Friday, May 4, 2012

Commission #8!

Oh dear Goddess finally, FINALLY!! Nearly a month after I intended to have it finished, commission #8 is at long last complete, and it is truly my greatest pleasure to be able to share it with you all now.

This commission, marking my very first time drawing Zecora, was done for the ever-lovely jodyjm13, who of course also commissioned one of my most popular pieces to date of Octavia composing. He wanted to see Zecora in the act of testing out her magic powder for Nightmare Night, in a scene which hopefully illustrated how she had created the powder as well, to an extent (hence the herbs, drawings, mixing bowl etc.), and I had a lot of fun in trying to create a nice atmosphere with all of the various light sources. Certain things presented some difficulty, but more than anything it's just been lack of time and other troubles which have kept me from finishing it until now, as indeed it's been almost complete for a few weeks. But, she's done now and Jody is happy with her, and that is all that I could ever ask for really.

So, April in general was a pretty bad month for me, but May at least is already off to a much better start and with any luck, I intend to have commission #9 finished (and posted with permission) in a week or so if all goes according to plan. I've been working on it alongside this piece so yes. Also, it's my intention to upload this picture to my deviantART a little bit later tonight, so that all of you will be able to enjoy the full resolution if nothing else... the actual image is pretty good-sized so I'd like to be able to share it with everyone (EDIT: And okay, I have uploaded it to my gallery now! You can all view the full-size image here).

Thank you all for bearing with me and being patient while waiting for new artwork. More to come soon as well, and until then do stay fabulous dears!


WD

132 comments:

Harwick said... Reply to comment

Outstanding! Jody needs to commission you more often, as you keep coming through with wonderful works for him. I had to chuckle, as doing a first drawing of Zecora was also the subject of my next piece as well, but it's much more basic and nothing this atmospheric or cool.

Obviously, the green lighting is what captivates with this one, and you did an excellent job of it, contrasting it against the warm interiors of her hut (and then contrasting the cool exteriors seen through the window.) The glow is very convincing, both in the air and especially within the mixing bowl. the lighting all around is quite well done, and you've far exceeded any jewelry I've done with the rings on Zecora's neck and arm... Absolutely love the treatment there.

Ultimately, what makes this so great is that it's a recognizable scene, and one that the viewer can place within the larger context of the show. Even without your write-up, the testing of the Nightmare Night effects is readily apparent, and that's exactly what you want in a quality illustration.

Really well done... love the soft, smooth shading, the clean lines and the details everywhere without making anything look to busy to fit the style of the show. Despite the intimate space it encompasses, it's a very rich, lush and convincing background, and the whole scene is just stellar!

PonydoraPrancypants said... Reply to comment

Good lord this is phenomenal! I must admit that I did not know you were working on a Zecora piece, so this is a surprise, and a resoundingly happy one! I cannot even imagine the creative talent you must have to have drawn that beautiful sparkling green magic powder illusion, and then determined how the light from it would effect the colors of everything else around it!

Zecora's face, expression, eyes, texture, color - they blow me away! The earth tone palette is was a perfect choice. I also love that you gave definition to Zecora's hooves. Very cleverly done! Most impressive of all are her rings, which are beautiful and perfectly done in every way. I love the way you give life to objects with your light and shadow. Everything in the scene is so tactile, with the ingredients for Zecora's magical dust, the wooden and earthenware bowls and jars, the paper, wax, string, plants, fur, hair, and flame! It is a sensory smorgasbord!

I love imagining what the connection is between her drawing of Nightmare Moon and the illusion that is created by the powder, and I love the story this scene tells, which is so clearly tied into the episode. The three "Nightmare Moons" of the drawing, illusion, and moon itself frame Zecora in an extremely clever way.

You continue to demonstrate why you are an absolutely unique and brilliant talent. Jody is fortunate to have gotten not one, but two of your beautiful works of art. This is shortly to become a beloved and memorable addition to the community, and I feel privileged to have been a part of this group with whom you shared it first. Gorgeous, my dear!

Kein said... Reply to comment

jodyjm13, dammit, commission Princess Celestia to her >_>

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@Harwick

Ohh, thank you so very much for that Harwick-dear! As always your feedback is highly valued, and I appreciate the comment about a quality illustration especially. Because of course, telling a story is exactly what I hoped to do with all of the small details here!

I really did have fun with the lighting, and even if it was a challenge at times as well... being a self-taught artist in relation to this type of subject, medium and style means that such things are a constant learning process for me and I very much value the experience. You complimenting me on my metals and background is really immensely flattering as well... thank you so very much for that, and of course it means a great deal! <3

And heheh, well I suppose great minds think alike then, no? ^_~ I'm very excited to hear that you have a new artwork shortly forthcoming as well, and I'm sure she will be absolutely fabulous!

@PonydoraPrancypants

Oh, dearest as always you are so sweet and lovely in your lavish praise of me! Thank you thank you, and I'm so immensely pleased that you enjoyed this picture so. ^.^ As I said to Harwick I had a great deal of fun playing around with the lighting, and even if it presented considerable challenges. But, I knew very clearly the scene I wanted to create in my mind when I started out, and so it was only a matter of working and re-working different aspects of the scene until I got there.

I really am happy that both you and Harwick like those rings of Zecora's, because I struggled somewhat with making them look the way I wanted (not totally smooth, and almost like a hand-hammered or beaten gold as imagine that's how they were probably made... I think I only somewhat succeeded there but it's better than I originally imagined I would do). Since I seldom have many references with which to work, and as you know little to no formal education in this type of art it's always a lot of trial and error for me... I'll just keep working at something until it looks "right" to me. So yes, all of the praise does mean a good deal.

I'm very glad that you like the three Night Mare Moons in the picture... the powder-illusion and drawing were Jody's ideas that he wanted included, but the moon was entirely my doing and I asked Jody if he preferred for me to change it. But, considering the subject and theme of the picture I thought it was appropriate, and appreciate the fact that you think so as well!

Jody is definitely a sweetness... he and I actually first started talking about the concept for this picture back in November I believe, but for various reasons including all the other projects I've been busy with it hasn't come together until now. As a result, I'm sure you can understand me when I say that I am doubly excited to be able to get it up now!


You both are fabulous, and I appreciate your sharing your thoughts as always. Thank you! **digital hugs**

@Kein

Well you know, you could always do that as well dear! ^_~ If you were so inclined.

CaineScroll said... Reply to comment

Wahaha, Commission #8 at last? I have to admit I did not see Zecora coming...though with her voice actor being dear Tabitha I suppose I should have! ^^

The others have already said it, so I'll just echo them at this point...the green dust looks great! I can only imagine how you put a solid life form (Nightmare Moon) into a pile of green smoke/dust without using any obvious borderlines, but then again it call comes down to the lightning. Which I'm not good at. =P

Another thing I liked was the miscellaneous stuff scattered across the table; the jars and urns really give me that special alchemy-like feel. And the stack of parchment, of course...drawing that has never been something I've been able to comprehend, unfortunately!

Of course, I did notice what you did with the exterior...that moon is surprisingly show accurate yet has a touch of realism to it. Then there's our rhyming zebra herself...and as Harwick said, you've done a splendid job on the jewelry!

In all,this is a wonderfully executed piece! I'm hoping to post more of my pony art soon, so hopefully I won't be that out of the loop! ^_^

zhoomcar said... Reply to comment

Oh wowowowowow. This is amazing! The colours, the shading, the rings, de magicks, I'm in trances.

And then I looked at the writing utensil (charcoal?) on the bottom right and chuckled to myself about these ponies' zany ability to grasp such objects with their hooves and use them.

jodyjm13 said... Reply to comment

I'd like to thank you for your kind words about my patience, but really, it's easy to wait when you know it'll lead to results like this. ;) This is a truly stunning artwork, and I don't think it would be possible for me to be happier with it. I touched briefly on your use of lighting in my email earlier, but I have to start my comment by elaborating further on it. The contrast between the soft light of the candle and the green glow of the magic powder is key to this scene, and you've done a marvelous job portraying it; their effect on her neck jewelry, effectively dividing the rings into three sections of light, shadow, and light, is especially impressive. But there are other, more subtle, effects that really capture my attention, such as the reflection of the moon in the window, the dull glow of the powder on the side of the bowl, and most of all the brightly-lit edge of the single leaf on that twig; I find that effect fascinating when I notice it in nature, and it's no less so here.

Of course, the lighting wouldn't mean much if the rest of the drawing weren't also superb. Zecora is very nicely rendered, and her expression perfectly conveys her pleasure at seeing the results of her meticulous labor (and, I suspect, is similar to how you looked as you finished this drawing). The image of Nightmare Moon in the powder is wonderful, both palpably present and eerily ethereal; the definition present in her face and forelegs despite being monochromatic and lineless is impressive, and the way her right wing (on our left) fades at the edge of the cloud of powder adds to the overall effect. The other details of the drawing (the tools of her trade, the drawings and plants for the powder, the window and the view outside it) are all very well drawn and expertly arranged to ground this fantastic scene in reality. And of course, I have to call attention to the mortar and pestle; seeing them in "The Cutie Pox" mere days after mentioning I wanted a set as part of her equipment for this commission was such a delightful surprise, so it's good to see them on her workbench again. :)

@Harwick, @CaineScroll

Of course, my main purpose in coming here tonight was to leave feedback on this terrific drawing, but seeing hints of your upcoming pony drawings is definitely great news too. I look forward to seeing what each of y'all are working on!

@PonydoraPrancypants

It was very hard for me to resist the temptation to tell everyone that Di was working on a Zecora drawing for me, but I figured it would be better for it to be a surprise. And I do have a connection in mind between the drawings and the powder, so I'm glad to see someone thinking about that subject as well.

@Kein

Heh. I hope to, someday; sadly it won't be soon, but I will have to come up with some scene with Celestia for Di to draw. Seriously, if she had the time and I had the money, I'd commission Di to draw just about every character with a significant role in the series. No exaggeration; surely at least some of y'all are also curious as to how she'd draw Bloomberg, Hayseed Turniptruck, and Madame LeFlour?

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@CaineScroll

Yes, at last... at LONG last I know! And while I'm not really sure what Ms. St. Germain has to do with anything or why I'd be more likely to work on a commissioned Zecora piece because of her, I am glad that you like the picture. Thank you dear!

I had some trouble, or shall we say internal deliberation on how to approach the illusion, but eventually decided on a more smoke-like, airbrushed look as opposed to something more solidly defined like in the series (I felt it fit with the style of the piece better). And while I appreciate the fact that you like the selection of items and such present in the piece I'm afraid I really can't take credit for most of them being there... I pretty much stuck to Jody's requests with the exception of the window, hanging jars and a few other little touches throughout.

Thank you again for commenting, and I hope to see your new pony-works soon then!

@zhoomcar

Awww, thank you so much my dear! That means a lot to me to hear that you enjoyed it so much, thank you! Everybody seems to like the way those rings turned out and I'm so pleased about that because thus far, I haven't had too much faith in my own metal-painting abilities, and yes the addition of that little piece of charcoal was my own idea. I know what you mean about ponies' grasping abilities but I imagined Zecora could have used the charcoal by holding it with her mouth (haven't we seen some of the other non-unicorn ponies in the series write that way before??)... in cases like Octavia with her cello and bow however, that's a whole different story!

Thank you again!

@jodyjm13

Eeee dearest Jody... I am SO incredibly thrilled that you are so incredibly pleased with your finished artwork, really it means the world to me! <3 And yes, satisfaction or no I still feel bad that it's taken me so long to finish it for you (especially considering that it's been sitting in a near-finished state for a couple weeks now as I said) but the end result is that I'm satisfied with it, and you are happy. I suppose I really couldn't ask for anything more!

Again, the lovely compliments on the lighting are very much appreciated, considering that rendering highlights and shadows properly was the biggest difficulty with the piece, and I'm glad that you all find the end result to be so appealing because I knew the sort of intimate, mystical atmosphere I wanted to create here, and (just like with interior design) lighting is always the best way to achieve that. The reflection of the moon on the glass was an afterthought as I remembered seeing that in real life all the time when looking at the moon through the window (I probably do this more than most people), and I'm happy you like that leaf! I worried initially that the crisp backlighting might be too sharp and defined given the softer highlights most everywhere else, so that is a good thing that you approve!

It really was my pleasure working on this for you, you know, and again I have to thank you for requesting that I draw a character and scene that I might otherwise have never considered. Every piece like this presents a growing experience for me in this field of art, and of course that's something that I value highly. Thank you so much again for everything! <3

Haha, that's funny about the other characters you'd be curious to see me draw because while I'm sure that you are joking (for the most part!), I am honestly wondering how I might approach such characters! Would that there were more hours in the day, or that I didn't have to work and could actually give it a try! ^_~

Kateasaurus said... Reply to comment

It's absolutely exquisite! The lighting looks amazing and so realistic. Once again your attention to detail is just spectacular! You even have the Mare in the Moon, and some stars in the small portion of window that looks outside! ^_^

It's so good to be back to commenting again! I've missed lurking on your blog. The amount of sleep I've gotten the past few days was well worth quitting alone! Plus I've gotten some quality time with my dog, who missed me terribly while I was working for 20 days straight X.X

If anyone is interested in seeing my silly dog in the pool: Here you go.

Coconutswallow said... Reply to comment

Oh wow, Zecora, eh? There’s an equine that could use some more love. Good on Jodyjm13 for commissioning such a piece.

The first thing that deserves mentioning is the same thing that everyone else has poured praise on: the lighting. Dear Celestia, the lighting. It’s truly fantastic. The shadows are detailed and in just the right places. The reflections are amazing, whether it’s the light reflecting off the jars, Zecora’s eyes, her rings, or whether it’s the wonderful contrasts between the light coming from the powder, the candle, and the moon. I’m not well versed in the techniques of drawing but I can imagine that working with three separate light sources couldn’t have been easy.

The next thing that caught my attention was the textures. As the previous comments have mentioned, the rings on Zecora look so authentic. I feel like I could reach my hand inside this drawing and feel their smoothness. The same goes for the charcoal drawings. They just scream “rough sketch” and were a nice touch. The art of mystical powder making must take planning just like all other mediums.

Speaking of which, the Nightmare Moon powder image was glorious. Expert use of shading to provide enough definition for us to recognize the villain yet maintain a otherworldly look to the image at the same time. It has a very tangible cloud feel, looking as if it will move at any moment, drifting past Zecora and opening its mouth in a snarl. The sparkles coming from it and the falling particles just add to its haunting glow. I should add along with the others, that the way the green reflects on the leaves and twig below the powder is just masterfully done.

Really, the scene evoked by this drawing is just astounding. With just a glance at it, I can feel Zecora’s joy at a job well done (another fantastic facial expression) and I feel transported to an exotic hut in the middle of an enchanted evening in the Everfree Forest.

Putting a Nightmare in that moon was an excellent touch and fit well with the theme (and egads, that reflection in the window, most artists don’t think about such details). It really is the splendid, splendid atmosphere that makes this piece.

Top notch artist, deserve every bit of praise, worth the wait, etc.

@jodyjm13

I agree with you there on commissions. If work, sleep, eating, and other such irritants of life didn’t exist then I too would say, “WhiteDiamonds, I’d like to see your artistic take on everything in the world.

jodyjm13 said... Reply to comment

#12 in Drawfriend #417

@WhiteDiamonds

At the risk of sounding like one of the "fanon > canon" bronies, I actually think your style of rendering Nightmare Moon in the powder is better than what was used in the episode. It wouldn't surprise me if the animators would have preferred a more smoke-like appearance like what you've used here, but it just wasn't practical to do it in Flash given the time they had. And I confess I may be partly kidding about Madame LeFlour (there's only so much that can be done with a sack of flour, after all), but I never joke about Hayseed Turniptruck.

@Coconutswallow

WhiteDiamondsify all the things!

Harwick said... Reply to comment

Congrats on making the Drawfriend, as well as being the header image for the nightly round-up (which uses your picture to call on all artists to make more Zecora fan art.)

@Kateasaurus

That video is indeed relevant to my interests, as they say. Now that is an adorable pooch... I so miss the days of playing fetch and the like with my own. I'm quite jealous of both of you for having that pool as well.

@jodyjm13

I'm looking forward to completing something new, but now it's already overshadowed by this lovely work, and it's going to come in response to the call for more Zecora art. And to think I didn't go with a Chrysalis picture because there have been way too many of them. ;-)

Still, small price to pay to get to see something this cool from WD.

Anon said... Reply to comment

Sugar. Spice. And everything nice: The ingredients chosen to create the perfect Little Pony. But Professor Zecora accidentally added an extra ingredient to the concoction: Chemical F. Thus, the Powerpuff Ponies were born! Using their Elements of Harmony, Twilight Sparkle, Pinkie Pie, Rainbow Dash, Applejack, Rarity, and Fluttershy, have dedicated their season premiers to fighting crime, and the forces of evil!

Your work is enchanting as always, by that I should not be surprised.
And so I hope to finally voice my commendations, if your life spares you the time.
This technical achievement, this work of characteristic presentment is just marvellous, so I've surmised.
Your masterful use of colored lighting, shining, and crisp outlines with smooth shading is sublime.

Zecora seems to have captured the essence of the Nightmare moon and given life to material characters, just as you have portrayed them now.
I am taken with the thick wax candle, richly dripping, illuminating the various ingredients overhead.
It is with these, a few leaves, some berries and a root that she will conjure her spectacle, though only she knows how.
Trick-or-treaters might wonder, though they'd likely be too busy screaming instead.

This scene shows the satisfaction of our good enchantress, as she has worked tirelessly under the sparkling stars.
All for the wonder and amusement of whiny children, too.
Her drawing aids her mental image of the pony that she seeks to bring to life, as a refreshing change from making pots and jars.
And Zecora is nice. Our enchantress is you.

Your vision and futher realision is no less than great. A composition of ceramics, organics and the glow of the Autumn full moon; if this is the artistry that May will await, I cannot predict what will be featured in June.

Anon said... Reply to comment

Alright, back to seriousness (as it's difficult to write a decent review in rhyme):

This is of course another very impressive addition to your commissions gallery. Nearly every surface is textured with natural roughness, from the side of the mortar to the inside of the bowl. The mist of powder and smoke blends softly with the air, its illusion showing very clearly in the center. I do feel that the candle deserves its own picture. Its design fits pleasantly with the cartoon style of the show. This, I think, must be your most lifelike fanart yet. Every edge of every object is perfectly shaded, feeling tangible and real. What you have painted is not a picture, but a deep, lush exhibition. "Sublime", indeed.

The element of wonder emcompasses this story. Our zebra herbalist's exuberance, finally beholding her work with such enthusiasm, along with our own reverence as we look upon the scene with untrained eyes. How Zecora performs her craft is one part of her mysterious character. Perhaps the drawings serve to form the illusion of a magical spector? Perhaps they are a vital component to producing a proper result in the procedure? Perhaps they are not an ingredient at all, serving only as a reference to aid in her recreation of this shadowy figure. In whichever case, all is before us, the preparation is complete, and all that is required now is a blow of the powdered green flame.

