This means a lot to me.
Recently someone liked my style of drawing, and so I was invited by BountyHunter to participate in a contest to design a background wallpaper for the OUYA gaming console. How could I not honor a personal invitation?
I kinda had to push myself to get it finished in time though. Motivation is still an issue, and any encouragement makes a difference. It would be like medicine for my soul to win this thing.
The last time I won (and participated in) an art competition was in my childhood.
So would you kindly help a fellow brony out? If you have a Facebook account, please vote daily for my art:
and spread the message among your friends and fellow bronies.
There's also a chance to win some merchandise for early voters. It's not much, but in case you are struggling with motivation, too, maybe that helps a little.
Thank you! Yay!
This is a brief followup thought to my earlier musings - http://mlpforums.com/blog/819/entry-11579-what-are-your-mane-3/
for clarifying why the focus on the six main characters for the show was such a smart idea regarding writing skill.
The point should be pretty much self-explanatory, so I won't comment on it.
Rarity = intellect - right brain hemisphere (synthetic, emotional, creative, imaginative, radiant)
Twilight Sparkle = intellect - left brain hemisphere (analytical, logical, scientific, rational, inquisitive)
Fluttershy = kind heart
Rainbow Dash = brave heart
Pinkie Pie = driving purpose - spiritual
Applejack = driving purpose - material
Greetings my loyal minio... I mean subj... NO I mean peasa... GAAAAAH - DEAD READER!
The need for expansion of my various activities is a big theme in my life, and in an attempt to find more driving purpose for my creative output, I have decided to extend my web presence to some more platforms,
namely Twitter, Tumblr and Wordpress (and Reddit, but since it's a mere content aggregator, this might only be useful to you if you can't follow me on the other sites).
I cannot guarantee when or how much content will appear, but once I have that avenue available, it might help me get some more momentum. I'm pretty sure I'll be quite active especially on Twitter once I have a certain subscriber base.
So if you like what I do on deviantART and YouTube and the web in general, please consider subscribing to my new Tumblr, Twitter and Wordpress (and maybe Reddit), too and sharing it with others when content appears.
The worst that can happen is that nothing happens and you forgot you even subscribed, so nothing lost. ^^ But I think it's gonna be much better than that.
The general purpose of this move is the realization that I have entertainment (as well as sharing ideas and insights) at heart, living it in most of what I do, and since I almost always try to make even things like mere comments interesting, subscribing to the 'whole package' makes sense.
Audience makes a huge difference!
I'll probably share many things that I find noteworthy. I'll have to figure out how much over time, getting used to those new avenues. Especially I'm not sure yet whether I will post things wherever they fit, or only on the one platform where they fit best. Probably the latter, to avoid administration overhead, since there will be increasing overlap with each new service I join.
My idea at this time is to use it this way:
Wordpress: Proper, tendentially lenghty text-based blogging, like essays or thoughts of the day
Tumblr: Visual commentary, sharing, drawn art that doesn't fit well on deviantART
Twitter: Brief thoughts, very likely to be rich in puns ^^. Maybe also upload notifications and such, not sure at this point.
Reddit: Notifications about noteworthy new works for people who don't follow me on my other sites
So basically I invite you to subscribe in part because I won't use these to document my daily life's every move or boring stuff like that, but to entertain, inspire and enlighten; Being my usual self, communicating and sharing.
My Wordpress blog could contain all kinds of themes, and also the occasional rant. No holding back if I deem it important/relevant/interesting.
(Google+ by the way has very little priority for me at this time. I still haven't forgiven what Google did to Youtube there.)
So... here are all the subscribable links I can currently offer:
http://mlpforums.com/blog/819-dowlphins-blog ⇐You are here
(Technically there's also Cheezburger, but I'm not active there anymore. I'll publish my caption pictures on deviantART and/or Tumblr.)
Wanted to say this. To maybe make you pause and meditate.
It's based on my own experiences.
There is a staunch brony hater who calls me his friend and says he respects me.
He never hurt me. ... Maybe because I don't expect much from him.
But is it wrong to expect at least a minimum amount of decency from a fan of a show like MLP that conveys certain values and is so full of inspiring beauty?
There are self-proclaimed bronies who I, without trying to exaggerate, can only describe as vile scum, fervently perverting everything the show stands for. Sometimes their amount of denial and lack of self-awareness is borderline comical.
