Happy New Year, everybody. Antoni here. As per tradition, I shall be featuring the single pieces of work that I have done throughout this year according to the respective months they were done in. While I was branching out to more ambitious goals as an artist mainly specializing in my Inuyasha AU headcanon known as The Splendid Seven as well as getting myself into more art contests, I was also dealing with a whole bunch of obligations that I needed to fulfill from my university in terms of my last tenure as a Bachelor’s in English and Musicology student, my up and down tenure with my Bachelor’s Thesis to finally obtain my Bachelor’s Degree and my ongoing tenure as a Master’s in American Studies student. Some months saw more significant growth in my hand-drawn content on DeviantArt, while other months saw me increasing more in the amount of written content, requests done by fellow artists, and surveys for the sake of audience feedback but decreasing in hand-drawn content. Nevertheless, I still considered 2022 to be an exciting year to continue challenging myself as an artist and a content creator, and I will make 2023 an exciting year for taking more action to grow my content further as well as continue to challenge myself more often. I do not regret the journey I have had thus far, and I want to continue reaching more ambitious heights. Let us begin this trip down memory lane.
January: Barnyard Line Dancing from the Abyss
This marked the second to the last contest entry I made for BeardedLuckDragon’s :iconBeardedLuckDragon: and Aryaveandyou’s :iconAryaveandyou: All-American Spider Ho-Down contest. As fortune would have it, I was the only one daring enough to submit something because other fellow artists felt uncomfortable with submitting something involving spiders and dark elements. The prompt for this art contest was to have a devil playing the fiddle, a werewolf spider playing the drums, a spider playing the harmonica, a spider the piccolo, a spider playing the trumpet, one Central American in a cowboy hat and cowboy boots, one South American in a straw hat and blue jeans, and one North American in a plaid dress dancing with a bale of hay behind them, and taking place in a barn. Thanks to these ideas surging in my head, the human characters known as Alberto Horacio Julio González from Guatemala, Guatemala-born but Argentina-raised Alfonso Herberto Jaime González, and Consuelo Gloria Margarita Rodriguez y González from Monterrey, Mexico was born as well as my design for Mephistopheles, Belial the Werewolf Spider, and the Three Black Widow Spiders (Alecto, Arachne, and Aglaopheme). It was fun conjuring a story for the three hapless heroes falling under Mephistopheles’s and his spiders’ spell because there is some amusement in making a dire situation all the more exciting. I am also just as happy to keep them in my gallery as my OCs that I would love to share with my fellow artists.
February: Romancing in Paradise Island
Ah, after over four years of being on DeviantArt and spending my tween to early teen years being a RobRae and Zutara partisan, I was free! It was time to draw two of my most beloved OTPs having a moment together! All joking aside, I have been wanting to draw Robin x Raven and Zuko x Katara fan art for the longest time because these were the couples that I held most dear to my heart during my formative years. I always appreciated their moments together when they were placed center stage in their respective shows and respective networks because both couples had a lot in common despite both of them not being endgame pairings and even despite their differences. They were also the most nuanced pairings that had a lot going for them instead of what was seen in canon, but those are going to be discourses for another time. Nevertheless, fanfiction, fanart, and fan-works exist for a reason. I figured that a beach setting for RobRae and Zutara may be overdone because it is usually one of the most romantic spots for couples to engage in the usual sun and surf with some intimacy thrown in the mix. It was also my way of stating that, yes, I did grow up with films such as I Know What You Did Last Summer, plays such as William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and literary works such as Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest which have two couples coexisting in the main story. Furthermore, this was also one piece of work that I turned in for BeardedLuckDragon’s and Aryaveandyou’s Summer 2022 contest, which was the last contest they hosted. The contest was supposed to last until August 2022. However, BeardedLuckDragon cut it short because he had other real-life priorities to deal with, and I respect his decision. At least the best thing about this piece of RobRae and Zutara fan art was that I drew them having a double date at the beach and that I might potentially do a lot more with RobRae and Zutara going out on double dates.
