but i looked for a long time to find these illustrations

The 2 Elements of an ORIGINAL STORY IDEA

If you’ve been doing this writing thing for more than one day, you’ve likely experienced the following worry: 

“What if my story idea ISN’T ORIGINAL?”

And if my experience is any indication, things spiraled downwards from there: “What if it’s cliche? What if there’s nothing new here?! It IS cliche. It ISN’T original. I’m a failure! ALL MY WRITING NEEDS TO BURN!”

Calm yourself. There’s a way to make sure that your story concept is unique.  

First, what IS a story concept? It’s the initial idea that made you want to write the thing. It’s the “What If” question that starts everything off. Later, it will be the promise that hooks the reader or audience, and makes them want to experience the story. 

So for example: What if Cinderella was a cyborg? What if a rat wanted to be a french chef? What if a fish had to venture across the ocean to find his son who’s captive in a dentist’s office aquarium?   

All great concepts. All of which seem to be comprised of two elements: something that we already know about, a set up that establishes expectations, and then something contrasting and surprising, which creates irony or surprise.  
So the first element of a successful story concept is FAMILIARITY. 

Establishing expectations? Something we already know about? Familiarity?! That sounds like the definition of UNorginal. 

Hear me out. 

What do readers do when foraging for a new novel at the bookstore? Certain readers gravitate to certain shelves. Some go to mysteries, some to crime, a whole lot to romance, and the rest to the other genres that are too numerous to list.

 Why is this? Because genres give them a pretty good idea about what they’re going to get. Readers already know the conventions of the genre. They’ve already put in the work of learning, accepting, and enjoying these conventions. 

Genres give both reader and writer something to go on right away. For the reader, genres are expectations for story events, setting, character, and more, which are automatically enjoyable to them. For a writer, it’s a set of expectations which can be flipped to create something remarkable and unique.  

It’s like telling a joke. Without a setup, there can’t be a punchline. 

The genres are the setup, the individual twist the author puts on that genre is the punchline. Or in other words, readers truly do want the same thing –only different.  

To illustrate this, let’s take a look at one of the most successful stories of all time.

With space ships, interplanetary travel, sentient robots, and aliens running amok, Star Wars LOOKS to be the kind of story that requires the audience to expend lots of mental energy to comprehend and believe. At first glance, it seems that imaginations are going to have to stretch a great deal, and there won’t be anything familiar to ground us – this SEEMS like an uncomfortably new, unwelcoming world. But I doubt if anyone has ever felt uncomfortable or unwelcome while watching Star Wars. And the reason for this can be summed up with one ellipsis-ended sentence:

Suddenly, all is clear. This isn’t the hard-to-imagine future, this is the PAST. We’re not being asked to imagine and believe a totally new world; we’re being taken to the realm of “far, far away”, a place we’ve known since childhood. Isn’t “a long time ago” just another way of saying “once upon a time”? Yes, it is, so we know where we are now. We are in a fairy tale, a myth.  

The familiarity of fairy tales sets us at ease and sets our expectations in place. Expectations which Star Wars meets with flying colors: A farmboy who must become a knight. A princess imploring for aide. A mystical wise-old-man mentor. Sword fights between good and evil. A magic that operates like religion. A dark lord and a dark side. Star Wars was built upon something we already know, something timeless, something we’ve always enjoyed. 

And once those well-known expectations were set, Star Wars was free to add the unexpected and create one of those most memorable story worlds ever.
Think of a story you love, and you’ll probably be able to identify the something-already-known aspect of it.  

How about Harry Potter? 

When we hear “boarding school”, mental images and probabilities are instantly conjured in our minds. We picture classrooms, dormitories, a campus with very old buildings, kids in uniforms, a giant place for meals, living through a schoolyear with a bunch of kids your age, etc. Even if we don’t know much about boarding school, we all know what regular school is like (even us homeschoolers over here *waves*) and our expectations for that are nearly identical from person to person.  

So what does this prove?

It proves that one half of your story’s concept must be grounded in something we already know, and know well. These are the expectations you are going to establish for your reader, before the second element of your concept upends everything and creates something wholly unique. 

You need FAMILIARITY. You need to ground your concept in something WELL-KNOWN. Only then will you be able to create something ORIGINAL. 

Where can familiarity be found?  

1. Genre Conventions 

2. Occupations 

3. Well-known stories  

The possibilities are not limited to these categories, of course. Familiar subjects can be found within many other areas. However, Familiar elements seem to share certain qualities … 

Provides a rough timeline

⦁ Conjures imagery

⦁ Sets expectations for events, characters, opposition, etc

⦁ Has natural potential for conflict 

⦁ Serves as a goal-oriented backdrop for the plot

To see how this works, let’s look at Harry Potter again: 

Familiarity: Going to boarding school. (An occupation)

Timeline: A school year (which Voldy always lets Harry complete before trying to kill him again, bless him.)

Story Expectations: When we hear “school”, we know what we’re going to get.

Imagery: Boarding school conjures tons of possibilities. 

Conflict Potential: It’s a thousand kids living in one castle with a handful of adults – there’s going to be conflict. 

Goal-Oriented: School is inherently goal directed. You want to graduate. And in the case of boarding school, you want to win the house cup. 

But of course, this familiar environment is only HALF of the concept for Harry Potter. The other half, of course, is WITCHCRAFT AND WIZARDRY. Which brings us to the 2nd element of a successful story concept, which will be the subject of the next post.

🌸 March fics 🌸

» All The Love (I Cannot Give You) by julietlovestory

A story in which Lance loves Keith. Keith loves Lance. But their lives are not easy and their destinies hold way too much responsibility to just give into fleeting things like—like feelings. 

» and i’ll keep you a daydream away by maradyer

“He’s killing me,” Lance groans, head in his hands.

» Blue Halo by MyDearOuroboros

Keith goes to a company-funded party in a strip club, gets gratuitously drunk, and kinda sorta falls in love.

» Blue Is The Loneliest Color by jokeywrites

soul mate
ˈsōl ˌmāt/
noun
noun: soulmate
a person ideally suited to another as a close friend or romantic partner.

» Brave New World by Juiliet

The ultimate Klangst post wormhole story in which both boys pine together

» Change Hurts by PotatoBender

Any change that happened fast, without warning, was always the worst, most unbearable thing for Keith.

» curing space blues by tusslee

The weightlessness of zero gravity doesn’t apply to feelings, Lance learns.

» E O Mai by A. E. Stover

He’s homeless and poor and gay and illegally sells fish to get by, and that’s how he comes upon a dead man in his net. Only, it’s not a dead man, because this ‘man’ has the legs of a fish.

» Every Reality by celestia

In every possible reality the two paladins are destined to find each other and take comfort in one another.

» Flirting With Death by drippingpen

Keith commits the ultimate taboo as a grim reaper: he saves a life.

More specifically, he saves Lance’s life.

» free throw by breadpoetsociety

“He introduced me to the greatest love of my life. And, actually, that’s not basketball. But his brother, Keith Kogane.”

» Fuck Me Up by Azure_Wavelet

Okay but consider: Keith pretending to be lance’s boyfriend to ruin lance’s attempts to flirt with aliens

» honey, i’m no superman by redburn

Lance is a reporter. Keith is the masked vigilante who saves him.

» I Found Love by SeaBreezy and thesearchingastronaut

Keith is just trying to live his life as a freelance illustrator with his cat, keeping up with bills by having two part-time jobs.

» It Grows Stronger by tylerproposey

5 times Keith helped Lance out of a situation and the 1 time Lance tried to pay back the saves.

» i’m right here by memesofbees

That was it.

This thunderstorm, this natural disaster consuming his stomach, up his spine. Multiplying into his bones.

» I’m With You by spacegaykogane

Lance pinned the whole mission down to four huge missteps:
The first was in sending Keith with him.

» Lilac Sky by rinthegreat

Shiro’s missing, Keith has anxiety, and Lance’s soulmate doesn’t talk to him. What else is new?

» Meet Me on the Battlefield by TheSpace_Dragon

On the battlefield, anything can happen. Never turn a blind eye to the possibilities.

» Predestination by elfenphoenix

Ten thousand years ago the Blue Paladin was Altean, and the Red Paladin was Galra.
Ten thousand years ago, in peacetime, the Red and Blue Paladins fell in love.
Ten thousand years ago, war broke out, and love that was once encouraged became heresy.
Ten thousand years ago, the Red and Blue paladins made a promise they couldn’t keep.

» red down a dead end by anihanki

Keith and Lance holding hands underneath library tables, kissing in corridors, with the south and a cross hanging over them.

» Talk It Out by KaSaPe

Lance doesn’t want to talk about it. At all. Not with Keith, not with anyone else. But somehow, one way or another, Keith gets him to open up. And Lance’s reward? A new boyfriend.

» tell me that you love me too by ciuucalata

Five times Lance tells Keith he’s in love with him and the one time he doesn’t.

» tethering by fairyuphoria

Okay, so, maybe pressing weird Altean buttons on the side of your head gear wasn’t the best idea, but Lance sure as hell didn’t expect this to happen.

» the courage of stars by judlane

“Congratulations. Consider yourself a life-long prisoner of the Galra Empire. You should be honored,” Commander Keith hissed as he leaned close, breath hot on Lance’s skin.

» the kind of hope that keeps people going; by abendtrot

Recipe for Lance: two cups of smiles, three tablespoons of flirtation, two cups of insecurity and a teaspoon of cockiness to cover up that insecurity’s sting.

Recipe for Keith: three cups of anger, two cups of “it’s not a phase!”, a dash of occasional smiles, and a giant helping of the hots for Lance.

Recipe for an explosion: put the two together.

» time out of mind by aknightley

Keith and Lance wake up married. In the future.

» Torrent by spookyknight

Paladins red and blue find calm in the storm on a treacherous uninhabited planet.

» What Are You Waiting For? by Basingtei

Spending the day dancing and sharing a wall at night is a recipe for a lovely disaster. 

» with quiet words i’ll lead you in by strikinglight

“Take it slow.” Keith’s voice is steady, but as Lance’s eyes struggle to focus his face is a blur. The image goes shaky and then comes clear, shaky then clear, like looking into water. “Pretend it’s low tide. Tell me about the ocean again.”

