Fascinating, otherworldly works by Chicago, Illinois-born and based artist Armani Howard which deal with themes of identity, escapism, pop culture, self-discovery, mental health, and loss of innocence.
The direction of reimagining his existence and experiences as a black body into a visually sizeable body of work has become a form of contemporary folklore. Dream-like and at times bewildering, his work is expressive of narratives unbounded in time. He hopes this will help navigate future bodies to find their internal dialogue of identity and heritage while sustaining a self-supporting development while navigating through life.
His work layered with compositions of abstract figuration, loose gestural marks, and an evocative usage of color, uphold the antecedents of the African American dialogue before him. At the same time, allow the space to question American traditions.
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Eldrann dear (´▽`ʃ♡ƪ) my part of an art trade with Escapado-draw over on dA !! can finally post this aaa sorry for the inactivity, my computer died but it turned out to be an easy repair and it’s all back in working order, thankfully! files are all safe as well, it was just the psu that kicked the bucket ;o; but anyway! Eldrann’s recently got a redesign, i’m so happy i got the opportunity to draw him once again ♥ go check out Escapado’s art !!
Omgggggggggggg thank you so much!!! This is incredibly cute! I love how you do his spectral tail - like a little heart! And his hair is so floofy! And I love the detail work on those roses!
Thank you so so much! I appreciate you, too! <3
god every time I color it really is like. woah! I do not get color at all.
my art style has changed so much the past 2 years and like, idk if im enjoying this development
Worldbuilding Categories | Part 1
I'd like to preface this with two things:
worldbuilding is complex; none of this is exhaustive, but rather a starting point
unless you're doing this for RPG purposes or you're George R.R. Martin, you don't need to have a comprehensive bible on every aspect of every little thing. start with what is important to you and the story you're telling.
Most common by geographic location, demographic, religion, etc. Dead languages. Pidgin + creole languages. Different dialects, pronunciation, and communication issues within a language. Class and economic influence. Generational differences, slang, and evolving connotations of words. Education and preservation of languages. Monolingual, bilingual, polyglot prevalence.
[Folklore encompasses legends, tales, proverbs, and myths.]
Origin of lore (religion, morality, societal need/panic, historical sightings or explanations of (super)natural events...)
Focus of lore (agricultural, seasonal, health/wellness, lessons...)
Common themes (deities, supernatural, cryptids...)
Expression of lore (oral tradition, art, dance, rituals...)
Oral vs. written. Types of recording + distribution. Common and popular genres, themes, lessons... Importance in society and certain demographics.
Folk art, "high" vs "low" art, fine art, popular art, classic art. Common mediums. Popular themes. How it's valued, displayed, traded/sold. Influence of socioeconomics, religion, region, history, demographics... Societal view of artists, mediums, and importance of art.
Stage plays, narrative dance, operas/musicals, radio, television, film, literary/poetic performance... Geographic and socioeconomic access. "Art" criteria can be applied here as well.
Instruments. Purposes (religious, traditional, entertainment...). Lyricism and composition. Performance, recording, + distribution. Genres, themes, popularity. Perception of different variations. Prevalence and importance. Interaction with political movements and modernity. Accessibility of composition and consumption.
Who is valued above others (royalty, politicians, public figures, artists, performers, writers, certain families...) How gossip and information about celebrities are shared + consumed. Trends and crazes. Reality vs. generated press.
Available fabric, dyes, labor, + technology. Expectations of modesty. Class and occupational influence. Social importance of style + quality (+ possibly brand or designer). Gendered considerations (both of wear and creation of fashion). Implications of certain colors, materials, symbolism...
Access. Restaurants, street vendors, chefs... Recipe distribution. Popularity or disapproval of cuisine from different groups. Agricultural considerations. Preparation, processing, health and safety regulation, trade/sale... Diet culture. Delicacies and comfort foods. Hunting + gathering. Who's in charge of each stage of food from acquisition to plate.
Water + Sanitation
Cost and accessibility of clean water. Sewage. Running water. Bathing. Hot water. Rural vs. city. What happens to gray and black water. Toilets.
Historical significance. Modern view + prevalence. Branches + denominations. Conflict between groups. Church vs. state in government. Religion-based assumption of rights/ownership (colonization, crusades...).
Monotheistic, pantheistic, polytheistic, no deities... Prophets, messengers, spiritual beings (like angels or demons)... Closed or open religion. Written or documented material. Historical and cultural significance. Traditions, holidays, and other sacred practices. Buildings, sites, objects, and other sacred physical things. Afterlife belief. Magic. The "soul" and values/morals.
Holidays, Traditions, + Celebrations
Cultural and religious influence. Government recognition. Birthdays, equinoxes, lunar/solar calendars, anniversaries, births, marriages... Parties, parades, gifts, gatherings, ceremonies. Food, dress, location. Associated symbolism.
Marriage, Family, + Parenting
Age, gender, socioeconomic, religious, race/ethnicity considerations for partnerships. Marriage definition, importance, + practices. Birth vs. adopted children. Surrogacy. Community and extended family involvement with childrearing. Morality and ideas of "sanctity" around partnership/marriage. Legality and legacy of family. Strict vs. gentle parenting. Views of parental involvement vs. nannies, wet nurses, + other childcare. Single parenthood. Polyamory and multiple "direct" parents. Divorce, remarrying, + step-parenting. Family pride, loyalty, name importance...
Anything that (even if originally rooted in religion) has become mainstream, commonplace, universal, or widespread. Etiquette and manners. Superstitions. Understanding of science and the natural world. Ethics.
The type of government and its popularity among the masses. Voting + the people's voice. Political parties + important families. Politicians. Corruption. Inherited vs. elected vs. appointed positions. Divisions (local, designated counties/states, federal...). Branches of government. Executive power. Inherited power.
Law (Enforcement + Judiciary Systems)
Who defines and implements the law. Geographic divisions of law and enforcement. Systems of law enforcement and judiciary procedure (e.g. police vs FBI, local court vs. Supreme Court). Investigations, trials, sentencing, punishment or rehabilitation efforts. Forensics and law enforcement ethics. Community-based efforts. Non-government positions (lawyers, advocates, informants, clerks...). Procedures, protocols, and protection of individual rights. Emergency response and law enforcement patrol.
Religious + cultural influence/view on criminality of acts or substances. Prevalence of crime and prejudiced/preconceived ideas of certain crimes/criminals. Legality of certain substances or services (such as marijuana or sex work). How it affects perception or traffic of certain areas/times of day. Disparities in who is victimized, suspected, and prosecuted.
As always, take what is helpful and leave the rest.
Again, this is far from exhaustive and more of an attempt to kickstart your brainstorming. There are always caveats and asterisks and whatever else because every world, universe, galaxy, etc is incredibly varied.
Take what ya need and happy writing!
[Call it Good] Writing
MANIAC #2: Lee Minho (Extended Preview)
«S(INISTER)KZ: MANIACS COLLECTION MASTERLIST»
📓Release status/Rating · 🖤Pairing · 🪐Universe · 🏷️Genre/Trope · 🚨 Warnings
TILL YOU MAKE IT
📜2.2K words (preview)
🖤Lee Know x (afab) Reader
🪐Hospital AU, Psychiatric Patient!Minho
🏷️Angst, Smut, Dark, Psychological, Thriller
🚨Story warnings (majority of which do not pertain to this preview): Themes of narcissism & psychopathy, manipulation & gaslighting, cheating, agrexophilia, yandere tendencies, major interference with personal life, recording of sexual acts, semi-public sex (in non-residential environments), oral sex, vaginal fingering, fully charged vibrators will be recommended per usual.
💭Reblogs & comments are always appreciated and please keep in mind they are the ultimate motivation fuel.
Rich. Powerful. Temperamental. Loves like he lives and lives like he fucks. He will never take no for an answer, and will charm his way into whatever the fuck he wants.
Patient Lee Minho.
"Is there a reason you keep carrying that camera around, Mr. Lee?"
"What did we say about you calling me by my first name only, doc?" Minho asked, eyes still fixated on the book he was shuffling through.
You sighed, trying to control the exasperation his endless prerequisites to answer one goddamn question induced in you.
"Do you want me to repeat the question with a proper address attached to it, or do you wanna stop wasting our time and give it to me straight instead?"
"Oh, you already know I’d give it to you good," Minho jeered, taking a break from raiding your bookshelf by putting the book back, "but you doctors are a pain in the ass. You keep telling me to do stuff to distract my mind and when I do, I still get questions. There's no winning with you."
"Can I take a look at what you took?" you pointed at the camera, hoping that it would open another window for you to peek into his mind.
"Sure, whatever," Minho walked towards the window behind you as you reached for his third eye on your desk.
