Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Everypony Project: Blue Belle

Continuing on with the everypony project, I'm nearing the end of year one. I finished this lovely Blue Belle the other day and I've only got two more ponies to go before I complete the original six.

I wish Blue Belle got a little more love. She actually have quite lovely colors when you got down to it.

I've also completed the McPony set, but I need it to not rain for a day before I can take pictures.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

My Little McPonies Part 2: Vietnam or China?

Last week I did a post comparing last year's Twilight Sparkle happy meal toy to this year's toy. I was surprised that the country that maanufactured the toys had switched from China (2010) to Vietnam (2011). You can read the post and see the comparison pictures here.

This weekend my McDonald's finally got some more toys and I nabbed some new ponies.

Lily Blossom was the first pony I grabbed to photograph when I noticed something strange. As with the Twilight I photographed last week I expected the entire set of ponies to be made in Vietnam.

However my Lily Blossom's marked as made in China!

I think Applejack may have gotten the cutest of the poses this year, and I actually kind of like her simplified symbol as well. This Applejack is also made in China.

Rainbow Dash has a chunk missing out of her leg, though it doesn't show in this photograph.

And she was made in Vietnam.

Finally, Cheerilee is like my Twilight and made in Vietnam.

Unfortunately I've not yet found the other ponies to see what they are marked as. I'm curious though. What's the reasoning behind the different countries of origin? Are all Lily Blossoms made in China or are there potentially two versions of each toy?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Art Isn't Easy! But Commissions are Open

I'll bet something you didn't know about me is that I wanted to go to art school when I was in high school. I considered going to the expensive art school in the next state but I never went. Now that I am older and hanging out with people who actually did go to art school I'm a little sad I never went. But I've always liked to draw, I wish I had some of the pony drawing I made as a kid, I would love to see them now!

Fortunately, I think there are certain freedoms one has from considering themselves a hobby artist. Art has always been something of a relaxing activity and me and I don't know if i would want it to be my main source of income. And if I consider myself a hobby artist I don't need to worry so much about creating artwork for other people or what other people consider "real art".

This doesn't mean that I don't want to improve and make the best art that I can. The Moonlight Fluttershy above was the product of some experimentation for me. It was my first attempt at using sponges with my watercolor pencil and with using frisket/masking fluid.

Here is the drawing I am most proud of at the moment though. I loved working on it and I'm thrilled with how it came out!

Remember in real life that this art is about the size of a baseball card. Unfortunately, this card was made for babyblueducky and she has already been mailed to her home.

Which brings me to the odd part of my post. Last year I got a business license from California so that I could be an artist at conventions, though I never got a table due to my increasing workload at the label company. Because I didn't sell anything the state wants to take my license away to save them money and unless I show them I have sold something this year I'll lose my license. So I am opening commissions for the first time to the general public.

ATC sized art is $5 and 5x7 art is $10.
Contact me at npaytosh@gmail.com if you are interested!

My full DeviantArt gallery can be found here.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

My Little McPonies

Here's a little reminder to everyone out there that My Little Pony should be the "girl" happy meal toy as of the 9th. If there is supposed to be an official schedule it doesn't seem like most places are sticking with it. I've had one friend get the whole set and another have none at all. A friend in Ohio got Applejack, but my mom (who is also in Ohio) went looking for me and got Pinkie Pie and Rarity. My local McDonald's had Twilight Sparkle and Lily Blossom.

What confuses me the most is that people are saying that the ponies don't really look any different, but I think they are quite different (though some are more different than others). I've taken a few comparison shots despite bad lighting from an overcast day.

Here's a photograph of old Twilight Sparkle on the left and new Twilight Sparkle on the right. As you can see the mold that the use is in fact different from the previous one. As cutie marks are not on both sides of the pony new Twilight has her opposite hoof raised this time around. There is obviously the inclusion of the keyring portion to the top of the head, but the body is also different in some more subtle ways that are harder to document. The body is more squat and the head if not tilted to the same degree as before. The horn is different and I had to photograph this Twilight in her plastic stand as she would keep tumbling over. The quality also seems to be much better on the original run.

Here is a comparison shot of the heads. You can see new Twilight's head doesn't have the same tile as old Twilight. She also came out of the package with icky dirt marks and her eye is misprinted. You can also barely see the horn difference Old Twilight has four spirals whereas new Twilight has three.

Here's what the ponies look like from underneath. The new Twilight has the new pony logo, but doesn't have the peg-holes that were made for the ponies to fit in the comb/stands last year. It's too bad, as I mentioned earlier new Twilight keeps tipping over and cannot stand on her own.

This isn't the best picture, but it shows the difference in the plastic and coloring. The 2011 Twilight is lighter with a more "pearlescent" plastic. The 2012 Twilight has a more matte finish and the paint job is messier overall. I suppose you could say the darker purple is more show accurate, but I personally like the original Twilight better.

I'm not sure how much this has to do with the quality difference or if this is even nation wide but I noticed that the ponies were manufactured in two different countries. 2011 Twilight was manufactured in China whereas new Twilight was made in Vietnam.

If you got ponies this weekend how do yours look? Am I the odd pony out or are other collectors finding messed up ponies?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Bronyville Podcast - Take Two

Those of you that have been around for a while may remember that I previously posted about recording a podcast with the lovely bronies at Bronyville in January. Due to unfortunate circumstances that podcast became the lost podcast as technical difficulties kept it from ever being posted.