Keep reading

My 12 Lives

Aries - A whole new world

In Pisces she wept and fell to sleep, a mermaid tail drifting in a sea by her side. All was calm, and then began the storm. A fireball in the sky,
a new season, a new beginning, a hurricane to drop a child inside. From the storm the Aries was born, learning to walk and talk, forgetting the mermaid tail she took 12 lifetimes to sew. She looks for magic behind every corner, always expecting something astonishing and new. Through fierce suppression or taught shame, her spirit becomes poisonous, because she is a wild heart, free and untameable, as young as the spring, as pure as the wind. And she may hold violent secrets, or act of some destructive urge that sings a song of impulse. Instant self gratification is important, consuming the world is important. Everything seems so foreign as if nothing ever existed before she was born. Now she is in a world that seems to have forgotten her, a princess of the night through her last lifetime. Her scarlet aura conducting fires in the horizon, a child chasing shapes in the clouds. Twinkle twinkle little star
now I know who you are

Taurus - Rest and Rectitude

It had all been so loud, so busy, so exhausting. Pushed from one frantic lifetime to the next, the Taurus woke up tired, her body seeming to be entwined with vines, her ears buzzing with the sound of wildlife. She walks through the forest to find hideaways opening just for her
a priestess of the flowers, a mother to the earth, a reflection of pure beauty, an earthy Aphrodite. Her eyes glaze with the glassiness of still waves, her hair matted with herbs, it’s time to rest now, to flourish in a world that suddenly became soft to touch and delicious to taste. She could never truly cherish her surroundings before, life past through her in such a frenzied flash
sometimes there are old anxieties that creep in, reminding her of chaos and carnage, hitting the walls of a palace she has built
founded on integrity, diplomacy, and the laws of nature. She approaches the day with sleep still in her eyes, often relying on caffeine to adjust to human life. If she could flitter through life on natural time, she would sleep for days, and cherish the stillness of night



Gemini ~ Wings of a Butterfly

She cocooned herself into a flower bed last time around, like a chrysalis. The tired Taurus and a breath of fresh air was blown from heaven, the Gemini awoke, a butterfly with a golden helmet on her mind. Energy released in erratic form, the only way was to spiral upwards with the other winged creatures
sending messages through ether, delighted at making sounds, twists and turns with words. Suddenly the mind leaves the body behind, she is a floating balloon
Full of wonderful tales and facts and insights, illuminating the light behind her eyes when her mind is alive. And she can stay awake thinking for days, stimulated by internal conversation. Her responsibilities and plans can vanish,
as if she has completely forgotten. She can find herself in a mess of paperwork and clothes, unable to escape the hold of her mind, deciding with one personality but in conflict with another, split memories of life revealing themselves untimely. And she can be chastised for her scattered mind, often forgetting the most basic of things yet she can keep you captivated for hours under the spell of conversation, whisking words in her mind like a magic maze, every age and time in a myriad of marvellous mental somersaults



Cancer - Timeless Woman

The incessant chatter of Gemini drifted into the back of her mind, turning into long conversations on the beach, the tide washing words with memories. In cancer time, every minute could be a moment, there is the possibility for growth, enlightenment, and meaning in every experience, the pinnacle events of life felt with a reverent glory, to marry, to love, to held, to be held, to be welcomed home, and be kissed as she leaves for the world.
She is not bound indoors, but rather makes a presence and a home out of everything, constructing hideaways in secret fantasies and re illustrated memory. Before it was all about learning and squeezing facts out of life, now it is about withholding life, or giving birth to beautiful life, whether it be her own, a child, or something or someone she cherishes. People are stain glass windows to her lunar sculpted eyes, their feelings moving like colours, their psychic activity enveloping her like a heatwave. And you wonder why she can’t sleep, when its something her spirit so desperately needs. But your worry is her worry, and you give it to her while you fall asleep


Leo ~ Harlequin and Heroine

Wielding light at her command, this was a woman who formerly ruled the Moon. Illuminated from the heart, a golden child of the cosmos
an heiress of the day, almost sick on sunbeads. The whole charade can be in disarray, born into a kingdom of chaos and neglect. Her howl is enough to spin the earth so the sun burns nearer
feeling temperature creep into your chest, and that’s the feeling of her breath. Sun honey, a crown made of maple syrup whipped by stars. Before she had given life, and wept, and provided for. She taught to love and how to feel. And now she is all these sensations in her own side show riel
A cast selected by the heavens. A script written by a royal soul. A child at heart forced to be an actress on a stage, garnering adornment and command, painting an image with colours drenched in soul tie-dye
Tonight she fades away, but she comes to life on stage, or in your eyes, or lying with your heartbeat by her side. She feels music and cinema, she can see a part of herself in every character. Life fades as quick as fame


Virgo - Butterfly Mind

Sunburn punctures through her, a coursing burn shivers, her mind on fire, alive with anxiety and thoughts dancing in intricate design like butterflies. Charring burn down her tummy, more tension inside, stings on their wings, nervous sickness. The Leo spotlight was so loud and chaotic, the audience applause become deafening screeches in her ear, pride longing for the recognition. But the show has ended, and the Virgo has been left behind
only a shadow for company in genius that has lost its mind. The show has ended and the only audience member remaining is the critic, ready to spit his words of venom, turning up the houselights and shining them right on pretend flaws. And the only way to leave was to get down on her knees, to begin repairing herself, to scrub the world clean. The celebration is over, and now she is stuck in her mind, desperately trying to settle a million anxious butterflies


Libra Lightshow

To be a perfect mannequin, oh that was the dream. As a Virgo she sewed threads until her lungs couldn’t exhale. But now she is the dreamer of dreams, the writer of romance novels, and the personification of art. Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the most loved by all? Libra is ruled by Venus, the Goddess of Beauty, sweet Aphrodite, rising from a watery clam into the airy clouds. This is where Libra dwells, painting the sky with her thoughts, dazzling like diamonds in the sun. With a pen feather in her hands she narrates the law of the land, reigning in on righteous justice and morality. Her body moves in harmonious symmetry, graceful, her expression warm and then glacial, for she is a woman born under the air swords, so intellect rules, beauty is in the eye of the beholder
and the mind is the beholder, so sharpen your wit before you challenge her judgement, she may be vague when she enters the story she reads
But she can be a woman scorned to those who threaten her allegiances or breed toxicity, the illusion and the glamor of a hall of mirrors, each face of a flower petal projecting through entrancing display. Daughter of the equinox, blessed with a cherubin face and allure, sorely misunderstood, she is not a flirter but a lover, a woman who finds parts of herself in everyone, parts of herself she longs to love, so she longs to love you, let her love you, it will be the most exquisite thing you ever do



Scorpio - Sea Siren

She plummeted from a jewel high in the sky, the cotton candy of Libra
free falling into the bottom of the ocean. Surrounded by all sorts of strange creatures, sea entities wearing the faces of demons, fighting to survive, born inhaling poisonous water.  And so life seems like a swim upward, but the pressure so harsh, the voices of ghosts are only under the surface, surrounded by hollow mermaids, sailors who have lost their life, between two worlds, the alive and the passed. She learned to love in Libra, but now she is forced to love the darkness, to cherish the beasts in herself  that claw at the inside of her skin, to be an instrument of light infusing with shadow. The sun shining through the cracks, the burn she can feel on her shoulder blades in quiet moments, it seems like sun from the bottom of the ocean, but that is soul, that is her soul, radiating across a hidden treasure island.


Sagittarius - The End and the Beginning of Everything

Waking from what seemed like eternal death, a lifetime of dying over and over as a Scorpio, becoming a phoenix, and now dancing in the dazzling sky, like jade diamonds. Flying over all the lives she has seen, every experience fills her mind with another location, another tropical island filled with mythological secrets and opportunity. She learned the art of psychic activity as a Scorpio, and now she is in tune with cosmic timing, living in a future arranged by vision, light, and prophecy. And yet it can all feel so incomplete, having kissed death and returned to reunite with a godly lover, through wind, trees, snow, and sea. One part of her body longs for the soil of the ground, the taste of real love, the human experience, grand and simple. And yet the spirit source caresses her to elevate higher, leave the lower mind behind and anybody who dwells there, for she must meet God face to face, with no church or temple or orgasm to hide behind. Ah, this is the essence of life. To believe what she has not seen, but to believe she will, so from the sky angels dwell but concealed by her own will. Sometimes she is too scared of her own greatness, she is after all, a hunter, one whose heart is reserved for the highest priestess.



Capricorn - What Becomes of Unfulfilled Dreams

The celebration of Sagittarius was over, the room was dark, and it’s almost like
performing a whole night of making up for the night before, or the life before. The Capricorn shakes on the ledge of the highest cloud, a mere push of
invalidation or discredit enough to send her tumbling roughly onto earthly concrete, the whisper of success in her ear flying kites in the sky. Between two worlds she seems to live, seemingly forced into responsibility from the
moment she took her first breath. Every experience and achievement forced through some sort of harsh institution, a secret life where she is berated
by her own volatile voices, and a life where is must play every role with
infinite ease, displaying qualities beyond human.
Echoes of children’s laughter play like violins in her ear, a harsh reminder of a life she was never permitted to know. A world alone. The rings of Saturn the karma she is forced to bear, undertaking the duty of confronting all the madness and the  pains of the Gods. And you want her to love you? You criticise her for not showing heart? That’s all she has ever shown.



Aquarius - Bleeding Rainbows

The world was loud and cold when she took her first breath, the lingering
shadow of life as a Capricorn haunting as she shook right to her bones. Tip toeing between clouds she tried to balance the crown on her head
all she had ever known was trying to survive and now she was a mother, a lover, a guardian to every child. When she laughs rainbows from the sky appeared, she is the angel of righteousness, truth, and humanitarianism. But the responsibility is heavy, and the crown becomes straining, alone she dwells, waiting for something to change, for people to change and find their hearts, and soul, and spiritual mind so she can descend and be free, so she can live on her vibrational harmony. As a Capricorn she had already walked the temple with Saturn, and now she had been summoned for another round, and her heart was already tired, and the voices were still so loud. She had achieved so much and yet how could she feel so empty and alone? She felt betrayed by their hatred and love of war and destruction. But there was soul and she could feel it, so
her mind sang with electric impulses of spiritual nectar
a milkshake of elevation for every being. You can sometimes catch her jumping from cloud to cloud, leaving a trail of teal flickering lanterns behind



Pisces - Mermaid Mirror 

After waking from what seemed like eternal sleep, she tumbled quickly,
plunging into deep water, taking a breath, but it wasn’t
water, it was air, it was earth, and she choked. Eleven times this happened, and the 12th time she realised this was life, 11 other spirits dwelling inside. The smell of heaven and everythingness seduced her from the invisible, whispering in her ear to come home, to shut her eyes and leave this world behind. She tried to walk but never really got her balance, the floor always slipping below her, her feet only having the memory of a mermaid tail. Everything can seem directionless and unsafe, like nobody could truly ease the sores in her spirit. She constantly attempts to swim away in oblivion, but a silver cord tugs her back to earth, reminding her of intense spiritual obligation, contracts she wrote with angels and demons. She has divine truths whispered in her ear, she also has lies, the trickster’s bride. As an Aquarius she had lifted humanity, she had raised a global generation of pure heart, she swung her legs off  the clouds, but now she was burned out, longing to fall asleep again, but she needed more energy than anybody to satisfy 11 other spiritual energies. 

-Cherry

The Issue of Being a Freelance Artist (When working with non-designers): A story by Sean Williams (and future reference for other artists)

Hey guys, looks like its story time… I’m going to vent to you guys about something that just happened to me today, and hopefully you guys can reblog it so that we as artists, can try to avoid this from happening in the future.

