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July 30, 2012
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My entry for :iconotakusenshiidols: Round 7 - Swimsuit

Note: This has music, so you might want to turn on your sound. :) Slide show loops infinitely.

Qualification Entry: [link]
Round One - Pin-up: [link]
Round Two - Civilian: [link]
Round Three - Sera Myu: [link]
Round Four - Gender Bender: [link]
Round Five - Death Scene: [link]
Round Six - Princess: [link]

:star: Writeup :star:

:bulletred: A Typical Summer Day for Elise :bulletorange:

Elise likes to spend her summer doing one of two things: painting or surfing. Though she's only been in California a few years, Elise took to surfing very much like a fish to water. Her aunt took her surfing as soon as she could after Elise moved there, and she loved it. It was meditative and helped her heal after the loss of her parents. It was a special kind of peace, out there on the waves. She could focus on surfing and didn't have to dwell on her sadness. And once she wasn't so overwhelmed by her loss, she found it was just plain fun.

As she got better at it, she got her own surfboard, with a custom paint job to match her colorful personality. Elise was never much of a bikini girl, and after a while she even felt like her one-piece and board shorts weren't streamlined enough (not to mention not nearly enough protection if she wiped out over some rocks). So she got herself a wetsuit, and that's what she always wears to the beach now.

If she's got nothing else to do, Elise will spend the whole day at the beach. She'll get up at dawn and surf, before the waves get too crowded, then she'll stop around noon and have lunch on the boardwalk, at Surf'n'Subs, the little sandwich shop owned by Sunny's parents. Then she'll take out her sketchbook and sketch the ocean, or seagulls, or random people on the beach, whatever catches her eye. Before too long, though, the waves are calling her and she's back in the water. She'll surf until sunset, then her aunt will pick her up and take her home.

:bulletyellow: Surfing is Better with Company :bulletgreen:

After the defeat of Dr. Monochrome, the Black Knight decided it was time to reveal his secret identity... not that he had too much of one. He was Brandon Kingston; he and his twin brother William (the White Knight) shared an apartment and worked menial jobs to cover their expenses. They were both having a hard time adjusting to this world. To them the Knights were who they really were, and their lives here were just a means to an end. But with Monochrome defeated, and their Princess avenged, they were both somewhat at a loss. Spectrum was their only link to this world now. William had become sullen; he had loved his Princess, and now that Spectrum had her starseed, she was truly lost to him.

Brandon, however, was completely enamored with Sailor Spectrum after their last battle, and so began to spend as much time with Elise as he could. When she invited him surfing, he was a little intimidated, but couldn't turn her down. He wasn't very good at it, but he loved spending time with her, seeing her do something she loved so much. And even if he hurt his pride falling off his board again and again, it was more than worth it to have the chance watch the sunset with her.

:bulletblue: Art Notes :bulletpurple:

Elise is *so* not a traditional swimsuit kind of girl. Most swimsuits are so impractical, and bikinis... forget it. Definitely not for her. But surfing and wetsuits? That's more like it. :D

I feel like I've really found my style recently, so I decided to use that, rather than the super-stylized look I originally designed the characters in. I'm still trying to work out the shading for it, but I'm getting there.

Background stock: [link] [link] [link]
Song: Let's Go Surfing by The Drums
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:iconsakkysa:
sakkysa Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Wow this is amazing! I almost didn't notice it changed and then it did and I was like WOW! xD
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:iconartistmeli:
ArtistMeli Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks so much! :D I'm never sure how to time these slideshows... I want to give people enough time to look at each piece, but not leave each one there *too* long... it's all trial and error. ^^; Glad you like it, though!
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:iconpandanalove:
PandanaLove Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
i love these flash things, but i feel that ur like...showing off or something. like those less forturnate cant measure up. im just dsaying how i feel
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:iconartistmeli:
ArtistMeli Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Well, yes, I am "showing off". Contests are about exhibiting the best that you can do, and that is what I try to do with every entry. I took on this contest with the intention of pushing myself and my art to a new level, and in some cases that included animating. This contest gives me the opportunity to experiment and try things I wouldn't otherwise do, so I'm taking full advantage of that.

