Category: Animals

Artist Interview: 1tiptip1

Hey guys and gals, it’s been a while! Today I’ve got an artist interview for you from 1tiptip1 on deviantArt. I recognize her by the wonderful nature photographs on her account and her pet reference photos.

1. How do you view your artistic activity?

Right now it’s just a hobby.

My dream is to someday write a novel. The novel I’m trying to work on is a science fiction/paranormal/fantasy type setting. Basically a world where people have traveled to other planets through out history but still has the fantasy paranormal elements to it.

I really love table top RPG books. I always thought it would be awesome to design one. I love building worlds and thinking how things can fit into them.

I’d also love to make my own Tabletop RPG books.

2. Where, when, with what are you the most inspired and in touch with your creative energy? 

I actually get a lot of inspiration from documentaries. I’ve come up with a few ideas watching everything from history to nature and thinking of how things could work in a different world. I find if I’m trying to work on some concept in a story looking at the concept in real life from around the world and through history helps put a bit of realism to the story.

3. What are your favorite kinds of pieces to work on and develop?

I love character and world building. To me the two can really go together. Whenever you work on a setting, world or piece of history it can really make other parts of your story really click together.

4. Who are some of the artists who inspire you the most?

Aerophoinix, Abbysol, Armanie-Zacharias, DarkQuartz, Jolsma, DancesWithDreams. There are a lot more. These people are creative and when speaking to them [I find that] they put a lot of thought into their characters and worlds.

5. How do you recommend other artists/creatives address their difficulty or skill they find lacking and want to improve?

I find sometimes when I’m really not happy with something I should leave it alone for a while. Sometimes if I take my mind off something and work on something else all the stuff I was stressing over isn’t so bad when I look at it again. Or sometimes the thing I was trying to desperately fit in that didn’t work won’t seem so hard to let go.

6. What are your interests outside of your artistic endeavors? Do you think these are important to explore to improve your art?

I like to work with polymer clay and in the summer try to garden. Also, cats – I have a horrid obsession with cats.

7. Is there a place you would like to visit in the future (out of state/abroad)?  

I would like to someday see Alaska or Australia. Someplace with a lot of nature.

Thank you for taking a moment to read this interview and thank you, Tip, for participating! Take a moment to look through Tip’s gallery – linked above.

Prizes from the writing contest “And Scene” are in progress on deviantArt. Links will be available soon!

  • First Prize: 1tiptip1 – artist feature and color illustration of one character [Kaleb]

  • Second Prize: Sleyf – flat color illustration of one character
  • Third Prize: GerryTHC – chibi illustration of one character
  • Raffle Draw: DancesWithDreams – icon
  • Raffle Draw: Feu-en-Bleu – icon

Thank you for keeping an eye out, patient ones! I do have a few write-this-again posts developing from the most popular research topics on my last blog site. They should be fun and amusing – at least for me. Catch you around!

 


Other Artist Interviews:

  1. Artist Highlight: Shannon Hogan (Khezix)
  2. Artist Interview: Ag-Cat
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The White’s of Their Eyes

It’s a battle cry that has trickled down from history and into group role playing games, common in phrase and easy to make sense of. Where did it come from? When did you first hear it?

It may be that this was among the tactical ideas shared by military commanders across the world so perhaps we cannot attribute it to one person, one culture, one time. The phrase is most popularly associated in American culture with the battle of Bunker Hill in May 1775. For 18th century armies this battle command increased the possibility of a hit when your troops only had access to the inaccurate smooth-bore muskets and risked a shortage of ammunition.

You can track similar statements back through leaders such as General James Wolfe leading his troops on the Plains of Abraham in September 1759; it was used by Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Andrew Agnew in the Battle of Detingen in June 1743; by Frederick the Great in 1755; again from Prince Charles of Prussia in 1745; all the way back to General-King Gustavus Adolphus who instructed his musketeers “never to give fire, til they could see their own image in the pupil of their enemy’s eye.”

While these variations have common military recollections, what comes to mind for me is a display of fear from animals. For a time I was around a lot of show horses and got to visit a small barn to see some roadster ponies. Now, I am by no means an equine expert but I am knowledgable to the account of interpreting body language very well. These horses were fearful, something I noted not only by that they jumped and scrambled away from the stall entrances as fast as they could with taunt necks and turned, trembling bodies, but also by the amount of white sclera I could see.

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At normal, or resting, position the white sclera is not usually visible all the way around the iris on horses.

2012-04-25 19.14.51

 

It can be seen most often in appaloosas but its not a trait limited to the breed.

