Now then, let's get to the show! Check after the break to read the interview and see some of that great art!
1.When/how did you discover MLP:FIM?
It really happened out of curiosity when I found out about them through DeviantArt. I enjoy Japanese animation and spent some time drawing anime fanart, until I noticed fan artwork of anime characters drawn as strange creatures with chibi, catlike proportions and huge anime-like eyes. After researching these anime-like thingies, I found they were called "ponies," from the show My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.
I grew up with the original My Little Pony series even though I never watched them. I had seen one or two episodes of G1 and it seemed pretty cool, even if it was pretty generic compared to a lot of other shows that were on at the time. Then came G2, which was too girly for me, and don't even get me started on G3. Ugh.
Even when I first heard of FiM, I just passed it off as a fad. It was cool that they brought the series back, I figured. But nowadays anything and everything from the old days is being brought back for a remake with hardly decent results, having seen a lot of these new-age remixes myself.
I then noticed these ponies were getting popular. Like, REALLY popular. I wondered what was so appealing about the show that would cause PONYPONYPONY to show up everywhere in my DA updates and even sometimes on the news. So one day I decided to give the show a watch.
By the time I started watching, MLP was already halfway into the second season, and I watched all the episodes over the course of a week. I was pretty addicted to the show and its lovable cast of characters. There was just something about the art style and especially the way the characters interacted with their world and each other that made it seem special. I am now a full-fledged brony, or so I've been told...though you'd find it difficult to get a straight response from me as to the precise reason I like the series. I have difficulty trying to explain that even now!
And the rest, as they say, is history.
2.Who is your favorite main cast character and why?
Oh darnit. You just HAD to bust out this question. This is like asking me to eat just one potato chip. It's impossible to pick one and resist the rest...you just have to grab the entire bag.
My best pony very heavily based on the one I identify most easily with. For me it's Pinkie Pie, with Fluttershy trailing a VERY close second. I like Pinkie Pie because she's so laughably adorable and crazy in a likable way that only she can be. She finds a reason to be happy in every situation, even the most depressing ones. This serves to me as a constant reminder to just smile and think about the positive side to everything. I need her perspective on life and feel I might have been a pretty negative person without it.
Fluttershy's a close second since I identify a lot with her social awkwardness and willingness to be kind to others and give them the benefit of the doubt. Like her, I'm still very introverted in public, and tend to get pushable and break like a wet noodle when things start getting stressful. But for the most part, I'm told I'm a pretty pleasant guy, though not necessarily the most talkative.
Wow, this has definitely made me realize how much I could benefit from an Iron Will seminar!
3.Who is your favorite background character (this is anypony other than the main 6. ie not Twilight, Fluttershy...)?
Wait, Applejack isn't a background pony? Alright, guess I'll have to pick another.
I would have to say Derpy Hooves. Like every pony in MLP, she's so goshdarned adorable, not to mention I find her crosseyed gaze to be incredibly cute. The fact that this was an animation error made canon by the fandom proves to me how well the animation staff actually listened to the feedback of their fans, and reminds me how important the staff on this show actually believes their supporters are.
Also, I can't help but think of Princess Luna and Rarity talking in Derpy Hooves' voice ever since learning that Tabitha St. Germain voices all three, among others. My mental imagery of all of them doing this is AWESOME.
4.Who would you follow, Celestia or Luna?
I'm torn between the two, honestly. Celestia is a wise and mature leader who genuinely cares for her subjects. She plays the role of the all-powerful and ever-knowing mentor, who knows the extent of her great power and exercises it responsibly. Even though Luna had the whole Nightmare Moon phase thing going on a while back, she seems to have proven herself as a leader as well, although she seems to be a bit more harsh and stern than her older sister. I haven't seen much of her leadership capabilities other than guarding Equestria during the nighttime and maybe sleeping through a lot of the whole Changeling thingamajig, but I'm willing to give her the benefit of the doubt and say that she'll prove herself as worthy of following as her sister.
Given that, I'm going with the obvious answer here and will say that I will follow Discord.
5.What would you tell someone who hasn't watched the show?
It's a show for little girls, pure and simple, and it doesn't pretend to be something it's not. The cute art style, blinding pastel colors, and motives of friendship and pretty pony princesses are all there. Yet there's something incredibly appealing about the way it's all presented. The characters themselves are very well-developed, with personalities so different it's just interesting to see the way they interact and cooperate while having crazy adventures in a world of living mythological creatures. The more I watched the series, the more I was compelled to like it, for reasons that may be difficult to impossible to explain other than the fact that I simply just did. Go ahead and give the series a watch...it's not for everyone, but once you get addicted it's practically impossible to escape the fandom. MUAHAHAHA
6.What are your influences?
