Let me just push all these empty energy drink cans and cups of coffee off my desk so I can type up a last minute yearly review thing.
HOLYS HIT. THIS YEAR WAS SO DANG LONG AND BUSY FOR ME.
So not as much horse relative artwork happened with me this year. Between taking on more college classes, picking up a job, and getting more freelance work outside of this fandom, it was hella busy for me. I still had a good year for the most part, minus some speed bumps here and there. Hit some pretty cool milestones too! Reached 1000 followers on twitter, Reached 60,000 pageviews here on deviantART, and my tumblr imploded with notes from horrible low quality jpg images I uploaded lmao.
"BUT WHAT DID YOU DO ART WISE THIS YEAR MANG???"
Well for starters I designed a whole advertising campaign, branding ideas, and website for a horse convention.
There was this brand new convention that popped up sometime in Fall of 2013, they reached out to me because they said and I quote "We are in massive needs of better looking art for our convention". After I read that message I laughed because obviously my art is horrible and I don't even draw horses, so I looked at their website and saw their-
OH JESUS CHRIST WHAT IN THE F-
HOLD ME I'M SCARED.
So needless to say I gave them a huge hand and helped them out a shit ton. Props to Nash, Doktor, Calligraphy, and Pixelkitties for lending a hand when I needed it most (pretty much during college tests and finals, you guys rock for that help!) last year while running the essentially 1 man art staff for that convention haha.
MLP-MSP was a cool convention that happened out in Minnesota. They had a pretty decent number of people attend, and they had a killer live concert from what I was told.
So sometime after December of 2013 in between convention art for MLP-MSP & EFN, I managed to find free time to make art.
And of course this if the first dank wallpaper I crank out in the new year
At the time I was still pretty burnt out from the 2013 convention year and with multiple projects for EFN & MLP-MSP. I finally got around to finishing a wallpaper I had started in the first week of January as well. This year I wanted to make more horse art of characters I hadn't really made art of that much.
Somehow I managed to slap this together in a few hours and people went nuts over it. I wanted to make it extremely bright and white to better reflect the character, horrible for some desktops but people still liked it apparently.
The super bright artwork kinda bled over into a song that Emily Jones did with her friends. She reached out to me and asked for some help on some cover art for their song. At the time I had just picked up Illustrator again for the first time in ages, and had managed to crank out a vector of the CMC's (woah yeah! holy crap I do vector and I should probably find time to do it more again haha).
Most of the inspiration for this one actually came from a deck of cards I had sitting on my desk when I made it at the time.
"But what else did you make early on in the year yo???"
Well I managed to finally finish this series I started late in the previous year.
It started out as a timeline cover I tossed together for my own facebook and heavily inspired by Paradigm-Zero. People seemed to love it and asked for more, so I decided to make 5 more for the rest of the main characters in the show. It made its rounds on the internet and somehow Andrea Libman ended up wanting something like it for her facebook. I think she's still using the same horrible timeline cover I made her, and I'm super happy that she and many others liked em!
As the weeks went on after that, I wanted to start making different things than I usually make (shitty grunge and bokeh things) to flex my creative muscle a little more. I found an old tube tv in my back garage with some old cruddy quality VHS movies and pulled some inspiration from that on some art.
So at the time I hit 40k pageviews on deviantart and wanted to say thanks to my fans, and I tossed this thing together.
AND THEN THE EVERCON 2014 HAPPENED.
Oh boy let me tell you a thing about Evercon, and how fun it was! So after how much stress/drama me and my friends with through over at EFN in the 2013 year, we planned out a week where we could all get together and just hangout and not stress about having to do some livestream or work on some fandom project. We called it Evercon as an extreme pun for making our own convention that nobody outside of the network was invited to. It was probably some of the best times we've had around the network, just hanging out and having fun in SoCal! Most of it consisted of lots of partying, going on random adventures, disneyland, and lots of relaxing.
Then sometime during Evercon I had a wild idea of just really messing around with something and having no care at all what the outcome was. I ended up finishing it a few weeks after Evercon and this was the outcome.
I also ended up making a follow up wallpaper to the Celestia one I released earlier in the year too. Final Draft and CowboyDave watched me make like half of it and kept yelling something about "WOOOONAAAAAA" in my ear while I worked on it XD
The year kept moving along again and I made some more promotional artwork for MLP-MSP
I caved and made some more horrible grungy artwork again for the first time in a bit.
