After watching speedruns for three hours last night, I remember thinking to myself, “right, there should be no trouble at all with today’s post”. I also remember thinking “there shouldn’t be any reason for me to spend the whole day watching speedruns”. And then there was that idle thought saying “God is great and I love His grace”, and that’s when I realised that everything my mind comes up with is a fucking lie.
It’s always an embarrassment to have to post something the next day because some part of you was extraordinarily uncooperative and prioritised the sick run of Paper Mario 64 over something as practical as your fucking job, but I guess the default state of existence is to stay in the lowest rung of the least productive members of society, passively hoping that our paradise will come to us on a golden pony, if we are but lucky enough to be graced by it. In other news, eight million people died of starvation last year, and cancer remains uncured.
I’m frankly tired of using this section as a blog for nonsense that was originally supposed to be reserved exclusively for talking about the image and how I hacked it together. The key word here really is “hacked”, where most of the past images were simple enough to crop and index without putting much thought into their construction at all. While it is helpful to simply post something you know can be downsized without much effort, there are few things more practical than having the experience to manipulate images just how you seek fit. Experience is, after all, the best teacher, and it teaches more than anything the struggles of creating a piece of art.
Although I had created this image, which I’m obliged to state is by s1120411 to further my theory that the best artists have the least inspiring names, first thing in the morning in the vain hope that I would be able to post two in one day as opposed to squeezing out like a late–term pregnancy victim, it quickly became clear that it would be a more intensive prospect than that. It also became clear that I had not properly remembered how to use my tools, where even a simple tactic like the colour–select onto erase combo escaped my mind. Or perhaps it’s because I went to bed at midnight. Well, sleep late, sleep often!
I could tell you horror stories about what it took to make this puppy (LITERAL PUPPY) look decent. Gradients are the worst enemy of any pixel artist, and for good reason; they take up a ton of space, are hard to index without creating colour bands, create a style which is noticeably different when you are forced to remove the gradients, and are always a bitch to try to colour over, because magic wands have yet to understand the subtleties of three hundred different shades of tan running along an area. More often than not, they make you really wish you had access to the source file. So a lesson to all artists: PLEASE provide your source files! And use Krita, so I can open them in GIMP and not be plagued by the cancer of proprietary software.
“Well, gee, Froge,” you ask me all timid and stuff. “Where’s your source file at?” Good question, Jimmy Trudeau! I wish I could offer you a quick shortcut, but the fact is that all it took for me to make this little doggy friend was a single layer, familiarity with all my tools, and a lot of determination. What I do can be learned by any competent person in a week’s workshop. I make no claims to exclusivity here, nor do I say that what I do is particularly hard. What I may say is that there is no–one else who may do what I do in the same way that I do. This is what makes me a linchpin. This is what makes me special.
I do claim some regret for the emergency surgery of this poor girl’s tail and right arm, no matter how much shoulder I added to try to add some balance to her beauty. She’s lost her shoes and her briefcase and that delicious cake she was thinking about, which was the first thing that had to die. For one, too many colours; Yagi (the Gote [the Artist]) must think we’re having a sale on colours over here, that misguided soul. For two, it’s superfluous, which I’ll translate for Strata who has absolutely no grasp of the English language whatsoever as “not needed”. Remember that perfection comes when there is nothing left to remove, not when there is nothing left to add. She’ll just have to eat her hair clips.
I also feel bad along the way for not doing justice to the original artist’s beautiful, beautiful way of colouring. I don’t have a raging hate–boner for gradients; it’s just that their purpose in compression is about as useful as a hairclip in a shortcake. I completely understand how much beauty can come from gradients applied with the delicacy as the softest brush will allow for, and nothing proves this more than the original image. I am forced to apply a different style, for computers are not perfect, and compression especially imperfect. I only hope it captures some of the original’s beauty.
Oh, look! Here comes Jimmy Trudeau! “Mr. Froge,” he says with all the grace as a Froge fan may. “Didn’t you say you weren’t accepting foreign artists?” And of course he asks the question that makes me seem racist. Well honey, my policy is to never say a bad word about somebody who cannot understand what I’m saying, and that only extends to those who cannot comprehend our global lingua franca of English. Yagi here seems to have at least some understanding of what I’m saying. And besides; when has a little language barrier stopped people from using foreign works?
I actually did feel some level of guilt for taking the truly excellent work made by the original artist and applied the blunt hand of a hacker in order to make it fit my needs. I wondered whether or not I was doing the original piece justice by altering it so much. I get that the art is all about having a conversation, where everybody chips in whether or not they like it, and anybody may add to it regardless of what the artist wants. But some words are greater than others, and if I fail to express myself properly while using somebody else’s work, then it brings shame to both of us.
I don’t usually listen to music while I work; I know how much impact it can have on someone’s life, as it has impacted mine, though I feel that the more I am alone with my thoughts, the better I become as a person. It then came as a blind coincidence that I came across by a little-known song by Stetsasonic, called “Talkin All That Jazz”, that summed up the feelings that I only needed to express regarding this sampling of the arts. Take a listen:
“Talk… well I heard talk is cheap;
But like beauty, talk is just skin deep;
And when you lie and you talk a lot;
People tell you to step off a lot.”
“You see, you misunderstood. A sample is a tactic;
A portion of my method — a tool;
In fact, it’s only of importance when I make it a priority;
And what we sample of is the majority.“
“But you are a minority, in terms of thought;
Narrow minded and poorly–taught;
About hip–hop, playing all the silly games;
You erase my music, so no one can use it.”
“Step on us and we’ll step on you;
Can’t have your cake and eat it too;
Talkin’ all that jazz.”
Date: 2017–02–25. Size: 4,039 bytes. Colours: 8.
Upscaled Dimensions: 248×980. Original Dimensions: 124×490.