Dan Vs. might be another show on The Hub, but when you think "brony", an image of Dan would be among the last things popping into your head, no?
I know, I should expect these things. But it's still saddening.
Feel free to comment. For more extensive discussion, you can also talk here: http://mlpforums.com/topic/101832-some-brony-haters-are-more-decent-people-than-some-bronies
It was an odd dream though, and I wish I had the energy and skill to draw comics from my dreams sometimes.
From what I can tell, a villain was on the loose. There was a scene in a dark castle hallway or something, but I don't remember anything from there. Then there was an icy lake, I was running along the outer rim where there were sheets of ice, and I grabbed Applejack out of the water. A moment later I see Twilight Sparkle ahead, with her back to the lake, acting like she was being threatened by something, defensive and somewhat scared. But when I came closer, I noticed her colors were lighter, and somehow I immediately knew it's not the real Twilight. Without having to think, I swung my katana and somehow mananged to - in a frontal attack - cut off her tail. LOL WTF, why did I do that?! Well, in any case, when I did that, she assumed a slight white-glow and had a wicked-evil grin on her face and that's when I thrust my katana straight through her from top to bottom, leaving a white-glowing line through her still grinning (holographic?) body.
That's when the dream ended.
There are many quizzes out there about which pony you are most like, but those might not present the full picture, with personalities being more or less multi-faceted. If someone asked me, I'd say I am Pinkie Pie first, then Fluttershy, then Twilight Sparkle.
Since I am somewhat versed in the theory of Eastern spiritual energy practices, I tend to view things from that perspective. The mane 6 are interesting anyway, since there are various polarities between them (TS vs. PP, R vs. AJ, RD vs FS).
The body has a lower energy center (the 'roots' if you will, where it's all about a source of very physical energy), a middle energy center (the 'heart', where it is all about emotion) and an upper energy center (the 'head', where it is all about thought).
Today I realized that there is a complementary setup based on that (which can of course be more or less extreme towards either side, but it seems to be a duality):
Some people draw their basic energy, their drive, from Pinkie's playfulness. Fun, unconventional, new, crazy, chaotic things provide a lot of motivation. For other people, this energy source is hard, honest labor, like Applejack, and being productive gives them meaning and driving purpose.
Then, some people's heart is filled with sensitivity and gentle kindness, like Fluttershy, and practicing this, seeing the effect of it in others, provides deep emotional satisfaction. For other people, that comes from boldness and very active interaction with people and the world in general, practicing courage and observing its effects, setting examples, pushing boundaries, like Rainbow Dash. The heart of a lion, so to speak.
Then, some people's mind is designed in a way to primarily appreciate facts and logic like Twilight Sparkle. Ratio-based behavior is what they consider 'valid'. Other people's minds are dominated more by the meaning we can give things - that for example beauty - something that can be quite subjective - is nevertheless very valid and that something of which you cannot evaluate its beauty or that is void of 'subjective charm' has little validity/relevance ... like Rarity sees the world.
This system also fits the three pony races quite well.
So... what would you say is your triforce? And what are your thoughts about this view?
A few thoughts that I had while watching the awesome finale:
1) Tabitha St. Germain does a pretty good job giving Rarity and Luna different voices, but during the singing part, I realized that maybe they should have looked for a different singing VA for Luna (= not Kazumi Evans), because I think no one did not notice how Luna's singing sounded identical to Rarity's singing.
Hell, if nothing else worked, maybe they could just have done some careful pitch-lowering in post-processing. It just felt way too weird to hear Rarity sing from Luna's mouth.
2) Did you notice that Luna was uncredited for a long time? I'm not sure right now, but the first time her VA appeared in the credits in connection to Luna might have been in the beginning of season 3.
3) It took Twilight a while to think about Discord's bookmarks (it was obvious to me right away), and it makes sense considering she didn't really accept him as a friend, and then she said that she hates to admit that Discord might have been trying to be a good friend after all. ... What the hay? Now how is that meant?! Why do you hate being wrong about your belief that Discord hasn't changed? Shouldn't you be happy that you might have been wrong, hm?
Just as you should be happy when you were wrong a moment later when you told Pinkie regarding the key and the box "I don't think that's gonna work." and it did work.
Twilight Sparkle didn't believe in Discord's change because she had trouble with changing herself.
But she is/was also delusional, because while sometimes she is open about her resentment for Discord, at one point in the finale she said:
"How can he do this? I thought our friendship meant something to him."
