The landscape of visual storytelling has always been a vast and evolving frontier.  History tells us how stories were told visually through cave paintings, then carvings, followed by etchings on primitive tablets, and eventually masterpieces painted on canvas. Great strides were made with the advent of print technology and it opened the door to the mass consumption of stories being told through pictures. From print it evolved to moving pictures, then television, and now video games. (I know video games are just structured play time, but most tell stories and as such are an outlet for the visual storyteller.)

The visual storyteller: part artist, part writer. Some favor the visual, others favor the word, but all of them convey their story using visual means. For the last 100 years there have been more opportunities open to the visual storyteller then at any previous time in the history of humans. Consider the talents who could not illustrate, but mastered photography. Or those whose written word was lacking, but brilliantly captured their stories on the screen. The geniuses who could combine their own drawings with their own words in picture books, comic strips, and graphic novels.  And the illustrators who spoke volumes with deft strokes of paint. Had they been born in any previous century the world would’ve been denied their visions.

However, while the opportunities have been numerous, they are not without their exclusivity. In order for me to explain how I understand this landscape let me filter the world of visual storytelling through a geopolitical lens. I imagine the visual storytelling outlets as four major continents.  They are the PRINT NATION*, the SCREEN EMPIRE**, and the VIDEO GAME TERRITORIES***. Combined they make up what I call THE OLD COUNTRY.  There’s also a new frontier situated across a vast ocean of opportunity.  It is known as THE DIGITAL LANDS and is a wild uncharted territory.  Let’s navigate these lands through the eyes of three travelers.

Our Three Travelers

These three travelers are bright young storytellers who carry with them imaginative tales of wisdom, beauty, and truth. They are tales that they have only shared with their villages, but these stories have brought them so much joy they decide they want as many people to hear them as possible. Had they been born 500 years earlier, their tales would’ve never left the villages they grew up in, but now there are new lands that facilitate the sharing of stories to the masses. They each begin their quest to find a home for their tale; a place where their tale can be shared with the world.


The City

Traveler One:

After days of traveling she arrives to the PRINT NATION. It’s a beautiful land of gleaming old cities. From the grand Editorialopolis with its magazine and comic strip burrows to Comicland nestled below the majestic Graphic Novel Mountains. However, our fearless traveler has come to a startling realization.  These cities are all walled.  No one enters without an invitation from one of its citizens, and no one is granted citizenship without an initiation performed by the gate keepers: editors and art directors.

Frustrated but undeterred she sets up camp outside one of these cities.  There she joins thousands of others also camped outside, trying and waiting to get in.  She meets all kinds of fellow travelers. Some who have been waiting for years, and newcomers like herself. Before long she meets an interesting group of travelers who’ve decided they don’t need to be a citizen of one of these cities in order to share their stories. They’ve decided to start their own cities.  Some, she finds, are successful, while others never get larger than the ground they made their stake in. A very few resilient folk seem to build their own castles by hand from the ground up, not a city, but in some ways just as influential. She’s comes to know others who have fallen in favor with some gate keepers and have been invited into full citizenship thanks to their own merits. Meanwhile, our traveler refines her story and tries to get it in front of the right people.

Then one day she meets an agent. This agent is an ambassador of sorts, able to enter any city and who knows the gate keepers well. He likes our traveler’s story and wants to find her a city she’ll be able to call home.

Time passes and the agent returns with exciting news, our traveler’s story is liked by one of the gate keepers and she is initiated into the fold. She has become a citizen and her story is going to be shared with the world.


The Kingdom

Traveler Two:

He journeys north to the SCREEN EMPIRE and finds a similar social structure as our first traveler. Its kingdoms are large and powerful. They are filled with beautiful and creative royalty, but the walls are just as high and thick, if not more so, than the PRINT NATION’s. He, too, finds throngs of people camped outside these cities trying to get in. Many of these have their own stories to tell but are finding it difficult to get passed the EMPIRE’s own gate keepers: producers.

