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For the first time since I made my account, I've changed my icon. That's four years.

This sassy Twilight brought to you by :iconworkingorder: and can be found here. Here's hoping they're okay with me using it. Go favorite it and stuff because it's great.
  • Listening to: Orla Fallon - Mo Ghile Mear
Greetings, friends and followers.

If you haven't heard, I've started a new website in the same vein of Equestria Daily. It's a pony blog that focuses on fan content and the occasional bit of news, and it's called Canterlot's Finest. The difference between this site and Equestria Daily is that Canterlot's Finest has a higher acceptance rate so that anyone can be featured. Whether you're professional or amateur, your work will get its time in the spotlight. So please, I invite you to submit your work there! There's no doubt you'll have your work featured.
  • Listening to: All Night Diner - Modest Mouse
Hey deviantart! I know I don't post here much, but that's only because I never really have a good reason to. This time, however, I do have a good reason!

Myself and a friend have started a Let's Play channel on youtube called "No Console Required." We play games together, switch off occasionally, and generally have a fun time. The catch is that either one or none of us have played the game before, so it's new content for someone. If you're a fan of Let's Plays and blind commentary, you should check out our channel and subscribe if you like it.

  • Listening to: Imagine Dragons - Radioactive
You may have noticed that over the past couple days I've been uploading all my fanfiction that was on FiMFiction. Why is this? Not even I really know, it just fulfilled a nagging sense of completeness that I had. So yeah, now you can view basically all of my written works here, even though they look a little nicer on FiMFiction. Enjoy.
  • Listening to: Modest Mouse - Fire It Up
So, I've concluded that deviantart isn't the best platform for selling mousepads. Sorry dA, I love ya, but you are not a great ecommerce place. Anyway, I've made a website!

Pony Mousepads

Check it out, and tell your friends.
Yeah, I'm kinda posting this from the con, so... It's over!

However, you can still just order mousepads. Note me for details.
Hey everyone! Are you attending Canterlot Gardens this September? Would you like a My Little Pony Mousepad? If so, now's your chance to pre-order one so that you're guaranteed to get the mousepad(s) you want! This time around I'm getting 300 pads, and pre-orders are going to be taken out of those - unless of course you order one that won't be at the con.

If you WON'T be attending Canterlot Gardens, you can still order mousepads! This time around, there is a flat rate shipping cost of $4.99. Be sure to include a shipping address! Your mousepad will be shipped out one week before the con, on Friday the 21st.

So, what do they look like? They'll be using the designs from this gallery. Below are some pictures!

Trixie Mousepad

Trixie Mousepad

Trixie Mousepad

So, if you would like to pre-order your mousepad, send $15 (or $19.99 if you're getting it shipped) to jiggster9021@gmail.com. Send me a note through deviantart with the mousepad(s) you want, your name, and what your nametag will say at the convention.

You can choose from the following characters:

Twilight Sparkle (19)
Rainbow Dash (19)
Pinkie Pie (19)
Rarity (19)
Fluttershy (20)
Applejack (19)
Celestia (20)
Luna (19)
Octavia (19)
Vinyl Scratch (19)
Derpy Hooves (19)
Trixie (18)
Lyra (20)
Spitfire (20)
Soarin (20)

I'll update this list as they're pre-ordered. As with last time, for $20, you can order a design not listed here OR an original character! I won't be making these outside pre-order, so your window of opportunity is now until September 21st. If you choose an OC, send me a note and we'll talk it over.

Have at it.
Greetings, my followers. It isn't often that I come to you asking for something, but when I do, I try to make sure it's for a good reason. Right now, I think I have a good reason.

In the past month or so, I've been involved with a group called Team Shadowbolt. I've given advice, looked over their current progress, and generally helped where it was applicable. While I haven't the skills to do something related to the game, I help where I can by making little posts like these and getting them noticed. Anyway, Team Shadowbolt is currently working on a pony 2D metroidvania style game starring none other than Twilight Sparkle.

