Musician, writer, artist, gardener, Jane-of-all-trades.

I keep astonishingly busy with a wide variety of things and this blog may seem random in consequence. Expect Mass Effect fanfic (including the ongoing saga of pilot-lovin' Rhi Shepard), thoughts on disability, politics, and a liberal helping of goats. Especially baby goats.

 

shadesofmauve:

Ladies, Gentlemen, and all other Honored Readers, I give you:

GHOST RIDER!

…as defined by wikipedia for a few hours last Monday.

(If anyone wants to play with this, redraw it, or color it, please do! I’ll even send a bigger file if you like).

Reblogging for the morning crowd! 

(Actually I just want to inflict it on as many people as possible).

*unicycles away into the sunrise*

Ladies, Gentlemen, and all other Honored Readers, I give you:

GHOST RIDER!

…as defined by wikipedia for a few hours last Monday.

one of several “Fictional horse/cat unicorns that eat dogs while riding a unicycle.”

(btw, if anyone wants to play with this, redraw it, or color it, please do! I’ll even send a bigger file if you like. I’d love to see other people join the silliness).

Tardigrade Megafauna

When I saw that tardigrade post goin’ around my first thought was “My sci-fi novel needs megafauna based on this microfauna.” I knew I wanted to make them big!

What I’m still not sure about…

…is how big.

Prompt: Character with their favorite food (from Rhiannon42)
Character: Ness, OC from A Star to Steer Her By and Sunset and Evening Star.
Ness’s favorite food isn’t really donuts, exactly, but they do hold a special place in her heart, and have ever since Rhi used to steal ‘em for her when she was a kid. And as a grad student, they’re probably her favorite food that she can actually afford.
(She always wanted the ones with chocolate frosting and sprinkles, because they were fancy, but she picked the sprinkles off because they were gross).
(In case you think that’s really creative, it’s not. It’s what I did when I was five.)
P

Prompt: Character with their favorite food (from Rhiannon42)

Character: Ness, OC from A Star to Steer Her By and Sunset and Evening Star.

Ness’s favorite food isn’t really donuts, exactly, but they do hold a special place in her heart, and have ever since Rhi used to steal ‘em for her when she was a kid. And as a grad student, they’re probably her favorite food that she can actually afford.

(She always wanted the ones with chocolate frosting and sprinkles, because they were fancy, but she picked the sprinkles off because they were gross).

(In case you think that’s really creative, it’s not. It’s what I did when I was five.)

P

thepalebride asked
Art prompt: [character] in what I’m currently wearing!

Thank you so much for giving me a prompt!

It seemed silly to draw Rhi (she has her OWN leather jacket!) so I drew Viva, cheerful and gregarious gnome sorceress from our pathfinder game:

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I’ve never drawn Viva without a smile before, but with my jacket and her hair, she had to be a bit punk. Granted, the fleece underneath rather takes away from the punk feel. I was actually wearing a hat, too, but Viva + hat = HOW DO YOU DO THAT?

SPOILER ALERT: if anyone gives me this prompt again before the weather gets up towards 65, I will be wearing basically the same thing.

PLEASE: Drop me drawing prompts! I’m trying for roughly a thing-a-day, but I’ll be happy if I achieve every/other. Use the thirty-day-OTP prompt list, or an OC prompt list, or anything else you think up! Iz helpin me practice!

A half hour ‘class’ session with Pixelovely's new hands tool. I like the 'class' version that works you up from 30 second gestures for figure drawing, so I went with that and 'hands' only… and then it got to the long pose and said 'F you draw a foot anyway.'
Y’know what, ‘hands only’ tool? I DID. I DID DRAW THAT FOOT. HA.

A half hour ‘class’ session with Pixelovely's new hands tool. I like the 'class' version that works you up from 30 second gestures for figure drawing, so I went with that and 'hands' only… and then it got to the long pose and said 'F you draw a foot anyway.'

Y’know what, ‘hands only’ tool? I DID. I DID DRAW THAT FOOT. HA.

I don’t usually manage anything I like with flat colors — I only use ‘em for the under-layer — but Viva’s hair is just too fun.

I don’t usually manage anything I like with flat colors — I only use ‘em for the under-layer — but Viva’s hair is just too fun.

medievalpoc:

Fiction Week

The Earthsea Cycle by Ursula K. LeGuin

[fan art of Ged by devilevn]

EARTHSEA. Oh, Earthsea. First of all, if you’re a fan of speculative fiction of any kind and you have not read the Earthsea books, you probably should fix that immediately.