Our traveler soon figures that the best way for him to get into one of these kingdoms will not be by way of his own stories, but by working on other stories being made by the kingdoms. These kingdoms require thousands of workers to create the extravagant stories that they share with the world. And as a worker he’ll have better access to the royalty that run these kingdoms than if he were to approach them from outside the walls.

The years pass and our traveler proves himself as a worker. He’s contributed his unique talents to the creation of several stories, and as such has gained favor with the royalty. They ask him if he has any of his own stories he wants to share with the world. He tells his tale and they love it.  He is initiated into the fold and begins production on his own story. Soon the whole world will be able to experience his tale.


Traveler Three:

As our traveler journeyed through the OLD COUNTRY she was disheartened by the walled cities and kingdoms. She saw how many never made it into these fortresses. How those who did make it had to sell off pieces of themselves or alter their stories to enter in.

Then she met a band of nomads who told her of a far off land where there were great cities with no walls. Where any who had a story to tell had the means of sharing it with the world. There were no gate keepers, no royalty.  She was told the journey to this land would be audacious, but worth it if she just trusted in herself.

Soon she found herself in the DIGITAL LANDS. At first the lawlessness of it was startling to her. There were people doing whatever they wanted for good or ill. Some succeeding, some not, some stealing, and some playing fair. Despite the lawlessness, she found these cities had a way of regulating themselves that worked remarkably well. An alarming thing for her was that for every good story being told there were thousands of horrible stories. It was something she did not expect, but she took comfort knowing that, though bad, no one was stopping these travelers from sharing their stories. Some of these were even getting better in the process. And a select few were so delightful and unique in their voice she knew that had they stayed in the OLD COUNTRY the world would be denied these treasures.

Our traveler fell in love with this NEW WORLD, and found there was nothing stopping her from becoming a citizen. So she set up her camp, and began to share her story with the world.


I recognize this is a somewhat narrow or perhaps simplistic view of such an intricate world.  And I know that each story-traveler that has carved out his or her own success in this world has done so in his or her own unique way.  My point is that there are several options in this landscape to get your stories out to the world.  As a traveling storyteller you should know what you’re up against and what is available to you.  Don’t discount an avenue because it might seem too hard or untested.

Learn from others but chart your own course.

Chart your own course

* I see the PRINT NATION as a massive island continent. Though big, their territory is limited and all of the land mass is called for.

**The SCREEN NATION includes film and television. An island-continent as well, it’s territory is limited but firm. I don’t see films or television going anywhere, though many of these countries are setting up territories in the New World via youtube, hulu, and netflix.

***The VIDEO GAME TERRITORIES are unique in that they’ve transitioned into the online digital age remarkably well. That’s why I don’t see it as an ocean they’ve had to cross, but a land bridge they’ve traversed. The border between online gaming and gaming apps is blurry. And I think those citizens are pretty comfortable with each other.

Final Note: I recognize I’ve left out Theater, Dance, and Toys. I don’t have much experience with these modes of storytelling, but I think the message is the same. There’s walled cities in these countries, and a new land of opportunity via new digital tools and online avenues.

One more note: I see Kickstarter as being a massive ship carrying story-travelers across the sea of opportunity. Whereas, before the advent of crowdfunding travelers had to craft their own ships.

This… this is incredible. It does such a great job at representing how visual art as a medium works and is still evolving. I’m often blown away by how fast art as a whole is advancing, with the internet making it easier and easier to find artists you otherwise would never have known of. 

Perhaps most importantly, how we as the human race have collectively become better at art. There are extensive databases with tutorials and endless websites with friendly people willing to talk about and share art techniques, acquiring the skills to make art has never been so easy, and it makes my heart flutter to know even the biggest studios on the planet are still learning and improving.

This idea of representing visual storytelling as a fantasy world is so awesome and cute. I’m in love!

