25 junio, 2008

My Little Pony: The Kite

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Someone close to me asked me to draw them portrayed as a My Little Pony character.

Inspirations and references:
  • Flower fantasy ponies (year 10) but simplified: single colored mane and single colored body, covered with a floral pattern.
  • Eye symbol included after the new G3 ponies. The face shape might have some influence from here too.
  • The cutie mark is composed of wild daisies and loose pearls.
  • Spike comes from the original cartoon series.
    It was really hard to find a stable reference of him because the cartoon drawing keep changing his proportions and the level of details (like presence or absence of claws), so I ended up drawing him the way I liked better; I’m not sure the similarity is enough but he looks nice.
  • The Bushwoolie here is my favourite one of them all. Its great moments take place at MLP: The Movie on which he helps Shady to look for Baby Lickety-Split during the Smudge attack. I liked a lot the way he got all serious and concerned about the weirdest things and his alternative way of thinking. He is simply too adorable for drawing any other Bushie.

This work has made me wonder a lot whether is easier to draw a conceptual portrait of someone you know a lot or of someone who you know a little.

Certainly, portraying someone as a pony means not merely catching a physical resemblance. Is more like a translation (I guess is like that way whenever you want to put a real person into a story): it’s about translating someone’s core of sense into different coordinates, into a different universe of references.
For ponies, that aren’t complex characters, it is more about finding one characteristic (maybe two, but no more) that drags the other characteristics of the person or under which every other characteristic is redefined. Of course, done with simplicity and looking for positive lovable (or with lovable potential) characteristics, because the pony-verse is kind and straight. Once found that core element, you got your pony.
I am quite close to the person portrayed here, which made it quite difficult for me to find the very main characteristic her pony should have to be properly hers. When you know someone very much you have a rich idea on how complex the person is, that’s why it’s hard; the counterpoint would be the case someone you know a only little, because you often get a more clear idea of something characteristic of them, but that’s risky too as you might not be able to reach something radical enough about them for they to feel recognized in their portrait. That’s why I started wondering about the difficulty of this.
It was hard for me to find the characteristic for this pony. It happened to be something that impregnated so many ambits of her personality so it was almost “obvious”, invisible from that close. This persona has an amazing skill for taking care of others, specially of the “small ones”; normally people feel a kind of shame about taking care of the “small ones” but this person is not scared a bit by that, this person is able to quit anything for attending on what’s needed without a doubt or without feeling sorry about it, in spite of how much she liked what she was doing. All without grandiloquence, romanticism or adornments of pseudo-humanistic or socio-moralizing speeches, just doing it. Other’s thoughts about it are superficial for that matter.

This drawing is the result of translating this to the pony.
IA nice thing is that it brought me the occasion of drawing some other character I really was looking forward drawing, because it made obligatory the presence of the “small ones” at Pony Ville, which are not the babies but Spike and the Bushies (maybe even the Grundles, but frankly, they got the Dream Castle…).


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