Solemn Rumination

Time to reflect.

Following the decision to update the theme for Moggie’s Proclamations earlier in the year, I’ve also decided to revisit (and update) my personal site to better reflect how my approach to things has changed. These updates are, for the most part, aesthetic changes that affect the formatting and design, but leave the majority of the content on the site intact. These follow on from the most recent updates that I made, and continue to develop the site towards the same idea from which it was conceived. That of exploring the wondrous creative journey that I’ve been on.

And how my work has developed over time.

Work that, admittedly, and regrettably, hasn’t been forthcoming in recent months. Or recent years. Not that I’d (entirely) intended that to be the case. It’s just something that happens with my creativity from time to time, as I often meander through my different interests at my own pace.

I’m not known for making haste, either. As I rarely feel obligated to indulge any particular interest. I just do whatever seems to be appropriate at the time, and at this time it seems appropriate to ignore Neverwinter Nights 2 (once again) to inspire creative feelings in my brain. Something that began with Creativity (Or The Lack Thereof) (Pt. 1) and Creativity (Or The Lack Thereof) (Pt. 2), but didn’t advance any further than that due to a lack of creative content, as evidenced by my Instagram account, which is becoming increasingly gaming-orientated. Not that video games haven’t always been a significant interest of mine, and one that’s unlikely to change any time soon. But that doesn’t mean that I need to exclusively create either kind of content. I could do both. I used to do both. I just need to make time to do both again.

Each new iteration offers a fresh perspective to consider.

I’d forgive you if you thought those words hollow, as I’ve repeated them throughout numerous creative posts and they’ve amounted to nothing tangible yet. But I’ve been digging through folders and unearthing creative content. Which I’ve then been trying to translate into content for posts on Instagram. I’ve also had a rather fortuitous change of circumstances recently, and that should noticeably reduce the constraints on my time for the foreseeable future. So I’m hopeful that I’ll finally be able to make good on those promises that I’ve made (to myself) in recent months.

I have missed indulging my creative interests.

This is arguably the best time for it, too. I’ve had such an odd year. But it’s been a pleasant year. One that has been as perplexing as it has been inspiring, with recent First Impressions posts perfectly demonstrating how opportunities can be seized if you’re willing to take a risk with them.

Given that I’ve been hesitant to deviate from established practices in the past, but easily ignored those same practices without a second thought. And I’ll need to do that again if I’m ever going to rekindle my creativity. Not that breaking habits which have been steadily reinforced is ever easy. But it’s a necessary change. One that I’m actually excited about, as I’ve got a few concepts that I’m eager to revisit and I’m curious as to how they’re going to present themselves now. I doubt that I’m going to struggle to reacquaint myself with familiar processes. It’s hard to say, though. It has been a while and my motivations have changed in that time. But I won’t know unless I do just that and, after writing yet another post about my creative aspirations, I think that I owe myself that much, or at least the chance to try.

Have a nice weekend, all!

Moggie

Sprucin’ Things Up

Not as you may remember it.

While it is accurate to suggest that Moggie’s Proclamations is in a constant state of change, there have been few changes as significant as those that have occurred in recent months. Notably, and for the first time since its conception, I’ve decided to update the theme, which I’d been deliberating over for the last twelve months. This isn’t to suggest that the previous theme was in any way unsuited to my needs or content, but simply that I wanted to freshen up the blog. Something that (as you would expect) has fundamentally affected the formatting and layout of my posts.

I can’t really avoid that, though.

As my content is formatted and laid out to fit the constraints of the theme displaying it. This bled over to the Creative and Gaming pages, too. They’ve both been subject to formatting updates to reflect the introduction of new categories, and (hopefully) to make them easier to navigate.

Following the decision to recategorise MMORPG posts in Massively Multiplayer Moggie, I’ve also added The Atelier Series and The Yakuza Series to the parent Gaming category. This was mostly in response to recent purchases, as I’ve finally begun my adventures in the Atelier series with the wonderfully wholesome Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout. While the PC release of Yakuza 3 Remastered, Yakuza 4 Remastered, and Yakuza 5 Remastered means that I’ve got five entries in the Yakuza series to experience. Five entries which I own, as I apparently don’t have any concept of restraint. But that shouldn’t be too surprising to those who regularly frequent Moggie’s Proclamations. If there’s a way to surpass my limits, or to face greater challenges, I’ll find it. And I’ll do it.

Content on Moggie’s Proclamations has always existed in a transitory state, though. It’s unlikely that I’ll ever fully commit to one iteration. Which doesn’t mean that I’m unhappy with previous content, as I’d suggest that the posts from the last twelve months are among my best, but that change shouldn’t be feared, and that simply doing something because you’ve always done it is no reason at all. And that comfortable consistency is boring. I enjoy seeing how my writing style has changed- and how I’ve changed- over the years that I’ve been writing, drawing, and painting.

Hence why my personal site is as it is.

