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Five easy ways to tell you're a homophobe

Journal Entry: Thu May 26, 2011, 8:15 AM
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Five easy ways to tell you’re a homophobe!

1. You disown your son when he tells you he’s gay. CHECK!
2. You refer to homosexuals as fags, fairies, or with other unsavoury F-words. CHECK!
3. You find yourself ripping up rainbow-coloured flags in your free time. CHECK!
4. You stop voting for the German Liberal Party even after Guido Westerwelle’s resignation. CHECK!
5. You upload a picture of two Elves from the Tolkien legendarium and say they’re not gay. CHECK!

… Now wait a minute.

It’s incredible how narrow-minded people can become if you dare to say such politically incorrect things as “These characters are not gay”.

I can only imagine that some of the ones who accused me of homophobia in comments and PNs after the image I uploaded last week* were gay themselves and have been subjected to all sorts of homophobia for so long that they jump at anyone’s throat for the slightest hint of what they perceive as intolerance. And I can imagine it very well indeed. I have gay friends, very close friends too, and I’ve seen first-hand what intolerant people can do to the ones they don’t tolerate.

What those people don’t get is that there’s nothing homophobic about stating that characters that were clearly never intended to be gay by their authors are… well, not gay. And please, don’t give me all that “Tolkien was just a downtrodden Catholic boy who would have written steamy sex scenes between all the guys in his novels if conventions had permitted.” No. Just no.

I suppose you’re getting too old for this community if you find that 96% of it revolves around sex – because the average deviant is between 16 and 20 years of age and that’s what those people’s minds revolve around a lot more frequently than older people’s minds. Which isn’t supposed to say that I don’t appreciate well-written erotica (loads of it on this site though you have to search for it), or well-drawn sex scenes, whether straight or gay. There’s a lot of beautiful and sexy stuff around – of the artists’ original characters, or of loads of fandom characters who actually are gay.

I don’t mind sex, heaven forefend. I’ve had lots of it. And that’s probably the reason why I don’t have to think about it non-stop while reading Tolkien, or Harry Potter, or watching Heroes, or eating cheesecake. I don’t care if it’s excessive boy-on-boy, girl-on-boy, two-girls-on-boy, unicorn-on-zebra or archenemy-on-archenemy. It wearies me.

And I would never dream of prescribing you what to think. If I come across slash I don’t support – again, regardless whether it’s excessive boy-on-boy, girl-on-boy, two-girls-on-boy, unicorn-on-zebra or archenemy-on-archenemy – I’ll usually hold my tongue. But I don’t want it shoved in my face in my own gallery, when I’ve uploaded a picture with no sexual content at all, and say so in the description (and it’s sad that these things even have to be said in descriptions).

On that note, I suppose I can count myself incredibly lucky for having found such wonderful, mature, and insightful people here on dA that I can chat with. Given that quite a few of my pics have made the front page, I suppose that it borders on a miracle that I’m getting relatively little batshit. But all the good vibes that I get in my gallery do make the bits of batshit stand out all the more.

So what is this post? It’s a bit of a rant. It’s a bit of an explanation. It’s something I’ll link the next person to who thinks they absolutely have to accuse me of homophobia. Feel free to accuse me of being literal-minded for insisting on canon. I’ll freely tell you that I am.

And while we’re on it, why not be more creative? Why accuse me of homophobia for drawing two straight guys when you can just as well accuse me of racism for drawing a white-skinned figure, or of arachnophobia because I’m drawing a horse? Or, come to that, of anti-lefthandedness because I draw all my Tolkien Elves right-handed though I'm left-handed myself?

Just a thought.

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:iconkovitlac:
Kovitlac Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I disagree!

Cheesecake is damn sexy.
Reply
:iconlawenta:
Lawenta Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I've learned to enjoy slash in some fandoms - learned to enjoy it so much that I'm even tempted to slash my own precious characters, something that would be unimaginable to me just a few years ago. Still, I can't touch Tolkien in this. :XD: Maybe because I still consider non-canon pairings fundamentally disrespectful to both the author and the characters. Sometimes (quite often) it's fun, and sometimes (very rarely) it's so well written that it almost feels like a compliment instead of disrespect, but still.