March: Princess Alexandra Sofiya Mikhailova
This was done for yumikurata’s OC contest. I do not always like to get overly political or overly sociological on DeviantArt, but, with the continuous contention involving Ukraine’s oppression under Russia and the world suffering because of Vladimir Putin, it was appropriate to create an original character who symbolizes solidarity and fortitude not only for the people of Ukraine but also for the world. Step forward Princess Alexandra Sofiya Mikhailova who is a Renaissance woman always there for her people in dire times and in joyful times. Princess Alexandra is a beacon of hope and strength for her people in terms of using her medical knowledge to heal their wounds, help out soldiers in preparing for oncoming invasions, and never surrendering to anybody who dares to make her beloved Ukraine fall under the enemies’ clutches. Political duties aside, she is also an accomplished opera singer who specializes in dramatic soprano and mezzo-soprano roles such as Amneris, Brünnhilde, Carmen, Eboli, Elektra, Isolde, Ortrud, Salomé, Turandot, and Venus. She also has a striking fascination for style and fashion thanks to her dress being inspired by Jean-Pierre Ponnelle’s costume design for the character of Aspasia from Mozart’s Mitridate. Her dress also has the Ukrainian national colors as well as the national flowers of the sunflowers. I am really happy that I gave her a lot of attention because she is somebody, I believe, who can empower people to be more than they can be and show solidarity for the oppressed in these continually tough times.
April: Triumphant Champions
This marked the first time when I hosted my hopefully annual 30 Days of InuAya month, and it mostly went well with some of my friends handing in some lovely pieces of work. It is no surprise that Inuyasha x Ayame always had a special place in my heart, mind, and soul ever since I was a young teenager because I found them far more compatible for each other instead of their canon pairings, which I have made very clear that I abhor the most. Anyway, back to this InuAya submission, Inuyasha and Ayame clearly define what being a power couple is all about because of how wonderfully Inuyasha’s magnificent muscles and super strength mesh with Ayame’s furious fists and fleet feet. This is also in full evidence by the martial arts I have assigned to them, with Inuyasha’s being Pankration and Ayame’s being kickboxing with a predominant Taekwondo influence in her moves. Never has there been a day when I believed they would fail at least in my headcanon, for they can overcome any enemy and obstacle with everything they got. I perceive Inuyasha and Ayame as a couple who define strength, power, spicy intimacy, and fierceness considering how beautifully Inuyasha’s mighty muscles perfectly complement Ayame’s lively limbs. They even have the libido to prove their romantic intimacy and fourteen wonderful children consisting of seven muscular sons and seven fierce daughters to prove it.
May: You Don’t Wanna Fly Me to the Moon
I was quite excited to partake in Maddygirl13’s Characters Song Mashup Theme Contest. The song I chose was a mash-up of Homage and Fly Me to the Moon. Which couple to better bring this song to life than my liked pairing in the Inuyasha universe let alone in my Splendid Seven AU headcanon Souta x Kanna. There is no doubt that Kohaku x Rin and Souta x Kanna have always been my OTPs for life ever since I was a young teenager. However, I was also quite interested in the pairing between Souta and Kanna because of how cute they looked together. Given the gi I made both Souta and Rin don, I also made them practice martial arts, specifically Judo, Jujitsu, and Karate, with none other than Sesshoumaru and Inuyasha. The gist of this piece of work is that Souta and Rin did like each other, but they both realized that their relationship was on a first-crush, puppy-love basis. That is how I also felt about Souta and Rin as a couple. They are cute together but function better as very great friends who have each other’s backs.
