Hoooly hell, when did I hit 15,000 watchers? Oh my gooooosh, you guys know how to make a lady feel special. XD While I have been busy with Steven Universe art, I do eventually plan to get back to the Pandoraverse...in the meantime, in honor of all you lovely peep's feedback and support, let's have a look back at how the Pandoraverse developed! (Lots of my old crummy art will be shown here, with commentary by yours truly) Thanks again! Buckle up guys, it's gonna be a long ride
My First MLP art thingies (fail, fail, fail)
Behold, my first attempts at digitally drawn ponies, way back in 2011. Drink in that god-awful anatomy. Gaze upon Rainbow's broken wings and wonky boneless hooves and oh god how was there a point in my life where i considered this good oh god
Old cover art for a comic project I never started...Nox: The Return of Sombra. In the story, we learn Sombra was Luna's old student, and she resurrects him from his horn fragment, in the hope of turning him back to good. The story would have been comedy/drama, with Sombra trying to adjust to de-evilization training under the watch of Twilight and Pinkie Pie (Luna locked a magical collar around his neck that disabled his magic and zaps him whenever he has malevolent intentions). Never got around to writing the script properly
Developing the Pandoraverse Cast (trial and error)
Pandora herself had the most boring conception out of all the nextgen cast, I believe. I just doodled a Twilight/Discord what-if baby in my notebook in class one day, then went home and colored it. The Pandoraverse wouldn't have come to exist if you guys hadn't been so interested in her, prompting me to make the askblog (which doesn't really answer asks anymore haha). Fun facts about dear old Panny:
-She originally had pigtails, and her name was originally Havoc (urgh why)
-Her personality was pretty mary-sue back then, in that she was good and kind, but the mean ponies just didn't understand her, baaaaaw. Also she would sometimes unknowingly shapeshift into a giant, evil, destructive version of herself, and would have eventually grown up to be the malevolent goddess of destruction and mayhem, to Twilight's and Discord's dismay...really glad I didn't go with this
-Since Discord has a beard, I considered giving adult Pandora a glorious mustache. She would have kinda looked like a schnauzer dog, like Tramp of Lady and the Tramp. Honestly I kinda regret not giving her that fab mustache. Maybe she conjures it for herself when she feels extra fancy
Cupcake was made entirely to be Pandora's best friend and character foil. She was not originally a NextGen, just an OC, and despite the character similarities, was actually created some time before the "Maud Pie" episode aired. Her hair, bow, colors, and personality were originally a straight homage to the character Big Patty, of Hey Arnold!
Old color palette test...toldja she wasn't originally Pinkie's daughter. Geez I was pretty bad at choosing harmonious color palettes back then. In the lower righthand corner, you can see a Cupcake that very closely resembled the character that inspired her, Big Patty.
My, my, that's an icky color palette. Also, too Fluttershy-y. Way to go, me. A little more color fiddling gave us this:
The deadpan Earth pony as we know her today. In the end, I chose colors and a personality that would work well with Pandora's...interesting, as Cupcake, the sidekick character, ended up my very favorite in the cast. Fun facts about Cuppy:
-Originally, back when Pan was totes mary sue and the story was underdeveloped as fuck, Cupcake had an enormous crush on Pan that Pandora was incredibly oblivious to. This is why she agreed to be Pan's minion...I later switched it around so that Pan was the one with the big crush, and Cupcake the oblivious one.
-In canon, Pandora calls Cupcake "muffinbutt" when they start dating...Cupcake isn't a fan of this
-I designed a set of triplet baby sisters for Cupcake that I've never revealed...I'm not sure if they will ever become canon. I mean I do think Cheese and Pinkie would have a lot of kids, but still...
Aerostorm, Ember, and Misty:
Stormy's design was the result of late night semi-drunk doodling...What if Rainbow Dash had a totally chill kid? Wa-la, Stormy was made.
