rynling: (Cecil Palmer)

I wrote some words of some things, but I didn't get around to finishing anything because

It was just that sort of week this week, I think everyone knows why.
rynling: (Default)
Every illustration I commission is my favorite commission, and I say this with absolute sincerity. The love I feel for the artists who work with me is so pure that it would be creepy if it weren't a platonic manifestation of overwhelming goodwill. I appreciate and treasure all of my commissioned illustrations equally and infinitely. Still, this drawing from lovelylandfill may just be the brightest light in a sky full of stars.

Read more... )
rynling: (Gator Strut)
I'm still thinking about doing an informal meet-up at Otakon (the big East Coast anime convention, which happens to be in the DC Convention Center this weekend), something along the lines of "Let's Draw Zelda Characters from Memory." The idea would be that I go to one lobby or another, sit myself down under a hand-painted sign, take out a bunch of art supplies and clipboards, and wait for people to bring their talent (or lack of talent, whatevs, it's all good). I haven't made any concrete plans yet, but does this sound like something people would be interested in, or would I just kind of be lurking by myself in a corner like some sort of creepster?

Please consider:

- I am a rubbish human.
- I will probably die of anxiety.

Also:

- How would the social media aspect of this work?
- Should I host this via Tumblr or Instagram?
- Do I create a hashtag? Or something?
- It's not weird if I don't cosplay, right?

I'm actually leaning toward doing a trial run at Anime USA in December and then maybe proposing an actual panel/event at Katsucon. If I do end up doing this on the spur of the moment just to see how it goes, I'm thinking about (a) doing it relatively early in the morning, (b) limiting it to an hour, and (c) not announcing it anywhere so as to not embarrass myself if it's a failure.
rynling: (Celes Chere)
- Someone invited me to give a talk, and even though I'm feeling kind of done with speaking engagements it's not too far away and the money is good. I accepted and wrote them a short abstract for publicity purposes. I sure hope they're ready to listen to me talk about Zelda.

- I put up another guest post on my professional blog. The person who wrote this one can actually write, praise Cthulhu, and I hardly touched her piece at all.

- I had A Very Bad Day at work on Monday, and I wrote some self-insert fic about Ganondorf burning down his office (link), Zelda quitting her job (link), and Link leaning out of his career to become Instagram famous (link). This is all a lie though, really my deepest fantasy is to eat a whole bag of barbecue potato chips and then sleep for an entire day. What can I say, I am a very basic bitch.

- I posted the tenth chapter of The Legend of the Princess. I cut a lot of corners in this chapter, but the most important thing was to finish it and keep moving forward.

- I started taking art requests on Tumblr, and a friend suggested a picture of Link and Marin. While I was working on the initial sketches, I realized that I didn't know how to draw Marin, so I did a simple front-facing illustration (link).

- A very kind person sent me a lovely message on Tumblr, so I responded with a sketch of Groose from Skyward Sword (link), who I think I'd like to use to represent myself. I was planning on creating a cartoon t-rex as an avatar, but when push came to shove I just really wanted to draw Groose. This was 100% done in Photoshop, and even though I'm getting marginally better working with the program I still suck, alas.

- I commissioned Yappatan on Tumblr to draw a New Yorker style comic of a stupid idea I've had buzzing around in my head for a while, which is that, in Breath of the Wild, Princess Zelda and Calamity Ganon were just hanging out around Hyrule Castle and playing video games for a hundred years. Yappatan did a brilliant and phenomenal job (link), and the only reason her post did not go instantly viral is because the philistines in the Zelda fandom have no appreciation for True Art.

- I cleaned up my account on DeviantArt. Yeah, I still post stuff on DeviantArt, whatever. Basically I use it as an archive in the same way I use FFN. I don't engage with the platform at all, but every tiny extra bit of positive feedback is super important to me. I feel like I should say something self-deprecating about my pathological need for attention, but fuck it, haters gonna hate. 

- I also cleaned up my online professional portfolio. Unlike Ganondorf, I can't get away with burning down my office, but I am so totally going back on the job market this fall.
rynling: (Ganondorf)
I was in New York for work this week, so of course I made time to go to the Nintendo store, where I saw this great and terrible thing...

