Well I noticed a few people doing this so I figured, why not? Might as well.
Technically I've had a Deviantart account for 3 years now but never really used it. I always intended to but things pretty much got away from me. To be honest, I forgot I even had it, but when I started doing fan art of MLP and that I was gonna try a stab at selling. I figured I should get a DA, get my name and work out in the public eye. Turns out I had one.
I've never been good with digital art and so all my work was done traditionally. Since I started doing MLP fan art I basically learned by trying to imitate the style. Looking back I am surprised that it was just over a year ago how far I came. I wasn't that good because not only was I drawing something I never did before (ponies) but I was also drawing in a much more simple style which felt strange to me.
But I didn't really have any sort of following, mostly because I was unaware of how to gain an actual audience but also my work wasn't that great. But I did get a little head way at Pon3Con, the NebraskaBronies first ever convention in Omaha, Nebraska. I sold art work for the first time and I did fairly well all things considered. It was also where I began planning my future of trying to be a professional artist.
It was at Pon3 Con that I realized what I was gonna do, in a way, I discovered my destiny. Since my pony cards sold so well I started calling myself Card Stock
It was also what made me realize what would be the most awesome product I could make and sell, that which I am most proud of, My Little Deck. I mean I sold cards mostly at the convention so it only made sense that I could possibly specialize in them. But why just do sketch cards? Why not an actual playing deck? I looked up such things on DA and other art websites and noticed that most had either MLP art on the backs with regular fronts or had the suits replaced with cutie marks. It was then that I realized that the best idea would be to make a complete deck of ponies, each card being a different character. This would make the deck unique and would make it a valuable collectable. It took months of preparing and figuring out how best to do it. The first thing I had to do was figure out which characters would be which cards. It took a lot of figuring out but after weeks I knew who was who and started making rough drafts.
But as I am rather ADHD at times I got struck with a random, crazy idea, this idea would later become demonstrably my claim to fame. The one product I would gain the vast majority of my watchers and views, bringing me the traffic that I see today. Fluttershy and the Rainbow Factory. In fact this was one of the big things that kinda took me off track from my cards, but who could blame me with the devilishly genius idea?
This comic came about simply when I watched Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory on the Hub almost a year ago now. It seemed harmless enough, just some fun nostalgia. However, whether by genius or insanity (perhaps both), when Gene Wilder (who played Willy Wonka) started singing "Come with me, and you'll be, in a world of pure imagination", it was like a thousand lights came on in my head. A seed was planted that grew and grew to the point that I could not contain it. In my own pure imagination, I saw Rainbow Dash wearing Wonka's suit and singing that song in the Rainbow Factory. In fact it was only a couple months ago I reached that point the comic where Dash sings my parody of Pure Imagination, to which a number of people showed some praise.
But before I get ahead of myself and simply talk of success, I do have to mention my failures. Around the same time I was devising my Rainbow Factory comic and my cards, I started degrading and doing what I never intended to do, ship my OC Azure Night with Princess Luna. I mean now I couldn't care less but at the time I felt uneasy about it. I created Azure Night a long time ago and where I did make him a member of the Lunar Guard I never intended to have him and Luna in a relationship. Sure he had a crush but I wanted it to be unrequited. It happened real fast, especially when I devised my shameful comic "Her Honor". It began innocently enough, I was formulating why there were so few Alicorns in Equestria. We knew by then that Twilight was made an Alicorn but we didn't know if this was true for Luna and Celestia. It was then I imagined it might be due to strange fertility of pure ones, those born Alicorns. In a matter of minutes I came up with an idea for a comic involving this, but in the end it seemed only to be a stupid excuse to ship Azure and Luna.
