Saturday, June 26, 2010

OC: Ash Grey

I decided to go youngest to oldest for my OC Series. First I will tell you a little about the character’s evolution as a design, then how the two of us relate. So first on the list of characters is by far the most popular: Ash Grey.

His creation was hardly intentional, but the fanart that followed his birth exceeds any character of mine thus far, enough so that he has his own folder in my Deviant Art gallery. Ash was born during my Junior year in college. While on our famous trip to Ireland, I had discovered I could draw with a mechanical pencil without roughing an armature first. So no circles and wires, just instant character on paper. Needless to say I was thrilled, who wouldn’t be.

This first sketch expresses his devious nature: the shadow over his face, the sly grin, the straight jacket hinting at his insanity, and the morning star defining his violent streak. No character before him had ever been evil “on purpose”. This, no doubt, was an expression of my angst during specific class hours on the trip.

After his second rendition he was fully realized. This sketch portrays him in action bludgeoning the teacher I was utterly frustrated with. This drawing, similarly to the first, was the first truly violent picture I had ever drawn. Never before had I drawn gore, wounding/injury, or even a fighting scene. At this point Ash had a strong and easily identifiable personality. He was enigmatic and reckless, violent and sadistic. This was his definition at the time and it would follow him into his next realization: Netherlight.

As Ash Grey was introduced to this table-top environment (my whim to play a new character that was as far from myself as possible) the depth of his history and personality were realized. It gave him purpose, friends, enemies, and above all, a lasting impression among many of my friends as well as myself. The fanart flowed, searching for the right face, illustrating his encounters, and narrowing down the details that defined him. Once or twice I tried to change his outfit, but nothing new suited him. Then at the end of his chapter in the game his metamorphosis from lunatic to something human came full circle. It wasn’t until his new look came about, his more sane appearance, that the perfect face was discovered. Had this never come about he would still be hidden in half shadow for the rest of his existence. I can still do this easily enough, but now I have options, now he has a visual identity.

As I discuss his make-up I really understand now how important faces are to my characters, how they define them. All the body shapes and designs are relatively the same, but despite the pose, the face will clearly set them apart.

Now how is Ash Grey related to me you might wonder? The happy, often shy, task driven girl who enjoys company and working hard, whose every interest and project needs meaning and intention to ever begin? Have you ever heard the phrase “you think you know someone…”?

Unlike previous OCs of mine, Ash resembled nothing of me. Every trait he had was a contradiction of my beliefs, morals, and aspirations. When he was given traits for Netherlight, my goal was to challenge myself as a person, to be completely outside of myself, to try something on I was not familiar with. Now in many years prior I had an OC I referenced by the name Poe. She was a dark militaristic alter ego of mine, but she was just that: dark. Nothing else was different. Ash, on the other hand, became all the things I was ever afraid to do or be. We are all, as humans, in some way attracted to our opposite characteristics. You would think I am never like Ash, but he is the thing I understand insanity to be. His humanity is shrouded by exterior circumstance. His being is not evil because he does not perceive himself to be evil. He has no concept of right and wrong, therefore he does no wrong. Ash is completely governed by his own set of rules and judgments and no one else’s. He is my rebellion. He is my selfishness. He is my recklessness. He is my stubbornness. He is my desire to live by my own set of rules. >:3

Monday, June 21, 2010

A Little Intimidating

This theme has been ingrained in my head lately. Not being afraid of the dark. No nothing like that. But rather the feeling I get when I view my talent from a certain perspective. You might be familiar with it.

The perspective that you do the world a disservice by not doing what you're good at. I think of other cultures and how it's an insult to your whole family to waste time and not invest in becoming the best you can be. This last Sunday at the Father's Day service it was quoted (forgive me I can't find it and will add it when I have it) that a gift not exercised will whither and die. Time and time again when I begin to draw after long periods of stagnation I have to warm back up. It builds back up rather quickly but point being it has deteriorated over time. It has wilted.

I think about the things I want to do in my free time and the things I aught to do to become better, to improve myself. I realize more often how my perspective is adjusting. I have grown to want to balance my time with both fun and progressive activities. Spending too much time on one or the other just doesn't feel right.

But back to my illustration. This reflects the pressure I feel thinking solely of the fact that I should be doing something I'm not. It's scary. It's overwhelming. I want to retreat into a comfortable corner and wait for it to go away when the sun comes up. This is how it usually is for me. This is purely thinking on the notion, this doesn't include peers, family, browsing others' work, listening to stories of talent blooming, etc. Not that it compounds with these extra pressures, I suppose the point I make there is the rest is not necessary for the fact that there already is pressure, and yet it IS necessary in order to usher me out of that comfortable corner of resistance. Funny how that works.

Coming up soon will be introductions to some Original Characters of mine. They aren't getting limelight for who they are, but rather for the parts of me they represent. I've been looking forward to the series for a few days now and am very excited to share with you our "shared" traits and what I try to purvey through them.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Proper Credit where Credit is Due

This would never have come to pass if it weren't for my biggest fan. He believes in me and isn't afraid to push me to be my best. And so to thank you, I wanted to give you this: a new profile picture.

But truly. You ask me to draw and I may or may not do it - ever. You tell me to draw and I draw. I find my motivation to apply to work that means something to me. Without that simple prompting I would be wasting more time. My habits require scheduling and deadlines. I believe that the first assignment to make something for something I believe in has really taken a foothold in my heart and mind. I want to apply this to my thinking as often as possible: to be and do as I am. I am a talented artist, therefore I draw. I love to be creative and write, to be in control and organize, therefore I moderate forums and lead groups in my online communities.

Too often have I just "done" to be happy. Would not becoming a stronger and more talented me make me any less happy? I don't think so. :)

So to everyone watching, consider what makes you happy, what you could do to enrich your quality of life. Would you be just as happy then despite the work if not more so? So what's stopping you? There's no reason good enough not to improve. Define yourself!

My First Blog

A lot of time has been spent lately on jobs, games, and time spent with those I love. Many around me have been incredibly inspired these days to work on projects and life goals. This environment has brought me to the place I am now: who am I? What impact do I have on the people and organizations I'm in contact with? What degree of impact could I really have if I applied myself more towards my talents and life goals? Who and what do I really want to be and how will I achieve that?

With this blog I would like to mark the beginning of a journey to become a better me. To strengthen the skills and talents that define me. To rise up a level from the day to day life that I've been living to achieve something rather than just pass the time.

To enjoy my time has been my goal for a long while. I would like to adjust this goal to be "enjoying my time while improving my quality of life." It's going to be a process for me, but I look forward to seeing the fruits of my efforts. Cheers.