eastern-Asia

All about Lavender (Lavandula)

General

Lavender or as it’s scientific name, Lavandula Is an aromatic flowering plant of the mint family. This plant is commonly named after the colour of its bloom, however it can also come in a light rose shade, a variety of blues or even white! This shrub that is native to the Mediterranean region, the canary islands, Europe all the way to Northern and eastern africa, southwest Asia to southeast India bears flowers almost all summer long and even somewhat travels into autumn.


Brief history of Lavender

During roman times, lavender was harvested and sold to people to perfume bathwater and to wash their clothing. It’s late Latin name “lavandãrius” from Lavanda meant “things to be washed”. This was given due to its association with clothes-washing, washerwomen in medieval times where given the name lavenders due to how frequently it was used and associated with this task.


How to grow it

Lavender is a natural choice for any herb garden and is especially useful for a witch who likes to dabble in tea magick. It can line a foot path or can even do rather well within a container. Lavender generally prefers a sunny and warm place that has well-drained soil. Well-drained soil is a very important thing to keep in mind when growing lavender. To increase drainage you can always add builders sand to the soil before planting. Slightly alkaline soil with a pH of 6.7 to 7.3 is ideal for growing this shrub.
Set the plants out spaciously (about 12 to 18 inches apart) in an open area that has good air circulation but will be sheltered from harsh winds, as well as having full access to the sun. These plants will bloom within summer, although you can clip faded blooms to encourage blooming throughout the season.
Helpful tip: when harvesting lavender avoid cutting more than every third stem to keep the plant looking full.


Magickal and healing attributes

Lavender is associated with the element of air and the sign virgo. It can be used for purification purposes as well as in spells to encourage love or to sharpen the mind.

Lavender has many calming attributes, whether it’s for anxiety or to help with depression or even to help with insomnia, it surely relaxes the mind. The scent is relaxing and uplifting and is great for aromatherapy or to put in teas. If you’ve had a particularly stressful day, putting some lavender oil into a bath can even have a calming muscle therapy effect.

Thanks for reading! 💙

Research:Large to Small Scale, Avoiding Homogenizing East Asian Cultures, & Paralleling Regions Appropriately

I’m currently working on a project set in a secondary world, but with nations that roughly correspond to major cultures in our world. 

By that I mean I’m trying to create amalgamations of cultural groups. For example, one country corresponds to Germanic cultures, one to Celtic, one to Mediterranean. There are, so far, also countries that correspond to Eastern Asia - a mixture of Japanese, Chinese and Korean, mainly - South America, “Arab countries” and so on. My first question, in that regard, would be whether or not this concept - creating a “vibe” that reads Eastern Asian, for example, but is not one specific culture - is offensive and if it is, what I can do to solve it. 

The project I’m working on makes use of so called FaceClaims, which means that, for example, actors are used to represent fictional characters. If I based the country on China alone, then I could only use Chinese FCs and would thus greatly limit the representation. A solution I thought of was to have each country be inofficially split up in itself, so the “East Asian” country would have a “Chinese” region, a “Korean” region and so on.
Secondly, I have a desert region that I thought would be nice for an “African” (I am very much aware that there is no such thing as an “African culture”, so bear with me) cultural group. For this “country”, I thought of a loose union between different nations of people. There, I’m stuck - should I choose one region in Africa, let’s say West Africa, and base each nation on one specific peoples there? Or should I create my own “African-inspired” cultures? Or should I choose cultures from all around Africa and base a nation on each?

My third question goes along a similar line: The “cultures” I have chosen for the countries are by far not all there are in the world. There is no country for Native Americans, for example, none for South-Eastern Asians (unless I integrate them with my “India”), no Central Asian, etc. I know it is impossible to include all cultures there are in the world, but how do I choose which ones to represent in a concept like mine? I don’t want to exclude them, but I simply cannot create as many countries as there are cultural groups.

