoyed for all of the love and attention that Ponydora put into it. <3

@Everyone

So, finally I can now say that I've seen the last two episodes! Everyone was right and I really had been missing out, but I'm so excited that no I can finally talk about them with everyone! Provided I'm not the only person who had not yet seen them, of course... as you all were so kind not to spoil anything for me, I'd hate to do that for anyone else reading here now.

Anon said... Reply to comment

(Aw, you waited for me? I'm not even done with these yet...)

@WhiteDiamonds

Joking aside (and seriousness implied), I have only recently described how I value you and everyone at this blog (though I'm not sure you noticed it), but I would be happy to do so again if it would have any worth. Only you could naturally attract some of the most talented and enjoyable people of the fandom to this one blog. The art that we admire and anticipate is only a dull reflection of your glistening magnificence. Like crows, we are each mesmerized by your shine. One does not require to meet you in person to be well aware of your beauty. Your treatment of the mass public is bewildering. Your generousity knows no bounds. You precisely express your introspection and yourself with art, including the art of the written word. The personality of your diction is so distinctly caring, so full of charm that simply sharing yourself with your admiring followers is an act of kindness. You allowed me the opportunity to aquire something that I can clearly see is coveted among the community; a chance to personally associate myself with none other than the revered connoisseur that is WhiteDiamonds. Every watcher of your deviantART gallery is familiar with those capabilities, but I feel sorry for them that they will never get to know the expertise from the illustrious artisan herself. The experience of acquaintanceship, or even friendship with someone so rewarding is a valuable privilege. I cherish you, and I will for every moment of your prominence in my life.

As a side note, to anyone who may think I have given up, I am still attempting to draw when I have the time. My current project (as I also mentioned earlier, though I'm not sure you noticed that either) is to attempt the recreation of eyes in styles of various MLP artists whom I've never met. Because when all your drawings eventually start mocking you-- judging you, the right thing to do is to draw a bunch of eyes to simultaneously stare back at you. I have already made three and posted one, but I'm not sure I should detail which styles I'm shamelessly copying just yet. That reveal will be almost as surprising as when they all become self-aware and plot to destroy whatever caused their creation. It's okay; I'm sure that the experience I will gain from dusting that tablet off will be worth living out Frankenstein. I don't think they look too bad right now, but hardly anything is finished so I really can't say much about them. What I will say is that, congratulations Harwick; thanks to deviantART's "muro", you now have a doodle style that I can attempt instead of (along with) your immensely intimidating painting style. Because to say that I can "draw like Harwick" is good for my self-esteem.

Anon said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds

(I'll make one last reply to you tonight before I go to bed...) Speaking as the youngest person here, I hope you don't think I would call you "old". And, well, you had pretty much already stated your age when you said that you have moved past the third decade barrier. I didn't think there would be anything wrong with saying a number if it has already been clearly alluded to. I'm not offended, and I hope that you aren't either, but I don't see how I did anything unprecedented there...

Harwick said... Reply to comment

@AnonThank you for the kind praise. I can't take too much credit for my favorites folder, as I went through many of the favorites folders of our friends here in finding ones for my own. Jody's favorties folder is a who's-who of the pony set, and one everyone should look through.

I guess you're welcome to learn whatever you can from my Muro attempts, though I shudder to think what that may be. Last night I posted the "pencil" roughs for WD's birthday pic on my Blogger site if you want a simplier version of my artwork to look over. I'm not really an expert on eyes though, nor have I really settled on a way to handle those giant glistening pony orbs myself, so I'm not sure I'm one of the artists you should be looking at anyway. Still, I'm flattered you'd think to do so.

And as the oldest person on the blog, I vote we all stop talking about age now.

@WhiteDiamonds
You're far too damn lovable, you know. There ought to be some kind of law regulating exposure to you.

Anyway, what's funny to me is that I think I've gotten more comments on that background than I did on the Ponyville background to "One Last Parade", which was actually a real effort to do. (Oddly enough, the library background for the poker picture came fairly easily, even if it's far more detailed than this latest as well.) The Everfree one really is all smoke and mirrors... I think I drew a quick hill, a vine, an extremely sketchy tree, and a fern and that was it. The rest is all just a splotch of light here, a splotch of dark there. It makes me feel like a chump for spending the time detailing out the other ones. ;-)

Harwick said... Reply to comment

OLD EPISODE DISCUSSION! OLD SPOILERS AHEAD!

"PONYVILLE CONFIDENTIAL"

This one was a pretty charming episode featuring the CMC's and had a lot to love about it. For one, we got the Mane Six all hanging out together again finally, something that hadn't been seen since the early hospital scene in "Read it and Weep" 7 episodes ago. (We came close in "Dragon Quest", but Fluttershy refused to join the trenches.) Honestly, that scene in the spa was probably the highlight of the episode for me, with the most gags and great interplay between the characters... plus the secrets revealed, from Pinkie's problem, to Dash's issues with ponies touching her hooves, to Celestia going to town on that cake. As I mentioned on EQD though, I do wish the Mayor's real mane had been a rainbow clown afro.

I did enjoy the CMC side of things as well (with confirmation that Scootaloo's wings aren't enough to get her off the ground), and I'm still all for keeping Diamond Tiara as a villain you can hiss at. (It seems so many pony fans want to see every antagonist in the show find redemption. I can understand the impulse, I suppose, but I just enjoy nasty characters sometimes.) Her J. Jonah Jameson editor style has been noted to death, but I really did get a kick out of it.

I'm not really sure how Featherweight came out of it all smelling like a rose... it seems to me that his invasive paparazzi photography style was the cause of most of the problems, yet he gets rewarded in the end. Okay, so that's probably more true-to-life than we'd like to think.

As always, some anti-Rarity types overreacted to her misdeeds in this one, as if reading the published school newspaper from Sweetie's bag was somehow on the same level as stealing and publishing someone's private diary.

Overall, this one was a lot of fun as an episode with some great gags.


"MMMYSTERY ON THE FRIENDSHIP EXPRESS"

Okay, some people complained about the lack of consistency in moving the cake to the train considering the fetes that the Mane Six and Big Mac have accomplished, but it *was* a pretty funny scene... Perhaps moreso because I've watched those baking competitions where they needlessly make the contestants move their giant creations 15 feet across the studio to the judge's table, and occasionally one collapses in a horrible sugary implosion. So I have to applaud them for throwing in a gag for Food Network viewers.

For most, I think the highlight of the episode was seeing Pinkie's theories of the crime. Three rapid-fire parodies in different styles ended up being a real treat.

I admit, I didn't think they'd pin it on any of the Mane Six, even though I suspected Dash for the first shadowy figure and Twilight (instead of Fluttershy) for the conductor just based off of the visuals they gave. That it turned out that three of them lost control and ruined the Cake's entry was a bit surprising, but nowhere near as traumatic of a revelation for me as it was for some fans.

Love the bubble pipe, and that Twilight was just as much into it as Pinkie was. I also find it kind of endearing that Twilight no longer even fights it or gets upset when Dash or Pinkie patronize her. She was almost Kif Kroker like in her sighing acceptance of Pinkie refusing to start from common sense, and just waited it out until she could do her thing.

Another fun episode, with more Cake Craving Celestia, which is one version of her that I whole-heartily support.

Now, onward to the big finale!

Anon said... Reply to comment

@Harwick

Er, sorry... If it makes you feel any better, you're only second in this case. But yes, I prefer to avoid the topic. As long as we are decently well-behaved and like-minded people, we should not be focusing on what might bring us apart. Feel free to discuss episodes at your leisure. I'll get to them eventually.

@CaineScroll

Given its quality, I'm not sure why you wouldn't post your birthday gift immediately. Poor Scrolls is surrounded by girls. This sets another milestone for character expression in your art. You made great use of different mouths here to convey each character's feelings, and the whole picture serves to describe each character's personality without words. Arguably the biggest problem with OCs is that they don't often have personalities, or any reason to care about them. The creator may write a biography, but that will probably not be enough to convince anyone that their character is interesting enough to be used in fan works. It's harder to like a character that has had no screen time and the viewer has no vested interest in. This artwork goes in the opposite direction: Instead of explaining the characters in words and hoping that any artwork or fan creation featuring them is well-taken, you leave visual hints to each of their personalities and leave it to the viewer to grow accustomed to their behavior and antics. We understand them more with each scene. You make OCs look good. I don't know if you intended it to be in a doodle style, since the lines are crisper and cleaner than I would expect. I assume you originally made it in a higher resolution, or else you would have had to zoom in quite far to make most of the details. I never know what my standards should be for your work, and I'm probably the only one that thinks so, but this one could likely be a new best. When I showed it to my (only non-blog) friend (who was quite impressed by your commission for Ponydora on EQD), the first thing he said was, "I think you really struck it lucky with this group. They all seem like great artists". (Then went on to suggest that I demonstrate my game development ability, which I will...in due time.)

I also wanted to mention that I have seen your TWEWY-style characters (even before there were any comments on them yet), and though I've never played the game, and despite that I have been trying to convince myself that I don't, I actually quite like them. The thick outlines must be the style's most defining feature, and despite that I'm told the game has a sort of "gangster" or "graffiti" theme, it doesn't look negative or off-putting. I have to jump on the "Angela FTW" bandwagon, since I see her as the most original. The others' designs (Stella's especially) conforms more to Japanese and anime customs, so it's more interesting to see the style being used for other things. Maybe our response is due to cultural differences. My interest may be in ponies, but you have an endearing style for this series. Clearly they are more complicated than ponies, and in general, they better showcase your capability as an artist. (I hope you know that when I compare you to WhiteDiamonds, I only mean it as a compliment. Your style is the closest to hers in the entire fandom, and this new piece certainly is no exception.) You make humans look good. I have to wonder about something, though. I can assume that you used the Pen (or Pencil to WhiteDiamonds) tool for most of it, but I noticed that you labeled them as "Vectors". You know a vector is a digital shape (usually made with a mouse) composed of points and curved lines, right? At least, I've never seen the term used with reference to any other type of graphics. (I don't think you're referring to the C++ sequence container...

ponies.push_back("Scrolls");
string Scrolls = ponies[4];
Scrolls = Scrolls + "cake";)

PonydoraPrancypants said... Reply to comment

@Anon

You certainly didn't ruin anything! I'm really amused that you read that silly poem I wrote for last Halloween. Oddly enough, Harwick left a comment on my dA page as well on that thing. I'm glad you liked it, I do feel strangely attached to it, if only because I spent so long coming up with rhymes. "The Raven" is a really long poem, and matching it with a tribute, even a silly pony one, was kind of a chore.

@WhiteDiamonds

I admit I intended that little bit (and several others sprinkled throughout) to strike a chord with you. Just like our pony protagonist, I know how hard you've worked for the successes you've achieved, and how you've overcome bumps along the way, and I believe that you have more than enough wit, talent, and determination to make all your dreams come true.

I tried to fit even more allusions to you into the story, including an extended filly Rarity and AJ cutie mark crusading scene where they each had code names (Rarity's was White Diamonds), but I had to cut it for the sake of flow.

@Harwick

Ah, episode discussion. I admit that I did not love either of these most recent episodes, to the extent that I really did love Hurricane Fluttershy, but there were bits I liked a lot in each.

Ponyville Confidential was my favorite of the two. Rarity really spread the word about the Foal Free Press quickly, didn't she? Like you, the spa scene was by far my favorite part of the episode, especially the art design there with the ridiculous equipment used for the pony pedi/hooficures. I thought that DT would make a pretty effective newspaper editor, but I missed Silver Spoon - did she transfer out?

MMMystery was alright, though I was able to solve the "mystery" beforehand based on the two minute preview posted on Equestria Daily. While the Pinkie Pie fantasy "deduction" sequences were very funny, the actual personalities of the three chefs were really bland. I did like the bubble pipe and hat being passed back and forth (who is to say that this was not some form of narcotic, anyway? Maybe the Equestrian equivalent of tobacco produces bubbles when "smoked?" Maybe Derpy Hooves is a bubbleweed farmer?) I was pretty disappointed that poor Applejack was totally ignored, and she didn't even get a pat on the back for not eating the cake, honest gal that she is.

Now, onward to the finale!

Anon said... Reply to comment

(Edit: A new comment just to fix one spelling error? It's more likely than you think.)

@CaineScroll

I should probably stay well away from them though, if only because I'm not as good at character design as you are. But I happened to see one of Harwick's new blog posts a while ago, so I felt compelled to make the most Mary Sue-like pony I could using the designer. My best description of the result would be, "Paul Teutul meets Kayne West and puts on a dress". The background is of the Mane 6 because he/her/it is their interdimensional friend, possibly the long-lost seventh Element of Harmony. His/her/its cutie mark is Trixie's, as he/she/it is perhaps her long-lost evil twin with a mysterious past and a dark secret, and the power to save or destroy all of Equestria at will.

It seems like everyone has two ponies to interact eachother with some degree of friendship or love. Applejack and Rarity, Outback and Scrolls, Eureka and Euphoria, Harwick's custom and his goggles...

(I do like his design, though. Very tasteful. The new sketch shows that behind that thick eye protection, he has the inherent visual appeal of a pony. Just look at the eyes. He looks so...innocent.)

@WhiteDiamonds

Oh, I wanted to ask you (as I did earlier, but I might as well put it here instead), as of course you're a master of the subject. Whenever I try to use the Marker for eyelashes (even if the style in question is not yours), the tip of the stroke is either too rounded (blunt) or too transparent. Case in point. Are your Marker eyelashes just a lot less pointed than they look? I thought it was easier to leave opaque tips to strokes using the Pen (Pencil), but that can look too sharp as it forfeits blending and some of the "doodle" feel. Do you use thinner brush sizes for the tips and finish the curve by hand? (By that I mean, to "draw" each side separately instead of doing it all with a single stroke.)

Also, I just remembered about a comment that you received on your commission, Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy, that I thought was interesting. You don't get starry night skies in California? I suppose that's one benefit of living so far away from civilization. If you walk outside at nighttime and look up, the stars you see will look as if you are in the middle of a snowglobe (sans snow, castle, and globe). The perspective really looks like you're in the center of a sphere. I don't stand outside when it's so late very often, but when I do, I look around in awe of the atmosphere. It's a wonderous sight. I can feel sorry for you in that regard...but California is still a much more interesting place with far more opportunities than these fields. This area would make a better vacation spot or retirement community (which is what it is). I have to wonder what the air smells like, though.

zhoomcar said... Reply to comment

@Anon
-sees OC
-falls off chair and dies
Ah, bad OCs. Hilarious stuff. Our local brony group sporadically, and usually without warning holds "apOCalypses" featuring a smattering of horrible creations, either in pony creator or the wonderful MS Paint.

@PonydoraPrancypants
I believe SS was only seen briefly walking out of the classroom before the meeting. Chances are they aren't buddies, because Friendship is Witchcraft said so (what) -shrug-

As for the episode I really liked MMMystery, probably purely for the Pinkie scenarios, which was golden. I didn't really end up watching the teasers (even though I usually pounce on them as soon as they appear) but I guess it was semi predictable, and the almost complete omission of Applejack was a bit on the odd side. But seeing as she is the Element of Honesty, interrogating her wouldn't be very difficult (nor would it make the mystery any deeper) so I guess that's my headcanon on why she didn't do anything.

...wait, so we're not discussing ages any more? Well, I've never said mine so... okay.

Coconutswallow said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds

A late response, but you are quite welcome. My good wishes were rather like a penny found on the sidewalk placed beside stacks of green but I’m glad it was appreciated. It is good to see you deriving immense pleasure from the gifts you’ve been given. You’re friends are splendid people. May this next year of your life contain good health and an abundance of pony.

(Next time will have gift wrap, I promise. Perchance even a bow…)

@Harwick
@PonydoraPrancypants
@zhoomcar

Hey look, episode discussion! I see you over there!

Here There Be Spoilers

Ponyville Confidential

It was good to see all of the Mane Six interacting together again. Truly some of the best episodes of the series are the ones which feature the full cast. The Last Roundup is an excellent testament to this. The responses of each of them to having their privacy invaded were quite entertaining (where in we learn Rainbow Dash is rather dastardly when it comes to grudges). The interactions between Sweetie Belle and Rarity were rather priceless as well (though when is any Rarity interaction not pure gold?).