Your ability to create a tangible and profound scene from what might seem at first to be a simple concept is simply astounding, as always. Few artists across the entirety of the fandom could hope to capture the mystery and wonder of this intimate, untouched moment. What secrets lay beyond the smoke and mist, across the rough surface of each paper, gleaming out through the window, bringing light to the midnight hours of the Everfree? We will make our interpretations, but only our enchantress knows.

Anon said... Reply to comment

@Harwick
@CaineScroll

It seems like this month will start off productively, won't it? New art is always welcomed, though CaineScroll has been maintaining it so far with his character designs. I mentioned it eariler but I'm also working quite actively on actual drawings, but they would be to kick off a blog, so you can't expect anything from me any time soon. It's almost difficult to work with the hard shading of a "doodle" type drawing, since it feels like second nature to smoothen it out. (I'm also shading too lightly, to the point that you can't even see it.) But yes, work in progress is always good to hear.

@Kateasaurus

It's nice to see you back here, and I agree with Harwick; especially with how hot it is these days, I'm starting to wish I still lived in a house with a pool... Oh well, more time for ponies I suppose.

By the way, you are now the first person here to link a recording of your voice. You are now the voice of the blog.

@WhiteDiamonds

Actually, if you had taken that offer to appear on a podcast for an interview, we would have all heard you speaking as well. I hope the offer came from a big-name series, like BronyVille or BronyShow. If not, then it could have been some 9 year old and his brother blowing into a microphone. Otherwise, I hope you left the option open if you have time for it in the future.

@jodyjm13

You really do like these "alone in preparation" art concepts. I can't complain. Your commission ideas are profound, and always bring out the best in her talents.

Also, I agree that the smoke-like design looks nicer, but isn't fanart usually better than the show? (It has almost no shading, after all.) Just imagine if every frame of the show looked like Harwick's work. Would it even still be a cartoon?

Forderz said... Reply to comment

@Anon

Wait, all It would've taken to become the voice of this blog is to post a link to your own voice?

Look what I had waiting in the wings! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YPlyLdn0fRk&feature=plcp

Poorly mixed, a hideous background droning, and my atonal 'singing,' to use the loosest definitions of the world. A drunken vow made on a dark, confusing night. But, six months old! That has to count, right?

On the subject on that breathtaking Zecora, I really have nothing to add that has gone unsaid. The lighting is fantastic, the illusion itself is incredible, the little touches sprinkled throughout the scene are awe-inspiring... I could go on, but others have stated my views better than I ever could.

This does give me the perfect vision of what I want, nay, dream of having my fanfic cover be. Minecarts and griffons and torches and giant hats, oh my!

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@Kateasaurus

Thank you so much dear! I really, truly appreciate it, and yes I agree that it's lovely to see more of you again! As with Ponydora, I'm very happy that you like that I included the Mare in the Moon in this picture, and despite the fact that it doesn't really fit in with the canon timeline, since I had some doubts about the decision. But again, as I said I just felt it would fit well with the rest of the theme and subject... it's a relief that some other people seemingly agree.

Thank you for sharing that video as well! Lucky, lucky you to have such a cute dog, and not to mention a private swimming pool (I might be slightly envious, I will confess). Everyone seems to assume I'm just a cat person but really, I miss the dog that I used to have terribly... I'm not sure if she would have taken as well to water however (I mean, she used to attack my sprinklers whenever they would go on with the greatest enthusiasm but I'm sure that's not quite the same thing). Dexter is very handsome in any case, as I've meant to tell you before... is he a border collie?

@Coconutswallow

Oh, you are so incredibly sweet, really... thank you. <3 I'm so happy that everyone seems to like the lighting because yes, it was difficult to some degree, and in actuality there are four light sources lending their glow to the scene, though the last is unseen in this image and just barely provides a hint of a highlight to the left side of the jars and Zecora's right foreleg in this picture (I imagined it was the soft, warm glow of a fire from either a hitherto unseen fireplace, or else the fire underneath her cauldron... something like that). I did put a lot of thought into nearly every aspect of the scene, and so I'm so happy that apparently shows through in the finished product!

Oh I did want to say that I appreciate your compliments on the textures as well, which I know some of the others have also mentioned. The jars, especially, I agonized about getting to look just right (considering that I'm surrounded by pottery all day at work, I think I should know what it looks like in all sorts of different lighting conditions). I'm impressed that some of you, such as Ponydora correctly guessed that the mixing bowl was meant to be made of wood as well... that's immensely gratifying for me to hear I must say!

Thank you again dear!

@jodyjm13

Perhaps you have a point about that Jody. I'm not sure how well such a thing would have fit in with the rest of the series' style as well, but I wouldn't be surprised if the writers intended for the illusions to look wispy and smoke-like when they initially envisioned the scene... that would make sense and especially if they were formed by tossing the powder. And haha, it's funny that you say that because actually, Hayseed was the one whose artwork I could most clearly envision with my mind's eye!

Oh, right and thank you for mentioning the Drawfriend as well... I had wondered if Seth was going to miss this one as he has so many of my others. Posting there also made me realize how much I miss commenting on Drawfriends... if I can ever manage to find a little bit more free time in the future, I hope to get back into the habit of posting regularly again.

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@Harwick

Thank you very much dear friend, and for telling me about the Nightly Roundup as well (I probably would have missed that otherwise)! It's especially gratifying seeing as how Seth also took that opportunity to make a call for more Zecora fanart, which I do believe has been answered already as I've noticed an upswing in my recent deviantART notifications. Also, I hardly think that you, the immensely talented Harwick should have anything to worry about in the way of being "overshadowed", and by me especially! The background/surroundings that took me a month of work (though sporadic work, admittedly) will be outdone by what you quickly whip up quite easily, I'm sure!

@Anon

Oh my goodness dear, I can only imagine how much time it must have taken you to write that entire long review in rhyme; I am quite impressed honestly! Thank you for that, and as far as Zecora with Chemical F goes I suppose my chibi-ponies do bear a certain resemblance to some other well-known Lauren Faust creations. At least others have remarked as much before, even if the thought didn't cross my mind when I made them.

Anyway and of course, I very much appreciate all your lovely feedback, thank you so much! As I have said all of the compliments on the textures definitely mean a lot to me, and I'm also glad that you like that candle because I'll admit I struggled a bit to get it to look just right (I actually felt that the one in my fatigued Twilight picture was drawn better, though obviously the coloring can't be compared). And while I appreciate the compliments on the amount of details and thought put into the scene, in actuality Jody deserves the majority of the credit there; he specified nearly all of the elements that are present in the picture, and it was merely my job to bring them to life. I'm very happy that you enjoy them and like the way the finished product came out though, of course.

I honestly don't know what radio show requested an interview with me... I never asked the individual who contacted me because, at the time, I couldn't manage to accept. He did say that if I ever change my mind however he would be very happy to have me, but at this point, since everyone seems convinced for whatever reason that I sound like Rarity I'm sure you'd be quite disappointed to hear my real voice! Ah well, maybe someday we can find out. ^_~

@Forderz

Oh my Goddess I laughed out loud, why oh WHY didn't you ever share that with us before?! But then I suppose it's because you haven't really posted on this blog very much until relatively recently, which would certainly be understandable. Whatever the case though I am very tempted to say that that made my night (okay, you totally did), and I thank you so much for sharing! Truly, you are a most fabulous goober. <3

Oh yes and of course, thank you for your kind comments on the picture as well! I'm so glad that all of you enjoyed it so. On the matter of your own hypothetical art commission, I have to admit you got me already with the mention of giant hats... one of my greatest weaknesses, I hope you know!

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds

Okay, addendum needed... ohmygoddessohmygoddess, I just went to check my deviantART messages before going to bed, and I had a group request message from the DD (Daily Deviations) Catalogue group. And I couldn't figure out WHY in the world that would possibly be, because of course I have never won a Daily Deviation before. And then... I saw it appear at the bottom of the page...

Oh my Goddess Jody, you fabulous incredible amazing and entirely thoughtful wonderful person you, thank you SO MUCH for suggesting my artwork!! <3 <3 <3 Well, your artwork really because of course, without you it would never even exist... oh my goodness I really just wish that I could hug you right now, you are SO good... ;_;

I'm so honored, so tremendously flattered... my heart is pounding in my throat right now and I feel like I could cry. And in fact, Rarity does quite a decent job of illustrating how I reacted... or will react once I wrap my head around this, that is.

Just NO proper words, none at all!!

Harwick said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamondsWhoo! Way to go, Di! You make the most positively charming face for Pony fans to expose the greater community of DeviantART. I can't think of any who deserve the feature more.

And Kudos to Jody for submitting it.

jodyjm13 said... Reply to comment

WhiteDiamondsify all the pony sites!

@Harwick

I honestly don't think you have to worry about your Zecora drawing being overshadowed; as wonderful as Di's drawing is (and I still get a little thrill whenever I view it), I'm sure yours will stand on its own merits. And I'd be curious to see your take on Chrysalis, if you want to give that a shot once the craze has died down.

@Anon

Oh my stars, both a rhyming review and another review of sparkling eloquence and perception, and a Powerpuff Pony spoof to top them off? You really should never feel the need to apologize for your writing style.

As for the repeated subject of artists in the process of creation, it is a subject I like to see depicted, but it's a bit of coincidence that it ended up being the focus of both my commissions from Di. Almost from the time I discovered the fandom, I knew I wanted a drawing of Octavia composing, but it took a long time to decide how I wanted Zecora depicted. Just by coincidence, "Luna Eclipsed" aired shortly before I started batting around ideas with Di, and I hit upon the preparation of the magic powder as a subject that would show Zecora using plants to create her magic effects in a context that would be familiar to the show's fans.

@Forderz

Giant hats? Oh, now you've got my curiousity piqued! And that's quite an entertaining video, atonal singing and all.

@WhiteDiamonds

To be honest, I was a bit worried about submitting your drawing as a Daily Deviation; I wasn't sure if it would be better to ask you for permission beforehand, and risk you being disappointed if it wasn't accepted, or to just go ahead and do it, and hope you could turn it down if you didn't want it featured. And now that it's actually featured, I'm hoping you don't get swamped in comments or harassed by trolls. Still, I'm glad it was deemed worthy of being a Daily Deviation; I certainly think you deserve the honor. :) And you might be giving me a bit too much credit here; I came up with the general idea and a number of the details, but you're the one who composed the scene, brought it to life, and added the details that really elevate the drawing to a higher level.

PonydoraPrancypants said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds

How wonderful! Congratulations on this extremely well-deserved achievement! I am reminded of that "WhiteDiamonds ... WhiteDiamonds everywhere!" image that someone (jody?) linked to just after you first rejoined deviantART. With each passing day, it seems you make the world a more fabulous place, and your renown continues to grow!

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@Harwick

Thank you so much my dearest friend! <3 <3 I am still very excited, though the reality of the situation has finally began to sink in, and now I have a newly exploded inbox to sort through whenever it is I can find the time for that. It is obviously one of the most flattering things I can think of though, and I thank you sincerely for saying such lovely things... you really do give me too much credit at times I believe. <3 **many hugs**

And see Jody is right; your Zecora will be stunning just like all the rest of your pony-arts are stunning. I can hardly wait to see her finished honestly!

@jodyjm13

Oh my goodness, that link! @_@ Could this day get any more unbelievable, honestly? I am still feeling quite overwhelmed by all of this dA business, I must say, and now there's even more to see! It's just amazing...

And well, I have thanked you both here and on deviantART of course, but shall say it again: I am truly grateful for both this tremendous honor you have brought me as well as for everything else you have done in the past... when it comes to my pony-art, again I pretty much have you to thank for most everything. Masses of comments or the inevitable dA trolls aside, I am humbled by having my work featured on deviantART in such a way, and I certainly owe all of that to you in this particular instance!

Oh and also, I have to say that little Applejack artwork you linked to is absolutely adorable... thank you so much for sharing such cuteness with me! <3 <3

@PonydoraPrancypants

Oh my goodness right? I am still so overwhelmed by all of this... part of me has accepted it now and calmed down I think, but the other part still feels like it hasn't processed everything entirely. I'm thinking it will be quite a while before all of the shock really wears off.

And haha yes, that was Katie who posted that I do believe, and it pretty accurately describes how I am viewing the situation at this particular point. I'm almost scared to post my latest commissioned piece over there once I do finish it (very soon), honestly. But I can say that I'm very happy to have all of you providing such amazing ongoing support to me, whatever the case may be... thank you so much, all of you, you truly are the best! **digital hugs all around!** *^_^*

CaineScroll said... Reply to comment

Congratulations once again on the Daily Deviation! (And kudos to Jody for submitting it!) I'm still finding it hard to believe that you've made so huge an impact in just one month, but life's like that sometimes.^^

PS: On another completely unrelated note, it'll be a while before my pony art gets posted, just so y'all know. I'm still working on it, though...It's complicated. *sigh*

Forderz said... Reply to comment

I remember when you first posted your work on DA, and /r/mylittlepony was literally swamped with your work. Whitediamonds everywhere indeed.

I hope you all got a chuckle out of my 'singing,' because I know I do.

I know you have your hooves full, as it were, so I won't bother you with my commission. I should probably get to the point in my fic where I can narrate the scene before asking you to illustrate it. Or Harwick. Or Cainescroll. Or any one of the countless amazing artists this community has opened my eyes to.

Anon said... Reply to comment

*specter, *Everfree Radio

@Forderz

I actually liked that more than I was expecting. (Even if at times, the theme was kind of...) Though it may have helped that I couldn't immediately tell that it was a remix. I thought at first that you had somehow made the instrumentals in Audacity, which was pretty confusing. As singing goes, I'm sure you did better than I would have. You get credit for abstaining from the use of auto-tune (as far as I can tell). I like a lot of WoodenToaster's music, but as is the case with most brony music singers, his songs are just full of auto-tuning.

This is the second time you have made new lyrics for a song here. Does this mean that Forderz is most musical pony? Well, I'm just falling behind at everything now.

@WhiteDiamonds

A late night of too much free time, and the realization that "moon" rhymes with "June". And too much free time.

Surely, it was only a matter of time. You are a very fitting representative of MLP art, if an excessively high-quality one. I cannot think of anyone more deserving. (Though I really have to wonder why Harwick doesn't have any yet...)

Are you sure you don't want to take even a short break from taking commissions, just to relieve some stress? It's just a suggestion, but it sounds like you could use a break. Oh, and do you think you should add KP-ShadowSquirrel's Gala Portraits to your inspirations gallery?

@jodyjm13

You are very kind (and even if I've already been outdone by some of the commenters on dA, but I'm not exactly persuing a career in poetry). One of the benefits of your commission ideas is that they are not too personal (like a TRON crossover, for example), and thus can be appreciated by everyone in the community regardless of their own personal interests. I am glad that she has such a tasteful client to help her bring such thought-provoking vision to rendition. After all, your Octavia composing commission is the reason why I'm learning to draw, and why I first came to this blog. I won't suggest that you're monopolizing her commissions service or anything.

Harwick said... Reply to comment

I understand Commission #9 will soon be upon us, but I have some internet freetime and I'm going to use it, headless of the fear that any subject I start will be lost when all eyes migrate to the newest blog entry.

So here it is: We've now had time to let Season 2 digest a bit, and so now let's hear people's thoughts in general on it? What changes did people like? What wasn't as popular? What do you hope to see them build on for Season 3?

For me, it's tough to compare Season 1 and Season 2. Part of it is that it was a very different viewing experience for each. Season 1 I watched inside the span of a week, just going from one episode to the next on YouTube while I worked at home. With Season 2, I had to wait for each one and it gave more time to reflect on what worked and what didn't in each 22 minute block of pony.

In general, I have to give Season 1 the nod in songs. I just really like the big songs in that first season, and I remain very impressed at how integral they are to the stories in which they appear. Season 2 songs are either just not the major productions that "Winter Wrap Up", "Art of the Dress" and "At the Gala" were, or they're just a bit more slight. "Smile Smile Smile" is a great, peppy and impressive number, but it's also just a big block of showtime dedicated to saying "Pinkie likes to make people smile." It's great filler, but still filler. Compare to the amount of exposition and motivation they slip into those major Season 1 songs, and it just can't compare.

Animation-wise, though, Season 2 really improved on things in leaps and bounds, I thought. It was always an attractive show, but they really stepped it up this last year.

My biggest complaint for the year remains the number of episodes where they gave us so few of the Mane Six. Of the more "solo" stories, the only one that really worked for me was Rarity's "Sweet and Elite", and even that one filled the entire 3rd act with the entire mane cast. Pinkie's solo episodes ("A Friend in Deed" and "Baby Cakes") were just far too much of a solo act for me. They were fun, and had some good gags, but they ultimately felt like 7 min. Looney Tune sketches stretched out to fill an entire show. I'm not saying they were necessarily my least favorite episodes of the year, and I'm certainly not saying they were bad, but I hope to see fewer future episodes take that kind of narrow focus.

zhoomcar said... Reply to comment

@Harwick
inb4 calls for a Scootaloo episode.

Harwick said... Reply to comment

@zhoomcar

Heh... That does seem to be a popular one. I have to be honest though, while I wouldn't mind one (and am more than a little curious as to what her family situation might be) I don't know that I feel the longing for a Scootaloo episode that so many others do.

Really, though, if they're going to do more CMC episodes, I'd kind of like to see them paired up with members of the Mane Six more often. Let's see Rarity enlist Twilight to help teach Sweetie Belle magic. Or have Scootaloo spend some time with the not-particularly-great-flier Fluttershy. "Sisterhooves Social" is probably my favorite CMC episode because of the cross-generational pairings.

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@CaineScroll

Thank you again for the kind sentiments, and yes as I've expressed before I have a hard time believing (and understanding) that fact as well. I don't know if I'll ever understand it really. Certainly it is nice to see that people apparently enjoy my work so much, though... I can think of few things that are so gratifying for me personally. <3

@Forderz

Heheh, I most certainly did enjoy that, and I thank you again for sharing. ^.^ And well, I don't know what sort of hurry you are in to get the project started on, but once I manage to finish commission #9 I won't have any other big jobs queued up... just several smaller commissions I believe. So you know, if you want to discuss the idea seriously in the future, or just for future reference I would not at all be opposed to hearing your thoughts.

@Anon

Oh my, dear, something like a Daily Deviation is not at all just a "matter of time" I'm afraid! A lot of great artists have been members on the site for many years, and many of them are far more talented and capable than I am, I can assure you. I think a lot of it is due to luck honestly, and certainly exposure plays a large part as well (I think very few people suggest Daily Deviations in actuality, and it makes sense that the larger one's audience is, the more likely a follower or viewer will think to suggest a piece). But whatever the case yes, it is an extraordinary thing, and truly is an honor that I didn't ever imagine I would have the pleasure of receiving. I am still in a state of shock and awe every time I think about it!

I've also wondered that about Harwick's artwork actually, more than any of you might realize, and have been thinking about it and the subject of Daily Deviations since before recently rejoining the site. I seem to have rather a good eye for spotting pieces with DD potential as well; years ago when I had my previous dA account, it seems that half of the works that I favorited ended up receiving a DD feature after I found them. In one instance it was literally the following day after I had added the piece to my favorites that I saw it featured in the bottom bar. I suppose I should really consider suggesting works in the future..!

