Greetings Bronies Australia. Apologies for the hiatus, but I’m finally here with another new issue of Great Southern Swag. Today’s artist is Crimson Mane, and I had the pleasure of speaking with her earlier.
Spoiler: Interview with Crimson Mane
[Nova]: Thank you so much Crimson Mane for taking part in this interview and for allowing me to write about your work.
[CM]: You’re welcome!
Thankyou for having me, I really appreciate the support.
[Nova]:You’ve been on DeviantArt since February 14th 2004 with 566 Deviations and 2,285 watchers. Very impressive, indeed. You’re facebook page says that Crimson Mane Creations was established since October 17th in 1982. Could you please tell us about your experience regarding your creative career?
[CM]: I did indeed start on DeviantART in 2004, which seems so long ago now! I’d always loved drawing so it seemed like the perfect website to me, to upload my work and interact with other artists and fans of animation. Finally, a place where I could talk to people who liked the same stuff as me! But over the years I’ve fallen out of love with the place and have moved on. Now I am mostly active on my Facebook page, Instagram and Etsy. I’ve been active on those sites for about 2 – 3 years (not sure why it says my business was established on October 17th in 1982 as that’s my date of birth – I will have to look into that!) My experience so far has been wonderful, but not without its challenges. I started by simply doing commission work but in such an oversaturated marketplace like dA it’s really hard to get noticed, so I moved to a field that was not so crowded but still in demand. It was expensive and stressful, but paid off in the end.
[Nova]: How has the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic impacted on you as a fan, and also as an illustrator and designer?
[CM]: I discovered My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic a little later than most, which was just before season 3 started. I tuned in to see what all the fuss was about and ended up binge watching the entire first season. Having been a HUGE fan of MLP gen 1 as a child I wasn’t too sure about the style at first, but soon enough I was entertained by the plot with its diverse characters and artistically inspired by the style. I’ve always been a fan of cute things, bright colours, fantasy and horses… so the show definitely appealed to me and still does!
[Nova]: Who in your opinion is Best Pony?
[CM]: Fluttershy, but Luna is pretty close.
[Nova]: So apart from ponies, you also have a particular fondness for Corgis. When and how did you fall in love with them, and could you also tell us about how you met your pet, MissJiff?
[CM]: Oh yes, when I’m not fawning over ponies I am usually wandering around Youtube watching corgi videos and I have no regrets! I fell in love with the breed about 4 years ago. My partner and I had our hearts set on getting a puppy and I’d always thought corgis to be cute, so I researched them further and fell in love. I contacted several breeders and eventually found a litter of cardigan corgis, and one of the puppies was MissJiff. We took her home and she’s been our beloved furbaby ever since. She’s nice company during the day as I work from home, and doesn’t complain or make much noise. She just likes to be with me and vice versa.
[Nova]: Could you please tell us about your 3D printing services, cookie cutter designs and glass engraving?
[CM]: My 3D printing services mostly consist of cookie cutters and custom designs. People often approach me wanting their business logo or a certain character made into a cookie cutter, which I always enjoy doing. My favourite customers are MLP fans (always the nicest!) who ask me to make their OC ponies into cookie cutters. My prices vary depending if you can supply the artwork or if you need me to draw it for you, but it’s always fun and I love seeing how creative some people can be with their designs. I can also print entire OC ponies in any pose, and I’ve had some fun painting the “design a pony” range into fun things like my own OC/mascot and Batpony. I also make party cannons that really work, and they’ve always been popular at conventions.
The glass engravings are my own designs and are usually hand engraved with a rotary tool, but I have started doing a lot of simpler designs by sand blasting. I find it gives a smoother finish but I still need to do some work by hand for the more intricate designs. I have a lot of MLP designs that haven’t been uploaded to my page yet so keep an eye out for them, and I can also take custom orders.
On top of all that I also draw/design pop culture themed artwork and print them onto t-shirts. Another service I offer is commission artwork which I can also print onto a t-shirt for you.