For the last month or so I’ve been working on a freelance project for a woman who plans on running a blog about going to College. Throughout this process, I’ve worked with her step by step, going through designs, drafts, re-drafts and etc. After turning in the final design yesterday and being in agreement that the design was good, and that payment should be finalized; she sent me an email stating this: 

“I ran the design by a couple of people affiliated with by blog, and I am going to have to ask you to redo it.  It’s just not what we were looking for.  I’m not a design person at all and I wanted it done, so I settled on it. But this has to be done right”

Settled. 

“Okay, fine” I thought. Sometimes things don’t work out, and designs need to be redone. I was fine with this, and I have absolutely no problem working with a client to make sure that they’re happy; but something about her wording stuck a chord…. She settled. And for reference: THIS is what she said yesterday- BEFORE the email today stating: “This has to be done right” 


FUN FACT: I had gone in a completely different direction before coming up with the design I sent yesterday, but after HOURS of working on it and checking in with her (with her telling me she loved the way it looked) –

–I was asked to redo it.


She told me to redo it. A DAY BEFORE IT WAS DUE.  Which I did (The design I turned in yesterday). But I digress..

I continued reading through the email: 

“If you are not able or willing to take this on, then we can just cut our ties here.  If you would like to finish the project in a time sensitive manner and be paid the other 50$ and be featured, then please get me a new design by today.” 

At this point, I’d been working with her for a little over a month, (I’m a full-time student, and I work the maximum number of hours that I’m allowed to work on campus, on top of that I’m the president of an animation organization on campus, so suffice to say, I’m busy) and she had a deadline for the project, so there was a part of me that could understand her urgency. We had decided on $100. Half up front and half after I had finished. But now something else had stuck with me: “Please get me a new design by today”

What? Are you kidding me? a NEW design? We had been working together for over a month, and I had worked based on what she wanted, and now she wanted a COMPLETELY new design by the end of the day. A day, I might add that I don’t have free because I have work and then other school-related obligations that I need to fulfill… That would mean sketches to generate more ideas, having to confer with her on the design, THEN actually implementing the design, and having to clean it all up, with 1.) No direction (because the way I designed it previously was obviously all wrong), and 2.) By the end of the day.


This had to be done right, and after all of that working and reworking, I was STILL looking to try to be as helpful and professional as possible. So of course,  I was considering starting from scratch and coming up with a THIRD finalized design, until I read the rest of the email… HERE’S THE KICKER: I can’t even make this shit up. 

“A few things to keep in mind. 1.  I am a professional.  I’m an adult, this is my business.  I want it clean, simple and streamlined”.

In my head I thought: “You’re joking. You’re going to tell me these things like I’m a child? First of all, I may be a student, but I’m a working adult, I take care of my schoolwork, I pay rent, I pay a car note, I’m ENGAGED, AND take care of a pet Ferret. Beyond that, not only have I worked on this project with you step, by step, but I’ve done COUNTLESS drafts and ON TOP OF THAT, you’ve told me multiple times that the design is perfect for what you’re looking for”

The email continued: 


“https://designschool.canva.com/blog/graphic-design-tips-non-designers/”

Are you fucking kidding me. This woman thought it was okay to send me: A designer; this “HELPFUL” link. About tips. FOR NON DESIGNERS. WHEN SHE HERSELF IS NOT A DESIGNER. After this I was LIVID. But I kept my composure and kept reading:

“Ask me questions, read the blog, treat me as if I’m a real client. Let me know your thoughts on this.” 

I almost couldn’t contain myself. For a month I’ve done sketches, layouts, and etc… I’d worked with you step by step, following her instructions for the design, FOR EACH ITERATION OF THE DESIGN and I had tailored each of my changes exactly to her specifications. Beyond that I’d read and re-read over the blog multiple times in an effort to come up with a design that would best display her intentions. I was so upset after reading her email that I literally just closed my phone and walked around for a few minutes to clear my head. 


After much consideration, I decided to do what she herself had suggested and cut our ties. And I did it in what I feel was the most respectful way that I could while still maintaining my dignity. I sent her a message stating that I’m sorry that things didn’t work out, but that I could tell that she clearly didn’t respect me as an artist, and that I thought it best if we didn’t continue working together. I wished her good luck in finding a designer that could suit her needs, and I went about my day. 

Although this situation didn’t end the way that I had expected it to when we began working together, I’ve learned some things, and I wanted to share my story with you all as a way to help raise awareness for things like this:

-VALUE YOUR ART. 
-VALUE YOUR TIME. 
-VALUE THE CLIENT BUT DO NOT LET THEM STEP ALL OVER YOU

There are non designers who will commission you and be happy that you created something for them, and there are those that will NEVER be satisfied with what you give them. See the warning signs and DO NOT work with people who are going to be difficult for the sake of being difficult.

 I’ve worked with more than a few people who don’t appreciate the amount of passion and hard work that goes into art, and it draining, frustrating and its just not worth it. 

Another thing that I learned is please please please DO NOT SELL YOURSELF SHORT. 

The project that I was working on wasn’t worth $100. And after the second draft it was even worth doing for $200. I understand being a student and needing money, but I’d rather work for free on something that I love than work for pennies on something that I hate. 

Don’t take a project just because it pays. AND PLEASE DO NOT TRY TO UNDERCUT YOURSELF BECAUSE YOU’RE A STUDENT OR BECAUSE YOU DON’T FEEL THAT YOU’RE A “PROFESSIONAL” YET. 

I have friends in the animation industry who STILL don’t feel like they’re necessarily “Professionals”

KNOW YOUR WORTH.  And never ever EVER Let anyone tell you what you’re worth. Especially if they don’t know or respect just how much work and time goes into making the beautiful things that you all make.

I think that’s about it. Thanks for putting up with yet another long rant about me trying to navigate my life as an artist!

Originally posted by thatretaillife


(also… completely unrelated: If you’re an artist reading this, let me know! I’d love to follow you and I hope you do the same!)

-Sean 

Season 3 Master Plan

Step 1: Lance and Keith work together and finally put aside their differences in order to rescue/save Hunk. They realize that they’re actually pretty good teammates and friends when they both pull their heads out of their asses. Their rivalry becomes more playful and less antagonistic.

Step 2: The writers finally take the time to illustrate how deep and strong the bond between Lance and Hunk is. There is even a little flashback to how they met, to establish how close and essential they are to one another. “Sorry Hunk if this looks gay to the viewers,” Lance murmurs, right before they both lean in.

Step 3: Hunk and Keith continue with their bonding moments from season 2. Keith confides in Hunk about his anxieties, especially those caused by Shiro’s disappearance. Hunk quietly listens and comforts him when he’s done. After Keith leaves, Hunk goes to find Lance. Without going into detail about what Keith told him, Hunk outlines a plan for them to be there for Keith, because the guy really needs someone in his corner. Lance immediately agrees, showing just how much his character has grown since the first season, and also highlighting how his relationship with Keith has changed. The audience realizes that Hunk and Lance are truly essential to the team; as the legs of Voltron, they act as pillars of support, both literally and emotionally.

Step 4: Keith steadily learns to relax and soften around Hunk and Lance. There’s lots of feelings jam sessions, with either the whole team present or just the three of them. Hunk and Lance’s unwavering acceptance allows Keith to finally feel like a part of Voltron. Of course, their friendship doesn’t immediately solve all of Keith’s issues, but the realization that people care about him (and who he cares about back) is enough to help Keith with some of his worse anxieties.

Step 5: Lance, Hunk, and Keith are all shown to work incredibly well together during training and fights. Sometimes they work in pairs; other times, all three of them fluently tag team against a boss. There’s also lots of banter over the comms; Hunk is tickled pink the day Keith responds to his groan-worthy pun with an even cheesier joke. Lance threatens to dump both of them.

Lance: “Uhhh,,,, dump your friendships, I mean.”

Keith: “Friendships?? I thought we were all dating.”

Hunk: “Huh… Keith might be right? Guys, are we all dating each other?”

Lance: “Guys, I think I would know if I had two boyfriends. ‘Cause there would be flirting, and like dates, and feeling seshes. Y'know, real bondy stuff like that!”

(beat)

Lance: “Guys, holy shit, I think we’re all dating.”

Step 6: Klunk confirmed.

Step 7: Voltron is saved.

a long post about the message of the blurryface era

all the blurryface music videos (and heathens) seem to be pretty different from the rest but all of them have the same theme, which is that connection with friends is the best way to cope, and no one is really alone.

heathens/heavydirtysoul - these two music videos parallel each other closely as i talked about in my last post. both start with tyler in a dark and unfamiliar place. he is sad and withdrawn. then, he sees josh. josh is drumming furiously and doesn’t notice tyler. 

in both music videos tyler is represented by dark motifs (rooms, clothes, etc.) while josh’s motifs are glowing and bright. heathens - he’s drumming on a glowing box, which eventually becomes the stage on which he and tyler play. heavydirtysoul - his drums spark flames with every hit; they grow larger and eventually consume tyler as well. 

both videos reach a climax in which tyler and josh interact with each other for the first time. the light (heathens) and flame (hds) grows to a blinding maximum and the two are rocking out together. josh is no longer ignoring tyler. tyler is no longer withdrawn; he is interacting with josh and for the moment his anxiety is gone. it’s a release but it’s not a painful one. he is coping. 

and then in the end everything is back to normal - no yellow suit, no light, no flames. tyler is still there alone. blurryface is as present as ever. and the implication is that he has imagined josh. this is why josh didn’t notice tyler both times. he was merely an attempt for tyler to find someone to relate to. a cathartic figment of imagination. an imagination of light that tyler hasn’t found yet. 

and what these songs mean in relation to the videos is clear. “all my friends are heathens” - there are so many people here going through the same thing as me, and while the general public considers us freaks, we are all here together and ready to stay that way. “can you save my heavydirtysoul” - implies desperately trying to find a way out of the situation. imagining salvation so fervently that it manifests as almost reality. salvation, here, is josh and the flames. 

lane boy - this one is kind of similar to heathens and heavydirtysoul in that it starts with tyler, alone and contemplating, in the dark. but this time he’s worried about what he has done to become successful, and whether it’s good enough, and whether fame will change him and limit him. all these worries are new to the band, because they’re at the beginning of their rise to fame at this point. and in the video the dark road in the woods symbolizes that they’re in the dark and they’re being careful. stay low they say. 

and then they’re playing on a stage, and everything is forgotten, and they REFUSE to stay low. if you notice in the video the moment tyler sees josh on stage, that is the moment he breaks his silence and starts to dance. to me this video represents that even though not everyone in the crowd might like what the band is doing, and even though there are critics behind that stage and out in that world, being able to play in front of thousands, together, tyler and josh, is worth it. at the end of this video is the realization that having each other means much more than success. 

