I am a day older again. Which would make me twenty-three years old. Yay me.
This might be a bit of a retrospective, an introspection and a possible spoiler for people who live backwards. Oh, and it is rather long, but then again, it's about more than a year of my life. And about the journey I've been on (and I still am on).
I've been a reasonably active deviant since the end of March 2011, when I posted Leftover Friendship
. Almost immediately, I made another pony-themed wallpaper and improved a lot - Leftover Friendship
had that good thing about it - you could tell what's that thing without having to turn your monitor's brightness to maximum.
But my pony wallpapers didn't start there - the minimal wallpaper started with Wallpaper Logo
, both of which are only getting better as I go, I think. I also think I wouldn't be able to re-make Amedo again... I'm not sure how I did half of the things there are. Took about twenty hours as I recall.
Now, the "pony" part started back in November, I think. I just re-discovered 4chan and was browsing it for the usual good stuff - none of which was still there by this time. 4chan was dead, but there were these little cartoon horses. I went to a thread and lurked for a while, being amazed how this vile and unforgiving place could have allowed this group to survive. No, not only survive... flourish
. I started asking question under the guise of anonymity and got a pretty good picture how it all started. Mind you, I did not see one episode of MLP back then. I was just amazed with the way trolling attempt actually backfired into genuine love for a show and consequently, an island of understanding, good manners and sometimes even interesting dialogue.
Around December, I decided to make a name. Since I didn't want to use Aibo at first, I created "Bean" - my first ponysona. There are only few things I enjoy more than allusion and that's the works of Orson Scott Card. Anyway, Bean had to have more than a name - 4chan's pony threads (and ponychan's as well) are famous for posting reaction pictures. And everybody
posted reactions from the show. I mean everybody.
I decided to give Bean a face, a personality that would fit mine. To make him a mirror of myself, but a character of his own. I spent countless hours writing Bean's biography, located on now-defunct pony RP database server. Bean's official bio might be lost, but the pony lives on. Of course, I had to make a whole bunch of reactions. Disgust (4chan, duh!), questioning looks, anger, but more importantly laughter, joke faces and so on. I will say that I was one of the very few who used their own ponysona and I think I was one of about... two people who made all their pictures themselves.
Drawing ponies just kinda felt nice. I've never been very good at something that others would comment on positively. Not in the amount pony threads did. I started making pictures for others as well, one of which was a figure called Wastelander. He introduced me to the awesome comic that is Romantically Apocalyptic
, where this picture
took its idea from. But I put it on dA quite some time after I made it.
When people came to pony threads and wanted wallpapers - and when I posted the few I did - they seemed very interested, so it was only logical to make more. After all, I enjoyed the challenge, creation, growth and all the associated jazz.
And you know what? I did all of my work in GIMP. Bloody GIMP.
I can't even look at that thing without laughing now.
Anyway, I tried more and more things - I made few pictures for my then-girlfriend. A cute little pony
. A minimalistic wallpaper
I love but nobody else seems to give two shits about. I did all kinds of crazy things.
Back then, I used dA as a sort of a database for my pictures. I put about one out of twenty pictures here - the others would lack the context of /b/. My rambling tendencies also got the better of me when I made my first tutorial
. I must have reposted that thing a hundred times. I know, I know - it's ridiculous, full of factual mistakes and most importantly, it uses the bloody GIMP
. But that's how I did things back then.
The last thing I did in GIMP was the first thing that actually got me some non-4chan, non-friends-from-real-life viewers. The Curse of Blue Blood
was twisted little comic showing people what I saw in the show - that it is a canvas, a mirror
we can project ourselves in. It gives characters that have the potential to be as complex, sad and pained as the rest of the world. Or as happy as you would like them to be.
The Curse actually put me on Equestria Daily for the first time. Back then, I had no idea about its existence - it was pointed out to me by... I'm not sure who. But I'd like to thank the person, whoever he was. This thing gave me quite a few watchers and I started spending more and more time on dA. I joined a few pony-related groups and that gave me more watchers. People came and said my work moved them
. They said they loved it. I became a little less worthless, even though I became a comment whore.
But what was more important was that I grew
. I created another tutorial
, this time based around inkscape. Again, it is highly outdated, but even the then about fifty watchers made me feel responsible. I wanted to show people the most important thing:It's not that hard to do what I do. You just need patience and a good idea.
Now of course, I had some of those. I made a spiritual sequel to the Curse, called Curse of Longevity
. The pain of immortality when everyone seems to die around you is one of the things that always sat heavy on my mind. And this time, I spend more time - I made every one of those little photos
and made each feel a bit different. There are old black-and-white photographs, even older, yellowed with age, and even two paintings
. Naturally, what I did was just use assets from the show, but still. I put effort into my works. Each photo has a little story that I've written when I got sad, each one has hours of thought about life behind it and each photo has a small place in my heart.