Regarding commissions, I would very much like to take a break, yes, but have already committed myself to several projects some time ago and certainly am not going to back out on people now... that would be entirely unprofessional. I expect they'll keep me busy for the next month or two, and after that (and contrary to the fact that I hoped to reopen them afterwards) I think I will take a break... we'll see how I feel at that time I guess. Oh and as far as KP's pony-pictures go no, I meant that for pieces that have been directly based off of specific artworks of mine (such as the vectors that I have in there). Otherwise, it would be full of all sorts of things I'm sure, just going by the numerous notes I receive from people alerting me to various projects.

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@Harwick

Well, hopefully I'll be able to post it up here, but of course that's only provided that my client grants me permission to do so, and I never want to assume that will be the case (even if, thus far, it has been). I would hate to get anyone's hopes up for no reason after all. But yes, I expect to have it all done today or tomorrow anyway, and with any luck will be able to share it with everyone afterward.

On the matter of the seasons and comparing the highs and lows of both, as usual I agree with most every point you have already made Harwick, and will lazily abstain from typing up a long breakdown of my own thoughts as a result. But I suppose I can sum it up by saying that I thought season 2 did not surpass or even match up to the first in any way, with the only exception of the quality of animation, which as you noted displayed some fantastic improvements. That's not to say that I thought it was bad at all, not in the slightest, just that it didn't seem to spark that same magical enthusiasm in me that the first season did (with some notable exceptions). For a large part, I imagine this was due to a totally different viewing experience as you said, as well as the fact that I missed more Mane Six interaction as I've already mentioned in the past.

That's probably what I most want to see more of in season 3, as well as another fabulous, fashion-based episode for Rarity if the writers can find a way to be clever with the idea (though I seriously doubt we would ever see her in a design competition ala-Project Runway as I've mentioned in the past, I still have hopes they might be able to work an Austin Scarlett-inspired pony in there somewhere. Please oh please oh please dear Goddess~~ <3 <3). Otherwise, getting an Applejack song at last certainly would not be amiss.

Oh yes and before I forget to mention it, kudos to you again on your fantastic new artwork my dear! As well as for the EqD top-spot feature (I know that Jody and I at least felt this was an inevitability ^.^). Another impressive addition to your growing fanart gallery, yay!

Harwick said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds

I'm sorry... I certainly didn't mean to step on your toes as far as any announcement about Commission #9. You did say that you were hoping to have it done around now in the write-up of #8 above, so I will just hope and pray that they mystery patron will take pity on the rest of us and not horde your amazing work for him/herself! I'm still very eager to see whatever it might be.

On to MLP discussion, I do wonder if the more fractured cast this time around had anything to do with the budget. Just as the "adventure" episodes were deemed to be pricey in the first season and so more rare than originally intended, I would think that the more ponies you add to a scene, the more the cost of said scene (from animation time, vocal work and mixing, etc.) Perhaps the costs are negligible, but I could certainly see the desire to break up the cast more in scripting out the season as a way to stretch the money needed to last a full season.

I know live-action television shows begin to do this after a few years as ensemble casts become more expensive with contract negotiations and whatnot. Take a couple of characters and trap them in an elevator for the entire episode, or send one character home to visit their family of cheap guest actors or set the whole thing in one, simple location with no scene changes. That said, I can't imagine that "A Friend In Deed" could have possibly been a cheaper episode, what with that huge production number and all.

Alas, I know nothing of fashion and Project Runway, although anything that delights you is well worth the efforts of the show's producers, so I support you in your hopes for season 3.

Thank you for your kind comments on my latest piece. I do like it myself, although I'm struck by how relatively unpopular it is. A flashy debut on the Drawfriend, especially as a title image, is usually worth quite a few views on dA, but nobody seems all that interested this time. Ah well, I'm still thankful for the response that it got.

Anon said... Reply to comment

@Harwick

I aknowledge that I haven't discussed any episodes since "It's About Time", and the reason for that was partially because I was busy, but mostly because I didn't have much to say about them. Which I suppose is my greatest grievance: Most of the episodes in the second season felt like Rainbow sneaking in the hospital in "Read It And Weep". Like the recurring "crying doesn't end until a bag of flower is dropped" gag in "Baby Cakes", or every part of "Putting Your Hoof Down". The trying stretches throughout each episode that feel like long walks toward the content and interest. There was just more time spent on what might be considered filler. It's only a matter of watching and waiting for something unexpected to happen. The first season ultilized every moment, like when the buffalo explain their side of the story in "Over A Barrel", and even including the quote "Oatmeal? Are you crazy?". Season 1 more often gave every moment a purpose. Maybe you aren't quite so interested in the CMCs interacting with eachother like in the "dumb fabric" preparation scenes from "Show Stoppers", but at least it isn't "Left hoof in front of right hoof. Sneak, sneak, sneak."

It isn't quite so clear-cut, however. "The Last Roundup" was everything that I just described in some ways, yet there were so many things that happened in the beginning (up until they meet with Applejack again) that the time between the dialogue was cut extremely short, to the point of feeling rushed. It also had a lot of action to make up for it. Season 2 had its good episodes (I'm fairly sure that WhiteDiamonds and Ponydora would agree when I say that "Sweet and Elite" had many favorable traits that make it unforgettable, though that may have had something to do with the Canterlot setting or that it was a Rarity episode). Season 1 had its worse episodes, too. ("Feeling Pinkie Keen" has to go down on that list for me. What was that episode about, anyway? It made no sense. It was all about something that didn't make sense, and ended with Twilight giving up trying to explain it.) We have to speak in generalizations in this case, but it isn't entirely fair to do so because the quality varies mostly by episode, not by season.

I have spoken my thoughts regarding character-centric episodes in the past, but yes, they would likely be more interesting if they incorporated more of the remaining five. It's possible that since the writers would have to come up with reasons to include every main character, it would feel forced at times. It may be for the best in some instances that some characters be excluded, but Season 2 arguably had too many of such instances. I'm sure they could have worked the other four into "Sisterhooves Social" if they only attended the event to watch and give occasional commentary like how Pinkie and Spike did in "Fall Weather Friends". After all, "Sonic Rainboom" was a Rainbow Dash episode, but all six of them were there to watch. It seems that if "Sonic Rainboom" had been featured in Season 2, the only main characters present would be RD, Fluttershy and Rarity. Twilight, Pinkie and Applejack would not be present because Twilight could only grant wings to one of them, and Fluttershy would be used to reflect on Rarity in a quiet manner that would not be enough to keep her from her actions in the episode. Actually, that would have made more sense. Instead, the other three ponies got to watch the contest, and now we know what rainbows taste like.

Anon said... Reply to comment

@Harwick

While the songs in the first season tend to be more memorable, the significance to the story varies. (I'm going to use the song titles from the wiki from here onward.) "Art of the Dress" may have explained the singer's trials in persuit of perfection, but so did the CMCs' song for Cheerilee (and "Find A Pet", for that matter). "At The Gala" may have been a major production of a grand orchestra, but so was "The Heart Carol" (at the end of "Hearth Warming's Eve"). "Smile, Smile, Smile" may not have been about the most "important" subject, but I don't think you could anything different of "Hop, Skip and Jump" (or any of Pinkie's short songs in Season 1). "Smile, Smile, Smile" was about how Pinkie Pie likes to make people smile; "So Many Wonders" was about how Fluttershy loves everything. It's like how you might listen to a "Best Hits of the 60's/70's/80's/90's/century" channel on the radio and think that music was so much better in the past, but you'd be forgetting that most songs were not hits. Overall, Season 1's "big songs" were bigger than the ones in Season 2, but there were 17 different songs in Season 1, and only a few of them were big enough to be considered, so it's hard to generalize them by the season that they appeared in. I am grateful for "Becoming Popular", and that makes the whole season as far as I'm concerned. At least Season 3 is supposed to have a lot of songs. We will have to see how many of them are hits.

@WhiteDiamonds

When I said that it was "only a matter of time", I meant it as a compliment to the consistent quality of your work and a remark on the commotion over on deviantART in reaction to your arrival. (I'm not the only person to have said so, either.) I may not have an account there, but I'm not so unaccustomed to the concept of daily deviations. It would never happen for most artists, but it was more or less an inevitablility for you. I'm glad that someone at dA was able to see that.

By the way, I want to mention that, after a few days of work (not every hour of the day, of course), I have finished a small "doodle". I call it a "doodle" because it's only about half as detailed as your "doodles", even though it took me far longer than a few hours. And even after the power went out for a second, shutting my computer off and causing me to lose all of the work that I did that day...twice. It was only lightly raining outside. But now, it is perfect. Finally...perfect. -single tear-

The quality is closer to that of those eyes that I posted earlier. It seems that every time I draw something, the last one just looks juvenile in comparison. Now that I've given the essential parts of a pony a try (one try with one result, and nothing more), I can now go on to something bigger. Because apparently, art + science + perfectionism + ambition + unrealistic expectations - practice = results. It's more interesting than surfing Old English surnames like "Maegenfrith" and "Thrythbeorht", systematically excluding anything ending in "ic" or "wick". (Though I did think that "Anonamatronic" was funny, and now I'm very tempted to use it for something.) Oh well, at least they're amusing... (Forthhere, Eoforheard, Blaecman, haha...I've lost control of my life.)

But yes, that's what I have been up to. I don't want to raise your expections too much (that would be the last thing I would want, really), but I know now that I am able to (slowly and poorly) draw a pony, which is a far cry from where I started. I'm glad that I decided to make the investment of time and money, because I never would have expected it to work out this way.

Harwick said... Reply to comment

@Anon

While it's certainly nice, I don't need to have *all* of the main characters play a role in every episode, but I do feel things get a bit slight when they reduce it down to only two of them (or, in Pinkie's case especially, just one with very limited appearances by any others.) I've said before that I understood why they wanted to cut the restriction of having Twilight in each episode in order to deliver a lesson at the end, but it turned out that forcing themselves to come up with some kind of subplot for her even when she wasn't that involved was good for the show. The whole "Foreveeeerrr!" bit with Pinkie came about entirely just to give Twilight some involvement in Rarity and Fluttershy's relationship strain in "Green isn't your color". So you're definitely right... finding something for the other characters to be doing when they really aren't necessary has actually added a lot to the show, and pruning that away hasn't really led to the extra breathing space in the episodes being utilized to the fullest potential.

I think you have to look more carefully at what all is covered in the big production numbers from each season (I don't really feel that the little, spontaneous songs really apply to the discussion.) "Art of the Dress" doesn't just cover Rarity's stress... it clues in the audience to the work required to make a dress, her satisfaction in creating it, the various personality quirks of all of her friends, the stress of altering her vision, looming deadlines, clients who don't listen to expert opinion and so on. There is a *lot* of character work in there, and some really on-the-nose commentary about working in a creative field. "Find a Pet" is essentially the same length and is just a list of animals that Dash rejects because she wants something cool that can fly. It's a fun song, and I'm not knocking it, but it's significantly less dense in content than the 3 big production numbers I mentioned from the first season. The same is true of Pinkie's Smile song, which is one of the longest that the show has done. Essentially, they're all much more like the Cutie Mark Crusader's big production number from the first season, which is just about one, simple subject through the run-time.

Again, I enjoy all of these songs from both seasons. It's just that, when it comes to musicals, I've always been partial to songs that move the plot along as opposed to songs that stop the progression and spend time simply hammering home a theme. "Becoming Popular" straddles the line somewhat as a really catchy song that isn't extremely meaty, but it does set up the montage that's necessary to the story quite well.

jodyjm13 said... Reply to comment

Oh hey, another WhiteDiamonds image heading a post!

@Harwick

I have to say I'm honestly a bit surprised that "Secrets of the Everfree" has had a lackluster reception; personally, I think it ranks with "One Last Parade" and "Fires of Friendship" as being one of your best works. And I'm pretty sure my high opinion isn't just because of the prominence of Zecora and Twilight in the drawing.

As for comparing the two seasons of the show, that's a tricky business; it took me a little over a month to watch the entire first season, and while that's not quite the same as watching an average of four episodes a day over a week, it's still siginificantly different from watching one new episode roughly every week. I'll probably re-watch both seasons gradually over the next few months, and my opinion may change as a result, but at this time I think I'd say I enjoyed both seasons more or less the same, but in different ways.

To me, the first season did feel slightly more enchanting; how much of that feeling is due to the thrill of discovery is hard to say, but I don't think that can account for the entirety of the difference. No doubt the reduced emphasis on group interactions played a part in that; the first season also felt more sincere and cohesive, with less of an emphasis on awesome, over-the-top scenes and more of an emphasis on character and themes. There also seemed more of a willingness to show characters (main and minor) in a negative light this season, which I didn't always care for. While I liked the songs in the second season fine, I think Harwick's right that the songs from the first season tended to be better at advancing the plot or developing the characters. And while it's a small thing, I do miss Pinkie Pie's brief, random ditties, which were pretty much confined to her two starring episodes this season.

The animation did improve this season, particularly for the latter half of the season. There were also moments during the second season that were arguably funnier, more heartwarming, or more suspenseful than anything in the first season. While I think the first season was more consistent, there were three episodes from the second season ("Luna Eclipsed", "Sisterhooves Social", and "Hurricane Fluttershy") that struck me as equal to my favorite first-season episode, "Suited for Success". (Conversely, there were four episodes this season that I thought were just OK, as opposed to two in the first season.) I was also impressed with the character growth this season, and am curious to see if that leads to anything in future episodes.

On the whole, I can't say I'm disappointed in the second season; despite its shortcomings, it still has its own strengths. I'm guardedly optimistic that the third season will maintain a high level of quality, despite the loss of Lauren Faust and Rob Renzetti. What I would hope for in the third season is a return to more group-centered episodes (not necessarily with all seven main characters, but with significant interactions among at least three of the group), and more storylines like "Applebuck Season" and "Sweet and Elite" with characters facing issues that touch on their very sense of identity.

Anon said... Reply to comment

@Harwick

I don't think I was really disagreeing with you on that, as I said, "Art of the Dress" and "Find a Pet" (as well as the CMCs' song for Cheerilee) had some similarities in concept, but differing execution. "Find a Pet" could have been "Art of the Dress" based on those similarities, if it had more subject matter. It seems that they are taking one part of the current situation in the story and making a song of it simply to have a song in the episode. It might work to ask yourself if the scene would still be interesting enough to hold your attention even without the music. If the lyrics of "Find a Pet" were dialogue, the entire scene would be nothing except "Not that one. Not that one. Eh, I think I'll just hold a contest instead." In the case of some Season 2 songs, they only build on story near the end once the singer has found a solution to the problem that the song was about.

It also seems as if Season 2 is combining the small, "spontaneous" songs with the large productions. I find it hard to determine which category some songs in Season 1 belong to, but whether or not you include Pinkie's "Cupcakes song" or "Giggle At The Ghost(ly/ies)" as minor productions, you still have at least 10 small songs in the first season. In the case of the second, excluding the three songs in the season finale, there were six large songs. And as for small songs, there were only five. More of the songs in Season 2 were larger productions than in Season 1, but like I said, Season 1's big songs were bigger. The big songs in the second season didn't stray as far from the size and importance to the story of a small one as the first did, but more of the songs in total were "large" in return. The large songs in Season 1 were probably the best we've ever had, but let's not forget that there were a lot of small and less "important" ones to make up for it.

Anon said... Reply to comment

@Harwick

This sort of ties into the last topic of character placement, but something that all three of those songs from Season 1 had in common is that they all incorporated a large cast of characters to give their unique perspectives on the song's point of focus. (They might be doing these character-specific episodes to build on each character, and to provide for the younger audience that tends to have favourites. Patricia likes Pinkie Pie? Here, have a Pinkie Pie episode. Rebecca likes Rarity? It's the next hallway to your left. It's all white and purple with big ribbons. You can't miss it. Amanda likes Applejack? Too bad, Applejack doesn't get episodes.) "Winter Wrap Up" described what each character was doing at the event, collectively listing everything that is done during that time. "Art of the Dress" gave each of the six a role, with five maintaining their own difficult qualities and attitudes. "Art of the Dress" is like "Find a Pet", multiplied by five. If "Art of the Dress" only focused on Dash's unhelpful criticism, then it would be "Find a Pet". "At the Gala" was all about this, giving each character their own section of the song to add their unique reason to anticipate the event, and even two words at the end to summarize it. ("Art of the Dress" gave hints to the other characters' thoughts much more subtly, most often without any lines.) Basically, it was "Pinkie's Gala Fantasy Song" multiplied by six.

It all comes down to what you value in the musicals of the show. If more than half of the enjoyment comes from simply having something catchy to listen to, you will like Season 2. If you are focused more on their integrity and meaning, and you're willing to wait a bit longer for another such production in an episode...Well, you'll have to hope that they have gone back to that style by the third season.

(I guess you could say that "Becoming Popular" is a depiction of the life that Rarity wants to live, which might explain why the ending felt sad. It only features Rarity and a bunch of ponies nopony knows, and it isn't the most meaningful song, but it's catchy enough to go on my short list of favorites. I'm sure that the next time I go strolling through Paris in a limousine, that song will at least be playing in the back of my head.)

Harwick said... Reply to comment

Well, it appears from what WD's says on her dA account that Commission #9 might be a ways off yet. As I'm stuck with little to do today, other than cleaning house in preparation for my brother's family to come spend the weekend, I'm stealing space on Di's blog to find out more about our fellow posters.

So here's the challenge: Let's hear 3 random facts about yourself that people don't already know.

Also, since it's her blog and all, 1 fact related in some way, shape or form to our lovely hostess, White Diamonds.

Harwick said... Reply to comment

Okay, my entries:

1) I had a pet turtle as a child, up until the day my mom was cleaning and put his tank on the back deck and then forgot to bring him inside again. The next morning found no sign of him. I like to believe that he made a daring escape to the woods and pond behind our house. In truth, the answer is probably more sinister. Damn raccoons.

2) I have lived in 6 different states in my lifetime: Wisconsin, Michigan, Florida, Colorado, Maryland and Pennsylvania. Florida is the only state where I was stung by a scorpion, found a giant snake behind my washing machine and had a giant spider leap out of the shower curtain at me... and I only lived there for one summer in college. I don't know how all of those old people stay alive down there.

3) I was an extra during the filming of this summer's Batman movie. I spent most of the day chatting with the stand-ins for various actors, as well as other crew and of course my fellow extras. The stand in for the villain had to shave his head, and he was rightfully worried that the mask he had to wear was going to give him tan lines that looked like he had fallen asleep with a thong over his face.

White Diamonds related fact: While I'm envious of her many talents, I'm really quite jealous of her little signature logo. It's simple, clever, unpresumptuous, and instantly recognizable. Cainescrolls' is quite good as well, but WD's takes the cake.

Anon said... Reply to comment

@Harwick

Hmm...

Well, to be honest I'd never expected such an inquiry (Maybe from zhoomcar). I do not usually partake in the answering of these sorts of questions as I find it hard to summarize such an expansive subject as your own self. (If I was asked to describe myself with a single word, I might respond with "Typographically-constrained.") I have never had any pets, though my parents had a budgie that I had been accustomed to for the last few years of its life, which may have contributed to my partiality to birds and flight. I still have a small blue feather in a cylindrical inch-wide gift box in a top dresser drawer, in fact. I haven't been to any state except Florida, or any other country besides Canada. Certainly I've never been anything like a film extra before. I've never even had a formal, paying job. The internet has been my life since I was eight years old. Before that, it was PC games and old Disney and Dreamworks movies on VHS tape. My life has always been uninteresting. I could say something of our host, but that would be nothing new or unexpected of me.

