Another journal entry detailing the thought process behind a commission.
As I've said before in a journal, I like to have a story in mind behind a commission. Not one I'd write, mind you, but I prefer to have something more substantial than "X character tied up/bound/chained in Y." Sometimes, my concept goes past a story behind the image, and also features an exploration of a particular theme or concept.
For today's example, let's take a relatively recent commission I bought from ->
That's the Cloud of Darkness from Final Fantasy 3/Dissidia. Now, being that she's the end boss, she's almost a god/dess (Despite obvious physical features, she technically is without gender.), or at least a primal force of destruction. Tying her to a chair makes even less sense than binding She-Hulk in leather straps.
But beyond the idea of seeing CoD in bondage, this drawing is a thought I've had for a long while. Many ancient evils, dark gods, cosmic horrors, and what-have-you, are often 'sealed away,' awaiting some diabolical villain (or idiot hero) to destroy the seals and unleash them upon the world. (As a friend of mine said in an RP: "Fuckin' ancients never killing a malevolent evil properly. 'Oh no, we can just seal it up and leave cryptic statements to guide future generations, they won't have anything IMPORTANT to do.'")
From this, my first thought is a fetishy interpretation of being 'sealed away.' Of course, most such eldritch abominations tend to resemble demons, giant shadows, or masses of tentacles and non-euclidean geometry, so not all that appealing. (To most people. If there's anything the internet has taught me, it's that anything is a fetish for somebody.) But there are a few exceptions, such as the aforementioned Cloud of Darkness. Indeed, there's a handful of really powerful such beings in Final Fantasy (And some other games. Probably other stories, but I'm mostly familiar with video games) which fit the bill as 'great evil.' It wouldn't make much sense to tie them up with ropes or chains, but you could tie them with powerful arcane bonds. Hence a 'sealed evil,' interpreted in a fetishy nature, like the above. There's quite a bit of fun one could have with the concept of what such ancient seals would look like.
Moving on to the image itself, one reason I chose Sephiroth for this image is that he's a big fan of the Final Fantasy series, and is quite familiar with it, knowing all sorts of little factoids. (Such as how CoD's real name is possibly Famfrit.) This allowed the two of us to collaborate together to put in as many references to Final Fantasy 3 as we could. Obviously, we went with her appearance in that game, rather than her slightly more humanoid look from Dissidia. But beyond that, you note the crystals holding her limbs. Since the Four Elemental Crystals are important plot devices in FF3, it only makes sense that such powerful objects would be used to restrain/seal CoD. Note that each crystal uses a different element to restrain the select limb. The background is mostly a black void, with the exception of pillars with orbs on top. This matches the arena in the Dark World where you fight CoD in the game. Fittingly, the crystals are the Dark World Crystals, as opposed to the Light World ones you spend most of the game locating.
A lot of little details were thrown in, too. Such as the elemental crystals match up to their locations in the final dungeon. (That is, the Dark World Air crystal is in the upper left region, the Dark World Fire is in the upper right, and so fourth.) The runed bands that gag CoD and hold down her yellow tentacle heads are titled with the boss that guards that particular crystal. CoD's gag has Famfrit written on it, fitting the random bit of trivia listed above. (Sadly, I couldn't find any good "Final Fantasy Language," so we had to settle with Tolkien Elven Script.)
A minor note on an artistic choice. I chose to have the view be looking up at CoD, suspended in the air between several pillars. Aside from the making it look like the viewr is a vsitor to the Dark World stumbling upon the Cloud of Darkness's prison and looking up at her, I like how the perspective gives CoD a sense of power, even if heavily bound. Fitting a eldritch force of destruction that seeks to unmake all of reality.