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So! It happened. Spike hit the puberty and got his wings :) (Smile)  Here are my two cents.

First, I am actually glad this episode leaked all those months ago, because it has given me loads of time to digest it.

Second, I've been having some trouble writing this entry, the main reason being that almost everyone I have either spoken to or read his or her comments seemed to be over the moon about the episode. I realised that my initial thoughts are tad too pessimistic, and that the last thing people need is someone raining on their parade. My problems with the episode steam from the fact that I don't think characters need to be cooler/stronger/scarier in order to be wholesome and wings felt a little bit out of the blue, however...I DO agree that Spike simply deserved them. So--

--instead of a lengthy, overly-complicated review, I'm going to focus on the good parts of the episode - and there were, indeed, many.

Here we go:

Capture1 by dSana
After all those seasons we could finally see Peewee. Rarity also delivered important lines here: "Everypony has to leave the nest at some point."


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Puberty. Not to be confused with adulthood. I'm seriously glad I don't remember this phase at all, except watching Sailor Moon, getting drunk for the first time and being constantly told I should 'grow up'.


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Can we appreciate how
motherly Twilight was throughout this entire episode? Not only she was understanding, offered help, she also shared her own embarassing story and acknowledged Spike's crush.

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If you want to know my humble opinion, Smolder is one of the best MLP characters - and in that episode s
he was both blunt and caring, well-meaning and hilariously oblivious.

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"So Twilight's kicking me out..." If you still had any doubts as to where Spike's "home" is, I hope this episode resolved those once and for all.

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Overconfidence. 

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Mr Cool.

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A long, long way since S3, eh? Previously only in the Movie, IIRC, Spike used his fire as a weapon.

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"You're supposed to grow up, but you'll always be you." A gentle reassurance for the audience. Thank you, Twilight.

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"
And whatever happens, we'll get through it together." No leaving nest just yet. 

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Even though Spike just got his wings, he still wants to be carried home - and Twilight pretends she doesn't like it. Isn't that just sweet? Also look how happy he is!
(I SERIOUSLY hope this is not the last time we see Twilight carrying him on her back, tho).

Finally, I want to add that Cathy Weseluck really nailed this episode (and yes, Rarity was pretty hilarious!)

Key x

PS: I have relaunched my Patreon with $1-$3-$5 per month rewards. I'll start uploading new Shadow Shard panels soon - if you are curious, come and join me.




MLP The Movie Mane Six and Spike desktop wallpaper by dSana


Part I was about deleted scenes; this part is about my favourite duo and specifically how their relationship is presented in the Movie.

I had some hopes regarding those two, however the Movie was focused on Twilight vs Tempest and Twilight & her relationship with a whole group (but especially Pinkie Pie). Spike, in return, is shown interacting with M5 more than he usually does in the show, and as result, less with Twilight alone.

So, what do we have?

    1.       Spike as a capable assistant. As usual, his major asset is a moral support he provides to Twilight.

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Worth mentioning that juxtaposition between food-loving sidekicks was not fully explored, but it's hinted for those who pay attention.

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    2.       Twilight steps in to save the day presentation after Spike falls off.

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    3.       Twilight protectively steps in front of him when the folk from Klugetown wants to buy Spike.

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    4.       But after she forces him to breath fire that leaves him exhausted, she completely forgets about him. Canon continuity! ;-)

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    5.       Spike grabs her hoof when they encounter Princess Skystar in dark water, just as he often grabs her foreleg in the show.

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    6.       Spike’s big moment. Really loved this scene. The group splits up and Spike is thorn between following all his friends and staying with Twilight, who just screwed up big – twice.

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He hesitates, and sadly turns to follow Twilight. This is one of the best Spike scenes in the entire show, hands down.
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    7.       Scene that follows. Spike doesn’t judge her nor he gives any kind of “you should apologize” talk. He is simply trying to do what he can do best, that is provide moral support, even though he’s anxious himself.

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    8.       The face Twilight makes when she sees him captured.