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Fargonon/Syd’s cute Orion

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Dogs have a similar display. You know the look, the one that makes us all feel pathetic and off-set inside.

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Yep. That one. What about you? Are you most familiar with the phrase from a military aspect or from your pets at home?

Equine Tip for the Week: Horses are very aware of their personal space and when you venture into that space I highly recommend you both let the horse know you are there and that you be very respectful of a prey animal whose build is designed to be a weapon. Make sure you can see the horse’s eye when approaching. This guarantees that the horse has you in its field of vision and is much better than if you approach from a blind spot. Why? If the horse cannot immediately identify if you are a friend or foe it will strike out. More of this can be explained in an earlier post:What colors do Horses See.

Go learn something new about a topic that interests you. Share it with me in the comments below!

Sources:

  1. The Battle of Bunker Hill – Wikipedia
  2. White’s of Their Eyes – Teaching History
  3. Appaloosa

Other Ratified Research Posts:

  1. Glaucus atlanticus: The Blue Dragon
  2. People, Horses, and Halitosis
  3. Beneficial Stress
  4. (another link coming soon)

Make Your Own Smile

Oh, right, there’s a blog due today.

Nope. No serious face today.

Happy Saturday! I hope you decide to make today full of smiles and focus on the happiness that you deserve.

Happy Saturday! I hope you decide to make today full of smiles and focus on the happiness that you deserve.

Ponders on Colorful Breeding

orange and white koi
orange and white koi

I had a dream in which I took a glittering white and orange koi fish from a pond. It allowed the parting from its translucent home without complaint yet watched me, unblinking. After waking I was immediately curious on how the different colors are carried across generations of koi – and what extent human aesthetic breeding played a part. Reverence for this fish began in China and Japan so let’s start at the beginning.

Legend has it that in 533 B.C. Confucius’s son was gifted a common black carp (magoy) on the day of his birth by King Shoko of Ro. Upon this honor Confucius named his son after the only fish that managed to swim up the falls of the Yellow River and become a dragon. I have not been able to find too more in depth about this yet but enjoy the link above to the legend of the koi fish.

hiroshige-black-koi

 

Koi were brought to Japan when the Chinese invaded, where it was bred in the gardens of the main house for food, especially during winter when the rice could not be grown. It was not until after WWII, when air travel brought a surplus of foreigners who admired the auspicious fish and coveted it as a symbol of wealth, that selectively breeding the koi fish became prominent. They were bread not only for their traditional symbolism of positive energy but also for beauty. There are dozens of colorations for koi fish and interpretations vary across many who appreciate the species. These are the most popular and most common: red coloration is for the mother, for fire, strength and power; black coloration is for masculinity, the patriarchal role; blue and white coloration is for the son and tranquility; and gold koi symbolized prosperity and wellbeing (especially in business). It makes more sense now why in movies I saw these in ponds of the eastern Asian upper class. Of course you have the implication of financial superiority but I so love this delve into the layers behind the selection. It could have been deer or a beetle but someone somewhere decided the koi was gorgeous and convinced others who carried it over generations – all the way to us, here, now.

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Bear in mind that subjective selection is not necessarily evolutionary healthy. Some animals appear to breed for beauty (butterflies, horses, peacocks, wild cats, etc.) but what we admire as beautiful is always subjective. Indications of ‘beauty,’ such as a thick mane on a horse or the vibrant colors on butterflies and peacocks, are indications of healthy genes and a those that can fend for themselves (and therefore others as a mate or to produce strong offspring).

How we look doesn’t always belay what is under our surface, however.

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The most prominent example I can give you is albino animals. They are popularly considered exotic – an association socially used to connote beauty but nominally inaccurate, by the way. Albinism comes with high (and sometimes fatal) ocular problems and drastically increases the susceptibility to sunburns and skin cancers. Why? Well, what’s the prominent feature of albinism? White pigment – or lack of pigment. Albinism results from inbreeding where the offspring has the highest chance of receiving both alleles that do not produce melanin in the corresponding chromosome dedicated to coding the body to generate color in the skin and eyes.

Koi Breeding Tree
Koi Breeding Tree

Now, in modern science we have of course realized this and even zoos will trade residents in an attempt to increase the diversification of a species genes. This is especially crucial for those that cannot be widely released back into the wild to live out their own natural selection. Artificial selection can only go so far, though, and the records the zoos keep do not yet have the length of time and research put into, say, the Arabian Stud Book the Sultans of old kept close at hand. It makes me wonder what mutations may now be absent – and what is yet to come.

Fun Fact: The koi manifestations of the ocean and moon spirit in Avatar: The Last Airbender have colorings based on a Tancho koi coloring which originated from the Kohaku, meaning “red and white” (see linked breeding tree above).