I'm surprised but appreciative that you would want to know more about us, and I can empathize with the notion of making conversation here. I might be able to relate to some of the specific topics that others bring up, rather than grasping something out of the wide blue yonder. It's already bringing up some interesting stories.

PonydoraPrancypants said... Reply to comment

Well, alright, since you insist:

1. I agree that reptiles make good pets. I always had pet king snakes growing up, though one (appropriately named MacGyver) did somehow pop the top of his cage and escape through the air vents. I never smelled anything bad, so I assume he somehow made it to freedom.

2. I was born one day before Ashleigh Ball, the voice of Applejack and Rainbow Dash. She, however, is Canadian, whereas I was born in the hometown of President Bill Clinton.

3. I was born with several hypermobile joints, including all the joints on my left hand and both shoulders. I often find myself doing what seems to me is a pretty innocuous stretch only to have someone ask if I'm okay.

White Diamonds-related fact: We both spent large portions on our childhoods living by the shore of a large body of water. For her, it was the Pacific, and for me, Lake Erie.

zhoomcar said... Reply to comment

1. The moment I joined the herd I suddenly noticed that I had a surprising amount of previous gen merch lying around in my home. Like a G1 Fluttershy, for instance.

2. Melbourne, Australia is, and always will be home to me. Though I would love to go visit Europe at some point.

3. Movies? What movies? Oh well, the closest I would ever get to that is the school plays that I've been participanting in (as an extra, mind you)

WD: Your art is amazing and I adore you. And when it's not Scrolls your art usually adorns the backdrops of my iPad / Windows Phone / computer.

CaineScroll said... Reply to comment

Right, let's do this:

1) Believe it or not, I actually enjoy fashion when it comes along. Seeing those big-shot shows in Milan or Paris always fills me with a sense of satisfaction (which is why I feel really pleased when someone gives a thumbs-up on my character design).

2) My birthday is right after the death of Michael Jackson in 2009. That year's birthday wasn't exactly the best birthday ever. =/\

3) I nearly caused a traffic accident back in my childhood. A mental note to all parents out there: NEVER let your kids (especially boys) in the front seat until they reach ten. You never know when a handbrake might look like a grey popsicle to them. (Okay, I just thought it looked interesting, but not edible.)

WD-related: Who can resist her adorable little meeps? I can only associate that sound with something like, well, Road Runner. Who is also kind of adorable. ^^

CaineScroll said... Reply to comment

@zhoomcar

Addendum: You might be seeing me around in a few years, haha...

jodyjm13 said... Reply to comment

I've lived a rather dull life myself, so my facts will be correspondingly lackluster, but I'll contribute what I can...

1. I grew up in a small town in Mississippi called D'Lo, in a dogtrot house that had been added on to throughout the years; the main part of the house, though, was built in 1881. We lived right across the road from a softball park, which was handy for me, my brother, and my sister.

2. I started on the road to math geekery early, and when I was about 8 years old (around 1980), my grandfather gave me a 1976 Texas Instruments TI-30 scientific calculator. I still own it (as well as its box and instruction manual) and it still works, though I use it only rarely and with great care.

3. I'm a huge fan of the comic series Usagi Yojimbo. For a time in the late '90s, I was on a mailing list for fans of the series; one summer they held a contest, which one would enter simply by sending an email to a specified address, and the 300th email would win first prize. I won first prize, which (iirc) was $200-300 worth of books and merchandise, but as allowed by the rules, I declined it and chose second prize: a custom drawing by Stan Sakai. (I will be deleting that pic in a couple of weeks, so if you want it, save it now...)

As for a fact about Di, we both enjoy playing Scrabble with family; someday I'd love to play with her and her sister, and we could compete to see who's first to lay down "fabulous". ;)

Harwick said... Reply to comment

See? This stuff is gold! Maybe not juicy enough for blackmail material, but interesting to read none-the-less.

@Anon
To be fair, I was really only looking for people to pick 3 random, possibly trivial things to share with us, rather than the three facts that summarize who you are at heart. I don't actually think that my childhood turtle was one of the defining features of my life, but perhaps I'm underestimating his value.

Regardless, you did in fact share some information about yourself, and for that I thank you. And don't underestimate the foreign nature of Canada. I once had to pay $18 for pancakes on their side of Niagra Falls. Pancakes. At IHOP. There's a reason their currency is based on loons.

@PonydoraPrancypants
I do insist.

Reptiles have a knack for daring escapes... and for unexpectedly surviving. Apparently, my older brother once had a turtle that went missing in my family's apartment for weeks... and then one day just casually came strolling out from under the couch. My mom likes to tell that story, but I'm not sure she grasps exactly how it reflects on her housecleaning skills. Perhaps the turtle had an accomplice, however, because when I was around my mom kept the house pretty immaculate.

I'm afraid I'm also going to have to report you to the mutant registration division. People's thumbs should only bend so far.

By the way, I blame Lake Erie for the mutant thing. Or perhaps Ohio in general. Love Cedar Point, though...

@zhoomcar
As a resident of Australia, you no doubt laugh at my aversion to the quaint wildlife of Florida. I'd probably blame the deadly fauna there for littering your house with G1 ponies as well. Who would confront them about it?

What kind of juicy extra roles have you had in school plays? I was cast as an "Onlooker" for The Dark Knight Rises. It's a hard role to prepare for.

@CaineScroll

I actually know nothing about fashion. What was your most fashionable moment in life? When did you wear your best outfit?

If only your parents had been international spies, then randomly pulling levers in their car would have been completely awesome. Equal chance of an oil slick behind you or an ejection seat, I'd say.

@jodyjm13
Interesting, and educational... thanks for the links! So was that central pass through that makes for a dogtrot closed off in the house you grew up in? It wasn't readily apparent in the link you gave.

I never found the love of scientific calculators that many of my classmates did. I know many of them loved their Texas Instruments devices. Then again, this was in the Detroit area, and a great many of them knew from very early on that they wanted to be mechanical engineers.

Usagi Yojimbo is one title that I never really read, although I was obviously familiar with it. I think you made the right choice going with the custom drawing, myself.

And that Scrabble lifegoal sounds pretty darn perfect, actually.

PonydoraPrancypants said... Reply to comment

@Harwick

Cedar Point! I lived in Sandusky for a time, and grew up on those roller coasters. I will be back that way in July, and I just may have to hit up the old Magnum XL 200 one more time.

In Ohio's defense, the rivers were so polluted that they regularly caught on fire by the time I lived there. On the other hand, we were definitely discouraged from eating the local fish. Besides, it was your home state that had the nuclear meltdown.

Scrabble is a lot of fun, though as strategic thinking is a bit of a weakness of mine, I always end up with awesome words and not enough points.

PonydoraPrancypants said... Reply to comment

@PonydoraPrancypants

*edit* no longer so polluted.

my subconsious knows there really is no point in trying to defend Ohio.

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

(In light of more interesting conversation I'm sure none of the following will be responded to at this point, but I would hate to leave any of you hanging and am happy to be thorough anyway:)

@Harwick

Dear me, I wonder if I have been displaying extremely poor tact and poor word choice lately! Because that's the second time you've apologized to me for stepping on toes in recent days. And as I said before in the other instance not at all, it's just that I would hate to prematurely get anyone's hopes up for seeing the artwork if it turns out my client would actually prefer I not post it, you know? I suppose I might be equally guilty of that though, because I've been telling everyone it will be finished (not saying specifically that I would be posting it, granted, but then I realize that's probably implied).

So really, you've never seen even a single episode of Project Runway?? Oh my goodness darling you are SO missing out; my mother and I used to watch marathons of it on lazy weekend mornings/afternoons all the time! It's so much fun to see what the contestants come up with for some of the challenges... my favorite ever was probably when they had to create pieces out of materials bought at a grocery store. I know that was all the way back in season 1, but the world could see Austin had talent then when he made that dress out of corn husks, and it was amazing to see what some of the others came up with as well... it really is a great program and I highly recommend it if you ever chance upon it.

And really, your Everfree artwork has received a lackluster response? Glancing at your gallery now it seems to have quite a lot of comments... nearly as many as "The Fires of Friendship" and despite the fact that it hasn't been up for nearly as long. Well I'm surprised at that, and I should have made an effort to comment on it on EqD as well when it was posted there. I'm sorry about that!

@Anon

I know you meant that remark as a compliment dear and I appreciate it, but well, even though you may have assumed it was only a matter of time before I received the honor, I can't say *I* ever saw it coming! I realize I keep saying that to everyone but it's true, and even though the excitement has naturally died down recently all I need to do is think about it again to feel the giddiness and euphoria bubbling up once more. It is amazing,amazing, amazing.... unbelievable. <3

Oh, don't you just hate when that happens with the power going out!? That's exactly why I've gotten into the habit of saving my work at regular intervals over the years. I'm so sorry that happened to you, but it's very nice to hear that your artwork has been coming along well! I do look forward to seeing it whenever it is that you feel like sharing... I've been very impressed with your diligence and tenacity thus far. Though I have to say, I'm afraid I have no idea what you might be talking about in regards to Old English surnames!

@jodyjm13

Oh, eep! I certainly did miss that post before (I'm afraid I haven't had much free time for EqD at all recently) so thank you very much for sharing! That was actually an excellent bit of news as well, and I'll have to check and see if there has thus been any follow-up to it. I'd love to know if Mr. Fabulous de Lancie would get a kick out of that silly Discord artwork of mine... I'd try sending it to him if I only knew how.

And a small point of mention, but Suited For Success was your favorite first-season episode?? Ohh I never knew that... yay, we're the same~! <3 <3 ^.^

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@Harwick and everyone else, too

And okay, so! Leave it to you, darling Harwick to find a way to breathe some life back into this blog again! I've noticed you have a tendency to do that (and believe me I love you for it, among other reasons of course). I share plenty of random facts about myself on a regular basis, but I can always think of a few more I'm sure...

1) Well obviously we're all pony fans here, but I don't think any of you know that I happen to be fond of real ponies (and horses) as well, and actually I had a pet pony when I was a child. Her name was Star and she was a former show pony, and I once rode her in a local parade.

2) Another something animal-related, I am scared of spiders (which probably doesn't surprise anyone) unless they're the sort that hang in webs and hardly move and are far enough away from me, but I am actually not afraid of tarantulas at all. My brother's former boyfriend who he was with from the time I was 5 years old until I was around 17 used to have a tarantula, and since I was introduced to her at such a young age I was never afraid of her. He used to give her to me to hold all the time and to this day, tarantulas don't especially frighten me at all (their feet feel especially nice when you hold them as well, like the softest little velvety pads).

3) I am interested in holistic medicine and know quite a bit about massage and reflexology, something which I regularly practice on my friends and family. Even though I've had no formal training I am apparently quite a skilled masseuse, and have had numerous people in the past (former co-workers, acquaintances and so on who I've done minor work on) tell me I should be doing it for a living.

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

This is far too much fun...

@Harwick

Oh d'aww, you had a turtle? That's so cute for whatever reason, and I have to say I found your other two entries to be appropriately laugh-worthy. Everything you wrote about Florida sounds rather awful, and if the humidity itself wasn't enough to make me never want to live there (with no offense meant to present company on this blog of course, but I'm afraid I can't bear heat coupled with humidity *_*) the spider story certainly did the trick. Eeesh..!

And really, you like my little signature so much? I never knew that, and am not sure what ever gave me the idea for it to begin with, really. I just remember going to sign one of my first pony-pictures (whichever one it was out of that batch of early Applejack and Rarity doodles, because my very first fanart ever, the Rarijack was actually submitted to EqD with no signature on it) with my initials and in a stroke of inspiration, boxed them in with a diamond to match. Thank you for praising it, and for making me sound far more innovative for coming up with it than I really am!

Oh yes and now I must make a point to see The Dark Knight Rises, which I might not have done otherwise. My eagle-eye for detail shall be put to the test; you'll have to tell me what scene you're in so I can spot you!

@PonydoraPrancypants

Heehee, I knew your number one already, of course (or most of it), and in turn I believe you know something about me concerning rather the same subject. ^_~ And while I'm not sure about hypermobile joints (though the word immediately conjures to mind the sort of people who you see in Cirque du Soleil) I am double-jointed in all of my fingers at least.

@zhoomcar

Oh my goodness you are so sweet, thank you very much dear! I wish I could hug you for that. ^.^ And while I can't say that I still have any G1 pony merchandise lying anywhere about my home, I did have some until recently... sadly, I got rid of all my old MLP toys from my childhood only a few years ago. Horrible timing on my part, I'm afraid!

@CaineScroll

You know, I am surprised by your fashion revelation dear and yet not surprised at the same time... certainly it explains why you put so much obvious thought (well, obvious to me anyway) into your character's outfit designs! That's just fabulous really... you know, you and I should talk about such things sometime! Along with Katie, because I know she's also interested to an extent isn't she?

@jodyjm13

Oh! Yes, most definitely we should try to make that happen, Jody! The three of us could all be geeky together, and I'll make a point to pick you up an upside-down caramel macchiato with whipped cream from Starbucks beforehand, since my sister and I traditionally chug our giant mugs of coffee (or what will now have to be fake herbal coffee for me, sigh~) while we play. Did you ever end up trying one of those yet, by the way?

I had never heard of a dogtrot house (or Usagi Yojimbo, honestly) before reading that, somehow, but that was extremely interesting! And reading about how it had been built upon over time just conjured images of the Weasley's Burrow from Harry Potter.

Kateasaurus said... Reply to comment

Goodness. I can't seem to catch a break lately, and am only now getting around to commenting again! I'll spare the boring details of, yet another, boring hospital stay. I'm doing fine now at least, so back to ponies and Diablo 3!

I was going to respond to all of you on the previous posts, but it was so long ago, I think it might be irrelevant now. So on to the 3 fact game!

1. One year of college, I took all of my classes online so I could have an adventure up in Canada. It was, by far, the best year of my life. I still have the badge of a police officer I bought a round for in Halifax too. Probably should have given that back >.>

2. I can play 3 different instruments. (Piano, guitar, and violin.) Although, I really haven't had much time for them in the past year. So I might be somewhat rusty at the moment.

3. I'm not really into DJ Pon-3. Her or remixes of pony songs, really. All that electronic thumping just isn't my musical preference. As far as her as a character, I'm just not fond of her design. Coming from someone who loves white-bodied ponies, too. I wish Hasbro would've included a Wonderbolt in the upcoming Brony toy pack instead of her.

WD: I think we both share the same love for Project Runway, and older gen ponies. ^_^ I'm also incredibly jealous that she had an ACTUAL pony! It's still a running joke in my family how I'd ask for a pony for Christmas every year when I was a little kid.

CaineScroll said... Reply to comment

@Harwick

Well, I don't claim to be a fashion expert, either; I just love watching the pros do their stuff. And if I had the cash and the physique to go I'd say yes to some serious makeovers, but otherwise I'm just your typical guy in glasses wearing occasionally wearing a hoodie one size too big. I like to put what I can't put on myself on my characters, though. =)

International spies? Oh Lord, that would be great, especially the travel opportunities (I would die for a trip to the States, as if y'all didn't know already)! Of course, the occupational hazards sort of ruin the moment...

By the way, I was pretty stunned to hear about your filming experience...bonus points for said movie being The Dark Knight Rises. I'm really looking forward to that movie, and now I actually have a chance to play a little "Find the Hidden Harwick" game with myself...if only I knew what you looked like, that is. I'll take every guy with hazel eyes as a possibility. =P

As for my finest outfit...black V-neck sweater along with a pair of Lois jeans, all while lounging at Starbucks with a cup of Java chip mocha in hand. Now if only I had the shoes to go with it...

Harwick said... Reply to comment

@PonydoraPrancypants
When I was growing up in Michigan we used to make a day trip to Cedar Point every year. Unfortunately, I haven't been there in about a decade now. Still the best amusement park I've ever been to, however.

I love the Cuyahoga River specifically for it's history of catching on fire. I always laugh when people talk about repealing the clean water act on the assumption that it's unnecessary over-regulation. The Cuyahoga is pretty much the trump card in that argument.

As for Three Mile Island, since I didn't move to Pennsylvania until well into my 30's, I'm guessing any residual radiation had little effect on my development. I was pretty messed up well before that.

@WhiteDiamonds
Nonsense... all conversation with you is interesting and worth responding to, no matter what subjects have popped up since. And you're not displaying poor tact at all... my thought processes are a little manic recently, and I find myself backtracking to make sure I haven't gotten carried away.

I really haven't seen any Project Runway, but had people told me they were dressing in corn husks I most certainly would have tuned in. I will say I enjoyed the Make Up SFX knock-off of Project Runway, where they had aspiring Hollywood make-up artists design movie monsters each week from concept through to execution... but that might have had a slightly different vibe to it.

The Everfree artwork has gotten a good amount of comments (although I believe I've responded to more of them there than on any other work of mine, so my own are inflating that count some). It was in actual views that I was noticing a sharp drop off. Your Birthday image and the Luna/Pinocchio image before that each got around 15,000 views after they showed up on EQD. This one only brought in around 2,000. I don't want to sound like I'm complaining, as I appreciate all of the attention and feedback regardless, but it was a fairly stark difference that I couldn't help but notice.

@WhiteDiamonds
I quite enjoy this blog of yours, and so I'm always happy to try to prod it into entertaining me whenever I can.

The idea of you and Star in a parade is just adorable. I'm so glad you had a pony. We need to get Kateasaurus one now as well.

The spider that attacked me in the shower (or was unfortunately flung at me by the rapid pull I gave the shower curtain) was about the size of my palm and pretty hairy, with legs like cocktail straws. I had no desire to find out what the pads of his feet felt like. At least not until I was back in a pair of pants.

A sparkling, intelligent conversationalist, an immensely talented artist, a truly lovely soul, and a skilled masseuse? You are quite the catch, my dear.

Harwick said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds
In truth, Florida living was fairly comfortable. The humidity was much worse in Maryland, truthfully. Besides, everything is air-conditioned and most everyone has a pool.

Part of my admiration for your signature is that it clearly isn't over-designed. It's perfectly simple, thematically-fitting, and instantly recognizable. That's the trifecta of design right there.

Oh, and to you and Cainescrolls, I should have mentioned that I never appear in a single frame of The Dark Knight Rises. I ended up being an "extra" extra. I was placed into a shot, but then they reblocked it and we were all removed... Other than that, I just watched the shoot. If any of you do happen to see the film, when three camouflaged Tumblers go driving down the city street, and then a bunch of mercenaries walk out of an alley to follow/flank them, I'm right around that corner in that alley. The worst part? Anne Hathaway and the table with all of the donuts were located across the intersection from me.

@Kateasaurus
Now I really want to hear the story that Canadian officer gave his superiors to cover up how he gave away his badge to a woman in a bar.

And three instruments? You're supremely talented yourself!