The way he captured frames was so… him. Monochrome frames, his focus a little blurred, his subjects barely discernable… His compositions were really vague, but they were telling a hundred stories at the same time. Just so fascinating.
"These are quite interesting, actually."
"Why thank you for that magnificent review," Minho responded with a crooked smile while turning towards your direction, "I’ll make sure to put a manager on retainer to scout exhibition halls for me."
You examined frame after frame to detect a pattern between the pictures if it existed at all. On the surface level, the only common denominator was the coloring: black and white. Like no other color existed in his world. Just grayscale.
"Do you just randomly roam the grounds to shoot whatever you encounter, or am I to interpret something from this?"
Minho heaved an annoyed sigh at your relentless attempts to get answers from him, "How many times am I going to tell you that I don’t do normal? It’s boring."
"Oh, these are far from normal," you commented, "Your darker shades show beautifully."
Your answer hit Minho in a way that he couldn’t explain and he felt a maniacal grin invading his lips. He made his way to your desk and sat on it.
"Should I be thanking you for this?"
"I didn’t compliment you. I just observed."
Minho tilted his head as he licked his lips. He looked like he wanted to say something but couldn’t really find the proper words to express it.
"Tell me something, doc, why do we have to meet every fucking day? It’s a little waste of time, don’t you think?"
"Why?" you asked turning off the camera, and looked up at him. He shrugged.
"You ask questions. I don’t answer them," Minho played with the strap of his camera, "I don’t really see the point."
"Oh, but you do," you leaned back in your chair with his contorted smile reflected on your own lips, "You enjoy the feeling of not giving me what I want."
Minho felt like he was caught red-handed. He most certainly didn’t expect a comeback of this nature.
You had a really content expression on your face weirdly induced by Minho’s twisted validation. Then you pointed at the couch right across your desk.
"Maybe one of these days you actually will give me what I want and sit on that fucking couch instead of constantly pacing in this room. You’re making me dizzy."
Minho squinted his eyes and examined your face for a little while.
Oh, it was so obvious how much he enjoyed hearing that one vocabulary item spilling from your lips. Minho got back on his feet and you deluded yourself into thinking that maybe he was going to humor you to sit on the couch, but he made his way to right behind your chair instead.
"Interesting, isn’t it? What proximity does to people."
His elbows were placed on your backrest. Suddenly, Minho spoke right into your left ear, immediately causing you to tremble with delight that could only be described as improper.
"Derails thoughts instantly."
It was true because your focus rapidly shifted from Minho’s general conduct in sessions to an internal clash of professional ethics.
"This is very inappropriate."
"Wouldn’t you say that’s why it's so enticing, doc?"
You felt like you were being tied to that chair with the invisible rope that was Minho’s voice. Not only had you never experienced something like this before, but your own frustrations were massively clouding your judgement as well. He lowered his head towards your neck to get a whiff of your scent.
"God, you smell so nice. It has musky undertones, though. Bittersweet."
His fingers brushed on your shoulder, the touch causing a really unwanted feeling to start dripping in the pit of your stomach.
"Is it because I’m making you wet by any chance?"
You exhaled from your nose, trying to pass it as a scoff to camouflage what he really induced in you. However, this was Lee Minho you were dealing with.
"I am, aren't I?"
His hands softly slithered from your shoulder down your arm and you found yourself closing your eyes, sort of glad that he wasn’t able to see your face from behind you.
"You want this as much as I do, don't you?"
"That’s a little presumptuous of you, Lee."
"It’s Minho for you."
He swiveled your chair around in one harsh movement to force you to face him, causing you to gasp at the suddenness.
"Just one taste," he lightly stroked your cheek with the back of his fingers, "Don't let me die before knowing what that's like."
Appalled didn’t quite cover that feeling of surprise. One sentence, but it prompted so many questions in the back of your mind. For starters, a guy this stunning flat out told you that he was lusting after you in the rawest way possible. Secondly, the aforementioned guy was a patient that you saw every fucking day. And finally, this guy, for the lack of a better term, had all his screws loose.
Why the fuck were you even pausing to consider this? Was your self-esteem really that low?
"Shh," he pressed his index finger on your lips, immediately shutting up the apparent rejection you were about to pose, "Just once. No one will know, I promise."
His eyes darted to your necklace again, and he brought himself closer to your face.
"Come on, angel. Please."
Without you being able to say anything Minho’s lips found their way to your neck. You wanted to combust at that wet contact. Charming fucker running his mouth at you all day every day and it was just plain irresistible?
What the fuck was wrong with you?
While you were drowning in these thoughts, Minho had already made his way to your cleavage, inhaling every single spot he was dragging his lips on, constantly talking against your skin as he kept kissing every inch of bare skin he could reach.
"Angel. You're an angel. My guardian. My savior."
You were drunk on him, period. Minho singlehandedly disabled all your inhibitions while you were still fully sober, kissing his way into your defenses.
He lifted you up in one go and sat you down on your desk, making himself comfortable on your chair while spreading you for himself. He slithered his hands under your skirt as he kept placing kisses on your thighs before landing the killing blow.
"Proximity, angel. It’s a fascinating thing."
Then he slid your underwear to the side and covered your pussy with his mouth like he wanted to swallow his meal whole rather than take a bite from it.
That came out a little louder than you intended, causing Minho to grin against your skin.
"Do you want people to know I’m giving you head?" he gave one strong suck on your clit, "You’re more twisted than I thought, angel. I fucking love it."
The movements of his tongue got more violent like he wanted you to moan louder for him, alerting everybody in the vicinity that he was the one causing those. It wouldn’t be that hard to deduce since your schedule indicated you had a session with him right then.
"It turns you on, doesn’t it? Letting people know that someone’s going to town on you?"
You propped up on your elbows to see his beautiful but devilish features better, "What if it does?"
"When you get turned on like that, it turns me on even more."
Minho pressed his thumb right above your clit and gently pulled it up to expose more sensitive area for him to slurp on. It sent a jolt throughout your entire body when he trapped your clit between his lips.
"Fuck, right there!"
He was fucking relentless in his teasing, going so fast one second and immediately slowing his pace down in the next, quite possibly whenever he noticed you were getting close with your panting getting heavier.
"I wanna be your beast. Your beast. You’re driving me crazier, angel."
Crazier. Exactly. He knew what a goddamn lunatic he was and it was like he was trying to make you go as deranged as him. You were ready to explode in his face already, but Minho just wouldn’t budge. He would bring you right to the ledge, dangling the view of the molten lava in your face and allowing you to indulge in the wishful thinking that maybe this time he would push you right into it, to absolutely no avail. The more riled up he got you, the less intense his ministrations got, from aggressively munching on your pussy to languid drags of his tongue against it. Just a swipe.
Swipe. Swipe. Swipe. Swipe.
"Fuck, Minho. Minho. MINHO!"
"You like that?"
"Love it. More. Fuck me."
Minho was rock hard, ready to rail you flat right there, but what fun was it going to be if he gave you what you wanted in the exact form that you wanted it?
That would be boring.
"Suck," he presented his fingers to you to get them wet, and you did as he said, courtesy of the minuscule amount of sanity you had left. Maybe a little too enthusiastically than you should have. He got up to hover over you as he guided his middle finger to your entrance and slowly pushed it inside. You were sure that stretch was nothing compared to what he would feel like inside you, but still…
"Shh. It’s gonna feel so damn good, I promise."
Gonna? How much more intense could this possibly get?
Minho hooked his finger inside you and started exploring around in pursuit of a very specific spot. It was going to feel a little spongy, right above…
"Found it," Minho erupted into a delirious smile, "I know what I’m doing. Ain’t no need to rehearse for this."
He unleashed himself on your lips as he started fervently fingering you, moaning into your mouth like he was the one getting touched.
"Not yet, angel."
Minho latched himself to your neck again, placing wet kisses as he made his way down. To your cleavage, to your navel, and back to where he originally belonged, right over your clit. You were anticipating every move he was about to make, moments away from burying his beautiful face right between your legs yourself. He just ghosted his lips over it, fingers moving inside you excruciatingly slowly by now.
"Should I snap it? Should I?"
"Beg for it."
"Beg for it from me."
Ever the generous pleaser, he attached his lips to your clit again, basically making out with it whereas his fingers still moved like torture.
"Tell me how much you like it."
"I fucking love it. Your tongue is pure heaven."
Minho’s expression changed drastically upon hearing you say that. Like it got to his head for some reason.
And I love you.
He brought his face barely two millimeters away from yours and ordered:
"Flood it for me… angel."
He pessed his palm over your mouth to shut you up since the decibel almost crossed the threshold of suspicious, and started massaging your sweetest spot in earnest, his forehead pressed against yours.
"For me. For me, angel. Cum for me."
