If you are so deeply inspired by the artistic practices (not just visual art, but all channels of creative expression) of PoC cultures, then you need to understand several things.
1) Chances are, these artistic practices, have never been recognized as legitimate due to our Eurocentric fixation on what qualifies as art. Meaning that they’ve rarely been giving the proper respects they deserved when handled by outsider hands.
2) And not only that, but the people that created and nurtured these practices have probably been abused and marginalized for indulging and preserving these traditions. So most likely, the people who practice these traditions are highly protective of it. It’s tied to who they are as people and as a part of their culture. You do not fuck around with things like this. No matter how frivolous it might seem to you.
3) Regardless of how much you appreciate these artistic practices, remember that it is not your cultural practice and you’ll never be more of an expert at these practices, than someone’s who been surrounded by it their entire lives.
4) If you are going to indulge in these practices then before you even attempt at recreating these practices, properly educate yourself on them from someone from the culture invovled and is actually involved in it.
5) Recognize that you are a guest and conduct yourself accordingly.
6) Regularly recognize that the practice is not your own, actively an accurately acknowledge the culture that you’ve learned from
7) Recognize that part of respecting another culture is understanding that you are not owed access to other cultures simply because of your “appreciation”.
8) No is a complete sentence. You were never entitled to these cultures in the first place. Respect the boundaries that may be put in place at all times.
If you cannot understand any and all of these points, you do not posses the sufficient amount of respect or maturity required of an artist. Period.
I think one of the most fundamental misapprehensions people have about the value of commissions is that no one really gets told how mass production defrays costs to the consumer. So, when they see the prices for custom artwork online, they expect the retail prices they see in stores, and it doesn’t work like that.
You go to the poster section at wal-mart. There’s an amazing poster there. It’s got dragons. It’s got wizards. It’s huge. It’s, what, 12 bucks? Awesome, good deal. You can afford that. It’s as much as three or four cheeseburgers, dang, that’s some serious amounts of art.
You go on the internet. Some asshole wants 12 bucks for a crappy sketch of one character sort of standing there. What the fuck? It looks like crap. It’s nothing compared to the poster you just bought from a store. If that dragon poster is worth 12 bucks, this dumbass sketch should be one buck. Maybe fifty cents. That’s if you’re being generous. You don’t even get a print, it’s just going to be a file on your computer, it’s not even actually real! What a rip off.
The thing is, that sketch took an hour, or two hours, or maybe even four hours. The artist drew it for a fraction of minimum wage. Drawing is hard. It took thousands of hours and a really special kind of dedicated self loathing to learn to do that. It might have taken thousands of bucks of tuition money, which means semesters, which means years of early mornings and late nights and maybe even some crying here and there.
Your dragon poster was not made by a guy who got paid 12 bucks. Your awesome dragon poster was made by a guy who got paid hundreds of bucks. Maybe thousands. Because a company paid him, and then turned around and made even more thousands of dollars off that artwork, by selling instances of it to multiple people, 12 bucks at a time. It’s called mass production, and it leaves the general public with no real clue as to the sheer amount of time and effort and skill that goes into every single thing they can buy for the price of a couple cheeseburgers.
Artists who work on commission don’t generally have the advantage of mass production. Every picture is made new and custom for each client. Instead of charging the hundreds of dollars an hour a professional artist could ask for from a company, we’re asking for just enough to get by, and sometimes a hell of a lot less than that. Because it’s what people will pay, because it’s what they think art is worth, because it’s what a lot of young, naive, desperate artists are willing to agree their art is worth, and because there’s always going to be some kid who thinks they’re being ripped off because they don’t really get what they’re being asked to pay for.
