Happy 7th Anniversary Flickr!

by Zephos on February 10, 2011

Happy 7th Anniversary Flickr!

To commemorate Flickr’s 7th Anniversary, here’s a drawing of Flickr-tan, an anime girl persona of all things Flickr! – including gratuitous amount of surprisingly functionless blue and magenta spheres and a vomiting panda doll!

Time for a little history lesson!  Flickr was originally a prototype image hosting site created by Ludicorp located in Vancouver BC, right at the time when I was living there in fact! Surprisingly, Flickr was actually originally developed as a tool to make an MMO called Game Neverending. Game Neverending didn’t survive, but Flickr did, and on February 10th, 2004 at 5:15, Flickr took it’s first flight! Flickr was later acquired by Yahoo, but surprisingly, didn’t spontaneously implode instantly afterward.

Despite it’s inherent bias for photos over illustrations and screen shots, Flickr has easily become my favorite image hosting site to use, as they have an abnormally friendly community of surprisingly sane  humans despite the site’s enormous population which according to one law of physics or another, normally is suppose to cancel that particular part out. If you haven’t tried Flickr before, I highly recommend it, please  visit me while you are there and let me know what you’re up! I always love seeing another friendly face on Flickr!

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With the holidays now a distant memory, it’s time for the academically enrolled aspiring artist to be reacquainted with their tried and true tool of torture, the wooden #2 pencil with its pitifully pink eraser at the top! Do the memories of working with such substandard supplemental school supplies make you twitch whenever considering what to use on your next illustration? If so, I’ve got the cure for you! – 10 Awesome Drawing Tools They Never Gave You In School!


#1: LeadholderLeadholder

Among pencil pushers, there are two decisive camps, the wood encase pencil sharpening traditionalist bastards and the button clicking affront to nature that are the mechanical pencil wielders of post Industrial Revolution disaster to come. Wooden pencils can be sharpened with a knife for custom line width allowing for expressive drawing and mechanical pencils having a consistent feed mechanism and uniform width with every inch of interchangeable lead refills making them practical for precision drawing… but… what if you could have a single tool with the advantages of BOTH! Have you ever wondered why they never bothered to make a mechanical pencil that uses ginourmas sticks of lead? It’s because they did, it’s called a leadholder, and its closest thing you’ll ever get to superior “ancient technology” outside of a cliché filled RPG.

Leadholders are a funny story; the earliest incarnation of the technology that used graphite is known to date at all the way back to 1567, almost as old as the discovery of graphite as a common drawing substance itself and actually predated encased pencils. Leadholders reportedly reached the peak of their popularity around the 1950′s, however, since then, the line of devices has massively declined in popularity to the point where very few people outside of art and drafting circles would know about them and are rarely found outside of art stores in this day and age.

Leadholders not only have the expression quality of traditional pencils, but also the convenience and ease of refill as a mechanical pencil. With Lead Pointer sharpeners, they are easy to uniformly sharpen to a point as well as use sandpaper for more custom tuning. Additionally, unlike most mechanical pencils that use a push mechanism, most leadholders use a clutch release system, so you can have as long a lead as you want in an instant. It is not entirely clear why such a versatile superior tool has declined in popularity over the years, but it’s definitely worth giving one a whirl should you come across one in your local art store. I personally use a leadholder for all my rough sketches, three of them with different lead types in fact! For more information, please visit www.leadholder.com. It’s ancient technology!

#2: Pencil ExtenderPencil Extender

Are you using a leadholder yet? If not then it’s all good, because if you were, this entry would be a lot less useful. Leadholders and Mechanical pencils with their metal or plastic bodies don’t get chopped to pieces when you sharpen them, wooden pencils on the other hand do and when the length of your pencil is less than the height of your hand, your drawing tends to go downhill real fast. That means it’s time for a new pencil, but what a waste, wouldn’t it be great if you could use that last remaining bit of pencil goodness just begging for sweet death?  That’s where the pencil extender comes in!

The pencil extender is exactly what it sounds like, a pencil like rod that you stick the withering husk of your previous pencil into for another round of torment – it’s just like beating a dead horse, but with significantly more practical results! In addition to standard wooden pencils, there are also other expendable pencil shaped drawing implements, specifically of the “Too expensive to waste” variety that a pencil extender will easily pay for itself on by extending their usability, such as graphite sticks and color erase pencils. Remember folks, if it still exists, use a pencil extender until it doesn’t!

