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The Lonely Whale's Cry for Love

Thu Feb 26, 2015, 7:26 PM
Img-01 by techgnotic

52 Hertz Whale:

Is Anyone Out There?

Each year he makes his migration south from the Aleutian Islands to a breeding area in the Pacific Ocean parallel to Central California, looking for a mate. Unlike other blue and fin whales, his more than 6000 miles a year round-trip swim is a solitary one. He does not travel along with the blues or the fins, because he is neither. He is most probably either a hybrid blue whale or he is deformed. Sight and smell are virtually worthless as mating signals in the ocean depths, so whales and some other marine denizens rely on their highly complex “love songs” to find his true love. A whale love song has a specific syntax and repeated refrains much like our human songs. A whale composition can last 20 hours. But our one-of-a-kind whale’s songs are ignored each year, because he sings in a 52-Hertz frequency, making his voice much higher pitched than those of the blue or fin whales, typically in the 15-20 hertz range. He is left to make his solitary swim back to the Aleutian’s each year, once again unrequited in love and with no prospects of his condition changing next year.

Do we presume too much by anthropomorphizing that the 52-Hertz Whale is lonely and lovelorn because of his isolation and rejection? Or do these ocean dwellers, not fish but complex-brained mammals of long evolution like us, feel emotions and heartache of a level and intensity similar to our own?

he’s become an international folk hero star with a kickstarter documentary

In Germany, author Agnieszka Jurek has written and illustrated a children’s book about him. British rock band Dalmatian Rex as well as American songwriters Kate Micucci and Laura Ann Bates have recorded songs about him. Film Director Josh Zeman and Documentary Producer Adrian Grenier have embarked on a A Kickstarter-financed documentary film about 52-Hertz Whale that is currently in pre-production. None of this can be of any solace to the 52-Hertz Whale. He is “deaf” to all of it. He speaks and possibly understands only one language — a language most likely only spoken by him. A quirk in evolution led his ancestors back out into the ocean, meaning he would have no hands to write, or paint, or sculpt, or play a musical instrument, or operate a camera. Other than some physically bravadic displays that might suggest dancing, the whale’s song is his sole medium of expression.

There is an immediate exquisite dark humor to be savored in the story of the predicament of the 52-Hertz Whale. But there is also a heartbreaking resonance — an echoing back to each of us that each of us can relate to: that moment when we came to realize and tried to accept that the focus of our heart’s desire, the person into whom we’d already invested so much of our deepest and most sincere love… would not be returning the sentiment; not now and not ever. Each of had to wake up the next day and live on — with there being no reason to live on. Each of us knows (or will one day know) what it is to be a 52-Hertz whale. Each of us has been out there, alone, adrift and treading water in a darkening sea of total despair and hopelessness.

There are no monuments built in the ocean’s depths to mark the lives of our mammalian cousins who reside within the Seven Seas, no record-keeping to tell the tale of a special whale with the most unique singing voice in the whole world – a unique voice that brought him only loneliness and eternal yearning. A whale’s life “history” ends with the last note sung from his last song. Those of us with more media for expression must be the ones to immortalize his story. With the following gallery of deviants’ tributes to “52-Hertz,” we hope to begin the process of making sure his life’s lonely journey is never forgotten.

Director/Producer Joshua Zeman with Executive Producer Adrian Grenier

Behind the scenes of the documentary

Join Adrian Grenier, Josh Zeman & world renowned scientists to find the illusive 52-Hertz Whale and fight Ocean Noise Pollution.

While some Kickstarter crowd-sourced productions have been obvious vanity projects, the 52-Hertz Whale is just the sort of international phenomenon that commands the overwhelming public interest that the crowd-sourced model was created to address.

Here is a story that involves the probable extinction of a type of whale naturalists didn’t know exists, so it’s about the accelerating erosion of our environment.

Here is a story about unrequited “love” – told in song – that resonates between different species of intelligent self-aware mammals.

Here is a story of loneliness to last for the ages, a story of hopelessness and hopefulness that communicates across all the world’s cultural barriers.

This solitary creature of the sea has managed to touch and connect the hearts of all humans who honor those who choose to live their lives despite relentless sorrow and struggle.

You can participate in the Kickstarter campaign to help find the lonely whale.

Interview with Adrien Grenier About his new documentary 52-Hertz Whale

The 52-Hertz Whale, which has become an iconic symbol of ultimate loneliness, has been mostly only heard and barely photographed, taking on a near mythical persona. Your documentary will finally present the flesh-and-blood reality of this most unique creature. Why did you want make the considerable effort to produce a film about this whale? Has your initial perspective changed since you began this quest?

Adrien Grenier

I think that because lonely whale is such a symbolic figure, he will be able to inspire great empathy in people; I was very much interested in exploring all the different ways in which this mythic creature could touch our hearts and motivate us to connect more fully with what's important to us as humans — connecting with others and appreciating our differences.

My perspective has grown and expanded to reach a depth worth of the deepest ocean. Lonely whale is full of nuances and subtleties; his story reflects many different themes and ideas, not just loneliness but those of respecting the environment, interesting history, science, technology and of course our existential condition of loneliness.

Executive Producer Adrian Grenier


An aerial view of a blue whale, NOAA

Are you more interested in the resonance this “lonely in love” whale’s story has created in a worldwide audience or the puzzle of this whale’s initial “appearance” on the sonar of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in 1989 and his very existence as a one-of-kind in the world? Or do all these conundrums taken together simply have the makings for a phenomenal documentary?

Adrien Grenier

Certainly all of the elements are part of the story and will, in fact, make a fantastic documentary; so I don't think you can extract one from the other. What makes this such an interesting story is how dynamic and far-reaching the story of this single whale will resonate.