That being said, I kind of wish I'd never done animated entries. :( I did it originally for the Civilian round, because civilian rounds are tricky; it can be hard to make an interesting piece based on what is potentially the least interesting aspect of your character. Then I thought, hey, I'll add music to my Myu piece, because that's appropriate. Then for Gender Bend I *didn't* animate, and my scores dropped tremendously. At that point I felt that if I *didn't* animate, there was no way I'd receive high enough scores to continue competing. The whole point behind doing it has backfired on me, and now I'm stuck with it.

As far as anyone being more or less fortunate than anyone else, that has very little to do with it. I am dirt poor, unemployed, and can't even afford the medication that stops me from having crippling migraines anymore. I didn't pay for my programs; I just happened to have a friend who knew how to put a cracked version of the CS5 Master Suite on my computer. Before that, the most advanced program I had was Photoshop 7, which was from like 2004, and it was also cracked. Aside from that, there are programs you can get for free to put together a slideshow like I did with my last entry. Or you could get demo versions of more expensive programs for $20 - $30, like Anime Studio, and do any of what I did. There's any number of ways to do the same thing, if you just look hard enough.
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:iconpandanalove:
PandanaLove Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
oh well i guess thats a good point. i totally forgot about the *improvement* issue...im sorry that it backfired ^^; i just kinda felt when i was in the competition that i couldnt measure up cuz i didnt know how to do such a thing and what programs i could do it with ^^; course if i did it, id b almost imitating.

also my computer has these spells where it doesnt like to loads things like that so easily so i couldnt even figure out what they looked like sometimes. i did love ur entries tho. i don't know if u felt that i putting them down or anything so i had to say that.
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:iconartistmeli:
ArtistMeli Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
It's cool, I definitely understand where you're coming from. While access to programs isn't a big issue, you're right, hardware is certainly a limiting factor for both making and viewing them. I'm starting to run into that myself; my computer has had some unexpected slowdown the past few weeks, and I'm in a bit of a panic. :P As for viewing, I know for some people the files don't work unless you click download, and with the nature of Flash action script, the play/replay buttons don't work on every browser. It's definitely not ideal.

The contest could probably benefit from a "no animating" rule next year, beyond simple gif stuff anyway (eye blinks, etc), or *maybe* adding music... I feel like music has been more a defining thing for my character than the animating. While it's been great fun for me to get to do things like lip syncs that I haven't done in years, it does make it a different kind of competition, for sure. If I had it to do over again, I'd probably put my multi-panel stuff in more of a manga/comic style layout instead of animating (more like this: [link] )
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:iconheart-of-amethyst:
Heart-of-Amethyst Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm happy to see people improving in their style. As for a no-animation rule, I would rather see something that would limit a person to one or two entries that way. But at the same time, I feel that I would be ticked off is someone said, you can only do two marker pieces. As long as you are giving it your all, I don't care about your level, equipment or abilities.
I have the equipment to do everything you do here, but I'd always much rather work on improving my traditional techniques and showing off that way in a contest.
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:iconvegetagirl2k2:
VegetaGirl2k2 Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2012  Hobbyist Interface Designer
This is cute!
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:iconartistmeli:
ArtistMeli Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks! :D
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:iconparlourtricks:
ParlourTricks Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2012  Professional Interface Designer
I just love everything about this because SURFING

ProTip: The water in CA is almost always slightly above freezing, even in warmer SoCal. I've never surfed without a shortjohn (short leg, short sleeve wetsuit like Elise is wearing) and in winter, a 4/3 longjohn is a must if you want to be in the water over an hour! Maybe her senshi powers allow her a higher tolerance to the cold?

I am so spoiled since I moved to HI where the water is warm (but I still wear a shortjohn on windy or bigger days when I don't want to worry about losing my suit).
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