It's quite an ambitious project, but many of the positions have been filled, and every day they work more to progress with the game. In fact, a video has already been made and a second tech demo is in the works. However, they've recently hit a bit of a bump in the road. While spots such as programmer, character artist and musician(s) have been filled, they are lacking two very important members of the process. As of right now, Team Shadowbolt requires a level designer and environment artists to proceed.

If you or anyone you know feel you can fit those positions, I urge you to contact beta.carotene.brony@gmail.com and apply.

If you would like more information about the game, here's a promotional document put together by Beta Cartoene. Pretty much all you need to know is located there!

The last thing I want is for this game to burn out like so many others have before, so if any volunteers could be found it would be extremely helpful to the team.

Thanks for reading!
  • Drinking: Iced Tea
BroNYCon has come to a close, and now I sit here in front of my computer with a pile of merchandise behind me. Later on I'll have a proper write-up of all the festivities, but for now I just need to rest.

Oh, and make two announcement sort of things.

First, I had two Vinyl mousepads left over, so if you pre-ordered and couldn't pick it up, send me a note and I can mail it out to you.

Second, due to their wild popularity and demand, I'm opening up normal orders for the next... I don't know, whenever I feel like it. So, if you didn't get the chance to purchase one, now is the time to do so. There is a flat rate shipping cost of $4.99, so depending on the mousepad you buy it'll be $19.99 or $24.99. Already existing designs are $15, new/custom ones are $20, as usual. Just send me a note with what you want and send the money to jiggster9021@gmail.com.

Thanks for reading.
Yep, I'll be there, as I usually am. And as you more likely than not know, I'll have mousepads in tow. I'm at table #108, so if you want to stop by and say hello, feel free to do so! For now, though, I'm going to get situated in a hotel tomorrow with Daffodil, :iconnines-tempest:, Noble Cause, maybe :iconbronycray:.

How exciting!

Anyway, see you there.
Hey everyone, just wanted to let you know that I've gotten the mousepads and I ordered the shipping envelopes. It should only be a day or two until I ship them out. When I do, I'll email you saying I've shipped it!
I literally placed the order for them not five minutes ago, so don't send me any more money! If you do, you're going to get refunded. I'm sorry if you couldn't get your order in on time, and I'll see what I can do in the future, but for right now, it's over. I will see you guys at BroNYCon!

And for those of you who it's getting shipped to, I will be giving you an email when I ship them out, so be on the lookout. I'll post another journal entry when I actually receive them so that you know.

Thanks everyone who bought one!
Yep, it's the last week to pre-order mousepads! If you haven't ordered one yet, NOW IS THE TIME TO DO SO!

alexstrazse.deviantart.com/jou…
LAST CALL! THIS IS THE FINAL WEEK TO ORDER MOUSEPADS!

Are you going to BroNYCon? Do you want a MLP mousepad? Well, here's your chance to pre-order a mousepad before the big day comes along! Only 100 mousepads are going to be produced (unless somehow all 100 get preordered, in which case I can order an additional 100).

If you AREN'T going to BroNYCon, you can still order them. Before you send any money, send me a note saying WHERE YOU LIVE so I can calculate a shipping price. PLEASE NOTE: I'm ordering all of the mousepads at the same time, so you can expect your mousepad to arrive in mid June - roughly the 23rd!

What do they look like? They'll be using the designs and design style in this gallery: gig-mendecil.deviantart.com/ga…

Here's one of the sample images:



If you would like to pre-purchase your mousepad, send $15 to jiggster9021@gmail.com (paypal). Leave a note saying which mousepad you would like, your name, and what your meetup nametag will say. If you need it mailed to, leave your shipping address as well. You can choose from the following:

Twilight Sparkle (9)
Pinkie Pie (8)
Fluttershy (9)
Rainbow Dash (4)
Applejack (10)
Rarity (8)
Celestia (5)
Luna (1)
Trixie (4)
Octavia (1)
Sepia (5)
Braeburn (5)
Derpy (4)
Chrysalis (2) (Pre-order ONLY)


I will update this list actively. However! There's a special offer available right now. For $20, you can order a mousepad with a design not listed here or in my gallery,OR an original character! That's right. I won't be making these outside of pre-order, so if you want a minimalist OC mousepad, now until BroNYCon is your only chance to order it. If you choose to pick an OC/other character, send $20 to my paypal, include your deviantart name, then send me a note telling me what character you want. We'll talk about it further from there.

