In 2009, I began to draw Christmas images for people – there were a number of “generic gifts”, dedicated to my deviantART watchers who liked the particular subject(s) and there were a number of “specific gifts” dedicated to specific people. I did that again in 2010. When 2011 came around, I had gained over 120 new watchers thanks to a comic commission and decided that it was time to do something different than those generic and specific gifts. My friend roster always changes, I never know if somebody is going to be left out, and it was so tiring to think up all the mostly winter-inspired images.
That’s when this arguably great idea hit me – why don’t I make wallpapers. Desktop wallpapers. Something that is just a bit more than a pretty picture people can look at on the Internet. It can be a pretty picture they look at on their own desktop! Maybe even their phone and tablet as well!
Once that was decided, I needed to decide what to draw. I knew I wasn’t going to be drawing specific images for specific people. I did need to cover my bases though for a majority of my watchers, which I divided into four categories: Cleanser/Satoko, Pokémon, Kelly’s Journey, and my original stories. I knew a majority of my new and more active watchers were for Cleanser and presumably in turn, Pokémon. People who watched me for anything related to Kelly’s Journey (usually pictures of my fan characters), also generally watched me for Pokémon. Characters related to my original stories were sort of a vague area since people don’t really know anything about them, but some designs stick out to people. In turn, I decided to give each category 3 images each, which were also picked based on what my watchers were interested in (or what they seemed interested in).
When Christmas 2011 came around, I unfortunately had to shelf the project because my hands were going numb and hurting, presumably from carpal tunnel. I was still determined to finish them – plus the images meant for me specifically, as the previous two (then three) years, I drew images for myself and scrapped them because of lack of time.
As I mentioned in a recent post, I scrapped Cleanser related images and replaced them with new ones. It was actually what made me realize my artwork had definitely made an improvement between 2011 and 2012.
Come to December 2012 when I finally began to post the project. I decided the order for posting would be: Satoko, Pokémon, Original Story Characters, and Kelly’s Journey; an order chosen partially based off what I believed to be the interest level. I knew Satoko was generally well received by my previous watchers whenever I drew them for a commission or an art request, plus with my newer watchers – albeit a year old at that point – I felt that it was a great starting point. Pokémon transitioned well from it, as Satoko IS the first crossdressing disguise Ash ever was forced into in the anime (called Ashley in the English version). I did my OSC next, I’m guessing because they’re pretty underwhelming since nobody really knows about them. Kelly’s Journey was probably last because I felt bad for the fans for not really posting anything and I love it so much, so I wanted to save it for last.
I first started with classic Satoko/Ashley. This was the only image not scrapped from when the focus was mainly on the Cleanser series. After all, this is the outfit Ash actually wore in the anime! Just with modern day colours and drawn in my Pokémon-inspired style. The wallpaper was just me messing around in Photoshop because I honestly had no idea what to do for it. Okay, yeah, sure, it’s not the best looking wallpaper ever and it reminds me of a tropical drink…but it’s still decent.
Next was a fusion between one of Ash’s crossdressing outfits and Satoko. Ash’s maid outfit almost made it as my top favourite crossdressing outfits for him, but it fell short due to the lack of a wig. It would have made the outfit PERFECT. (Okay, and some proper shoes and stockings too…) This was a replacement for one of two Cleanser-related images. I’m glad I changed it, but at the same time…you can totally tell I’ve made improvements since 2011. Still, this was a fun image. I remember one of my friends on Facebook were jokingly (?) complaining that Ash is a boy, so he shouldn’t be doing this…but you know, that doesn’t matter to me one bit. The wallpaper for this image has a bunch of cherries. There’s actually multiple versions of the wallpaper, which I’ll post at the bottom of this post for your pleasure.
The last image in the Satoko section was actually Satomi, his newest disguise. I fell in love with it INSTANTLY when I saw it and knew it was the perfect replacement for the Cleanser-related images. And I must say, this is a pretty dang appropriate as a replacement. A princess-y dress for a princess-y dress. I LOVE the wallpaper – it’s so fitting! My friend, Hurricane360, helped me a bit with the colour direction for the background. There’s actually another version, which I’ll post down at the bottom.
Transitioning into the next section, Pokémon, I started with Ash Ketchum & Pikachu. I actually hate this picture. I hate how Ash is drawn. I hate how Pikachu is drawn. I hate everything. It’s just…so bad. And I knew it was so bad. I do like how the wallpaper turned out though, despite I hate the image. It oddly reminds me of the speedlines of the Kanto days for some reason.
The next images were Touko/Hilda/White/Whatever You Wanna Call Her and Touya/Hilbert/Black/Blair/Whatever You Wanna Call Him. If I had drawn this game-related set in 2012, I would have drawn Mei/Rosa and Kyouhei/Nate instead, since I like them better (…okay, that’s half a lie – I like Touko better than Mei, but I like Kyouhei better than Touya…). However, these images were drawn in 2011, so you get the BW protagonists. Touko’s pose was inspired not actually by what I feel like her in-game personality would be or the comics, but rather this comic idea I had for Touya/N where Touko was N’s crazy ex-girlfriend and made it her job to make sure nobody joined Plasma. Touya’s pose WAS inspired what I feel like his in-game personality would be – laid back and kind. The wallpaper was obviously inspired by the name of the games they’re from.