I kind of like DJ PON-3, but probably not as much as fandom in general. I do appreciate that they reused her in the finale to please the brony community though, definitely.

@CaineScroll
See my reply above about not actually making it into the film. In truth, the experience was pretty terrible, as it was in the middle of the massive heatwave last summer, yet the scene from the film was set in winter and so we were all dressed in heavy clothes, coats and hats. We then shot from 7am until noon, had lunch and then were sequestered in a college classroom until they needed us again... and they never did. We ended up spending the next 8 hours sitting there with nothing to do but wait. We were told we'd be part of some big prison escape scene they were shooting that day, but nobody ever came back to collect us. Around 8 pm we were sitting on the front steps of the building when the army of prisoner extras came walking past the building and told us they had wrapped for the day. Had Christopher Nolan walked by, we probably would have pelted him with complimentary danishes.

You do sound quite stylish there at Starbucks. I'm horribly unfashionable in my day-to-day life, but I do enjoy getting dressed up on occasion. I used to work for a millionaire who threw insanely elaborate Christmas parties each year at his house, and I took to buying vests to wear with my suits so that I could lose the jacket once things started to get warm and the formality of the event disappeared in the shadow of the open bar. A nice shirt with french cuffs and cufflinks under a well-fitting vest became my usual elegant party attire.

PonydoraPrancypants said... Reply to comment

@Harwick

And both sides of my family have lived in Pennsylvania for generations. Darn. Why couldn't I have gotten any good superpowers?

Speaking of Florida, my wife grew up there. What a strange place! Alternately amazing - I remember watching dolphins leaping and doing flips in the Vero Beach harbor on a beautiful, sunny 75 degree New Years Day - and horrifying - they have roaches that can FLY!

I actually am not afraid of spiders at all, and feel a certain affinity for them really. On the other hand I am terrified of any kind of flying or scuttling insect. Bugs and claustrophobia are my two significant fears.

By the way, I am all of those things and you've never called ME quite a catch! Where's the love?

@Kateasaurus

Piano, guitar, and violin are three of the "cool" instruments that one can still look attractive while playing. Unfortunately this is not the case with any of the instruments I play (most of the brass ones).

@WhiteDiamonds

Double-jointed, eh? If we ever meet let's be sure to compare our weird hands. On second thought, how about not!

I never owned a pony, but my cousin back in Arkansas actually raises miniature ponies and miniature horses. They're pretty adorable, as I recall, but I haven't been back that way in a decade or so.

zhoomcar said... Reply to comment

@Harwick
for one, I live somewhat close to the metropolitan area, so any out of the ordinary wildlife is not really a common sight around here. Apart from those mosquitoes... -shudder-

At the moment I've been cast as a chorus member in the musical Oklahoma, which kinda means I may have to polish up my American accent. It's a lot more difficult than it seems, having to sing in such an accent, let alone talk in one.

@CaineScroll
Oh really now? You know, the Melbourne Bronies group does have one or two members who were from the Malaysian brony group.

@WhiteDiamonds
Teehee. Spiders? Generally, I don't like to harm things, not even ants, I have to step around the little things to avoid crushing their little selves. One time I discovered a relatively large spider crawling around the house, and assisted in leading it to freedom, much to my mother's horror. I can say it didn't end well for the spider, which made me kinda sad. Mosquitoes, on the other hand... -readies flyswatter-

zhoomcar said... Reply to comment

@PonydoraPrancypants
Your OC -courtesy of Harwick- just screams classy. Possibly even moreso than Fancypants. I'm not sure what to think of that.

CaineScroll said... Reply to comment

@Harwick

When you put it that way...ouch. That must've been a complete buzz killer. I suppose I should redefine my understanding of the term "extra" after this...although Christopher Nolan covered in pastries would've made one hilarious magazine cover photo. =P

And the style was only a one-time thing, I'm afraid...I'm usually clad in a T-shirt, jeans and a black hoodie (because someone in the university is a total novice with air conditioners) during classes. I also have a set of formal wear tucked aside, but I only use it on an absolutely-necessary basis because it usually makes me look like someone from 1937, sans coat, suspenders and fedora. Which translates to fashion apocalypse. What wouldn't I do for a new influx of checked shirts and sweaters in my wardrobe, sigh~

@PonydoraPrancypants

Well, having gone gravesweeping every year (except this one), I'm used to my share of creepie-crawlies. I don't really mind them, unless they actually manage to do some physical damage; During one of my family's early sweeps back in 2003, when I found my toe soaked in blood (not exaggerating here) I immediately stomped the leech responsible into next Tuesday. Pretty tame compared to a farmer uncle of mine who handles his leeches with a butcher knife.

And as for the music stuff...I'm pretty adept with a piano (or at least I was, a few months ago), but wasn't good enough to pass the teacher's qualifications test. Maybe it's a good thing, though; I can't imagine myself describing the concept of Allegretto to young kids without double-taking all the time! ;P

@zhoomcar

Yeah, I'm thinking of applying for an exchange program for my final year. I reckon I'll most likely end up in Prahran, since my university's main design school is there...That's the long-term goal, anyway. =)

And I might have a vague idea of who you're referring to...and I do hope I'm wrong. The bloke I have in mind has a firm foothold in the Aussie brony community, but he's pretty eccentric, and I'm saying that while I'm set to Mother Teresa mode. Believe me when I say he's not exactly someone you'd want to meet. =(

@Kateasaurus

You did leave hints around regarding the hospital stay, though I didn't want to jump to conclusions...but knowing you, I totally saw Diablo 3 in your future. *wraps ornate bandana around head and whips out crystal ball* I heard the server mess-up caused a lot of raging, though.

And I have to agree with you on DJ Pon-3...I do appreciate the crew putting her into the finale, but I'm more partial to Octavia when it comes to musical ponies. She definitely has a more suave vibe which I absolutely love, which is saying something for an earth pony! <3 And oh, there's the rest of the ensemble. Right.

Them.

Anon said... Reply to comment

@Harwick

I think it may have brought to mind the deviantART users who ask Diamonds to answer various questions of that nature. This is actually turning into a legitimate conversation, though...

I don't know if you have gathered it from my past comments, but I was in fact born there. (I still have the accent, to some extent. It's less "oot and aboot, eh" and more "Celestia", eh.) I can't find the specific house that I lived in for the first five years of my life, but here is the street. (Yes, Bond Street. doom-WAMP, doom-WAMP, doom-WAMP, doom-WAMP...) It was white with a green roof and matching green shutters. That is, until it was turned into an office building and new owners painted them black or somesuch less appealing color. Which is a shame, because it looked nice the way it was.

I don't live here, but it looks the same as where I do live. Except that maybe the houses here are more spaced-out and isolated. We're the only people living on our street and cul-de-sac, to give you an idea. When you drive in the general direction of civilization, both sides of the road are forested.

We drove all the way down to Florida when I was six years old. Yes, drove. For three days straight. I have been told many times before that I have a long memory, and I actually remember those three days. I slept through most of it (my sister and I had pillows between our seats), and when I would wake up, the outside was nothing but dark nights and streetlights. (A nice thing about Florida is that even at nighttime, it's very bright with moonlight.) I remember asking my mother something about when we would stop at another hotel one time I woke up, and she told me to go back to sleep. The whole thing was not exactly comfortable, so I always looked forward to stopping at a hotel, but I remember my parents were very irritable and had us all just go to bed rather than ask questions. We would get up early and go to bed late. As someone who has built a snowman or two in his life, I figure the heat was a surprise from the instant I stepped out of the truck. I remember my only motivation to move to another country was to see a big statue of Buzz Lightyear in front of a Disney hotel that was shown to me in a newspaper. When we stopped to ask a police officer for directions, I asked my mother if we were going to where the statue was. She said yes, just to keep me quiet. I never did see that statue...

We're still Canadian citizens, presumably so that the US can't draft us into World War III. The high prices likely have to do with their increased taxes for benefits like medical care. It's good for Canadian hospital patients, but not so good for American IHOP-goers.

Anon said... Reply to comment

@Harwick

I wonder, did you sign up to be an extra for the experience, or because it's relatively easy money? To be chosen for that sort of thing sounds much more impressive to me than it probably should. Also, since I obviously have an interest in game development and I am currently practicing "art", I had been looking for a job description for art directors, but I figure it might be just as well to ask you.

@WhiteDiamonds

Not only have I never seen Project Runway, I've never even watched Lord of the Rings. I happened to tell that to my friend two days ago (as he was suggesting that I take a look at Stargate), and he told me that he hasn't either. He's more a fan of science fiction, and I'm more a fan of wasting my life away on the internet.

Oh, and that thing about the funny Old English names was just another joke about "What by Celestia's beard am I going to call this blog and deviantART account when I finally have to make them?" I actually took a long one-column list of every name on this page, striking them off one by one according to my strict standards. It came down to the likes of "Castillon" (which reminds me a bit too much of "Cameron"), "Devereux" (which I used for a game character's name, but sounds too "mean" for anything else) and more ridiculous ones like "Valleservian" and "Guildersleeve". I had wanted to incorporate a nice suffix like "bourne" or "wright", but I don't want people to think I'm named after a movie that I've never seen and it might be confusing if I went around telling people that I'm a maker of chests. Not to mention "Bournewright" sounds oddly homophobic. (Or at least insensitive. I could never use the word "white" in a name because it would make me look like a white sepremist.) But I assure you, one day I will stop being so lazy and make a speech-learning AI, teach it to think the same as I do, and call it the Anonamatronic. *maniacal laughter, yay*

If your blog had its own version of Muro, surely I would demonstrate any negligible drawing ability I possess for the sake of the conversation. I could make something in SAI and post a link to it, but then I would have no excuse for its quality and would undoubtedly expend far too much time working on something that was only meant as a fun gesture.

Alas, I have no interesting talents, any physical abnormalities have already been established, I haven't starred in any blockbusters lately, I haven't stolen anything from a police officer or redcoat recently, and worst of all, I have no superpowers. Oh, and I have said so before but that is very true, WhiteDiamonds' various talents truly are more than impressive. As if her drawing abilities were not enough, it seems she has touched every one of the creative arts. Your capability may dumbfound us, but your charity and modesty leaves us in shame.

Harwick said... Reply to comment

@PonydoraPrancypants
I've seen the way you can pack it in at a high-end steak joint. Makes you a rather pricey date, so I had to deduct a few points for that. Otherwise, you are pretty dreamy, no doubt.

@zhoomcar
I would so enjoy seeing an amateur production of Oklahoma done with entirely Australian actors doing American accents.

Of course, I also just sat through my little 5 year old cousin's 2.5 hour dance recital, so it's a fair bet to say that most any form of entertainment would look really good by comparison right now.

And thanks for the kind words on Ponydora's OC. Nothing says classy like a cravat, I'm sure.

@CaineScroll

In all honesty, the extra gig would have been fun had I just left at noon after lunch. Sure, I wouldn't have gotten paid, but I would have happily given up that check for freedom. Beautiful, beautiful freedom.

I did get to hang out with about 100 extras playing inmates, all while knowing that "prior experience" was considered a "plus" when they were casting for roles... so that was interesting.

@Anon
Well, naturally when I noted the Canadian monetary system was based entirely on the loon, I meant it in the most flattering and respectful way possible. I, for one, love our gentle neighbors to the north. Or at least Bob and Doug McKenzie, eh?

That's a very charming tree-lined street, and you can't argue with the name.

And I know you say you don't live where you've mapped to, but do you live off of Charlotte Harbor? My parents place is in Punta Gorda, so I come down there now and again when I can actually find the time to visit.

The IHOP prices were specifically because Niagra Falls is a monster of a tourist trap. I've been elsewhere in Canada (having grown up outside of Detroit, so Windsor was just across the bridge, and I drove to Toronto to see some shows with college friends a couple of times) and it's not nearly that pricey elsewhere.

Harwick said... Reply to comment

@Anon
They film a lot of movies in this area, and when they gave the casting call for The Dark Knight Rises I thought it might be fun to be involved. I was so very wrong.

The money was never an issue... there was the more likely scenario that I'd have to skip a good-paying art assignment in order to clear a couple of days for shooting, but it turned out all right (although it did eat into one day when my parents were visiting.) I don't recall what the pay was supposed to be... something pretty paltry, like $60 for the entire day. They kept us so long that they had to pay overtime and we ended up making nearly double that, but still nothing to write home about.

What did you want to know about Art Direction?

Anon said... Reply to comment

@Harwick

Heh, I don't mind... My friend is a New Yorker, and he has made plenty of Canadian jokes without realising the full implications. At least we can share a historically inaccurate joke about the French.

That street is the farthest I could get from my house while still looking the same. I live in its general area, which I guess is pretty close from a world perspective. (I would show the exact place, but I'm not sure that would be a smart thing to do on a public blog.) I'm sure it wouldn't take a half an hour to drive there. I do live in Punta Gorda, though I would be surprised to learn that anyone else does. If that place is off Charlotte Harbor, then it's pretty safe to say that this one is as well.

When I looked for an overview of what the job of an Art Director is, the list was surpisingly long, even listing such things as "assisting the artists and helping to guide them in their careers". That sounded much more like the job of a teacher or guidance counselor to me. I have always assumed that your assignments were for you to provide artwork for them, but that sounds more like the job of a regular artist. The websites often say that they make the concept art for the regular artists to work from, but that sounds more like the job of a concept artist. From what I gather, it sounds like they develop the general vision of how the project will look, but that sounds more like the job of your clients, the designers.

As I understand, game designers are much more general and focus on everything from basic gameplay to general storytelling. The title of "Director" brings to mind a Film Director that would watch over the actors, so the "Art Director" might supervise the work of the artists to make sure they follow the concept. But that wouldn't involve drawing (except for sketches to say "No, I meant like this"), so much as a vivid understanding of the way that the artistic components are supposed to look. Does an Art Director do all of these jobs, thus rendering concept artists and some designers, artists and executive producers obsolete? I read your comment on Equestria Daily about how you do much of your freelance work with Zynga, and I wouldn't expect such small projects to need a dedicated director for the artwork when they probably already have designers that came up with the idea in the first place. Or do you work as a concept or regular artist for those jobs? Where do you come in, where do you go out, what effect have you made on the final product and what might be different if someone else had done it instead?

(You don't need to answer all of those, I'm just trying to explain what is not evident to me.)

PonydoraPrancypants said... Reply to comment

@Harwick

I admit I'm not the cheap date I used to be when all I needed was some chili con queso and a semi-cold beer.

You know, I've seen you in action via YouTube; you're quite the looker yourself! ;)

Harwick said... Reply to comment

@Anon
It all depends on the set-up and size of the particular company. On the artistic side of things, the Art Director is usually the top of the visual food chain. The main role of the job is defining and maintaining the visual standard of the project. In larger set ups, the next rung would be the lead artists... these are essentially the artists that set the example which all of the others working on the project are supposed to follow. Often these roles are assigned out to cover specific areas (You can have leads for environments, textures, modeling, characters, lighting... however you want to divide it out.) It's also worth noting that there are two basic types of artwork... concept and production. Concept artists design the characters, vehicles, objects, environments, lighting and such in illustrative work, while production artists create the actual versions you see in the game, and therefore need to have the technical experience of working in whatever specific programs are being utilized for the game (Maya, 3DS Max, whatever is used for asset creation, and then also whatever the game engine might be.)

I was the Art Director for a small entertainment start up company. It had a tiny in-house staff and then contracted out the bulk of the game art to a production house. I essentially filled the role of both Art Director and the Lead Artists on the concept side of things, designing about 80% of everything in the game. On the production art side of things I did not take any of the lead roles, and only did a tiny bit of direct production work. My role as Art Director meant I had to approve or send back with critiques every bit of production art created for the game. As most of the concepting work was done by the time things got to that level of production, I spent most of my work days on the phone or online in meetings with the production house, and most of the artwork I was doing was drawing over things that were submitted but weren't quite hitting the mark I wanted.

Game designers tackle the gameplay side of things. They usually trump the art department, but only define the look of things in as far as they'll affect gameplay. I worked very closely with the lead game designer on our project, and we'd meet regularly to discuss problems encountered and solutions needed during production.

Unfortunately, that start-up entertainment company went under when the economy went south a few years ago. Currently, I'm working freelance as a concept and occasional 2D production artist. The work is actually much more enjoyable in general, being 100% on the creative side of things, but not surprisingly the pay is less. Sitting through endless production meetings requires a heftier salary.

Harwick said... Reply to comment

@PonydoraPrancypants

Dammit. I knew someone would find one of those damn promotional videos. I absolutely hated making those... you have no idea.

I'd like to say that my appearance has greatly improved since that was shot, and it actually had when I was healthy, active and regularly exercising following completion of that project, but I've definitely backslid in recent years and am just as scruffy and poorly shaped as I was then, only with the added bonus of being years older.

PonydoraPrancypants said... Reply to comment

@Harwick

You seem to have read sarcasm where none was present or implied, my friend! Those videos seemed awesome to me, and any scruffiness that may have been present looked quite intentional and was pulled off hiply and with aplomb.

Harwick said... Reply to comment

@PonydoraPrancypantsOh, I didn't think you were taunting me or anything like that... I just don't agree with your assessment myself. Then again, I never like images of myself, and videos are even worse.

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

Well this blog has certainly come to life again!

@Kateasaurus

And of course, I had to go and comment-ninja you too, my apologies dearie! It is a lovely surprise to see you posting again, though, and actually I almost wish you'd said more because now I almost feel concerned about you. You did say you're fine now though, and so I'll be happy to take your word for that.

...You know, I hesitate to tell people about my pony because it generally leads to the assumption that I was a spoiled child brought up in a rich family, which really isn't true! My godmother (the one who was so fond of her Franzia, Ponydora-dear!) owned several horses and had a small bit of property in the Orange County foothills, and she was happy to house Star there for me. It was just a perfect set of circumstances more than anything, but yes, I was one of those insanely lucky, rare little girls who asked her parents for a pony and actually got one... ^_^;;;

Haha, those are the very same three instruments that I tried to learn how to play but unfortunately, I just don't seem to be musically inclined however much I might have wanted to be. If I practiced all day every day perhaps I could be passable, but I've pretty much given up on the notion of playing any sort of instruments by this point.

@PonydoraPrancypants

Don't they have flying roaches in Hawaii as well? Pretty gigantic ones by my understanding. My manager at work (who is also my friend; we try to make time for much-needed happy hour evenings on regular occasions) lived there for many years and she told me they refer to them as 747s. I will confess learning about them considerably dampened my enthusiasm for traveling to the islands.

Not afraid of spiders, but afraid of "scuttling" bugs? I do share the fear of many flying insects with you... one of the things that terrifies me most are those huge, horrible, buzzing Japanese beetles that tear through the air and that look like giant black bumblebees. I am terrified of them; I remember one once flew straight into my mother's hair when she and I were on our way into the grocery store together and I nearly swooned on the spot.

@zhoomcar

I don't generally harm things either, including spiders if I can help it, which means that if I find one in my tub I will have to find something large and as long/long-handled as possible so I can pick them up to put them outside. This used to be much easier when I still lived with my father, because I would just have him take them outside for me! ^^;

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@Anon

Oh, mercy dear, well they are excellent films and I highly recommend them to you, but of course the books are infinitely better. Project Runway on the other hand doesn't surprise me at all... somehow, you don't seem to me to be the type who would be especially interested in fashion (though it is still creative design of course).