Your muffled moans reached their peak as you arched on your desk, convulsing under Minho’s groans and basking in the refreshing breeze of absolute pleasure he invited into the room. The expression on Minho’s face was nothing but satisfied.
"Tell me this wasn't the best you ever had, doc," he chuckled and kissed you while inhaling as much of your scent as he possibly could. You could say that, but you were in no state to be humanely functional. As you were waiting for the blood to rush back into your brain, Minho took the opportunity to make a request.
"I’d like to book additional sessions with you. Twice a day would be ideal."
«GENERAL MASTERLIST» · «ABOUT/FAQ» · «ASK/REQUEST» · «TREAT ME TO PUDDING?🍮»
🔖Story taglist: @j-0ne25 ; @seospicybin ; @ballelino ; @bitethejeekies ; @whatudowhennooneseesyou ; @some-stray-marvel ; @fixation-dump ; @heartsarecompatible ; @woooooya ; @streetlight-s ; @staaa96 ; @rainydayrecs ; @rachagen ; @3no-racha ; @honeyedtalisman ; @javachipchan ; @changbinheart ; @luhvrchxn ; @she-wintersoldat ; @elizalabs3 ; @qnjayn ; @feuille-et-pain ; @sparkystraynger
📌Permanent taglist: @sai-kida134 ; @ughbehavior ; @bearseungmin ; @skywarriorkirby ; @sunnyville36 ; @hh0320 (@hwan-g) ; @svintsandghosts ; @jl-micasea-fics ; @skz317cb97 ; @abiaswreck ; @skyminniesworld ; @clearlyissleeping ; @changbinluvr ; @lotus-dly ; @gibbysupremeacyisreal ; @lomllino ; @emogril ; @imsuchasimp00 ; @idunnomanmynamewastaken ; @seosalad ; @downforseochangbin ; @nabis-dreamscape-world
I won't be honoring any more story tag requests since even this much induces fear that I might get shad0wbanned :') The event will be run between Sep 12 until Halloween and I will be releasing a schedule later on for your convenience. Thank you for your cooperation in advance!
𝐖𝐄𝐀𝐊 𝐒𝐏𝐎𝐓 — 𝐁𝐀𝐊𝐔𝐆𝐎 𝐊𝐀𝐓𝐒𝐔𝐊𝐈
↳ cw: anxiety, inaccurate elevator stuff
what a drag, you thought as you stared out the window. drops of rain from the storm hit the glass panes in sharp patters. everything about the scene playing out enveloped you with exhaustion.
instead of being able to go straight home after an uneventful and dreary day of patrolling, you were stuck in an office—and not even your own. you reminded yourself that the meeting would be worth it, though. you'd been itching at the opportunity to work with the renowned hatsume mei on a few of your support items. she was a difficult person to get in touch with so, since you had, you wouldn't take the moment for granted.
a flash of lightning illuminated the dimly lit room that housed you. in your head, you began to count, tapping your finger on your thigh with each passing second. less than twenty passed before a reverberating crash of thunder sounded. the lightning struck only a few miles away from your location.
"you're in luck." hatsume's hands hit the desk with a resounding bang. the noise startled you and effectively drew you out of your head. she was just as intense as your old UA buddies had said. "the composition isn't extremely complicated and i've already got the necessary supplies on hand. the alterations should be done by the end of the week."
"great." you patted your legs before standing up. storms didn't scare you, but driving in the rain was less than ideal. you wanted to get home as soon as possible. "call me when they're finished and i'll drop by to pick them up."
you exchanged goodbyes with the pink-haired woman before stepping out of the office and into the hallway. the distance from her door to the elevator was a short one but the silver doors were already sliding closed.
"hold the door, please!" you shouted, picking up your pace. an arm stuck out from between the shutting steel at your call. the path of the doors reversed upon running into the obstacle. if that mystery character had waited a second longer you would have missed the ride down.
you slipped past the threshold and into the lift. "thanks," you breathed out, looking over to meet your savior's eye.
a head full of unkempt sandy blonde hair filled your line of sight. eyebrows of the same color were knitted together and below them were a pair of ruby eyes that you couldn't mistake. you almost laughed at the unexpected turn of events.
"oh my god, katsuki!" you excitedly greeted the man by jovially slapping his shoulder. your sentiment was not reciprocated. despite the frown tugging at his lips, you attempted to strike up a conversation. you nudged his arm with your shoulder. "long time no see, huh?"
"what are you doing here?" he asked, sparing you nothing more than a quick glance before turning his head to face forward. the calm, borderline bored expression masked his surprise. it had only been a few weeks since your last encounter but the last thing bakugo expected was to see you here of all places.
you knew what his question meant. your agency was based in the neighboring prefecture; hatsume's building was quite a ways off from where you resided. still, even knowing that his inquiry was innocent, you never turned down an opportunity to mess with the man.
"don't tell me you think you're special enough to be the only hero working with mei's company." you were positive some of his past classmates regularly collaborated with the mastermind of support items and you were sure he knew that, too. but for as long as you had known the man, he'd made the bold claim that he was the best. as much as his arrogance irked you, you'd be lying if you said that his statement was far off. even so, you felt the need to stress that others, including yourself, were on the same level as him. "in case you forgot, i'm growing closer and closer to you on the popularity polls."
he scoffed, "how could i? you make a point of reminding me every time we cross paths."
if you were to describe your history with bakugo in one word, it would be complicated. you both attended the same middle school and, while you were acquainted, neither of you considered the other to be a friend. you found him crude, aggressive, and cocky. he thought you were annoying, weak, and blindly optimistic.
you knew it wasn't the most polite way to think, but you were thrilled to have gotten into a different hero academy than katsuki. your happiness, however, was short-lived. turns out it's not uncommon for neighboring schools to attend the same events. it was strange, though, you thought. each time you encountered the blonde, it seemed like he mellowed out more and more. that kid who shot down the ideas and suggestions of those he worked with in favor of his own had learned to value teamwork. rather than people clinging to him because of his strength, the students you consistently saw with him actually seemed to care for him a great deal. you were warranted a limited number of moments in his presence during your time in high school but your eyes were always drawn to the everchanging bakugo katsuki whenever your two schools met in the same place.
some of those traits that rubbed you the wrong way were still there, but it felt like, in your absence, bakugo had grown into a different person. he wasn't that insufferable fourteen-year-old boy that you were always at odds with anymore. you had come to respect the man. he made you want to become better.
even into your adult lives and pro careers, and despite the distance between your agencies, neither of you could rid yourself of the other. though, unlike in middle school, that wasn't something you wanted. it was easier to ignore it in high school, the way your hands slopped clenching into fists at the sight of him—and how the action was traded in for a thumping heart whenever you happened to catch one of the rare smiles he sported. you saw him more now which meant it was all the more difficult to pretend that whatever admiration you harbored for him didn't exist. the resentment you formerly maintained faded into nothing more than what you acknowledged to be a friendly rivalry.
you had no intention of admitting to anyone, not even yourself, that you had blossoming feelings for the man you'd once pay money to get away from.
"can you blame me?" you asked in regard to his annoyance at the constant reminders of your rising ranks in the polls. in a twisted way, the competition made you feel closer to katsuki. you laughed, "i like knowing that my impending approach is on your mind. but don't worry, i'll invite you to the party i throw when i steal first—"
an unpleasant whirring noise filled the lift as if it were powering down. the sensation of your descent to the ground floor disappeared, traded in for an abrupt and unsettling halt. the harsh fluorescent lights that lit the metal box cut off, enveloping you in darkness.
"what happened?" your words came out in a short breath. you were slowly regaining your eyesight but it was still difficult to see.
"the storm must have knocked the power out." bakugo titled his head up to the lights that had gone out. he was eerily calm, not at all concerned about the current situation.
thoughts crowded your head and you swore you could feel them pushing against your skull. it wasn't long before your anxieties turned to words. "when's it going to come back on? are we stuck in here? why are you just standing there—" you yelled at katsuki, eyebrows furrowing in frustration at how still he was. your arm waved frantically through the air, "pry the doors open!"
he shook his head, "we're not supposed to do that."
"fucking hell," you muttered to yourself. since when did he become an expert on elevators? you couldn't fathom how he was so collected given the circumstances but you could confidently say you were nowhere near that level of composure. your eyes darted throughout the darkness in search of something that may help you escape. they landed on the panel of buttons and keyed in on the two labeled with a phone and alarm bell respectively. you were so panicked that the thought of pressing either of the buttons designed for moments like these completely slipped your mind.
"h-hit the emergency button!" you pointed to the panel. bakugo stepped forward in the direction you indicated. he doubted a call would go through to anyone in the building if the generator had yet to kick in. your best bet of alerting anyone that people were in the elevator was sounding the alarm. his thumb pressed and held down on the button. at the contact, a series of bells rang. he replicated the action a couple more times before stepping back to where he previously stood.
the blinking red light on the button board was your only indication that emergency technicians were working on getting you out. it was lousy reassurance at best.
carmine eyes took notice of the way your foot violently tapped at the floor of the lift. his gaze rose from your feet to your face. it was more than evident that the power outage was making you uneasy. "calm down."
an even more lousy excuse of reassurance.
