It's been a long time for me, so I decided to sign up for this week's Battle Artist competition. It's a group on DeviantArt where you are matched up with another member of the group for each battle and then they assign the entire group a single character or piece of subject matter to produce a piece on, usually with a deadline of around a week.
I love Battle Artist, and used to try and do it as often as possible because it forced me to continuously produce finished pieces (something I always struggle with) that were about things I would normally never draw.
This week is definitely doing to put me in that position again as the subject for the battle is Gaara from Naruto. If you don't know what Naruto is, I'm not sure you're actually a person on the internet who would be reading this blog, but at it's simplest form it's a show about ninjas and whining.
I loath Naruto. I would rather break my own thumbs that sit through more than a few minutes of it, and... I really like my thumbs. Like, I need them to do things. They are important for things.
I can conceptualize why it's popular, but it baffles me as to why the fans are so incredibly rabid. My roommate loves the show, and so do most of his friends, and I just don't get it. It doesn't resonate with me, unless you consider making me want to apply my face forcibly to the nearest load-bearing wall to be a form of resonance.
Even still, I think Gaara is about the only Naruto character I find to be interesting, at least from a design standpoint. I mean, the dude fights by manipulating sand. Controlling it with some ancient art I'm sure they explain in the show at some point, he chafes the ever-loving shit out of his enemies. He took the reason having sex on the beach is way less fun than it sounds and weaponized it.
Like I said, the thing I love about Battle Artist is that it makes you draw things you aren't crazy about. Which is what being an artist, especially one with aspirations of making it a career, has to be able to do; you don't get to work on the projects you want to all the time unless you get to the point where you're a household name. You do the work you get, the work that puts food on the table, and sometimes, that means putting your artistic dick into the metaphorical blender and drawing anything related to Naruto.
... Alright, I'm being just a touch dramatic there. Point is, this sort of thing is good for you as an artist. So... time to get some sand all up in something.