Do you have your own personal theory of what (or should we say, “who”) exactly the 52-Hertz Whale “is?” The very last of a hitherto undiscovered species of whale? A hybrid mix, the love child of a blue and a fin whale? A genetically mutated blue whale?

Adrien Grenier

I'll leave the science to the experts, but as a storyteller and filmmaker, I like to focus on the symbolic and metaphoric context of lonely whale's mythology.

Dr. William Watkins tracking of the 52-Hertz Whale

There has been so much research indicating that whales (as well as dolphins) have evolved the same levels of intelligence and emotion as human beings. This fact has been hidden by their absence of hands, which has made civilization-building impossible (and confused them with being “fish”). Do you think he is genuinely perceptually aware of his hopeless situation and truly experiencing the palpable agony of his unending separation, much as any of us would feel it?

Adrien Grenier

I think the answer to this question is less about whether or not lonely whale is aware of his own emotional state as it is about whether or not we are even human if we can't find compassion and use our imagination to empathize and connect with others that are different or who are perhaps on another frequency. It is the most coveted ability for empathy for the world outside ourselves that makes us the most human.


Adrian would like to see what the story of lonely whale inspires in you.

From your unique perspective, what would a portrait of 52-Hertz Whale look like?

What would his lament be in poetic verse?

Submit to DA with hashtag #LonelyWhaleCreative

Share your submissions in the comments below. We will showcase the best of the submitted works in a Stock Market feature on the Today Page!

This is one of my favorite paintings I’ve done. In some way or another, we all have a profound longing to be heard, to be seen and to be known. And many of us go on our way without that happening and live in an incredible loneliness. Either there is no one out there, or we put on a mask and hide behind our shame and sins. We let no one know us, hear us, or see us as we are. I didn’t let anybody know me as I truly was. I was too afraid of rejection and being “found out” so I never really let anybody know and love me. And so it was my own fault that I lived in an incredible loneliness. I genuinely found encouragement by this whale to choose to trust others and let them love me through real friendship. The 52-Hertz Whale was such a strange and inspiring story that changed my perspective to help me see that I have an opportunity to be loved and heard. I just have to allow it. The whale, on the other hand, has no opportunity. The least I could do was to do a painting.”

The existence of 52–Hertz Whale is heart-wrenching, but the fact that we’ve drawn on him to be symbolic of loneliness—or strength in loneliness—says a lot about us and our need to be understood, to battle loneliness, even just our need to help others connect. We craft stories about him, for him, and in that small way, even though he’ll never know, there are many who do relate to him even though they don’t speak his same language which is meaningful in so many ways. It’s a testament, I think, to the strength of humanity that we have become so attached to this lonely whale. We relate to him, we believe we understand him, even though the 52-Hertz Whale will never truly be understood.”

Your Thoughts

  1. So much research indicates that whales (as well as dolphins) have evolved the same levels of intelligence and emotion as human beings. Do you think that the case of the 52-Hertz Whale goes beyond anthropomorphism – and that we are falsely attributing “loneliness” to his state of being? Do you think he is genuinely perceptually aware of his hopeless situation and truly experiencing the mental agony of his unending separation, much as any of us would feel it?
  2. What was your first reaction or feeling to finding out about the one-of-a-kind whale doomed to forever traverse the ocean each year, singing a love song that will never be answered?
  3. Why do you think people so often respond with more sympathy to the plight of animals than they do that of other humans?
  4. What is the message from this story that is resonating so deeply with people around the world?


Journal Entry: Mon Mar 2, 2015, 6:46 AM
FREE ICON - BalloonDogPlz by Crazdude

Img-01 by techgnotic


Famously said by many, “Ninety percent of success is showing up.” How true it is about a soul killing combination: looking at what our own first efforts in any endeavor, particularly art, result in, and then looking at the works of far more experienced artists. Giving up always seems the logical, if panicked, next artistic decision. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Art is as much a healing agent and a magical journey for the artist as it is for those who remain appreciative onlookers. You just have to decide to live for yourself in making the dream a reality. You must take these words to heart and just get started. The key to success is always to have finally, resolutely, begun.

Our deviant artist in the Netherlands, Suzanne (aka Suzanne-Helmigh), has even set down an inspirational checklist to help you keep the 2015 New Year’s resolutions you may already be considering abandoning. Don’t do it! Join Suzanne in re-dedicating yourself to truly being the artist you want be and creating the art you want to create. The next time you feel like giving up, consider the words once penned by a pretty good writer, and just imagine what you might be missing in quitting…

We know what we are, but know not what we may be.”

— William Shakespeare

Written By

I am taking my art to the next level in 2015, so who's with me?  I want to fall in love with art all over again.  Going through the painful process of growth as the art-bones stretch and your creativity gets set loose after wondering if you had any creativity at all!  2015 marks a new year and a new start, so make the most of it and don't start it unprepared!  Here follows a list of things I'd like to do in 2015. You could call it a bucket-list. You can copy mine or make your own, but this might give you some ideas for yourself.

01. Going through all the fundamentals all over again

It has been a few years since I have studied any fundamentals and they seem to be lost somewhere in a dusty corner of my brain. I will buy: books, videos, classes and I will study by drawing or painting with the knowledge I get from these.  After doing so, I will discuss the topics with some fellow artist friends and see if they have feedback or perhaps anything to add that I might have missed. Here is a list of fundamentals I'll be going through.

  • Composition.
  • Perspective.
  • Light.
  • Shape.
  • Painting techniques.
  • Story telling through imagery.

02. Inspire and nurture creativity

I don't take this lightly, because without inspiring yourself, your creativity-flame will dim down and might die out completely. Having to reboot your creativity completely can take you much longer, so always keep that flame going!

  • With books.
  • With trips.
  • With quick sketches.... lots of them!.
  • By doing things I'd normally shy away from.