This weekend I ended up back with the microphone to talk ponies and it was honestly even more fun than the first time. It was a bit easier to chat with Chef Sandy now that I had met him in real life and Apple Cider was his usual high energy self. Having Starry Night ( miked adds a whole new element to the show. Go check out her tumblr!) We even joked a little on how erasing podcasts is apparently my true talent and it should be my cutie mark.

Anyways we were having a grand old time and then it was over and we found out there there was ANOTHER glitch and part of the podcast didn't get recorded! So we read through all of the emails again but then we forgot to pimp my blog at the end. Oh well! I mean how many people get to say they have a special talent at erasing podcasts? I mean really that is almost as cool as doing the WSJ interview. Oh and after the second (second) recording I helped mail out a bunch of Bronyville buttons. If you get a doodle and it sucks I'm sorry but the sharpy was an off-brand one and there wasn't much space to work with.

So yeah definitely go over to Bronyville and check out episode #44 to hear my amazing voice and listen to me babble about G1 ponies.

And as thanks for reading I'll give you a sneak peek at some art I did for an ATC trade.

This is Cherries Jubilee, the inspiration for G4 Cherry Jubilee. finally started using some paintbrushes with my watercolor pencils so I hope I have made some improvements over time!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Dealing with Derpy

I have waited about a week to write on the Derpy issue because I honestly needed this long to sit and think about what exactly I wanted to say about the fandom's favorite mailmare. I'm sure things will still not come out that coherently but I wanted to at least attempt to share my feelings on the issue. I don't want to create drama, in fact I want less drama, but I also want to be very clear on something that has bothered me.

So a recap for those out there who don't know who the pony pictured above is pretty much goes like this. In the opening episode there was a pony standing in the background that had an animation error. As the internet would say her eyes were "derped" pointing in different directions. The pony fandom grew and kind of adopted this pony as the mascot of the fandom. Using her as a subject people draw artwork, wrote fanfic, created comic strips and flash animations etc. As the fandom grew this pony gained a "fanon" name, occupation, personality, etc. The creators at the studio saw how much the fans loved this random background pony so they started to slip her into the background of scenes and made a bit of a where's waldo type of thing. In season two the pony was "officially" named on the show with her "fanon" name Derpy and many fans rejoiced. It is pretty much unprecedented that a cartoon show would give out shout out of such epic proportions. However there were some complaints and Hasbro decided to pull the episode and redo the scene with the name Derpy omitted.

Derp isn't a word you will find in the print dictionary which is one of the problems with the Derpy fiasco. Derp has many different definitions; there are 91 listed on urban dictionary. However I think some sampling of the synonyms "stupid retard dumb funny idiot fail moron retarded" speak volumes about the word.

Now I'm a bit the odd "man" out in the brony fandom as I'm not only female, but older than many of the male members. But I'm not new to the internet and something I ran across years ago were some active communities discussing feminism, racism, white washing, the representations of people of color in media, and ableism. I am not vocal in the communities myself as I honestly don't feel qualified to talk about it for the most part, but I do read the blogs and I have over the years tried to do what little I can to make things a more hospitable place for everyone.For example, I do not support whitewashing, sexist remarks, or using ableist terms. I interact with some special needs kids on a daily basis and I have trained myself to avoid words that are disrespectful and unfortunately part of our everyday language. I don't think I succeed all of the time. I really need to work on the word "lame" as I've noticed it has slipped into my speech, but at least I try not to and if I were called out on saying something even if I did not mean it in an offensive way I would apologize.

Derpy is an ableist term.
I understand that most people probably don't even know this. I understand that for many, many people in the fandom the word derpy is synonymous with goofy. I honestly do not believe that the fandom was intending to be offensive or to poke fun at mentally disabled people. But honestly guys, as a fandom we screwed up here. I wish everyone could sit down for just a moment and look deep down and buck up and accept the fact that Derpy was never an appropriate name for our favorite background pony. Then we could say sorry I didn't realize and move on. Fighting to use an ableist term just kind of makes us look like insensitive asses.

As far as Hasbro goes I think it's wonderful that they gave the fans such a great shout out. We really loved it and rejoiced and moments like that are part of what makes this fandom so cool. I mean how many other people have the kind of relationship with the show's creators that we do? But I really wish that Faust or Thiessen could have used the opportunity to tell the fandom that Derpy, the character, is awesome and the love is much appreciated but that the name can't and shouldn't be used. And I wonder if that had happened if they would have been taken more seriously than probably anyone is taking me right now? At the end of the day I can understand why the fans are upset. We were given something really cool only to have it taken away and there were no real explanations as to why until recently.

But now we do have an explanation
, and it's straight from the horse's mouth. I would hope with this new information that people would just stop. No hatemail, no spamming, no drama. As Amy Keating Rogers wrote, "Let's remember what the message of MLP:FiM is--tolerance, kindness, understanding, and, most importantly, friendship." I think this is pretty much perfect but I'd like to add that the pony fandom doesn't really have a place for jackasses so don't be one.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Everypony Project- Blossom

After about a month of no updates I've got some new art to share. This is a pony named Blossom who happens to be pony number three in my everypony project.