I was lucky enough to come across A Wizard of Earthsea in my formative years, and had read the original trilogy by the time I was 11 or so. I know that for a lot of fellow Fantasy fans of color, these books were the first we’d come across that had people who actually looked like us in main character and central roles.

And it’s good. So very, very good. The magic system is fascinating and deep in style and function, the mysteries are fascinating, the writing style manages to be expansive and claustrophobic at the same time, the dangers are many and the horrors are positively existential. You want dragons? Check. You want wizards? Check. You want adventures, magical artifacts, ancient legends and prophecies, magical cities that can only be found by those who need it? All the checks!!! It’s everything you want it to be because it’s one of the most influential works of Fantasy fiction in existence.

And all the characters are people of color, except the Kargish, of which only Tenar is a main character. This has created nigh-endless problems with cover art, film adaptations, and various other visual representation of the characters. Le Guin herself has railed, sometimes impotently, at the misrepresentations of her books and the characters therein, notably in the heavily whitewashed Sci-Fi Channel miniseries adaption.

LeGuin also wrote this piece, Frankenstein’s Earthsea, for Locus, with more details about how exactly such a travesty ended up getting made in the first place. I remember tuning in for that miniseries when it originally aired in 2001, and completely disillusioned, turning it off about 15 minutes (if that) into the first episode. I mean:

the cast of the Sci Fi Miniseries for Earthsea

On top of that horror, the book covers. Ohhhhh, the book covers. As an extremely popular series, there have been many editions printed, and ugh. Le Guin has written:

But I had endless trouble with cover art. Not on the great cover of the first edition—a strong, red-brown profile of Ged—or with Margaret Chodos Irvine’s four fine paintings on the Atheneum hardcover set, but all too often. The first British Wizard was this pallid, droopy, lily-like guy—I screamed at sight of him.

Gradually I got a little more clout, a little more say-so about covers. And very, very, very gradually publishers may be beginning to lose their blind fear of putting a nonwhite face on the cover of a book. “Hurts sales, hurts sales” is the mantra. Yeah, so? On my books, Ged with a white face is a lie, a betrayal—a betrayal of the book, and of the potential reader.

These are the kind of covers she is talking about:

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image

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And so on.

This is the cover of the First Edition that she’s talking about:

Many reprints of the books in the 90’s just circumvented this “issue” by just not putting any people on the covers of the books. I don’t know about others, but I tend to be much more drawn towards books that feature images of people on the covers, rather than random landscapes or fantastic creatures.  You might notice that the “Random landscape” theme repeats itself on many covers of LeGuin’s books, including some of her most famous novels like The Left Hand of Darkness, The Dispossessed, and the Lathe of Heaven.

So, in summation, I recommend all of LeGuin’s books if you in any way enjoy speculative fiction.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a fervent admirer of Ursula LeGuin, especially after meeting her in person, and the unrivaled highlight of my career thus far was when — in her delightfully punchy way — she complimented the illustration I did of Ged.

(Me, to famous author: “This is a chance for an author I really admire to hate my art!” Famous author, very snappily: “Well. You failed.” :D)

I made the painting because the library I work for does a ‘one book, one community’ program in which we try to get people reading and talking about the same work, an that year, it was Wizard of Earthsea. I looked at all of these covers, and read LeGuin’s essays on whitewashing, and decided that we couldn’t use a book cover to advertise the month-long event. There are a plethora, and none of them speak to the book. Like medievalpoc says, they’re either ’random landscapes’ or whitewashed wizards. I did a bit of cajoling, and got permission to spend a truly ridiculous amount of time making original art, instead. (I’m a graphic designer, not a professional illustrator; I don’t get enough practice and I work slowly).

(My boss, if asked, says ‘we couldn’t get rights to use the book covers.’ That’s not quite true. He’d started to ask various publishing houses, and I got him to stop trying).

I cringe whenever I look at the art — hazard of five year old illustrations (Oh god, the lack of gesture in that torso; what is going on with his pelvis? Lighting could’ve been so much more dynamic, argggggh), but it’s still one of the most important of the, let’s face it, really not-at-all-important things I’ve done at my job. :P