Progression is just as important, if not more so, than the end result, and that’s why I embrace everything that I do. Every attempt, every mistake, every post- it all contributes to the proficiency (or lack thereof) that I now possess. It all contributes to furthering that proficiency should I wish to.

I’ve certainly implemented less updates in recent years than in those that came before, but I’m still regularly tinkering with things and updating them as necessary. I wouldn’t deny that I’m happier with things as they are now. The last few years have been difficult for various reasons, and I’m glad that I can feel like I’ve achieved something in that time. Something meaningful. Even if it’s going to require even more work to be something that I’m truly happy with. I’ve already been considering ways to improve my personal site, to make it more accessible and easier to navigate, and I’m still committed to regularly sharing creative content again. I’m not sure what form that will take, or when that will be, but I’ve been thinking about how best to approach it, and I hope that through that rekindled creativity I’ll find even greater satisfaction.

Have a nice week, all!

Moggie

Renewed Dedication

Steadily introducing changes.

Of the many things that I did do last year, I didn’t dedicate enough time to my creative pursuits and I’ve posted hardly any creative content as a result of it. Which is something that I need to do better with. Something that I intend to do better with. And so I’ve begun to look into the availability of different materials that I use, as I’m reasonably certain that I’ll discover that some will have dried out from disuse. Probably the majority of my watercolour, acrylic, and gouache tubes. Which would be frustrating, but I would’ve eventually replaced them with higher quality variants anyway.

So maybe I’ll do just that.

Not that I’m entirely sure that my inactivity (and inexperience) qualifies me to make those purchases. But I’m hopeful. I’m also potentially making things more complicated than they need to be, as I’ll be trying to learn how to use new materials while being unsure of myself and my abilities.

It’ll certainly be a challenge- but I love those- as evidenced by my gaming content from the last year. From the post-apocalyptic wastes of Code Vein to the delightfully bizarre realms of Labyrinth of Refrain: Coven of Dusk, there were a variety of challenges to overcome during my adventures. There were numerous dungeons to crawl through, too. Whether it was the complex party management present in Infinite Adventures, the enchanting open world of Legends of Amberland: The Forgotten Crown, or the unusual narrative-driven approach of Operencia: The Stolen Sun there were satisfying excursions aplenty. Revisiting the Mojave Wasteland in Fallout: New Vegas was one of the best, and most nostalgic, experiences of the year, and Murderous Mabel quickly became one of my favourite characters.

Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot proved to be an exhilarating journey through childhood nostalgia, while the (unexpected) full release of Chronicon encouraged me to tinker with different character classes and builds. I also experienced the Assassin’s Creed series for the first time. Starting with the black sheep of the family, Assassin’s Creed: Origins, as Bayek, and then Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey as Kassandra. I finally revisited The Bureau: XCOM Declassified, too. I’d been intending to for a while, and was finally prompted to by the release of XCOM: Chimera Squad.

That wasn’t all, though.

Death end re;Quest explored the concept of being trapped inside a glitchy MMORPG. While interplanetary adventures ensued as I thoroughly explored the diverse colonies of The Outer Worlds, and tried to discover the truth behind a Force-sensitive civilisation in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.

Disco Elysium presented a truly satisfying one-of-a-kind narrative-driven RPG experience, which made it one of the highlights of the year. And I shared my first impurressions of the utterly adorable pun-filled Cat Quest II. I’ve also shuffled some of the existing gaming content on Moggie’s Proclamations around, introducing a new category, Massively Multiplayer Moggie, that contains all of my posts related to MMORPGs. I don’t believe that MMORPGs are going to feature as prominently, if at all, from now on, as I don’t want to invest all of my time into one gaming experience. I’d rather invest it into many. Throughout January, Fallout 3, my second post-apocalyptic love, will be one of those experiences. As I’ll be revisiting the Capital Wasteland with an unquestionably evil (and somewhat unusual) build.

Happy New Year, all!

Moggie

Creativity (Or The Lack Thereof) (Pt. 2)

A longer process doesn’t necessarily equate to a better one.

There are countless misconceptions and absurd generalisations that you’ll encounter as an artist. One of the most prevalent is that higher quality materials automatically result in a higher quality piece, which should be true if they’re used correctly, but knowing how to use those materials is important, as is knowing what to use them with. Experience is important. Practice is important. Knowing who you are and what you want to do is important. Some artists are better suited to traditional art, while others are better suited to digital art. There are very few absolutes when creating anything.

Every creative process is as unique as the person creating with it.

That’s why creativity can be so evocative. It doesn’t need to conform, it doesn’t need to appeal to everyone, and it doesn’t need to be aesthetically pleasing. It can be anything that you want it to be. However, having that much freedom is exhausting, as you rarely know how best to proceed.

