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Back In The Saddle Again...sort Of

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Bionicle Guru


This is the third time I have become a Premier Member of BZPower, and the benefits only get better and better. It does upset me that I never earned my proto points from good deeds on the forums; only by monetary payment have I allowed myself to appear as an "Outstanding BZP Citizen." So kids, there is a lesson in that. Do not let appearances deceive you. Just because someone seems cool, honest, "outstanding," or smart on the Internet does not indicate IN THE LEAST that they are truly like that.


With that statement, I leave my first nugget of partial wisdom. Of course, some of you are reading this already nodding your heads, "Of course, BG, we knew this. When will you update BORNICLE? Are you going to win AC11? Will you post in my topic???"


Well, changing gears here, I have already updated BORNICLE. Just click my signature banner and then click on the last page. You will find it there, waiting for you. And from the looks of it right now, I may not win AC11. C'est la vie!. You cannot win them all, and I hardly expected to succeed against the "artists" of BZPower. First of all, I must explain my style in drawing anything BIONICLE. People seem to always say I stay true to the set. However, many also say this and hint that this may be a bad thing. How so? When I received Tahu in March of 2001, I felt compelled to draw him. Sure, I could have given the Toa of Fire googly, anthromorphic eyes, a wan smile, human proportions, and five-fingered hands. But did I?


If you know me in the least, then this a hearty NO. I drew Tahu exactly as I saw him. Naturally, I posed my model, but it looked just like him, albeit at that point in my life, I could not shade at all. However, two items of note stick out at me when I look at this early drawing.

1: The two fingers in Tahu's "hand" are curved inward at definite point. Did I envision fingers?

2: A strange black wire extends from behind Tahu's head and follows the neck down into the chest cavity. Was I trying to roboticize Bionicle?


If the two conclusions contradict each other, then something is not right in the logic. The real answer is (and I can only say this after drawing Bionicle characters for over five years) that my style adapts to the individual characteristics of a character. Take Thok in my "Be Kold" poster. He looks pretty much like the set, eh? But some things stand out.

1: His spine/arm spines all have the characteristic spikes. But unlike the set version, each and every one of them comes to a sharp point (a safety hazard for young children, gasp!).

2: Thok's teeth are all sharp and deadly.

3: The ice pick comes to a sharp point and edge

4: Many points on the armor are sharpened.

5: Yes, I gave his Zamor launcher hand four fingers and a thumb.

6: At each ball joint connection, small strands of muscle and living tissue can be seen enveloping the ball.


There are other differences, but I think my point is clear. Clearly, I want to stay true to the model. I think a big problem with BZP "artists" is that they only see the sets as a starting point for their drawings to evolve from. This is not necessarily a bad idea, and has yielded some wonderful results. However, much of this kind of extrapolation has muddled Bionicle, in my opinion. For example, why give Bionicle characters human sight organs when they look so cool and natural with the sharp, glowing, monocolored eyes that were given to them in the sets? Sure, many of us have an affinity for homo sapiens (it is our species, after all), so it is natural to want to make Bionicle conform to more human ideals of shape and form. I mean, little old ladies want their dogs to wear clothes and have their cats eat from a plate at the dinner table every night. Is this so wrong?? Well, perhaps little Fido will object if the feel of shoes on his paws irks him, but Bionicle sets are no living things. We can make them human in drawings or in real life (I shudder to think of some little sister out there, taking her older brother's Toa Nuju and placing Barbie clothes upon his armor), but I finally am getting the guts to say this.


Give accurate-to-set Bionicle drawings a chance. Bionicle sets are pieces of art in themselves. They bring an exciting aesthetic design that cannot be found anywhere else in Lego, much less the world. It is fine if you want to change your Gali portrait so that she has armor conforming to her non-existant mammaries or if you want your Matoran to be the same size as Toa. But give accurate-to-set Bionicle drawings a chance. In the right hands, they can create the same magic within one when glimpsing a new Bionicle set. After all, is it not the sets that we fell in love with, NOT the stylized drawings?


It probably is too late for "Be Kold." But it is not too late to start a movement. I am not saying I am right. I am saying I want accurate-to-set drawings to be just as accepted for its values as any other form of Bionicle art.


Oh, and it depends on whether or not Jupiter is aligned with Sirius if I post in your topic or not. Chew on that for a while, eh?


The Bionicle Guru

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Sorry, I couldn't resist saying that.


First of all, very well written.


Second of all, I think you have a very good point. Some people may not like accurate-to-set drawings because they don't take much artistic liberties. I can understand that, but I am personally very fond of those kinds of art. I'm not saying that I frown upon other artwork, but I really like it when an artist takes the time to show all of the details that are in a specific set. Maybe its because I have a certain knack for small details and Bionicle sets have tons of them, or maybe its because I believe an artist really loves what they do if they can take the time to show every single hole or notch placed on a single piece. (So yes, I would probably comment somebody who posted nothing but a picture of a sketch of a toa hand).


And although Be Kold may not win in the finals, you did manage to pull out a victory in the not-so-final polls. Congradulations!

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