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Foxofwonders's avatar

Chained To The System

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Character  Gaxareh
We are born in a certain society, a system that we are raised to depend on. It gives us much security, comfort, and wealth, and for the longest time, there was no reason to question it. Strengthening the system, each generation became wealthier and more comfortable than the last, the standards of living improving continuously, shifting the perception of what the minimum should be. But all this came at a cost. Small and hidden at first, a cost known to very few, and insignificant enough to be cared for by even fewer. However, as the system grew, so the cost grew along. By the time the cost had become substantial enough to be noticed throughout society, the system had established such strong roots that there was no possibility of changing course overnight. Although the cost was starting to worry many, the system was still intact and functional, it still provided wealth and comfort, though it was on track for running out of time. Knowing better the causes of the cost, society started to change. Certain aspects of the system were being looked down on, but for many, there simply was no other way than to use it. This was the only way they knew, and the only way the system provided them if they were to keep their standards. They could not avoid the costs of the system, dependent as they had become of it. There was no point in blaming those who had become a slave to the system. They could not change it. Only the system as a whole, society as a whole, could steer their fate, now that society had become chained to the system. Point your arrows not at those who are chained. Point them at the chains.


In much the same mood as Not Entertainment, I worry about the state the world is in. The events of this summer have only strengthened that worry. How much longer until society changes course drastically, for better or for worse?
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© 2021 Foxofwonders
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Ziirux's avatar

Wow wow wow!! This is such a stunning and beautifully meaningful piece! The fire below is very beautiful and it gives such a nice outline and contrast to the character, and I love how you've done the chain with the way it feels like it has movement in the loose part going down but is taut where Gàxareh is holding it. And speaking of him, he looks really great here, I love the posing and the perspective which is seen really nicely on the wings with the way they do that twist thing, it looks really goodm, and the composition of the piece in general is great! Your writing is beautiful and the message certainly resonates with me. Overall just a truly fantastic combination of art and writing <3

Foxofwonders's avatar

I'm so very glad to hear that! 💚

I was a little worried that the fire wouldn't be recognisable enough without any visible flames, and maybe the trees would be a bit too rough, but I've heard from others that it nicely keeps the focus on Gàxareh and that I suppose I can agree with. :)

And yesss I poured a lot of love into trying to present him in a new way (the perspective and pose were quite the challenge!), and as detailed as I could! :D

The wing twist thing is so nice hahah. I first did it only very recently for Racing the Airship with Dyna, and that was so diddly darn satisfying that I wanted to do it again. It just shows so nicely how wings work as a 3D form and how the feathers catch the air.

I'm very glad you appreciated the writing and the message as well! I have no clue what my writing skill is, but it does come from the heart!

Ziirux's avatar

Yeah I absolutely agree, it helps Gàxareh pop more. I think flame isn't always required for something to read as fire and honestly this is what I image a forest fire might look like from above

For sure yeah, the wing twist kind of showcases how flexible the wings are in a sense instead of a rigid plane!

TheStarlightPrincess's avatar

Very true: Point your arrows not at those who are chained. Point them at the chains. -> Exactly! Though I'd probably use/prefer swords they can cut chains more effortlessly in a sense, but the message comes across anyhow, symbolically and physically, I see more aspects to the message than just one, it really speaks out. :)

Beautifully illustrated too, altogether this is dynamic and powerful work. :nod:


It's true that society tries to throw us all kinds of worries. In that it's good to always ask: what's the motive... behind that message and its giver to deliver it? There are those that benefit from bringing chaos and fear.

Tesla said everything is energy. Even fear. Stress. It can be individual but also collective. However, it can also be present in the collective, the feeling, but not really be your feeling, originating from you, what you truly feel at the moment. Likewise, not always is all the hatred you suddenly feel, your feeling. It's fairly crucial to learn to define the two. For those are feelings that prevent us from thinking clearly.


Human is so small. Yet we are all connected in this greater complex of energies frequencies and vibrations: the universe. Some people say the world we see before us is a mirror projection to what exists within us. So that there to be a sun on the sky, there can also be a sun within you. If you pause for a moment, focus on that light, does it ease your feelings?

What I want to say is: take a deep breath when something troubles your mind. The mind is what makes us worry. It worries because it's understanding is limited. But there's more than the mind, if you can believe. (The mind won't X'D) The mind's primary function is to keep you safe, like fear's too. And what mind think's is safe is always the past. What used to work before. But when you're about to do something differently, the mind panics as it fears the unknown. Because unknown is not defined 'safe' in the simple 'coding' of mind's functioning. Though often, when we step there to the unknown, we realise, there was no need to truly fear it that much. If at all. The fear was an illusion. Created by the mind, inside the head. What made it seem so hard? Those images the mind instantly painted, threats... But threats don't say they have to happen, they're just threats, after all. Imagined visualisations, not yet completely manifested into physical.