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    9.     During Twilight's capturing Spike is so desperate he sets the guard on fire. This really took me by surprise!
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    10.       And Spike's face when he sees Twilight vanishing in the clouds. (The focus is once again on Pinkie Pie, as it has been for the entire Movie for understandable reasons).

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    11.   Finally, a group hug!

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And that’s it! I was hoping for more with regards to these two, but will settle for what we've got. There's only so much you can do within 90 minutes when you have a huge number of characters, old and new. Here's hoping the movie will provide enough revenue through toy sales that a straight-to-video sequel is on the table.

Key /)

MLP The Movie Mane Six and Spike desktop wallpaper by dSana 
I saw the Movie! Lucky for me, it’s been released earlier in Scotland. I’m going to see it one more time this week 😊 The love of this series and passion of people involved in making it shone through every scene.

But instead of writing a review or telling you about my favourite bits, I want to discuss the “deleted scenes” right now and in Part II focus only on Spike and Twilight.

A movie has been pared down to the essentials. There’s limited budget, deadlines, time restrictions, toys to sell & target audience to please. It’s understandable, then, that some scenes had to go and other were changed. However, for that same reason, I felt some parts of the movie were “missing”. And I found some of those “missing” parts that described in The Art of MLP: The Movie artbook (buy it, it’s amazing!).

Please keep in mind this is not meant as any sort of criticism of the Movie. I really understand the endless restrictions the movie creators were faced with and I love what they created for us. This is just my “stuff that didn’t make it, but I wish it did” list.

So, without further ado, here are 4 things that sadly didn’t end up in the Movie:


    I.                     Travel through an epic, unfamiliar and scary world.

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Had the movie been longer, the Mane 6 and Spike could have been shown travelling though more “locations” that included a creepy forest and spending the night at the Hippogriff Temple, as suggested in the artbook. This concept art is so gorgeous, Miyazaki-like it must have been really tough decision to make this “leaving Equestria” adventure so short!


    II.                   Mane 5 and Spike camp after Twilight has been kidnapped.


Scene 1 by dSana 

I admit I really regret this didn’t make it to the final cut.

You can see here, the girls, Spike and either Verko or Capper’s early version camping under a broken ship after Twilight got kidnapped. AJ is comforting Spike (do you see that, RadicalDishonesty?) who (3rd storyboard from left) says “we need to do something, we can’t just let TS go”. I can only imagine how good this scene could’ve been! *Sigh*



    III.                Counterparts for Spike, Fluttershy & AJ


Grubber MLP Friendship Club profile by dSana 
Using their own, unique gifts Twilight makes friends with Tempest, Pinkie with Princess Skystar; Rarity with Capper and Rainbow Dash with Captain Celaeno, gaining powerful allies that gather together to defeat the Storm King. Yet Flutters, AJ and Spike are left without an opportunity to shine. I don’t know what was planned for AJ (perhaps the encounter with Mud Trolls, described in the artbook, was supposed to be about her?). Fluttershy was to make friends with prisoners in Seaquestria, but that was left out. Spike’s evil counterpart – a small, gluttonous, dubious sidekick for the powerful unicorn – is of course Grubber, but nothing ever comes out of it.


    IV.                Hippogriff army joins pirates & ponies to save Twilight.


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This is a scene my husband was talking about after watching the Movie and before he found it in the artbook - and it would have been very epic indeed. The army had been cut out to focus on Mane 6. I must admit this is one of the decisions I disagree with, since it would have been possible to make a bigger battle and still focus on the main characters, but...it’s very easy for me to decide on something without knowing how the decisions are made.</S>After second viewing I decided it was better to keep the focus on the group, Skystar herself was truly epic in the fight! :-D

So, this is it. I will write another post about T&S in this Movie. Right now I’m working on the small Movie-inspired piece /)

/Key


Dear Watchers,
Many weeks ago
Str1ker878  tagged me to answer some questions. I was supposed to answer, tag other people & ask my own questions, but since I am actually a socially awkward person Fluttershy frightend I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. Sorry! MLP Fluttershy (Um...) Plz 

However...I still would like to answer the questions I’ve been asked...so I am going to do it in a journal entry. If that's okay MLP:Evil fluttershy  And if you feel like answering those questions in the comments, please do so!