This sounds quite arrogant. She merely tolerated Discord, like an inconvenient necessity to keep in check, and then she says something like that.
All I can say is that I have witnessed this degree of trouble comprehending basics of friendship and sincerity in people, so I'm not saying this is unrealistic. It's just that I'd have expected better from Twilight Sparkle. ... Hm, then again... I sometimes say the same about real life people.
So Twilight said: "I thought he had changed". But her attitude towards him didn't change that much.
Someone once told me something I'd call remarkable spiritual wisdom that's worth exploring:
People change once you change your perception of them.
This ties into the next point...
4) Some people say they expected Discord to be playing Tirek for a fool, but not me. I think he did the betrayal because he didn't experience much friendship from the mane 6 except from Fluttershy, so his old life was still enough of a temptation. He felt like Fluttershy was merely providing him an anchor of friendship in an otherwise unaccepting social environment.
If anyone deserves the title "Princess of Friendship", it should be Fluttershy. I empathize a lot with her regarding this matter, and had I been around in Equestria, I'd be the best of friends with Discord, especially in tandem with Fluttershy. (But maybe this is also because of my Pinkie nature.)
5) Then there was that huge plot issue that was like the absolute low point of the finale writing:
Virtually everypony in Equestria knows about Alicorn Princess Twilight, yet Celestia thinks she can 'hide' the fact that there is a fourth princess and have their magic safely tucked away in Twilight.
The huge blunder with the stained glass window was just the icing on the cake that further underlined how she totally didn't think this through.
6) There was a remarkable scene where Discord was robbed of his magic. He mixed his old ambition with his new virtues and thus put trust in a villain, as Fluttershy would have done.
It is then very nothworthy and surely fully intended by the writers how just like Fluttershy a moment before regarding Discord's betrayal, Discord, once betrayed by Tirek, weepily said the same thing, that he didn't see it coming. Identical dialogue. This underlines how much influence Fluttershy as a true friend had on him, while he was lacking the strength and virtue of the friendship from the other five ponies, thus he probably sought it from Tirek.
7) The end credits state Tabitha St. Germain as the VA for Photo Finish. Where did Photo Finish speak? I didn't notice that.
8) It would have been cool if the alicorn-depowerment left them looking somewhat different, Luna for example in her season 1 look, and Celestia maybe without her mane multicoloring. Also, while it was probably impossible due to lack of the necessary writer foresight, it would have been neat if Luna's flank speckles turned out to be something she got due to her Nightmare Moon phase. (But we already saw a kind of 1000 year flashback where she had them, so this would have been a contradiction.)
Oh well, speckles aren't anything uncommon for horses, so I guess it's fine.
9) And now... I invite you to check out the 12 caption pictures I made to express various other brief thoughts that came up during watching the finale as well as hunting for good frame captures. I didn't link the pictures here directly because the descriptions are part of that style of my commentary.
inspired me to make a tongue-twister. Try to say this fast:
"Fluffle Puff Plus Princess Plush Fluffle Puff Plus Princess Plush Fluffle Puff Plus Princess Plush Fluffle Puff Plus Princess Plush Fluffle Puff Plus Princess Plush"
I practically am Pinkie Pie.
But Pinkie Pie claims she is Pinkie Pie.
So now we're fighting over the identity rights.
That's why I'm goofing off whenever I can.
We might eventually settle for a merger though.
Hostile takeovers aren't FUN. (unless it involves pirates)
(Who said that?!)
I hope this is gonna happen in season 5. Surprise lives and cannot be ignored.
Would surely make for an interesting little story - a challenge for the writers.
And as you know... there can never bee too many Pinkie Pies.
You can shower someone with them and still be giving next to nothing.
It's a cheap currency you can use to avoid having to think about what else you could give that might be more appropriate for what you received.
Remember this the next time you are incredibly appreciative or eternally grateful for something someone did.
Words are cheap. Are you saying it for them or for you?
I just realized, among thoughts about equality movements and depiction in media and how by now it's nothing special to have women and blacks and all kinds of people as protagonists in computer games ... is there any game where the protagonist is wheelchair-bound? If not, I would find this very interesting to explore. Could be a point&click-like adventure game maybe... or something more daring.
I could hardly believe if no one already did that, but at the same time, I guess it would make sense, since society evolves step by step.
