Some junk

Mar. 25th, 2011 12:37 am
pikestaff: (Profferlink - Thinking)

Art piece I've been working on since I got my tablet, so like... three months? I've spent several hours on it already and maybe that's why I can't sufficiently motivate myself to finish it. I really like what I've done with the lighting thus far, though.


"Windshifter smirked and subconsciously pulled out his watch, fiddling with it. It was his most prized possession, and perhaps the only one thing that defined him and hinted at who he was. As such, he kept it in pristine condition, or at least attempted to: shined and polished, its hardworking wheels spinning elegantly away. The swift heartbeat that was its ticking had always been comforting to him, and he couldn't imagine life without it in pocket or in hand. It ran a few seconds fast every day, like an eager child leaping to jump ahead of its peers, and so every so often Windshifter would gently take the crown and tug it back into line like a loving parent, which he did now almost without thinking. No, his watch wasn't perfect, but then, neither was he. And yet the timepiece still managed to be both handsome and useful, attributes Windshifter could only hope to aspire to. For as long as he could remember, others had mocked him for his apparent obsession with the device, but he knew that they simply didn't understand, and ignored them."

Excerpt from Windshifter. One of the less terrible things I've written. I really need to get back on that whole "book thing", don't I?
pikestaff: (March Hare)
Yesterday I spent about three or four hours playing with my Wacom tablet. I was alternating between being impressed and not impressed with the results. Considering I'm still learning how to use the thing, I guess that shouldn't be much of a surprise, but I was getting kind of frustrated by the end so I quit mid-project. I may or may not pick it up again later.

I still need to learn how to do coloring and lighting that looks "real" and not "stupid". I sort of figured out a new technique for that by the end of last night but it wasn't working the way I wanted it to and I'd already been drawing for a while and was tired so I'll mess with that again later.

(Pic related: failure and more failure! But done entirely on tablet.)

This morning upon waking up, I had some lovely e-mail feedback from one of my sisters regarding my most recent novel. It was the first piece of feedback on this one and it was a lot more positive than I was expecting. She actually gave it a higher rating than she gave to Windshifter, which sort of shocks me because I thought my new book sucked. Maybe not! I really need to start editing.

(Concept art from a million years ago... by which I mean September)
pikestaff: (Proud Charmander)
I drew this today and I really like how it turned out. Normally I dump all of my artstuff into DeviantArt and I did that with this as well but I like this so much I'm posting it here too...

I think I need to LJ-iconify it...
pikestaff: (Pichu ^^)
I know you all are sick of hearing about my novel rambles but I just got feedback from someone who said it reminded her of His Dark Materials and CLOUD NINE, I AM ON IT.

Achievement Unlocked: [Have Your Novel Compared To One Of Your Fave Series, Which Also Doubled As a Massive Inspiration]

A different reader also compared my villain to Ratigan from Great Mouse Detective, which truthfully wasn't exactly the desired effect but on the other hand, OMG Great Mouse Detective, I AM SO NOT COMPLAINING.


My book is of course far from perfect, I've gotten a lot of great constructive feedback thus far and am super excited to get even more. It's funny because the things I assumed would cause problems and get the most feedback-- are getting little to none, while I am getting feedback on a variety of things that hadn't even occurred to me yet. It's so exciting to hear from non-myopic sets of eyes.


sorry about the friends' list spam

Have a robot unicorn that I drew!

pikestaff: (March Hare)

...because it had to be done.
pikestaff: (Default)
Windshifter, the character, has been around in some incarnation or another for, well... half my life, now. He was invented not long after I invented Pikestaff, my longstanding "alter-ego", and his original purpose was to troll Redwall roleplaying message boards.

See, "Redwall" is a book series about anthropomorphic animals that live in a fantasyish sword & sorcery setting. I was a big fan at the time and various roleplaying boards set in their universe abounded in the late 90s, and naturally, I inhabited a few of them. Many of the members of these boards were "purists", in that they only accepted characters whose species were those that existed in the books. Mice, squirrels, hedgehogs, otters, hares, and a few others. If you tried to roleplay a chipmunk or raccoon, for example, they'd get all worked up over it because those animals did not exist in Redwall canon.