I'm not saying it's simple, I'm not saying overcoming fear to be easy, NO, but I'm saying, maybe it's worth it, more than the mind realises... And it's definitely worth it in a good place to take a while and just calm down and breathe deep, especially when the mind so strongly is against it. [I catch myself on this every now and then. :XD:]


Do not worry too much, there are forces that absolutely support us. And then again, don't just blindly trust anyone, even what I say, without processing it through your heart first. Of course, it's not to say we ought to just rest on laurels and do nothing. NO. Of course, we must take responsibility of our lives. First, and foremost of our health. Your personal health before the others. Like in an aeroplane, in an emergency they instruct you to put the oxygen mask on yourself first, to then help the others. Otherwise, how can you be of help? That's the way it goes. In life, too. You can only serve the others and the greater good, when you first are enough healthy to help and do what you must. I hope everyone remember that. It's not selfish, it's the way it should be. :)


Well, I hope I improved your mood even a little bit. I get it's crazy, but trust and focus on the positive, it will manifest. More, what you focus on. Therefore if your focus is fear, it's what you'll get more and more. At least 51% positive thoughts/words/talk/deeds over negative is enough for an individual to turn the course! You may not realise it, but it works. Try starting with small things: pretty flowers, dress on somebody, lovely song of birds... whatever you encounter, try to still find the spark in the moment. And don't forget to be grateful for what you currently have. Try. You'll notice the change.

"The darkest hour is always before sunrise."

Much light on your path~ :heart: :hug:

Foxofwonders's avatar

Hahah yeah, I meant 'arrows' more like a general term for weapons. I suppose I'm just very partial to archery. :')


And indeed, there is more than one message in there! I'm very glad you saw that, that's the impact I hoped it would have! 💚


Hmmm... that made me think. It's something I heard about before, and upon some reflection I would agree. As humans, we have a tendency to go along with the emotions and opinions of our 'tribe', from back in the time where fitting in was crucial to survival. Now, ironically, that same instinct is sometimes being used against us, and if anything threatens our survival more than it benefits it. I think I still have some way to go when it comes to separating my inner emotions from what's stirred by someone else. I have always tried to stay as true to myself as I could (being an artist had to do with that too), but it does take continuous effort and it's good to be reminded of that.


I'm still not sure whether I believe in anything beyond the proven and physical, but I do know that there are things that science can't quite explain yet, and it actually would make sense that our logical mind would discard something it can't understand. In fact, that has happened time and time again throughout history, and I don't see any reason why our knowledge today wouldn't still be very much limited. It's definitely true that self-preservation is very high up on our inner list of priorities (it's what causes the group opinion type of behaviour), and certainly our instincts encourage us to avoid any kind of risk. Especially since fear can become so strong that it becomes hard to judge what the actual risk is, and what potential benefits could outweigh those risks. At least trying to relax and considering things from a distance (or momentarily not considering anything at all) can definitely feel like some kind of healing, especially after periods of stress. I know that firsthand. :)


And thank you very much for the encouraging words! 💚 I've always found much joy in the small things in nature. Literally the small things a lot of the time. Small birds, newly sprouted plants, tiny fish in a lake, a beetle going its way... I somehow find it incredible to think the entirely different way in which they must experience the world, and how we yet share that same world. I hope someday we can all share that world in peace, giving each other the space we need to thrive and not taking more than we need. Although I will always acknowledge the negatives I feel, I'll be sure to always acknowledge the positives as well, and try to find the best way forward.

AverageEarthFolk's avatar
Darkness-Ridge's avatar

I agree, our world is a mess, and it is hard to change, first we people need to change, then only we can change others


"be the change you want to see in the world"-Mahatma Gandhi

Foxofwonders's avatar

Changing ourselves, while certainly important, can only get us so far. We need to stop seeing consumerism as the only normal. So much emphasis is on 'green consumption', rather than on lessening demand or phasing cheap polluting production also in upcoming economies.


https://www.vox.com/the-highlight/2019/5/28/18629833/climate-change-2019-green-new-deal

ArianSilver's avatar

Woahhh, you're getting better with every piece, you're leaving us all behind lmao! The perspective, the details, it's all so impressive. Well done!

Foxofwonders's avatar

Hahaha if so I hope to at least bring you along with me at some point. :'D

I definitely do try to keep on challenging myself.

BronzeHeart92's avatar

Interesting style you have there.

Foxofwonders's avatar

Thank you, I think? :p

Honestly, I have trouble identifying my own style. I guess it's one of those things that's easy to see for others, but not for yourself.

BronzeHeart92's avatar

It definitely looks like something you'd see on a trading card or something...

Foxofwonders's avatar

Ahh like that! In that case, that's a huge compliment! :D

TacTheScribbler's avatar

You've spoken to a lot of my worries, too. Something has to give out sooner or later, and I'm doing my best to be mentally prepared. And while that breaking point may bring chaos with it, it also brings the freedom to build something better. I know this because I myself have endured such a breaking point in my own life; I am forging a better me from the rubble.

Foxofwonders's avatar

Well spoken, and I have tremendous respect for being able to create a new you. I definitely hope that we can build a new and better, more sustainable society in the future. I especially hope that the period in between the old and the new isn't filled with too much suffering. Or the future in general, really.

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