2021 is gone! Wow! The years are just passing on by. I will say right off the get go that this year, while still plenty of amazing art and artists, it isn't as varied in terms of what I commissioned. A lot of the artwork consisted of 'themes' and since this year is the introduction of my Miqo'te, A'rlen Sirushi.... yeah I didn't explore as much! But there are still plenty of goodies and I'll be going over those themes as the post goes on but in the mean time, just like always, here are my criteria for what 'makes' a commission within my top 10/honorary.
Accuracy: Since I commission a myriad of different artists (and have been since I started), it's more than safe to say that the various styles will alter the measurement of accuracy. A certain character, let's just say Elsa, will not look the same from artist to artist and that's just the fact of commissions and/or fan arts. Take that same idea with Elsa: as long as one can look at the drawing and SAY it's Elsa, most of her features are present and said character is recognizable and the style is satisfying and complimenting to the Disney Queen (or insert whatever character we are looking at here), then accuracy is there.
Price Tag: This is also a pretty subjective area since the different caliber of artists charges differently, and that is understandable. But it definitely does play a BIG factor in a Commission's status, whether it be good or bad. Expensive does not always equal HIGHER quality after all.
Time: Another factor that is also subjective. Time is money, yes, but something that took some time to do but produced some jaw-dropping artwork will definitely be considered to be on the top ten. On the other side of the coin, if something took more than a few weeks and the result is something I enjoy but nothing grand (and I paid good money for it), then it's going to have a hard time getting no my top favorite.
Client and Customer Experience: This may not have anything to do with the quality of the art and/or the caliber of the artist but I am a big fan of customer service and being treated like someone who is giving good money to get something done is important. Almost all of the artists I have worked with are professional so this hasn't been an issue with me. But there have been some artists who took a step above just to ensure my experience was great. They spend the time to communicate for clarification and for the sake of following up. The experience also becomes more satisfying if the artist just spends the time to show appreciation for the business I am giving him/her.
Personal Preference: Now obviously this plays a big part. When it comes to commissioning, there are a lot of areas that personal preference can play a big part in my decision such as the character/s that are drawn, what kind of scenario, what is the theme (pin up, just awesome fanart, fetish... etc), and the meaning behind the commission. While it's hard NOT to put this as the forefront of my decision, I'm going to say right now that it's a huge reason as to why some of these drawings made it to the top ten and beat the others. Just saying.
2020 was awesome! Let's see how 2021 stacks up, right? Well, let's get into it then!
This is an unusual part of this. Unusual but appreciated and well deserved! They aren't commissions, therefore I can't place them on the list as such, but they are fantastic addition to my gallery and, again, a very well appreciated gesture from friends of mine from the DiD community.
Destro is a good friend. We've both been in the same shenanigans within the DiD community for some time now! So having his rendering talent join the fray of Arlen's Crusade was a no-brainer! The target was Supergirl since I liked the model he chose and the renders of said model, he made Arlen in his image, we got a picture and a theme going and then at the end when it was PayPal time, he said it was a kind gift (I do need to finish a particular story--if I ever write again). That was unexpected and HIGHLY appreciated. Thanks Des! Here's to 2022! And in hopes we have another collaboration!
FourPieces (ArlenxKaga and Arlen's Crusade contribution)
If I put down every thing Fours' has done for me in terms of kinky art, I'd be here all day! As it is, he continues to add to this and I don't see him stopping any time soon. He has an OC named Kaga who makes frequent appearances on the blog and then there's the addition he has given within Arlen's Crusade (so far two, but knowing him, he'll probably add another). Not to mention there are one-offs he does for me and other DiD content creators which are particularly awesome. He's definitely one of the gems within the community that don't usually get the attention he deserves. Seriously, man, thank you!
Echo is a good friend of mine who has been with me and my #Frozen_Skyrim endeavors since almost the beginning. I adore her and when she surprises me with things like this, I can't express how much I appreciate it! Here's to hoping to see more art from her! More Skyrim! More Frozen! More Serana!
Once again it was hard to take these artwork from the list. Every year I get fantastic art and taking some off the 'list' is something I don't take joy into doing. So as usual, this little spot are for those who hold a special moment/s for me and I would like to take note of them.