I’m amiss as to why Rarity has been getting so much condemnation for her actions of late. People talked about her actions in this episode as if she was a font of hypocrisy and the outcry at her behavior in Putting Your Hoof Down would have you believe she was a manipulative temptress in the same tier as Delilah. I suppose we all know how it goes…

One could argue that Featherweight’s photos were neutral in intent. It wasn’t until they were utilized in a gossip column that they became malicious. He is but a simple photographer capable of being wielded for good or evil.

Silver Spoon missing? Diamond Tiara must have realized that the void in her life can only be filled by Mr. Boxster.

MMMystery on the Friendship Express

The beginning of this episode was one giant Rule of Funny. It also revealed that Mrs. Cake is made of stronger stuff than her counterpart. How Mr. Cake manages the stress of fatherhood is anyone’s guess.

The parodies of various classic movie styles was indeed the highlight of the episode. I think I shall call them the Perils of Pinkie, Cakeraker, and… Kill Mild? (Table Top is best background pony.)

My Little Pony: Friendship Can Be Traitorous Yet Easily Forgivable.

Though it seemed somewhat out of character for Fluttershy and Rarity to be so inconsiderate (RD is fair game I’m afraid), it didn’t break the cords holding high my disbelief. Pinkie did do such a stupendous job of making the cake sound delectable. I argue entrapment. The trio should hire an attorney, right quick.

Let us not forget the biggest plot twist in the entire series:

MAJOR SPOILERS

Rarity wears fake eyelashes. My keyboard cursed my name that day. I really ought not to have been drinking a beverage in the midst of that episode. I had to pause the video and absorb that for several moments. It truly changes everything.

(Cakelestia requires more multi-layered confectionaries!)

Oh yes, I’m forgetting the matter of innocent Applejack. I honestly believe she garnered more notice by not having the limelight shone on her. She is the Element of Honesty. She wants nothing to do with these betrayals and deceits.

Anon said... Reply to comment

@Coconutswallow

Nonsense. You're far better than you give yourself credit for. As WhiteDiamonds noted, your style of speech is quite entertaining, whereas mine sounds like the drawl of a documentary narrator. You sound like someone who would be fun to talk to and discuss pony-related topics with as you see fit. While I can relate that speaking directly to the likes of Harwick and Ponydora (even WhiteDiamonds at times, when I take a moment to realize how fortunate we are to know her) gives me this feeling, the fact that you even attempt fanfiction-writing proves that you are braver than I. I can't say that I've read either of your fictions (as you might have noticed I'm occasionally short on time, though I suppose you might be glad for that), but I think your writing is more akin to Harwick's. You aren't losing the race; you took a different route, and you're winning in that one. If I could drop references so naturally, I would host my own stand-up comedy show with a self-deprecative undertone.

Wait, are you just using us to practice for your début? I knew there was something fishy about eyebrow-raising Trixie, but I just couldn't put my finger on it...

@jodyjm13


The two of you are always lighthearted, and that's a nice change from what could always potentially happen when my stubbornness gets the better of me. As WhiteDiamonds said, we value everyone for their unique qualities, even if we individually cannot see what exactly those are. Your unique qualities just happen to include more Monty Python references than the rest of us. You are practically one of the blog's founders, and deserve more than what little has been said about you here. You should never question if you are valued here among us.

I had to stop myself from listing every small detail of a ponified James Bond artwork that I've had in mind since the first time I mentioned on the blog. It doesn't have as many puns as this, but there are a lot of touches that I have in mind. Obviously, I'm far from able to make it now, but as least it seems like you will get to see a bit more from me relatively soon. That's subject to change if something happens from now and...soon, so I make no promises, but I already have about four very different-looking eyes completed with about five more on my list. As for the poster, it was based heavily on this one in her favourites. (Note the artist's nifty Ashens avatar.) I had originally made the background white and the text purple, but I later realised that a colored background with white text was the stardard for such posters. I even kept the pixel dimensions and font size the same. I'm glad it was well-taken, because admittedly it wasn't much work to make. I wish there were more opportunities to make nice things for people like WhiteDiamonds without expending notable effort. Oh well, I'm sure I'll draw some tributes to her some time in the future when I am capable of doing so.

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@Anon

Ohh, you dear thing you, I only wish I could hug you properly. You're so incredibly sweet, and arguably do give me far more credit than I deserve, really! But I still do appreciate the sentiments, very much... thank you. <3

I'm glad that you're still drawing, and yes I do remember your mentioning the other project before... I thought I'd said something about it but I guess not. In answer to your question about the marker tool and eyelashes and such, I suppose I've never had cause to mention that before, but it's one case where I actually (or usually, anyway, but not always) do use more than one tool for my doodles. Most of the time, unless I'm making a doodle at an unusually high resolution (or in the case of a picture like my recent Rarijack, where it was more of a closeup shot) I'll color the eyelashes with the marker as usual, sans the tips and then use the brush tool to create the small point at the end with a single stroke, to avoid the look of a blunt tip as you said. But other than that yes, it's almost exclusively the marker tool.

I guess you've been hanging out around deviantART a lot, or by the sound of things anyway... if so I really have to wonder why you don't just make an account there, so that it would be easier for you to keep in touch with everyone. Only a suggestion of course. Regarding the matter of that comment on the Rainbow Dash/Fluttershy commission, I certainly can see stars where I live, just not quite as many as I painted in that sky or at least not most of the time... sometimes you can though, and especially when there's no moon. The majority of the time it's actually a matter of light pollution, not air pollution (and for the record, the air where I live generally smells quite good, and especially at night, like dry grass. Of course, as I think I've mentioned before I'm not currently living in such a populated area), and because of that there are many areas in southern California where you can see a lot of stars. Out in the deserts especially... I actually took an observational astronomy class many years ago, and for a field trip we went out to Anza Borrego... well, see for yourself what that looks like (not my video, but it certainly illustrates my memories very well). It was absolutely gorgeous, and even if it was the middle of December and we all nearly froze to death out there.

As far as my age dear, sometimes it's not what you say but how you say it, but that's fine and I think we're all better off ascribing to Harwick's advice. I owe my darling friend that much, at least! ^_~

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@Harwick

Oh, you! You are far too cute, and quite lovable yourself as well, you know! Silly. As far as the backgrounds of your latest and "One Last Parade", respectively, I can rather empathize with you in finding a work that you put less time and effort in receiving more praise, to your (or my at least, in the case of my own works) bewilderment, if not quite frustration. Though in my case of course, it's always a question of the popularity of my doodles over my more finished paintings, which I obviously put far more time into... I suppose this is something that perfectly illustrates the appeal of a cute scene or fun idea or whatever, versus what is unquestionably more advanced artistic technique and skill... ah well though, as long as people enjoy them all well enough I'm fine with it.

So! Moving onto those episodes then, finally! First off I simply must comment on your remark about the cake-moving scene at the beginning of 'Friendship Express', and enjoying it for the similarity to those fabulous Food Network baking/confection contests if nothing else. I am SO happy that you had to mention that, because I figured I was the only person here who got so much ridiculous enjoyment out of watching those programs (have you watched any of the world chocolate competitions? I am absolutely stunned at some of the works of art those master chocolatiers are able to create, and to think they put so much time and effort into what is sadly such a perishable medium! Ugh, I don't think I could stand to devote myself to such a thing that way, only to see it be eaten or smashed to bits on the floor as you said... it makes me shudder just thinking about it).

Anyway I'm totally digressing now, so I'll go back to "Ponyville Confidential" first. I enjoyed the episode, and my favorite scenes were without a doubt the ones towards the end where all of the ponies were shunning the Crusaders (I loved Angel slamming on the door on them, Twilight's encasing the library in a magical force-field, Bic Mac's outburst in contrast to Applejack's indignant silence, and so on) but the spa scene was also great, of course. I've had several people mention already in comments to me on my "All Dolled Up" artwork that they're surprised Applejack had actually consented to go there with the others, but as I pointed out she only had a massage after all (from what we could see) and so I don't feel it was too out-of-character for her (I'm sure she'd still draw the line at facials and seaweed wraps). I know everyone has been making the J. Jonah Jameson comparison already but Diamond Tiara still reminded me of Veruca Salt as well, or perhaps Veruca Salt playing the role of J. Jonah Jameson... yes, that's it. Oh yes, and Sweetie Belle whacking Rarity in the horn when she was trying to cover up her snooping was absolutely hilarious, just saying~

Moving on to 'Friendship Express', I have to agree with you in that I really enjoyed Pinkie's crime-theory scenes very much, and for the fantastic quality of the animation if nothing else (the quality in general has only continued to go up in the series I think, but those scenes in particular were fantastic examples). I'm a big Julia Child fan so I thought her animated mule counterpart was a funny idea, and I'll agree that I was a bit surprised that Rainbow (well, not so much Rainbow), Fluttershy, and Rarity were actually the culprits... it's a little hard for me to believe that they would be so insensitive to how important the cake was to Pinkie, but I'm not upset over the idea as some fans apparently were (going by what you mentioned in your post anyway; I haven't been on EqD much at all in recent weeks and so haven't seen what other people have had to say about the episodes).

And of course Applejack was innocent. Dear, honest Applejack; how could anyone ever doubt her?

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@PonydoraPrancypants

EEP!! Oh my goodness really, you originally wrote a scene like that for me?! Aaaghhh I can only imagine how incredibly CUTE that would have been (and when I got to the part with my name being Rarity's code, I probably would have squee'd myself deaf), but it's okay, and I think the story is quite perfect just the way it is of course. It was very sweet and thoughtful of you to include that reference and others for me, and other bits, you say? Like the few choice little lines that, if I didn't know better (though of course in this instance, I do know better) wouldn't have been out of place in a traditional Rarijack-shipping story for instance? Because yes I did notice those, and ate them up happily. With whipped cream and syrup! ^_~

I agree with you in that neither one of the recent episodes quite lived up to my opinion of "Hurricane Fluttershy", but I did enjoy them, including the few tiny moments that Applejack did actually get in 'Friendship Express' (her hungry face was pretty adorable, and I found it funny when she shoved Rarity in what I can only think to describe as a "dude-am-I-right" type of fashion). It was mostly just little moments that I found the most enjoyable, but my overall opinion of the episode was good.

@zhoomcar

Oh, of course you can tell us how old you are if you like dear, that's entirely up to you! Just as long as you keep Harwick and I out of it from now on (or at least until this time next years rolls around again!).

@Coconutswallow

Not at all dearie, I found it to be a very kind gesture. And yes, I've said it before but they truly are wonderful people... I don't know how it is that fate designed such rewarding friendships/correspondences to come from such a simple thing as this blog, but I'm sure the stars all must have been in alignment the day that I did create this account and tacked my very first fanarts up here. Quite amazing!

As I mentioned to Harwick, I haven't been much involved in community discussions as-of-late and so seemingly missed out on some recent Rarity criticisms, but I think you're mostly correct and some people just like to try and take their shots at her when they can (the fans who don't seem to care for her character tend to be amongst the most vocal of the fandom's haters, from what I've seen). I also agree with you about Featherweight, and think he was just happy to be flitting about snapping photos, oblivious to what purpose they might later be used for... I found his character design to be quite cute as well, I will say.

On the matter of Rarity's false eyelashes, I wasn't at all surprised (it was revealed that she wears them in The Best Night Ever, was it not?) and find the bigger surprise to be that she apparently didn't think to pack an extra pair for an overnight trip... now that was quite out of character if you ask me, hah! But in all honesty, I thought it was absolutely hilarious when that last little bit of incriminating evidence was presented (though I had my speculations, as I noticed the different way she was wearing her hair). False eyelash stuck to the painting... SO funny...

All in all, I thought both episodes were quite satisfactory, and am now just looking forward to the big finale. Yay!

Harwick said... Reply to comment

Discuss. And/or be afraid...

Trying this again since my early morning linking failed miserably.

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@Harwick

I like that you thought to include the and/or, quite true. My first impressions then? Transcribed verbatim from my inner monologue to the best of my memory, and in order of when they occurred to me:

Needs more Rarijack.
Wow, TwiDash is more popular than I realized.
Gummy and Winona?? What is this I don't even...
Hoity-Toity paired with a female character, really? Did the person who wrote that fanfiction ever even see "Suited For Success"??

PonydoraPrancypants said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds

So glad to see you up and about, my dear!

Only 5 Rarity and Blueblood pairings? Pshaw.

Big Mac paired with Fancypants and Hoity-Toity? Horror!

Poor Silver Spoon. Even in a fandom that ships a rock with a tree, your love for DT is unrequited.

Twist and Gummy is worse than Winona and Gummy, I'm pretty sure.

I'd have thought the line going from Trixie to herself would be thicker.

Harwick said... Reply to comment

I'll likely be going back to revisit comments/episode discussion that I missed, but I figured branching off into a new area would help stir some traffic and pass the time now that I'm chained to my computer with a new project to cram in before the end of the week. I need some nonsense to focus on during breaks, or go insane.

@WhiteDiamonds

Heh... Yes, there are definitely combinations in there that require the additional tag. I'm both terrified and a little curious as to how someone executed the "Gummy-Twilight" link. I'm really hoping for a Princess and the Frog thing there, but there's no way I'm digging into the internet to find out.

I had to laugh at the massive lines connecting Rainbow Dash to each of the mane six, with the exception of Rarity. Poor Rarity needs more love, it would seem. I really don't get the shipping appeal of Dash, but whatever.

I'm not that much of a shipping guy myself, although I've read a fair amount of it since a great many stories work at least some romance into them. I've even seen a few that aren't represented here at all.

TwiDash is very popular, and I really don't know why... I can't recall ever reading a story where I thought it worked. The whole "opposites" appeal that drive a RariJack pairing just doesn't quite work with them. They're both proactive, action hero types when the chips are down, and so writers tend to cripple one or the other in order to make a "damsel" for the story... or worse, they just write one horribly out of character. I just don't see the appeal there.

There are a few that have worked for me in individual stories, though. Enough that I don't run screaming from shipping stuff any longer.

Harwick said... Reply to comment

@PonydoraPrancypants

I have to admit to you, as much as I love both "Flight of the Alicorn" and enjoyed the Blueblood-Groundhog Day story "Best Night Ever" (I think that was it), I still really do enjoy Blueblood as a complete ass with nearly no redeeming qualities in other works. He makes such a nice, clueless villain.

And as for multiple Trixie, my favorite pseudo-shipping moment with her was probably from "The Moonstone Cup", where a very adversarial Trixie displayed some impressive magic in a duel by summoning up a doppelganger... who turned out to be from a "Twixie" story, completely creeping out both Trixie and Twilight.

And you feel sorry for Silver Spoon? Snails seems to be on the chart entirely to show that he is completely unloved. He's like a seat-filler at the shipping oscars.

Anon said... Reply to comment

@Harwick

Since it would otherwise mean getting into long comments just so I can respond to this one, I think I'll do just that.

Is it just me, or are there no lines going to or from Snails? There are three lines that just go past him on to Caramel. I'm not sure what the rings refer to, but I'm pleasantly surprised by the lack of Snips/Trixie. I am also less pleasantly surprised by the Granny/Mac and AppleMac (MacJack?)...

I think the appeal of TwiDash is similar to Vinyl/Octavia. Twilight is a Canterlot unicorn who stresses to keep everything organized and controlled. Rainbow Dash does not think as much about her actions, making her more easygoing and less apt than Twilight to do things by the book. Besides, I think your latest artwork is enough proof that Applejack and Rarity have similar reactions when the chips are down. I guess you could say that about any of the mane 6. I'm not in support of any pairing over another, but I think that virtually anything can work if you put enough thought into it.

@WhiteDiamonds

That's a lot of memes. (Seriously, I thought I was the only one who even remembers "Needs More Cowbell".)

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@PonydoraPrancypants

Oh, yes, I am here... **gives digital hugs** A little bleary-eyed and drinking coffee I probably shouldn't be, honestly, but I don't see any other way I'm going to make it through this day. I actually need to be heading off to my studio job in an hour or two, which makes me sad, because I have SO many other things that need doing too, oh well... TT_TT

You know, Harwick is right and I'm quite sure that I, even with the limited amount of fanfiction reading that I do, have come across several stories/pairings that apparently didn't make that chart. Including at least two different Diamond Tiara/Silver Spoon shippings. While I know I normally try to avoid filly-ships, the truth of the matter is that it's pretty much impossible for me to imagine either of those two with anyone else... they deserve each other I guess.

I didn't see Twist and Gummy honestly, and am quite thankful that I didn't.