03. Banish negativity

I cannot think of anything more distracting and destructive than negativity. These last few months I've really been underestimating myself and starting to grow a big dislike towards anything I've painted.  At the same time I seem to have developed a very jealous nature of anyone for whom art comes easy and instead of getting inspired by those people, I felt myself a lesser artist. No more! It's time to prove to myself that I can do anything I want to.  I'll be ditching a lot of chronically negative people and will spend less time on social media.

04. Make a dream come true

Now this one will be very different for each individual, but I have a list of things that I dream of achieving. I will give it my full 100% to achieve at least one of these dreams in 2015.

The dreams that I achieved in 2014 were:

  • Going to a big art event (Industry workshops London)
  • Getting a job as a concept artist in a AAA gamestudio.
  • Being a guest speaker at an art event (Comic Con).

Possible dreams to chase in 2015:

  • Working for Wizards of the coast.
  • Going to another big art event ( Another comic con, Trojan horse was a Unicorn, Industry workshop, Bali workshop etc.)
  • Taking an online class.
  • Getting published in an artbook.
  • Getting the first book of Caldyra finished.
  • Taking a trip to a far away country (New Zealand, Indonesia, America, Australia, to name a few.)

05. Being a good example for others

This is something I still hope to be. I love helping other artists whenever I can. Seeing them grow and make amazing things is the best!  So there will be more journals and more Livestreams. I will also try to be the best person I can be and not be a negative factor in other people's lives.

06. Making hundreds of sketches and at least 5 glorious pieces

These 5 glorious pieces will have to be completely finished and of the highest quality I can achieve.  I tend to call something finished rather quickly and post it online. But my plan now is to wait at least 30 days before posting it when I think it's done. That way I will have some good time left to find anomalies to correct. Failing will be a big part of this. If I'm not happy even after 30 hours spent on a piece, I will just scrap it any try again. That's why the hundreds of sketches are so important. I will not settle for anything less.

Let me know if you know any other cool things that inspire! And of course if you must create your own list and what's in it!

Interview with Suzanne-Helmigh


Did you ever reach that point where you decided to just give up on being an artist? If so, what got you back on track?

I think those moments that you nearly give up on art are part of a natural artist cycle, we all get them now and then. The fact that you feel that way doesn't always mean that you WILL give up on art. I've had it myself many times. It's usually when my expectations and vision are much higher than my current skill and my tendency to compare myself with the achievements of my idols can highly de-motivate me. It's those exact same things that also bring me back into art too. Being inspired by other people's artwork as well as realizing my personal growth and yet achieved endeavors. No one can ever completely give up on art if it's in your nature.


Perfectionism is often an artistic block suffered by those who can more highly appreciate the genius in other artists’ work and let that critical ability diminish their own work in their own eyes. Do you think you might sometimes be experiencing this?

Perfectionism can be a good and bad characteristic at the same time. I'm not sure if I see myself as a perfectionist as I never fail to see flaws in my own work (unless that is a perfectionist trade?) But I'm quite alright leaving my work flawed and happy to move on to the next idea. Not every artwork has to be a finished one, it's often the unfinished ones that function as a stepping stone towards improving your artwork. I think perfectionism can be a bad influence if it makes you believe that your work is never good enough and keeps you from trying in the first place. Be brave enough to fail many times and your artwork will become perfect at it's own pace.


How important is the friendship and support of other artists like those of the global DeviantArt community in helping artists maintain their course toward personal success and helping them not fall prey to depression or defeatism?

For me this is of high importance! When I started out in art I did not have any artistic friends and later found them through social media like Deviantart. Deviantart played a big role in my finding friends, as well as long term relationships. This awesome community encourages and inspires me on a daily basis, Deviantart is always open in my browser and I keep up with most of my watchers.

In 2010 I met my boyfriend (TitusLunter) through Deviantart and we've been a couple ever since. He keeps on inspiring me and looking back at 2010 it seems like my skills made a huge jump forward. The great thing of being very social with other artists is that they can give you feedback, encouragement and serve as a shoulder to lean on while suffering from the usual artistic drama's.


Is there one work of art that inspires you more than any other to keep your artistic dreams alive?

Not sure if it can count as 'One work of art' But while working fulltime for Sony Guerrilla and various freelance clients, I do get the need to work on something I can call my own completely. I'm working on my own (art) novel called Caldyra. This will be my biggest artwork yet. It will be a book that's a mix between a graphic novel and an concept art book. Building a fictional world from the ground up, with rules, cultures, history, flora, fauna, architecture and so on, all evolving around a story ark with fantastical characters is quite the artwork indeed and incredibly challenging. This personal project keeps me happy and serves as my favorite artistic outlet.

Your Thoughts

  1. Do you have any tried and true tips and tricks for staying motivated and on course throughout the year?
  2. Which artists or art appreciators in the DA community are a part of your artistic support system?

Img-00 by techgnotic

It’s been over 30 years since the original “My Little Pony” (a.k.a. “MLP”) franchise made its debut and its following has never been stronger.

The 2010 reboot by Lauren Faust (fyre-flye), “My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic,” had its start on DeviantArt where Lauren originally posted the early concept art which would later evolve into the ponies we know and love today. Little did she know that her early concepts and her love of “My Little Pony” would start a cultural phenomenon that would take on a life of its own.

From the onset, Lauren created “MLP” with the intention of breaking the stereotypes long plaguing “girls’ shows,” by putting an end to the dismissive manner in which these “silly and stupid” shows were being produced. Why couldn’t a children’s show have well-defined characters with different skills, unique dreams, human flaws and diverse personalities?

