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That Matoran with a Vahi

That Matoran's Bionicle Inktober in Review

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So, I've been working on these all month!

You might have heard of the Inktober art challenge: the aim is to do an ink drawing for every day of October, and a list of prompts is provided for inspiration. In addition to that, I like to pick an overall theme to work within, so I'm not just shooting off wherever for ideas. This year was my second time participating; and, looking at the prompt list in advance, all I was really thinking of was Bionicle ideas for a few of the prompts.

This may have come down to me being SUPER-inspired by NickonAquaManga's The Toa Bionicle retelling, which I'd just finished reading (which you should totally check out if you haven't seen it, I can't speak highly enough of it!) and having a ton of Bionicle inspiration that needed an outlet! But in any case, I had in mind Bionicle for my monthly theme, particularly 2001 - 2003, from which most of my relevant inspiration comes, and... I ran with it.

So here we have days 1 - 31 of Inktober 2020, Bionicle-themed!

I posted more detailed explanations for most of these on DeviantArt, where I was uploading them daily; to explain to my non-Bionicle-savy watchers what was going on, and also just musing around what I picked and why. But to an initiated Bionicle fan, most of these are more self-explanatory, so I'm just going to summarise here, unless there's something that I feel really needs an explanation (like the unashamedly silly one for day 29!).


^- A Ga-Matoran fishes for her living.


^- After Tahnok-Kal steals his Nuva symbol, the most Tahu can summon are wisps of smoke.


^- Onua and Pohatu, the two bulkiest Toa.


^- Kopeke finds an old piece of Metru Nui technology, a radio, that got left behind when the Turaga dismantled the airships.


^- Interesting. The power is in me. The sword is but the focus.


^- To Onepu's dismay, a Kinloka rodent has broken into an Onu-Koronan storehouse.


^- What's more fancy than a golden mask, in Bionicle terms? Gali unlocks hers at her Suva.


^- Matoro (and Takua) find themselves up a little too close and personal with a Muaka's mouthful of teeth.


^- Tamaru in the battle of Kini-Nui, throwing a disk to repel Rahi attackers.


^- "No dictator, no invader, can hold an imprisoned population by force of arms forever. There is no greater power in the universe than the need for freedom. Against that power, governments and tyrants and armies cannot stand. [Makuta] learned this lesson once. We will teach it to [him] again. Though it take a thousand years, we will be free."
(Quote source: Babylon 5 2x20, The Long, Twilight Struggle)

Jala rallies the Ta-Koro guard with a speech of hope, during the 1000 years of the Makuta Wars. (And one of my favourite quotes from that show, honestly!)


^- “Remember that time I was hanging upside down in a swamp hole, just above some hungry mud crawlers,” said Nuparu. “You know, the ones with the acidic tongues and the breath that smells like Tarakava that’s been out in the sun too long?”

“Sure, what about it?” answered Kongu.

Nuparu sighed. “Those were the good old days, huh?”

I don't know about anyone else, but that sounds like a particularly disgusting situation to be in, to me. And yes, that is a little Kongu up there being all like "Nuparu, how in the HECK?!"

(Also I made up what mud crawlers look like, because according to BS01 that was literally their only mention in the storyline and they don't even have a full page on the site, much less an image!)


^- On Takua's first trip to Ko-Wahi, he was probably not prepared for how slippery the icy terrain was underfoot.


^- Pohatu and Hafu pause, for a moment, to appreciate the dunes of Po-Wahi in all their harsh majesty.


^- The freshly-transformed Toa Nuva inspect their new armour for the first time.


^- "Ta-Koro used to reach all the way to the coast; the Charred Jungle used to be a green, peaceful place, but in the fury of our battles it was burnt."

Kapura mans a small outpost near the border of Ta-Wahi, across the charred forest from the main city.


^- *You are an obstacle. You do not belong. You will be removed.*
"Beware, monster... this "obstacle" has a sting!"

Tahu fires the Exo-Toa's electro-rocket.


^- "Water!"
"Together, we can summon the might of the storm!"


^- Having caught a Tarakava in her rahi trap, Kotu cautiously takes a few steps forward, hoping to prise off its infected mask.


^- When the Chronicler's company reach the ravine with the broken bridge, Takua naturally turns to his team for suggestions. Most of them helpfully point towards Tamaru's agility and skill with ropes to get across; Taipu, however, has possibly the most invaluable contribution to the discussion:

"When I stand at the edge and look down, it makes me dizzy."


^- Diving deep to the bottom of Naho bay, Gali discovers a thriving growth of coral on the sea floor... unbeknownst to her, covering one of Metru Nui's sun-holes.


^- "It is said the Bohrok sleep an eternal sleep, waiting to hatch. Once awakened, the swarms are unstoppable... a force so powerful, they can reduce mountains to rubble, and turn life-giving rivers dry as the desert sands."


^- Because I had literally NO CONTEXT for the term chef in Bionicle, I improvised and took this in a less serious direction... and also took a chance to include the OTP, since it was remiss of me to not have planned them in anywhere else.

Huki and Maku, on a date at a Matoran restaurant, are served by the chef herself!


