I have an addiction

Sega had a contest last month. It was just “draw some fanart of Sonic CD that may or may not include Metal Sonic.”

My hubby urged me to enter, but I expected the competition to be something fierce. I mean, there’s some serious heavyweights in the Sonic art community. I expected anything I’d cobble together to get curbstomped by something like this.


Or this.


Instead, we got entries winners like this.

Sonic CD Fan Art Contest Winner - North America

Or this.

Sonic CD Fan Art Contest Winner - North America

So much of it looked like traced clipart. (You can look at the other entries here and see if I’m exaggerating.) I mean, there’s a few outstanding pieces in there. But, gee, I was disappointed. I should have submitted something.

So I scribbled out a rough idea of what I might have entered.

Kind of boring composition, but I like Sonic’s and Mecha’s poses. Make Sonic look like he’s running for his life, and Mecha look like he’ll disembowel Sonic if he catches him. (Seriously, as many times as I died on that dang level …)

As I drew this, I realized that I’m still badly addicted to Sonic the Hedgehog. I love these characters. I love their worlds and their stories. As I was looking through the entries to the contest, I was remembering the time travel and all of my made-up lore about the Time Stones. It got me thinking of my fanfic adapt of that game and how Mecha messed Sonic up pretty bad by the end of the race. (Gee, now there’s an editing exercise … cleaning up one of THOSE old monstrosities.)

You know when J.K. Rowling wrote that little 800 word story with James and Sirius getting chased by the cops, and she said that writing it was like a drunk going back to drink? I’m the same way with the Sonic world.



I’m becoming increasingly interested in dragon art from ancient cultures.

I want my dinosaurs to look like real animals, and I’m suspicious of paleo-art that copies the same ideas over and over. Especially when new details come to light, like maybe dinosaurs were skinnier than we draw them, or the big sauropods had long spikes on their backs. This sends ripples of shock through the paleo-artist community, and the art fluctuates wildly.

S8int.com had a great post this past week, Crouching Dragon, Hidden Dinosaurs. His premise is that dinosaurs are never allowed to be portrayed as dragonish, because people might draw a connection between dinosaurs and dragons in ancient cultures. Especially dragons that looked very dinosaurish.

Anyway, as I was looking at all these dragons from all these cultures, I noticed that the sauropod-looking ones all have some kind of feather thing on their heads. Spikes? Ears? I don’t know. But across all cultures, they all have this thingy on their heads. A lot of times they have a spiky dewlap under their chins, too.

So I took a whack at it.

Just some random sketches to conceptualize it. It makes little prosauropods look very dragonish, doesn’t it?

I also found this site, which has even more great pictures of dragons from various cultures. They even have skin comparisons, comparing the artwork to skin imprints we’ve dug up (they match).

I think I’m going to tackle the cerotopsians next (like triceratops). They’re drawn as “dragons”, too, and they have spiky bits on their backs, as well as this kind of armor shell thing on their backs, like really tough hide.

Dragon modeling and thoughts

Worked on this guy a little tonight. I had gotten a lot farther, then Painter inexplicably crashed and I had to start over. I’m back to obsessively ‘ctrl-s’ing again.

I read this funny little article called Don’t Be Afraid to Fail Aggressively. They’re taking writing advice from Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, namely, his statement about, “I would rather fail being aggressive than being passive.”

The blogger goes on to talk about how they took that as a motto and went and wrote something completely outside the box, namely, Mallory Caine, Zombie-At-Law. (I don’t do zombies, myself, but the concept of a zombie lawyer cracks me up.) And it took some courage to write and publish such an oddball thing!

For some reason, that dredged up this quote from Ratatouille in my head (the Pixar movie about the rat who cooks).

You must be imaginative, strong-hearted. You must try things that may not work, and you must not let anyone define your limits because of where you come from. Your only limit is your soul. What I say is true – anyone can cook (write, paint)… but only the fearless can be great.

This is on my mind as I’m mashing the first Spacetime story through the garlic press that is the second draft. I’m not seeing anything remotely like it out there, either on the bestseller lists or on the new books lists.

But if I’m going to fail, I want to fail aggressively.

Visual notes

Remember last night when I was griping about needing a better idea for the climax of my dragon story?

I can has idea.

This sketch is my visual notes. You know how a picture is worth a thousand words?

The delicious thing is, nobody but me has any idea what it means. It’s better than writing in Vorticon!

Random sketches

Just some random sketches for tonight. I feel like I’m in creative limbo, wanting to write one thing and wanting to edit something else.

Also, my current story doesn’t have enough oomph. I have to ask some more questions about it to myself. I mean, with Jake and Revi, the finale was always a big cross-world battle against the bad guy. But with this one, eh … the ending isn’t dragging me along in excitement. Right now it’s just a political conflict between some dragons ending in war. Yawn.

I want something BIG and STRANGE and ELECTRIFYING at the end of this story. I’m just not sure what yet. My original idea was lich-drakes, and then World of Warcraft’s Wrath of the Lich King expansion came out, and they did lich-drakes. Heck, they had a whole game zone dedicated to them.

What kind of weirdness can I get up to in a world of dragons? I don’t really want to do the Migard serpent, because that’s been done. I guess I kind of thought the Machine would be the Big Bad. Then I met him, and he’s more like Marvin the depressed robot from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Not quite world-threatening, and very amusing for the other characters to interact with, really.

Pondering …