stressed out - i think this video illustrates the point the most obviously, but it does a great job handling the dichotomy between wanting to grow up and not wanting to grow up. obviously tyler and josh would rather hang out with each other, with no responsibilities, and make music without having to worry about how it is going to be received. and part of the music video is the deliberate denial of reality, and the fantasy of regressing into teenagerhood. but the last part? that’s the acknowledgement that they’re not always going to be kids and life will not be easy. tyler is walking down the street, alone, and without the backpack and the tricycle. this is a sign he’s maturing. and blurryface, he’s there too. i think that entire scene is representative of coming of age.

ride/fairly local - like heathens and heavydirtysoul, i think there’s strong evidence these videos parallel each other. both take place in an isolated location and make use of very polarized (no pun intended) environments. ride - the daytime and the nighttime. fairly local - the icy house and the red hallway. 

so in ride, i think it’s really important that the verses and the bridge take place at night. this is where tyler is doing all his worrying. he doesn’t know what his place in life is and what his relationship to others is. who would you live for, who would you die for, would you ever kill? he’s overanalyzing. he’s in the dark, both literally and metaphorically, about everything. and he doesn’t know where he stands with anyone. he can’t see. he’s wearing dark glasses at night. josh is nowhere to be seen. and then the chorus is where he lets up. he acknowledges that there is a lot to worry about and a lot to analyze over, but he can still enjoy his life. even though he’s hurling through the unfamiliar course of life he can still take the time to look at the things that he loves. and the light comes on, and he can look at the beauty that’s around him, and he can see that there are people and things that mean a lot to him even though he’s questioning it all. 

and then we have fairly local, where the majority of the video takes place in an icy house. the whole video seems very disconnected from the rest of the world. it’s freezing and desolate, both tyler and josh seem to ignore each other, and their demeanor is cold and apathetic. they’re trying very hard to remain unemotional, closed off, unable to see the damage they do to themselves and others. but that denial of their own feelings - that’s where blurryface manifests. he’s what’s causing their isolation, he’s there in the red hallway, changing into something darker and darker as tyler and josh continue to distance themselves.

and a thing i like about fairly local is that the quiet and desolate atmosphere of the video completely contradicts the lyrics of the song. “im fairly local, ive been around, ive seen the streets, youre walking down.” “the few, the proud, and the emotional.” he’s talking about the fanbase, and josh, and jenna, and everyone he’s been able to connect with. and the sense of group mentality and empathy are completely antithetical to the cold, quiet video that they represent breaking out of that atmosphere. 

tear in my heart - this one is an oddball. all the music videos from this era have the common thread of using human connection as a symbol of coping with blurryface. most videos choose to represent that with the relationship between tyler and josh, but this video uses tyler and jenna instead. i think the content of the video is pretty straightforward, and a lot of people have dived into this theory, but the scene in which jenna beats up tyler is important. a common interpretation is that this scene actually represents jenna beating up blurryface. blurryface doesn’t give up without a fight, of course. wrestling with such a character, such a deeply rooted part of your thoughts, is going to cause some distress. there is pain involved in battling your own mind, but the pain is a sign that you are able to fight, that you’re doing it. sometimes you gotta bleed to know that you’re alive and have a soul. but it takes someone to come around and show you how. jenna and tyler’s love for each other is what gives tyler the power to challenge blurryface, but he won’t be able to do that without some pain involved. 

and now i think i understand why blurryface is the name of this strange part of everyone’s brain. the literal opposite of the word blurryface is of course clear face. as in being able to see people’s faces clearly. blurryface is the opposite of seeing people for who they truly are. blurryface is the opposite of joining people who are fighting the same battles as you and really connecting with them. the opposite of blurryface is friendship and truth, and we must always find comfort in the fact that we are not alone. there are always people out there for you. and that’s how you defeat a demon. 

On pricing your artwork:

I wrote this originally for Artist Alley Network International, but it struck a chord with a lot of people, so re-posting here!

——–

Your artwork, and your merchandise, is WORTH SOMETHING!

1. You are producing something no one else can.  Even if there are a hundred other similar items, only you are making artwork like you.  That is worth something even if you don’t immediately see it.

2. You aren’t walmart.  You are a small business owner and need to charge what you’re worth rather than race to the bottom to see who’s the cheapest.   This ties into #1… so what if someone else has acrylic charms for $3. You are the only one selling YOUR art, so price it at it’s worth.

3. Shipping, storage, packaging, presentation, and protection are all worth extra.  Your item may only cost $1.50 to produce, but you also spent .10 to upgrade the quality.  You spent .50 cents to ship it.  You spent another $1 on packaging, and you spent $30 on the display it’s on.  You rent your apartment or garage for $500-1500/mo.  Your table cost you $300 to rent.  Your online store charges you .20 cents per sale plus a transaction fee. Your item will sell at a loss if you sell it for $2 or $3, even if production was less than that.  Factor in all these costs when you sell your item.  PLUS, your worth.  If you spent hours making the design, you deserve some of that in compensation!

4. Perceived value is actual value.  Customers who see an artist where everything is $2-3 probably will perceive it as less valuable than the artist who sells everything from $20-30, even if the artist selling cheaper actually puts more time into their work.  Perceived value also will change the way a customer approaches your artwork.  Will they cherish it and save it and frame it, or will they punch holes through it with a thumbtack, or will they forget it’s in their bag and find it bent up hours later?  Sometimes pricing your art higher actually creates DEMAND, because it now looks like it’s worth something.

5. fast sketch does not necessarily = cheap price.  Did you spend money on your art education?  Are you experienced in your field?  Is there a lot of demand for your artwork?  Do you work professionally with many clients? Did it take you years and hours to develop your style and speed?  All of these are separate from how long it takes you to draw.  Which is why a 10 minute sketch might be worth $40 rather than minimum wage x time spent drawing.

6. We are all in this together.  If you fight with your neighbors on who can price art the cheapest to get the fastest sales, you are fighting a downhill battle which will ultimately make ALL of your artwork worth far less.  Instead, look at an artist and go “Wait a minute? They charge HOW MUCH?  That means I can charge that much, too”  When I sit in a row of artists charging what they’re worth, I notice that ALL of us make far more sales than if we underprice one another.
This also reflects in the market, too.  If a client who wants to charge $1000 for 24 illustrations is turned down by countless artists they’ll realize they have unrealistic expectations.  When people start seeing the $ sign, instead of factoring in their time and energy and take these low paying jobs, these clients will become upset when they see the artist they really wanted turning them down.  Obviously artists from different countries will price differently, BUT, if you’re selling to someone in a different country with a higher dollar value, ask for that higher value!  You’re competing against THEIR dollar rather than your country’s dollar at that point.  Same goes for pricing commissions online.

——-

Good luck everyone.  We’re all in this together!

rachelhanke  asked:

Hey Charlie! First off, I adore your art. It gives me all the feels. Secondly, since you're primarily a self taught artist I'm wondering if you have any resources you strongly recommend for someone hoping to someday have a similar job to yours in concept art? If you've already answered this question just let me know and I'll comb through your blog to find it!

ESSAY IMPENDING.

I think, along with resources, I’d always recommend having a good idea of what ‘area’ you want to work in too. My job is kind of a strange one (in that it’s an house job but we’re not producing the games or films or actual products.) We are a step in the production line. I get to be part of sweet projects, but also I get to be part of many… I’m not locked into whatever a studio might be making for 2 or 3 years etc. My fingers are in a lotta pies.

The reason I say that is because a lot of people coming into concept will likely need more skills than I have. I am 95% a 2D artist. I work with 3D but very rarely, and not enough to know the inns and outs. I like 2D… and I consider illustration to be the sweetest spot of all the work I do, so I’m quite happy with that balance (and I’m an old fucking curmudgeon and I don’t wanna learn no 3D.)

If you went for a traditional role in a games studio, it will probably be more expected for you to be fluent in 3D. Not always of course! But it’s likely another good skillset to have. Purely 2D (just art focused) roles are not something that I see as often as mutiltasking roles. Which makes a lot of sense. 2D art is often mostly needed at the beginning of a project, and briefly at the end. In my seven years at Atomhawk I’ve seen a lot of people in other studios laid off, and a lot of studios go under. So, multitasking roles mean people will always have something to do.

APOLOGIES. I’M SOUNDING A LITTLE DOOM AND GLOOM. Great jobs exists! People will always make cool stuff!

I’m very much a jack of all trades and my job demands a lot of different things: characters / turn arounds / outfit designs / expression sheets / illustration / marketing art / pitch art / but it’s all primarly focused around characters. So. If characters are what you want - look into that! I would say that when it comes to apply for / getting work etc, we always love to see range. If someone isn’t showing me all the process behind their work it’s likely the first thing I’m going to ask for when it comes to an interview. I think if you have shiny work (on a freelance basis) a client would have enough confidence in the end result. But for a production role like mine, I wanna see that stuff.

Rough sketches through to shiny polished work. The whole lot. I want it all. I want to see people’s thinking! I’m rambling.

First of all: be able to draw well. Know your characters. Know your figures. Know your anatomy enough to make it convincing and be able to twist it when you need to. We get a lot of people who apply, who, quite simply (don’t hate me) are not good enough yet. We have people who work in tons of different styles and methods but at the heart of it, they can draw well.

DESIGN. Mother of god. Design. Drawing well is the first step, but you also have to have that creative flair to be able to come up with ideas and be able to sell them convincingly. Drawing the thing is only half the battle. No one wants a beautifully rendered character wearing the most impractical / boring outfit you’ve ever seen (just an example). Thinking logically about design is something I’ve seen underestimated many times over the years. In fact, I’d go as far as to say it’s more important than someones drawing abilities. When it comes down to it, drawing is just the tool to represent the design.

Resources wise: the internet is your oyster! Cast a wide net. Create the kind of work you want to do but also push yourself. I think the results are usually better when artists find an area they’re good in and the push the boundaries of that. Better than trying to be a jack of every single trade possible. Don’t have an awesome portfolio full of character work and then think ‘oh, wait, this is just characters, maybe I should stick a fucking car in there too?’ YOU KNOW? Do what you do - and do it well.

Briefly just a few of the things that helped me most: any massive black videos you can find. Mostly for process. Jason Chan’s videos easily had the most impact for me, both in learning how to improve my process and painting the kind of characters I wanted to. Micheal Hampton and Mike Mattesi (force) for anatomy and energy in poses. Your peers! Your favourite artists in the industry at the moment! The places and people you will learn the most from are always so very individual.

Shit that was long. Good luck!

PS. It’s also my humble opinion that you should never take all of your advice from just one person - just take the pieces that click for you :)

Witch Tips - Learning the Tarot

🌱🌱🌱The very first step🌱🌱🌱


Choose your cards carefully!

When looking for the deck you want to start with, unless you want to be limited to only using the major cards, it’s important you do your research to make sure the minor cards (I.e. The cups, swords, wands and pentacles) all have detailed illustrations.

Some decks only have detailed major arcana and their minor arcana are illustrated as normal playing cards. This is all very well if you’re a highly experienced tarot reader and can remember meanings by numbers alone, but as a rookie just starting off, or even an experienced tarot reader who can’t remember by numbers alone, you’re going to struggle to use them.

