Download to see it.
The What: Over a thousand hours of work. I started conception for this piece shortly after last bronycon. While I was interrupted by several wonderful deluges of commissions which kept me busy month to month, every day I always had the project in mind, doing sketches, organizing, some math on format here or there. There was a period of a couple months where there were so many commissions that I put the project aside to focus on making that all important rent. When I came back to it, I saw so many little things I wanted to change that I scrapped and resketched the whole thing. Then came painting. Choosing palettes was tricky at first, for the pieces had to both come together and stand out on their own. I didn't want to repeat myself palette to palette and, looking at it now, I am confident in saying that each work lives on its own. It comes together as a quilt more than a repeated background over and over.
The Why: When you go to a gallery you see these large wall sized pieces of art that really take you in and say 'look at me'. Then coming back to a screen you're limited by the size of people's monitors and it's impossible to have the same sense of huge scale. With this piece I wanted to upend that idea of 'small scale only' for digital work. I wanted to take people in.
To this end, unlike a giant gallery piece, there's no focus here. No one part that screams LOOK AT ME. Like a collage each tile stands out on its own and leads to another. I could have easily put a strong horizontal horizon line bisecting Twilight as well as make the difference between the night sides and the day sides a stronger contrast to again lead to our main character. Then why did I forego the focus? Because when a piece of art has a strong focus, it's easy to get a strong impression from it, then lose interest immediately. Every single piece of art in an art gallery or on deviantart that an artist could have spent anywhere from 4 to 100 hours on a regular viewer spends 3 to 5 seconds looking at. That's it. If the art doesn't have a focus then a viewer may not even glance at it, hence why each tile in this piece has its own focus, for each to be their own moment. Instead of saying "hello, goodbye" with a strong focus, I wanted to invite people to explore by having a healthy variety of color, value, texture and contrast, to invite the average viewer to spend some time on the piece. To play.
In this way a viewer can experience an impression of what I as the artist do in the process of making the art. An impression of time.
Much thanks goes out to the person who makes my prints Taloverae
, for commissioning enough of this work to motivate me to do it.
What I Learned: So very much. Lots of figure/ground, lots of contrast, lots of color, creating space, and organization. One of the things which I've been working on for a long time that I made some grand strides in is choosing a palette quickly and effectively that will both be interesting for the composition as a whole and provide enough local contrast to keep that interest.
The Big Announcement:
This is my final work for mlp.
A special thanks goes to
for what, we all know. Six little ponies, each unique in their own way. Not the stereotypes one would expect from a show aimed at little girls, but characters each full of potential. All playful, cute, and silly. They have foils, they have passions. I can't pin down one reason of the why they and their world appealed so much to me and to so many others. It would have been very easy for My Little Pony to be just another show, just another form of media for certain people to watch and forget about, but now with all that's happened and all that there's been, this show has made its cultural impact.
It's okay to be girly. It's okay for girls to kick butt. Obvious sentiments yes, but difficult to bring to the cultural norm, yet here we are.
Through this show I've made some of my very best friends. Please, below I invite you the viewers to share your stories of the friends you've made with this fandom. How did you find your way in? What friends did you make here?
I will still do mlp in commissions
and I will still do patreon
work (where you can find this piece at double the size it is here, if you're a patron), and I may throw a pony in the odd landscape or study here or there, or it could be another fandom entirely, but for the mlp fandom it is time for me to move on. I will no longer focus on ponies. I've learned much in my time here and have met some very good friends that I will cherish forever. I am grateful for all my followers and I will aspire to make higher and higher quality work for all of you.
I am moving on because it is my goal to attain professional status, Working for a company as a full time artist, and in the long term, becoming an art director. In order to accomplish this I must push myself to learn the things which I don't yet know, or which I struggle with. In the past mlp has been a wonderful motivator, but nowadays I feel constrained by it. I have humans to study and improve on, I have perspective to draw, all sorts of clothes to play with, textures to push. There are new subjects for me to embrace and learn, and I have been putting them off for too long.
I am going to improve. Not a little, but a lot.
To say that with confidence, and to see a positive future for myself is a step in a direction that years ago I never thought I would attain.
Thank you all for your support and your kindness.