One possible solution I thought of specifically refers to Jewish people, since I feel it is important to represent them more in fantasy writing. My current idea was to have their story go similar to that of our world: Exile, long travels, and a split into groups, one of which would be the Ashkenazim, living somewhere near the Germanic country, and the other would be the Sephardim, which I imagined to live in between the “Arab” and “African” country, in a semi-autonomous city-state. But is it offensive to adapt what happened to the Jewish people in a secondary world or should I make it so that they have a more positive past and life, no exile like there was in our world? As far as I know, the exile is an important part of Jewish identity and cultural understanding, but I thought I’d ask anyway.

I’m going to preface this that some of this wording might sound very harsh, but I recognize you are genuinely asking out of a place of respect but you just aren’t sure what the best way to respect the world’s diversity is. The problem is it’s still not quite respectful enough, and shows sometimes glaring ignorance of nuances in the region.

I would also like to remind people that just because your exact question hasn’t been answered to the full scope you’re looking at, doesn’t mean you can’t get an answer as a whole. For example, we’ve discussed the concept of how and when to mix different cultures in the East Asian tag. Shira will cover your questions regarding Jewish representation below. 

However, I’m going to specifically tackle this from a research and worldbuilding perspective, primarily talking about a history of forced homogenization and how to avoid recreating colonialism/imperialism.

Notes on Language and False Equivalences

For starters, basically all of these groups are too broad. By a long shot. Either they flatten sometimes dozens to thousands of cultures (“Native American country” is in the thousands, “West Africa” is in the hundreds, “China, Japan, Korea” is in the dozens, if not hundreds, same deal with India). This language use makes people pretty uncomfortable, because it implies that the basis is stereotypes. It implies you haven’t done research, or, at least, haven’t done enough. When discussing nuance, it’s best to imply you understand there is nuance— like you did with Africa and Jewish culture, but neglected to do everywhere else.

You also go very broad with all non-European cultures, but narrow down a general homogeneous part for your European analogues, by picking Germanic and Celtic.

This double standard is something that is exactly what we try to draw attention to at WWC: to our ears, it sounds like “I’m taking Germanic peoples for Europe, but I’m going to mix three East Asian countries because those two regions have the equivalent amount of sameness that I can pass it off.”

While that sounds specific to just you, it’s not. We’ve received this type of question dozens of times in the past and it’s a general cultural attitude we’ve faced lots and lots and lots of times. Western society makes you think the equivalence is equal, because they’ve flattened all non-European countries with the single broadest brush, but it’s not.

I would also caution you on relying on media images for face claims, because media images only represent the idealized version of beauty. We’ve written multiple description guides that point out how much variety exists within all ethnic groups and how people seeing us as all the same is a microaggression.

You are right that you can’t tackle all of the world’s diversity into your worldbuilding, because, well, there is so much. The core of your question is basically how to narrow it down, which is what I’m going to tackle.

My suggestion is twofold: 

  1. Research big, top level things, over a few centuries— namely, keep track of empires that have tried to take over places and look at what groups Western society lumps together when it spreads multiple regions.
  2. Build small with a focus on a very specific place and group— namely, pick the smallest possible region you can and see what you have to build from there.

Researching Big

Researching big helps you catch what not to flatten, or at least, where flattening might be reinforcing situations that a government perpetuated. I’m going to focus on East Asia since that’s the bulk of your question, and it’s also where I’ve spent some time worldbuilding. The principles apply to all groups you’re trying to research.

East Asia— namely Japan, Korea, and China, although that is an oversimplification itself— is composed of two empires: China and Japan. This makes homogenization extremely risky because you’re touching two nerves of countries trying to take over in very recent history.

China has taken over a very large swath of land over centuries, and still has independence fights to this day from their recent history. As a result, they have both a roughly overreaching culture because the empire is so old, and a very fractured culture with over 50 recognized ethnic groups. When you think of “Chinese” you usually think of the dominant Han Chinese, but because of its old empire roots you can get a giant variety. In modern day, some provinces have kept their individual culture, while others have been part of China for so long there is a general “sameness” to them that can capture the flare you want.

Japan’s imperialism is similarly recent, only ending in 1947, and it left wounds across the Pacific (including Korea, China, Taiwan, the Philippines, and Malaysia). Many of their actions are classified as war crimes. They’ve also erased their own Indigenous population by insisting only one ethnicity lived in the country. Both of these factors make mixing Japan into an “East Asian” mix tricky. Japan’s culture, while heavily impacted by China and Korea, is pretty distinct because of its island status.

