2022 later, right? It was definitely a busy year when it comes to this hobby of mine. I'm not going to sit here and try and compare which year was more fruitful, 2021 or this year--all I know is that I definitely had a LOT of gold. Just like every year, I have to mention that it's hard for me to pick and choose who makes the list and who doesn't. I really appreciate all artists and their hard work. This isn't a shade thrown at one or anything like that. But as usual, there are always those that stand out and I have to really point them out. So here are the of the factors I put to make this list.
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 that 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 at the forefront of my decision, I'm going to say right now that it's a huge reason why some of these drawings made it to the top ten and beat the others. Just saying.
For sure 2021 was another year to gawk at but 2022 has its own weight to push. With all the intro said, let's go ahead and get with the highlights, eh?
::Honorable Mentions (Gifts & Collaboration)::
Last year, this category was divided into two. For this year, I'm going to combine them for the sake of 'saving space', I suppose. It goes without saying that I appreciate any commissioner that spends their time and money giving me a gift and/or collaborating with me. Thank you, to all of you and the artists!
FourPieces (Arlen's Crusade & ArlenxKaga)
With ArlenxKaga 8, "Test", and Arlen's Crusade (MJ & Emily) just a small sample of what my good friend is generous enough to share, it's no wonder I appreciate him a great deal! I am absolutely astonished that he doesn't get as much support from the DiD community since he does a lot of good compared to many of the popular Deviants--humble, generous, talented, and just overall a good person to be around. Again, much thanks, Fours, for your continuous support of the DiD community!
A pixelized Arlen Sirushi was something I never even thought about but a good friend of mine and fellow collaborator, Shadow, thought it would be a good idea and I am very well thankful and pleased! Nothing else to say other than I adore this! Definitely, a good opening for me to start going the pixel route!
There was a surge of Kaitlin Star this year. And with a fellow Deviant, SaltyTrog, taking a keen interest in her thanks to my past commissions, I was fortunate to have been gifted this wonderful commission from a DiD artist who is making quite a name for themselves--said artist is none other than PGRatedSlasher. I love this for sure! Having been gifted this for Christmas, I couldn't complain!
While Arlen is usually on her own when it comes to her Crusade, there are those who wish to see her succeed. Lathiira, a deviant, and long-time friend was also another generous soul funding my OC's shenanigans. Fully funded this amazing art after hiring DaFuq, I couldn't be more grateful. The result is a beauty!
Collaborations are also quite welcome and they do add to the ever-growing Crusade of Arlen Sirushi. No surprise that she visits the realm of #FFXIV with her shenanigans! Also helps that one of Hoshino's muses within that world is the cutie Mikoto! His OC Faye also joins the Crusade because, hey, the more the merrier! And at least they get to be in bed together!
Honorable Mention: Mining Her Own Business
JustSomeGuy remains to be one of the most unique artists I have ever worked with in terms of how he does his commissions. Not going to hate on it because I got the chance to put the Cutest WoL in some serious peril! I do (am going to work with the guy again for sure! I love what he DiD with my Miqo!
Honorable Mention: Arlen's Crusade (NoHime, Yotsuyu, & Madam M)
OrangeBoy and I didn't work quite as much in 2022. Mostly because his interest in some of the characters I pitched wasn't his style, and that's fine; can't always be the spoiled Comm'er, eh? But the one beautiful commission I DiD get from him for 2022 is something to really admire. I mean, three eastern strong-figure-femme-fatale under Arlen's control, and the latter celebrating the damsel's duress... yeah this is gold for sure!
::MVP Artist of 2022::
I met Lunara through my Twitter shenanigans. Right off the get-go, that's already a pretty unique encounter there since the majority of the artists I work with are from DeviantArt. Then going beyond being one of my favorite artists to work with, Lunara and I gained a rapport that mirrors a lot of my friendships online thanks to Discord. Let me tell you, communicating commissions through a chat system rather than a note system is so much easier. Not to mention, there are more chances for conversations that go beyond how-to-pose and correcting sketches.
I collaborated with Lunara for my ongoing project, Arlen's Crusade. In this department, she added multiple Damsels to Arlen's long list (Mona, Tigra, and Ysayle just to name the ones above). Though I DiD manage to hire her for some A'rlen Sirushi DiD-ness!
I am VERY excited to work with her in the future! I know for a fact that I will be hiring her again and considering how diligent, fun, and unique of an artist she is, I definitely am excited to see what she brings to my gallery for 2023! Spoiler, might be building a commission for her take on after this post!
::Top 10 Commissions of 2022::
Every year I do this and every year it doesn't get any easier. I definitely do enjoy getting the chance to appreciate every artwork I have commissioned even if I know not every one of them will make it on this 'list'. But let me repeat it as I do every year: I ADORE EVERY ART I FORKED SOME CASH TO. It's just that when it comes to this list, there have to be ten! Be prepared to see some Arlen's Crusade, of course, and the Cutest WoL herself.
