Before we get into the nitty gritty, I wanted to answer some questions as left by you guys from a previous post I had made to help the series be put to rest. Here they are!
THE OFFICIAL TAY FAQ FOR POKEMON ONE A DAY!
Do you find your most creative period to be a certain time of day? Are you more of a morning, noon or night worker? Or is the typical work accomplished over the course of the day?
That's an interesting question! The work is accomplished over the course of the day. I start drafts and research for the 5 pokemon due up for the week over the weekend. I start thinking about ideas I could possibly use to maximize the best interpretation I can make out of it.
That said, the first thing I do in the morning is usually respond to everyone who's commented about the works and get right to work soon after. I find that earlier in the day, I come out swinging and get a lot of the work done. Earlier in the series, when I didn't have to really do as much research for styles because there were plenty to choose/create, I was able to finish the work much faster and post midday. Soon after, more time and energy was needed to create works and I would work throughout the whole day, taking breaks ever so often. I found in the middle of the day I wasn't putting out as much effort and only into the evening would I really get serious again.
This series has really taught me to enjoy the thrill of going against a deadline - It's stressful but gives me the push to finish...I need deadlines or otherwise the art would just sit there waiting for me to complete it but I'd say "Eh, I've still got time" or something along those lines!
I've always been a procrastinator of sorts, and it's only when I have a sense of urgency when I really get going - so to answer the question, morning and night time felt like the best times for my creative energy to start flowing.
How many times did it irk you when someone(usually me) would guess at least in part what your next design would be?
I dunno about an exact number of times; it wasn't too often but it sorta would irk me only because I wouldn't want others to see the comment and spoil the work. I can't recall if there were any times anyone guessed an idea and I decided to change the direction I took altogether if they happened to be right, but it would also stress me out if there were ideas going about because then all of a sudden, I wondered if it was a creative idea at all if people could guess it before hand.
Then again, you have to realize - just because people expect it doesn't mean they're going to be right on the money as to how I would come to showcase it. I would often wonder if I had to go crazy with a design just to throw people off. It never came to that but I simply soon found I should just go with what I felt was right for the coming day to give the art style and pokemon of the day justice for the series.
The Messiah asks
What kept you working even when you hit a creative rut? Because when I go blank, I'll be like that for days...
Hmm...The daily deadline, I suppose! I could've earlier in the series stumbled and missed a day. I don't think anyone would really care but I know I certainly would. Once the streak kept building, and milestones were hit, it felt like I simply had to put out the work no matter what. This is why it was absolutely vital that I started researching concepts and designs I could do for the coming week of Pokemon later into the series. If I were going in completely blind (which I did for the first 50-60 sh), I might get into a point where I would not find any success and not have a proper piece to put out.
When I did fall into ruts, I had back up ideas ready to go. Other times, I'd have thought I was set and I'd work on an idea and then realize it might not be the best bet after all. I'd scramble throughout the evening to get a new idea and push it out.
I also realize that creative ruts were only ever so rare ecause I had so many styles and directions to equip myself with. That practically made this series more fun that anyone could imagine - it certainly brought stress as I pushed myself out of my comfort zone at times but it was worth it for the end result and for the sake of experience.
What role does your dog play in the creative processes of your art?
My dog Koda? She was absolutely instrumental for the success of this series! As a normal type dog Pokemon, Koda constantly sat besides me and would point out the flaws of my work. When I was staring at the screen and working for too long in a session, she insisted I take her out on a floor before she poop inside and blame me for not getting out of the chair and taking her outside.
But in all seriousness, Koda as my only friend here in Florida I could hang out with kept me sane during this series and in life in general. Dogs are amazing creatures, and I was completely terrified of them 6 years ago when we got her. My dad brought her home on an impulse and I was wary of her. I couldn't tell anyone I was scared of a puppy.
Then I saw how it was sort of this ball of fur that would evolve into a polar bear cub, a fox, and then a wolf. When she began to hang around me more than anyone else, I realized she knew how cool I was and could respect her for letting me know that I was the top dog. Now, there is a role reversal and I cater to her every whim. How did I let this happen...?!
Main Protagonist asks
How do you not lose your shit when you can't get something to look the way you want it to? As a less than stellar artist, I always get frustrated when I can't get something right even after trying for hours.
Oh, I totally lost my composure every now and then! You guys just couldn't see it haha. As someone who's a bit of a perfectionist at times, I've learned the only lesson that needs to be learned when it comes to finding perfection in your work. Practice goes without saying, but the real lesson is to always step away from your work...Especially if you've been looking at something for far too long.
If you're working digitally, zoom out all the way. Flip the image upside down. Flip it horizontally. The best thing you can do is completely step away from the artwork and come back to it after having refreshed your mind.
I would do this for a limited amount of time a day and do any number of things, including walking the dog as mentioned above. Got some fresh air, absorbed the blue sky and green trees and come back to the work I had last left off.