Meet “The Mane 6”

“Twilight Sparkle” is a dedicated student who enjoys reading and learning new things. “Applejack” is an entrepreneur who runs her family’s farm and knows the value of hard work. “Rarity” is a creative designer with a passion for fashion who runs her own boutique. “Rainbow Dash” is a driven athlete who is always pushing her boundaries and aiming for the gold. “Fluttershy” is a kind and nurturing soul who takes care of and nurses woodland critters. And “Pinkie Pie” is the life of the party, bringing cheer wherever she goes. Each also possesses one of the powerful “Elements of Harmony” or ‘Elements of Friendship” (Applejack: honesty; Rarity: generosity; Rainbow Dash: loyalty; Fluttershy: kindness; Pinkie Pie: laughter; and Twilight Sparkle: magic) that when combined create one of the strongest sources of magic in Equestria. Their friendship is not ony magic, but a superpower that helps protect the pony world against all evils.

The Elements Of Feminism

My Little Pony is part of a growing trend in entertainment to finally acknowledge and accomodate the female viewer, girl or woman, and create stories they want to see. And the best part is “My Little Pony” provides entertainment that’s not the standard cut and dried simplistic mush, but built on morally complicated storylines. The team behind the show has taken pride in creating a “children’s show” that’s several cuts above and respected their audience as intelligent human beings.

“My Little Pony” is teaching young girls - and adults - real life lessons about what true friendship is. Twilight and her friends are able to touch on important topics such as bullying, social skills, and acceptance for those who are different than you, while never detracting from being an amusing and entertaining show. Feminine stereotypes have been banished from Equestria and individuality instead is embraced and celebrated. The show’s main characters are six distinct types of females who all become friends and learn to work together to solve different problems in each episode, teaching girls that different types of personalities can be friends. At the same time, the show’s appeal goes far beyond its target audience of young girls.

Fandom Is Magic

“MLP’s” universal themes, imbued with positivity and kindness, have spread like wildfire, touching the lives of girls, boys, women, and men. Fans of the show, known as Bronies (male fans) and Pegasisters (female fans), have created a strong international community that thrives both online and at “My Little Pony” conventions. People are rallying around the central idea of the show that a group of friends, a community, can make a difference in the world for the better. The “My Little Pony” community is one of the friendliest and most welcoming fandoms to be found in the world. Bronies’ and Pegasisters’ love of “My Little Pony” has inspired them to create things such as original music, online communities, cosplays, and you guessed it, fan art!

ALRIGHT, EVERYPONY! Grab your party cannon and get ready to travel to Ponyville for a Grand Galloping Gala of fan art that is definitely 20% cooler.

My dearest, most faithful student Twilight, you know that I value your diligence, and that I trust you completely…”

— Princess Celestia

Eternal chaos comes with chocolate rain, you guys! CHOCOLATE! RAIN!”

— Pinkie Pie

It needs to be about 20% cooler.”

— Rainbow Dash

I’m supposed to send Princess Celestia a letter ‘every week’ telling her a lesson I’ve learned about friendship! Not every other week! Not every ten days! EVERY! SINGLE! WEEK!”

— Twilight Sparkle

Aww, he’s just a big furry guy who got out of his yard, that's all. Right, Cerberus? Who's a good boy? Who's a good boy?”

— Fluttershy

What? Is it a crime to change one’s style every now and again? Why, I think it’s a crime not to.”

— Rarity

Don’t you use your fancy mathematics to muddy the issue! I said I could handle this harvest, and I’m going to prove it to you!”

— Applejack

Everypony has fears, Scootaloo. Everypony must face them in their own way. But they must be faced, or the nightmares will continue.”

— Princess Luna

I was the one who used up all the hot water in Ponyville taking a seven hour bubble bath!”

— Spike

Your Thoughts

  1. Who is your favorite My Little Pony character and why?
  2. What would you like to see in future editions of Fan Art Friday?

Disclaimer: Everything written here is opinion. I get a lot of people asking for advice, for critique, and I just want a post I can easily link to.

There is no "right way" to make a species. There are TONS of variables that might affect your success (in sales). Nothing here should be taken literally. It's only my opinion & personal methods!


Not in it for Money


I DO NOT recommend people make an OS for the specific reason that they want to make money.
It's fine to want a little bit of spending money or something in the mindset of a little side-project. But if you go into this market with the expectation of making a living & supporting yourself off of this?
You're very likely to be disappointed, cause yourself unnecessary stress, and possibly make yourself feel like a failure, when you absolutely are not.

A decent part of making money off of adoptable species? Is luck. Obviously, there are other factors. Obviously, you can boost your chances.
But please, please don't try doing this with the intention of making money.
You'll sour yourself on your species, you'll be stressed, and you won't have as much passion for your art. Trust me, it shows.

Make your species for YOU! Make it for fun. Make it for your friends. If you end up making money? Great! That's amazing! I really hope you do!
But you need to make sure you have love for the work, even if you're not getting financial anything out of it. It needs to be fun for you, a hobby!


General Tips & Advice:


-Treat Yourself!

The biggest fan or your species should be you! Make yourself some characters! Make 'em super rare, if you want! Make some for your friends.
Enjoy your own creations! If you make a really great design and don't want to sell it, don't! I do this all the time and regret it.
Just keep it.

-Give it time.

It can take months or years before your species really starts to sell, especially if you don't have a lot of watchers, or your watchers aren't
from the OS side of dA. Don't worry too hard. Stay dedicated. I see a lot of promising species pop up, and die/go unused shortly after. The longer you do this,
the more you'll improve. The more people will see of your species and become interested, and species owners will become more of a community. Patience, patience.

-Don't overuse bases.

Bases are great! I don't recommend going baseless until you've really got a feel for drawing your species.
That being said, overusing them can really damage your product. I'd recommend using a base 3-6 times and then switching. People need to see variable poses so they can more
easily understand the anatomy, base overuse can start to make individual designs look same-ish, and the more you draw the more you improve!

-Design isn't working? Let it go.

