Artists of Azeroth Zine Contributions

Many, many moons ago, I submitted both writing and artwork to a World of Warcraft fanzine called ‘Artists of Azeroth’.  Since the published hard copies are now winging their way towards all their owners (I got mine just a couple of days ago!), all of the contributors were given the go-ahead to post their pieces!

For my entries, I chose to highlight just how the game as shaped me over the years and, in particular, one relationship that has grown and developed through Azeroth. The watercolor painting appeared in the zine near the middle, however, due to a clerical error, the written piece did not appear in the printed copy (it will, however, be in the digital version).  Therefore, what follows is never-before-seen content, first being published right here!!

I hope you guys enjoy both pieces, I poured my heart and soul into them and I hope they stand as accurate testament to the man who has meant so much to me over the years.


Growing up isn’t easy.  There’s a lot of trial and error, mistakes and embarrassments, and a whole bunch of awkward phases you wish you’d never gone through.  Yet, it’s also kind of a good thing.  Discovering who you want to be, finding out what your passions are, and exploring what you want to do, that’s exciting! Also scary, let’s not forget scary.

Just a couple of weeks ago, I “technically” graduated from that segment of my life – at least, if you’re going by legal definitions – and turned eighteen years old.  Although, if you ask me, becoming a ‘major’ only served to teach me just how much more growing up I have to do.

Now, why am I rambling on about puberty in a fan magazine for World of Warcraft again?  Well, a lot of the aforementioned maturing occurred right within a little place called Azeroth.

Growing Up in Azeroth.

My first introduction to Warcraft came at the ripe old age of eight as I stood, neck craned, on my tippy toes, peeking over my father’s shoulder.  Video games weren’t a big thing in my house at that point, so naturally, I was fascinated by this so-called “World of Warcraft”.  The tiny bit of the game that I could see from around my father absolutely captivated me.  There was a whole new world on the screen, and I was determined to explore it.

After a few months of begging, I finally convinced my dad to let me start my own character.  I immediately rolled a draenei hunter (I think every new player, regardless of age, rolls a hunter) named Eightandgreat and zoned into that great wide world.  With my hunter pet at my side in game and my father at my side in real life, I was all set!

At first, picking flowers, making dresses, and getting lost on Azuremyst Isle was the extent of my video gaming.  My dad, being the sensible guy he is, only let me play in small chunks and was always in a desk chair next to me.  Pretty soon, when it became clear that this interest of mine wasn’t some fleeting fancy, he got a second account and the two of us began playing together.

World of Warcraft became our shared hobby.  We’d listen to The Instance on long car rides.  We’d argue about which class was the best over dinner.  We’d discuss where to go next in Azeroth while doing house chores.  And of course, we’d quest, dungeon, and explore within the game itself.

As I got older, our adventures into the game increasingly tackled another new frontier: the social aspect.  My dad and I joined our first guild (which had a ridiculous Latin name, as all good first guilds do) and then later on, started a blog together to record of all our exploits, which we still write to this day.  I started dabbling in the raiding scene and then the leadership aspect of officership. World of Warcraft was becoming something more.

I began to realize that just as I was exploring the game, I was also exploring something deeper and more important: myself.  The challenging teenage years were upon me, and I realized that Warcraft could be more than just an escape from real life for a little while.  It could be an experimentation area.  A… beta test, if you will.  Through the World of Warcraft and the relative anonymity it afforded, I could become anything I wanted to be.

How do I want people to regard me? How do I regard other people? How do I communicate so people best understand me? How do I listen so I best understand other people? How do I lead?  How do I approach challenges?  Who do I want to associate with? And, most importantly, what impact do I want to make on the world around me?

World of Warcraft was the place where I could test out the answers to all of this.  Implement a feature, check for bugs, hotfix the issues, and continue testing.  In many regards, it was the perfect place to do this.  Away from the pressures of real life, Azeroth was the blank slate on which I could craft a new and improved me.

 

I am reaching the end of this first part of my journey.  In a few short months, I will be moving out and starting life on my own.  Yet, the lessons I have learned and the people I have played with will stay with me forever.

And especially, one person in particular.

Dad.

Thank you so much for being there for me, both in game and out.  Thank you for supporting me in all of my endeavors, as crazy as some of them might have been.  Thank you for encouraging me to embrace my love of gaming to see where it would take me.  Thank you for being the best dungeon buddy and father that a girl could ever ask for.

Thank you.