Also
Str1ker878 draws this excellent Spike comics, take a look!
Talisman for a Pony: Cover by Str1ker878

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
TAG QUESTIONS

1. Though I'm sure you've been asked that before, say... How'd that happen that you've got into brony-community?


Nopony ever asked! One year I got stuck for an entire winter in a depressing town and without much to do. I was eyeing MLP before so I watched LittleShy’s “Everything Wrong With” instead. This got me hooked.


2. What do you think is your greatest achievement since you've thought of yourself as a brony?

Making art and sharing it. I overcame many obstacles to do so and it’s still pretty huge achievement for me.


3. How long are you amongst bronies?

Over 3 years!


4. Amongst all your creations, what is the creation you're
most proud of?

To Look After.
To Look After Page 1 by dSana
 


5. Follow-up to a previous question:
Why are you proud of that particular work?

It was my first long story and I started working on it fully convinced that I lacked skills and courage to draw it and share it. Yet I did it. Also, I like the feels I was able portray!


6. Some people say that you have to spend around 10 thousand hours to master the art of drawing. Do you agree with that?

I am not sure if the mastery is achievable to everyone, but I do believe that regular and good practice will make you reach heights you deemed impossible at first.


7. Follow-up to a previous question:
If so, how much do you think it took you to create something good?

~1,5 years

8. Where do you usually get your plot (if it's a comic) or art ideas?

I proactively collect inspiration, insights, quotations and ideas from tv shows, books, fanfiction, music, art and life - and let my mind turn them into something uniquely mine. To Look After was for example inspired by Zenith and few short stories, my own interpretation of the show and some real life experiences.

9. What music do you prefer to listen when you get creative?

Either non-fiction Audiobooks on history and popular science, brony music or metal (usually Blind Guardian!).

10. Who's your favourite character in the show? That's right, you're not limited just to main cast.

Twilight Sparkle.
twilight sparkle (smile) plz 

11. Follow-up to a previous question: What's your favourite thing about her/him/it? In other words, why do you like this character so much?

I love flawed characters. Twilight has achieved many things already and changed over the time, yet she’s still neurotic, can be oblivious and thoughtless and experiences a lot of self-doubt. I love her imperfect and ambiguous relationship with Spike. She is also incredibly adorkable.

12. What advice would you give to a beginning artists?

There are two types of mindsets: fixed mindset and growth mindset.

Fixed mindset means you are afraid to learn new skill, because you won’t be instantly good at it; the results are most important to you; you are dead afraid of failure you believe should be avoided at all cost; you don’t actually believe people can acquire skills, but rather are born talented or not. This will be your excuse not to draw. This mindset sucks - it used to be my mindset. I wasted 20 years not drawing because I believed this BS.

The trick is to actively cultivate a growth mindset. When you do, you assume it’s possible to learn new skill through trial and error, but know it takes a lot of time and perseverance. You enjoy the journey. You know you’ll suck and will doubt yourself a lot. But since you can learn from mistakes and accept the failure, you won’t stop and eventually WILL make progress.

This book may help you: www.amazon.com/Mindset-Psychol…

Arrow Bullet (Purple) - F2U! Also this post has very good tips: morgan-artrefs.tumblr.com/post…


13. What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?

African or European?
MLP Emote Twilight Sparkle Stumped Dunno Shrug 


~Key

Dear Watchers,


I have some news.


First is that I am working on a new comics. This is going to be another slice of life that takes place in Canterlot and this time Spike will have an active role in it. Last month I finally sat down and wrote the first draft of the script - first proper script I have ever written - and sketched thumbnails for the first part. On paper! I think the last time I held a pencil was over a year ago. Somehow inspiration often strikes when I can't just sit down and draw, so I carry an old Samsung Note and draw ideas quickly with this silly, tiny stylus.