Big research also lets you see the neighbouring areas at a time borders might not have been the same. For example, in the 1600s, China was much smaller because the Manchu External Expansion hadn’t happened yet. As a result, places we now think of as “Chinese” actually weren’t, and you’ll have to account for these differences in your worldbuilding. You can determine this by looking up historical maps/empires, which might require book research (libraries are wonderful).

This does not mean you can ignore recent history, however. Because the story is set in modern day, people will be viewing it through a modern lens. You need to research both the modern and the historical context in order to understand how to go about crafting a respectful world.

So that’s stuff you would’ve discovered by big research. By tracking empire movements, you can see where old wounds are and what historical contexts exist within whatever region you’re pulling from. If you take North America, you can see how each individual tribe is cast aside in favour of settler stories; in Africa, you can see how multiple empires wanted to plunder the land and didn’t care who it was; in the Middle East, you can see both the recent military involvement, the historical Ottomans, and the historical Persians.

Build Small

You can also see what empires influenced their regions for long enough to create a similar-ish culture throughout multiple regions, which can help you extract the essence you’re looking for. I would add a very large caution to only do this for historical empires where those who suffered under the regime are not fighting in present day/ have living memory of it (such as incorporating too much of England, France, or Spain in the Americas, along with the two examples above).

Now you can build small. If you wanted to give a sense of, say, coastal China with a heavy amount of trade, you can pick a major port city in China and figure out the pluralism in relation to that city. What parts identify it as Chinese (architecture, governance, food, general religious practices— folklore changes by region, but the general gist of practices can remain similar enough to get a vibe), and what parts are borrowed from a distinct enough culture they’re noticeably different?

By going from a city level, you can imply pluralism by throwing in asides of differences “out there” that shows you’ve thought about it, without cramming your world full of cultures you can’t fit in the plot. You can then also narrow down what to include based on map proximity: if there’s an easy sea or land path to an Egyptian analogue, you’re probably going to at least hint at it. This is a known historical trade, btw. Egyptian blue and Han purple are made of similar substances, pointing to an ancient cultural link.

You can research this by simply googling the country and looking under its history in Wikipedia. If you look up “China”, you can see “Imperial Unification” as one of its history points. “Japan” similarly gets you the Meiji period. Turkey shows the Ottoman empire. You can also look up “empires in [region]” that will give you a similar overview. This even works for places you don’t think have historical empires, such as North America (the pre-colonization section notes several).

This also is a starting place for what the borders would’ve been during any given time period, and gives you places to potentially factor in military involvement and recent strife. This is where modern research comes in handy, because you can get an idea of what that strife looked like.

Hope this gives you an idea how to go about worldbuilding a diverse population, and how to avoid paralleling recent wounds. 

~ Mod Lesya

Regarding Your Jewish Characters

I think it’s valid to reflect our real history in fantasy although if you dwell too much on the suffering aspects and not the “richly varied cultural traditions” aspects you’ll probably lose some of us because suffering-porn written from the outside gets old fast (if you’re Jewish yourself you 200% have the right to write this, of course.) Human Jewish characters living in pockets in fake-northern-Europe and fake-Mediterranea and fake-North-Africa (or even Fake China and Fake India; we’re there, too) is actually injecting some well-needed historical accuracy back into a genre that’s been badly whitewashed, gentilewashed, etc by imagining a Europe where nobody but white gentiles existed until they conveniently popped into existence during whatever era the writer thinks is appropriate.

In other words, if your fake Germany has a Jewish neighborhood in its largest city, that’s a way of making pseudo-European fantasy more realistic and less -washy, and is overall a good move, despite the fact that the destruction of the temple is the reason we were in Germany in the first place. (I mean… it’s not like you’re planning on sitting there writing about Tisha b'Av itself, right? You don’t have to say “And the reason there are Jews here is because a bazillion years ago, we wound up getting scattered” just to have Jews.)