"Wait so did you even make anything for Everfree Network this year?"
Of course, I started pushing our mascot I made the previous year a bit more this year. I designed some new artwork and branding ideas for EFN's social media accounts to better suit our new feel around the network. I wanted to keep the dark/grey tones the network has always had, while incorporating that bright happy feel with our network mascot, Star Flower, had.
She was always fun to toss in random tweets or comments! Everyone around the network went nuts whenever I used her on something too.
Being the lead artist/designer around the Everfree Network was super fun. They gave me free reign for the most part this year to make whatever I wanted, mostly because me and Nash finished the making the other additions of the site in the previous year. Plus not being so heavily involved in conventions gave me more time to punch out some art for EFN.
AND THEN MORE FANDOM GROUPS STARTED POKING ME ABOUT THINGS.
So Club Luna was this thing that some of my friends were running out where I live. They reached out to me and asked if I could make them some promotional artwork. The event had a lot of musicians that I was already friends with performing, that and my friends were running the event itself.
It was awesome being able to make them some promotional artwork that helped get their name out there!
Also sometime in the midst of this I ended up pushing out one of my favorite art pieces of the year.
It's funny, I got the idea for it after seeing some old washed out advertisement that was for some orchestra/opera thing. It was a little different from the normal stuff I had been making.
"A Brony Tale Documentary?"
Oh man is this one a story. For those who hadn't heard or seen this yet, it was a documentary that Brent Hodge (the guy on the left in the photo) made when he followed Ashleigh Ball to the 2012 Winter BronyCon. He also went around the country and did a short little summary on the history of the Brony fandom and highlighted a few fandom people (a lot of them being my friends that he followed too haha).
The film was also being pushed by Morgan Spurlock, the guy who starred in the Supersize Me documentary and Inside Man on CNN.
But how do I tie into all this?
Well, earlier this spring Brent Hodge and Draft reached out to me asking if I could make them some last minute art for their Tribeca Film Festival release. At the time I felt super horrible because I had to turn them down because I was so busy with College finals in the spring at that time. My girlfriend TheShadowStone actually ended up lending them a hand with what they needed. After it was sent off I got a phone call back from Brent Hodge and I guess both him and Morgan Spurlock liked the Tribeca Film oc pony that ShadowStone tossed together last minute. So I felt horrible ever since that happened and I ended up going to the Hollywood premiere they did for the movie. It was awesome to be able to hangout with him in person after all the phone calls! The dude is awesome and he does some killer video work. He told me that still today the thing my girlfriend made is hanging in a wall out in New York in the Tribeca Theater with Brent's signature, Ashleigh Ball's signature, and Morgan Spurlock's signature.
He still found a way to toss me into a promotional ad as well from the Hollywood release too lmao.
THEN SUMMER APPROACHED AND IT WAS SO HOT THAT MY CANDLES MELTED.
Sometime in the midst of the scorching summer heat, I hid in the confines of my office working on my first serious wallpaper series. This year, quite a few more of my friends from the wallpaper side of the Brony fandom were taking their step out. Most of em were for good reasons, they wanted to move onto bigger and better things outside of the fandom. I'll still support them, as I've also been using a different alias outside of the Brony fandom for quite sometime now for my freelance work. I don't really share any of it here though because I like to keep my two different project names very separate from each other.
But anywho, I heard from quite a number of my friends that they were getting comments from people who draw saying "wallpaper artists put no effort into their art" and "all they do is just slap a vector onto a gradient and call it done". Now while this may be the case for the average guy that just wants his shitty artwork onto Equestria Daily, thats not the case for me and most of my friends who had been making wallpapers. This irked me and I made a four piece "generic" alicorn series. This is probably the only artwork I've done under this alias that features some of my own photography resources, my own custom abstract drawings, and a lot of hours of work. I worked on each one for a number of weeks, and even brought in my girlfriend :dev:theshadowstone: and my other close friend M24Designs in for some assistance. I really never cared for how many views it got or even if people liked it. It was just satisfying to me to just be able to say for once I legit put in a shit ton of work into my fandom artwork, and had fun with it.
The year sorta kept drifting on from here. I had picked up a job at the time and was just sorta tossing things up as I finished em.
When I hit 50k pageviews I tossed up a VIP of an old wallpaper I had laying around to say thanks to my fans for the support. I still have a few unreleased ones laying around that I might upload someday.