"you've gotta be kidding," you forced out a laugh and turned your head up to face the ceiling. you closed your eyes and shook your head. "i risk my life fighting villains every day. forgive me for not wanting to be taken out by the likes of a plunging elevator."
pathetic, that's what this is, you thought. you spent the latter half of your life trying to prove that you were on par with bakugo and now you're here losing your cool—in an elevator of all places. how embarrassing, you thought.
you could feel tears burning behind your eyelids. just when you were about to turn your head so the man wouldn't see them spill, he reached out for you. the unexpected warmth led you to look down to the source. sure enough, your hand was enclosed in his callused one. you spared him a glance but he wasn't looking back at you. his eyes were trained straight ahead.
"the elevator isn't going to fall and you're not going to die." his voice wasn't any softer than usual, but there was an odd sense of compassion behind his words. your heart hammered at your chest but for an entirely different reason than fear.
"deep breaths. inhale when i squeeze and exhale when i let up." he finally turned to look at you. "got it?"
the pressure of his fingers curling around your hand served as a signal; you slowly sucked in a breath through your nose. you held it until his grip loosened, blowing out a stream of air past your lips.
squeeze. deep breath in. release. deep breath out.
the old katsuki you knew wouldn't do this for anyone—definitely not for you. he'd yell at you for freaking out, call you a wuss for letting something as trivial as the dark put you on edge. but not once had he raised his voice or ridiculed you for displaying weakness. he'd changed a lot in the past several years and in ways that made it even more challenging to the bury the blooming feelings you'd committed to avoiding—at least, you thought you had.
they were impossible to ignore at this moment. how could you when he was holding your hand and leading you through breathing exercises just to ease your nerves? katsuki coming to your aid while you were feeling so vulnerable wasn't something you could take lightly.
another squeeze, another breath in. you never expected that the hot-headed man would be so skilled at calming others down. if your eyes were closed, you probably would have forgotten where you were. though, you were thankful they weren't. if they had been, you would have missed the sight of the lights flooding the lift. the newfound brightness was accompanied by a short rumble before you were descending once again.
"thank god," you whispered to yourself. even though you were much more calm than you had been minutes ago, relief surged within you. your senses were back in order since the lights and gentle hum of the machine had returned. it made you hyperaware of the heat that continued to encase your hand.
awkwardly, you tugged to pull your limb back. bakugo let go easily and both of your hands returned to hanging from your sides. it didn't take long for the warmth that had comforted you to begin to dissipate.
the ding that signaled your arrival to the first floor rung throughout the elevator. a second later, the steel doors slid open. a crowd of responders stood outside and you could see their expressions fall upon realizing that the two people trapped in the elevator were well-known heroes. they all bowed in profuse apology and bombarded you both with concern regarding your conditions. while you were appreciative of the gesture, all you wanted to do was head home for the night.
after some persistent assurance that you truly were fine and unscathed, you and bakugo were able to push past the personnel and continue towards the exit. your usual squabbling was absent as you walked with him towards the door. the uncalled-for brief period of tenderness the two of you shared minutes ago had passed. a rare bout of silence blanketed you.
"hey," your voice cut through the tense air as you approached the revolving door. the sound of your shoes clicking against the shiny linoleum floors faded with your slowing steps. bakugo stopped beside you. he raised his eyebrows in curiosity. you held your fist up to your mouth as you cleared your throat. "thanks for... that."
"don't mention it." he nodded. instead of turning away and continuing out, he stood still and stared at you. you were never one to cower under his gaze but the intensity behind those ruby eyes made you nervous; mostly because you had no idea what he was thinking. "i'm leaving now."
you raised your hand in a wave. bakugo didn't mimic your gesture, he only turn on his heel and kept on the path out of the building. he was a foot away from stepping into the revolving circle of doors and disappearing from your sight when you called out for him.
heads besides the one you sought out turned along with his. no matter kind he proved to be during that moment, bakugo had still witnessed your weak spot. and no matter how different he was compared to the blonde boy you knew in middle school, you couldn't be one hundred percent sure that he wouldn't keep this between the two of you. your cheeks burned as you straightened your posture and tipped your chin up. "if you speak of this to anyone, i'll kill you."
he huffed out a laugh before leaving.
thanks for reading! comments and reblogs appreciated <3
Heyo! I am honestly in awe of your art style it’s so good!! Do you have any advice on compsition/how to make your pieces more dynamic?
Hey Sunsketcher (love this name btw)! I love your art too, you inspired me so much. Honored to get an ask from you!
I will explain my own drawing process when it comes to composition and dynamicness, hopefully the wording is ok and it helps you.
1. Think of movement as a dance. A dance telling a story.
(What is the character experiencing? What is the mood of the piece? What kind of emotions are they feeling and what kind of poses convey those emotions?)
(Usually, dances have grace, strength and balance, unless you are purposely creating an effect of disharmony and disjointedness)
2. Line of motion. This is something that goes along with my above point. In animation, the characters are always doing something, and there is a specific line that goes through them, showing it. In the python art, you can see the two main lines (apollo and python's, curving towards each other, with a sub-line of Apollo punching contrasting that curve. The act of punching is disharmony so that's why it is crossed over the curves.
3. Considering anatomy at the beginning of drawing makes drawings stilted unless you truly feel like you can manipulate the anatomy like it's your own. Instead, try to imagine the movement and the "beat" like you experience in animations. Imagine your art as a still frame shot of an animation. Try to use your strokes to capture the essence of the movement and then later fill in the anatomy. In the messy sketch below, I disregarded anatomy and just was trying out as many different lines as possible to see which one expressed the beat and dance I had in my mind.
Another example are these horse sketches I did. The anatomy is completely wonky in some, but the essence of the horse can be represented in a few lines. This works for humans too.
In this art, I wanted to show how Apollo's wings were spreading on the ground, in a sort of grieving elegance. And the dead son in his arms is limp and has little balance or smooth lines, unlike Apollo. I did this to create a sense of disharmony between the always perfect Apollo and the mortality of the son. It helps accent them both. And then the scorch marks draw the eye to the duo.
4. Composition wise: think of the foreground, middle ground, background when creating your artwork. Use the foreground to immerse the viewer into the piece and direct their eye to the subjects. I used the rocks and part of python's body (blurry part on top left) to draw the viewer into the scene. This is similar to anime and movies, so if there are any shots or scenes that you felt were particularly well done, try to look for how they do the foreground, middleground and background and put that into your art.
5. Use color as an additional layer of contrast. Bright colors draw the eye and are able to highlight important subjects (characters, objects etc.)
6. If you start to draw and have no idea how to pose the character, I recommend looking at some dynamic fight scenes in manga, anime and art. I also love these two posts in particular as I find them really good sources of inspiration:
Battle scene composition:
Sword fighting composition:
(The author, EtheringtonBrothers, is on tumblr but because they have like 1828248 art tip posts I cannot link it for you as I can’t even find it XD)
Anyways, thank you for reading, feel free to ask more questions if you need clarification.
Extra: Another art where I did a quick analysis to show you my thoughts
sometimes i can’t believe our flag means death is real. not only does it have great representation and an overall loving environment from the cast and crew to the fans, but the show itself is so pretty?? the cinematography is amazing. the moonlight scene? breathtaking.
the colors. the lighting. it truly is a work of art
rhys stede is so pretty in this shot. i can’t believe this isn’t a painting. just… everything about this shot, the color and composition, stede’s expression. the way the white lenin wrinkles in contrast to the crispness of the teal vest. the blurry tray of food and flowers in the foreground. the curtains, windows, and bed frame in the background. i have stared this screencap more than what would be considered a normal amount
AN | There is absolutely no reason for this except I saw some vague prompt somewhere about two individuals meeting in a museum while looking at a portrait of people who exactly like them. I couldn’t get the idea or the Thief out of my head so here we are! Part soulmate au, part sugary sweet fluff, but all softness! Enjoy ❤️
Pairing | The Thief x Fem!Reader
Warnings | None
Word Count | 2.7k
Masterlist | PP Characters, Main
─── ･ ｡ﾟ☆: *.☽ .* :☆ﾟ. ───
Taking the chance and moving to Italy to finish your studies had been both the easiest and hardest decision of your life. The opportunity to live in the birthplace of the renaissance seemed like a dream; but having to leave behind all of your friends and family had been rough. But in the end, as you traveled throughout Europe and had the opportunity to see some of the most beautiful sights in the world, you’d decided that it was worth it. Nothing could compare to the experiences you were having, the art you were able to see and study in real life instead of through books and pictures.
