I've been re-working some old characters. Trying to make them look more individual. One way I like to do this is to look at the person I would choose to have as their voice and incorporating some of the traits of that person. In this case, I could think of no other voice with the depth, wisdom and soul required to give Taiossu some sound: Morgan Freeman.
I drew a generic picture of Taiossu, studied Morgan Freeman for a few minutes, then went back to the original picture and tweaked him a little. It's most noticeable in his age, eyes, texture and posture.
Art technique-wise ... I'm starting to backslide a bit, but that's actually a good thing. I've been telling myself that I would "grow out" of that outline thing. But why? I like it! It's true that I cannot call my work "painting" by most standards if I keep it, nor can it be a "drawing" with the type of color I'm using. But you know what ... screw it. I have a style that is neither one thing or another as well. Maybe I'll just do my own thing and do what I like and hope others are smart enough to get it.
Am I happy with this? You bet. It's where I think I should be right now.
What background? This is supposed to look like a photo that would go with the interview below.
*** Optional character interview reading***
Taiossuís interview with People of the ASS magazine:
What's your name?
Taioussu Doraian Suricasti. Here, Iíll break that down for you: Tay-oss-oo Doh-rye-an Soo-ree-kas-ti.
Does your name mean anything in your language?
I was the eldest of 63 siblings, and I imagine it was, for my parents, as it was for me with my children. A name was picked that sounded pleasing and didnít mean anything unpleasant Ö well, thatís the story behind the first name. ďDoraianĒ denotes the region of Hassan where I was born. In this case, Doraian Province. ďSuricastiĒ is the title I take by being a part of the Suricasti tribe. Interesting side-note, I mated into the Suricasti tribe. It used to be Mekoro. It doesnít have any higher or translatable meaning than that.
Who is the love of your life, or have you found this person yet?
I have. My wife, Siearra. Unfortunately, she died about three years ago. I still consider myself married. I probably always will. We were together for a very long time and we had many amazing children together, though the Jinnar idea of family is a bit different. She was the one constant in my life when so much had changed. I still think she is the most beautiful woman Iíve ever met. I am positive I will never meet her equal, and I miss her more than I can say. Excuse me for a moment.
*returns after a few minutes*
Explain this power or ability or yours.
I have the ability to draw in energy from an outside force and redirect it through myself as I see fit to use it. There are hundreds of ways to do it depending on what you are trying to do. This is not an uncommon ability. In the TETH-SIM system and in their parent race, Terrians, itís about as common as 1/5. Usually this ability, pet-named Syphoning eons ago and the name stuck, isnít worth more than making someone a little stronger or faster or able to manipulate small to moderately large objects. People with an average talent are normally classified between levels one and ten. The classification numbers indicate an exponential increase in power. So when I say I am a level 435, you understand that I am far above average in that regard. Then there is the matter of energy source. That is as varied as there are energies, substances and elements in the universe. In some cases it can be very limiting and a Syphon with a high output rank can be held back by a source that is not readily available. I am what has been unofficially termed a Planar Syphon. That means I can use energy so long as it is taken from another plane. So not only is my output rank very high, but my source is always available and immeasurable. I am currently ranked as the second most powerful Syphon recorded and living. No. Wait. Third since Janus was revived. But itís still damned impressive if you ask me.
The media have accused you of being anti-social. What do you have to say about that?
What kind of a question is that? Iím actually quite friendly and approachable. Iím not out and about much and I do not attend many social functions. That is true. Partially because I am a busy man. My job takes up a lot of time. Itís also because I work behind the scenes. This is not my empire. I didnít build it and I do not run it. I shouldnít be the public face of things. I suppose itís also true that I am a very private individual. But I really donít think thatís any indication of being anti-social. Iím talking to you now arenít I? Itís easy to mistake quiet and anti-social, but it really is an important distinction to make. Approach me calmly and respectfully when I am not working and I will be more than happy to talk to you.
They say a man knows nothing about himself until heís been in a fight. How would you do? Would you learn anything?
