Won’t ANY Magic Flower Do?

Not every quest ends in success.

Not every quest ends in success.

I think that the Beast’s formal outfit might be maintained as a “formal attire” for the protagonist in the Edu-Mountain setting. I would need to change the color scheme a bit…I’m just not feeling the blue, if it were to be an ongoing ensemble. The tailcoat is classy though, and it very much fits with the Science-Fantasy, “Masters of the Universe” styling of the current setting.

I also don’t like the selection of browns in my new colored pencils…Pony’s coloring always feels a bit off. I will be using the old ones for Pony, at the very least.

The question that has to be on your minds, gentle readers, is this: “What is that all about? Why the Beauty and the Beast reference at all?”

Good question, and I’m glad you asked. My close friend, Tax Hitler (a name taken from his unfortunate business cards, when he first started preparing taxes) is getting a tattoo. As it turns out, “Beauty and the Beast” by Disney is one of his favorite films, since going to see it is one of his earliest memories. Some time ago, he had gotten a rough idea of the kind of tattoo he wanted, based on imagery from the film. Since tattoos wind up being on you FOREVER, or until burned off with @#$%ing lasers, Tax Hitler gave the idea a Cooling Off Period.

In that time, he researched the kind of image he might want. It was a pretty serious search, taken with care. A few weeks ago, he decided “yes, I’m going to get this tattoo,” and found an image online, of someone else’s tattoo, which was roughly what he wanted. He had some lines that he wanted removed, and changes that he wanted to make to the flower in the image. In fact, everyone that was shown the base image when I was around said something to the effect of “a better flower” or “yeah, with a less crappy flower.”

With that information, the context of the art above makes much more sense. I based that happy flower on a vase of plush happy head flowers that I have in my living room. They have bendy stems, and are generally pretty excellent. They go a long way toward getting rid of a foul mood…

…but they are also not the kind of flower needed for the tattoo art. That became a subject of real debate. Still…at that point, all my friend had as a reference to go in and have something permanently carved into his body with was a small image that he needed edits to anyway, on his phone no less. It seemed to me that he needed something much closer to what he wanted, and with at least the bulk of the edits done. A clean image, that the guy with the tattoo needle could look at without too many questions about the finished product.

As a result, I had Tax Hitler email me the image of the other person’s tattoo. I went to the big computer, and rebuilt the tattoo from the image, digitally, from scratch pretty much. Being very fair, I actually used a process very similar to Greg Land’s process for drawing from photo references, which worked extremely well for this. The lines that needed to be removed were taken out, nobody else’s arm was in the picture at all, and I did a little work on the flower. The thing is, “a less crappy flower” isn’t really a direction to go in terms of real changes…so, I basically cleaned up and improved the line work on the existing flower. No had said anything like, “the line work needs to be improved,” but in the absence of truly constructive criticism, that’s what I brought to the table.

The finished digital art, which should be drawn on my friend by now in a series of cuts filled with ink, is this:

I don't like doing digital art, but I'm halfway competent at it.

I don’t like doing digital art, but I’m halfway competent at it.

Again…I’m not so fond of the flower either, but I got no real direction with it. I think it is a pretty striking image, and very simple in the line expression, so all told, I think the choice was a good one. I don’t want anything on ME forever, though.

I’ve never even remotely participated in designing an actual tattoo. I was pretty excited to be able to help at all, and beyond happy when my friend was very impressed by the digital image. It felt like a kind of meaningful contribution to a really important, life defining project, and it was an honor of the highest order to be included. We did, ultimately have a discussion about the flower, and I think he made the best choice. He’s going to let the tattoo artist define the flower. Tattoo artists do a whole lot of flowers…that’s playing to expertise.

I think the honor of being included in the project is a part of why I’m thinking of having the protagonist adopt the Prince Suit as a kind of Formal Wear. It continues the thematic idea of being involved in something meaningful, so you dress the @#$% up for once. I think she should wear the Noodle Cape with it in the future though….that dawned on me late in the composition.

Since tattoos are often referred to as “ink”, the Inked black and white art is below. I didn’t even consider including the digitally processed pencils today, although they did come out pretty nice.

I always like the crisp, clean lines of black and white inks.

I always like the crisp, clean lines of black and white inks.

You’ll notice that the Beast is Marvel Comics’ Beast, drawn in a chibi style. He seems pretty stressed out about catching the flower petals, in a nod to the plotline of the Disney film. I made him a Chibi Style Beast because this weekend, with the digital tattoo art very firmly in my mind (I did it on Saturday) I saw the Funko Pop Dorbz version of the Marvel Beast. He was, as suggested by the “Dorbz” name, adorable, and I gave him a home immediately. He’s been traveling in the pocket of my cardigan continuously since Sunday.

Yay!  He seems happy to have a home.

Yay! He seems happy to have a home.

Yeah…because I don’t carry around enough weird Tchotchkes already, right? He seemed irresistible.

Wrong flower, wrong beast. And now, the whole schtick of today’s art is understood…and part of it is on a human being.

Whoa, right?

One thought on “Won’t ANY Magic Flower Do?

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