I Painted with Pastels???

I wanted to share this because it was fun and I am definitely going to be playing with this medium again. So for those who can’t tell how I did this SURPRISE its soft pastels! What I did was I found something with an edge and scraped it against my pastels to make little piles of powder. Then with a small paint brush I began applying it to my paper which i had sketched on with a light colored pencil. Once I was happy with the color I inked over it with a fine tip marker and in the end decided to give her that strange design on her head. I used a gold pen for the shiny details and a white gel pen as well.

Usually I’m not one to experiment in different mediums a lot but I saw someone do this for a sculpture and i thought, boy I bet that would look interesting on paper. So i gave it a shot and I loved it. I suggest anyone curious definitely give it a try, my piece here is small and not perfect, but I’m sure with more practice there are really cool things that can be done with this 🙂

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A Wall of Questions for the Aspiring World Builder

I find myself constantly trying to build up my repertoire of resources when I am working on worldbuilding. Especially with fleshing out my races. And I thought to myself this morning as I stumbled about my morning routine “Why is it so hard to think of things to write down for a race?” And my answer to that question was because I simply didn’t seem to be able to think of all the good questions in the moment of working on it.

So what I did was I went through a bunch of recent notes on races and noticed all the things i put down and turned them into questions. And from there more questions were created. So i figured i would share this resource in case there is some other writer in need of some guidance.Which, there usually is.

Are they nomadic or do they live in one place? Do they live solitary? In pairs? Or large groups? How big are their homes and what do they look like? What is considered to be a family in this culture? What kind of zones do they like to live in (temperate, tropical, etc.)? Do they build cities? Above ground or below?

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What kinds of friendly social activities do they partake of? What is there to do around town? Where does everybody hang out? Are they a social race at all or do they keep to themselves? Are there any race specific hobbies or jobs? Are they famous for a certain creation (game, object, holiday, etc.)?

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Who’s the head honcho? Government, president, monarchy, council? Nothing of the sort? What kind of hierarchy is there? Does it exist at every level of society? Does the hierarchy upset people or is it mostly accepted?

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Are they religion or science based? Or a mix of both? How many gods are there? Is there more than one religion? Practices, beliefs, taboos, superstition, and rituals? How strongly do people believe in and stick to their religion? Do the religious and scientific minds get along or is there conflict? Are there any religions you’re not allowed to practice? Are there any holidays/big special gatherings?

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Who raises the young? Is it live birth or the laying of eggs? Do the children go through schooling, if so what kind? Does the “mother” change in any way during pregnancy/after laying/ even once the young ones are walking around? Are certain parents meant to do certain things for the child? How many parents can a child have in this society? Is there a specific time/day/season for mating or is it year round? Which sex produces the eggs and which one fertilizes them? How are the children fed in early stages vs later stages?

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What sexes or genders are there? How do the different sexes interact? What kind of roles do the different sexes or genders hold in society? How do people of the same sex interact? Does gender change how you might interact with someone? What is considered more important/important to know: someone’s sex or someone’s gender? How do the different sexes behave differently from each other if at all?

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What do they consider to be romantic and non romantic? What kinds of relationships are there? How many partners/lovers is it common to have? Is the person they have children with the same person they spend the rest of their life with? Do they even have life long partnership? Are there any relationship taboos? Are there any sexual taboos? Are there any sex or romance rituals these people go through before they assume “lover” status with each other?

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Do they communicate in any kind of special way with each other? Do they have a special way of communicating with other races? Are there any genetic differences between people (men are bigger, some people have blue  eyes and some have brown, etc.)? Do certain weather conditions affect people? Are they night people or day people? Carnivore, herbivore, omnivore, fruitivore, insectivore, vampiric? What senses are essential to these people? What senses are lacking or missing entirely? What kind of diversity is there if any? Different cultures within the race itself? How do they tell each other apart (the sexes, the cultures, the religions, etc.)?

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Are these people naturally more violent or more friendly? How do they interact with each other vs outsiders? Are there any groups that are treated differently than everyone else? Are they territorial or do they share they space with other creatures/races? Are there any creatures they live alongside symbiotically? How do they handle threats? Are there any groups or races they simply can’t get along with?

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have Courage, Respect who you Used to be

I recently saw someone mention on Facebook that a certain character from the new Mass Effect game is trans. And when I clicked the link to twitter I saw many comments about how unrealistic it was for a trans person to admit to being trans and even sharing their birth name.

I feel very differently about this because I believe there can be a world where trans people do not feel uncomfortable with their past. Where they are encouraged to explore who they were, to better respect that person, and fully accept that that person isn’t bad or wrong. They were true as they could be and then one day something changed and they became a different person.

Our past selves are the people who had to learn the important lessons so we could become the people we are now. It doesn’t matter what kind of lesson it is, it will change you in some way.

I encourage people to teach this to anyone who will listen, trans or not: telling someone who you used to be does not disempower you. It shows that you have belief and courage in who you are now.

I am naïve. But I have hope that one day people will strive, not to be better than each other, but to better each other.