What happens with suddenly that something becomes relevant? -When it determines whether or not you get to attend an event you've waited your whole life for?
What happens when you devote your full attention and time to that something with so much on the line-
-and you still fail?
Failure, especially at something you truly tried your best at, is a devastating blow to one's self-confidence, especially for someone like Rainbow Dash. She was doubtlessly convinced that if she had simply wanted to do well academically, she could do so easily. Her grades were bad because she had other things to worry about, and nothing more.
Unfortunately, she learned that she is not infallible, and that she can fail. We see the consequences of this crushing defeat reverberate well into adulthood. Her arrogance and her ego are both emotional shields; when they are stripped away by the possibility of another humiliating failure (the Best Young Flyers competition), we see that deep inside, she never fully recovered.
This is a poignant and heart wrenching scene, a captured trauma that will define Rainbow Dash, and leave her forever running away from herself. She dropped out of Flight School because she could not handle the risk of another failure. Despite her incredible natural talent, she is content to remain a small town weather pegasus; by being a big fish in a small pond, she can avoid situations that would fall out of her comfort zone.
This also drives her to constantly push herself to improve herself in areas where she is already talented: flying and athletics. She has to be the fastest, the strongest, the best, at everything she does, to prove to herself that she is worthy. This drives her to be unshakably loyal as well: not coming through for her friends or her town is a failure in Rainbow Dash's eyes, and that is the one thing she dreads more than anything else. Is it any surprise that Discord used visions of failure (in this case, failing to save Cloudsdale) to corrupt Dash?
The fact that I am able to read so much into this piece is a testament to its quality. It is also beautifully drawn, and lovely to look at. Wonderful work as always, NaterRang!
Originality: Rainbow isn't really my favorite pony, mainly because her brash, abrasive attitude reminds me of my childhood bullies. Seeing her in a state of submission and of failure really helps give her some more depth as a character, and depth is necessary if you want your character to be universally loved. Just seeing the tears falling down this sad little filly's face nearly brings tears to my own eyes. The one thing I could say is that you REALLY did not need to put Derpy in here. I understand that it is supposed to be a counterpoint to the pain that Rainbow is feeling, but this obvious bit of fan service detracts from the whole experience. If you were to redo this, I suggest that you change Derpy to a anonymous pegasus, just so that the original counterpoint is there, but people won't be distracted from the main message of the story. Besides, Derpy getting an A+ while Rainbow gets a D-? C'mon dude, give our cyan friend some credit.
Technique: Very good drawing here, and I especially liked how you gave everything an orange filter so that it would seem more like it was evening. However, some of the lines seem a little slap dash, particularly on the lockers. Fluttershy's mouth also seems a little awkward looking, and her wings aren't as polished up as the rest of the drawing. Good work, but keep those
little things in mind.
Impact: This picture hit me like a ton of bricks wrapped around a Halo 3 Gravity Hammer, and it was for all the right reasons. The pain and sadness, the true crushing dread of knowing that you've failed at something you've tried so hard to succeed at, that is what makes a picture stick out. It doesn't all have to be flashy visuals and bright colors, sometimes all it has to be is a sad little filly after a bad day at school.
Overall: A remarkable picture that will definitely be going on my iPad and in my favorites. You sir, are a master at telling a story without words, and if you just fix up the few little technique niggles and your desire to Appel to the fans so much, and you will have something truly deserving of calling a masterpiece. Feel free to comment if you disagree, and I hope to see more of your art in future!
I love this pic!!! It's really wonderful!!!
I like this. I think a lot of nerdy types forget that poor grades can be really upsetting because when they were that age their biggest problems were to do with dealing with other kids.
I know that feeling. I worked so hard to get a part for a play to add dramatic effect, guess what, I didn't get the part! I was instead beat by some popular girl who doesn't try at all (No more class votes when choosing pupils, please...), and felt so horrible.
I just realized, when I try so flippin' hard to get something, I don't, and when I don't try, I get it. .-.