10: Fist of Bondage
Definitely needed to give more "love" to A'rlen Sirushi for sure! And since she has a myriad of outits thanks to her job classes (akin to Rikku, mind you), there are plenty to choose from. An artist I came across and enjoy working with, DHxxHL, delivered. The artist definitely took their own spin on the Cutest WoL who is captured and led against her will. Her martial arts skill did not help her this time around it seems.
As part of the long-ongoing commission series, collaborations are inevitable. And while the ArlenxFaye&Mikoto was a collaboration, ArlenxAya was a full on 50/50 work between two comm'ers and the artist, AleX00XXleA. Now, this work had some bumps and it definitely was, at one point, cursed. Alex pulled through, however and the result is quite obvious! Another successful collaboration between two commissioners and a fantastic artist!
Chairs. Bondage. Spider-Woman. And an infallible harmony that remains to be an iconic comic book cover! What do you do when you put another less-than qualified Spider-Woman like Silk? Well, not as great but the way TheBoundArtist pulled it off.... well we got ourselves another perfect addition to Arlen's Crusade! Homage, parody, and pure bondage fun!
The Cutest WoL sure gets herself into plenty of troubles, doesn't she? Surely Y'shtola and the rest of the Scions are getting tired of pulling her out of her troubles...hey, at least A'rlen is a very capable Eikon-Slayer when she's not getting kidnapped. Drawn by the amazing LordTabaqui, I am more than enthused that I got the chance to work with the artist once more! Love every bit of this, for sure!
6: "YOU DIED"
PapillionStudios seems to have the knack of making the list and usually that has everything to do with the fact that I hire them for Non-DiD commissions that stands out with both the theme and their style to pull it off. An Elden Ring inspired commission that brings us back to Frozen Skyrim.
An artist well known for their fine taste--I couldn't have chosen a better artist in the DiD community to cross Sailor Mars off the list on Arlen's Crusade. Sleepy is a well-known artist and his penchant for giving the Senshis attention is something I have always appreciated! Rei Hino, at one point, wasn't my favorite, but as I grew into my own, I realized that she's definitely on my top five favorite Senshi. Needless to say, she needed some attention, and the Crusade was perfect--and Sleepy was the perfect artist! Love how this turned out!
As I mentioned, Kaitlin Star got a boost in attention tail-end of 2022 and most likely will carry over throughout 2023. Also came to my attention that I have yet to hire Thunk to draw her so we remedied that real fast. And while Thunk was for sure gonna deliver, he DiD something out of his norm and took more deviation from the reference and really put a good spin to it. Definitely capturing Ms. Star's finer angles. She appreciates it, for sure!
Well, Arlen's Crusade was big this year. And with the Victorious Vixens inevitably joining (Spider-Woman, Terra, Elsa), Rikku was bound to join and this is her entry. Llyth was, of course, responsible for this. There's nothing more to say than it's definitely a beautiful commission and just like the rest of the VixenxCrusade mash up, it's putting one of my main gals in a not-so-usual outfit. Nevertheless, it's still Rikku in distress under Arlen Sirushi's care!
The Crusade continues to take the list as Y'shtola joins the crusade! Of course, it's not consensual, but that's okay. This is another commission that is different from the usual. Albyeee is from twitter, the commission is a 2-part comic panel pic, it's also finished in 2-parts with the second page fully colored and realized before the first one was. Regardless of where and how it went about, the end result is amazing. Albyeee definitely charges high caliber price but what you get is worth the pennies! Definitely adore this one, for sure!
Arlen's Crusade came strong during 2022. Naturally so since I pushed it fervently and put it on the forefront when I spoke to artists. Though I was not shy to also touch base on the other Sirushi: The Cutest WoL of the First and the Source, of course. Ever since I saw the "Newfound Adventure" promotional art, I wanted to get A'rlen in that idea and, of course, there was only one person that was going to do that: Lythium-Art. And let me tell you, she did magic--her usual talent shining and the fact that she knows my Miqo'te, combine that with the fact that she REALLY worked her butt off to make sure it got done by Christmas. Truly a wonderful final product. One that I appreciate far more than I can really express through written words.
Not much else to say about 2022 other than it was another successful year when it comes to this part of my hobby. Generous folks who gifted and collaborated, fantastic artists who were kind enough to lend me their talent and work ethic for my hard earned cash, and overall, just a fruitful year! As far as 2023 goes, well I do have plenty in mind and definitely some remnants of 2022 will carry over. I'm pretty excited. With that said though, very thankful for this year! And may 2023 be as giving as this year! And for all of you who continued to support me, may you all have a happy New Years!
Until next Time!