But despite all the fun in this, there's something very dangerous and damaging in such an abundance of slash in my opinion - the threat of seeing something primarily sexual in every relationship. Friends, siblings, enemies, everyone is slashed, as if no other close relationship was possible. And such a reduction of the endless complexities of human bonds scares me.

So yeah, I understand where this little rant comes from :) Still, I'm glad you're getting relatively little drama. Let's hope the pluses continue to far outweigh the minuses and you'll continue to be a good company to us all. :hug:
Reply
:icongold-seven:
Gold-Seven Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
"Friends, siblings, enemies, everyone is slashed, as if no other close relationship was possible."

This.

I'm actually sort of surprised that the last taboo - parents and children - has been left remarkably untouched.
Reply
:iconlawenta:
Lawenta Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Maybe it has something to do with most of the teens writing fan-fiction having some parents of their own and being creeped out (crept out? :XD:) by the idea. :giggle:
Thinking about it, the taboo doesn't hold very fast in case of step-parents, but with biological ones, it thankfully does.
Reply
:icongold-seven:
Gold-Seven Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Of course! ... You know you're getting old when you look at the world from a parent's perspective. :)
Reply
:iconlawenta:
Lawenta Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
...and then you know you're getting wiser because you've experienced both the child's and the parent's perspective. :D
Reply
:iconshadowedelf:
ShadowedElf Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2011  Student Writer
I can't tell if you're saying you would do or are doing those things that you have "Check" next to. Some are quite harsh, especially the first one. You seem to be a very nice person so I imagine you wouldn't!

I'm a slash fan of certain pairings in certain fandoms and have a few homosexual OC's. I do NOT support Tolkien slash and I find fans that get all bitchy about slash pairings they supposedly see everywhere to be quite annoying. I saw nothing slashy about the picture you posted. My first thought was "Oh, they must be training." If it was from a pairing I like, I probably would have have had other thoughts.

Just wantedt o point out that not all slash fans are crazy XD
Reply
:icongold-seven:
Gold-Seven Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks ;)
Reply
:icontrottierjs:
TrottierJS Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2011
LOL! Sorry but I found this pretty funny.
(as one of the older deviants I understand)
Reply
:icontomscribble:
TomScribble Featured By Owner May 31, 2011
You stop voting for the German Liberal Party even after Guido Westerwelle’s resignation. CHECK! :D (would that make me a homophobe because I never voted for them anyway?)

I'm sorry for you! The oversexedness of fandom was something I really had to get used to when I first came online and realised there was such a thing as "fandom" and terms like "AU". I only previously encountered it in homophobic-sounding comments about Frodo and Sam in the LOTR movies, which irritated me because it made me feel like a homophobe for getting cross & insisting they weren't gay & wasn't it irrelevant anyway etc. Kind of like what has happened to you here! Except it was all in my head! But then this kind of thing is always in people's heads anyway, which makes the fact that a picture can be misread/differently read and vehemently argued about so irritating!

I gave up arguing about Remus Lupin and Sirius Black from the Harry Potter books. I don't have half the exposure you do and guess my HP fanart is relatively obscure, and so the "I'm not gay" T-shirt I drew on Lupin in one silly piece only got comments like "Yeah right ;) " from the shippers and "yes, that annoys me too!" from non-shippers. I believe I truly had my cake and ate it there.

