design defined

In Praise of Charlotte & Female Legacy

Strap yourselves in, crew, because I Have Thoughts.

I’ll start this off by repeating (with some changes & additions) what I wrote in another reblog about the theme of female narratives on Black Sails.

Black Sails is incredible not just for its queer representation but also its women and, even more incredibly, its commitment to female relationships, women supporting each other, and female legacy.

Idelle always stood by Max, and when Max started her steep social climb, she never forgot about the friend by her side and pulled her up along with her, as she put to use the skills she herself had learnt from another woman: Eleanor.

Madi adored and was inspired by her father, but it’s her mother that has raised her and taught her the leadership that sets her apart from every other character on the show. I’d argue that none of the men, not Flint nor Silver nor Billy nor anyone else, is as accomplished a leader as Madi, and it’s no coincidence she learnt a great deal of that from her mother.

Even though we never get to fully delve into that aspect on the show, the profound impact of losing her mother has forever shaped Eleanor, who started her life-long quest of legitimizing Nassau in response to her mother’s statement that it was “no place for a little girl”. As Hannah New said, this made her determined to be „the girl that makes sure no more women die the way [her] mother died.“

Marion Guthrie is not just a woman in power, she’s a woman who wanted to pass on her legacy and skills to her granddaughter. When she learns of Eleanor’s death she recognizes a kindred spirit in Max, who finally gets to see modeled for her the kind of person she could be, that Eleanor could have been. Even if she turns down Marion’s first offer, this relationship is massively important to Max and must have widened her horizon immeasurably by showing her just what is possible. Marion immediately chooses to bestow her inheritance on Max in lieu of Eleanor, wanting her life’s work and power to remain in a woman’s hands.

Heck, add Mrs Hudson conspiring with Mrs Mapleton, or Eleanor and Miranda’s initiative that saved Abigail, or Mrs Mapleton’s continued work for Max, or Madi drumming up support by talking to Eme, or her nigh-prophetic talk with Ruth.

And all this isn’t even going into the romantic or not-supportive relationships between women!

However, within the universe of the show, as in real life, women’s achievements are often dismissed or forgotten by the larger narrative. Even if they leave visible fingerprints in history, the hand that made them is often forced to stay invisible.

Marion Guthrie is pulling the strings behind the scenes, Max can only run Nassau by using Featherstone as the face of her rule, and Eleanor’s efforts for Nassau on Rogers’ behalf were never going to be remembered by the history books. Civilized society allows them no other venue to visibly hold power. Eleanor, Max, Madi and the Maroon Queen could carve out spaces of open sovereignty only outside of civilization, in places that were created with the express purpose of existing outside of mainstream society. In real life, they would likely go on to leave no visible trace of their contributions and relentless struggle for influence.

So let’s get to the main course. 

Charlotte, who unwittingly and against all odds has the most visible and longest-lasting legacy of all female characters, possibly all characters, period.

To start off let’s appreciate Idelle confronting Anne about Charlotte’s murder in 408. (Which is an exceptionally good episode for the female cast, and was - surprise! - written and directed by women.) 

In any other show, Charlotte would never have been mentioned again. She was a minor character, and a prostitute to boot, and we all know how media likes to treat women like that. But Black Sails, even if it took 20+ episodes, reminded us that she wasn’t just cannon fodder, that her death was impactful and cruel, and that she left a legacy in the people she surrounded herself with, be that Idelle’s friendship and loyalty or Jack’s pirate flag - which leads us to my main point here.

Can we acknowledge that the symbol that goes on to represent pirates forever was designed by a woman

Yes, Rackham gives directions and gets to popularize it, but the show went and took this important piece of pirate mythology and entrusted it to the hands of a young woman of low circumstances

The show could easily have had Jack himself draw the motif, he is after all a creative man with a background in textile design, and his most defining character trait is his wish to design his own legacy. Instead, we get more than one scene of Charlotte struggling to fullfill a difficult client’s demands. (And isn’t that relatable to everyone who has ever created art on commission!) And two episodes before the final reveal, the narrative makes sure to remind us of this seemingly unremarkable woman and what happened to her. Her involvement was significant and the show doesn’t allow us to forget. If it had only ever been about setting up the punchline (”it’s fine”) for the final reveal, there would have been no need to draw so much focus to her untimely demise in 408, at a time when all plot threads were coming to their end, when everyone was scrambling for the finish line.

Rackham, by grumbling that it’s “fine”, relinquishes ownership to some degree: it’s the first time he sees it as it will henceforth be recognized as his insignia, and further down history, the ultimate symbol of piracy itself. He didn’t design it, Charlotte did, and her inheritance is the one that, within the world of Black Sails, will live on when Rogers has returned to Nassau and every pirate has been hanged, when all bones have crumbled to dust and all our heroes have been reduced to monsters by history. Any child alive today will easily recognize the skull and crossbones, but how many can recite the deeds of Calico Jack Rackham? Or that it as Woodes Rogers that brought Nassau to heel? So even if Jack went on to make it the icon it is, the symbol far outlived his own infamy.

And finally, when Jack has already turned away to deal with ship’s business, it is Anne that spends a moment longer looking at the flag, maybe even remembering its origins - the woman whose premature death she is responsible for. And it is Anne that has the final words of the show, ordering the crew to “Get us underway!”

Flint knows that as a deviant man, he will likely be remembered as a monster along with his fellow pirates. A woman’s legacy, on the other hand, is often glossed over and forgotten by history, like Max and Marion Guthrie’s power behind the scenes, like Charlotte’s contribution to history.

Black Sails reminds us of the stories that real life history distorts by diminishing those on the fringes.

And that’s why to me, Black Sails is an incredible statement on female legacy.