Read more... )

I had known that this existed, and it's even more impressive than I thought it would be, but it raises some questions. Specifically, how did they decide on a price point? And who buys something like this? There's a small sign on the display case that says you need to place a special order from the cash register, and how awkward would that be? I mean, I can just imagine someone going up to the person manning the till and kind of mumbling, Yes, I wish to purchase that two foot tall statue of Ganondorf, let me spell my name out for you. And then, once it's actually delivered, what do you do with it? Do you create a special display, like put it on a pedestal or something? Or do you put it in one of those open wooden cabinets that people use as Buddhist altars? If you're financially comfortable enough to buy this, do you live in a place that's large enough for your Ganondorf statue to have its own room? Or do you hide it in a closet so that no one witnesses your shame?

On a similar note, I'm perplexed by the fact that Nintendo thought it was a reasonable idea to make a Wind Waker Ganondorf playset, which is a real thing that really exists in the world. I wish I were joking about this, but...

Read more... )
rynling: (Terra Branford)
Jake: I've been having these dreams, and they seem so real...

Psychiatrist: Well, Jake...

Psychiatrist: *flips through Jake's drawings of Matthew McConaughey*

Psychiatrist: You seem like a smart kid...

Psychiatrist: *flips through Jake's drawings of a large erect tower*

Psychiatrist: I think we both know what this means.

Me: ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

*

Despite getting terrible reviews and an aggregate rating of 18% on Rotten Tomatoes, The Dark Tower was actually a decent movie, and I enjoyed myself. Based on the reviews I read, I think critics were mostly butthurt because of the movie's departures from the novels, but what they failed to acknowledge is that those novels are bizarre. Like, do we really need to see Roland penetrate a mentally deranged country preacher with the barrel of his pistol before shooting her? No, no we do not.

I think it was in an interview with Essence magazine that Idris Elba said he took a lot of creative liberties with Roland's character. This was interesting to me, because I get the feeling that Idris Elba stans Roland in sort of the same way that I stan Ganondorf. Like, he murders a whole hell of a bunch of people and more or less single-handedly triggers multiple apocalypses across multiple timelines, but deep down he has a good heart??

In conclusion, Matthew McConaughey and Idris Elba have fantastic chemistry, I mean like really fantastic chemistry, and,,
rynling: (Gator Strut)
This morning I reblogged a chain of posts on Tumblr (link) about how "somewhere along the way fanart become worth more than fanfic to fandom" and how "Fan Authors have become the strange little hobbyists in the world of fandom, quality doesn't matter, care doesn't matter, research and talent and learning about writing doesn't matter." I added my own commentary, saying, "as the number of notes on this discussion indicates, there are a lot of fic writers (including myself) who are struggling through a very dark and painful space here on Tumblr."

It's probably best if I don't share the details of what I mean by "a very dark and painful space" within the context of my own life, but there are tears involved, not to mention not unoccasional substance abuse. I mean, I think many of us have at some point idealized artists like Van Gogh who suffer for their art, but when it happens to you it's really surprising how much it actually hurts. It's like, I did not plan to feel this bad about my creative endeavors??

What a lot of people say in response to a complaint like this is something along the lines of, "Well, you should create for yourself," or, "You can be happy if you have a few close friends who read your work." Both of these things are absolutely true, but at the same time it's difficult to look at someone's afternoon speedpaint get hundreds (if not thousands) of notes while the chapter you worked on for at least an hour every day for two weeks gets maybe ten notes if you're lucky. It's not that you didn't enjoy writing it, and it's not that you don't love and appreciate the people who responded to your stuff with every fiber of your heart - but also, what the fuck is even going on here? How did it happen that fic became so undervalued in fandom?

Personally, I'm not too terribly surprised that my own fic posts don't get many notes, as I write in a small subfandom, but it's been disheartening to see other people's fic all but vanish from the tags I track. There's still plenty of work being posted on AO3, but that platform isn't built for promotion and publicity, and just about the only way I find fics is if someone reblogs or recommends them on Tumblr (or here on Dreamwidth).

I guess my problem is that I see fandom as a community, and I'm disturbed that Tumblr-based fandom in particular is so dysfunctional in so many ways. This is why the essay I quoted, Social Contract Theory and Fandom Libertarianism, spoke to me so strongly: "Fandom libertarians, then, would be the people who insist that if everyone just did the fannish things they wanted to do and stayed out of everyone else’s business, we would all have a great time in fandom. And just like with political libertarianism, that sounds pretty good on the surface." But, as the author argues, libertarianism sure sucks for most people in practice, and it's not doing fandom any favors.