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They call me… Badge Pants

Galaxy girlAs you might have noticed, there’s a new tab up top on the toolbar.  And if you’ve done any sort of poking around up there, you’ll probably notice that that tab has a lot of info regarding Blizzcon Art Badges.  And at this point, you are probably connecting the dots, about to ask the next logical question.

To which my answer is Yes, I will be making Blizzcon Art Badges for the upcoming Blizzcon.

*sounds of a small bomb being set off*

All the information about me as an artist, the details about the badges, and the overview of the order process are all explained in long form up top for you to read, so I will be only lightly touching on that here.  What I really want to get at is why I decided to create art.

I have mentioned this a few times offhandedly on the blog but I actually draw and paint all the time. I’ve filled dozens of sketch books, doodled on hundreds of page margins, and painted on more than just a few canvases.  Art is one of those things that I do almost every day, I just have never been very vocal about it.

For a long while, I was very self-conscious about what I created.  Writing, writing was easy.  I could get my idea across in a number of different ways to a number of different audiences.  But art was always harder.  That picture in my head never quite translated onto paper.  And for years, I told myself that was because I wasn’t good enough, wasn’t talented enough, wasn’t trained enough.

That is, until I started looking and really listening to what other artists both in my real life environment and in the Warcraft community were saying.  People like Faebelina and Frenone passionately telling everyone that yes, your art is beautiful and uniquely yours.  I began posting more and more art out for the world to see.

I joined a group a chat group of artists and began getting critiques and advice.  I began to see that my struggles with capturing an idea on a page weren’t mine alone.  They were something that was shared by almost all artists.  I wasn’t terribly behind or bad, I was just like everyone else!

So when Frenone put out the call for artists to join Badge Babes, I had a decision to make.  I could keep creating art like I was, drawing mainly for myself and not really stretching my wings much farther beyond that.  Or I could give it a shot.  Shoot for the moon.  See where I land.  And see how I grow.

And that leads us to where I am now.  Am I the most talented artist? Of course not! But I’m ready to grow.  I’m ready to go beyond just ‘Oh yeah, I mean I kinda like to draw sometimes’ to ‘I am an artist’.  I’m ready to develop a style, push the envelope, and change it all again.  I’m ready to see where this passion of mine takes me.  I’m ready to even fail, and then to pick myself up and keep going.

So if you happen to be thinking about getting a badge for Blizzcon, perhaps think about commissioning me. You’d have the bragging rights of saying you got your art from the youngest of the Badge Babges! And the money goes to a worthy cause! (The Send-Pants-to-College fund)

Thank you for your continued readership and interest in all that I do!
❤ Fussypants

Dragonhawks Infestation

The reference photo

The reference photo

Many readers may have been wondering why our posting habits have become rather erratic over the past couple of weeks.  The reason for this being a dragonhawk infestation in real life.
At school Fussypants is taking an art class in school called Design and Sculpture.  And, the mother of all school sculpture projects is none other than papier-mâché.  So, Fussypants decided to make a dragonhawk from World of Warcraft for her project.  She researched online, found a reference, and sketched out what she was going to make.

The Concept Sketch (I'm ridiculously proud with how well this turned out!)

The Concept Sketch (I’m ridiculously proud with how well this turned out!)

So, as you can see, Fussypants had set her self up for a massive challenge.  However, she was undaunted, and started to create the beast.  Fussypants had planned for it to be about a foot tall.  Needless to say, it did not turn out that small.

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The body, once papier-mâchéd, was about 3 1/2 to 4 feet long. It took about a week to construct the base, and two and a half weeks more to cover it in newspaper.  The time to complete the project in school had long run out (though Fussypants’s teacher was very kind, and allowed Fussypants for more time), and Fussypants brought the beast home.
There it sat, unpainted and unfinished for about two weeks before Fussypants’s mom guilted her into working on it again.  The two of them spray painted the beast, and Fussypants then painted on bronze accents.

Now, the real challenge had come.  How in the world was Fussypants going to attach wings to this monster?  She attempted several different methods, before putting the project aside for a bit more.  A few weeks later, Fussypants took another hack at it.
Using the power of physics, wires, and time, Fussypants crafted a wire framework.  She wrapped this around the body of the beast, and began to drape her fabrics!  The dragonhawk was coming together!
Another quick paint job later, and the beast was finally done!


So, this is Fussypants’s pride and glory!  A life-sized (although she didn’t mean it to be) sculpture of a dragonhawk!  It is also the LAST project of this magnitude she is attempting for a long while.  Enjoy!!