You loved getting to walk through hallowed halls filled with both beautiful artwork and centuries of history. There seemed to be a new place to explore every weekend and you often let yourself go wherever the day took you. But there was one feeling you could never quite seem to shake. The feeling that something was missing…like a piece of you wasn't quite there. And no matter how many adventures or wonderful things you got to do, that hole in your heart never seemed to be filled. But that was a matter for a different day.
This particular afternoon found you wandering through the halls of the Uffizi Gallery. You’d been here many times before, spending hours walking around and taking it all in, working on your own sketches from all the inspiration around you.
─── ･ ｡ﾟ☆: *.☽ .* :☆ﾟ. ───
It was quiet today, the mid-spring rain seeming to keep most people inside or occupied elsewhere, which left you as one of the few stragglers inside. Your sketchpad was clutched tightly against your chest as you made your way upstairs to one of your favorite spots. It was in the back of the gallery and often quiet. The bench in front of your favorite painting was empty so you quietly slid into it, setting your things down before giving the painting a cursory once over. It was only then that you noticed that the painting that normally hung there was gone. The replacement was one you’d never seen before, not online or in books or texts.
Your breath caught in your throat in a flurry of excitement as you stood up to examine it. At first glance it appeared to be in the vain of Botticelli or Caravaggio, but it had a certain distinct quality to it that you couldn’t quite place. There wasn’t a signature to be found, nor had there been any announcement about any new artwork. How very curious.
You got as close to it as possible without setting off any of the alarms, taking in the brushwork and color choices in an attempt to see if you could discover the artist. It was some time before you stepped back to take in the composition and subject. The portrait was of a man, shielding and protecting a woman from something off canvas. You wondered what it could have been, what could have prompted the artist to want to capture this particular moment. The man in the painting was handsome; you could see that he was the essence of beauty with dark curls that framed his face and a strong jaw and nose. There was something unique about him, but at the same time you felt like you had seen him before; like you knew him despite the fact that whoever the inspiration was had likely been dead for centuries.
It was the woman that you noticed only after a thorough study of the gallant man clearly portrayed as a hero. She was beautiful, stylized with a light glow behind her as she gazed upon the man with a serene expression. It wasn’t until you really took a close look that you realized…she looked a lot like you. Or perhaps you looked like her. She had extremely similar if not the same features as you from your nose to your eyes and lips, the same hair only differently styled. If you didn’t know any better, you’d think you were looking at a portrait of yourself. One that had been created hundreds of years ago.
“Beautiful, isn’t it?” you hadn’t even heard anyone come up or approach, and you jumped back in surprise, almost falling over your own feet. Once you steadied yourself, your heart beating wildly, you looked at the stranger that had suddenly made their appearance, “I didn’t mean to scare you! I thought you heard me coming.”
“N-no,” your response was a nervous stammer, “I guess I was too caught up in looking at the painting.”
“I can understand why…it’s a remarkable painting,” it was only now that you took a proper look at him. You were caught off guard for the second time since he’d appeared, but this time it was by his beauty. His was handsome, in a roguish type of way, with a head full of thick dark curls, soft but deep eyes, dark but patchy facial hair flecked with grays, and a strong nose and jaw, He was impeccably dressed in a suit that must have been tailored for him; way better looking than anyone had the right to be and completely out of place in the quiet gallery. You look down at yourself and immediately felt underdressed in your simple jeans and sweater.
“Yeah,” you agreed, offering him a small smile and wondering if he could sense everything you were thinking and feeling. You reached for your bag and sketchbook, ready to make a hasty escape to try and process the sudden onslaught of emotions. How could they be this strong about a stranger? None of it made sense, “I-I should get going.”
“Why did it capture your attention?” it was like he had reached out and taken hold of your arm to stop you. But in reality he had only asked the question as you attempted to rush past him. You turned back to him with an eyebrow raised, “this particular piece has captured your fancy. Why?”
For whatever reason, you felt compelled to walk back to him, standing to where your shoulder was almost brushing him. You could smell the light but undoubtedly expensive cologne he was wearing, and it made you want to bury your face in his neck and breathe him in. You shook your head to get yourself out of this silly daydream little fantasy, “I’ve never seen this painting before…I study art, especially medieval and renaissance art and I’ve never come across it. It’s unique - the composition, the brushwork, all of it. I was looking for the artist’s name but couldn’t find it. Whoever they were, they must have been educated or at least heavily inspired by Botticelli or someone like him.”
“It’s anonymous,” he stated simply as your eyebrows raised in surprise, “the artist was never identified and we’ll never know if they’ve done any other work. Which leaves us with only this piece."
“How did you…know that?” handsome and mysterious? He had your attention to say the least, “I haven't seen anything announced about the painting at all.”
“That’s because it used to be my personal collection,” it was a revelation that left you floored. With that knowledge, you couldn’t help but think that perhaps it was a recently created painting paired with some made up folklore and sold for money. But no…this painting was undoubtedly old and the Uffizi would never bring just any painting into their gallery, “I thought it was time to share it with the world. Even if just for now.”
“That’s…extremely generous,” you smiled at him, “how does one happen to come into possession of potentially priceless art?”
“There is always a way,” he played it off with a small smile, not completely dodging your question but also not answering it, “I’ve been waiting for the day…”
He trailed off as he studied you intently, causing you to want to squirm and want to melt into the floor. Instead, his large hands gently found your shoulders and he moved you to stand in front of him. You could feel his breath tickling your neck as you tried to keep it together. His hands delicately skimmed down your arms before he stopped at your wrists, brushing your fingers with his before they settled on your waist. A small little moan escaped your lips and you were already too far gone to realize that you were standing here with a virtual stranger where anyone could walk up.
“What do you see?” his voice was low and velvety smooth in your ear, and it was only then that you realized you’d closed your eyes. You looked the painting over, taking it all in just as you had when you’d first laid eyes on it. Your breath caught in a small gasp as you realized what he was trying to get at. You felt him push your hair to the side before he dragged his nose against your neck, stopping with his lips at your pulse point, “tell me.”
“I-it’s you,” your voice was a small whisper as you realized that it was him in the painting. Maybe it was just…someone long gone that had shared an uncanny resemblance with him. But…no. That was him; it was clear as day now, “the man in the painting is you.”
“Yes,” suddenly you wanted to feel his lips all over his body, to hear him speak the most innocent and sinful of words for just you to hear, “what else?”
“The woman…she’s…me,” you concluded softly, his hum vibrating in his chest, “I don’t understand…how?”
“I’ve been waiting for you for a long time,” he whispered before delicately turning you around so you could face him. You flushed with warmth and tried to turn away, but instead he put his finger under chin and kept your gaze trained on him, “I thought I might never find you again.”
“What do you mean?” you leaned into his touch as his hand cupped your face, his thumb brushing over your cheek. You had questions, but at the same time, you knew that you already had all the answers you could ever need within you, “tell me.”
“I have looked far and wide for you, mi tesoro,” he leaned in, leaving very little space between your bodies. If you leaned in any further, you could kiss him; and that was currently all you wanted to do. Your whole body was practically humming with excited, nervous energy, “I thought I might not find you in this lifetime. To think I might have lost you forever…I couldn’t bear the thought.”
“How did you know I’d be here?” you allowed yourself to touch his face, ghosting your fingers along his jaw, “I…why can’t I remember everything?”
“You could say I had a feeling,” he admitted with a small smile, “and those feelings have been right in the past. I’ve been watching you, waiting for this moment until I couldn’t wait for you any longer.”
“Oh,” you looked at him with wide, innocent eyes and his heart melted, “how long have you been here? In Italy?”
“Some time,” your heart felt content, like it was suddenly at home after searching for so long. You supposed it had; like it had finally found the missing piece, "I waited until I was sure you'd remember me. At first I thought you didn't…"
"I didn't right away…but now," you cradled his face in your hands, "my heart remembers. I've missed you this whole lifetime but didn't know what was missing. It’s been like a big part of my heart was missing until now - until I felt your touch again. It just needed to see you again, amor."
“May I kiss you?” his umber eyes, soft but ever so expressive, searched yours as held himself back. A small, wistful little sound left your lips as you nodded, wanting to feel his lips on yours once again. You closed your eyes as he kissed you - again, finally - after so long. It was a soft, delicate thing, hardly more than what would be considered a chaste kiss rather than one between lovers. You could feel he was testing the waters to make sure you were still okay with it, with him. You pulled him back down to your lips and stole a few more kisses from him, before letting him go, “I’ve missed you so much. I don’t know what I would have done…any lifetime without you would not have been worth living.”