#ddadds

Aug. 1st, 2017 09:20 am
rynling: (Default)


I'm not sure why it took me so long to realize this, but I'm fairly certain that men's magazines are just Tiger Beat for older women.
rynling: (Mog Toast)
I've been attempting to study how Tumblr works for the past two years, and this is what I've got.

Sunday evening from 6:00pm to 8:30pm EST/EDT is the best time to post something on Tumblr. Wednesdays and Thursdays also get a high volume of traffic, with the window between 7:00pm to 10:00pm being particularly active. The trick is to try to catch the sweet spot when both the East Coast and the West Coast/Latin America people will see your work, and hopefully the reblogs will keep the post spreading until the people in Europe are active.

Only the first five tags of any given post "count," meaning that the post will only appear on the searches and feeds for those tags. All additional tags will only function to help organize content within the individual blog itself (or to serve as commentary).

A post will not appear on searches or tags if it contains a link to a website outside of Tumblr that has not been vetted by the admin overlords. AO3, Dreamwidth, Patreon, Instagram, DeviantArt, and Wordpress seem to be fine.

When posting images, the ideal pixel width is 540 or 1080, and 1280 on certain themes. The maximum pixel width is 1920. If you post at another pixel width, Tumblr will resize the image and make it look fuzzy. Always try to post images as "image" posts, because many themes distort the images of "text" and "ask" posts when they are reblogged.

In terms of the attention any given post receives, I'm starting to suspect there's something of a chain effect that happens with likes and reblogs, but not in the obvious way of "more people seeing a thing equals more notes." What follows is nothing more than speculation, but...

Read more... )

When it comes to how many notes any given post on Tumblr will get, then, timing and formatting – not to mention creativity, skill, and consistency – are important, as is having a strong social network. But there are other major contributing factors that are... not random, exactly, but extremely difficult to control or predict.
rynling: (Default)
- I edited some of my old fic.

- I just, really, hardcore edited some of my old fic.

- I posted the third chapter of The Price of Wisdom. I resent this fic so much.

- I translated another page of Hyrule Encyclopedia. These posts aren't getting a commensurate amount of attention relative to the effort I'm putting into them, so I don't think I'm going to keep doing this. Ah well, what can you do.

- And sometimes I make bizarre shitposts like this one that actually do get a small measure of attention, probably because I have very kind followers who feel sorry for me.

- I posted a guest review on my professional blog. This originated with a pitch from a stranger that I accepted based on the strength of his previously published essays, but the raw draft he sent me was so disjointed and confounding that I more or less had to rewrite every sentence and rearrange every paragraph. This was a lot of work; it took me more than three full hours to edit 900 words, sheesh.

- I follow an artist called l-a-l-o-u for her quality reblogs of illustrations that perfectly match my ideal aesthetic of pastels, plants, and cute girls being friends, but she also occasionally draws Zelda art. I was especially impressed by her lineless drawing of Midna that showed off the intricate pattern on the back of the character's clothing. When she opened commissions about a month after that, I was like, Okay now do one of Wind Waker Ganondorf. And she did!!
rynling: (Ganondorf)


I'm not super into men or dating sims, so I'm probably never actually going to play Dream Daddies, but I really enjoyed reading an essay titled Angels in America and Log Cabin Republicans: How Dream Daddy’s Joseph Reflects Gay Conservatism. The whole thing is good, but the conclusion is gold.

Which brings us back around to the question of when it’s “okay” to write a character who is both part of marginalized identity and also a terrible person. Joseph’s story isn’t just part of a long storytelling tradition examining the ways in which heteronormativity is imposed on queer men; he’s also one character in a cast full of diverse portrayals of queerness. It’s a simple idea that bears repeating: if you have a character who is the only member of a group in your whole story, they are inevitably made to stand for the author’s thoughts on the whole of that group–because it’s the only example we have to go on; tell a story with many members of a group, and their individual traits are tied to who they are as people, rather than their identity.
 
This is actually somewhat tangential to the point of the essay, which mainly concerns itself with a close reading of a character within the relevant historical context, but I think this conclusion gets to the heart of why I'm so distressed by what I call "Idris Elba tokenism," which is when a work of fiction has its one character with a minority identity be a terrible person, often in ways that reflect negative stereotypes regarding that minority. Although this is obviously a major problem in big-budget popular media, I've noticed that it's also a tendency in the work of Tumblr-based and other independent creators, who feel pressured to represent a certain minority but don't fully understand what that minority identity entails or what "representation" is supposed to achieve in the first place. 