But alas, I have now been horribly horribly corrupted. So much so that when you wrote archenemy-on-archenemy I read it as "arsch-enemy", and don't even mention that unicorn-on-zebra stuff.
Reply
:icongold-seven:
Gold-Seven Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
"Arschenemy" :rofl:

Oh my. Oh the Freudian connections. :D
Reply
:iconnaoru:
Naoru Featured By Owner May 31, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Yeah, I know what you mean, I'm 22 and even I feel too old for DA sometimes haha! Well, I'm sure the misunderstanding has been cleared up now, although I am rather surprised that someone got 'homophobic' from a description like that 0_o
Reply
:iconstarspirit42:
Starspirit42 Featured By Owner May 30, 2011  Student General Artist
The beginning of this rant utterly confused me until you explained it. I can't help but think, if people want to see these things maybe they should try other galleries. Each artist is gonna do their own thing. I personally have a family of homophobes and some close gay and a transgendered friend. I know they suffer, but unless someone is being blatantly rude to them, I think they shouldn't be so sensitive. I can't think of any of my friends that would be offended by anything you put in your gallery. Well either way, I just think there's always going to be someone that doesn't like you, and people rarely know how to keep their mouth shut, especially on the internet. All that matters is that you do what you do and are happy doing it.
Reply
:iconjlgribble:
JLGribble Featured By Owner May 29, 2011  Student Traditional Artist
Yeeeaaaah I'm starting to realize why people leave dA after reaching a certain age... the immaturity gets tiring. :/ And goodness knows I understand it, I was that age when I started on dA, but now I'm like... why am I here again? The good ones are so rare...
Reply
:icongold-seven:
Gold-Seven Featured By Owner May 30, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
I'm glad that so many of the people I talked to when I joined dA in 2003 are still around, and we age in dignity together. :giggle:
Reply
:iconolessan:
Olessan Featured By Owner May 28, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
*Gold-Seven, I believe this journal entry is so worthy of being read, that you should make it a News article.
:clap:
Reply
:icongold-seven:
Gold-Seven Featured By Owner May 29, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks! But since it's really more a personal than a public matter, I don't think it should be generalised. :)
Reply
:icondraconiserpent:
DraconiSerpent Featured By Owner May 28, 2011
Good lord. Reminds me of the whole "Cleric" incident.
I haven't posted that story here yet, but on another site I posted a story and then a journal asking people to read it. One could argue that the theme of the story was religious, but the storyline itself is supposed to just be a drama with religion as a paintjob - not the direction of the vehicle.
Nonetheless, people freaked out on me. And it was pitiful and immature.
Reply
:iconxofhope:
XofHope Featured By Owner May 28, 2011  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I support you 100% on this one! It does annoy the hell out of me how nowadays everything's about sex, there's no more room for friendship or companionship of any sort; 2 guys together, they're having sex for sure! I find this "yaoiification" of everything (I guess "yurification" exists too but somehow seems less pervasive) not just annoying, it's also insulting to people who are indeed friends, care about each other, but couldn't care less about having sex with each other (I'm thinking of the deep bonds that can exist between fighting men, especially if they've been through real life threatening situations and how some people insist that their comradeship is some latent homosexual desire...). Anyway, for those who insist in seeing yaoi everywhere, and/or love/ship pairings that aren't cannon at all, they should at least respect the author and what s/he has drawn or written.
Reply
:icongold-seven:
Gold-Seven Featured By Owner May 29, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Yep, I agree. Especially about those who'll try to convince you that every deep bond between ANY too people is the same as sexual desire, no matter whether they're archenemies, best friends, or *shudder* twins.
Reply
:icontomscribble:
TomScribble Featured By Owner May 31, 2011
those who'll try to convince you that every deep bond between ANY too people is the same as sexual desire <---THIS! :frustrated: irritates me so much.
Reply
:icongold-seven:
Gold-Seven Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Yup. :/
Reply
:iconxofhope:
XofHope Featured By Owner May 30, 2011  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
You're so right! I get really upset whenever I find Supernatural slash fics involving the brothers, or fics about Nathan and Peter from Heroes... geez... don't those people have brothers and sisters too? I don't and I really wonder what those people think... it kind of scares me.
Reply
:icongold-seven:
Gold-Seven Featured By Owner May 30, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
I don't think anyone writing "twincest" or "Petrellicest" or all those words I sometimes wish I'd never heard would ever think of bonking their own brothers or sisters. It's just that fanfic seems to invite the concept - even more so, revolve almost exclusively about it. All the while I wrote excessive Peter/Nathan fanfics I tentatively ventured into other people's ffn accounts, and about 90% of the time, went out again backwards because it was *all* about sex.