But in time I grew bored of it. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but like most of those kinds of ideas you realize how lame they were. Even though I did begin shipping Azure and Luna, even commissioning such images, I didn't lose sight of my other works. In fact I was given an excuse to do pony art even in my school activities. Most notably, my Twlight's Last Supper plate. It's simple really, you acid etch an image onto a copper plate which becomes a negative. When it's complete you can smear some ink on it, place it on some paper, run that through a press and you get a print of it. Old School Printing! It took literally days to complete, the entire etching process took me over 28 hours (I counted). And that's excluding the other processes such as the scraping off the ground so that the copper was exposed, the shading, the highlighting, etc. In the end I got a product I was very proud of and that my printmaking professor liked enough to give me an A.
Things went smoothly from then on and soon enough Season 4 of MLP began and all kinds of new ideas were presented. Most notably the Premiere; Princess Twilight Sparkle. Those two episodes provided me with the idea to make a humorous comic of what lied within the chest. This comic was featured on Equestria Daily, an accomplishment I have unfortunately been unable to repeat. The comic however stands to this day as my most popular image with over 19K views and 343 favorites.
By now it had been many months since I decided to make my card deck and I was no closer to having it ready. I made many drafts and had to scrap many ideas before I reached what I have now. The important thing was that I was finally ready to begin sharing them with the world. Unfortunately they are not quite completed but all that remains are the Aces and Jokers. 6 Remaining cards. As much as I am disappointed that they're not as popular as I'd like, I pray it is simply that people are as of yet unaware that I am actually going to make them into legit playing cards that people can purchase. Once their complete and I have the decks printed I hope that the reveal will increase their popularity.
It was for a very long time that I drew the characters the way I did, with colored markers as the outlines, my cards are still done this way to keep them cohesive and so that I don't have to redo them. But I realized that this method was getting expensive as I couldn't simply purchase individual colors, especially the ones I kept running out of. So I decided to try something different, I was going to just use ultra-fine tip sharpies for the outlines and see how it works. I experimented first with my Defenders of the Night, a crossover between Gargoyles and MLP featuring Broadway, Lexington and Brooklyn with Princess Luna.
The end result I found impressive and a huge step up. But it would be sometime before I shifted all but my cards to this change in style.
Also around this time I figured that I was needing to explain my OC, Azure Night more, so I got to working on his Fan-fic. I was as yet unfamiliar with how people posted text here but I figured it out fairly quickly. Although it exists only as two chapters, in the future I hope to have it complete as it follows Azure's story so that hopefully he might be better understood as more than than the Gary Stu OC that I've heard a few call him. I put more thought into him than most realize and where on the outside he does seem just like another cliche' tragic hero, a knight in shining armor that wins the princess's heart, he is so much more.
A Night's Tale 1: Prelude
The year was 967, by Night's Reckoning of course. It was a calm, moonlit night in a compound just a few miles off the border to Equestria and a hazardous land we called "The Waste". That's when and where I, Azure Night, was born. My mother, Sweet Dreams, often told me that it was the happiest moment of her life. She said she would always remember the smell of the cedar logs burning in the fire place, the sounds of my first cry and the shining of the full moon. She was a kind unicorn, always looking out for me and greeting everyone with a smile. My father, Nightwatch, was quite different. He was the Lead Stallion of our herd and so he was responsible for every pony in the compound. He was stern and tough most of the times as well as always distant. The only time as a foal I knew he was paying any attention to me was when ever I'd pick up a stick and pretend to be a Night. I know now that he thought the world of me, but he was never good at showing it. It was h
Fairly recently I hosted a contest for Azure. It was to be the anniversary of when I first drew him (though not when I first conceived the idea of him. I recieved many great entries but in the end I chose those whom I felt showed the most promise and proved to me that they wanted to win.
But at last we come to present day. I am still working on Fluttershy and the Rainbow Factory, I am still finalizing my cards, but I am also getting really into doing trades, contests and commissions. I haven't been commissioned much but I have done plenty of trades and contests which I have received amazing rewards for my effort which I am unsure as to whether they really measure up. Despite having an account for over 3 years, I have only truly been active for a year and honestly, typing all this out and looking through my work, I feel a great sense of pride in how far I've come in that year.