By the way, having myself written secondary-world fantasy where entire countries, plural, get to be majority-Jewish, and 100% free of on-screen antisemitism, I think both ways are valid.

–Shira

The Truth About Learning Japanese

(I’m going to start with a random side note: If I ever get a book deal to write Japanese primer, I’m going to call it I Eat Cake Everyday: A Complete Guide to Japanese with Stupid Sentences.)

It’s been a while since we’ve just talked, so I wanted to just take a moment to do that.

I think every Japanese platform at one point write an article about “the deep truth” of learning Japanese, claiming to give you the golden key that you need to become fluent in only 6 months or 1 year or whatever. 

The argument for those kinds of posts isn’t hard to understand: People are fundamentally similar. If people are fundamentally similar, it is very likely that works for me will will work for you. Thus, if this works for me, it will work for you. This does work for me. Therefore, it will work for you (most likely.)

This is why all articles start with something like, “I guarantee you that I’m no genius. [Insert daily task that the writer struggles with on a daily basis.] I’m just a regular person that tried out a few things until I found a winning formula.”

I, personally, want to do my own take on this kind of article. I won’t offer a golden key, but I’ll talk about learning Japanese.


1. Japanese is Coded in the Most Inefficient Writing System in the World

Kanji, the logographs that are the bane of all Japanese-learner’s existence, comes from China. Kanji itself, 漢字, means “Chinese characters.” Kanji were invented to suit the needs of the Chinese language (from way back when, before Mandarin/Standard Chinese was a thing.) Japanese, on the other hand, is a language isolate, and it is not related to Chinese. So the use of these Chinese characters has over time been used in different ways for different words and with different readings- for Kanji tend to have multiple readings, sometimes being just 2 and at other times 8. 

In Eastern Asia, the use of Chinese characters was widespread. It was used in Korea, in Vietnam, in Japan, to some varying extent in Malaysia, and the territories these nations conquered.

Korea developed an ingenious writing system called Hangeul, which now has all but totally substituted Chinese characters. Vietnam adopted the Roman alphabet with many diacritics. Japanese, well, Japanese developed two writing systems based on morae. These two writing systems could be used to write out the entirety of Japanese. Kanji is not really necessary. Further, there is no evidence to suggest that there are so many homophones such that even with context one could not make head or tails out of what was being said. 

So, Japanese does have a potential unique writing system that is easy to learn (it’s easier than Hangeul in my opinion), but it does not use it exclusively because of cultural reasons. Kanji is just hardwired into the culture.

But here’s where my personal opinion and advice come in: If you have to choose between loving Kanji and hating it, hate it. Don’t romanticize it. Don’t go “above and beyond” what you have to know because of your love for Kanji. Just learn what you have to learn, and leave it at that.

“How many Kanji must someone learn?” The official common use Kanji list (the Jōyō Kanji) lists 2,136 Kanji. How many readings are among these Kanji? Somewhere around 3,869. There are also some variations on Kanji that one should keep in mind and some Kanji that one sees only in names, so add around 400 Kanji to the official list and about 400 new readings.

“How many Kanji must I learn for my first year of Japanese?” All of them. That’s my honest advice. Don’t aim to learn only a few Kanji. If you’re going to learn Kanji, learn them all. Think in that mindset. As soon as you decide you want to learn Japanese, work on Kanji. Before you enter a classroom and learn your first few greetings and whatnot, make sure you know all the common use Kanji, or at least that you’re well on your way to knowing all the Kanji.


2. Language Learning is an Intensive Process

Learning a language is a process that scientists haven’t quite been able to describe accurately. We do know, nevertheless, that it’s a heck of a lot different from learning chemistry or carpentry or bicycling. 

In the Western world, there is this idea that one can learn a language in a classroom, normally as a subject period, with periods lasting somewhere from 50 to 70 minutes. Here’s the truth: it doesn’t work very well. (There are historic reasons for this way of learning a language, but we can talk about that some other time.) The success rates of language acquisition in classrooms is ridiculously low. This does not mean that language classes are bad: but it means that it just isn’t enough.

There are many reasons why learning a language in and of itself may be hard. It’d take forever to talk about all of them. 