Honorable Mention: Arlen's Crusade (Miyuri Gozen)
This art is awesome, there's no doubt about that. Miyuri (Hojo's OC) is definitely one of the better examples of a #DiD OC in DeviantArt that isn't trying to be 'anything' but what the genre propose of her but still great. Ekkinowa definitely did his dues, but the one thing I will say about this experience is that I got to work with an upcoming artist and got the chance to interact with someone who is starting on humble grounds but definitely will rise one day to the playing field of legends and monsters. As of right now, Ekki is still in my line up and most likely will add his dues for 2022!
Honorable Mention: Arlen's Crusade (Lathiira)
3D art didn't make it a lot on my Commissioning gallery (though I got gifts from good friends of mine, so thank you!). But when it comes to Lathiira's moment with Arlen, 3D is a good spot and Ropelover definitely stepped up to bat. I do love the copious amount of rope keeping this lovely elf hostage--also, Arlen capturing the wrong gal may be a common occurrence in this series. Lathiira was also quite generous by donating some funds to this endeavor. I appreciate it quite a bit.
Honorable Mention: Arlen's Crusade
Well, this was supposed to be the commission that kickstarted the entire 'Arlen's Crusade' but as with commissioning, things don't always go as chronologically planned. Still, when Banagher got this out, it's exactly what I wanted and then some! This is the inspiration that really started it out though (in thought) so this definitely deserves a spot! Banagher definitely treated Arlen right again!
::MVP Artist of 2021::
So what's not to say about this ever-so-talented artist? I started working with her back in #2020 and it was a joy then as it was this year. She offers a bundle that is unique to her, which makes hiring Llyth even more satisfying. I certainly have made use of her commission sketch which garnered some great moments both in the sketch and fully finished colored versions.
And the most amazing thing is that when you let her know the characters she's drawing and set her free with some of the sketches, the art comes out amazing. While I adore every piece she creates, the ones where she draws based on her knowledge of the characters commissioned are the ones I really adore. Also helps that she and I have gotten to know each other a bit and she's grown accustomed to most characters I adore and what I tend to commission--she also adores my Miqo'te, so there's that!
As I mentioned, Llyth is someone I have gotten to know through the year and she's a fun bunch to just chat with. She's a fantastic friend and she sees her clients beyond the PayPal notification and that's great. So naturally, for me, 2021 surely highlights Llyth's amazing talent and amazing way she treats those who commission her. She hits every points that I look for to make my commissioning experience a great one. Thanks, Llyth! And here's to an awesome 2022! I got a list for you! =P
::Top 10 Commissions of 2021::
Every year I have to do the arduous task of figuring out which makes it to the list. It's never easy and at times I feel "bad" that the others that I adore and the artist put some love and labor doesn't make this list--but ya know, that's how the world works. Once again, a disclaimer in regards to the ones that didn't make it here. I love those too but there are some artwork that just sticks out. So without further adieu, here's the list!
It's funny how this will be the only one that isn't #DiD based on this list. At any rate, this one is also quite new but it's definitely fitting for the arrival of Endwalker. Pappillion carried this one quite well. Looks pretty epic and grim for the two. But it's A'rlen and Y'shtola. They'll make it through! Love the colors, the positions are what I had in mind, and all in all... it's just well done!
An ongoing series I had that concluded this year, the 13 Nights was definitely successful and it produced some sexy things! Wildcard and I were able to get the talent of Ganassa too so the result wad definitely worth it! Lightning and Fran were going to be a weird clothes swap right off the get-go but the result is quite stimulating. Also, Ganassa took some liberty with this and it turned out amazing. Love this one for sure!
Another one from the "13 Nights" series! This time we have PerilChaser who drew Lightning and Celes in their uncomfortable and humiliating night in Wallmarket. First time working with Peril and I would like it to be not the last time. I adore the result and it definitely fulfilled what Wildcard and I were going for when it comes to this night for Celes and Lightning. The added background of the 'shadows' of the patrons was a nice touch! All Peril's suggestion.