So I thought, wouldn't it be funny if I showed up as something outlandish and tried to roleplay as it? The most outlandish animal I could think of was a dragon, and thus Lyte Windshifter was born, named (the last name, anyway,) by one of my friends as we went Trick-or-treating on a crisp Halloween night.

I have zero recollection of how I introduced Windshifter onto the Redwall roleplaying boards or what sort of reaction he got, so it must not have been particularly important. I do remember that I promptly decided that I liked the character too much for him to simply be a throwaway trolling character, and I started to morph him into something different. Now I was 13/14 years old at the time, (so you really can't expect anything too exciting), and as such my first idea was to make him an absent-minded comedic character. The funniest juxtaposition I could think of was that he should be a psychologist with ADD. So that's what he became. I drew a lot of pictures of this anthropomorphic dragon kneeling on the floor, scribbling on a piece of paper with a look of glee on his face. That was Windshifter, in a nutshell. Brilliant but goofy.

He was also naked, Bugs Bunny style, except for a tie. (I guess the thought that he didn't actually possess fur and probably couldn't get away with being pantsless hadn't occurred to me yet.)

At some point around here I put him into this plotline that was developing in my head. The plotline and its evolution deserves its own post (and will get one, eventually), but in short, it went something like this: Windshifter is a klutz and a bit of an outcast who lives in a fictional world that is very equivalent to our modern one. As it turns out, though, he is a sort of "chosen one" (I'm super original, no?) and he winds up traveling across a cursed sea and winding up in a fantasy world filled with bizarre creatures that looked like rabbits or that had springs on the tops of their heads. It was at this point that the story turned into a cross between "Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court" and more traditional fantasy fare.

The story went through several (mostly small) evolutions between that point and, well, this last October, but that's all subject matter for another post.

Windshifter, himself, went from being a psychologist to being an office peon (because I decided there was no way his character could have ever graduated from med school) and then, in his final incarnation before being revamped, turned into a twenty-something college kid. The comic-relief aspect of his personality was toned down a bit with each redo in an attempt to make him a more sympathetic character, but he was always, at his core, a clumsy fellow with a woefully short attention span and shoes that were perpetually untied.

When I decided a few months ago that I was going to redo the book, I was faced with the decision of keeping that aspect of Windshifter's personality intact or scrapping it. I decided to mostly scrap it, but keep some of the awkwardness and baggage that came along with being a little "off-kilter".

And so it was that he was transformed into the main character of my recent novel.

As I was writing the book, I had this fear in the back of my head the whole time that his personality wasn't strong enough. That he was so much of an everyman that he lacked his own real individuality. This sort of confused me initially, since I've written "everyman" characters before that were rather strong, but Windshifter wasn't giving me quite the same vibes.

So here I am, writing "Who is Windshifter?" in an attempt to see if I can find that personality or if it's something I still need to work on.

Windshifter runs on a motor of profound curiosity. He must know how things work. He learned early on in his life that asking didn't get him very far, so instead he took things apart to answer this constant question. The big question nagging him, of course, is where did he come from? His watch is his only link to his past, and as such it's become a soul of sorts: if something ever happened to it, it might just break him.

He isn't entirely happy unless he's among clockwork or machinery of some kind. He feels a connection to it that he can't quite explain. Machines don't judge him, and if they act up, it's something he can fix. His approach is frequently intuitive: for example, he would tell you that a machine is "on its way out" or "dying" although it acts, looks and sounds perfectly fine to the layman, but then two days later it would fall apart... just as Windshifter had predicted it would.

Because of the close ties that he feels to technology and machines, he sees them as almost possessing a personhood of some sort, and to mistreat a machine would be near unthinkable. He's the type of guy who wouldn't push a car faster or harder than it would go. Others may view him as overly cautious, but to Windshifter he'd just be treating his "friends" well.

He embraces technology while viewing mass production of technology to be somewhat profane. In the book, he is horrified to find out that clocks are no longer being produced with artistry and one-on-one attention, but unthinkingly in an assembly line by people who don't really care. This, to him, would be akin to an art connoisseur discovering black and white photocopies of the Mona Lisa in a gallery, or perhaps something even more morally perverse.

As far as personality goes he is a friendly person overall, if rather shy... he doesn't start conversations with people he doesn't know, although he starts to come out of his shell a little throughout the course of the book. With those he does know well he is fairly laidback and easy-going. He has a tendency to hyperfocus on projects that he is working on and will block out most of the rest of the world when he is really concentrating on something. When he feels strongly about something, he isn't afraid to come out and say so, although his moral outbursts possibly surprise him more than anyone.