“And now you will not be alone,” you promised, “we have always found each other, through centuries and lives that were not easy or kind to us. I think we’ll always be together in the end. It’s…the memories are there, vague and distant, but they’re coming back to me.”
“Perhaps I’ll have to kiss you until you remember everything,” there he was. That silly, playful man that had your heart for as long as you could remember, for as long as time itself, “you get more and more beautiful all the time. It hardly seems fair that you’re stuck with me.”
“As if you don’t know you are the most handsome man," you carded a hand through his hair, careful not to mess it up, "if there's anyone that my heart has to be bound to, I'm glad it's yours."
He took a step back, his hand still holding yours as he admired you. The familiarity of the gesture reminded you of the countless times he'd done this in the past. It still managed to make you feel like he thought you were the most beautiful woman he'd ever seen. In his eyes, you easily were.
"You've always been a flatterer."
"It's always worked," you reminded him as the corners of his mouth tugged up into a small smile, “how did you know to have them put the painting here now? That I would be here today?”
“When you have known someone through so many lifetimes, it’s not hard to anticipate what they’ll do,” he had leaned in so he was whispering in your ear, causing gooseflesh to break out all over your skin, “I know you better than you could ever know.”
“That’s very romantic of you, mi amor,” you tugged on the fine, soft lapels of his jacket to keep him close, “but I’m pretty sure I know you just as well. I might not remember everything just yet, but I know that much. Just how closely have you been watching without me noticing?”
He laughed at that, a deep hearty laugh that caused his eyes to crinkle in the corners and that one dimple to become more prominent. How you had missed that laugh; your heart felt more than full at hearing it again, “like I said, long enough. I wouldn’t have said or done anything if I wasn’t sure the timing was right.”
“One more thing,” you held up your hand and he pressed his against yours, his much larger hand dwarfing yours, “how did you find the painting? Wasn’t it…lost at some point?”
“It was…some few centuries ago,” he brought your hand to his lips and placed a delicate kiss to each finger, “but like I said, I have my ways.”
“Once a thief, always a thief,” you shook your head in amusement, “but I think whatever heist brought it back to you was worthwhile.”
“That’s I stole your heart as well,” this time it was your turn to laugh, causing him to feel warm and at ease, “don’t deny it, tesoro.”
“You are a fool of a man and always have been,” you worried your bottom lip as he stared at you in what was nothing but pure adoration, “thank you for finding me. I suppose next time it’s my turn.”
“My heart will always find yours,” he promised, “in every lifetime. Will you come home?”
“I already am home,” you teased, “but for all intents and purposes, yes. Of course I will.”
He took a small step back and held out his hand to you, waiting to see if you would take it. As if there ever had been any doubt that you would. You might have enjoyed giving him a hard time, but you would always follow him, as he would follow you. You grabbed your bag and slipped your hand in his, “preciosa.”
“One more thing,” you insisted before he could walk away, “how are you going to get that painting back? I’d like to keep it with us, amor.”
“I can find a way,” he winked as you sighed playfully at him, “I love you.”
“I love you too. Always and forever.”
Flower language for Mikey
In chapter 270, the door of TR's secrets was opened, and also revealed the heartbreaking state of Manjiro, who eventually passed away.
Shinichiro gave a proper funeral for his precious little brother, dedicating a sea of flowers to him, expressing his feelings for Mikey.
Among the floral composition we can see orchids, roses, lilies, gypsophila and several gentian flowers.
First of all, it should be noted that funerals in Japan are Shinto with elements of Buddhism. And they are characterized by the use of colors of calm shades and white.
For funerals in Japan, lilies, orchids and chrysanthemums are used, but you can also choose other flowers that comply with norms and traditions.
Flowers for funerals are of great importance, there are certain rules for giving/offering them that should be followed.
Lilies have a worldwide meaning of "purity and innocence". But, besides this, there is the meaning of “dignity, greatness”, which originates from the 3rd millennium BC. in the form of a royal lily emblem.
The meaning of "innocence" lily began to acquire with the spread of Christianity. Therefore, you can find images of Christ among the lilies or the identification of the Virgin Mary with an immaculate lily.
Gypsophila in the language of flowers means "innocence and purity", "divinity" and "eternal love". The meaning of "eternal love" dates back to Victorian England, where gypsophila was used in wedding bouquets. This flower has an informal name, "baby's breath", which may refer to the child's chastity.
These are one of the most classic colors. But the bottom line is that roses were not used for funerals in Japan before, and only in recent years have they begun to be used.
For roses, there is one common meaning “eternal love”.
A luxurious and expensive flower that is used in Japan at the funerals of influential or wealthy people.
Orchid is the queen of flowers, meaning “flight of happiness”, “pure love”, “tender memories”.
Gentian is an autumn flower that dilutes the faded landscape with purple, is a medicinal and ornamental plant. The flower means “I love you when you are sad” and “sincere love”.
The flowers that surround Mikey are very diverse and beautiful.
An innocent and pure person, like a child, this is how Manjiro Sano originally appeared before our eyes. He does what he likes, takes offense if there is no flag in his children's dinner, makes friends only with those who are interesting to him and easily influenced by others.
And the very greatness of Manjiro is immortalized in flowers. It's like he's not dead, but just sleeping on a flower bed. Arrogant and superior. Sets high goals for himself and leads the people like a brilliant king.
The flowers show all of Shin's great love for his little brother, as a symbol of beautiful and sincere love. After all, Shinichiro loves Manjiro, and Manjiro loves Shinichiro. They cannot live without each other and suffer when they are alone.
As flowers grow from the earth, so love is born from nature.
thank you teresa and soph for tagging me for 2020 Creator Wrap: Favorite Works
Rules: it’s time to love yourselves! Choose your 5 (or so) favorite works you created in the past year (fics, art, edits, etc.) and link them below to reflect on the amazing things you brought to the world in 2020. Tag as many writers/artists/etc. as you want (fan or original) so we can spread love and link each other to awesome works!
no particular order lol. wait also i didn’t quite follow “favorite” i suppose, i like, judged by Significance. but in a way that was still plenty subjective, so
tayston kiss on the Mouth - self-explanatory like of course it was crucial to draw a Tayston Kiss and i finally got around to it. also when i opened it now it was like “oh nice that’s cuter than i was remembering it even” lol. rly enjoy taylor here too like them in a tee and i like that they’re leaning back a bit but w/drawing their forearms/hands where i did it feels like they’re pulling winston in and i’m just overall like “nice that turned out well” @ drawing them here. i also personally enjoy the Blush Patch drawn in one linear stroke between them. it’s fun to try to have that essential detail be both Soft enough but also have some geometry to it b/c i’m always On That
riawin kiss on the Mouth - same thing all over again lol of course i had to draw it. and it started with several different failed attempts which was annoying but then i got this one in one night and it works well enough. also has a fun clothing detail in rian w/a hoodie (of winston’s) and once again i draw the hand-on-jaw l’intimacy and i think it Works Well again b/c why wouldn’t it, classic. also i’d been intending to draw the Lines detailing rian’s hair curls rather than silhouette and that was pretty fun to just jump into. oh i did the same thing with the Blush also, s/o to that. and the fact that there Is that height diff as depicted here....hopefully artistically successful in having you Think About It
tayston embrayston Cuddling - i think the first proper Fanart Of Fic? so that’s crucial. helping put the essential tayston ideas into the world and hopefully helping put People into Reading Said Fic, i’m glad this turned out to have enough of a relaxed vibe to do the concept’s written execution some justice....this was also just a success of “the colors i put down originally managed to be really Incongruous palette-wise” and i had to wrangle that situation with some added Layers lol but now they’re soft and nice i think, a much more Congruous pink-purple and i’m now remembering i struggled a lot picking a Solid Bg Color even though now a pale yellow seems like an obvious choice, s/o to the little border highlight around them i like that too....things turned out solidly here....enjoying the Geometry going on re: winston’s sleeve lol
agtikbi reprise - again i think it was Important to have done something for this absolutely iconic bit of media, thank you so much obcr for including this track. did a bunch of coloring for it (ft. many purple overlays as usual lol but that was always the plan) and the lineart i knocked out pretty fast w/o worrying about editing it super hard but it turned out solidly which is always a gift. really this was one of those “yeah it takes a while but i make pretty consistent progress and just knock it out in a couple of days” works ft. a decent amount of detail and that’s always an Epic Win and again i love agtikbi reprise so much so it was Very Good to have officially done something for it. also i’d been meaning to draw jeremy again for eons so that accomplished that goal too
monthlong riawinning - the opposite experience but also I Guess its own kind of win, where drawing is not quite as cooperative and one thing takes me A Month where it’s v much not consistent progress and i Do edit a lot which has pros (looks kinda fancy i guess) and cons (sweating details unnecessarily / overthinking or second guessing stuff / forest for trees or whatever / it takes ages and was it worth it....) like when i started with the Lineart Layer i was like “uh oh i’ve Cleaned This Up a lot but there’s already stuff i like too much to Restart this even though i’m not even close to halfway done yet” and yeah it took me ages to finish with lineart that’s been entirely Cleaned Up but then hey, you get this one thing with Completely Exhaustively Edited Lineart....i’m very Particular about like these self-imposed geometry rules re: lineart / shapes according to my own ~aesthetic sensibilities~ and stuff so like, it’s not even just a matter of Are The Lines Fairly Uniform Width / erasing stray marks / making sure the lines are all Closed and stuff, and even w/ the finished product it’s like “oh i could’ve connected some lines in rian’s hair for more Flow or moved this thing over by a few pixels or w/e,” isn’t that always the way though....it’s fun to have 1 Thing from this year v polished though. and i like the riawin contribution of “what if winston went down on rian and then there was this Snapshot Of Affection afterwards ft. an embrace and a kiss and the love language of tenderly feeling him up in the process” i was like “is this all Obvious or am i being too coy” and i was being too coy but here come opportunities like this one right here to make the meaning clearer i hope. that’s part of this pic’s Importance as well lmfao. the content of it and all
(everyone is tagged i think lol)
still working on the name || on the trail || world’s end
a series of illustrations i did earlier in the year for my favorite podcast in the world. i was doodling one day and some of the poses for the third drawing came up, and fortunately i decided to make a set! i’m still in love with these pieces, this style is freeing and addictive and it gives such wonderful results. i think it was a great choice for this cast, and like, what can i say at this point that isn’t emo. it’s the endgame, lads... let’s see if we can make it til december with all that alex’s been throwing at us. love this crew, the story, and the medium. hope it shows. enjoy!