@Harwick

You know it's funny that you mention those crazy-thick ribbons typing Rainbow Dash to all the rest of the Mane 6 ponies, because I did notice those after my initial look and impressions and also think I laughed accordingly. My only explanation for it can be that she's arguably the most popular out of all of them, and the fan demographic that tends to latch onto her is also the sort that enjoys creating such shiptastic stories and artworks, I guess. For what it's worth, I really must agree with you about the whole TwiDash thing (there has been one or maybe two stories I have seen where it was presented in a way that didn't totally degrade one or both of their characters for the sake of a pairing, but they seem to be pretty far and few between) and actually, if I may say so without incurring the wrath of the internet that's one reason why AppleDash has never been my favorite ship either, and even before I became a devoted fan of Rarijack. If you have to change a character's personality completely in a story to make them work with someone, then why not just make it an OC or self-insert? It's the same thing at that point, honestly.

Oh yes, and also acknowledging Ponydora's story for the brilliant example of fanfiction writing that it is, I can't help but agree with you about Blueblood... my favorite incarnations of him are the sort that I can love to hate. The now inactive 'Ask Blueblood' Tumblr was a terrific example of this, honestly... it's a shame that artist stopped updating it!

@Anon

Well, what can I say dear... I told you I was tired. I guess thinking in memes is what naturally happens to me when my mind is sufficiently deprived of rest.

Harwick said... Reply to comment

@Anon

Oh, sure... any pairing can work. This is especially true if the story is short and/or doesn't really deal with the relationship itself, but rather one character realizing/confessing their feelings for another, and that's mostly it. I'm just saying that I personally haven't run across a TwiDash one where they're actually together that doesn't feel a more than a bit... off in the writing of one or both. Again, though, most of these that I read are adventure stories first and foremost, with a romance subplot.

As for my picture, well... part of the idea in doing it was to show Rarity in action, which I felt we don't see a lot of. You're right though, all of the Mane Six can deal with baddies when called to do so, and I actually get frustrated when any of them need to be repeatedly saved by OC characters as a result. But within the group, I expect action out of AJ, Dash and Twilight, whereas action from Rarity, Fluttershy and Pinkie tends to come across as an enjoyable subversion of expectations.

@WhiteDiamonds

RariJack is actually the only Mane Six pairing that seems to have a lot going for it for me, as their conflicting personalities is the whole appeal, hence they don't tend to drift to out-of-character in romantic plots. Their strengths are in such different areas that more writers seem to have little trouble giving them individual moments to shine which don't overshadow each other.

In general though, adding a romance subplot with one of the Mane Six seems safest when they're paired with a secondary, minor or background character that has a sketchy enough canon personality that they can be written in whatever way best fits the story.

I tend to avoid completely OC characters in lead or co-lead roles whenever possible, though, as far too many writers really can't exercise any restraint or judgement in using them. And I've actually grown to dislike "Dr. Whooves" popping up in fanfics as well, as too often the moment he appears the story shifts from being an MLP fanfic to being a Dr. Who fanfic, with ponies trailing along behind him being amazed.

PonydoraPrancypants said... Reply to comment

@Harwick

Poor Blueblood! I read a story once that went to great and comical pains to justify everything he does during the Best Night Ever, just as his lifelong deathly fear of puddles, and the fact that in the matriarchal society of Canterlot mares are expected to open doors for stallions. No, really, he is a jerk, but I love him anyway. There's no accounting for taste.

Also, I swear I just read a Rarity and Pinkie shipping story set a few years in the future, wherein Snips works as Rarity's assistant and he and Snails are lovers. Maybe you saw this one too?

I tried to read "Moonstone Cup," but I am so turned off by OP Twilight stories that I couldn't do it, plus the character names rankled me. Why does every weirdo from a foreign land have to be named something like Grand Master Fnnarrghgl'bhurk?

@Harwick
@Anon
@WhiteDiamonds

While you all know I don't ship any of the mane 6 with each other (I just don't think they could live together long-term), there are some pairings that make more sense than others, and Rarijack is one of them (and perhaps Raritwi, and Rarishy, and ...- what, so I like Rarity shipfics, ok?).

@WhiteDiamonds

**a thousand hugs!** I hope you have a non-stressful day at work, and that you find some time for peace and recovery. You deserve a spa day of your own.

By the way, I absolutely loved askblueblood for the short time it was updated, hehe. I believe I read on dA that the author/artist apparently decided to return to his first love, drawing giant robots.

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@Harwick

I agree with all of your thoughts completely, darling, with the only possible exception of the sentiments regarding Mane Six pairings seeming safest when they're paired with a secondary, minor or background character... certainly those can work, and I've seen some that weren't bad in the slightest but I think it's just as possible to butcher the main characters' personalities that way, and have seen this happen more often than not. I understand what you meant, in that the non-main characters having less-defined personalities means it's often easier to fit them into a story, but in my experience it's usually far from successful (meaning the romance is not believable, even if the story is entertaining) even providing this fact, ah well.

I think I like Rarijack for the very reasons that you stated... there's enough conflict between them due to their differences that it keeps things interesting and frequently funny/entertaining (which is often my favorite way to interpret the ship), but we have been shown in the series that they have a strong enough friendship and mutual respect for one another that it provides a base from which more can be built on, I suppose. In other words, it seems easier for them to be kept in-character and consistent with the events of canon material while still pairing them up, than is frequently the case for many of the other main ponies. Of course, as with any ship they can still be portrayed out-of-character, and this is the reason that, despite my enjoyment of the ship I'm actually very picky about the stories and artworks of the two of them together that I like. Maybe surprisingly picky.

I also know what you mean about the whole Doctor Whooves thing... it's not that I dislike him persay, but sometimes have to wonder just why it is that he and those stories that you mention are so incredibly popular. Perhaps I don't understand that appeal simply because I've never watched any of the actual Dr. Who series.

@PonydoraPrancypants

Ohh, spa day... I can't even allow myself to think about such a thing right now really, or I'll never be able to get into the car and drive myself to work. I'll have to put the very notion in the back of my mind for now, but thank you darling as I really do appreciate the sentiments and well-wishes. <3

And that really is too bad, isn't it? That artist had such a lovely style as well... I really did enjoy his work. Ah well, it certainly was entertaining while it lasted.


..I need to go to work now, boo... TT_TT

Harwick said... Reply to comment

@PonydoraPrancypants

I definitely missed that future Rarity/Pinkie story with Snips and Snails. In fact, the base ship there was so unusual that I rechecked the shipping chart to see how thick the line was between the two. Not surprisingly, it's pretty thin.

Still, I've been surprised at the number of times a Twilight-Pinkie story has worked for me, so I shouldn't dismiss poor Pinkie out of hand.

I'm withholding final judgement on Twilight's ridiculously OP levels in "Moonstone Cup" until I see if there's an explanation given (one seems like it has been hinted at, but none has been forthcoming so far.) I didn't mind it so much in the first half of the story, though, because every magic user in it was powered up considerably, making it kind of an super-magic AU take on the show. (Trixie was certainly throwing around far more powerful spells than little rope tricks and the like.) By the last few chapters though, Twilight's gone beyond God-like, and it's well past anything that could be waved away as artistic license. Ultimately, the later confrontations kind of fell apart because of it, in that powers that you can't picture or comprehend don't really translate well to a compelling, suspenseful narrative for me.

I've had the opposite problem with "Growing Pains", where Twilight is ampted up to something like 1/6th Celestia's level in the earlier chapters and then, despite never losing this power boost, can't overcome any OC characters at all (which include unnamed guards and unicorns from the invasion forces they're struggling against.)

Generally, I'm willing to let each author set Twilight's power levels, but I need them to remain consistent and make sense in some kind of relation to the show and the rest of the characters once they do. It can make writing a good Twilight story very challenging.

Rarity ships do seem to be among the most successful. I'm not sure if it's just the strength of her character or what.

PonydoraPrancypants said... Reply to comment

@Harwick

Aha, found it! I give you RarityxPinkie and SnipsxSnails: Seeking Beauty

I've never read "Growing Pains," but I see that it is a 325,000 word monster-sized Twilight fic on fanfiction.net, and is apparently quite popular!

zhoomcar said... Reply to comment

@Harwick
At a glance, I see things like...
Tom / Bloomberg
Madame LeFlour / Bucket of Turnips

Ooh, ridiculous ship pairs! Must find!

Harwick said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds

Well, as the reverse of what I said to Anon, any pairing can fail to work as well. But in general, the Mane Six are the whole reason I'm a fan of the show. I have no desire to see them take a backseat to any other character in abilities, nobility, etc. My impression has simply been that the more talented writers can use secondary characters skillfully, and don't fall into the OC trap quite so readily because they don't have the ego attachment that comes from having created a character and desperately wanting the audience to see how great this new addition is. Plus, the secondary characters are usually removed enough from the Mane Six that their end of the romance comes from discovering the traits that we take for granted in the lead characters (and yet are the ones we like about them as well.) Within the group, it feels forced for Twilight to suddenly fall for how loyal Dash is... but take a character that's just getting to know Dash, and it seems quite reasonable that her best traits would turn heads.

So admittedly, the stories are more about secondary character X coming to realize how great primary character Y is... but since I'm already sharing that opinion, I find that kind of story goes down easy.

In general, though, I don't like to see any of the Mane Six being lovesick. Ugh. They're all strong characters, none of them are at their best mooning or wallowing over another.


@PonydoraPrancypants

Heh... okay, I guess I can add that one to my reading list. Somewhere.

"Growing Pains" is one of those ones I come back to when nothing else has updated... not that it's bad, just that it's so huge it seems like it will always keep until another time. While I'm still a few chapters back, I don't think it's anywhere near finished. It's also one of those really long stories that seems to have changed directions in-progress, and the early stuff seems only tangentially related to what's going on where I'm at.

As it happens, it's an example of Twi-Dash, and has hits both good and bad points in that ship. The shipping is just across the line from Friendshipping, which I find works best, as the two are especially close even within the larger Mane Six predominantly because of what they've gone through together over the course of the story. (No overt romance between the two yet, however, nor really any fully-aware thoughts about it, although the others seem to see it easily enough.) The bad side though is that they go through so much in the story that one could argue they have rewritten personalities anyway... Dash especially.


@zhoomcar

You know, the Madame LeFlour/Turnips one caught my eye as well. I think it's rubbish though... she was obviously soul mates with the gruff-but-protective Rocky.

CaineScroll said... Reply to comment

First off, sorry for not commenting here lately. I've been feeling a little off-colour over the past week and I resorted to drawing and (ahem)Skyrim to get my mind off things.

@Anon

Hehe, I thought that by posting it away from the actual date, I'd be able to blur out Di's actual birthdate, since she intended it to be discreet in the first place, but looking back now that move turned out to be pointless. XD

Honestly speaking, I never intended for my OCs to be fanfic material or anything; just significant enough to be an avatar or something. I just picture the behaviour of a pony and make a look out of it...sometimes it can be quite easy, but others may be a bit challenging. Also, if there's one rule of thumb I follow, it's this: all my OCs MUST have clothes. I came to this decision after realizing that most of the ponies of other towns in the ponyverse wear clothes as opposed to Ponyville which...well, let's not go there. =P

Truth be told, I've never played TWEWY myself, I just watched someone play it. And yes, I've heard the exact same thing about graffiti art being a major influence on TWEWY, and I really liked the art style, and it prompted me to make something out of it. Also, some Japanese character designs seem to be much interesting compared to other places, but most of them go so overboard that I find them horrifying. I try to keep my characters' designs as simple as possible, just so they wouldn't cause migraines or anything! And I didn't really care much about the labelling thing, I just put them somewhere that seemed legit (meme reference intended). If I had a choice, I wouldn't label them at all; but if you have a good idea of where to put them, do let me know.

And when it comes to OC creation, I have to agree with zhoomcar that most of them turn out to be total apOCalypses, if you choose to make them with a custom creator. But "Paul Teutul meets Kanye West + dress"...That. Was. Priceless! =D

In any case, thank you so much for the kind words! I notice that you comment on my stuff less than on Di's (it's a force of nature, there's no helping it), but the important thing is that you comment at all...I truly do appreciate your insight and support, and I hope you know that. =)

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

I'm so tired, everyone. This is just a random aside from me, and I know I said (to myself) that I would try never to make this blog about personal issues when I first created it, but maybe one off-post isn't so bad... all of you are the only people who would really know everything I'm talking about and so I suppose I am wondering what you all think about some of these various things that have been troubling me. I don't know if I'm just exhausted right now, or semi-depressed, or vitamin-deprived or hormonal (or a combination of many of the above... o_o I suspect it is the latter) but I really feel kind of awful. I was doing pretty well with keeping up on my deviantART, even if it meant sacrificing what was probably too much time from other tasks of mine, and I felt exceptionally proud of myself when I finally managed to catch up with replies again here (I know I said I would prioritize this blog and I haven't really been, but I told myself that I could catch up and then do just that!) and my emails... yes. But, I've unfortunately still missed some things and I've gotten a message here or there over the past few days concerning people being upset that it's taken me so long to respond, and I haven't even managed to finish either of the two commissions that I've been working on (to say nothing of the others I have lined up after that...)... I don't know, it just feels pretty awful. I feel like I'm letting a whole bunch of people down, and am wondering if maybe I shouldn't have made the deviantART account after all. Certainly it's been an amazing tool for getting my work out there, and has brought me more pony-business than I could likely ever handle, but considering the fact I can't even seem to finish commissions begun before launching that gallery I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not...

I'm beginning to think I might have taken a bit too much on recently. I honestly do feel like this. Or maybe this. Yes, definitely the latter, or perhaps a delightful combination of both. I think I really need a real day off... ~~;;;;; Or two or three.

Am I whining? I think I really am whining. Oh, bleh...

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds

Oh, my apologies, I seem rather to have missed the point there. You all know all about my pony-related life and business, which is something I can't say about any of my other friends or family, and so I wonder what you all think I should do? I'm thinking perhaps close commissions completely after I make it through my current queue, even though the money has been a nice little bonus, but I don't know if this is a good idea. I think it's only because I'm very tired a this particular moment, but I can't seem to come to any conclusions or think clearly about any solutions... it's somewhat stressful.

Harwick said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds

I'm very sorry to hear that you're as stressed as you are. It's especially upsetting because it's exacerbated by colorful ponies, apparently. Remember, when push comes to shove, this is all supposed to be a hobby for you... Something fun. Right now, it sounds like a grueling work grind.

Give yourself permission to take a vacation from anything that's overwhelming you in this arena. You're your own boss here, after all... Look out for your employee.

I know my set-up isn't ideal, but people convinced me that they'd rather have a dA account from me with limited involvement than none at all. I ramp up my interactions when I have the free time, and disappear for a bit when I don't. You need to accept that your legions of fans are all too happy to give you support in exchange for just getting more artwork from you that they love. You're not being overly selfish to take what they offer. Enjoy reading they're comments, respond when you can, but don't let it become an obligation. It'll kill your enthusiasm for your hobby faster than anything, and in the end you'll quit altogether which would be a nightmare for those who find real joy in seeing your artwork.

The same thing goes for your interactions here, or via e-mail. Nobody wants to chase you away, and all of us want you to enjoy any interactions you have.

Give yourself whatever kind of break you need, and don't you dare feel guilty about it. I don't ever want to be an obligation to youl, and I'm sure I'm not alone.

Hopefully this made some sense, as it's 3 am here and I'm suffering from the usual deadline-induced insomnia. Still, my heart is in these ramblings. Don't burn yourself out. I can suffer through less of you, but having to give you up entirely would be heartbreaking.

PonydoraPrancypants said... Reply to comment

Take a break my dear. Take a well-deserved and absolutely necessary vacation from deviantART, this blog, email, commissions, and all the pressure that is pushing and pulling you in so many different directions.

I promise that I will be there for you whenever you feel up to returning, and in the meantime should you wish to talk about anything.

Stress, anxiety, depression - these are serious things that can wreak havoc not only on your mental well-being, but your physical health as well. With what you've told us about your heart, it would be unforgivably selfish to place any more demands on you now, until you feel better. You have real world concerns that can't back down as easily as we internet people can, but we can at least try to give you some "you" time.