The dA life was pretty active after that. The curse brought me second place in Equestria Daily and more watchers. I decided to make a bunch of pins
. Believe it or not, but I sent most of them all around the world. Europe, Russia, USA and Canada, even Brasil. I still get Christmas cards from some of those people.
What I never got was the appeal of shipping. But the sheer number of fan fiction, shipping or otherwise, made me think about some of the other issues as well. While Curse of Love
wasn't as big of a hit as the two about Celestia, I still think the idea is valid - mortality versus immortality. Love that was not be realized out of fear of the inevitable end. And that's the other important thing I believe:Even though all things will end eventually, one should still experience them. You should never fear what the future holds, because then you can never really live the present.
I didn't want to be a tear-maker, however. I tried to make an upbeat comic about how the show truly is magical. How it affects people in a special way. Thus the Blessing of Creativity
It was a total flop
I guess I wasn't made to spread joy after all.
After the longest time, I decided to succumb. I read Anonthony's "Painless
"... and liked it. Sure, the story is nothing special in retrospect. The ending seems forced and its not that imaginative in its narrative as one would like... but it touched me. And I rewarded that with a picture
, because it was only thing I could give that had some value.
This begun - I think - the long influence of ~Wistan
. That deviant basically read every story there is, at least compared to me. I've looked through a few of his comments and journals and actually read some of the fics he said were good... and they were. Still, I never understood shipping, even though Wistan loves it.
The kind of ideas I got after seeing the first two episodes of the second series are... insane. I felt what I feel about Celestia, only hundred folds. I sat down and wrote. And wrote, and wrote. I was well beyond the scope of a comic strip. I had to explain. I had to make people see, to show them what that little story arc, that thing felt like to me
. I've never finished the fic, but it is still in my google docs. I add to it from time to time. My only wish is to actually start the comic.
Why make a comic that will be another Celestia X Discord fic?
Because it bloody well isn't.
I made a Celestia X Discord with my Sun's Fire
. It is not technically good. The lyrics don't match. But it touched people as well. Hell, it still touches me when I read it and listen to Hellfire. The story of unfulfilled love, of insanity, of regret... of giving up when you see what you have become. That still has merit. Even though it's just a ship.
If you liked this story, know that my other story is about thousand times as complex and builds up for hundreds pages. It is a sad story filled with all the little truths in life. But it is not just sad. It is triumphant, it is light-hearted, it is mad joy, it gives you chills and it makes you go dawww a time or two, I think.
I only wish I could publish it. I've now spend about three hundred hours
on the story's assets alone. I will make this happen. I must. I poured my soul into it.
I don't think being too detailed about the rest is too important. I made more tutorials
which are outdated by now and I played around with SVG animation
a bit. And then, a lot more
. I made a comic
out of frustration that got more views and faves than anything else I've done.
It makes me very sad. Sometimes, it feels like the things that are deep aren't touching people enough. Only the stuff I make between two major commissions, out of momentary spur of mind... I... I just don't know.
I created Professor
as another ponysona of mine. I made several tutorials. I aimed for interesting and informative. It works, I think. But I spend so much time on these... and people... they still like the stupid Derpy comic more. Words fail me.
Another tutorial is coming, by the way. And this one is not the one I've promised to make. This one is special. You will see. I hope.
I have spend over a year working for the community and yet, I do not consider myself a brony.
No, really, I don't. I'm a technician. I'm a vectorist. I'm a mathematician, a physicist, a poet and a writer - to some degree, at least. But I am not
an artist. I am stubborn, patient and I love discovering new things. And I am not a brony.
I have over five hundred watchers and I know it's very little. I am the founder of two groups, #MLP-SVG-Resources
. I bought one of those for few hundred points and I would gladly pay it if the other would get enough spotlight. I think I'm beginning to get known for my cinemagraphs
, even though Chrome always tells me it's not a real word. I get commissioned for hundreds of points that I selfishly exchange for real money. I get paid about a quarter per hour. Sue me.
I am still learning new things about everything. And that the third important thing:There is always something new to learn.
I think you - the two of you that read this thing through - listened to my ramblings for far too long now, so I'll end this.
But first, I'd like to thank you. Each of you. People who watch me, people who comment, people who criticize, people who listen. People who care and aren't afraid to show it. Because that's what brought me to this community in the first place.
Thank you for letting me grow.
Thank you for everything.
I love you all.
tl;dr: I really like pickles.