Well, I certainly hope my username doesn't make me sound like a white supremacist! And as far as the praise dear thank you, but I truly don't see what I've done to deserve it this time. If anything, I think all of this sharing and conversation has made it even more apparent that we have a whole group of truly lovely, amazing individuals here!

@Harwick

Haha actually, I've seen tiny bits and pieces of that SFX show before, and did enjoy it! I just enjoy the process of creation for the most part, though I'll admit that I might have slightly more interest in clothing than I do movie monsters.

If it makes you feel any better I have and will continue to refrain from watching the videos unless you decide to share them with me, but I'm sure that scruffy or no you are positively lovely. Your comment to Ponydora made me laugh harder than I really should have, I'm afraid (no offense darling, you know I love you for it!)... I still can't believe he ate all of that either. It's almost like a superpower really.

I'm telling you, I want my fancy dinner party now, and we can even use that poor caterer who you've had to cancel on more than one occasion if you like. Food, drink, and merriment for all, yay!

Harwick said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds

I do believe I had a ticket in the $100m lottery that was being drawn tonight. While I go through the mere formality of looking up the numbers, you should probably look to book a space for a formal dinner event. I would have suggested looking to Hawaii but now you have me concerned about flying roaches the size of Mothra.

I've had to give up completely on the intervention idea as long as you're palling around with a guy running a cocktails blog. That's quite a bit of enabling to overcome.

jodyjm13 said... Reply to comment

Wow, the blog's hopping today...

Oh, and: WhiteDiamonds! WhiteDiamonds everywhere!

@Harwick

Yes, the central walkway was closed off. I'll admit that really wasn't a very good photo of my childhood home, but it was the first one I found online, and given the changes made to it since we left I suspect the only way to find a good photo online would be to upload a scan of one of our old photos myself.

@WhiteDiamonds

I confess I've never been interested in fashion myself, though your brief description of Project Runway has piqued my curiosity. Clothing made out of materials found at a grocery store? Maybe Derpy's fanon paper-bag Gala dress isn't quite so far-fetched after all.

Do you have photos or videos of you riding Star, especially in that parade? Not that you're likely to forget something like that, or that you need to share them, but things like that beg to be documented properly. As for tarantulas, while I'm something of an arachnophobe myself, I might be able to handle holding a tarantula; their size does lift them out of the standard creepy-crawly class.

@Kateasaurus

Your year in Canada certainly does sound like quite an adventure, and repeating what I said to Di earlier, I hope you have sufficient photos and journals/diaries to document it. Maybe you could be the next Jack Kerouac. ;) Your musical ability is something I wish I could share, but alas, in the immortal words of Fozzie Bear, I don't got rhythm; I took piano lessons for a couple of years as a kid, but I could tell even then that, while I could play the notes through rote memorization, I couldn't really play the music.

As for Vinyl Scratch (aka DJ P0n-3), while I'm not as fond of her as the fandom in general is, I do like her well enough; she lends herself quite well to some creative artwork. And though I generally don't care for bass-heavy club music, I have saved several tracks that were presented as mashups of Octavia and DJ P0n-3; I really like how some musicians handle the contrasting musical styles. (Of course, one of my all-time favorite concerts was a jam session between an Altai throat-singing ensemble and a local bluegrass band, so it's safe to say I like unusual combinations.)

@zhoomcar

While I'm not quite as considerate as you are (given my big feet, it would be a headache to make sure I'm not stepping on anything), I do try to avoid harming bugs and other critters when I can, as well. I've had people joke about my habit of catching moths to take outside before. However, mosquitoes, roaches, and fire ants deserve all the punishment I'm able to dish out...

I hate to cut this short without responding to everyone's comments, but it's late and I have to work in the morning (ugh). Maybe next time I'll touch base with everyone.

CaineScroll said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds

Zoinks! Sorry for the comment ninja there...it was bound to happen sometime now. =/

Again, I don't exactly know my fashion, and I've never attempted to learn it in detail for fear of facing the wrath of a few fashion-conscious friends of mine (who would easily go nuts if I misspelled "couture"), but I know enough to enjoy it, at the very least. Of course, in my character designs I've never really wanted to go full-blown Milan, darling, Milan -- I often place my priorities on simplicity (though for some exceptions, like Gabrielle for instance, I went a little overboard). I'd like to learn more about it if I had the chance, though!

Sorry for keeping this comment short, as well as not answering the others (or chipping in opinions)...but I only slept at four in the morning yesterday and I could really use some time off. Now if only I could make some time for my next picture...

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

@Favo
Favoooo! Sorry I haven't been able to play TF2 with you at all lately, I've been a lot busier than I should with all this school and other stuff, although I've since been treating Portal 2 with special attention ever since that puzzle maker came out (i hope it doesn't make me fail anything, gosh).

And if you thought weather was annoying, you'll love Melbourne. On some days it can go from all hot and sunny to rainy then windy in the span of an hour... sometimes even at the same time!

jodyjm13 said... Reply to comment

@Favo

It's great to see another comment from you, even if one could wish for better news. Though it certainly isn't all bad; it sounds like you've made a good choice in spending more time with those friends of yours, and Muay Thai looks interesting and well worth pursuing.

Take care, and here's hoping for better news soon!

Kateasaurus said... Reply to comment

@Harwick I'm assuming he made up a story about an evil temptress who tricked him out of his badge with her feminine wiles. I don't think "I got too drunk and insisted the American girl take it back to her country with her" would go over too well.

I agree it was nice to see the nod to fans when they included her in the finale. Although the debate about the magenta vs red eyes is a little annoying.

@PonydoraPrancypants I don't know... I've seen some people pull off looking "cool" while playing a few brass instruments. Then again, I do have a soft spot for band geeks, so that may just be me. I don't pull off cool in any way, shape, or form, but I'd like to think I don't look ridiculous while playing! :P

@CaineScroll It was definitely a combination of both that's responsible for my absence. At least I missed most of the server mess while in the hospital, but it's still kind of frustrating. Not like we've been waiting for a sequel to D2 for 12 years or anything, Blizzard! :mope:

@WhiteDiamonds It definitely would have been the highlight of my childhood to have my own pony! I know what you mean with the assumptions people make after telling them something like that. As soon as I tell anyone that my father is a physician, they assume I've never worked a day in my life and we all drive fancy cars, and live in a mansion. The look on their faces when they see the beat up Honda my dad drives... It's priceless. So I honestly have no inclination of even THINKING you're even an ounce spoiled!

Kateasaurus said... Reply to comment

@jodyjm13 I made plenty sure to take plenty of pictures. All of my best stories come from that year anyway! And don't feel bad about having no rhythm. I only have it when I'm playing an instrument, but you all would die laughing to see me attempt to dance!

I do admit, I love some of the fan art for her. Especially with the focus on her non-canon red eyes. As Scrolls said though: I really do prefer Octavia in terms of musical ponies. ^_^

CaineScroll said... Reply to comment

@zhoomcar

[Just dropping in before bed, will post regular replies tomorrow]

Challenge accepted. Welcome to Borneo, where the weather can change in a gruelling long period of...10 minutes. I'm serious.

With regards to games causing educational failures, I'm also having the same problems with FFVI (I was feeling nostalgic)...hopefully it doesn't mess up my schedule much.*

*Insert dictionary entry for "false" and "hope" here.

Anon said... Reply to comment

@Harwick

It sounds like an artist can fill a lot more positions than I thought. I don't think I realised that so many artists were needed for a game project (I always thought that it was more programmer-intensive) or how many different art-related jobs there could be. I once watched a television show that overviewed the production of a Prince of Persia video game, and there were exactly two seconds devoted to showing the programmers at work. The first of those two seconds pictured the rows of programmers sitting in office chairs. That was when I realised how expendable they are (in large companies, at least). I have always thought that artists were all exclusively low in that order as well, but it seems that a good artist can rise to higher titles with enough effort. Since I care so much about achieving the higher-paying and more influential jobs, any news that being an artist is not a dead-end job is actually quite encouraging to me.

Personally, I have dreamed of realising some of my ideas for video games ever since I was old enough to operate a computer (No exagguration), so of course to have the opportunity to hear from the experience of a professional is a very interesting opportunity. I don't know why I find the process to be so intriguing, but learning about it and seeing the way that the project formed can be as much fun as the finished product itself. It's funny you should mention the asset creation software that artists might use, because I have actually learned about the use of some of them before. I don't know if a real company that produces commercial games would use such a general and high-level engine as Unity3D, but that's what I'm using for my current project (which is pony-related, and hopefully I will finish and get to show off here soon if time allows). My friend is a game engineer, and though he has made fun of me for my use of a large engine instead of making my own for the game's specific needs, I don't want to spend a year trying to build an engine for a top-down tile-based game like Pokemon when I can work in three-dimensional space in under a week (or, considering how unrealistically large-scale my projects tend to be, a couple of months). The downloadable plugins can make it a lot easier as well. This has nothing to do with art, but I didn't think I would ever get an excuse to mention it here. It does sound like the concept artists would get to hear the phrase "That's not what I had in mind" a lot more often.

Your current job does sound like a lot of fun for anyone skilled and experienced enough, and your past one sounds even more like a dream job to me (regardless of endless meetings and phone calls). While of course I would hope to someday be the visionary in charge, that tends to require money, and artists at least have a somewhat greater touch on the final product than an expendable programmer that would do the same job as any other. A pretty cool job for a pretty cool guy. (Eh draws for video games and doesnt afraid of anything.)

(Except spiders.)

Oh, and I can relate to your feelings about self-imagery: Photographs are good for showing what you absolutely do not look like, and recordings are good for showing how bad your voice really sounds. (If you're under 13, you think "My voice is really that high?" If you are over 13, you think "My voice is really that low?")

Anon said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds

We have two musical keyboards in this house, and I could have learned to play them using very simple and easy software that my father and sister once found, much like how I learned to type. It's all muscle memory, after all. But I decided not to, because the instrument didn't hold much interest for me. (Pianos are nice and dramatic, but keyboards are just kind of disappointing in comparison.) My father still has his old electric and acoustic guitars, but my every attempt to learn to play them ended in miserable failure. Digital violins are for the untalented, I'm afraid.

I wonder why you would better expect Harwick to watch Project Runway, in that case... While you're right that I know nothing of fashion (which I remember has been a problem for me whenever I have needed to make a sort of character for any purpose), I don't want to live by a stereotype, and especially not one of my own demographic. I'm willing to admit that I have watched many an episode of Good Eats and design shows on HGTV. If only I could describe some of my drawing ideas. Some of them would give you a heart attack before you were even diagnosed with diabetes. Not everything I like has to be "cool", and so I hope you aren't comparing me too much to the average person in that respect. I can't say much about fashion per se, but who knows, I may need to familiarize myself with the art of corn husk dresses whenever I choose to draw someone or something that wears clothing. I think these things have less to do with what type of person I am (physically or mentally) as they do with their importance in my life. I haven't spent much time outside for the past seven years, but I'm sure I will want to present myself well somehow once I have a job to go to. I may not agree with you on everything, but I'm sure that something you are so devoted to could not be that bad.

Hah, your name is actually very nice, and does not sound particularly white sepremacist. I'm only making a joke of my ridiculous standards, of course. I'm quite sure I'll just use whatever comes to mind when I get sick of surfing name lists. I think I should mention that you may continue to call me whatever you'd like. I just need someplace to post my drawing(s), is all. And you absolutely do deserve as much praise as I can give to you, as much as you ever have. I know that somewhere far from where I type this message, you are working as hard at your responsibilities as you always have for us. You are still the impressively multitalented and cordial WhiteDiamonds we have always had the pleasure to know. Your latest work is awe-inspiring, but as meager as such compliments might be, the way we treasure your presence could never change.

"I still can't believe he ate all of that either. It's almost like a superpower really."

I'm not sure if I want to know...

Anon said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds

(That last part was still intended to be taken jokingly, of course. I don't think I have made a single comment on this thread that I've taken seriously. Maybe I will be more serious in commenting on the next artwork you will post for us.)

I just wanted to add that I took your indirect advice to see the French version of Flutterguy, and that really is utter hilarity...I think I like it more than the English version, actually. It sounds less like a typical low voice and more like she had swapped voices with some sort of hardened medieval warrior. I have to wonder what happened him, if he suddenly had the voice of Fluttershy for a day.

Harwick said... Reply to comment

@Favo

Heya Favo... how's things? Aside from semi-wintery... and horrible... and crappy... I guess you already answered that one, huh? Well, I'm sorry to hear that, and hope that things are beginning to turn around for you. It's nice to hear from you, regardless.

@Kateasaurus

I know you didn't specify, but I like to picture the cop in this story as a Mountie, complete with red coat, riding pants, hat, and Dudley Do-Right voice. I may have a slightly warped view of the Canadian police force.

The whole Vinyl eye thing is like a mini-Derpy controversy, isn't it? I'm waiting for someone to argue one eye color of the other is offensive.

@Anon

Again, it all depends on the company, as well as the type of game. As Art Director, I worked on X-box 360, PC and Playstation 3 releases, as well as iPhone games, and obviously the requirements for each varied greatly. Currently, I get contracted to work on a lot of social networking games, where the gameplay is constant and programming requirements lighter, but they need a constant influx of new art assets and so hire a ton of artists to provide them.

Generally though, there is the opportunity for advancement up the ladder, provided you have the talent and the ambition. Obviously, the better you are the more you will be relied upon to develop the look of some aspect of the game yourself. Positions like Art Director also require management skills, meaning you have to be good at dealing with people both above and below you. Artists can be a temperamental bunch, and I've had to sit down and talk some artists under me through the rejection of their ideas and towards achieving a look they disagree with, because that's the decision that was made above them.

Honestly, the majority of games these days are probably made with a pre-existing engine that is either used straight or streamlined to do exactly what the developer wants it to do. As you note, building an engine from the ground up is a pretty substantial task. Even high-end releases often license the Unreal Engine or others, and a huge number of phone games use ready-made engines just waiting for art to be added.

As much as it's nice to be the guy who gets to make the call, I personally would rather be drawing with my time than working on reports, spreadsheets, conference calls and all of the other managerial stuff. Taking the lead on the concept side of things was probably my ideal job, personally. Once we got heavily into the production side, I would have rather handed it off to someone else and focused entirely on concepting out the next project.

And to be fair, I generally don't have anything against spiders, even huge ones. It's just that I generally get to confront them while fully awake and wearing pants, and I feel that's an important distinction.

zhoomcar said... Reply to comment

Aside from the rehearsals for that musical thing over the past couple of weeks, I've also been rehearsing with a group of other fine people for a sing-off of sorts supporting male depression, the performance of which can be found over here. Audio/video issues ahoy!

Over here!
(Song is a mashup of Use Somebody by Kings of Leon and iSomeone Like You by Adele.)

Suffice to say, our performance won the combined piece (I go to an all guys' school, you see, so we've been paired with an all girls' school for the sake of this, so yeah!) which was a decent effort seeing as we got this under wraps with only five actual group rehearsals.

Harwick said... Reply to comment

@zhoomcar

Well done! That was fun to see, sounded really good (dicey audio recording aside) and might I add that you specifically pull off the impressively large red tie very well. (Okay, I'm guessing with that last one, but still... thanks for sharing that!)

jodyjm13 said... Reply to comment

@Kateasaurus, @Harwick

Until proven otherwise, I'm sticking with my headcanon that Vinyl Scratch wears tinted contacts, and no one knows her true eye color. ;)

@zhoomcar

That was a very good performance, made doubly impressive by the limited number of rehersals beforehand. Congrats on winning!

Anon said... Reply to comment

I have been busy with work ever since I posted my last comment, but it seems to be over again for now, so I have finally gained the opportunity to show off my non-art project: A 2.5D pony model. I have been working on it when I can for months now, since long before I found this blog. I made every vector by hand from screens from the show and turning them into separate .png files that were scaled down to the pixel with a percentage calculator to ensure that the size ratio relative to different body parts is the same as it is on the show. Most of them are animated in a 3,000-line-long script (though it used to be much longer) full of precise numbers from a percentage calculator. (There is a shorter one for the hair, and one more for the tail.) The worst part was all of the vectoring though, I would say.

It plays on the Unity web player, so if you haven't already downloaded it to play another pony fan game and you don't want to put something on your computer that you will uninstall later, I can record a YouTube video of its use. (I tried to export it in Flash, but Unity said that it couldn't find my JRE.) In either case, it's fine to point out any inaccuracies or imperfections, but there is a 99% chance that I already know about them. There were situations where I would have to layer the pieces like the Penrose stairs, so I took the best options I had.

This is the blog that I'm hosting it on. (You have to move the mouse around a bit to get the camera to point in the right direction.) I plan to let vector artists contribute their own attributes (eyes, hairstyles, clothing pieces, and anything that could be used to customize the model) when it has been publicly released. There will be an interface for the user to change the colors and move the direction of the head and body, but I haven't made that yet. I would also add other 2.5D objects and even scenery if it is contributed to the project by the vector artist community that might see it when it's ready to be submitted to EQD. (I'm sure they would accept it, consdering how they have featured very unfinished games in the past.)

Now I should have more time to draw, get back to my schoolwork and generally do anything except work. (Queue the comments of "the eyes are staring into my soul".)

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

Oh my goodness, I've been gone for ages haven't I!? I'm sorry everyone... I knew it had been a while but I guess I didn't realize just how long. I thought I had responded to Favo at least but then I realized that was via email, oops~

Such a bad Diamonds, busyness is no excuse! Especially because I've been managing to keep up with my deviantART comments, or somewhat anyway. Perhaps one of these days I might learn not to overextend myself so much... =(

@Harwick

Haha, it's a good thing I love you so much, do you know that? And in my defense at least I haven't really had a chance to try any of Ponydora's delightful-sounding concoctions out... I never seem to have all of the right ingredients at the right time. I had been planning on making myself a Rarity as soon as I procured some blueberries, but by the time I actually did buy blueberries the champagne was all gone (Sunday morning mimosas, what can I say). Someday soon though, it must be so!

@jodyjm13

I am so silly... here I am posting on your deviantART page saying I miss talking to you when you had commented to me on my blog and I just hadn't seen it. If I've said it before I've said it again; I would probably leave my house without my own head on occasion, if it wasn't securely attached to me.

Anyway though, thank you for alerting me to that EqD post! The funny thing about that story is that the author(s) working on that project had asked me for permission to use that picture several weeks ago, and I just forgot all about it (see previous comment about head being attached and all that). So it was a whole new surprise when CaineScroll also brought it up to me on deviantART. A pleasant surprise, at least, which I suppose makes up for my sometimes flighty memory.

Haha... if you are so inclined to ever give the series a try then I highly recommend it; it really is immensely entertaining (and even if I am rather biased)! I do indeed have some photos of myself with Star, and I know for a fact that somebody recorded a video of the parade though I myself sadly don't have a copy in my possession. I haven't seen it since before my godmother passed away, and unfortunately I'm really not sure what happened to it. I have the memories though, and I guess that has to be enough.