Dearest Di, I implore you, as I have said before and I will say again, take care of yourself first and foremost. You don't need to ask anyone else's permission to do so. In the meantime, please try to absorb all the positive energy, good feelings, and moral support I am sending your way.

zhoomcar said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds
D:
Seeing as you make a conscious effort to reply to pretty much every comment on your works on deviantART is quite impressive. I mean, at times you make up almost half the comments on the pictures themselves!

And to see you like this, I must sympathise. Perhaps you should indeed take a short break from all of us, like Harwick has suggested, such as catching up on sleep or whatnot (I hear replying to comments is a very time-consuming process for you!). Perhaps some digital hugs are in order.

@CaineScroll
-shrugs-

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@Harwick

Oh, honestly see? You should definitely be asleep now too, you poor dear thing you. Certainly don't stay up longer on my account, I'll be here tomorrow after all!

@Harwick
@PonydoraPrancypants
@zhoomcar (You almost comment-ninja'd me, dear!)

I hope I didn't sound too crazy when I wrote that, because I can promise you all I'm not! But yes I am rather tired as I said, and was drinking caffeine today which I shouldn't have been (these days it seems to make me jittery, regrettably) and I spent a good, trying portion of my evening tonight at work dealing with high-maintenance customers and clambering around on tabletops in high heels to get a bird which had flown into the rafters out of the studio. So yes, I'm admittedly a bit delirious at the moment, but certainly not unhinged, I can assure you all!

The funny thing is, is that it's not the ponies nor any of you which stress me out... quite the opposite actually! I genuinely, truthfully, and most sincerely LOVE all of you here, and truly enjoy these conversations of ours. I even enjoy posting to people on dA, or the vast majority of the time anyway (some people admittedly try my patience because they note me requesting that I draw their OCs or whatnot when I've clearly stated that commissions are closed even, but I digress. That's just deviantART and always has been). It's just that, as much as I love all of these things that I'm doing I don't seem to have enough time to do them all! That's all it is, just never enough time... there are never enough hours in the day as I've said many times before, and very truthfully so.

But, anyhow I can assure all of you that I have no intention of going anywhere... if you think work and my personal life stress me out, I can promise you all it would be much worse if I didn't have ponies and most importantly, all of you who I've grow to love to distract me! You all are actually fabulous anti-stress relief, which is why I hang out here so much. Perhaps I just needed to voice some of my concerns... I feel far better already, quite honestly (and I hope none of you think the worse of me for my sharing some of the doubts and worries that I usually keep to myself... maybe it's just some of my offline-life business which has really been stressing my out really, and now that I think about it).

CaineScroll said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds

Oh dear...I've only just recovered from my own dramatic episode, but now you too? Something's definitely wrong with the world these days...sigh.

Well, I've said it before and I'll say it again. You should take a well-deserved break, and maybe put up a notice somewhere (preferably dA) that commissions are currently closed. Of course, there will still be people who keep barging in with demands anyway, but don't worry about replying to them---if they can't read the notice, they can't read replies either.

And echoing the guys' words, we sincerely hope you feel better soon. I'm no stranger to depression and anxiety, and I agree with Ponydora that these conditions can be as destructive as a wrecking ball when it comes to your health. And from what we know about your heart, it's not something to be taken lightly. You can have thousands of fans, but we have only one Di.

I also understand that you make it a priority to reply to everyone's comments and enjoy doing so, but try not to make it a necessity. It can be incredibly time-consuming and exhausting. Also, people will start to assume that you're the kind of person who always replies comments and notes (which you are), and will easily get upset on the occasion when you don't. Just take it easy and try to be more lax on comments; eventually people will see that despite how good you are, you're still human and you need your rest.

There's far less we can do when it comes to your offline life, but bear in mind that we're all here for you. Take as long a vacation as you like, we're definitely not going anywhere! =)

PS: If you're worried about us thinking badly of you after voicing your concerns and frustrations here, don't. I've done that more than once here and I'm still grateful everyone here didn't dislike me or anything after that. So don't worry---we still love you, and always will! <3

zhoomcar said... Reply to comment

Spread the love! :D

@CaineScroll
|_13|< 0|\/|9 1 |-|8 j00 |_|\/|40
I kid, I kid, you're cool. (ah leetspeak, you fickle companion)

CaineScroll said... Reply to comment

@zhoomcar

First, regarding the OC pony...

Aaaah! High Octane Nightmare Fuel! XD

And secondly, I have never been adept at reading leetspeak, so forgive me if I can't actually read it~! =P

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@CaineScroll

Well, I hope it isn't/wasn't a dramatic episode, though it probably seemed that way. But mostly I think it was just a bunch of other factors talking that really have nothing to do with any of you. It's only too bad that I came online to write my replies when I was in such a fatigued state (though as I said, it tends to cheer me up and so I like doing it), because if I'd only given myself the chance to think matters through with a clear head I would have realized it's my offline life that's actually been stressing me out recently, and all of my online business just seemed magnified in scope as a result (and I really did get a couple of messages when I first got online that made me feel quite guilty and sad, though I don't think the people behind them intended such a thing at least).

But yes, I meant what I said... all of you here are quite lovely (and I thank you for the kindest of words, dearest) and I'm only going to need to learn to manage my time better from now on or something... I'll figure it out. Today at least I slept until 11 in the morning because I didn't have to be at the studio today, and now I shall sit on my computer drawing all day while drinking yummy Thai tea, and tonight will watch America's Next Top Model while crocheting or doing something equally relxing, wahahaha~ **dramatic arms akimbo-superhero pose** Yes, it will all be good.

So yes, I truly hope you all won't worry... I've gone through things in my life before that really were legitimate "dramatic episodes", and I can assure you this was nothing at all like one of those! Merely too much to worry about all happening at once, and I can handle that; it's just a matter of one step at a time. I won't give myself a deadline here either, but I expect to have some new artwork up very soon at least... yay for days off from work! <3


P.S. Oh yes and you all will really have to excuse the profuse number of typos and grammatical errors and such in that last post of mine... not that I think any of you would be judging (and I appreciate that), but they certainly are hard to miss. Silly tired Diamonds.

@zhoomcar

Oh, and for what it's worth that ridiculous OC pony made me laugh out loud. Thanks for that anyway, darling!


P.P.S. In the meantime while awaiting new artwork, have an adorable picture of spoiled, sleeping Grace, everyone!

Anon said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds

I had to go to bed early last night (by "early", I mean 2:00 instead of 4:00), and with only that night, I am already too late to offer any sort of support...

It should come as no surprise that a personification of generosity would pain herself with so many responsibilities, yet still I feel compassion that you have so much to endure for the sake of others. This world does not deserve you.

Though you know that I have always seen your commitment to respond to every comment as unrealistic, I recognize that there have been positive outcomes from starting your deviantART account and I will not say "I told you so." But it should not be treated as a chore, and I think that this should be left as a low priority for whenever you have enough free time. The comments that collect on your artwork and profile page will stay there indefinitely if you ever decide that it would be worth replying to them. In truth, I believe that most commentators do not even see or read your careful responses, and so the effort that you invest in them is most often for naught. The few replies from such commentators that you receive on occasion are not worth the disruption of freedom and stress that they add to your life. I had claimed that addressing every comment was impossible because I never expected that you would let it come to this. I have seen you worry yourself with the lateness of your responses, but the people that they are left for probably did not expect one from you at all.

I cannot speak for any emails that you need to respond to as I'm not one of the people for who you have that responsibility, but as long as those people know that you intend to reply to them when you can, there should be no problems. Only you could know how much time it takes from you to work on commissions and if the money and experience gained from them are worth it, but since you are currently working on two, I wonder if you have ever considered limiting yourself to only one commission at a time. In theory, you could finish them twice as fast, or they would consume half the time that they are now. To release the responsibility of finishing commissions would allow you more time for other things, and doodles can be drawn on your own terms.

For our sake, take some time for yourself. We are not here to demand your attention regardless of whatever else you must do in your offline life. If I had to go on without you but knew that you were happy with your life, as I am sure the day will come, my feelings would be of bittersweet satisfaction. You aren't letting anyone on deviantART or your blog down. We do not take you for granted. The greatest purpose of my commenting is purely to make you feel better. If it would make your life any easier to distance yourself from us at all, as a gathered group of people who above all care about you and your wellbeing, I only hope that you will remember to do what is best for you, rather than everyone else. I will look back on the memories of you favorably the day that everyone knows your name outside of deviantART... But until then, I hope you can manage make time for us somewhere, whenever the time comes that you can. You are far too much too lose.

Anon said... Reply to comment

Er, I think Blogger sent my comment to Spam again...

Anon said... Reply to comment

@Anon

...*glance glance* I don't think it's worth deleting the whole comment after that...

*to

That feels much better.

Coconutswallow said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds

Oh my, I was quite worried about you there. I’m glad that it wasn’t your pony hobby causing you so much stress because that just wouldn’t be fitting. It should be a thing to take refuge in and to rejuvenate, not drain.

However, as the others have said, if for any reason ponies, this blog, or dA exert unmanageable pressure (or any pressure at all for that matter) on you, then please, take a break from them. You owe it to yourself. When “fun” and “hobby” are no longer synonymous, then take whatever measures are necessary to realign them.

Also, keep in mind, you could never, ever let anyone down. If all you could do was post a single pony fanart a year, then I would look forward with great expectation that date every year. I would host a WhiteDiamonds party, complete with a countdown timer, champagne, and a dramatic orchestral score, because everything you contribute to this fandom is a gift, not an obligation. Along those lines, every viewer of your artwork should consider it a privilege to gaze upon it and shouldn’t feel that its creator has to reply to them. Be as nonchalant about correspondence as you wish.

As for the stress and time-consumption of work? Believe me, if I could, I would send you so much money that the mere sound of the word “work” would feel filthy and degrading. It sounds like you deserve no less. (Come to think of it, infiltrating a bank vault can’t be that hard…)

It is good to hear you have some reprieve from it, though. Enjoy them. Enjoy them like Rarity enjoys silk pajamas.

Also, please don’t ever hesitate to post any complaints or feelings about life in general here. It certainly doesn’t bother me and seems that you have a veritable army of people willing to cheer you up at a moment’s notice. I hope you work out a way to manage your time that’s comfortable for you.


Oh, hey, it’s a cuddly feline! What does it say about me that the first thing I noticed was the pretty collar? I mean, seriously, SWAG.

CaineScroll said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds

Glad to hear you're doing fine! I hope you enjoyed your day today, because that tea sounds really tempting...=P

Like I said, I've been held back for a while when it comes to art, and I hope I can focus on getting back in business soon. No guarantees it'll be pony artwork for the time being, though.

Anyway, classes start in half an hour, thought I'd drop by before heading out. So enjoy the rest of your day! ^^

PS: Grace does look cute and cuddly (and ridiculously lazy, as you put it), but regrettably...I'm on Team Dexter~! =P

jodyjm13 said... Reply to comment

Oh my stars, I finally get to the point where I can comment on the first explosion of comments since my last comments here, and now the comments have exploded again. Can they do that? Best get started...

@PonydoraPrancypants

I'm sorry it's taken so long to read and comment on your story, Ponydora, but I hope my belated comment is of some use. "The Fires of Friendship" is probably my new favorite MLP fanfic; it's certainly at the same level as the best. You've captured the personalities and the speech patterns of AJ, Rarity, and the CMC very well, and I never had a moment where I thought "they wouldn't do that", which is very rare for me even while reading good fan fiction. The story was very skillfully woven into the tapestry of the show, with unforced references to several episodes, most notably fleshing out Applejack's motivation for going to Manehatten as a filly. The pace was excellent and the language terrific, bringing scenes vividly to life without calling attention to itself. While the device of presenting scenes out of chronological order can be merely a gimmick, you used it to develop the story and the characters as naturally as possible. And I loved the passing reference to Cheerilee; that does seem to fit her character, doesn't it?

SPOILERS AHOY!
The featherfrond ferns are an inspired creation; I would love to see them incorporated into the show itself, impossible though that dream may seem to be. As for my favorite part of the story, as this is a Rarijack friendshipping story I feel it should be a scene focusing on them; the tense, uplifting scene with Applejack trying to talk Rarity past her phobia is certainly deserving of consideration, as is the utterly disarming scene of the two of them casting their old mistakes into the campfire. Still (and this is probably due to some personal experience), I have to say the one moment of the story that most resonated with me was when Sweetie Belle and Apple Bloom explained how they decided to patch things over because they had watched their sisters do the same. That was just a perfect depiction of how, in life, people can learn from imperfect examples, and in turn inspire the very people they are supposedly being inspired by.
HERE END SPOILERS

@Harwick

I was going to dismiss your mentioning of my commenting as being noteworthy, but this past week I had an artist on dA tell me they looked forward to seeing my comments on the EqD Drawfriends. While I truly do appreciate your kind words, saying that I'm "important" is a bit of a stretch; my patronage, so far, has included only about a half-dozen works, though if I've helped bring about wider exposure for the artists I've commissioned then I'm certainly very happy about that, as that actually has been part of the reason for some of my commissions.

@Harwick, again

I am quite literally flabbergasted that singled out my favorites folder as one to look through, given your formidable skills and obvious artistic expertise. I have a fairly strong preference for really distinctive, personal works over the more show-faithful drawings (I will continue to praise Miradge and Grayma1k whenver they appear in a Drawfriend, even while a lot of their works leave many bronies confused), so I'm glad to give them a bit more exposure.

And on the subject of backgrounds, I guess, given the comments in this thread, I need to clarify that while I think your background for "The Fires of Friendship" is very good, the Ponyville background for "One Last Parade" is clearly in a whole other league; the former is a collection of well-chosen colors and textures to provide a fitting backdrop for the main action, while the latter is a work of art in itself, capable of standing on its own yet still not detracting from the focus of the drawing.

jodyjm13 said... Reply to comment

Cutie Mark Crusaders Episode Deconstructors, go!

Ponyville Confidential

I gave my take on the episode @earlier, but a few new points were brought up I wanted to respond to. I've stopped reading the episode threads on EqD, so I don't know the substance of the complaints about Rarity's behavior, but if the worst they mentioned was her reading the school paper from Sweetie Belle's bag, then they are really grasping at straws. I would have expected them to jump on her for being hypocritical, but she was really no more hypocritical than any other pony in the episode (save Twilight); it's just that she was the last one to have a story printed about her, so she had the most screen time enjoying the "harmless gossip". As for the absence of Silver Spoon from the newspaper, perhaps Diamond Tiara dumped her as a friend after "Family Appreciation Day", since Silver Spoon was the first to applaud Granny Smith's story. And while I do see echoes of J. Jonah Jameson in Diamond Tiara's actions in this episode, I still say there's another newspaper editor that she was similar to.

MMMystery on the Friendship Express

A fun episode, not quite as good as "Ponyville Confidential" but close to it; the sort of episode that forms the backbone of the series, so to speak. It was great to see Pony Joe again (even if his name's been changed to Doughnut Joe), as well as another griffon and another mule. Like everyone else, apparently, I found Pinkie's fantasy scenes to be the highlight of the episode, but the whole story was a pleasant, light confectionery from start to finish. Watching Pinkie play a detective was wonderfully amusing, and I liked the misdirection of having Applejack be the one most obviously hungry for the cake at the start, and yet be the only innocent party aside from the two detectives. As for the scandal of Pinkie's friends noshing on the cake she was guarding, well, they weren't around when the Cakes impressed upon Pinkie the importance of their cake, so it was easy for them to justify Pinkie's protectiveness as just typical Pinkie Pie antics.

I've noticed a few comments (including my own) mentioning that neither of the recent episodes can measure up to "Hurricane Fluttershy", but I suppose that's to be expected; after all, there are many, many great pieces of music that still fall short of Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue.

@Anon

That is truly the OC to end all OCs, not only for the visual design, but for the backstory that encompasses pretty much all the standard OC tropes, except for having one of the Mane 6 fall for him/her/it. It's tempting to suggest that you make a dA account just to show him/her/it off. Failing that, you can always post to Ponibooru.

@Anon again, naturally

You may liken your writing style to "the drawl of a documentary narrator", but that has its charms and benefits as well. In particular, it makes your frequent bon mots stand out all the more. You have no need to worry that your writing is in any way inferior to anyone else's here.

@Harwick

I have to admit, even with my somewhat limited knowledge of the fandom (especially the shipping fiction side of things), most of that chart didn't surprise me... until I stumbled across Tom/Opal, and my mind broke. I have to confess, given that I've seen multiple pics shipping Snails and Twist, I would have thought there would be at least one fic with that premise by now.