So, get them while they're hot.

Pre-orders close June 9th, 2012!

LAST CALL! THIS IS THE FINAL WEEK TO ORDER MOUSEPADS!
:iconcouch-crusader:

Look at this guy. This guy. This guy.

His art is awesome, and he doesn't think people would pay for commissions. The nerve, right? There's 400 of you out there who got this as a notification. Go prove him wrong and check out his stuff. It's seriously awesome.
  • Eating: Cocoa Puffs
So I'm bascially doing a marathon of Season 2 because :iconnines-tempest: had to be a fool about it. Therefore, I'm streaming all of this pony madness.

Well that was fun.
  • Watching: Luna Eclipsed
Yep, got my paypal business and online banking handled today, so now I can take commissions!

You've come to my gallery, you've seen my current skill level. I can do four types of commission:

Vector
Drawing
Writing
Minimal Wallpapers

These aren't limited, but just keep in mind I'm not very good at drawing porn. :P

Send me a note with what you want and we can talk it over! My current pricing is as follows, and is negotiable:

Vector
Straight recoloring of an existing vector (i.e. no custom hair or poses) - $5
Custom hair and pose - $10
Any additional accessories or features - $1 each

Drawing
Sketch: $2
Inked: $4
Colored, Inked: $6
Shaded, Colored, Inked: $8
Mutiple Characters: Halve the previous for each additional character.

Writing
$5/thousand words.

Minimal Wallpaper
Existing Character: $3
Custom Character: $6

And don't forget, I have prints available in my gallery! I hear they make nice mousepads.
  • Listening to: Tsyolin - Wooden Overture
400 Watchers? Seriously?!

This is ridiculous.
  • Listening to: Rudebrat - Obsolete
If you've noticed, I've recently been churning out a bunch of custom vectors. These are for an Equestria Daily banner I'm working on. Now, I've gotten compliments on them, and someone even asked if I did commissions for vectors! Now, before I list any prices, let me tell you a little bit about the vectorizing process.

The first step in vectoring is finding the pose. There are two ways I can do this. The first, and easier method, is to find a full pose from the show to work off of and use as a base. For these, I generally trace the body outline, then create custom hair for it. I haven't needed to copy any of the main six's hairstyles yet, so all of these have been unique. I look at it, lay it out, then put it into the style of the show. Simple! The second method is a little more time consuming. This is the splicing method. With this technique, I take multiple images and layer them so that different parts create a unique pose. Then, I copy what I need to so it makes the look I'm going for. At the end of the posing stage, I have a pose that I want, and all of the body parts are in place.

The second step is the actual tracing part. For this, I use Adobe Flash CS5. This step, depending on the complexity of the vector, takes me 1 to 2 hours of work. All it really boils down to is using the line tool to trace lines over the image(s) and line things up so that the colors will be correct when added. You can find a video of myself performing this step here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=3BuAM8…

The third step, and second easiest, is applying colors to the image. Using the bucket tool, I fill in the borders that I created in the previous step. Because of how Flash works, it fills in these sections almost perfectly, and no extra lines or shapes are needed for coloring. After this step is finished, it's on to the fourth step!

Cleanup! In this step, I go through the vector and double click to select groups of lines and delete them. After that's done, I usually fill the background with a vibrant color to look for any holes in the coloring that Flash may have missed when filling in. It has these problems because sometimes, it attaches lines fully together, but forgets to fill in the areas it just fixed. It's a slightly irritating little thing, but it happens. It's easy to fix. By this point, the vector is pretty much done. It's been drawn and colored.

The final step is resizing. This is by far the easiest step. I simply select everything I've done and type in my preferred resolution. I usually pick whichever is value is larger and bump it to something like 2000 or 3000, making a sufficiently large vector. When it looks all good, I delete all of my references (because they'll show up on the final product even if hidden) and export as a transparent PNG.