Another really important thing to do is to keep practice of your work. Pokemon One a Day postings here on TAY came with work in progress shots. I thought it was a great way to show you guys what I was talking about in the daily write up, but also show that a strong final finished piece wasn't always that. By studying my work in progress shots throughout the day, I could tell what I got out of each drawing session I took. Where I improved the piece, where I was failing it, and say I messed up a good part of the piece I actually liked - I could revert back to it because I had a save state of the work from prior that I could re-call from as needed!
Any thought on doing any MGS work? =3 Doesn't have to be one a day or anything, but I remember you mentioning some MGS work, and that might seem fun ^^
Yeah, I do remember we talked about that! MGS is one of my all time favorite video game franchises, and Yoji Shinkawa, concept artist and designer for the series who is responsible for the gorgeous, inky art style we all know from the series, is someone I truly look up to.
I don't know what I could do in terms of a series, but how about this. How about all of us, as TAY, help create an art project for me to develop as a series? Nothing crazy - maybe a week or two weeks work of art. It could be MGS related, or maybe something else. Crossover, parody, whatever it is, you guys help me decide what to do and depending on the idea, I might take a stab at it at a later time. Maybe. MAYyyBEeeEeEee.
Disturbed Shadow asks
What is your favorite color? Do you like bacon? If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it does it make a sound? Would you like fries with that? What the hell is wrong with me?
1. Too many! I like colors when they sit next to one another!
2. One time, I was arrested in a public park for making love to bacon. When the police arrived, they totally understood the situation, arrested the person who made the call about "public indecency" and allowed me to continue. I love bacon.
3. Yes! The sound goes: "Oh no....oh no no no no not now not now please oh dear god ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh" *thud*
4. Yes and also some orange coke and some baked apple pie and perhaps some onion rings and also mozzarella sticks and a pizza and a cheese burger and some halal chicken and rice and finally fries. Please do not forget the fries.
5. You tell me! :D
And that wraps up the FAQ!
At this time, I invite you to take a look at this video I made as a gift for the series ending. It was posted on Mew's update but in case you missed it, watch it here. Enjoy!
Maybe you'll get sick of those words by the end of this read, but it still wouldn't be enough to fully grasp and comprehend the level of gratitude I have to TAY.
What a journey it has been. The last few days have been a time for me to reflect on what took place here on TAY that I got to experience with many of the users who build this community that I can proudly call my friends.
Of course, it's also been a time I could actually sinky my teeth into gaming, and in particular, Persona 4 Golden. Absolutely loving it so far!
Playing that game, you have a main character who moves from the city into a small town and is forced to accept a new life style he isn't particularly accustomed to. Last year in July, I moved from NY, where I was born and raised for 24 years and moved to Florida. Moving is nothing new to me - this was our 14th move in all the times my parents have lived here in America after immigrating from India.
But Florida was a whole new beast. It's quiet here...The houses look nothing like the apartments I'm used to living in. The sun's always glaring and when it's not, it rains like crazy. I felt like the protagonist from Persona 4. Fortunately for him, he falls into a group of friends who he goes on crazy journies and adventures with.
Since coming here, I've left the house to walk my dog...And that's about it. Struggling to find a job and too broke to go back to school, I realized I should take a bit of a break in that I had been going to school and working relentlessly full time at distant family's business for the last 3 years. That break I felt was deserving soon became a vacation...and that's what Florida still feels like for me. It wasn't - isn't - home, and I want out.
When I started Pokemon One a Day, I figured it could be one of the ways I could pass the time with. I'm an optimist and a dreamer, and as someone who would love call a job drawing for living "play time" , I sought to develop a series I could use to hone my skill, have fun, get my name and art out there, and more. I had no idea that Pokemon One a Day would become what it was at the end of this run. TAY and One a Day quickly became home.
A day after I finished the series, a website called AVClub shared my work. They did a full write up and shared links and a few of their favorite works on the site. I would find out when my sister sent me a text. Slowly, others started to tell me the same thing - that the work was picked up and people were seeing it.
My ears went hot. It was a very unreal raveling of what could be, if things were moving at the pace they were. Slowly, it became clear that a lot of people were now looking at my work. My stomach sank and my ears started to heat up. I hate when that happens. When I get nervous, my ears light up in flames. But why was I stressing?
This is what every artist wants - exposure, right? It was surreal and intimidating.
When I went to see the article, the first thing I noticed was that the writer referred to me as "Tumblr artist" Bonny John. I don't draw for Tumblr. I put it up on Tumblr because it was the viable thing to do as someone looking to get noticed. For some reason, it irked me more than it should have, because when I think of Pokemon One a Day, I think of TAY.
Of course, what am I to say when someone takes the time to talk about little ol' me, and my silly little pictures? I was overjoyed! Nervous, but still happy.
Yet still, Tumblr artist was a bit unsettling and sounded off.