[Nova]: Do you have any tips for aspiring artists, illustrators and designers?
[CM]: I would say just have fun and be yourself. If you enjoy your work it will show and being an artist is something that you need to enjoy. You need to stand out from the crowd, so make your work unique. If somebody tells you they love your style, treasure that as one of the best compliments you can ever have. Being unique and having your own style is a true asset. Don’t be afraid to try new things and keep practicing and experimenting. Artists should never stop learning.
[Nova]: Thank you so much Crimson Mane, for taking part in this interview.
[CM]: Very welcome! Thankyou for having me. /)
Let’s take a look at some of Crimson Mane's work:
Mane 6 Cutters
It is an established fact that ponies are cute, and some would even go so far as to say that they could just eat them right up. Now you can! Here we have Crimson Mane's designs of cookie cutters for each of the mane six and they're colour coded too. Although each of the girls are quite easily discernible in their cookie cutter representations, the colour coding is a well considered feature, just in case a cookie chef hasn't the time to organise the rest of their horde of adorable cookie cutters. One can imagine it to be very helpful when fumbling over utensils with a very real case of butter fingers.
Speaking of butter, the characters and corresponding colours of the Mane 6 Cutters could give ideas for ingredients used for different cookie recipes. Apple and Oats for Applejack, Marshmallow for Rarity, Banana Chocolate Chip for Fluttershy, Skittles for Rainbow Dash, Strawberry for Pinkie Pie and Magical Popping Candy for Twilight perhaps. Each of the mane six are depicted in a fashion which is accurate to how they are depicted in the show, both in terms of the art style and their poses effectively encapsulating their character.
Sweet Apple Acres Cider Glasses
If the Apple family business ever decides to go big and export their famous cider, this would be a convincing example of what their branding would look like. The design on these glasses effectively allude to the rich history of Sweet Apple Acres and the Apple family tradition. Of course this is literally inscribed as the logo's text, but the inclusion of a scroll or ribbon as a surface for the text gives a historical and nostalgic feel. A ribbon could be interpreted as a sign of success through a prize-winning product, and a scroll could act as a symbol of experience and stability over a long period of time. In addition the use of a scroll on imagery can be traced back to medieval times with heraldry, where family legacy is also of great importance.
A hint of the landscape is also featured on the design as it is important as a reinforcement of the notion of longstanding tradition. If you're familiar with the history of Ponyville you'd probably aware of the fact that Ponyville was founded by the ancestors of the Apple Family through commerce and farming prospects. By including a depiction of Sweet Apple Acres, not only does the consumer get an idea of where the ingredients are sourced, but a local consumer would piece together the significant relationship between the Apple Family, the product and their town.
Alicorn Princess Glass Set
Now there's an excuse to drink all day from dawn 'til dusk, simply by giving a toast to your favourite pony princesses with these Alicorn Princess Glasses. Alternatively, if it's too hardcore to start celebratory toasts in the morning, i'm sure it would be acceptable to praise the sun with a ceremonial glass of freshly squeezed orange juice instead. Or if the schedule of your beverage consumption is not consistent, perhaps a drink with a loved one using the Cadence design will grant you both truth, goodness and beauty in the rest of your time together.
It is worthy to note that all the Princesses have a slightly bowed head facing in the same direction with both eyes shut. What could possibly cause these princesses to bow to the common folk? Perhaps their humble and peaceful appearance ought to be reflected as it is on the glass. Could it be that this serves as a didactic element in which to remind the consumer to drink with reverence? Or perhaps the Princesses are pleading with us to drink responsibility as they are concerned for our well-being?
If you're interested in Crimson Mane's Cookie Cutters, or are interested in anything else, have a look at herEtsy Store or send her a message on her facebook page.
That's it for this issue of Great Southern Swag. If you know of any underrated Australian Brony artists/ craftspeople or happen to be one yourself, send me a private message and we can arrange to write a future article on your chosen artist!
Want to read reviews on new episodes of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic? Make your way to Riku Reviews.