In a world that find monsters who seek to destroy, there are legions of those who create.
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:
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.
Today’s Random Tuesday Morning Thought is brought to you by the letter P and the feeling of O, as in, “Oh, I am really anxious about this.”
“Personification” is one of my favorite figurative language terms. So simple in definition, yet provides so much richness to our imaginations. Whenever illustrating personification one of the most accessible ways is to think about the characters in Disney’s ‘Beauty and the Beast.’ Each tea pot and candlestick has its own personality, every feather duster and door knob. It’s magical.
Even Carmen from Art of Carmen puts her own spin on Azerothian characters. They tend to be salaciously sexualized and entertainingly sinful: note the little “devil’s tail” in the smile of the Draenei below:
My dear friend Plaid Elf much more kindly pointed out some of her disappointment, too.
We were all so excited, but what we got was Low Budget Beasts. Scratch that. Low Budget Beasts have character and grit, even if ofttimes poorly executed cosplay. At least they try!
When many of us saw the ‘sketchbook’ if you will of our new characters we were delighted. All except me, who immediately saw the dead-eyes, too narrow of jaw, and sexless, plastic lips– to me, the new Draenei female models look like they’ve been on a three-day bender of Botox and Velen sold their souls to Illidan. Am I that unhappy? Yes. When I showed the Beta model of the female Dwarf, with richness and vibrance to the art, that is what I was pointing to, what I wanted. I feel that this is somehow Blizzard’s passive-aggressive means to take two of the most beautiful female races (Draenei and Night Elf) in Azeroth, and instead of making ALL races rich, vibrant and…looking for a word here...they did what they always do: break the good in an effort to level some imaginary playing field. Now – I’m going to try to say this next thing as carefully as I can, but I’ll probably get misunderstood: Tauren, Troll, and Dwarf females were often thought of as not the “beautiful” races. First, I disagree. Big time. But Blizzard did give them a richness and nuances that served to enhance their natural beauty. (We haven’t seen Troll yet, but I am betting the farm they are ‘new and improved: even the Forsaken has left us feeling forsaken.) Careful framing, shading, and line work that only added to their beauty. I wish the good and talented artists at Blizzard would take a step back and go study the artists of Disney, Hayao Miyazaki, and Pixar. Heck, even Tim Burton would add some grit. Let him redesign the Forsaken! And second, shame on Blizzard if that is their plan, to somehow make the “pretty” girls “ugly” as a way of compensating for something that didn’t need to be paid.
Now maybe I can get the word to Blizzard. I know they keep saying it’s just the Beta, and not providing me any mental relief as far as what the future holds for my Draenei and Night Elf clan. I will say I’ve been delighted with the addition of a Dwarf shaman named Mollei. Remember Mollie MacBallbuster? She is all kinds of delightful. Sometimes I have error speech on, and when she says in her little Scottish accent, “I’m oot of mann-ah!” I crack up, as her braids twirl with every spell. At least I can count on her to stay beautiful, inside and out.