I should have some pithy and clever thing to say here to wrap it up but all I can think to say is basically the whole situation is sad and scary and I hope eventually we’ll all have a better way to deal with each other, and everyone will be a lot clearer on what it takes to do art and to get art.
hi i like your blog and i don't want to be rude but i love disney, infact my favourite princesses are jasmine and cinderella and i just wanted to sayCOLOR DOESNT MATTER! lets say the disney princesses were yellow or green it wouldnt matter. a lot of people think that just because there are only a few disney princesses of a different color thats racist, yes modern disney are creating new disney princesses which are not white but in conclusion color of the disney princesses dont matter
okay I told this person in a private message since they sent multiple asks that they Google this because it’s surprisingly often that people say something about the “green people” or “people people” representation but I couldn’t quite not address this since it’s common
in case anyone needs clarification on this subject:
color DOES matter in terms of representation. If you don’t feel affected by it? That’s fine. There are a lot of things that don’t matter to me. But that doesn’t mean you’re obligated to stick your nose into these subjects and declare they “don’t matter.”
"Modern Disney" just created four white princesses in a row. In itself, this might not be "racist" but in a racial social paradigm such as we have in American U.S. media, it is. In context, it’s not accidental that fantasy and escapism is equated to whiteness (while historical struggles are matched with PoC characters)
It’s not like being “green” or “purple” because there is no such thing as green people. If there were, I would be totally open to addressing and researching how they’re discriminated against when it comes to jobs, housing, education, politics, welfare, legal system, et cetera. As it is, this only is something that applies to REAL PEOPLE though. And to bring in a hypothetical “green person” is incredibly dismissive of what REAL PEOPLE actually experience on a daily basis.
a few examples of how racial discrimination and media intersect for ACTUAL people: XYZ but I mean Google and… everything is here for you to move past the super basic “there is no possible representation problem in media and Disney because I can count a few PoC princesses on my left hand”
Do you have a how to guide or tip page for how to write an abused character? I'm sorry if this puts you off your schedule or something.
No, no! Please don’t ever be sorry for asking me a question. It’s my favorite part of being an RPC!
I’m not sure what type of abuse you need help with, since all kinds are, of course, different from one another. I don’t feel confident enough to give you any tips myself, however, I did do some searching and I have some great resources that will hopefully help you out with whatever type of abuse you are wanting to write about. I focused mostly on the effects abuse can have on a person. If this isn’t what you were looking for, please let me know.
Do you have any tips as how to play a pregnant character? I joined a roleplay and my character was two-months pregnant. I'm excited to be in it but, I don't want to get kicked out for playing the pregnancy part wrong. Thank you, so much.
I believe the first and foremost thing that we need to pay attention on while writing a pregnant character is the symptoms. The general symptoms are:
Headache; the possible causes are fatigue, tension, increasing hunger, physical or emotional stress, and overheating.
Morning sickness or vomiting
Changes in breasts; breasts may become larger and more tender.
Peeing more often
Aches in the back, pelvis, and shoulders due to changes in posture, body weight, and body shape.
Increasing sensitivity to certain smells
Losing interests in some food that you usually like
The most well-known symptom is, of course, the morning sickness. To some lucky women, morning sickness only happens in the morning, but for most, morning sickness can happen anytime, despite the name. Causes of this include hormonal and gastrointestinal factors. The least possible factor is psychological, although it’s possible, and these causes would be explained further by the first article linked below.
Morning sickness usually begins 4-8 weeks after the last menstrual period, peaks during the 11-13 weeks, and starts diminishing during 14-18 weeks into the pregnancy. Fever, diarrhea, and abdominal pain are not linked to this symptom. [Source]
To understand further about morning sickness, here are some good articles:
Besides the symptoms mentioned above, your character might also get affected by mental health problems and hair/skin changes during the pregnancy.
Describing about your changes in your character’s physical appearance might be a great idea. This article explains about the changes to hair and skin, including pigment changes, dry skin, stretchmarks, and reduced hair loss.
Depression and anxiety might affect pregnant women, and it usually happens within the third trimester of pregnancy. Here's a good article that explains this.
Other things that you might need to know during the pregnancy:
MIT is offering free online courses in many topics that might be of interest to followers of this blog!
I know many of us can’t afford the kind of tuition that these institutions charge. Luckily, MIT is offering older courses for free to people interested in learning on their own time.
These classes can be taken at their own pace, or you can just peruse them for articles and texts of interest to you. Self-directed learning can be very gratifying, and you can do the assignments if you wish.
