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  • Mood: Peaceful
  • Listening to: my brother laughing at a movie in headphones
  • Reading: Romans / Fablehaven (Seth is an idiot)
  • Watching: Miyazaki flicks
  • Playing: Twilight Princess with my nieces
  • Eating: cereal
  • Drinking: hot chocolate
I'd known about deviantArt for quite a while before I joined. My friends and I were into a number of fandoms, and sometimes we suffered from intense feels resulting from those fandoms.... So much so that we needed an outlet. And fanfiction.net could only help so much. I think it must have been my friend martiowlsten who pointed me toward deviantArt. And the artwork I found therein supplied. What a smorgasbord of catharsis.

And then, on August 15, 2007, I came home from work and put my key in the door.... and didn't hear my aging cockatiel Leia start shriek-singing in wonted greeting at the sound. I came inside. My brother was on the family room couch, watching something. Leia was in her cage in the living room. She was dead and stiff. I put the blanket half over the adjacent parakeets' cage so they wouldn't have to see any more.

She had been old. I'd guessed it was to be expected, someday. And I'd had pets die before. I didn't cry, but I still felt.... heavy.

I took a shovel from the shed, and buried her in the backyard.

Mom did cry. When she came home and I told her. She didn't get to say goodbye.... And I felt.... stupid for having acted so robotically, putting her in the ground so quick.

We shared memories and I wondered when I could just get back to my life. What was wrong with me? Was I so cold?

That evening I joined deviantArt, probably looking around for catharsis again, albeit a bit listlessly. Stonily. Heavily. Maybe sinking into the internet and wandering around aimlessly was just my version of getting drunk, since I'm a good little Mormon girl who doesn't drink alcohol.

Maybe it helped. Maybe it didn't. Sometimes only time helps.

It was around Harry Potter heyday time. This was my first favorite:

Marauders by Gold-Seven

by :icongold-seven:

So I had an account, and even a few favorites. And my friends martiowlsten and DanikaMorningStar welcomed me warmly into this new community. They had seen some of my art at work or over emails, but I had never posted any of it online. I was afraid of.... thieves or spoilage. I wanted my works to mature before I showed them to the world. But Marti and Danika encouraged me, and I uploaded a few things.

This was my first upload, something of which I was very proud, and something the world had already seen anyway. Or at least.... anybody who'd flipped through Nintendo Power issue 175:

The Boy without a Fairy by Contraltissimo

by :iconcontraltissimo:

That and a couple other Zelda pieces went into my gallery. I had no idea how to interact with other members of the community, though. Some of the comments I got went unanswered for months.

So I had an account. And I had some art.

But I was silent for a very long time.

Life went on, and some time in 2009, I pulled myself away from a colored pencil drawing and told myself It's okay. If I didn't want to do it, I didn't have to do it. I'd been saving a DVD series I had ordered, not letting myself watch it until I finished this picture.... But I finally just put the picture aside. I wasn't enjoying it. It was a tiresome chore. I admitted to myself: I didn't like drawing anymore.

And I broke out the DVDs. The series was called "Roughnecks: Starship Troopers Chronicles". It was a computer animated show I hadn't seen since 1999 or 2000, and I quickly fell in love with it again.

It was a fantastic show, and many of its visuals still hold up well even today. But even better than that, out of the entire franchise, Roughnecks was probably the most faithful to Heinlein's original novel. However, its fanart is sadly lacking in the deviantArt community.

There are a very few good ones, though.

Nothing like a Bug hunt by taketheSky

by :icontakethesky:

That picture I'd been working on? It still sits unfinished. But I had meant it to represent.... Everything....

Around came 2010, and I finally broke down and went to see How To Train Your Dragon. I didn't expect anything more than cheap thrills; I hadn't really enjoyed anything from DreamWorks since Antz and Galaxy Quest. But strangely enough, I thought How To Train Your Dragon was chocolate covered gold with sprinkles on top. All six of the bee's knees. And I felt a strange exploding urge.... my hand, my pencils, my colored pencils.... were so restless....

Over the next few years I submitted eighty-eight How To Train Your Dragon-based submissions. I think it's safe to say that that was the milieu that brought my art back to life like a defibrillator.