ID after the cut because it is *a kilometer* long
[ID: a series of three digital illustrations of rusty quill gaming, one for each party rotation. they are all drawn in a minimalistic style with bright, mostly flat colors with subtle grainy gradients, spiral patterns and pencil-like outlines. all figures are made into predominantly sharp and angular shapes, and despite the varying poses it is all made so each face is in a full profile.
the first image corresponds to season 1, and shows the london rangers posing as a team in front of a building on the street; the group is in front of an entrance door, and between the identical windows on each side of it. hamid and zolf are in front, and bertie and sasha behind them. the background is done in brown tones, and the party is considerably more colorful and flashy.
hamid stands to the left casually, with his weight on his left leg and the same hand on his pocket. his right hand is lifted and from his index finger come out swirly sparks and stars. he's looking back at the rest of the group with a confident smile. he's dressed in a purple suit with light pinstripes, a deep green vest, and a pink cravat with a gem in the center over the white collar of a shirt. he's also wearing an ornate red scarf loosely draped around his shoulders, so the two ends fall in curves at either side behind him. his magic sleeves have a faint swirling pattern and golden cuffs to match the gem on his cravat, the rings on his right hand, a visible piercing on his ear, and his eyeshadow. his skin is dark brown and his hair and eyes too, only a darker shade of it. his hair is slicked back and curls back up by his nape, and there's a single curly strand loose by his forehead.
to the right stands zolf, holding his steely-blue trident up with his right hand, making for a straight line just off the middle of the composition, and just below bertie's chin. he 's holding his left hand outwards to the left, holding his driftwood dolphin in a water bubble and looking at it impassively. his hair is blond and messy, and the mustache and twin-braided beard hide his mouth. his skin is pale and muted. he's wearing his old leather raincoat, which is plain dark gray and stained at the bottom edges, but the collar and ends of the sleeves have a pattern of blue, rolling waves. the scale armor he wears beneath it is made up of curving stripes of dark and light green-blues.
behind them is bertie, who poses triumphantly holding his sword with his right hand over his shoulders, left on his hip, and standing so his left leg supports his weight and the right is stretched out to the side, balancing on the heel. he's smiling widely, with a vaguely challenging expression. he's very white and very blond. his armor is golden and is all pointy bits and falcons, with swirly, ornate borders and red accents on his upper arms and belt. he's wearing a rich red coat underneath, the collar of which is visible above the falcon on his chest, and from the fall of it behind his legs.
just to his side and behind him, partially obscured by the group, is sasha. she's holding one dagger down and another up and above her head, slightly hunched forward, looking back at bertie with great annoyance. she's dressed in all black, with faint swirling designs only on the collar and sleeves of her studded leather jacked, and the top of her boots as well. the left hand where she holds the only partly visible dagger is missing the ring finger. she's very pale, has a burn on the side of her face, and has dark eyebags. her hair is very short and spiky.
the second illustration is for season 3. it shows the LOLOMG standing in a sunny desert among low dunes, with hamid and grizzop on opposing sides, and azu and sasha a little closer together, making the composition of the figures into a triangle with its tip on the heart of aphrodite, which azu is holding up.
hamid is on the far left, maintaining his design for the most part. his hair is a little less curly, his eyeliner is running, and there are scales up his neck. he now has his purple magical robe, which has swirly borders on the outside, and a design of concentric circles covering the inside of it. he's dressed in a plain black suit with a dark gray vest, which has a discreet design of diamonds. he's stood as if he'd been investigating the footprints to his side on the ground, with a magnifying glass in hand, and has turned just his head to look at the heart. he looks on with slight surprise.
on the other side is grizzop, standing similarly and with another set of footprints mirroring the ones in hamid's side. he holds his left hand near his head like he'd been looking off into the distance, but is turning to the heart with a big grin full of fangs. like hamid, his weight is on his outer leg and he's leaning forward, but on his left hand he carries his bow, which is simple and colored in with orange. he's wearing a green coat that has a pattern of vines on the inside and on the collar. he has his breastplate with the artemis insignia, a cream shirt underneath, shoulder pauldrons and his quiver on his back. he has gloves and arm guards, with a matching pair for his shins. his pants are plain and light brown. his skin is dark gray and freckly, his eyes bright red, and eyebrows black. there is a little cut on his nose and a moon earing on his long, visible ear.
behind him is sasha, with the same clothes as before. this time she has two belts, crossed one over the other, where she keeps the sheaths of her fire and ice daggers. the ice dagger is sheathed, the fire one she's holding upwards on her right hand. her left hand is to her chest, and her fingers are now pointy and claw-like. she's standing wearily, and on her right leg, where the fall of the jacket doesn't cover her, there are two small daggers strapped to her thigh. her skin is now gray, she has a burn on this side of her face too, her hair is slightly longer, still messy and spiky, and the back of it is white. her eyes are wide but her mouth is a tiny line.
finally, in front of her and behind hamid, is azu. she's holding her left arm up, with the heart of aphrodite floating a little bit above her hand. it's a rose gold clam with curving patterns, and its chain revolves around azu's hand. she has her right arm to the side, holding her bright pink great axe so the blade of it is poised against the floor just behind her. she's standing as if she was taking a step forward, leaning on her left leg, and the right touching the floor only with the tip of her foot. her skin is dark brown, her head is shaved, and she's smiling joyfully at the heart, one of her tusks poking out. she's wearing bright pink armor on her upper half, covered in spiral and heart patterns, as is the light yellow cape she has draped around her shoulders, which falls straight down behind her. her pants are also yellow and her greaves pink.
the final illustration is for season 4. it shows the party charging together, from the right to the left, amidst an orange and brown toned expanse filled with heavy dust and smoke. the clouds rush diagonally from bottom left to upper right, to give the scene a sense of movement. all characters have marked eyebags and are colored a bit more washed out than in the previous images.
leading the charge is azu. her aspect remains the same, but she is running while swinging her axe back, in such a way that the handle and blade of it pass diagonally downwards in front of her figure. only her left leg is fully stretched, with just her right foot as she turns, and she has her back to us while she looks to the left with a stern expression, eyes narrowed and mouth frowning. there is a scar on her eyebrow.
behind her comes zolf, running along with his glaive held with both hands. his hair is short and white, and his beard is done up in a single braid that swings back due to the speed. he looks livelier, set and decided, and there's a scar on his visible temple. his old coat is still dark but the ocean patterns have been replaced by sun-like streaks, in yellows and ochres. his breastplate is silver and with similar patterns, which also match the ones on the blade of the glaive. his trousers are plain blue and his boots brown.
a little above him is hamid, flying fast and breathing fire through gritted fangs. the fire is a small trail of reds and oranges, in a single, waving shape going back in an arc above his head. he looks very angry, there are more scales under his eyes, and his hair is a little shorter, more sharp than curved. he's holding his right claw up in a threatening manner, the left one held down but also opened and ready. he's flying with one leg up and the other stretched behind him, the cape almost straight to the right because of the speed. his suit is nearly black, the cravat is light blue, and the vest green and with a pattern of scales.
at the end is cel, who's running along with a big grin an narrowed eyes. their skinny arms and legs make them look long and gangly, leaning forward so intensely that their back and billowing coat are in a parallel line to that of their left thigh, with which they're taking the step forward. their right arm comes down, bending and holding a green potion near their face, and their left does the opposite, held up and carrying their crossbow so it points back at the way they've come from. it's got an arrow ready to go and it's turned so the body of it looks like it's being seen straight from above. their skin is pale, their ear pointy, and their hair is gray and very vertical, curving back, again due to speed. their goggles are on their forehead, brown and with green lenses. they wear a long, plain brown coat with an inside of gray spirals. underneath, their shirt has a design of tight little swirls in green and orange, with a bandolier over it. their trousers are plain black and their boots dark brown. end ID]
What is, in your opinion, something or some things that we can learn from Helluva Boss and Hazbin Hotel as both writers and artist?