June: It’s Morphin’ Time! Mighty Morphin Inuranger Style
Ever since re-watching Mighty Morphin Power Rangers from Seasons 1 to 3, I have been dabbling with placing Sesshoumaru, Shuran, Inuyasha, Hakkaku, Ginta, Ayame, and Shunran in the Power Rangers universe. It has been growing with me since March to the point where I have been point-commissioning and requesting fellow DeviantArtists to make the iconic morphing sequence that Tommy Oliver, Zack Taylor then Adam Park, Kimberly Ann Hart, Billy Cranston, Trini Kwan then Aisha Campbell, and Jason Lee Scott then Rocky DeSantos did. I loved all of their interpretations from the bottom of my heart. The next challenge was to recreate the morphing sequence from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, specifically from Season 1, myself. For those of you not in the know, in my Mighty Morphin Inurangers AU headcanon, Sesshoumaru is the White Tigerzord Inuranger version of Tommy Oliver and Jason Lee Scott as the strongest fighter, Shuran is the Green Dragonzord Inuranger version of Tommy Oliver and Rocky DeSantos as the tallest and strongest fighter, Inuyasha is the Red Tyrannosaurus Inuranger version of Jason Lee Scott and Tommy Oliver as the valiant leader, Hakkaku is the Black Mastodon Inuranger version of Zack Taylor and Billy Cranston as the clever and energetic jokester, Ginta is the Blue Triceratops Inuranger version of Billy Cranston and Adam Park as the adorable genius, Ayame is the Yellow Saber-Toothed Tiger version of Trini Kwan and Aisha Campbell as the staunchly supportive mother bear, and Shunran is the Pink Pterodactyl Inuranger version of Kimberly Ann Hart and Katherine Hillard as the fashionable and flexible girly-girl. It took days, loads of concentration, and re-watching sessions of the morphing sequence to master this, and it was absolutely challenging. Nevertheless, the challenge was so fun to complete, and I was ecstatic to have accomplished this. This was an experience I will never forget for the rest of my life.
July: Here Come Sensei Jason and The Black Belt Crew
What happens when you put Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids, Mister T, Chuck Norris and the Karate Kommandos, Jason David Frank’s second Karate instructional video The White Ranger Kata, my Splendid Seven AU headcanon, martial arts action, life lessons to be learned, and the 1990s in a blender? You get my idea of a show that I would have had fond memories of if it were to air on television Sensei Jason and the Black Belt Crew. Sensei Jason, as seen in his attire, was based on Jason David Frank’s karate gi from his second karate instruction video, and I thought it would be a nice garb for him to wear, thus welcoming him as one of my OCs based on him. I also decided to make Sesshoumaru, Shuran, Inuyasha, Hakkaku, Ginta, Ayame, and Shunran a lot younger, as in Sesshoumaru at 15, Shuran at 14, Inuyasha at 14, Hakkaku at 13, Ginta at 13, Ayame at 11, and Shunran at 10 respectively. Sensei Jason mainly specializes in American Kenpo Karate with Sesshoumaru practicing Shotokan Karate, Shuran doing Professional Wrestling, Inuyasha having experience in Kyokushin Karate, Hakkaku partaking in Muay Thai, Ginta having a go at Sanda, Ayame training in Kickboxing and Taekwondo, and Shunran committing herself to Capoeira combined with Shaolin Kung Fu. Aside from martial arts, this ideal show would have also dealt with heavy topics like Fat Albert and Mister T did such as drug addiction, divorce, discrimination, and abuse, while simultaneously inserting good old bad-guy butt-kicking action. Sensei Jason is essentially the Fat Albert and Mister T to Sesshoumaru’s, Shuran’s, Inuyasha’s, Hakkaku’s, Ginta’s, Ayame’s, and Shunran’s Cosby Kids and gymnastics team. This was quite the way to get my nostalgia goggles rolling into high gear.
August: Marvel at These Two Strong Alpha Dog Dudes
In my Splendid Seven AU headcanon, it should come off as no surprise that Sesshoumaru and Inuyasha have a brotherhood that is so akin to Ryu and Ken from Street Fighter mixed in with Kazuya and Paul from Tekken, thus exercising strong camaraderie, unconditionally loving platonic bond between brothers and loads of staunchness. In terms of the martial arts, as Sesshoumaru is the Ryu to Inuyasha’s Ken, they do have a strong background in Karate, Kenpo, Judo, Jujitsu, Mixed Martial Arts, Shootfighting, and Kickboxing, and they are very much the best and strongest fighters of The Splendid Seven. Even Shuran the professional wrestler, Hakkaku the Nak Muay, Ginta the Lethwei practitioner, Ayame the Kickboxing and Hapkido specialist, and Shunran the Capoeira and Shaoling Kung Fu fighter agree that Sesshoumaru and Inuyasha are totally awesome because they would not be powerful together without them. Sesshoumaru and Inuyasha make it really clear that they have the muscles, the moves, and the skills to never back down from a fight. Therefore, I will continue to give more moments of loving bromance with my two top favorite dog Yokai brothers of all time. Nothing is going to get me down from making Sesshoumaru’s and Inuyasha’s epic bromance exciting, fun, and an overall joy to partake in.