As for tarantulas, I know it probably sounds crazy but that's pretty much what my own thinking is, and the fact that I grew up with one is a huge part of it I know. I doubt that I'd be able to get anywhere near one (or even look at photographs) without cringing otherwise. On that note I really do find many of them quite beautiful... for example look at the colors and textures of this one (arachnophobes beware). It's like a pretty, fuzzy, iridescent little star or something, and I think the Mexican red-knee is also rather beautiful!

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@CaineScroll

Actually, I was referring to the fact that I had comment-ninja'd Katie, so I hardly think you should have to apologize for anything. And that's quite alright; the fact that you have an interest in fashion and aren't completely shut off to it the way most males are is quite a fabulous thing as far as I'm concerned. Fashion and fashion design doesn't always have to be about eccentric, flouncy, over-the-top couture creations either (even though I personally am fond of many of those, especially the flouncy ones); they certainly don't make up the bulk of most designer's work or revenues. There's absolutely nothing wrong with more modest practical designs made for everyday living.

@Favo

Hello again dearest! Obviously, we've spoken by email recently so you know I was not ignoring you, and you already are aware that I'm very happy to hear from you again. I'm sorry that things had not been going so well for you, but know that they're going somewhat better now and am very happy for the fact. We missed you around here, or at least I certainly did and I am not the only one!

Thank you so much for the kind words regarding the picture... you know they always mean a lot to me. I'm sure you've already read numerous comments from me mentioning the challenge I faced with the lighting and such, but in the end Jody was happy with it (which was my main objective, of course) and apparently, Kasumi-chan on deviantART liked it as well! I still have not quite gotten over the reception it has received, and doubt I ever will to be honest.

As far as Muay Thai goes, while not quite being a subject I'm very familiar with I hope you've been enjoying it anyhow... it must be terrific exercise! It might surprise you to learn it, but I actually took Capoeira several years ago when I was still studying Japanese. I wasn't especially amazing at it like the people you see on YouTube and television, but I still tried it and it was a fun and interesting experience.

@Kateasaurus

Well thank you very much for that, it is quite comforting for me to hear! That probably isn't the only reason why people would automatically make that assumption about me, but still, I prefer not to go around telling everybody.

As for Vinyl Scratch I have to wonder why people even assume her eyes would be red or magenta to begin with... how did people ever come to that conclusion anyway? Well, whatever the case may be I probably should make an effort to draw her sometime... it's arguably long overdue!

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@Anon

Oh my, how terribly exciting! You must be incredibly proud to have made great progress with what you've been working on all this time, and it's wonderful to see that you've created a blog at last. I'm afraid I seem to be unable to view the model there, however... I tried downloading Unity but was unable to get it to work for whatever reason. Of course, I'd really like to see what it is that you have been devoting yourself to for so long, so if there was any way that you could record a video for YouTube, or demonstrate it in any other way that would be lovely.

Regarding everything else, even though you obviously commented ages ago I don't just intend to ignore everything you wrote. I don't believe that I was comparing you to anyone, or to any age or gender stereotypes really on the matter of Project Runway.. The reason I assumed you would have no interest in it is because I remember comments you have made before about other similar (or well, similar enough in this instance) programs that I like, such as America's Next Top Model and Say Yes to the Dress. You have very little interest in them if I recall correctly. Harwick on the other hand has never made such remarks that I've seen, and so I thought there was a chance he might find it interesting.

Thank you very much, as always, for the lavish praise... I've always said you are far too kind to me! And as far as French Flutterguy goes, isn't that just hysterical really? I believe I first saw that clip on an old EqD post, and nearly died laughing then.

@zhoomcar

Oh my goodness that was such a delightful thing to see, thank you so much for sharing that with us! I couldn't stop smiling the entire time, heehee~ ^.^ I'm glad you all did so well (and hopefully enjoyed yourselves), and as the others have said congratulations to you on your win! I am continually amazed by what a creative and fascinating bunch of people all of you are... it's so fantastic.

Harwick said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds

Aw... You know I would never judge you for your little vices.

So what are you going to do with all of those blueberries now? Muffins? Pancakes? Or something sickeningly healthy?

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@Harwick

..Oh dear Goddess, where did you even find that??

And well, if you must know I did make pancakes, yes, and also perhaps a lovely little tri-berry shortcake dessert last week. Too bad that doesn't travel in the mail, or I would have happily shared some!

Harwick said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds

I have my sources. In this case, just EQD from a day or two ago. Still, I thought that one was exceptionally well done, and oh-so-topical among my circle of friends.

And for future reference, I'm willing to test the shipping possibilities of blueberry confections. (I mean "mail" shipping, by the way. I'm pretty sure the other style has already been done with Rainbow Dash.)


@jodyjm13

If I get around to drawing Scratch now, I just may have to steal your idea and have her in the process of putting in contacts, 'cause that's just perfect.


@Anon

I, too, would really like to see this and can't get the player going on my computer. So by all means, I'd love to see a Youtube version!

Anon said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds

Oh, I must have forgotten about that... I think I was really only making fun of your tastes in television programming. I guess the most honest answer is that it just isn't something that I ever think about, so I have no feelings about it one way or the other. Most of the friends (or semi-friends, or friends of friends) I've ever had were young male game programmers (Watch as I hypocritically stereotype that demographic) who work through this stuff for fun, so my thoughts about creative design only extended to video game concepts and web layouts. While I'm not exactly interested in every form of art, I'm not disinterested in them either. Mostly, I'm just baffled that you could make a whole show about wedding dresses. (I once asked my mother about it, but I could not comprehend the cryptography that followed.) And I would probably think that any low voice with a West European accent is reminiscent of a medieval warrior due to the games that I have played (like Skyrim), but Cockney Celestia remains as one of my favorite scenes of any abridged series of MLP. (Be sure to hear her parting line at 9:17.)

It should be some relief to you once you are finished painstakingly replying to every comment on your last artwork (your gift to Ponydora that was so captivatingly dreamlike to me, and still is). Of course we missed you, but I am glad at least that you have been looking after yourself more lately.

@WhiteDiamonds
@Harwick

While it's a bit worrying how many of you are unable to play it on your computers (I assume that your video cards are not new enough, as was the problem with my old computer. It worked on my friend's right away, but I know he has quite a gaming computer as well), I have managed to make a YouTube video of it. I would like to remind you that this is a game and programming project, not an art project. It's less "artistic" and more "neato". The idea was to emulate the way we see the world of the show, animated in Flash. It looks more show-accurate than a 3D model while having the freedom of the third dimension. The show depicts a three-dimensional world that is made of two-dimensional images, so that's what I did here. Everything was done the hard way so that it could be used for any female pony character with any sort of modification or accessory. (For example, if you put an earring on the right ear, but not the left, it would always appear asymetrically on the right ear because the ears are two separate parts.) It was built for customization, as I am about to demonstrate.

Having said all of that, here is the video. It took two nights of my computer overheating and shutting itself off when I was recording it and trying to convert the clips to one high-quality .WAV file. I had to obtain a new Fraps and Sony Vegas, the latter of which I couldn't even use to make a decently high-quality video before it was forcefully interrupted. In the end, I used a small .AVI combining program instead. Oh well, it's a nice addition to my collection of expensive software, anyway.

Anon said... Reply to comment

I could have exported it to Windows/Macintosh, Android or iPhone/iPad (or even XBox360, PlayStation 3 and Wii if I had the licenses), which is just about everything with the computational power of a toaster oven except for Linux and the kitchen sink, but it wouldn't do much to help fix the incompatibility issue. I opted to use the web player just to be sure that no one could send it to EQD and take the credit for its authorship. I'm still being extremely careful by using the line "It is not ready for public release", adding no tags to the video and even excluding the word "pony" from the title.

Anyway, you might be able to imagine what a 2.5D Ponyville would look like this way. (If not, just rewatch part of an episode.) As you saw, I can immediately set the direction that the head is looking in by changing a number in degrees from 0 to 360 and set the color of any part with an RGB value. All of the assets used are colorless white shapes. The color is determined in-game by a value in the shader attached to each piece. The most obvious use for it is either a multiplayer game, an RPG or a 2.5D pony creator, but I admit I even used it as an artist's reference for that full-body picture that I made back when I could barely shade with a paint bucket tool. Oh, and as the name implies, that blog is only to be used for that project, though I plan to link it to my art blog for the sake of shameless self-promotion. I can even comment with it, which I imagine I will use to answer questions as the administrator. It has its own email address, which the community can use to contribute art and vector assets if anyone is interested in doing so. I have been bothering my friend with almost daily status reports since I started, so to hear him tell me that it "turned out great" is all the gratification I need.

Harwick said... Reply to comment

Well, now I can't just let this go until we've passed 100 comments for this thread...

Here's a little something to sympathize with all of my fellow posters who have felt a little overloaded in recent days...

@Anon

That's actually very cool! Yes, there's a fair amount of "popping" as you circle the character, but some of that could definitely be smoothed out. Regardless, it's an impressive bit of work, and you've done a really nice job of capturing Fluttershy from every angle. I can certainly see how that would be useful not just for games but as a nice, quick art reference... especially for those who put together vector comics and such.

PonydoraPrancypants said... Reply to comment

@Harwick

That hits more than a little too close to home, as I sit here on a beautiful Saturday afternoon at my desk in my office with two empty cans of diet coke and two empty coffee mugs and two computer screens and my blackberry and my iphone and my deadline and ...

Well, I just hope everyone finds a little time for him-or-herself to take it easy this weekend!

Great video, and thank you for linking!

Anon said... Reply to comment

As you might have guessed, Ponydora is not the only one to have composed concentrated character-centric concoctions: While this list focuses more on the drinks' relevance to the characters' respective personalities, alternatively, this one even includes photos of the finished mixture. (Just wait until WhiteDiamonds reads what Rarity's drink is made with in the second link.)

@Harwick

Haha, that's a very well-made song. As I have mentioned, my life is always either constant work or no work at all. I think I could handle more stress if it meant having a job that I'm really interested in, and maybe make some money at it... You're pretty much what I've always wanted to be, you know. (Not with regards to art, obviously, since I only just picked that up, but to work from a vision, and especially in the game industry. I don't know why I find everything about game development so intriguing. It's like forming your own world.) Let's hope I can avoid being a "stressed pony" until I finish drawing something already. (I am currently starting the sketches for various concepts, and I will see what is easiest and most interesting to build on from there.)

I know what you mean about the "popping", but while it isn't easy to see it, that's actually how it works on the show. Whenever a character turns their head, it always zaps to the right direction in under a second. These are the frames of that .gif. The head turns from the back, to a 90 degree side angle (skipping the back diagonal angle entirely) to the front diagonal side in three or four frames. When you slowly inch around that kind of animation like I did in that video, there is no suspension of disbelief. In fact, if I made the head turn that quickly, the resulting animation probably would be smoother than what you usually see on show since an animator is not required to make a frame for every few degrees. There are a couple instances in the show where we see a slow, fluid rotation (like when Fluttershy looks along the smoke heading towards Ponyville at the beginning of Dragonshy, or when Dash is surrounded by a cheering crowd at the beginning of The Mysterious Mare Do Well), and you're right that the transition looks better, but of course, that was a manually-generated animation made with morphable shapes in Flash. I'm already using a lot of images put together into a big sprite atlas, and I can't really imagine adding more. But that limitation aside, thank you for your compliments, and I'm glad you liked it anyway. Maybe if I locked the camera and turned the heads within a splitsecond, it would be harder to tell the difference. Hmm, a vector comic art reference...I never thought of that. I should suggest it somewhere in the description.

CaineScroll said... Reply to comment

@Harwick

That's actually a very accurate interpretation of my life lately! Just yesterday night I spent hours wrapped in a thick blanket (horrendous air-conditioning), drinking soda while facing my laptop...good thing I'm headed to the beach tomorrow; I really need a break. =P

Here's to a great weekend to y'all! ^_^

Anon said... Reply to comment

@CaineScroll

It's a surprise to see you on here. I nearly mentioned it, actually. It might have to do with the time being 4:26 AM where I am. I wanted to ask you... So, I guess your blog is dead now?

Anon said... Reply to comment

@CaineScroll

Er, pardon my impoliteness, and I do hope you enjoy your weekend out of doors. (What is worse than a cold house from too much air conditioning is a hot house from a lack of air conditioning. You don't know what you have until you lose it.)

CaineScroll said... Reply to comment

@Anon

*Sigh* It's not official, but from the looks of it, things aren't looking too good...I suppose I'm paying far too much attention on my dA account now. I'll try to update it as soon as I can, though it won't be as detailed as it used to be. =(

CaineScroll said... Reply to comment

@Anon

Addendum: It's alright, really! =) I've actually experienced both, and in the same building, too -- university dorm rooms.

Anon said... Reply to comment

@CaineScroll

If deviantART is working for you, then I guess it isn't all that necessary. Most of us have dA accounts, and though it was nice commenting on your artwork, it will surely get much more publicity on dA. I know you've had that blog for a long time though, so if you know anything it could be used for, then that would be better than treating it like a chore. You should just do whatever makes you feel best.

CaineScroll said... Reply to comment

@Anon

Thank you so much, I really appreciate the support! *hugs* I will be updating my blog soon enough, though, so don't worry. ^^

PonydoraPrancypants said... Reply to comment

@Anon

Wow, would you look at that!? The second one is much more interesting, as it's kind of shocking how the creator thought of some very similar things, and the descriptions are very funny!

Honestly, I guess in retrospect a lot of my ideas are fairly obvious, but still, this is very surprising! I have to say, though, that the author must not have tasted some of these. I would never mix Goldschlager, Baileys, and Kahlua ... Also, maybe it's a West Coast aesthetic, but I am far more into citrus flavors than that person. I guess you have to use some of these ingredients to get the desired colors, but still ... pretty eerie similarities here and there. Oh well, my recipes come with a story! Thanks for the links!

PonydoraPrancypants said... Reply to comment

@Anon

Sorry ... one more post, since I now feel less original than I thought I was. While I (in theory) approve of the idea of putting something called "Baja Luna" in a drink for Luna, that stuff is made of tequila and heavy cream, and anybody who would pour alcoholic purple milk into a glass of merlot is certifiably insane. (Though it would be a "Night Mare..."). (Sadly, this also means the pictures aren't real, because there's no way such a thing would come out looking like wine). Finally, to defend my integrity one just one bit further, his photos are all swiped off the internet (various company websites), and don't necessarily even represent the described drink. :P Now I feel better.

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

Well hello wonderful blog that I tried to frequent until life came long, scolded me, and forced me to go through its usual gauntlet of stressful and time-consuming circumstances. This would be the place where I would triumphantly and exuberantly announce my return but that would require that I had been a regular prior to my absence. I was much more of an irregular. In fact, that word just might sum up my entire being. I should use it more in the future.

You folks have been all over the place. Everywhere. So many posts. Help.

Well, time to trace to the source. Post three things about ourselves? Can do! Is it way late? Boy howdy! Does anyone really care? Probably not! Am I going to do it anyway? See answer to the first question!

1. When I was a wee child, I bashed my head open—twice—on the same spot, in the span of a year. It wasn’t anything seriously damaging, fortunately (or maybe it was, it certainly would explain a lot of things…). My sister was babysitting me both times and I was in her debt for a long time from all the stress I caused her.

2. Also when I was a child, I was being seriously considered for the main part in a cereal commercial for Kellog’s but they changed their mind at the last second. Thus a potential, flourishing acting career was shattered and now I guess I’ll never know the taste of Hollywood.

3. I absolutely love to discover new music (though who doesn’t?) and I’ll constantly setup Pandora channels for the express purpose of musical discovery. I’ll trace “similar artists” lists to the end of the earth, countless times I’ve listened to the entire discography of a band I’ve just discovered in one sitting, and when I go to the movie theater I keep my phone out so I can write down the names of movie trailers which have interesting musical pieces so I can look them up later. I’m relentless.

Now for the WD fact: White Diamonds was the first artist I really started both recognizing and looking forward to seeing in the Drawfriends. Obviously it didn’t occur to me to track these wonderful pictures to their source till not too long ago. Though I was a lurker in my early days in the fandom, so it probably wouldn’t have made much difference either way.

Coconutswallow said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds

This is going way back in the posts, but I must second your desire for a pony modeled off of Austin Scarlett. That would be gold of a 24 karat caliber. But we’d need one for Santino Rice, too, so we can have both of their pony versions visit Ponyville to design a dress for one of the Mane 6 and cause Rarity to feel betrayed. Rarity will design her own dress to compete with theirs, they’ll realize how amazing it is, and invite her to join them, then—bam, spin-off series: On the Equestrian Road with Austin, Santino, and Rarity.

Ahem… Anyway… Have an utterly late congratulations for making the Daily Deviation with your Zecora masterpiece. It was nice to see pony down there on that little bar and even nicer to see WD pony.

Speaking of which, you actually got a pony? Best childhood ever.

@Harwick

Let me say that reading your story about being an extra makes feel me much better about my decision to not sign up as an extra for the Walking Dead when it was offered around my area. I was on the fence there for a bit. Good to know I didn’t miss out on anything.

You are/were an art director? Can’t say I’m the least surprised. You’re more than talented enough.

@jodyjm13

Good to see someone else raised in the South. Bonus points for the state being Mississippi and the town being small. X4 multiplier for your house being made in the late 1800s. That’s like, a million Quaint Points.

@PonydoraPrancypants

Wait, you’ve made drink recipes for each of the Mane 6? All of my intrigue. Where might one obtain these?

@Anon

Alright, that 2.5D Model is quite nifty. It’s rather a nice deconstruction of the Flash animation used in the show. That can have a lot of uses and I’m interested to see where your work leads.

If I might inquire, what computer are you using that it overheats so drastically?

@zhoomcar

Is Melbourne as pretty as it looks in the pictures? I saw a series of pictures of its Victorian streets and instantly fell in love with it.

@Favo

Wait, Ponibooru is dead? I didn’t frequent it that much but I know that it’s immensely popular. The website will load for me, so is it broken some other way?

I must say, that is an amazing gif.

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@CaineScroll

I think I'm the only one here who has not yet joined The Great dA Migration, actually... I have said this before, but I plan to make an account once I have a drawing to post up there, and use it to present anything I make to the wide audience and gain some publicity if any of them turn out well. The personal blog is more for conversation among friends, like this one. At this rate, I probably won't finish anything within this month. But when I do, I could always catch up on each of your older drawings if it would be any more convenient. (I will leave a comment on your most recently-posted artwork at my next opportunity, but I'm running out of time tonight.) Don't feel pressured to do anything just for me; I'll be there one way or another. I demand that my voice be heard! (I must say though, it's a good time to have an OC. I really like the personalized patterns you added to the shading. It's quite clever. Especially on Prancypants; it looks like a woven design on the fabric. While I would usually promote any similarity to WhiteDiamonds' style, I've always thought the way you tend to draw eyes looked a bit plain, so this more LlamasWithKatanas-influenced style seems more natural for you. You should draw Diamonds' OC...she bears the Element of Generosity, and she's in love with Applejack. What a Mary Sue, right?)