That's because when I think of One a Day...I think of you guys. I think of TAY because it was all of you that got me through my toughest times here in Florida, related to the move or otherwise. It was you guys who introduced yourselves to me and made me feel welcome...Something I never thought strangers with random names could ever be capable of when forums are discussed.
Pokemon One a Day is a project I started, but finished by all of us together. When my ears got hot and I felt restless in my stomach, I wondered why I was afraid of the exposure...This could only surely bring me good news, right? Maybe some hiring manager at video game website or video game studio might want to hire me. My life could change! My hard work and dedication would finally pay off!
Instead, I thought about how all these newcomers were going to look at my work and just not get it. They weren't going to get how so on and so illustration was inspired by conversations I had with TAYers the night before. They wouldn't know of the struggles I went through that I got through because of conversations not revolving around art because I had TAYers to confide in. They missed out on a lot of it, and they think that it was Tumblr that made this series.
That is simply not true at all. Now, I'm still absolutely grateful and forever and always will be that people on Tumblr and DeviantART could come to enjoy my work. I will always be in the debt of watchers and an audience for giving me the time of day for my creations. However, this project is alive today because of one reason, and that reason is TAY.
If I hadn't discovered TAY and found this place to share my work, this series surely would have died after a week on Tumblr or DA. When Bulbasaur was shared that first day, I was shocked. I didn't even think that was going to happen nor thought it was possible that TAY could contribute to the site (that ignorance is what lead me to ask for Kotaku to make TAY a more visible element of their website with that post I made in January) and completely caught me off guard.
I posted the same Bulbasaur on the other two sites where I had a smaller following, but more existent than anything on TAY/Kotaku and not a single response was made. On TAY, I was being welcomed like you guys were ready to send me off on this marathon. I was given a blessing, and I felt like I had the greatest reason in the world to continue: purpose.
You guys have watched me run this marathon, and were always there every step of the way. You guys were there to hand me a cup of water or dowse me in the cold stuff to keep me fresh and competent to continue. And the most amazing thing of all was that you guys greeted me at the finish line and made me feel like a big fucking deal.
And I needed that. That night I posted Mew, people were staying up to see it, to congratulate me. Comments were ready, gifs had been selected. I've read that a few of you even before Mew would stay up to wait and see the art, and more importantly, to see if I might lose the streak. Only the people of TAY could be so supportive. That night, I fell asleep with the biggest freakin' smile I could muster.
That victory...That wasn't just mine. That was yours too. That was every single one of us who ever had fun and talked about nostalgia and Pokemon. It was every single one of us who turned that focus of art for that day and made it meaningful. We were all in it together, and the reception I got for completing this series was all I could ever ask for.
TAY has been the crutch of One a Day. Your encouragement, compliments, kind regards and the community as a whole saw me through till the end. Every day, I sought to make you guys happy and proud of me. I did this work so I could talk with you guys, and everything else was just icing on the cake - becoming a better artist (you could go through the series from start to finish and see how I improved), expanding my network, building my portfolio, and finding purpose to my day.
I gave my all to this series. I gave up playing video games, gave up looking for a job to focus on the art and use saved up money that is now nearly dried up to show dedication to my work ethic, never bothered to make friends or hung out with human beings and more. I gave up my health and even went to the emergency room that one time and still made it back to release Geodude. I remember sitting on the bed imagining in my mind how I might paint all the little rocks that would fill up his form.
Without One a Day, I'd never been more alone in my life. I mean art and community could only do so much - I have been wrapped within the four corners of my room's wall for this long. This depression I'm facing...Art was the only thing that kept me occupied, and for as long as it could per this day. When that art was ready to be submitted, TAY took over and took care of me, whether you knew it or not.
I didn't want to let you guys down by missing a day or not putting out work to the quality you expected - this caused me a lot of stress but ultimately, I never wanted to let you down. I truly believe that this is one of the driving forces that helped see this project through till the end.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you. Thank you since day one where you guys have greeted me and gave me a chance to show you what I had. Finishing this series, it feels like the end of an era. I feel more powerful than I ever have before. I feel like I can change the life that is in dire need of evolution. Art was my escape from the real world, and TAY was that dream world I could retreat to.
Now that this is over, I feel like I can tackle my insecurities, my unemployed status, my financial situation, my health, and everything else dire that needs some fixing. One a Day has come to an end. I don't know what's coming up next but I feel like I can do anything. I feel like I can conquer the world.
Thank you for everything.
Thank you for all the good you've provided my craft and I.
Thank you for giving me a place to share my art and accepting me as I am.
Thank you for commenting every day.
Thank you for recommending the work and giving my picture that little gold star. Fine, blue star.
Thank you for writing stories about my art work.
Thank you for guessing what was coming next.
Thank you for posting silly gifs and jokes.
Thank you for some fun, silly, strange, and deep conversations.
Thank you for preserving my sanity.
Thank you for taking the time out to make me feel special.
Thank you for giving me a voice and letting me talk amongst yourselves.