But let’s talk a bit about lexicons. A lexicon, here, refers to the dictionary in your brain where you store the words you know. If you’re monolingual- you have a standard dictionary in your brain with a word and definitions. If you were raised bilingual, then you have one lexicon with two words and definitions. That is to say, if you’re an English-Spanish speaker, then you have “cat” and “gato” in the same space in your brain and you know that what applies to one applies to the other. Then, depending on your fluency and use, you may have two supplementary dictionaries where you store all the information about words that don’t exist in the other language and idioms and expressions and things like that. 

Now, if you’re an English speaker and, say, you want to learn German, part of what you’ll learn to do is to process your English lexicon entries into German. What that means is that you learn to engineer English words into German. “Father” turns into “Vater,” “to drink” turns into “trinken,” “Love” turns into “Liebe,” etc. So the words that have no relation with English (the non-cognates), turn into a supplementary lexicon and everything else is put through a mental processor. 

Because the brain can do this is the reason why many people in Europe can speak many languages. The fact that someone can speak Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan, Italian, and French is not terribly impressive. The overlap in words (and in grammar) is so immense that what you’re doing is processing one language into another and you’re guaranteed an astonishing success rate.

Japanese, however, is different because it’s a language isolate. You can’t process one language into another. You have to learn words one by one. That takes time. It takes repetition. Memorization is as much an active process as it is a subconscious process. When people talk about the benefits of “immersion,” what they’re talking about most of the time is putting your brain into survival mode, i.e. either you learn all these words (and grammar stuff) or else you will not be able to survive and thus you will die. That is one way of doing it, and if you do not choose this path you have to commit some serious time to this. I believe that if one knows around 5,000 of the most frequently used words in any given language, one is guaranteed to know at least 95% of all the words one will hear/read in a day (given that one doesn’t go read a super technical manual on how to calibrate a nuclear reactor or something like that.) So, the question becomes how will you memorize 5,000 words? How long will that take? If one learns 10 a day, then it’s 500 days, and if one learns 50 a day, it’s 100 days. 

The tradeoff when it comes to speed is that the faster you learn something, the faster you forget. (When you relearn something, it should be faster nevertheless.) So how much time will you commit to learning a language? How will you follow that up? These are important questions.


3. Japanese Media is Considerably Insular

Japan isn’t like the United States. The United States wants every nation to know what music it likes, what fashion it wears, what it believes ideologically and socially, etc. The U.S. is everywhere.

South Korea, recently, is everywhere. K-Pop, K-Dramas, K-SNL, K-Beauty. If you want to know what Korea is up to, it’s pretty easy to find out. They want you know! 

Japan… eh. Japan is pretty good at making anime available globally. People know about Dragon Ball and Sailor Moon and the Mighty Atom and all that. When it comes to dramas and movies and tv shows, they’re not quite interested in that. Ages ago I wrote a post on the misconception of “Whacky Japanese Game Shows,” where I basically explained that most of those shows aren’t game shows but segments on variety shows, the only person in my mind having totally insane game shows being Beat Takeshi.

Okay, fine, what does this mean? This means two important things. First, one’s expose to the language outside of going to Japan or talking to Japanese people will be based highly on anime, which is fine but there are other styles of expressing oneself. One needs a bit of variety. If one goes the information/news route, then one is exposing oneself to something very formal and literary, but dull. Second, it means that when people teach Japanese, they’re going to assume that one wants to speak Japanese for business purposes. This sounds strange to say, but let me put it like this: Japanese is an important part of the world economy and STEM and anime, on the other hand, is not a sufficiently large part of Japanese culture so that the Japanese can figure you want to learn Japanese for that sole purpose. If you want to speak Japanese, then it must be for business purposes (and we’ll consider academics to be within business.) So you learn Japanese through the perspective of honorific and respectful language. This isn’t a bad thing either, but the desire to make you sound nice will often lead to lies about how Japanese actually works at a grammatical level.

(On the other hand, in South Korea the K-Pop/K-Drama boom is such a big deal that people around the world start learning Korean in hopes of auditioning for the big production companies in hopes of becoming actors, singers, dancers, and hosts.)