Imagery as we’ll discuss later is a key tool to learning and remembering your cards.

🌱🌱Finding your meanings 🌱🌱


When you buy your first deck it will no doubt come with a little booklet explaining each card’s meaning. It’s easy to take this as a 100% accurate guide with no room for debate or subjective interpretations of the cards.

If and when you get round to buying a second deck you’ll make an interesting discovery- the booklet you get with that deck with give you some slightly (and in some case very) different interpretations of the cards.

A quick google will show you that different websites will have slightly different takes on each card’s meanings too.

How do you know which source of information is accurate? Well here’s the good news. Your own personal deck will become attuned to you.

When you first get your deck it’s merely a mass produced deck of cards, pretty imagery printed in a big factory onto a giant sheet of card that gets fed through a nifty slice and dice machine that creates the little deck you’ve just took out the box.

When you start using it you start putting your own energy into it. Cards pick up meanings, readings make more sense the more you practice with them.

When searching for your meanings what I suggest is looking for the meanings from a variety of sources- books, google, apps, tumblr - and jotting down the ones that you personally feel fit the imagery on your card. You might find that one of the suggested meanings really makes more sense because you can link it with symbolism on your card.

This takes me to the next important step:


🌱🌱🌱🌱Symbolism🌱🌱🌱🌱


The easiest way to learn the meanings is to use imagery.

Put your cards in numerical order and in 5 piles- the major arcana, the swords, the wands, the cups and the pentacles.

Go through each pile one card at a time and write down the card name, the meaning and look for imagery within the card that you can link with the meaning to help you remember it. The easiest example I can give you is the strength card- pretty self explanatory meaning, but if you look at the card you can see the lion itself is a symbol of strength, courage and loyalty, and the fact that the man (in traditional rider decks) is being able to overpower a lion shows just what sort of strength we’re looking at.

Other examples that can be seen in other decks are the moon, which usually symbolises femininity, tree blossoms that typically symbolise nurturing and caring, butterflies which symbolise transformation, roses which symbolise love and passion…


🌱🌱Practice makes perfect!🌱🌱

Obviously the easiest way to learn is to practice often, perhaps try daily or weekly tarot spreads or maybe make a point of reading the cards every new or full moon.

Don’t be ashamed to have your meanings to hand while you read your cards. There’s no shame in that and it will take time to learn them all- there’s a lot of cards!! Even if you’ve been using your cards for a long time there’s still nothing wrong with using your notes- don’t let anyone tell you it makes you less of a Tarot Reader for needing them.


🌱🌱🌱🌱More tips🌱🌱🌱🌱

🐝 it IS perfectly possible to use only the major cards- it’s easier to learn the Major Arcana and you can still get a good reading with just them. The Minor Arcana goes into more specific details whereas the Major Cards are more generalised.

🐝 Each suit of the Tarot is based on an element

- swords are air (air is associated with intellect)
- wands are fire (fire is associated with passions and ambitions)
- cups are water (water is associated with emotions)
- pentacles are Earth (earth is associated with material things)

Bearing this in mind will help you learn the meanings of the Minor Arcana

🐝 Sometimes your intuition will want to read a card in a slightly different way to what your research has told you the meaning is. Always trust your intuition when it comes to the craft 😌✌️


🐝 Spend time near your deck to help you become accustomed to each other. The better you know each other, the better your readings will become.

🐝 When your deck is new, try not to let others touch it until you feel you’ve become accustomed to your deck and have made it truly your own.

🐝 Cleanse your deck after allowing other people to use or touch it, and regular cleansing never hurts either- perhaps every new moon 😌✨

🐝 The myth that you can only use a Tarot deck gifted to you is just that- a myth. You’ll find you can work better with a deck you’ve picked out yourself because you’ll pick one out that feels right to you and that makes all the difference when it comes to bonding with it, enjoying using it, and learning the meanings.


🌱🌱Ways to cleanse your deck🌱🌱

🦋 place a Quartz crystal on top of the deck

🦋 hold the deck in your hands and feel your energy flowing through and removing any negativity

🦋 leave deck out under the light of a full moon

🦋 draw a ring of salt around the deck

🦋 hold your deck over you heart and feel your heart beat through them, cleaning them and re-aligning them to you

🦋 hold a pendulum above the deck and when it stops spinning it will have cleansed them

Glorious Gems of MP - Purana Mahal of Datia

It is a chilly November morning at 9 am, and we are on our way to Datia. The entire drive had very limited visibility and it felt like the fog had developed its own character overnight and started travelling with us like an old companion. Little did I know, this was probably the best preface for the place I was about to visit shortly. Around mid-day, the fog started clearing up to reveal some friendly jaggery hawkers.

I looked around, and find myself surrounded by sugarcane fields! That is when I learnt that the periphery of this district is famous for jaggery factories.

Biting on a few delicious pieces, I moved towards Tourist Motel in Datia where I got a glimpse of the main attraction - the marvellous Bir Singh Palace, also known as Datia Palace and locally referred to as the Purana Mahal. I sat on a bench, looking at the breathtaking view of this overwhelmingly stunning palace!

This palace is famous as a testimony to friendship. As I wondered the story behind the palace, my guide narrated one of the most unique stories I have heard in a long time. Centuries ago, when Bundela Raja Bir Singh and Akbar entered into an alliance at Orchha, it marked the beginning of a friendship with the Mughal ruler’s son Jahangir. Bir Singh built the Jahangir Mahal at Orchha to welcome him on his first visit to the city. But the Raja was not too impressed by the Orchha Mahal and so went on to build this majestic maze of a palace in Datia.

Up close, Bir Singh Palace was more than just a spectacle. So much so that I was awe struck by the entrance gate itself. Each of the tiles, carvings, colours, motifs had a tale about a great friendship. The figures in yellow represent Bir Singh and the one in green depict Jahangir placed in numerous frames made to look like almirahs. The main arch has carvings of them catching deers, a dragon like figure as well as motifs of the sun and the moon.

Sadly, a lot of the enamel work had withered away with time but it still does not need a lot of imagination to guess how breathtaking it must have been when it was built. I spent a good amount of time gazing at the gate and figuring out these stories that were the inspiration for this wall.

Built entirely of brick and stone with no cement or iron to hold it together, this palace is one of the finest examples of the blend of Indo-Islamic architecture. Designed in the form of a Swastik, it is a great balance of classical and symmetrical.  No wonder Sir Edward Lutyens, the renowned British architect was awestruck by this palace. He was so overwhelmed by Datia Mahal that he chose to visit other edifices in India before he embarked on designing New Delhi.

The palace stands on a square base with octagonal towers on each of its corners. Some of the ceilings have beautifully carved islamic patterns that looked like the night sky filled with stars. Some of them have naqqashi work. The chhatris are in the shape of a lotus petal, whereas arches and doorways are clearly inspired my islamic architecture. Every wall spoke to me about the beautiful aesthetics and whispered poems of friendship. Although the rooms with stucco work were shut, I managed to get a peek of a few figures - trees, birds, vases - simply stunning. This wonderful fusion of two worlds made it even more interesting to spend more time around this place.

In the 17th century, the cost of building this palace was about a whopping 35 lakhs but the heartbreaking part is that no one actually ended up living in it.

And the biggest irony - even Jahangir himself was never able to visit it.

About the artist 

Neethi Goldhawk is an independent illustrator and textile print designer who loves drawing all things dreamy, inspired by nature and life. She has illustrated for platforms like Redbull Amaphiko and Launchora. Her pen name (Goldhawk) was concocted in the crowded space of her mind full of absurd characters, who are but little children at heart. She is an avid Tumblr blogger and can be found here

By Neethi Goldhawk

Terror.

Pure unadulterated terror courses through Alec’s veins the moment the institute lights up with heavenly light.

He books it towards the op centre, running faster than he ever has in his entire life (without the help of a speed rune, anyway) and skitters to a halt at the sight of the dead downworlders that cover the floor.

“No…”

He steps through them gingerly, glancing around as he recognises seelies and werewolves, before looking up at his parabatai; Clary and Simon right behind him.

He barely hears what any of them are saying, too distracted by Jace’s distraught expression, the sudden fear and oh god, where’s Magnus?

Keep reading

A 2D Bendy Fanfiction

An AU of 2D Bendy, inspired by @squigglydigglydoo and @shinyzango. Written and illustrated by myself, accompanied by chocolate. Enjoy!

“Dear Henry,

It seems like a lifetime since we last worked on cartoons together. 30 years really slips away, doesn’t it?

If you’re back in town, come visit the old workshop.

There’s something I need to show you.

Your best pal,

Joey Drew”

CHAPTER ONE

Keep reading

Superman Starter Pack

First and most importantly, before we go into petty commercial concerns, let’s remember the meaning of this day. Because friends, this is no ordinary day: this is Miracle Monday, the anniversary of Superman triumphing over no less than the biblical prince of darkness himself (or at least a respectable substitute), and it was so awesome that even though it was expunged from humanity’s collective consciousness, they still instinctively recognized the third Monday of May as a day of good cheer to be celebrated in Superman’s honor from now until the end of time.

I know I write plenty about Superman on here, but with as much as a pain as comics can be to get into, I’m sure at least some of those I’m lucky enough to have follow me haven’t been able to find an easy in for the character. Or maybe a follower-of-a-follower or friend-of-a-friend is looking for a reasonable place to start. So in the spirit of the season, I’ll toss on the (admittedly already pretty massive) pile of recommended starting points on Superman: ten stories in a recommended - but by no means strict - order that should, as a whole, give you a pretty decent idea of what Superman’s deal is and why you should care, all of which you should be able to find pretty easily on Comixology or a local bookstore/comic book shop. I’ll probably do a companion to this in September for Batman Day.

1. Superman: Birthright

What it’s about: It’s his origin. He gets rocketed to Earth from the doomed planet Krypton, he gets raised by farmers, he puts on tights to fight crime, he meets Lois Lane and Lex Luthor, he deals with Kryptonite, all the standard-issue Superman business.

Why you should read it: It does all that stuff better than anyone else. He’s had a few different takes on his origins over the years due to a series of reboots, another of those tellings is even further down the list, but the first major modern one pretty much hit the nail on the head first try. It toes the tricky line of humanizing him without making you forget that hey, he’s Superman, it’s high-action fun without skimping on the character, and if there’s any one story that does the best job of conveying why you should look at an invincible man-god all but beyond sin or death with no major inciting incident in his background as a likable, relatable character, this is it. Add in some of the best Lane and Luthor material out there, and it’s a no-brainer.

Further recommendations if you liked it: About a decade before writing Birthright, its author Mark Waid worked with Alex Ross on what ended up one of DC’s biggest comics ever, Kingdom Come, the story of a brutal near-future of out-of-control superheroes that ultimately narrowed down to being about Superman above all else, and one of his most popular and influential stories of all time at that. Years after Birthright he created Irredeemable, the story of a Superman pastiche named Plutonian gone murderously rogue and how he reached his breaking point, illustrating a lot of what makes Superman special by way of contrast.