For a total Pinkie Pie fan, having good color display is even more exciting. Of all the colors, I am most stunned by how awesome and vivid pink looks on my monitor. So I made a comparative photo. It's not perfect, since a photo camera has trouble with photos like this. The monitors should display a color gradient from pastel-like at the top to extremely vivid pink on the bottom.
The photo will look different on various displays, but the relation (hopefully) should become clear. There should be a distinct difference.
In natura the difference is even more extreme.
Fun fact: My 27" Eizo monitor (on the left) was cheaper than the 'budget' 21.5" Yiynova digitizer display on the right. (Both are IPS panels!)
Here is the color gradient I used for making the photo:
I am noticing this more frequently in recent episodes: Vocals are being distributed on the stereo channels depending on where a speaker is in relation to the camera.
This can add acoustic information and some pseudo-realism (if not overdone, which happens when factors like sound reflection on walls are disregarded), but it is a tricky thing to use, because it is very easy to break immersion with it, and this happens especially when a speaker's position changes not by moving, but due to a changing camera position. Because then the watcher becomes aware of a 'camera man' teleporting around in the scene.
I think this is especially noticeable in MLP because lately they're overdoing the stereo separation with lateral voices.
I don't know why people who get paid for this stuff ("professionals") don't notice those subtle but crucial details, but I guess treating this area as an art form might be more than what is the norm in the business.
This isn't a rant. It's just that I keep noticing various things that disturb immersion and would love to contribute my expertise, but unfortunately things aren't that easy.
Trading card games, like the one in Steam, are social training and highly symbolic on a spiritual and philosophical level.
A trading card game is like a metaphor for life:
Due to statistical chance, it is highly unlikely that any of us is given a full set of cards.
We have cards of many sets.
Fulfillment comes from succeeding at achieving the goal of the game.
So in order to succeed, we need to complete at least some of our sets.
Completing a set is impossible without other people's cards.
The world is full of people who are too much in the grip of an irrational fear that they could lose something (even if they're not aware of this root cause for their decisions) and thus do not contribute to the success of the playerbase as a whole. This, at best, causes success to merely be redistributed, but more likely for the afraid to not succeed either.
This leads to less cards in the game, lower chances of finding cards to complete sets. Everybody loses. ... Even those who try to steal cards from others, since they will eventually, after they cannot fool themselves anymore, experience the profound feeling of emptiness that comes from confusing means and ends of the game. And those who encounter enough of this type might themselves eventually become what they resent, and generalize so much that they become deaf to the solution knocking on the door.
Along these lines, my recent experiences with the Steam trading card game as well as many earlier experiences with people in general made me formulate this:
You do not use friendship to play a game.
You play a game to live friendship.
Someone pointed out a snippet of Pinkie Apple Pie to me, and I realize it's worth commenting:
In case you were wondering, this is about the "leap of faith" theme.
And it's often used in a popculture-like way, claiming that if you overcome your fear of the leap, you will not fall; fear preventing you from succeeding.
But here's the thing: It also prevents you from failing.
Encouraging people like that can actually (if not succeed by pure chance) backfire. For success to ensue, optimism needs to be paired with skillfulness. And even skillfulness can be of little use if luck is bad.
To me, based on my life experiences and observations of other people's walks of life, the more reality-based version of leap-of-faith is that in order to not be afraid of making that leap, one has to be ready to fail (and continue nevertheless). Only then can one continue to try and fail until success is achieved. And if there's even the slightest remnant of expectation that following exactly that philosophy will yield success, you better grab a cushion. Also, success doesn't have to last/repeat, so you better have no expectations at all, which is probably easiest when doing what you love.
Don't think "If I overcome the fear, I will succeed!", because then you might make a very painful experience.
Be ready to fail and continue. If it's the right thing to do for you, then sooner or later you have to do it anyway. Doing what you love makes this easiest, but it still might not feel easy at all.
That being said ... If there's time for a parachute to open,...
...it really IS deep!
Weird analogy that came to my mind in connection to MLP:
Angels have wings and devils have horns.
Nah, I'm sure it's coincidental, but an interesting coincidence nonetheless.
Let's continue this line of thought just for FUN:
heavenly: loyalty, pushing personal limits, trying to be your best, inspiring people | loving kindness, compassion
earthly: hard work, honesty, family | having a joyful time, cheering people up, faith
evil: magic, rational thought, science | worship of fancy stuff, fame and superficiality