So here’s my advice: Once you have your feet wet with Japanese, once you know your Kanji and you know how to analyze a sentence (even if the lexicon isn’t all there yet), look at something that isn’t anime. I recommend movies, a lot of which are quite nice. Okuribito (Departures) was a great movie. An (Red Bean Paste) is a more recent film that was wonderful. Look up some movies. Sit down, and watch them. Watch it with subtitles, so you know what the movie’s about. But watch it a second time and a third time without subtitles. Try to see if you can make out a few sentences, read a few signs that appear in the background, take note of expressions or words you keep hearing. No, you won’t be able to understand the whole film all of a sudden, but it’s something new and something good and the more Japanese you learn, the more you will be able to return to the film and make out. Eventually, you will be able to listen to a sentence, pause the film, and look up the words you don’t know.


4. Learning Japanese Doesn’t Happen with One Method Alone

This is rather obvious, but it’s worth finishing this off with. There is an abundance of book series, CDs, cassettes, and even online resources (our own included.)

A language is greater than any method, than any curriculum, than any teacher. No one source has all the answers. One has to be encouraged from day one to look at many resources.

A library is a language learner’s best friend. Why? Because books can be expensive, and you will probably not need all the resources you dabble into for a long time. So, when you begin learning Japanese, look at the entire Japanese section, order a few famous books through InterLibrary Loan, if you have access to that, and sit down and just read the books, as if they were novels. Don’t memorize a thing. Don’t do the exercises. Just figure out their style, their aims, their perspective. Do read the footnotes! The more footnotes a book has, the more useful it tends to be in the long run. Information that isn’t relevant in Lesson 1 may be absolutely vital in Lesson 10. 

Check out some old books if you can. The way people learn a language today is not the same way they learned it 50 or 100 years ago. The most useful Italian grammar book I ever read was written in the 1800′s. Japanese books published before World War II may have some slightly outdated things, such as the /we/ and /wi/ morae, but they will be good for most of everything else. I’m personally dying to get library privileges again somewhere to be able to look into these, so if I find some good book titles I’ll let you know.

Because a lot of language instruction was, until recently, modeled after the way Greek and Latin was taught, reading some of our own material gets you familiar with the lingo, should you heed my advice. So people like to talk about cases and declensions and conjugations and moods and all that. The works of William George Aston are some of the most important books on Japanese historically. So, if you can find originals of those, please do read them.


So yeah, food for thought

You know what upsets me? The complete lack of Asian AUs in the HP fandom.

I’ve heard loads of black Hermione, Latino or Indian Harry, and I think they’re all great and lovely ideas, but I have not once heard of an Asian AU (Yes I do realize Indians are Asians but pls chill for a sec), and it makes me so sad because I feel like I’ll never have a place to belong. So bring in the Chinese Hermione or Korean Harry AUs. Please include us.

A Chuvash woman in traditional clothing with an ama wrapped around her


The Chuvash have lived over the Volga region of Russia since ancient times. They are considered to be successors of ancient Turkic, Finno-Ugric and Iranian cultures. The Chuvash formed the core of the powerful medieval state - Volga Bulgaria. 

The ama which is one of the most common accessories worn by Chuvash women is made of bands of silver coins, and worn around the body in a way that resembles the armor of a soldier. As in many cultures of Eastern Europe, Western Asia and Central Asia silver coins are used in the traditional clothing of the Chuvash as talismans against the evil eye and malevolent spirits. The ama derives its name from a pre-Christian goddess of fertility worshiped by the Chuvash in past generations. 

Commission Recommendations

I do not take commissions personally (I don’t have a working PayPal! D:) but I can recommend buddies of mine who do! Together they have a range of styles and specialisations, so I’m sure one of them with meet what you’re looking for. I also met all of them via the Fallout fandom, so while they’re all flexible artists with differing strengths, know that if you’re following me for Fallout content all of them can handle it!

Note: they might not be taking them CURRENTLY - their slots might be full, they might be busy with work or college, they might be on a wellness break. But these are all people I can recommend who regularly take commissions, so if they’re not open right now, they may be soon!

is a link to their current commission page, if they have one.
🚫 are things that the artist refuses to do (non-negotiable!)