@PonydoraPrancypants

I happened upon four more in my travels, in case you're interested. (One, Two, Three, Four) I have never drunk a drop of alcohol in my life, so I am no authority regarding how original or obvious your own recipes are, but I think these other series were only made for idle enjoyment without any substantial thought or care about how it might actually taste. (Red Bull and orange juice? Skittles?) Your stories of the characters that Prancypants meets serve to describe his own personality, as well as illustrate a setting for the events taken place between each entry. While the blog's recipes are symbolic of their respective namesakes, their stories leave hints about the pony who mixed them. Each retelling of his encounters establishes an understanding of the author and his own background, eventually creating an atmosphere for the host that can only expand as we hear his thoughts of these experiences. To that, a common fan's simple list of pony-inspired beverages cannot compare. I assure you, your creativity draws the ire and embarassment of many an envious writer as it is.

Anon said... Reply to comment

(Edit: Typographical errors? Unacceptable.)

@Coconutswallow

Eek, and all this time I have been thinking, "At least Coconutswallow won't have to see this...". I am sorry you were forced to experience my incoherent rambling over game progamming and what-not. I really should be paying more attention to the quality of these posts, or at least ensure that they are less sedative. I recognised the front of a story updates roundup as the cover art of Hostile Takeover, and I had wondered if your recent awakening meant that you might make another appearance in this corner of the internet. It's a pleasure to meet your acquaintance once again; your personified irregularity fits in with the rest of us just fine. You will always be welcome amongst our ragtag bunch of misfits.

I would say more, but sadly, that's all the time we have. (I'll be lucky if I wake up before noon.)

I shall return on a more betfitting occasion.

Anon said... Reply to comment

@Coconutswallow

Alright, since he has not yet shared the link here (and I hope he doesn't mind me answering for him), Prancypants' new cocktail blog, "My Little Mixology" can be found at his deviantART page, "Prancypants' deviantART page"". The theme feels of walking into the wine cellar of an upper-class Canterlot connoisseur, and listening his stories of those who inspired him. Could it be any classier?

In regards to your question, my computer is of the large, expensive gaming console variety. I have had to be very careful lately about how much CPU I'm using ever since we had a short series of two-second power outages (as I mentioned earlier on this blog). It has a battery backup for surge protection, but the computer's energy consumption is too high for the battery to support it. I don't know if the storm-induced crashing damaged any hardware, but it seems at least that the fan needs to be replaced. The same thing happened tonight when I was only drawing in SAI, which was rather alarming, but it was only once, leaving me to save every few minutes in a constant state of paranoia.

WhiteDiamonds was also the first, and remains to be the only artist I ever actively followed. But that was because I noticed how unendingly generous and kind she was to her followers, so I decided it was worth trying to carve out a spot in the discussion community that was starting to develop here. I had no idea the likes of Harwick or Ponydora might arrive at the scene. That was just pure luck.

...And now, it seems we're out of topics again. Now, where is Harwick when you need him?

Coconutswallow said... Reply to comment

@Favo

Are you… sure? The entire thing is loading for me. Granted, slowly, but still surely.

@Anon

Oh, tsh, The Eye of Argon is sleep-inducing, incoherent rambling. You just sound quite passionate about the process of making video games (which is interesting to be sure). Am I correct in assuming that this is your dream job?

Well thank you, it is quite a pleasure to make your acquaintance again, as well. “Ragtag?” “Misfits?” I feel like I have stumbled upon a troop of mercenaries. What’s the pay for someone whose special talent is “irregularity”?

That blog was most indeed classy. I’ve run across a handful of drink recipes for the Mane 6 (I’ve seen you’ve pulled up quite a few, yourself) but none presented so entertainingly or with such a sense of expertise. Unlike the others, I would feel wholly confident putting these together and giving them a try. It is now my strong desire to host a party and serve Pinkie Pies topped with excessive amounts of the most random candies I can find, all the while acting as if the beverage is completely normal.

Well having a fan out in one of those gaming rigs would explain the heat caused shutdowns. Some of those units make volcanoes seem frigid. They need absolutely every ounce of cooling they can get, which is why more and more of them are starting to be water-cooled. Random power outages usually don’t damage hardware. Though watch for surges. I had one of those fry a computer of mine once. Not pleasant.

That’s true about WD. Finding out that the artist of these wonderful pictures had a fantastic demeanor and was quite genial was just icing on the confectionary for moi. It surprised me none that she had attracted such company.

Yes, Harwick’s conversation starters have spurred two blog posts past the 100 comment mark now. Impressive.

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@Harwick

I'm really not sure how well the blueberries would do, but if you're game to try them perhaps I'd be able to arrange something for you in the future! At least we now know shortbread can make it happily intact. ^_~

Oh yes, and that new video was even more perfect, especially with how I have been feeling the past couple of days. Well, sans the caffeine obviously, though substitute annoyingly healthy supplements and electrolyte beverages that I am now forced to turn to instead, and the idea is more or less the same.

@Anon

Well, exactly... innocently poking fun at my tastes or not, you still don't have a whole lot of interest in the subject (otherwise, I'm sure you could easily understand how a show entirely about wedding dresses can exist!). And there's really nothing wrong with that, but you asked why I made that remark about Project Runway to Harwick and not to you, and that was the reason why.

And well, unfortunately I don't know if my decreased activity around here recently is a result of my looking after myself more. deviantART obviously eats up a rather considerable chunk of my time (any given day I log on there I generally have 300-600 messages, of which no more than half are usually new art notifications from people or groups I am watching), I have still been making small minor edits/alternate versions to that latest commission of mine (I think we're at four or five different versions now? I believe...) and unfortunately I have been exceptionally busy at my studio job recently. This is the start of the busy season for us, now that kids are out of school and coming in for classes and ongoing summer art camps, and their parents come in with them and take classes and work on projects of their own. I worked ten hours yesterday and unfortunately, it was nearly all physical work unpacking, moving, and stocking a massive shipment that came in... I don't know why they don't have specific people for that sort of thing, as I'm not really cut out for that kind of labor. TT_TT

Anyhow though, enough about me! At least you all know what I have been doing recently. Moving onto your video dear, that is indeed quite "neato" as you put it, and "very cool!" as Harwick has so accurately summed up. I agree with him in that some areas look a little rough as you circle Fluttershy, and even if that is how it works on the show. But I suppose that's part of the problem with making a 3-dimensional model out of 2-dimensional images. There are bound to be some complications somewhere when doing that, but for the most part it works very well and is an impressive display of effort. Thank you very much for uploading it onto YouTube and sharing it with us!

As for that second pony-cocktail list, hwah! All of my favorite things in one fabulous drink, do these people know me!?! That is indeed delightfully bizarre and incredibly hilarious to me, and contrary to what Ponydora thinks I'm tempted to believe it might actually be quite good. Sweet for sure, obviously, and probably best in smaller doses but somehow I'm imagining it tasting rather like an alcoholic version of a cinnamon dolce latter, which is not at all a terrible thing.

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@CaineScroll

I personally would rather deal with excessive air conditioning any day. I can handle the cold very well, and most of the time even enjoy it but once it starts nearing 80 degrees and (even worse) moving beyond that, I have a very difficult time. Needless to say these inland summers are essentially torture for me... I'm quite sure that I really don't belong here.

@PonydoraPrancypants

I had never seen those particular drink/recipe lists before Anon shared them, but it's true that the concept of creating pony-based cocktails is not at all a new thing... I'm pretty sure I've seen posts on the subject on Equestria Daily before in the past, and even seem to recall reading about how several bars and restaurants started offering such things on their menus. But, as you and Anon have both noted it's your stories that accompany each of your drink entries that makes your concept entirely unique and appealing, and as such you should still feel very good about what you're doing! The drinks themselves are just a delightful added bonus, really. ^_~

@Favo

Oh dear Goddess, that fanfiction actually updated?! Like, seriously a year later, I thought it had died for sure! That story, my friends, is what originally made me a Rarijack fan to begin with, which is even more amazing to think about when you consider it hasn't even contained any actual shipping yet. Or well, had not as of the last chapter I read, but who knows if that's changed now... obviously I'm going to have to read the new chapter as soon as I'm able. Thank you so much for letting me know about that dear, that's really fantastic!

And as far as that article goes, I literally laughed out loud upon seeing that! That is absolutely hilarious, and fabulous, to think that my favorite little classic Rarijack fanart was chosen for such a thing. I'm actually quite flattered by it, and am more than happy to be able to represent in any small way that I can, haha. Yay~

Regarding my pony Star, I suppose looking back I can't think of an instance where my mentioning her would have been very relevant to conversations we've shared, and I guess I never realized you would have been curious. Sorry about that! As stories go I guess I could share some, though most probably aren't as interesting as the parade thing... in fact, the majority of my memories of her consist of me grooming her over and over and over again, more than they do of me even riding her to be honest... ^_^;

Otherwise I'm very glad to hear that things are still getting better for you, or hopefully anyway, and in answer to your questions yes I did study Japanese, but am not sure how proficiently I can really speak it. I certainly know, or did know enough to get by when I traveled there before, though at this point that was several years ago and I know I've forgotten a great deal of it. Alas!

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@Coconutswallow

Well hello there darling; it looks and sounds as though you and I have both been going through similar circumstances recently, doesn't it? Well, certainly don't worry about lapses in posting on my account, as I obviously understand and respect that we all have our own lives and of course my own has made it very difficult for me to give my poor blog the attention it so rightly deserves over the past week. Ugh~

Yay, more random facts! I also (eww) bashed my head open pretty good as a small child, and have a visible scar on my forehead from the ordeal (thank Goddess I don't remember any of it; I'm squeamish enough now just thinking about the fact that it ever happened). That really is too bad about your potential acting career, and as far as music goes it certainly does sound as though finding new songs and artists is a passion for you. Maybe you should do something with that! My older brother has also always adored music, and he owns more CDs than anyone I know, plus he has a very extensive album collection (that takes up far too much room in the house). He always wanted to be a DJ and I really have to wonder why he never pursued it; I'm sure he would have been brilliant at it.

That final fact about me is so incredibly sweet... thank you very much for that! <3 And regarding the Austin Scarlett pony, oh dear Goddess FINALLY someone who shares my vision and who realizes HOW incredible necessary it is for this to happen!! @_@ I am so thrilled, between this news from you and that fabulous stuff from Favo, that I could probably smother somebody with hugs right now. And of course you are right and there needs to be a Santino Rice pony too, to keep Austin company and make for some truly premiere entertainment (what ever happened to that show anyway, and WHY haven't they put it out on DVD?? I need to own every single episode, forever)... if it does not happen at any point in season three, I am going to take it upon myself to create original character designs for both of them.

@Anon (again)

Hold on a moment, what was all that about an "OC" of mine??

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@myself

Oh yes, and I'm sure (or at least I hope) that you all realize I meant "latte" when I said that about cinnamon dolce and the Baileys/Kahlua/Goldschlager drink. Otherwise I don't think it would imply anything near as palatable. And now I have to go back in to work, oh bother~

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@Coconutswallow

I am what you might call an "indie game developer". I'm a one-man band, a jack of all trades. I have worked with the concept, programming (obviously enough), simple 3D modeling, basic storywriting... Basically, if you give me something to make, I will make it slowly and poorly. But my second best game development-related skill, and likely my best creative talent would be in music production. I used to play an online game that allowed the players to write their own scores, which could be played with in-game instruments. (Sadly, the "playing" part of the equation was entirely automatic, rather than taking the form of an automatically-generated rhythm game.) I can recall many a fond memory of entertaining an audience (along with my 'musician' friend who helped to play the duets) with whatever I had composed lately. It was all just classical, and any sort of folksy nonsense you might conjure with flutes, whistles, mandolins, lutes and the like on a MIDI sequencer, but we never tired of it. (Also sadly, I lost anything I wrote when I switched to my current computer over a year ago.) I never did gain an opportunity to utilize that particular ability in a game project, since audio tends to be a final step that my ambitious projects never see. The musicians of this fandom had convinced me to give it another try after so long, but I didn't get very far with it because I had no headphones at the time, and I somehow doubt my parents would appreciate the pony-inspired noise of roughly harmonious virtual violins. I soon found this blog, and I have since been focusing on 2D digital art and drawing instead, thereby eliminating the chance of any music production activity outside of a few folders on my hard drive that I wouldn't touch for old time's sake. I do hope I will gain the opportunity to try it again someday, though. Perhaps to go along with a themed piece of artwork, or with a comic.

Generally, I just don't know where I fit in. There are so many branches of game development that I would take over at a moment's opportunity. It would be so easy to say that you want to be "a programmer", and wind up sitting in one of many chairs lined up in an office, mindlessly punching away at keys until your hours are up. You could say that you want to be an "artist", but you could become the type of production artist working at the bottom of the food chain, repetitively producing masses of imagery like animated sprites and equipment recolors by the strict rules and guidelines of your superiors. Not only that, but as an artist, you might only wish you were an animator so you could see your drawings come to life. If you were an animator, you might wish you were a sound engineer so the movie could have audio. If you work in audio production, you would wish you could tell a story so vividly and clearly as a writer. If you are a writer, you would wish you could render the every detail of a scene so easily and concisely as an artist's painting. When you take all of those things based around each of your senses, the result is a video game. (Unless it's a movie.)

I can say for sure, however, that the video game industry is at least one of my dream industries to work in. The intercontinental ballistics missile industry does sound a tad more exciting to me, but games would make for a fitting alternative.

Artist mecenaries? You bring up an interesting concept. Irregularity may be an exceptionally prosperous role, assuming it means that you are a hired specialist for the purpose of making the battle less predictable, and not that you act as a rather unpredictable distraction. Though, I'm not sure that Diamonds would be fit to lead such a band of dauntless adverturers. My vote is on Harwick; he's far more ruthless. Now we just need our own theme song, "Art of the Blade"...

Anon said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds

I soon noticed your latest comment responses after I posted that, and since you seemed to have taken some time for yourself the while before, it would have made sense. Anyway, it really sounds like you have been having an awful time since your last appearance. I will say it again, as I likely will for as long as I know you; it amazes me how such careless and unfair conditions are stacked before such a universally dedicated professional, and such a highly deserving individual as you. You have shown great perseverance on all fronts, be it at your workplace, in the depths of your dA inbox or in a simple discussion of pony cocktails and music videos. I sincerely hope you are not suffering excessive undue stress, and your spending a moment to grant us a reply and let us know how you feel is not too burdensome to be justifiable. I am surprised to learn that you have seemingly never tried to mix your favorite beverages in any way, but it seems you need a recipe-testing break.

I don't expect you to readily agree with me, and of course I have no idea of whom I may be speaking, but it sounds to me like you have a tough customer right now. If I were the commissioner, I would have given up and accepted my favorite by the second or third try. That's the miserable sort of experience that could put you off the commission business altogether. I wonder how so much could go wrong and need to be changed for a sixth version to even be possible. Perhaps you need to establish a clearer exchange to help ensure that the seventh version will be the last.

I may have been able to do it better if I were a vector artist, but I only traced from screenshots of the show. Hopefully, whoever might pick it up will find some use for it. I have to say, your comment about 80 degrees confuses me a bit. Is 80 degrees too hot, or too cold? I remember you once mentioned that your area of California can get to over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The hottest our part of Florida ever reaches is in the 90s, during the summer. The coldest is in the 60s during the winter, and that is usually my favorite time the year. Except for when I need to get out of bed, or step out of the shower...

Oh, and (assuming your question is not rhetorical), that line was only a joke about the way you express emotion through Rarity as if she was your own "OC" or "ponysona". I mentioned that she holds the element of generosity (to denote my reference to Rarity), and she is in love with Applejack, with reference to the way that your fanart often depicts your perferred interpretation of Rarity that way. Those two details (to possess and element of harmony, and to be in a relationship with one of the main characters) are common traits of a "Mary Sue" type of original character, which often has no flaws. It also means that I am disregarding your Rarijack speculation as mere fanfiction. My humor is too convoluted...

Anon said... Reply to comment

I might as well mention it; a WhiteDiamonds drawing has been used again. It isn't a bad discussion either, but everyone knows the mustache spell is the best one.

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@Favo

I am truly sorry to hear that dear, really I am. I don't know what might have happened, but I thought you had said that things were getting better. Well, I certainly hope they will improve once you are able to enjoy your break properly.

Oh, it is starting to get shippy now?? I still haven't read it (I will make a point to leave Staeg Masque a review when I do, as I told him long ago it would be my pleasure to offer him feedback if it kept him writing), but hopefully I'll have a chance to soon. Adorable ponies. On that note, or sort of anyway I do adore Rarity of course, but I'm really not sure that I would consider her my type. Even though we could probably live together quite easily under one roof.

And as far as deviantART goes, I imagine I would have that many messages if I let my inbox go for a week without any attention. A better way of saying it is that I probably get close to 200 feedback (not deviantWATCH) messages a day, a decent portion of which are comments that I need to respond to. Even though I do my best to stay on top of them they seem to be never-ending, though of course it would be wrong of me to ever complain about that.

@Anon

Oh it's quite alright dear; I've been feeling fine recently, I've just been very busy. The only thing that's been at all unpleasant is my studio job recently, and that was largely due to two days in a row of shipments (well okay, that wasn't the only thing that was unpleasant, but it was the worst part). I've lived through far worse before though!

I think you don't really understand the whole matter of the commission, but of course it would be difficult for you to as you don't know the full story. I'm not doing the work out of any feelings of obligation or anything, though; it is a commission after all, as are the all of the changes, and I am being paid for them. If I was having such a bad time doing the entire thing I would have told my client that weeks ago (I'm not a glutton for punishment after all, and am not afraid to speak my mind especially in a business situation)... I think he wants them just to have several different versions, and not because there's anything "wrong" with any on them I've done so far. I appreciate your concern, but you really don't need to worry yourself about such things on my behalf.

I suppose you have a valid point about the 3-D model; working exclusively with content from the show, it makes sense that there would be some "gaps" here and there, as well as the sudden change in the shading on the legs as the model spins. Perhaps you or somebody else would be willing to manually create little "patch" area of vectors in the future, but if not it still stands as an impressive display of effort as I said before.

Didn't I say before that I preferred the cold? I thought I had, but yes I definitely meant that I begin to get uncomfortable when it gets to be 80 degrees and warmer, and yes I have said that the area of southern California where I live can get to be over 100 degrees in the summer. I believe the hottest I've ever witnessed in the past was 115 degrees, which is quite possibly the most miserable thing I can imagine. Horrible, horrible heat and inland summers...

Thank you for bringing that EqD feature to my attention, as I doubt I would have known about it otherwise. And oh, as far as Rarity goes I don't know that I'd say that my "preferred interpretation" of her is in love with Applejack, but obviously I do happily enjoy my silly shipping (for what it is). Of course, Ponydora often does/did use Rarity in the very same way that you mentioned, but I suppose if he didn't I wouldn't get to see nearly as many fabulous muro drawings... ^_~

Favo said... Reply to comment
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WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@Favo

Wait, another new chapter do you mean? But I still haven't read the first one, no! Must read Rarijack, I need more tiiiiime~~

I figured you were only joking about that dear (or at least, I rather hoped so...); my reply was not especially serious either but it has come to my attention before that my sense of humor often doesn't translate very well online (if it does at all). I'm glad that things should be improving for you now, and congratulations on your pretty little knife! I myself acquired a nice new pair of fancy sewing shears recently, I'm very excited~

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