Experimenting with New Home Page Art

You may (or may not) have noticed the new home page art tweak the past few days. I was playing around in Photoshop, stretching my skills Wednesday night and THIS emerged:

Mad Seeress of the North cover art - a My Little Pony tale from Hail King Sombra

When something so sacred moves you…

Lately I have been wanting to do more with the story cover art Pixel_Spark made for Mad Seeress. Mind you, I have always treasured this piece of artwork. It moves me to tears – and that is something that very rarely happens. In a way it was almost sacred to me, so when Pixel gave me the Photoshop files, I couldn’t have been happier! Being a little more than a dabbler in Photoshop, I have always seen it as being the inspiration for the design of this website and as the inspiration to tell Nyx’s story. A story of the bittersweet memories of a mare trapped in darkness. A mare who knew she could never have the happy, wonderful life everypony else around her could because the curse of her gift shows her the terrible fate awaiting King Sombra at the end of their time together.

Time and Pixels

It may be a silly thing, but I have always wanted to do more with this image, something to make it even more amazing. If I could animate Captain Iron Blade’s cutie mark to glow, why not do something similar here? I was up against something of a deadline, however. The website was to be a showcase for a professional website design talk Thursday morning and unfortunately, animation never lends itself to being quick.

Luckily, I had a cheat I could pull off to make it in time. Photoshop, while being a powerhouse for graphic design, does also have a very limited ability to animate. It was what I made the Happy New Years Day splash page with. Since Nyx’s power is over time, a clock was a natural choice for the animation, but not a normal clock. An unusual story required an unusual timepiece, so I turned to the other influence for the story – Doctor Who.

There is a little-known internet tool called the Gallifreyan Translator. Gallifreyan (the language of the Time Lords and The Doctor) is a beautiful language whose graphics are based on circles and coordinate points reminiscent of points in space and time. I used it to plug in a phrase Nyx will say in a future MSotN chapter, threw the switch and voila, the background graphic was born.

So in the end…

The original image is already a piece of artistic perfection in the way it conveys the story of The Mad Seeress of the North. Building a website without it was unthinkable. And yet doing it justice with an equally breathtaking website design, while it is beyond my current skill level, it won’t be for long. It is pushing me to get there. And as stubborn and determined as I am, I’ll make it, because just as painfully aware as Nyx is that her time is limited with her King of Shadows, I know I won’t have forever to get there as well.

One thought on “Experimenting with New Home Page Art”

  1. It’s always good when something inspires you to push yourself beyond your current limitations. As a friend once told me, you’re either growing or your dying. I’m a writer. I’m inspired to write and my critique groups inspire me to be a better writer. I know I’m a good writer. I also know I can do better and my critique groups are showing me how I can do better.

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