The story is fairly simple but it will take a while to tell - over 20 pages. I plan this to be an ongoing project that I update in addition to usual stuff and commissions. Even though it’s not ground-shattering plot with gripping suspense and twists on every page, I hope it will still be enjoyable enough for some of you. My biggest worry is that I won’t be able to show what is it all about and some of you will think “meh, I don’t get the drama”. But, let’s wait and see. I use every project as a chance to learn something new, so no effort is ever wasted. I’ll upload the first couple of pages soon!


The second bit of news I want to share is that my micropublishing house Flying Squid listed pre-order of the final, eight volume of the historical fantasy series “The Year of the Dragon” titled “The Last Dragon King”. It was written by my husband, James. The saga took over five years to finish and reached 700,000 words. We worked with various artists to create the covers.


Aren’t those gorgeous?  

TYOTD small by dSana

It’s a story taking part in fictional version of 19th century, about a Welsh boy named Bran who ends up in feudal Japan and embarks on the quest to save his dragon with the help of shy priestess haunted by visions and tomboyish wizard girl fixated on the dragon lore.   

The amount of work that goes into writing, publishing and selling a book is enormous. It’s a road paved with disappointment and discouragement with rare moments of pure satisfaction.
That said, I am very glad we took upon this road and made it that far - and even shared a few small victories on our way.

So, if you ever wanted to support me, but didn’t know how, you can always buy a book - or even  better, a bundle that contains volumes 1-4. It’s available on
Amazon US, Amazon UK, Kobo, Smashwords and all other Amazons.

Cover for “The Last Dragon King” was drawn by our favourite artists and a wonderful welsh lady Collette J Ellis - please make sure to check
her splendid gallery!

Best wishes
~Key


Dear Watchers,


I decided to keep a journal, so that I can share with you some work-related news, comission info and some private stuff as well. I plan to keep it fairly short, politics-free and focus on good stuff, because I believe we all have enough of bad news especially in 2016. For those of you who are interested in a creative process, hope you’ll find here something interesting as well! So...

First of all, to my American friends, I hope that you had a terrific Thanksgiving.

Now, November in London is surprisingly sunny, except for Storm Angus echoes of which I’ve experienced in the form of a rather bumpy flight from the Continent. But even as the days grow colder, my favourite grocer stocks more and more wonderful clementines and mandarins and some quality walnuts. Recently I keep buying turnips and pretty watermelon radishes and make quick salt pickles on Sundays. Super tasty stuff and healthy too.

As for pony stuff, I am glad you liked the latest commission. It’s not often that my art gathers over 400 likes within few days. I was surprised to see that half of you rooted for Glimmy - it shows that Equestria Daily’s comment section does not necessarily reflect the views of entire fandom ;-) I like them both very much, by the way. Truth to be told, Sunny is the only reason I actually follow Equestria Girls at all - that and the OSTs I always buy, sometimes before I even watch the movie.

I am currently working on something that will fit into “cute slice of life” gallery, because working on those always seems to brighten my mood. I also started sketching another commission, one I promised ages ago, that is going to be somewhat of a challenge. I wrote the first draft of the script for the new comics as well and want to polish it properly before I start sketching thumbnails... I will write more about this project in the next entry.


Lastly, I found a very interesting book and can recommend to anyone who is interested in illustration:
Picture This: How Pictures Work  by Molly Bang. It’s short and neatly presents key concepts I hope to learn from it a thing or two.

Best Wishes,
~Key

Hello and welcome!
Please read the info below before asking for commission! Party Favor Icon by dSana

  • Up to 2 characters & background - $65 and $10 for each additional character


Examples:

  [Commission] Duel Of The Manes by dSana [Commission] What Rainbow Doesn't Know... by dSana [Commission] Sunset by dSana [Commission] My Hero by dSana



Rules:

  • No anthro, human (Equestria Girls are fine!), fetishes & excessive gore. Light suggestive stuff is fine, but only for characters that are already adults in the show.
  • No OC & main characters shipping (I have nothing against it, but this is not my thing)
  • No comics!!!
  • I accept PayPal only & paid upfront.
 

Comissions 2018


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