The Internet certainly has facilitated the spread of something I still consider extremely weird to say the least. I'm so freaking glad that, from time to time, I run into normal people's views, with my parents or my husband, whose reaction to me joking about slash fiction I found online always is, "They write WHAT?"

And even my parents, considering they're 70 and 66 years of age, are extremely liberal-minded people who've certainly been through a lot of sexual revolutions since the 1950s and rather enjoyed all of them. :giggle:
Reply
:iconxofhope:
XofHope Featured By Owner May 31, 2011  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I sure hope not, because I'm also guessing the vast majority of people who write that stuff are female who just find the idea of two guys together hot, and totally ignore the fact they're related, especially because it's just fiction and not real life. However, I've seen drawings of the guys from Tokyo Hotel engaging in something that goes far beyond brotherly love and that really freaked me out. When it goes that far I have to wonder if the author has tried a reality check lately... I guess right now this subject really gets on my nerves because a friend told me she knew of real brothers (male) who had done it and I'm still shocked. But I guess we all have our limits, and they vary a lot from person to person. My own grand-parents were first degree cousins and that never bothered me, I actually thought it was kind of cute, but siblings... no, that's too far as far as I'm concerned. I do consider myself a liberal too, but that's just the kind of stuff I avoid reading, I get no kicks from it.
Reply
:iconvoidrae:
Voidrae Featured By Owner May 28, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It's AS ok for things to not be gay as it is for them to be gay lol. That's all there is to be said.
Reply
:icondarknature5000:
darknature5000 Featured By Owner May 28, 2011
<-- Clearly too old for DA
Reply
:icongold-seven:
Gold-Seven Featured By Owner May 29, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Yeah, sometimes I feel the same way. ;)
Reply
:iconheidinanookie:
heidinanookie Featured By Owner May 28, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
WARGH, das ist ärgerlich! Da stimm ich dir zu!
Soll doch jeder wie er / sie / es will! Aber man muss es niemandem auf die Nase binden!
Reply
:icongold-seven:
Gold-Seven Featured By Owner May 29, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Geht mir auch so. Grade dieses auf-die-Nase-binden und automatisch annehmen, dass jeder andere bei Fingon und Maedhros automatisch im Kopf hat, wie sie sich anspringen, geht mir auf den Zeiger...
Reply
:iconfrazamm:
frazamm Featured By Owner May 28, 2011
Why would anyone want to reinterpret Tolkien? I never understood that bit. As if two friends cannot love each other and not be gay.
Reply
:iconsargentsnarky:
sargentsnarky Featured By Owner May 29, 2011
If you would like, I can explain some of why people (or at least why I and a few friends of mine) enjoy reinterpreting Tolkien's works in assorted ways, though if you meant that purely as a rhetorical question, that's cool, too. :)
Reply
:iconfrazamm:
frazamm Featured By Owner May 31, 2011
It was a rhetorical question. I like to interpret it as Tolkien intended. At least I hope I do. Just about time to read it all over again actually, would be my eleventh or twelfth time and always manage to discover something new.
Reply
:iconsargentsnarky:
sargentsnarky Featured By Owner May 31, 2011
Okay! :) Sometimes it is hard to tell in print, so I thought I'd make sure.

And yes, that's one of the things I love about his work, too - always finding new things! They're wonderful to reread, though I reread the Silmarillion more often than anything else. Though, out of curiosity, I must ask, what do you do for interpreting things that Tolkien kept changing his mind on? For example, something like the parentage of Gil-galad...?

You needn't answer if you don't wish. :) I'm just curious.
Reply
:icongold-seven:
Gold-Seven Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Well, I realise you don't mean that Gil-Galad was the result of m-preg. :rofl: As far as those bits in Tolkien's writing are concerned, I settle on the one that was last, that I like best, or fits in best with other bits (which is hard for Amrod's possible death at Losgar). These things are definitely open to interpretation, but at least they've all been part of Tolkien's personal canon at a time.

