I legit got emotional while making this.
In light of the new year, I've decided to look back on where on earth I've come from and, God willing, ahead to where I'm going. I'll expand on each design, but don't feel obligated to read it unless you're bored or curious or you just really need procrastination material and Tumblr's down or whatever.
It has to be said that I've had a 'fursona' since I was very very young. I started out as a bird (scarlet macaw, actually) when I was around 5 or 6 (because I had a great obsession with flying and winged things), and gradually added animals to my repertoire. By the time I was in elementary school I knew my favorites, but decided to become a shape-shifter as to avoid having to choose. The more I drew, the more I 'shifted', but I gravitated more and more towards wolves as the years went on. I never stopped drawing the myriads of animals I used to (and now I draw people too!), but it because clear my main face was meant to be lupine.
And thus, Maui was born. The name was adopted when I was around 7 or so, but her first actual documented design (that DIDN'T look like a Balto clone) appeared in my high school sketch books in 2007, when the serious refinement and development began.
Not the best year, mind. Although lots of good things happened as well. I was often depressed and alone, having elected to take IB level classes, and not having my friends in said classes, I didn't have much support. I was also recovering from a nasty break up that resulted because <content removed>. Ergo, when Maui (as was my name back then) was illustrated, she was somber, downtrodden, and always gray. She was a timber wolf, as I prefered simple designs, her colors ranged from the 5 different shades of grays found in the communal high school Prisma Color tin, and she always wore the Celtic Trinity Knot necklace (mirroring a necklace I actually owned a wore literally everyday of my childhood). The bangs first appeared in this design cos this is the year that I cut my own hair to have actual bangs for the first time in my life (a look that has stuck with me).
Recovering from depression, self harm, <content removed>, and a bout of anorexia, my life changed a bit. I think this is the year I decided to get 'well'. I had been shipped off to church camp the summer previous and it actually was kinda great. I became a Christian that year, and something in that experience told me to be happy with the fact that I was a freak. So Maui was basically thrown in the blender and emerged with, what I think, is the first signs of red in her coat. Still a timber wolf, mind, but I used the 'raw burnt umber' prisma quite a bit in her main fur, so over the span of my junior and senior years, she gradually became redder and redder. I didn't see an issue with this (as red was my FAVORITE childhood color), but with hindsight, MAN do her other markings looks horrid! I wanted to show off that I didn't care that I was 'ugly' (in my mind, I was), and so I believe this explains the random skunky look. I also had an obsession with the Black Blood Alliance during this phase, so I wanted more 'dramatic' markings, like Kay's characters sported.
In 2009, Kitsch was mated to Argent (also his fursona wasn't fully created by this point, very loose designs, but I'm not about to disclose real identities here so bare with me), and we've been stuck together ever since. See? Actually is high skool sweethearts c: Maui's markings came and went throughout this time, as both he and I sketched her (and our plethora of other characters), but the eyepatches, bangs, and light underbelly triumphed through all revisions.
For sometime around my senior year (2010) Mythril became a more promonate OC, and he appeared next to Maui in many of my drawings as her 'guide' and friend (cos I didn't have many). I tried doing a side comic called "Maui and Mythril" which yes, later turned into Anarchy & Onion Rings (the comic I currently write for school/portfolio). In said comic, Mythril refers to Maui as "Kid", and somehow that nickname was slurred and blurred until...
[Kitsch] is a style of mass-produced art or design using popular or cultured icons. Also referred to as "tacky". The term "kitsch" is generally reserved for unsubstantial or gaudy works or decoration, or works that are calculated to have popular appeal. The concept of kitsch is applied to artwork that was a response to the 19th-century art with aesthetics that convey exaggerated sentimentality, nostalgia, and melodrama, hence, kitsch art is closely associated with sentimental art.
Well it fit so I kept it. Thus explaining the name change.
2011 Was the year I died. When I managed to draw, Kitsch was ghost-like with no color. This was the best I could come up with to represent her at this time <content permanently removed>. 2012 Was a bit better. I began to pick myself up from the ashes of the year before and move on, but not with so few snags and gags. Abusive roommates and cyber bullying midway through this design stunted Kitsch's full development, but it was around this time that I finally decided on Red Wolf (canis lupus rufus) as this Texas-native mutt-breed of wolf is the best canid representation of myself, and have stuck with that until this day. Her design was quite simple at this point; just a basic over coat with darker ears and tail tip. I did concoct the more 'husky' markings for her fur during this phase, a choice I was quite happy with and still keep to an extent.
Isn't it odd this was the design that caused all the drama?
2013 Ah, this is where you came in, isn't it? Yes, this is the Kitsch you all know. That offensive red coat was reigned in, and the bandana from my high school days (and current days, but now only when I work out) made a triumphant appearance in my illustrative world. I was famous in a way for wearing a large range of colorful bandanas to marching band practice (and whilst I do my runs) to keep my (real) bangs out of my eyes. If I were to have and accessory in the furry world- this was it. And gold is my favorite color c: Kitsch's personality came out more in these designs, and I began to nail down my 'style' more via her expressions. The bangs were connected to more spiking hair running down her back, and the eye patches and belly color were unified for simplicity. 2014 As I move into the new year, I want to test some lighter colors on Kitsch (it fits my personality more) and return to that 'double color' layers of undercoats. We shall see how it goes!
And the rest, as they say, is history.
If you made it all the way through this, go buy yourself some ice cream, you bamf reader, you. I hope it was at least entertaining on some level (or better than homework ha). For those who did read- thank you for taking the time to humor me and get to know me better. You fugging rock no matter what anyone says.
Please enjoy! And happy New Years!<3
And this is what my life is about: I might have been gone, but I never walked out.