I'm almost out of room on this comment, so further shipping discussion will have to wait just a bit...

jodyjm13 said... Reply to comment

Now to handle the shipping...

As is obvious from the chart, the bulk of the shipping takes place among the main characters of the show (the mane 6, plus Spike and Celestia). Look at them objectively, the way they're portrayed now, I really can't see any of them sustaining a lifelong relationship with any of the other main characters. That doesn't mean I find it impossible to write a fiction where two characters end up together, but there would have to be some sort of character growth for me to accept it as believable. The pairings I can most easily see happening are Rarijack, for reasons already mentioned, and (at the risk of exposing myself to ridicule) FlutterPie, for reasons I can't quite put into words, beyond thinking that Pinkie's optimism would be a good influence on Fluttershy, who in turn strikes me as the pony most likely able to actually live with Pinkie.

As for shipping involving background ponies, with or without main or supporting characters, I honestly think it's almost the same as OC shipping. And I don't mean that in a negative way; it's certainly possible to create an OC that's believable, relatable, and at home in the MLP:FiM universe, just as it's possible to write a background pony in such a way that they resemble a stereotypical OC.

Still, there's two comments that pretty much give 90% of my opinion on shipping. From Di: "If you have to change a character's personality completely in a story to make them work with someone, then why not just make it an OC or self-insert? It's the same thing at that point, honestly." And from Harwick: "[The Mane 6 are] all strong characters, none of them are at their best mooning or wallowing over another." Add on the facts that I'm just not a romantic person to begin with, and that (unsurprisingly) I'm tired of the shallow portrayals of romantic relationships that are nigh-universal in modern media, and you can probably understand why I've voluntarily cut myself (mostly) off from probably the largest subset of the fandom. This is most certainly not meant to imply that I'm right and anyone else is wrong, it's just an attempt to partly explain why I am the way I am.

@CaineScroll

Yes! I'm certainly looking forward to seeing more art from you, pony or non-pony. And like Di, I have a few days off from work, so hopefully I'll be able to get caught up on my correspondence again and be able to leave some halfway-decent comments.


Clearing up some odds and ends before one more massive comment... Probably everyone here follows Equestria Daily to some extent, but I know it's easy to miss posts from time to time, especially when one is busy. A couple of weeks ago they linked to an interview with Tabitha St. Germain, and if anyone missed or skipped it back then, I do highly recommend it; Tabitha reveals herself to be quite a character.

Also, don't forget new pony in 29 hours, 18 minutes (give or take a minute)!

jodyjm13 said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds

I'm very glad to read that you're feeling better; to be honest, you haven't seemed to be quite yourself the past couple of days, and I was getting a little worried. And I'm doubly glad that you consider ponies and this fandom a source of stress relief more than a source of stress. I can understand how you can feel guilty over being slow to respond to people, but please try not to; you're far busier than most of us in the fandom, and the vast majority of your fans can understand that. (The ones who can't really aren't worth worrying over; they'll have to learn the hard way that they aren't the center of the universe.) You're a lot better at keeping up with communications than I've ever been, and unlike you I don't have a good excuse. :P

Your post asking for advice was made about thirty hours ago, so I don't know if you're still looking for some or if you've had a chance to think more clearly and decide what you want to do; in either case, feel free to ignore what I have to say. You mention how ponies serve as stress relief for you, but also say that you wonder if you should stop taking commissions altogether as a way to cut down on your stress. Given that, and your guilt over not always responding to comments and such as quickly as you'd like, I'm guessing that the main reason you stress over commissions is that you've told someone you would deliver something (i.e., a drawing) to them, yet you find yourself unable to finish the commission as quickly as you feel you should. If that is the case, and you think you still want to do commissions in one form or another, there's a couple of things you can try before giving up on them altogether. As Anon mentioned, once you've finished your current obligations, you can limit yourself to one commission at a time. Alternatively, if you think things will slow down (or you'll find a way to budget your time more efficiently), you can go on hiatus from commissions until you feel you've caught up once again. Another option would be to limit commissions to what you refer to as "doodles", and save the more detailed, polished works for when you have time and don't feel pressure to deliver a drawing within a certain timeframe.

I know full well how draining it can be to work with, as you so nicely put it, "high-maintenance customers", but sadly, they're an inevitable consequence of working at a job that requires interacting with the public. You haven't said much of anything about your heart palpitations lately (or I've just missed it, which is also possible), so I don't know if you've learned anything new or if they've been more or less frequent or severe; I know there's not much you can do about job stress, but please, as much as possible, take care of yourself, and try to follow your doctor's guidelines. I would never want to be responsible for causing you any health problems, no matter how small my portion of blame might be.

And echoing what others have said, never feel as though you have to avoid posting about personal problems here; you have borne quite a few trials with admirable grace and composure, so no one will begrudge you a little whining now and then. ;) Besides, I think pretty much everyone here (certainly all the regular posters) considers you a friend, and if you're having a rough time we want to be able to try to offer you comfort.

Harwick said... Reply to comment

I'm so looking forward to the finale tomorrow. I basically measured this month with a Twilight-style checklist:

1) Get past Taxes.
2) PONY WEDDING!
3) Finish current assignment
4) AVENGERS MOVIE!

After that, I've got nothin'. I grew up reading comics, and the Avengers was my favorite title (mostly for the Vision, who isn't in the movie, but still.) So I'm excited for that too, and as I'm a fan of Joss Whedon's shows (and he wrote and directed the film) that's just a bonus. So far all the reviews are raves.

But we're here for the Pony, and tomorrow looks to be so awesome. I'll have to pop in to share my thoughts after it airs.


@WhiteDiamonds

Thank you for your concern in kind, my dear. That particular night I only got 2 hours of sleep, despite lying down for a whopping 5 hours. It was one of those nights where you watch the clock thinking "C'mon, dammit! Fall asleep already... I have to be up in only X hours!" I was pretty much a zombie the next day, but I've gotten past it. Mostly.

More importantly, I'm glad to hear that you're feeling better. Hopefully you used your time off for something refreshing.

As for Grace, I am utterly defenseless against paws held close to furry snouts. It breaks all resistance within me, and leaves me a puddle of mush. I hope you're happy.

@jodyjm13

Ponydora is a damn talented writer. He also gets a grace period of not being prodded since "Flight of the Alicorn" updated again. Tomorrow, it's back to badgering him for more.

You're pretty much the first commenter I started paying noticeable attention to, so I'm not terribly surprised that others pay attention to what you say as well. And you commissioned what is probably my favorite of WD's works, so that boosts your influence considerably in my book.

And I'm not saying that our tastes are in perfect alignment as far as favorites go, but anything you add is certainly something I want to see and consider myself. Plus, I've poached many choices for my own folder from you and others here. (Actually, I often find myself going through a folder from one of you fine people to another artist's page, only to favorite a different work of theirs that better suits my own preferences.)

Ponyville Confidential

I think people were indeed harping on Rarity's Hypocrisy, but found it more inexcusable for her than for others because she herself was engaged in the "same" kind of thing going through Sweetie's stuff. I would still argue that she actually had the worst violation against her with her diary being published, and pulling a newspaper out of an already open bag is hardly on the same footing.

In hindsight, the poster on the projection screen certainly did seem like a Citizen Kane nod.

MMMstery on the Friendship Express

My justification for the Mane Six members' crimes was simply that Dash has poor impulse control, and Rarity and Fluttershy knew that Dash had taken a nibble and so allowed themselve to think "Well, if Pinkie needs to touch it up anyway..." Regardless, they all said that they just wanted to take a small nibble (which one assumes could be repaired) and then couldn't stop once they started.

Harwick said... Reply to comment

@jodyjm13

One of the Mane Six pairings that works for me in a compatibility sense is Twilight-Applejack. I think there's a strong bond between the two as it stands in the show, and I've often noted that they're pretty much the first the other turns to when in trouble. The thing is... I just don't really see what is gained by bumping them up from simply devoted friends. So when people do pair them up, it works for me, but I often think that the story would work just as well as "Friendshipping".

I will say, I did read an Applejack/Twilight story once where Pinkie's reaction to learning that they had decided to be "more than friends" was to say with awe "You can do that?!", so that alone might have been worth the upgrade.

PonydoraPrancypants said... Reply to comment

See you all on the other side.

zhoomcar said... Reply to comment

Welp, it's almost time.

...for me to get myself ready for the big finale. And by get ready I mean suit up for the wedding livestreams at 3AM Australian time.

Forderz said... Reply to comment

Well, I'm wearing a Rarity t-shirt, writing my fanfic, occasionally chortling over the absolutely random whackiness of the livestream, and I've finally caught up on the deluge of comments this blog gets.

Some episode Commentary:

Rarity stole the show in Ponyville Confidential: I'll destroy her, Et tu Gabby Gums, getting her horn flicked, gum on their bums... Tabitha dominates every scene she's in.

The only part I really liked about MMMystery was the silent film deduction. Curling that moustache gave me fits!

I think I can understand how easy it is to want to respond to every comment on your work, Di. My fanfic is in it's infancy, and I've got ONE dude consistently commenting after every chapter, and I can't not respond to him. Having a legion of fans you feel compelled to answer would quickly overwhelm me. I think every reasonable person would understand you taking a few steps back to catch your breath every now and then.

I can't wait for the hour long special. I don't see how it can possibly meet my expectations, but hey, Sweet and Elite, Hurricane Fluttershy, and the season opener blew me away, so why can't this do the same. I've imagined so many ridiculous theories based on the only spoiler I've allowed myself to see: The one sentence synopsis for each episode. If you've seen them, you know what I'm talking about.

Happy birthday, by the way! It makes me smile that a person as warm-hearted and incredible as yourself is getting the appreciation you've worked so hard to deserve.

I've found myself far too busy to really keep up with the fandom's ebb and flow, so I can't speak to what the general public's views on Rarity are. She is, in my opinion, the most centred and rational of the mane six, with the notable exception of Applejack. She's suffered a lot of hardship in the show itself, with serious setbacks in both her personal and professional lives, and I think that entitles her to be a bit snippy here and there, don't you think?

Why can't I stick on one topic when I'm commenting?

Forderz said... Reply to comment

Also: Does anyone have any tips on photography they'd be willing to share? After the Royal Wedding I need to produce a photo essay on the loss and replacement of national pride with (arguably) less important points of pride, like sports fever or Bronydom.

College entrance exams are hard when you're working a full time job to pay it.

Forderz said... Reply to comment

WHAT

WHAT

What a cliffhanger halfway through!

zhoomcar said... Reply to comment

Part 2 is the greatest thing I have ever watched, period. I can't stop smiling to myself. It's 4am. How am I going to sleep now?

-epic omgosh spam-

Forderz said... Reply to comment

@zhoomcar

I can't help but feel how thankful I am that the Hub put up both parts at once. Can you imagine the speculation that would've gone on if there was a whole week to ruminate with?

AND THE SONGS OH GOD THE SONGS

Harwick said... Reply to comment

Finale thoughts!'

Ha! That was pretty awesome. There's almost too much to comment on... how to break it down? I guess by character would work:

Twilight: These are definitely her episodes, and she still makes a great lead character, even when everyone's against her. Her 2(!) songs were sweet, if not instantly memorable to me after one viewing, although images of filly Twilight are among my absolute favorite things ever. The cliffhanger ending was painful, seeing her face the disdain of her brother, her friends, and then the Princess as well. Ouch. Oh, and then she get burned away into nothing. Cripes. She was pretty awesome in these episodes without ever really saving the day.

Shining Armor: I liked the nickname "Twilee". He seemed pretty cool, if a bit bland in that "prince charming" fashion. Pretty damn powerful to set that forcefield over all of Canterlot (and kudos to the studio for having Twilight use a similar force field over the library and between her friends and Discord at other points in the season.) So was it his love for Celestia, or for Cadence that made the Queen strong enough to beat the sun Princess? I wasn't sure who she was referring to there. He is captain of the guard... he might love Celestia as much as Twilight does.

Cadence: I quite liked her... both in evil form, and in ragged form. She may be an alicorn in shape, but she's obviously not as old as Luna and Celestia, which suggests she's mortal. Loved her duet with her evil self... that was the best song of the finale, easily.

Celestia: She's really not one to leap into immediate action, is she? It didn't help her rep that she got owned... and with a charred horn!

Luna: Ha! She was totally an afterthought, but that made it funnier. I would not be surprised to hear that she was a last minute addition.

Rarity: Loved Rarity throughout, from her fainting spells to her carefully catching the bridesmaid dresses to the classic "MINE!" moment. Genius. And making time with Fancypants at the reception.

Applejack: Still a better baker than Pinkie! And she can ice sculpt! Loved her back-to-back with (fake) Twilight, but the best bit for me was her sneaking her hat on while Rarity was distracted by tears.

Pinkie: Sneezing confetti, weaponized party cannon, getting the changelings to do her, producing DJ PON-3 from nowhere... Pinkie was good for a lot of great moments.

Dash: Rainbooms on demand! Giggles with Rarity! Dancing with Air Force Uniform Soarin! Rescuing Fluttershy! Dash was pretty awesome.

Fluttershy: I think it's time to cut that bird from the choir. Regardless, loved her fake-out of the changelings. Clever girl.

Spike: Playing with the cake-toppers throughout was classic. I loved that the last joke in the show about the Bachelor's Party is one that kids probably wouldn't even get... nobody bothers to explain what he's missing.

the Villains: Okay, Queen Chrysalis (as she is apparently called officially) was pretty awesome looking, and her army of fanged nightmare pony drones were as well. Feeding off of all the love Equestria has to offer? A pretty good plot. I loved her happy reprise of the song over the terror in the streets.


the Cameos: Luna, talking bridesmaid Lyra, Sibsy's ponysona, Fancypants, Soarin, probably tons more that I'll have to catch on a second viewing (I know WD and I caught Harry Potter pony in the one preview on EQD, along with giant-hat BonBon and Derpy.) I would not be at all surprised if there are a ton of little hidden things in that episode.

They easily met my expectations for this episode. I really had a blast with it and was constantly grinning ear-to-ear at different parts. I so wish they would use villains and epic plots more often, but I'm happy we get what we do. Now for a long, ponyless summer...

Forderz said... Reply to comment

@Harwick

That duet was playing non stop in my earbuds for 4 hours as I prowled the streets looking for photo opportunities.

Rarity looked adorable with her fainting pillow.

Forderz said... Reply to comment

This is sort of out of the blue, but would any of you creative types be willing to answer a couple questions for a short interview? I need to write a "personality profile" of a "person in a community to which you belong," and I figured some of you might be vain and/or helpful enough to volunteer.

I'll do my best to make it quick and painless, and if you want to keep it to your screen name, that'll be fine.

I think I'll have more free time that I can spend doing things other than writing coming up, so I should be able to actually participate in the discussions here! Hooray!

PonydoraPrancypants said... Reply to comment

FINALE THOUGHTS

It surpassed "Sweet and Elite," "Sisterhooves Social," and "Winter Wrap-Up" to take the top place: "A Canterlot Wedding" is my new favorite episode!

In many ways, this was the show's coming out party. The advertising budget, the toy tie-ins, and the celebrity "host" all gave us advance warning that Hasbro was taking the pony wedding concept seriously, and it turns out that meant that Studio B and the animation team got plenty of time and resources to work on the episode as well.

The animation throughout was complex and fluid, and I didn't catch any errors. Shadows and lighting were used, even in daylight scenes, for dramatic purposes. I especially loved the many new facial expressions, including lots from Princess Cadance/Queen Chrysalis.

The plot was a dramatic "high-concept" piece, and I found it compelling and at times very thrilling. It helps that I have a strong fear of shapeshifters/changelings, having watched both "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" and "The Thing" at a far-too tender age. I found these changelings to be very scary, with their ragged, insect/corpse bodies, bug sound effects, and vampiric fangs. I promise you that more than one little girl or boy will not sleep easy tonight.

The songs were also very good, and on the second listen through I found them even more appealing and catchy. (I admit that the last song and the reception was pretty bland). The Cadance/Cadance duet is my favorite, and for me was a feature film quality-production. Fantastic work from the whole music team.