Two Of a Kind by Stalcry

by :iconstalcry:

A few years have passed, and here I am. I have submitted many deviations from many milieus as well as from my own imagination or recollection, all in many, many forms. Drawn, photographed, vectored, written.... I have a better grasp of the community now, too, and though I don't always answer all my messages, I do read every single one I get. I have joined a number of groups. I take part in contests and activities. DeviantArt is a big, wide world. But I have come to feel so welcome and comfortable here.

My skills have improved as well. When I came here, I didn't know how to use my Wacom tablet:

....stupid tablet by Contraltissimo

by :iconcontraltissimo:

But I've practiced and learned.... and become more patient:

Rusl by Contraltissimo

by :iconcontraltissimo:

That is my latest, really refined art piece. Huh. What do you know? Full circle back to another Zelda piece. The Legend of Zelda really will always hold a very special place in my heart.

I am so pleased with the growth I have experienced while a member of this wonderful community of artists. I would say "I'm getting there," but.... the truth of it is, there is no "there" to get to. Artistic progression does not lead to any destination. It's just a road that goes on and on.

Where are you on the road? It doesn't matter. There's always room before, and there's always room behind, and that goes for everyone. Never judge yourself against anyone but who you were yesterday.

As for me, for now I may just keep walking down the road. Maybe we'll walk together. Who knows? Maybe one day I'll call that old colored pencil drawing back to me, and I'll finally finish.... Everything....

I'd been thinking about it lately.

This lovely lady reminded me when I saw her the other day:

Mushroom Fairy by EccentricTeatime

by :iconeccentricteatime:

I guess time will tell. It usually does.

See you down the road.

~Connie :heart:

Attention my HTTYD peeps. The Connie has spoken. Read the comments on her page. 

40%
8 deviants said Okay!
25%
5 deviants said Unicorns.
15%
3 deviants said Why didn't you just make a journal instead?
10%
2 deviants said No.
10%
2 deviants said Polls - ur doin it wrong.

deviantID

Contraltissimo
A.J.P.
United States
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:iconvisr:
Visr Featured By Owner 16 hours ago  Student General Artist
Tag, quality  deviant, you’re it! Quality doesn't mean that you have a lot of followers, or a lot of messages. It means that you’re nice to other people, and you deserve to be happy. If you get this message, someone is telling you that they love you as you are, and they don’t care how much followers you have. Send this to 10 deviants who deserve it. If you break the chain, nothing will happen. But it’s just good to let someone know that you love them!
 
Heehee hahaha :laughing:
Reply
:iconyellowfangwarrior:
YellowFangWarrior Featured By Owner 6 days ago  New member Student Digital Artist
Hello, I like me many your drawings especially them of fullmetal alchemist, it is special those of edward *o* troublesome you that you agrege to watch? Equal I have made drawings especially based in fanfic of fma ;)

 look after yourself byebye!!!
Reply
:iconcontraltissimo:
Contraltissimo Featured By Owner 6 days ago
Hi! Wow su Ingles es mas mejor que mi Español! :D Me gusta Fullmetal Alchemist; muy muy divertido. :icontarddanceplz:
Haha, I haven't watched it in a while, but when I do watch it, it makes me want to draw! ^__^

Cheers! :wave:
Reply
:iconyellowfangwarrior:
YellowFangWarrior Featured By Owner 6 days ago  New member Student Digital Artist
Hahahah actually nose English, alone use translator google or, or I am of Spanish speech, encourage to draw if yes-yes n.n
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:iconcontraltissimo:
Contraltissimo Featured By Owner 6 days ago
*LOL* Oh is that right? :laughing:  Haha, awesome. :D
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(1 Reply)
:iconcenturionsofrome:
CenturionsofRome Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2014
What happened to the Dragon Journals? Last update was alomst 3 years ago.
Reply
:iconcontraltissimo:
Contraltissimo Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2014
People ask me this sometimes, and I usually just dodge it or slip away. But, for some reason, I feel a different vibe coming from you in this instance. A good different. I stalked your page and got distinct impressions of trueness and honestness. And so I want to reciprocate and answer as completely as I can.

I suppose technically you could say it started with a kidney stone what laid me low. Hospital sent me home to bed rest and I couldn't go to school for a while, so my studies backed up. My time commitments shifted and Dragon Journals got put on the back burner. It stayed there for a long time and now.... I don't know.