When I come up with something new (and I do it all the time) I usually try to imagine what Tolkien would say about it. Yes, that limits me. But it also makes me feel very happy with my own interpretation of his works. I'm not comfortable at all with any interpretations that I feel might have made him angry if he knew about them (and he took so much charge of his own creation after it acquired a fan base that I feel pretty sure about what he'd approve of and what he wouldn't). That's purely my take on things, of course.
Reply
:iconsargentsnarky:
sargentsnarky Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2011
>__> I don't know, that sounds ~totally~ plausible to me - heck, it can even be parthenogenesis on, say, Fingon's part, albeit with m-preg apparently. :XD:

But anyway, that seems a sensible take on things. :)

I am afraid I do not always consider what Tolkien would have approved, when I come up with something new, but part of the fun for me is to just let my mind wander and consider things from whatever angles I can think of, and they aren't always angles I think he would have approved of... And also when considering relationships between characters (whether friendship, antagonism, romance or otherwise), I am the same way, just -- looking at characters and pondering what their relationships would be like if it were this or maybe that.

Consequently, because there are often multiple options I like or think were interesting, and because different options can drastically change details down the road, I probably have at least a dozen variations on my mental reconstruction of the history of Middle-earth. ^^;

'What if...?' is probably my favorite question. :XD:

But anyway, I like your take, because it's consistent, and it's something you're comfortable with, and while maybe it limits you in some regards, it also, I think, must be helpful to consider what Tolkien would say, when torn between options.
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:iconfrazamm:
frazamm Featured By Owner May 31, 2011
I don't recall that bit off hand, but I doubt he had homosexual relationships in mind given his character.

If so, then all Norse sagas had homosexual relationships in mind as well. If it had been the Greeks Tolkien was out to emulate I would agree, but when he set out to write English folklore I sincerely doubt it.

I think he finally settled his mind on certain issues that only came out later because his son revised and published his father's notes.
Reply
:iconsargentsnarky:
sargentsnarky Featured By Owner May 31, 2011
Huh? I wasn't talking about homosexual relationships at all.

I just meant to ask in the cases where Tolkien puts forth multiple conflicting ideas and where it isn't always clear what his final intent was, what do you go with? How do you decide your interpretation there? And what about things that conflict? :)

And well with the Norse, there is Loki when he transforms into a mare. <__< But I kid~

And personally... when it comes to any part of Tolkien's writing, since he often used framing devices for many of the major Middle Earth works, I tend to look at them almost like historical documents. After all, The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings are part of the Red Book that Bilbo and Frodo put together (with help from Merry, Pippin and Sam, of course), and The Silmarillion, if I recall rightly, is a summary of history as largely set forth by Pengolodh. Another example, Laws and Customs of the Eldar seems to only really be written about the Noldor and also seems to be written from a human's perspective - and a medieval human at that named Ælfwine.

Now, if these were real historical documents, we would not hesitate to consider that each of them was written through the filter of each author's experiences and individual and cultural biases. Consequently, the idea that some things in these texts - within the perspective that they are histories - were censored or embellished or that a given person or group of people was made more heroic or more worthy of contempt to conform to a given author's viewpoint does not seem implausible to me. :)

And I think - given his goal of writing a great English legend - Tolkien was very much aware of his writing these stories from a non-neutral perspective. So -- yeah.

I'm sorry for the long ramble. ^^; It's just -- this is the sort of thing that I really like discussing and picking people's brains over. :)
Reply
:iconfrazamm:
frazamm Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2011
Sorry, misunderstood there.

I consider mostly the Silmarillion as pseudo-historical. To me all the other books came later and aim to show Tolkien's creative process and what he eventually settled on once he wrote The Lord of the Rings. Christopher Tolkien painstakingly reconstructed all his father wrote through, at times deciphering texts that had been written upon again and again. If I recall correctly he said his father used to write in pencil, correct in pencil again and then write over the pencil text in ink! That is why I haven't all of the books, because it did tend to get confusing with all the apparent 'retcons'.