It was interesting that the power of love, not the power of harmony, carried the day. My understanding of the ending scene is that Cadance's love spell restores one's true feelings, and that when she cast it Shining Armor was able to recover all the power that had been siphoned away by Chrysalis. By the way, I'm sure some folks are going to complain that he is overpowered, given that he cast a shield spell that even Princess Celestia could not. First of all, his special talent is clearly protection/defense/shields, and second, Celestia is the boss, and bosses delegate. I had no problem with this, or with Shining Armor in general. He didn't get a lot of screen time, so his personality didn't get developed beyond loyal, strong, caring older sibling, but hey, we have a whole summer to create fanon, don't we? I loved that he was there when Twilight originally left for Ponyville. You're alright in my book, Shining Armor.

I thought the fight scene between the Mane 6 and the changeling drones was one of the highlights. They really put of their dukes, and each of the individual moments was superb. Fluttershy's classic cartoon "I'm with you guys" trick, Rainbow Dash hiding among and then defeating her doppelgangers, AJ backing into a fake Twilight, Pinkie's "do me, do me!" (I loved how the changeling complied!), the Pinkie/Twi gatling gun, and the various freeze frame 60's Batman shots were all amazing (especially loved Rarity's confidant right hook
and Fluttershy somehow defeating a changeling by cringing on the ground). Wow, I never thought we'd get a REAL knock-down, drag-out, beat-em-up fight scene. It was incredible!

PonydoraPrancypants said... Reply to comment

Everypony seemed to have a moment (or several) to shine in this episode. I loved Rarity's little fainting spells at the beginning, and her absolutely ecstatic smile. I loved her clearout at the end to intercept the bouquet (proving to me that her hoofball-playing father taught her a few things about competitive sports), and I was tickled that she is making time with Fancypants (although to be honest, I've always halfway thought that Fleur was that guy's beard). I just love me some Rarity. Applejack also shined, and I loved both times where she liarjacked her hat back on when Rarity left the room or was in tears. Loved everything that was left unsaid about their relationship there, and I'm sure Diamonds did too! Fluttershy was adorable as always, but she really needs a full episode to come out of her shell. Rainbow Dash is Rainbow Dash - I always think back to the line in the first Friendship is Withcraft episode when Rarity says that they all have complex and multifaceted character and Rainbow Dash proudly says "not me!" (Love you anyway, Dash). Pinkie was in fine form, including offensive use of the party cannon, sneezing confetti, her crazy dance with Cadance, her plan to play the parasprite polka for the wedding reception, and the aforementioned interaction with the changelings.

That leaves Twilight Sparkle, and this was indeed a Twilight Sparkle episode. She had the songs and she was the hero. She bravely accused Cadance right in front of her best friends, her brother, and her mentor. Good for you, Twilight. I was actually scared and horrified when Chrysalis appeared to disintegrate our brave Element of Magic. Not my Twilight Sparkle! Again, it was interesting that Twilight saved the day not by using the Elements of Harmony, but by believing in herself and sticking to her guns all along.

There were so many other amazing things: Princess Luna (way to sleep through the whole thing), Vinyl Scratch (pulled out of null space by Pinkie Pie), talky-talk Lyra, Sibsy, Derpy - wow! There was ONE second there where I thought that evil Cadance was going to turn out to be Trixie, but then I remembered that that would be a huge WTF moment for anyone who is not an avid reader of EQD and/or goes by the online name Sethisto. I was so happy they created a scary and evil love-sucking monster as the villain instead. Great choice!

This was a fantastic technical and artistic achievement that everyone on the show's staff, the writers, and everyone at Hasbro should feel proud of, and I'm sure they all do. It was a beautiful gift for the fans. It was also a damn good episode of ANY television show. So there you have it, my new favorite episode.

I am going to read SO MANY Rarity x Fancypants wedding fics this summer, and I am going to LOVE EVERY ONE! ;)

CaineScroll said... Reply to comment

@Harwick

My thoughts on the finale can be summarized in three simple words:

BEST. FINALE. EVER!

One of the sweetest things in the finale was probably the relationship between Twilight and her brother. I don't think I've ever seen that kind of love between siblings in real life, but that just makes it all the more better...and of course when her brother turned on her, telling her not to attend the wedding, it really hurt. I could only imagine what Twi was going through at the moment...T_T

Speaking of Twilight, I have to say she was at her best in the finale, and again she was the only one sensible to see that there was something wrong in the works. She even hoof-slammed the table, which was a first. I totally loved filly Twilight, and her flashbacks involving her brother and Cadence, and it was nice to see that it wasn't the Elements which saved the day this time-- that would've been one time too many. Yay for love! <3

Shining Armor was also one of the best darn stallions in the season in my opinion, and (as mentioned by bronies after their first glimpse) his wedding attire looked very similar to Prince William's. I have no idea if the studio meant for it to be that way, but it's still awesome. And then there's the fact that he can conjure a huge force field over a huge castle...sound familiar?

I think Queen Chrysalis was referring to his love for Cadence when she said that...remember, this is a kids' show and it wouldn't do to have so many plot twists here and there so as to make the story confusing. And now we're at that, it's really fun to see an episode based on love than friendship for once, plus Shining Armor and Cadence do make a really cute couple! (sans the evil version, of course)

And Celestia...anyone think that she's not as powerful as she thinks? Because sun goddesses don't get trapped in cocoons as a sign of humiliation...just sayin'. (Or it could be just that the power of love can overthrow goddesses, I dunno)

Luna was a nice add-on, I don't think we've seen her around since episode 4! The poor girl really needs some love...

And oh my stars, Cadence herself. She was an honest-to-God show stealer! I'm pretty sure everyone hated her in the first half (which is probably the definition of a good villain). But then we found the real Cadence buried in some old mine (was it a mine?), and everything just got twisted real good. I'm happy to see she got her fairytale ending, and I certainly hope to see more of her soon! ^_^

Then we had the rest of the Mane 6...Rarity kept at her usual goofiness, with the pillow-summoning and whatnot. Then we also saw a bit Discord influence there ("MINE!"), which was totally off character but still totally welcome. Pinkie was awesome as usual, especially with Twimachinegun. AJ was being herself again, sneaking her hat on when Rarity wasn't looking (did anyone notice that the hat disappeared for a moment during the force field destruction scene?), and of course the ice-sculpting was a nice little bonus. Rainbow and Fluttershy didn't really have significant scenes in the finale, but the rainboom was definitely something!

Then there were the songs. I have to admit, when I first watched ponies I didn't really like them much...but they really hyped up the songs this season, and they sure ended it with a bang. All three songs in the finale were genius, and I take my hat off to Daniel Ingram and the crew for that!=D (And there was DJPON3! How does one not like DJPON3?)

The cameos were nice too: I did catch Sibsy pony and talkie-talk Lyra, but I didn't see the Harry Potter pony you mentioned...time for a re-watch!

Anyway, those are my overall thoughts on the finale, and I'm going to go plan something for Cadence now...^^

zhoomcar said... Reply to comment

I don't really want to go into specifics on the episode seeing as my head will probably explode from how awesome it is... right now my head is still full of incoherent babble when I look back over it.

This two parter (especially the second half) is easily the most amazing thing ever. Nightmare Moon was eh, Discord was cool, but Queen Chrysalis really takes the cake.

Also what I found interesting was the fact that Rainbow Dash can now easily pull of Sonic Rainbooms. Upwards. If she can travel that fast without breaking a sweat, then... -mind explosion-

Harwick said... Reply to comment

On an HD rewatch, two things stood out to me:

Smartypants!

And oh my god... Twilight's face when Celestia storms past her in disapproval. That is an emotionally gutted pony.

The episodes really looks great in HD. I think I'll buy these one from iTunes to encourage them to make more like 'em. The animation is indeed great (although that was the most lackluster Rainboom Dash has done. I wonder why the didn't recycle on of the more impressive views of it along with a Canterlot background. Ah well.)

The BBBFF song did grow on me quite a bit with another hearing, and probably just needed to be longer to make more of an impact.

I do love Queen Chrysalid (I see Hasbro is sticking with the "queens are evil" stereotype) and her changelings. Did they get thrown back into a wasteland at the end, or was that just the "old west" portion of Equestria? I like to think they're feasting on Appaloosa now. Lots of great artowrk of the queen popping up on dA. I'm going to have to come up with an excuse to draw her myself.

I really liked the mines under Canterlot too, and the gag to get past the Changeling versions of the bridesmaids.

So yeah... Still love those episodes.

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

Oh dear, so much to respond to! Eep... well, some of my comments might be slightly more concise than usual, otherwise I fear I'll never make it to bed tonight!

@Anon

First off, it's never too late to offer someone support dear, and I appreciate it but I really did speak truthfully when I told everyone that I am feeling much better now; it's amazing what a full night of sleep and a day off from work (a day completely off from any work) can do for a person. I am handling my offline business, and my online business is mostly managed at this point, and the rest can wait until tomorrow or the next day I suppose... I'm certainly not going to let it stress me out because it's something that I began and continue to do for the sake of my own enjoyment, and I won't let that change for anything.

There wouldn't be any need for you to say "I told you so" regarding deviantART anyway, even if you would because I was aware of the responsibility it would be long before you even started posting here... hence the reason I avoided creating an account for as long as I did. But it's all good, and at least I know (contrary to what you might think) that people do receive my responses to comments; unlike here, all replies show up as messages in a user's personal inbox, and so it's impossible to miss them. Of course not everyone responds to those replies in turn, but most of the time there's nothing more to add anyway and it's perfectly fine by me if everyone doesn't care to engage in a full-blown conversation (I'd never manage to get off the computer if that was the case anyway, quite honestly).

So all that having been said, please don't worry dear. I'm handling everything fine at this point, but I appreciate the sentiments and very much value all of the support, thank you! <3

@Coconutswallow

I understand we haven't known each other for as long as I have most of the people on this blog, but I hope you realize I've come to value what you have to say very much regardless! And also, I probably should apologize, both to you as well as to everyone else for apparently posting a comment that was far more dramatic and alarming in tone than I ever intended or realized... I seem to have gotten many of you rather concerned about me and I never meant to do that. Again, that's what happens when I get fatigued to such a point, and post in a state than I should have been able to think better of, but I really am a (relatively) normal person who has her life pretty under control, and I hope none of you will feel the need to be too overly concerned about me. The thought is very much appreciated though, and I treasure all of your kind words immensely! <3

Oh, and what does it say about you that the first thing you noticed about Grace was her collar? It says that you and I think quite a lot alike, apparently. ^_~ I'm happy you approve of it, because I picked that one out especially to compliment the pretty blue-green color of her eyes (not that you can tell by the photo that there is any turquoise in the band; I've said before that I am sadly not a skilled photographer by any stretch of the imagination)!

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@jodyjm13

Oh, poor Jody! You seem to have returned to the blog to a veritable backlog of comments to respond to, just as I have now done myself. Well, first off (and even though I know you weren't speaking directly to me) I am so happy to hear that you enjoyed that adorable little story of Ponydora's! Didn't he just do a fabulous job with writing a fiction for both of those ponies, really? I've always valued your opinions quite a lot, you know, and so to hear that you found the story to be so entertaining and well-written really does make me very happy, yay. <3

Regarding shipping I've probably voiced all of my feelings which are relevant to the current discussion, I'm sure, but I did want to assure you that *I* at least certainly wouldn't think any less of you for having an affinity for FlutterPie, haha! In fact, and meaning no harm in saying so I honestly think that's really adorable. I guess I've never seriously considered the notion of the two of them together, but most of the fanart I have seen of the pairing is ridiculously cute at least, and I would not at all say I was opposed to the thought.

I was going to save the Tabitha St. Germaine article for another time, but as soon as I clicked on the link just to get a look I couldn't help but dive straight in right then and there. I always knew that woman had to be a fabulous character, since she does such an amazing job playing one, of course! Also, and even though this is pretty off-topic I am absurdly delighted to find another fashion-minded blogger who apparently has adopted Rarity as something of a mascot for her site; I'm going to have to keep an eye on it honestly, because she has some very interesting articles and opinions if a quick glance says anything. Thank you so much for sharing! <3

On the topic of myself (so much for more concise replies tonight, oh well!) yes, as I said to the others above I really am feeling quite back to "normal" at this point, and thank you very much for your support and encouragement! I sincerely appreciate your offering me some suggestions/advice, and on the matter of commissions I'll be honest and say that I still haven't decided what to do once I get all caught up. You're definitely correct in that one of my biggest concerns is the time it often takes me to do a large project, since I don't always have much opportunity to work on such things (though I try to make this clear to my clients when we begin our discussions, at least), but the other major factor in why I would consider cancelling them is simply because of how much pressure they tend to put on me. As you all likely know, I'm something of a perfectionist, and though I allow myself to share silly sub-standard pony-doodles on many occasions because I realize they're made entirely in good fun, with commissions (and especially now that I've attracted as much of a following as I have, and I realize many of those people now have certain expectations!) I make an effort to apply myself more. In and of itself, this sort of pressure isn't a bad thing; I deal with it in my non-pony work all the time of course, and it can actually be very stimulating and rewarding in that it pushes me to challenge myself and grow. But I'm not sure if I enjoy the experience so much in regards to ponies, as I originally started drawing them as a way to unwind and have fun. So, we'll see... as I said I still haven't made up my mind about the matter.

So yes, long reply is long, but again my sincere thanks to you for being such a lovely and supportive friend. It really does mean the world to me! <3

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@Harwick

Haha, sorry for reducing you to a pile of mush when I brandished that photo of Grace... I have others that are arguably even cuter too, but will concede to spare you for now. I'm so sorry that you haven't been sleeping especially well, and honestly *I* haven't had one of those nights of watching the clock, trying to fall asleep since I worked as a barista I think (these days, I tend to pass out upon hitting the pillow). Anyway, not a fun experience and I truly hope that situation improves for you!

I very much like and agree with your thoughts concerning Rarity, Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash with the cake in 'Friendship Express', and I think I shall adopt that as my own personal headcanon from now on. Thank you for that!

@Forderz

Dearest, I don't believe I've ever seen you write so much on my blog before but it's a very welcome sight; you know you're always free to ramble on about anything you like here! Thank you very much for the late birthday-wishes (I still appreciate them muchly! <3) as well as for all of the kind words regarding myself, and on a related thread yes, I certainly think Rarity's entitled to her own little moments of "weakness" considering how she's handled the majority of her personal challenges in the series with great aplomb! ^_~

I unfortunately doubt I can be of much help to you with photography tips since, as I said I've never considered that form of art to be amongst my talents (it's a shame Katie's as busy as she is, as I understand she's quite experienced), but on the matter of the interview I might be able to be of assistance, provided none of my other friends here are interested. It depends on what exactly you would require of me, but I'd like to help if possible.

@Everyone

Well, regarding the season finale I have seen it, and liked it very much but unfortunately am going to have to save sharing my thoughts for tomorrow, as I don't think I can stay up much longer! It was very good though, and full of great moments... I'll be sure to break down all of my impressions as soon as I have the free time to do so!

Cameron said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds Hello! I'm the fashion blogger who interviewed Tabitha St. Germain! Found out about this post through a link to my blog. :)

I'm happy that you and @jodyjm13 enjoyed my interview, and my blog overall! It was truly a pleasure interviewing Mlle St. Germain. Tara Strong's on my radar still, as is the ultimate interview with Rarity herself. That said, 2/3 wouldn't be bad. ;)

Come back again soon!

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@Cameron

Well hello there, and thank you for stopping by my humble little art-blog! I really did enjoy the interview immensely, yes, and your site overall as I said. I'm afraid I haven't managed to get back there for a proper look-through yet, but fully intend to once I manage to find the free time!

I wish you success in procuring your desired interviews... with any luck, I might be seeing you and your blog on Equestria Daily again soon. ^_~ Thank you so much again for dropping by~!

Coconutswallow said... Reply to comment

Oh my, I come here with some good free time and you folks have been all over the place. Never did participate in the shipping conversation. Shame. I had a lot of long, boring comments to make about it. Finale discussion is it? Alright, I can follow the trends. I’m no square.

Finale Discussion!

Where to begin? First of all, in regards to the overall plot, I have to say that was substantially darker than I expected them to go. I feel sorry for any children who might have watched it before going to bed. (Well, not truly sorry, for who didn’t enjoy a good scare when they were little?) I love how saccharine the beginning of the plot is before it takes a sharp turn. Though the end might have been the age old message of “love conquers all” it didn’t feel at all tacked on or cheesy given the tone that preceded it. Goes to show you can have such an ending without it feeling too deusy exy machiny.

