Here's an artist I've been wanting to do a spotlight on for almost a year now. JaDeDJynX is another one of those creators you have probably run into a bunch over the years. She has absolute mastery over show style, with a more boxxy snouted slightly realistic version in some of her absolute best art. Even a hybrid like the gorgeous Flutterbat above isn't uncommon. Her grasp on light and color to really make a piece POP out at you is something few artists come close to. Just look at the way that moonlight reflects off the eyes, fur, and tree up there. It's incredible.
You might also recognize her for the beautiful Steleris comic series she has been working on since 2013. It seems to be on break at the moment with how busy she is, but it's worth checking out anyway if only for the excellent show-style art throughout.
Now days you might find her at a convention selling prints, or in BronyCon's case working on the design team between posting awesome stuff over on her Deviant Art page. I'll quit blabbering though and let you dive in. Go get an interview with her, and some of her standout pieces below!
(Update: And in other news, she recently got into a car accident and is looking to sell a set of epic mane 6 prints to pay for repairs.Go donate and get something cool over here!)
Q:) How did you stumble upon My Little Pony? What was your "origin" story if you will?
I wouldn't necessarily say “I stumbled upon it”, More like….my friends at the time kept nagging at me to watch it. I never was a fan of the colorful ponies back in the late 80’s early 90’s. I thought of them as always being too cutesy as a whole with a dash of ‘a lot of cringe’. Even as a elementary aged girl, I knew wasn't into that kind of stuff.
Now many years later at age 21, here are my friends asking me to watch the show I never really cared for? I thought it was a joke to be quite honest. However, eventually I started seeing how “popular” this show was getting and so I decided to give the show a chance and began at the pilot episode of Season 1. That night I watched all of Season 1 in it’s entirety and I realized that the show was different than the MLP that I once knew about. It had action, real conflicts and real problems between friends! It had substance, and that is what drew me to the show.
Q:) What is the process you usually go through when drawing something new? What tools and programs do you use?
I have to think about this one, because sometimes even I don't know what process I use. I used to use the program called Adobe Photoshop (I'm sure everyone has now heard of it). I started using the program back in 2005 and I can confidently say I know a lot about the program. However, I changed over to Paint Tool Sai because of the blending technique that the program has. It's amazing when it comes to shading and blending colors together.
I guess the process I use when it comes down to drawing something new has to start with an idea that looks good in my mind. If the idea is complex Ill sketch it out on paper for me to have a better understanding at what I would like to see, then I try it emulate it on the computer with my tablet.
Sometimes the idea works out, sometimes it doesn't, but the point is to try, because some of my best works started out as a complex idea that I didn't believe could work out at first, but it ended up being loved by all who viewed it.
Q: ) Let’s get the usual required question out of the way: Who is your favorite pony? And if it's different, who is your favorite pony to draw?
Oh thats easy. Fluttershy is my favorite out of them all. I always had a love for animals growing up. And seeing how well she works with animals more than her own kind reminds me of myself growing up in a way. But even though she is my favorite, Applejack is my favorite one to draw and I'm not sure why. I guess it has to do with her color scheme and the way she is designed
I love play with colors, especially oranges, yellows and reds, because it gives me a chance to go crazy with the shading and adding a hot pink, or a warm purple etc into the shading. That, along with action poses, are my favorite, and there is a whole lot of action when it comes to Applejack.
Q:) What kind of challenges do you usually run into when drawing a character for the first time? Has there ever been an image concept that completely stumped you?
Chrysalis is one of my favorite villain from the show. Not only because of her role in the show, but because of her color scheme and design. The day she appeared on tv I was very much stunned at how awesome she looked and how interesting her species as a whole were. However, she is one of the more difficult characters I had to draw because of those holes, especially the horn.
I remember when I first decided to draw her, I went through multiple designs because I couldn't figure out how the holes worked. Now, I can easily draw her...most of the times. The horn is still a pain in the butt to do though.
Q:) The Best Work section on your Deviant Art page houses some of the greatest pieces in the fandom. How long does something like the Flutterbat or Vampire Chryssi take?