I just had gone so head-over-heals bonkers for the first movie. I'm pretty sure I saw it no less than a dozen times in theatres. And I hunted and collected several of the action figures, ruthlessly. It was the movie that resurrected my art. I churned out so many pictures and writings.... I was just so high on it all....

Late 2010 I got laid off from my job, so I decided to go back to school. There have been a lot of transitions since then, major to major, class to class to class, all those action figures still heaped up in my room, most of them unopened. I was still writing The Dragon Journals, and it felt like a fire, like a blazing torch.

You're a writer; I'm sure you understand the sweeping intensity of the perfect twist, the beautiful idea, uncurling like a red hot tendril in your belly, making you giddy so you can't wait to show it to the world. That was The Dragon Journals for me.

Then I had that kidney stone, and catching up on studies, and changing my major from art to English which I NEVER thought I would major in.

How To Train Your Dragon still held a special place in my heart; I owed it my recent artistic explosion and development. And I owed so many other things to its soundtrack, such beautiful emotions....

But there came a point----but I suppose I can't really call it a point; there was no cusp. It's like the slow process of something dying. I know Steven Wright says everybody dies instantly. "You're alive, you're alive, you're alive and then you're dead." But honestly.... can we ever really identify that last tipping microsecond?

At any rate, there came a time when I just had left The Dragon Journals alone for so long that the torch was no longer blazing, the fire no longer so bright. There were just embers. And I couldn't blow them into life again.

And I wasn't sure if I wanted to.

I'm a fan of many things, and sometimes my likes wax and wane. Sometimes I find new things to like. Sometimes I have to choose because there are too many.

What has swept me off since then? Let me think.... the first season of Legend of Korra (I haven't seen the others), Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood, maybe Wolf's Rain? Recent Marvel developments of course.... Death Note for some reason (don't watch it if you value your soul). And there are always Zelda games.... and a few other things rearing up from long, long before.... ReBoot, Skies of Arcadia....

I was starting to become ashamed of the huge pile of unopened action figures in my room. It was just such a big pile of junk collecting dust.... and yet still I kept it there, hidden away from where anyone could mess it up. What if my nieces or nephews ever saw it? They'd probably want to play with them all and just muck the whole lot of them up. I was caring more about things and less about people.

I've always had a hard time with that. Too many things broken or lost or ruined by others growing up and so I just turned my room-cave into a dusty museum with the door always closed. But I would see other people's clean homes and want to be more minimalistic. And I wanted to care more about people. And less about things.

And with the dimming of my How To Train Your Dragon embers, and my shifting likes and manias.... and a fortuitous leaky shower through my bedroom wall earlier this year that really forced me to clean up somewhat.... I've been able to disconnect myself from that dusty pile.

I sold the whole thing on Craigslist several weeks ago, for just a bit over what I paid for them all, which was nice. Well.... except for one miniature Toothless that I kept, that had been a gift from Jeffrey Katzenberg himself.

And all of my How To Train Your Dragon deviations? I deleted one of them, and have had my eye on a few others, but.... I do know the sad feeling of seeing favorites disappear. So I put all the rest of them in my Scraps folder--what else is it there for, right?

The flame was dead. It wasn't the first time a fanfiction's flame had fled before I was through with it. But it might just have been the most popular. At times I've felt codependent, like I owed something to somebody, but.... I know that's not a healthy way to think. And it wasn't like I didn't feel bad for the people I had left hanging. But....

I am a writer, too.

And deep in my heart, I know that I don't want to write just fanfiction for the rest of my life.

Don't get me wrong; I am constantly plagued by fanfiction ideas. For the past many many MANY months I've wanted nothing more than to fanfic the entire game of Twilight Princess. I even had a really great hook for the beginning. Wanna know how it goes? It's just a line of dialogue:

"Get up, soldier. You're only dead."

Pretty cool, right?

Ah, but I can't entertain that one right now either. Even now I'm still organizing my thankfully-not-too-severely-flooded room, and throwing things out, and happily becoming more minimalistic. And I do have one more semester of school coming up. I'll probably be even busier then. Or I may want to work more on something original instead. I just don't know. I can't know.

....

It's raining here in Phoenix. I stood in it for a while.

So I suppose.... in the end.... you could say Dragon Journals was just one of those works where production was headed to outlive the initial excitement. That red hot tendril in my gut. It died before I reached the end.