(Since Superman’s had so many notable homage/analogue/pastiche/rip-off/whatever-you-want-to-call-it characters compared to other superheroes, often in very good stories, there’ll be a number of those stories on this list.)

2. Superman: Up, Up and Away

What: Ever seen Superman Returns? That, but good. Clark Kent’s been living and loving a normal life as a reporter and husband after a cosmic dust-up in one of DC’s event comics took Superman off the board for a year, but mounting threats demand his return to save Metropolis again, if he still can.

Why: If you’d rather skip the origin, this is as a good a place as you’ll find to jump onboard. Clark and Lois both get some solid characterization, a number of classic villains have solid screentime, there’s some interesting Kryptonian mythology sticking its head in without being too intrusive, a great overarching threat to Metropolis, and it captures how Superman’s powers work in a visceral sense better than almost anything else. If you just want a classic, pick-it-up-and-go Fun Superman Story, this is where to go.

Recommendations: If you liked this, you’ll probably be inclined to enjoy the rest of co-writer Geoff Johns’ run on Action Comics, including most popularly Legion of Superheroes and Brainiac, both with artist Gary Frank. Another series tapping into that classic Superman feeling pretty well - regardless of whether you enjoyed the original show or not - is Smallville: Season 11, showing the adventures of that series’ young Clark Kent once he finally becomes Superman. Currently, Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason’s run on the main Superman title under the banner of DC Rebirth is maintaining that feeling itself, properly introducing Jon Kent, Lois and Clark’s 10-year-old-son, as Superboy in what seems to be a permanent addition to the cast and mythology (though there’s some continuity hiccups there, even as they’re mostly kept to the background - for the first 20 issues Superman is a refugee from a previous continuity, don’t ask).

3. Superman: Secret Identity

What: He’s Clark Kent, an aspiring writer from a farm town in Kansas. Problem is he’s only named after the other guy, an ordinary teenager who’s put up with crap his whole life for being named after a comic book character in an ordinary world. But when he suddenly finds himself far closer to his namesake than he ever would have imagined, it becomes the journey of his life to find how to really be a Superman.

Why: The best ‘realistic’ Superman story by a long shot, this doesn’t sideline its heart in favor of pseudo-science justifications for what he can do, or the sociopolitical impact of his existence. He has the powers, he wears the costume to save people (though he never directly reveals himself to the world), and in-between he lives his life and learns what it means to be a good man. It’s quiet and sweet and deeply human, and probably one of the two or three best Superman comics period.

Recommendations: Superman: American Alien is probably as close as there’s been to taking this kind of approach to the ‘real’ Superman, showing seemingly minor and unconnected snippets from his life, from childhood to his early days in the costume, and how they unconsciously shaped him into the man he becomes. If you like the low-key, pastoral aesthetic, you might enjoy Superman for All Seasons, or the current title Supergirl: Being Super. If you’d like more of writer Kurt Busiek’s work, his much-beloved series Astro City - focusing on a different perspective in the superhero-stuffed metropolis in every story - opens with A Dream of Flying, set from the point of view of the Superman-like Samaritan, telling of his quiet sorrow of never being to fly simply for its own sake in a world of dangers demanding his attention.

4. Of Thee I Sing

What: Gotham hitman Tommy Monaghan heads to the roof of Noonan’s bar for a smoke. Superman happens to be there at the time. They talk.

Why: A lot of people call this the best Superman story of the 90s, and they’re not wrong. Writer Garth Ennis doesn’t make any bones about hating the superhero genre in general (as evidenced by their treatment in the rest of Hitman), but he has a sincere soft spot for Superman as an ideal of what we - and specifically Americans - are supposed to be, and he pours it all out here in a story of what it means for Superman to fail, and why he remains Superman regardless. It sells the idea that an unrepentant killer - even one only targeting ‘bad guys’ like Tommy - would unabashedly consider Superman his hero, and that’s no small feat.

Recommendations: If you read Hitman #34 and love it but don’t intend to check out the rest of the series (why? It’s amazing), go ahead and read JLA/Hitman, a coda to the book showing the one time Tommy got caught up in the Justice League’s orbit, and what happens when Superman learns the truth about his profession, culminating in a scene that sums up What Superman Is All About better than maybe any other story. If you appreciated the idea of a classically decent Superman in an indecent world, you might enjoy Al Ewing’s novel Gods of Manhattan (the middle of a loose pulp adventure trilogy with El Sombra and Pax Omega, which I’ve discussed in the past), starring Doc Savage and Superman analogue Doc Thunder warring with a fascistic new vigilante in a far different New York City.

5. Superman: Camelot Falls

What: On top of a number of other threats hitting Superman from all sides, he receives a prophecy from the wizard Arion, warning of a devastating future when mankind is faced with its ultimate threat; a threat it will be too weak to overcome due to Superman’s protection over the years, but will still only just barely survive without him. Will he abandon humanity to a new age of darkness, or try and fight fate to save them knowing it could lead to their ultimate extinction?

Why: From the writer of Secret Identity and co-writer of Up, Up and Away!, this is probably the best crack at the often-attempted “Would having Superman be around actually be a good thing for humanity in the long term?” story. Beyond having the courtesy of wrapping that idea up in a really solid adventure rather than having everyone solemnly ruminate for the better part of a year, it comes at it from an angle that doesn’t feel like cheating either logically or in terms of the characters, and it’s an extremely underrated gem.

Recommendations: For the same idea tackled in a very different way, there’s the much better-known Superman: Red Son, showing the hero he would have become growing up in the Soviet Union rather than the United States; going after similar ideas is the heartfelt Superman: Peace on Earth. The rest of Kurt Busiek’s time on the main Superman title was great too, even if this stood easily as the centerpiece; his other trades were Back In Action, Redemption, The Third Kryptonian, and Shadows Linger. Speaking of underrated gems, Gail Simone’s run on Action Comics from around the same time with John Byrne was also great, collected in Strange Attractors. And since the story opens with an excellent one-shot centered around his marriage to Lois, I have to recommend From Krypton With Love if you can track it down in Superman 80-Page Giant #2, and Thom Zahler’s fun Lois-and-Clark style webcomic Love and Capes.

6. Superman Adventures

What: A spinoff of Superman: The Animated Series, this quietly chugged along throughout the latter half of the 90s as the best of the Superman books at the time.

Why: Much as stories defining his character and world are important, the bread and butter of Superman is just regular old fun comics, and there’s no better place to go than here for fans of any and all ages. Almost all of its 66 issues were at least pretty fun, but by far most notable were two runs in particular - Scott McCloud, the guy who would go on to literally write the book on the entire medium in Understanding Comics, handled the first year, and Mark Millar prior to his breakout success wrote a number of incredibly charming and sincere Superman stories here, including arguably the best Luthor story in How Much Can One Man Hate?, and a full comic on every page in 22 Stories In A Single Bound.

Recommendations: Superman has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to runs of just plain fun comics. For the youngest in your family, Superman Family Adventures might just be what you’re looking for. Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the Eighth Grade would fit on your shelf very well next to Superman Adventures. Superman: Secret Origin, while not the absolute best take on his early days, has some real charm and would be an ideal introduction for younger readers that won’t talk down to them in the slightest, and that you’ll probably like yourself (especially since it seems to be the ‘canon’ Superman origin again). If you’re interested in something retro, The Superman Chronicles cover his earliest stories from the 30s and 40s, and Showcase Presents: Superman collects many of his most classic adventures from the height of his popularity in the 50s and 60s. Age of the Sentry and Alan Moore’s Supreme would also work well. For slightly older kids (i.e. middle school), they might get a kick out of Mark Millar and Lenil Yu’s Superior, or What’s So Funny About Truth, Justice, and the American Way? And finally, for just plain fun Superman runs, I can’t ignore the last year of Joe Casey’s much-overlooked time on The Adventures of Superman.

7. Superman vs. Lex Luthor

What: Exactly what it says on the tin: a collection of 12 Luthor stories from his first appearance to the early 21st century.

Why: Well, he’s Superman’s biggest enemy, that’s why, and even on his own is one of the best villains of all time. Thankfully, this is an exceptionally well-curated collection of his greatest hits; pouring through this should give you more than a good idea of what makes him tick.

Recommendations: While he has a number of great showings in Superman-centric comics, his two biggest solo acts outside of this would be Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo’s Luthor (originally titled Lex Luthor: Man of Steel) and Paul Cornell’s run on Action Comics, where Lex took over the book for about a year. Also, one of Superman’s best writers, Elliot S! Maggin, contributed a few stories here - he’s best known for his brilliant Superman novels Last Son of Krypton and the aforementioned Miracle Monday, and he wrote a number of other great tales I picked some highlights from in another article.

8. Grant Morrison’s Action Comics

What: Spanning years, it begins in a different version of Superman’s early days, where an as-yet-flightless Clark Kent in a t-shirt and jeans challenged corrupt politicians, grappling with the public’s reaction to its first superhero even as his first true menace approaches from the stars. Showing his growth over time into the hero he becomes, he slowly realizes that his life has been subtly influenced by an unseen but all-powerful threat, one that in the climax will set Superman’s greatest enemies’ against him in a battle not just for his life, but for all of reality.

Why: The New 52 period for Superman was a controversial one at best, and I’d be the last to deny it went down ill-advised roads and made outright bone-stupid decisions. But I hope if nothing else this run is evaluated in the long run the way it deserves; while the first arc is framed as something of a Superman origin story, it becomes clear quickly that this is about his life as a whole, and his journey from a cocksure young champion of the oppressed in way over his head, to a self-questioning godling unsure of the limits of his responsibilities as his powers increase, and finally an assured, unstoppable Superman fighting on the grandest cosmic scale possible against the same old bullies. It gives him a true character arc without undermining his essential Superman-ness, and by the end it’s a contender for the title of the biggest Superman story of all.

Recommendations: Outside of this, Greg Pak’s runs on Action Comics and Batman/Superman, and Tom Taylor/Robson Rocha’s 3-issue Batman/Superman stint, as well as Scott Snyder, Jim Lee and Dustin Nguyen’s blockbuster mini Superman Unchained, are the best of the New 52 era. If you’re looking for more wild cosmic Superman adventure stories, Grant Morrison’s Superman Beyond is a beautiful two-part adventure (it ties in to his event comic Final Crisis but largely works standalone), and Joe Casey’s Mr. Majestic was a largely great set of often trippy cosmic-scale adventure comics with its Superman-esque lead. For something a little more gonzo, maybe try the hilariously bizarre Coming of the Supermen by Neal Adams. And while his role in it is relatively minor, if we’re talking cosmic Superman-related epics, Jack Kirby’s Fourth World has to be mentioned - it’ll soon be reissued in omnibus format to coincide with the Justice League movie, since many of its concepts made it in there.