(via pencilcat)

One of my friend’s Dungeons and Dragons characters. He’s a bard! Who uses his instruments as blunt weapons. And somehow always manages to draw his sword just as the monster we’re fighting dies.

The looks probably don’t really match what my friend had in mind but I never really asked so I kinda just drew what I imagined his character like. 

Some of my internet friends went home today after spending a week together, but I’m not nearly as bummed out as I thought I would be.

This gives me hope for getting better at the whole “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened” thing.

Needless to say, spending time with my friends was amazing. It’s not like we did anything super exciting or interesting, just hanging out and having fun with people who are practically family. 

It’s just a shame we live so far apart from eachother.

Also we played Dungeons and Dragons which was a first for me. Spoilers; I loved it.

There’s this Lady Knights prompt generator thing I used and had a lot of fun with, but I forgot what the exact prompt I got was… Something Aztec… using fists for weapons and Rodent as an animal? 

Man without the prompt this sure sounds lame.

Based on real events.

Random dota 2 inside joke stuff. Don’t pay attention to this.

And now for something completely different. Tried to emulate watercolours because…. uhm… some reason. I feel like this ‘isnt quite there’ in a lot of ways. But hey, it is what it is. 

Step by step progress I’m currently using for most of my work. Except I usually work in colour from step 3… So I guess this is actually an exception. But still, the gist is the same for my general workflow nowadays.

I hope this is useful/interesting to someone. (with captions explaining steps!)

I’ve been tearing myself up over what to draw lately. This is a step towards not worrying as much and just having fun with art. This was mostly an exercise in values. Quite happy with how everything turned out, though the subject doesn’t make much sense… 

What is the star doing? Is it saving her or is it what crashed into her helmet and effectively killed her, oblivious to what it did?

Oh well. I enjoyed this.

Some doodles and other stuff I have lying around but will never finish. 

Another screencap redraw! This time from Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day. 

Never before has any piece of media made me cry. Like, at all. I am not exaggerating in the slightest when I say I spent most of this anime’s last episode in tears. Screencap is of another scene that made me cry.

God. This anime. It’s… something else already.  

  • Gaiascope (Rik): It was slowly turning me into a moe character
  • Gaiascope (Rik): I was seriously adopting the speech pattern
  • Bruno “Dex” L.: if you start to be all moemoe on me, I’d stop being friends with you
  • Gaiascope (Rik): yada! Bruno-chan… don’t be mean to me
  • Bruno “Dex” L.: I’m not even kidding
  • Gaiascope (Rik): Eeehh, come on, Bruno-chan! That’s totally unreasonable!
  • Bruno “Dex” L.: dude, you know how I am about the things I hate
  • Gaiascope (Rik): Okay okay
  • Gaiascope (Rik): One more, the last one
  • Bruno “Dex” L.: …fiiine
  • Gaiascope (Rik): Bwuuno-chan~


  • Gaiascope (Rik): Moe musnt never come between us
  • Gaiascope (Rik): Bros before Moes

Something for the Kill La Kill AU idea I had. Ryuko clutching Senketsu as they fall to protect him.

It doesnt really show that well what I had in mind, but hey. I felt like drawing this scene I had in my mind. I imagined them leaving a trail of blood and life fibers to disintegrate in the atmosphere. 

More to come! When I find time and energy to draw it.

Sugoi kawaii desu

I’ve watched too much anime again

bigbird90 asked:
I've also been thinking of ways to make it so Senketsu doesn't have to die lol. I liked you're idea!

Thanks! I just thought this would be an interesting way for things to play out. I feel both this and the actual ending would be equally in-character, but personally I just like the AU idea and I’ll be making more art detailing everything ^_^ hopefully…

I havent logged into DeviantArt for a long while and I just checked and the comments on my front page are just people wishing me happy birthday over a period of 10 months; only 4 messages were on my actual birthday.