[Media Meandry] Rule of Cool

I drew this first draft in about three minutes. That’s about as long as the song “Oh Mama” by Run the Jewels. I did this for a contest in ENDLESS WAR based on the positive feedback I received on other pictures I’ve done in the past for their community. I wanted to take a different approach here. I wanted to do iterative speed paintings. The final draft isn’t substantially different other than colors and shapes.

I would almost say the same can apply for writing as well.

When I wrote Novel 01, once I had imagined the rough structure – the beginning, middle, and end – then everything else fell into place. Here, it’s less linear. Here, there are the two main characters in the foreground and the creature in the background. Nothing like this actually happens in the game, but for this, I had the idea and wanted to create it. It might have been more a matter of me wanting to put these characters into a silly situation than anything else.

There are no flying cars in ENDLESS WAR.

There are dinosaurs and the character in the center of the frame in the glasses is going to fight that dinosaur with the character to our left acting as a character buffer, basically, without going into extensive game mechanics. So I had this crazy idea, perhaps based on the music video for that song, and I wanted to paint it. Rule of cool without any hesitation. When it comes to art, I suppose I’m better when it comes to getting into the painting details than doing the lineart, because I really didn’t care to touch things up consider “maybe I should make it more game-accurate?”

Considering that I drew this in less than 4 minutes, I’d say, not bad.

I have two more pictures to complete for this contest.

One is about halfway done and the other I haven’t started yet. I figured I’d do one for each of the three top winners and then a runners-up picture, but right when things seemed to get settled, the database with all of our stable data went away, so in the true nature of ENDLESS WAR as an experiment in applied absurdism where nothing matters, the only records we have that anything had existed at all are in these sorts of things. I thought it was cool enough to spend the 36 drafts to complete the picture as best I could.

There are still elements that are incomplete, but it’s good enough.

I learned this digital painterly style in college and wanted to jam with it.

I wouldn’t say that each texture has its own unique characteristic, but I would say I did the best I could to make sure that most sections felt unique enough. Could it have used another hour of polish to make it really pop? Well, you can judge for yourself. I spent about one hour between the 35th and 36th draft.

Would you say that makes much of a difference, or is it minor aesthetics?

For the purposes of the contest, it might have been good for me to put in that extra hour so I could complete some of those sections that might seem embarrassing years from now or under the scrutiny of crowds more than myself, but for me, I’m happy enough with it. It’s cool to me, and I’m happy enough with it to be ready to move onto the next picture.

I think the next picture will be my 1st place victory in the new database.

I had been sheepish about taking 3rd place for a while but the 3rd place person was this person that had been idle for weeks. Whoever they were, they didn’t care about competing, so why would I spend hours of my time drawing a character of their choosing for a contest that had no skin in? I stepped up to the plate and even after we got their attention, they put in a little work, did nothing, and I was able to secure my spot.

I’m not sure what my plan is yet, but I’ll think of something later on today.

While I’m working on that, I’ll add in all the people – including that idle person – into that fourth, runners-up picture. I showed it to some people that provided feedback where they suggested more people and said it was a little confusing. From their perspective, they hadn’t played in months, so they didn’t know any of us, and we didn’t know any of them. Who were we to tread on their ground?

Well, I told the oldtimer that had asked us not to surpass their high score to watch out.

I want good and fair competition. As I told someone else that had asked me to be a referee, “sure, but you two will have to agree either no funny business or all funny business.” My approach is no funny business. I do what I can to get ahead without bringing my team or myself down, and I inched ahead for the victory. We’re still early enough into this where I might still lose, but at least I secured an early victory.

Enough to draw it for the leaderboard contest.

This isn’t a sustainable activity long-term, however in the short-term, as my spine heals, this has been a nice change of pace to draw some nice digital paintings. If this gets any traction, maybe I’ll do more? At the very least, I have a good enough of an idea of what I want to do with how I draw now, based on these ENDLESS WAR pictures, that I could draw future character sketches and scenes for myself without needing to commission an artist for basic sketches.

I can for important scenes.

However, for the basic things, I could do them digitally with a mouse far faster than I could draw them out as I did for Novel 01.

Regardless of whether I win the contest – which would be cool – I still win.[]

Quotes: None.
Sources: My personal experiences.
Inspirations: I drew the picture then wanted to write about the experience.
Related: Other Media Meandry essays.
Pictures: Here’s the ZIP with each draft.
Written On: 2020 July 21 [2:45am to 3:13am]
Last Edited: 2020 July 21 [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]


My big goal is writing. My most important goal is writing "The Story." All other goals should work toward that central goal. My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame some fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. I'm not better than you and you're not better than me. Let's strive to be better every day.