^- "The krana controls your body, Lewa, but not your will. If it is so strong that it can make you harm a friend... then go ahead -- I will not defend myself. But I know you, Lewa. I have fought beside you... and I know you are stronger than this parasite. You are a Toa -- prove yourself worthy of the name!"
"Yes... Toa... my people... my friends...! I will not harm Onua, creature... I WILL NOT!"


^- Onua, at home in his element.


^- Sometimes, your best buddy is a giant crab and you ride around on her back when travelling the island. And there's nothing wrong with that.


^- Hahli hides from the Rahkshi during the fall of Ta-Koro.


^- "Who can walk silent in the Wood? Taku-cry and Fikou-chirp, windhorn and trunkdrum, all around is the ceaseless junglesong, dawn, highsun, and night! To unite their voice with this music is the duty of all Le-Matoran."

Plus Taipu, the band's biggest non-Le-Koronan fan, dancing along in the foreground there!


^- When he gets some rare downtime during his quest for the Kanohi, I imagine Lewa likes to take advantage of his mask of Levitation to float high above the jungles of Le-Wahi, just kicking back in the air and watching over his realm.


^- "What. Are. Those."
"Oh, I dunno. I thought they looked kinda dashing."
"I've got twenty-four hours to get rid of this BOZO. Or the entire scheme I've been setting up for 1000 years goes up in smoke. And you. Are wearing. HIS. MERCHANDISE?!"

Okay, this one takes a bit of explaining, because it's unashamedly silly and I don't apologise. But the shoes prompt... Bionicle characters don't WEAR shoes, so I was stumped at first. But then I thought of the Rahkshi and Toa Nuva sneakers that had been produced in 2003 to promote the brand. And then I remembered this scene from Disney’s Hercules. And THEN, I discovered that there had been a Takanuva version of the sneakers, in addition to the Tahu/Gali/Lewa ones I remembered… and that was just too perfect an opportunity for me to pass up.


^- "Chronicler, heed us! We step now through the gates of doom."

The Toa prepare to enter the ominous heart of Mangaia to confront the master of destruction himself.

(And yes, I cheated and photoshopped the background, because I didn't have a red pen for the glow from the entrance, and the scene just didn't capture that ominous feel without the colour!)


^- Captive in the Nui-Rama hive, a pair of Le-Matoran attempt a desperate crawl for freedom. However, with a lightning bug watching their progress, it's unlikely they'll get very far...


I am... not altogether sure how I managed, in thirty-one drawings from the Mata Nui arc, to not focus on the Turaga beyond a background appearance on day 1. I just didn't think of them, I guess; my focus was just on whatever seemed to work for any given prompt... as well as making sure that each of the 'main fifteen' Matoran characters, the ones with bios on Bionicle.com in 2002/2003, got featured at least once.

And, um. Yes. My style was not very finalised during this. As you can tell, I kind of went back and forth on how expressive I made the masks, and, well... Matoran and Toa have hair. Which... yes, is weird. I'm not honestly sure why, quite, the idea came about, only that it crept into my style years back, when I was doodling Bionicle characters all the time as a teen, and I kinda liked it so - when I wasn't going for complete set-realism - I kept it around. It makes these otherwise very alien beings just a little more human-like, I feel, and that's something I like when I depict them.

As you can tell, I went back to MNOG, the comics and (occassionally) the movies for reference; but I tried very hard not to copy directly, instead taking elements and changing around camera angles, poses, etc. to make them more 'my own work'.

There are, I must admit, some of these that I like the result of A LOT better than others... but I hope you enjoy seeing the biggest output of Bionicle work that I've produced in many years!

Edited by That Matoran with a Vahi
Filesizes for a few images were too big; adjusting them to fall within the rules.
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  • Upvote 4


"New legends awake, but old lessons must be remembered.
For that is the way
of the BIONICLE."

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I love these! How awesome!

And you know what they say, 
When you draw a bonkle a day,
It keeps the fandom from wasting away. 

But seriously, great work! You should definitely be proud. Dynamic scenes, and the shading/crosshatching stuff is so well done! I quite enjoy your style, especially how the expressions all turned out. I'll have to go take a look at nickonaquamagna's stuff again, I do know it's high caliber. The Rahi also stood out, very MNOG-esque. Personally I like the entry with Pewku and Takua (#25, I think?) I'd love to see more of your stuff around! (edit: wait do you have your deviantart link or something?) 

Edited by Aderia
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(disclaimer: none of this banner art is original, I just smooshed it together in gimp. Torchic, Matau)
Those pesky firespitters... 
Library | The Sculptors and the Smelters | The Ternion Review Topic 

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I gotta say, I never knew I needed a drawing of a Rahkshi wearing Takanuva shoes until today.

Very well done! A lot of those gave me quite the chuckle :happy:

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Formerly Iron_Man5


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These are incredible! I love how you came up with so many unique directions to take these characters, and how you managed to fit them into the prompts so well. I also appreciate the humorous takes scattered throughout—I'll admit I had a good chuckle at "Shoes." Very, very well done!

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Lots of fun looking through these. You can feel the emotion in Ominous. The choice to do a red edit really deepens the experience.

I also really like the concept of old Metru Nui tech washed up or buried for Mata Nui residents to discover. Radio. Nice.

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Congratulations on completing Inktober! The artworks themselves are also really nice - I love how expressive the characters are, and that you have so much variation in terms of motives, perspective and concepts.

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 My art collection topic - updated! (11/03/2021)

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