What next, hmm, oh, the characters! Oh, the characters. Twilight, of course, owned the spotlight of the finale. They did a fantastic job portraying her rollercoaster of emotions throughout these two episodes. You could feel her frustration and sadness ooze from the screen, especially during the ending scene of the first episode. Really this was her moment of shine.

The rest of the Mane 6 were fantastic as well, primarily Applejack and Rarity (which I’m sure made WD quite happy). I laughed out loud when Rarity felt compelled to collect all her dresses as well as when Applejack insisted upon wearing her hat. If I’m not mistaken, there wasn’t a scene in which Rarity specifically tells Applejack not to wear her hat, in which case that is splendid unspoken humor.

Princess Cadence was done quite well, both in her evil and decidedly less evil versions. Though, I will admit that I felt we never got to know Cadence as much as I think the show wanted us to. I felt like the flashback of her taking care of Twilight should have been meatier. However, I do understand that they had a lot to cram into a scant forty minutes.

Changelings, eh? Queen, eh? Brilliant. (AndohmyCelestiasomuchincomingfanfictionrunforthehills). I believe she had me irrevocably hooked as soon as she started singing. It is rather about time that this show had a villain song. Now can we go back and do Discord? Please and thank you (can John de Lancie sing? I don’t even know).

I should mention that, in my opinion, Luna’s ending line was a nod to her absence in more than just the ending battle. It seemed her inclusion in the finale was more tongue-in-cheek than it was a last-minute addition. Also, here we learn that Luna is totally nocturnal. Should we be surprised?

I would talk about Shining Armor but there is not much to say. He had a good voice actor (and so did Cadence, shouldn’t forgot that). He seemed like a pretty cool guy (makes force fields and doesn’t afraid of anything). He along with Cadence raised interesting back story questions, though. Have Twilight’s parents always lived in Canterlot or did they move there after Shining joined the guard? At what point in Twilight’s life did he become captain, after she left for Ponyville or before? Did Twilight get to have Cadence as her foalsitter as a privilege of studying under Princess Celestia or was a princess just offering her services to any ol’ family? Are we to assume that Twilight and Shining didn’t get to see each other often because Shining had to travel a lot or because they had conflicting schedules?

Fortunately I don’t have to wait long before the fandom answers all those questions and more because we’re obsessive and awesome.

(More parenthetical statements! Celestia, did that Worf Effect hurt?)

In the end, that was one splendiferous season finale. Doubt I could have asked for better. Now I have this summer to look forward to as one giant playground for this community to work its magic and amaze me all the way to the start of the next season.

Into the breach!

Coconutswallow said... Reply to comment

@Anon

I guess the race I’m running is the “who can sound most like internet surfing Groucho Marx with ADHD.” Also, I hope by “documentary narrator” you mean Cyrano with a fine taste for art.

Debut? Oh my. Were I to do stand-up comedy I would be cleared out faster than Prince Blueblood if he joined the Bachelorette. All the time thinking I was so funny…

Thank you for the sentiments, though. You have my exceeding appreciation.

@Harwick

This is an out of the blue question, but you mentioned being a fan of Joss Whedon’s work. Have you seen Cabin in the Woods? Because, oh… my… that movie. I’ve been interested in hearing other people’s thoughts on it.

@WhiteDiamonds

Actually, I hope I haven’t been coming across as too familiar around here. It hasn’t been my intention to be that person who walks up to the water cooler and starts carrying on conversation as if they had been there since its inception. I’ve been on the opposite side of that and it’s along the lines of “Hey, so-and-so, I don’t know if perhaps you noticed, but you don’t know us from Adam’s house cat. It takes time to get to know that cat.” Perhaps I should pour coolant on the jet engines just a bit.

Actually, I can spot some blue-green in there. I approve of eye-matching collars. It says “My owner is fashionable. Is your owner fashionable? That’s what I thought.”

Harwick said... Reply to comment

@Coconutswallow

I haven't seen Cabin in the Woods yet, and I likely won't get the chance until it comes out on DVD, but I definitely want to see it so no spoilers, please! The trailer alone made my head spin, and I've avoided anything else about it since.

And you can always go back to shipping talk, you know. I'm pretty sure it either never goes out of style, or never quite comes in... either way.

For that matter, I have to amend my "Never read a Twi-Dash story that really worked for me" statement. There's one currently running called "Twilight's List" that has surprised me by really hooking me, and it's pretty much a flat-out shipping story. It has an incredibly tortured and unlikely set-up, which is actually what might be making it work in a "how can we keep these characters as themselves, but then suddenly have them dating?" way.

Anyway, on to the Finale...

I liked the fact that they threw more jokes into these episodes without feeling the need to set them up or explain them for younger viewers, such as the AJ Hat bit with Rarity or the Bachelors' Party joke. The hat stuff was indeed hilarious character stuff that relies on an understanding of the relationship between the two ponies and makes no apologies for it.

I really do like the way the show portrays Twilight and AJ's friendship... it always reminds me of war films and the like, with Twilight being the leader and AJ being her second-in-command as the one she confides in and who watches her back. It was on heavy display in these episodes, as AJ repeatedly was the one Twilight interacted with.

I was kind of disappointed that Rarity didn't get a moment in the big fight, though. Fluttershy had hers, Dash rescued her (and there was the phantom kiss that half the internet is convinced they saw), Twilight and AJ ("Real me! Real me!") and Pinkie had their moments (loved the Changelings' expressions there, especially her "Ta-da!" which Pinkie dissed)... But no Rarity gag during the fight? What a missed opportunity.

I liked how they used the Aria to show the real Cadence winning over Twilight's support with her obvious love for Shining Armor. You can see the moment Twilight decides she's fully onboard with her future sister-in-law.

Luna was great. I think perhaps she doesn't live or stay in Canterlot.... She did fly in through the force-dome when it was her turn to take over the watch. Either she's been out scouting to find the threat, or perhaps she's got her own castle somewhere (Everfree?) where all those Batwing Guards hang out.

Oh, and to get a jump on the obsessive and awesome fandom, Twilight had Cadence as her baby-sitter before she was Celestia's student... None of the flashbacks included her Cutie Mark. So either Cadence just had a job as a teenager regardless of her royal status, or Twilight's family has some serious connections even before their daughter was taken in by the Princess. (And Twilight's ultra swanky bedroom sure looks like Canterlot to me.)

Oh, and I included this in my post over on EQD, but as long as I'm at it, this is the face you get when Celestia walks out on Twilight. Ouch... That's just mean.

Anon said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds

I hope you don't disapprove of what I'm working on, and trying various artists' styles rather than making my own. It is true that I have been hanging around deviantART a lot recently, but the conversations that take place there are often either about things that I cannot relate to (I have no opinion or personal interest in sports, and I have never paid taxes in my life) or with reference to emails or other personal issues that I really don't think I should be commenting on. It might be nice for you to have one discussion area that I won't intrude on. Besides, if I had an account, then there wouldn't be much keeping me from writing sarcastic responses to some of the more "interesting" comments that you receive on your artwork. Don't you hate it when people would copy and paste a link to their group or picture onto your profile just so you will look at it? They use your page for advertising, because of course you're the type of person would who would enjoy badly drawn humanized Sonic comics. That guy who is trying to make his own MLP racing game (and was looking for "game makers" to help him) caught my eye, since as someone who would like to call himself a genuine game developer, I know a dead-end game project when I see one. All they have is a long list of (ex-)contributers that only gave them a 3D model or two. Those low-resolution pictures that they linked were not theirs; "I got permission." They would be better to wait for PonyKart to be released. It's the same game, except that the people making it know what they're doing. Aside from those, well, let's hope I can get through these years without ever insisting that I'm married to a cartoon character. (He couldn't have just taken a polite "thank you" and let it go?)

I might make an account relatively soon, maybe after I make my first actual drawing. I would have a blog for more personal conversation and possibly a deviantART gallery for ego-boosting publicity. Thanks to Google Ads, I'm getting a lot of advertising for Wacom Intuos...and I'm starting to see why some competent artists take commissions. Oh well, that's no worry of mine. I'm going to draw for fun on my cheap Bamboo, and I'm going to LIKE it that way.

I also wanted to add that the reaction I gave to Rarity was meant to be as if she was the one who had a birthday, and is now forced to reflect upon herself in her signature dramatic manner. I don't really have a standard for age, and I really don't think that there is anything wrong with yours. Age, or age not; there is no "old". There is no need to continue on that, but I don't want to give you the wrong impression; you're actually quite youthful in the long run.

Most of that comment was written before your reply at 2:55 PM on the 19th, and I also wanted to account for my absence and try to be helpful and supportive even if you were already feeling better. As always, you are only too modest. I have said it before but I am not easily impressed by people, and believe me; if you were not everything that your followers say about you, I would not be here. I think that much of the reason why we offer you so much and expend so much effort here is because we want to repay to you what you have given us. We express these things not because we are trying to be excessively polite or kind, but because it is what we truly believe. (When you think about it, the tone of the conversation could be much worse. There is no arguing here. We never insult eachother. Our biggest problems usually come from jealousy of the talent among us. My superiors influence me to improve so that I can better compare to them, and hopefully they will serve as positive examples in my self-improvement endeavors. All things considered, this discussion area is being managed quite nicely.)

Anon said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds

Oh, and since it seemed that you liked it, I wanted to remind you about this now that you have a deviantART account to favourite it with. (I'll have you know, I was directed to that artist by Coconutswallow's favourites list. Tsitra360 seems to be as much of a master of backgrounds as Harwick is.)

@CaineScroll

There you go.

Honestly, I like your original characters more than the official ones. That may or may not have to do with ridiculously oversized collars that could suffocate you in the off chance that you might fall asleep while standing upright. Yes, I would quite like it more if your OCs were the actual in-game characters. I don't believe the tags are really paid much attention to (they only confused me when I saw them), but I think they would go in "Digital Art" or "Digital".

To be fair, I'm not especially active here, either. I don't know right away when you have a new blog entry, and following wouldn't really help because I never check my email. The only reason why I see her entries right away is because we treat this blog as a discussion area or forum, while your comment threads are usually only about your artwork. I never come to the blog expecting to see new art posted up here. When we would have an active conversation on your blog, I would check it frequently for replies. I did see your latest blog post a while ago, but I was too busy to comment on it at the time and I had since forgotten about it. I'm doing all that I can, and I will leave a comment there once I'm done with this one.

Anon said... Reply to comment

Hm. Blogger sent the first part of my comment to the moon, but not the second. How convenient.

Anon said... Reply to comment

Well, I meant it when I said that they would be done "soon". I want to remind everyone here that I have no experience, and while it may seem like I have been practicing for months now, the truth is that 99% (if not 100%) of that time was spent working nonstop, and I have only recently gained the opportunity to try drawing again. I have no practice work to show, because I have never practiced. The time I have spent actually drawing is probably under 10 hours. I'm working with initial attempts, not experience.

These eyes were all reconstructed by hand from the work of various artists. Some of them might be immediately familiar to you, and in the case that you recognise them, feel free to mention it. There was no tracing involved, and believe me, they aren't perfect. The purpose of this is to determine what methods are used to work in each style so that I can repeat them when I want to make my own.

With all of that in mind, here they are.

I see some problems that I didn't earlier, now that I'm viewing them from a laptop with a brighter screen. The bottom of the pupil in #8 (Twilight) is messy, and the black in the eyelashes is not entirely filled in. Some of these problems may have been caused by my combining of layers, as I tend to give each step its own layer so that it's easy to change. There is more misty shine in the pupil for #9 (also Twilight) than I had originally thought. There are two eyes for #3 (Derpy) because I made one with the tablet pen, and upon feeling dissatisfied with it, did it again with the mouse and curved lines. The last one, #11 (Spitfire) may be very messy, but I want to stress that that's really what it looks like in the original. I had to force myself not to fix it with the eraser. After it was done, I felt like I should wash my hands.

When asked, my friend said that #5 (Pinkie Pie) is the best because it is a versatile balance of cartoon and realistic styling, but still urged me to make my own style so that it looks more original. (Or else, "Congratulations, you just pulled an anime.") Bah, there is no winning. Let me know if you have any thoughts about these.

Harwick said... Reply to comment

@Anon

Quite the impressive gallery of eyes! Although looking at it makes me feel a little like Fluttershy imagining all of Ponyville's Pegasi watching her.

I obviously recognize WD's Rarity eye, and Twilight's from the poker game. I can't instantly call out the others, but they are familiar enough. I have to laugh at how faithfully you've captured the completely messy, unattractive nature of my own work, especially when compared to the others here. I'm afraid I have no set method to follow, pretty much making it up each and every time I do an eye. (At most, I try to keep to the defined shape of the character's eyes... Most of the Mane Six have very distinctive eyeshapes) but that can go out the window when you're doing a wacky expression anyway.

Very nicely done! I too like Pinkie's eye, although those are a lot of highlights to add in every time. if you're looking to replicate a style. I'm not sure who the central pony is (Light grey coat and magenta iris? Celestia, maybe?) but that's a nice, simple and clean style that looks attractive.

In any event, impressive job once again. It's definitely not a bad way to learn some different styles and techniques.

Anon said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds

I forgot to mention; I think that your concerns were understandable, and you didn't really sound all that crazy. (You're only crazy when you stare intently into a mirror for hours. I would know.) We're here to be of any comfort to you that we can, and you shouldn't feel bad about telling us what's wrong. We wouldn't want your shine to dim, after all.

@CaineScroll

Correction: If those labels refer to the artist in general rather than that specific drawing, then you can disregard what I said about them.

@Coconutswallow

Even if I don't know how much of an accomplishment it is, congratulations to you on your story being published to EQD. It's only fulfillment, tranquility, glory and anonymous persons criticizing your work by its cover page from here onward. It's all part of an important step in the lifecycle of any storywriter.

@jodyjm13

It may not be the norm for people of my generation, but I have listened to the song that you posted every time I have gone to write more on this page. As for the possibility of me making a deviantART account, I mentioned it in my last comment to WhiteDiamonds, but I might make one relatively soon once I have an actual drawing done and a blog to put it on. Hopefully I can draw eyes well enough now, so that's one step closer to having an artist status. We'll see what time will allow. I'm anticipating it, in any case.

Anon said... Reply to comment

@Harwick

You sense it too? I swear, they are slowly becoming self-aware.

It seems that ImageShack has failed me, as the only reason that I use it (a high resolution limit) didn't seem to have worked this time. I thought it was in full size earlier, but now it's only 800 by 550 pixels in length. In case you didn't see it, here is the full resolution version.

Thank you for all of the generous compliments, as I have to admit that it wasn't entirely easy for me. I appreciate that your standards aren't unrealistically high despite your exceeding talent in this field. While I can see why you would think that the one in the middle is a slightly bluish Celestia, it is in fact a very greyish Dash. (The head is looking towards the camera, so that's why the width is so short.) Zoom in and compare. Yes, that is the resolution that I had to work with when making my Riz Cifra eye. I have always liked her work, at least since I mentioned how she does an oddly Harrison Ford-like Rainbow Dash. I might use an eyelash style similar to that for male characters. They technically do have them in the show, but it isn't easy to tell because they only show as black semicircles. So I think that in more realistic and less cartoon-styled artwork, the male ponies should at least have something eyebrow-esque to fill the space. It's just a thought, though. I admit it was probably the easiest to do (besides the second last, of course). I made it pretty quickly using only the Pen (Pencil) and water color tools, even though Riz uses Photoshop.

I've said it before, but I didn't notice some of the mistakes in the "Harwick style" eye until I posted it... I used the Brush for everything except the shading, which was done with the water tool. I think the water color makes it easy to shade, though I'm not sure if WhiteDiamonds would like it since it loses some of its traditional look. I just find it easier to fix imperfections, as I was trying to make the shading look as smooth as possible on both of the Twilight eyes.

It seems like every beginner needs someone to tell them that they aren't so bad (truthfully or not) and should keep trying even they don't see the same worth in themselves. I'm grateful that I have the people here who are willing to do that for me, as I'm really the farthest thing from an artist. It's like I'm taking WhiteDiamonds' advice of tracing others' work, except without the tracing. I think I can apply the same process to make something of my own, which if true, would mean that I can draw eyes now. Maybe I should do the same with hair...

Who am I kidding, I'll just go back to the WhiteDiamonds style anyhow.

Forderz said... Reply to comment

@Anon

Those eyes are staring into my soul, duder. I recognize pinkie Pie from that Flutterpie tumbler, John Joseco's spitfire, and WD's Rarity.