I'll get round to reading all of them eventually, I hope.
Reply
:iconsargentsnarky:
sargentsnarky Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2011
It's okay. :) It happens.

And that makes sense to me!

But oh yes, it does get confusing (and if we're confused, just imagine how poor Christopher must have felt, trying to decipher everything!). :o But it's also fascinating to see some drafts and how things changed. :) If you want a good place to start (by which I mean, more readable and less notes-y), you might see about starting with the Book of Lost Tales I & II, because those hold a lot of Tolkien's old poems, like the beautiful lay about Beren and Luthien. I haven't actually read all of the volumes of notes myself, because - BoLT aside - I have trouble sitting down and plowing through them. Mostly I tend to either look through their indices for particular characters or events, or I flip open to random sections and start reading. ^^;

But good luck with it, yourself! :D
Reply
(1 Reply)
:iconfreedomafterlife:
freedomafterlife Featured By Owner May 28, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
Well said *claps*
Reply
:icontoradh:
Toradh Featured By Owner May 28, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
…das find' ich jetzt irgendwie traurig, dass du das tatsächlich erklären musst.
Reply
:icongold-seven:
Gold-Seven Featured By Owner May 28, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
So isses wohl. :/
Reply
:iconalswaiter:
alswaiter Featured By Owner May 27, 2011  Professional General Artist
Thank you! Very well said.
Reply
:iconflyingfish98:
flyingfish98 Featured By Owner May 27, 2011
It's a shame you've come in for a bunch of shite over this and your disclaimer. Sometimes it's a sobering reminder that online communication can be tricky, and that your words may not be read as intended. I found nothing offensive (and much that was humourous) in your statements, but then, I have no vested interests in these areas.
"I don’t mind sex, heaven forefend. I’ve had lots of it. And that’s probably the reason why I don’t have to think about it non-stop while reading Tolkien, or Harry Potter, or watching Heroes, or eating cheesecake."
I do applaud this, BTW - active participation trumps passive visualisation!

Personally, I like the way Tolkien's writing takes me out of the mundane world; overtly sexual imagery (be it written or visual) breaks that spell - I accept that others see it differently, but I don't want to know. For me your images evoke a similar place / feel as Tolkien's words do - it's part of what I like about them. Thank you!
Reply
:icongold-seven:
Gold-Seven Featured By Owner May 29, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
"Personally, I like the way Tolkien's writing takes me out of the mundane world; overtly sexual imagery (be it written or visual) breaks that spell - I accept that others see it differently, but I don't want to know. For me your images evoke a similar place / feel as Tolkien's words do - it's part of what I like about them."

Exactly! Thank you for putting that into words. Breaking the spell - that's how I feel about it too.

I haven't put down any actual work on our commish, by the way, but the layout is being juggled around in my head on an hourly basis. I hope I can get some stuff done next weekend - Thursday is a holiday and we have no school on Friday. It has to be possible to get something done then. :)
Reply
:iconflyingfish98:
flyingfish98 Featured By Owner May 29, 2011
Cheers; and no rush - whenever you get around to it is just fine. :)
Reply
:icongold-seven:
Gold-Seven Featured By Owner May 30, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
I'm currently fighting my way through some sixteen or eighteen exam papers... got six left. The end is nigh. :D
Reply
:iconsolanawolf:
Solanawolf Featured By Owner May 27, 2011  Student Digital Artist
Thank you.
Can I use the "Why accuse me of homophobia for drawing two straight guys when you can just as well accuse me of racism for drawing a white-skinned figure, or of arachnophobia because I’m drawing a horse?" bit in my signature?
Reply
:icongold-seven:
Gold-Seven Featured By Owner May 27, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Thinking about it long and hard, I'd rather you didn't. People will take it out of context, which will cast an oblique light on both you and me. I'm flattered that you feel is sig material, and I have to say I like the line as well, but it'd polarise when the original idea was to differentiate. ;)
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