Sunday, March 30, 2014

Artist's Sunday #7: Nerd Love, Episode 4 - To Boldly Go

Foreword: I am not even going to address missing last Sunday. If you haven't figured out by now that our lives are nuts and I don't always get the opportunity to sit down and focus on this long enough to hash out a decent post, then you haven't been with us for very long. If you have figured it out, then I hope you won't get annoyed and leave us. That being said, welcome to Episode IV.

Wow, I realized after typing that, that it sounds like one side of a couple's spat. Ha. Anyway...

*ahem* That's right, this week is on Star Trek. If you're a Star Wars fan and hate Trekdom, then this is your chance to skip over to the next one. Yes, don't worry, I'm going to do Star Wars too. Trek gets its day first because I am a Trekkie, and because Dragon and I have been playing Star Trek Online in our spare time (it's free to play and gaming is quite possibly our favorite thing to do together, besides... well. *ahem*) so it's been on my mind.

Star Trek has touched the hearts and imaginations of many generations of geeks, turning them into writers, actors, scientists, engineers, technicians... well, you get the idea. There's even a documentary on "How Star Trek Changed the World" that is pretty awesome. Seriously, even if you don't like Star Trek, but you are a tech geek, you should check it out. I didn't even know how much influence my childhood fandom has had on the world we know...

From an artistic/creative perspective, Star Trek triggers the inspirational hope for a better, brighter (and, let's face it, more interesting!) future. The Original Series (and The Next Generation, too. After that it was more about adventures in space...) was all about humans getting over their differences and overcoming obstacles and threats and problems, and discovery and exploration of uncharted frontiers, by working together in a society of mutual respect. There was no currency (one of the evils of our time if you ask us, but that's another post for another day), disease had been dramatically reduced, lives were longer, and technology actually made our lives better instead of turning us into screen zombies. Not quite a Utopia, because there was still a galaxy full of messed up goings-on to deal with, and people are still people, but the idea presented, that one day we as humans will get over ourselves enough to present a united face to the rest of Creation, and tackle whatever comes our way with cooperation... that is what inspires.

And, granted, when diplomacy didn't work, they got to blow sh*t up. Can't get better than that. :D

Now! On to the arts:

Here's raising a glass of Earl Grey, bloodwine, Romulan Ale, or tranya
to generations past, present, and future,
who have been inspired by the voyages of the starship Enterprise.

"These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise, her five year mission, to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before."

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Foxfire Daily: Fox and Dragon

A conversation with a friend on Facebook sparked (pun definitely intended) a thought process in your Artful White Fox's mind (while I was trying to do the first wirework I've been able to do in almost two weeks because of the sickly in the house).  It's part of our tagline - "Foxfire and Dragonfire come together and a new era of creativity is born" - but what does it mean?

The common element is Fire. But what is Fire?

Fire burns.
Fire melts metal.
Fire creates ash, from which green things grow.
Fire creates power.
Fire warms the cold nights.
Fire is passion.
Fire lives, breathes, grows, and procreates.
Fire is creation and destruction in the same heartbeat.

And both are required for life and growth.

Now... Fox and Dragon... where in the world does that come from?

I, the White Fox, and my partner, the Black Dragon, recognize the fire burning in each other, and it burns brighter, hotter, and stronger together than it could apart. It runs like liquid stars in our veins and pours from our hearts straight into our hands and mouths, where we can share it with the rest of the world.

Fire is the forge and hearth of our life together.

Dragons are fierce, proud, loyal when you've earned it, and deadly when you've not. Dragons hoard what is precious to them, and that is not always gold and jewels. Sometimes a dragon's hoard is a little less tangible... like knowledge or wisdom... or a little less cold, like friends and family.  They can be greedy, but if one is greedy for the right things... well, let's just say there are some things I don't think you can have too much of. And if one turns that greed to thoughtful purpose, instead of mindless acquisition, then it becomes passion. And God help you if you mess with what is precious to them, because they will eat you.

Foxes are wild, shy, gentle, and clever. They are great parents, and good at making safe, warm, cozy dens. They can be loyal companions when they learn to trust. They are often mischievous and love to play. They can and will vanish if threatened. They are strong-hearted and adaptable, surviving where others might not. They're ethereal, hard to grasp, like the wind... but if one comes to stay, treasure it and treat it with respect, and it'll stay with you, and work hard to make your world as bright as it knows how.