You’ll see that you can narrow down these topics by sub-topic and specialty:
Then, scroll down to see your results:
When you click on a course, a window will pop up, and you can select “View Course”:
This will take you to the course, where you can browse the syllabus, required texts, readings, assignments, and more!
Important: Although main texts for the course may need to be purchased, it is worthwhile to search Google Books for them, and check to see if some of the assigned readings are available in the preview sections of the ebook. (Many instructors advise students to do this in the beginning of classes!)
Moreover, MANY OF THE ASSIGNED READINGS HAVE EMBEDDED LINKS TO PDFS OF THE READING ASSIGNMENTS. They are included, and will NOT need to be purchased.
Of course these classes are “As taught in 2010” or otherwise a few years “out of date”, but it’s very unlikely that the class structure or materials will have changed much.
They have many Math and Science courses as well as Humanities, History, and Social Sciences.
You also have the option to browse only Video/Audio Presentations, Lecture Notes, classes with Online Textbooks, or Interactive Simulations.
How do you write a character that's neurotic, as in suffers from neurosis?
Neurosis is an umbrella term for many disorders including phobias. Research the disorder you’re writing about. You can start with my mental illness tag. However, there are also neurotic personalities or personality traits.
I’m thinking of participating in NaNoWriMo this year, but I’ve never written a novel before. I’ve only written short fanfics, never more than 15K words and never with any main original characters. Do you have any tips on how to get starting with writing original ideas as well as writing a novel for the first time?
If you’re writing your first novel for NaNoWriMo, don’t fret too much over it. NaNoWriMo is all about the word count, so use it as practice to write longer stories rather than higher quality stories. It takes a long time to get into the practice of writing original stories that are at a novel’s length, so don’t feel like you have to get everything right.
Making the switch to original fiction can be challenging for some people. Those who only write fan fiction may have trouble coming up with settings, characters, and worlds. It’s best to exercise those when making the switch to original fiction.
For NaNoWriMo in general, I wrote a post on how to prepare here.
STEP ONE: OUTLINING & STRUCTURE
It’s a good idea for everyone new to writing a novel to outline before they begin, especially for NaNoWriMo. To outline, inexperienced writers should follow some story structures since writing a novel can be overwhelming at times. Then again, writers of all experience levels may need to follow these structures and outlines.
Plot Structure: All plots follow the basic structure of beginning, middle, and end. However, it gets more complicated from there. Here are some posts about plot structure:
But how do you make a plot? Some people start with an idea. Some start with an object. Some start with a character. Some start with a setting. However you start out your novel is up to you. If you have trouble, try using one of the Basic Plots in Literature as a base. Here are some questions you can answer to make sure you have a full plot:
Who is the protagonist? To have a story, you need a protagonist. The protagonist does not have to be a hero and does not have to be the point of view character, but should be the center of the story.
What is the protagonist’s motive? The protagonist needs a motive. This is what drives the plot forward.
What is the main conflict? The protagonist has a motive, but there is conflict that prevents that motive from being reached.
Who is the antagonist? The antagonist is the character who opposes the protagonist and the protagonist’s motive. The antagonist does not have to be a villain or even a character, but should still have a presence.
What is the climax? The climax it when the protagonist is put up again their motive and all the story has been leading to.
Does the protagonist succeed or fail? The protagonist must either succeed in reaching their motive through the climax, or fail.
How does the protagonist change? How does the outcome of the climax change the protagonist? Characters need to change over time or they’ll be static.
Chapter Structure: Each chapter also follows a structure. This is similar to the structure of plots, with a beginning, conflict, middle, climax, and resolution. Within a chapter can be several scenes, so don’t feel as though you have to end each chapter when the scene ends. The chapter ends when it needs to.
You’ll want to outline the plot, the chapters, and the scenes (though you don’t have to outline all of those things). Your outline can be detailed or it can be basic. I would suggest that writers find somewhere in between, as your story may change while you’re writing it and flexibility in the outline can be helpful. If you write down every detail, you may feel like you can’t change anything and that may lead to writer’s block.