#3: Mini PencilMini Pencil

This one is more of a gimmick than actually useful, but it’s cute which in my book of ethics trumps everything else. Mini Pencils don’t actually have a recognizable formal name, they could be called “Micro Pencils”, “Tiny Pencils”, “Really Adorable Petite Pencils” and still pretty much describe what they are, yet it is a surprisingly rare item. However, for all of the drawing tools I’ve ever used, the Mini Pencil has been the one to receive the most attention by onlookers, perhaps due to the sight of using a ridiculously small pencil to draw with. To that extent, the mini pencil has one huge benefit; it’s really, really, small and portable like. Most will fit in your pocket, in your wallet, floating in mid air due to being too small to be affected by gravity, etc.

Mini pencils are light weight and effect the way you draw in general and is good training for arm and elbow control, especially if you’re a wrist oriented artist which I personally tend to be. Negative effects are that since your wrist tends to be closer to the drawing area of the paper, you will smudge more if you rest your wrist down frequently, but it’s cute, so I’ll call that a charming fault rather than you know, a fundamental flaw. A fundamental flaw unless that is, you intend to use the next tool on the list.

[click to continue…]

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How to Play The Sims 3 VERY Badly!

by Zephos on January 3, 2011

Those who’ve known me for a longer time than I’m generally comfortable with know that I’m a long time The Sims fan and FAQ writer, better known as TheSocialBunny! Named after that trauma summoned man sized bunny that comes down to console sims who are very, very lonely in The Sims 2.

Recently, due to my disappointment regarding how The Sims 3 has mutated into a bloated bug infested nightmare it seemed like a natural idea to create a video series on ridiculously elaborate ways in which to make the lives of your sims as inhumanly miserable as possible in my very self explanatory video series “How to Play The Sims 3 VERY badly”… enjoy!

(Watch the full series on YouTube!)

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Hoppy New Year 2011!

by Zephos on January 1, 2011

Hoppy New Year 2011!

Hoppy New Year 2011 Everyone! This year according to the Chinese Zodiac is the Year of the Rabbit, and you know what that means!… well, you might, but I’m pretty sure I don’t, haven’t checked my horoscope lately to be honest, but I drew this illustration of “Albino Snow Bunny Girl” Albi-chan! Albi-chan’s main motif are bunnies, rabbits, Japanese snow bunnies… and probably Japanese snow rabbits, hard to tell if you’re going to get all scientific about it. Speaking about science, here’s a scientifically sound diagram of a Snow Bunny based on what I learned about them from video games.

Albi-chan is not an official a story character, but she likes skiing, speaks with a Canadian accent and is very good at multiplying! Her favorite foods are carrots and happy thoughts. She becomes sad whenever she realizes her giant hands make it difficult to hold hot chocolate mugs. ^_^

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Merry AFTER Christmas

by Zephos on December 30, 2010

Merry AFTER Christmas!

Do you feel so tired after the holidays from the shopping, the partying and spending time with immediate family that you feel that you need another holiday just to recover? For when the holiday is more stressful than actually working, a pat on the back is well deserved! Congratulations on surviving the holidays, Merry After Christmas!

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Sylis’ Soulpiercer Dress (10/10)

by Zephos on December 29, 2010

Perfect for those who don’t particularly fear the reaper, the Soulpiercer Dress is a light weight, combat ready attire catered to Gothic sensibilities and infused with good old fashion cowgirl hospitality, because heaven knows how often those demographics mix!Sylis' Soulpiercer Dress of MORE COWBELL!Of course, it helps to be inherently demonic when slipping this silky bar dress on and getting your booze on, as the wing and tail holes will look mighty suspicious otherwise… as well as being drunk in general. Needless to say, this dress also helps if you are coming down with a fever… a fever for MORE COWBELL!

Also featured is an extremely child unfriendly combat sized fountain pen that is totally not filled with blood of freshly ground babies. We like to call this stick of misery the Soulpiercer Drawal, and it’s magic! Magic totally not filled with ground babies of course.

Well that’s it for the Xynthica Fashion Showcase 2010! Thank you all for taking the time to visit and view my work! Please have a Happy New Year and look forward to a brighter future!… hopefully naturally bright, the other known things to cause literally brighter days in human history are all kinds of lethal.