I want to say you missed that one artist who does the comics with the ponies, but that's not very helpful at all. Oh look, I did say it. 8|

I keep telling myself I'll put pen to paper and learn how to at least doodle/sketch ponies, but I can never find teh time. I wish I had an office job instead of tanning only my face outside. Seriously, my face is brown compared to my body.

Damn I'm wired.

I posted up a portion of my college submission portfolio, a short little article here: http://www.fimfiction.net/blog/24337

My Little Pony IS pretty unique in the fact that it is a high fantasy world with a (mostly) slice of life format, and has characters that follow the Homeric tradition of having mundane goals.

Holy hand grenade, batman! This comment is all over the place!

back to whipping up a personality profile of an amateur film-maker friend, so you don't have to worry about that, WD.

Its amazing what you can learn about a friend if you ask him personal questions, and about his goals and fears. I learn more about him in 5 minutes than in 5 months. Maybe its a guy thing.

Oh my Celestia this is going on forever.

Coconutswallow said... Reply to comment

@Harwick

Spoiler-free zone, good sir. Do your best to keep in the dark about that movie. It's worth it.

Oh, so shipping is free around here? (No, nothing will stop me from making bad puns).

Well, what topics to discuss... First of all, question: in the new shipping chart that is all the rave these days, who are the two ponies off to the side? The pink mare and the stallion dressed as a Quint wannabe. I am curious.

That settled, how is it that RariPie is the least used of the Mane 6 ships? I'm hardly a fan but it just boggles me that ApplePie is more popular than it. Also, why is it that the biggest ship with Rarity is Spike? Don't get me wrong, it's cute, but it's only cute when it stays in the unrequited crush stage. Past that, it suddenly loses all credence. Along those lines, so little Rareblood? I am disappoint, fandom.

Wait, someone made TwiDash work? Excuse? Mane 6 shipping doesn't interest me but that's still impressive.

Slightly back to the Finale

You know, I never really thought of AJ as Twi's Number Two, but I can very much see that now. After all, brutal honesty and complete dependability? That's a dream second-in-command.

I was disappointed Rarity didn't get more moments period, but then it was Twilight's episode. (My desire for more Rarity scenes would require an entire series dedicated to her to be satiated.)

Very true, Twilight's flank is quite blank in the flashbacks. My theory would be that Twilight's parents got the privilege of Cadence because their son had elevated himself in the ranks of the guard by then.

Oh my, that picture of Twilight... That hurts to look at.

@Anon

Wait... You looked through my favorites? Egads, is that thing an abandoned, dilapidated structure. My collection of favored art is saved on my computer in a poorly organized mess. I suppose I really ought to update my dA favorites to include it all at some point, though. On the matter, however, Tsitra360's backgrounds make me drool.

Thank you for the congrats. I think it's feature on EqD garners it far more popularity than it deserves, however, though I'd be silly to actually complain about increased readership. For once in my life, I'm actually in a position to set aside a fair amount of time to write (and I am dooming myself with this statement) so I'm interested to see where this cycle leads.

Fantastically done eyes! The best way to start as an artist is to absorb yourself in the work of those you admire and use them as building blocks for your own style. It looks like you have the oculars in the bank. I have no doubt you'll take to drawing like a fish to water.

@Forderz

I was going to read that article but then you mentioned spoilers for Catherine so I had to eject quickly. My apologies! Hopefully I'll be able to return to it at some point.

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

You know, this is really rather awful! Whenever I make a point to check this blog on a daily basis it always seems that there's little to no activity, but if I'm ever away for any period of time people suddenly come on to post! Eep~

@Coconutswallow

I certainly know it myself dear! Insofar as feeling like you've missed so much and can probably never catch up again (in fact I might say that currently this is the story of my life). But it seems to me that you've done an admirable job of staying on top of things, and definitely better than I have. In answer to your thoughts I know that I at least have no issues with your participating in our conversations here! The more the merrier really, and I appreciate the fact that you seemingly find us all an agreeable bunch with whom to hang out... that's a lovely thing!

"Cleared out faster than Prince Blueblood if he joined the Bachelorette", hah! I'm almost tempted to draw that honestly; a shame I likely won't have the opportunity for ages to come! Bless you for those sentiments about Grace as well, and I only wish she seemed to appreciate the fact herself... lazy furball, her method of repaying me for dressing her fashionably seems to be by walking on my face when I sleep and eating all of my potted rose plants (poor babies). She is lucky she's soft and adorable, is all I can say!

@Harwick

A small point, but I totally loved Twilight's ultra-swanky fillyhood bedroom... just saying. Canterlot looks like such a lovely place to live~!

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@Anon

Eep, you poor dear; I am SO so sorry if I made you wait so long for a reply to all of your posts! And if horrible Blogger ate up one of them and I just now managed to liberate it from the spam filter. I hope you didn't feel as though I was ignoring you at all, but I fear I've mostly been focusing on my silly deviantART and getting the rest of my artworks uploaded (and my comments managed appropriately, in turn) in my spare internet time recently. My apologies!

That having been said, allow me to congratulate you on finally finishing up with your eye study! As I know that you have been working on it for some time. They all turned out very good, and yes I do recognize many of them (and one in particular, of course!) though I think all of the original artists/artworks in those instances have already been noted by others here. You've done an admirable job recreating various personal styles, and in response to your concerns you voiced aloud no, I most certainly do not disapprove of such a project... honestly I think you're right and it is rather like my advice of tracing works for practice just to get comfortable with various proportions and such, just a modified version of the exercise. Hopefully, you'll find the experience was very valuable to you and your studies.

Hahaha, deviantART... some of those comments are "funny", yes, but I don't let them get to me (there are so many worse things in life I could spend my time getting upset about, really), and overall the reception over there has just been delightful. And I must say it is fun to have another place where I can interact with some of my friends! I think it would be nice if you decided to make an account in the future, though of course that's entirely up to you, and oh yes thank you for bringing that Applejack fanart to my attention. Have I commented on that particular piece before? Because if so I don't remember it, but I have "reviewed" quite a lot of fanarts in the past so maybe this is understandable.

I hope you're not still worried about that whole birthday thing, but in any case thank you for thinking to mention that as I know you would never want to give the wrong impression (something which I can appreciate). And yes, I absolutely agree that we have a most amazing little "sub-community" here... all of you really are very lovely people, and it's been my pleasure to get to know you all as well as I have!

@Forderz

Oh you're so funny dear. I read that little article of yours and found it to be very insightful and engaging, and as far as the interview thing goes I'm glad that worked out. It's probably for the best too, because now that I think about it I'm not sure when I would have had time to squeeze something like that in... ah well. It was nice of you to ask, anyway.

Favo said... Reply to comment
This comment has been removed by the author.
Forderz said... Reply to comment

@Favo

Both season two 2-parters suffer from having to wrap things up very quickly in the last 10 minutes. The first 12 minutes of the second episode are GOLD, though.

Thanks, everyone, for commenting on the article. I hope that I gave a broad enough overview of Catherine so that even the uninitiated would understand my fustrations with it. I love that MLP has world saving heroines that stay grounded, although even I hope for a 2-parter villian that doesn't want to 'flip the table,' as it were. I think trying to communicate and compromise, even with a clear villian, is always an admirable goal, and I think MLP being a kids show actually works in my favour for once. I would love to watch the Mane 6 bring a villian to a stalemate, then work with him/it/her so that both parties get what they want, within reason.

Maybe some gem-eating dragon is on the hunt for some precious minerals, and is far less accommodating than our red friend Basil? Celestia and Luna are out at the equine version of the UN, so its up to Shining armour to defend the sovereign soil of Equestria from this foreign menace, and calls in the heavy artillery, his sister and friends?

Forderz said... Reply to comment

And I was more of a lurker than a commenter (something I'm trying to change!), but I always enjoyed what you brought to the conversation, Favo.

Glad to see you're still with us.

zhoomcar said... Reply to comment

@Favo
Howdy howdy! Glad to see you back!

I'm surprised that this thread nearly has 200 comments, though it seems relatively meagre in capacity (but still excels in ridiculous depth) compared to the likes of deviantART over there. Quiet month for art, April, excluding the Super Sneaky Surprise Birthday Gift 6000™. Here's to a ponyless May! (and June, and July, etc etc)

TUMBLEWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEED!

Forderz said... Reply to comment

@zhoomcar

It is only quiet if bronies don't DO anything. Considering we just funded a clinic in Africa, I think we've set a good foot forward for the summer off-season.

Don't forget all the vidjea gamez that are coming out, too. I'm probably going to be too busy (sadly) to really sink my teeth into them, but I'm sure the majority of the fandom has more free time than I.

Favo said... Reply to comment
This comment has been removed by the author.
zhoomcar said... Reply to comment

@Forderz
I guess there's all the crazy charity stuff that everyone gets up to, a crapton of Chrysalis fic, music and PMVs, and an episode or two of Friendship is Witchcraft. So we have that.

As for gaemz, I don't have much in the way of interest this year (and probably a good thing too, should be focusing on studies) but I guess I'm looking forward to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Torchlight II, Diablo III and the recently announced Black Ops II (I haven't been more interested in a CoD game since the first Modern Warfare, which is strange)

And I also must admit that I've been biting off more than I can chew with games these days, especially RPG. Currently stuck in a rut with no motivation to continue playing the likes of Morrowind, Fallout 3 or Persona 3. But Xenoblade Chronicles is currently sucking the life out of me (much to my avail)

@Favo
I can pretty much be found on most corners of the Internet under "zhoomcar", and particularly on Steam with a WhiteDiamonds Rarity as display picture. Given my general business with school, plus potential latency issues and time zone differences, finding a time convenient for both of us will be quite the -cough-rarity-cough-. But fire away, battle medics are hilarious!

Do note I play a pretty mean Engineer, Spy, Medic, and at times, Scout.

Favo said... Reply to comment
This comment has been removed by the author.
WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@Favo

Oh, my dearest!! <3 I am SO happy to see you again, welcome back! And email??! Oh, eep, I wrote a reply to you a little over a week ago, didn't you get it?? I will resend it right away, of course, but I hope you didn't feel that I was ignoring you! @_@

It really is such a delightful surprise to see you posting here again, and I'm only sorry I haven't been around until now. Despite what I said last time I am late once again, though this time it's because I've been both busy AND not feeling my best, I'm afraid (and I respected everyone's wishes that were expressed to me previously, and rested when I could without troubling myself about internet/pony business!). But yes it is a happy surprise to return to, and I only wish you wouldn't speak so negatively about yourself... please, for my sake at least refrain from doing so from now on? You really are a dear you know, or at least I think so.

@Forderz

You poor thing as well... trying to become more active on the blog while I (and some of the others as well by the looks of things) have been less active than ever recently! Not for much longer though, at least.

And really, bronies funded a clinic in Africa? This is the first I've heard about the matter, but then I have been absent from EqD for quite some time now. That's really quite amazing, and not to mention fabulous!

@zhoomcar

"Super Sneaky Surprise Birthday Gift 6000", hah! That truly was the best thing ever, and in fact I don't know if anything will ever be able to top it. And yes, fabulous gift aside April really was a slow and terrible month around here and I apologize for that, but this month is about to be off to a much better start at least. I am looking forward to it!

Anon said... Reply to comment

@Forderz

I will assume that by "wired", you mean "tired", though I prefer to think that "duder" was not a typo. I'm glad that someone recognised the JohnJoseco eye.

Oh, you mean Fadri? At the time, I had thought that the style of those comics was too similar to the show, and there would be little point in making an eye for every show-like style I find. That's why I couldn't make one in CaineScroll's style; it's too similar to WhiteDiamonds'. I guess I should try a Madmax sort of style if the picture calls for something more show-accurate.

(Discussion regarding your article follows.)

I think the reason why plots are so often based on apocalypse and world domination, at least in children's entertainment is because it's simple and easy to understand. It's tried and true, they know that it sells, and when you're used to every villain being bent on such things, any story that focuses on something smaller might seem insignificant or superfluous. After all, why would heros arrest a bank robber when there are always supervillains trying to bring about the end of the world? Arguably, it's lazy writing, and while there are still plenty of games, movies, television shows and the like (particularly the more realistic ones) that are about other things, it can be hard to find a fantasy game that is not. Perhaps this is our job as general creative people, to create what we desire when no one else will.

@Coconutswallow

Thank you as well for your commendations. I wish I could return the favor. I think that the style may be dependant on the subject matter, so it's probably for the best that I try them all on like a pushy girlfriend in a clothing store. (WhiteDiamonds is playing the role of the anguished young man holding the shopping bags.) Though admittedly I have many, here's to our success in both of our chosen crafts.

Oh, and in case you have any worries about it, I assure you, I have no qualms with your continued presence at this water cooler.

@WhiteDiamonds

"I happen to think the blue eyes are fabulous"

It's fine, I know how busy you are. If you can save some time for yourself by postponing your responses to comments, I will be content with the knowledge that it helped you a little. It looks like we won't have another birthday for a couple of months, so that should make your life a bit easier. I hope you don't feel like, in the event that I still know you by the time of my next birthday (I'm fairly sure that it will be 2013 before my 2012 birthday comes), you would have to make something for me. I recognise that I don't have very well-defined taste, and while I don't mean this as any sort of passive-aggression, I don't need birthday art to feel like I'm a part of this group. If anything, you need to worry more about yourself.

Anon said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds

Since it seems like Jody won't be here any time soon, the eyes came from these:

The first one, as you know, is only based on the show. Next, as you probably realised, is specifically from Rarity's family portrait. The following are from Tess's "Derpy in the Rain", Rainbow Dash in Dreatos' "Take a bow" (it's worth seeing the full-sized version), Solar-Slash's (or Soapie-Solar, as she is now known) "Were you Surprise", another SS eye from a tutorial that she made (which I didn't see until the first one was done, but I did it anyway since most artists don't tend to make tutorials on how to work in their styles), Riz Cifra's aforementioned "Rainbow Dash...", of course Harwick's "Know When to Fold 'Em" (I was sure to make it Twilight for him, though Pinkie Pie or Fluttershy's probably would have been easier), BionicleGahlok's "Winter night", this picture from Speccyshy's "Ask Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy", and as Forderz also noted, JohnJoseco's "Hey, I Know You..." (Do you see how messy that is close up? Do you see it?).

I'm glad you liked them, and I do feel like I could draw an eye now if I needed to, so that is a pretty big step for me.

Anon said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds

I have seen some of the fun you have been having over there on deviantART (It is my headcannon that Spore-Creature is Harwick's second cousin, once removed, and it is Harwick's sworn duty as a paragon of pony art to inform him that he is the winner of some OC-related Nobel Prize), much of which came from amusing Muro drawings...and the way that some people ask for you to personally teach them to draw. ("Yo dawg, dat be some tight drawin'. Ya gotta learn me dat jack, brah. What you say? Marker? You'll see my results, home. I owe ya some.") I have probably never been so distanced from the rest of you before, but I have been spending my free time drawing, which is part of the reason for my absence lately. (I have been adding to these comments during the late nights, but it cuts into my time to sleep. A few nights ago, I stayed up adding to this until my parents got up and only slept for two and a half hours, 4:40 to 7:00. It's mostly my fault, though. Or maybe I was just waiting for you to comment. I suppose we'll never know.) I have a small doodle that is almost done, but I don't think it's enough to start a blog. It only has about half the detail of your doodles, despite that it takes me so long to make them. After that, I'll start on something larger. I would like another opportunity to work on something more painting-like and lineless, as I did a bit of that for the two Twilight eyes (the Harwick one, and the one that looks like a fish). Once that is done, I'll need somewhere to put it. That means no more jokes about namelessness, luckily for you.

As remarkable as it is that so many good people have wound up here, and I could leave some fond words for any of them (as I have before in some instances), confound this WhiteDiamonds, she drives me to type. I would tell you how I am very lucky to know you (as well as the others who I know fairly well), but I'm sure that everyone would groan. So I'll just say, I want to complain about the weather. Where is Kateasaurus when you need her? (Seriously though, I know that she won't see this, but that photograph she took is amazing.)

We need something to talk about now...
...Red Velvet ice cream.

Harwick said... Reply to comment

@Anon

Close. He's my godson, actually, and became a fan of the show and the various online things tying to it this year... Mostly from the massive cross-over with video game fans.

espnsportstv said... Reply to comment

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