Wahoo! Well, be warned; here is my extremely lengthy write-up for Portend, my pony-design contest entry for
's "Portend" contest! I put a lot of thought into her, so it seemed a shame to not write any of that down!
So if you have a lot of time on your hands, here's a fun way to waste some of it!
Pictured: Non-display side, while glowing.
Pony base: A semi-see-through glitter G3 pony. (Hence, those silver triangles aren't paint, but are embedded into the plastic.)
Hair: Glow-in-the-dark and "Sour Apple Martini" (lime/neon green) nylon pony hair.
Paint: Airbrushed black paint/dye, purple dye/paint, glow-in-the-dark paint (for eye, which will glow green, as pictured.). One eye is painted brown, and the other blue; both are coated with glow-in-the-dark paint.
Misc: One glow-in-the-dark die; pictured is an eight-sided die, inscribed with various runes and symbols. Miscellaneous charms (especially moons and precious stones) woven into hair with black/dark brown thread.
I had a lot of trouble coming up with a design for
's contest. She is an artist foremost, and often makes ponies that are more artistic than the typical Hasbro pony, elevating them into something more akin to studio art than customization. Since I typically come up with rather Hasbro-like designs, I wanted to come up with something a little boundary-pushing and thought-provoking, so that this pony might fit into
's preferred aesthetic.
In short: I wanted to make an artistically challenging pony, rather than a pony set after Hasbro's style. To do so, I delved into some of interesting subjects: dice, randomness, and the Renaissance idea of Fortuna, as they all relate to the word "portend."
"Portend" means to see or foretell the future; and yet, how certain is that future? One idea that has always been tied in with "future" is "fortune," and the flighty nature of it. In the Renaissance, fortune was depicted as a woman, called "Fortuna"; one side of her face was often depicted as that of a young, beautiful maiden, and the other as a horribly hideous hag. (To illustrate this on the pony, I have made her eyes two different colors: one brown, and the other blue. In the dark, however, they both glow a luminescent green.) Fortuna could alternately smile or frown on you, ruining or favoring the futures of mortals. Her moods were said to be as shifting as the moon's phases, inconstant and untrustworthy.
The non-display side of the pony clearly showcases one of the new elements I worked into the pony: the glowing die. Fortuna is often depicted with dice, symbols of chance and randomness. Due to the semi-transparent nature of the plastic and the symbols that cover one side of the pony, the number on the die is often uncertain or unclear. During the day, this die would be difficult to see, and prove quite galling to whoever might try their luck at portending their own future with it.
Come nightfall and the arrival of the moon, the die glows as brightly as a tiny celestial body, illuminating arcane scripts and runes inscribed on its surface. Can this tiny die truly offer insight into the future? Or is it as useless as the lucky charms and tiny trinkets that are woven into Portend's hair, offerings of wealth in return for good fortune? The answer is left up to the viewer, as vague as the symbols on the die.
Portend's display side (shown here: [link]
)showcases how she would look in daytime, with her blue eye and celestial symbols displayed proudly. Her glowing die is muted to a dull white as it hides behind her painted cream, off-white and greenish-tinged symbols. Her moon symbol stands as a symbol of Fortuna's ever-changing disposition. Her hair is white, with the only green coloring provided by the streaks of "Sour Apple Martini" neon green hair throughout. (In the dark, the glowing hair will glow a similar green color, but the neon-green nylon will become dark.) Her legs are gradient dyed a darker purple, and then black, over-exaggerating the shadows falling in those areas not touched by the hair and symbol's luminescence.
Phew! That was a pretty massive write-up! I hope all of my ideas came across clearly; I had a lot of ideas while working on this pony!