Oh man. Well Flutterbat I believe took around a week to do while Vampire Chryssi took 2 weeks or so (with breaks and all, of course). The reason being is that Vampire Chryssi was the first time that I tried out this highly detailed art style that I now incorporate in almost all of my work.
And any pony that has clothes on will automatically take longer than with ponies who don't have clothes. And the dress that Chryssi wears in that picture was...well, let's just say it was pretty tedious.
Q:) Socks, sweaters, silly hats, swimwear, full body armor, ponies have worn it all. What is your favorite accessory to draw ponies in?
I have drawn ponies in both Gala Dresses and Armor, and I have to say I like drawing gala dresses more. I feel like I enjoying drawing formal wear on ponies better than armor because I don't feel like I am that good in detailing armor as I am gala outfits. And I have to be careful when I say “I feel I am not very good…” because everyone told me that I'm lying to myself. Be that as it may, I have yet to meet an artists who likes their own work XD
Q:) What do you like most about Friendship is Magic? What keeps you drawing so many awesome ponies?
I absolutely love the colors and the designs of some of the characters, it's what keeps me interested. “What color can I use to make certain ponies pop” or when making an original character, I like to get creative with clothing, hair styles, anything. I enjoy taking stuff from my mind and breathing life into them through my stylus and tablet. Its enjoyable! Almost, dare I say, therapeutic even.
Q:) Do you have any tips for newbie artists looking to improve?
I know it sounds kinda cliche, but practice makes perfect. And I don't mean blind practice. If you are truly struggling to draw, then research! Go online and read what makes drawing second nature to others. Tracing even helps when you are starting to learn. Tracing isn’t bad, it's a great way in seeing how the lines work with the characters from the show. I never went to any art class or school during my grade years, and I always had a passion for drawing and yearned to improve with every image I produce. I bought “How To Draw” books, watched online drawing videos, asked my artist friends what setting they use on their computer drawing program, etc...
I didn't want to stop, until I knew what my artist friend knew. And to be honest, I still learning every day. There isn't going to be a day in which you wake up and say “I am a perfect artist.” I don't believe ‘the perfect artist’ exists. Everyone, whether a beginner or an expert, is getting better with each picture.
So perhaps it isn't practice makes perfect, but instead on how determined you are to achieve that perfection.
Q:) Why do you think My little Pony Generation 4 has been so successful? What keeps you here involved in the community?
I believe it all falls in the the design and story of the show. The previous generations was full of fluff, it was very happy all the time and I felt there was no substance. Sure you have your villain like Tirek from the old cartoons of the 80’s, but I dunno, there were some substance lacking.
Gen 4 shows the audience that the main heroes of the show are not only the elements of harmony, but are also “human” so to speak. What I mean by that is that they have flaws.
Rainbow dash is Loyal, but she certainly is arrogant
Applejack is honest, but in turn, that honesty can sometimes be rather rude
Fluttershy is Kind, but she is also afraid of everything and very timid.
And so on…
Each protagonist has their flaws and I like that. It means that the heroes aren't the perfect creation of ponykind who sings happy songs each and every day (Well...maybe Pinkie is the exception) but that they make mistakes too and are learning how to be a better friend with each and every episode.
That is what drew me to the show and I believe that's why the show has been so successful. There are other reasons, of course, but I believe that this is one of the more important reason.
I can’t say I'm as rabid of a fan as I once was, but I still enjoy and love the show! And I’ll enjoy drawing the characters for years to come!
Jaded sent over 10 of her absolute favorite pieces she has done over the years. You've probably seen them if you follow us at all considering I think I've headered a bunch of Drawfriend and other posts with these.
And a few other pieces of art! Be sure to check out her gallery for the full set!
Keep an eye on JaDeD's Deviant Art page for updates on comissions! An artist with as many followers as her tends to go through slots pretty quick!
And if you want to meet her or buy some of her prints, he last convention of the year is Nightmare Night Dallas in a few weeks.