This is also why I want someone to develop a concept like Magic Mummies, because I am so thirsty for diverse representations of older gay girls that it's kind of gross.

rynling: (Gator Strut)
For the past few days I have been trying to spend at least half an hour with Photoshop every evening, but why is tablet, what,, is layers

Read more... )

A friend of mine on Tumblr tried to explain that learning to use a tablet is sort of like learning to ride a bicycle in that it takes a surprising amount of time to develop a specific set of muscles and sense of balance, but that is unacceptable. I want to be instantly good at this thing with no work whatsoever, is that too much to ask.
rynling: (Teh Bowz)
I had a strange experience recently, and it's making me feel weird.

There's a guy I recently blocked on Twitter and Tumblr for the normal reasons – he was bothering me and I wanted him to leave me alone. (I wrote about this a bit earlier.)

He sent me some emails in response, but I deleted them unread for, again, the normal reasons – he was bothering me and I didn't want to deal with him.

So then he starts leaving long comments on my fic on AO3.

I felt really attacked. They weren't mean comments, exactly, but...

...but they kind of were. There were a few things he said about my writing that could have been interpreted as positive if they had been coming from a friend but which felt extremely passive-aggressive when coming from someone whose goodwill I don't trust. Also, even if these comments had been entirely positive, it's still emotionally manipulative to try to use public compliments to demand the attention of someone who clearly doesn't want to interact with you.

Now here's the problem – there has always been anxiety at the back of my mind that I'm bothering people by leaving comments on their fic or reblogging their posts with commentary in the tags. It's one thing if I'm throwing love at a stranger, but things start to get awkward if a relationship forms and then becomes one sided. At what point does it become the more respectful and compassionate thing to do to just leave someone alone?

Anyway, I deleted the guy's comments on AO3 and sent him a very short email asking him to fuck off. Of course he sent several emails in response, which I deleted unread because I have no patience for what was undoubtedly sad puppy bullshit, but hopefully this will be the end of it.
rynling: (Needs More Zelda)
- I posted the second chapter of The Price of Wisdom.

- I translated another page of Hyrule Encyclopedia.

- I wrote some self-righteous Zelda meta like a nerd.

- I wrote another stupid Wind Waker shitpost. I worked really hard on this one.

- I drew a shitty illustration based on a fic that someone gifted to me about two years ago. It's so bad that I actually lost count of the number of mistakes I made, but my goal was to create something as quickly as it came into my mind, and in that I succeeded.

- I drew another shitty illustration in response to a mutual's shitpost. Honestly I don't care if she likes it, because I'm still trying to get back at her for the porn she drew in response to one of my own shitposts.

- I signed up for digital art classes with the Oatley Academy because I want my illustrations to be less shitty.

- My ultimate goal is for people to be happy when I draw something for them, like this Ganondorf saltycatfish drew for me, which literally made me weep with joy.
rynling: (Mog Toast)
As I play Final Fantasy XII, the outfits of the female characters have been driving me a bit crazy. What I was able to accept in 2007 isn't really flying with me anymore, and I feel a burning desire to fix the stupid designs, or at least try to imagine alternatives.

The worst offender is Fran, who is from a tribe called the Viera. The Viera are basically forest bunny versions of the Gerudo from the Zelda series (link) in that they're an isolated society of warrior women whose "otherness" is marked by brown skin, while they are made less threatening to the ostensibly straight male player through their sexualized clothing. As is the case with the Gerudo, the elements of "male-oriented exoticism" are unfortunate, because the Viera have an interesting culture. Likewise, Fran is a fascinating character, but... I don't really need to watch the black leather of her thong disappear into her bare butt as she runs through the desert, you know?

This is Fran's official design (link), and here is some concept art (link). I would be interested in keeping the character's features the same while designing a battlemage adventure outfit that's a bit more practical. I was thinking about actually commissioning someone in the Final Fantasy fandom, but no one jumps to mind. I'd love to see Kashuan do something like this, but...