There's plenty to learn, though the sad thing is, much of it is what not to do. (Strap in; this is a long one.)
- Don't let one color dominate your palette. It overwhelms the eyes and makes characters blend in too much with the background. I'm glad they toned down the red a bit in Helluva Boss, because damn.
- Conversely, don't use so many different colors on background characters that they look out of place in the world. Yes, I'm aware these characters were fan-created, but Viv Medrano could've given these fans a palette as a guideline to stay within so their designs feel like they belong in the show's setting.
Here's the master palette I used for my hellhound designs, based on colors taken from canon Helluva Boss characters.
By making adjustments to the value and saturation of each of these colors, I created a range of new ones that wouldn't clash with the established setting.
Now let's apply the same approach to the background characters in the Hazbin pilot.
For the recolored pic, I took hues from Charlie and the background, and tweaked values and saturation as needed. And for the sake of cohesion, I did a quick and dirty faux-compositing pass on the image.
Notice how the added background shading lets Charlie stand out much more clearly from the extras. In short, paying closer attention to color theory would've made the pilot much more visually pleasing.
-Don't give all your characters the same body type. Not only is this boring to look at, but it robs them of their individuality. We all have unique habits and interests. Maybe one person loves to eat, maybe another likes to work out, maybe another never has much of an appetite. Maybe someone has a HUGE appetite but never gains much weight due to their fast metabolism. Also note that there are numerous ways to be muscular; a bodybuilder's frame will be different from a swimmer's, which is different from a dancer's, which is different from a weightlifter's, which is different from a track star's. It's all about which muscle groups are doing the most work.
Now if there were a story-based reason for everyone in Hazbin (and plenty in Helluva) being stick-thin, this would be easier to forgive. If, for example, sinners took on an undernourished appearance and constant feeling of hunger as part of their punishment, that'd make much more sense. But given Viv's long history of designing stick bugs before she ever gave a thought to Hazbin, I highly doubt this physiological uniformity has any bearing on the story. She just likes the aesthetics of skinny people. Nothing wrong with expressing one's tastes, as long as it has a purpose. Which brings me to my next point:
-Don't include stuff in your designs just for the aesthetics. If it doesn't serve some kind of tangible function, leave it out. Accessories, for instance: Does the accessory show a sense of style unique to this character? Is it part of a uniform? Does it hold special meaning for the character, such as a family heirloom or treasured gift? Does it serve a practical purpose, such as glasses to improve their eyesight? Is it symbolic?
A metric ton of Viv's characters have bow ties for the simple reason that she likes the way they look. Nothing deeper than that. She's only concerned with what she likes, not what the characters like. And much like the samebody syndrome, this steals away their individuality. If so many characters make the same fashion choices, it makes them look like a hive mind. Don't do such a grave disservice to the souls you've created. They deserve better.
-Make the environment make sense. Ever wonder why IMP's building in Helluva Boss has imp horns on it? Isn't that like humans working in a human-shaped building? Some sort of cultural rationale could make this work, but I doubt Viv thought that far into it.
(Writing tips after the cut)
- Give your characters agency. I've talked about this before, so I won't go overboard with detail, but it definitely applies to Helluva Boss.
These characters don't feel like real people due to how contrived their choices are. Why didn't Blitzo silence his phone while being hunted by murderers? Why did Octavia fully forgive her dad, no questions asked, even when he couldn't explain why he cheated on her mom? If Loona hates being around Blitzo so much, why didn't she just stay with the succubi on the beach? Why did Blitzo make out with the guy who treated him like a slave in the trip-out sequence mere minutes before? Why did Moxxie make a huge romantic gesture in an environment where such gestures are frowned upon? Why did Blitzo draw attention to himself when he knew there were people in the room he didn't want to engage with (and don't say "because he was defending Moxxie and Millie"; he could've easily done that without showing himself. There's a thin line between courage and stupidity, and he's crossed it several times)? Why did Stolas bring an imp to a couples-only club despite knowing it'd ruin his reputation?
The answer to all these questions is "Because the plot demanded it" (seriously, Ozzie's was just one big idiot plot that could've been avoided entirely if the characters used their brains). But let's be honest, if we non-fictional folks found ourselves in the same situations, the outcomes would've been very different due to our possession of common fucking sense. It's hard to relate to and root for characters who make so many facepalm-worthy decisions.
Your characters aren't your puppets. Let them drive the plot, not the other way around.
- Show, don't tell. Yeah, you've probably heard this phrase in the past. In this case I'm applying it to Truth Seekers.
First, we have the DHORKS agents (any clue what DHORKS stands for, by the way?) saying no one takes them seriously, yet they work out of a huge skyscraper with at least a few dozen employees and access to a nigh-unlimited variety of weapons. Whoever's funding all this must take them seriously; otherwise this person/people wouldn't have blown such a huge wad of cash on them.
Then, Blitzo claims he's only hard on Moxxie because he cares, yet we've only seen him berating Moxxie, belittling him, threatening to withhold his paycheck because of a mistake, making fun of his "smooth brain" and "baby dick", stalking him and his wife, watching them have sex, and did I mention the rape threat toward them in Ep 1? If Blitzo had shown some caring behavior prior to this, it'd be so much easier to believe him. But as it stands he's an abusive little shit who straight-up gaslights Moxxie in this moment, and Moxxie just... goes along with it (again, as the plot demanded). Blitzo's words don't match his actions at all, and this is the main protagonist we're supposed to sympathize with. On that topic...
- Don't coddle any of your characters just because they're your favorites. Their actions should always have realistic consequences, regardless of how unrealistic the genre and setting may be. If Blitzo and Stolas had gotten their just desserts from day one, Octavia would've left Stolas, Loona would've left Blitzo, and Moxxie would've fucking quit IMP and filed a restraining order. Yet nearly everyone in their lives lets them get away with murder because the writers favor them. This is beyond insulting to the audience's intelligence. Don't make the same mistake.
- Give romantic partners things in common other than the romance. Whenever we see Blitzo and Stolas sit down and have a conversation, it's always about their relationship or Blitzo's job, and the talks take place in either Stolas' bed or on a date. And at some point between episodes 6 and 7, Stolas' attraction to Blitzo magically developed from lust to love... off screen. If the writing gave this more time to evolve organically over several episodes, the relationship might actually be worth rooting for.
Don't these people have hobbies? Political views? Favorite foods? Favorite restaurants? Favorite movies? Opinions on the huge power gap between them? We know Blitzo's favorite animals are horses; maybe he could gush to Stolas about that-? Y'know, just so they have something to talk about other than sex sex sex grimoire sex.
And here's a thought: Maybe they could... laugh about something together? Cry about something? Experience strong emotions in each other's presence other than lust? That's how you make the audience care about your romantic pairing: Understanding the difference between adult content and mature content.
- Cut the fluff. The Hazbin pilot did NOT need to be half an hour long.
First, there's Vaggie's exposition dump to Angel Dust regarding Alastor's past. She could've simply said "I don't trust him" and then explain why to Charlie in two sentences. This would leave Alastor's origins shrouded in mystery and make the audience curious to learn more in future installments. Plus, he wouldn't seem so ridiculously OP (you're tellin' me some guy who died in the 30s killed tons of overlords who'd been around for centuries, and no one was prepared for it? Also, I thought only angelic weapons could properly kill demons-? Gettin' some Gary Stu vibes there) and the animators wouldn't have to deal with that sequence.
Then there's Husk and Niffty. They really didn't need an introduction here, as they add nothing to the story's climax. And as another ask pointed out, neither did Cherri Bomb. She has no powers outside of her weapons, so Angel could've just taken some bombs and fought Sir Pent on his own. If all these characters were cut from the script, it would've saved the animators countless hours of work (it's so obnoxious how complex Husk and Cherri's designs are), and it would've saved the audience from slogging through a slow-paced second half.
That's all I have for now. May we all learn from these pitfalls and do better in our own projects going forward.