So you've just spent four hours on a design, and it's just okay. Something just isn't quite clicking. Stop. Take a breather. Try a different theme.
Save it, come back to it later. Don't settle. When you're ready to, go back. Delete the markings. Play with the hue-slider.
Don't get too stuck on any one color, or marking, and try to edit the rest of the design to compensate.  Change the actual offending color or layer.
Just do it. I know it looked great in your head. Do it anyway. You never know what you're holding yourself back from,
and you can always try your original idea again later!

-Cheat a little.

So, your species has some strict feature rules and stuff? Don't be too afraid to bend them a little. You might find adding new features or types
really refreshes your designs. It's not like you have to sell the super rare stuff! Just have a little fun, and don't get too caught up in your own restrictions.

-Don't fret over "theft".

Listen, look-alikes are going to happen. If you feel like someone is really, truly copying you, damaging your product, etc you need to tell them so, gently.
Don't attack people! They often don't even realize it's happening. It's a common issue, especially if someone's been drawing a species a lot,
to start subconsciously imitating the proportions/anatomy. A quick heads-up might save you both a major headache.

If you can't handle copies, jealously/hate from others, and all the drama that comes with owning a closed species, please save yourself the stress!
It will happen. You need to be prepared to for it. It can cause a lot of unnecessary anxiety.

Don't be someone who is constantly on edge over similarities. Don't be snappy or passive-aggressive.
Treat your customer base well! People remember how you treat them, and others.


"Types" of Original Species:


(I struggled with the wording here? Wasn't sure how to refer to these two. Want to make it clear that neither is better than the other, but that I will be focusing on the kind that I personally make.)

Before you create your species, you should decide what sort of thing you're going for.
Generally, I see these two kinds of OS adopts around dA:


Feature-focused species that are very alike real-world or fantasy animals, often with a specific feature, ability or

backstory that makes them stand out from other species and their real-world counterparts.

-Sushi Dog/Cat (Witchpaws)
-Waterdog (Alfeddy)

-Often easy for your customers to draw! (BIG bonus!)
-Great for MYO's!
-Much less stress on being "unique"

-Somewhat easy for people to imitate ("You can't own ___ feature!!")
-Can be a little harder to gain recognition - These very much rely on have great individual character designs.


Anatomy-focused species, that are not directly affiliated with real-world or fantasy animals and rely

more on their body structure/build to make them feel unique/special/whathaveyou.

-Mantibab (Phloxebutt)
-Coukyo (Kub-e)

-Can be easier to gain recognition/audience if the core design is appealing.
-Much harder for people to "steal" successfully.

-Many anatomy types/proportions are already heavily used.
-Can take a LOT of time to really get your own design down - easy to make anatomy mistakes!
-Need to be very careful about making something too similar to others'.


Recipe for Success


Star! Things I personally find help boost sales and reception! Once again, opinion! None of this is required, none of it is the only way. Star!
A lot of this has to do with my own person tastes, also!

-Solid base design

Goes without saying. How your species looks before you add all the flair.

-Solid backstory or worldbuilding.

Make sure people know what your species are all about! Rich backstory & species info is
especially important for feature-focused species.

-Attractive, clear art style

Artwork should be easy to understand. I don't recommend heavy shading or lighting effects for adopt sales,
as you want the markings and colors to be easy for your customers to recreate!


Make sure your individual adopts don't look like the same recolored character over and over. Trait variability is very important.
I don't recommend heavily restricting your own color & marking use for this reason!


You want your customers to be able to have fun with individual designs! You want to make them feel like characters!
Expressions, gesture & posing, etc can really help you adopts stand out. Design them outfits, or accessories! Add a little backstory snippet!
Anything to help them stand out as individuals.


Important! If you don't like your species, others aren't going to be feeling it either. Have some passion!
Don't settle for designs you don't think are that personally great. Set standards.


From this point on I'll be mostly focusing on anatomy-focused species, the kind I personally make.
Lots of it can still be applied to other species, however!


Base Design


First of all...

Don't Rush.

Seriously! Don't worry about making designs and adopts and all that within a few days. You do not want to be stuck later on with something you're not 100% satisfied with.
Getting your species actually released could take months, and that's 100% okay! Don't rush it!

Unless you already have a pretty good idea of what sort of body type to go for, base design can be really, really hard.

Never let yourself feel like a failure if you aren't coming up with a super unique/amazing design right away.
I'd like to emphasize how difficult that can be. Don't be hard on yourself.

Consider when designing a body type/overall design:

-What's your species main feature?

It's generally good to have some kind of idea behind your species before you start. It can be vague!
Decide what your species does! Are they magical? Carnivores?
Where do they live?
Aquatic? Terrestrial?
A great background idea can really make a species.

-Make it recognizable!

Personally, this is my biggest thing. I want something that has its own identity.
I want to be able to see a silhouette or thumbnail, and know exactly what species I'm looking at.

-Don't get stuck.

Sometimes a great idea will just not pan out. If there's a feature that's not really working, stop trying to change everything
else to compensate. Try replacing that feature. You can always use it for something else in the future!


Commonly seen:
-Large chested
-Paws or clawed feet
-Jagged or beakish mouths
-Carnivore-esque physiques
-Canine anatomy
-Deer anatomy
-Extra limbs

The above are not bad things or to be avoided, but I don't recommend having all or most of these things at once.
If you want to really stand out, avoiding these can help.

A shortcut to doing this would be to cut out a lot of the more common body types,
namely canine or common fantasy/draconian anatomies. There are a LOT of these out there.
I'd recommend avoiding it at this point if you can, just because you'll be making things more difficult on yourself if you don't.

Don't start dressing up your species/adding features until you've got a good basic anatomy.

Best way to get a good look at how your species' body type is going, Make a silhouette! Does it look unique?
If not, play with proportions. Mess with the shapes. Play with the transform tool. Add a different head!

Keep in mind there's absolutely no rush. This is, in my opinion, the most important part of species creation.
Don't settle for something you find boring. It might just come to you one day randomly!

