Chapter 6 Part 2: Original Character Ponies
(Please note that any images used in this post are by the artists listed. They are placeholders and I hope to have art expressly drawn for this book to replace these images. If you are interested in submitting something, please see this post.)
SPOILER WARNING! THIS CHAPTER CONTAINS CONTENT THAT IS IN THE SERIES.
IF YOU DON’T WANT TO BE SPOILED, WATCH THE SERIES NOW!
(continued from Chapter 6: The Background Characters of MLP:FIM)
As yesterday’s post shows, fans take their characters seriously. With this base of characters in mind, we are then brought to an even larger and more diverse beast:
Original Pony Characters
As the name implies, this is not only naming a pony, but creating your own original design. This includes coloring, body shape, hair style, type of pony (unicorn, pegasus, earth pony), personality, history, etc.. This is where the potential of My Little Ponies hits infinity. Characters can be any combination of so many ideas, and some Bronies even give their ponies features like dragon claws or butterfly wings, just to add more complexity to the mix.
This ability to create your own personal pony is a large part of the reason that many Bronies love the fandom. This gives them a personal link, an identity, a sense of self within the fantasy realm of the My Little Pony Universe. They are a part of it. Not all bronies have a character, and some have not developed theirs to the extent that others do. Still, many Bronies are proud of their character, and it is often a topic of conversation when Bronies meet. To some Bronies, learning about a Brony’s character can be nearly as important as meeting the human behind it. Thus, it is considered one telltale sign that you’re a Brony.
Riftwing’s Fan Projects: Original Character
Creating a pony character is often a true sign that one is a brony, and I am no outlier. In this section, I will show you how I created my original character, also called a ‘ponysona’ or simply an OC. In my past internet dealings, I created a character named Riftwing. I actually retired him from one roleplaying website that I frequented, and instead of making yet another online alias, I decided to recycle it into the Ponyverse.
Let’s start with the basics of making your own pony:
I chose Pegasus because I personally think it would be great fun to fly. I don’t really want my pony to do magic, and earth ponies are fine, but I do like being able to do a bit more than staying firmly on the ground.
Riftwing is actually a male, and has often been a dragon steward or changeling. I made this character female firstly because gender-bending in ponies seems a little less acceptable, and also because I’ve become more comfortable with being called Rift in real life, so it’s not a strictly male name in my mind any more.
Now that I have the basics of my character, I can play around with color. There are some great pony generator applications out there that I have literally whiled away hours making ponies on. A very popular pony creator on Deviant Art is by General Zoi. There is also a Pony generator now on Facebook. After a lot of experimentation on that Zoi’s creator, I whittled my choice of pony base colors down to blue or green. I personally like blue better. Thus, blue pony!
Now that I had my blue pony, and I gave her a darker shade of blue hair, with an electric stripe glowing through it. What about the hair style for both mane and tail? I have short, spiky hair, so I reflected that in my OC. Once upon a time, I had long hair, and the thing I miss most is the feeling of the wind running through my hair. To make up for that in my pony, I gave her a flowing tail that would be buffeted about when she flew through the sky.
That being done, the eye color was easy. I have green and brown eyes, but I have a thing for gold, so I made them gold instead. Then a few tweaks to her expression, length of legs, size of body, and accessories (leather bracelets!) and I had my pony on DeviantArt.
But just having a pony’s not enough – she was still a blank flank! This is where the real creativity comes in. What was my talent? I did a lot of soul searching and by the end of my third week I had my cutie mark narrowed down to a quill (which is a tattoo I have to remind me of my writing) or mushrooms (because I just love to eat mushrooms and they are so cute!). My enthusiasm and my tastebuds said ‘go with the mushroom’, so I did. The problem was, there are a lot of kinds of mushrooms I could draw as a cutie mark. If this were the official cartoon, it would be a simple generic mushroom, but I am too fancy for that and instead made a medley of tasty mushrooms to put onto my pony’s flank.
With this finally decided, I had the basics of my character: I knew what she looked like. But I didn’t know much about her, other than that she would probably share a lot of my personality traits. To fill in her history, we’ll have to wait until the next chapter, which will deal with the realm of imagination and fan creativity within My Little Pony.
In the meantime, why don’t you give it a try?
Posted on February 13, 2012, in Chapters and tagged Brony, characters, FIM, Friendship is Magic, Ingram, MLP, MLP: FIM, music, My Little Pony, OC, Pony, Riftwing. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.