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Gitynia’s Crosslight Dress (9/10)

by Zephos on December 27, 2010

For when you want to commit horrendous atrocities against humanity in the name of one or more deities but without that claustrophobic feel those plate mail wearing sissies are always whining about, put your faith in the Crosslight dress!Gitynia's Crosslight Dress of Great Justice!Sporting beautiful, breathable, bloodstain resistant fabrics, the Crosslight dress is designed with all of the comforts of the Dark Ages, yet forged with all of the genocide filled goodness that only futuristic warfare could bring!  It even comes with wing holes and a spiffy halo, because when delivering your daily dose of of righteous indignation, it never hurts to look the part!

Lightweight and with a shield generating core, the Crosslight dress is ideal for those times when you happen find yourself in the middle of a corpse strewn battlefield and suddenly remember you have the ability to fly, thus concluding that inflicting massive vertical laceration to everything in your immediate vicinity wasn’t particularly necessary, albeit still immensely satisfying. Making excuses to invade another nation on completely baseless grounds has never been more fun!

Next up, our local sensitive seductress Sylis sports the final dress soulfully! What will it be? Stick around to find out!

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Phia’s Phi Dress (8/10)

by Zephos on October 9, 2010

Sometimes, the best things in life are the simple little things… then there’s this walking physical manifestation of convolution, the Phi Dress! Phia's Phi Dress of... it's kind of complicated.Made from the latest and greatest in technology from the fine folks you’ve come to trust at Ancient Technology™, the Phi Dress is 300 kilograms of self powered mechanical warfare complete with canceler field and flight capabilities for those times when you want to take a break in between removing someone’s head from their shoulders. Designed for ranged aerial combat, in exchange for having a ridiculously wide profile, the Phi Dress, officially model PHI-1.680 is a hovering personal station for waging war on a small nation with a generator to supply all your energy weapon needs and cute tiny little pockets on the side for bullets and accessories that are so popular with the ladies now a days.

Next up! Gitynia’s got a new outfit… except I haven’t really figured out what I’m going to draw next. Kind of worried about that actually.

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Rally’s Holy Beast Dress (7/10)

by Zephos on October 2, 2010

Recent studies by a third party that we totally did not pay to skew the results have shown that a girl can never have too many tails, that’s why when it comes to good old fashion tail filled goodness, accept no substitutes, the Holy Beast Dress is the only way to go! Along with complimentary sharp pointy sleeves useful for clawing out ex-boyfriend’s eyes with, the Holy Beast Dress also comes with nine tails freshly ripped from innocent helpless foxes from a rural wildlife sanctuary yelping for the sweet embrace of death! After all, why put the effort into trying to incite the burning hatred of animal activists around the world when you can simply wear it?Rally's Holy Beast Dress of Extreme Tailiness!So why are there actually ten tails in illustration and not nine? Good question! It appears that Rally was naturally born with a fox tail to begin with, but don’t mind that minor detail. It’s just like when cat girls wear cat ear headbands – but nine times as redundant! Side effects of wearing this dress include the excessive need to claw at objects, the excessive need to claw at moving objects, and finally the excessive need to claw at moving objects till they aren’t moving any more. May also glow in the dark with an ominous power that can be objectively described as millions of dead animal spirits screaming in unison in unending torment. Not machine washable.

Next up, Phia gets a serious hardware upgrade to her high tech wardrobe!

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Avica’s Filibuster Dress (6/10)

by Zephos on September 25, 2010

Let’s face it, “symmetry”, among other things such as the golden ratio, basic color theory, and breathable air are overrated.  Symmetry is a sign of laziness. Symmetry is redundancy. Symmetry is nature’s copy, paste and flip for when it lacks any creative innovation to go out and royally screw things up in ways that only an underfunded human artist ever could, and that’s why the Filibuster Dress is the manliest dress a girl could wear, because nothing says manliness quite like telling nature that its sense of design sucks.Avica's Filubster Dress of great Uneveness!Descended from the original Filibuster Dress which was named specifically due to the right side and left side vastly disagreeing with each other on a matter of issues important to national interest, the new Filibuster Dress MkII now comes with the manly asymmetry necessary to make you want to go out and punch a goat, but with none of the ridiculous imbalance in weight that the original required a new law of gravity to adequately explain. Also, it apparently comes in kid size now, because you can never be too young to disregard a fundamental design principle of nature.

Next up! Rally has a new foxy dress with a fistful of puffy!

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