Booze, of course! I regularly commit DUI (Drawing Under Influence).
In all seriousness, when I was little, I copied pencil sketches from photos in magazines and doodled pics of Dr. Seuss books, so those were my biggest influences on art growing up. I also loved Ansel Adams landscapes and would try my best to sketch out his epic photography and landscapes, but that man is on a whole other level compared to what I'm capable of even now.
David Mann is another big influence of mine. My dad had a bunch of Easy Rider magazines he let me look at when I was old enough, and I really loved Mann's paintings featured in them. He had this meticulous detail in drawing custom motorcycles and the vibrant personalities who rode them, and conveying them in fantasmal scenery and settings. He was really a role model for me from a very young age, and even now I Google his work up for inspiration.
My biggest recent influence is Mark Fredrickson, the artist behind the MAD Magazine covers I've read so far. I absolutely love the zany Alfred E. Neumann pics he draws that make me holler on the floor with laughter and blow my mind with their realism. I like the idea of combining crazy humor with a detailed and realistic style meant for more serious work. It was like an artistic punch to the gonads, and it's a feel I've been trying to get into my work ever since.
7.If you had one quote (from anything) that has really had an impact on you/ just a saying you really liked, what would it be?
“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.”
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, "The Shakespeare of Germany"
This quote stands out for me as saying that you are limited only by what you allow yourself to be limited by, and that if you think you can do something, the next step is getting past your own mental and physical barriers and just doing it. Maybe it's because I'm a bit older than the average brony, but if there's anything I've learned from this quote, it's that time is finite and once it's gone, it's gone for good. I was a pretty lazy guy wondering if I should even get started in art, that maybe I wasn't good enough to post my work in public view. Even now it takes a monumental degree of effort for me to even get motivated enough to start a pic, let alone see it through to completion.
But every time I remember that quote, I feel that little bit of inspiration I need to get started on anything, whether it's a new picture or anything in life for that matter, and the rest takes care of itself. Enough is enough, so I'd best get off my bum and do whatever I want to do now.
8.What is the best pony site you know? (Hint Hint, remember you're doing this thing for Obsession Is Magic, but I do encourage you to be truthful.)
My Little Brony on Memebase/Cheezburger Network! I'm hopelessly addicted to the comical memes and jokes they regularly post on the site, as well as reading the feedback and reactions in the comments.
I also regularly visit Equestria Daily for updates regarding pony. It's been a gateway of information about new artwork and videos and news in the brony community for me, and I almost exclusively visit there in order to learn what's happening with MLP.
I've just recently discovered Obsession is Magic, and maybe it could become...
*takes off sunglasses*
...a new obsession.
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9.Just a little about yourself. This is open ended, so you tell us anything you want to tell.
I was born a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. Moments before the destruction of my home planet of Kreepyton, my parents rocketed me away to Earth while I was still an infant. I crashed in an underground cave beneath a mansion maintained by this charming butler named Gordon. Suddenly a horde of bats flew by and it was then that I knew my destiny was to become a superhero. I made myself a badass utility belt and batlike costume, vowing to fight crime as Fatman, the Terror that Farts in the Night.
I journeyed to the Cloud City of Bespin on an epic crimefighting journey, where Lando Calrissian sold me out to Darth Vader. Lord Vader confessed that he was my father and together we could rule the galaxy as father and son. I accepted his offer but then fell to my death as Lord Vader did that weird "NNNOOOOOO" like he did at the end of Revenge of the Sith. I fell into a vat in a secret research facility where I was given an adamantium skeleton and retractable adamantium claws. As well as a super-hot girlfriend named X-23. A weird name if you ask me, but I'm not one to judge.
We journeyed to my Fortress of Solitude, where Professor Xavier told me it was my destiny to draw a lot of weird crap. So I continue my life's mission to defeat Lex Luthor with the power of nonsensical humor and zany artwork, and hopefully after my pics are done I will have a spot of tea and discuss modern astronomical superphilosoraptorism with Wonder Woman and Batgirl.
And then they all had sex the end.
Welcome to the Hall of Pony, Engrishman! We here at OIM look forward to seeing more of your wonderful art and brilliant humor!