Or if there even is a best way to proceed. Every artist strives to develop in their own way, but that isn’t easy when you’ve nothing to measure yourself against. Besides that which you’ve created before. But influences and inspirations change as you develop as an artist, and experience affords the confidence to attempt things that you wouldn’t have considered before. Community sites and social media can also skew your progression. Useful as they may be to share your work, user responses aren’t always indicative of how well your work is received. Not that external stimuli is exclusive to the internet. Every second of every day it exists, and being wholly immune to it is impossible. It has affected my progression and it will continue to.

One of my most promising attempts.

External stimuli was partly responsible for the lack of creative content on Moggie’s Proclamations in recent months. As I didn’t feel like I was making much progress- if any- with new pieces. Not that completely abandoning every semblance of creativity has helped my progression in the slightest. But I wasn’t enjoying creating traditional pieces, while countless hours with digital pieces had begun to feel stale. Which may seem to contradict what I said in the previous post. But I still feel that extending the creation process for traditional pieces will help, so long as it is extended sensibly.

Not extending it to spend hours on pointless minutiae.

This particular work in progress is the Kulu-Ya-Ku featured in Monster Hunter: World. Originally intended to follow on from the terrifying fluffiness of the Paolumu as part of a series of paintings, which would’ve included other gargantuan creatures from the varied locales of the New World.

That’s still the intention should I ever return to this painting or to Monster Hunter: World. But I doubt that either is likely at this point. I’ve always been particularly fond (and proud) of the attention to detail in the flesh-y skin around the eye, and how the short beige hairs seamlessly grow outwards from their beak. The actual eye (and the tongue) could have been refined, though. They’re not as highly detailed as the rest. But this is a work in progress and it’s likely I was going to address those issues later, as I was in the process of detailing the ridiculous plumage protruding from their head at the time. Those wonderfully colourful feathers swaying in the wind. Ironically, this was one of the few paintings at the time to show actual progression.

Have a nice weekend, all!

Moggie

Art, design, and the like found herein (unless otherwise specified) is drawn and owned by David Wilkshire (also credited as Moggie) from 2006 to present date.

Monster Hunter: World, Astera, Kulu-Ya-Ku, Anjanath, and all associated trademarks and devices are owned by Capcom.

Creativity (Or The Lack Thereof) (Pt. 1)

How things were and hopefully will be again.

I’d originally intended for Moggie’s Proclamations to be somewhere I could share and talk about my creative content. However, over the last eighteen months or so, the posts have (somewhat intentionally) become skewed towards gaming content. There are many reasons why I decided to take a break from creating anything new, but I hadn’t anticipated that I’d be away from it for this long. Which is entirely my fault. Regardless of the reasons that I may give and how understandable they may be, trying to attribute blame to something won’t change the widening deficit of new creative content.

I need to actually do something about it.

These posts are the beginning of that. I’ve not really got a way to casually discuss creative content as I do with gaming content in posts such as Crawling Through Dungeons. I’ve not really got a way to discuss the near-endless flow of updates to social media sites and my personal site, either.

Prior to this I would discuss any updates in a consolidated fashion through a post such as Further Integration. Which is still an appropriate approach when a number of significant updates have been completed, but when they’re minor or aesthetic updates I’m less inclined to write a whole post about them. For instance, I’ve recently updated the thumbnails for various creative content posts. I’ve also spent some time updating and standardising the layout of various pages on my personal site. I always assume that I’ll eventually write a post which I can discuss these things in, but I rarely do nowadays. Which means that some updates are never discussed. Or that they’re discussed at a point when they’re no longer relevant.

An ever-evolving conceptual approach.

These posts are not intended (nor designed) to contradict Material Studies posts. Which will still serve their original purpose of discussing works in progress or any unusual approaches that I’ve taken with different materials. Hence their name. But they could include creative content that I’ve not shared on Moggie’s Proclamations before, as this one does, and could illustrate (pun intended) my development as an artist, or highlight something that I like which doesn’t fit on my personal site. As is the purpose of this particular sketch. I’ve never been able to successfully refine the concept, but I like it.

So much so that I’ve been trying to refine it for nine years.

I’ll likely attempt it again once I’ve relearned that which I’ve forgotten in the last eighteen months. Not that I feel that I’ve regressed too far. Much of what I do seems to be habitual, which makes it difficult to forget how to do it. But that also makes it even more difficult to adjust old habits.

It is through that adjustment that I’m hoping to share pieces that better represent what I’m trying to accomplish. I’ve been thinking that I’ll need to alter the creation process with traditional pieces, as these are currently at a distinct disadvantage to digital pieces. But a lengthened process could result in more mistakes. So it’s not entirely without risk- which is understandable- as everything that you create represents who you were at the moment you created it. Lengthening that process adds unknown variables. Which could be advantageous, as it could allow for the creation of more complex pieces. But it’s a start. One that I haven’t had in the last eighteen months as my motivation waned and my technique dulled through disuse.

Have a nice week, all!

Moggie

Art, design, and the like found herein (unless otherwise specified) is drawn and owned by David Wilkshire (also credited as Moggie) from 2006 to present date.