Note that 🚫 are what are provided to me by the artists themselves, rather than to a universal standard. So just because one artist thought to say “no X, ever” doesn’t mean all others are “yes X, sure!” If you’re not sure, ASK!

  @vectober [NSFW, tagged] (see also: @vect-doodles)
Cartoony, but not necessarily ‘cutsey’. Wonderful anatomy and graceful elongated shapes. Sketches and colours. Met her through Fallout fandom, but she also has a lot of history with WoW, and will do anything if you give her a ref. Comfortable with drawing NSFW, both pin-ups and more explicit. Regularly hosts streams, so you may even watch your piece being drawn live!
NSFW: ✔ (with conditions)
🚫: non-con, furry, extreme gore, loli

  @monster-jensen (see also: @jensen-couch-art)
Caricatures, cartoons. Usually sketches or simple colours, but he is also a wonderful painter. People (including ghouls) and monsters make up most of his content. He’s great at full-art paintings, but rarely takes commissions for them as they are very time-consuming (and priced to match). You could try! Suggestive/pin-up content is a-ok, but explicit is no-go.
NSFW: ✔ (with conditions)
🚫: explicit, furry

  @yabbyabb  (see also: @hatchanddixie)
Soft playful shapes. EXCELLENT choice for cute and fluffy content. Will also draw monsters, esp monster-girls. Cartoons, avatars/icons. Her speciality is people (inc ghouls), but for you, she’s willing to try animals and furries! See her illustrations in the #yabbyabb doodles tag or on her RP blog.
NSFW: ✔ (with conditions)
🚫: gore, mecha, non-con

  @dunesand
Specialises in character designs and costuming. Can draw your characters or design you a new one! Humans, monster-humans, gijinkas, more. Highly detailed work. Has a personal interest in cultures of eastern Asia, esp of fashions. The passion shows in their work! I especially love their use of layers in costumes and the mask aesthetic. Tasteful/artistic nudity is okay, but no sexual content.
NSFW: ❌
🚫: explicit content, fetish

@surk3
Specialises in monsters, demons, distorted beasts, and designs of same. Beautiful digital painting! Her rendering is seriously unreal. An excellent choice is you want something slick, scaly, or creepy. Loves to try different styles from common media, ranging from cartoons to realistic renders, making her an adaptable artist.
NSFW: ✔ (with conditions)
🚫: underage/loli, scat (reserves the right to decline fetish case-by-case)

  @skizoh
High-contrast B/W comic-style, use of silhouettes and harsh lighting. Angular, sharp. Very noir! Her use of colour is usually as a bold accent to dark solid shapes, but she does full-colour painted pieces as well. Usually moody colour schemes (teal, purple, green). She’ll often use high-contrast colour, too - eg main base of dark teal, but with bright orange highlights to really >POP!< Is willing to do explicit content, but exercises personal choice as to fetish pieces.
NSFW: ✔ (with conditions)
🚫: fetish (negotiable)

  @ohmdo
Raw, textured (GREAT for dark/villainous content!). Stark b/w, or vibrant colour. Excellent use of anatomy and contrast lighting. Most frequently draws monsters, humans, pokemon gijinkas. Has professional experience in the entertainment industry. ART GOALS, TBH - learning a lot from him. Willing to do gore and monsters, but not sexual content (suggestive negotiable, but nothing explicit!).
NSFW: ❌ (negotiable)
🚫: illegal content
(everything else is fair game!)

