This year I signed up to participate in the Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell holiday fanart exchange hosted by @jsamnfanart, and I’m so thrilled I did – JSMN is a novel I’ve been passionate about for many years now, and I had a ton of fun working on my recipient’s request for it.

I was assigned to do an art piece for @hobbitsaarebas / @metalarmedhobbit , and while I was fortunate to get four requests that were all pretty inspiring from an artistic standpoint, the one that really compelled me was a prompt to depict a portrayal of Childermass and the Raven King where the king himself was portrayed as in some way faceless – an interesting prompt I toyed around with in several different directions.  I considered giving him a full-on raven head, or silhouetting his face in pure flat black to obscure it, and I tried those out in sketch format, as well as some thumbnails for more Miyazaki-esque alien interpretations – but ultimately one of the things I’ve always enjoyed in the book’s portrayal of John Uskglass is his sense of duality, of otherness-and-sameness made joint – the Raven King is of Faerie but he is not, himself, a fairy child.  I wanted to play with the layering of his identities over and into each other, to give the idea that he wears his kingship as a mantle outside himself, but also of himself, so I had the idea of depicting him, as in the novel, as a sort of lean and unintimidating person with a powerful presence, and then I wanted to show him wearing his own shadow like a hood over his face, but cast in the shape of a raven rather than a man, which is both true and untrue when we’re talking about the shape cast by John Uskglass in the lives of others.  The sense of both-real-and-unreal that comes with an encounter with the Raven King was something I really wanted to try to convey with the visuals here.

I desperately hope this piece is to my recipient’s liking, and that they have a happy and wonderful holiday.

Apparently you guys like my sticky notes!  Thank you – the unexpected positive response gave me a much-needed confidence boost. <3

A little-known fact about me is that while mormor is my ship of ships, the character I root for most in Sherlock is actually Mycroft.  SO HERE, HAVE ANOTHER STICKY NOTE, FROM MY CUBICLE WALL TO YOUR DASHBOARD.  Red and blue pen.

(I’ve never tried to draw Mycroft before O_O)

My favorite thing about Armin is how often he’s exactly right about something but he disclaims the shit out of it anyway (“I have a plan, but I’m sure it’s not very good – and it’s really risky – and I don’t know if it could work – and of course I’m no strategist…”), like he’s ever NOT right.

More of Face Value AU (where there are no human titans and everyone in the 104th was what they appeared to be.  Mikasa, Eren, Christa and Ymir join the Survey Corps, the rest of the top 10 join the MP as they originally intended).

Armin never joined the military.  He continued to live with his family in Zhiganshina while Eren and Mikasa went off to the Training Corps, and was eventually granted admission to study at the University within Wall Sina at age 16.

While Armin was in attendance there, tensions escalated between the Wallists and the University.  Several violent incidents caused the Military Police to assign their new recruits to escort detail for the students (including Armin) involved in the controversial study of titans.

Armin spent his early years somewhat isolated from his fellow students, not from lack of friendliness on his part, but because his socioeconomic background marked him as an up-jumped outsider.  As a result, he was eager to figure out which of their military escorts may have been in Eren and Mikasa’s training class, and befriended most of them pretty easily.

Annie’s crush on Armin is blatantly obvious to any human being with two brain cells to rub together.

And sometimes when you’re on, you’re really fuckin’ on
And your friends, they see no wrong, and they love you
But the lows are so extreme that the good seems fuckin’ cheap
And it teases you for weeks in its absence

Mormor Fluff request, version 2: angsty hurt/comfort edition.

I’m out of town this weekend, so the third and final fluff request won’t be up until some time next week.  Thank you all again for your awesome requests!

Tronlock again.

“Ex-military program, of course, Outlands service designations … but with a software patch like that, they’d never have let you back into field service after your injury.  And there’s only one place where programs with that level of code corruption and data packet loss end up, isn’t there?  The Grid Games.”

“You got all that without scanning my disc?”

“That’s what I do, Watson.”

(Print available on redbubble.)

I wanted to doodle this beautiful response from my favorite voice ask blog.  Poor Erwin, you’d think Eren could ask Armin these kinds of questions rather than escalating them all the way up to the top of the chain of command.  It must be your naturally paternal demeanor.

Relartable Text Post

Hoo Boy Dont Your Hate It When Youre Trying To Get Some Good Sleep In Bed But You Cannot Because The Demigods Of Ruin And Decay Have Surrounded Yore House And Are Screeming Like Banshee’s And Pounding On Yore Windows