There are only two people in the galaxy who can really start shit with me, Abraham Ėwho I helped to raise as a child and trained myself, and Janus Ėwho finds me too amusing. There is not another person in the galaxy who would be able to lay a finger on me if I didnít wish them to. I have never been in the kind of fight I think youíre talking about Ėa brawl or a fistfight, I guess. Iíve never had the need. If I were ever to get into that kind of a fight Ö wait a minute. No. I have. I, in a rare moment of violence, beat the crap out of the man who kept me as a slave for 20 years. And I did learn something. I learned that kind of violence was beneath me. I could have thought of a better way.
Youíve mentioned your wife. I am sorry for your loss, by the way. What about the rest of your family?
In terms of genetics, I had 92 children. Donít look so shocked. The Jinnar have litters, for lack of a better term, and my children were born over a span of at least 500 years. I recently lost 22 of them in a natural disaster on Hassan (our home planet), so I am down to 70 Ö which is still a lot, I know. I still feel the loss of those who died, though. My eldest son, Kimbe, is now the leader of what is left of my species and in charge of the plans to relocate to Jinnar Station. He lost his spouse in the disaster. But he did just take a baby boy into his care. Named him Dare after the man he lost. Hmm. That name will look like something else in print. Itís pronounced Dar-ee. Non-genetic family includes Abraham Planestrider, and to a lesser extent Ghi-Sun and Lodis Malak. Iíd like to think the Emperor and his family look at me as a tall fuzzy uncle as well. I can hope.
Do you have any pets?
I had a Ö um Ö closest translation Ö Striped Keg Beetle for a time. That was a long time ago though. I am free to play with the Imperial pets, Binty and Kimboko, whenever I like and I find thatís enough for me.
Is there anything you canít stand?
Hairdryers. Something about all that air coming at my face is very uncomfortable. Iíve not seen it for myself, but Iíve been told I make all sorts of faces when one is aimed at me. Iím not afraid of them, of course. They just Ö bother me, okay?
What about something you love?
I like the way rain makes things smell. What. You thought this pink nose was just for show? Itís not. My sense of smell is 20 times as good as a humanís. Iím not saying that to be elitist or anything. Itís a biological fact. But anyway Ö the water just seems to sharpen things for me. As though it brings it all into focus. Everything is sweeter and greater and brighter. I could stand out on my balcony after a good rain and just smell things for hours.
Do you have any activities/hobbies that you like to do?
I prefer to keep busy with work. There is a lot of it. And if I donít have something to do, then something can be found. That makes me sound really boring, doesnít it. Crap. Maybe I should go get a hobby.
What animal do you most closely resemble?
Oh this should be fun! The humans I know have been telling me what kinds of animals I look like or what my specific parts resemble for over 200 years. So letís see. Face like a big cat Ö usually lion or mountain lion, only flatter. What some have described as ďpeople eyesĒ Ö found that a little insulting, but understandable. Ears like a rabbit, only mine lay down and cannot stand up. Tail that looks more like a kangaroo tail but is prehensile like a monkey. The hair of a blond Gabírien Ö thatís Kayís people Ö but not as long, obviously. If I had 14í of hair Iíd never get anything done! Oh dear. You know Ö if youíve not seen what I look like, then I must sound like some horrible chimera. I think Iíll just stop there. So, to answer your question Ö I donít know. I suppose I am simply a Jinnar.
What do you think is your greatest flaw?
Iíve been very over-sensitive about my species lately. Usually, I can blow off the stares and questions that come with being the only Jinnar in the Empire. After all, no one means any offense. I do look very different and people taking a second glance at me is only natural. But it was when I realized Iíd been in the service of Emperor and Empire for 250 years that it started to get old. The fact that I am here and I am this species should be a given now. My status and reputation should precede me. I am originally from the TETH-SIM system where the Jinnar are not exactly common, but they are a known species. The well-traveled have been to Hassan and seen where we live. Itís been like that for thousands of years. Itís amazing what people think is appropriate! Iíve had strangers try to pet me like Iím an animal, Iíve been offered treats Ö like Iím going to do a trick or something. Itís ludicrous! Just because Iím Ö fuzzy and have a tail Ö it doesnít mean Iím a pet or that I am any less intelligent. On the contrary, I am one of the wisest and best educated people in the Galaxy. And Iím not just saying that. I came to the Empire because what I know could help the Emperor and his people, not because I wanted to attach myself to something greater than myself and be elevated by it. The Jinnar are not stupid. None of us are. Weíve been through our technological renaissance and had the foresight to realize we were better off without it. Weíre not savages or pre-technological. Weíre past that. So next time youíre using your data pad and typing messages to someone on the other side of the world and do not know the name of the person next door Ö you think about that. As a human, are you really all that better and more advanced?
Ö See what I mean?
Is there anyone in your life who has inspired you?
Oh certainly. My father was the person who taught me the morals and values I have brought with me and into the lives of others. Hopefully for the better. My wife, who was blessed and cursed with an illness and an incurable wanderlust. She was the reason I left Hassan in the first place. If she couldnít go to the wonders of the universe, then I would bring them to her. It was something I was unsure of at first, and my first venture to another planet landed me in slavery Ö but it was worth it. And, of course, Abraham. When I have felt the most hopelessness about the state of things, either within myself or without, I remember the sight of that green comet and I know things canít be so bad. In many ways, he is like a son to me. I did help raise him and I was his teacher. So when I see only the bad in myself I can remember that I was one of the people who have assisted and inspired him. Anyone who has done that canít be all bad, right?
Youíve been with the Emperor for a long time. You were there before he was married and had children. What do you make of the changes in his life?
These changes and decisions are not mine to judge, for one. His Eminence is free to do as he wishes without fear of any judgment from me and does not need to ask for my approval. Of course I observe what goes on in his household, that goes without saying. Sometimes he and I do not agree on things. But in this case I approve completely. Our Empress is an amazing woman who compliments him in so many ways. Quite frankly, I find outside speculation distasteful. Horrible things have been said about her that are unfair, unbelievable, and unconscionable. I hold her in the highest regard and have enjoyed every conversation Iíve had with her. And as for the children Ö honestly, who can criticize children? I adore all four of them! They are smart, polite, imaginative and all-out adorable. And just to head off the next question? No. The Emperor has not made any plans for succession. The boys are only three! And if he did have plans, he is not obliged to share them with me and I would never share them with the press, no matter how reputable.
Do you get a lot of personal messages from people within the Empire?
Surprisingly, yes. Though Iím not sure how I feel about it some of the time. There are some who contact me for scientific purposes and want to know more about my species or abilities. Then there are some who are simply curious. I try to answer as many of these personally as I can, but there are no promises. Work first, after all. And then there are those who have Ėhow to put this delicately- inappropriate interests. I wish, for the sake of my sanity, I had never learned there were alien fetishists and people who consider this being a *ahem* fan of mine. Iíve seen some of the art and read the stories. I wish I hadnít. I just donít get it. How can someone claim to be a fan of me and who I am and then turn around and represent me speaking, behaving and looking as I do not? I just donít understand it. Iím flattered they like me, but I would rather they like me as I am and not try to *shudders* improve things according to their preference or fetish. I am not theirs to re-imagine or ďimproveĒ. I wonder if they know, or care, that the Slee-Sha donít reproduce or show affection that way, now that I think of it. Back to your question, though. Yes, I do. I am glad to get some of it and mortified by the rest. Seriously Ö why send that crap to me? I really should have someone filter my mail.
What frightens you the most?
You mean besides the perversions of my *cough-cough* fans? Soul Syphons scare me the most. The ability to remove a soul from a body and twist it into a grotesque and senseless form is Ö well Ö those who havenít seen it should count themselves lucky. Itís pure horror on so many levels. Itís been a very long time since Iíve seen those effects in person, saw the soul ripped from someone I loved and had to kill the horribly mangled body that was left. Nothing I have ever done hurt me more. I still have nightmares.
What is all that in your hair?
Oh, all this? *pulls all of his hair around so he can see it better* A part of the Jinnar culture is the collection of small objects that hold meaning. Generally we like to weave these things into our hair. Iíve toned it back to make myself look more presentable here in the Empire. One day I may not wear anything in it at all. Someday perhaps. But for now, I keep these things here because they are important to me. This one was something my wife kept in her hair, this one is from Abraham. The only one that is not metal is this woven band here. It was made for me personally by Sha-Eris. I think itís the most expensive thing I own. Not sure I could ever give up all of them.
Can you see in the dark?
Nnn Ö a little. Some. Enough, I suppose. I donít get lost on the way to the bathroom, if thatís what youíre asking.
You say your tail is prehensile?
*picks up his coffee mug with his tail, puts it in his hand, takes a drink and puts it back* It is.
Is that weird for you at all?
Of course not! Iíve had this thing all my life. Iím sorry you donít have one.
Do you dress differently now than you did before coming to the Empire?
Well, the basics are still there. Pants, top, shoes, understuffs Ö all that. The cut and color are different. And I certainly wasnít wearing the emblem of the Empire before. Just the Jinnar Unwinding Path Ö this *pulls out medallion in the shape of a spiral with a green stone in the middle*. I find it appropriate to wear long sleeves now and then, when I never used to Ö itís uncomfortable against my fur you see. The shoes are shinier now. But itís not so bad, really. I think I look all right. The Empress was a clothing designer before she married, and she made certain I got something that suited me.
Tell us about your religion.
I could write a book about it. But the short story is that we believe in that every living thing has a spirit, that all living things are united by a over-soul, that weíd do well to honor all spirits by respecting them and that each spirit is given a path to walk and we will be reborn until we have learned all there is to learn and walk the path correctly from beginning to end. Hm. That sounds incredibly simple when I put it like that. I assure you, thereís a bit more to it than that. Whatís religion without complications and grey areas, right?
Do you live in the palace, or do you have a home of your own?
The simple answer is ďbothĒ. I have a room in the palace, but I also have a home in the city. I donít really have a preference. Sometimes itís more convenient to stay in the palace overnight and sometimes I just need to get away if only for a few hours. I spend most of my decorating energies on the house just because there is more room. When I sleep at the palace, itís usually because I just want to crash and donít have a lot of time and energy to spend on the walls. Itís comfortable enough for me to feel at home, though.
You have many titles. What are some that the people of the Empire may not know?
Many of my titles from the TETH-SIM system arenít on record here, so that seems like a good place to start. On Jinnar I am known as the Father Mzimi, Mwendu, Mtwana Ö there are a lot of them and most start with ďmĒ. I never noticed that before. The Slee-Sha call me the Father Planestrider. On Isep I am formally addressed as Trusted One. In a larger sense, the whole system has honored me with the title of Great Teacher. That one is my favorite. I may have made a name for myself in the Empire, but I donít think any of them will ever be as precious to me. Most are sterile words that sit funny on my tongue, but thatís the culture here and I would never dream of changing it. It might be offensive to the chain of command for people here to address me as Great Teacher and I have no wish to offend or forget my place, so donít call me that unless weíre outside of Empire territory.
Do you have many close friends?
I donít have a friend who is not close. I try not to. Perhaps itís a failing of mine, or perhaps Iím just careful Ö or maybe too trusting. In truth, I donít have a large circle of friends. Just a dozen or so people who I would trust with my life and who would be able to trust me with theirs. They are some of the finest people in the galaxy, so I must be doing something right.
If you could be anywhere right now, where would you be?
I think itís more important to make something of wherever you are. So it may be a bit of a cop-out answer, but I would like most to be precisely where I am right now.
Do you travel much, for work or for recreation?
Itís odd. My wife was my reason for traveling and I thought Iíd stop when she died. I didnít. I really will look for any excuse to go somewhere new. Itís as if her wanderlust was passed on to me. Iíve been looking for an excuse to get out to Terria or to visit the AíCheis Ö but that wasnít the question. Sometimes work keeps me tied to the same place for longer than is comfortable. The upside is that if I really want to go somewhere, I can usually find a good reason. I think the Emperor is wise to my motives and he doesnít appear to mind. I can do my job from anywhere Ö well, almost anywhere. Yes. I do travel. As often as I can.
Before you came to work for the Emperor, you were employed by Sha-Eris of Isep. What happened? Why did you leave, and do you have plans to leave the Empire?
I was. Youíre correct. Nothing happened. Nothing dramatic or violent, if thatís your aim. I had simply done all I wanted to do in that position Ėone I held for 300 years. His Radiance Sha-Eris is still one of my closest friends. I wouldnít have traded my time with him for anything and I treasure the memories made in his service. He and I rarely argued and he respected me and valued my input. I am still honored as a Grand Ally on that planet, which is a title awarded to precious few. The only reason I left was because I was bored and the Empire had been found through the Great Gate. There was more to explore and more to see. More wonders to bring home to my wife. I will remain with the Empire until there is another similar opportunity. I always have my eye out for my next chapter in life. Horizons have recently expanded again, and Iíll admit to being curious about whatís out there. If I need, Iíll move on. If not, then Iíll stay. But, on the off-chance I *do* leave, it will not be because I am in any way at odds with Emperor or Empire. If I were at odds with either, I would stay until things were resolved. I do not like to leave anger behind me. As of right now, however, Iím not planning to leave.
What would you, as an alien citizen living in a place with a vast human majority, have to say to the people of the Empire?
Ooh! Good one! Letís see. From anywhere outside of the Empire, you are the aliens. We are all strange to one another. The AíCheis do not see themselves as tall colorful alien creatures. They see you as short, pinkish alien creatures. The Slee-Sha think itís strange that you canít live without an air supply underwater and like to reproduce. The Isepians are amazed at how pale you are. The Terrians think of you as a very young species. The Dythinians are just as suspicious of you as you are of them. Wegonians are afraid you are going to make them slaves as other races have done. The Shemenari think you are as awful as you think they are. The Jinnar are taking you in stride and do not view either you or themselves as superior Ö just really hairless with very small ears and lacking these very helpful tails. Iíve not had the opportunity to speak to an Elgant yet.
We live in such an exciting time and it would be a shame to approach it as if humans and the Empire are the normal ones. We, and I can say that because I am a citizen, are not the only advanced civilization out there. Weíre not the whole, we are just a part. And we should be proud of our part while understanding that the others have just as much right to be proud of theirs. Introduce yourselves! Ask questions! And donít be upset when other species do the same. Weíre all curious and cautious about one another. I thank that applies to a lot more than getting to know another species. So keep it in mind.
Just Ö please donít hug an Isepian you donít know. It weirds them out.
He sounds like a very neat person. I am curious about the objects in his hair, I don't suppose you have a picture on dA where you can see them?
I like his answer for the last question, it shows how much variation there is in the species of your universe and a little of how they identify themselves. All of Taiossu's answers show his personality, and I'm sure he would have a lot of stories since he has travelled so much.
these are simply my
opinions and are not
meant to imply that
you should agree or
disagree nor should
these prove to be
offensive in any
way; if I do come
then you have my
Sorry, I can't
believe it's been so
long since I've done
this "orzEdit: I
forgot, but my
friend here's having
it's about your
with your favourite
food. It can be your
own character or
FIRSTLY: thank you
so much for all your
kind birthday wishes
and little gifts!
:hug: you made me
:heart:I hope this
small feature can
bring a smile to
your faces, too
:)enjoy and make
sure to fave some of
this great pieces!
;)and now we move on
to the first part of
Guess what guys! I'm
reopening my stores
(Etsy and Storenvy)
and commissions, I
can finally announce
that I'm getting
married and I need
to save as much as
possible for the big
day, July 27th.
before anyone asks,
the wedding is not
been planning it for
a long time...
would like to
address something I
have been seeing as
of late here and on
other sites. Artists
who are asking if
commission them if
they were to offer
commissions and if
so, how much should
they charge or how
much are they
willing to pay?
`anmari has been spreading her infectious positivity throughout our community for over 6 years. Throughout this time Ana has been at the core of all things devious, passionately developing an eclectic gallery, helping organise devmeets, participating in chat events and also recently completed dedicating her time as a Community Volunteer. We are absolutely delighted to bestow the Deviousness Award for May 2013 to `anmari, congratulations! Read More