A lot of Final Fantasy artists have moved on (typically to the Dragon Age fandom), and the ones that are still around really intimidate me. They didn't talk to me when I was a baby fan on DeviantArt, and they sure as hell aren't going to talk to me now that I'm a slightly less baby fan on Tumblr. So maybe this is something that I should try to do myself?
rynling: (Needs More Zelda)
Lightsintheskye just sent me a comic based on a scene from the sixth chapter of my Zelda/Ganondorf fic The Legend of the Princess, and words cannot describe how fantastic it is. She also sent me a gag version, which I want to share here because it is made of gold.

Read more... )

My post of her last illustration only ended up getting about three dozen notes, so I decided to ask for the artist's advice about posting this one. I understand that the attention any given post gets on Tumblr is random, but there still have to be ways to skew the odds. Is there a day of the week or time of day that gets more traffic? Is there a good set of tags to use? I know there are marketing strategies for things like this (for example, this is an interesting infographic), but I've never sat down and compared notes with another actual human being. And it never hurts to ask for advice, right?

ETA: I'm glad I asked!
rynling: (Gator Strut)
During the past few days I've been editing the fic I've written this year, and last night I came to the conclusion that I'm a bad writer. Like, I am not a good writer, and I'm not good at writing - which is to say that I have neither talent nor skill. I mean, I'm not going to stop writing, but there's really no point in me taking it as seriously as I have been.

You know what I am good at, though? Surfing.

Fuck this "working hard" shit, I am going to Hawai'i. I've got some friends who've been pestering me to visit, and I owe myself a nice long weekend of sitting on the beach while eating shrimp and reading other people's fic for once.

And maybe I'll get drunk on the plane (as one does) and write another cracktastic Peach/Bowser story, that might be fun too.
rynling: (Ganondorf)
Rime (stylized as RiME for some reason) came out this past May, and people have been describing it as a cross between Journey and The Wind Waker. This comparison is apt, as Rime has the aesthetic sense of Wind Waker with a few design elements borrowed from Journey, and its particular brand of "exploration adventure" is clearly influenced by Journey, with a few gameplay elements (such as moving block puzzles) drawn from Wind Waker.

Rime is apparently supposed to be three to four hours long, and I think I'm about a third of the way through. This doesn't include the extra hour I spent trying to get past the first section of the game, an hour that I erased by resetting the game and starting over with a walkthrough. Overall, Rime isn't particularly difficult, but I want to talk a bit about this weird failure in the design of what it's probably fair to call the "tutorial mission."

Read more... )

I frequently have trouble figuring out the internal logic of games that are new to me, so this could just be a consequence of my own relative lack of skill, but I still think exploration challenges with this level of difficulty should not be part of the tutorial mission. This wouldn't be a flaw in a game that is in fact meant to be difficult, but it's definitely a problem in Rime, and it could have been avoided with a focus group of literally one shitty gamer.

My experience of fooling around with Rime has been making me appreciate how good the game design of the Zelda series is, especially Breath of the Wild, which has no artificial barriers and doesn't force the player to use an action before they've figured out how it works in a more natural and intuitive context. That being said, there is more environmental storytelling in the first hour of Rime than there is in however many 100+ hours I spent with Breath of the Wild. After I finish Rime, I want to talk more about the intense Wind Waker feels this game has been giving me.
rynling: (Celes Chere)
- I decided not to participate in the Zelgan Big Bang, so I sent (what I sincerely hope was) an apologetic yet supportive set of messages to the mod, to the artist who offered to be my illustrator, and to the only other writer who submitted a story summary. I feel like a garbage human, but there was no way I would have been able submit my work by the deadline, especially not without community support.

- I went ahead and posted the first chapter of what was going to be my Big Bang story, The Price of Wisdom.

- I'm continuing to edit my Peach/Bowser smutfic, Claws and Lace. It's so awful, goddamn. There are some things I can fix, like small typos and repetitive adverbs, but some things are still entirely beyond my ability at this point, like actually being able to write decent prose.

- I posted my translation of another page from the newly released Hyrule Encyclopedia, as well as some meta providing a bit of cultural context.

- I drew a set of Wind Waker postcards for a friend (the same friend from this conversation).

- I answered a fun ask from a Tumblr mutual with a shitty drawing of Calamity Ganon.

- My Tumblr tag wrangling continues apace, and I also changed the theme of my blog, finally, after five years. I wish I could change my username as well, but Tumblr (unlike AO3, Dreamwidth, or DeviantArt) will not automatically map all instances of the old username to the new one, alas.

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