For my outlines, I make a chart. In each row, there is: chapter number, chapter name (if applicable), date during which chapter takes place (good for stories that take place over long periods of time), summary of main plot in chapter, summary of subplots in chapter, important information revealed, characters met, and what the antagonist is doing.
STEP TWO: CHARACTERS
You can’t have a story without characters. If you’ve never created an original character, now is your time to use your imagination. I usually start with a name and everything else sort of comes into place. Others have different methods of creating a character. No matter how you create your character, you’ll need to make them realistic, dynamic, and round.
A round character is one who is well developed and three dimensional. A dynamic character is one who changes over the course of a story. Write your character as human. Give them flaws, virtues, morals, back stories, coping skills, hobbies, likes, dislikes, mannerisms, and more. My tag on character questions has resources on creating a character and my character development tag has resources on developing characters. You’ll also want to avoid writing a Mary Sue or Gary Stu, as they’re flat, poorly written, and unrealistic.
When you create characters, write bios of them and write down every piece of information you put in the story. That way, you”ll be able to keep track of them. Readers can spot inconsistencies.
When writing your character’s back story, you have to think about how it will impact their personality, behavior, and thoughts. It adds depth and reality to characters, as well as the opportunity for connection between readers and characters.
STEP THREE: FORMAT
If you’re looking to publish your novel, it’s best to format it early on so you don’t have to go through giant chunks of text (though you should still look over it).
Once you have everything ready, the next thing to do is write. You don’t have to write every day (though you should try if you’re doing NaNoWriMo). Don’t go back to edit while you’re writing. Just go through it all and finish.
Have you finished writing the whole thing? Step away from your work for a while so when you go back, you’ll have a fresh mind and you won’t be sick of going over the same stuff. Now edit.
If you find that you hate your writing, don’t get discouraged. If you hate it, you’ll be able to change it and make it better. However, don’t get rid of anything you’ve already written. You might want to go back to it. Your first revision will probably be quite heavy. Some writers end up rewriting the entire book.
Once you’re done with your first edit, you’re probably not done. Keep editing the major stuff until you think your story is good. Then go through it to look for small stuff like grammar, punctuation, and formatting errors.
After that, get some beta readers. Ask for critiques and consider more revisions if more than one beta reader points out the same mistake.
Chapter Length: Chapter lengths are as long as they need to be…for older audiences. If you’re writing for younger audiences, chapters should be shorter. No matter what you do, chapters should be around the same length throughout the story for consistency, give or take a few pages.
Point of View: The point of view is extremely important to your story. It sets up the way the story is told, the tone, and the way certain things happen within the story. Choose wisely.
Subplots: To add more depth to your story, you can add subplots.
Title: You don’t have to choose a title right away and you don’t have to stick to it. My tag on titles has some resources and tips for choosing a title.
KEEP IN MIND:
It’s your first draft of your first novel. It’s going to suck. Just write through it and finish it. That’s one of the biggest hurdles to get over when you’re a writer.
For NaNoWriMo, it’s all about word count. Put your focus on that and go back afterwards to fix up the story.
I’ve been asked to explain why I disagree with Jay the Barbarian. I really enjoyed the general article, but here’s what made me hesitate to fully bestow my breast-plated blessings. Jay says, "Ironically, boobplate has been a relative non-issue in live performance, looking at the rash of armored women over the last few decades.”
So… Rashes are usually measured in days, not decades. I want to point out that the four women he shows are wonderful well-armoured exceptions to the trend, along with personal favourites Kristen Stewart as Snow White and Cate Blanchett again as Maid Marian.
Let it be said- girls may thoroughly kick arse, but four is not a high number of warrior women, nor is six, or even forty (if we could find them), if you measure them against the thousands of fictional medieval films of the last few decades (and that’s just live action feature films, not even mentioning animated, independent, or web series).
Above:Long live Colleen Atwood and Janty Yates, the wonderful costume designers for (respectively) ‘Snow White and the Huntsmen’ and ‘Robin Hood’.