I ended the Pokémon portion with the anime’s four female protagonists – Misty, May, Dawn, and Iris. I actually hate this picture, with the lone exception to Iris, who I feel like came out well for the first time drawing her ever (and since). Misty gave me a ton of problems like she usually does. Dawn’s & May’s poses are both blah. I like the concept of it though and I knew this one was going to be pretty popular. A lot of people like Ash’s girls, especially all together. The wallpaper was pretty random. The colours in it are based on their hair.
I made a sudden turn and started posting my original story characters. I started with the fan favourite Faye and Erik. I remember I had SUCH a hard time coming up with this pose, but I did it! I love these two, but I’m not overly fond of the pose or the wallpaper. To me, this one is overall easily forgettable.
Then came Kanata, who is, for some reason, a fan favourite. Maybe it’s the purple hair? I’m not sure. I actually feel pretty stupid though for the portion of her in her work clothes, her hair up in a ponytail – I had drawn it with a SPECIFIC ponytail loving friend who was a fan of her, only to have them utterly criticize the ponytail for “not being a ponytail”. It’s ponytail as far as I’m concerned. It sucked having my hardwork criticized like that. I pushed forward though and finished the image. I actually love how her work outfit image looks compared to her regular outfit – there’s something with the light direction and whatnot that came out extremely well The other one…not so much. I believe I used Pose Studio to create references for their poses. There was originally a third image to go along with this, but it was an unfinalized design, so I scrapped it before even doing the line art process. The wallpaper was inspired by her computer-based story.
Last of my original story character section was Midnight Star, my mermaid character I felt like a lot of people took a liking to. I’m guessing people really like mermaid characters. Especially kind looking mermaid characters. I was trying to reflect Midnight Star’s personality with her image. I drew her tail too long and she’s got yaoi hands. I also don’t like the wallpaper…
THEN WE COME TO THE LAST AND MY FAVOURITE SECTION, KELLY’S JOURNEY. I opened with a pretty boring, generic, yaoi-hands image of Kelly with her headphones on. It’s not too bad of an image opener, although I personally am not a fan of this particular image. It’s a bit too generic for my taste, including the wallpaper I made for it – it resembles a lot of my other wallpapers. It’s a decent image overall.
I then give you all one swift punch with this SUPER AWESOME KJ GIRLS IMAGE. Which I know would be much better if I drew it today. Okay, this isn’t super awesome, but in comparison to my usual artworks, this is pretty dang cool. I feature what I consider to be my “Kelly’s Journey Girls” (even though in actuality, there are many KJ girls – these four just have some major influences on the overall story and universe). From left to right, you have Melissa the sexy one, Kelly the spoiled brat and main protagonist, Daisy the hyper blackmailer, and Mistico the kind girly one with mad sewing skills. My watchers who have been around for a while are probably familiar with them in one way or another. I used Pose Studio to come up with their poses. I actually would love to try and draw this image again, since I believe I could draw it better now in comparison to 2011.
After that was posted, I posted one of my favourite pictures, even still to this day – the Kelly’s Journey cast based on what is currently written. This image is pretty dang JAM PACKED with action (as far as my drawings go). This one was easily the highlight of my Christmas Project and I’m sure was a treat for the fans. I remember I initially had a bit of trouble trying to figure out the poses, but they came pretty quickly once I started drawing. Honestly, this picture is my 2011 skills at its best. I even love the wallpaper, despite its genericness!
To round up the Christmas artworks, I managed to do two images for me – one with Ash & Kelly and one with Melissa & Paul, both who are my top two favourite pairings. Who I don’t like to show off because people come to all sorts of conclusions about characters and the creator. I don’t feel bad posting them on my website though in designated areas though – which is why they’re here!
The image on the left – the Ash & Kelly one – was simple. I primarily went for a friendshippy feel, over a romantic one, primarily because I felt it was more in their character. The Christmas tree in the background has red/green/blue/yellow lights on it, which is a reference to the original four first generation games.
Melissa & Paul’s image, on the right, was a bit different. I was going for like…”Melissa’s sexy and may-or-may-not have been drinking and Paul’s just kind of not trying to show his enjoyment of this” or something. I don’t know. I don’t draw enough Martinishipping. The tree’s lights are a reference to Diamond/Pearl/Platinum, which are the fourth generation games. Paul comes from the fourth generation of Pokémon (anime-exclusive though). Melissa & Paul’s pose were created on Pose Studio, which I referenced when drawing.
And with those, the Christmas project has come to a close! There’s lots of good images (in my opinion) and so many! It actually felt REALLY good to post them. Of course, it’d be a few months before I could start posting more images again…
Here, have some alternate versions of the wallpapers:
If you’re not happy with all the images, why didn’t you just redraw them?
Primarily time reasons and my determination to actually complete them, despite that I could see that my skill level has gone up since I drew them. If I wanted them done to post up until Christmas Eve (or was it Christmas Day? I don’t remember), then I needed to work with what I already had, minus those two Cleanser pictures.
The Cleanser pictures were replaced for reasons I’ve previously explained. It was necessary for me to draw two new images to make sure all the sections had the same number of images. Yeah, sure, I could have scrapped two images from each section…but then I would have only posted up four images total and that’s no fun! I wanted a slightly larger variety, yo!