And I am so, so sorry. I know a lot of people loved it. People keep faving it on fanfiction.net and I wish they wouldn't. It makes me feel like I'm just meeting hordes and hordes of new people who are only going to be let down.

I haven't forgotten all the things I planned for later. The voices of the dragons, the Nightmare, the Red/Green Death, things they all would say, off-screen logistics.... Well, I haven't forgotten a lot of them anyway. And I did try to take my breaks in mid-chapter, so as the fire grew dimmer, I would have something to springboard off of, at least. Part of a chapter to work with, chew on and finish.

It's still like that. I have half of the next chapter still on my hard drive. Sometimes I even look at it. The one where Toothless finally meets Fishbone's yellow-headed female friend. She hissed and spat and snarled so viciously I thought she must be venomous....

Just remembering....

....

I still don't know if I'll finish it. The embers are still dead. And not just for my fanfictions---I feel.... kind of burnt out of the entire How To Train Your Dragon fandom. I haven't even gone to see the second movie. How is it? Recommendable?

How To Train Your Dragon was the milieu that resurrected my art, and for that I am grateful, but it was also the franchise that almost buried me alive, made my room a shameful cluttered mess. Maybe I still feel a connection between the movie and one of my darker episodes of valuing things over people.

Ha, something funny---my sister in law just came over with her daughters---they're eating here tonight. Niece number two comes up behind me and my headphones and jumpscares me "BOO!"

So I shooed her away.  Case in point.

I want to go spend time with my family now. I need to spend time with them now.

I hope I've been able to answer your question. Again, I don't know what it is about you, but you seem like a good and honest human being. I think I'd like to stalk your gallery a little more deeply some time.

I'm going to go give some hugs now.

Cheers,

Connie
Reply
:iconcenturionsofrome:
CenturionsofRome Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2014
Thanks for the wall of text for a reply. :) Yes, as you have probbably figured out from my lament, I do kow what it is like to watch someone die by inches, and I have several stories where the excitement just burned out. (In fact, one of those stories is somewhere on the internet on a writing net, though I cant remember the name of the site or story off the top of my head though.) :p

The second movie is way better than the first, and is one of my favorites. One of the best lines in the film is- Hiccup: Toothless, you know that doesnt wash out! 

Interesting fact: I originally started out as an engineering major before switching to English, and a mere two years (Good grief has it only been four years sence 9th grade?) before that I had written "I dont write" one a writing placement exam.

It is currently 85 here in Seattle, and words cannot describe just how hot that is to the people who live here (by comparison, most summers are around 65-70).

I also used to jump scare my mom, particularly when she was wearing her pufferfish t-shit that depicted a puffed up pufferfish with swear symbols over its head. On my fifteenth birthday I managed to scare he three time in the space of an hour. :) Good times.

I am now under attack by my 12 year old cat, demanding ear rubs. Say high to your nieces, you never know when your time will come.
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:iconmcgillustrator:
McGillustrator Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
:shyguy: Thanks for adding "Shy Guy" to your favorites! :shyguy: 
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:iconcontraltissimo:
Contraltissimo Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2014
Thank you for drawing him!  :D

Agh, I know those feelings so well, too. Crowds can just make you feel so lonely sometimes....

Perfect spin for his character. :D
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:icondreamer-t:
Dreamer-T Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Happy Birthday! :party: fav.me/d7r5nle
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:iconcatnippacket:
CatnipPacket Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2014  Student Filmographer
Happy birthday! :cake:
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:iconyamilink:
yamilink Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Happy birthday, you lovely person! <3
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:iconmensjedezeemeermin:
MensjeDeZeemeermin Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2014
May your Muse laughingly cajole, convince, inspire, and take you on a beautiful and worthwhile drive to places and happy adventures you've never even imagined. May a justified belief that something wonderful is just around the corner brighten your life forever. May you not doubt your abilities, but labor successfully to expand them. May your dreams not prove nightmares, may you glimpse other strange worlds and let us share them with you--may those you love rejoice in you, and you in them, may joy and inspiration be faithful, friendly companions and helpers always. Happy Birthday!
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:iconmissunashamed:
MissUnashamed Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Connie. Connie. Pssssst. Hey Connie. Happy birthday :) Have a draw: missunashamed.deviantart.com/a…
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