I understand Jay’s point, it’s relatively a larger group of reasonably-attired women on film than the female-fighter-in-media cliche suggests. Yay for us having role models! I want to be clear that it’s still not *nearly* enough.
The fact Jay calls it a “relative non issue” should show just how bad the situation really is for want of strong, capable, feminine, not-overly-sexualised female role models.
Then, there is his response to Mr Jabberwock the Armourer regarding the twin peaked, Madonna-esque, Double Domes of Wonder style of boob plate, and the ongoing argument about how it will crack a ribcage through poor design. Jay says,
"So she trips and falls, and lands boob-first. Obviously, the breast cups aren’t going to compress or absorb. This transfers the force to the sternum through the padding…. And to the entire rib cage, in the case of this piece, which results in spreading the force throughout the torso. You know, the exact same thing that an unarmored fall would do? Or even a fall in a non-boobed plate would do?”
I agree with Jay that Mr Jabberwock’s original statement (that he worries constantly about a poor lass tripping and cracking herself open by means of her gravitationally-bound steel encased bossumry) is insulting and reflects a truly medieval view of women.
What I contest is that there really is more danger of falling in boob plate than falling unarmored or in flatter plate, on account of having two overinflated steel spheres getting in the way. Breasts are meant to move around, not be permanently fixed in place like Han Solo in Jabba’s dungeon.
Boob plate is a hazard, not only to the wide-eyed opponent.
Above: The best kind of bra for fencing- the 800+ bustiere-long Cardrona Valley Bra Fence in Otago, New Zealand.
Any lady who has trained wearing the plastic version of the Double Domes of Wonder should be able to confirm the design isn’t suited to deflect thrusting weapons, which rules out usefulness for practicing historically-accurate fencing styles.
"Surprisingly, this is not that big a deal. One reason is that inside shots are rare and easy to defend. Most attacks against an armored opponent come from the outside, and often at an angle."
I don’t know what Jay is talking about, but it’s not Western or Historical European Martial Arts. Possibly SCA heavy fighting, or medieval reenactment, or HEMA synthetic longsword competitions, or Battle of Nations, or something that doesn’t involve working from the bind?
A thrust to the torso is far from stupid: controlling the centre line opens the opponent up for manipulation and eventual defeat. I’d like to see a good thrust *not* tip someone off posture, and once you have them locked out with their attacks disabled, piercing through their armour is irrelevant. It sounds like Jay is not familiar with medieval martial arts armoured fighting techniques, but more Hulk-smash styles that have been so popularised in fictional media.
Above: Talhoffer’s 15th Century armoured duelists not only control the centre line, but they attack with the non-pointy end as well.
Apart from those statements I heartily applaud Jay’s views, and will be thinking of him the next time I need a woman’s armourer with a lot of sense and humour.
This should be mandatory reading for all game developers. This woman has actually tested it, and knows that boob cups don’t work. Additionally, as someone trying to compete in Battle of the Nations (the HMB championship), I’ve found out that HMB fighters aren’t allowed to wear boob cups for the exact same reasons she lists here (on top of the mandatory requirement that all armor is based on historic documents).
An oppressed society masqueraded as a utopia through authoritative or authoritarian control in an imagined universe that are sometimes meant to address current social, political, or otherwise societal trends and issues in subtle ways.
What is Not a Dystopian Society?
An apocalyptic (ex: World War Z) or post-apocalyptic (ex: The Walking Dead) society or world that takes place during or after a massive disaster that caused the full collapse of a society or region, often resulting in “the end of the world”.
Heavy control of the population through force, propaganda, fear, or other means set in place by the main power and its subordinates, often for the reason of keeping the society “perfect” and safe.
Strictly defined and sometimes segregated social ranks or systems in which it is almost impossible to move up.
Dehumanization for the sake of promoting humanity or society.
Characters are fearful of each other, other societies, or the central power and may be afraid to talk about it in fear of persecution.
Limited rights and strict laws that are said to be put in place “for the greater good” or to promote society.
Massive conformity and ridicule against nonconformists by authority and/or by the general population.