So, that's the process. It takes 2 to 3 hours for each vector, and the completed .FLA file is less than a megabyte, generally!

Now, on to the pricing. I consulted some friends about pricing, and I've come to something like this...

Straight recoloring of an existing vector (i.e. no custom hair or poses) - $10
Custom hair and pose - $15
Any additional accessories or features - $2 each

Additional characters - Half of everything above.

Examples? You want... a recolored Twilight in her awesome pose, but with glasses: $12 ($10 + $2). Your OC, with a scarf, hat, and boots: $21 ($15 + $2 + $2 + $2). Just your OC with correct hair and a custom pose: $15. Your custom hair OC with an Applejack recolor? $20 ($15 + $5).

Thoughts? Opinions? Ideas? I'm all for suggestions, and since my paypal doesn't work at the moment, I have plenty of time to readjust things or make things more fair. Feel free to comment and tell me if you're interested, because I can completely do this stuff. There are plenty of examples in my gallery!
  • Listening to: The Windwaker - Phantom Ganon
Yep, fic's done. 63rd Rune is finally over, and it only took... eight months.

That's cringe worthy.

Anyway, thank you all for reading it and taking the time to comment on it. I love the positive feedback and support I've gotten, so you can be sure I'm going to be writing more. My next plan is to finish up the first chapter of what was supposed to be my Write Off fic. Unfortunately, I didn't finish that in time and decided to judge the competition instead. Speaking of, it had some great entries, and all three of the winners deserved their places. Now, you might be wondering about what my fic was. I dropped the hint that it was a crossover and that it used the 'mysterious creatures invade Ponyville' prompt.

The answer to this is... a Kingdom Hearts crossover!

Last summer, I played through the series (except for the handheld ones) and found it to be really enjoyable, despite what some haters may say. I enjoyed the combat system, I loved all of the different worlds, and the characters were fun as well. I particularly enjoyed the different forms that Sora got in KH2, and messing around in Master Form was some of the most fun I've had. Now, I'm not so patiently waiting for the third game to be made, for two reasons. One, because I want them to finish the storyline and introduce new worlds. Two, I want to see what kinds of graphics they can muster up for this one. KH2 looked nice, and the CG segments were fairly quality, but compared to what we have today, it just doesn't compare. I'd like KH3 to have something like Final Fantasy XIII graphics. That would be a real treat!

But now I'm ranting about Kingdom Hearts! Basically, with this fic, I want to take the elements introduced with the Kingdom Hearts series and apply them to MLP. Mainly, the prospect of a Keyblade Master, the Heartless, the Nobodies, and different forms. I'm going to make an attempt to have as few Kingdom Hearts characters as possible, because it's going to focus strongly on Twilight, and I don't want to distract from that by trying to write in Sora, Riku, Xemnas, or any other the main characters. Mickey will make an appearance out of necessity, but other than that, I'm going to try and be sparing with the KH characters.

My other project is Cyan and Steel, which you may have seen the cover for. I want everything about that to be a surprise, so I'm going to say very little about it. I will give you two facts, however. First, it's a friendshipping fic. I won't say between who, but there IS a clue on the cover image. Second, it's a one shot. No multiple chapters for this - just a straight story til the end of the document.

Lastly, we have my damaged fic - Legacy of the Sun. What started as a Celestia origin story was quickly brutalized and beaten by the advent of Season 2, and by the time Family Appreciation Day came out, most - if not all - of my fic had been disproven or otherwise debunked by canon. I'm not sure how I'm going to handle it. I might drop the project, or I might just roll with it and label it as an Alternate Universe fic. I really don't know. It all depends on the rest of the season. Basically, if Cadence proves to be related to Celestia and Luna in anyway, the fic is cancelled. There's too much to rewrite, and with all that energy I could just write another fan fiction that isn't conflicting with what's presented in the show.

I have a couple more ideas in store, but they aren't worth mentioning at this point in time. They're only concepts and titles at this point!

So, thanks for reading, and I hope you follow my work in the future.

- Alexstrazsa
  • Listening to: The Rise of Luna - Kaisercss