Size by bananamantis




This one's completely on you. I personally find the base design much more important than the variable traits, but consider:

Make sure your species retains its identity.

Don't let it get buried under hair and wings and horns and whatever else until it totally loses its individuality.

Keep rare stuff rare.

Lets be real, when 60% of your adopts have a "rare" trait... it's not really rare.

Have a good number of variable traits available!

Don't let your species get stale because of a limited number of variations!

Don't be afraid to mix it up.

It's really okay to add new traits and stuff later on. Don't let a previous trait/feature guide keep you from experimenting.




Do you like your species? Enjoy drawing and designing them? Congrats! You have a successful species! Star!

who even read this all the way through this is long af
Img-00a by techgnotic

In a business of massive ego and terrible behavior directed at slicing and dicing their competition, Leonard Nimoy was known as a total gentleman, a class act all the way and a consummate professional at every turn.

For several generations around the globe he will be forever “Mr. Spock,” the half-human, half-Vulcan first officer of the U.S.S. Enterprise, a United Federation starship exploring distant galaxies on television’s cult phenomenon, Star Trek (1966–69). His first autobiography was, “I Am Not Spock” (1975) and his second, “I Am Spock” (1995). Leonard Nimoy, who died today February 27, 2015, was both Spock and artist and so much more. His multi-faceted life in the arts reflected the 1960s–era of radical cultural flux and personal self-discovery that changed America and the world.

Star Trek was created and produced in the mid-1960s by Gene Roddenberry who, as a U.S. Army Air Force pilot in WWII, survived the crash of a B-17E Flying Fortress and flew 89 combat missions, earning him the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal. Star Trek would be one of the last pop culture entertainments reflecting America’s post-WWII public presumption that American intervention, even military, was always unquestionably a force for good in foreign conflicts worldwide. American science & technology, “enterprise,” democracy and basic goodness were on the march to save the world. The Vietnam War and Watergate scandal would soon shatter this grand illusion.

Nimoy’s “Spock” alter ego on Star Trek was of mixed heritage.

His mother was a human. His father was a Vulcan. In the world of Star Trek, the original main “tribes” of players were the humanoid good guys of the United Federation of Planets. The Vulcans were an alien race who had managed to suppress all emotion from their psyches as a way to avert destructive violence. The Vulcans were usually allied with the Federation. The Romulans originated as a rebel group of Vulcans who rejected the suppression of emotions. They shared the same ultra-logical, ultra-intellectual mindset as the Vulcans, but they could be politically devious and often went in and out of alliance with the Federation in the struggle to defend the universe against the Klingons, the pure evil nemesis race. Spock’s half-human/half-Vulcan no-nonsense personality, only occasionally evincing emotion in a rare moment of concern for Captain Kirk or an even rarer smile, made for moments of wonderful comic relief. Spock became an international pop icon of the scientific explorer leading humanity into the future.

After Star Trek’s cancelation in 1969 and before its resurrection in syndicated reruns and sci-fi conventions, Nimoy became a regular on Mission: Impossible and appeared in numerous other television shows.

He also won acclaim for his roles on stage, including productions of Vincent, Fiddler on the Roof, The Man in the Glass Booth and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

As an artist, Nimoy was not satisfied by only acting in only acting on television, in films and on stage, as well as directing other actors. He parlayed his fame as “Spock” into getting published as a poet and performing regular public readings of his poems. His final book of poetry, A Lifetime of Love: Poems on the Passages of Life, was published in 2002. Trekkies wanting to check out his poetry are encouraged to visit the online Contemporary Poets index of The HyperTexts. Nimoy’s poems are simple, accessible and mostly about moments in the experience of loving and being loved.

For Susan

people we love

and strangers too

are shedding tears

and walking

sad and dusty streets

your hand touches mine

and comforts me

love is the beginning

and the end

Nimoy’s life-long interest in photography manifested itself in two controversial coffee table edition publications of his portraiture.

Shekhina, published in 2005 is a celebration of Jewish femininity and sensuality — Nimoy’s intent being to cut across stereotypes of “cold” Jewish women. Defenders of the faith seemed to be more offended by Nimoy’s acceptance of “Shekhina” as a legitimate goddess in the Jewish pantheon than by the nudity in most the photos. The Full Body Project (2007) took Nimoy’s objective of redefining female beauty to a new level with a series of portraits of full-figure females in classic nude poses.

Spock Lives! The Second Coming. (1979)

After its cancellation, Roddenberry continued to lobby Paramount for a revival of Star Trek as a feature film, pointing to the reruns’ success in worldwide syndication and then the Star Wars sensation in 1977. The success of Close Encounters of the Third Kind finally got Paramount to relent. Star Trek: The Motion Picture was a moderate success but suffered from a script that was a couple notches too “hard sci-fi” in plotting, dealing with an Earth-launched space probe that achieves full A.I. sentience. It seeks to return to its Earthly creator (as humans yearn to reunite with God?), and is killing everybody who gets in the way of this reunion. Nevertheless, the film did well enough to get a second one greenlighted – and Leonard Nimoy would return as Spock on the big screen in the six Star Trek sequels that featured the original TV series characters. Nimoy would direct two of these sequels as well.

Spock Lives! The Third Coming. (2009)

When Paramount decided to “reboot” their Star Trek film franchise with new actors replacing the TV series’ iconic players, there was great trepidation about fan response. But J.J. Abrams managed to work his magic in capturing the tenor and excitement of the original shows – and the ghostly cameo of Leonard Nimoy as “Spock Prime” sealed the deal with fans, who gave their fulsome approval to the relaunch. The sequel, 2013’s Star Trek Into Darkness, would again feature a “Spock Prime” cameo – and be Leonard Nimoy’s final appearance in a film.