Yin Yang by Moni158
Yin Yang by Moni158

All this pondering and research for a dream about a koi fish, what am I thinking, right? I feed my curiosity and encourage you to humor yours, after all it must exist in sentient organisms for a reason. Now come on, move those fingers and look up the things I know you have more questions about!

 

Sources; for more information:

 

Other “Ratified Research” posts:

  1. The Luck Dragon
  2. Purple Heart
  3. Headless Horseman
  4. Glaucus atlanticus: The Blue Dragon

 

Glaucus atlanticus: The Blue Dragon

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Glaucus atlanticus is known as the blue dragon and the blue sea slug. Pause a moment and say that name to yourself again, Glaucus atlanticus, oh the sounds of those syllables together gives me shivers! What beautiful coloring on this rare sea creature too!

So what is this blue dragon exactly? It’s a shell-less gastropod mollusk. How does it get around? It’s pelagic, meaning it floats upside down (because of the location of the gas filled sac in its stomach) at the surface tension of the water and is carried along by wind and ocean currents. It can also use its cerata (those finger like apendages) to swim around. You can find them in temperate and tropical waters such as off the coasts of Australia, South Africa, India, Peru, and Mozambique. The blue dragon is varying shades of blue on its ventral side (first image pictured) which acts as camouflage to predators from above yet is a silvery grey dorsally to hid it from predators below. It’s a 1.2in cutie that started garnering a lot of attention in April 2012 as a result of the image that appeared on Imigur (also pictured below).

be careful!
be careful –  don’t handle them like this!

Now, despite it’s cute appearance and small size the blue dragon is actually an aggressive predator that you should avoid skin contact with, unlike in the picture above. You see, a primary prey of Glaucus atlanticus is the Portuguese man o’ war (which is a collective colony of individual organisms, not a stinging jellyfish). This tiny sea slug absorbs the man o’ war venom and stores it in the tips of the dark cerata around its body. Keep in mind that the man o’ war is much larger than our cute sea monster (poison tentacles can range anywhere from 3.5in to 160ft depending on polyp type) and the absorbed poison is much more lethal at a higher concentration. If you simply must get a closer look or help a stranded blue dragon please follow the example of the following video.

Once the poison is stored, Glaucus atlanticus uses it as both an additional protection against predation and to prey on by-the-wind sailor (aka Velella velella), the blue button (aka Porpita porpita), and the violet snail (Janthina janthina). True to form this little sea slug has a radula full of serrated teeth which can be protruded to help devour it’s prey probably by rasping the particles of flesh from the surface.

glaucus_eating_velella1
blue dragon and a blue button

Well? What do you think of our cute yet deadly sea monster? Personally, I hope one day I’ll get to see you in person cutie patootie!

blue dragon and a by-the-wind sailor
blue dragon and a by-the-wind sailor

Sources; for more information:

More “Ratified Research” articles:

  1. Ponders on Colorful Breeding 
  2. Purple Heart
  3. Beneficial Stress
  4. Headless Horseman

quick art update

I had a different post planned for you today guys and gals, but I want to develop it more before I load it for you. Instead of doing both of us a disservice by releaseing a half-baked completed piece, here’s some updated art and what I’ve been working on lately. The plan is to have the post, involving koi fish, up next week.

I hope you are having a stellar week and are doing something to celebrate you and, if applicable, your mother/children for Mother’s Day.

2015 Themed Discounts

Well, I said I would release a list of themed discounts for 2015 and here they are!

 How does this work?

If you commission work from me during a month when the theme matches your commission you receive the applied discount. Again, original characters are more than welcome! To see the basic price chart, please go here: Kiri’s Commission Price Guide

What counts as a themed work?

It could be that your character wears armor or wardrobe designed after a raven, wolf, butterfly, etc. Perhaps you have a feline character you’d like drawn or a crocodile anthro you would like to commission.

What kind of discounts do we get?

Applied themed discounts are up to 20% off your commission price! You also receive an additional discount for being a repeat customer!

*** this does not apply to already discounted live stream prices ***

Can we still get discounts like the December 2014 Special Holiday Discounts you offered?

Of course! If you commission a picture themed after any of the following you can apply an additional 10% off: Think another event should be up there? Let me know and I’ll take it under consideration!

I don’t see my kind of character up there – does that mean I cannot get a discount?

Absolutely not! If you do not see your type of character please contact me and we will work out where it fits on the chart. If you have more or specific questions feel free to contact me at the following link Contact Kiri – I would be most happy to clarify!