I am his White Fox, his kitsune - his bright, wild, magical, overly outspoken and often troublesome creature that comes to his call and stays by his side by choice.  He is my Black Dragon - fierce, proud, loyal, protective, and passionate, who spreads his wing so I may shelter in its shadow.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


Sometimes it gets to us all. The White Fox and Black Dragon have been down with this season's fever/sore throat/sinus crap but we're on the tail end of it (thank you, Nano Silver!) and hopefully can get back to (what passes for) normal in the next day or so.

Sorry about missing this last Artist's Sunday; that will resume this coming Sunday, with something geeky for Easter weekend, and maybe a sprinkle of St. Paddy's thrown in. We'll just have to wait and see what comes out.

On another note, we've (re)acquired a roommate from a previous dwelling-place. This is not a bad thing (sister-in-law, and she's a sweetheart), but it's starting to get crowded and worrisome for purely survival reasons (food, mostly), but we're figuring we can make it work. Still trying to come up with some way to get ahead when we live in a county where the number of jobs is SO much less than the number unemployed... unfortunately almost all the opportunities available are too far away or cost too much to take advantage of. What are a jewelry artist and a blacksmith/jack-of-all-trades to do with so little to work with?

Dig up the bones, dust them off, and see what can be recrafted from what's left. As always, we're open to suggestions.  There's got to be a few avenues we haven't yet explored.

Live, Love, and Make Art
-your Artful (sickly) White Fox.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Artist's Sunday #6: Nerd Love, Episode 3 - the Baby Geek

This week's edition of Artist's Sunday is going to have a slightly broader spectrum, being the midway point: The Baby Geek.

Nerdy parents dress their poor hapless spawn in the paraphernalia of the nerddoms of their choice, and it's us geeky artists' jobs to make sure they have the torture devices to do it with. From Doctor Who cosplayed by a 4-yr-old to an adorable character hat, or wall art, the geeky artists' community has plenty of work cut out for them (us).

Disclaimer: Twinflame Studios is not responsible for COS (Cuteness Overload Syndrome) resulting from reading this issue of Artist's Sunday.  ;)

Monday, March 3, 2014

Artist's Sunday #5: Nerd Love, Episode 2 - The Last Airbender

Yes, I know, it's not Sunday. My apologies for that. 

Your erstwhile Fox and Dragon had surprise company show up for the weekend, so the opportunity never arose for Fox to sit down and do the weekly Pay It Forward. I may be a day late, but never a dollar short when it comes to my writing.

This week's (belated) Nerd Love Episode is...

Avatar: the Last Airbender

An awesome animated series put on by Nickelodeon some years ago, Avatar: the Last Airbender has spawned numerous fanfiction, art, artisan crafts, cosplays, a movie (don't get me started on that, however), and a sequel series. An "airbender" is a person with a pseudomagical control over the elemental force of Air. In the series, there are also firebenders, waterbenders, and earthbenders. It centered around the character of Aang, who is the "Avatar" - a person who is reincarnated every generation or so, who can learn to bend all the elements instead of just one. It is his or her job to maintain and police the balance of power among the four nations. Aang disappears from the world, and it is a hundred years later when he reappears... into a world torn by war, where his own people, the airbending monks, have been wiped out; the Fire Nation is trying to conquer the rest of the world, and doing a pretty good job of it so far. 

A montage of the major characters:

A very nice rendition of Aang in the "Avatar State":

And now down to the nitty-gritty, the lovely Avatar: the Last Airbender-inspired artisan crafts I've found:

Pai Sho is a game similar to Go, played in the Avatar world. It mostly figures in the character of General Iroh, uncle to the Fire Nation prince, Zuko.

The Avatar: the Last Airbender world is home to many hybrid creatures, such as Tiger Seals, Badger Moles, Buffalo Yaks, Catfish Alligators, Elephant Rats, Giant Eel Hounds, Platypus Bears...

...the Pentapus...

...Momo, the Lemur Bat...

...and of course, Aang's loyal companion, the last Sky Bison...
Clay Appa Charm by minnichi on deviantART

Hope you enjoyed Episode 2! 

Live, Love, and Make Art
-your Artful White Fox.