Category Archives: art

/dies of cuteness

I cannot tell you how thrilled I am when Navimie sent me an e-mail telling me Sleepingfox was accepting commissions again for her perfect, adorable, and amazing chibis:

Haanta and Sweater
Haanta and Sweater

I stared at Momokawa’s for full ten minutes. The details in her shoulders, (the Mantle of the Haunted Forest may be one of my top three most-loved designs in Azeroth) her beautiful, kind face–I love it. Zeptepi’s image is from one of my favorite posts (which of course now I can’t find). It’s about love, redemption, and healing. Mataoka was tough: to show her in her healing gear, sins washed away with the power of the elements, or in her Kor’kron set, fiery and ready for retribution? At her heart, she fights with maces and axes, and will stand hoof-to-toe with anyone who hurts her or her family. Haanta is shown with her first love, Sweater the Bear. Sweater is enjoying his retirement, eating honeycomb and grubs, and getting his belly rubbed.

Now, I realize Sleepingfox has been doing this for awhile. She is incredibly talented, of that there is no doubt. I submit this for consideration: when you are creating art for clients there is another level of professionalism and talent that must be recognized. It’s not easy to please others. To me, she is the consummate artist: using her talents to bring joy to others, too, and understanding their vision while incorporating her own interpretation. Well done, very, very well done.

I couldn’t be more thrilled.

Unexpected beauty…

wishes available
wishes available

feather in july blue feather orange

Remember the dead mole I found on our walk? Well, yeah. We’ve established I’m weird, but we’ve also established a modicum of creativity. For months, whenever I find one, I take pix of feathers. CD Rogue, while I snapped another feather shot he said my found objects scavenger hunt (life is one big scavenger hunt) remind him of his favorite photographer, Irving Penn. I promised I would look him up as soon as we got home and



Azeroth is beautiful, of this we know.

And when I say “but” please do not think I am negating that Azeroth is indeed, beautiful. This is an additive statement, not a replacement one.

When I look up Irving Penn, I found what Mataoka would look like in my mind’s eye:

Naja Auermann by Irving Penn
Naja Auermann by Irving Penn

and then I saw his nudes (you’ll have to look them up yourself)


and then I found his flower photographs:


Irving Penn’s work is beyond words I have. Words I know. As art should be. If you want to believe again, want to refresh your eyes –please peruse through his work.

So Blizzard artists can take their inspiration from whatever sources they wish, but in my mind’s eye, Mataoka will always and forever be, who she is.


BRF: Bitchy Resting Face

Bitchy Resing Face
Bitchy Resting Face

Was I excited to see the new female Draenei models?! YOU KNOW IT BRO! SO Excited, like Amy Schumer excited! Like, helllllsya, especially after the idiotic April Fool’s debacle, Blizzard efffing OWED me one! Well, we all know Blizzard owes us nothing. But artists, please: this poor new model is seriously suffering from a debilitating case of BRF: Bitchy Resting Face. It is a common ailment that robs young, often beautiful women of their friendly affable countenances, making social contact and approachability awkward. I myself for years have been afflicted with BRF – simply walking down a hallway or trying to juggle grocery bags I’ve been told to “SMILE.” Hmm. Anyway, maybe that’s why I love Mataoka’s little face – I mean, just LOOK at her – she shows kindness and inner strength:

matty face





Blizzard, I am warning you now: cure these Draenei girls of their BRFs now. Even if you don’t agree that BRF is the culprit, at present time this face looks even more alien, bug-like, and disconnected. Yes, I know – wait till animations come out, blah blah blah. But I remind you –look at Matty’s face and tell me if animations could make her any more beautiful? That’s what I thought.



Inner beauty

Today I’m up again at the crack of dawn to meet with my writing group. I was furiously writing a thesis paper last night (where did all this procrastination come from? I will figure that out tomorrow…) and trying to figure out transportation, so today will be spent in the big city, and I don’t mean Dalaran.

I found this image a while ago, and thought it almost, but not quite, suited how I see Mataoka:

It’s by an artist named Colindrina from Deviantart. Mataoka, at heart, loves to drink with Dwarfs and hang out in rowdy inns: this may be her before responsibilities and world fatigue begins to trip up her mojo. And look–her mug’s empty. No wonder.

I will always treasure Vidyala’s commissioned piece, however, as this is how she really is:

The thing about our characters is we are in (delusional) control over something that never ages, as we ourselves grow a little older. I’ve played Mataoka about 148 hours. Titan Panel tells me so every time I log on. My Titan Mirror, the one on my bathroom wall, tells me I’ve played my life a bit more than that. The scales tell me when I should have said no to that second glass of wine, or when I should have gone for a walk instead of farmed some ore. My blue jeans tell me the same thing in their silent refusal to snap buttons or zip up.

A good friend told me yesterday that when she hit this magical age number, she realized that she was getting happier and happier each day. Somehow psychologically the things that she cared about, namely, worrying about what others thought of her, suddenly didn’t seem so important. Maybe it was her father’s passing, and the concept of “don’t sweat the small stuff” resonated with her deeply, and fundamentally. One can’t “make” these epiphanies happen, but we can lay the groundwork for them.

Mataoka will never age, as I am. Does this mean as a character she’ll never get to experience epiphanies of simply not giving a damn at a certain age? Well, she will if I write her narration that way, but otherwise, no. All those epiphanies belong to me.

Thing of beauty.

My art skills are as rusty as a blade left out in the Darkshire rain, so I am a standing here as a critic and not an artist. Contemplating on a quick conversation about fanart yesterday with a friend, I described most of the art I’ve seen in the idiomatic term “cheesy.” That’s a tough one to explain, as most idioms are. I defined ‘cheesy’ in context of the fanartists as being those who are trying for ‘high art’ and falling short.

Liger: Bred for its skills in magic.

There is a lot of cheesy fanart out there. Skillful artsits and real talent are rare. Figurative art, or art that relates to the human form, is especially tricky. It can become cartoonish quickly, and unless the artist wants it to be cartoonish, usually ends up just looking awkward. In college, I spent hours in figurative drawing classes, drawing both males and females (unfortunately, there were no ligers). Mountains of charcoal vine sticks were destroyed in order for me to try to capture the curve of a hip, or the subtle bend of an elbow.

I may pick up my sketch pad again, and see what I can do or attempt. In the meantime, I think this is one of the better renditions of a draenei female I’ve seen. It is still on the cartoonish side for me, something you might see air-brushed on the side of a party van, but really, it is beautiful and well-done. I know I couldn’t do any better.

Click here for a link to this art.

Full Circle.

I did it.

My beautiful violet drake is mine, the boon from completing What a long, strange trip it’s been.

I’ve escorted orphans, eaten eggs, been heartbroken, perfumed dwarfs, talked to old people (they do smell kind of funny), eaten gingerbread and started a whole lot of fires.

Can’t believe how fast this year has gone by, flown away like a whelpling.

So happy.

Nothing’s going to change my world tonight.

Words are flying out like
endless rain into a paper cup
They slither while they pass
They slip away across the universe
Pools of sorrow waves of joy
are drifting thorough my open mind
Possessing and caressing me 

Postscript: To my mates, friends, comrades, and confidants: thank you for understanding that when something, anything, takes a year to do, the right words to say are simply “congratulations.” Thumper’s Law: If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.