Convention artwork and art projects for EFN had started to slow up again, which gave me more free time to just mess around in photoshop and finish up my own unfinished projects that had been sitting for awhile.
Okay maybe too much free time haha. I started making more stupid images like this and tweeting em out. People went nuts over em and they gave me a good laugh or two. One of my friends actually pushed me into making a blog just to upload stupid images like this. I'll probably get around to actually using it sometime in the new year where you can find more horrible images like these.
Sometime over the summer I won in some contest that Wolf Beats was hosting
It was based off of which wallpaper got the most likes on their facebook page, and mine was one of em apparently. I felt a little bad too because I only spent like an hour working on it too haha. Shout out to Wolf Beats for sending me a free copy of one of Archie's albums after winning!
AND THEN SUDDENLY CONVENTION ARTWORK AGAIN
Wait what I thought I was done with this stuff since Everfree Network wasn't streaming as much anymore??? Nah, this time BronyCon still reached out to me and asked if I could make them another wallpaper again.
I brought my girlfriend in again for some assistance with this one to get her name out there a little more, and because its always fun working with her on stuff.
THEN SOMEHOW LAST MINUTE I MANAGED TO GET THE WEEK OF BRONYCON OFF OF WORK AND HAD NO COLLEGE OR OTHER EVENTS IN THE WAY FOR ONCE.
Now let me tell you a thing or two about how long I've been wanting to attend BronyCon. This year I somehow managed to have just enough money, with assistance of friends as well, to attend. It was extremely fun and I'd recommend that anyone active in the fandom should attend it at least once. It seriously is the most legit convention this fandom has, and they put a bunch of work into it.
I really didn't take too many photos on my phone, it was mostly a blur of all sorts of friends I met for the first time in person. You all know who you are if you're reading this, it was fun hanging out with everyone at BronyCon! Whether it was chasing down the ice cold water guy in Baltimore with BVids/Jhaller/Kryptonlogic, hanging out at the musician's table in the vendor hall, and hanging out at some of the panels. That and having people stopping me every corner I turned because they noticed my badge, you guys literally came out of everywhere haha. I had all sorts of people thank me for making cool stuff to use, and for the other fandom projects and musicians I had made artwork for.
AND THEN THE DANKEST ART PIECE OF THE YEAR HAPPENED.
I swear I'll still keep making more things like this in the future lmao.
Wait did you do anything for horse musicians this year??
Of course, they're always clawing at me for things. I just didn't say yes to as many of em this year.
Then I took my step away from Everfree Network
It was hard to do, it really was. Probably one of the hardest decisions I've had to make in this fandom. This year was rather slow for me around the network, being as how I had already stayed on with the network past the original reasons they had brought me on (which was to help them build the additional parts of their website). I try not to tell people that part of the reason was because of the endless amounts of shit and drama we got from the fandom, but it was a small fraction of the reason why. Most of the reason though was because they were going one direction with the network, and I had no desire to keep going in that direction with them. The network had eaten up so much of my time and pulled me away from most of my own personal projects in the fandom. One day this summer I actually sat down and noticed how little I had improved art wise in the fandom since I had joined them. Don't get me wrong, it was really fun for the most part working with them. They're really not what a good chunk of the fandom tries to shit smear and make them look like. Draft is a down to earth honest guy, and he had legit reasons for running his network the way he did. And no I'm not one of those "draft worshippers" as people have called me in the past. I actually yelled at him quite a number of times and called him stupid for doing some things. He may have overworked/overstressed himself sometimes, but it was just what he liked doing. We did settle all the arguments we ever had, mostly because we're friends and we realized we were both overstressed anytime we fought with each other over something. Working with EFN really opened my eyes on this fandom, and I really got to see how some of the bigger groups in the fandom work behind the scenes away from the public. They really helped get my name out there too. Honestly to anyone that wants to be the next big group/person in the fandom, they can have it. I don't have any desire to stick my hands in another horse media group after EFN, mostly because nobody would probably be as fun to work with as they were. "Horse Fame" is not all what it's hyped up to be, and seeing how some of the "horse famous" people are in the fandom really did make me almost throw up at times.
Be it as what you will say about the Everfree Network, majority of them were really nice people. That's coming from the guy that has worked with Everfree Network, Ponyville Live, multiple conventions, and multiple fandom projects. Did they have a few people along the way that gave them problems? Hell yeah. Every group I've worked with in the fandom has those kinds of people.
