Lots of people are doing this lately. I might actually be a little late to the bandwagon, but I figured it still might be fun to do this. ^_^
I joined DeviantArt in July of 2006 (back then, I went by the alias, LittleLynn84
). It was not the best time for me because I actually had limited means of actually presenting my art at the time. But I'd wanted to get involved on an art site and (at the time, being long pre-transition), I wanted a space where I could be recognized as female (hence the chosen name). If I remember correctly, the little bit of art that I did newly draw was had to be done on paper, and was later brought to a free access scanner at the local college where I would then save to a flash drive and put online when I got the chance again (god, I love being able to draw digitally now). Those early works included stuff like this:
I also posted a number of older works that I'd done at a much earlier time and brought to the computer world when I had a better scanner (do note that a couple of these were actually colored by a friend; not me).
We even saw the first instances of Rain back at this time (albeit, still in her original fantasy incarnation at the time).
Still, most of these art pieces never got much notice. What finally started getting me noticed was when I started make gag comics.
This one in particular, "Gotta Catch Most of 'Em", started turning a few heads my way.
And this legendary piece, "This is my Scary Face" remains the work in my gallery that is more favorited than anything else. The second-most favorited being the first page of Rain
(which still has less than HALF of the of favorites of this one silly gag strip). XD
And because they would get lots and lots of attention, I did several more.
It was around this time - over a year since joining - that I got my first thousand page views.
But not content to lean my entire artistic career on a series of goofy video game parodies, I finally decided I wanted to get back into my true passion: writing. I participated in my first NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) in November 2007. At the time, I hadn't written in a long time. So while I prefer to write stories that might more closely classify as fantasy/sci-fi (with believable human characters), I decided to keep it simple and set it in reality; a romance. Take out the worry of having to world build and explain complex concepts, and focus on the tight bond of two high school girls. Introducing, Lavender Town
(which has nothing to do with Pokemon. The name was actually a strange oversight on my part).
LAVENDER TOWN: Chapter 1Another useless day, another useless breath. It's just a bland, colorless Tuesday in November such like any other. I could swear I've lived through this day already, like every day prior this week. I'm sick of it.
It's a sad little routine by now. I can already predict it: my bus will arrive at my house late. This in turn, will cause me to be late for my first period class, earning me yet another detention I can't avoid because my mother doesnt care enough to drive me to school, or at least let me drive myself.
After first period, about four or five people will nag me for the answers to yesterday's math homework. I guess I should stop there. At least something will be different; I was so tired last night I never got around to it, so they're on their own. Either way, afterward I'll be pretty much ignored up until lunch period, where I'll have to sit with the clueless idi
The story currently only features nine available chapters (much to many readers' dismay). I absolutely plan on getting back to it though. It just needs a little bit of tweaking. It MAY see a completely new rewrite. That will likely happen when the script for Rain
is complete (which, keep in mind that the script will be done likely long before the pages are, so it COULD be a lot sooner than later).
Anyway, this actually got a fair bit more attention than I expected. It made me feel a bit more open to discuss some of my other story concepts, which led to me drawing several images featuring other characters and other stories.
Eventually, my interest in talking about my various story ideas, along with people's apparent interest in hearing more, yielded the moment of temporary insanity that is: the OCSC
(Original Character Swimsuit Contest).
It's kinda strange in a way. I put SO MUCH work into the OCSC. In addition to featuring various characters in cute/sexy swimsuits, there was additionally a second round where all the girls wore costumes instead. Not to mention introductions, comics, and even interviews (and even participation from my watchers actually choosing the outfits for the second round and voting for the winner)! The first one took me five months and featured a fraction of the content I wanted it to have. And yet, some part of me doesn't like looking back on it. I can't totally explain why, but whether I like it or not, it's a thing that happened.
So, here are some samples:
OCSC Interview 5 - Maya
OCSC Interview #5 Maya Bowen
from "Through the Eyes of Outcasts"
Little Lynn: Maaaaaaaaaaaaaaa~ya!
Maya Bowen: Joooooooooooo~celyn!
LL: (laughs) Hi. How are you today?
MB: (smiles big) Good, and you?
LL: Not bad. Glad to have you here today.
MB: Me too.
LL: So, let me ask you, how do you feel about being involved in this swimsuit contest?
MB: It sounds like a lot of fun!
LL: Seriously? Awesome!
MB: It will be a lot of new experiences for me. Ive never been to a beach before, or worn a swimsuit, or been in a contest, or really done much of anything like this at all. I dont even know exactly how a swimsuit contest works.
MB: Yeah. Like, what am I being judged on?
LL: Youre serious?
Once the contest was over, I shifted focus onto particular contestant, Ursula, and her story, Shangri-La
. This character-driven fantasy mystery - told as an game made via RPG Maker VX - was supposed give me a chance to delve into my fantasy side with the public. A short adventure with a more mystical setting than Lavender Town
like this would show my versatility as a writer and draw in a new crowd. It was very well-received, as many people very much enjoyed the original 2-4 hour demo (which is still totally available)
Fast-forwarding a little, Shangri-La
did fall by the wayside for a while after that. I got back to it eventually when RPG Maker VX Ace released. It saw new in-game appearance, redesigns for several characters, overhaul of several systems, and was looking to be a much more polished product.