Leonard Nimoy was an actor who never stopped pursuing other forms of artistic expression, most of which he had some success with. His singing career was ridiculed by critics and fans alike, but he persisted in trying, anyway. In the space of two decades between volumes of autobiography, he was forced to reconcile himself to his persona being, in fact, part “Spock,” forever, whether he liked it or not. The poet in him finally accepted and embraced the proposition.

He was a talented actor, director and photographer. He was an artist’s artist.

I have worn more masks than I can remember

I have been a face without a name

And when like you I ask the final question

Who on earth am I supposed to be

I always come full circle to the answer, me, only me…always me

Leonard Nimoy


Live long and prosper.

06-img-og by techgnotic

Boarding Now: Catbuses to Spirit Worlds

This is the movie that really started it all for Japanese anime as a worldwide phenomenon: Tonari no Totoro (“My Neighbor Totoro”). Written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki and released in April 1988, it became the flagship of Studio Ghibli and can be found on lists of the most popular, the most iconic and simply the best movies and animations of all time. The title character, Totoro, was quickly incorporated into the studio’s logo and its popularity in Japan can be compared to Mickey Mouse or Winnie–the–Pooh in the Western world. Totoro has made cameo appearances in other movies outside of Studio Ghibli.

A period piece, set in 1950’s Japan, the story takes place in a region called “Satoyama,” denoting an area between the mountain foothills and the flat terrains, suitable for villages and farms. It’s not the only Ghibli movie to be located in a satoyama region — and together with other animations, it brought much needed attention to these regions, even prompting conservation movements on their behalf.

Two young girls, Mei and Satsuki, move to the countryside with their father to be closer to a hospital where their mother is recovering after an unspecified illness. Upon entering the old, long–vacant house for the first time, the sisters encounter Susuwatari — soot spirits.  Since Susuwatari live only in abandoned buildings, they soon depart to find a new home.  The next day, Mei spots two smaller “Totoro” spirits in the garden, and follows the magical rabbit–eared creatures back to their home in a camphor tree in a briar patch. Inside the tree, the giant Totoro is roaring–snoring in his sleep.

One night, the girls await their father’s bus in the rain. Satsuki finally sees Totoro when he appears at the bus stop. She offers him her umbrella.  He is delighted by the sound the raindrops make on the umbrella. A cat-shaped bus (“Nekobasu the Catbus”) stops and Totoro boards it, keeping the umbrella. The girls’ father finally arrives in a normal bus.

This is the third movie with its soundtrack composed by Joe Hisaishi, the first being Nausicca. Hisaishi became a frequent visitor to the studio and worked on scores for many of their other films, including the last of Hayao Miyazaki’s movies, The Wind Rises. His soundtrack in My Neighbour Totoro perfectly suits the atmosphere, adding to the nostalgic feeling evoked by the usually fondly described times between the old rural Japan and the head–long rush into modern technology.

Something I particularly love about this movie is the attention to the details, and I don’t mean just the backgrounds or the character design. My favorite scene is the night the small Totoro spirits and the girls perform a dance to grow a huge tree out of seeds that the big Totoro gave to Mei and Satsuki at the bus stop as a “thank you” for the umbrella. The sprouts entangle to combine into an enormous tree within a moment — and the whole growth looks exactly like a nuclear explosion, making a brilliant point in elevating creation and health in a magical and majestic fashion while at the same time condemning the wanton destruction and long aftermath of disease in the wake of the actual nuclear blasts. This is a powerful recurrent theme strongly entwined into every Studio Ghibli production.

In 2003, the studio released a short animation following Mei’s adventures and featuring two Catbuses, a kitten and its granny, with the latter voiced by Hayao Miyazaki himself. It wasn’t released to home video but is regularly shown at the Ghibli Museum.

Tonari no Totoro is in the top 3 of my all time favorite Hayao Miyazaki movies. It oozes positivity and makes the watcher smile, uplifts with its cuteness and, as always, it’s a treat for the eye with the traditionally painted backgrounds and well animated characters, each with their personal features. Absolutely recommended for watching any time, especially when you need something to lift you out of your blues and make you feel better.

EDIT 2- We've hit 2500 entries! It's time to start picking numbers and see who won.

EDIT- I'm sorry to do this, but I'm ending my giveaway when I reach 2500 entries. It was lots of fun to host, but it's getting hard to keep up with everything going on. Each day I come on here, I have around 200 messages or so to take care of. It takes me around 3 hours at times to get caught up. I'm sorry to end this early but I can't take the stress anymore. When the entries hit 2500, I'm closing this giveaway and picking the winners. Thanks for your understanding.

I can't believe how much interest there's been in my giveaways so far! You all wanted a huge giveaway and now you're going to get it! :squee:

Let's start off with the prizes first!

One winner for 3000 :points:
One winner for 2000 :points:
five winners for 1000 :points:
five winners for 500 :points:
ten winners for 100 :points:
twenty five winners for 50 :points:
fifty winners for 25 :points:
three winners for 10 :points:

Yes you read those correctly! There will be exactly 100 winners with this giveaway. Why so many winners and points you're probably wondering? This is my way of saying thanks to the best art community for the incredible art you've made for me.

How to enter
You have multiple options to choose from to get numbers for this giveaway. Pick whichever ones you like.

1. Comment on this journal for one number [This one is required so I can tell you what your number(s) are.]
2. Favorite this journal for one number
3. Make a journal advertising this for one number
4. Watch me for one number [Yes, you can unwatch me if you want afterwards.]
5. COMMENT on my artwork. For each one you comment on, you get another number. Let me know on here afterward which ones you commented on otherwise, I won't know if you're commenting on them to get another number or just because you like my work.
6. Make some art with my favorite character in it. This is what she looks like: With doing this option, the art work MUST have some effort put into it. If it's something drawn quick with no thought put into it, it will not be accepted. When you make art work, link me to it and you'll get three numbers for this giveaway per picture. The most pictures you can submit is 10 which will give you 30 numbers for this giveaway.