9. Superman: Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?

What: More than just the title story, DC issued a collection of all three of Watchmen writer Alan Moore’s Superman stories: For The Man Who Has Everything, where Superman finds himself trapped in his idea of his ideal life while Batman, Wonder Woman and Robin are in deadly danger in the real world, Jungle Line, where a deliriously ill and seemingly terminal Superman finds help in the most unexpected place, and Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?, Moore’s version of the final Superman story.

Why: Dark Superman stories are a tricky tightrope to walk - go too far and you invalidate the core his world is built around - but Moore’s pretty dang good at his job. Whatever Happened you should wait to read until you’ve checked out some Superman stories from the 1960s first since it’s very much meant as a contrast to those, but For The Man Who Has Everything is an interesting look at Superman’s basic alienation (especially in regards to his characterization in that period of his publication history) with a gangbuster final fight, and Jungle Line is a phenomenal Superman horror story that uncovers some of his rawest, most deeply buried fears.

Recommendations: There are precious few other dark Superman stories that can be considered any real successes outside a few mentioned among other recommendations; the closest I can think of is Superman: For Tomorrow, which poses some interesting questions framed by gorgeous art, but has a reach tremendously exceeding its grasp. Among similar characters though, there are some real winners; Moore’s own time on Miracleman was one of the first and still one of the most effective looks at what it would mean for a Superman-like being to exist in the real world, and the seminal novel Superfolks, while in many ways of its time, was tremendously and deservedly influential on generations of creators. Moore had another crack at the end of a Superman-like figure in his Majestic one-shot, and the Change or Die arc of Warren Ellis’ run on Stormwatch (all of which is worth reading) presented a powerful, bittersweet look at a superman’s attempt at truly changing the world for the better.

10. All-Star Superman

What: Superman rescues the first manned mission to the sun, sabotaged by Lex Luthor. His powers have reached greater heights than ever from the solar overexposure, but it’s more than his cells can handle: he’s dying, and Lex has won at last. This is what Superman does with his last year of life.

Why: I put this at the bottom since it works better the more you like Superman, but if you’re only going to read one story on this list, this one has to be it. It’s one of the best superhero stories period, and it’s everything that’s wistful and playful and sad and magical and wonderful about Superman in one book.

Recommendations: If you’re interested in the other great “Death of Superman” story, skip the 90s book and go to co-creator Jerry Siegel and Curt Swan’s 60s ‘Imaginary Story’, also one of the best Superman stories ever, and particularly one of Luthor’s best showings. If you got a kick out of the utopian ‘Superman fixes everything’ feel of a lot of it, try The Amazing Story of Superman-Red and Superman-Blue! The current Supergirl title by Steve Orlando seems to be trying to operate on a pretty similar wavelength, and is definitely the best thing coming out of the Superman family of books right now. The recent Adventures of Superman anthology series has a number of creators try and do their own ‘definitive’ Superman stories, often to great results. And Avengers 34.1 starring Hyperion by Al Ewing and Dale Keown taps into All-Star’s sense of an elevated alien perspective paired with a deep well of humanity to different but still moving results.

anonymous asked:

Hello there; I've been looking through your blog and, as many others say, I just ADORE your art! I was also wondering if you could give me some advice. For quite a few months now I've utterly lost all motivation to draw. I want to go into something with art, so this devastates me, and whenever I try to draw I just get so easily frustrated. I've been an avid artist since I can remember, so for me to suddenly not want to draw for months on end really concerns me. Any suggestions to fix this?

(hi!! apologies for the late reply. i hope this can still be of some help to you despite that!)

i think that’s a feeling every artist struggles with at some point. you love art, you love making art, and it’s immensely frustrating when that suddenly doesn’t work out despite all the effort you’ve been putting in. and then you start to lose motivation, question yourself and everything you’re doing, and it’s a vicious cycle that’s really hard to break out of. so what can we do?

well, here’s a thing. let’s call it the productivity branch.

i feel like my own creative cycles are very seasonal. not in the sense that my creativity depends on the season, but rather that my creativity itself goes through different seasons.

  • spring: new ideas, motivation, productivity still low 
  • summer: lots of ideas and very productive
  • autumn: still productive drawing leftover ideas, but new ideas are harder to come by. and then 
  • winter: nothing. art-block. lack of ideas, everything-sucks-syndrome, no motivation, the creative part of my brain is basically hibernating

that’s you up there. you’re in a creative winter right now. and without any inspiration or motivation it’ll be hard to find a way to cross that gap over to a new spring (pls bear with the cheesy analogies). and if your cut yourself off from inspirational influence you might start to think that, hey, this isn’t so bad. i mean, who needs spring right? just means you have to do things. be active. yikes. winter’s pretty chill. haha. 

but don’t do that. it’ll come around and bite you at some point, because that lack of motivation and activity might start to seep into other parts of your life, not just the creative one, and you don’t want that.

so! when you don’t have ideas and motivation to create, then don’t create. but instead make an effort to inspire yourself. inspiration entails motivation (and vice versa).

  • read books, short stories, poems, science articles, anything
  • go on walks, explore your surroundings, if affordable maybe even go somewhere farther away
  • let people tell you stories
  • listen to new music
  • try things you haven’t done before (deliberately break old habits)
  • go through other people’s inspiration blogs
  • collaborate with a friend
  • get really invested in something, talk to others about it
  • watch movies, animated shorts, documentaries 
  • or speedpaintings and art tutorials
  • try different techniques, or new brushes
  • look at art that’s so inspiring that you can’t believe you’re still just sitting there not drawing anything yourself
  • and most importantly, be receptive. take in the world around you, rearrange it in your head, and draw whatever you end up with. that’s the core of what creativity is

think about what you want to achieve. make your friends smile? draw something really cool you can print out and hang up in your room? touch people’s hearts? deliver a message? whatever it is, and however small or inconsequential it might seem, keep it in mind. it’s your light at the end of the tunnel.

if want to keep drawing for the sake of muscle memory while you’re still looking for your inspiration: 

  • illustrate your daily activities
  • draw a random shape or find one in a photo (clouds are ideal for this) and turn it into a character or object
  • pick different pictures and combine elements from each of them into one drawing
  • do plain ol’ studies 
  • basically don’t try to come up with things completely from scratch. find something to work with and go from there. that will save you the mentally draining task of coming up with a subject, so you can start actively drawing right away

if you still can’t make yourself pick up a pen, make a schedule. train your brain to turn its creative gears at a specific time of the day, make that a habit. do it for pavlov

approach drawing with the awareness that what you create might suck, especially when you’re out of practice, but this doesn’t mean that it will always suck, and it doesn’t mean you suck. if you learn to dissociate your current creative achievements from your worth as a person and your future potential you will get back to work a lot easier, improve faster, and be more resistant to setbacks. 

find something that makes it worth the effort of working through the frustration. 

you might need to try a lot of different things because everyone copes with this differently, and even when a method worked once that doesn’t mean it always will. so start trying! you can only find inspiration if you start looking for it. 👍

dreams that you dare to dream...

Finale Canon Divergence time - so, imagine that the magic bean Killian retrieved from the beanstalk was still usable and I’m gonna spin off from there…(cause I wanted the payoff for the lengths Killian went through in the EF to try to get back to Emma) - 900 words


Regina and Snow have a silent conversation and seem to come to an agreement, both of them looking at Killian with equal looks of unwavering determination.

“Go, use the bean. Get to Emma and do whatever it takes to help her believe again. I’m going to find David and Regina will do whatever she can to hold this place together.”

Killian grips the bean tight in his palm, feeling both incredulous at the suggestion and relieved at the same time. So many of the people he will need to leave behind have become his family, but he knows none of that will matter without Emma by his side.

“Snow, I can’t leave you all here to…”

“Killian, she needs you. We need you. Go. Now!”

Keep reading

Broke My Dream

Characters: Sam x Reader

Word count: 4442 - sorry not sorry blame @a-sea-of-fandoms

Warnings: fluffy fluff, smutty smut, a bit of angst if you squint

A/N: Anon Requested: “Can you write one about Sam x reader. Reader is shy quiet bookworm who is in love with Sam. She knows he would never feel the same way. So she fantasizes about him seducing her. Then it really happens. Thank you” Hope this is OK!

You couldn’t focus on the book in front of you. The bunker was quiet enough, the light warm enough, your legs comfortably resting over the arm of the armchair you were laid in, but you just couldn’t stop thinking about him. It was an uncharacteristically quiet day, and it was supposed to be the day you finished this book you’d been trying to finish for weeks. But every time the main character was mentioned, your mind wandered and you thought back to the tall, long haired, broad shouldered man you knew in real life. You weren’t even halfway through this thing, but you wouldn’t give up on it. You’d never given up halfway through a book and you didn’t plan on starting now.

Clearing your throat, you tried to refocus.

You felt your eyes growing heavy and before you knew it you were drifting off to sleep, your head resting on the other arm of the chair, the book still open and perched against your thighs. You felt yourself smile as you saw Sam move towards you, his hand coming up to hold your face before he crashed his lips to yours. You were suddenly against a wall, his hands on your waist holding you in place as he deepened the kiss. You gripped the fabric of his shirt as he let his hands wander down, his lips moving to suck a mark under your ear.

A moan rumbled past your lips as you felt his fingers slip under the top of your jeans and you suddenly started awake.

You jumped up, sitting up in the chair, realising you’d fallen asleep and were having one of your not-so-infrequent fantasies about the younger Winchester. It had been a long couple of weeks and sleep had been severely lacking for all of you as you worked the case.

“Dude you were out,” you heard Dean’s voice and laughed. “And making some serious happy noises,” he winked, and you instantly cringed, your cheeks flushing pink.

Keep reading

10

Art School | Sophie Roach (Austin, TX)

Drawing and painting her way through an imaginative landscape of intricate and visual entanglements is Austin native, Sophie Roach.  Her artwork has endlessly covered  surfaces from– guitars, beer cans, Vans, to entire rooms.  And if that isn’t already insanely rad, her organic approach and laid back attitude make her not only incredibly humble, but also a super awesome collaborator.  While finishing up one mural and starting up new projects, we had the chance to ask Sophie a few questions about her art, her career, and her approach – from finding her voice, attacking a mural, to digging the quietude one might find as a mail person hah!  

Photographs courtesy of the artist. 

Keep reading

Fig chatter! (Q/A)
First off, i just wanna say thank you so much to everyone for all the super nice and encouraging notes! It always makes me to happy to see that my work is making people happy and your notes really help to motivate me to do my best at this comic!

Yep!!! That manga is one of my favorite things in the whole world so it really really influenced my comic.


Keep reading

Give You the World

“You, you are art—the most beautiful piece of all.”

Synopsis: If there’s one thing that inspired you to keep going in life, it was a simple picture painted on a wall by a street artist named V. It changed your life—he changed your life and all you want to do is meet him. But what if V is closer than you think?

Originally posted by mvssmedia

Pairing: street artist!Taehyung x Reader // artist au

Genre: Fluff

Word Count: 11.6k

A/N: re-uploaded once again :) this fic will forever hold a place in my heart haha


Just once.