September: The One and Only Mighty Morphin Inurangers
With the morphing sequence for all seven Mighty Morphin Inurangers accomplished, my next challenge was to put them in their respective Power Rangers suits. Thanks to the inspiration I acquired from SamaraAdele14, who also accomplished a request I gave to her when she opened them, I was able to have a go at how I saw Sesshoumaru the White Tigerzord Ranger, Shuran the Green Dragonzord Ranger, Inuyasha the Red Tyrannosaurus Ranger, Hakkaku the Black Mastodon Ranger, Ginta the Blue Triceratops Ranger, Ayame the Yellow Saber-Toothed Ranger, and Shunran the Pink Pterodactyl Ranger in terms of their respective suits. This was also thanks to, of course, all of the re-watching I have managed to do with Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Seasons 1 to 3 with glee and enjoyment. It was tough getting all the suits right with some deviations in the mix, considering that Dairanger’s White KibaRanger suit is vastly different from Zyuranger’s green, red, black, blue, yellow, and pink ranger suits, but I found a lot of joy in making this happen. I have been wanting to make this come to fruition in drawn form for months, and I will never stop producing Mighty Morphin Inurangers content. Shikon Valley, the Mighty Morphin Inurangers’ version of Angel Grove, will always be safe from evil and peril when Sesshoumaru the White Ranger, Shuran the Green Ranger, Inuyasha the Red Ranger, Hakkaku the Black Ranger, Ginta the Blue Ranger, Ayame the Yellow Ranger, and Shunran the Pink Ranger unite as a formidable superhero squad and thwart Naraku’s machinations.
October: Yokai Fighter Profiles Inuyasha
Having all seven members of The Splendid Seven partake in martial arts was inspired by my childhood in playing fighting games such as Tekken and Street Fighter. Even as I stopped playing video games in favor of doing more physical activities, the memories I have had with playing Street Fighter and Tekken as well as all the let’s plays that I have been watching on YouTube plus a whole bevy of martial arts documentaries will always be ingrained in my mind and spirit with abundant euphoria. Yokai Fighters is essentially combining elements of Tekken, Street Fighter, YuYu Hakusho, Dragonball Z, Bloodsport, Kickboxer, and various installments involving martial arts tournaments with my Splendid Seven AU headcanon. The result was Yokai Fighters. My personal favorite profile I did was Inuyasha being, of course, the super strong, victoriously virile, magnificently muscular, and ferociously fearsome Pankratiast that he was. Pankration seems to be the perfect martial art for Inuyasha because I could see him do groundwork, use grappling, have the most vicious strikes known to man and Olympian fighters combined, and fight with the strongest opponents ever from all over the world. Making him have Dudley, Guile, Ryu, Ken, and Alex from Street Fighter as well as Kazuya and Paul from Tekken as Inuyasha’s fighting game mentors was a great idea because I can see them thoroughly polish Inuyasha to be the super strong and magnificently muscular fighter that he is, especially when they give him tips and tricks of how to give Ayame the best romantic night she can ever acquire thanks to his muscles and virility. There is no doubt that Inuyasha would also be doing heavy-duty sparring, weightlifting, muscle-building, and circuit training with Dudley, Guile, Ryu, Ken, Alex, Kazuya, and Paul from sun-up to sundown, thus making him the best Pankratiast he can be. Furthermore, having Inuyasha bond with Tommy Oliver, Jason Lee Scott, Theodore Jay “TJ” Jarvis Johnson, Andros of KO-35, Leo Corbett, Carter Grayson, Wesley “Wes” Collins, Alex Drake, Eric Myers, and Cole Evans was a phenomenal idea because ten Red Power Rangers from the Saban Era of Power Rangers would make for awesome brothers from other mothers to Inuyasha. In fact, Inuyasha sparring in Pankration with Tommy, Jason, TJ, Andros, Leo, Carter, Wes, Alex, Eric, and Cole with Aurico carrying a cane in case somebody violates the rules and regulations of Pankration by eye-gouging and biting is my idea of fun. This would even get to the point in which Tommy, Jason, TJ, Andros, Leo, Carter, Wes, Alex, Eric, and Cole not only stay as Inuyasha’s awesome sparring partners for life but also his most loyal supporters, dedicated coaches, best friends, and steadfast advocates to his fighting prowess. I am glad to have made Inuyasha practice Pankration as his staple martial art because this Ancient Greek martial art needs a whole lot more love and recognition. I will continue to do my duty in making Inuyasha the awesome Pankratiast that he is.