I still keep in contact with some of the network staff on almost a daily basis, a good amount of em over there will always be my friends, even when this fandom kicks the bucket some day.
Anyway, that's enough drama llama talk. What the hell did I make after I took my step away?
Well for starters, this happened. After returning from a few week hiatus from the fandom, I worked on finishing this rather relaxed series.
Most of these I had made back in the summer, but went backed and revamped a little bit and actually released them. Being as how it was still fun for me to make, it still rather left a "mehhh" aftertaste.
I finally took my step down from EFN, and few other fandom projects, and I have a shit ton of free time again. The only sad part is the last time I had this much free time I had the huge Equestria Digital group and a bunch of other photoshop/photomanipulation artists to hangout with. Most of those people have since left the fandom, or stopped making artwork. I never really made wallpapers for the favorites and the fame, I made them cause they were fun to make with my friends.
That being said, don't expect a lot of horse wallpapers from me next year.
Yeah I'm sure some people will probably be sad by that, but if I wanna keep making art in this fandom and not get burnt out from it, I gotta start making more things than just silly horse wallpapers. I am seriously flattered and amazed by the amount of people that did start following me because of them. You guys and ladies do all rock!
I've already been flexing my creative muscle and working on things I usually make outside of the fandom.
Like this rendition I did of that classic "brony" shirt. I can't even begin to tell you all the t-shirts I've made outside of the MLP fandom, but I've never really made any with horses. So probably expect more things like this in the future. I'm not completely done with wallpapers, but it will not be my main focus next year if I do make anything for my deviantart/tumblr. You should probably expect more cover art, posters for charity/conventions, shirts, etc.
ON THE NOTE OF CONVENTIONS YET AGAIN.
Yes I am working with both BronyCon and Equestria LA. I wish I could tell you guys more about what I'm doing with both conventions, but it's still really early in the planning process for both conventions and NDA's do keep me locked down for the most part currently. Really the only thing I think I'm currently allowed to tell anyone in the public about either convention, is that I am working on the design/branding staff for BronyCon next year. I do wanna give shoutouts to Emily, Lauren, and Karen. You girls have been super fun to work with so far! It's nice to finally be around people who make some of the same things I do again!
Other than that there really isn't anything else major planned. I still have a couple of unfinished wallpapers that I might finish and upload next year if I feel like working on them. Just don't expect the 100's of them like in year's past.
To peeps on Deviant Art I know,
Also thanks to the following people I hung out with, worked with, or pulled inspiration from in some way or matter for my art.
My EFN&Friends crew
Nash, Cowboy Dave, Calligraphy, Final Draft, Ramble, Screwloose, Wub, One Trick, DJ Midli, Larscis, the Elements of Harmony crew, Dusty Kat, Screwball
My small horse family Emkay, Amando(7homo), Echelon, CGEyeGuy, SevenUpPony, and LDSalad
To my Hideaway Cave skype chat, you asshats know who you are.
The all new Canterlot Hills network (you guys and ladies know who you are!)
My SoCal homies Kiniro, The Iron Pony, Garnika, BVids, Foozogz, Tyler, Cayci, Joi, Nick, Shayla, & RobBob.
Thanks to my BronyCon peeps Emily, Lauren, Karen, Trish, and Fallfeathers for helping me get settled in a new convention staff!
To the entire Equestria LA staff, and a wonderful start to 2015!
And to all the other people I met either through other groups, projects, or hungout with at conventions this year
Skipsy, Feulner, Tarby, P1K, d.Notive, DJ Calcos, DJ Tetsuo, Cyril, PuppyCake (A.K.A. Sketchy, u still smell), JHaller, Odyssey Eurobeat, JakeWhyMan, TheLightComesToThee, StandByPlease, Seventh Element, furrgroup, Rapid Rescue, Pinkaboo, Feulner, Josh Dean, Solrac, StrumpetChan(Gabby), uThunder, Nexgen, Steve Streza, Momo-chan, Sakura Cheetah, Toki Reatle, DolceTikky, kuou, Kolshicako, Japan Ponycon, Eile Monty, iStricer, JaxBlade, GalaxyArt (noticie me senpaiiii), DPad, Saberspark, Knife Pony (Paul & Chris, ur still a nerd Chris), MLP-MSP, Chase, Brent Hodge, and no thanks to Matniky.