Sherlock Holmes - various graphite in my paperblanks sketchbook. From that one setlock picture. Used @larygo‘s lovely edit as reference. 2 ½ hours, yet another warmup sketch that seemed to demand more.. this happens a lot. Open either pic in new tab for better quality/closer look. Thank you!

[my art tag]


I sometimes wish I’d stayed inside

my mother.

Never to come out. 



I probably have done more sketches for him compared to the other characters (omg and these sketches are so old!). I originally wanted to give him more of a ‘serpent’ look with lots of curves and Jafar+Al Hirschfeld hand. Soon I noticed it was hard to define his design next to Raoul, who had lots of round lines. So in order to emphasize the ‘sinister’ side of my version of the Phantom, I gave him more straight lines with skinny, clean cut body shape. Everything will fit perfectly on him (which made me change his ascot design too later) since he is a perfectionist, who can’t stand the fact that half of his face is ‘imperfect’.

anonymous asked:

do you have any face canons for Miraak?

when miraak takes off his mask there’s another one underneath

tbh i am adamantly against revealing character’s faces if they had a mask through most of the/entire time and it’s not needed. masks are such a defining design element if theyre worn all the time that rarely does the face seem not disappointing lmao i.e. fukin tali from mass effect and her stock photo face reveal but idk its just me

hope it makes sense asdfghjk

@friendofthe-fugitive​ yep, he does! he has one spanning from the neck, left shoulder-blade and shoulder

 watch me as I practice anatomy like this
He got this one done shortly after his vallaslin (I headcanon that Dalish teens are not allowed to get any marking before receiving the Vallaslin). It’s both a way to remember his brother (note the bit of the Falon’Din marking - that was Nehl’s vallaslin) and to cover the scars left by the bite of one of the wolves who attacked them. At the time he just wanted to cover all the reminders.

He has another one around his hips, much more mundane 8D (and butt, Dorian approves)

had this done sometimes after leaving the clan. He was probably high on something with someone, had some sex, and then did this.
@guesswhatruru​ provided a fairly accurate recap of the dialogue:

“I wanna be hot. Hot like a dragon.”
“Boy. It’s going to hurt real bad.”
“HOT. LIKE. A. D R A G O N" 

Also as a “fuck you” to all that’s sacred (he’ll regret it later, but he doesn’t regret the tattoo. It is pretty hot. And I can tell you Dorian appreciates it quite a lot)
And he’s not getting smashed again anytime soon.  

As for Dorian, I don’t headcanon any tattoo on him actually. I love seeing him depicted with a snake tattoo or something like that, but I don’t think there’d be an occasion for him to get one. I do headcanon though that he has quite a bit of beauty marks on his body


♕ Get To Know Me Meme - Royal Edition [x]

[18/?] Outfits

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge in Roland Mouret

“Roland Mouret has created the most coveted of women’s wear collections. The designer has defined the era of the iconic dress which have become known by a single name – Galaxy, Titanium, Moon – and have earned Mouret a reputation as magician, master of structure and silhouette and as a man with an intuitive understanding of the female form.”


The first image  is the design that defined the character of Mighty Eagle in the 2d sequences in The Angry Birds Movie. I used this particular drawing to sell my idea of an Art Deco inspired spin to the design/look of he Mighty Eagle to Producers and Directors. The final product looks amazing! The work of the team that has handled production is fantastic! Check out Travis Ruiz’s page for more images or get the Artbook of the film if you want to discover more:)

From 1885 on, each year the russian emperor ordered two precious easter eggs to be made by the jeweler Faberge. One was made for the empress and the other one for the empress mother. Each of these eggs had a theme which defined its design and contained a “surprise” which could vary from figures to pictures and miniature trains or ships.

Picture above: Peacock egg (1908). The surprise was a miniature peacock which could move and walk thanks to a intrincate mechanism.

Source: Pinterest

The Need for Web Design Standards

The entire concept of “Web design” is a misnomer. Individual project teams are not designing the Web any more than individual ants are designing an anthill. Site designers build components of a whole, especially now that users are viewing the entirety of the Web as a single, integrated resource.

Unfortunately, much of the Web is like an anthill built by ants on LSD: many sites don’t fit into the big picture, and are too difficult to use because they deviate from expected norms.

Several design elements are common enough that users expect them to work in a certain way. Here’s my definition of three different standardization levels:

  • Standard: 80% or more of websites use the same design approach. Users strongly expect standard elements to work a certain way when they visit a new site because that’s how things always work.
  • Convention: 50-79% of websites use the same design approach. With a convention, users expect elements to work a certain way when they visit a new site because that’s how things usually work.
  • Confusion: with these elements, no single design approach dominates, and even the most popular approach is used by at most 49% of websites. For such design elements, users don’t know what to expect when they visit a new site.

Keep reading


The Schuyler Sisters’ Costumes, from the Public to Broadway

(L- Public, R- Broadway)

The biggest difference other than color scheme from the Public to Broadway for all three sisters is that they get entirely new gowns for the Winter’s Ball scene rather than just the zone front jackets as an add on (and I’m not sure Peggy got a costume change at all other than the addition of a little fichu) I think the underlayer is the same taffeta as their main Broadway costumes but the top layer is a darker/bolder color and the easiest way to tell that it’s an entirely different costume is to look at the seam differences down centerfront, Angelica’s has buttons and Eliza’s is no longer asymmetrical. The Peggy picture isn’t the greatest but you get the idea of what changed in that costume and she may be the only one whose costume got ‘simplified’ even if it’s just from a patterned taffeta to a plain yellow one.

Smaller differences in their main costumes are just more defined design elements like the swiss dot in Angelica’s bodice and lace around the Eliza neckline.