Good afternoon, adventurers, and welcome to the first day of Judge Appreciation Week! Since there’s no Blogger Blitz match this week, we’re going to take each day to show some appreciation to the amazing judges who help make this event possible. I’m going in the order that they volunteered to participate, so first up is a judge that is very special to me: my wife, Destiny!
This appreciation post will be a bit odd simply because, unlike the other judges, Destiny doesn’t have a blog for me to encourage you to check out. Officially speaking, she represents Adventure Rules among the judges, but none of the posts on the site are posts written by her. Posts inspired by her experiences, sure. Posts that would have never happened if not for something she encouraged me to do, definitely. But no content she actually wrote that I can say “hey, you should go appreciate who this person is BEYOND their role as a judge in this competition.”
That gets an extra layer of complicated because of my personal relationship with Destiny. I could talk about how we met, what she’s like in real life, all that stuff, and I know some folks would eat that kind of content up. But I don’t want her to JUST be my wife, you know? Destiny is her own person beyond the life we have together, beyond her influence upon me as a writer. And the best way to demonstrate that is to focus on the content that she creates: art.
I’ve been enjoying Destiny’s art for a few years now, and it’s been cool to watch her grow and to see people really appreciate what she’s able to do. I knew before we were dating that she was good at drawing and painting – I didn’t know just how good until our first Christmas together. For perspective, Destiny and I had only been dating for a month when our first Christmas rolled around. Neither of us had any idea what to do when it came to Christmas gifts. Expensive gifts were WAY too forward, but something cheap and easy like a stuffed animal or whatever also didn’t appeal to us. So we both defaulted to something we thought could potentially be touching without also being overboard: our art.
I wrote Destiny a short story while Destiny created for me a couple pieces of art. My favorite television show is Avatar: The Last Airbender, and it is one of Destiny’s favorites as well, so she felt it was a pretty obvious choice for my present. She made two pieces. The first was a painting depicting the symbols of each element on a solid background. The second was sketch of my favorite character, Zuko, and she made sure to choose my favorite design from my favorite season on the show. They both turned out great and when we got married and moved in together, they were featured prominently in our living room. You can check out the Zuko picture on her Instagram page.
That was the first time I really got an idea of Destiny’s skill, and I loved getting her drawing and painting as a gift. I’ve requested art from her a few more times since then. She’s done a silhouette of my favorite villain from The Legend of Korra, Zaheer, with the quote that inspired him to unlock his true potential as an airbender. She’s done multiple characters from The Legend of Zelda for me, specifically my two favorite villains from the series: Skull Kid and Ghirahim. I love both of these pictures but I think Skull Kid turned out particularly well!
Of course, I’m not the only person who has gotten art from Destiny as a gift. Our other friends enjoyed her work and so when birthdays or other special events rolled around she’d sometimes break out the pens and pencils and put a few things together. One of our favorites that came out of that was this piece of Jake the Dog and Bender the Robot that a friend of ours requested – when she posted the picture on Twitter, John DiMaggio (the voice actor for both characters) saw and liked the tweet!
A lot of the Pokemon Destiny has drawn were originally drawn as gifts. She’s drawn my favorite Pokemon, Growlithe, as well as the full evolutionary line of another friend’s favorite Pokemon, Cyndaquil. She’s also done the full Eeveelotion line, a project which took a lot of energy but turned out really well. I’ll post Eevee here on the post, and for the others I’ll link her Instagram so you can check them out as well as her other stuff: Flareon, Jolteon, Vaporeon, Umbreon, Espeon, Leafeon, Glaceon, Sylveon.
It may seem at this point that Destiny only draws for other people, but that’s not the case at all. She loves what she does and whether she’s drawing as a gift, a commission, or just as a way to relax, she works as hard as she can on each piece. One way in which she engages in art just for the fun of it is InkTober, an event where folks do a drawing in ink every day in the month of October. She participated for the first time in 2015 and enjoyed it enough to jump in again in 2016.
What was cool about Destiny’s InkTober last year is that she did the daily prompts for each day, but put a video game twist on them. Thirty days of video game drawings was certainly challenging, but she managed quite well even with some of the more obscure prompts. She’ll be doing InkTober again this year, so you absolutely want to follow her on Instagram to see what she comes up with (disclaimer: may or may not be game related).
That’s all the appreciation I have for today, adventurers! I owe Destiny a huge thanks for helping Blogger Blitz to happen, and if you have been enjoying this event then you should thank her by checking out her content. We’ve got four more judges to appreciate this week, so be sure to come back this time tomorrow to say thanks to the next one down the line!