  @amummy (see also: @amummyart)
Specialises in full-colour digital painting. A soft, oily aesthetic, with slick highlights. Great use of geometric shapes. Humans, ghouls, monsters, aliens, toons, more. Her art blog and personal are the same so if you want to see samples of her work they’re under #my art. Nudity, intimacy/fluff, and mild gore are okay, but passing on the harder stuff.
NSFW:
🚫: extreme gore, explicit, violence/suggestive vs child/animal

  @rhobi (see also: @sunshineart)
I’d describe their work as ‘crisp’. Pronounced borders. A sort of cell-shaded, pixel-art style. Humans, ghouls, furries/scalies, beasts, monsters, robots, mechs, more - original or fanart, including turnaround sheets. I personally love their monster designs, and they can design you your own as a commission as well. Their art and personal are the same blog so you can see images at the #art tag! They’re also willing to negotiate suggestive or softcore NSFW or nudity (but nothing graphic!).
NSFW: ✔ (with conditions)
🚫: explicit/hardcore

@izzy-cat-draws (see also: @izzy-fat-cat [NSFW, untagged])
Mostly does sketchwork commissions (or monotone rendered). May do full renders or coloured pieces if you ask him nicely! Has accomplished use of composition and perspective and experience with NSFW content. Draws humans, ghouls, furry, robots, and fanart (esp for fantasy and sci-fi). Specialises in furry (including NSFW furry and fatfur).
NSFW:
🚫: excessive gore, scat, watersports

@snackrat
Haha nice try my PayPal doesn’t even work no more, you can’t commish me, try again binch (I may do art trades or collabs tho, chosen on a case-by-case basis), specialises in trash, memes, shitposts, COLOURS
NSFW: ❌
🚫: mecha (small parts ok, eg bionic limbs), fetish

Why Wash, David, and Agent Washington are all acceptable names

So I’ve been waiting for this moment. For a really long time. So… prepare for a long post under the cut. (Mobile users… sorry. :( I feel your pain.)

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Merry Christmas, @sterek1010!

Read on AO3

Chew It Out

*squeak squeak squeak*

There it was again. That fucking squeaking from the downstairs apartment. Derek gritted his teeth so hard it actually hurt, pressed hands to his ears, and stared at his textbook. He had an important test coming up and he’d really like the chance to study to keep his grades up. The damn noise was distracting and irritating as hell.

Derek had lived his first two years in the campus dorms, but after a couple of unfortunate incidents with both his roommates and their constant bedmates, he’d finally decided to move out and get his own place. His roommate at that time hadn’t been exactly subtle with his relief. According to him, Derek was too serious and scared his friends away with his scowling and ’eyebrows of doom.’

He didn’t have much money to spare on housing, so he’d been happy to find a small studio from a slightly run-down but otherwise decent-looking building a walking distance from the campus. When he’d moved in, he’d been cautiously optimistic. But as weeks went by, he didn’t have much interaction with his neighbors, just an occasional passing by in the corridor. Derek didn’t mind. He enjoyed the silence and his own peace.

Until his downstairs neighbor had gotten a dog.

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2

Despite Batman having something of a reputation for insisting non-afflicated superheroes stay out of “his city“, he has made notable exceptions for the prior generation of superheroes. Jeph Loeb’s Hush and Ed Brubaker’s Made of Wood have Bruce (and in the latter case, Bruce’s dad) being a fan of Alan Scott, the original Green Lantern.

Though this may be mitigated somewhat by Alan later being retconned into also being a Gotham native, and how he was effectively the Superman of the 1940s and 50s.

Similarly, Batman is also a fan of Golden Age Sandman, Wesley Dodds, who is like Bruce a non-superpowered detective hero inspired, at least a tad, by the Shadow. I think I did once read a story where Bruce said that Dodds was actual greatest detective rather than himself, though I can’t place where he actually said that.

In a metafiction sense, they also have the shared thing of being spooky, theatrical superheroes from Old Money families, Jewish mothers, and a young adulthood spent learning stuff in the Central and Eastern Asia. Though Bruce’s grandparents disapproved of the marriage due to them disliking Thomas Wayne personally, at least in other stories, in Sandman Mystery Theatre Wesley’s grandparents disowned them for it. What with their getting married in the late 1800s/early 1900s and all.

  • When they say: We're having a world tour!
  • What they really mean: We're having a world tour that only stops in Eastern Asia because our entertainment labels think that those are the only places where we actually have fans which are actually not true because in addition to 99 percent of KPOP MV comments being in English they also take a big part in voting during the MAMA awards but you know entertainment companies are stupid af so you poor fans who live anywhere except Eastern Asia will have to suffer and sit hunched over your computer just to see us in video poor you