His name was originally Stormfront, which I later changed when I found out it was the name of a neo-nazi hate group (Oh god, bullet dodged, thank you google). Then it was Sandstorm, "Sandy" for short...but his colors were pretty uninteresting, so I threw in more rainbow. I do miss that sandy blonde mane tho
I chose Ember and Misty's names from a list of older generation pony names. Ember's name was originally Firefly, from the old G1 pony. Rainbow Dash's color palette lends itself to lots of color variety when designing nextgen kids for her, but ultimately I went with a fire/water motif. With Stormy, Ember and Misty form an element trio, Water, Fire, and Air. For shits n' giggles I thought about giving Stormy an Earth pony little brother to represent "Earth", but scrapped the idea (tho I do still like the idea of Rainbow Dash having to accept giving birth to an flightless Earth pony)
Bruce was originally made to be an antagonist to Pandora, a bully, a bad boy, a rival, and yet another character foil. He felt flat, in that regard...but thanks to feedback from you all, Bruce developed into his own character, and went from being a two-dimensional bully to a mostly harmless tsundere dork jerk. Fun facts about Bruce:
-His full name (yes, he has one) is Bruce Carcharodon... as in the scientific name for the Great White Shark, Carcharodon carcharias. The name "Bruce" is a reference to the name of the animatronic shark of the film Jaws. Bruce grows up to be a marine biologist that studies sharks. This character has a shark motif could you tell
-Bruce was originally a pretentious artist batpony named Mako that had a weird stalker-ish crush on Pan
-Bruce is not a NextGen, he's an OC. His parents are here: His household was one of neglect and alcoholism, poor Brucie
For the life of me, I don't know why I borrowed Hasbro's official character Skyla to use as a NextGen, rather than design my own. Oh, well. It took a long time to develop Skyla's color palette and personality to where I wanted it to be. Like many of the cast, she's a character foil to Pandora, but has her own identity and issues (mostly conflict over being a princess and desiring to become an alicorn)
Old, rejected color palette test. Too pink, I think. Fun facts about Skyla:
-She's been working her tail off to ascend to alicorndom and doesn't understand why Celestia won't grant it to her already dang it
-Pandora used to call her "La-la" when she was a wee draconequus cubbie that couldn't talk very well yet
-Skyla is penpals with Artemis and friends with Magnolia May. She also has a yet unrevealed crush on somepony in the Pandoraverse cast.
Dropped Story Arc-Identity of Oddball's Father:
Hey, so remember that sad Pandoraverse future timeline where everyone was dead and Discord transferred his lifespan to Pan, so she became the new goddess of chaos? I eventually scrapped this plot for being too needlessly bleak, but here's some old stuff on it:
It took place 1000 years in the future of MLP, and the only companionship Pandora had was her son, Oddball...who's father I never revealed, and who I eventually retconned into being a Pandora/Cupcake child born in the main timeline (yay for happier ending) But until the retcon, I considered multiple ideas for Odd's father:
A dragon prince of a faraway land, a sweet, somewhat socially awkward fellow Pan would have befriended in childhood and fallen in love with a few centuries later, and then they would have had Oddball. I believe his name was Prince Light, or Lightning, idk. He was a sweetheart but eventually got scrapped
An eccentric Earth Pony sorcerer who would have gotten in over his head befriending the then thousand year old goddess Pandora. I believe I settled on the name "Felix" for him...before ultimately scrapping him
-Annnnd Bruce! I considered Bruce being Oddball's father. Ultimately decided against it. Retconned Odd into being a Pandora/Cupcake kid, scrapped the 1000 year future storyline, and never loooked back
Miscellaneous Pandoraverse Art
Leftover art extras. Let's see:
Tested out a design for my concept of Discord's deceased mother, Demeter. Not sure if I'll use her in canon
Moondancer/Peanut Butter Sandwich is a ship I considered, but have since scrapped since I retooled Moondancer's personality and backstory (which you'll eventually get to see, promise)
Bruce/Cupcake what-if shipping babbu, Fishcake. She is smol and deadpan and glorious, Bruce/Cupcake is my fav guilty pleasure ship
Somewhat oldish, semi-outdated concept art for Artemis
Not really Pandoraverse art, just silly old NextGen Highschool animu art of the bae, kilala97 . Original lineart by Pikokko
And we've reached the end, dear watchers. Again, I'd like to thank you all (all 15,000 of ya!) for giving me so much wonderful feedback and support, and making this the best art-making year of my life. Here's to more art in the future! Love you guys!