Other extremes of oppression based on a multitude of factors, often certain traits or characters people are born with or common human activities (ex: dating or reading).
A central power that is praise, truthfully or out of fear, by the population.
In a dystopia, the protagonist is often the character who feels out of place, is ostracized for some reason, or who realizes the issues of their society and dares to speak up about it. However, a secondary character may also introduce these ideas to the protagonist. These characters are rarely in positions of power and often start out as ordinary citizens who can easily be replaced. The trick with these characters is not to make them preachy when they speak out about certain societal aspects.
The antagonist is most often a character or a central power of some kind. However, the antagonist can be both thus making more than one antagonist.
Other common characters and archetypes include:
The Reluctant Citizen (often the protagonist) - a character who is a typical citzen, but who finds faults in the society.
The Faithful Citizen - a character who is a typical citizen and who is faithful to the society
The Law Enforcer - a faithful citizen(s) or authority character(s) who acts as a lesser antagonist by enforcing societal norms and laws
The Catalyst - a character who helps the protagonist have an epiphany about the society and turn against it
The Outcast - a character, sometimes the protagonist, who is a nonconformist whether by choice or not
The Tyrant/Dictator/Leader - the central power
The majority of dystopian societies start from war, disease, or natural disaster. Within those reasons, there may be a history of an apocalypse and a post-apocalyptic society before organized societies took place after the disaster.
So, in the past I’ve promised a writeup about my color process…which I still plan on posting when I get some more free time! Since I don’t have any teaching lined up yet, maybe I’ll post some instructables on here instead!
But, since I’ve gotten some more color questions recently, I’ll just try to give some quick advice. The 2 most helpful color-things for me are:
Making Grayscale Sketches! It really helped me to get in the habit of making a toned grayscale sketch before going to color. Instead of figuring out your contrast and color all at once, separating the steps makes both easier (especially for pieces with complicated lighting!) You can check the readability of your piece and you’ll know which areas need to have a darker color or a lighter color. (Oftentimes I end up making a ton of color sketches too!)
In Photoshop, you can easily change a grayscale sketch to color, while keeping the same or similar contrast, by using Adjustments or Adjustment layers like Curves, Hue/Saturation (click the “Colorize” box), and Selective Color.
Keeping a Color Inspiration Folder! Color, for me, is something that I’ve learned a lot through doing, and looking at what other people do. Anytime I see an illustration/photo/image online that has an interesting color palette, I’ll put a copy in my color inspirationfolder. Especially if it’s a palette I wouldn’t normally think of using—I tend to be pretty heavy on the brights, so I try to include some more neutral palettes too.
If I need some inspiration when I’m trying to figure out color, I’ll browse through the folder & pick out pieces that seem appropriate. That can be enough to give me a palette idea or help me consider colors I wouldn’t normally think of.
If I’m really stumped, I’ll eyedropper colors from some of those inspiration images onto my piece in Photoshop. Usually by the time I’m done tweaking and adjusting, my colors have changed from the pieces I took as inspiration. You never want to copy someone else’s palette verbatim, but it’s an easy way to jumpstart a piece and spark ideas!
Like all things, the more you use color, the more comfortable you get with it!
Anonymous asked: So I want to promote myself here on Tumblr after I submit my book to be published. Should I adapt my primary blog or create a new side-blog specifically for my writing antics?
When I did it, I kept my primary blog as a fandom/personal blog and started fresh with a brand new blog (not a sideblog, but a main with it’s own email attached) dedicated to my professional writing life.
It was too important to me to just create a sideblog. I needed to be able to respond to questions from my blog, and sideblogs don’t do that too well. I also wanted to have control over the image of my author blog without having to go back into the archives of my personal and weed out posts that I would rather have kept separate from my writing life (rants, fangirling over Harry Potter, personal posts, etc.). I’m not saying my author blog doesn’t have fangirling or ranting, just that there’s just less cursing and better grammar.
I don’t link to my personal from my author blog, but I do have a link to my author blog from my personal. And of course, all of the posts on my author blog have, from day one, been geared toward my writing life.