He is an optimistic soul overall who is troubled by violence but understands that it's probably necessary sometimes. If he could, he'd live in a world where information is free, curiosity reigns surpreme, and mankind, nature and his beautiful machines live in harmony with each other.
pikestaff: (8bitDND)

(Actually, he's pretty good about handling my little obsessions, but you know.)
pikestaff: (I <3 Linux)
I don't have to boot to Windows to scan pictures anymore! VICTORY FOR THE PENGUIN.

So yeah I'm drawing instead of writing again.

So for those who don't know the premise of my book (most of you...?) basically the whole thing is "Let's invent a bunch of cartoony, vaguely-animal-like mystical creatures, name them after literary and/or Final Fantasy characters, and dress them in late 1800s fashion and they'll fly around in airships having adventures and making thinly-veiled commentary on stuff Pike likes, such as free/open source software and net neutrality".

And this is totes one of my characters. :3 In a rather stiff pose, because I was redesigning him and didn't want to do anything super complicated right away. But yar~


Hmm, I should probably get to writing >_>
pikestaff: (Trenchcoat Pikestaff)
So I redid my "alter ego intarwebs character" again. Instead of being a hare, or a robot, I am now a steam-powered robotic hare that wears classy attire and lived in Steampunksville about 150 years ago.

Seriously I don't think even the furries would want me at this point =[

Welp, now that I've accepted my fate, it's off to make El Jay icons and the like...
pikestaff: (Eve and Wall-E)
So the Transformers movie (and my recent decision to re-watch all the old cartoon episodes, thanks YouTube <3) rather rekindled my somewhat dusty but never quite extinguished love of all things robot/android, so I think I am reinventing Pike (the character) as a robot.

First preliminary sketch. <3 Keeping the long, bunny-ish ears as a tribute to her origins.


Also, why is there not some sort of fandom out there for anthropomorphic robots? I mean, anthro-animals have their Furry, what about us bot-lovers? The closest is probably (go figure) Transformers but there should be something more all-encompassing. *nods*
pikestaff: (Fuzzy StephaNick)
I sent him my picture and a screenshot and lookie, doesn't it look good?

Sleepytime now~
pikestaff: (Chibi Tawyn)

Next up: coloring it in and adding a background... which I'm thinking will be a screenshot from the actual encounter.



Soooo... think I can get a decent screenshot off of Heigan tonight without dying? >.> I couldn't find any good ones on the interwebs, oddly enough.
pikestaff: (Trenchcoat Pikestaff)

Oooold picture of Pikestaff. We're talkin' 2004. Just now scanned it >.>

Drew this one today. Scraps the Cat, in Paladin tier two with Ashbringer. Don't ask.
pikestaff: (Baby Murloc)
From that meme...

Enjoy =D
pikestaff: (Trenchcoat Pikestaff)
Here is your icon! Yes, see, I really am doing these, from that request-an-icon meme way back when =P

Hope you like it! ^^ It was a fun challenge to go off of a description and not a picture.

pikestaff: (Trenchcoat Pikestaff)
"The first five people to comment in this post get to request a sketch of a character of their choosing from me. In return, they have to post this in their journal, regardless of their drawing ability level. If you absolutely can't draw, I don't see why you wouldn't be able to offer drabbles or icons or something instead."

So here is how I'm doing this, basically the art that I will be giving you will be my little avatar-ish thingies. Here are a couple examples:

...And several others that I am quite proud of that I am not posting because they were made for other people. But you can see 'em on a couple different hunter blogs if you follow any.

You may request a WoW character* (I will need screenshots), you may request a character from some other media, you may request a pet or animal, you may request a character you invented (would need some sort of reference!), you may request basically anything that you want me to cutify and turn into an icon for you.

Now the technical catch is that you have to go and post the meme in your LJ if you haven't already, and while I usually don't like those clauses and remove them from memes, it seems like an appropriate, fun, art-tradey thing. So I'm keeping it in. But honestly it's not like I'm going to hunt you down if you don't, or something xD

* Guildies get one free if you didn't get the memo YES HUXLEY THAT MEANS YOU =O

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