Arlen had to do it. You all knew that. Kaitlin's Front Page needed a few editing to make it the best #DiD moment it can be and one of those said edit is Kaitlin needing a GAG! And look! Arlen made that possible--also giving the Trooper a nice pink duct tape. Much thanks to McBound for this who always has a knack for making it to my list because of the magic and care he puts into his art. If I get the opportunity for 2022, chances are he'll make it again.
This commission is unique in the sense that it is the first "group-built" commission from mine and FourPieces' Discord Group (DiD Content Creator Clubhouse). While it was (will) be generally funded by me, the group definitely put their thoughts and opinions on this via voting. I think it worked out fine and I will be more than happy to have something like this again! Also, JustSomeGuy DiD amazing with Chun Li and accommodating for Arlen's mouthy self. Another one added to the crusade!
ANDDDD another one for Arlen's Crusade! This time around it's going to be one of my Vixens, Jessica Drew, the Spider-Woman. Alex is the amazing artist for this one and one would be shocked that it's not Jess' classic red and yellow for this one. Well, Alex already drew (and did it well last year--which also made the list) and I wanted to make Arlen's Crusade antics showcase some of my Vixens' less than mainstream duds. I like that look, mind you, and so did Arlen. And as always, Alex's style just delivers the feel that I wanted out of my commission from him.
Oh look! A commission that is part of a 'series'. This time around, we give the lovely Y'shtola a spotlight! With Orange delivering a hard hitting line up last year, it's no surprise that this year he still hits it off with a goodie. And considering that this was the year I jumped into FFXIV, it's only right that I finally give Y'shtola some attention, eh? She may not be Vixen material (yet), but she sure is getting the love from Rikku and Terra! Again, Orange's work just does some sexy things in an already sexy idea!
3.) Onyx & Elsa
As the MVP of this year, Llyth was bound to get one on the list (or two?). With that said, I love this commission. Despite me not even touching Frozen Skyrim as much, I do still adore Onyx and Elsa getting together for a spell or two. After Llyth drew Onyx in her usual style, I knew I wanted a Frozen Skyrim version and this was the result. (Hesitant) Romance, DiD, comedy, and then action-like, this particular piece is just amazing. It just showcases Llyth's talent--heck, all my commissions from Llyth definitely shows the artist's talent.
If it's not Arlen's Crusade or 13 Nights, it's A'rlen Sirushi and needless to say, with this commission, Alex hits it off with another one. With 2020 being a FFXIV love turnaround for me, the Cutest WoL in the First and the Source getting commission attention is a no-brainer. Hiring Alex to draw my Miqo was written in the stars. AND having Yotsuyu being the antagonist in this DiD commission was also a match-made in heaven (hell) so lo' and behold, the result is jaw dropping! As usual, Alex came with variant sketches and since I wanted a ball-gag and stocking gag variant.... I picked two and the endgame was, needless to say, worthy of this spot!
Duh. Llythium would be on the top spot for this year. There were a couple to choose from in regards to Llyth's line up with me this year. Could have been easily the A'rlen Sirushi one or the Frozen Skyrim (#3 in this line up), but how could I NOT make A'rlenxH'naka the number one? Aside from the fact that at this point Llyth knows H'naka, she has gotten to draw A'rlen twice already and also get familiarize herself with the cutest WoL from The First and the Source (and she does like A'rlen so much! Don't let Llyth say otherwise). Again, the fun 'intimate' moments with all of the two Miqo's personality, the DiDs, the action, and the fun bonus Minions in DiD--this was just a recipe for success. I thank you, Llyth for being awesome, and I thank ChristieKins for letting me commission her adorable H'naka!
2021 is another successful year I say. And as much as I want to say that I plan on slowing down for 2022, I know that's not really going to happen; at least not in the sense of 'slowing down' dramatically. I know I have things lined up already! Just a matter of getting the artists and/or have the commission get on its first few steps. But come what may, I do want to continue to build the gallery, continue to have Arlen do her Crusade, the Victorious Vixens tell their (mis)adventures, and of course, grace the eyes of the world wide web with the Cutest WoL in the First and the Source. Also knowing my friends, I'm sure I'll be getting more donations throughout these coming days! With all that said, what a fantastic year for commissions!
Until Next Time!