... she's out of chalk, and can't add herself to what she's drawn so far.
I love this - it took my breath away, and this was while browsing the Fine Arts Prints with dozens of detailed, complex pictures. But this is the one I keep coming back to. It's a very simple theme, one to which many can connect - feelings of inadequacy, that we could be so much better if only we had A or were B or looked like C.
What stands out in my mind is how well this connects to what little we know of the character portrayed here. Octavia is an earth pony musician who lives in Canterlot. Canterlot is primarily a city of magical unicorns, who could conceivably use said magic to manipulate instruments with far more ease and skill than Octavia could ever theoretically hope to have. Even so, she is part of a musical quartet that plays in some relatively prestigious venues.
But is success ever what we truly desire? Perhaps to a point, but it could be argued that recognition is all we truly crave - Octavia almost seems out of place in a unicorn society, although with the progressive themes presented in MLP this likely wouldn't be a problem (at least in canon). The desire to be like one's peers leads to self-deprecation, and a desire to be better than we are, more like these paragons with which we surround ourselves.
Coming back to the piece, I feel that this is a truly excellent take on such a concept. Although this could be taken as depressing, it can also be seen as uplifting - the desire to better one's self on its own is a very pure and worthy emotion, after all. I personally see this as a crossroads - desire to be better than she is clashing with very real limitations on said desire. Only notes are on technique, which is rather rough and minimal - although this does contribute to the piece quite nicely. Originality has been docked a star just because this is based on a pre-existing fictional world, although I hope you will see it as 4/4 strs, because the idea itself is quite original.
While it'd be nice to say that earth ponies have strength or some such this is dwarfed by the powers of flight or magic.
The use of the chalky, fake surface to me symbolizes desires that cannot be fulfilled. Many pictures on desire ignite an empathy within the viewer of our own unfulfilled wants. Success, security, things that we often worry about.
This picture, to me, does a good job of connecting desire to identity and this is why it cuts so deep. We always want to be a better person. In the MLP universe the 'better' can be defined by extra limbs, a horn or wings. This is not true in the real universe.
What makes this work powerful is that it connects us to this understanding in the MLP universe intrinsically. We don't have to think about it, there's no deep analysis needed to feel the raw emotions.
Looking at the rest of your gallery this work feels like a happy accident. You didn't intend for such powerful imagery from the start, but were quite happy to go along with it as it was created. Much of the work here is fine tuned, tightened down with intention. I have this same issue with my traditional works. Controlling your work is not a bad thing, and you've used it to wonderfully expressive ends, but it makes this kind of discovery all too rare.
It is a wonderful thing to recognize these happy accidents (if it is not one I apologize for my assumption) and try to try to figure out *how the heck you did that* after the fact.
To me, a happy accident comes as the coincidental culmination of a few things. Much of which is simply drawing without realizing it. Drawing as a response, with or without planning. All too often I become analytical or follow a known process.
It is when you let your knowledge be guided in tandem with your instincts (the correct ones) that interesting things happen.
This is all very general and hard to understand for the purposes of instruction and figuring out how to capture how to do this again. So I'll throw out some advice that has helped me in the past.
* Study the best. Much like reading gets you in the same mood as the author, studying artists and strong compositions gets you in the same mood as strong compositions. You absorb it like a sponge.
* Work on responsiveness. Your speedy sketches are an awesome way to do this for emotions, but perhaps speedy thumbnails would assist you in compositions?
* Read. Art is made as a response to real life, not in a vacuum devoid of other artists. The wonderful thing about reading and being an artist is you get these neat pictures in your head, then you can make them. It's... well, it knocks my socks off.
As with all my critiques, four stars for everything. Critiques are about a discussion and learning, not ratings.
I bought a print of this at Bronycon 2012, but I think it got damaged in my last move - a big strip got tore out of the front. It breaks my heart because it was one of my two favourite prints ... do you know if this is still available as a print through any channel, or if it will be again?
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wandering in the
a beautiful letter
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his nephew, who had
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^Nyx-Valentine arrived in our community and started whipping everyone into a frenzy with her relentless desire to bring the Artistic Nude and Fetish galleries to the fore. 9 years later, and it's safe to say that Nyx is not only a leader as a photographer in these galleries, but she has also established herself as a much saught after model. ^... Read More