If you want even more numbers, make me some really good quality artwork with the character I showed you above. I'm talking something you put lots of effort into and don't rush through quickly with little thought put into it. If you do this, you can enter as many pictures as you want and will get 10 numbers for each picture. This will greatly increase your chances of winning so I advise going this route if you enter art.

Entry closes at 2500 entries.

Good luck everyone and thanks again for everything! :hug:


Thu Feb 19, 2015, 1:28 AM by MizAmy:iconmizamy:
durr snurr

thats right Sushi Rolls,
its time for the long awaited 

Draw to Adopt Contest!!!!


:bulletgreen:  this is for First time owners only, if you have ever Co-owned, previously owned or 
currently own a Sushi Dog® or Sushi Cat, you are not eligible 
(people found to be on fake accounts will be blacklisted via scamming)

:bulletgreen: You can post as many entries as you like, but you can only apply for two Sushi Dogs®
if you do enter for two separate Sushi Dogs®,
you can only win once!

:bulletgreen:You are free to use any artistic medium to create your entries. 
If you would like to send a piece of craft to the winner, you may not force them to pay for the work, only shipping if they agree and are allowed

:bulletgreen:You must be a member of the group to join and blacklisted members cannot join!

:bulletgreen:Make sure to post your work to the correct folders -  dta contest > (dog name)

:bulletgreen:Stories/writing about the Sushi Dog® is allowed in the artist comments but not as stand alone literature.

:bulletgreen:all art must be done by you, no commissioning entries, entering for a friend or using bases/tracing/stealing.
all art must be 100% original and made for the event.

:bulletgreen: if you do not win, do not store the art you made for at least a month


:bulletblue:Entries will be judged on effort, not skill.

:bulletblue:the Sushi Dog® mods will be judging the contest at the end date

:bulletblue:Those who can prove they are genuinely interested in keeping the Sushi Dog® will have an advantage

:bulletblue::bulletblue::bulletblue:There will only be 1 winner per Sushi Dog®!:bulletblue::bulletblue::bulletblue:

DEADLINE - April 8th

NOW for the thing everyone has been waiting for!


:bulletpink:Forrest Yule log
:bulletpink:Froest Yule log by MizAmy
by MizAmy

il 570xN.283774138 by MizAmy Il Fullxfull.283774288 by MizAmy 
Buttercream Icing moss covers her back and with fern leaves and toadstools growing from the moss,
Her Yule Log Tail with buttercream icing bark and oak leaf decorations,
Acorn earrings and her friendly Marzipan mouse companion, forest yule log is a happy Soosh
48e2dc326600717c50f6e7cf99a03626 by MizAmy
Her sweet smell and demeanor attracts happy little bugs, depending on the time of year different bugs will be attracted.
From fireflies to moths, ladybugs to snails.
Happy little Forest Yule log will make you always feel richer and joyful.


:bulletyellow:Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie:bulletyellow:
vegetarian shepherd s pie by torotix-d8hjkjs WM by MizAmy
by Torotix
3479 L by Torotix Recipe-image-legacy-id--1155588 11 by Torotix
Looks can be deceiving and this Sushi Dog® certainly proves that. Will you trust their cloudy mashed potato body of a friendly sheep, or the sharp teeth and dark coat of a hungry Sushi Dog? >: D
But of course, this Soosh may like to play tricks but true to their Sushi Dog® nature, they are essentially harmless and very fun-loving!

This Sushi Dog features an uncommon bandana knot and rare long horns.

:bulletpurple:Cosmic Space Dust:bulletpurple:

Cosmic Space Dust by MizAmy
by MizAmy
Far out!
3910794749 83a23621a7 by MizAmy 

with these retro pop rocks called cosmic space dust 
you will rock out any place!
its  2015 how better to be cool then this 80s Soosh
\m/ (UnU) \m/
Sparkley fur and tail ribbon on a 3rd, this Triptych has some far out traits!
Party on dudes and love these poppers to the moon and back
~spaceships and ufo's batteries not included~


:bulletorange:M&M Dunk-a-roo:bulletorange:

Dunkarooarific By Mileykittycat-d8fddq2 Wm by MizAmy
by MileyKittyCat 
say G'day and Hop on board with this fair dinkum Soosh, any kid would be chuffed to get a dunk-a-roo soosh.
cropped-Mixed-Flavors-2-Pac-k-1 by MizAmyUntitled by MizAmy
with m&m necklace, baseball cap and long roo tail with a tail ribbon, strewth too good a deal to pass up

:bulletwhite:Golden Anniversary Cake:bulletwhite:
golden anniversary cake by torotix-d8hj31d WM by MizAmy
by Torotix
F91d86de93084cba1bfa7d01e61d2df6 by Torotix Gold50 by Torotix

Awwwwww look at the happy...couple? How lovely to see such a loving, long lasting bond between a Sushi Dog® and..itself?
This Sushi Dog features a rare, everlasting rose tail that shows their everlasting love with themselves.


Bonus Raffle

:bulletblue::bulletyellow::bulletpink: ANY ONE CAN ENTER IN THE GROUP:bulletpink::bulletyellow::bulletblue:

♡ The Prize! ♡

The winner will receive a pre made  Sushi Dog® made by the one and only witchpaws!

Paw Bullet Pink (Outline) - F2U! You must be a member of sushi dogs group on deviantART!  

Paw Bullet Pink (Outline) - F2U!Follow the prompts on rafflecopter

Paw Bullet Pink (Outline) - F2U! Real accounts only! We will disqualify any entrants who are not in the group, plus any secondary, giveaway, empty, or inactive dA accounts!

*Rafflecopter requires an email account to enter for contact purposes. 

Enter the Bonus Raffle!