You want to meet him just once in your life: the furtive street artist whose work stains the dainty town and sparks inspiration within you. Scattered among the nooks of your small town are his pieces of art that stand on an equal par to a diamond in the rough. Though, others beg to differ and claim that his “excuse of art” should not taint the pure streets of such a beautiful suburb. You believe that people should open their eyes to the beauty that is the wide world of art, an intricate way to express a whirlwind of thoughts and emotion, each piece holding a unique story.

To encounter the man behind the alluring masterpieces seems like it would occur once every blue moon. To meet the artist who has inspired you and motivated you in ways day to day people cannot would be an honor, especially if the only factor known about him is his street name, V.

Keep reading

Kaneki Ken, a butterfly story and the latest wheel of fortune

When I first starting reading Tokyo Ghoul (almost 6 years ago lol), there were 2 characters I thoughts were associated with “Butterflies” : Touka and Hinami.

Why Touka: the 1st butterfly in the series is seen with Touka. Later in TG:re calendar, she is depicted as a moth.

Why Hinami: Hina’s introduction as a Chimera with kagunes shaped like butterfly wings. Plus, the child became a strong link between Ken and Touka, with them almost co-parenting the girl. She also helped in proving to Kaneki that not all ghouls are monsters but can be victims too. The young girl also showed to Touka that hatred and revenge weren’t the only answers to loss.

Originally posted by mysterythetherian


However, later arcs in TG:re forced me to give up on that theory and see the larger picture. Before turning into a centipede, Kaneki was on a journey to become a butterfly.

Hence why I never could finish the insects/arachnids/arthropods theory HERE regarding TG 2015 calendar (sorry).

Kaneki Ken, first steps in to a new world

The panel mentioned above, when taking into context, is in direct parallel to what was going on inside Anteiku in TG #09.

In this chapter, after Touka rescued Hide and Kaneki (yet again), Yoshimura is talking to the half-ghoul about him belonging to two worlds instead of none. The old man also spoke about his hope that, by staying at Anteiku and living this dual life, Ken would see for himself whether ghouls are nothing more the monsters they are depicted as. Queue to Mr.Butterfly slowly approaching a beaten up Touka before resting on her finger.

Interestingly, Chapter 9 is titled “Hatching” (coming out of one’s egg), possibly in reference to Kaneki facing the reality of being a ghoul, in addition to his journey as the “Goat’s Egg”. People don’t decide to be conceived/to be born: someone birth them while they’re passive in this situation, with only variables like hormones making it happen.

Some Butterfly Symbolic around the world and through time

Positive: young women’s availability for marriage; “you’ll receive money”; “a loved one will visit you soon”; love; conjugal bliss and joy, peace, harmony, life

Neutral: soul, mind, fire, reincarnation of dead soldiers, rebirth, transformation, change, transitory nature of happiness, circle of life.

Negative: soul of dead children, bad omen, death, spirit of the dead, sickness, warfare.

If Kaneki is symbolised as a Butterfly, then the panel in TG #09 is literally Ken tentatively approaching the ghoul world and getting to know his ghoul self.

After the chrysalid phase, the newly born butterfly enters a new world (it can fly now). From then on, a butterfly needs to find sustenance and a mate to pass on the genes like most animals (I say most because some animals such as jellyfishes, female Aphids and female Komodo Dragons, to name a few, can CLONE themselves when no mate is available).

By working at Anteiku, interacting with ghouls and even doves, Kaneki started to make his own opinion of this new world. It’s a grey environment rather than the dichotomic world of good (humans) versus evil (ghoul) he first thought of. The reality even made Kaneki break down yet again, after the murder of Mrs. Fueguchi.

Kaneki was slowly finding his bearing even if he still considered himself a monster and was slowly cutting himself from Hide (le sigh…).

Then, Yamori arrived and the butterfly had its wings clipped off repeatedly, chained to the floor, until pain and anger turned it into a centipede.

For some time, this new creature dwelled into the darkest part of the ghoul world. Chinese red-head centipedes lived in dark damp places and feed on whatever it can grab. Ironically enough, they are not really aggressive to other centipedes.

This period of Shironeki loneliness was the time when Ken was lost and didn’t even realise/accept that he was searching for home.

Kaneki chose to surround himself with people who wouldn’t go against his quest, however they would feel about it. Consciously or not, Ken also chose not to bring anyone linking him to the human world. Banjou & Co were from Aogiri, Hinami didn’t know about Hide and was an orphaned ghoul without much knowledge of the human world, Tsukiyama was ghoul who embraced their own predatory nature and appetite as an art with no concern for humans. There is no way Kaneki would have brought Nishiki (because Nishio knew Hide and was now part of Anteiku with a human lover) or Touka (who knew of Ken’s link to Hide and, as confirmed recently by Kaneki, because he wanted to protect her and her peaceful life).

We all know how well this ended for everyone…

In TG:re, Kaneki Ken was announced to come back as a butterfly. Ken, with his restored memories and his status as a lone / lost centipede still lingering.

In :RE #63, Shinigami!Ken is showed next Eto at the press conference where the writer trolled everyone by coming out as a ghoul. Right before that: a butterfly slightly similar to the one back in TG #09, is seen flying above/next to Touka.


Further in the story, on death’s door, Arima envisioned his younger self freeing a butterfly from his grasp. Most of the fandom agrees to see the butterfly as Kaneki Ken (or Sasaki Haise). To me, it also meant that Arima freed the creature that he had kept captive and/or protected : Kishou was the one who subdued Kaneki Ken back in V14; he helped in creating Sasaki Haise and the dreamworld (golden cage) the younger man lived into for a few years. Arima helped in rebooting the story of Butterfly!Ken by giving him a way to escape his physical prison (leaving Cochlea with the help of Squad Zero) and a goal to tempered Ken’s own wish to die (temporary Band-Aid known as “my final wish” trope aka Ken became the OEK to fulfill his Father and Mother’s last request).

RANDOM FACT: Interestingly, in Gnostic art, the angel of death is depicted crushing a butterfly underfoot, either because the butterfly symbolises Life or the Corrupted Flesh. Maybe Ishida used this as a reference when Arima, god of death, freeing Butterflyneki ?

Now that Kaneki had his wings back, the journey has :restarted.

A butterfly is flying around to search for subsistence and for a mate to keep the genes going. It’s searching for a flower.

Guess who has been depicted with flowers?….Yep, Kirishima Touka.

Apart from the numerous illustrations Ishida has bestowed to the fandom, one of the “in your face” panels appeared in TG:re 16 when Saiko and Shirazu saw Touka with a bouquet in her hands, strolling the hospital. The reason of her being at the hospital is still unknown, I hope Ishida will get back to that later.

(Yes, that’s Touka’s bra 😉 )

RANDOM FACT 2: Butterflies have six lets and they each have sensors on them that can tell just by landing on a flower what it tastes like. So now you know why my boi Kaneki was groping them titties like no tomorrow !  ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) 

A panel of Ishida “Did I stutter?!” Sui would be the colour page from TG:re 122.

Everything is there: Touka, death flag, flowers, le innuendo “Bloom me a flower of my own / Place your order, My only flower” (depending on the translation)…EVERYTHING !

In a way, B-fly Kaneki has found a flower to lean on.

For a butterfly, flowers are sustenance (nectar), home (some would stay around the same bunch of flowers, meet their mate and lay their eggs). Flowers can also be a butterfly’s last resting place. Indeed, since butterflies are short-living animals (less then a year if no hibernation), it’s not unusual for them to die around flowers since drinking is the only thing they do when they’re not looking for a mate, flying towards another flower, escaping a predator, etc.

On the other hand, most plants need insects like butterflies to help in the pollination. For many plants, no wind or animals => no pollination => NO FRUITS aka new life. It means death in the long run…

I don’t know if this means a potential Touken child. While no protection was present in RE125, Kaneki’s fertility as an artificial OEG has yet to be confirmed HOWEVER…

RANDOM FACT 3: Sodium as well as many other minerals is vital for the butterflies reproduction. With all the sweat and tears the couple got on Chapter #125, plus all the salt from some parts of the fandom…Touka might get pregnant with twins 😂 ! Ahem.

The current arc low key should be called :RE Touken Arc shows some of Kaneki and Touka’s mutual feelings and fears for the other. They are two very clumsy, insecure and fearful kids who cared a lot about each other, about their safety, wellbeing, happiness, stability, etc. Circumstances and their own short coming kept them apart for years up until now. In :RE 122, Touka confessed her feelings to Kaneki and my boi Ken was also completely exposed by Haise, sip sip.

The latest chapter, TG:re 125 titled X, went back with the butterfly parallels.

The first page is a resting butterfly seen through some window (?). One similar to all the butterflies in the series, showing some form of continuity.


The final panel shows Kaneki in his now infamous foetal position. Touka is watching over him as he sleeps, resting with his head on her lap.

Many fans have spotted the Tarot numbers 6 and/or 19 from the get-go so I won’t elaborate on them (why can I never see those numbers as quickly as they do, sheesh!). What kept my attention was the shape of the sheets around Kaneki.

They’re shaped like a wing !

>> me reaching towards the symbolism and beyond!!…but maybe not  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

 The circle seems to be closed, at last. The lost butterfly finally found its flower.

Now, will the flower bear fruits? Like butterflies, flowers don’t live long: they “die” once the pollination is successful and a fruit/seed on its way to be created.

Will Touka be Kaneki’s last resting place?

Only Ishida-sensei knows…

 /*/*/*/*/*/*/*/*/*/*/*/*/*/*/*/*/*/*/*

The Tarot number I did see was in the title: X, the Wheel of Fortune (10).

If I’ve got enough time and it’s not already done, I might post something on this:

        A- Tarot Card X : the Wheel of Fortune (10) and the possible meanings for the chapter

        B- The tarot card and its links to Touka, Kaneki and their relationship and the opposite combination (example: [X & II] and [II & X]) =>

1/ Wheel of Fortune and Touka, the High priestess

2/ Wheel of Fortune and Ken, the Hanged Man

3/ Wheel of Fortune and the Lovers aka Touken

4/ Wheel of Fortune and the SUN


What a time to be alive !

NOTE 21.05.2017: I double-checked the words for this post and I would say that Kaneki would be a MOTH rather than a Butterfly. I didn’t make the difference mostly because I didn’t realise that english speakers have very different words for these insects (in French, a moth = un papillon de nuit, while a butterfly = un papillon de jour…) Sorry…   Moths and Butterflies were lepidoterans formely separated into opposite sub-species ( Heterocera and Rhopalocera). Now the distinction is a little obsolete.

Still, in culture and through time, moths have been viewed as ugly and negative (in opposition to Butterflies). Many of the “negative symols” of Butterflies are also found for Moths, especially Death. Yay ! With the Reverse Tower of Doom, Reverse Sun of bittersweetness and a possible Wheel of Fortune…What kind of tragedy will befall onto Touka, Kaneki (and maybe their hypothetic unborn child) ?