SHANGRI-LA: CV - About Items
In the original demos, many people pointed out frustration over healing items being too expensive. At the time, my goal was to prevent players from breaking the game by buying 99 Healing Herbs quickly and easily and never really needing to worry about anything. I mean, it's no fun without SOME challenge, right?
But I do want to address this immediate frustration. As cheap as I think it is to be able to afford 99 Potions with little to no effort, I will concede that it's also pretty aggravating to have to fight numerous battles just to be able to afford ONE. And considering I want to keep this game pretty well "grind-free", making things painfully unaffordable is not really doing me any favors.
So this time, I'm taking a different approach. Items will be more affordable, but you'll only be able to carry a limited supply of 9 of any one item at any time. On the other hand, there are technically more items to use (so I'm pr
Unfortunately, I've recently hit a bit of a development hell and lost MOST of the actual progress (as you might imagine, something I'm none too happy about). Since the demo still exists, there's at least a straight script still accessible to me for the first four chapters (the story is also completely outlined [but not scripted]), and I actually still have the music that was composed for me. So while it's nothing I can't recover from, it is very much not something I want to look at right now. I definitely want to see this project done someday though.
Anyway, going back a little: following the OCSC and alongside the development of Shangri-La
, I spent a lot of time doing random art.
More original art:
It was also during this time that Rain
saw it's first hint of redirection from the fantasy story it was, to the slice-of-life story it now is.
Not technically art-related, but we also got a bunny in that time. XD
And then an OCSC 2
Then something kinda big happened. 2010 was the year I learned that Coming Out Day was a thing (October 11th). DeviantArt actually had this big meme project called "Count Me Out" going that year where people would announce themselves as either being out or an ally with a photograph of the person covered in rainbow filter.
Before that day, I still presented as a woman online, but never actually showed my face. And I certainly didn't talk about being transgender. But once I saw the multitude of rainbow faces on the front page of DeviantArt (there were literally hundreds), it gave me some confidence and I just had the sudden impulse to do it too. I mean, I did not know I was coming out that morning, so it's wild that I actually did it. And I was met with a great deal of support and acceptance from my watchers. Certainly more than I expected. It was a good day.
After that success, I went on to come out everywhere online, including several message boards and other sites. It's not really a secret to anyone anymore. Now I'm even open enough to show off my transition.
But it all started right here on DeviantArt.
And then, just a month and a half later, it began. The first page of Rain
This changed everything. I don't know what I did or how it got so much attention. I seem to recall, that anything I posted on DA, in the five years prior would be LUCKY to be met with 50-100 views within the week. This first page somehow reached 100 in minutes. I cried upon seeing this response. I did not think it possible. I got countless new watchers that day, and many more came in as things continued. That day, after five years on the site, I had just shy of 200 watchers and maybe 30,000 overall page views. In the three years following, I'm currently up to 2,300+ watchers and 630,000+ views; all since the day I started Rain
. Sure, I was aiming for success, but I admit I didn't anticipate it, and I'm still to this day humbled by the people showing their love for my work.
In addition to fanart, it also spawned two groups (that I'm aware of).
(Thank you so much, all of you who have made something!)
Anyway, following the start of Rain
, the story remained my focus for nearly four years now, and showing no signs of stopping any time soon. I've drawn some other things in meantime though...
Like more comics:
A fair bit of fan art:
And hinted at other stories:
Magical: Before the Magic - Carmen's Story
“Before the Magic - Carmen’s Story”
by Jocelyn Samara D.
I awake from a strange dream. I can’t seem to remember what happened, but I think it involved a rabbit at one point. With big, glowing butterfly wings! A “bunnerfly” if you will. That’s happening a lot lately, actually. I haven’t been keeping track, but I’m pretty sure I’ve woken up with the same vague “I think there was a winged bunny” feeling for the last couple weeks. Not really sure what that’s supposed to mean.
But whatever. Who cares? It’s just a dream, and I’ve got a big day ahead of me. I’m basically starting a brand new life at school today.
I should say that I’ve always hated school. I mean, I’ve got no problem with doing the work or anything. My problem is more about the other people. And I mean everyone.
is likely to remain my focus until it is done. What comes next when it's done? Knowing me, a short hiatus and jumping right into whatever comes after it. I plan on writing for the rest of my life, so you can expect lots more stories to come (and more drawings too). And as long as DeviantArt exists, they'll continue to be posted here. It's here that I got my start, and learned and grew as an author/artist, and made so many of the friends I have today. I've got a lot of love for this place.
So, thank you DeviantArt, for giving me a story to tell.
And thank YOU, friends and readers, for accepting me and appreciating my work and even just for reading this entry. None of this could have happened without you.
Have a lovely day, everyone. ^_^
And just as an excuse to post more art I didn't get a chance to squeeze in, also check out: