Art Progress

MoShang Week Recap

Last week was rough for a lot of reasons, but Moshang saved me from the worst of it.

Moshang, for those who haven’t fallen into the Endless Abyss of MXTX fandom, is the ship name for two secondary characters from Mo Xiang Tong Xiu’s Scum Villain Self Saving System. SVSSS is a story about a transmigrator who dies and falls into a web novel he’s been hate-reading… and lands in the role of the scum villain who is doomed to be stuffed into a pickle jar by the demon lord protagonist he abused as a disciple. But instead, he ends up bending the protagonist and… it’s a whole thing.

Shang Qinghua is the author of the original novel, who transmigrated into a much-abused canon fodder character. Mobei-Jun is an emotionally-reserved ice demon and the second-in-command of the demon lord protagonist. He’s the wish-fulfillment fantasy that the author wrote into his SUPER STRAIGHT stallion novel. Mobei-Jun is also the character who kills Shang Qinghua in the original, but things work out better for the author than for the original Shang Qinghua.

Anyways, my original plan was to write a short (1k-ish) standalone fic each day for each of the prompts. Except when have I ever managed to write short and simple? Instead, I ended up writing a fic incorporating all the prompts in a meta-narrative mystery story that was honestly more ambitious than even my outline suggested. I stumbled at the end and still have to post the last two chapters — I just wasn’t feeling peppy enough to write reunion papapa.

However, I also decided to use this as a way to practice my drawing and play around with the paint tools of the program I’ve been using. It turned out to be good practice for a bunch of reasons — drawing the same characters everyday gave me chances to refine how I was depicting them. I played a bit with styles — even tried out drawing chibis one day — and changed up skin tones, hair styles, clothing, and various shading techniques.

I also realized that when I’m starting to get really down and just doomscrolling, popping out my wacom pad and drawing really helps jar me out of that mindset. It’s something I can sink into in a way that I sometimes struggle with when I’m writing. On the final afternoon of Moshang week, I was starting to spiral into a pretty bad place, but doing my day 7 art helped knock me out of it. So… yay for art therapy.

Anyways, if you want to check out SVSSS, the donghua has started airing and can be watched (with subtitles) on youtube. Sadly, Moshang doesn’t appear until the Endless Abyss arc, which I think will probably be the end of the first ‘season’, going by the clips from the credits. You do get to hear Shen Qingqiu curse out the author a few times. Any time he refrences ‘Plane in the Sky’ (which should be Airplane Shooting Towards the Sky — the author’s pen-name — but I can see why they shortened it), that’s him cursing out the stupid author of the story he’s stuck in.

The weird meta-fic I wrote is “Extra! Extra!” Last two chapters will be going up in the next day or two.

Here’s the art I made over the week:

And these are the pose reference photos I used (I tried using the in-tool pose designer for the sleeping beauty drawing, and I didn’t use anything for the chibis):

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