November: Best Martial Arts Friends Forever
To say that 2022 was not a kind year was an understatement. Jason David Frank, unfortunately, transcended the flesh to my shock, horror, sadness, and frustration. Instead of stewing in my anger at his unfair death, I wanted to remember him through making fan art, despite not having met him in person. I have heard a whole litany of testimonies regarding JDF ranging from the great to the good to the not-so-good. No doubt was JDF a stronghold when it came to the martial arts as well as the Power Rangers franchise for many years to come. Since he has always been remembered as Tommy Oliver, what better Inuranger could be great friends with Tommy Oliver than Sesshoumaru the White Tigerzord Inuranger. I added Jason Lee Scott in for good measure because, ever since I have gained a deeper appreciation for the Power Rangers franchise, I have also gained a more profound appreciation for Tommy’s and Jason’s brotherhood. There is also a bit of Jason in Sesshoumaru, given his unflinching fighting prowess and physical strength. This could have been a recurring project where Tommy also hung out with Shuran the Green Dragonzord Inuranger alongside Rocky, Inuyasha the Red Tyrannosaurus Inuranger alongside, of course, Jason, Toran also from Inuyasha the Red Zeo Inuranger, Alexander Volg Zangief from Hajime no Ippo the Red Turbo Inuranger alongside TJ, and even have Tommy hug Inuyasha the same way Uncle Phil did with Will in “Papa’s Got a Brand-New Excuse” from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. However, those prospects ended up being pushed to the back burner because of university obligations as well as dealing with some personal traumas. Nevertheless, this piece of work with Sesshoumaru having a quiet and sweet moment of friendship with Tommy and Jason was something that I consider to be my labor of love to a gentleman who portrayed one of the greatest and arguably most long-serving Power Rangers of all time known for his valor and formidability.
December: Powerful Martial Artists Chilling Out
What is lovelier than seeing Sesshoumaru, Inuyasha, Shuran, Hakkaku, Ginta, Ayame, and Shunran kicking butt and taking names in martial arts tournaments as a team? Having all seven strong Yokai martial artists chilling out and being a family. Having my favorite two dog Yokai brothers, three spiky-haired brothers, and two auburn-haired sisters wearing their respective martial arts attires being all warm and cuddly together brings me happiness, and this was what I emitted in my only piece of work done this month. Sesshoumaru and Inuyasha may be the strongest fighters who can make their enemies shake and shiver. Shuran’s massive size combined with Hakkaku’s and Ginta’s quick reflexes may reduce their opponents to dust. Ayame’s and Shunran’s quick and powerful strikes may break their foes’ bones and ligaments to smithereens. Nonetheless, the one aspect they have is the genuineness they have together as a septet of individuals who have each other’s backs and appreciate each other for who they are. They have their parents and grandparents to thank for making them the people they can be, and they have imparted the same life lessons they have learned to their children and their children’s children.
2022 was an exciting year despite the troubles and issues that came along the way. I felt like I was able to keep challenging myself and channel all the creative energy necessary to keep on producing the stuff that I am passionate about. So far, I am eight more watchers short of achieving 800 DeviantArt watchers. However, I am still very thankful for all the wonderful experiences I had here regardless of certain issues that came along the way. I came out stronger and more motivated, and I will continue to be motivated to reach higher ground. I wish you all the happiest of New Years and may 2023 be filled with prosperity for all. Take care, stay safe, and thank you once again for making 2022 an eventful year despite the troubles that came along the way.
Alberto, Alfonso, Consuelo, Mephistopheles’s design, Belial the Werewolf Spider, and the Three Black Widow Spiders (Alecto, Arachne, and Aglaopheme) belong to me.
Princess Alexandra Sofiya Mikhailova belongs to me.
Sesshoumaru, Shuran, Inuyasha, Hakkaku, Ginta, Ayame, and Shunran from Inuyasha belong to Rumiko Takahashi and Sunrise.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers belongs to Saban and Toei.